(written from a Production point of view)
Captain Kirk and Ensign Chekov beam down to the planet Andrius, responding to an invitation from Governor Dalmon. No sooner are they greeted by Dalmon, than one of his aides reports an enemy attack. Vornerians have landed outside the capital city. They have launched 'vartar missiles' at the Enterprise, weapons that disable a ship's systems, including communications and engines. Kirk realizes he is unable to contact his ship, and he, Chekov, and Dalmon are attacked by Vornerian soldiers. They are quickly overcome, and the Vornerians take them hostage. Back on the Enterprise, the engines are clogged, despite Scotty's attempts to blow them clear. Spock orders workers outside to examine the engines, and admonishes the crew to remain calm.
Kirk and the other hostages regain consciousness in a holding cell on board a Vornerian ship. One of their captors boasts of his plan to return to Vorneria and bargain for Andrius' surrender. Dalmon explains to Kirk that they are in a very bad position, because, aside from their captivity, the Enterprise is also in danger. Andrius' defense system consists of missiles that incapacitate a ship. It then drifts beyond Andrius into an asteroid belt where it is pounded and destroyed. Andrius also possesses 'reversal missiles', but they will be too busy discussing the capture of their governor to assist the Enterprise.
Planning an escape, Kirk scratches out a message on the wall for the others to read. He whistles, irritating and distracting a Vornerian guard. When the guard approaches, Chekov grabs him, and Kirk helps overpower him. They escape their holding cell and Kirk, Chekov, and Dalmon rush their way to the bridge, forcing the Vornerians' surrender. They throw the Vornerians into holding cells and pilot the ship back to Andrius.
Andrius pick up on the approach of the Vornerian ship, but Chekov figures out how to work communications just in time, and prevents an attack from Andrius. The Enterprise is helplessly adrift near the asteroid field. Dalmon orders Andrius to fire anti-vartar missiles, restoring propulsion, and saving the ship from certain doom.
"What about engines, Mr Scott?"
"They're clogged. I've tried to blow it clear… but it's no use."
- - Spock and Scotty, discussing the warp nacelles
"Any Vornerians we run into – gun them down! If we aren't ruthless – we're dead!"
- - Kirk, planning a daring escape
"Well, Mr. Spock, we'll be welcoming Governor Dalmon aboard in about an hour. But first, I'll tell you what's been happening to you. You know – I think my story will make even your hair curl…"
- - Kirk, relating his experiences with the Vornerians
- Since Chekov is in this story, it likely takes place between "Catspaw" (2267) and "Turnabout Intruder" (2269). However, given Khan's statement in Star Trek II that he remembered Chekov, this implies the officer had joined the Enterprise prior to "Space Seed". As such, this story may also take place between "Space Seed" and "Catspaw".
- Vartar missiles are described as "clogging" the engines, and attempts are made to "blow them clear". These are apparently just figures of speech, since the same missiles also affected communication. It is difficult to determine how a warp nacelle would literally be clogged; the writer of this story likely assumed that the nacelles were rockets.
- Spock uses an old-fashioned handheld microphone hail the crew.
- Since Kirk writes out his escape plan rather than vocalizing it, the universal translator could not have related it to Dalmon. This implies that he knew how to read English.
- Vornerian is also spelled "Vornarian" in one instance. The Vornerians bear a passing resemblance to Ro-Man from "Robot Monster".
- Chekov says that he took the same radio courses as Uhura.
- Ensign Pavel Chekov
- Captain James T. Kirk
- Leonard McCoy, seen in one panel with no dialog
- Montgomery Scott, referred to but not seen
- Hikaru Sulu
- Governor Dalmon, ruler of Andrius
- Zarrk, Vornerian soldier
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