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They found the crystallized remains of its crew.

The first piece of a puzzle was visible at once to Mr. Spock, a native of the planet Vulcan, whose powers of extrasensory perception were greater than those of his companions. He discovered two empty uniforms in the engineering section - empty save for some white crystalline powder. Dr. McCoy used a tri-corder for an analysis: "Without the 75% water in a human body, and gases such as nitrogen - that's what you have left: Potassium .35%, carbon .18%, phosphorous 1%, calcium 1.5% - three or four pounds of chemicals. Something has reduced the crew to that!"

A replay of the ship's last log entry revealed some virus had infected the ship. The four off the Enterprise reviewed the tape on Exeter's library-computer. "It's a contamination from Omega's surface," said Exeter's doctor. "A chance there's a kind of immunity on Omega. Get there fast and save yourselves. Captain Tracy is-"

His voice trailed off. Pain contorted his features. The doctor's death had been recorded on film.


  • The Viewmaster picture is virtually identical to this one, except taken from a position several feet to the right, so that you can see Spock in the foreground. There's no point using 3-D if you don't take advantage of depth perception, you know.

  • In the animated Star Trek episode Albatros, made in 1974, we learn that there's a thing called General Order 6, that requires a ship to self-destruct 24 hours after its last crewman has died, to avoid spreading disease. In the original series, the General Orders are known to have gone at least as high as 24. Clearly what happened is that after this debacle, Starfleet passed rules to prevent the same thing from happening again, and, to save face, gave the new rule a very low number in the General Orders, to make it look like they thought of it long before they really did. "Hey, it was there, honest! Those guys must have just screwed up."

  • Is it just me, or is there something funny about the way that Spock's powers of extrasensory perception are cited to explain the fact that he just stumbled across a couple of empty uniforms?

  • It's a total nitpick that I'm embarrassed to even mention, but it's highly unlikely that computer log entries would be stored on film. Kirk always made them by speaking into a tricorder or into the arm of his command chair. Never saw him smile for the camera while he was doing it.

  • I'm frankly amazed that they didn't put tri-corder in quotation marks.

  • This is some virus, huh? Apparently it dehydrates its victims to death and, not satisfied with that, keeps on dehydrating them after they're dead until they're reduced to piles of Epsom Salts-like crystals. Can you imagine the killer Star Trek themed Gatorade commercial that could have been made around this idea, if somebody had been on the ball?

  • Notice in the background, that the Enterprise's dedication plaque has been covered up, for fear that it might be spotted aboard the Exeter by a sharp-eyed viewer. They never let us have any fun.

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    by Graeme Cree