Armus

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Beware of the tar baby!
"I do not serve things evil. I am evil."

Armus is an amorphous entity that appears in the TNG episode "Skin of Evil". It dwelled on the planet Vagra III, from which it hoped to escape on the USS Enterprise. It claimed to have formed from the negative psychic energy of the planet's original habitants, who had cast off their undesired personality traits before departing from the planet.

Attributes

Armus was a pool of black fluid several meters in diameter, resembling a large puddle of tar. It could move easily by flowing over the planet's surface. It could also raise a humanoid shape out of its mass.

While not powerful enough to qualify as a member of a super race, Armus did have a number of extraordinary abilities:

  • Armus had telekinetic abilities at least sufficient to drag a human being over the planet's surface against his will.
  • It used an energy attack of an unknown nature to kill Tasha Yar, doing little physical damage but leaving her completely unrevivable by Federation medical technology.
  • It engulfed Commander Riker and held him inside its mass for an extended period of time without either suffering lasting harm.
  • It generated a force field of an unspecified nature that blocked communications and transporter functions.
  • It could withstand simultaneous fire from at least two hand phasers with no apparent effect.
  • Its most impressive feat was forcing a passing shuttlecraft to crash land on its planet.

Notable limits of Armus include the following:

  • It was not capable of independent flight.
  • Armus was not able to use its telekinetic abilities to remotely operate Federation technology. It damaged the shuttlecraft to force a crash landing; it apparently could not simply take control of the shuttlecraft and use it as an escape vessel.
  • While capable of disabling a shuttlecraft, it was apparently unable to affect the much larger Enterprise.

One of the creature's numerous personality flaws was self-loathing, and its force fields and other abilities declined in strength when it was forced to confront these feelings. Captain Picard was able to trick Armus into just such an introspection, allowing the Enterprise to rescue its away team.

Before departing, the Enterprise fired a photon torpedo at the planet's surface to destroy the damaged shuttlecraft, hoping to make sure that Armus did not somehow restore the shuttle enough to use it as an escape vessel. Whether the torpedo detonation had any effect on Armus itself is unknown.

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