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Summary

Aboard the sailing ship Enai-ra, Admiral Deyin Kaiyel-Ned leads her Yemai merchant fleet toward the Ilaiyen Archipelago on the planet Sigma Niobe II. Also aboard is an Enterprise landing party consisting of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Lieutenant Theresa Errgang from Archaeology and Anthropology, and Security Lieutenant Jerome Chaane, disguised as natives of the planet. Deyin plans to present her crew to the Ilaiyenai as traders, concealing their interest in the archipelago's rumored healing powers. Parties from the Enai-ra row ashore in canoes. The natives confirm that they have no sick people, but are uninterested in trading with the Yemai. Captain Nohin Yiamed-Ba and her crewmen attempt to intimidate the islanders by firing rifles at them, and a battle ensues. Kirk and the others swim to shore and help the wounded. McCoy discovers that an injured woman is an android, which the other Ilaiyenai are not.

The android was being controlled from a bunker by Glysinek, a member of the Redheri Trade Consortium. The Redheri are non-humanoid aliens who use android telepresence probes to interact with other species, slowly preparing them for contact by introducing the idea of alien life into their cultures. Two other Redheri, Nerrieb and Hudalliuc, approach the Enterprise party with their robot bodies, and Nerrieb explains their presence. Kirk accuses them of manipulating the Ilaiyenai's culture and threatens to have the Federation protect the planet from the Consortium. When other islanders arrive, Nerrieb accuses Kirk's group of killing the "dead" woman.

Damala, the island matriarch, arrives with the Ilaiyenai who were killed in the battle but have come back to life. She reveals that her people have advanced nanotechnology given to them by aliens who have traded openly with them for a thousand years. The nanites heal illness and injuries and allow the islanders to communicate with their alien benefactors. Damala uses the nanites to melt the weapons carried by the Yemai and the Starfleet officers and tells all three groups of visitors to leave.

The landing party beams back up to the Enterprise. The colony of the Coalescence observing events from inside Errgang disperses itself, the Coalescence's whole having decided that the peoples of the Federation are still too attached to the concept of self for contact with its group mind. Chaane, who is from the future, reflects that the Coalescence will come into open contact with the Federation sooner than it thinks.

References

Characters

Jerome ChaaneDamalaTheresa Errgang (Teyar Risar-Gan) • GlysinekHudalliucIsinakiDeyin Kaiyel-NedJames T. Kirk (Jeyam Tybris-Kir) • Leonard McCoy (Leyan Ardem-Koi) • NerriebSpock (Seyar Mandas-Pok) • YansletNohin Yiamed-Ba
Referenced only
Ronald Tracey

Starships and vehicles

Enai-raUSS Enterprise

Locations

Ilaiyen ArchipelagoImperial MuseumOmega IVReihairemSigma Niobe II (Sigma Niobe)

Races and cultures

HumanNiobean (IlaiyenaiYemai) • RedheriVulcan
Referenced only
Unnamed races and cultures

States and organizations

CoalescenceRedheri Trade ConsortiumYemai Empire

Other references

A & A officerandroidAndronesian encephalitisAyem-Sud wineheliographic codekitemanPrime DirectiveFederation protectoratesweetfruitmacroscopicnanitenanotechnologytelepresencewoomera

Appendices

Connections

Annotations

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Chaotic Response
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See No Evil
chronological order
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Assignment: Eternity
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Mind-Sifter
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