Horton Heals a Horta
Kirk logs that a distress call from the pergium miners on Janus VI has brought them to "that long established colony." See, it will be important later that they are "long established" and not just "nouveau established." Spock, Bones, and Kirk beam down to meet with Head Jumpsuit, whose name happens to be Vanderberg. He must be Dutch. Kirk wants to know when "the monster" started killing people. "About three months ago, we opened up a new level. Sensors gave us an unusually rich pergium reading -- not only pergium but whatever you want: uranium, serium, platinum." What about fakeium? Kirk expositions that if mining conditions weren't so difficult, the planet could supply the mineral needs of a thousand planets. Vanderberg goes on that mining equipment started to disintegrate and disappear, but their chemists couldn't analyze the corrosive element. When they sent people to see to the corroded equipment, they were later found deep-fried. The most recent burnt offering happened two days ago. "I'd like to examine the body," Bones announces. Vanderberg readily agrees: "We kept it for you -- there isn't much left." Just enough for a light lunch. Bones leaves. "It isn't pretty," Vanderberg tells Kirk and Spock. Leftovers never are -- they just get jumbled into those tin foil swans. Although they don't use tin foil swans anymore, do they? Now it's all Chinese take-away boxes or Styrofoam. Restaurants used to be so much more creative.
Another Jumpsuit -- this one in lavender -- happens by and says he has seen it. "Describe it," Kirk orders. "I can't," Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly says, "I only got a glimpse of it, but it was big and shaggy." "And oddly enough, I was left with an intense craving for Papa John's," the Evil Dr. Mathra adds. Vanderberg says Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly shot it. "You mean, shot at it," Spock clarifies. "No," Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly says, all indignant, "I shot it. With this." He holds up his phaser. "A good, clean shot. Didn't even slow it down," Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly adds. Vanderberg says he's given his report and if the Federation wants pergium, they're going to have to do something about the monster. "That's why we're here, Mr. Vanderberg," Kirk says calmly. "You're all pretty tough, aren't you? With your starship and your phaserbanks," Lavender Blue Dilly Dilly snits. "Well, you can't get your starship into the tunnels." Dude, what's your major personality disorder? They're there to save you from the stuffed crust with cheese -- cool it. As Kirk tells Vanderberg all the stuff they need from him, Spock picks up a silver medicine ball from a stand on Vanderberg's desk. Testing the weight, Spock asks Vanderberg about the ball. Vanderberg tells him they found millions of the silicon nodules in the caverns: "They have no commercial value." He must keep it because it looks so pretty on his desk. "But it's a geological oddity to say the least -- pure silicon?" Spock wonders. "A few trace elements," Vanderberg says, before blustering that they didn't call Enterprise out there to collect rocks. Kirk assures Vanderberg they'll get the job done. Vanderberg tells him to be quick about it because he's got a quota to meet. He leaves. Spock has this great look on his face like, "What crawled up his butt and made spicy marinara sauce?"