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Piers Anthony, Jan. 1, 2011 Piers Anthony, Jan. 1, 2011. Photo by Jane McConnell.
FeBlueberry 2019
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The Xanth novels #38-40, that's Board Stiff, Five Portraits, and Isis Orb, will be on sale for $2.99 on FeBlueberry 11, 2019 in BookBub, Kindle Daily Deal (KDD) and Early Bird Books all over the Internet. So if by some ill chance you are missing them, here's your chance to catch up cheap. As I have said before, characters are introduced in them that appear in later Xanth novels, such as the Goddess Isis, and Squid, the girl child who is actually an alien cuttlefish and the protagonist for the 44th novel, Skeleton Key, not yet published. You'll like Squid when you get to know her.

Fake News: I started receiving congratulations from readers, and investigated. Someone using my name ran a Facebook announcement that there was to be Xanth movie and TV series. Alas, that's not true. I have no personal presence on Facebook, never did, and don't know who is pretending to be me. My only direct personal presence is here on my own HiPiers site. The movie notice turned out to be one that was run about a year and a half ago, that since expired unfulfilled. My agent is still looking for a movie, and there are prospects, but nothing has jelled yet.

Back when HiPiers was a source for my books, so that readers could find any or all of them before the Internet giants existed, we published a couple of Xanth calendars, as there was reader demand. We took a heavy loss, because the bookstores refused to carry them; it seems that they were locked in to their suppliers and anything outside was banned, even if the readers wanted it. If you wonder why I am cynical about the publishing process, this was one of the reasons. We were losing about fifty thousand dollars a year and finally shut down HiPiers except for this web site, which is now mainly a promotional and reader contact site, a place for general information about my books, and my monthly opinionations. But we discovered something: the Xanth 1991 calendar matches 2019 for dates. So it could be used this year, apart from the “wrong” year itself. The repeating calendar link is www.timeanddate.com/calendar/repeating.html?year=2013country=1

At the turn of the year I received a surprise: a 1977 DEL REY Challenge Coin. My history with this publisher has been mixed, to say the least. It started when I had two novels at Ballantiyne Books, and when they cheated me on royalties I protested and got a lawyer, and they never paid more than a fraction but blacklisted me for six years, spreading lies about me that I think still circulate in dusky corners of the publishing scene. They were trying to wash me out as a writer for my temerity in objecting to their violation of their own contract. It seems it is bad form to protest when a publisher does that, and they make sure to discipline those unruly serfs who violate that unwritten rule. It was the main reason I left SFWA (later SFFWA); they stalled when I tried to lodge a formal protest, I was rebuked in their bulletin, and some of their officers spread false stories about me. They knew where their bread was buttered. But not every publisher honored the blacklist, and I survived. I fought back in part by getting an agent: the one who represented Robert Heinlein, the leading genre writer of the day. Publishers knew that if they screwed with one his clients, they wouldn't get access to Heinlein's material. I was learning to play the game. Later that agency morphed into the one that handled Stephen King. You might think I would resent being in King's shadow. Nah, not much; that shadow helped protect me from the ghouls that still haunt publishing, and I did well. Besides his daughter was a fan of mine. Then the publisher, as I understand it, screwed one too many writers, and got sued (I had lacked the money to sue, then), and the proprietors had to depart in haste. Random House took it over, and put in a new administration, and to be best of my knowledge their accounts have been completely straight. I received an invitation to submit material to them. I wrote back don't you know you're blacklisting me?! They replied that things had changed. Indeed they had; Lester del Rey, the new Fantasy editor, had looked up the real figures on his own books there, and discovered that when they listed 69,000 sales, it was actually 169,000 sales. So he understood my situation. I think they were cheating most of their authors, abetted by a writer's organization that seemed to prefer siding with the errant publisher rather than with its own abused members. I wrestled for three days, making the hardest decision of my career, whether to give the blacklisting publisher another chance, and finally decided to submit a Fantasy genre novel, A Spell for Chameleon. That turned out to be also the best decision of my career. They then effectively promoted my works there and put me on the national bestseller lists. But later Lester made the mistake of growing old, and started doing meat-ax editing of the type he himself would not have tolerated as a writer, chopping out a whole chapter (because it had too many puns—from Xanth?!) and trying to chop out the Author's Notes, and I had to leave, I understand being one of four top authors departing for that reason. I have not been welcome there since, even after Lester died. Uppity writers, remember? So I was surprised when I received the Challenge Coin, given only to valued Del Rey authors. But I'll take it; it's a nice piece.

I read Beyond Mere Threads by M A Hickinbotham. That is, the threads of a magic tapestry. This is a 160,000 word fantasy. Fifteen year old Graham is restless. His beloved grandfather died recently, and Graham suffers nightmares and inability to properly focus on life. Then his friendly librarian gives him a private place to read, where a tapestry hangs. Somehow when he sees that cloth in a reflection, it animates. He finally backs into it, and finds himself in another realm, a fantasy land. Thus the main adventure begins. There seem to be friends and enemies here, the two not necessarily easy to tell apart, and magic. Graham himself learns he can do some magic, growing plants. He can grow anything in seconds, including dangerous thorny vines that mess up his pursuers. He has to flee the castle he finds himself in, because an evil figure wants him for some nefarious purpose. His original librarian friend turns out to be using him, and he finds another friend, and the chase continues as he discovers more about this dangerous world. A pretty girl approaches him, but she turns out to be the nymph of a tree who wants to incorporate him into the tree, not exactly what he had in mind. In contrast a fearsome wyvern becomes his friend and helps him return to his own realm. Adventure galore, and there is surely more to come, because the fantasy world hardly seems to be through with him.

I read Tamar and PJ—One Giant Adventure by Mark F Geatches. Young PJ hears a faint voice singing and goes into the wilderness to find it. He shouldn't have. A monster is stalking him. Then Tamar, the last surviving giant, steps in to save him, and the adventure starts. In much simplified summary, the two become friends, but the monsters are the Vorteh, whose prince gets slain, and they are out for revenge. PJ gets scratched by their deadly poison, and Tamar struggles valiantly to save him, but it's an awful struggle, because Tamar can't risk contacting the humans. So this is a tale about an unlikely friendship surviving formidable threats. It's not really a children's story despite the age of the protagonist; the Vorteh are too vicious, and the details too hard-hitting. But it's quite a story.

I read Dragon Flute, by Jordan Zlotolow. This is the sequel to Dragon Blade, which I reviewed three years ago. In that novel Jim, an office worker, and co-worker Summer are starting a romance when a supernatural enemy from another realm stalks them. It turns out that Jim was in that other world the fantasy hero Jalen, taking a break here on Earth. But when the lord of evil sends a minion to take over Summer's nice body so she can be his cohort, Jim/Jalen has to act. They manage to defeat the evil for a generation. Well, now it is a generation later, and their fifteen year old son Ralius is coming up on manhood when the evil strikes again. Ralius must find and win the Dragon Flute, which is a phenomenal weapon when correctly played, but there are constraints: it is in several pieces kept well apart, and each playing reduces its store of energy, so it has to be saved for the most vital occasions. What follows is a continuous action struggle, with numerous friends battling endless ugly enemies of every type. The narrative is marred by what are called saidisms, which is the well meaning effort to break up the monotony of he said, she said. But that leads to the distraction of endless alternates, such as he confirmed, he revealed, he whispered, he wondered, he clarified, he corrected, he explained, and so on. The best advice for writers is simply to use “said" and let it disappear into anonymity after serving its purpose, the way words like “the” “a” or “and” do. Regardless, if you like fighting monsters, this novel has them galore.

I may have gotten suckered. My wife smoked for fifty years, and it was a stone age form of vaping that got her off it, Nicotrol, that provided the nicotine without the other pollutants. So she has been clean for fifteen years, though same damage remains and I expect to outlive her, as I never smoked after trying it once as a child and puking out my guts thereafter. I do learn from experience. I approve vaping as a way to quit smoking, and agreed to add a link to our links page. But it seems that this is not an anti smoking site so much as a pro vaping site, hooking nonsmokers. I am not for that. A recent study shows that vaping is about twice as effective in getting people to quit smoking as are other remedies. Still, that's only 18 percent, and it seems that teens are abusing it. Ever thus.

I read the weekly Ask Marilyn column, being interested in smart things and considering myself an original thinker. Theoretically Marilyn has an IQ of around 230, the smartest woman ever, and on occasion she has confounded the experts by being right when they are wrong, as with the quiz show opening doors question, but sometimes she does something stupid. I remember when she calculated the total mass of the Great Wall of China, all three thousand miles of it. But that wall never existed. It is a line of some walls interspersed by guarded spaces, a much smaller thing. I wrote to her, citing my source, but never received a response, and as far as I know she never ran a correction. Okay, she's not interested in corrections. So this time I am making my correction here. Her column published January 13, 2019, addresses the question of whether it is possible to put 50 coins into 10 envelopes such that each contains a different number of coins. She says no, it is impossible, because by the time you get to the tenth envelope, having put one coin, two coins, etc in the others, you have five coins left, which will duplicate your fifth envelope. Okay, I say it is possible, and here is my solution. You have to use 0 as a number, a breakthrough the Romans lacked but the Arabs had, enabling much more sophisticated math. Imagine trying to do modern math with no zeroes! You also don't have to limit any envelope to under ten coins. Think outside the conventional box. So here are my ten envelopes; 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 14 = 50. If you have a refutation, I will run it next month, as I do honor corrections.

The January/February 2019 issue of THE HUMANIST (remember, I am a humanist; I subscribe) has an article “Why the Catholic Church Is So Conflicted About Sex.” It asks, in the wake of the latest sex abuse scandals involving Catholic clergy, what is their problem with human sexuality? Why is the church so fixated on controlling people's sexual behavior, often to traumatic ends? Why is celibacy (by that I think they mean no sex) the ideal state? Why should folk get married if there is no sex in Heaven? If every viable sperm cell has to become a new baby, should wet dreams be classified as involuntary manslaughter? Why do they object to contraception, other than abstinence? The article has excellent questions, but I have more. The fact is that with overpopulation being one of the major threats to the continuing viability of the world, I ask isn't the Catholic attitude a kind a treason against the world? Regardless, this article does not address a reason I read elsewhere some time back. And have commentced on before: the peoples bordering the ancient Israelites featured goddesses who celebrated worship via sex with lovely priestesses. Unable to compete against that allure, the Israelite hierarchy decided to make sex itself a sin, unless sanctioned by them in limited cases, such as purely for procreation. It is that anti-sex attitude that carries through into Christianity and leads to much mischief.

AUTHORS GUILD has been coming alive recently. It is not perfect, as I have remarked before, but overall it does good work. This time they address the issue of the need for society to provide free access to books, and the right of authors to be remunerated for their work. These principles should not be in conflict. But the income of writers is declining, and more of them have to subsidize their books with secondary sources of income. It's the don't quit your day job syndrome. I had the fortune to escape from it when my bad luck almost magically became good luck, as mentioned earlier in the column, and made me a best seller. I am no longer a best seller, but I didn't waste the money when it came in, so I am financially secure. But I represent maybe one percent of one percent of writers. So what about the outfits that claim that information should be free, including copyrighted work of authors? Who think that the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker should be paid, but not the writer? Libraries are eager to circulate ebooks as widely and freely as possible, and are resentful when publishers object. But what about the creator's right to earn a living from his creations? To a writer this unpaid circulation smells of theft. In other countries there exists a Public Lending Right, or PLR, where authors receive payments on their books in the system. So Author's Guild is entering the fray, and I support their effort to find a reasonable compromise. The arts do need support. What do we remember or care about the ancient Greeks, other than their arts, such as architecture, philosophy, literature? They are not memorable for their butchery, baking, or candles. Neither are we.

An obit of interest appeared in the newspaper. Michael S. Edenfield wrote: “If you are reading this, I am dead. I died on January 5, 2019. I was not 'called home', I did not 'go to be with the Lord'. I died. Get over it, I have. I never believed in life after death. I hope that I was right. But if not, then remember what Mark Twain said, 'Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.' I was born March 7, 1951, in Dade City, FL. I was preceded in death by my loving parents, Cleon 'Ed' and Margaret Agnes 'Marge' Edenfield. They were very loving parents. They had to have been loving, otherwise they surely would have either drowned my brother, Mark and myself, given us up for adoption, or sold us to the CIA for lab experiments. … To quote the rock band Blood, Sweat and Tears: 'I swear there ain't no heaven and I pray there ain't no hell. I'll never know by living, only my dying will tell.' As one of my law professors used to say, 'This world is a risky place, and very few of us get out of it alive.' I didn't. You won't. Enjoy life a little each day. I liked to live by the theory: 'I would rather regret the things that I did rather than the things that I did not do'. I think I accomplished that. Sometimes to the chagrin or embarrassment of my friends. If my wishes are followed, I have been cremated and my ashes tossed off the dock at my home on Cindy Lane. Personally I do not believe in burial. Cremation makes much more sense. My only true regret in having my body cremated is that there are a certain few people whom I would like to have be able to invite to apply Chap Stick to their lips before kissing my you know what. But it's the thought that counts. … Remember: life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, it should be a wild ride skidding in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, loudly proclaiming: 'Wow! What a ride'.” I understand he was a good man, a lawyer taking pro bono cases, helping to deliver tens of thousands of teddy bears to sick and abused women and children. Every Father's Day he would take orphaned children out to dinner. I did not know him in life, but he certainly wins my respect in death.

News flash: Saturn was not always ringed. The rings may be only ten to a hundred million years old, compared to four and a half billion years for the planet. About five percent, or down to half of one percent of its time. Also, people don't realize that Jupiter has rings too, less visible, and Earth may once have had them, as detailed in my novel Rings of Ice.

As you know, I support substitutes for meat, as it is as bad for the environment as smoking is for us. Now the meaters are getting worried. They don't like to have plant or lab grown burgers called meat, as that cuts into their business. They want it called something else, or at least clearly labeled as fake. They say consumers have the right to know what they are buying. I agree; I would not want to buy slaughtered cow meat by accident. I am fine with labeling it Synthetic or Fake Meat.

Speaking of synthetics, here's another: synthetic pornography. The faces of real women put on the bodies of other women engaged in nefarious deeds. How would you like to see your girlfriend's face in a pornographic video? You know it's not really her, but do your friends? How about your mother's face? If you are female, about your face? This is a growing problem for celebrities. What does a porno scene do for a rising clean girl actress? It seems that for about twenty dollars you can get anyone's face grafted onto a porn actress in action. Now I don't object to pornography; I think it is a legitimate form of entertainment. But to fake it to embarrass individuals, or to ruin a career, is wrong. It may be called weaponized technology, yet some are defending it as free speech. New artistic creations, making images that did not exist before. I believe in free speech, but does it include the right to destroy the reputation of an innocent person? I think a person should have control of his or her own likeness, and have legal redress if that likeness is abused.

Item from THE WEEK suggests that physical exercise can make you happier, especially if you do it outside, in a green park or a forest. Makes sense to me. I exercise regularly for my health, and there are hints that exercise also makes you live longer. Another item is about loneliness, which is not determined by the number of friends or social contacts you have. It's the emotional state deriving from fewer meaningful relationships, the ones that make you feel known and understood. If you feel lonely, you are lonely. One of two Americans now falls into that category. It is reaching an epidemic state. It makes people sick. It can shorten life by 15 years, as bad as smoking or being obese. Why? Because loneliness is stressful, and chronic stress is a killer. This is not just for the old; young folk are more at risk. Generation Z, ages 18-22, and Millennials 23-37 (Generation Y?) score the highest for loneliness. Online social sites don't seem to help much; the top 25% of social media users are twice as likely to report feeling lonely as the people using it the least. Wow! I'm glad I'm not on the social media. But of course it may be that the loneliest people seek the media, seeking help. Maybe they do help, but not enough. Maybe that explains the anonymous bullying that occurs, because lonely folk are more likely to become radicalized. I don't know.

We may be largely unaware of the major life on Earth. Seventy percent of the microbes seem to live in the subsurface, that is, underground, and many of these organisms are unlike anything above ground. Some breathe uranium and expel the wastes as crystals. Others live in deep-sea hydro-thermal vents at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. That's hotter than boiling. Considering this, it seems reasonable that the subsurface of other planets and moons is habitable. These creatures do fine far away from sunlight. We think our form of life is all that counts, but we're more of a fringe effect, living in the water and air that real life forms avoid. Maybe they're waiting for us to pollute ourselves to death so they can live without the nuisance of our presence.

Incidental items: The New Horizons mission that put the landscape of Pluto on our map has now passed Ultima Thule, pronounced to rhyme with Julie. I think of the song, “I'm not Lisa; my name is Julie.” Only this variant is “I'm not Pluto, my name is Thule.” It looks like an unfinished snowman. Why we need universal medical insurance, with teeth to prevent gouging: the biggest hospital in San Francisco sends out bills of more than $24,000 for a broken arm and $113,000 for a broken ankle. So if you're going to have an accident and be ambulanced to a hospital, try to do it somewhere other than Sand Francisco. I comment the editor's letter by William Falk in THE WEEK for January 8, 2019, for remarking on the growing bipartisan conviction that virtually anything—lying, cheating, spying, is justified because, well, the others side is so evil. When Senator Mitt Romney called out Trump for divisive rhetoric, lack of “honesty and integrity,” and low character, Republican colleagues chastised him for being too truthful. And here I thought that when I got blacklisted for protesting that sort of thing in publishing, that was an anomaly. Evidently not. NEW SCIENTIST for 12 January 2019 has a lovely history of Earth chart covering the first four and a half billion years. Life emerged in about half a billion years, grew, diversified, and in about two and a half billion years came the key breakthrough, the evolution of complex eukaryotic cells, with nucleus and mitochondria, capable of forming multicellular organisms like plants, insects, and us. Maybe the subsurface microbes have a different take on it, however. In South Korea young nurses are being hazed to death, literally, by the senior nurses, until some commit suicide. Hey, maybe they should go to work for that San Francisco hospital, as they have to understand about top-down bad treatment. A sample of the Wit & Wisdom feature in THE WEEK: “Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.” Franklin P Jones. And another article reprinted in THE WEEK for January 25, 2019, describes the secret war behind Amazon's reviews. This is dirty trench warfare, where a person can receive five star reviews, then be punished for faking them, with effectively no recourse, despite being innocent. That's how anonymous enemies get at you, with seeming favor. I'm surprised that Amazon can't seem to clean up this act. Just so my readers know: I don't do fake reviews of my books.

In Jamboree I mainly watched Star Trek episodes, two a day, as I gain on the complete series, and tried to gain on a four novel backlog of reading while keeping up with correspondence. When I am writing my own novel, my reading gets squeezed, and my movie watching stopped for the month. Bear in mind that I do the meals and dishes and such, so don't have all day. But I wrote the first half of Xanth #45, A Tryst of Fate, about 51,000 words, where the girl Squid learns that her future self was brutally murdered on a parallel time track, and she has to solve that murder by taking the place of that self and tempting the murderer to try again so he can be nabbed. Then she requires that murderer to become the protagonist for the rest of the novel. Critics who claim Xanth is all rehash obviously don't bother to read the novels, as my fans know. As I like to put it, some critics are finely crafted from spoiled fecal matter. I hope to complete the novel in Marsh, fate permitting. And yes, we are working on getting #42, 43, and 44 published. And still hoping for a Xanth movie, so far in vain. More anon, when.

PIERS

Star Trek: Enterprise


Season 1, #1 “Broken Bow” The intro for each epislode is a nice song about Faith of the Heart. Shape changers are chasing a Klingon man, and he is finally shot. Then to the Enterprise ship, which is still being constructed. The authorities plan to let the Klingon die, as this would be honorable, but Captain Archer is disgusted, since he can be saved. It is his job to return Klaang to the Klingons, alive or dead. Then Klaang, the Klingon, gets stolen. The Suliban female Sarin approaches Archer in the form of a beautiful woman and kisses him, because she needs direct contact to establish his integrity. Then she reverts to her natural form, which roughly resembles a zombie. She gets killed, but her last words as “Find Klaang.” When a shuttle lands in snowy weather they are attacked and Archer is injured. T'Pol assumes temporary command until Archer recovers. They recover an enemy ball-shaped shuttle, and Archer uses it to raid the enemy ship. He rescues Klaang, but he himself remains on the other ship. His image is curiously doubled. They manage to beam him back to the Enterprise. Star Fleet decides that Enterprise is ready for its larger mission. Archer asks T'Pol to remain as Science Officer. She accepts. She is evidently to be the sightly female for this series, parallel to Seven of Nine in Voyager.

#2 “Fight or Flight” their first alien contact is with a giant ailing worm. Then they find a ship with fifteen dead crewmen hanging on hooks. They were killed in different ways. Then the killer ship returns. It fires on them. Then another ship comes, of the victim species. They manage to communicate and translate, and the new ship destroys the killer ship. Hoshi, the lady communicator, evidently the nice girl of this series, has confidence issues, but she does manage to come through.

#3 “Strange New World” The away party lands on an earth-type planet. The dog Porthos loves it. They camp out overnight and tell ghost stories. Then a storm comes, so they move into a cave. There is no humanoid life on this world, yet people seem to manifest peripherally. Archer tries to join them, but the storm prevents. One person is dying. The others are affected, becoming hallucinatory. T'Pol the Vulcan is affected too, but in better control of herself. They manage to get through.

#4 “Unexpected” Archer is taking a shower when gravity quits and the water floats up in bubbles. The Bridge says gravity should be restored any minute. Then it returns and Archer plops down on the shower floor. At breakfast T'Pol orders a glass of water from the machine, and gets black glop. Another malfunction. A cloaked alien ship is near, Xyrillian, accidentally messing things up. Commander “Trip” Tucker shuttles across to it. The environment sickens him. A shapely alien female Ah'len, feeds him some of their food, and it makes him feel better. She shows him a holographic environment, planetary scenes that seem real. She plays a game with him that enables telepathic contact. Now he likes that environment. Back on the home ship, Tucker learns that he is pregnant with a baby girl. They track down the Xyrillian ship and discover it in the wake of a Klingon warship. After some dialogue they manage to forge a deal that frees all parting and gets Trip un-pregnant.

#5 “Terra Nova” Earth colonized Terra Nova, nine years' travel away, but lost contact for 70 years. Now Enterprise has found it. An away party of Archer, T'Pol, Travis, and Malcolm Reed lands. They encounter humans who are halfway hostile. They believe that Earth humans inflicted the illness on them that drove them underground. It was radiation from an asteroid strike. An older woman has cancer; Doctor Phlox cures her. The radiation did not extend to the southern side of the planet. The water in the northern cave is becoming polluted; the people need to move south. But they don't trust the ship personnel. Finally there is enough trust, and the natives are saved.

#6 “The Andorian Incident” They visit a Vulcan sanctuary planet. But something is wrong. They spy armed aliens evidently holding the Vulcans hostage. They are Andorians, highly suspicious. They capture the away party of Archer, T'Pol and Tucker. They beat up Archer, trying to make him confess to a nonexistent threat. Archer and Tucker go into the catacombs to find a communicator. They contact the ship, so now it knows about the hostage situation. Archer gets hold of an icon. A ship's party beams in, maybe orienting on the icon. Now they have a fighting chance. Then they discover a hidden laboratory that is spying on the Andorians. So the aliens were right; the Vulcans are spying on them. They are allowed to go, their mission accomplished.

#7 “Breaking the Ice” They spy a huge comet fifty miles across. They do a classroom question and answer session for an Earth children's class. T'Pol receives a coded message that she doesn't share with the captain per protocol. Trip Tucker decodes and reads it, and apologizes to her. Captain Vanik of the Vulcan ship says something cryptic to T'Pol. She talks with Trip: she must go to Vulcan to get married to a man she hardly knows, or lose the marriage. She evidently would prefer to remain on the Enterprise. Tradition vs. preference. Trip says she should do what she prefers. In the end, she stays. She is learning to gratify some of her personal preferences, whether emotional or gustatory.

#8 “Civilization” They discover a civilized planet; the Akaali are pre-industrial. They look close to human. But there may be an antimatter reactor there. This should be investigated. They prepare an away party of Archer, Hoshi, T'Pol, and Trip. Rian intercepts them, naturally suspicious. T'Pol stuns her with a beam. Next day they talk with the shop owner, who turns out to be an alien. They learn that an industrial lubricant is contaminating the ground water, hence the illness. Archer kisses Rian so that a passerby doesn't know his purpose. An alien shuttle descends and hauls up the crates. Archer and Rian go to the basement and see the reactor. They beam it to space and destroy it. Archer kisses Rian again and departs. Kissing is of course what a pretty girl is for.

#9 “Fortunate Son” Admiral Forrest calls. They need to go to the aid of a distressed freighter, the Fortunate. It was attacked by Nausicaan pirates, fought them off, but took some hits. While doing repairs they get to know the crew, including some children. But something is amiss. There is another prisoner aboard they are not talking about. They are trying to make him divulge information. Then the prisoner's ship returns to reclaim him. There is action. In the end the erring freighter officer is demoted and things are back to normal.

#10 “Cold Front” They meet an alien ship, there to observe a neutron star plume. They give a tour to the visitors. One visitor quietly does something, and the ship starts suffering problems. Later it turns out that a separated conduit prevented a charge that would have destroyed the ship. Then a crewman, Daniels, tells Archer he is from 900 years in the future, here to capture that visitor. There is a time war going on. Can this be believed? But he does have remarkable special powers. An alien visitor says the agent was sent to kill him, and wants to know the agent's identity. Daniels. The alien stuns Archer, then kills Daniels. I am not clear exactly how the ship gets through this crisis.

#11 “Silent Enemy” A green ship appears and does not respond to their hails before it departs. Malcolm Reed's birthday is coming up and Archer wants to get him something he likes to eat, but there doesn't seem to be anything. Hoshi tries to find out but fails. Aliens board and depart in their shuttle, then in their ship. The warp drive is out of order. What is going on? They try to contact the Vulcans, but can't reach them. The green ship returns, demanding surrender. They manage to cripple it, and it departs. They finally figured out that Malcolm's favorite food is pineapple, and present a pineapple cake for his birthday.

#12 “Dear Doctor” Doctor Phlox starts his day. He's a Denobian, whose emotions differ from humans, and he is still learning human ways. Pretty crewwoman Cutler may be romantically interested in him. Hoshi offers advice. Archer decides to try to help a planet besieged by a plague. Phlox enlists Cutler to assist him. He discovers that the illness is genetic, and the species may be extinct in two more centuries. There are two humanoid species here, the Valakians and the Menk, working compatibly together. That's unusual; usually there is only one humanoid species. But it seems both can't survive; to eliminate the plague, one must go. Archer decides not to give them warp technology; they must work it out on their own. Hoshi tells Phlox to get out of sick bay, socially, to improve his life. So he asks Cutler for a date, though it will not be romantic.

#13 “Shadows of P'Jem” The Andorians destroyed the Vulcan sanctuary visited in Episode #6. T'Pol has been reassigned; a Vulcan ship is on the way to pick her up. She is the scapegoat for what happened. Archer is outraged; no way was it her fault. Archer and T'Pol are taken hostage by a radical faction. They are tied back to back in a cell. They manage to turn to face each other and undo each other's bindings. But they are discovered. Meanwhile the Vulcan ship, the Ni'Var, arrives a day early, and takes over the investigation. But Tucker and Reed take a shuttle to the planet—and get captured by blue aliens who owe Archer a favor. They join forces to rescue Archer and T'Pol, but T'Pol gets shot when she takes a beam intended for Archer. Archer makes a case to the Vulcans that she deserves to stay with the Enterprise.

#14 “Sleeping Dogs” Malcolm Reed is drilling Hoshi on the use of a new pistol; it is tricky to get it just right. She fires at a dodging glowing globe. Reed has a cold. There is ant alien shipwreck they decide to investigate. The away team is Reed, Hoshi, T'Pol. They board the derelict and find breathable atmosphere, but it turns out to be Klingon. A Klingon female attacks Tucker and takes off in the shuttle, stranding the away party on the derelict, which will collapse within an hour. The Enterprise grapples the shuttle and draws it in. the captive female is hostile, but they convince her to cooperate, and manage to save the Klingon shuttle. They depart before two Klingon warbirds arrive. A good tense episode.

#15 “Shuttlepod One” Reed and Tucker were checking out a wreck and got stranded. They report that the Enterprise got blown up. Now they have only ten days to survive. Then Reed dreams that he and T'Pol are about to kiss. Alas, not so. A meteorite punctures the shuttle and now they have only two days left. They get snappish at each other. Reed wants to record messages for those who will eventually find their bodies. Tucker clings to the hope they'll be saved. Reed says he never got really close to anyone, personally, until the Enterprise. Then they hear from the Enterprise. It's all right! It will rendezvous in two days—but all they have is one day. They jettison and explode the engine, and that makes a signal the enterprise can see. They do survive, barely.

#16 “Fusion” they are haled by a Vulcan ship of an archaic design. They need some assistance with repairs. It turns out they are Vulcans who do not repress their feelings; they feel that logic and feeling should complement each other. T'Pol seems wary of them. They join in observing a rare nebula. Admiral Forrest calls: could Archer contact a Vulcan crewman Kov, who is alienated from his father. But now the father is dying, and would like to have contact. Finally Kov does make contact. T'Pol spends much time with Tolaris, starting to experience emotions. She is not at all comfortable with them. Tolaris almost assaults her. Archer intervenes on her behalf. Indeed, Vulcan emotions should not be played with.

#17 “Rogue Planet” They discover a solitary planet, not part of any system. There's an alien ship there. They take a shuttle and land, to investigate. Archer, Hoshi, Reed. They encounter humanoids, the Eska. It is amicable. A woman calls Archer in the night, then vanishes. Scanners don't find her. Then she appears again, saying she needs him. He knows her from somewhere. The others come, and she vanishes. Who or what is she? He goes alone into a cave. She is there, a long haired blonde in a blue dress. She's telepathic. She says she is not human. Shes a wraith. A shapeshifter. That's what the Eska are hunting. How to stop them from killing a sentient species? She assumed the form of a woman he imagined as a child when he heard a poem, so that he would heed her, and he knows that, but he's damned if he'll let someone shoot her. They develop a masking agent that conceals the prey from the hunters. So Archer has indeed saved his phantom woman, and she thanks him, then shifts into giant snail form and slithers away. She never pretended she was human; she just needed to contact him in a way he could understand, and get his help. My favorite episode of this series. So far.

#18 “Acquisition” The Enterprise encounters a Ferengi ship. This is surely mischief. Somehow they have rendered the entire crew unconscious, strewn across the floors. Except for Tucker. The Ferengi board with gas masks. They revive Archer and make him load their haul into their ship. They want to know where the Vault is, with more treasures. So he talks their language: he'll show them, if he gets 35%, Meanwhile Tucker find a hypo and wakes T'Pol. In due course she takes out one of the Ferengi. Finally they overcome the Ferengi and all ends well. A humor relief episode.

#19 “Oasis” There's a crashed ship on a planet. The away party of Archer, Travis, Tucker, and T'Pol check it out. It is said to have ghosts. They encounter a whole crew; they were attacked, crashed, and used a dampening field to hid from the raiders. Hydroponics feeds them. Tucker meets pretty Liana and associates with her. Then they learn that the other ship wasn't attacked; it suffered calamitous depressurization, 22 years ago, not 3. They died. Something is very wrong. There is a fight. Tucker persuades Liana to act. She removes two cells from a machine, and the ghosts who turn out to be holograms disappear. Only Liana and her father remain; he made the holograms replicating the crew so she could grow up among them. But that's not real. They repair the crashed ship, and Tucker bids farewell to Liana, who kisses him. She'll be going to her home.

#20 “Detained” Travis wakes beside Archer, who is unconscious, discovering that they are captives. Archer wakes and they see about escaping. They are among a number of prisoners, most of whom are Suliban. Then they are taken to see the commandant who says they trespassed into a military zone. They will have a hearing on Tandor Prime in three days. The Enterprise is notified; they can have a representative there. Reed sneaks in to help Travis and the Suliban, bringing weapons. They arrange a breakout. Archer, Travis, and Reed return to the ship. Will the Suliban revolt succeed? We don't know.

#21 “Vox Sola” First contact with another species, whose emissaries depart immediately, furious. Meanwhile something translucently gelatinous infiltrates the ship, surely the cause of the mischief. Parthos the dog senses it. It attacks crewmen with prehensile tendrils, including Archer and Tucker, who are soon cocooned in strings of gelatin. They are getting linked inside the creature. T'Pol and Hoshi work to translate the creatures' mathematical language. Reed develops an electronic barrier that can stop the creature. They do manage to communicate. They will take it home. It slowly dissolves, letting the captives go. They return it to the much larger main organism, and so it recovers its lost parts.

#22 “Fallen Hero” T'Pol expresses concern that the men are sexually frustrated, so she advises them of the planet Risa for shore leave. Sounds good. Then they have to pick up a Vulcan woman V'Lar, who must be immediately taken from the planet where she is an an ambasnsor. She is being expelled for criminal misconduct, if that can be believed. She is an older woman. Then a ship asks for her back. Archer demurs, needing authority. They fire on the Enterprise. This is weird. V'Lar won't talk. So Archer decides to return to Mazar. T'Pol pleads with him not to take V'Lar back there. This is remarkable; T'Pol never pleaded before. More ships attack. V'Lar confides that she's not a criminal; she is gathering information on a criminal element that is taking over Mazar government. The enemy wants to kill her. There is a tense standoff before the Vulcan warship arrives and takes over, saving V'Lar. A tense episode.

#23 “Desert Crossing” Archer and Tucker visit a desert planet. They participate in a competitive game somewhat like Lacrosse. Then T'Pol gets a call: their associates are terrorists. But their host says that the others are the terrorists, and they need help to survive. They think Archer is a desert warrior. There is an attack, and Archer and Tucker must hide in the cellar. But it's not safe from the bombardment. Then Archer and Tucker have to cross the burning desert alone. They reach an empty building and try to endure. But enemy craft fire on them. An Enterprise shuttle lands and rescues them.

#24 “Two Days and Two Nights” They finally make it to Risa, the vacation planet, and Archer, Tucker, Hoshi, Travis and other crew members selected by lot are going ashore, leaving T'Pol in charge. Porthos the dog is also along. They meet Keyla and her dog Rhylo, but the dogs don't get along. Hoshi meets a handsome man and they wind up in bed. Travis and Tucker meet Dee'Ann and Latria, who turn out to be transformed aliens intent on robbery. Keyla gives Archer something to knock him out; when he wakes she is long gone. Meanwhile on ship the Doctor has been estivating and is hardly in condition to treat patients, but is determined to try.

#25 “Shockwave Part I” The shuttle encounters an explosion. 3,600 natives died in it. What went wrong? The mission is canceled and the Enterprise is recalled to Earth. Archer is distraught. Then he wakes ten months in the past. He meets Daniels, who is involved with the timeline. He says that malign interference caused the disaster, not the Enterprise. Someone wants the mission to fail. Then Archer is back in the present, with new information; he halts the return to Earth. The Suliban are involved. They raid a cloaked Suliban ship: Archer, T'Pol, Tucker, to get some key data discs. They confirm that the explosion was caused by the Suliban to frame the Enterprise. But now the Suliban ore striking back. They demand that Archer go to their ship, or they will destroy the Enterprise. Archer disappears, somehow going to a wrecked city in the 31st century, where he meets Daniels. This is more mischief.

STE Season 2 #1 “Shockwave Part II” In the 31st century all is wreckage, and a monument was never built. Meanwhile, as it were, the Suliban board the Enterprise and search for Archer. He's not there. Where is he? They interrogate T'Pol. Meanwhile in the future Archer and Daniels work to send a message back to the past. T'Pol gets a message. They sent Hoshi through the conduits to Dc. Phlox's room to get a recorder, and to other rooms to free Tucker and Reed, who go to Daniels' quarters. They stage an insurrection, fake a core breach, and escape. Something they do enables Archer to return to the present, and the crisis is handled. T'Pol makes a case to the Vulcan high command that they should learn from their mistakes, and they listen. It is clear that Archer and T'Pol are drawing closer socially.

#2 “Carbon Creek” some time back T'Pol visited Carbon Creek, Pennsylvania. Why? She says it was the real, as apposed to the historical, site of first contact between Vulcans and humans. She tells the story. Her great grandmother was involved. The Vulcans were gathering information on the humans, but had a malfunction and had to land. They dress as humans, cover their ear points, and go into town. (T'Pol is playing the part of her ancestor in this narration.) They win money playing pool. They get menial jobs while waiting for rescue. An associate lady, Maggie, kisses a male Vulcan, Mestral. There is a cave-in at the mine, and the Vulcans help free the trapped miners, though interfering is against their guideline. They rescue twelve miners. Maggie's son Jack has scientific aspirations but can't afford the tuition. G-Grandma earns the money for that. They are rescued, but Mestral stays behind; they report him dead, and the incident is never known.

#3 “Minefield” They encounter a habitable planet, so investigate—and something blasts a section out of the ship. It's a mine, and there's another on the hull. And other mines all around the ship. An alien ship appears, but they can't understand the language, and Hoshi suffered a concussion so can't translate. Reed gets caught by a spike from the mine; Archer works with him. Hoshi recovers enough to translate; the alien ship said go away or be destroyed. It is a Romulan ship. The mine rearms; they must detach the hull section and jettison it from the ship, so the mine can detonate without affecting the ship. With them on it. But they have shields that protect them from the explosion. They are saved.

#4 “Dead Stop” Four days later, repairing the ship. They need help. They send a distress call and receive a suggestion that they try an alien repair station. They go there. It is automated and highly competent. The repairs will be made for agreed compensation: 200 liters of warp plasma. The work in progress is marvelous, but Archer smells a rat. Tucker and Reed sneak into the center of the station via a duct. They get boosted out. Travis discovers something, and gets killed. But the body is an almost perfect duplicate. The real Travis Mayweather may have been abducted and this copy substituted. Tucker distracts the station computer while Archer, and T'Pol sneak in to investigate the primary data core. They discover a cache of stored live bodies, Travis among them. They rescue him, then escape as they destroy the station. The station had used his brain to enhance its computing power. The other bodies had been similarly used, and were now beyond repair. An interesting episode.

#5 “A Night in Sickbay” Archer, T'Pol, and Hosthi are in underwear decontaminating. They came to visit the Kreetassans, and were told to leave with no explanation. Last time the dog Porthos picked up a pathogen that has him in trouble. Archer is furious. He spends the night in Sick Bay so as to be close to his pet, but has trouble sleeping. Weird things happen that turn out to be routine, such as the doctor's pet bat escaping and needing to be netted. Dr. Phlox thinks Archer and T'Pol are sexually attracted to each other; he is surely correct. Archer dreams of getting together with her. Porthos finally recovers. Archer does a fancy ritual apology to the Kreetassans and all is well.

#6 “Marauders” Archer and T'Pol land on an agrarian planet, wanting to trade for deuterium. It turns out that the Klingons are cruelly exploiting the natives here, to mine the mineral. They need to fight back. T'Pol teaches them evasive techniques against Klingon weapons, and others drill them in ray weapons. When the Klingons arrive the natives fight back with beautiful finesse, guerrilla techniques, tricking and strafing them and finally driving them off. So the Enterprise gets the deuterium it needs and the natives are much better off.

#7 “The Seventh” A call wakes T'Pol, telling her they have located Menos, three days distance. Admiral Forrest calls, telling them to divert to a rendezvous with the Vulcans at Pernaia Prime. T'Pol and Travis have a mission. She asks Archer to join her, so that she is accompanied by someone she can trust. This is instead of a Vulcan man. They must apprehend Agaron, the last operative to escape their group. He mentions Jossen. He says she killed Jossen, but she doesn't know who Jossen is. Now she remembers: he was the seventh in the party. She killed Jossen in the course of duty, and suppressed the memory. It finally turns out that Menos is guilty of the equivalent of drug running; he is not the innocent man he claimed to be. Archer enables T'Pol to do the right thing. She appreciates it. She and Archer are clearly getting closer, emotionally.

#8 “The Communicator” Malcolm Reed's communicator is missing. They have to find it. Did is slip out of his pocket, or did someone pick his pocket? They use a scanner to locate it on the planet. But when trying to recover it, they get arrested. When Archer and Reed won't talk, because this is a pre-space world, they are beaten up. T'Pol is in charge during their absence. The natives catch on that the weapons are beyond their technology. T'Pol, Travis, and Tucker adapt cloaking technology and take a shuttle to the rescue. There is a firefight but they make it and escape. All is moderately well, but the memory will still contaminate the culture.


#9 “Singularity” The crew is unconscious as the ship heads for a black hole. T'Pol is the only one awake, reporting that they are unlikely to make it, and help is too far away. Two days ago they set course for the black hole. Tucker works on the Captain's chair despite pressing other business, Hoshi takes over the cooking and is irritable about interruptions. Dr. Phlox insists on checking out Travis beyond all reason. Everyone is preoccupied with trivial matters, at the expense of more important ones. Tempers are short. Something is wrong. T'Pol determines that the black hole is emitting radiation that is affecting the crew. She must steer the ship out of the field, with Archer's almost unconscious assistance. They make it out, barely. People recover. Things are back to normal, maybe.

#10 “Vanishing Point” they have to move out quickly, interrupting important projects. Hoshi discovers things wrong; it is as if others can't properly see her. Her hand passes through some solid things. Her mirror won't reflect her properly. Then she disappears entirely to the others; they literally walk through her. She's a ghost. Then she sees aliens interfering with the ship. They are planting bombs. She manages to send an SOS with light signals, but though Archer and T'Pol see it, they don't get the message. They finally readjust the transporter and get her back and she's okay again. But there is no mention of the aliens or the bomb. This bothers me.

#11 “Precious Cargo” They rendezvous with a ship with a problem: they are transporting a beautiful young woman whose life support failed and they had to put her in stasis to complete he delivery safely. Then she wakes and is suffocating, so Tucker has to open her casket. But one of the visitors knocks him out, and they take him and her to their ship and depart. When Tucker wakes and gets his translator going, he learns that she is no ordinary passenger; she is a monarch, abducted for ransom. Kaitaana reluctantly cooperates with him to get to an escape pod. They land on the only suitable planet in range, and are in a steamy jungle. They argue and fight, and kiss, and maybe more. The enemy finds them, but then the Enterprise party comes and they are rescued. She will return home to be monarch. She suggests that he visit her, in due course. A nice forbidden love story.

#12 “The Catwalk” they orbit an uninhabited planet. Another vessel hails them. They say a dangerous wave is approaching and they should flee at warp 7. But warp 5 is their top speed. They must batten down under shielding in Sick Bay or the adjacent catwalk and ride it out for eight days. The close quarters are like a coed barracks. People get edgy. Another ship connects to them. It seems that the three people they took in are deserters from a corrupt administration out to recover them and probably kill the humans. The pursuers don't know the home team is hiding in sick bay. Archer contacts them and pretends to be ready to destroy the ship rather than let it be captured, and the aliens depart. They make it safely on out of the wave.

#13 “Dawn” Tucker is in a shuttle testing equipment when a small vessel appears and fires at him. He has to make an emergency landing on a moon, one of 62. An alien attacks him there. Meanwhile Archer gets in touch with the hostile Arkonian commander who says they lost a man too. Trtip and the Arkonian Zho Kaan have to work together to try to fix a transceiver, but their languages are unintelligible to each other. They fight. Then Trip throws away the weapon and the message gets through: together. He finally contacts the Enterprise but won't accept transport out until they can save Zho also. The temperature is rising toward 130 degrees; dawn is deadly here. The two are rescued, and friends in a manner.

They attend a medical conference. They meet Phlox's second of three wives. She is very friendly with Tucker. Not only do men have three wives, women have three husbands. T'Pol turns out to be suffering from a Vulcan illness, Pa'nar syndrome. There is a stigma attached, so she didn't tell the Vulcans. She got it when she was attacked by an infected Vulcan; it wasn't her fault. The Vulcans mean to take her back to Vulcan, where she will live under a shadow. Archer is annoyed, and tells them that they are bigoted. He's right, but doesn't move them. T'Pol refuses to defend herself. But another Vulcan speaks out, and TPol is not recalled to Vulcan.

#15 “Cease Fire” Andorians with head antenna are warring with the Vulcans, and can't trust them in negotiations. But one, Shran, knows of a “pinkskin” who has proved to be evenhanded; his name is Archer. Paan Mokar is a world both sides claim and have warred over it for a century. So they ask for him, and the Vulcans reluctantly acquiesce, provided a Vulcan accompany him. He chooses the one he can trust: T'Pol. The Andorians expect them but are hardly friendly. They want to negotiate with the Vulcan leader, Ambassador Soval. Archer gets them to release one of the three Vulcan hostages they have in exchange. They bring him—and are fired on and crash land. They make their way toward the meeting site. Shran's female assistant caused the mischief; when Shran learns that, he negotiates a compromise. So the mission is a success, of a sort. A good episode.

#16 “Future Tense” They discover a metal container in space and bring it in. It contains the remnant of a human being. Could it be Zephram Cochran, an early experimenter in a one man ship? It has a hatch that leads farther inside than outside. Curious. All kinds of space in there. Meanwhile a Suliban ship demands the artifact, claiming salvage rights; it turns out to be a vessel from 900 years in the future. The person aboard seems to have human, Vulcan, and other species DNA. The Suliban attack. The Enterprise shoots back. Another force attacks, the Tholians, and the Suliban fight them. The artifact disappears. Crisis over, maybe.

#17 “Canamar” The shuttle is drifting in space and not answering calls. Archer is in it, with Tucker. They may have been abducted. Yes, they are in a prison ship, captive of the Nausicans, bound for a penal colony with other prisoners, manacled by the wrists and punished for speaking out. Then there is a prisoner rebellion and they take over the craft. Archer pilots it, but the new masters don't trust him. He manages to message Enterprise and they are rescued together with a number of other prisoners. A violent episode.

#18 “The Crossing” A huge ship opens its maw and takes in the Enterprise. Archer, Tucker, and Reed take the shuttle to the interior. A vapor infiltrates Tucker. He says he's all right, but there's something odd about him now. The wisp has taken him over. Then the wisp departs. Tucker is back in good condition, but with memories. Then one takes over Reed. He approaches T'Pol, wanting to mate with her. She alerts Archer, and Reed is arrested. But people all over the ship are being possessed by the wisps. One takes over Hoshi. T'Pol believes that she as a Vulcan can handle a wisp. Then one possesses her; she freezes, and it departs. Now she knows that the wisps need living bodies and mean to take over every person on the ship, then find other ships. Phlox follows Archer's instructions to vent gas into the ship, but Tucker, possessed, tries to stop him. He succeeds and the CO2 spreads throughout the ship. That takes out the wisps. They escape and blow up the wisp ship.

#19 “Judgment” Archer is on trial for conspiring against the Klingon Empire. The audience chants Jagh! Jagh! Presumably Death. Dr. Phlox visits him. Then in the trial there is testimony that the Enterprise sided with rebels and fired at a Klingon ship. That Archer himself was arrogant. Untrue, but they don't care. Slowly the real story comes out. The Enterprise received a distress call from a disabled ship whose occupants were starving. The Klingons had annexed their world, promising food and fuel, but did not deliver. The assigned Klingon lawyer makes a pretty good defense, showing that Archer has in the past acted to help Klingons, but he is condemned to life imprisonment on a lethal frozen mining world. Along with his Klingon advocate. But they manage to rescue him, thanks to Vulcan connections. I saw no explanation how Archer was captured alone by the Klingons.

#20 “Horizon” They detour to observe a volcanic planet; they will take pictures. Helmsman Travis Mayweather asks for leave to visit his ailing father, on a nearby planet. Archer sends Phlox with him. His father dies, but he does visit his mother and brother Paul on a cargo ship. Then the freighter is attacked. Travis does some upgrades, which annoys Paul. But by the end of the visit he and Paul are reconciled.

#21 “The Breach” Hoshi brings Dr. Phlox a message, which makes him pause. Also, the Enterprise is asked to pick up scientists being evacuated from a planet for political reason; the Xantorians will kill any who remain. But they are in a network of caverns; first they have to be found. Meanwhile they rescue the personnel of another ship close by, also a victim of the new political order. An away party of Tucker, Travis, and Reed enter the cave. The rescued scientist refuses to be treated by a Denobulan doctor, because their species have been at war with the Antarians for centuries. In the cave they have an accident in the treacherous footing and suffer injuries. And the Denobulan scientists in the cave are rescued. The patient finally decides to accept treatment. This episode is an exploration of the problems of bigotry.

#22 “Cogenitor” They are scanning a developing supernova up close. Another ship is there, also studying the phenomenon. Their humanoid people have three genders, the third being the cogenitor. They are about three percent of the population, going from couple to couple as needed. They are not educated, and treated like tools. That bothers Tucker, who feels she should be treated more like a human being. He shows her a movie, teaches her to read and she beats him in a game of Go. She is really smart when given a chance. She wants to stay on the Enterprise. Archer can't allow it, and she goes. And commits suicide. So what was the right thing to do? This bothers me, as it does Archer.

#23 “Regeneration” A crew of three are at the Arctic Circle checking a site, and find it wrecked and the people frozen in ice. The two people found are of different species. The severed mechanical arm of one starts animating. They have been frozen a hundred years. The crashed ship was a sphere a hundred meters in diameter. Then the bodies revive. They abduct the personnel, enhance the technology, and take off for space. Enterprise is assigned to look for it in space. They get a distress call. They stop the aliens, and are treating them when they revive and escape. They are immune to regular phasars. Archer has them blown out of the ship. They were making significant changes in the equipment. Archer and others beam aboard the alien ship. They are attacked. More come. They look like Borg. This suggests a future attack.

#24 “First Flight” They encounter a dark matter nebula, well worth exploring. Archer receives bad news: a man was killed climbing Mt. McKinley on Earth: an old colleague known as AG. as Archer and T'Pol explore the nebula there is a retrospective on his relationship with AG. He gets the first flight that Archer wanted, but they are friends. The mission goes wrong and the ship is lost but AG survives. It seems there remain some bugs in the engine. Archer's father designed the engine; when AG blames the engine, they fight. But they get together to prove that with a slight modification the engine can do it. They sneak out together in the second engine to prove the point. They prove it. But are in trouble with the command. They are punished, but in time continue in the program. And Archer and T'Pol see the splendor of the nebula.

#25 “Bounty” A Tellarite ship is by a planet. They act friendly, but then abduct Archer. This is of course mischief. Meanwhile T'Pol has picked up a virus that Phlox treats. She is restricted to sick bay for the nonce. Archer has been caught by a bounty hunter; he is wanted for a trumped up infraction and may get executed. Then comes another bounty hunter, who attacks. Archer winds up piloting the shuttle, taking evasive action. They manage to disable the pursuit and land on a planet. Meanwhile T'Pol has been put into Pon Farr, the Vulcan mating cycle, and comes on strongly to Phlox. She is like a wild animal, in her underwear. She escapes and comes on to Reed. Archer is turned over to the Klingons. He gets free and escapes in a pod, and is rescued. T'Pol recovers, and Phlox says patient privacy will keep him silent. That spares her embarrassment, and means that other episodes don't have to refer to it.

#26 “The Expanse” So the Klingons are after Archer again, really determined. Captain Duras will go after him. The ship is recalled to Earth. Suliban attack, and beam Archer aboard their craft, and have news for him. The Xindi attacked Earth, because it will destroy them 400 years in the future. The Vulcans say that in the Delphic Expanse there may be an answer, but it's dangerous; few ships that enter it ever return, and those that do may be weirdly changed. Meanwhile part of Florida, Earth has been devastated. T'Pol is recalled to Vulcan, but resigns her commission so as to stay on the
Enterprese. No one will say it, but she must have a thing for Archer. They head for the Expanse. Duras pursues them, demanding they surrender. Archer takes them into the Expanse; Duras pursues. They destroy the Klingon ship, and head on in. End of Season 2.

STE Season 3 #1 “The Xindi” The Xindi attacked Earth because 400 years in the future Earth will destroy them. It seems the Xindi are in the Delphic Expanse, so the Enterprise is gong there. The Xindi see them coming, and mean to deal with them. They have a contingent of marines along in case there is combat. There are gravitational anomalies in one of the cargo holds. Archer and Tucker talk with a Xindi captive, one of five species of Xindi. He demands his freedom in exchange for the coordinates of the Xindi home planet. T'Pol has to give Tucker a Vulcan nerve treatment, in the course of which we see parts of her breasts. The Xindi are preparing a weapon to destroy the Enterprise.

STE 3 #2 “Anomaly” Weird things occur on the ship, gravitational anomalies. They board a dead alien vessel, trying to find out what happened to it. They find a cloaked Osaarian ship in orbit. Archer, Travis, Tucker, and a boarding party board it. Archer tortures an Osaarian captive to make him provide key information. They engage an alien ship in order to be close enough to read its Xindi database. They start reading that database. The level of violence and sights of T'Pol suggest to me that this series is having a problem holding its viewership, unfortunately.

STE3 #3 “Extinction” Space suited men pursue a fugitive through a jungle, catch him, and burn him with flame throwers. Tucker reports for his massage session that enables him to sleep well. T'Pol is starting it when Archer calls her: Xindi to check out. They locate the body of the man scorched to death. Then something starts altering them, making them become beast men. They capture T'Pol. She uses the translator to make them understand each other. They find and eat live maggots. The ship captures Reed and studies the virus that changed him to a different species. T'Pol remains with what were Archer and Hoshi. Two alien ships come and board, and explain about the virus; the Enterprise is under quarantine. The planetary species lost the ability too reproduce, so they made a virus to transform other species into theirs. Archer and Hoshi are rescued, and Phlox's new antidote restores them. This will solve the problem for the other species too. But Archer has Phlox save one vial of the virus. The extinction of a civilized species is at stake.

STE3 #4 “Rajiin” Archer and Tucker visit a local planet to see a man about a formula to convert Trellium A to Trellium D. They get it, but also rescue a pretty concubine, Rajiin, who begs to go with them. Later she visits Archer and is well on the way to seducing him when he blinks and she hasn't touched him. She says she has certain skills. Evidently so. She impresses Hoshi. Then T'Pol, who resists, and gets knocked out. Rajiin is more than she seems; she is working with aliens. The Xindi? Archer puts her in the brig, but boarding parties come for her and there are firefights. They escape witch Rajiin. There will surely be more, as the Xindi use her to zero in on human biology.

#5 “Impulse” T'Pol is being restrained, screaming in protest. An emotionless Vulcan? Then we go to one day earlier. The tension of the Xindi mission is getting to the crew; they need R and R (military for Rest and Recreation). Then comes a Vulcan automated distress call. They answer it. It is the Seleya, drawn into the Expanse some time ago. It seems derelict, but there is life aboard. Archer, T'Pol, Tucker, and a crew go aboard. They find a live crewman but he attacks them. Then others, all violent. T'Pol gets infected; she feels her control slipping away. Something is eliminating the Vulcan emotional control, so that their underlying violence takes over. They have to fight their way off the ship, with T'Pol more of a problem than an asset. The ship blows up. Trellium poisoned them. T'Pol has bad hallucinations as she recovers.

#6 “Exile” Hoshi is in her room when someone unseen speaks to her. She calls security, but they find nothing. She is sure she did not imagine it. A man approaches her. He says he is three light years away, and she is a rare one who can receive his telepathy. He sees through her eyes. Archer directs a slight detour. They visit the alien Tarquin, at his planet. He may be able to help them with the Xindi. He insists on Hoshi's company while he works. He has thoroughly read her mind and personal history. Obviously he likes her. Meanwhile aboard the Enterprise anomalies multiply. Tarquin projects himself as a handsome human man, hoping to make Hoshi his next companion, but she's not interested. She threatens to break the crystal that enables him to contact others telepathically. The Enterprise discover a third sphere, and more. Fifty man-made spheres, each one the size of a moon. Hoshi obtains information where the Xindi are building part of their weapon.

#7 “The Shipment” Archer, Tucker, and a crewman land on the planet whose coordinates Hoshi obtained. They find a major Xindi complex for refining kemocite, a key ingredient in their weapon. Archer talks to Gralik, an alien chemist, and learns that there was a sixth Xindi species, the Avians, now apparently gone. Archer recruits Gralik to help, as Gralik did not know his work was being used to kill people. They sabotage the shipment of kemocite.

#8 “Twilight” Archer wakes as the hip is being attacked. The others have orders to keep him confined. What? They fire at a planet, and it breaks apart. This is really strange. He wakes again in a different setting, with T'Pol housewifely in a ponytail. She says his last memory was twelve years ago. She reviews the intervening history. Which is that then he wakes in Sick Bay, and Phlox tells him he is infected with a virus that prevents him from forming long term memories. Earth was destroyed, and other Earth colonies. Tucker has been captain of the Enterprise for nine years. Archer was settled at a refuge with other survivors. His relationship with T'Pol has evolved. Phlox has finally developed a treatment; maybe now at last Archer will be able to retain his memories. It may even be retroactive, as the virus exists outside of time. The ship is attacked by the Xindi. Things are desperate. The ship is destroyed. Then Archer wakes back when this started. The treatment has been effective, and none of the twelve years happened. We don't know just how far Archer and T'Pol's relationship evolved, but it was evidently close.


PIERS
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