Episode 76 – Cloud Minders


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In this episode of Trekking Through Compliance, we consider the episode The Cloud Miners, which aired on February 28, 1969, and occurred on Star Date 5818.4

When a botanical plague threatens to destroy all vegetation on the planet Merak II, the Enterprise visits Ardana, the only known source of the xenite mineral needed to halt the plague. Despite High Advisor Plasus's request that they beam to the cloud city Stratos, Kirk and Spock beam directly down to the xenite mine entrance, where they are lassooed by the xenite miners.

Kirk and Spock are entertained as guests on Stratos until the xenite can be found. Plasus' daughter Droxine is fascinated with Spock, but the city servant and secret Trogglyte leader Vanna has an interest of a different kind for Kirk: she attempts to take him hostage at mining-implement-point. And his forceful protests prompt Plasus to order their immediate departure from the city.

Back aboard the Enterprise, Kirk learns from McCoy that unprocessed xenite emits an odorless, invisible gas that temporarily diminishes mental ability and heightens emotions. Spock then realizes that the leaders of the disrupters have all been isolated from xenite emissions by their service aboard Stratos. Kirk proposes that the Trogglytes be supplied with xenite masks.

Once the effect of the gas has worn off, Kirk agrees to provide Vanna with masks and help the Trogglytes obtain equality in exchange for the xenite, despite the protests of Plasus. Kirk and Plasus drop charges against each other, and Kirk and Spock return to the Enterprise with xenite in hand.

Compliance Takeaways:

1. What is institutional justice?

2. What is institutional fairness?

3. How do you know your discipline is consistent?


Excruciatingly Detailed Plot Summary by Eric W. Weisstein


Memory Alpha

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