Saturday, February 19, 2011

Issue Six: Who is...Enigma

Issue Six: Who is... Enigma?

Another single issue story spotlighting a shapshifter hell bent on doing very bad things.

Stardate 8173.5 The peace talks between Klingon and Federation have broken down.  Ambassador Robert Fox is tasked with traveling to the planet Babel (seen in TOS episode "Journey to Babel") to negotiate a new peace plan. Of course, the good ship Enterprise is chosen to be the vessel to carry him there and protect him throughout the talks.

You may remember Robert Fox from TOS episode "A Taste of Armageddon". A brief summary of that episode, courtesy of IMDB:
"On a mission to establish diplomatic relations, Kirk and Spock beam down to the planet to learn that its inhabitants have been at war with a neighboring planet for over 500 years. They can find no damage however and no evidence of destruction. They soon learn that the war is essentially a war game where each planet attacks the other in a computer simulation with the victims voluntarily surrendering themselves for execution after the fact. When the Enterprise becomes a victim of the computer simulation and ordered destroyed, Kirk decides it's time to show them exactly what war means." Written by garykmcd   

New crew members are beamed up with Ambassador Fox and we discover right away that one amongst them, temporarily posing as an Andorian, is an imposter.  Once the shape shifter is safely aboard the Enterprise it learns where Ambassador Fox is staying and quickly assumes the shape of the Chief of Security and pays Fox a visit.
The shape shifter quickly turns itself into a weird looking space octopus that Dr. McCoy refers to as a Rigellian Decapod that's been extinct for a hundred years.

Rigellian Decapod kicking Starfleet Ass.
The security squad fend off the shape shifting assailant but it quickly escapes leaving a very addled Ambassador Fox behind. Since Admiral Kirk doesn't remember any extinct species currently serving aboard the ship he correctly deduces that a shape shifter is aboard. Kirk orders that security check the ship top to bottom in pairs.  Meanwhile, Ambassador Fox discovers a computer tape that the shape shifter left behind.  The tape turns out to be some sort of  premature announcement from the Orion Victory League declaring the death of Ambassador Fox. We learn that the mysterious shape shifter is in fact Ambassador Fox's daughter, Trisha.  Fox withholds this information from Kirk.
Click the pic to learn more about Garth of Izar courtesy of wikipedia

Elsewhere, Admiral Kirk holds a meeting with his senior staff and alerts Starfleet Command that there has been an assassination attempt on the Ambassador. Starfleet fills him in on a mysterious Orion Victory League operative known only as Enigma who has mastered the art of total cellular metamorphoses as developed by the inhabitants of Antos IV. Kirk mentions that he's familiar with the ability, that someone whom he once admired had learned the technique. Of course, he was speaking of Garth of Izar (from TOS episode "Whom Gods Destroy").
Finally, the Enterprise arrives at Babel and Ambassador Fox prepares to beam down. Mr. Scott is at the controls but Kirk is wary so he challenges Scotty with a question designed to only be answered by the real Montgomery Scott. "Queen to Queen's level 3". Scotty can't give the proper reply ("Queen to King's Level One"). Enigma morphs into a bird and flies into the transporter beam, effectively beaming her to the surface. Ambassador Fox reacts to security shooting at the shapeshifter as she makes her escape. Fox almost says a name before recovering his composure.  Kirk catches this and suspects that Ambassador Fox knows full well who his assailant is. Unfortunately, there isn't time for a lengthy questioning session as Mr. Scott is missing and indications are that he's been poisoned by Enigma when she was in the form of a Dimorian Water Rat. Unless Mr. Scott is found in 24 hours the venom from the bite will kill him.
Fox is beamed down to the surface of the planet and talks begin. Enigma, in the form of a bird watches from a distance, just waiting for an opportunity to strike at her father.
Kirk is running out of time and options. He follows up on his suspicions about Fox withholding information from him.  He finds out that Fox's daughter has had problems with her father for years and left home to join the Orion Victory League. The Orions brain washed her and turned the rift between father and daughter into something twisted and murderous.
Kirk beams down to confront Fox about his daughter and tell him about a plan he has to capture her.
Kirk and company beam away the security force protecting Robert Fox. Trisha-Enigma-decides the time is right to attack her father. Just then Kirk and crew beam in to save Fox.  Kirk has the obligatory fight with Enigma that results in her turning first into a Gorn and then-predictably-into a doppelganger for Kirk. McCoy says that he's going to inject both Kirks with Retinax-5 (which we first learned Kirk was Allergic to in Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan) and that would out the imposter. Good Kirk says go for it while bad Kirk tries to make a hasty exit.  Duplicate Kirk is put down by a Vulcan nerve pinch executed by Saavik.
McCoy injects Enigma with some muscle relaxants so she can't change shape and a truth serum so that they can find where she hid Mr. Scott. Mr. Scott is saved in the nick of time and the Klingons praise Kirk's efforts. The peace process moves forward with the help of Ambassador Fox. The adventure ends with Kirk encouraging Fox to speak with his daughter and begin the long process of mending broken fences.
This was a breezy single issue story with loads of references to Treks past. The whole shape shifter assassin thing has been done to death but it's executed satisfactorily here.  I got a kick out of 50 something Kirk doing battle with another Gorn that he couldn't defeat in hand to hand combat when he was 30 something. haha.
 Two Tricorders out of four