In original broadcast order, "Errand of Mercy", broadcast on March 23, 1967, was the 26th episode of TOS. The Enterprise reaches their assigned position and Kirk reads the sealed orders. They are attacked by a Klingon ship and destroy it. While negotiating with the Orangians could be expected to be time consuming, what would be really time consuming would be building a bases on Organia or in the Organian system that keep the Klingons away and prevent them from using the planet and the star system. I understand why starfeet Command didn't ignore the Prime Directive and try to establish a base on Organia much earlier. Organia is in the disuputed area and such an attempt could provoke the Klingons to start a war that Starfleet hoped to avoid. And I understand why Starfleet Command didn't order Kirk to destroy all life on Organia and turn its surface into an ocean of red hot magma, making it useless for the Klingons. That would have been evil. But I don't understand how Starfleet Command thought that Kirk could possibly have enough time to fortify Organia against the Klingons. As I remember, I started a thread about that. Kirk decides to beam down with Spock to Organia to negotiate. Since a Klingon fleet has been detected in "this quadrant" Kirk tells Sulu to retreat if a Klingon fleet is detected and alert the Federation Fleet. What does Kirk mean by "emerge"? Emerge from warp drive? Emerge from hyperspace? Emerge from a wormhole connecting the Organia system to another star system? Emerge from a cloaking device by turning it off? Beaming down, Kirk introduces himself to Ayelborne, chairman of the Council of Elders. Spock wanders off to study the village, and Ayelborne takes Kirk to the council chambers. In the next scene the elders seat themselves at a table and Kirk talks to them about the Klingon threat and the Federation's offer of assistance. Spock enters. The Klingon fleet arrives and Kirk tells Sulu to retreat. Soon after Kirk says: Seeming to imply that if they had agreed to Federation protection a few minutes ago the Enterprise could have deployed some sort of instant planetary defense system capable of holding off a Klingon fleet. Apparently only minutes have passed since the ending of the last scene. 3.3 stardate units have passed between 3198.4 and 3201.7. Each minute that passed during that interval makes a stardate unit 0.3030 minutes longer; each hour that passes during that interval makes a stardate unit 0.3030 hours longer, each day that passes during that interval makes a stardate unit 0.3030 days longer. And I can't help wondering how to make the interval of 3.3 stardates last much longer than the actually time shown onscreen between them during the episode. That night Kirk and Spock blow up a Klingon munitions dump. Kor captures Kirk & Spock. So this is the second day on Organia. Kor threatens to have Spock dissected and turn Kirk into a mental vegetable unless Kirk gives him the information Kor wants. Kor sends Kirk to a cell, giving Kirk 12 hours to change his mind and talk. Later: So it is 5 hours and 17 minutes later. Ayelborne released them from the cell. A few minutes later, Kor broadcasts a message that 200 Organian hostages have been killed, and 200 more will be killed every two hours until the saboteurs are handed over to the Klingons. Kirk & Spock decide to try to stop Kor within the next two hours before any more hostages are killed. After Kirk & Spock leave the council chamber: So apparently nightfall and darkness are less than 2 hours away. Kor sends Klingons to round up another bunch of hostages. Kirk and Spock enter Kor's office. A minute or so later, the Organians stop the fighting on Organia and on the two fleets, and all throughout Federation and Klingon space. Apparently the Organians have not been organic beings for a very long time: Kirk's words that it is unsettling to discover that we're not the most powerful beings in the universe may indicate that "Errand of Mercy" is in an alternate universe where "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Charlie X", "The Squire of Gothos", and "Arena" did not happen.