Not gonna lie I love the outfits they are wearing on this cover and I am going to be extremely disappointed if I open up this comic and they don’t end up wearing them at some point.
Okona tells the Starfleet officers what brought him to this planet and for the most part its about what you’d expect. He was smuggling and doing runs for people who paid him enough to do it.
The money was good but it started to get stale so he switched it up and took a shortcut through uncharted space. This is when he was mysteriously whisked off his bridge and placed on the planet.
Despite the Enterprise sensors only detecting Okona, he insists that there are plenty more people on the planet. A whole city full of them. And they are not nice.
On the Enterprise, O’Brien confirms with the bridge that he lost all 4 communicator signals at the same time. Right after they beamed down.
Riker insists on going after them but Picard denies the request. Last thing he wants is to lose another away team. They need to figure out what happened first.
Meanwhile, on Earth, the Rozhenko family is having a picnic. Jeremy is drawing a picture and Alexander asks what he’s doing.
Jeremy explains it’s for a school assignment. He has to draw a picture from his favorite story. The story Jeremy chose is one of two friends: Radak and Marut.
Radak was a reckless person and Marut tried to keep him out of trouble. But one day Radak accidentally killed a nobleman’s son. He was arrested and sentenced to death.
Radak accepted his punishment, but wanted to see his family one last time. The nobleman didn’t want to let him go in case he fled and never came back, so Maruk took Radak’s place. If Radak didn’t return, Maruk would be executed instead.
Time passed and the execution drew near without sight of Radak. Maruk continued to trust his friend would return.
Before Jeremy could finish the story, a sudden downpour comes out of no where and they flee for shelter.
On the alien planet, Okona tells the away team that he really doesn’t care about this planet’s mysteries and is ready to just get out of there. Data reminds him that their communicators are gone, but Okona has another idea.
He leads them to a nearby room which happens to be full of old equipment and contains a communications device he had managed to piece together. The problem until now was the lack of a power source. But with Data here, that problem is now solved.
Hooking up Data to the machine works, and Okona is able to hail the Enterprise. He transmits the coordinates of himself and the away team so they can be beamed up.
While they wait for O’Brien to lock on to their coordinates, Okona takes the time to hit on Beverly some more.
The Rozhenkos make it to shelter and Alexander immediately bugs Jeremy to finish the story.
Marut is taken to the public square to be executed. Alexander asks if he is killed and Jeremy answers with a question of his own: what do you think?
Alexander says Radak must have come back because humans don’t let each other down.
Jeremy explains that, yes, Radak did return. He was late in returning due to the dangers of the road–robbers and wild animals–but arrived in time all the same. The nobleman was so impressed with their friendship that he let Radak go free.
But where Alexander was wrong is they weren’t human. They were Klingon. Which shouldn’t be surprising, says Jeremy, because Klingons always keep their word.
Alexander runs out from the shelter and in to the rain crying. They couldn’t have been Klingons! They lie! Just like his mother lied to him!
Jeremy consoles Alexander and tells him how he lost his mother, too. And he too felt betrayed by it at first. But Worf bonded with him and has always been there for him even from a distance.
He goes on to say that Worf cares about both of them, and supports them. In fact, Jeremy wouldn’t be surprised if Worf was thinking of both of them right now!
Jeremy also tells Alexander that in addition to Worf and the Rozhenkos, he’s got one other person looking out for him. His big bro! (Or is it uncle?)
Alexander feels a lot better, and Jeremy leads him back to the structure and out of the rain.
Chief O’Brien runs in to an issue when trying to beam up the away team. There is apparently some kind of dampening field blocking transporters. The chief sends down the location of the nearest spot where the field doesn’t reach, and its only half a kilometer away.
The problem is Okona could hardly walk a block without being set upon. Going a full half kilometer is a lot more dangerous than he thinks the team realizes. Still they don’t have much choice.
Jeremy Aster packs a suitcase as he gets ready to leave back for home. Sergey comes to talk to him and praises the boys intelligence in telling the story. But he recognized the tale as one from Earth, not one with Klingons. So why change the names from Damon and Pythias?
Jeremy explains there actually is a Klingon story similar to the one told on Earth. The ending is a little different though and maybe not as appropriate.
As they talk, Jeremy asks if maybe Alexander can visit him some time. And Alexander wanders in to the room, holding a teddy bear, asking Jeremy for a bedtime story. A Klingon bedtime story.
The away team wanders down an empty street toward the beam up coordinates and it seems pretty calm. Even Okona notes that he’s surprised they made it as far as they had.
As if on cue, an arrow fires at the team! Okona knocks Dr Crusher out of the way. Worf reaches for his phaser only to remember its been stripped. The team looks for shelter.
The group manages to duck around a corner, but appear to be pinned down. How will they get to the beam up point now?
I see what they are trying to do with the Rozhenko part of the story, but I feel like Alexander let Jeremy off way too easy. I guess because he looks up to him. I would have expected Alexander to yell at Jeremy about how Worf treats him better or something.
As for the A story… They are not dressed at all like the cover and my disappointment is boundless. Wtf is Data wearing?!
Apparently this comic came out around the time another special event was happening!
Some insight here on a couple relationships from both series
This actually seems really accurate. It’s clear they wanted Riker (and Kirk) to be a ladies man. Having a relationship kinda makes that difficult. At least Riker got to be with his Imzadi in the end.
Worf adopts Jeremy Aster and finally gets the son he’s always wanted. Alexander joins Okona and finally gets the father he’s always wanted. Everyone wins!
Our story this time begins in sickbay where Worf and Riker are congratulating a new father and mother on their child. The mother is a security officer under Worf.
Dr. Crusher shoos out the visitors so the parents can have some alone time with their newborn. Riker protests but he and Worf are shoved out of the room.
On the bridge, the Enterprise encounters a familiar vessel. Picard recognizes it immediately as the Erstwhile–Thadiun Okona’s ship.
The vessel appears to be stranded. Captain Picard orders to hail the ship and see what the trouble is this time.
Data sits in an open room of some kind, playing a board game with a boy named Andrew. Andrew thanks Data for being so patient and teaching him how to play.
Worf and Riker stroll past and Will notices that something has been bothering his friend. When he asks what’s wrong, Worf replies that he is a father. Yet he doesn’t feel like one.
Alexander and Jeremy are both light years away being raised by Worf’s parents and Jeremy’s aunt, respectively. While Worf knows they’re in good hands, its not the same as being there.
In addition, Jeremy will be visiting the Soviet Union for spring break. The boys will finally be meeting for the first time and Worf isn’t there to witness it.
Will sympathizes with Worf but before they can talk much more about it their conversation is interrupted by orders to head to the bridge.
Jeremy Aster arrives in the soviet union by what looks like futuristic airplane. So not only does the SU exist in the 24th century but so do airports.
The Rozhenko’s meet him on the tarmac and welcome him. Alexander is there as well but he doesn’t look nearly as excited.
On the Enterprise bridge, they find that the Erstwhile is actually empty. Nothing on sensors and Troi doesn’t sense anyone aboard. They suspect Okona may have crossed the wrong person, but can’t know for sure just what has happened.
Picard tells Riker to head over to the vessel and take Geordi with him to see if they can find some clues.
Jeremy and Alexander run off to play before dinner and they talk about their respective home lives. Jeremy misses his friends from before moving to Earth but Alexander never had any. Alexander is much happier on Earth with his human friends than he ever was surrounded by adults who wanted nothing to do with him.
Jeremy is in awe of Alexander being a real Klingon and talks about how great they are because they never go back on their word. Alexander vehemently disagrees and says only humans are trustworthy.
Riker and Geordi beam over to the Erstwhile. They arrive in what looks to be the cargo hold and dig in to the boxes to see what he was carrying. Apparently Okona had some valuable art that he wouldn’t have just abandoned. But then it clearly wasn’t stolen either.
They check the ship’s logs and see that the vessel was headed to a peaceful, non-aligned world named Beta Athabascar Seven. But Okona stopped registering on the ship’s internal sensors light years from its present location. The last reading was in the uncharted space of Alpha Pintara.
Okona apparently didn’t use his transporter, but that doesn’t mean someone else didn’t beam him off.
Despite Picard not even being sure Okona is in any danger, he sets course for Alpha Pintara anyway just to make sure.
Alexander says goodnight to Jeremy and is taken to bed by his grandmother. Grandpa Rozhenko sits with Jeremy in the living room and is glad to see the boys get along.
Sergey tells Jeremy how while Alexander looks so much like Worf, he acts nothing like him. While Worf was standoffish and obsessed with Klingon culture, Alexander can’t get enough of other kids and thoroughly rejects the Klingon lifestyle. Sergey worries that Alexander is adjusting to life on Earth a little too well.
The Enterprise arrives in the Alpha Pintara system and it turns out there’s only one planet capable of supporting humanoid life so that narrows down the search. The search is further narrowed when they find only a single sentient lifesign on the planet. One that matches the bio signature of Thadiun Okona.
They attempt to hail him but there is no response. Picard sends an away team led by Counselor Troi this time. Worf, Data, and Dr. Crusher are to accompany her in case of trouble or if Okona really needs medical care.
Riker protests at being excluded but Picard lightly scolds him. How else are others supposed to develop their leadership skills if they don’t get to use them?
As the team heads to the transporter room, a response comes up from the planet but its not in any known language. Picard decides to let the away team beam down while they decipher the message.
When the away team arrives on the planet’s surface, they quickly discover their clothes have changed and their equipment is missing.
A similarly-dressed man greets them and introduces himself as Thadius Okona. He thanks the crew of the Enterprise for coming to his aid while hitting on Dr. Crusher.
Worf gets between them ready to throw down with Okona when Troi steps in and gets them to calm down. We don’t need to argue right now, we need answers.
What is this place? Why are we dressed this way? And how did Okona get here in the first place? Okona replies that he’s got quite the story.
But we wont know it until the next comic.
I thought for sure Alexander would hate Jeremy just because Worf chose to add Jeremy to his family whereas he has pretty much rejected Alexander. But it looks like the boys get along pretty well which is sweet. I’m looking forward to the next issue where I assume Jeremy will help Alexander work through his feelings a bit.
I’m also looking forward to seeing more of these ridiculous outfits the away team got stuck in, lol
Not a lot of letters stood out but I do have a comment on this one.
Rich, as a parent myself I can confidently say that a loving parent would never get used to the thought of their child dying. I don’t care how often they end up in danger.
But I do agree with the rest. It was great to see other parents for the various crewmembers including Selar’s parents.
We have made it through not one but two years of amazing Star Trek stories. Time to celebrate with a gigantic annual!
I guess since the last one focused on our Captain, the next logical step is to focus on the second in command.
Our story begins as so many do on the bridge of the Enterprise. Commander Riker is finishing up a joke to Captain Picard when an emergency message comes through on subspace.
The emergency message is from Captain Halk of the Marco Polo. Her ship has been attacked without warning or provokation. In fact they were hit so fast their weapons, propulsion, and even sensors were all knocked offline before they could even get their shields up.
Their shields currently stand at 40% and it appears their attackers are now toying with them although they don’t know how long. They warn each of the enemy vessels are stronger than even a Galaxy class ship. Their transmission is then cut.
The ship is a deep space exploration vessel well outside of Federation space. Data calculates it would take them almost 2 days to reach there at warp 9.2
Picard orders the course plotted in and Troi senses Will is upset. More so than he usually would be at news like this. Picard overhears and asks what’s wrong. Will explains he knows Captain Halk.
Picard assures Riker that they will do everything they can for the Marco Polo. In the meantime he asks his first officer to find out everything he can about the system they are heading to–beta marada.
As Riker leaves to his task Troi points out it would have been easier to ask Data. Captain Picard notes she isn’t the only one with empathy. This gives Riker a chance to leave the bridge and collect himself.
On the turbolift, Will recalls a time in what looks to be his teens. He is ice skating with a girl we can probably assume is Halk although he calls her by her first name: Lyrinda. She challenges Will to a race on the ice and while he’s ahead of her he comes to a halt. They’ve reached a “dead man’s patch” of thin ice.
She basically calls him a wuss and skates right out on to the ice. He protests and begs her to get off from there. She jabs at him for being too much like his father (low blow) and he argues its crazy to risk one’s life for no reason.
The girl suddenly cries out in fear, and Will rushes to help her only to realize she was faking it. The ice is fine she just wanted to trick him in to going on it.
Young Will walks away from the girl in anger as she calls out “it was only a joke!” (And he likes this woman??)
The turbolift doors open and break Riker out of his thoughts.
Some time passes and we find ourselves back on the bridge, just minutes away from the coordinates they’ve been speeding towards.
Picard notes in the Captain’s log that while Commander Riker hasn’t spoken more about his feelings, it’s clear he is not optimistic. After all the Marco Polo was in rough shape before they even set out after her and that was almost 2 days ago.
From the conn, Data notes there is something up ahead. He urgently reqiests permission to change course which is immediately granted. The Enterprise narrowly misses some kind of energy strands that were remarkably dense and exterted a strong gravitational pull similar to a black hole.
The Enterprise narrowly misses the strange phenomena thanks to Data’s fast hands. What they saw was the event horizon of an unusually shaped black hole and Picard states he would like to investigate… on their return trip.
In her quarters, Counselor Troi studies the personal history of Captain Halk to be better equipped to help her when they arrive.
Lyrinda Halk was born and raised in Valdez, Alaska. She lost her father at the age of 12, and later went on to graduate from Starfleet Academy with honors, serving aboard the Trieste with distinction.
The more Troi learns of Captain Halk, the more she is drawn to the pain Will Riker feels; the more terrible it would be to lose her.
The Enterprise comes upon the Marco Polo and it is still intact though badly damaged. Ships sensors indicate there are life signs aboard the battered craft.
Four alien vessels surround the Marco Polo and Captain Picard attempts to hail them. No response. But that may be because there is no one aboard!
Readings indicate no life signs aboard the alien crafts. Data speculates these are essentially drones which is why they didn’t respond to any hails. And since they hit the Marco Polo so hard and fast, they didn’t have a chance to get any readings on the ships to tell them the same.
Picard asks Riker if his research would indicate who made these ships. Riker’s best guess is a race called the Darzun. A very old, very advanced race that we only know of through archaeological evidence.
Picard asks Data to compare the unidentified vessels with Darzun design, and he states the similarities are such that one may conclude they are indeed of Darzun origin.
Worf announces that they’ve entered phaser range and the captain orders him to raise shields. He then turns to Riker and tells him to organize an away team.
They arrive on the bridge and it’s not pretty. Bodies hanging over consoles and busted, smoking monitors.
The away team spreads out to help and Riker goes straight to the captain’s chair where Halk sits slumped over. She’s beat up but conscious and Will assures her everything will be fine. Considering her crew is laying dead around her, she disagrees.
Geordi and Worf survey engineering and surprisingly the warp core itself is undamaged. However, there’s no power going to the core and with the diagnostic systems as they are the two of them are going to have to start crawling around the support conduits to find the busted parts.
Doctor Crusher is working her way through the wounded, sending them up to the Enterprise in groups. She tells a man with a broken arm that he will have to wait and, being the fine upstanding officer he is, he understands. For now, Crusher is focusing on more serious internal injuries; Captain Halk is next to go.
Halk refuses, saying she can hold off and wants to see her crew safely evacuated first. But shes in no condition to argue and Riker assures her that they will save her ship.
As Captain Halk is beamed up, Will remembers a time when they were still cadets and on a training mission together. They are to board the abandoned vessel Caspian but are to pretend it’s got a full crew complement.
The shield and weapons systems are down along with communications. And it’s adrift in a meteor swarm. The group of 5 cadets are to run their own mission to save the Caspian.
Cadet Riker suggests they use a tractor beam rather than phasers. A wrong blast could send a chunk of meteor right in to the adrift ship’s hull. He’s appointed captain of this mission by the test proctor, and Riker takes right to the captains seat. Kinda.
As the exercise progresses they see the tractor beam approach may be too cautious as they won’t finish in their allotted time at this rate. While “Captain” Riker orders his team to do the best they can, Cadet Halk slips out the back door to the turbolift and heads to the transporter room.
A cadet on the bridge alerts Riker to the use of the transporter. Riker is of course shocked but the proctor in amusement tells the cadet that his crewman left the bridge a little while ago. And as the Caspian emerges from the meteor swarm it’s clear she’s a good helmsman too.
Riker hails the Caspian and orders Halk to return to the ship immediately. She agrees–after finishing escaping from the meteors and beating the allotted time limit by almost 12 minutes.
The Procter finds the whole thing amusing but Will does not. He scolds Halk for taking such an unnecessary risk. She smirks “Where have I heard that before?”
In the present, Data reports that the evacuation of the Marco Polo is almost complete. But as the words finish leaving his mouth, the alien drones turn and focus on the Enterprise!
Picard orders evasive maneuvers but the drones easily match them firing their equivalent to phasers and then photon torpedoes. The shields take heavy damage. Another volley will impact the hull.
As the Marco Polo appears to no longer be under threat, the Enterprise decides to withdraw for now to recover. As they leave the area, the drones discontinue pursuit and return to their positions around the Marco Polo.
Data and Picard muse over the programming of these drones. What made them attack? What made them halt that attack? Why didn’t they attack the Enterprise right away?
Picard theorizes if they move the Marco Polo out of the area, the drones will no longer be interested in it. And if they can do that, they can finish evacuating the ship without further interruptions.
The captain hails Riker on the Marco Polo and informs him of the situation. Riker calls down to Geordi who is still no where near fixing the engines and asks him to speed things up.
While he sits on the bridge waiting for Geordi to work his magic, Will remembers a time when he was on an alien planet, overlooking a vast ocean and sunset. By sheer coincidence, Lyrinda Halk shows up at the same spot. They exhange pleasantries and catch up a bit. Will is now stationed on the Hood whereas Lyrinda is on the Fearless.
Will takes the opportunity to apologize for the way he reacted during their cadet mission. Rather than just gracefully accept his apology, Lyrinda turns it in to a fight.
She then blames Will for ruining the moment, and confesses that she was in love with him when they were teenagers. Hell he’s part of the reason she joined Starfleet. She joined to get his attention and when she finally did something she thought would impress him, he chewed her out instead.
She ends up in tears and he hugs her. And they kiss.
Later that evening, they sit by a fire. Will is shirtless and Lyrinda is wearing his shirt so we can infer what happened after that kiss.
Lyrinda stands up and gets ready to leave. She no longer thinks a relationship is a good idea. They both want to be captains and neither one would give that up for the other. Will points out they can serve on separate ships but Lyrinda just points out that then they’d constantly be worried about the other person.
Lyrinda changes back in to her own clothes and they say their goodbyes.
Geordi interrupts Will’s daydreaming to let him know the transfer tunnels are back online. The engines will be up and running in a few minutes.
Riker praises Geordi for his efforts and then calls down to Dr. Crusher to secure her patients in case things get rough. He then hails the Enterprise to let Captain Picard know the Marco Polo is ready to get this show on the road.
Picard takes a few minutes to head down to sickbay and check on Captain Halk. He informs her of the situation and she is sure Will can make it out of there safely. She goes on to blame herself for what happened. She pushed her luck with the vessels but she couldn’t back down from the chance to learn about them.
Riker prepares the Marco Polo to leave the area, and they start off at warp 3. The drones pursue and Riker bumps it up to warp 6 but still can’t shake them.
They cross the point where the drones halted attack on the Enterprise yet there’s no change in behavior. In fact, the drones fire on the ship and knock out the shields.
Data begins to analyze the difference in behavior but Picard interrupts to tell him to place the Enterprise between the Marco Polo and its pursuers. They maneuver in to position and fire photon torpedoes.
The drones return fire and knock out the Enterprise’s shields, causing a hull breach on deck 11.
The Enterprise is no help, so Riker devises a plan to take the Marco Polo back through those super dense black hole strands from earlier. The drones are fast but slow to react to course changes so his hope is to fly through there and take them out.
Their shields gone, they enter the area with the black hole strands, and maneuver through the area. Worf is prepared for the worst.
Miraculously, the Marco Polo makes it out the other side. The question then becomes are the drones able to do the same?
The crew waits with baited breath as the drones enter the area. They don’t have to wait long to see the answer as the alien vessels get absolutely wrecked.
With the threat gone, evacuation of the injured crew resumes, and engineering crews head over to repair the Marco Polo.
Will takes a trip to sickbay to check up on Lyrinda. They hug warmly and she teases him about the stunt he pulled asking when he became such a risk taker.
Lyrinda tells Will she should have listened to him and not taken so many risks. But he counters that is one of the things he actually loved about her.
They both have learned something from each other.
I really enjoyed the angle they decided to take with this annual: exploring Will’s character as it relates to risk-taking. We see as a child he was far more cautious, but through his friendship with Lyrinda, he learned sometimes you have to take risks.
While Captain Halk was a little too willing to take risks, Will was able to find a balance which worked well during his time on the Enterprise.
The “girl gets angry with guy then they have sex” trope aside, it was an overall good story about finding that balance of risk and caution.
The letters to the editor this time aren’t too different from each other. They all praise the previous annual and pray for John De Lancie to do more comics.
With the sheer length of this comic, I’ll need a little more time to prepare the next post. So see you next week! 🖖
This is the 5th part of a rather long story arc. To read from the beginning you will need to go back a few posts.
This is also a huge 48 page comic so strap in everyone.
We pick up where the last issue left off: in the middle of a large fight between the Federation and non-Federation occupants of the space rig.
Worf gets in to it with a Romulan and they duke it out. The Klingon warrior bests his foe and around this time the enemies see they are getting no where and retreat.
Worf knows they will be back, and he orders Nigata and Crusher to join him in making their way to the derelict craft with the functioning warp engine.
But he soon regrets that choice when the two Ensigns end up flirting along the way.
A safe distance away, the Enterprise watches as the planet Lanatos is blown to smithereens.
The governor stands on the bridge as a witness (fishbowl on his head so he can breathe) and he states how difficult it is to see ones own planet destroyed. He compares it to losing a loved one. Which Crusher for some reason takes issue with
The governor states their views are simply different. Things are important to his people. They have died in the protection of them. He himself would gladly give his life if it meant bringing back their precious monuments.
And he is still planning on lodging his complaint over Picard choosing to save the Skriiti instead.
Picard basically tells him to get over it and start planning for their new life on the next planet and look to the Skriiti for whatever help they may provide.
Wesley Crusher deftly pilots the shuttlecraft to the derelict ship, avoiding the range of the enemy side’s tractor beam in the process. He docks, and the away team disembark in complete spacesuits just in case.
According to their tricorders the atmosphere does appear breathable but that doesn’t look to have helped the crew who lies dead, strewn about the bridge.
The team looks around to determine the scope of the ship’s damage. Communications system is shot but the warp drive is not only functional but has a good deal of power in reserve. Wesley doesn’t know how to operate it (yet) but in the meantime they will search for a transporter system.
While the team is exploring, Will Riker miraculously awakes. He’s shaky but Selar is there to take care of him and inform him of the situation.
The away team beams everyone from the Federation faction aboard their newly acquired ship. But now they have another quandry: do they take the hostile faction with them? Or leave them to their fate?
Worf is fine bringing back his Klingon brethren, but to bring back the Romulans and other hostiles too? Darios convinces Worf to be merciful in victory, and the Klingon uses the shuttlecraft to communicate with the hostile faction.
He invites them to lower their shields and join them. They will be beamed in to the cargo hold.
The Romulan leader suspects a trap. Lower the sheilds and be destroyed. The Klingon leader says there would be no honor in that so Worf must be telling the truth. After some consideration they accept the offer.
The Enterprise finishes beaming down the last of the Lanatosians to their new homeworld and so begins beaming down the Skriiti. Deanna remarks that she will miss them and wonders if the two races will ever get along. The captain has faith that they will
Troi moves the conversation on to another matter: replacing Riker and Worf. Picard had said he would promote Data after the Lanatos assignment, but they left that planet two days ago.
Picard agrees he’s been behind on getting that done, and will take care of it once everyone from Lanatos has been beamed down.
Worf takes the captains chair on the new vessel, and orders the shuttle to be left behind.
Worf notes it’s too bad Riker is still too weak to be on the bridge as he’s sure the commander would wish to be there. Selar confirms that suspicion but agrees Will is too weak.
Wesley sits at the helm and believes he’s figured out the way home. Or at least he hopes he has. Nigata is beside him to reassure the boy genius that he is in fact a boy genius.
Worf gives the order for full speed ahead and they begin their trip back home (hopefully). In fact, according to the instruments this ship is going faster than even the Enterprise can muster.
While that means they should arrive at their destination sooner, there’s still a problem: they may overshoot their target. In fact they are going so fast they may not just miss a Federation galaxy but they might overshoot the entire Federation and end up in Romulan or even Borg space!
The Enterprise has finished beaming down the last of the Skriiti. Picard orders the helmsman to set course for the Alpha Collagos system and then asks Data and security officer Burke to join him in his ready room.
Picard hangs back for a moment to note to Troi that he hasn’t forgotten, and then he (somewhat reluctantly) heads toward the room.
Back on the alien ship, the crew has already run into another problem. The engines cut out! Ensign Nigata takes the readings from astrogation and determines that they are at least in Federation space. Right near the Klingon homeworld.
Worf orders all power to the shields immediately. Unlike the rest of the crew, he knows exactly how his brethren will react to this strange ship appearing in their quadrant.
Wesley adds to the bad news by showing Worf some worrisome readings. Looks like the engines didn’t just shut down–they overloaded. And if they can’t get off the ship soon they won’t have to worry about the Klingons. They’ll already be dead.
As Captain Picard talks to Data and Burke in his ready room, he is interrupted by an incoming subspace message from the Klingon empire. Commander Krogh sent out a general message to whichever Federation vessel is nearest the border.
He gives the Federation a chance to claim the rogue vessel that has appeared in their space. If they do not, he will eliminate the intruder.
Worf and crew wait with trepidation as the Klingon battlecruiser stares them down. There’s a whole fleet of Klingon ships surrounding their little vessel but for now none have opened fire.
The Enterprise arrives on the scene having apparently convinced the Klingons to let them at least attempt to communicate with the alien vessel before blasting it to smithereens.
The Enterprise’s sensors are unable to penetrate the ship’s hull but Deanna senses a variety of alien species on board including Klingons and even Betazoids.
She also senses that while there is relief, the alien crew also feels fear. Not just toward the fleet of Klingon cruisers but toward their own ship.
Captain Picard hails the lead Klingon vessel and tells them that while they can’t indentify who is on the strange vessel, they do know there are various races aboard including Klingons. Commander Krogh is surprised to hear that but not all Klingons are loyal to the Empire.
Picard tells Krogh that he doesn’t believe its an invasion force and that the ship itself may be a danger. He recommends the Klingon ships withdraw. Of course the commander balks at the notion of running away when a threat to the Empire may be in front of him.
So the captain convinces Krogh to give him 20 minutes to figure this out by beaming on board the alien vessel and dropping its shields.
Picard calls down to O’Brien that he needs to figure out a way to beam through the alien vessels shields, and then heads to the turbolift. Data joins Picard and tries to dissuade him from risking his life.
Captain Picard thanks Data for his concern, but notes he had to do something risky in order for the Klingons to respect it. And if he sent someone else in his place, the Klingons would take that to mean the captain isn’t confident and that could cause trouble.
They arrive in the transporter room and O’Brien has figured out a frequency that they can use to beam the captain through but he warns him that without sensors there’s no way to know where he will end up. He could beam down on to the bridge or into a bulkhead.
Picard accepts the risk and is beamed down. Right in the middle of trouble.
The cargo bay normally would have probably been a safe spot but in this case Picard is caught in the middle of a hostile group of aliens that immediately set upon him like feral dogs. The captain tries to reason with them and eventually a Romulan manages to get everyone to calm down and stop trying to kill him.
Jean-Luc lays out the situation and explains he must get to the bridge in order to lower the shields and show this vessel isn’t a threat.
After some back and forth the hostile aliens agree to take Picard at his word. They are able to communicate with the bridge and inform the crew of their “guest.” Worf has Picard beamed to the bridge and they have a brief but very happy reunion.
With just a minute to spare, the alien vessel lowers its shields which signals the Klingons to stand down.
The Enterprise beams aboard the occupants of the vessel and then it (along with the Klingons) hightails it out of there just before it could get caught in the explosion caused by the overload.
Captain Picard notes in his log commendations are in order for Worf, Selar, and Ensign Crusher for their actions which led to them all arriving safely home in one piece.
As for the aliens (both hostile and non), they will be transferred to various vessels and taken to their homeworlds.
In his personal log, he notes that while he was unable to remain impartial when it came to the Einstein and its crew, he doesn’t believe it to be a flaw. While he is a captain, he is also a man, and he cares for his crew.
Jean-Luc Picard is happy to have his family together again.
Phew this story spanned a long time. 5 issues is pretty crazy. Imagine starting a story and then having to wait 5 months to finish it. Thank goodness you lucky readers only had to wait a few weeks huh?
I think Picard beaming over wasn’t the best route. He could have approached the vessel with a shuttlecraft which surely would have gotten them to either lower or just open up the shields a bit to let it in. From there they could have beamed him to the bridge and the rest is history.
Speaking of shuttlecrafts why the heck did Worf dump theirs? Just why?? Everyone was already on board so there seemed to be no problem with space on the ship. It was obvious that would bite them in the ass later. If Riker was awake he wouldn’t have let that happen!
RIP Einstein. You were dumped in space for no reason.
The letters to the editor boast of some “great” gift ideas for the discerning trek fan
I’d love to see what these sets looked like I will have to try and Google it. Does anyone have one?
There’s a lot of good letters this time around. One points out an issue I had with the covers which is showing Guinan prominently when she literally had nothing to do with the story. (I think she was in like 5 panels total in the whole story and most/all of them were because she was at the funeral and she didn’t do anything but attend.) Well the editor felt the need to defend the decision
Then there’s this letter from someone who knows what they’re talking about!
1) I want to see this shuttlecraft I hope it still exists somewhere and 2) that Mike Okuda took pictures of a shuttlecraft on his couch is just too cute Idk why but that is adorable to me. I wonder if he remembers doing that.
Lastly we have some more fun questions that we have the benefit of knowing most answers to being in the future
I am actually really intrigued by the answer to question 1. This is essentially what it looks like DIS is kind of hinting at with the many houses truly looking different. The fact they were thinking along these lines over 20 years ago is remarkable.
Oof no love for Saavik apparently.
This comic was super long and the next one is another super long annual! As a result I will be taking a break between this post and the next one. See you next week with the annual! 🖖
Deanna’s scuba diving lessons have paid off, but her instructor is really strict and judgy.
Captain Picard is awakened to the sound of La Forge calling through the intercom. The acting captain informs Picard that Troi is missing.
In the middle of relaying this information, Governor Imlach hails the Enterprise and Geordi puts him on-screen, keeping the comm channel to Picard open for him to eavesdrop as he gets changed out of his night wear.
The governor states the monuments are being dismantled too slowly and insists on more manpower. Geordi states that the work is right on schedule but the governor is insistent. Geordi agrees to see what he can do and the channel closes.
Picard asks how the evacuation of the Lanatosian people is going and Geordi confirms its going swimmingly (i couldn’t resist sorry). Captain Picard decides the rocks can wait; he has a missing officer to look for.
The captain calls down to Data at the monument site and asks the android to look for her.
Deanna remains trapped in the artificial cave set up by the Lanatosians and it turns out its not just one creature inside, but an entire herd.
The telepathic serpents tell Deanna that the Lanatosians trapped them there to hide them from the Federation. They knew if the Federation knew about them, they would want to rescue them, and that would leave no room for the monuments.
On the space rig, Worf and Wesley talk to Darios about reaching the ship with warp drive. The Betazoid explains that none of their own ships in the rig can detach anymore and even if they could they lack the ability to fly anymore.
But with the arrival of the Einstein there’s hope. Not only can it reach that warp capable ship, but the ship is able to hold enough people to take everyone on the Federation side of the rig home.
Worf points out that while thats all well and good, one problem remains: they still don’t know where they are.
On Lanatos, Data has finished checking the entire monument site and found no sign of Deanna Troi. He informs Picard of the situation and as he begins to expand his search he hears an odd sound. Vibrations that seem unnatural.
Picard tells Data to check it out, and the android complies giving us the most hilarious panel I have seen so far.
Governor Imlach immediately hails the Enterprise again to complain. Not only did they fail to send more people, two now have left the site.
Picard confirms that, yes, Commander Troi mysteriously vanished so he sent Commander Data to search for her.
Imlach is not happy about that and throws a fit, ending his communication with a threat to tattle to the Federation.
In the time it took Imlach to throw his hissy fit, Data arrives at the source of the vibrations. (In part due to his ability to swim so fast.) He unholsters his phaser and blasts a hole in the wall. Data is then able to inform Picard that he has found Counselor Troi.
Darios points out to Worf that in addition to being lost, there’s an even more immediate problem. As soon as the shuttle leaves to get to the warp-capable vessel, the other faction will use its tractor beam again. If the shuttle doesnt get out of range quick enough it’ll be a tug-o-war all over again.
What’s more the enemy faction is mounting an attack as they speak. The Betazoid can sense it. Worf asks why we don’t take the fight to them but Darios responds they do better on their own turf where they know the ships.
As if on cue, someone rushes over to tell Darios the hostiles have crossed over to their territory. Worf readies his phaser.
In the cave, Deanna tells Data what she’s learned about the creatures and their situation. They were also the ones creating the sound for Data to follow by banging on the wall with their tails.
A pair of Lanatosians poke their heads through the hole Data had made, and order him to hand over his phaser or the creatures will get hurt. The two had followed Data as he tracked the sound.
Data swims over to hand the phaser to them as they discuss sealing everyone inside once they have it. Data has a better idea though and, once he gets close enough, yanks both men through the hole and disarms them.
Once the men are disarmed, Troi tells them they can leave. In fact, they should. She tells them to let their superiors know that Picard is on to them.
Once the Lanatosians leave, Troi and Data do as well with a promise to the sea serpents that they will be back. The officers exit the cave and beam back to the Enterprise.
Ensigns Crusher and Nigata sit in the middle of chaos while people around them scramble to fight. They have their phasers but Nigata is scared. Wes admits he is as well.
Wesley says that he wishes there was some way to talk to this other faction. Get them to back down and reach some sort of compromise. But according to Darios that’s been tried.
Nigata asks Wes for a favor: to hold her. Just for a second.
Picard, Troi, and Data sit at Governor Imlach’s conference table and he. is. pissed.
Captain Picard informs the governor that the discovery of another sentient species–called the Skriiti–forces a change in plans. They obviously get priority over inanimate objects and so the monument deconstruction will cease and the Enterprise will prepare to take the Skriiti on board.
The governor yells at the captain about the importance of those monuments while also callong the Skriiti a primative, dangerous race.
Deanna points out the only time the Skriiti have ever harmed a Lanatosian is in self-defense. The Lanatosians have hunted them for sport. Governor Imlach doesn’t care, and insists that the Federation made a pact with the Lanatosians not the Skriiti, so they should prioritize the valuable artifacts over the live of useless creatures.
Picard doesn’t take the governor’s shit, and tells him leaving the Skriiti behind ain’t happening. In fact, the governor is lucky the Enteprise doesn’t leave him behind with the way he’s been acting.
A Tellarite points down a corridor leading Worf and several others to where he claims he spotted the intruders. Worf has a bad feeling that they’re walking in to a trap, and that feeling is immediately proven true as a hatch opens and they are set upon by hostiles.
The crew fight well with Worf throwing enemies and Wes and Nigata covering each other, but there’s no clear winner so far.
A Klingon rushes Worf and they lock hands in combat. Worf wins the fight and knocks the enemy off his feet with a right cross to the face.
To be continued (again)
This is turning in to a miniseries! I really thought for sure this issue would be the final one in the story because the annual is coming up next, but turns out the conclusion is after the annual. Oof.
I’m really in to both stories, though (I hope you are as well!), and I especially am enjoying the Skriiti. They’re just so pretty! I wanna ride one.
And of course any time I get to see Data politely kick ass I am happy.
In the letters to the editor, there’s one that captures how I feel about issue 19 pretty well:
I do wish the shows delved more in to just “day in the life” kind of stories. Those always seem to be the most interesting despite the lack of pewpew or explosions. I am surprised that so few novels take this approach. But I’m glad the comic went ahead and did it. And I hope they do more in future issues.
The best thing as a parent is when you can share your interests with your kids. My father is who got me in to Trek. Later, when I became a parent myself, I loved sitting down with my own daughter to watch TNG together and teaching her who everyone is and learning her favorites (DS9 is actually more her style and she loves Garak and Odo).
Also those kids are all grown now. 31 and 33! I wonder if they still watch Star Trek 🖖
The away team is surrounded by a bunch of angry aliens after Worf’s rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” falls flat
The Enterprise is on a new mission, having abandoned efforts to locate the missing shuttlecraft Einstein and her crew. Instead, they are at the planet Lanatos to aid in evacuations as the world hurls toward a rogue comet.
The Lanatosians are water-breathing but spacefaring. They just lack the ships for such a large-scale evacuation. The planet’s governor points the Enterprise to an uninhabited part of the planet. They are to secure ancient, sacred monuments. Not people.
The shuttlecraft Einstein approaches the strange heap of Starships that they had discovered on sensors. The rig isn’t answering any hails despite being fully populated.
As they debate whether or not to continue their approach and board, the decision is made for them as they are locked in a tractor beam.
They reverse engines but the beam is too powerful to break free from. Worf orders phasers to be distributed among the crew. If they are to be captured, it won’t be without a fight.
A second tractor beam locks on to the shuttle; this one from the other end of the structure. Now the shuttlecraft is locked in the middle of a tractor beam tug-of-war.
On Lanatos, Data supervises the dismantling of the stone structures. Geordi calls down to check on progress and thank him for the help. La Forge would be there, himself, but he’s got his hands full on the Enterprise preparing marine environment tanks. And without Wesley there to help.
The tractor beams seem equally matched as they fight over the Einstein until the first beam finally starts to lose power and shuts off.
The second beam pulls the shuttlecraft toward its end of the structure, and an opening appears for them to dock in. The atmosphere is scanned to be safe for them to breathe, so with phasers in hand, Worf orders them to open the shuttle door.
On the Enterprise, Counselor Troi visits Picard in his ready room to talk about the mission. Or more specifically, the Lanatosians themselves.
While she can’t read them as well as other races, she senses they are hiding something from them and it may have something to do with the monuments.
Troi would like to visit the site firsthand and see if she can get an idea for what it may be that the Lanatosians are hiding. Picard agrees and states she should drop the counselor title for this mission so they don’t get too suspicious.
Before she leaves, Commander Troi reminds the Captain that he needs to replace Riker and Worf’s positions. Picard states he’s aware, he just hasn’t been able to bring himself to do it yet. Nonetheless, he plans to promote Data to XO upon his return from the surface, and place a Mister Burke as acting security chief until a suitable replacement can be made.
The Einstein crew step out of the shuttle to meet with a Betazoid man named Darios Appolene. He assures the crew that they are safe and among friends. Worf asks why, then, did they bring the shuttle here against their will? Darios states there was no other way and asks them to follow him so he can explain. And to bring along Riker to get him to the medical facility.
Deanna swims alongside a Lanatosian as they view the monuments. Ezrech thanks her for being there but she senses the same duplicity from him as she did from Governor Imlach. As he shows her around, she senses something and excuses herself to rush off and investigate.
Ezrech is immediately suspicious since Deanna makes a beeline to whatever it is (not exactly a stealthy spy lady) and he sends people after her to keep an eye on what she’s doing.
She sneaks behind some rocks and kelp thinking she’s being sneaky but Section 31 material she is not. The Lanatosians follow her a far ways from the initial site.
Riker lays in a sickbay being tended to by Selar and a couple of the inhabitants of the giant rig. Worf demands that explanation now and Darios obliges.
Clearly, the Einstein wasn’t the only ship to get yanked through the vortex. Many ships over the course of unknown years have found themselves stuck here. Darios is the oldest inhabitant but even he doesn’t know when they first started melding the ships together or why.
But there are two factions at play on this structure. Those who are friendly to the Federation and those who are not. Those who are not include Romulans, Ferengi, and Klingons. The Klingons here came before there ever was a treaty. In fact it took some convincing for Darios to allow Worf to board on their end but being a Betazoid he knew Worf was not an enemy. The other side would not have been so forgiving.
Wesley asks why either side even wanted the shuttle. It’s busted surely it’s of no value.
Darios explains that it is. Very much so. Because theres another craft floating out there out of reach of the tractor beams. And that vessel appears to have a working warp drive. The shuttle is the only way to reach it.
Deanna follows whatever it is she’s been sensing to what looks like a wall. A wall with a single hole in it conveniently sized for her to squeeze through. And what she finds on the other side is remarkable.
The creature communicates telepathically to Deanna. It’s not a threat, but it is trapped. It asks for her help to escape.
The Lanatosians who were following her now poke their heads in the hole. They tell Troi that she knows too much now and use some kind of weapons or welding devices to seal the hole shut with her and her new friend inside.
Troi tries to call up to the Enterprise but her signal isn’t getting through. And this planet is a ticking time bomb!
I’m so glad to see Deanna being utilized again. Although she could learn a thing or two from Garak about how to be sneakier, her skills as an empath are having a real effect on the plot and that’s always welcome.
It’s also been good to see Worf in command. His style is rough and suspicious, always prepared for a fight, but that isn’t a bad thing. No more than a Vulcan captain and his cold logic ruling the day. It’s nice to see some command variety.
I hope Data gets promoted quickly in the next comic so we get to see a bit more of his style as well.
In the letters to the editor, someone at least called out that silliness about the water supply getting contaminated although their gripe was from a different angle: what water supply? Isn’t it all replicated? Shouldn’t the biofilters have caught it?
Picard plays holo chess with members of his crew. Looks like he already captured three queens.
Captain Picard sits in his ready room with head hung low. He has come to the realization that the Enterprise must move on from the so far fruitless search for the missing shuttlecraft Einstein. Its been several days with no sign of where it could have gone.
Counselor Troi enters at his request and he tells her that the search is over for them. She senses he does not believe the missing crew are dead, but understands that isn’t justification enough to continue looking. Picard tasks her with arranging the funeral while he informs the families.
Jean Luc visits Beverly Crusher first. She stops him before he can even begin. His face makes it obvious what he came to say–she’s seen it before.
He laments ever having let Wesley get on that shuttle, but Beverly points out that if he hadn’t, some other mother or spouse would be receiving this news instead. Wesley knew what he was signing up for better than most and he still accepted the risks.
Jean Luc remarks on how special Beverly is before he takes his leave to continue with his task. But he offers to come back and talk later which Beverly accepts. As the door closes, she looks down at her son’s picture and weeps.
Meanwhile in the Einstein, Wesley is at the helm with ensign Nigata at the second seat. The search for a way of rescue has turned up nothing. Nigata says “still nothing” and Wesley corrects her “nothing yet”
Commander Riker remains in stable condition and may even wake up. Ensign Faraday, on the other hand, has trouble trying to sleep. She admits to Worf she is full of regrets and fear. The Klingon reminds her they are not dead, and as for fear…
Worf relays a saying he once learned from his human parents. His parents having been quoting a man named Samuel Clemens. (It is a real quote you can look it up!)
Captain Picard stands in front of a gathering of people in the holodeck. Everyone is in their dress uniform with their heads hung low.
He speaks of Will Riker and how much he knew him–and how little. How much more he could have known if only Will was still with us. He didn’t just lose an officer in Will, but also a friend.
Deanna gets up next to talk about Worf. She speaks of his independence and pride and also his love of the ship and crew (although he would balk at the use of that particular word). And although they don’t know for certain what happened, she is sure that if he is dead, he died with honor.
Geordi gets up last to speak about Wesley. Rather than give a story or poetic epitaph, he shares a memory. Wesley sitting cross-legged on the catwalk with a frequency modulator in front of him. Its in pieces, but Wesley isn’t doing anything with them.
He just sits there in the catwalk, staring at all the parts in front of him. And he is truly happy.
News travels around the Federation of the loss of the Einstein and its crew. Admiral Riker receives the notice in his office. He had just gotten his son back, and now he’s gone again.
Lwaxana receives the word from a man named Lytos and he confirms Deanna was not on board. For a moment, a wave of relief washes over Mrs. Troi but then she remembers those lost were still Deanna’s friends.
Dr. Pulaski is informed of the shuttle disappearance by her captain. She asks for the names of all gone and he relays them to her: Riker, Wesley Crusher, Worf, Selar, Gold, Marino, Faraday, and Nigata.
Since the majority of the crew were medical staff, she knew them better than most.
A shuttle lands in front of a desert dwelling and a Vulcan man knocks on the door. A man named Selak and his wife open the door to learn there is news of their daughter. But it is not good news. They invite the man in out of the sun.
As the shuttlecraft continues through space, Wesley excitedly announces he’s got a reading. Signs of life nearby!
The crew immediately gets excited about their chance for a rescue, but Worf tempers their enthusiasm. This is not a Federation outpost. We do not know who these people are. They may be unable to help, or they may be unwilling. They may even be hostile.
While they can’t ignore the chance of rescue, Worf orders that they proceed with caution.
Captain Picard sits in the holodeck alone. The empty chairs remain all around him and he contemplates why he is unable to mourn the loss of his crew.
In an attempt at closure, Jean Luc has the computer create holographic likenesses of Worf, Riker, and Wesley similar to the one used for Tasha Yar’s funeral.
He tells them how proud he is of them and how glad he was to have them with him on this journey. He apologizes for not having said so before, citing a busy captains schedule as an excuse.
He tells the three how much he admires them, but finally stops himself short. This isn’t working. They’re not dead and he can’t mourn them as long as they’re alive out there awaiting rescue! Picard ends the program and walks out of the holodeck.
The Einstein pulls up to a large structure in space. It looks like a giant mess with multiple different ships stuck together in to one massive… Thing.
The mess of ships doesn’t appear to have any sort of propulsion. Will it even be able to help them?
They fly in to take a closer look…
They really took their time giving us a look at the impact that the loss of crew can have on their friends and family and I appreciate that. This issue was full of very touching moments showing how much these people care for one another.
I kind of wish the way they did this story was give us all of the mourning and funeral stuff before ever letting us know the shuttle is actually in tact. I think some of the impact is lost when you know for a fact the crew is alive.
There’s a fun story from the editor in this month’s issue.
Speaking of Denise. This comes from a fan who relies on BBC so while season 4 was nearing its end for us in the states when this comic came out, they had only seen the first season!