“The Slaver Weapon” (Dec. 15, 1973) Dorothy Fontana was a big fan of Larry Niven and when TAS was getting off the ground she invited him to submit a story. Subsequently Niven adapted one of his own original stories, “The Soft Weapon,” into one of TAS’ and Star Trek’s most interesting stories. And in it he introduces one of his creations, the ferocious and warlike Kzin into the Trek universe. In Trek they’re known as the Kzinti. One of the truly interesting features of this episode is that only three of the familiar Enterprise crew are present throughout the story. Spock, Uhura and Sulu are aboard a shuttlecraft transporting an ancient artifact to a starbase when they are diverted to a small icy asteroid. Here they are taken captive by the large catlike Kzinti who are after the artifact Spock and company are transporting. It then becomes a struggle between the two parties vying to retain possession of the ancient artifact. There is an interesting new shuttlecraft design introduced here, too. There really isn’t much point to this story other than being an entertaining straight up adventure. If there is a point it’s too much curiosity can kill the cat, and it happens here, literally. This is a story I would have absolutely loved to have seen as live-action given a way could be found to bring the Kzinti convincingly to life.