The Truth Machine is a Star Trek: The Original Series young adult novel by Christopher Cerf and Sharon Lerner with illustrations by Jane Clark. It was one of four books published by Random House in 1977.
- Copyright page
- In an attempt to acquire the secret of Warp Drive to power their warships, the Armies of Fomalhaut V trick the crew of the Enterprise into "beaming down" to their planet.
- Captain's log, stardate 3198.4. Our mission is to explore this unknown part of the galaxy for Starfleet Command. We are putting the new planets we discover on our starmap…
Nyota Uhura picked up a distress call from Fomalhaut V and received images of people in a city being stampeded by dinosaurs. Although computer records showed there were no inhabitants on the planet, James T. Kirk couldn't ignore their pleas for help. He ordered the ship into orbit and beamed down with Spock and Leonard McCoy armed with phasers ready to repel the dinosaurs. However, they materialized in an empty desert — it was a trap. They were captured by Colonel Kragg of the rebel Armies of Fomalhaut.
At gunpoint, Kragg led the landing party underground into a cavern containing an enormous military base full of warships and inventions. Their army was intent on attacking the Federation and had all the tools they needed, except for the secret of warp drive. When Kirk wouldn't volunteer the information, Kragg gave him 15 minutes to choose a victim for a device that would extract the data. Spock suggested that he would be the one most likely to resist, so he was subjected to the truth machine.
Unfortunately, the machine was too powerful, and Spock not only described how dilithium was used to channel engine power, but he also drew up a set of schematics. Within days, a Fomalhaut warship was outfitted with a warp engine and moved to a launch pad. The ship powered up, then suddenly exploded. In the confusion, Spock used a Vulcan neck pinch on their guards and Kirk captured Kragg. They transported back to the Enterprise, put Kragg in the brig, and alerted Starfleet about the base.
Spock confessed that although he was compelled to tell the truth, he neglected to mention how to properly cut the dilithium crystals, and luckily, they never asked him.
- James T. Kirk • Kragg • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • unnamed Armies of Fomalhaut officers
- Referenced only
- Amanda Grayson • Sarek
Starships and vehiclesEdit
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
Science and technologyEdit
- communicator • computer • engine • gun • library computer • microphone • phaser • projector box • radio • stun • transporter • truth machine • viewscreen • warp drive • weapon
Ranks and titlesEdit
- captain • chief engineer • chief medical officer • chief science officer • colonel • commander • commanding officer • communications officer • doctor • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • guard • lieutenant • major • officer • radio operator • sergeant • Starfleet ranks
- animal • army • beam • bridge • brig • cave • cavern • city • desert • dilithium • dinosaur • distress call • fleet • galaxy • glass • landing party • life • logic • metal • minute • morse code • planet • prison • ship's log • slavery • SOS • space • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • starship • transporter room • universe • Vulcan nerve pinch
- Amanda Grayson and Sarek were referred to, but not by name.
- While Kragg and the Armies of Fomalhaut built their hidden base on Fomalhaut V and named themselves after that star system, it was unclear if they had evolved on the fifth planet or colonized it.
- The last two pages of the book described the small constellation Great Square of Pegasus in detail for young readers as an aid to spotting the star Fomalhaut in Earth's night sky.
- The 1978 coloring book "War in Space" appeared to have adapted the page 7 image of Kirk speaking into a communicator while seated in his command chair, an unusual image since the chair had a built-in intercom. Likewise it may have adapted the image of Spock at his station from page 8, a unique image as it depicted the station in a non-canon configuration.
- Hikaru Sulu was seen from the back at the helm but had no dialogue.
- Montgomery Scott was misidentified as a lieutenant.
- TOS comic: "Revolt on Dak-Alpha" – In 2267, Kirk's landing party were lured to Dak-Alpha with a false message, captured, and brought underground into an enormous rebel military base.
- TOS episode: "Errand of Mercy" – In 2267, Commander Kor used a Klingon mind sifter on Spock to compel him to reveal the truth of his identity, but Spock was able to resist the device.
- TOS comic: "Year Four, Issue 2" – In 2269, Montgomery Scott allowed Sharday to install a poorly-cut dilithium crystal in engineering to prove her intention was to blow up the USS Enterprise.
Trillions of Trilligs
young adult novels)
The Prisoner of Vega
Christopher Cerf and Sharon Lerner
The Prisoner of Vega