(written from a Production point of view)
This summary is of a story arc from the newspaper comic strip Star Trek.
Ordered to evacuate archeologists who do not want to leave a doomed planet, Kirk and crew find a 5,000-year-old carving of the Enterprise.
Starfleet astronomers confirm that a massive planetoid is on a collision course with the planet Abaris in the Ceti system. The Enterprise speeds off to the planet to evacuate Federation archeologists there. Once there, they contact the archeologists, who say they've discovered something important and do not have time to talk. Kirk, McCoy, and Uhura beam down, but a transporter hardware malfunction (later repaired by Chief Rand) results in their communicators staying on board. Spock, Sulu, and Ensign Greywolf use a shuttlepod to transport to the surface and track the landing party.
Following the party's tracks, they find a subterranean room filled with luminescent giant mushrooms, and two archeologists. The archeologists, Paul and Elsa Hoff, insist on giving the men tea, but when Sulu finds Uhura's earring on the ground he suspects foul play and kicks the cup out of Spock's hands. At that point, Kirk and the others emerge from a concealed door, angry at having been drugged by the Hoffs. The two scientists explain that they have discovered some amazing things, including a "Rosetta stone" of sorts with ancient Sumarian writing, and a 5,000-year old-carving of the USS Enterprise. They feel the finds are too important and that they should not be removed from the site by Starfleet. At that moment, a bandit comes in who has been following the crew since hearing of a valuable find on a communication channel. A struggle ensues and a wild shot from a phaser rifle brings down the roof, separating the bandit from everyone else.
The transporter is repaired and the Hoffs say they want to either stay or take the people who built the large cavern and carved the ship in stone with them, all 2,000 of them. Fortunately, they are small as they developed from fungus. Back on the ship, they all watch the destruction of the world. Kirk and McCoy suggest that because of the unusual behavior of the Hoffs that any further research into the mushroom people be done under the supervision of a psychochemist. The bandit escapes unnoticed, revealing herself to the reader to be a woman vowing to get the best of Kirk when they again meet.
"They came along this corridor, walking fast."
- - Ensign Greywolf
- This is the first story arc not to have a title.
- Warkentin again peppers the comic with allusions to earlier adventures and information about Trek. Kirk is first seen in his quarters relaxing with various tapes, including "Garth of Izar on Tactics", "Hornblower" by C.F. Forester, "Advanced Poker", "The Orchestral Goldsmith", and for some reason "The Limerick". Uhura speaks of living in the African Confederation. The bandit holds a phaser rifle last seen in TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
- Years before Chakotay, Warkentin placed an obvious Native American on board a starship: Ensign Greywolf. Unfortunately, nearly all of Greywolf's actions in the strip consist of using stereotypical tracking skills.
- For unstated reasons a remarkably non-aerodynamic shuttle pod - last seen used in orbit in the first film - is used to travel to the planet in lieu of the streamlined shuttle seen earlier in the comic strip in Dilithium Dilemma.
- The only thing stated about how the mushroom people knew of the Enterprise 5,000 years prior to its arrival is that Spock says "It's fascinating, yes. Perhaps inexplicable. But for those who've traveled through time in each direction, as we have, precognition seems credible."
- The strip ends equally cryptically, with an intimation that too close association with the mushroom people (who look more like smiling broccoli) results in hallucinogenic effects.
- Janice Rand
- Ensign Greywolf
- Elsa Hoff
- Paul Hoff
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