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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!