Thanks everyone for providing feedback. At this moment there is just one issue I'd like to get out of the way before it derails this thread:
From the opening dialogue in "A Piece of the Action" we can safely conclude that the Horizon did
land on Sigma Iotia one hundred years earlier:
OXMYX [OC]: Hello, Captain. You're from the same outfit as the Horizon?
KIRK: Yes. Unfortunately, the Horizon was lost with all hands shortly after leaving your planet. We only received her radio report last month.
OXMYX [OC]: Last month? What are you talking about? The Horizon left here a hundred years ago.
KIRK: Difficult to explain. We received a report a hundred years late because it was sent by conventional radio. Your system is on the outer reaches of the galaxy. They didn't have subspace communication in those days.
OXMYX [OC]: Toward the edge of what?
KIRK: I'll explain it in more detail when I see him. The ship won't land
, but we'll transport several people down. Well, that's a little difficult for you to understand, too. I'll explain it in more detail when I see you. Where will be convenient?
Kirk is preparing the second visit of the Federation on Sigma Iotia. He knows how the Horizon
(or a sister ship) conducted First Contact business a century earlier and deals with the expectations of his contact, based (naturally) on the First Contact experience with the crew of the Horizon.
To tell Oxmyx not
to expect the ship to land (or a part of it the Horizon
crew might have referred to as "ship") clearly indicates that the entire Horizon
(or its spherical section) did
land on Sigma Iotia (and they didn't use transporter technology, obviously).
It's also ironic, that the lack of a visible ship having landed, makes the Iotians suspicious whether Kirk and officers are truly from outer space or merely (domestic) imposters! Apparently they didn't have these suspicions with the crew of the Horizon -
because they saw the ship (or a part of it) having landed on their planet.