Wednesday, October 26, 2011

By Any Other Name

**** (4 stars out of 5)
It might be time to stop answering distress signals...

Today, in "By Any Other Name" our trusting, helpful expolorers are captured by invaders from the Andromeda Galaxy. An advanced multi-generational warship from the Kelvan Empire broke apart while coming through the galactic barrier, and its conquering crew need a replacement vessel for the return trip.

With their advanced technology, they seize the Enterprise in minutes. A device on their belts can make people play freeze tag, or reduce them to their essence in compact but brittle sponge-like shapes. Yeoman Thompson and her Red Shirt are crushed to a handful of dust when Kirk is not co-operative. Yikes!

Enterprise is quickly modified to make the intergalactic journey in only 300 years. For Federation science, the journey would have taken thousands. Now they can turn the Warp Drive up to 11! (Unless they should happen to forget how before the next generation...)

The Commander, Rojan of Kelva, does not colonize well with others. Their culture is one of conquering and control. The aliens reduce the superfluous crew to little blocks.

Spock's tried-and-true telepathic jailbreak trick doesn't work for long, but the mind-touch reveals much. The Kelvans, in their natural state, have giant bodies with a hundred tentacles but little in the way of distracting perceptive senses. They lived all their lives in a sterile can in an empty void, eating nutrient pills. They have adopted human forms only recently.

And along with human forms come human feelings. The temptations of the flesh. Sweet flowers to smell. And so forth.

Scotty gets Tomar drunk on something he found on Ganymeer... mede. It's green. By the time Tomar passes out, Scotty is too blitzed to do anything about it.

Kirk puts the make on Kelinda. Spock convinces Rojan that this kissage is making Rojan jealous.

Kirk's taunts and slaps to Rojan lead to a brawl. Kirk points out how human Rojan's become after only a brief exposure to humanity. It's only going to get worse over centuries.

"When this ship gets to Kelva, the people on it will be humans!"

But, instead, they can send an invitation back by robot ship and the Kelvans can settle the Milky Way in peace.
Would they really extend this courtesy to invaders?

"No, but we would welcome friends."

If they'd had the budget to show the Kelvans' true forms back then, would our heroes still have "stimulated" these tentacled, faceless monstrosities?

If it's tough to sit across from one and keep your drink down, it's probably tougher still to tongue kiss them!

It was too easy a win, but I like the idea of a victory won with kisses instead of phasers.

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