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! 🖖