*** (3 stars out of 5)
The Shipment" is a story about a shipment. Surprised? Of course not.
Xindi Sloth-Men are making kemacite for the super-weapon. Yes, Sloth-Men. One of the Seven Deadly Tree-Bears. As one might imagine, it's slow going. You'd think you'd want the industrious Xindi insects on these high-rush manufacturing jobs! But maybe that's racist. Maybe Xindi insectoids fart their days away eating pizza and playing video games. Maybe the Sloth-Men are fast, fast, fast and never eat bamboo while dangling upside down in a tree. Although they DO call themselves Arboreals. (Mmm... bamboo.)
Captain Archer's life has turned into grabbing tired, portly, peripherally involved blue-collar workers in their homes and berating them about the seven million dead and why are they always building Death Stars?!
Xindi Reptile guns have slugs for batteries. You might say TURBO charged. Heh. (Because of the snail movie.) And when one of the slug-guns overloads whie Trip is poking it with a stick, he has to race to get it into a transporter for disposal. In his mad dash, he knocks an extra over so hard it looks like that guy's not getting up ever again. Is it ironic if the friendly-fire casualties of the Season of Blind Rage include "Body-Checked To Death"?
I was fascinated to learn more Xindi history. There were SIX Xindi races once, before the century-long war that the Bugs and Lizards brought to an end by cracking their whole planet like an egg. That's why there aren't any Avians anymore. Here's an artist's rendering of what they'd look like if there were. And if they had a tricorder.