is pursuing a cargo vessel which refuses to respond to their hails. They chase it into an asteroid field where its engines burn out and it starts to drift. To protect it from collision, Kirk has them extend the ship's shields, straining the lithium crystals. Spock and Scotty meet with McCoy in the transporter room and attempt to establish a transporter lock. The captain finally acknowledges their hail and they beam him over: it's a civilian who identifies himself as Leo Walsh.
Oh, the name, gentlemen, is Walsh, Captain Leo Walsh.
Walsh says that he has three crew left but had to find out if the Enterprise
was a hostile vessel or not. Scotty locks on to the three remaining crew just as the cargo vessel is destroyed. He manages to beam them over, further stressing the lithium crystals, and the two humans and even Spock are left to stare as three incredibly beautiful women materialize on the transporter platform.
Sure, these starships are really something marvelous, but men will always be men, no matter where they are.
leaves the asteroid belt and Spock escorts Walsh and his women to see the captain. Spock as a Vulcanian is mostly immune to their charms, but the rest of the male crew stare in awe as the women walk past. Kirk is equally impressed by the women but is furious with Walsh and doesn't believe his explanation that he fled what he belied was a hostile ship. Kirk has Walsh confined to quarters and convenes a ship's hearing.
You're a hard-nosed one, Captain.
And you're a liar. I think we both understand each other.
Scotty reports they only have one lithium crystal remaining and they will be soon down to battery power. The male crew are distracted by the women, who are at liberty to roam the ship. Walsh tells them not to lie but to refuse to submit to medical exams. It's clear that he's not who he claims as they almost slip and mention his real name.
That jackass Walsh not only wrecked his vessel, but in saving his ship…
That's one jackass we're going to see skinned.
The backup circuits are out and Spock suggests they proceed to the lithium mining colony on Rigel 12. As they head there, Kirk calls a hearing and uses the computer to determine that Walsh is lying and his real name is Harcourt Fenton Mudd. Mudd claims that he took Walsh's name as a commemoration when he died and then used his ship to transport the three women, Eve, Ruth, and Magda. He ha arranged for them to become mail-order brides, since they all come from isolated planets with no prospects. Eve defends their right to do so and Kirk decides to hand Mudd over to the legal authorities at the next opportunity. The last crystal burns out and Mudd realizes what's happening. He boasts that now the women can marry miners and he'll be able to buy the Enterprise
with the money from the sale.
No decipherable reading on females. However, unusual reading on male board members. Detecting high respiration patterns, perspiration rates up, heartbeat rapid, blood pressure higher than normal.
The three women roam the ship and Ruth ends up in Sickbay. McCoy is puzzled by the fact that her body is causing the monitors to react oddly. She's more interested and learning that the miners on Rigel 12 are healthy. Magda flirts with Farrell and gets a communicator. Eve goes to Kirk's quarters, saying she's there to escape all the men staring at her. She starts to kiss him but then says she can't go through with it and abruptly leaves. She goes to Mudd's cabin, looking aged and decrepit and saying it must be close to "the time."
Hmm! I read once that a commander has to act like a paragon of virtue. I never met a paragon.
Neither have I.
Well, of course not. No one is. But some people try to pretend.
Kirk is snapping at the crew at they start showing slower reactions as they're distracted by the women. McCoy admits that the women refused a medical scan but he can't find anything wrong with them. Kirk wonders if their aliens projecting some kind of illusion but McCoy somewhat confusingly figures that they must be legitimate or Ruth wouldn't have caused his medical scanners to bleep.
No... an alien smart enough to pull this could also keep my medical scanner from going "bleep!"
I don't follow you.
I don't either.
arrives at Rigel 12 and Mudd contacts the miners using the communicator that Magda stole. Chief miner Ben Childress and Herm Gossett beam aboard. Mudd then starts searching his quarters looking for pills. Eve is looking worse and Magda and Ruth are turning into wrinkled hags as well. Mudd finally locates the pills and Ruth and Magda immediately take them and revert to their beautiful selves. Eve is reluctant to take one but Mudd convinces her to go ahead and take the drug and she turns into her beautiful self as well.
Go on, Eve. Take it. It's not a cheat. It's a miracle... for some man who can appreciate it and who needs it.
Kirk meet with Childress who refuses to deal with the captain for money. Instead he insists that they turn over the women and release Mudd. Kirk threatens Childress with the removal of Federation support, but the miner is quickly swayed when Mudd arrives with the women, who use their charms to convince him to stick by his demands as the ship shifts to battery power with only three hours of life support remaining. Later, Kirk, Spock, and Mudd beam down and Kirk is forced to concede. However, the women are already on the planet with the three miners and Childress tells Kirk to wait until later, noting the lithium crystals are hidden where they'll never find them. Eve is starting to age again and Childress approaches one of the other women. A fight breaks out between the miners and Eve runs out into the storm, angry that they're fighting over her. Kirk and Childress go after her but Kirk is forced to beam back up when he can't locate her in the dust storm.
Why don't you run a raffle and the loser gets me?
As the Enterprise
scans the planet from orbit with little success due to the magnetic storms, Childress finds Eve in the storm and brings her back to his personal quarters. The Enterprise
detects the heat readings from his stove as Eve prepares a meal in return for him while he sleeps. When he wakes up he's less than thrilled at the fact that her looks are fading and she's becoming increasingly shrewish. He angrily demands an explanation as Kirk and Mudd arrives. Kirk explains that Mudd has been giving the women a Venus Drug that temporarily enhances the women, making them more... feminine. It turns out that the two other miners have gotten married over subspace radio but as it's a fraud, they can get the marriages annulled if they want. Eve asks if Childress wants a wife to share his life with, or a beautiful obedient servant. She takes the Venus Drug and reverts to her beautiful self... but Kirk reveals that he substituted a gelatin substitute for the Venus Drug. Eve has transformed herself. Childress gives Kirk the crystals and suggests that she stay for a while and she agrees. Kirk leaves with Mudd, who tries unsuccessfully to get his sentence commuted to being abandoned on the planet. Back on board, Spock is relieved that the whole emotional episode is done with.
But I will appear as a character witness at your trial... if you think that'll help.
They'll throw away the key.