The Corbomite Maneuver: Blind Man’s Bluff

A random, glowing cube refuses to leave the Enterprise alone so Kirk shoots it. This prompts the exchange of threats between him and an alien who was really just testing the crew in search of a friend. The alien, Balok, refers to his alter-ego as the Hyde to his Jekyll but internet chatter says he’s more like the Wizard of Oz. Neither are quite right.

Jekyll & Hyde were two halves of one whole that could not get along peaceably. The Wizard was just trying to distract from the fact he was nothing more than a man. Balok has a kind heart, but felt he required a more forceful tact in order to elicit a desired set of results from others that would reveal their nature.

This is more in keeping with the premise of The Good Person of Szechwan. In Bertolt Brecht’s play a young woman has difficulty being kind to everyone without allowing them to abuse her & her kindness so she invents a male cousin. Playing the part of this cousin from time to time, she is finally able to get people to pay the money they owe her, but things get tricky for her after that as she plays the stern cousin more often than she plays her pushover self (I’ll leave the rest for you to discover on your own time).

Playing a god-like and territorial bully from time to time, Balok is able to glimpse the true colors of those he encounters. It is from his perspective, quesitoning the nature of Kirk and his crew on their approach, that I composed the following sonnet.

Say, what is he who goes with grace,
the lives of hundreds in his hands
by faith of value in his face
to do or die as he commands?
Will he be brave when all despairs?
Mock death like children making dares?
Upon a challenge turns he cruel
or mute or prattling as a fool?
The showing that is shown is shown
its due, the countenance as true
or false as warrants his debut.
See how he stands when he is known
and laurels martial recommend
against or for his peacetime trend.