In the book Star Trek: Mutiny on the Enterprise, the enterprise crew picks up a life form that they have never encountered from a planet they've never heard of. When she speaks, the crew has a strange magnetism to her that makes them believe she is correct.

In Chapter 4, both her and Zarv are allowed to "make their cases" for why/how they should either continue or discontinue their mission. Kirk and the enterprise crew (save Spock) are entranced by her words, yet, Zarv and his peace negotiators do not seem to be.

Donald Lorritson [One of Zarv's Peace negotiators] spoke rapidly to his superior, and they went into immediate conference. Mek Jokkor [Another PN] stood silently at one side, enjoying the radiance from the lamps more than anything else.

While this doesn't directly tell that Zarv and his PNs aren't affected, the fact that they go "into immediate conference" sounds like they are thinking of ways to counter Lorelei's arguments, meaning they weren't affected by her words.

Now, I would say they are just steadfast in their ways, but as the book tells, Lorelei has alien, almost super-human powers when it comes to persuasion, and even Spock can feel the pull of them:

"Captain, stop this now," urged Spock. "You are affected. Even I sense the potency of her words. What they are doing to the crew is incalculable."

We know from the book that Mek Jokkor is not Vulcan (which is my only thoughts on why Spock is unaffected), but it is possible that Zarv and Lorritson are. Would this be the only reason they are unaffected, or is there another possible reason?

2 Answers 2


You said:

We know from the book that Mek Jokkor is not Vulcan (which is my only thoughts on why Spock is unaffected), but it is possible that Zarv and Lorritson are.

Let me offer a few quotes from the book. Here's one showing Kirk's first impression of Zarv.

"Kirk?" demanded a short, piglike man. "When can we start for Ammdon? Time is of the essence in this urgent matter. We must not delay. Not an instant!"

"Ambassador Zarv," Kirk said. The Tellarite seemed an unlikely choice for negotiation of any type. He was brusque, rude and going out of his way to be obnoxious. "Welcome aboard the starship Enterprise."

So we see that Ambassador Zarv was neither human nor Vulcan; he was a Tellarite. I would hazard a guess that his species has brains which are simply "wired up differently," so that sonic manipulations which tend to work beautifully on humans (and likewise on typical members of several other humanoid-looking species) don't do a heck of a lot to affect Zarv's emotional condition. If he ever did feel some slight impulse to trust Lorelei and agree with everything she said, it wasn't anywhere near an "overwhelming" impulse, so he didn't have to worry about it.

That's in addition to his being a strong-minded fellow and an experienced diplomat -- i.e. he'd heard lots of charming voices, from lots of different species, usually saying lots of interesting things . . . without his being mesmerized by any of them.

And here's Kirk's first impression of Mek Jokkor:

“And the other member of our team is Mek Jokkor. Mek Jokkor’s an expert on agricultural products, especially those cultivated in the Orion Arm.” Kirk shook hands with Mek Jokkor, felt a slight stickiness when he pulled his hand away. “Mek Jokkor is not animal, such as we are, Captain. No DNA. He is more closely related to the plants of our world than he is to us.”

“You don’t speak?” Kirk asked, staring openly at the being. A tiny shake of a human-appearing head was all the answer he got.

In other words, Mek was more of "the vegetable kingdom" than "the animal kingdom." I presume that whatever his species uses as their rough equivalent of a "central nervous system" works very differently from those of any of the flesh-and-blood species who are particularly susceptible to the things Lorelei can do with her voice.

Incidentally, while I was rereading the first chapter of the novel, I noticed that Kirk's first impression of Donald Lorritson was that he appeared to be from Earth. (When I see a name like "Donald Lorritson," I would only be surprised if he didn't have terrestrial ancestry!) In Lorritson's case, I suspect that you were right about "steadfast in his ways" as the implied explanation for why Lorelei could not quickly persuade him that Zarv's mission was a fool's errand.

(Or, to phrase it a little differently, the writer obviously didn't want any member of Zarv's team, not even the human one, to rapidly defect to the other school of thought in response to Lorelei's speech -- so he simply made the tacit assumption that Lorritson must be exceptionally resistant to the lady's hypnotic voice. Having done so, he quickly kept the plot moving forward from there, instead of bothering to dwell on that little point and try to justify it with a detailed explanation for the reader.)

  • "No DNA." "He is more closely related to the plants of our world than he is to us.” Somebody didn't do their homework.
    – JAB
    Commented Sep 20, 2018 at 22:45
  • @JAB I'm no biologist, but I can imagine a situation where Mek's cells seemed to have more in common with those of Earth plants than with those of Earth animals -- even without his having DNA within each of his cells.
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 0:56
  • The flow of the text seems to be the person implying that the plant similarity is due to the lack of DNA, though.
    – JAB
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 2:27

I'm just reading this book right now, as it happens, and it does seem strange to me, particularly in the case of Lorritson, a human. Zarv is a Tellarite, and maybe their aggressive nature stops him being affected, but as all the humans on the Enterprise are, even Scott and McCoy, you'd think Lorritson would be.

  • Whoops, I meant Zarv!
    – user60283
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 18:18

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