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The Lights of Zetar - Recap

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The Enterprise is traveling to Memory Alpha, the Federation master library, to deliver newly designed equipment to Memory Alpha. The officer in charge of the equipment is Lt. Mira Romaine, who has become romantically involved with Scotty. As they approach the planet, they detect an unidentified storm that is heading past them toward Memory Alpha. It closes in on the Enterprise and strikes through the ship. The entire bridge crew seemed paralyzed, while Lt. Romaine collapses, her eyes glowing with the reflected energy of the storm. The storm moves off and everyone recovers except Mira. She speaks in a strange garbled alien tongue and then wakes up. McCoy takes her to Sickbay and Scotty insists on going along. The rests of the crew compare notes and determines that each one suffered some form of voluntary muscular paralysis of the throat, eyes, or hands. Spock and Kirk have no choice but to believe they were under some kind of attack.


When a man of Scotty's years falls in love, the loneliness of his life is suddenly revealed to him. His whole heart once throbbed only to the ship's engines. He could talk only to the ship. Now he can see nothing but the woman


Scotty tries to comfort Lt. Romaine in Sickbay, but she is increasingly angry with McCoy, believing there's nothing wrong with her. Meanwhile, the Enterprise sensors detect the storm approaching Memory Alpha at high warp speed. The facility has no defenses, as its knowledge is open to anyone. They arrive just as the storm departs, and are unable to hail the planet or detect any life signs. Kirk orders a landing party of himself, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty to beam down. As they depart, Lt. Romaine goes into a trance and sees a dead Tellarite crewman on Memory Alpha, surrounded by other corpses.


This getting used to space travel, that takes some doing. And not everybody takes to it.
Did you?
Oh, well, me, that's different. I was practically born to it.


The landing party beams down and determines that everyone on the planet is dead. Spock examines the computers and learns that the memory core has been irretrievably destroyed. They find one surviving technician who, although dying, gives off the same garbled alien noises that Lt. Romaine did on the bridge. The technician's face goes through a series of color shifts and she dies, and Kirk has lt. Romaine beam down. McCoy does a medical scan and determines that the technician's brain was almost entirely wiped, and the rest of the staff died when selective areas of the brain were targeted and destroyed. Lt. Romaine arrives and sees a dead Tellarite: the same one from her earlier vision. She says they have to leave, that the storm is coming back. Spock disagrees with her, noting that it was clearly departing, but the Enterprise signals to let them know they've detected the storm returning at high speed. They beam back up but Lt. Romaine is caught in transit and Scotty just manages to bring her out of it. They head out at high speed but the storm moves in pursuit.


What did she die of?
Severe brain hemorrhaging due to distortion of all neural systems, dissolution of autonomic nervous system.
All basic personality factors, Captain.
The attack was thorough.


Spock confirms that, despite the fact the "storm" is scrambling their senses, it is no natural phenomena. They can't outrun or evade it, and Spock finally determines that the "storm" approaching them is a gestalt of living beings. Kirk tries to contact it and warn it that its presence is lethal, but the gestalt continues to close in. in Engineering with Scotty, Lt. Romaine can sense the creatures' presence. When Kirk reluctantly orders phaser fire on the gestalt, it seriously injures them. However, at the same time, Lt. Romaine collapses in pain and Scotty lets Kirk know what's happening, and that another shot could easily kill her.


When you fired the phasers, she crumpled. Another shot and you'll kill her!


Spock says their only remaining option is to find an environment deadly to the gestalt that poses no threat to Lt. Romaine. Kirk orders the Enterprise to take evasive action while he calls a conference. McCoy discusses her medical history, including a tendency toward pliability. He shows them a scan of her brain patterns from after the gestalt's arrival and Spock determines that they are the same as the sensor scans of the gestalt. He believes that the gestalt is merging its consciousness to hers. Scotty notes that Lt. Romaine has been having visions from the gestalt's point of view, and one other vision: Scotty, dead. He tries to reassure her as the gestalt finally catches up to the Enterprise and passes through its shields.


Comparison tape D's brain circuitry patterns of Lt. Mira Romaine and tape H, brain circuitry patterns of alien life unit, identical. Identical.


Kirk comes up with a plan and they take Lt. Romaine to Sickbay as the gestalt moves through the ship. Kirk tells her that she has to let the gestalt in so they can communicate with it, but try to hold on to her own personality. They get to the decompression chamber in Sickbay just as the gestalt arrives and enters Lt. Romaine's body. She collapses and Kirk tries to speak with the gestalt. It informs them that they are the last one hundred survivors of Zetar, a planet that was destroyed in a nova. They were preparing to evacuate when a final disaster struck them down, but the force of their will lived on. They have spent millennia seeking a compatible body to merge with and have found it with Lt. Romaine. They aren't interested in murdering but assert that anyone who resists them during their quest will die. Kirk refuses to let Lt. Romaine die so they can live, while Mira slowly weakens in her struggle against possession.


Mira will not kill me.


McCoy warns that the Zetar gestalt will destroy them if they try and move Lt. Romaine into the decompression chamber. Scotty takes the chance, believing she won't let the Zetarians hurt her. He manages to get her inside although the Zetarians strike back, only stunning him. McCoy then starts increasing the pressure in the chamber, hoping to destroy them before the pressure kills Lt. Romaine. As they watch, McCoy increases the pressure until finally the Zetarians are first driven out and then killed.


The Zetars are growing stronger. The weightless state has become their natural condition.


Scotty stands watch over Lt. Romaine as they slowly decompress her, while Kirk, McCoy and Spock conference. McCoy and Spock agree that Lt. Romaine should be much improved by the experience in the long run, and Spock is even forced to concede that Scotty's human emotion of love may play some part in her battle against the gestalt. They agree that Lt. Romaine should return to duty and Kirk calls Scotty, who agrees with them. As they head back for Memory Alpha so Lt. Romaine can repair the systems, Kirk is amused to note this is the first time all of them are on agreement on a topic.


Do I take it both of you agree that Lt. Romaine need not return to star base for treatment?
I think work would be a better therapy.
Logical.



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Warning: Star Trek season 3 episode 18 guide may contain spoilers
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