Samuel T. Cogley
Elisha Cook Jr.
Lt. Areel Shaw
an ion storm a crewman, Records Officer Ben Finney, is killed when Kirk
is forced to eject the sensor pod in which he is stationed. Returning
to Starbase 11 for repairs, Kirk sends a full report to the Port Master,
Senior Captain Stone. A discrepancy is found between the Captain's log
and the ship's computer records which leads to James T. Kirk becoming
the first Starfleet Captain to face court martial.
The prosecuting attorney assigned to the case is Areel Shaw, one of Kirk's
old flames. His own lawyer is an old-fashioned eccentric called Samuel
T. Cogley. During the trial Kirk relates how he and Finney served together
on U.S.S. Republic NCC 1371 where he had been forced to report Finney
for negligence, an act which had severely damaged Finney's promotion prospects.
Despite this, Finney had apparently forgiven him and had agreed to serve
with him aboard the Enterprise.
They had, at one time, been such good friends that Finney's daughter,
Jamie, had been named after him. Of the incident, Kirk testifies that
he had put the Enterprise on red alert and had given Finney a chance to
leave the pod before jettisoning it but the computer records show that
it was apparently ejected while the ship was only in a state of yellow
In the meantime Spock has been carrying out his own tests on the ship's
computer and comes to the conclusion that, somehow, the computer records
have been altered. Finney was one of only three people aboard the Enterprise
with the ability to do this, the other two being Spock and Kirk himself,
and that his captain is the victim of a sophisticated frame-up. Cogley
brings up an old law that allows the accused to face his accuser, in this
case the ship's computer, and the scene of the trial is moved aboard the
All non-essential crew are beamed off ship and, one by one, the remaining
personnel have their heartbeats masked from the ship's auditory sensors.
When all have been done, one heartbeat remains - that of Ben Finney. They
track him down to main engineering, where Kirk confronts him and demands
an explanation for his actions. Driven mad by jealousy and a desire for
revenge over the years, he attacks Kirk but, on hearing that his daughter
Jamie is on board, relents and confesses to his actions after which he
is taken into Starfleet custody to face charges.