The Enterprise has as an observer on their current exploration/contact missions: Commander Ari bn Bem of the planet Pandro. He is rude and obnoxious and dangerously independent, but Kirk is under orders to treat him well to further relations with Pandro. After six months in his cabin Bem insists on going on a landing party. Trying to rescue Bem (who claims he is observing the primitive locals), Kirk and Spock are captured. Bem has replaced their communicators and phasers with dummies to observe them under stress as well. He reveals he is a colony creature who can split his body into separate, individually independent parts. Meanwhile, a sensory anomaly is sweeping over the planet, and appears to be a ""god"" of some sort that claims responsibility over its ""children"" and insists they leave. Bem escapes and Kirk rescues him again by telling the ""god"" that he has the same responsibility to Bem it does to her children. A chastened Bem acquiesces and the planet's natives are left to develop
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