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A Piece of the Action

Essay by review  •  March 7, 2011  •  Essay  •  943 Words (4 Pages)  •  780 Views

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The crew of the Enterprise attempts to make contact with the inhabitants of planet Sigma Iotia II, and Uhura puts Kirk in communication with Boss Oxmyx. The intelligent and imitative inhabitants of Sigma Iotia II have built a culture around the book Chicago Mobs of the Twenties (published in 1992) which was accidentally left behind a hundred years ago by the S.S. Horizon. The Horizon was subsequently lost in space, and its report only reached the Federation one month previously because it was sent by conventional radio instead of sub-space communication. At the time of the Horizon's visit, the noninterference directive was not in effect, so Kirk, McCoy, and Spock wonder what sort of "contamination" they will encounter when they beam down to the agreed upon rendezvous point: a street intersection next to a yellow fire hydrant. Upon arriving, they are held at gunpoint ("heater"-point) by Oxmyx's men (including Kalo), but are taken safely to the "Boss" after a machine gun attack by rival boss Krako.

Oxmyx reports that there are a dozen or so Bosses across the planet, each controlling his own "territory" (plus assorted small fry). He asks Kirk to supply him with weapons so that he can take over the planet, and becomes upset when Kirk tells him that this is impossible. Oxmyx has his men escort Kirk and his party to a warehouse and hold them prisoner, then uses Kirk's communicator to demand that Scott beam down a supply of phasers within 8 hours or he will "burn" the landing party. Kirk wrangles his way out of imprisonment by pretending to teach the Ioshans the card game "Fizzbin." Fizzbin is purported to originate on the planet Beta Antares 4, and is played by dealing each player six cards (except the player on the dealer's right, who gets 7). A second card is turned up, except on Tuesdays. Two Jacks are a half-Fizzbin, but any player with three Jacks is said to have a "shralk," and is disqualified. There are a number of additional rules, and when Kirk asks Spock the odds of getting a Royal Fizzbin, Spock replies, "I have never computed them." Having thus distracted the guards, Kirk and Spock overpower them. Kirk instructs Spock and McCoy to use the radio station to contact Scotty and beam back to the Enterprise. Unfortunately, as soon as Kirk leaves the warehouse, he is kidnapped by some of Krako's men.

Jojo Krako, who is Boss of the southside territory, also wants heaters and instruction on how to use them, and offers Kirk one third of the proceeds of their use. He is not amused when Kirk suggests a sit-down conference to discuss planet-wide unification, and has his men notify Serl the Knife that he may have a job. Oxmyx learns about Kirk's capture, and contacts the Enterprise. By promising a truce, he gets McCoy and Spock to agree to beam down to discuss how Kirk can be freed. Before beaming down, however, Spock instructs Scotty to set the ship's phasers on wide dispersion stun for the region surrounding their beam-down point. As Spock suspected, he and McCoy are immediately taken prisoner. However, Kirk has been able to escape from his prison cell by pretending to be hurt, then subduing his guards. He makes his way back to Oxmyx's office and frees Spock and McCoy. He also forces two of Oxmyx's men to exchange clothes with himself and Spock, and the

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