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|2||39||2.2||The Apple||Landon's stunt double||The Enterprise is visiting the planet Gamma Trianguli VI. A landing party finds the planet to be a paradise, with a planetwide warm climate. However, a call from Scotty on the ship brings trouble - the ship is experiencing a minor problem with the antimatter pods, possibly related to abnormalities in the magnetic field of the planet itself. Spock's tricorder detects underground vibrations coming from all directions, vibrations which he thinks are artificially produced. As the landing party scouts around they detect a life form nearby, apparently somebody watching them.
They proceed towards a nearby village, but along the way the planet offers up a few surprises. A rock explodes when tossed to the ground; a plant fires poison darts; a freak storm suddenly blows up and Spock is struck by lightning. It appears that Gamma Trianguli VI is not so pleasant a place after all!
Meanwhile on the Enterprise, the problem becomes worse - the antimatter pods have become completely inert, as if some external force had extinguished them. Without main power the ship is all but helpless and unable to beam the landing party up.
They reach the village, although two of the landing party are killed on the way by the planets strange dangers. Kirk manages to capture the native who is watching them, and they demand to know what is going on. The man claims to be the "leader of the feeders of Vaal." They continue on to the village with the man, who is named Akuta. He agrees to take them to Vaal - which proves to be a giant stone head reminiscent of a reptile. The head is surrounded by a powerful forcefield, making any approach impossible. They go back to the village to rest. Kirk notes that there are no children there - prompting confusion from the natives, who apparently have no idea what children are. Vaal, they say, has forbidden men and women to touch one another, and there is no reproduction allowed - much to McCoy's disgust. The Doctor scans the people and finds every one of them to be in perfect health, without any sign of ageing amongst them.
Vaal calls the villagers, and they bring supplies of food to place inside the head - the forcefield apparently allowing them in to feed their god. Kirk ponders whether Vaal might become weaker if it is denied the regular influx of food. Kirk and McCoy seem determined to destroy Vaal, claiming that it is stifling the right of the natives to a "free and unchained environment" and any chance to grow and develop as a culture. Spock warns that they are simply applying human standards to a culture which they may not apply to - the villagers surely have the right to choose a system that clearly works to provide them with long term stability.
Scotty reports that they are detecting a steady decrease in Vaal's power readings, possibly a result of the food being used up. He is working to boost the output of the ship's impulse engines, though this will take a good eight hours to accomplish. In not much longer than that the ship will fall into the atmosphere and burn up.
In the village, two of the natives observe Chekov kissing one of his female comrades and become curious as to what it is like. This apparently angers Vaal, who communicates with Akuta to tell him to kill the landing party. Vaal provides instructions on how to use violence, and the natives mount an attack. However, although one of the Enterprise crew is killed the natives are quickly defeated.
Scotty manages to complete his modifications and boost the ship into a slightly higher orbit, but he only gains an extra hour or so. Kirk decides to starve Vaal in an attempt to weaken it, and then orders the ship to direct a phaser barrage at the force field around it. Vaal is forced to expend its remaining energy to defend against the attack, and becomes inert. Without the field affecting the ship, full power is quickly restored.
Kirk tells the natives that the Federation will provide them with assistance until they can cope with life on their own. Although Spock expresses some concern with their actions the Captain is happy at the outcome, and the ship proceeds on course.
|Copyright Graham Kennedy||Page views : 1,106||Last updated : 21 Jul 2013|