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Piers Anthony, Jan. 1, 2011 Piers Anthony, Jan. 1, 2011. Photo by Jane McConnell.
Marsh 2019
HI-

The Cluster series will be featured in Early Bird Books on 3/13/2019, down-priced to $2.99 in the USA, and Open Road will promote it via social media. Cluster is my framework of star empires that are hi-tech in their centers but get lower tech the farther out they are, because of the slowness of lightspeed that delays information catching up. Earth's empire extends to the stone age at its rim, where Flint of Outworld knaps stones for weapons. But he is also very smart, and he has one of the highest auras known, which means he can travel to instantly inhabit other bodies on far systems. So they recruit him involuntarily as a human agent, which annoys him because it means losing his lovely girlfriend and visiting weird places. The sequel novels carry it farther. This is a lively science fiction series, if I do say so myself, and you should enjoy it if my fantasy has not rotted your brain too far.

FeBlueberry was another month spent writing Xanth #45 A Tryst of Fate. I spent the first five days catching up on reading and viewing, then got to work for three weeks, writing 38,150 words, bringing the total to just under 90,000 words. Marsh will complete it at 100,000 or more words. This is where Squid, the protagonist of the prior (as yet unpublished) novel, gets brutally killed in another reality track, and makes her killer, Goar Golem, serve as protagonist for this novel. He can't let it go until she forgives him for killing her. Would you forgive your murderer? He's got a tough row to hoe. Then I'll be free to catch up again on reading and viewing; I have books and DVDs piled up galore.

A year ago my wife was in the hospital and I had a bad fall. Fortunately we got through the month this time without either problem, though my wife does remain on oxygen and has to be careful about getting around. It was another warm month, with many days' highs in the 80s. Passing aggravations were when my computer decided that my day's novel text files no longer existed. I mean when I tried to call up one from the list, it flashed the message that it did not exist. The listed file did not exist? I managed to restore one from the backup flash drive, and another by copying my text file to a new title and copying sections from that, but it was a nervous hour. So what had the machine done? I don't see how simple miskeying on the regular screen, not the file handler, could have abolished a file from the hard disk, or made the backup copy a day more current than the hard disk copy. As I told my paralyzed correspondent Jenny in 1989, your computer is out to get you, whoever you are. That remains true thirty years later. I back up each new file three times a day and print out at the end of each day, being paranoid about loss of material, so my losses are small, but the ghost in the machine keeps trying. This sort of thing didn't happen with my manual typewriter.

I watched Red Sparrow. Dominika is a former Russian ballerina. She is banged into and falls when dancing, and badly injures her leg. Three months later she walks with a cane. Was she deliberately injured? She catches her boyfriend having sex with another ballerina, and clubs them both with a golf club. Now she's in trouble. Her uncle sets her up with a man who rapes her and gets killed in the act by a completely shrouded man who takes her off on his motorcycle. It turns out that her uncle set it up, to get rid of the rapist. Now she must enter Sparrow School, a secret government espionage program during the Cold War. They teach their students to discover a person's deepest desire, often sexual, and cater to it, controlling him. It's an ugly business. She is sent to Budapest to figure out an American operative who has baffled them so far. Then her roommate Marta is murdered and a man threatens Dominika. She talks with the American, Nate, who understands her situation and promises to do everything in his power to help her if she works with him. So she goes back to work as usual, but her allegiance has changed. The Russians catch her and torture her. She persuades her uncle that she is playing it straight, and that surviving torture is part of it. They let her go and she returns to Nate. Then they torture Nate, making her watch. Until she gets the chance to kill the torturer and call the Embassy. But it is still not over. She learns the identity of the mole they seek; can she trade that information for her freedom? She does—and frames her vicious uncle as the mole. Does she finally get together with Nate? That is unclear. This movie is too bloodthirsty for my taste, with torture shown with too much detail and perhaps relish. The nudity and sex seem mainly to lead into the ugliness. Not my type of film despite the appeal of said nudity and sex.

I watched 28 Days Later. Raiders free chimpanzees from a laboratory. The attendant warns them that the chimps are infected with rage; one bite transmits it. 28 days later a man, Jim, wakes naked in a lab to find himself alone. He goes out into the city, London I think, finding strewn debris, stalled or wrecked cars, no people. He enters a church and finds the people dead, except for a priest who attacks him. Then others appear, and attack. Then he meets Mark, and a woman Selena, who tell him how it started with riots and the loss of power, of government. Jim is the first uninfected one they have seen is six days. He visits his parent's home, and finds them dead. Selena says that when an infected one is encountered, you have between ten and twenty seconds to kill them. Any uninfected are immediate allies. Jim and Selena meet Frank and his young daughter Hannah, who have a nice apartment. They hear a recorded broadcast giving a place where soldiers say they have a cure. So they find a working car and start driving. They get a flat tire in a tunnel. Then a swarm of infected come, but they manage to get moving again just in time. They reach the place, but there's no one. Then Frank gets infected. Soldiers appear and kill him. So the message was true. Selena gets emotional, and Jim kisses her. But the soldiers want women. That makes Selena and Hannah prizes. Sure Hannah is underage, but this is post-civilization. Question: is England the only place where the infection occurs, and it has been quarantined by the rest of the world? Meanwhile they chase Jim out and prepare to have at the girls. They are required to dress nice, to be attractive, like dates, or else. Jim survives and gets a rifle. The three fight their way free of the compound. 28 days after that they use a giant cloth HELLO to attract the attention of a foreign airplane. Now they really will be saved. This is blurbed as a horribly frightening film, but actually it is a good taut adventure with a more or less happy ending.

I watched Cinderella Man, based on a true story about a boxer, Jimmy Braddock. It starts in 1933. He's a family man, with wife Mae and daughter and other children. He has been injured often, so has failed to live up to his early promise. A fight is stopped by the referee, because Jimmy can't fight well injured. He is not paid, and is decommissioned as a boxer. He has no money for food for his family. Jobs are scarce. It's the recession. Things are bleak for everyone. He gets welfare, and donations from friends. Then his manager gets him a fight, because a boxer got scratched and they needed a fast replacement. And he wins by a knockout! That gets him back in the game, and he gets another fight, against a man who beat him before, and he wins again. He gets to fight for the title against max Baer, who has killed two men in the ring. He meets Baer at a restaurant and they pose for pictures while trading gibes. Then comes the fight. It goes to the 12th round. And the 15th. It's a decision. And he wins! Two years later he loses it to Joe Louis. He and his wife live happily thereafter. I never heard of this boxer before, but this is a compelling history.

I watched Joyeux Noel, which means Merry Christmas. This is the story of a remarkable incident in World War 1, 1914. This was largely trench warfare; French and Scot troops face Germans. It is grueling for both sides. The Scots break the monotony by playing bagpipes and singing. Then a German tenor enters the zone and sings “Silent Night” in German. They play for him. He walks out into the no man's land between the facing trenches, singing. Scots join him. They propose a ceasefire just for tonight, Christmas Eve. Then both sides lay down their rifles and come out of the trenches. The tenor's friend, a woman, Anna, a soprano, joins them. They talk. They share liquor, chocolate. Anna sings in a Christmas service for the seated troops on both sides. Then they disperse to their trenches. Next morning they continue the truce so that both sides can bury their frozen dead. They play soccer on the snow. The Scots position is about to be shelled, so the Germans give them shelter in their own trench. The German couple ask to be taken prisoner by the Scots, so they can be together, as they can't be in Germany. The Scot priest who conducted mass is being recalled to his home parish. The units who participated will be broken up and spread among other units. But the priest feels he followed the course of Jesus, as surely he did; Jesus preached peace among all men. His superior gives a sermon requiring them to shoot every German. The hypocrisy is painful. The Germans are punished similarly, sent to the Russian front. (Was there a Russian front in World Warn One?) It is plain that the war was made by rulers, not the people. Ever thus.

I watched Going Clear--Scientology and the Prison of Belief. I never have liked Scientology, despite my admiration for L Ron Hubbard's Fear, which I regard as a classic of psychological horror, so this interests me for negative reasons. This is one hell of an expose. Their stated goals are a world without war, criminality, or insanity. They talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. They recruit people who believe in such noble things; no wonder they have a formidable coterie of disillusioned former members. L Ron Hubbard, the founder, claimed to be a war hero. He wasn't. He said the only way to make money was to make a religion. He did, his interest clearly in the former. He wrote Dianetics in 1950, about engrams, essentially memories of traumas, causing mischief in your life. Get rid of them, and become “clear.” Thus auditing, to clear them. His marriage broke up. The real money was in the higher levels. But by the late 1960s several nations were after them for tax evasion, so they went literally to sea: the Sea Org. Hubbard believed that he remembered his prior lives, when he was a Phoenician prince and such. Later he secretly went ashore and remained in hiding the rest of his life. They set up a shop in California to recruit celebrities, such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise. The upper level converts believe that 75 million years ago people lived in a realm very much like America of the 1950s. Never mind that primates did not exist then, let alone modern mankind. Wild science fantasy concepts. Galactic overlord. Spirits from A-bombed volcanoes called Thetans. Hubbard was after all a science fantasy writer. When he died they said he moved on to better research as a spirit. Then David Miscavige moved in to take over. Scientology regarded anybody who criticized it as fair game; it was a deeply paranoid and dangerous organization. It sees itself as the salvation of mankind, so lies and criminal acts are okay to discredit critics. Such as the IRS, that claimed a billion dollars in taxation. But Scientology fought until it won and became tax exempt. Now they are worth billions. How they set up a girlfriend for Tom Cruise, but when she privately expressed a doubt, she was abruptly out, and erased from their records. The top Church environment became poisonous, and those who erred could be physically beaten up. When the news came out, others were coerced into lying, claiming it never happened. There were daily beatings. Critics could be blackmailed. Families broken up. They brand some “squirrels” and harass them continuously. There are lawsuits, which they defend vigorously. Opposition is growing, but so far it hasn't toppled this outfit. I have to say, however, that their science fiction contests do seem to be honestly run, without coercing participants to join the club. It is possible that their efforts on war, criminality, and insanity are also honest. I don't know.

I read Cydonia 6 by Matt Sylvester. This is not your usual science fiction. Cydonia 6 is a prison for about ten inmates, half male, half female. Conditions are brutal, and the slightest infraction is punished by immediate beating. The genders are separated, except once in a while the prisoners with matching numbers are “married” and get to spend a week together in the Marriage Hut, eating well and doing whatever they like with each other. At other times they must eat exactly what they are served, the same thing constantly, no variety. One gets broccoli, another onions, others particular kinds of meat, always the same for each one, along with colored pills. It is deadly dull. Once in a long while one finishes his or her term and is released; sometimes one escapes. “Nothing new ever happened in camp unless there was a reason, and the reason was always something bad, frightening, or both.” Gradually the reasons come out. There are monsters, and they have special tastes in human flesh, such as broccoli, so each prisoner is shaped to a particular taste. Those who are theoretically released are actually fed to the monsters. Those who escape may encounter the same fate. They are all doomed, not knowing it. Eventually Jonah and Barry make their break, climbing down into the refuse pits below each cell and following the stinking tunnel out. That's when the real surprises occur. It all makes ugly sense in a way that completely surprised me. This is not fun reading, but worth it regardless.

I read Manifest Destiny by J T Buckley. This is what I might call a novel of manners. That is, it is concerned with the protocols of the establishment and those who run it, rather than with the gut fighters in the trenches. Primus Aaron Richardson, who amounts to a prince of the Terran Space Empire, is about to marry the beautiful light blue skinned Queen Amalthia of Carnoria. They are very much in love. But they have to put down a rebellion by one Malkainis that threatens to seriously destabilize things. In the course of the next few months they maneuver to stop the rebel fleets and to safeguard pregnant Amalthia from attacks on her life. In they end they are successful, and she births their healthy baby. All is well. The story seems well enough done, but I did not find it compellingly exciting, perhaps because I identify more with the trenches than the aristocracy. Your taste may differ.

The February/March 2019 issue of the Secular Humanist magazine FREE INQUIRY has an article titled “The Science of the Evolution of Morality” by Doug Mann. I am reminded of Theodore Sturgeon's comment that ethics is prescribed by the individual for himself, while morality is prescribed by the society for the individual. Maybe that's why I tend to look down on morality; I have seen too much slop in lieu of ideal behavior. I mean, for far too long America regarded slavery as moral, and even today some regard impoverishing the majority to enrich the minority as moral. But this article has a higher standard. It suggests that human morality is explained by the competitive and reproductive advantages of a cooperative social life. Obviously we need standards, or we won't get along with each other very well. It draws an example from the animal kingdom; “Today ants and termites represent less than 2 percent of the total number of current insect species, but ants and termites constitute more than half of the world-wide body weight of living insects.” From two percent to fifty percent; that makes them about 25 times as successful as your average insect. Because they have a true social structure, as do humans, who are similarly successful among mammals. “Warm-blooded mammals have the advantage over cold-blooded reptiles of being able to move and feed at any time of the day or night, but they also require about ten times as much food as a reptile of the same size.” Which is one helluva challenge, and we had better get along well and cooperate with each other, which morality facilitates. Over the course of about two and a half million years our complex brain tissue multiplied about eight fold, the most rapid such progress known. “Across species of primates, brain volume positively and strongly correlates with average social group size.” And “ The emergence of effective groupwide rules was intertwined with three major developments; the emergence of culture about 250,000 years ago, intensive social selection for altruistic behavior, and the evolution of the human conscience.” That certainly makes sense to me. My private theory is that Neandertal man lacked that social conscience, or at least did not have it to the extent we did, so could not form groups as large, and was defeated in the competition for supremacy.

Letter in the newspaper by Geanne Marks published 2-16-2019 says she is proud to be a Democrat, the party that cares about women. “If the Republican Party is pro-life, why aren't they fighting for pre- and post-natal care, nutritional benefits for the newborn and mother, paid maternity leave, domestic violence education, and raising the minimum wage? They fight, fight, fight for the fetus, but ignore children that are born in poverty. That is hypocrisy.” I have wondered the same myself, and conclude that the real agenda is anti-sex, because those who oppose abortion also typically also oppose contraception. To them a baby seems to be punishment for the sin of sex. Actually assisting in the care and health of that baby would diminish that punishment. Yes, I don't like abortion, but yes, I do support contraception; I think sex is a healthy human interaction, not just for procreation, and I don't need somebody else's church telling me when and how to have it.

Article in the February/March 2019 issue of THE PROGRESSIVE by Bill Lueders starts off “To say that Donald Trump is a racist is to state the obvious but miss the point...Of course he's a racist. But what's more troubling, is that his racism is strategic. It is intended two secure a political advantage...Trump's racism is integral to his success, a lesson not lost on other members of his party. The appeals are not even subtle anymore.” It concludes “We are better because of, not despite, our differences in race, religion, and sexual orientation. Out of many, one. And no politician is ever going to take that away,” Well, I hope that confidence is justified. I hate seeing so much ugliness in our supposedly enlightened society.

Daughter Cheryl found a cute picture book titled P Is For Pterodactyl, the Worst Alphabet Book Ever. Theoretically it is for children to learn spelling and pronunciation. This is humor of course, but there's a point. Our spelling is way overdue for simplification. How many years of schooling could be saved if only words were spelled as they sound? We are hobbling ourselves and I suspect it could be a reason why Americans tend not to be the top scholars on the global scene. Pterodactyl is pronounced tair-o-DAC-tell and it identifies a huge flying reptile of about seventy five million years ago. On the back cover is T is for Tsuntami, pronounced sue-NA-mee, a huge deadly wave in the ocean that can destroy shore communities. Others are A is for Aisle, pronounced I-yell, B is for Bdellium, prconounced DEL-ee-yum, a resin burned as incense, and C is for Czar, pronounced Zar, the title of the old Russian rulers. There's a whole alphabet, with only a couple of letters like I and S actually pronounced where they belong. Fabulous!

Betty Ballantine died. She was around 100. She and her husband Ian are credited with changing the face of publishing by being among the first to publish paperbacks in the USA. They started Bantam Books, and later Ballantine Books, my first publisher. But I will tell what you may not find elsewhere: they were cheating their authors. I got blacklisted for six years because I protested. After they left, and accounts became honest, that same publisher made me a bestseller. So yes, they did good, but they also did evil. As long as the literary community tolerates dishonesty in publishing, and even punishes the victims instead of the wrongdoers, we have a problem.

Stray notes: 30 to 40 percent of Catholic priests in the US are gay. When are they going to reform and allow clergy to marry, as most other churches do? Gouging in drug prices like insulin is generating rage. I have remarked before my annoyance at the tenfold increase in the price of generic levothyroxin I take, which surely costs the same as before for them to make. Back in 1996 one brand of insulin cost $21 a vial; today it is approaching $300. People are dying because they can't afford the $5,700 per year cost. Where is the law when you need it? The Republican tax cut last year is now adding one trillion dollars per year to the national debt. This is fiscal responsibility? Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria in the gut, may improve mental health. Yes, I have taken them for years; I can almost hear my critics chanting “So there!” figuring that is proof they don't work. The 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the 150 million adults who make up the bottom 60%. Meanwhile it takes $478,000 in annual income to make it into the top 1 percent of US earners. The sixth mass extinction is well under way, caused by the devastating impact of the burgeoning human population; it is extremely fast, as these things go. There are morning people, and night owls. As a poem goes “By some peculiar quirk of life/ They always wind up man and wife.” I am morning, my wife is evening. The latest news is that morning folk are happier and mentally healthier than evening folk. Arbitration clauses are hidden in many contracts these days, and the boss always wins. Avoid them if you can. I participated peripherally in one once, and noticed that two thirds of the arbitrator's written decision related to his own payment for the service. That gave me pause for thought. Sure, arbitration is cheaper than the regular courts, but I am not at all sure they represent better justice. I read somewhere that robo calls now outnumber genuine calls. Now they tell me? At our house, it is about 90% robo, cluttering up our phone when we do have important calls to handle. This is one of those things the authorities could stop—if they wanted to. Why don't they want to? I have been concerned for some time about whole-body anesthesia, where they put you to sleep and you wake two hours later with the procedure done, because I understand it can harm memory. I can't be sure the things I have forgotten are because of old age or my dental surgery. Newspaper article by Jason Gale says the new research indicates disturbing side effects ranging from delirium to immune suppression. “...it makes sense that your brain circuitry is actually not the same after the anesthetic as it was before.” That's scary.

The comic Non Sequitur by Wiley ran on 2-10-2019. I noticed nothing special. Then a week later the newspaper dropped it. Why? Because it had a bad word hidden in it. I dug out the comic of the week before and re-examined it, and after a struggle located what looked like 400-UCK. To my wife it looked like LUCK. It seems it was part of a message suggesting that Trump do it to himself. Well, the artist apologized and said he wouldn't do it again, but hell has no fury like that of an editor whose inattention is exposed, and Non Sequitur is out of this newspaper and a number of others forever. This is not reform, this is punishment for a wounded ego. At present I don't have a viable alternative to this newspaper, but at such time as I do I will ponder. I consider it as much of a black mark against the newspaper for its overreaction as against the artist for his dirty joke. They are both like six year olds, and it is the reader who suffers. They have substituted the inane comic Nancy, instead of restoring one of the good ones they cut before. No, I'm not a Trump fan, but I agree the message should not have appeared. It is what followed that bothers me. Sort of like executing someone for giving you the finger. I would prefer better from the media, though I can't say I expect to see it.

Article in NEW SCIENTIST dated 2 February asks “What is Life?” Damn good question. It asks how living matter can do things far beyond the reach of non-living matter, though both are made of the same atoms. “...life is an enigma. Most strikingly, its organized, self-sustaining complexity seems to fly in the face of the most sacred law of physics, the second law of thermodynamics, which describes a universal tendency toward decay and disorder.” What about the genetic code, a four letter alphabet that is mathematically encrypted, which must be read out, decoded, and translated into a 20 letter amino acid alphabet used to form proteins? How can chemical hardware write its own software? The laws of life include feedback loops that make the flow of information depend on the global state of the system, and the whole is greater than the sum of ts parts. I believe that is also the key to consciousness: key feedback loops. I have mentioned before that the three great mysteries I would like to understand before I die are existence, that is why is there something rather than nothing, life, and consciousness. Maybe we are getting there.

PIERS
Star Trek: Enterprise

Season 3 episode #9 “North Star” A western. They hang a man for murder. Ship personnel are in costume, checking out the human settlement and the nearby alien settlement. Archer encounters a gun toting bully in the bar, then talks with the dead man's widow, Bethany. They are called skags, skagorans, brought here 300 years ago to work. It is illegal to teach their children to read. Beth is jailed, facing a ten year imprisonment for breaking that law. Archer rescues her. She is shot, and he takes her to the Enterprise. Back on the ground there is a firefight as they mop up the bad guys. There will be reforms in this colony, and later these folk will be returned to Earth.

#10 “Similitude” They are holding a wake for Trip Tucker. How did he come to die? Flashback to find out. Trip is injured working on an engine and needs a transplant to survive. So Dr. Phlox uses a special technique to generate a clone whose lifespan is 15 days, to harvest tissue for the transplant. The clone is soon a boy called Sim, smart. Then a young man. He likes T'Pol but can't be sure if the feelings are his own or Trip's. He helps free the ship from a bad cloud. But it turns out that taking the transplant organ will kill him. Must he die to save Trip? When he has a possible chance to live out a normal life? He decides to do it. T'Pol kisses him. He is the one being honored in the wake. Interesting situation and emotions.

#11 “Carpenter Street” A man drives to his bachelor apartment, gets a phone call: made his decision? Don't overdose the next one. His caller is an alien. He picks up a street prostitute, drugs her, takes her to a barracks, sets her up with a IV infusion. There are several other drugged people there on beds. Then to Archer, meeting with Daniels, learns that three reptilians, Xindi, are in 20th century Earth. What are they up to? Archer and T'Pol will go there to try to find out, in 2004. He figures out by trial and error how to drive a car. They call on the procurer, and learn that he had to collect 8 blood types. He still needs a B negative. That's Archer, volunteering. T'Pol stays with the procurer as he searches for an AB. Archer, safely inside, wakes and goes to another room, spying the three Xindi. He shoots one. But the other two escape. T'Pol shoots one. The third one has the virus, which is effective so far on the tested blood types. They finally stop the third one and save Earth.

#12 “Chosen Realm” Tucker and Travis are on a mission. Meanwhile Enterprise rescues a distressed pilgrimage ship. But in the name of their religion they may be a danger to the Enterprise. In fact they tell Archer that they will destroy the ship unless he turns it over to them. Yarrik's wife wants to end her pregnancy. It seems that a crewman must die, so Archer volunteers for that. There is a firefight and the home team wins. The religion that wanted to bring peace instead had brought the death of millions. Ever thus. They don't call it social commentary, but it's there.

#13 “Proving Ground” The ship is in trouble, but another ship tractors it out. Their savior is an Andorian ship. Their Commander Shran says that they don't like the Xindi either, and if Earth's friends won't help, maybe others can help. Lieutenant Talas is a pretty Andorian female who helps with technical matters, and knows her stuff. This system seems to be a proving ground, like Bikini Atoll where Earth tested nuclear bombs. So the two ships coordinate uneasily to recover the weapon being tested. But then Shran plans to take the weapon to Andoria. So Archer activates the weapon, and the Andorian ship barely has time to jettison it before it detonates. Someone aboard the Andorian ship helped the Enterprise; the suspicion is that it was Talas.

#14 “Stratagem” Archer in anonymous costume is piloting a craft with another person, Degra, who does not remember how this came about. Archer says they shared a cell chamber for three years and made the break together. Archer tells him the weapon was successful and destroyed Earth; that after that the Xindi alliance started breaking up, and the insectoids captured them; that the two of them were put together to see who killed the other first. But finally they made an alliance to escape. It is of course a ruse to gain information; the craft is aboard the Enterprise. Then a three day flashback. They capture Degra and plan the subterfuge to gain key information from him. Thus this fake shuttle and story. But Degra catches on. Back to square one. But maybe they have a lead.

#15 “Harbinger” Tucker is giving the pressure point routine to a buxom lady Representative of another group, Amanda Cole, so she can relax and sleep. She kisses him. But later turns up with headaches. Maybe his technique is wrong. The ship encounters a monstrous bubbling sphere, maybe clustered anomalies. It envelops them. They rescue an escape pod with one humanoid aboard, but he is ungrateful. They conclude he is a canary, there to signal dangerous conditions by dying. Tucker and T'Pol accuese each other of jealousy. The she kisses him and strips. Next day she says she was experimenting with human sexuality. They agree to forget it ever happened. The alien tries to destroy the ship, then expires before Archer can get the truth from him, other than that when the Xindi destroy Earth, his people will prevail. Reed and a fellow officer have rivalry that finally becomes a physical fight. Archer tells them to fix it or else.

#16 “Doctor's Orders” Dr. Phlox chats with the dog Porthos. The crew is in a coma as they take four days to pass through a dangerous region. Now it is two days into the trip. He hears distant crashing. Something is on the ship. It turns out to be T'Pol. So only the non-humans are active. But there is something else. Phlox is lonely, but T'Pol is happy for the solitude. He keeps hearing things, seeing shadows. He believes the Xindi are somehow on board. He hallucinates seeing Hoshi in awful sickness. Then the captain. He realizes that he is hallucinating. Then something shakes the ship. They manage to go to Warp 2 and get out of the region. He walks T'Pol back to her quarters, and discovers her sleeping there. She as his companion had been another hallucination. Wow!

#17 “Hatchery” They visit a planet and discover dead Xindi insectoids. Also a weaponized shuttle, and a hatchery, which will expire in another day or so. The others want to destroy it, but Archer says to save it. He labors desperately to save the Xindi hatchlings. When T'Pol balks he confines her to quarters. Then he confines Reed. Should Archer be relieved of command? Major Hayes is left in charge during Archer's absence. Tucker and T'Pol take over. There is a tense showdown among the officers. Archer is shot. They discover that an egg that hit him imprinted him with the desire to protect the hatchlings at all costs.

#18 “Azati Prime” They spot Degra's ship. Tucker and Travis fly a captured shuttle inside the Xindi protective grid. They explore a Xindi base that is under construction. Then Daniels, the time traveler, appears; he and Archer are 400 years in the future. [The episode reset and went to the beginning. So I tried to find the place again.] Daniels wants Archer to make peace with the Xindi, as both are being manipulated by the sphere makers. But Archer is concerned about saving Earth. He takes a dangerous mission himself rather than send anyone else to likely death. T'Pol is obviously moved though she can't say so. Archer goes to nullify the big Xandi weapon, captured by the Xandi, Archer is violently interrogated. He insists on talking with Degra, whom he knows from episode #14. he begins to make and impression. But the Enterprise is under attack, and being destroyed.

#19 “Damage” The attack on the ship breaks off, maybe because Archer convinces the Xindi that it's the inter-dimensional species building the spheres to make the Expanse habitable for their kind, which is what destroys the Xindi, not Earth. A shuttle brings Archer back to the Enterprise. T'Pol is evidently suffering from something. She has nightmares. Meanwhile the XIindi summon an alien female representative who phases in and out; they don't get along well. T'Pol has become addicted to Trillium; her emotions can be hard to control. Archer decides to steal the alien ship's warp core because the Enterprise needs it. This is unethical, which he regrets, but he believes the need overrides ethics. Others are dubious, including T'Pol. They get the warp care and are back in business, but this is hardly over.

#20 “The Forgotten” Degra gets in touch. He is an uneasy ally, wanting to save his people. He needs more evidence that what Archer says is true. Archer provides what he can. Tucker, under orders to sleep, has painful dreams. He remembers his sister, who died in the alien strike against Earth. He has to do a message of consolation to a lost crewwoman, and finally manages that. Meanwhile Archer, Degra and others organize to convince the Xindi council of the real danger they face. His is still far from over.

#21 “073-E2 ” Two others talking, saying the probe is on its way to Earth. That everything is happening the way it did before. So they must find Jonathan Archer. A ship intercepts the Enterprise. It is the Enterprise of the future, with Captain Lorian. Its first officer is a woman named Karen Archer, T'Pol's daughter, Archer's great granddaughter. The captain is the sun of Tucker. There's a mixture of human, Vulcan, and other species on that other ship. The two Enterprises disagree on how to save Earth, and wind up fighting each other. They call a truce and decide to work together. T'Pol talks with her much older self. They go to a rendezvous with the other Enterprise, but it doesn't show. With the hundred year vault into the past abolished, it may never have existed. A mind bending episode.

#22 “The Council” Archer and Degra attend the Xindi council meeting. The Reptilians and Insectoids refuse to listen. The Aquatics believe them. The Guardians are organizing them. Meanwhile something on a long extension attacks. They fight it off. A Reptilian kills Degra. That breakus up the Xindi alliance, dissolving the Council. The Reptilians and Insectoids seize control of the weapon that will destroy Earth. They are launching that strike.

#23 “Countdown” Hoshi has been captured by the Reptilians, who mean to get the weapon launch codes from her one way or another. They inject her with parasites that will destroy her ability to resist. They succeed, but she is later rescued, though Major Hayes who heads the action unit dies in the rescue operation. The Weapon is armed and launched. They set about neutralizing Sphere 41, which is the reason the Aquatics support the humans. The Guardians says the balance of power is shifting to the humans.

#24 “Zero Hour” Daniels talks with Archer, telling him that he is destined to help form the Federation of Planets, essential to history. But Archer means first to save Earth. Commander Shran of the blue Andorians comes to help. They implode Sphere 41, and the other spheres follow. Then Archer goes to the Weapon. He fights the Reptilians and blows it up. The Expanse returns to normal space. Did Archer escape in time? Apparently not. They orient on Earth, but there is no response. It seems that Archer survives—on a twentieth century Earth.

Season 4 episode #1 “Storm Front Part 1” Trip and Travis in a shuttle find themselves in World War Two. Archer is in Nazi hands, 1944. He makes a break and is captured by the resistance. The Nazi officers are aliens; they recognize Archer's communicator as being from the future. He wakes to find Alicia Travers taking care of him, in Brooklyn New York. The Nazis have taken over eastern USA and are advancing west. Daniels turns up at sick bay on the Enterprise. He says the temporal war has expanded to all fronts. Each faction is trying to eliminate the others. Archer insists on meeting the alien in the neighborhood. He says the Nazis are helping them build a conduit so they can go home. Archer manages to contact the Enterprise and the beam him and Alicia up. Archer talks with a dying Daniels, who says that the most dangerous faction of the temporals is led by Vosk. He says they must find and destroy the conduit. This is the time when the conduit can be destroyed, to restore the original timeline.

#2 “Storm Front Part II” Archer meets with Vosk to rescue Tucker and Travis. They return to the ship. And Tucker turns out to be an alien impersonating him. He is Silix, a Suliban. The real Tucker remains a captive. Silix doesn't want Vosk to succeed either, so they become allies. But Silix gets shot and dies. Archer activates the sequence to blow up the conduit. And the timeline reverts to the original. They return to the right time. All is well.

#3 “Home” They are back on Earth, and Archer addresses a meeting, saying it is good to be home. But he has trouble at the debriefing, as the Vulcans are uncertain he did enough to save one of their ships. He is required to take time off. He goes climbing with a lady associate he knows. Tucker is uncertain what to do with his time off. T'Pol invites Tucker to visit her home planet with her. Her mother greets them formally. T'Pol receives a letter from Koss, her former fiance. Reed and Phlox and Travis visit a bar and get into a brawl. T'Pol meets Koss, who is still interested in marrying her; she is not. But she decides to marry him to save her mother's position. Archer suffers a nightmare sleeping on the mountain. His associate, now a captain herself, kisses him. Archer kisses her. But these stories are unfinished.

#4 Borderland” Two humans are captured by Klingons. Annoyed, they fight back quite effectively. They are genetically enhanced humans, called Augments. A criminal researcher, Soong, knows how to do such enhancements. Archer takes him aboard when the Enterprise goes to investigate. The Orions beam T'Pol, Hoshi, and seven others out of the Enterprise to their own ship, to be slave workers. Archer has to buy them back at auction, but T'Pol has already been sold. He manages to recover them anyway. But the Augments now have recovered Soong, who made them, and plan to become a new force in the galaxy.

#5 “Cold Station 12” Reprise, then to 11 years earlier, when Soong tells the children of their illustrious future. Back to the present. The Augments are setting about increasing their domain while the Enterprise hunts them. They take hostages. Archer interviews Smike, the failed Augment left behind. The Augments hardly hesitate to torture or kill hostages to get the information they need. There is an encounter—to be continued.

#6 “The Augments” Archer is racing to stop the process that will release multiple pathogens. A woman helps Soong escape. Malik kills her. He means to deploy the pathogens and destroy a Klingon colony, which will bring Klingon retaliation directly against Earth. The Klingons close on the Enterprise. The Enterprise deploys a grappler and disables the Klingon ship. The Augments destroy their own ship. But Malik beams to the Enterprise. Archer kills him. Soong is returned to Earth prison. His attempt to perfect humanity evidently failed.

#7 “The Forge” Vulcan planet. A man finds an artifact, dusts it off, reads its pictorial identification, and says “Surak.” Then an Earth admiral talks with a Vulcan reader—and the embassy is attacked. They believe it is the Andorians. Syrrannites are a rebel factor causing mischief on Vulcan. T'Pau Vulcan DNA is on a bomb that kills more humans and Vulcans; she's a knowt Syrrannite. T'Pol's husband Koss visits her and gives her a locket from her mother T'Les. It turns out that T'Pol's mother is a Syrrannite. Archer and T'Pol go to Vulcan's desert The Forge to find her mother. They meet a pilgrim, Arev. He is later killed by an electrical charge. It turns out that the DNA evidence is false. Arev, Archer and T'Pol are chased by a sandfire storm. Vulcan ambassador Soval does a mind meld to obtain evidence. That shames him before the Vulcans. Archer and T'Pol are captured by Syrrannites. To be continued.

#8 “Awakening” It turns out that Arev was the Syrrannite leader. T'Pol meets her mother again. Archer talks with Surak in a vision. T'Pau does a mild meld with Archer, and confirms that he has the key spirit. A katra. Archer now has the living spirit of Surak inside his mind. T'Pau is determined to transfer it to another person. Archer agrees. But Surak chooses to remain with Archer. He tells Archer to find the Kir'Shara artifact. He zeroes in on it. The Vulcans attack the Enterprise, trying to force it to depart. Archer finds the artifact, an inscribed four sided pyramid. The Enterprise heads for Andoria, which is being framed for mischief. To be continued.

#9 “Kir'Shara” Summary of the rationale for Vulcan to invade Andoria, which actually looks like corruption of a high Vulcan official. The Enterprise is heading for Andoria to try no avert mischief there. Meanwhile Archer, T'Pol, and T'Pau are trying to deliver the Kir'Shara to the Vulcan Council, because it represents the original words of the founder. The Andorians manage to beam the Vulcan ambassador to their ship and use a device to question him about the location of the Vulcan fleet. T'Pau tells T'Pol she can cure T'Pol's malady, and she does. The Vulcan fleet faces off against Andorian fleet. The Kir'Shara brings truth to the Vulcan command. War is averted and the corrupt leader removed from power.

#10 “Daedalus” Dr. Emory Ericson in a wheelchair and his daughter Danica beam in. He his working on a transporter that will operate between planets, obviating the need for starships. But there is something they are concealing. Something attacks a crewman. The presence of Ericson and Dani is somehow responsible. It turns out to be Emory's son, Quinn. They came here to the Barrens to recover Quinn. They finally succeed, but he dies. The new transporter is flawed; it will never work. T'Pol, now cured, is reexamining her underlying philosophy. She breaks it off with Tucker, amicably.

#11 “Observer effect” Reed and Travis are playing chess. Reed always wins, but Travis always sees it coming many moves ahead. Tucker and Hoshi return in the shuttle from a trip. Tucker is overcome by something and Hoshi brings the shuttle in; then Hoshi gets it. They are isolated until the nature of the illness is ascertained. It is a silicon based virus. They may have five hours to live. Hoshi breaks out of quarantine. They have to seal off a larger section. The two are given knockout doses, but then alien spirits occupy them and they revive. The spirits occupy other members of the crew, passing from one to anther briefly. They could stop the illness, but won't. Archer and Phlox work on Hoshi. Organians, spirits, come to observe. Archer talks to them and persuades them that they need to to do more than observe if they ever want to understand humans; they need to explore compassion. And suddenly everyone is cured of the virus.

#12 “Babel One” The Andorion Shran's ship was attacked by the Tellarites. The Enterprise is assigned to mediate a long-standing dispute between the two cultures. The Tellarites like to speak in insults. Then a seeming Andorian ship attacks the Enterprise. It may be a fake. Shran and his sexy female companion Talas break out of their restricted quarters and go after the Tellarites. Archer says the two cultures are being set up; it was not a Tellarite ship that attacked the Andorians. To be continued. Incidental note: I love the blue lips on those blue Andorian women. In fact all the colored women are beautiful.

#13 “United” There is Romulan involvement. But why would they stir up trouble so far from their domain? The Marauder is a robot ship sent by the Romulans to provoke a war in this sector. Tucker and Reed board it and turn off the auto control. But the Romulan commander releases radiation that will kill them if they don't obey his directives and restore control of the ship toe him. Meanwhile Talas dies. That sets Shran off. He insists on meeting the Tellarite leader in combat, because the Tellarit shot Talas. Archer and Shran must fight, though they are friends. They are chained together by their left arms. Archer wins and cuts off one antenna, legally ending it. Thus he respects Andoran tradition and keeps the alliance without killing Shran. They rescue Tucker and Reed. And it seems that a pale blue Andorian is controlling the Romulan ship. To be continued.

#14 “The Aenar” The Romulans have a second drone ship. They mean to hunt down and destroy the Enterprise. The drone pilot is an Aenar, a blind telepathic subspecies of Andorian, who are pacifists. This one is a captive telepath. Planetside, Archer and Shran traverse ice caves. Shran slips, falls, and gets run through the leg by a spike. The pale blue folk Aenir help him. The captive Gareb's sister Jhamel is tending Shran. She is blind and telepathic, like them all. On the Enterprise, Jhamel volunteers to run the drone, rather than let T'Pol try to do it, as T'Pol's telepathy is not as strong and the effort is dangerous for her. Jhamel destroys the other drone, and her brother with it, to his abiding regret. She departs with Shran; they will evidently be a couple. Tucker asks to transfer to another ship. That may be because he still has feeling for T'Pol and needs to get clear of her.

#15 “Affliction” Several story threads here. The Klingons are executing one of their number, though he says his death sentence was commuted. Phlox gets abducted when he walks with Hoshi in San Francisco. Trip Tucker transfers to the Columbia. T'Pol asks him if it is because of her, and he avoids answering. T'Pol does a mind meld with Hoshi to reenact the abduction: the abductors are Rigelian. They take him to the Klingons; he is to work for them, or die. Tucker and T'Pol meet in a blank space when both are meditating or daydreaming. Reed is being forced to do something behind Archer's back, and he doesn't like it. Archer relieves him of duty. The Klingons need Phlox to counter a virus that is destroying them. It started when the Augments wiped out a Klingon crew. They are also working on Klingon Augmentation. Reed and a Klingon captive talk in the brig. To be continued.

#16 “Divergence” The Klingons compromised the Enterprise warp field; if they go below warp 5 there will be destructive mischief. They rendezvous with the Columbia, captained by Archer's former associate the lady Hernandez (they climbed a mountain together, made love, agreed not to talk about it, as fraternization of officers is discouraged: what happens on the mountain stays on the mountain), arranging to get Tucker back on board to try to fix it. This is a very tricky operation. Reed is released from the brig to handle the transfer. The two starships fly in tandem, one a few feet above the other. That is one of the most memorable scenes int the series, to my mind. They succeed in fixing the warp drive. Phlox succeeds in stopping the plague, but that will also stop the Klingon augmentation. Klingon Ships attack the Enterprise and Columbia. Archer volunteers to be the subject to test the virus cure, in the interest of speed. It works. Reed tells the agent who required him to deceive Archer to get lost. All is well, for now.

#17 “Bound” They are checking out a world for possible development. It is uninhabited, but does seem to have 600 foot long flying dragons that breathe fire. Can this be accurate? Then an Orion ship hails them and tells them to deactivate their weapons or it will open fire. They compromise, deactivating weapons together. Archer and others visit the other ship and are given food and shown a sexy dance by three green Orion girls. The girls visit the Enterprise, and their presence disrupts things because men can't take their eyes or their minds off them. Some of the ship's regular women get headaches. One of the Orions, Navaar, sets about seducing Archer, and he is hard put to it to interrupt that. In fact these women seem to have more power over men than mere sex appeal, and are using it. This is mischief. Pheromones are doing it, affecting men and women. Only T'Pol and Tucker are immune, she because she's Vulcan, he because of his connection to her. It is a ploy by the Orion captain to disable the Enterprise and capture Archer. It turns out that the men are the slaves, not the women. Tucker and T'Pol take over and save the ship. Tucker transfers back to the Enterprise. The thing between him and T'Pol remains; she admits it.

#18 “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I” Montanaa, 2063. a Vulcan ship lands. The natives shoot the captain and raid the ship. Then Enterprise, torturing a captive. Archer seems to be captive himself, and not normal. This appears to be an alternate reality,with the regular crew in similar roles, but different personalities, mostly darker. Hoshi is sultry, kisses Archer, and tries to stab him, but later she is in bed with him. T'Pol frees the prior captain and they set about re-taking the ship. Archer is tortured, then returned to duty because of higher orders. But he is marked for death. Tholian ships arrive. A containment net forms in space, catching the Enterprise. Then the Enterprise is destroyed. Archer and his crew are on another ship. To be continued.

#19 “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II” In this alternate universe even the intro song is changed. They are aboard The Defiant, which in another series was a warship. But they have only 47 people to try to run a ship designed for 400. There is a reptilian Gorn aboard whose purpose is to sabotage the ship. They hunt for it and find and kill it. But Archer is a paranoid alienophobe, planning to get rid of all non-humans. T'Pol opposes him. Archer plans to become Emperor. Then Hoshi betrays him, serving him a loaded drink. She declares herself Empress. I must say Hoshi as a sexy conspirator is intriguing.

#20 “Demons” Back to the regular intro song. There is a female baby, the child of Tucker and T'Pol. But she has never been pregnant. How can this be? A woman was killed; how was she connected? Tucker and T'Pol investigate. Travis and a former girlfriend have an affair. A man of Terra Prime takes over a Mars facility and can target any ship in the Solar System. He demands that all non-humans be exiled. A demon indeed! This seems to be building toward a destructive end to the series.

#21 “Terra Prime” Reprise of the situation: Paxton, an alienophobic man is holding the system hostage to his bigotry. All channels are jammed or carrying his message. He is targeting Starfleet as a leader in alien intrusion. The baby was made from cells taken from Tucker and T'Pol. T'Pol takes care of her, and will not let her be harmed. Names her Elizabeth. But the Vulcan and Human genes are incompatible, and the baby will die. However, with a different technique the two can be compatible. The Enterprise manages to stop Paxton and save the existing situation. This is a powerful argument for enlightenment.

#22 “These are the Voyages.” Personnel froam The Next Generation, Riker and Deanna Troi, are reviewing the situation via the Holodeck. Shran the Andorian tells Archer his daughter has been abducted. Tucker and T'Pol admit they will miss each other. Shran and T'Pol meet the abductors, and pay the price, a giant gem. T'Pol takes the girl. Then hell breaks loose. They survive, and Shran's family is reunited. Except that the other ship catches up and they take Archer hostage; they want Shran. Tucker manages to knock them out, but is injured himself and dies. Archer has to give a major speech for which he feels ill-prepared. He hugs T'Pol and goes. Will they finally get together? We aren't told. End of episode and series. I like the series Enterprise, but I think not as well as Voyager or Deep Space Nine. It tends to get too wild, farfetched, and violent, and the personal relationships are not as satisfying. Too bad T'Pol didn't go mountain climbing with Archer.

Star Trek Animated #1 “Beyond the Farthest Star” this is the original Star Trek cast, drawn neutral. The animation is primitive, with characters not speaking frozen in place. Half hour episodes. They track mysterious radio emissions near the outer edge of the galaxy. They encounter hyper-gravity. It's a giant beautiful starship, dead for three hundred million years. The crew of it seems to have destroyed it themselves. There is a message saying they are protected only for this moment. Then things blow up. An alien mind takes over the Enterprise. They go into warp and leave it behind. The story is there, but the presentation is not much.

STA #2 “Yesteryear” They enter a time vortex, and others no longer recognize Spock; they have a different first officer, Sarak. The report is that Spock died at age 7. So he goes back to restore the broken timeline. We see his past, as a Vulcan/Human crossbreed, ridiculed by other children for it. He must undergo the ten day ordeal of survival in the desert, the kahs-wan. His beloved pet dies, and he must accept that. It seems that is the fix needed. Spock is back.

STA #3 “One of Our Planets is Missing” A huge cosmic cloud is approaching; Enterprise is sent to investigate. It is matter and energy combined, and seems to consume planets. A member of he crew is an orange alien, Arex, I didn't notice before. They get drawn in and trapped in the cloud. It may be a living thing. They find themselves in its small intestine, with antimatter villi exploding matter and assimilating its resulting energy. They tractor beam one in to use for the antimatter drive. Spock talks mentally to the cloud, and convinces it to depart so it won't destroy other life.

STA #4 “The Lorelei Signal” Star ships have disappeared in one sector over 27 years, human, Klingon, and Romulan. Enterprise investigates. It encounters a bevy of lovely women. The nectar knocks them out and ages them significantly. They all now wear red bands around their heads. Uhura takes over the ship in the absence of the men. Spock gets to a communicator and signals Enterprise to request an all female rescue party. Uhura heads it. She learns the history of the people here, where only the women survive. They are immortal but unable to reproduce. The transporter restores the men to their prior condition, and they arrange to transport the women to a safer planet.

STA #5 “More Tribbles, More Troubles” They are taking grain to a starving planet when they see a Klingon ship pursuing a smaller vessel, a scout ship. The Klingons hit the Enterprise with a stasis field that puts it largely out of action. But it uses robot ships to get out of it. They rescue Cyrano Jones with a load of tribbles. These ones don't reproduce. He also has a tribble predator, a glommer, that eats them. The stasis field drains the energy of the target, but also that of the host ship. The Klingons hate tribbles. These one eat and grow, soon becoming large. The Klingon ship returns and immobilizes the Enterprise, but the Enterprise beams tribbles to the Klingon ship, messing it up. They also devise a treatment hat breaks the big tribbles down into little ones. So all their tribbles are little ones (their pun).

STA #6 “The Survivor” They assist a ship near the Romulan border. Carter Winston, the foremost space trader of their time. Then Winston changes to an alien creature, who knocks out Kirk and assumes his likeness. Then he does the same to Bones. He is a Vendorian, banned from regular planets. Now he's loose on the ship, capable of assembling any identity. But he assumes the form of a deflector shield, and saves the ship. So they will surely be lenient with him, and Winston's girlfriend is now his guard. She knows he is the alien, but may decide to be his girlfriend too, because she remembers and respects Winston and he likes her. There is another alien crewman; it seems there are a number of them accepted routinely.

STA #7 “The Infinite Vulcan” They survey a newly discovered planet on the periphery of the galaxy. They find people puffball plants that are mobile. There are intelligent plants here on Phylos, and flying ones. They have science beyond anything known elsewhere in the galaxy. They capture Spock. They want him to help generate a new and superior species. They make a giant Spock; the old one is dying. But in the end the giant does a mind transfer to the original Spock, restoring his consciousness and identity.

STA #8 “The Magics of Megas-Tu” They investigate the center of the galaxy to see if it is still generating matter. They get caught in an energy whirlwind. Fortunately there is calm at its center. But everything fades and they are dying. Until a big a faun, Lucien, appears, with horns and hooves. His universe operates by magic. He is a Megan. Belief is as potent a force here as matter and energy are in the regular universe. Then suddenly they are in stocks in 1691, the Salem witch trials. Spock conducts their defense. But Lucien is actually Lucifer. Kirk defends his right to exist and be free. That satisfies the Megans that humanity has progressed since the prior contact. So they let the Enterprise go.

#9 “Once Upon a Planet” They set course for a shore leave planet for rest and recreation. They see a white rabbit and Alice in Wonderland. The point is to make their dreams come true. Then an army of playing cards attacks them and they beam back to the ship. Uhura loses her communicator. A search party looks for her. They follow signs saying UNDERGROUND ENTRANCE. They encounter pterodactyls. Also a two headed fire breathing dragon. They persuade the governing computer that they are not slaves to the ship, and it relents and resumes entertaining them.

#10 “Mudd's “Passion” They look for old friend Harry Mudd, who practices fraud, swindling, and illusion. They arrest him. Now he is selling a love potion. Nurse Chapel tries it on Spock. It works, but she thinks it doesn't. Several crystals get into the air of the ship, affecting crew members. Chapel is delighted with Spock's attention when they rejoin. In due course things return to normal.

#11 “The Terratin Incident” they are on a mapping mission, but investigate radio signals from a star with one decipherable word: “Terratin.” Something weird happens. They may be shrinking in size. All organic matter is affected. They drop to two inches high and are not done. But the transporter beam restores them to full size. They have a macroscope! (Readers may remember that my major 1969 novel was titled Macroscope, about a phenomenal telescape; I wonder if that gave an episode writer the idea?) They rescue the miniature terratins by beaming up their whole city, which they will take to another planet for settlement.

#12 “The Time Trap” They enter the Delta Triangle, a vast area where odd things happen. They become trapped in a field that slows them greatly. They pick up Klingons who are similarly caught. There are also lovely green women. The nasty Klingons place an explosive that will go off when they reach Warp 8. They find it, defuse it, and escape.

#13 “The Abergris Element” Argo is a largely water covered planet they are studying. They land the aqua-shuttle on water and get caught by a giant red creature. Kirk and Spock get changed to water breathers with webbed hands. What did it? There must be intelligent life here. Kirk and Spock encounter sea folk, the Aquans, who don't want to associate with them, having had bad experience with air breathers. Then they find an underwater city. They manage to change back to air breathers so they can return to the Enterprise.

#14 “The Slaver Weapon” They find a Slaver stasis box, a relic of a culture that existed a billion years ago, but was later exterminated. Their relics have profoundly affected contemporary culture, such as the gravity fields for spaceships. Kzinti capture Sulu, Uhuru, and Spock. They find what may be a weapon. The Kzinti find a setting and adjust the object. It blows up and destroys them. That's a kind of message from the past.

#15 “The Eye of the Beholder” A six member science crew disappeared here on Lactra six weeks ago. What happened to them? Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to check on the Ariel. They encounter a fire breathing dragon, then a dinosaur. Spock says that a rain forest next to a desert is illogical. Then they get caught by odd tentacular snouted monster snails and taken to a kind of city. This may be a kind of interstellar zoo. They become specimens therein. They find three of the
Ariel's crew there in good order. Then a snail child reads a human mind and tells the adult all about them, and they decide to let the humans go so they can develop naturally.

#16 “The Jihad” Vedala, the oldest culture known, sends Kirk and Spock on a mission; they are joined by several smart aliens and Lara, another human. The Skorr will attack and launches QuhaD, a holy war on the galaxy soon. They must get the Soul of Alar from a challenging planet. On the planet they encounter a volcano with flowing lava. They escape that only to encounter a snow storm, then an opening crevice. Mechanized sentinels attack. They realize that the birdlike Tchar the Skorr is an enemy agent. They stop him and beam back to the ship with the Soul of Alar, mission accomplished. This animated series, so far, is okay, but the cartoon figures lack the potency of the real ones.


PIERS
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