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:

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