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|1||21||1.7||The Alternative Factor||Lazarus's stunt doubles||The Enterprise is surveying an uncharted planet when it experiences a strange anomaly. The ship and everything within sensor range suddenly "blinks", as if the universe itself had momentarily been on the edge of vanishing from existence. Immediately afterwards they detect a ship on the surface with a life form reading nearby. Kirk leads a landing party to the location and finds a man there. They bring him back to the ship where they learn some worrying news - the odd anomaly has drained the dilithium crystals almost completely. Worse, Starfleet has issued an emergency code indicating a possible hostile invasion. The anomaly has apparently been felt throughout the entire galaxy and beyond.and it is feared that it might be a preparation for invasion by some hostile power.
Kirk talks to the man, learning that his name is Lazarus. he claims to be pursuing a monster, a "thing" who he claims destroyed his entire civilisation. Yet Kirk can find no sign of any other person anywhere on the planet. The "blink" phenomenon happens again and Lazarus seems to be subtly changed by it, a wound on his head which had been bandaged suddenly vanishing. This version of Lazarus seems much more reasonable, but as time goes on he switches back and forth between the two states.
On the bridge, Spock has found the beginnings of a explanation. There appears to be radiation emanating from what he describes as a "rip" in the universe, a point where the regular laws of physics do not apply. Spock suggests that the dilithium crystals could be used to locate the exact point, causing an excited Lazarus to ask for the crystals. When Kirk refuses he steals them anyway.
Kirk confronts Lazarus and he confesses that he is a time traveller from the planet below, which in the past supported his civilisation. Kirk and Spock begin to realise that there are two versions of Lazarus, one from this universe and one from another antimatter universe. They are periodically swapping places via the rip. Should one ever catch the other and exist in the same time and place then the resulting annihilation would destroy everything in the entire universe in a massive explosion.
Eventually Kirk is able to come up with a plan; the more reasonable of the two will enter the rip at the same time as his antimatter counterpart and hold him there. The Enterprise can then destroy the ship on the surface, sealing the rip. Although this will make both universes safe, the two Lazarus's will be trapped in the rip forever.
The plan works, and the universe is saved.
|Copyright Graham Kennedy||Page views : 961||Last updated : 12 Mar 2013|