(This is part of my journey going checking out Star Trek 25th Anniversary. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
This time around it looks like we’ll be doing a Klingon episode! A bunch of the bumpy-heads have gotten into a frenzy over something happening on one of our worlds, so the Enterprise needs to figure it out before there’s a full-scale war. Again.
Taraz here says that they’re chasing a “genocidal criminal,” which if Klingon must mean that he’s their emperor or at least the head of the local PTA. He agrees to let Kirk track down the criminal and bring him to the Klingons within 12 hours. With that pressing time frame in mind, Kirk heads off for a long nap and a raquetball session with Christine Chapel. Finally, he beams down with 30 minutes left on the clock.
Naturally, the away team immediately bumps into good ol’ Quetzecoatl, because if Star Trek taught us anything, it’s that everything the Enterprise finds in the galaxy somehow relates to Earth and our history. Earth is number one! Earth is number one!
Miffed that Kirk isn’t fawning all over him (probably because he is not a nubile lady between the ages of 18 and 29 with a soft-gel filter over her face), the Aztec god banishes the crew to… a pit. Way to be imaginative, ancient deity. Kirk passes the time by — seriously — picking up a snake. I love how it sits all nonchalantly in his inventory, nestled between the tricorder and phasers. “I’ll be here when you need me!” the snake hisses.
This was a nice continuity touch — in the Star Trek universe, baseball fell out of popularity after 2042, although Sisko did his best to drag his crew into playing it and talking about it all of the time.
Kirk uses his trusty rocks to knock down some vines and climb out of the pit. The team then meets Q’s priest, who must have the most boring job in the world of standing in the middle of a jungle on an alien planet with a spear. Kirk shows him a snake and then — why not? — beans him twice with rocks. The priest falls unconscious and Kirk is subject to a wrongful injury and aggrivated assault lawsuit.
The away team arrives at Q’s home, which for the life of me looks like Yoda’s hut on Degobah. Anyway, Q is impressed that Kirk has overcome all of those significant obstacles, like… getting out of a pit, braining his guard, and scaring a swamp monster away with plants. Dude, you are one easy-to-impress god. Q also claims that the Aztec’s misunderstood his command for “self-sacrifice” as just plain ol’ “sacrifice.” So that’s some history for you.
Q asks McCoy to remove a gland from his neck that gives him his godlike powers. While the surgery is underway, the Klingons show up and demand that Q be taken to court for his crimes. Well, it turns out that those crimes were promoting a peaceful philosophy on a Klingon planet, after which the government killed all the Klingons rather than have them become hippies or somesuch. This local government overreached and now wants to cover up their crimes, using Q as a scapegoat.
At the trial, Kirk intervenes and asks for a warrior’s trial, which means that he (and the away team) have to overcome a test to prove their worth. Well, it’s really just there to get the killed, but Kirk ain’t having that.
Before too long, Kirk stumbles upon the AI of the planet (don’t all planets have these?) and turns the tables on the Klingons. Now THEY are on trial for the genocide, and Kirk beams back to the Enterprise as the guy in charge is executed. As for Q, he gets to go home and think about what he did.