Strap in and sit tight because its time for another annual. In this issue, Geordi shares his best friend necklace with someone who isn’t Data. It’s gonna take an entire annual’s worth of pages to explain this!
The Enterprise meets up with an Onglaatu vessel in order to receive a man named Kalonis. He is the son of a powerful noblewoman, Kastren, and here to see Geordi La Forge.
After beaming aboard, Kalonis leaves to speak with Geordi in private. Transporter Chief O’Brien questions letting the man wander around the ship but Deanna Troi is there to assure him that while the Onglaatu are a barbaric race, they are also an honest one. Kalonis is no exception.
In addition, Geordi has had personal dealings with Kalonis’ mother. In fact, while an ensign serving on the Hood, Geordi saved Kastren’s life. As a result of that encounter, the Onglaatu became allies with the Federation, and Geordi was given the honor of becoming Kastren’s “moon-brother.”
In Geordi’s quarters, Kalonis tries to explain the situation. His mother has apparently gone mad along with several other noblewomen. This matriarchal society has several women who are plotting and scheming like Romulans rather than acting honest and straightforward as is the Onglaatu way.
He goes on to explain that this change was sudden and his mother is completely different now. She is cold and ruthless. The Imperiatrix has been unable to get through to her, so she sent Kalonis to Geordi. Their only hope now is that Kastren’s moon-brother can talk some sense in to her.
Geordi says he would like to help, but as a Starfleet officer he can’t interfere with the politics of other worlds. Kalonis suggest Geordi take a leave of absence to side-step that issue.
La Forge runs the idea past Captain Picard who is reluctant to let his Chief Engineer rush off in to danger with no backup. But after the situation is explained–as well as the potential repercussions of losing an ally–Picard relents.
Geordi quickly changes to some civilian clothes and beams over to the Onglaatu vessel with his friend. Seeing the ship gets Geordi nostalgic and thinking back to his ensign days.
He doesn’t get to reminisce long, however, as a giant hand clasps down on his shoulder. A large man tells Geordi that offworlders aren’t welcome on this ship. Kalonis is unable to step in as doing so would only serve to make Geordi look weak.
The large man throws a punch, connecting with Geordi’s jaw and sending him reeling. The engineer recovers quickly, though, and ducks and dodges the next few punches until he sees an opening to land one of his own right in the aggressor’s ribs. Then he finishes the man off with a high kick to the chin.
The large man backs off and Kalonis asks where Geordi learned those sick moves.
The ship arrives at Glaa and Geordi and Kalonis head up the steps of the estate home of Kastren. At first everything looks fine but once they reach Kastren on her throne it quickly becomes obvious there is something wrong with her. She snaps at an advisor who reminds her of a meeting called by the Imperiatrix. The noblewoman is even angry and belligerent towards her son and the man who saved her life.
Geordi tries to talk sense to her and asks if she remembers a time in their past. She stammers and claims to remember, but Geordi can tell she is lying and calls her out on it.
Kastren angrily calls for her guards. And has both men thrown in to the dungeon for daring to question her sanity in her own home.
In the dungeon, she not only locks the two men away but has them beaten for good measure. Left alone in their cell, they discuss their concern over the fact Kastren is about to go meet with the Imperiatrix. Kalonis says they must try to warn the leader of the possible danger. Geordi agrees but doesn’t see how seeing as they are locked in a dungeon.
Kalonis knows this dungeon well, though, from his time playing in it as a child. And this cell just happens to have a loose bar.
Speaking of Data, in 10 forward, Guinan and Beverly Crusher share a table and wave Data over to join them.
Data takes a seat at the table and Beverly asks if there’s been any news about Geordi. There has not.
The women can see that Data appears to be… distracted. Guinan asks what’s wrong but Data is unsure, himself. Even after running several self-diagnostics.
Guinan and Beverly offer to step in as surrogates while Geordi is away.
Back in the cell, Geordi and Kalonis finally manage to yank the loose bar out of place and slip outside.
They see three guards and without time to spare, they realize they are going to have to get past them now rather than wait for a better opening. They climb up a nearby tree to gain the high ground.
Kalonis and Geordi drop on the guards from the trees. They take out two immediately but when Kalonis goes for the third he finds the man much stronger than anticipated. Luckily Geordi is there to help and knocks the guard out from behind.
That is when Geordi notices a familiar object sticking out the back of the guard’s neck.
Geordi explains this appendage belongs to a race of parasites. One that had previously infiltrated some of the highest levels of Starfleet Command. They thought they had seen the last of them, but looks like they just changed targets instead.
These parasites take over the host body and control it, but they can’t access memories well which explains why Kastren didn’t remember anything Geordi was talking about.
Armed with the truth, the two men rush to the meeting room to catch these parasites before it’s too late.
Kalonis explains that there are parasites who have taken over several people including his mother. That is about all he is able say before one of the guards pulls his weapon.
Geordi rushes to his friend’s aid and tackles the guard, fighting over his pistol. The guard knocks Geordi to the ground and aims, but this time Kalonis intervenes, using his own weapon to shoot the guard first.
Kalonis again turns to the Imperiatrix to warn her to flee the chamber, but Kastren calls her son a liar and demands proof. Which promptly presents itself by crawling out of the mouth of the fallen guard.
Their cover blown, the remaining parasite infested bodies circle around a woman who looks to be their leader. They open fire on the rest of the people there.
Geordi and the Imperiatrix duck behind a wall together and take turns firing upon the enemy combatants. Kalonis attacks from the other end, gunning down one of the enemies and coming face to face with his mother.
Unable to pull the trigger, Geordi comes to his rescue, firing the shot himself.
They turn their sites toward the leader who starts straight up spitting out several parasites from her mouth. Geordi determines she is the “mother” and destroying her will stop all the others. So he and Kalonis do just that, turning their weapons on the infected woman and blowing her to smithereens
With the “mother” destroyed, Kastren and the others are saved. They wake up from being stunned and are no worse for wear. And the plot on the Onglaatu government is foiled with much thanks from the Imperiatrix.
The Imperiatrix hails the Enterprise and lets them know the situation with the parasites and that Geordi is ok and ready to rejoin the crew.
Geordi says goodbye to his friends and heads home to a happy crew that is glad he made it back in one piece.
It’s nice to see Geordi getting to be a badass hero instead of just the guy who is good with machines and bad with women. I like that they brought back the aliens from “Conspiracy” as well. They could have made a good reoccurring villain its a shame the show never went back to them. Although in a way the DS9 changeling infiltration was similar.
I am disappointed that Data wasnt there to welcome Geordi back to the ship. It doesn’t even show their reunion! Boo!
The letters are mostly praise or nitpicking of the 2nd annual, but what is most interesting for any artist looking to break in to the industry… Well… The industry as it was in the early 90s.. Is this one:
And with that, my hands are cramping up! These annuals are great but they are twice the size of a normal comic and that means a lot more typing on my little phone and taking pictures for you all. To give my hand a break, I’ll see you all in a week! LLAP 🖖