Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
Part 3: Talin chapter 11
We’re very close to the end, and barring the usual life issues we may finish this by some time in February, which is only a feat because this is a weekly feature. Last time we learned one of our guest characters wasn’t so much a traitor as much as a self-interested twit who had an agenda in being silent. And look what happened. It was the closest thing we had to an actual Prime Directive discussion and it was all about “I want to meet the people noooooooooowwwwwwww!!!!! I wanna I wanna I wanna”.
I’m hoping this chapter we’ll get down to the investigating and find out if this is one of the show’s usual baddies, some new baddie, or someone who hadn’t planned on being the villain and kind of fell into it. I’m guessing the middle one, probably someone who cared more about their goals than the planet and “blow everything to blazes” wasn’t the actual game plan. Or maybe it was. Let’s see if we find out.
There really isn’t a lot to analyze in this one. I’m not complaining, mind you. The chapter itself does its job well enough, though we do get more questions than answers. Kirk, Uhura, Spock, and McCoy beam onto the moon and find worker drone aliens that seems to have evolved to live in space despite needing air, and communicate though short-distance radio signals. They “feed” off of sunlight but they’re insect based rather than plant based lifeforms. Even the shuttles seem to be living beings. It’s frankly an interesting alien concept. We don’t know who “The One” is that the “Many” work for but one does give them coordinates.
Since they operate on a form of hive mind, kind of like the Borg, I find it easy to believe that so long as they aren’t blocking their light, and thus their food, they aren’t giving the “strange life” that much attention because they have a one track mind. Kirk falls in their path and becomes part of the mental map. I am curious about the disassembly of one to repair the other like a machine, though the tricorders seems to be indicating they’re not mechanical, technorganic, or even cybernetic beings. The drones and the “shuttles” are biological with some kind of natural carapace to survive in space and living off of solar radiation. Spock explains how they were able to receive signals from the planet and to manipulate machinery. So there was thought put into these creatures.
There are some oddities here though. I don’t buy the explanation that they somehow started using the Talin language just because they can pick it up, and Spock’s explanation of how they manipulated the satellites and possibly things on the planet doesn’t excuse the fact that in order to know what to go after and why it would still require more intelligence than we’ve seen from this hive mentality. Did this “One” give then instructions? In the case of the language it feels more like the writers were trying to speed things up rather than returning to the base for the translator to work on it, but that was also their idea. They were the ones who set up Spock saying the translator needed time only for them to immediately work because they were speaking Talin for whatever reason.
Overall the new aliens are interesting and I’m curious who their, for lack of a better term, leader is. I’m guessing the answer will come next chapter because we don’t have many left.