Hate is blind

A young Thanos obtains aid in his quest from an unlikely ally. Geordi no!

I am inevitable. Resistance is futile.

The Enterprise is taking on a delegation from a species called the Chorrtan. They are a warlike race with strained relations with the Federation. As a goodwill gesture, the crown prince has been invited to obtain the gift of sight from the same scientists who gave Geordi his visor.

The prince needs to be able to see as there is a ritual coming up for his transition to adulthood. Without sight, he is assured to die in the process.

Upon arrival, the delegation immediately demands Counselor Troi leave their presence. So already off to a great start here.

To be fair Id be uncomfortable too

Deanna leaves and the delegation gets situated in their quarters while the lead bodyguard heads off to inspect the medical facility.

Elsewhere, the doctors set to perform the procedure are gathered to chat, and we are introduced to them.

There is John Anders, the neurosurgeon and team politician; Felix Carter, the boisterous spectrophysicist; Mara Chang, the opthamalic specialist and team conscience; and Martin Kane, the half-Iborite electronics expert and workaholic. Martin is also the person Geordi most looked up to out of the group, and his inspiration for becoming an engineer.

There is a lot of setup for this story…

Geordi shows Martin a gadget he’s been working on, but Martin almost drops the thing. Apparently he has a nerve disorder which has affected his fine motor skills. But while his hands don’t work as well, his mind is in top form, and he contributes to the group outside of the actual operation.

Data and Worf sit with Captain Picard in his ready room to discuss the Chorrtan and their security requirements. They talk about some incidents they have had with the aliens in the past including a particularly nasty one in which the Chorrtan destroyed an entire Federation colony leaving no survivors.

A group of scientists had relocated to the outskirts of Federation space so they could perform genetic experiments which are banned. The Chorrtan claimed the area as part of their territory and didn’t appreciate trespassers.

Btw that’s classified so keep it on the dl

Geordi visits the young prince to explain the procedure to him. He explains that the way he sees is more broadly than regular sight, but the operation will give a wicked headache.

He talks to the prince about how scared he was. Not just of the procedure, but fear that sight wouldn’t be all that great after all. Like maybe it was hyped too much and he was going to be let down. But after the procedure was (fully) explained to him, he felt better.

No fear

The Prince walks with Geordi as he makes his way to engineering. Suddenly internal force fields go up right between Geordi and the delegation. The Chorrtan are trapped as the fire supression system activates and sucks the air out of the area they are trpped in!

Geordi’s quick thinking is able to reroute power and shut off the system before the delegation suffocated but who would do this? And why?

Data would be done by now

Security investigates by interrogating several members of the crew–anyone capable of the engineering required to pull this off–as well as the guest doctors on board.

Worf heads to the lab they are using in order to speak to Dr. Anders, but finds him unconscious on the floor!

Luckily, Worf is able to get the doctor to sickbay and no permanent damage is done, but the attacker had knocked him out and was trying to cut into the memory section of his brain with a neoroscalpel! If Worf hadn’t got there when he did the man wouldn’t have remembered a thing.

Instead he remembers exactly who attacked him: his colleague Martin Kane!

He tried to kill someone but its not like he’s dangerous or anything

Picard immediately has Kane dragged in and formally charged of attempted murder of the Chorrtan delegation as well as assault. The doctor doesn’t even deny it and admits full guilt.

He drops a bombshell that he is a survivor of that colony on Gamma Chrysalis! And he wants to halt all talks between the Federation and the Chorrtan. Such a savage race can never be trusted.

He’s being very forthcoming about all of this

Dr. Kane is confined to the brig and Geordi goes to see him. He confronts his childhood hero and expresses severe disappointment.

Kane apologizes for not being the man Geordi thought he was. He’s no hero. Just a mechanic. And he did what he thought was right.

Geordi heads down to engineering and talks about his disappointment with Data.

Data’s always there to lend an ear

As they talk Geordi makes a sudden realization. Kane has that nerve disorder. He couldn’t have attacked Dr. Anders alone! Not with a neuroscalpel!

He rushes to sickbay to halt the procedure. When he arrives, he sees the doctors luckily hadn’t started yet. Dr. Chang is in the other room prepping for surgery.

Geordi runs to that room to find Dr. Chang in tears. She tells him not to worry; she couldn’t go through with killing the young prince. But why even consider it?

Chang reveals to Geordi that she, too, is a survivor if the ill-fated Gamma Chrysalis colony. In fact, she and Kane had been married there and had a child. As a result of the attack, all records–and their child–were lost. They grew apart and no one knew their past.

Any other survivors wanna raise their hands?

But when the team was put together again for this surgery, Kane convinced her to join his scheme. And she did. Until she couldn’t face killing a child the way the Chorrtan killed her own daughter.

Geordi then asks her if she will go through with the actual surgery. Without it the prince will die anyway. She agrees to help. Even more remarkably, the Chorrtan agree to proceed.

For a warlike race y’all are really trusting

The surgery goes off without a hitch, and the young prince returns to his homeworld with a new VISOR.

And they all live happily ever after. Except Kane who is you know in jail or whatever they call it now.

I admit this comic was not a favorite. It had way too much exposition and there were several pages that I swear ws more talk bubble than art. If I want to read a novel I will grab a book by Peter David or something.

Not too many letters to the editor this time either (only one page instead of the usual two) and nothing noteworthy. So this was just a disappointing issue all around (to me anyway, any Geordi fans wanna weigh in?)

Wrapped up with a bow

This is part 6 of the story. To go all the way back to the beginning, you’ll need to head back a few posts.

The three wise men visit Ro Laren bearing gifts of kindness, bloodwine, and unwanted sexual advances.

Sorry Geordi I’m still not over what you did to Brahams.

Worf, Geordi, and Data beam back to the Enterprise–now back together in one piece–and Worf is quickly reunited with his son.

And Picard says love is love as the crew reunites with their loved ones who were separated between the saucer and battle bridge.

We will forgive the typo

Hull repairs are under way, and sickbay is packed but nothing too serious. In a few days Dr. Crusher expects it’ll be quiet again.

The Sztazzan fly off to their homeworld equipped with the same knowledge gained by the Federation due to the two factions working in cooperation. With nothing left to do here, the Enterprise also leaves at a leisurely warp 2 on course to their next destination.

In engineering, Geordi remarks to Data how much he missed seeing the warp core. Their conversation manages to make its way to how a holiday can make one feel down when not shared with others. And then to Ensign Ro’s situation.

Not on my watch!

Elsewhere, O’Brien and Troi get ready to resume the billiards tournament. Apparently the harsh rules at least let the tournament be suspended in case of saucer separation!

The opponents ask about Geordi, but neither he nor O’Brien felt it fair to just drop Counselor Troi like that.

Of course the Irishman goes for the potato reference

Miles is partially upset that he figures he’s about to lose a tournament he fought hard to win, but he hides it as best he can from a Betazoid.

But then she starts making back to back (to back) shots and he is pleasantly surprised! The other team cries foul. Surely O’Brien knew her skill! But the chief assures them he is just as surprised and was even told Betazoids don’t play pool.

Counselor Troi says that’s true. But her father was human. And a master billiards player.

Y’all got suckered

Worf walks Alexander to Mot’s barbershop to apologize for his earlier behavior. The kid protests but Worf isn’t having it and marches the kid in there.

Mot is surprised to see them and when it’s explained why he says it’s too late for that. Worf explains he would have done it sooner but Mot corrects him. It’s too late because it’s no longer needed.

By passing on Mot’s idea, Alexander showed he believed in the Bolian’s ideas. And saved the ship!

“You’re welcome by the way”

Mot suggests it is Worf who may owe his son an apology. As the two of them leave, Worf turns to Alexander and admits he should have had more faith that the boy would have done the right thing even in his father’s absence.

Alexander accepts his apology. After all we all make mistakes.

Picard and Riker chat in the observation lounge and discuss this idea Mot had. Riker admits that while Mot did have the idea, Will had already thought of it and was implementing it.

He explains that he is letting Mot go on thinking he saved the day, and would like to keep it that way. Picard understands and assures Will that he will not spoil the ruse to Mot.

But Id rather my hair didn’t get cut to look like your hair..uh…no offence

Terry visits Dr. Crusher to talk about what went down on the alien planet. She’s upset over the way she handled the wounded Sztazzan. They killed so many of her friends upon her old ship but when she had a chance to let one die she couldn’t take it. She had vowed revenge but ultimately failed.

Dr. Crusher explains to her that even when she doesn’t like someone she still treats them. That’s her responsibility as a doctor. Similarly, Terry did the right thing even if she felt otherwise because that is what Starfleet officers do.

Ideally anyway. Lookin at you, Admiral Leyton

Ro sits alone in 10 forward as Worf walks in carrying a menorah-like candleholder (with 5 candles) along with Data, Geordi, and Guinan.

The Bajoran is surprised to see the “zaranna” as Data wishes her a “brave Moga Rivan.” They explain to her that they looked up the holiday in the ship’s computer and with 5 people, they have who they need to begin the celebration.

Ro protests at first, thanking them for the sentiment but noting that they’re not Bajoran. But Guinan convinces her to let them go ahead.

Just let us make you happy damn

The five people each take turns lighting a candle as they tell parts of the story. The citizens of Nivan set a large fire on the landbridge, blocking the army of the warlord Gordach. Gordach was patient, however, knowing the land had few trees. Despite lacking a navy, he waited as the fire would only last a day.

So he was surprised when a full day later the fires were still burning! The citizens began to throw their belongings in to the flames as their wood depleted. The fire that should only have lasted one day instead lasted five.

And as the Nivanites watched their fire finally die out, and saw the army of Gordach waiting on the other side, another army appeared to their rear! The people across the land saw the fire and the bravery it represented and rose up to help fight against the mighty army of Gordach.

And thus the tyrant was overthrown.

I wonder how often this story was told during the Cardassian occupation

At the end of the story, Picard and several others join the group of five and wish Ensign Ro a brave Moga Nivan.

The end~

I really enjoy these “day in the life” comics. Probably a lot more than the regular stories to be honest! I love getting to know more about these characters that I care so much about. Troi kicking butt at the tournament was perfect and I loved Riker and Picard’s conversation over Mot.

Ro’s story was my favorite here. It has very obvious ties to Hanukka and I gotta believe that’s on purpose. This comic came out the same year DS9 premiered and there was a heavy theme of Bajorans being an analogue for Jewish people throughout that series.

On to the letters to the editor. This person has an interesting question:

Well that wasn’t exactly the answer fans were hoping for was it? Oh well. Okuda is right in that it does look pretty darn cool though.

Oh and in case you didn’t catch the reference:

That poor ship just can’t catch a break huh?

Until next time. Have a brave Moga Nivan! 🔥🔥🔥 🔥🔥

Strange bedfellows

This is part five of the story. To see part one go back a few posts.

Riker develops some unusually shaped warts on his back after a transporter malfunction. Dr Crusher says they’re benign but the commander wants them lanced anyway because they’re gross.

I can’t pick up chicks looking like this!

Commander Riker sits in the ready room trying to think of a way out of their current predicament. They know where they need to go, but without warp it would take a year to get there. And more fuel than they have.

On top of that, they still have the Sztazzan to deal with. Which gives Riker an idea. The starfleet crew knows where to go. The Sztazzan crew has the means to get there. If he could just convince the insectoids to work together, both groups would (hopefully) get home in one piece.

The trick is convincing the Sztazzan. And they are not a species that is easily convinced.

With our powers combined…

Commander Riker explains the idea to give the Sztazzan the coordinates in exchange for being brought inside their shields when they go to warp. The Sztazzan balk at this idea as it would leave them wide open to attack.

They threaten to simply take over the saucer and steal the coordinates, but Riker assures them he would destroy the info before the Sztazzan ever got a chance to use it.

He gives the Sztazzan time to think it over, and closes the channel.

The insectoids believe Riker to be lying as they believe all humans do, but one speaks up. He was on the surface and saw Lt. Oliver save the Sztazzan that had been trapped under rubble. It convinced him maybe humans aren’t all bad.

Called it

Alexander plays by himself in his quarters. Although the play is more going through the motions and not really fun. His head is down and he looks rather dejected.

Mr. Mot stops by for a visit to see how the boy is holding up. The Bolian appraises Alexander of the situation with the Sztazzan and how they know where to go but have no way to get there.

As they discuss it, the barber gets an idea, but surely Commander Riker would have thought of it by now… Alexander begs to hear what this plan is.

Well if you insist

Alexander takes Mr. Mot’s idea and rushes to tell Commander Riker all about it. He sits across from Will in the ready room and relays the brilliant plan to give the coordinates to the Sztazzan in exchange for them bringing the saucer with them.

Riker praises the boy for such an ingenious solution, but Alexander readily admits it was Mot’s idea and that the barber was just too shy to say anything.

Will humors the child and tells him the plan is so good hes gonna use it right now!

Kids are so gullible

Riker leads Alexander off the bridge and once he’s gone Lt. D’Sora informs the commander that the Sztazzan have agreed to the arrangement.

On the battle bridge, things aren’t going as well. They’ve lost shields and phasers and even have a couple of hull breeches but luckily no casualties so far.

Captain Picard determines enough is enough and orders the away team back so they can flee the area.

But it’s the only one he’s got!

On the other side of the galaxy (or wherever they are) the Federation and Sztazzan crews work together on the second sphere. The team has found the communications hub but it isn’t compatible with either crew’s technology.

O’Brien figures they can communicate with the other sphere, though. If the away team is still on there, they have a chance to work with them and get home.

O’Brien patches through to the other sphere as Data signals for Mr. Burke to beam them aboard. Upon hearing the chief’s voice come through, Data belays the order just in time.

Data’s quick thinking saves the day again

Captain Picard is quick to hail the away team and ask why they have disobeyed a direct order to return to the ship. Data explains Chief O’Brien has established communications, and Miles explains the situation on their end.

Geordi realizes if they can receive transmissions from the other sphere, they can pinpoint its location and use this sphere to bring the missing people back.

Bring em home

Picard agrees to wait just a little longer, and pulls out a few more tricks from his sleeve to give the Sztazzan the slip once more.

Data quickly establishes the coordinates of the missing vessels, and Geordi activates the sphere’s transporter system once O’Brien and the others have safely returned to their ships.

In a flash of light, the saucer section and Sztazzan flagship re-appear in about the same place they had left. Picard immediately orders Riker to beam up the away team and get out of there before the Sztazzan destroy them all, but Riker informs Captain Picard that they have a truce.

We almost died but you know. No big deal.

The Sztazzan leader notes Picard’s surprise at the ceasefire and mentions his own colleagues were equally confused, but they didn’t get to interact with Lt. Oliver like his crew did. She was instrumental in establishing a relationship of trust.

In that spirit, he has called for an end to hostilies. Picard gladly agrees and repeats his previous invitation to work together to discover what they can about the sphere.

Did we just become best friends?

Picard returns to speaking with Commander Riker and commends him on impressing the Sztazzan. He thanks the captain but says it was really Lt. Oliver that deserves the bulk of the credit.

And his chief strategist: Mot the Barber.

This story seems to be over but not yet! There are some loose ends to wrap up.

I hope Geordi is able to go back and win that billiards tournament. Or, even better, Deanna wins in his place.

This story did a good job focusing on the relationship between Worf and Alexander and how much the two really care for each other. It’s too bad we never saw Worf act so concerned over his son’s welfare in the actual show. If they had more of this, maybe Worf wouldn’t have earned his terrible father reputation.

Seems a lot of people weren’t too keen on the Ardra storyline. I admit it wasn’t my favorite either (a lot of it having to do with Picard just not being characterized properly imo). This writer made his complaints into a list:

On the next page he goes on to say my favorite point: “9. I won’t even comment on the idea that the laundryman wouldn’t find it strange that his cart is now 300 pounds heavier than usual”

I don’t find Ardra an annoying character (I kinda get a kick out of all the women who give Jean-Luc a hard time), but the story itself had a lot of “really??” moments for me. Guess I wasn’t alone!

I still think Picard punching a truck driver while he is driving to be the most ludicrous part of the story.

The editor also likes to answer questions even if there’s no room to print the full letter. There apparently were some interesting ones submitted this time

Bring back Lore? Uhhh YES. If I could travel back in time I would so have written in to say this.

Also found it very interesting to see them say there are various races of Klingons. Especially since we didn’t really see evidence of that until Discovery over 20 years after this was printed!

Luck of the Irish

This is part four of the story. To see part one go back a few posts.

O’Brien covers Beverly Crusher while she tends to… A computer? Uh, doc? Shouldn’t you be helping the people currently getting their butts kicked?

Miles, you might wanna turn around

Dr. Crusher and the rest of the away team study the hostile planet for clues on how to return home. They enter a nearby structure (which is surprisingly well in-tact despite the planet appearing completely abandoned) and soon find some computer terminals.

Cheif O’Brien gets right to work on interfacing with the alien tech to download information. Lt. Oliver is eager to get out of there before the Sztazzan pop in, calling them “filth.”

O’Brien says he understands how she feels (after all he felt the same way about Cardassians) but he doesn’t agree with it. There are two sides to every story which is a lesson he learned when some Cardassians came aboard the Enterprise with wild (true) accusations about his former captain.

IDIC 🖖

Their conversation is cut short as O’Brien manages to tap into the memory banks and begin a download.

Data and the others on the sphere determine there should be a way to stop the overload. As they hurry to work, the Sztazzan move into attack formation.

Captain Picard, derermined to buy the away team as much time as he can, orders Ro Laren to perform evasive maneuvers. They take out the systems of one ship, and move away from the sphere, the rest of the enemy ships hot on their tail.

Blow them out of the sky!

With some fancy maneuvering, they take out another ship, and continue on a heading away from the sphere at warp 5.

Mr. Mot talks to Alexander’s teacher and tells her he noticed that the “pep talk” Ensign Leffler gave didn’t seem to do much good for the boy. The teacher agrees and says Worf is all Alexander has and this has taken a toll on the young Klingon.

Mr. Mot offers to “distract” Alexander to get his mind off of things.

I was thinking he could sweep the hair off my floor

At the alien planet, the saucer section pick up on sensors that the Sztazzan are beaming down. Riker warns the away team that they will soon have company.

O’Brien informs the commander that he’s found a lot of information on the fate of the former inhabitants. Apparently, they created the sphere to save themselves from a catastrophe on their homeworld. One that would have wiped out their entire race.

They settled on this planet, but as fate would have it, a rogue comet came looking for them here. They didn’t realize the danger until it was too late and their race ended up extinct after all.

Which god did they piss off?

While Riker would normally be fascinated by the history lesson, he’s more interested in getting back home and asks the chief what he found on that front. O’Brien states there is a receiver for the device. If they can determine where it is they may be able to use it to get back. But he needs more time to download the information.

Luckily, he only needs a few minutes, but the Sztazzan arrive with guns blazing. The away team seals the door but the insectoids blast the door open injuring a member of the away team and trapping one of their own under some rubble.

O’Brien finishes dowloading the information and they get ready to leave, but Lt. Oliver sees the injured Sztazzan and her compassion takes over. She and doctor Crusher work to stabilize the alien before the rest of his group storms inside. The away team beams up just in time to avoid a litany of enemy fire.

Terry couldn’t hold on to her hate forever

On the sphere, Data and Geordi manage to halt the energy buildup. With the threat gone, they set to work on attempting to decipher where the saucer was transported to.

The battle bridge is starting to get in to trouble, though. As the Sztazzan continue to chase them down, they are getting better at anticipating the Enterprise’s maneuvers. Shields drop to 35% in the latest hit.

Have you tried the Picard maneuver?

In the saucer section’s sickbay, Crusher tends to the wounded away team member. Luckily nothing serious. Riker is there and Beverly informs him that Terry Oliver is the one who insisted on helping the fallen Sztazzan.

Considering how bloodthirsty she was not long ago, Will is surprised to hear it. Before he can think on it too long, Chief O’Brien arrives to tell the commander that he has determined the location of the receiver.

Unfortunately, that location is far. Very far. So far it would take them a year to get there on impulse. Assuming the deuterium held out. And it won’t.

So now what? The saucer section knows where to go but has no way to get there. Certainly not in any reasonable amount of time. Looks like it’s up to Data and Geordi to figure something out on their end.

Or maybe the Sztazzan will decide to work with the Starfleet officers who saved the life of one of their comrades.

Either way I’m happy to see O’Brien getting some real use other than sweating over the transporter controls.

On to the letters and… Wow

Put in her place? Seriously? Where would her place be exactly? The kitchen?

GTFO

Agreed with this person, though!

While I can see Picard being worried about a little humiliation, I can’t see him looking down on a bunch of prisoners with such contempt. Especially when he has no idea what their individual stories are.

But this is also a storyline where he flew through the air and punched a truck driver in the face so… Lol

In case you need a refresher, this is in reference to issue #36. Feel free to jump back and read it while you wait for the next post. Unless the next post ks already up in which case what are you waiting for? Go see if Data or O’Brien get to save the day!

Separation Anxiety

This is part three of the story. To see part one, go back a couple of posts.

The away team looks outside to see their ride has been taken apart and left on cinder blocks. I hope insurance covers this…

At least they didn’t take the nacelles

The crew on the Enterprise battle bridge try to figure out what happened to the saucer section, and the equally confused Sztazzan have ceased fire (for now).

Data establishes contact with the ship and Captain Picard updates the away team on the situation. Data suggests the Enterprise withdraw to avoid further conflict with the Sztazzan but Picard refuses to leave the away team behind. Let alone leave without finding out what happened to the saucer section.

Leave no one behind!

On the bridge of the saucer section, Riker asks what the hell happened. Lt. D’Sora is at tactical and informs the commander that they are no where in known space. The stars don’t match any starcharts in their database.

They quickly conclude it must have been the sphere that transported them, but to where? And since the saucer section lacks warp capability, how will they get back?

Lt. Oliver picks up something on sensors and Riker orders it on the main viewer. Its the Sztazzan ship that was chasing them! Riker tries hailing them for all the good it will do.

Data explains to Picard his theory that the sphere is designed to transport vessels great distances. Instead of warp drive, this race used artificial wormholes.

I love how Data isn’t afraid to call out his boss

Picard asks if its possible to retrieve the saucer section but Data doesn’t see how at the moment. The away team is tasked with exploring the sphere more to try to find a way to get the other half of their ship back. Before the Sztazzan resume hostilities.

Worf is eager to get to work. After all, Alexander is aboard the saucer section!

The Sztazzan hail the Enterprise and demand an explanation for the disappearance of their flagship. Picard points out the saucer section is just as gone, so the Starfleet crew is in the same predicament. The Sztazzan don’t buy it.

Look bro we can’t give you something we don’t have

Picard decides he’s sick of these jerkwads and says if they’re so sure that Starfleet vanished their vessel then they shouldn’t be so eager to piss us off unless they want to lose another ship. Then he cuts the channel before they can offer a rebuttal.

Deanna warns the captain that while the Sztazzan are currently confused, their natural impulse is to act, so we can’t rely on them keeping calm. But at least Picard has bought them some time.

On the saucer, Ensign Leffler speaks to a group of schoolkids including Alexander. One of her personal rules is to not lie, so she tells the kids the truth about the situation. They’re lost, and it may be months before they see their families again.

But she assures them that Commander Riker will do whatever it takes to get them home. Even if it takes a while.

Mot eyeing Alexander like “daddy ain’t here to save you now little man”

On the saucer bridge, they’ve received no response to hails. However, they do pick up a large planet on long-range sensors. While it’s not class M, the planet may support other kinds of life.

Riker figures this is the best lead they have, and they set course for the planet at max impulse. The Sztazzan ship follows them for lack of anything better to do.

Keiko tries to reason with Miles to stay on the ship, but the chief has been asked to join an away mission. She worries for her husband’s safety but he reminds her what he does is for her and Molly’s safety as well as that of everyone else on board. His loving and supportive wife understands but that doesn’t mean she won’t worry.

The most supportive couple

They reach the planet and O’Brien beams down in an environmental suit along with Dr. Crusher and Lt. Oliver. As much as Riker wants to lead the away team, he understands his place now is on the bridge.

As the away team on the sphere continues their search, the apparatus appears to come to life again, energy building in one of the power nodes. Apparently the blast it took earlier set off some kind of chain reaction.

Geordi hails the Enterprise battle section to inform them that this power buildup will blow the entire sphere (and likely anything else within range) in about an hour if they can’t find a way to stop it.

May wanna get some distance between us sir

The Sztazzan hail the Enterprise and again order them to leave the area. Picard states this must mean they have concluded that he is not responsible for the disappearance of their flagship.

They confirm that they now realize it was the sphere. Therefore they have no reason to fear the Federation vessel. They order the Enterprise to depart or be destroyed.

Picard refuses to leave and orders the battle bridge crew to stand their ground. Whatever it takes…

Well hopefully this time with Miles being on the away team he will get to be a hero and not just beam down never to be heard from again like the story with Ardra.

This comic did a great job showing just how selfless these crew members are. From Miles risking his life to beam down to a hostile planet for the sake of his family and crew, to Data suggesting the Enterprise leave the away team behind for their own safety, to Picard staying for the sake of everyone.

On to the letters:

Anyone in Finland want to see if this society still exists?? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Some interesting info on the Yslanti that may not have translated well in the comic, but good to know should they ever crop up again (be it in comics or fan fiction):

And with this issue we have turned a corner. This is the first issue of the second half of the entire DC run. With 80 issues total, we’ve still got a ways to go, but I look forward to every step. For those who have been with me from the start, thank you for being there. For those of you just getting started, welcome! And be sure to go back through and read all of the back issues when you have the time!

🖖

Flying saucers

This is part two of the story. To see part one, view the previous post.

Picard remembers the Enterprise can separate the saucer section. What better time to do so than to flex on the Death Star?

Bet you can’t do THIS

Data, Worf, and Geordi are in the depths of the sphere studying what looks to be a giant warp core. Geordi realizes that they’ve lost contact with the Enterprise and Data speculates some of the alien alloys may be interfering with communications.

On the bridge, Lt. Terry Oliver informs Captain Picard that the vessels belong to a race called the Sztazzan and urges the captain not to let them get the drop on the Enterprise.

Picard goes to yellow alert and tells O’Brien to bring the away team back, but the same thing blocking the communicators is likely blocking transporters too.

Picard rocking that awesome jacket

Picard asks Riker what we know about the Sztazzan but the answer is not much. Only one encounter with them in the last 30 years and that was the encounter with Lt. Oliver’s ship.

Terry explains the Sztazzan came out of no where and made unfounded territorial claims before blasting her former ship to kingdom come.

The Sztazzan answer the Enterprise’s hail and, apparently like before, claim the starship is violating their territory. They refuse to even explain their claim and insist the Enterprise leave at once.

During the exchange, Lt. Oliver has a panic attack.

Dude…not in front of the hostiles!

Picard tries to reason with the insectoids and offer to combine efforts to study the sphere, but the Sztazzan counter offer that the Enterprise leaves within 3 minutes or gets blown up.

Picard is faced with a difficult choice: stay and fight to get his away team back before the Sztazzan find them or run and protect the over 1000 lives aboard his ship.

He decides to have his cake and eat it too. He summons Troi, Ro, and a couple others to the battle bridge and orders Will to head straight for Beta Cangelosi.

Shits about to get real

The crew scrambles to get in place with civilians and non-essential personnel rushing to the saucer section while those remaining behind situate themselves in the battle section.

Ro Laren takes her seat in the battle bridge and is thankful to be there. She couldn’t stand not sticking around to help fight and a part of her welcomes the distraction… Although this is a bigger one than she would have preferred.

Meanwhile Terry sits on the saucer section grateful to be getting the heck out of there. Though there is a small part of her that wants to stay and exact revenge. Starfleet ideals or not.

Burn the bastards!

In the sphere, the away team discusses the bad timing of this mission. Worf explains the issue he was in the middle of dealing with regarding Alexander and Mot, and Geordi complains about getting pulled away from the billiards championship.

While they talk, Data discovers something that may be of interest.

You mean more interesting than your son being a little shit again?

The saucer separation begins and at first the Sztazzan watch with curiosity. But that curiosity doesn’t last long when they realize it could be some sort of attack. The three minutes is up and they open fire on both sections!

The shields hold on both sections and the saucer begins to move away. One enemy vessel continues to target it, but with the battle section dealing with the other five, Riker is on his own with that one.

The vessel opens fire on the saucer but misses, hitting the sphere instead. At first Riker worries about the away team, but a new concern quickly replaces it as the sphere begins to increase its energy levels significantly.

Worry about yourself, Will

The sphere energy levels spike so high that it seems like it’ll explode. A wave of energy eminates from the construct, blinding anyone watching on the viewer. When the light fades, the saucer section (and the ship that was chasing it) are gone.

Not exploded. There’s no debris or any sign of the ships at all. They’re just…gone.

But to where?

Ok so does that mean Troi and O’Brien didn’t win that billiards tournament? I need answers!!

I’m curious as to where the ships went. To null space? To another dimension? Maybe they’re actually still there but were hit by some kind of cloaking field?? And will they be alone in this new place? Or is the device a transporter that just sent them to the creators’ home world?

Guess we’ll find out next issue!

The letters to the editor this time focused on an issue that has always bothered me so I’m really glad they are addressing it:

This has been such a peeve of mine. Its bad enough when you see an awesome costume on the cover but never in the comic. A little disappointing but not a big deal. However, putting a character on the cover who doesn’t even appear in the story (or at best has a panel or so) is false advertising.

My favorite character is Data. When I first started collecting these comics as a kid, I didnt have the money to buy them all so I focused on ones with Data on the cover. Luckily, Data is always in some way involved so it didn’t hurt me too much if he was less notable within the story because he was still there.

But imagine being a fan of Ro. She rarelt makes an appearance so when you see her on the cover you think “oh wow a Ro story!” and grab it. Only to not even get a panel with her in it. That’s messed up.

I honestly don’t like the excuse they give. I get they are trying to convey a story with a single image, but if you’re trying to do that why would you include characters who aren’t even in it?!

I’ll let their answer be the final say on the topic.

That’s no Moon

First person view story where you talked smack about Captain Picard. You better hope Q swoops in to save your ass.

Say Kirk was better one more time I dare you

The Enterprise is on a heading towards an unknown moon-sized object spotted by one of their observatories situated on the outskirts of Federation space.

Normally a moon-sized object wouldn’t be all that special except this one is all alone in space. No planets. No sun. Just one lonely moon.

Upon arriving, they quickly see that this moon isnt a moon at all but what looks to be an artificial construct.

Like “what is a midi-chlorian anyway?”

In 10 forward, Ro is sitting alone near the windows. Data comes up and asks if he can join her, and Ro gladly accepts the company.

Data can sit with me any time

Despite the company, Ro still appears upset and Data asks her why. She explains that one of Bajor’s biggest holidays is coming up and none of her people are around for her to celebrate with.

She goes on to tell the story of the holiday which takes place 20,000 years ago during Bajor’s pre-industrial age. A ruthless warlord was marching against his neighbors and pillaging their resources. Eventually there was only one independent state left.

The state was small and attached to the main continent by a land bridge. They weren’t fighters but philosophers and artists. They didn’t stand much chance against the largest and most brutal army that had existed.

As Ro told the tale of the large force crossing the bridge, their conversation is interrupted by Commander Riker ordering Data to the bridge. Data apologizes for the interruption and departs; leaving Ro alone again in 10 forward.

As Geordi lines up a shot in a game of pool, Riker’s voice chirps over the comm and orders the engineer to the bridge as well. O’Brien sarcastically remarks on the great timing while Geordi laments having to leave as he puts away his stick.

Bossman never cares for the struggle of the little people

The pair of men Geordi and Miles were up against begin to gloat. They were competing in a tournament and the rules say no postponement. If you lose your partner, you have one minute to find a new one or you forfeit. Which seems pretty harsh, really. Especially for a location where shit happens randomly all the time.

Miles refuses to forfeit and quickly looks around the room. He spots Counselor Troi off in the corner looking at a computer screen and he begs her to join his team.

Troi warns O’Brien that Betazoids don’t play pool but he doesn’t have any other options. The men tease O’Brien that he’s out of time but Troi stands and announces she’s his partner. The tournament can go on!

Jaysus that was close

Alexander sits in Mr. Mot’s barber chair while Worf stands nearby. Alexander complains about getting his hair cut and Mot tells the lad that he’s not exactly enjoying dealing with the little shit either but he’s under orders.

To take the child’s mind off of the ordeal, Mot tells Alexander a story about the Endeavor and the time it evaded some Klytanian warships by ducking in to some Oort clouds near Alpha Pelisium.

Alexander pipes up that Alpha Pelisium doesn’t have Oort clouds, and basically calls Mot out on being full of it.

Quit your bullshit, baldy

Mr. Mot tells the boy he may be right and quickly gets the kid out of his chair as the haircut is over. Worf walks his son down the hall and explains to the boy how rude that was, but Alexander doesn’t understand why he shouldn’t have called out obvious falsehoods.

As Worf explains to Alexander how feelings work (the irony), a call comes down from the bridge ordering Worf to head up there. He tells his son to go on to class without him and they will discuss this incident later.

In the holodeck, Dr. Crusher is taking a nice walk through Big Sur with a blonde woman named Terry. They speak a bit about Wesley and how he’s currently dating a girl named Robin Leffler. The conversation then turns to Terry and how happy she is to be stationed on the Enterprise.

Dr. Crusher says that after what Terry went through, she deserves a break. We learn that Terry’s previous ship was seriously attacked leaving it half destroyed and her friends dead. While Terry claims to have moved past the incident, Beverly recommends she speak to Counselor Troi.

Way to pick at old wounds, Doctor

Before they can really argue the matter, their conversation is interrupted with an order for Beverly to report to the bridge. Terry has a shift starting up there soon so she joins the doctor in heading up there.

The four officers arrive up on the bridge at about the same time, and Captain Picard explains the machine is devoid of life but scans can’t tell them what the function of the device was.

Picard orders Worf, Geordi, and Data to form an away team to the death star artificial moon and find out what they can. Dr. Crusher is asked to remain by the captain’s side on the bridge to monitor the situation and be ready to spring in to action should they run in to trouble.

The three men arrive on the construct after donning some protective gear and beaming over. Their scans confirm it’s entirely artificial and old. Very old.

One could say it was constructed long ago in a galaxy far, far away

The team does pick up readings that indicate the power source is in tact. Now they just need to figure out what that power was used for.

Worf immediately postulates it could be a weapon of some sort, but Data notes a weapon would need something to shoot, and there are no planets anywhere nearby. Neither to attack or defend against.

Geordi points out that just because there are no planets here now doesn’t mean there weren’t any in the area a thousand years ago.

Someone check on Alderaan

The team follows the power nodes back towards their source, keeping open communication to the bridge. Picard and Riker discuss the thought of the race who made this construct no longer existing and Dr. Crusher chimes in with a quote from Ozymandias. “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair.”

But before she and Picard can get in to a discussion on ancient literature, 6 ships appear on sensors approaching from behind the construct at warp 2.

Shields are raised immediately and the alien vessels slow to half-impulse near the Enterprise.

Its a trap!

Terry recognizes the ships as the very ones that had brutally attacked her ship, the Grissom!

Will they do the same to the Enterprise??

Ok seriously how did they get away with this copyright infringement?? Ha!

I’m really enjoying the mystery of this “not a moon” built long ago and floating on the edge of Federation space, though. I also liked how we got to see a bit in to the lives of several officers as they got the call to head to the bridge. I hope Ro gets to celebrate her holiday and Troi kicks ass in the pool tournament!

On to the letters and we get this guy. First, he is totally right when he points out that the ship used in issue #32 was referred to as Constitution class like the original Enterprise, but looked more like the Stargazer. He was also right to point out giving it a letter suffix (the ship was NCC-1757-B) is unusual because that’s only for very special ships like Enterprise.

But he totally comes off like comic book guy, lol.

Now here’s a letter that TOS fans will appreciate I suppose. Being a TNG fan forever I obviously don’t agree, but don’t say I never let the other side have its say:

I know several people who would argue Picard to be the hot one, Stuart. But I know Kirk is considered more classically handsome at least. Of course compare the two men now and you may get different answers!

The great joy of Trek now is there isn’t just TOS or TNG to choose from. We have 8 different series all with their own look and feel. There is something for everyone from the campy action of the 60s to the optimism of TNG; the grit of DS9 to the updated, cinematic action of DIS. And that is something we as fans can all celebrate. IDIC 🖖

Moon’s Broke

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!

They don’t even seem happy about it

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.”

No one disrespects my necklace! I got it on sale at Claire’s!

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.

It’s just crazy enough to work!

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.

So… Nothing’s changed?

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.

Getting Scott Summers vibes

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.

So much for talking it out

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.

I’m sure there’s a lot of times like these

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.

Awww he misses his bestie

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.

Damn rats

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.

Dun dun dunnnnn

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.

Lucky for us the meeting is walking distance from the dungeon

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.

And no its not drool

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.

As a mother and a sister idk how I should feel about this

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

Is “blooooosh” really the best they could come up with?

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.

The end.

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 🖖

Dirty laundry

This is part 3 of the story. To read part one, go back a couple posts.

Picard teams up with Ardra and Professor Arturo in an attempt to slide into a dimension where he can relax in his cool jacket in peace.

Tell me that doesn’t look like John Rhys-Davies

Ardra and the away team sneak up to the castle gates. Or rather, the delivery entrance. They wait for an unsuspecting delivery driver to roll up and Picard volunteers to be the one to punch the guy out so they can commandeer the vehicle.

How tf did he run and catch up to a truck?!

The driver dispatched, Ro is ordered to don his uniform and take the driver’s seat. The rest of the group climbs in to the back.

Ardra explains this is a laundry truck. Not just any laundry, either. Only the king gets his laundry this way.

They roll up to the gates where the guards question Ro. But she manages to convince them to let her through to deliver the goods.

Playin it cool

Jean-Luc and Ardra climb in to the laundry bin together (after he gives a token protest) and hunker down to be delivered. Ro and Geordi are instructed to drive off but keep nearby in case they need to provide a getaway.

On the Enterprise, Riker finally decides to check in on the captain. At this point it has been 6.5 hours which is pretty impressive to consider the team got in a bar fight, broke out of prison, and snuck into a palace in such a short time span.

Of course, the captain doesn’t answer any hails since his comm badge was confiscated. Riker quickly realizes something must be wrong and grabs Worf for an away team, leaving Data in charge.

Of course they are

Riker and his team beam down in search of the captain, arriving at the jailer’s station thanks to tracking down Picard’s communicator signal.

At first, the jailer has no idea who they are talking about. Captain Picard wasn’t in uniform so they had no way of knowing what he was. But when Worf shows the jailer a picture, he recognizes Picard immediately.

Wait til you hear about the delivery driver

Riker and his team head off to investigate further, and try to track down where Picard and his team went off to.

Meanwhile, Picard and Ardra are wheeled through the palace by an unwitting servant pushing the laundry bin down the halls.

The bin is eventually wheeled right in to the king’s bathroom where he is having a relaxing bubble bath.

Is he singing “Be my lover” by La Bouche?

The stowaways present themselves to the king who keeps himself modest by staying under the bubbles. Ardra explains the plot at hand, but the king requires proof for such accusations. Ardra assures the king that if he gives her access to some surface-to-ship communications he will have all he proof he needs.

Riker and his team wander the streets with no idea of where to begin looking for their missing crew. Worf points out a tavern called “The Cauldron” as a place to start.

They walk in and see a bunch of patrons watching a show. They also note how the scene was not what they expected of a bar in Shanzibar. Their conversation draws a “shhh” from a nearby table.

Worf states this may not be the best place to get info after all. Riker doubts everyone is that interested in the show. Until an entire table turns to shush them.

They’re going to the special hell

A particularly large and gruff man approaches the rude group of theater-talkers and confronts them on being yet more offworlders who can’t keep their mouths shut.

Worf asks the man about the offworlders he’s talking about, and the brute clearly is talking about Picard and his team. Riker tells the man those are friends and asks if he knows where they are.

The man replies he doesn’t, but he knows what’ll happen to Riker!

We all have wanted to do this to the person who wont stop talking during the movie

Back in the palace, the wizier sits at the head of a table with his co-conspirators. He goes over the plan with them to drug the king and drain the treasury.

Once the entire plan is laid out, the charade is dropped and everyone around the table shimmers and changes form to that of Picard and the others including the king.

Clever girl

The wizier makes a desperate attempt to escape by cutting the rope to the chandelier overhead. Ardra shoves the king out of the way while Picard tackles the fleeing would-be kingslayer.

The wizier fights back, swinging his knife, but Picard deftly avoids the attack and dispatches the wizier with a well-placed throat punch.

He brought a knife to a gun fight. 💪

After the dust settles, Ardra and Picard’s group meet with the king in his throne room. He thanks them for saving his life and informs them they are all due the standard reward for it. An amount that is literally a King’s ransom.

Picard immediately turns to Ardra and calls her out for having a stake in this after all. She shrugs it off. Maintaining a ship with cutting edge tech is expensive after all.

Why stop having fun?

Picard asks for his portion to be distrubuted among the poor of Shanzibar. The king agrees although with how prosperous they’ve become from the influx in tourism, it may be hard to find any poor people!

Ardra bids them all adieu and beams up to her ship.

Picard hails the Enterprise with a comm badge provided by the king. Data answers the hail and explains Riker is now missing.

When Data explains they lost contact with the team in the vicinity of The Cauldron, Captain Picard knows exactly what happened…

The end.

What the heck happened to Miles?? I figured he was going to have at least some part to play in this. But apparently he went down there in the last comic and then just vanished? Messing around in the local tavern? Hopefully not The Cauldron, lol.

I liked the callback to Ardra’s holo technology. And the banter between her and Picard was fun, too.

Also, I seriously don’t know who the heck that dude on the cover on the right is supposed to be. He never even showed up in the story. So I’m gonna stick to my idea that its Professor Arturo from Sliders.

In the letters to the editor, the editor made a comment regarding Picard’s romantic options:

I feel so vindicated right now. I love the Vash/Picard pairing. I can’t wait to get to those comics!

It also looks like Lwaxana will be showing up at some point too:

They probably should space out those appearances though. Picard can only handle so much sexual tension at once and the poor man just got done dealing with Ardra!

Deal with the Devil

This is part two of the story. To see part one, visit the previous post.

The away team is trapped in jail with Ardra. Ro is excited someone else is gonna be the one pissing Picard off for once.

“This is gonna be good”

Ardra and Jean-Luc go back and forth with the woman relentlessly teasing him and the captain rebuffing all of her advances. She eventually suggests they work together. Not for her sake, of course, but for the king of this planet.

Ardra explains there is a plot against the king, but Picard is understandably skeptical. He tells her she needs to come clean with the truth of why she’s really here if she wants to give him any reason to believe her.

The conwoman readily confesses that she was there to seduce the king. The man is old and not long for this world, and as his wife, she would inherit his fortune and become sole ruler.

Solid plan, really

During the process of wooing the king, however, Ardra overheard a plot by the king’s chief advisor and some other men. They planned to drug the king and drain the coffers while he lay bedridden.

They caught her eavesdropping and threw her in jail, and soon enough she figures she will be found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Unless Jean-Luc helps her, of course.

Geordi remembers Ardra’s eye implants and asks about them, but the con artist had (conveniently for the plot) left them behind as they are uncomfortable. So with no comm badges and no eye implants, no one has any way of communicating to the ships in orbit. And so far the Enterprise has no idea anything is amiss.

In the king’s throne room, the monarch sits on his throne while the wizier informs him of the treasury’s growing coffers thanks to the boon in tourism.

As they talk, a man named Tachrus enters with a goblet for the king. The king refuses the drink, insisting it tastes disgusting, but Tachrus reminds him that the physician insists upon it.

Dun dun dunnnn

The king sends Tachrus away with the drink for now, but he will be back to insist again.

Picard still doesn’t believe Ardra after she lays out the situation, but Counselor Troi speaks up to say the woman is telling the truth.

Picard states even if that’s true she only wants them to help so she can go on with her initial scheme, but Ardra claims she doesn’t care about that anymore. What she wants now is revenge.

Pettiness can even drive ambition, mon capitan

Ardra suggests they break out of prison. Picard of course balks at the notion. They are Starfleet officers not barbarians who disobey the law.

The conwoman asks which is more important: following the law, or letting this world’s monarch be taken down by treachery? (I would think the prime directive would apply here but maybe not if they have some kind of treaty with this place.)

Its just some light treachery

On the Enterprise, Keiko and Miles discuss him taking some shore leave, himself. The chief (actually a lieutenant in this comic) doesn’t want to abandon his family, but Keiko knows he really wants to go and she lovingly insists.

Miles resists the notion and declares he loves being here with his family. But again Keiko knows better and while what he said is true, she also has seen how restless he is. Some time away will do him some good.

Ever the loving and supportive wife

While Miles doesn’t want to be seen as abandoning his family, he ultimately relents (with a little help from Molly throwing some food in his face). He makes plans to head down to the surface after all.

In the jail cell, Ardra and Troi stage an argument. Each of them accuses the other of “stealing her man.” The man of course being Jean-Luc Picard.

They coulda fought over Geordi but they had to make it believable

The commotion eventually attracts the guards who come in to tell them to knock it off. This gives Ro and Geordi their chance to take out the guards from behind.

With the guards down, the team rushes out of the prison cell. Picard shuts the door behind them to prevent actual criminals from escaping, and they head down the hall.

On their way towards the exit, they run across another pair of guards. This time the group hangs back while Ardra works her magic on the men.

She passes herself off as a noble inspecting this prison. The guards are skeptical but not skeptical enough to possibly piss off royalty. She manages to get in close enough to knock one of the guards out before the other finally realizes she’s not who she claims to be.

Gold star for the guard’s deductive reasoning skills

The group takes the final guard out and searches the locker for their comm badges. No dice. They continue to head down the hall and make their way outside and toward the palace.

What could possibly go wrong?

While its hard to tell the passage of time in comics format, the team certainly has been gone for hours by now with no contact to the ship. Riker is really asleep at the wheel on this one. At least it looks like this will give O’Brien a chance to be the hero in the next issue!

Speaking of O’Brien, I love seeing him and Keiko interact. They know and support each other so well. Keiko gets way too much shit for all the crap she actually puts up with for the sake of her husband. They really make a great pair and Miles is damn lucky to have her.

No letters to the editor in this issue. Instead something very interesting. A complete timetable of the show, novels, and comics! If you are ever wondering exactly where these comics or your books at home slot in to the actual series, here you go: