Sky pirates raid the stars - and Captain Kirk is charged with treason!
On special assignment the Enterprise approaches
Ferrous-Asteroid Belt that 100 years ago was the location of a mad
mining rush when it was discovered that the asteroids there were
almost pure iron. The operations established whole cities overnight
to strip the asteroids. When it was discovered that the possible
destruction of the belt by mining would endanger neighboring
planetary orbits, all mining operations were outlawed. Kirk mentions
that there is one large pirate operation that has still eluded
capture. Kirk and Spock regard a recognizable large camel-shaped
asteroid and notice a nearby rock that isn't on any charts of the
belt. Kirk and Scotty make an extravehicular excursion to
investigate the rock. After determining that it is just a hunk of
iron, Scotty decides to phaser off a piece for a souvenir. Suddenly
the "asteroid" shakes and then changes orbit. It is actually a space
ship disguised. Kirk and Scotty roll off of the ship which rockets
Kirk, back aboard the Enterprise which has caught up with
the poacher ship, announces via radio, "Attention! Starship
Enterprise to bandit ship. We have you within attack distance and we
are closing! I prefer to avoid combat!" The bandit ship fires at the
Enterprise. The great starship takes evasive action and returns fire
- utterly destroying the rogue ship. Upon returning to headquarters,
Kirk is placed under arrest and brought before an inquiry board
within the great domed Supreme Council Hall. The chairman of the
council is joined by Vice Chairmen Fado and Hajara. Fado states that
Kirk is charged with accepting money in return for protecting a
pirate iron mining ring.
He presents evidence that Kirk's bank
account had a recent deposit of seven million credits. Next Fado
presents a video tape of an alleged meeting between Kirk and a
pirate leader, Liji Bragg, on planet Zeayana. The chairman finds
that Kirk should be bound over for a court martial and that Kirk is
under city detention, with Kirk presenting that it was a frame up
and a conspiracy.
Later, after consulting a lawyer, Kirk meets in his
hotel room with Spock, McCoy and Scotty. All agree that somebody set
up that evidence to take the heat of the illegal mining operation.
McCoy suggests that Liji Bragg confessed to incriminate Kirk and to
protect the other men within the pirate operation. Scotty excitedly
says, "Then what are we waiting for? Let's find out who Mr. Big is!"
But Kirk tells them all to stay out of it lest they be incriminated
Later, Spock, Scotty and McCoy hold a meeting that lasts
into the night wherein Spock announces that he has volunteered the
Enterprise to test navigation equipment so that they can patrol the
iron rich asteroid belt at will. They surmise that while attention
is diverted by the court martial, illegal mining operations would
continue unabated. After using their "radi-lyzer" x-ray scanner to
examine various suspicious asteroids, they discover one which is
ultimately revealed to be a pirate ship. The pirate asteroid
disguised ship changes course and heads to ram the Enterprise. The
Federation starship moves to avoid the ramming bandit ship which
then takes off with the Enterprise in hot pursuit.
Back in the city where Starfleet Headquarters was
located, Kirk visits an old doctor friend of his, Dr. Dwayne Stiller,
who changes Kirk's appearance with cosmetic treatment in a
"electro-surgical" lab. Kirk's visage is soon transformed into that of a native of
the planet Drid.
In his new disguise, Kirk stages an accident
in an elevator so that he can cozy up to a woman who is secretary of
Vice Chairman Fado. He invites her to coffee with him.
Meanwhile, the Enterprise has just overtaken the pirate
ship when the starship crew notices the bandit launch a missile
toward the planet Kibo. On the hunch that the missile contains
evidence that the pirates are anxious to get rid of, the Enterprise
staff decide to go to Kibo to retrieve it. Kibo, Spock explains, is
a planet bathed in deadly high energy such that no living thing can
venture there and live. So Spock decides that he and McCoy should
use cerebots to get the possible evidence. Cerebots are robots which
contain recorded brain patterns of a person so that the cerebot
"becomes" them. Spock and McCoy are transferred into the two silver
behemoths and leave the sickbay while their flesh and blood bodies
are placed into stasis.
The disguised Captain Kirk has coffee with Vice Chairman Fado's
secretary and he learns that Fado is ambitious and intends on
ascending to the post of chairman by smashing the iron smuggling
ring and indicting Captain Kirk. Kirk also learns that the video
tape that incriminated him was supposedly filmed by accident by
amateur photographer Nuri Jakarz while on vacation.
Later, Kirk sneaks into Nuri Jakarz's home where he
quickly finds that Jakarz was a professional special effects
photographer. Kirk searches the abode further and finds two film
cartridges, one of Kirk and the other of smuggler Liji Bragg.
Clearly they were combined by Jakarz's expertise to form the video
evidence of Kirk's supposed meeting with Bragg. Just as Kirk makes
this discovery, Nuri Jakarz appears behind him and says, "Stop right
where are! There's a phaser pointed at your head, ready to burn your
Above the surface of the dangerous planet Kibo, the two
cerebots fly on jet packs after the missile that was fired by the
bandit ship. When it touches down, they quickly retrieve it and are
about to depart when one of the giant amorphous energy Dragons of
Ndora approaches them. The two phaser the beast repeatedly and
eventually destroy it, but not before the cerebot that McCoy was
inhabiting is blown up by a release of energy by one of the dragon's
tendrils. Spock grabs the head component of McCoy's cerebot and jets
off toward the Enterprise.
Back in the city, Kirk eventually convinces Nuri Jakarz
that he is a news reporter interested in doing a feature story on
him. Kirk leaves, and not a moment too soon, since his face reverts
to its normal appearance in the corridor. Just then, Vice Chairman
Hajara, who was lurking outside Jakarz's home, gets the drop on Kirk
with a phaser pistol. Kirk is lead back inside by the duplicitous
high official. Once inside, Kirk explains to Hajara and Jakarz,
"Your scheme worked well! You had me convinced that it was Vice
Chairman Fado who was framing me!" Hajara, still pointing the phaser
at Kirk, answers, "Of course! I couldn't afford to do it myself for
fear that the doctored tapes of you might be exposed!" Kirk
continues to unravel the intricate plot while stalling for time. He
confirms that Hajara promised a large sum of money to Bragg to
implicate Kirk. Also, if the doctored tapes were discovered, Fado
would be removed - paving the way for Hajara. With the plan exposed,
Hajara decides, "Precisely. Now I shall have to opt for Plan-B!
'Disgraced starship commander takes own life!'" Kirk chooses that
moment to push over a miniature underwater city special effects
model over - splashing water onto Hajara knocking him off balance.
Kirk then knocks him out by hurling the whole model on him.
Later, in the Supreme Council Hall, with Kirk, Hajara
and Fado present, the chairman pronounces, "--And the records
recovered by the starship crew tell the whole foul story! Your
disgrace is the disgrace of this council, Hajara! It will take much
to repair the public distrust you have sown!" Outside in the
hallway, Kirk thanks Spock and McCoy, "A great piece of work,
friends! I hope I never have to -- But I am ready to do the same for
you both one day!" Then, Spock, in an uncharacteristic touch of
sentimentality offers, "Though no lab test would show it, we are
Blood Brothers, Captain." Just then, Fado's pretty secretary comes
by, "I'm going to give you all day to apologize for that stunt you
pulled, Captain!" Kirk heads off with her and McCoy quips, "Yeah!
Sure! Brothers in blood! Chums to the end!" Spock adds, "Well then,
Doctor -- I guess there are some things even brothers don't
(Summary by Curt Danhauser)
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