Choriocytosis - a nuisance to humans, fatal to Vulcans. When Spock is rushed to the sickbay after fainting on the Bridge, Mc Coy makes the dreaded diagnosis.The First Officer's only chance of survival is a rare drug - strobolin. Kirk pulls all the strings he can, but even then, the best he can arrange is to have the medicine delivered to them in three days' time - cutting it pretty close, considering how long the seriously ill Vulcan has left to live. While Spock's condition steadily worsens, the cargo ship that was to deliver the strobolin to Enterprise is ambushed by Orion pirates.With the game changed by the introduction of this new wild card, the Enterprise crew is forced into a desperate chase after the pirates. Pirates who have an even more desperate reaction to getting caught...
This episode provides examples of:
- Asteroid Thicket: The title opponents' ship flees into an asteroid field that consists of a large collection of rocks close together. There are so many asteroids that it's easy for the Orion ship to hide among them. What's more, the asteroids consist of a material that explodes upon contact with another asteroid or a ship.
- Badass in Distress: Spock. The plot is kicked off by his illness and a Race Against the Clock to get the rare medicine he needs.And while most of the action is happening, he is comatose in the sickbay (Just as well, considering how he would have protested the "illogical" risks Kirk was taking, had he been aware of it.).
- Cyanide Pill: The Orion captain tries to commit suicide, but two redshirts grab him and prevent it.
- Fainting: The tip-off that Spock is ill happens when he passes out on the bridge.
- He Knows Too Much: The Orions know they're caught, and the captain plans to blow his own ship and the Enterprise to pieces to protect the Orion image of "neutrality." Fortunately, Kirk and crew catches on to the plan.
- It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": "Orion" is pronounced "OH-ree-on".
- Trap Is the Only Option: Hints of this. McCoy and Scotty are suspicious when the Orion captain asks Kirk to beam down to an asteroid to get the medicine he and his crew stole. Kirk agrees that it's dangerous, but he also knows that "without it, Spock doesn't have a chance."
- You Won't Feel a Thing: Mc Coy should have known better than to try this on a Vulcan.McCoy: [about to give an injection] This won't hurt a bit, Spock.
Spock: An unnecessary assurance, doctor, in addition to being untrue.
McCoy: That's the last time I waste my bedside manner on a Vulcan.