Episode Title: "A TASTE OF ARMAGEDDON"
Production Number: 23
Original Air Date: 02-23-67
Stardates: 3192.1, 3192.5, 3193.0
The U.S.S. Enterprise is transporting United Federation of Planets Ambassador Robert Fox to star cluster NGC321, hoping to open diplomatic relations with civilizations there. Eminiar Seven, the principal planet in the star cluster, sends a Code 710 message, warning the Enterprise not to approach the planet, but Ambassador Fox orders the ship into the system, to establish a much-needed port in the region for Federation Central.
Captain Kirk beams down and meets Anan Seven, head of the High Council of the Eminian Union, who says that his planet has been at war for 500 years with Vendikar, the third planet in their system, which originally was settled by their people but is now an enemy.
Kirk learns that the war is fought by computer simulations instead of real weapons, and the people calculated as casualties voluntarily report to disintigration chambers to die, but the planets' culture and infrastructure survive. Since the Enterprise is in orbit, it becomes a target in the virtual war, and in the latest attack, the ship is listed destroyed by a tricobalt satellite explosion, and everyone on the Enterprise is ordered to beam down to the planet to be killed.
Kirk refuses to cooperate, and he destroys the planet's war computers, breaking the treaty that set up the simulated war, which means that a real interplanetary war is imminent. Faced with real destruction of their cities after centuries of virtual war, the Eminians are forced to negotiate with the Vendikans for peace. Ambassador Fox remains behind to mediate the peace negotiations, as
the U.S.S. Enterprise sets a course for Argana Two.
Factoid: Eminians have had space flight for several centuries, but they have never ventured outside their system. When first contacted by the U.S.S. Valiant more than 50 years ago, Eminiar Seven was at war with its neighboring planet, and the Valiant never returned from the mission.
Factoid: According to Lt. Commander Scott, the U.S.S. Enterprise cannot fire full phasers with its screens up, but it can fire photon torpedoes.
Factoid: Trova is an Eminian drink.
Factoid: General Order 24 directs the Enterprise to destroy all cities on a planet from orbit.
Dr. McCoy: "Me, I'm a doctor. If I were an officer of the line ..."
Guest Characters: Lt. DePaul, *Lt. Galloway, *Ambassador Robert Fox
Alien Races: *Eminians
KEY: [brackets]=illusions *star=first appearance