|The Enterprise Murder Case|
Cover by Dave Cockrum & Klaus Janson
|Series:||The Original Series, No. 6|
|Writer(s):||Mike W. Barr|
|Omnibus:||Star Trek Omnibus, Volume 1|
- Captain's log stardate 7420.1: At last the Enterprise has established orbit in the crowded skies over the planet Yannid VI, and we can proceed with our mission... the transportation of Ambassador Phral to the treaty signing that will admit his planet to the Federation. Interplanetary diplomacy is a delicate matter and I have taken special precautions to insure that there are absolutely no slip-ups. However, a freak transporter malfunction may render all my precautions useless!
- Captain's log supplemental: If Ambassador Phral was alive when he left the planet, and dead when he reached the Enterprise, he must have been stabbed while in transit. Yet a transporter functions by separating its subjects into their component atoms and reassembling them elsewhere!
Kirk asks McCoy to perform an autopsy and Spock to investigate the death. McCoy, who is concerned that Kirk seems irritable, discovers that Phral has been dead for at least fifteen minutes, even though he beamed up five minutes ago. The computer tapes of Phral's arrival have been erased by an energy surge; when Spock reviews a tape of his beamup from the surface, he finds another discrepancy. Prince Storf and Princess Minax inform Kirk that their planet's agreement with the Federation is non-binding until their uncle's murder is explained. They demand the immediate return of his body and advise Kirk to recall his crew on shore leave, who may be in danger from rebels who want the planet to join the Klingon Empire. They reveal that Phral was formerly known as Prince Arlph, unsettling Kirk.
In a tavern on Yannid VI, Sulu, DiFalco and Chekov are confronted by rebel sympathizers who blame the Federation for Phral's murder. Other bar patrons defend the Federation, and a brawl ensues, with the three Enterprise officers joining in until they are signaled to beam up. As they dematerialize, one of the rebels who was injured in the fight says, "Just get me to Dr. Loroc..."
Admiral Fitzpatrick grants Kirk authority to handle the situation as he sees fit, but notices that Kirk seems edgy. Kirk finally tells Spock, McCoy and Sulu what has been bothering him. In flashback, he recalls how he visited Yannid VI as an ensign on the USS Republic. Rebels had murdered King Geror and taken his son, Prince Arlph, hostage. When Kirk led a landing party to rescue the Prince, his warning shot ricocheted and struck Arlph himself, putting him in a coma. Arlph's brother became king and cut off ties with the Federation, and when Arlph awoke years later, he blamed Kirk for his losing the throne. He changed his name and became an ambassador. After the king's death negotiations were reopened, but are now imperiled by Phral's death, for which Kirk appears responsible.
Spock theorizes that the murdered man was not Phral, who was seen alive at the time the victim died, but was a surgically altered duplicate. The body was not wearing a ring of great sentimental value to Phral. Spock suggests that the real Phral wishes to be thought dead and may be undergoing plastic surgery, leading Sulu to remember the mention of "Dr. Loroc". Kirk requests three native disguises from the quartermaster.
- Captain's log, stardate 7420.4 We are beaming down to the planet's surface, attempting to obtain information from "Dr. Loroc". Our disguises are serviceable... but not perfect!
Beaming down with Kirk and Spock, McCoy complains that the disguises leave their human hands visible. At Dr. Loroc's clinic, Spock nerve-pinches the man who meets them at the door. Dr. Loroc herself confronts them with a gun, but is shot from behind and killed. Kirk and Spock find three patients in a room at the end of the corridor, while McCoy is apprehended by Prince Storf, Princess Minax and a group of guards. They join Kirk, Spock and the three patients, one of whom, Kirk points out, must be Phral, who killed Dr. Loroc after she changed his appearance. Spock claims to have made a telepathic scan of the patients and to know which one is Phral. Spock explains that when Phral seemingly beamed aboard the Enterprise he was actually intercepted by a rebel vessel, while the body of the duplicate killed ten minutes earlier was beamed aboard the starship. The computer tapes were wiped by an energy surge fired from the planet. Phral wanted to humiliate Kirk and disappear with his personal fortune.
- Captain's log stardate 7421.1: The Federation has added a new member to its roster, and I have, at last, made amends for my earlier visit to Yannid VI! The Prince and Princess are returning to their planet, secure in the knowledge that they have the full support of the Federation, both in peace, and, should it become necessary – in war!
Spock tells Kirk and McCoy that his "telepathic scan" was merely a series of deductions; as McCoy puts it, he bluffed. The Enterprise warps away.
States and organizationsEdit
Ranks and titlesEdit
- admiral • ambassador • captain • doctor • ensign • heir apparent • king • prince • princess • quartermaster • science officer
Technology and weaponsEdit
- computer • hypospray • knife • phaser (phaser pistol • type-2 phaser) • starship • sword • transporter • transporter room • turbolift • warp factor • warp drive
- anagram • atom • autopsy • beer • bridge • captain's log • clinic • coma • criminal investigator • detective • diplomacy • emotion • energy surge • fencing • fiction • hostage • knock-out drug • landing party • law • logic • medical examiner • milk • mind meld • murder • mystery • nervous system • office • orbit • palace • peace • planet • plastic surgery • police • politics • prison • rebel • ring • royal family • shore leave • space • stardate • tavern • telepathy • treaty • vodka • Vulcan nerve pinch • war • warrior
- Kirk refers to Yannid VI as "Yannid IV" at one point.
- It's hard to believe that Sulu overhears the reference to "Dr. Loroc" while dematerializing several feet away.
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"Tomorrow or Yesterday"