Production Number: 54
Air Order: 52
Original Air Date: March 1, 1968
It's November, y'all. November means several things: retail workers have made it halfway through the Holiday season; everything comes in "pumpkin spice" flavor/scent; it's No Shave November or Movember, both of which include facial hair. I can be a beard, but I cannot grow one. Therefore, my month-long participation turns to NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month.
For those of you who are not involved in fandoms, or who just plain old haven't heard of this, NaNoWriMo is a movement which encourages people to write novels in the space of a month. You can sign up for workshops and be partnered with mentors and stuff, but a lot of people just participate casually, writing diligently to improve their skills. In this spirit, I'm writing this weeks' episode as an entry in Kirk's log rather than a straight review.
"Captain's Log, stardate something-or-other, I don't really know. I haven't looked at a calendar today. Um, so this is the log entry for our trip to, and subsequent trouble on, Omega IV. This log will clearly show that I did nothing wrong, and in fact, went by the book at all times.
Okay, I did a few things on my own that weren't strictly on the up and up, but most things were by the book.
Okay, I did one thing by the book. But it was a good one!
Things started out okay. We were cruising along through space when we found ourselves approaching Omega IV. I don't recall what mission we were on then, but a lot of the time we don't really have a mission, and we're just kind of hanging out in space, so I guess it doesn't matter. So we come up on Omega IV, and even though nothing is strictly wrong, it feels weird, like when you're watching a film and everything is fine, but sinister music is playing for no reason that you can see? It was like that. Sulu reported that there was a Federation ship in orbit, the Exeter. Uhura tried to hail the ship, but they weren't answering. I knew that the Exeter had been patrolling in that sector six months earlier, but there was no reason to believe there was anything wrong. Sulu reported no damage to the ship. But when they failed to answer our hail, I knew I should go over there.
|No damage to the ship, no reason for anyone to suspect trouble.|
Clearly, both of these are good reasons to investigate.
Lots of people have gotten on my case about always going on away missions, and doing so at the drop of a hat, but I have a very good reason for doing so: I like away missions, and I'm the captain, so I'm allowed to go if I want to. Whiners always complain about how I leave my ship open to trouble by leaving and taking most of the senior staff, but they can suck it. I feel like going, so I'm gonna. I mean, really, what else could I have done in this situation? Continue to try to raise the Exeter? Scan the ship for life-forms? Send in someone who was not in charge of the ship and 429 other people? Where's the sense in that? It wastes time, and I hate wasting time when I could be jumping in and asking questions later.
I took Science Officer Spock,
There were no people in engineering, just uniforms scattered on the floor and draped over equipment. There were little piles of crystals with the uniforms, but nobody really thought much of it. Seems obvious now, but I guess we weren't focused on that. Dr McCoy scanned the uniforms while I got on the PA system and announced our arrival on the ship, asking if anyone was on board. No one answered back. Mr Spock called me back to say that he had not found anyone either, just empty uniforms, and Lt Galloway reported in by saying that all shuttlecraft were still on the ship. We went up to the bridge and found more uniforms and piles of crystals. McCoy scanned these too and discovered that the crystals were what was left of the human body when the water is removed.
Soylent Crystal Meth is people!
Oh - that might have been in bad taste. Sorry. Um, I offer my condolences to the families of the 400 men and women who served aboard the Exeter and who lost their lives in the line of duty. When they became crystal meth.
Okay, sorry again.
I had Spock play back the last log entry made on the ship. It was made by their ships' surgeon. He didn't look like he was in good shape. His last entry was clearly meant for people like us, who had come to investigate. He addressed us, telling us that we were dead men, and not to go back to our own ship, and to get "down there" where Captain Tracey was. Then he keeled over and the log ended. It was really a terrible entry. He didn't tell us how anyone died, or why we were dead men, or why we shouldn't go back to the Enterprise, and then he just died at the end of the log. Don't they teach good log entry protocol at the Academy anymore?
The surgeon suggested that we go "down there" to find Captain Tracey, so we beamed down. I suppose I could have called the Enterprise and asked for any background information the Federation has recorded on Omega IV, but that would have taken a few minutes that I didn't want to waste. I guess it sounds irresponsible to just beam down willy-nilly without finding out more about the situation, but I do it all the time, and how often does that get me into trouble? Fifty percent of the time? Sixty? It always turns out okay in the end.
When we beamed down we found ourselves in a village of sorts, and just about to witness a beheading. The villagers were all Asians, and the guy they were about to behead was a sort of white caveman. They had a white girl, too, in a skimpy outfit. Her boobs bounced nicely as she struggled.
Fortunately, the beheading was stopped when Ron Tracey showed up on the scene and noticed us. He greeted me, and we shook hands and then he ordered one of the Asians to lock up the "white savages." One of the Asians, Wu, pointed out to Tracey that we were carrying "fire boxes."
Tracey told us that the savages lived away from the Asians, but attacked frequently. Mr Spock asked Tracey how the Asians knew about phasers, and Tracey gave my
boyfriend first officer the stink eye before continuing to talk about his experiences on Omega IV. It seems that Tracey and an away team had beamed down to the surface when their med-scanners revealed that the planet's people were in perfect health. The villagers (Kohms) were surprised to see them, as the crew's white skin made them look like the savages (Yangs). I guess Tracey has an all-white crew? I dunno. It was hard to tell race and skin color based on just those little piles of crystals. Anyway, he said he stayed behind when the away team beamed back up, but then he said that he got calls from the Exeter saying that the away team had contracted a disease on the surface that they then carried back to the ship. Everyone became infected and died. Tracey was also infected, as we were now as well. There's some sort of immunity that inhabitants get from living there that keeps them from dying. He said we couldn't leave, or the disease would kill us. I stifled a yawn. If I had a tribble for every time I was told that I was going to have to remain planet-side forever, I could start a fur-coat factory.
McCoy had a bunch of medical equipment beamed down so that he could take samples and see if he could work out a cure between himself and the Enterprise computer. He said that the infection that we all had resembled some infections that were developed by man in the 1990's during their biological warfare. Meanwhile, I started to wonder if Ron Tracey had violated the Prime Directive, which is the most important thing in Starfleet and which I would never ever personally break.
Spock suddenly burst into the room carrying a wounded Lt Galloway. They had been just outside the village when they had been ambushed by some Yangs, and Galloway had taken a lance to the chest. Galloway stated that he did not think it was possible to reason with the Yangs, as they seemed too savage. Spock reported that the Yangs did appear to be preparing for a huge attack, but that Tracey was lying about not interfering with this culture, as Spock had talked to several villagers who said that Tracey had driven off an attack the week before with his phaser. Spock also found the spent reserve packs from Tracey's phaser with the remains of some Yangs.
My senior officers and I discussed the ramifications of this, mostly that I would have to turn in Captain Tracey for violation of the Prime Directive. While it was no good arresting him on the planet's surface, I would probably have to confiscate his weapon and make Starfleet aware, which was what I was about to do when Tracey came in with his phaser out. Lt Galloway started to reach for his own phaser, but Tracey saw him, and vaporized him. I want it on record that I was not directly responsible for the death of this Red. Some of them, I was kinda-sorta responsible for, but this one was all Tracey.
Tracey had several Kohms with him, who then rushed in to take the rest of the phasers and my comm device. He then called the Enterprise and lied to Sulu about the situation. He said that sending a medical party down would be foolish. I tried to yell "Sulu!" at the comm, but Tracey closed it and knocked me out. How he did that, I'll never know. People aren't usually quick or skilled enough to get the drop on me. According to Mr Spock and Dr McCoy, the Kohms were then ordered to kill me if either of them tried to talk to Sulu. Tracey then called Sulu back and said that I was unconscious and delirious with sickness, but that everything was fine and he would be in touch. He's a devious bastard. My very excellent bridge crew has the entire conversation on info tapes as evidence.
Later, while I was lying on the floor by myself, I tried to trip the Kohm guard that Tracey had left behind. Unfortunately, Tracey caught me doing it, and sent the guard out so that we could talk. I want it on the books here that the first thing I said to him after finding out about his treason was to cite section 7, paragraph 4 at him, about how he needed to surrender himself to me. He acknowledged what I was doing, and we moved on. I asked him why he had done the things that he had done.
He then explained that he had discovered that no disease existed on this planet. He called Wu back in to tell me his age, which was revealed to be 462. Wu's father was over 1000 years old. I asked if McCoy could corroborate this, and Tracey said he wanted doctors researching the phenomena, so that a serum could be made and sold. He was after a sort of Fountain of Youth thing. He said that if we stayed alive to create the serum, we could be rich, and the Federation would send starships to pick us up. He also said that if we died before being able to bring a serum to market that it would be "a crime against humanity." This, my fellow officers, is what Captain Ronald Tracey feels is more important than the Prime Directive.
Now, my hands had been tied up this whole time, but of course I was able to work my way out of them. I'm afraid an altercation occurred, and oddly enough, I found myself beaten. I was taken to a small jail in the village. Dr McCoy and Mr Spock were already there, in one cell, while the other cell was taken up by the two white savages. Dr McCoy was released so that he could work on Tracey's serum. Tracey told Wu that they were going to start preparing for war with the Yangs, only this time, they would have a lot of "fire boxes." Tracey thought it would be funny to put me in the cell with the savages, and unfortunately, another fight broke out.
I was trying very hard not to hurt the savages, as an extension of the Prime Directive, but they were fairly intent on hurting me, so I feel like I can't be blamed for defending myself. At one point, I figured out that I could use the chick with the nice jugs as a shield, but that didn't last long. Spock was offering encouragement from the other cell, but I couldn't tell if he was being sarcastic or not. The girl backed up to the door of the cell, just within range of Spock's arm, and he did that crazy Vulcan neck pinch thing that he does. She passed out, and the savage man cradled her on the floor. We were at an impasse, and the savages huddled in the corner under the window while I stood at the door and talked to Spock to keep me awake. I felt like I might be ambushed by the savages if I fell asleep. Spock thought that the bars in the windows were loose because the mortar had begun rotting away. He twisted one of the bars to get it free while he told me that he thought some biological warfare had taken place a long time ago, something to bring on that disease, and which had destroyed the white society and crumbled the yellow society. In responding back, I mentioned the word "freedom."
This piqued the interest of the savage man, who croaked that "freedom" was one of their "worship words." I replied that it was one of ours as well, and then I tried to loosen one of the bars as Spock had. I could totally have done it on my own, but I wanted a foster a good relationship with the savage man, so I allowed him to help me. When I asked him why he had not spoken before, he replied that he felt that we were on the side of the Kohms.
We got the bar out, and I turned to call to Spock that we would help him out as well, but when I did so, that savage bastard hit me in the back of the head with the bar, knocking me out. When I came to, Spock told me that I had been unconscious for 7 hours. The window was free of all of the bars and the savages were gone. I spotted some keys in the jail, climbed out through the window, went back in, and unlocked Spock's cell. (Though I am at a loss as to why Spock didn't free himself with those loose bars, and then come get me during the seven hours that I was unconscious.) We made our way back to the building where Dr McCoy was working and Spock performed the Vulcan neck pinch on the guard.
Dr McCoy told us what Spock had guessed as well, that there had been a war and a disease that had been unleashed, and over time, nature had built up immunities in the water, food and soil. If the away team from the Exeter had stayed a few more hours, they would have gotten the immunity as well. This meant that we were free to leave. I told Dr McCoy that Tracey's plans involved using these diseases and immunities to lengthen life, which he could make into a serum and sell, but the good doctor said that such a serum wouldn't work that way, as the long life of the inhabitants of this planet resulted in exposure to the illness and the immunities over time. Spock managed to repair the communication device enough that we could signal the Enterprise, but Tracey burst in again and vaporized it. Spock was standing too close at the time, and it knocked him out.
Spock needed medical attention, but Tracey yelled that we couldn't leave the surface or everyone on the Enterprise would die. I lost my temper and yelled back that we were all immunized and could leave whenever we wanted. He thought this meant that Dr McCoy had created a serum, but McCoy explained to him that the only reason these people were living longer was because they were supposed to on this planet, and there was nothing to make a magical serum from. Angry, Tracey yelled that he had killed thousands of savages for nothing and then ordered me outside by threatening to vaporize my first officer and ships' surgeon, which frankly, is a court-martial offense, if you ask me. He forced me to call my ship and request 10 phasers with 3 back-up packs for each.
Sulu and Uhura were smart enough to tell me that that wasn't possible without verification, that it was against regulation. Sulu said that he had volunteers ready to come to the surface if needed. I replied that everything was fine, and I closed the comm. Sulu and Uhura should get raises for thwarting a genocide using Starfleet regulations. This conversation was also recorded for posterity.
Tracey congratulated me on having a fine bridge crew. I thanked him humbly, then knocked the phaser out of his hand. I'm afraid another altercation started when Tracey threw the first punch. He grabbed the phaser again, and tried to vaporize me, but I ducked out of the way. When the phaser lost it's charge, he came at me with an ax!
Unfortunately, we were caught by a group of savages. That's rather humiliating to think about, that we, civilized members of Starfleet and the Federation, were caught engaging in petty combat in front of them. We were taken hostage, which is a weird feeling, because I have never been taken hostage before. They took us to a building nearby, in a room full of savages, and brought in Dr McCoy and Mr Spock.
I started thinking out loud: what if my ancestors had been forced out of the cities to live in the woods like these savages, would they become like Indians? Yes. And then I started thinking about Yangs, and how much it sounded like "Yanks", and were these people Yankees? Yes! Spock said that the Kohms were like Communists, and that these people fought the war that the American terrans avoided, and in this case, the Asians won and took over the land. Which means that the Yangs had been fighting to get their land back this whole time. Right on cue, one of the savages brought in a tattered American flag!
The savage that I was locked up with appeared to be the leader of the group, and he stood now and introduced himself as Cloud William, the chief of the Yangs. He turned to the flag, put his hand over his heart, and began reciting a garbled version of the Pledge of Allegiance. I stood up and began reciting it the proper way. This threw all of the Yangs for a loop, as I apparently knew quite a few of their "holy words." They asked how I knew, and I told them that I was descended from a tribe like theirs, and that my people were up in the sky.
Then Tracey decided to throw a monkey wrench in things by telling the Yangs that I had been cast out of the heavens, and that Spock, who answered to me, was my servant, the devil. It was not helped that the Yangs had a copy of the bible, which had a drawing of the devil, and which looked like Spock. To further his argument, Tracey told the Yangs that Spock has no heart. McCoy shouted that Vulcan physiology is different, but Cloud William listened at Spock's chest anyway, declaring that he heard nothing.
They tried to test me, by having me finish reciting a document that Cloud William began reading, but it was in gibberish like before, and it sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it. Tracey encouraged the Yang to kill Spock if I couldn't do it. Concerned for my
first officer's boyfriend's life, I suggested a fight between good and evil, because good always triumphs, and okay, I did start this altercation. They tied our hands together and stuck a knife at the other end of the room, a fight to the death.
While I was busy engaging in hand to hand combat with Tracey, Spock used some sort of Vulcan mental voodoo to suggest to the tasty Yang woman that she pick up and open the comm device on the table, which she did. I finally succeeded in getting a hold of the knife, and I held it to Tracey's throat, but I could not kill a Starfleet officer, so I used it instead to cut myself free of him. Mr Sulu and two security Reds appeared in the room, to the astonishment of the Yangs, and explained that they had come to the coordinates of the open comm.
Cloud William was willing to be believe that I was a god, but I told him that I was just a man, and that I had figured out what those holy words meant. He had actually been reading from the Constitution, and I told him that those words were not just meant for chiefs, but for all of the people, including the Kohms. He said that he did not quite understand how but that they were still holy words, and if the holy words said that all people needed to be free, then that's what they would do.
Tracey was arrested, and we all beamed back up to the Enterprise to leave Omega IV.
Remember: Captain Ronald Tracey is guilty of violating the Prime Directive, the murder of one of my crew members as well as thousands of Yangs, and the attempted murder of myself and other crew members. I don't know how this could have happened. I've never seen another Starfleet officer break the Prime Directive for his own benefit before.
Also, Captain James T Kirk is innocent of violating the Prime Directive, of starting all fights but one, and of leering at that Yang woman with the great tits. He is only guilty of restoring freedom to Omega IV and of being good-looking.
Red deaths this episode: 1
Red deaths this season: 20
Gold deaths this episode: 0
Gold deaths this season: 6
Blue deaths this episode: 0
Blue deaths this season: 1
Total crew this season: 27
Total crew deaths thus far: 44
Plus a whole ship full of Crystal Meth People, but I don't know how many of each, so we'll let it fly here.
Editor's Review: This episode was racist, hackneyed bullshit.
Drinking the third flavor in the Celestial Seasonings fruit sampler, and this week it's Wildberry. I was a bit concerned, if you recall that I don't like berry-mixing, and this one has the questionable illustrated pairing on the package of blackberry and strawberry, which doesn't sound good. But it has a great Kool-Aid scent to it (good Kool-Aid, not crappy Kool-Aid), and again, I was pleasantly surprised at the fruity flavor. The berry combination does not suck. This flavor also has that slightly-nostalgic taste of clear-cellophane Fruit Roll-Up. I'm shocked. I hate mixed berry flavor, yet this was awesome. 10/10. Would drink again.
|Kitten fight! Pon Farr music!|