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(written from a Production point of view)
A gigantic eagle flies through space, alarming the crew of the Enterprise. When the bird moves to intercept, the starship takes evasive action. Acting without orders from Kirk, gunner crewman Willis fires, incapacitating the eagle. Realizing that the eagle is actually a spacecraft, Kirk leads a rescue team aboard a Space Bug to aid the eagle's crew.
When the Space Bug gets close enough, magnetic grapplers latch on and drag it aboard. A horde of birdmen surround the bug and start to drill into its hull. Kirk contacts Spock, still aboard the Enterprise, and has him fire on the eagle to distract the birdmen. As the aliens flee to attend their defense stations, Kirk and his crew torch through the grapplers, freeing the Space Bug.
As Kirk prepares to escape the eagle ship, a crowd of people, almost Human, surround the Space Bug. The landing party all volunteer to help the pitiful humanoids, and they begin evacuating them aboard the Bug. Among the evacuees, Kirk meets Takku of the Womata, who explains that the birdmen are the Agonites who loot and enslave worlds, destroying what they leave behind.
The Agonites return and resist Kirk's attempts to liberate the Womata people. Kirk calls for reinforcements, and two more Space Bug Pursuit craft arrive and overwhelm the Agonites. The Enterprise ferries the Womata people to a nearby planet and leaves them with food and weapons.
Returning to the ship, Kirk and crew discover a fleet of Agonite eagle ships approaching. They circle the planet, and Kirk boards a Space Bug Pursuit craft to try diplomacy, signaling with the universal call signs for a truce. Kirk is welcomed aboard by Roggaf from Agoni. Roggaf informs Kirk that Agoni is the galactic police station, the Agonites are criminal control guards, and that Takku is a dangerous criminal. When he learned that the Enterprise had fired on an eagle and freed the prisoners, Roggaf knew it was a misunderstanding and came to clear things up personally.
Kirk returns to the planet and tells Takku that he needs their help to fight the Agonites, and convinces him to give up their new weapons for upgrades. Takku realizes the deception, and attacks Kirk, rather than returning to captivity. Kirk shoots him down, and the Agonites retrieve their prisoners.
- "Star Date 48 12 46 - Orbiting Planetary body. Establishing a home for Agonite Prisoners..."
"Now what, Jim? That thing's bent on attacking us!"
- - Spock, uncharacteristically skittish
"I gave no orders to shoot the bird down!"
- - Kirk, reprimanding a presumptuous gunner
"But they tried to destroy us... Oh, what's the use... you'll always be a humanitarian!"
- - Spock, lamenting Kirk's decision
"Bursting novas! They're half men, half eagles!"
- - Kirk, already hatching a plan
- Sulu's position as navigator with the conspicuous absence of Arex and M'Ress on the bridge places the story between 2266 and 2269. Reading the stardate "24.12.17" as "2412.17" suggests a date of 2266, between "Balance of Terror" and "What Are Little Girls Made Of?".
- Spock is overly familiar with Kirk, calling him "Jim" throughout the story.
- The opening narration says that Kirk observes Galaxy T-21, but this does not necessarily mean that the Enterprise was within that galaxy at the time. It is much more likely that it was still in the Milky Way and they gazed at T-21 from afar.
- The Agonite spacecraft resemble the Golden Eagle and the Steppe Eagle.
- The bridge of the eagle ships appears to be in the crown of its head, with a view from behind its eyes.
- The rescue team volunteer to help the Womata people when they should not have had any choice but to follow their captain's orders anyway.
- The environmental suits are color-coded to match uniforms; the rescue team all have red suits.
- Kirk advises the rescuers to set up a "laser-ray position".
- Spock illogically wishes Kirk good luck on two occasions in this story.
- Kirk wears his EV helmet the entire time he is aboard the Agonite ship, implying that their atmosphere is not breathable for Humans.
None of the UK weekly stories had titles. Each installment was two pages in length.
- Part 1: Joe 90: Top Secret #31, 16 August 1969
- Part 2: Joe 90: Top Secret #32, 23 August 1969
- Part 3: Joe 90: Top Secret #33, 30 August 1969
- Part 4: Joe 90: Top Secret #34, 6 September 1969
- Hurst - 2nd appearance
- Roggaf - Agonite
- Takku - from Womata
- Willis - Enterprise gunner
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