“Captain’s Log, Stardate 2, 17, 22, 8, 7, first supplementary 19, second supplementary 32: We have just beamed down some supplies to the penal colony on Tantalus. As you may or may not know, the Tantalus V penal colony is run by Dr. Adams, a man who has revolutionized the penal system through some secret way that no one knows about, and no one really cares either. I personally think the man’s a god, but Dr. McCoy has chosen to disagree with me, giving him some much-needed screen time.”
“Dr. Adams has done some of the best things for penal colonies.” Kirk explained as he lounged in the command chair. “When I first went to a penal colony, it was a mess. And I completely misunderstood what a penal colony was. I thought... well never mind that. Anyway, now they’re less like penile colonies and more like resorts! With metal bars. And the people there can’t leave. But they really are quite nice.”
McCoy glared slightly. “A gilded cage is still a cage, Jim!”
“And a baseball bat still hurts like hell, Doctor.” Kirk said warningly.
“Oh of course, don’t get me wrong.” McCoy quickly agreed, taking a step away from the command chair. “They are very nice penal colonies. And I think you can see how a person like me could make such a mistake...”
“Captain, we’ve just received a report from transporter room 2.” Uhura reported, just as Kirk was raising his bat. “It says that they have found Crewman Anonymous unconscious and in his underwear.”
“I like his method of thinking!” Kirk said proudly. “That boy’s going to go far!”
“Currently reviewing ship’s event log.” Spock said. “There are no reports of any unscheduled wild parties. It seems that Crewman Anonymous did it to himself.”
Kirk could feel his voice start to tighten with pride. “That’s my boy!”
“Captain, I’m receiving an incoming transmission.” Uhura said suddenly.
“If it’s those carpet cleaners again, tell them we aren’t interested!” Kirk ordered.
“It’s Dr. Adams!” Uhura continued. “He’s requesting to speak with you!”
“Hello, Captain Kirk, this is Dr. Adams.” The message came through. “It seems that one of our prisoners have escaped, and he could be aboard your ship!”
At that moment, the turbolift door opened, and a man with a phaser, dressed in an engineer’s uniform stepped out.
“I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation.” He commented, putting away his listening equipment. “My... my name is...” He stopped for a moment, and seemed to be in pain. “My... name is... Van Gah!!!” He started gasping for breath.
“Captain’s log, ceder brown: We have found no reference to Vengah in any of the records anywhere, so he is confined to sickbay. In an effort to make the episode a little longer, McCoy has demanded that I beam down to the penal colony and have a bit of a look around. I of course refused, and threatened to let my friend the bat have a little talk with him, but when he offered to send down a good-looking girl with me, we reached an agreement. Spock has decided to merge with Vengah’s mind. I have no idea what this is, but if Spock so much looks at me funny in the future, I’ll make him regret it.”
Spock closed his eyes and concentrated. “This could be potentially dangerous to you, Doctor.” He commented.
“How?” McCoy asked.
“Because this scene does not essentially involve you. Your screentime in the episode is virtually over.” Spock answered.
McCoy steeled himself bravely. “That’s a risk I’m willing to take.”
Three hours later, Spock pulled his fingers away from Van Gelder’s head. “A most informative session, Dr. Van Gelder. Although giving us the location of your spare house key was a little excessive. Captain Kirk must be saved immediately from certain death!”
(really dramatic music)
“Did you say certain death!!??” McCoy ejaculated.
“Yes.” Spock answered calmly. “Certain death. It seems that Dr. Adams has been using a neural neutralizer he’s created to plant thoughts into the prisoners minds.”
(even more really dramatic music)
“Did you say that Dr. Adams has been using a neural neutralizer he’s created to plant thoughts into the prisoners minds!!??” McCoy yelled.
“That is exactly what I said.” Spock agreed. “Now if you kindly step away from the piano and stop playing that dramatic music...”
McCoy stepped away from the piano. “So is that what happened to Van Gelder here?” He asked. “Adams used the neural neutralizer on him?”
“No.” Spock answered. “This condition is common in anyone who has watched as many episodes of I Love Lucy as Van Gelder has.”
Meanwhile... down on the planet...
Dr. Adams smiled his accommodating host smile. “Now, Captain Kirk, for dinner! If you would just like to sit down in the chair at the end of the table there...”
“Of course.” Kirk answered, placing his baseball bat on the ground next to him.
“The clamps on your arms and legs are just a safety precaution.” Adams explained.
“This somehow doesn’t feel quite right...” Kirk commented.
Adams laughed an unkind chuckle. “That is the idea. Now I will unleash the full power of the neural neutralizer on you!” He walked over and pushed a few switches on the wall. “Listen carefully, Kirk.”
Kirk listened. “You barbaric bastard!” He yelled. “That’s elevator music!”
“Exactly.” Adams agreed. “The same kind that was responsible for half the suicides in the mid-twenty-first century.”
Kirk tried in vain to reach his baseball bat.
“It gets even worse.” Adams continued with an evil grin. He hit another switch, and coloured lights began to flash. “Disco lights and elevator music. And they will continue until you do everything I command! Thus is the terrible reality of the neural neutralizer.”
“Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Kirk yelled.
Half a minute later...
“I’ll do whatever you want!!!!!!!!!” Kirk yelled.
“Repeat after me!” Adams ordered. “You love Helen Noel!”
“Helen Noel?” Kirk asked. “Is that the babe I beamed down with? I was looking for an excuse...”
Adams turned the elevator music up to full strength.
“I love Helen Noel, I love Helen Noel!!!” Kirk babbled with tears.
“You love wearing underpants on your head!!” Adams ordered. “To not wear underpants on your head will cause you pain!”
“To not wear underpants on my head will cause me pain!!” Kirk agreed enthusiastically.
“As much as I enjoy seeing Captain Kirk squirm, let him go.” Spock ordered. He pointed a phaser at Adams.
“Spock!” Kirk exclaimed. “And Bones! But... how did you get here?!”
“That’s on a need-to-know basis, Captain.” Spock explained. “But if it makes you feel better, the writer doesn’t have the faintest idea either.”
McCoy released Kirk from the chair, and the captain immediately grabbed his baseball bat. “Well Adams? Care to explain anything at all?”
Adams gasped suddenly and fell forward, hitting the ground hard.
“Adams!!” Kirk demanded. “At least look at me when I’m talking, you’re not even listening!”
McCoy knelt down and checked Adams’ pulse. “He’s dead, Jim.”
“His mind.” Kirk commented. “Wiped blank by this ‘thing’ he created. The irritating disco lights. The maddening elevator music. Look at what it has done to him.”
“Actually Captain, I think his death had more to do with the phaser blast in his back.” Spock commented.
“Or the phaser blast in his back.” Kirk continued. “That was my second guess, yeah.”
“Captain’s Log, Stardate... I’m not exactly sure. Spock can put it in later: The identity of the killer of Dr. Adams still remains a mystery, and I have only just realised that I couldn’t really care. One other thing, I’m enforcing a new ship rule which I’m sure will increase morale and put an end to my pain. All crew members must wear underpants on their heads!”