Ardrabian Nights

Picard said “what the devil” one too many times so she decided to make an appearance.

He really attracts the most interesting characters doesnt he

The Enterprise arrives at a planet called Shanzibar for some shore leave… against Captain Picard’s better judgment.

The planet has a reputation rivaling that of Risa, but only recently has it earned it. Prior, it was more a planet of pickpockets and thugs. While the Federation has approved of the changes made by the Council of Kings, Jean-Luc remains skeptical.

On scanners, Data picks up a familiar vessel already in orbit. It’s Ardra’s! The crew grumble about her presence here and Ro, sitting at navigation, asks who this Ardra person is that has them all so worked up.

How many con artists has he run across to make this determination?

Ardra should be locked up on Ventax II, but she is nothing if not resourceful. And Picard is even less inclined to allow for shore leave now that he knows she’s here.

Riker makes the case that it is even more important to beam down than ever. If Ardra is here, she’s likely causing trouble. Shouldn’t they investigate?

Picard takes what Riker says to heart and decides to lead the away team himself. He beams down with Counselor Troi, Lt. Cmdr. La Forge, And Ensign Ro.

Troi likes the place immediately

Ro makes mention that she has been to this planet before many years ago. Picard asks her if she knows a place they can go to track down Ardra, and Ro leads them to a local tavern called The Cauldron.

In 10 forward, Data and Worf share a drink and the Klingon states that he has no intention of beaming down for some shore leave. Data is curious as to why since everyone–including himself–seems eager to beam down and experience “one of the most stimulating venues of the known universe.”

Worf explains that with Ardra around, he would consider himself derelict in his duties as security chief if he were to leave the ship. Data notes there are many other officers just as capable of keeping an eye on things, but that doesn’t sway Worf.

The colorist went a little wonky here

Besides, Worf adds, the place sounds boring. If they still had the pickpockets and dueling in the streets he would be much more interested.

When they reach the tavern, Captain Picard is pleasantly surprised. The place seems rather… Genteel. And he expected some rather shady sorts.

There is even a show which the away team enjoys watching. It is a mix of ballet and opera and Picard is starting to think maybe this planet isn’t that bad after all.

Picard’s earring is killing me lol

While the show goes on, a nearby patron is so moved that he breaks down in to tears. Ro jokingly points it out to Deanna, but the man overhears and takes great offense.

Let men express emotions, Ro. This is the 24th century ffs

Right when I think we are gonna get a moving speech in defense of men being able to express other emotions besides anger, dudebro defends his tears by trying to punch Ro in the face. Oh well. So close.

Ro quickly knocks the guy on his ass using her chair to assist, and Picard yells at her to back down. Surely we can discuss things like civilized people?

Nah. Time for a barroom brawl. Troi points out the Shanzibarans are highly emotional so the fight isn’t likely to die down any time soon. In fact the entire bar is in on it now.

Ro reels from a hit to the jaw. Geordi attempts to come to her defense but nearly gets pummeled instead. Lucky for him, Counselor Troi is there.

Breaking a chair over his head like “have a seat!”

Even Troi can’t believe she pulled off the stunt, but they don’t dwell on it long as they need to get gone before the 5-0 gets there to shut everyone down.

The away team makes their way out the front door only to be stopped at the threshold by the police. So close.

Ro remarks they could easily make a run for it. Theres only 2 cops but 4 of them. Picard shuts that down immediately. They are Starfleet officers not fugitives! So instead they climb in to the police bus to be carted away to jail. Their communicators are confiscated and they didn’t have weapons to begin with.

Meanwhile Riker and the gang on the bridge are all talking about how hard it is to get Picard to take time off, and even thanking Ardra for giving him a reason to beam down.

Worf asks if they should check in with the captain but Will says if there’s something he needs to say, the captain will hail them. In the meantime let him enjoy his time on the surface.

Poor Worf is right again but no one listens

Picard is feeling humiliated as he’s forced to share a giant cell with the “dregs of Shanziban society.” Which is pretty harsh of him to say tbh.

Besides the company, Jean-Luc worries that this will actually cause a diplomatic incident with the Federation having to negotiate for their freedom.

Ro apologizes to the captain. She understands this is her fault for not keeping her mouth shut. Picard says of anyone should take responsibility it is him as captain.

Before they can really discuss the matter further, they are interrupted

Surprise!

Ardra happens to be in the jail cell with them!

Well at least Ro wasnt wrong that going to the tavern would lead to information about Ardra. Just not in the way they had planned, lol.

Also Will is gonna feel really silly when he realizes that maybe keeping in close contact with your captain while he is in search of a fugitive is a good idea after all???

On to the letters

It’s always wild to me to read letters from teenagers and then realize those people are now like 30+ years old. I wonder if they still have these comics.

The letter got split on the page but the rest reads: “where there was a panel discussing ways to kill Wesley.”

Of all the panel topics they could have gone with…

Wesley (and by extension, Wil) have gotten a lot of hate. I won’t pretend I didn’t dish some out myself (nothing like the panel but more just annoyance–and hardcore jealousy–towards the character in general) but Wil has gotten way more shit than he ever should have.

I’m so glad he remains a huge Trek fan despite how other fans have treated him over the years. And if you watch Star Trek Picard, make sure you watch Wil’s Ready Room episodes as well. He is such a great host! We are all lucky to have him around. 🖖

Q let the dogs out

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

Worf has had just about enough of Klingon Riker’s shit. He’s got like two seconds before he gets a Klingon fist to his Klingon face

Data is in command though and that’s all that matters

We begin with a scene in the holodeck as Q amuses himself by floating upside down and misquoting Shakespeare.

Then the rose would smell more like lilac

Picard confers with Riker on the bridge, worrying that what just happened in 10 forward will happen again soon and with potentially deadly consequences. He decides to have all phasers locked away until this issue with Q is over.

Riker objects. With the Yslanti on board the crew may need those phasers! The captain states they can defend themselves without the weapons and orders Worf to carry out his order.

Hes turning us all in to kiwis, Makeba!

Down in the armory, security personnel are not happy about this. Even going so far as to grumble that Worf may need to be replaced as head of security. Especially after his cowardly display against Riker in 10 forward.

Elsewhere, the Yslanti sneak through the corridors towards the shuttlebay. They are determined to get off this ship one way or the other.

They spot a shuttle they can use, and rush inside, fighting the personnel stationed there and securing the controls. One of the officers raises the alert that intruders are in the shuttlebay which reaches the ears of the officers turning in their phasers.

The officers argue they need their phasers back to fight the Yslanti. Worf appears to tell them they need what their captain says they need. Nothing more. The officers back down and rush off to the shuttlebay empty handed.

Worf with the restraint of a saint

On the bridge, the captain orders Ro to lock down the shuttlebay, but she can’t. The Yslanti have locked them out. Riker insists the crew need those phasers but Picard says no. He would rather let the Yslanti escape with the shuttle than to cause bloodshed.

Riker does not like that response. And Picard doesn’t like Riker’s response to his response. So he lets him have it.

Fire at Will!

The two fight right there on the bridge. After exchanging blows, Riker stands victorious and claims the title of Captain. He has Picard sent to the brig.

In the shuttlebay, Worf orders the leader of the Yslanti, Sorban, to yield. The man refuses and throws a few punches at Worf who dodges them. Finally, Worf punches back, and knocks Sorban to the ground.

Their leader defeated, the rest of the Yslanti are subdued and taken to the brig. On their way out the door they promise a war is coming in response to their treatment here.

This isn’t over!!

As the Yslanti are removed, security reinforcements arrive with phasers in hand. Worf questions them and they answer the previous order was overturned by Captain Riker.

Worf storms off to see for himself and as he steps in to the turbolift, Q appears to mock him a bit. He tells Worf to cheer up. After all this all should be right up his alley!

Worf arrives on the bridge to see Picard being hauled off, and asks him who did this to him. Riker answers and says it’s unwise to show sympathy for his former captain right in front of his new boss.

Worf finishes his shift with his head down and then makes a beeline to Data’s quarters.

Data under house arrest just petting his cat

The two discuss the situation trying to figure out how to get Q to put things back the way they were. Data notes that often Q leaves some kind of “escape route” for his tricks. If they can figure out the answer he is looking for they can convince him to change things back.

In this case, Q changed the crew to Klingons after the captain’s remark to prove to him that Klingons arent as valueable as Picard believed. So perhaps the answer is to prove the value of Klingon nature.

Time to let loose

Worf eagerly accepts his premise. He’s been keeping himself in check so much it’ll be a relief to let out some of this pent up aggression. The two of them head straight to the bridge.

Worf wastes no time once he gets there, either, stepping out of the turbolift and telling Riker to abdicate the chair.

Riker stands up and mocks Worf. This is the guy who backed down from every previous challenge. Has he finally found his courage?

The two square up and Riker makes the first move, tossing Worf over him and on to the floor. Worf quickly stands back up and delivers a well-placed roundhouse kick to Riker’s face.

This must have been so satisfying lol

Worf takes command of the ship after laying Riker out. He orders the Enterprise to rendezvous with the Hood to transfer the Yslanti immediately and get them off the ship safely.

Q’s face appears in the main viewer, and he concedes to Worf that proven enough. The game is no longer fun anymore with him in command, so he’s done playing. He turns the bridge crew back to normal.

In the brig, Picard and the Yslanti all share the same cell. Sorban complains about being forced to share a cell with a Klingon as Q appears and changes Picard back to normal.

Picard and Q exchange a bit of banter before the omnipotent being disappears in his trademark flash of light. Sorban is in shock and what he witnessed and would never have believed it if not for seeing it with his own eyes.

No one back home is gonna believe me

Picard escorts the Yslanti delegation to the transporter room and things all seem smoothed over. Now that they know Picard was telling the truth about Q, they are prepared to go forward with the peace talks and put this strangeness behind them.

Picard and Riker both agree Worf saved the day. Although Picard no longer wishes he had 100 like him.

Well Data kinda saved the day here. After all it was his idea for Worf to stop holding himself back. I do feel it wrapped up a little too quickly but comics format can tend to do that.

Also really annoyed the cover lied again because Data never actually took command, but they do that a lot, too.

Fun fact about this comic in particular. Worf is my dad’s favorite Star Trek character, and I happened to have a duplicate copy of this comic. So I took it with me to STLV and got Michael Dorn to sign it for him. Dad was really happy when I gave it to him for his birthday 😊 he decided to display it with another Klingon item he has

I love my dad ❤

In the letters to the editor I want to pay condolenses to the Aussies who apparently had to wait a long time for TNG to reach their airwaves

F

And this is in the days where the internet was still a baby. No just hopping on YouTube or even Napster to bootleg episodes. People today are upset Star Trek Picard airs in the UK a day later. Imagine having to wait years!

Those were darker times…

A fistful of Worfs

This is part two of the story. To see part one, go back to the previous post.

Things are getting crazy in 10 forward and Guinan is beginning to realize the Klingons have figured out that her giant blaster is made of chocolate.

Also the ratio of dudes to chicks on this crew leaves something to be desired

First, this comic has the best opening line so far and I would be remiss not to include it.

So sassy

The Yslanti storm down the corridor towards the office of counselor Troi. Since she was assigned to help them, they figure now is the time to ask for that help with this Klingon issue.

Instead, they are greeted by a Klingon at the door! The Klingon is counselor Troi, but she isn’t acting like herself at the moment.

Kinda liking this new counseling style tbh

Realizing Troi can’t help with their problem, the delegation leaves and decides to take their complaint to the top.

Captain Picard is in his ready room yelling across his desk at Q to change everything back. Q of course refuses as he’s not done having fun yet. He also wants Picard to admit that what he said about wanting 100 people like Worf was a mistake, but our captain refuses. He has no problem with Klingons, just omnipotent assholes named after letters of the alphabet.

The Yslanti storm in to the ready room and Q makes himself invisible to their eye. The delegates quickly realize that Picard is also a Klingon, and it further fuels their anger at the situation.

Ooooo Picard said the d-worrddddd

Jean-Luc tries to explain but the Yslanti aren’t interested in his crazy stories. It’s clear to them that the entire crew is mocking them by dressing up as Klingons. They demand to be returned to their homeworld and storm out of the ready room.

Q reappears and mocks Picard for his handling of the situation. Which only serves to anger the captain so much he takes a swing at the immortal.

Also he says the d-word again!

The two go back and forth with Picard losing control of his Klingon temper to the point were he finally punches Q so hard his head flies off!

Of course being an omnipotent, immortal being, Q just picks his head and puts it back on his shoulders. Only after quipping that now they’ve both lost their heads today. Ohh Q. Ever the punsmith.

In the middle of their argument, Ro Laren calls the captain from 10 forward. Apparently, the Yslanti entered the area looking for a drink and found a fight.

Oh NOW we get Ro. Wow.

Picard angrily storms out of the ready room, leaving Q behind and grabbing Data, Worf, and Riker to join him on his trip to 10 forward.

Q arrives before they do, and watches the festivities unfold while disguised as a Klingon.

The door opens and Picard storms in, telling everyone to knock it off. He tries again to explain what is happening here but the Yslanti are still not buying it.

What’s worse is even the Enterprise crew argues with Picard. They may have been human, but now they are Klingon! And Klingons are cooler!

Picard argues with them as a knife raises on him from behind. Data sees and calls out to his captain.

Watch your back! Literally

Picard quickly turns and grabs the knifeman’s wrist, flipping him on to the floor like a pancake and calling him a coward for trying to take the captain from behind.

Angry now, Picard asks who else wants some. He challenges various crew members who smartly keep their mouths shut, but that doesn’t stop him from tossing another one to the ground for funsies.

Captain Kickass

Data reminds Picard why he came here in the first place: to restore the peace; not make it worse. Picard pounds the bar. How can he ask his crew to keep their anger in check if he can’t even do it himself?

The Yslanti have seen enough. They remind Picard of their demand to be returned home and then leave the establishment.

Picard tells Worf to have security keep an eye on the Yslanti, but they will not be changing course. At this point the starbase is closer anyway.

Data asks if they should be transferred to another vessel. The Hood is in the area. Captain Picard cuts the android off and tells him that he is the one calling the shots, not Data.

That is when Guinan walks in, asking what the heck managed to happen in the few minutes she was gone. She immediately spots Q across the room and tells him to get lost.

Go on now git

Q realizes he left the oven on and hightails it out of there. Picard states he wishes Guinan could kick Q off the whole ship like she just did for 10 forward, but she says her powers of persuasion aren’t quite that good.

Guinan then turns to Picard and asks him about his snapping at Data. The captain quickly turns on Guinan telling her he will not be second-guessed, then he storms out.

Riker calls for everyone to clean up the mess and Worf turns to Guinan to discuss their options. With even Captain Picard flying off the handle, they need to get a reign on this situation.

Riker doesn’t like Worf whispering off in the corner, though, and confronts the security chief.

Who knew Klingons were so paranoid

Riker accuses Worf of conspiring to poison his drinks. Worf and Guinan both call the idea absurd. Worf reminds Riker he’s only thinking this way because of Q, but the first officer doesn’t accept that and ends up throwing a right cross, knocking Worf to the ground.

Worf pulls himself off the floor as Riker taunts him. For a moment, Worf gets ready to kick some Riker ass, but he takes a breath and calms himself knowing that this isn’t how a Starfleet officer conducts themselves.

The (actual) Klingon bites his tongue as Riker mocks him and calls him a coward, and finally just tells Worf to help clean up before he gets his butt kicked again.

Personal log: the crew has no chill

The Yslanti gather in their quarters, painting warpaint on their faces and gathering weapons. Picard having completely ignored their demands, the delegation prepares to force the issue. One way or the other….

So this issue is actually pretty fun just to see how the various crew members act when changed in to Klingon warriors. I can’t decide if I like Troi’s new counseling style better than Dr. Crusher’s new pain management style.

A Klingon sneaking up behind Picard’s back doesn’t seem very honorable, but we also are constantly reminded throughout the show that Klingons are not the honorable actors Worf always holds them up to be. Worf is the exception not the rule.

Looks like he and Guinan may be able to hatch some kind of plan. I’m still waiting for Data to ultimately save the day though.

Most of the letters to the editor this time referred to the “Modala Imperative” comics run. This is a side-run spanning 8 issues (4 in TOS and 4 in TNG) which I do have, but do not plan to go through until after I did the main series run. I figured branching away for the several mini-series that took place would get too complicated.

I do plan to do posts for those mini series eventually. It just won’t be until we get through this main run. And assuming I can get a hold of them all!

This letter had some general questions, though, so I’ll let this and the answer cap off today’s post 🖖

PetaQ!

Q helps the Enterprise crew cosplay as Klingons. Everyone except Data who is, like, super bitter about it.

Grump face back there

The Yslanti delegation beams aboard the Enterprise to be greeted by Captain Picard and Counselor Troi. They are immediately escorted to their rooms to keep them out of trouble as the Yslanti have an instinctive reaction to all other warrior races.

Picard assures them that Worf will steer clear for the duration of their visit, and the Yslanti thank the captain for his understanding.

While the conversation is going on we can see a familiar face eavesdropping from the ceiling…

Captain Picard makes his way to the bridge and asks Worf to join him in his ready room. Picard thanks Worf for his patience in this matter and says he understands its not easy to step aside and let others handle security. Especially for a Klingon warrior such as himself.

Worf states no thanks are needed as he is just doing his duty, but Picard insists and says he wishes he had 100 more just like him.

It is then that Q appears, clutching his head and complaining about the sickly-sweet banter going on in here.

Q already on Jean-Luc’s last nerve

They exchange some bickering back and forth and Q states Picard is even more disrespectful than usual. He seems to not be acting himself.

But I guess that’s forgivable since he is no longer himself. Captain Picard is turned in to a Klingon! The captain insists on being changed back but Q says hes only giving Jean-Luc what he asked for. He did wish he had 100 more like Worf. And if 100 is good…

Its never good when Q doubles down on his tricks

As they argue, Commander Riker calls the captain to tell him something has happened. Picard is quick to realize what it is and rushes out the door to the bridge to confirm his fear.

The entire bridge crew (minus Data) has been turned in to Klingons! Q explains that it’s not just them. The entire ship’s crew has been changed.

Excuse me how dare you

Q takes Picard and Riker on a quick tour of the ship to prove it. They stop by Mot (the blue bolian now Klingon but still bald), the concert hall where the now-Klingon musicians play strange instruments, and to 10 forward in time to see a fight break out.

He finishes the tour back on the bridge and at first Picard’s own inner Klingon insults Q, demanding the worm returns them to normal. Then Picard composes himself to appeal to Q’s sense of reason. But the immortal doesn’t care to hear it; he’s too interested in seeing how this all plays out.

Q vanishes, leaving the crew of the Enterprise to figure out what the heck to do. For now, Picard orders everyone to act like its business as usual.

Down in engineering, Geordi tells his crew to follow orders and get back to work. One engineer named Duffy doesn’t like this plan, though, insisting they fight. Geordi reminds Duffy that Q isn’t likely to be forced in to anything.

Duffy tells Geordi that if he isn’t willing to fight Q, maybe he should step aside for someone who is. Prompting Geordi to lay out this little turd and make sure everyone understands who is in charge here.

Don’t make me stab a petaQ

In their quarters, Miles and Keiko sit across from each other at the dinner table with little Molly in her baby chair nearby. Miles curses about the situation while Keiko asks him to cool the language in front of the baby.

Keiko has prepared Miles’ favorite (corned beef and cabbage) but the engineer almost pukes. He wants serpent worms instead.

Keiko tells him off for ignoring her hard work on dinner. She used his grandmother’s recipe and everything! Q watches invisibly as they argue.

Bro just use the replicator and stop making your wife cook for you

In sickbay, Dr. Crusher tends to one of her patients. Despite the change to Klingon form, he will still need surgery. Crusher gets the surgical tools ready right there in the open rather than move to an operating room. More shockingly, she prepares to go in without anesthesia!

The patient questions her methods and she scoffs at him. A son of Kahless should not desire pain killers.

Suck it up, buttercup

The Yslanti delegation exits their quarters to get lunch. They discuss among themselves how helpful the Federation has been and how accommodating. They figure it’s safe to head to 10 forward for a meal. And they actually have hope that the peace talks they are being escorted to will go well since the Federation seems to understand them so well.

As they walk down the hall, a trio of Klingons bust through between them. One of the Yslanti pulls a knife and gets ready to throw down, but the leader stops him before blood is shed.

At least someone has some restraint around here

As the Klingons walk off, one notes how odd it was the Yslanti just ran from them. The man next to him says for Barclay not to be surprised. He is just as fearsome as the next warrior. Barclay likes the sound of that.

And Q remarks to himself that this all may be even more entertaining than he realized.

Ok so I just said in the last post how I didn’t particularly like Klingon stories, but I love Q stories. So I guess the two things cancel out, lol. Although I really hope to see more of Data in the next issue. My guess is he will be the key to smoothing things over.

The banter between Q and Picard was great and reads just like it would on the show. I could hear Picard’s annoyance as I read his speech bubbles.

Not much by way of letters this time other than a lot of praise for the story and art as usual. But I do want to highlight this one bit because I completely agree:

Imagine being able to just walk in and buy all the back issues. Once I finally had the money to spend on comics, it was an ordeal tracking them all down. Thank goodness for Etsy and Amazon!

Peter David is a gem and I wish he would lend his pen to these comics. Especially when it comes to writing Q which he does so well.

At least our prayers of more Q are being answered!

Spill the tea

Awww yeah finally getting some Ensign Ro up in here. And she looks not at all impressed with this bullshit happening outside

Even Picard looks worried but Ro ain’t having it

Geordi and Sonya Gomez are hanging out by the bar in 10 forward. Geordi notes how far Sonya has come in such a short time and how proud he is of her. She thanks him and says she has been working hard on herself.

She recalls the time she spilled a drink on Captain Picard and Geordi assures her that was a one time thing that coulda happened to anyone. Sonya thanks him and turns to get a refill. Right as Captain Picard approaches.

Get this girl a sippy cup

Gomez of course apologizes profusely for once again spilling her drink on the captain. He tells her it’s fine and the uniform was due for a wash anyway. Before he leaves, he asks Geordi to meet with him in a few minutes.

Sonya is a wreck. Geordi tries to console her that it was just an unlucky accident but she runs out of 10 forward in tears.

Geordi meets Picard in his ready room where the captain informs him that he would like the engineer and one other person to head up a training mission with some cadets.

La Forge is happy to volunteer and asks if he can pick the second person. Picard asks who he has in mind.

Literally about to choke on his own tea

Picard is surprised Geordi would choose Sonya of all people, but La Forge explains that she’s one of his best and brightest. She just lacks the self assurance. And a training exercise like this is perfect for her to see how far she really has come since the Academy.

The captain isnt too happy about the choice, but he accepts it and just asks Geordi to keep an eye on her.

Later on, La Forge and Gomez step up to the transporter to beam aboard the training vessel. Sonya gives Geordi one more chance to change his mind but he refuses.

Geordi is a good mentor

The two engineers beam over to the ship–an older class vessel from Kirk’s time–and are introduced to the cadets by Proctor Keane.

The assignment is a simple one: restore impulse power to the ship and take it through an asteroid field to a predetermined destination. Not to worry; even their course through the asteroids is not in the dense part of the field. It should be pretty easy.

Captain Picard hails Geordi to wish him luck and tell him the Enterprise will swing by later to pick him up on their return from Gamma Ysalis.

Proctor Keane also states she will be observing from another vessel nearby. With that she hops on the transporter, wishes them luck, and beams to her ship.

The engineers quickly get to work and have impulse power up in no time. They set their course through the asteroid field as La Forge and Gomez oversee engineering.

Suddenly, an engineer shouts for Lt Gomez and points to some sensor readings on the screen in front of him. There’s an installation here! But there isn’t supposed to be any.

Its the castle from Neverending Story!!

The ship is hit by something and Geordi calls up to the bridge to ask what’s going on up there. A vessel came out of hiding to attack the training ship. The proctor’s ship is now moving to intercept.

Geordi notes neither of their vessels are very well armed. In fact theirs isn’t armed at all and the proctor’s isn’t much better. He tells the cadet captain that he is heading up right now to take over.

Before Geordi can take two steps, the bridge informs him that the proctor’s vessel has been disabled!

I’m freaking out, man!!

A cadet in engineering manages to identify the ship. Its Catarran and they are not friendly to the Federation. Meaning that facility is certainly not supposed to be here and they will want to keep their secret from getting out.

As Geordi turns to rush up to the bridge, their ship is rocked hard by another volley and he’s thrown headfirst in to a bulkhead and knocked out cold. Sonya tries to wake him and get some orders but he’s unresponsive. The cadets gather around Lt Gomez and remind her shes the only conscious officer on board and they need her orders.

She panics for a brief moment, but Geordi’s words of encouragement ring in her ears.

Lets do this

Sonya’s first act is to order a couple of cadets to get Geordi stable and secure. Then she switches focus to what to do about the Catarr vessel bearing down on them.

Lucky for them, this species is more primative than the Federation by a lot. They lack the ability to even scan for weapons. Which gives Gomez an idea.

She tells the crew to launch two class-8 probes. Their casing is similar to photon torpedoes so it should buy them time by forcing the Catarr to react defensively.

Ah yes the “pew pew; run away!” maneuver

The trick works long enough for them to hide themselves deep in the asteroid field. At minimum power, the Catarrans weak sensors will have trouble finding them. In the meantime they send out a distress signal and wait.

About an hour goes by and many hope that the threat has passed. A call comes up to the bridge that Geordi has regained consciousness but is still pretty foggy. Gomez orders them to keep him where he is until he can think straight.

A cadet shouts out they’ve got company as sensors pick up the Catarran vessel. The enemy ship begins firing on asteroids to blast a path to the training vessel.

Start throwing rocks??

Gomez orders cadet Timmins to find a frequency that can penetrate the Catarran’s shields while she hatches a plan.

The Catarrans draw near to the training ship, blasting away the last asteroid they need for a clear path. But suddenly their impulse engines break down. There’s somehow debris in the power conduits!

Well rocks had something to do with it after all

Gomez hails the enemy vessel to gloat. She tells them that she left a little surprise in their engines by way of small asteroids. With their impulse broken and no way to use warp in this asteroid field, the Catarr vessel is stuck. Meanwhile the Federation craft has moved its way out of weapons range.

As the Catarr captain screams his head off, Sonya hangs up on him to answer a hail from the Enterprise. They have responded to their distress signal. Sonya relays the situation to Picard, and the big guns take care of the problem.

Sonya and Geordi later meet with Captain Picard in his ready room where he congratulates her on a job well done. He admits he wasn’t sure about Geordi picking her at first, but is glad to be proven wrong.

And thats the tea

Gomez and Geordi walk back to engineering. He tells her that she has turned a corner in her career and things are going to be different for her now.

As they talk, an ensign turns around with what looks to be hot chocolate, and it splashes all over Sonya Gomez. The man apologizes profusely as she laughs. Dont worry about it, ensign, it can happen to anyone.

Ok while I am really happy to see a Sonya Gomez story where the fuck was Ro??? I feel so cheated right now wtf.

Also since when is Sonya a greenskinned lady? Last issue the letters talked about not having likeness rights to guest characters (like Okona) so I guess this is why but still. Get the rights then?

The story itself was pretty good, though. I enjoyed seeing Sonya not only learn some confidence but come up with creative solutions.

It seems the Worf story with “K’ehleyr” wasn’t received very well overall. Most of the letters this month are negative of it in some way (although respectfully so).

I admit I agree. While Worf is my dad’s favorite character (so I’m sure he would fully disagree) for me Worf is one of my least favorite. The Klingon stories aren’t my favorites so when the show started heavily focusing on them it got tedius to me. And that comic did wrap up a little too neatly.

But the kiss was worth it 😉

The ghosts of bitterness

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

Riker is trapped in a haunted house of mirrors. Will Sam and Dean get to him before it’s too late?

🎶 Carry on my wayward son 🎶

Will Riker remains trapped on the research station that has become trapped in the rift. And to make matters worse he’s surrounded by a bunch of incorporeal jerkwads constantly telling him to give up and accept his fate.

Riker ignores their naysaying, determined to figure out a way out of the predicament.

On the Enterprise, the senior staff brainstorm ideas to get Will out of there. They sent in a probe, but as soon as it entered the rift they lost contact.

In the absence of other options, Data offers to pilot a shuttle inside the rift to recover Commander Riker. Picard quickly shuts down that idea. There’s no way of knowing if the shuttle would even make it back and he won’t lose two of his officers to this mess.

Nevertheless they won’t give up on Will. Not yet.

We don’t leave a man behind

Riker checks the station’s instruments and finds them to mostly have remained in tact. The sensor readings are bizarre, but the deflector array shows the shields are working as intended. And that gives Will an idea.

Unfortunately, that idea relies on help from the Enterprise and with no way to communicate with them, how can he tell them what he’s found? Assuming they’re even still out there.

How much is that Riker in the window?

Okona drops by engineering to pass an idea of his own off to Geordi. Why not send an unmanned shuttle in to the rift after Riker? Then he can get himself out of there.

Geordi thinks on it, but it still wouldn’t work. The remote pilot would stop working the moment it passed in to the rift, and Riker would have no way of reaching it.

La Forge thanks Okona for the suggestion anyway and asks if the rogue had a change of heart about Riker being a lost cause. He claims not to but…

Aww admit it you care

In the rift, the naysaying ghost people return to tell Riker to just give up and stop being so stubborn. They’ve seen no indication of the Enterprise even still being around and conclude that Will’s friends have abandoned him.

As if on cue, they notice a probe entering the rift. Will excitedly tells them “I told you so” and rushes to the deflector controls.

The ghosts wave off the probe’s appearance as pointless. It’s not like it’ll help anything. They surely lost touch with it as soon as it came through the rift. Will knows that, but he knows a way to communicate anyway.

I have the power of friendship!!

Will adjusts the station’s shields at just the right time, bouncing the probe back the same way it came.

As soon as the probe crosses back in to normal space, Geordi picks it up on sensors. He and Data also quickly deduce that for it to bounce back like that it would require an intelligence on the other side. Riker is alive!

The engineers take the probe data to the captain and another meeting is convened. They now know where in the rift the station is–assuming distances in the rift work the same way as normal space. And knowing the probe’s shields continued to work in the rift gave them a plan.

Shields and tractor beams work relatively the same way. And while a tractor weakens over distance, and they can’t pull the whole station out of the rift, they can pull a section of it.

Bev looks high af

They can’t know for sure if they will pull the right part of the station, but its all they have to go on, so they set to work on getting their plan in to motion.

Riker contemplates where he should be. He also realizes that they would come to the conclusion of using a tractor beam but that they’d only be able to snag a section of the station. The question is which section will they try for?

Will decides to head to the communications center since that’s where he was last heard from. He grabs an environmental suit as the ghost people return to totally shit on him and his stupid idea.

What a bunch of dicks

They tell him to just give up. If he does what he’s planning his suit will run out of air and he will die. Will retorts he’d rather die than end up a spirit of bitterness like the three of them.

After donning the environmental suit, the station violently shakes and cracks as the Enterprise pulls at it with its tractor beam. As the section breaks off and is pulled back out of the rift, the ghosts realize they were wrong all along. And they are filled with hope that maybe someday they will be saved as well.

Big ol’ “I told you so” buddy

The station section is pulled out of the rift and sensors quickly find Riker on board and alive. O’Brien quickly beams Will aboard as the station disintegrates from all the stress.

The Enterprise heads back to where Okona’s ship was left, and prepares to finally beam the man away and out of their hair. But before he goes, he pulls Will aside.

He admits to Commander Riker that he is envious. While Okona loves his life, if he were ever to settle down these are the kind of people he would want to be with.

I’m so lonely

And with that Okona beams to his ship, and Riker heads to 10 forward with Troi and Picard to share his story over drinks.

I also presume that they at the very least report to Starfleet that there’s still three ghost people trapped in that rift because otherwise thats pretty messed up to give them hope and then abandon them like that.

The ghosts did have valid points about how overly optimistic Will was, and how the only way his plan worked was for him and the crew to somehow all think the exact same way. What they didn’t take in to account is the power of friendship! And plot armor.

What I would have liked to see is for Deanna to have established an empathic link with Will through the rift. But I guess that would have made things too easy.

The letters to the editor start off pretty heavy this time

Every now and then these comics have served to remind me that despite 2 decades having passed, we keep having the same issues. In fact it only seems to have ramped up in recent years. We can only hope and pray (and advocate!!) for what we are seeing now to be the dying breaths of an old and evil beast.

There are so many questions submitted this issue! This person’s first question is on the previous page so its cut off, but asks about the oxygen of the Klingon homeworld as it relates to ST VI

What’s funny about the comm badges is with the tech we have now (voice recognition and AI) I can easily see us having something like that far sooner than the TNG era. After all we did get flip phones way before Kirk. And PADDs!

The Rift

A Federation buttplug–er–space station is getting engulfed by cotton candy. Will the Enterprise reach it in time or will it disappear like a racoon’s treat in water?

Google racoon cotton candy gif it’s hilarious

The Enterprise rushes towards a Federation research station orbiting Beta Maxilla Seven. A strange rift has opened up near the station, threatening to pull it–and its inhabitants–inside.

They slow to impulse as they reach their destination and Captain Picard orders O’Brien to start beaming people out of there. There’s an issue, though; the rift is interfering with the transporters. An away team needs to beam over with badges that the transporter chief can lock on to in order to start evacuating the station.

Will Riker has Deanna Troi and Dr. Crusher join him for an away team to the station. The women head for engineering while Riker focuses on everyone who has gathered in the comm center.

As the away team gathers up the researchers, the station starts to vanish in to the rift. They need to move fast!

O’Brien has every transporter on the Enterprise working on beaming people off the research station, but there’s hundreds of them so it’s taking time.

The head researcher, Dr Jonas, gives Riker shit as if he can make transporters beam people faster. Initially they thought they had a good buffer before the station got sucked in but it appears to be accelerating in to the rift which they didn’t anticipate.

Feel free to stay behind, asshole

The transporters finish beaming up the people in the engineering section shortly before it vanishes in to the rift. They then begin focusing on Will’s group in the communications center.

Only 6% of the station remains at this point so those transporters need to move fast!

O’Brien sweats while he works as fast as possible beaming people off the station. Geordi estimates 2.5 minutes are all he’s got to work with before the station is completely enveloped by the rift.

Unfortunately, the rift getting closer to the people only makes it that much harder to beam them up! O’Brien works his magic to get the transporters going again but it’s cost them precious time.

A researcher named Jenna volunteers to stay behind until the end. Dr Jonas helpfully says he sure as shit isn’t going to.

Seriously screw this guy

Riker makes sure O’Brien knows he is to be the last man out if needed. Conveniently to the story, there was just enough bandwidth for the transporter to beam up everyone except Riker. O’Brien goes for one final transport to get the first officer home. He has a lock and begins to transport, but before the sequence can cycle the station vanishes in to the rift and O’Brien loses the lock–and Riker.

Me too. Now who will deck Dr Jonas in the face?

Picard reminds the crew that Will isn’t dead yet. Just lost. He may still be alive in that rift and its up to the crew of the Enterprise to get him back. He calls for a meeting in the observation lounge.

Riker finds himself still alive and breathing inside the research station inside the rift. The colors are slightly different though. Like a bad dream.

He tries to hail the Enterprise but fails. Will starts to think he may very well live out the rest of his life completely alone.

I don’t even have my trombone to keep me company 😦

He hears a sound coming down the hall and moves toward it. It almost sounds like it could be… Voices? Here?

In 10 forward, Thadiun Okona is still hanging around being a pest. He talks to Guinan about the loss of Will and says under different circumstances he might have become the same man.

They both share a sense of adventure, of humor, and even a particular love of ladies.

Pictures taken moments before disaster

Worf steps up behind Okona and grabs the man by his neck. Riker is not dead and how dare Okona act otherwise!

Geordi and Guinan convince Worf to let Okona go. Which he does by roughly throwing the man to the floor before storming away.

Riker follows the sounds through the station until he finally comes upon a trio of spectral figures. Will introduces himself and says he arrived by accident.

The figures respond they are all there by accident. No one is from this place (with a very strongly implied “you idiot”). They explain they’re from the “real world” just like Will, but after a time in this place their bodies began to lose solid form. It got to a point where they couldn’t even eat anymore because they couldn’t pick up any food.

Also we somehow don’t fall through the floor

The beings tell Riker that he will become like them over time. He says maybe it’s not too late to escape and even for them to return to what they once were.

The spectres call him mad. There’s no way to escape this place! Will says his friends are out there and the ghosts spit back “dont you think we had friends as well?”

Will continues to argue his case. His friends are different. And so is he. He won’t give up that easily. The ghosts consider him either stubborn or stupid. And certainly full of himself.

You think you’re some kind of hero?

They tell Riker that he will learn eventually. He is stuck there. For-eh-ver

This story is full of a lot of people being full of themselves. From Jonas to Will to Okona each of them shows a slightly different version of seeing themselves as important. The doctor is too important to die. Okona is so important Will’s “death” is a part of his own story. And Will is the hero who can’t die. Or won’t.

I certainly see how the ghosts could see Will as being just some high and mighty asshole. But he’s right. They don’t know his friends like we do.

This letter to the editor brings up an interesting question:

What do you think? 🖖

A boy for a boy

The Enterprise teams up with some bat shaped ships to blow up a shuttlecraft. An old man is very upset about it but Wesley and his blonde girlfriend find it hilarious

There’s a lot going on in this picture

The officers are on the bridge in their usual places. Riker complains to Picard over the mundane mission they’re currently on (ferrying farm equipment). Picard says sometimes a “milk run” is good to break up the excitement, but Riker disagrees.

A private priority message comes in for the captain, and Worf patches it in to the ready room. As Picard leaves to take the call, he warns Will to be careful what he wishes for.

The man hailing Jean-Luc is named Anson. He says he’s traveling in the area and asks to catch a ride on the Enterprise from the transport ship hes currently on.

Anson is a name only given to men with rugged good looks

Picard asks Anson about his post, but the man replies he’s retired from Starfleet and he’ll explain everything once on board.

We get a brief shot of an armada of alien ships. Supposedly the leader of the group exclaims their quarry is boarding a Federation vessel but will not escape!

Ruh roh

Anson and his son Bryant transport on to the Enterprise and Captain Picard greets them in the transporter room.

After they exchange pleasantries, Picard shows them around the ship. He heads up to the bridge and enlists Wesley to show Bryant around the computer facilities. Whatever those are.

Bryant asks how Wesley is already manning the conn at his young age. When Wes explains the situation and how Picard gave him a field promotion, Bryant takes the chance to hit him with a zinger.

I like this kid

Meanwhile Jean-Luc shows Anson to his favorite spot on the ship. A large window with a wide view of space.

Picard expresses his condolences about someone named Alexandra. Anson thanks him and quips that Jean-Luc was always a little jealous. Anson remarks he was lucky to have her as long as he did.

He also asks to be excused to rest. He does plan to explain things but its been a long trip and now he’s tired. Picard is understanding and says they can meet later tonight for dinner with the senior staff.

Ever the patient man

Wes shows Bryant to his quarters and explains to him that the computer functions can be accessed at any console.

Bryant is uninterested and asks what there is to do around the ship. Wes mentions the library and the holodeck, but Bryant shoots both ideas down and decides to be direct and rhetorically asks if there’s girls on board. This is Wesley’s reaction:

Hell yeah there are

The two boys head to 10 forward for some drinks. Wes asks why Anson gave up his starbase command so early in his career. Bryant responds that after the death of his mom, his dad basically went through a mid-life crisis. One day he yanked his son out of school and said they were going to explore the galaxy; they hadn’t stopped moving since.

Wesley can relate. After his dad’s passing, his mom acted different as well. In her case, she just got quiet for a long time.

Bryant changes the subject and asks Wes about what his future plans are. Captain of his own ship? Wes affirms the idea and asks Bryant what his own plans are. The boy looks over his shoulder as a couple of ladies walk by and says “I’m going to meet them.”

Anson and the senior staff sit around a large table together eating dinner. Picard asks about Bryant but Anson says he probably found something far more interesting to do. Beverly Crusher says the boys are apparently doing some ground-breaking computer project. Anson knows better.

Spill the tea

Anson starts talking about Picard’s youth and brings up the story with the Nausicaans. The staff say that one they knew about. Picard adds that what the didn’t know is Anson is the one who administered first aid until the medics arrived. He saved his life.

Bryant and Wesley are with the two ladies from 10 forward in someone’s quarters. Bryant takes one of the ladies by the hand and heads out for a walk, leaving Wes alone with the other woman. By the end of the page they are making out.

At the dinner table, Picard gets a message from the bridge. Six vessels are on a direct intercept course with their shields up and weapons primed. They aren’t answering any hails.

The dinner is cut short as the crew scramble to the bridge and Anson is left at the table with a look of extreme worry on his face.

The alien vessels hail the Enterprise but Picard keeps them on hold while he asks Data for more information. Data identifies the vessels as belonging to the Sharlak.

Sound familiar, Worf?

Picard knows who they are but not what they want. Data helpfully states that they would perhaps find out if Captain Picard asked.

Worf states the Shardak weapons are rudimentary particle beams and no threat. Anson walks on to the bridge to explain that if they’ve armed their weapons they mean to fight and the Enterprise will be forced to destroy them.

Picard says that may be premature and finally answers the hail. An alien by the name of Lenet Tau appears on the view screen and states he is Central Commander of the Shardak Protection Force. And the Enterprise has a fugitive on board. Bryant Peters. He is to be turned over at once for execution.

That escalated quickly

The Enterprise has 15 minutes to comply with their demand before the Shardak open fire.

Anson joins the senior staff in the ready room and explains the situation. On a hunting trip with the Shardak prime minister, Anson somehow accidentally shot and killed the PM’s son. So to pay for what he did, Anson must now lose his own son.

Obviously he disagreed with that punishment, and hightailed it out of there. Bryant doesn’t even know the situation just that they suddenly went on a trip.

The Shardak also have a limited empathic ability to sense whether someone is being truthful. So they can’t trick them here. Worf suggest they simply go to warp and leave the Shardak in the dust since their vessels are too slow to keep up.

There’s no sport in squishing bugs

However, making matters more complicated, if the Shardak fail in their mission, honor dictates they destroy themselves before the next lunar cycle (which happens to be 4 days from now).

The crew return to the bridge and the Shardak leader re-appears on the viewscreen. Captain Picard insists on talking things out more. As a matter of Federation law one person cannot be held responsible for the actions of another.

As a matter of Shardak law, they can, and one of the alien vessels open fire. The weapons do nothing to the Enterprise’s shields so the vessel does the next best thing–sets a collision course!

Thanks for the update, counselor obvious

The vessel destroys itself on the Enterprise’s shields, dropping them to 40%. The Shardak commander shows how crazy they are by telling Captain Picard that they just showed how futile it is for the Enterprise to protect the boy. He gives them one hour to comply. Or the Shardak will be forced to destroy the Federation ship. Lol? Did he not see what just happened?

Rather than laugh in their faces like I would, Picard cuts the viewer and demands a solution so no one else has to die. Not even the crazypants Shardak.

In the meantime, Picard has Anson join him in the ready room for a dressing down. Anson apologizes but doesn’t regret doing what he felt he had to do to save his son.

As they argue, Data enters to state he has a plan. It involves turning Bryant over to the Shardak. He states the plan will guarantee the boy’s safety but since the Shardak can sense deception Data doesn’t want to tell the captain what the plan is. It requires a leap of faith.

This mission requires faith of the heart, captain

On the bridge, Picard orders Worf to have a security team escort Bryant to the shuttlebay. Wesley objects and is swiftly dismissed from duty. The ensign heads dejectedly to the turbolift and heads to transporter room seven.

Picard tells the Shardak to verify the contents of the shuttlecraft. They do so with visual confirmation and sense the captain is being truthful.

As the craft lifts off, Wesley crusher beams on board! The Shardak begin firing on the vessel as O’Brien is ordered to get Ensign Crusher the heck out of there. The shuttlecraft explodes as O’Brien calls up to the bridge–Wesley is safe and sound and back on the ship.

The Shardak now satisfied with their honor killing having taken place, they depart.

Anson and Bryant stroll on to the bridge and Data explains the shuttlecraft had only a hologram. Since the Shardak are so technologically unadvanced their sensors couldn’t penetrate the hull to check. Picard commends Data on his plan.

The story wraps up with Picard and Anson remaining good friends and Wesley getting put on administrative leave for 2 weeks as punishment for disobeying orders and almost getting himself killed.

So Data saved the day again. I’m ok with this.

I also got a kick out of the name Anson. Obviously with the age of this comic it bears no relation to the wonderful Anson Mount but it’s a fun coincidence.

Bryant seemed like a decent kid, too. But I am starting to find it weird how often Wesley Crusher ends up making out in these comics. I’m pretty sure he’s gotten more play than anyone else so far including Riker. And he’s a kid.

The letters were all pretty similar this time with praising the story with Alexander and talking about the artwork. A few people even noted the similarities between Okona and Harry Mudd.

More of Sonya has surprisingly been a reoccurring theme in the letters. For a character who was only in one episode she sure made an impression.

Maybe people just like seeing Picard get spilled on. Lol

Ghost Lover

K’ehleyr is dead yet she’s back. HOW?!! Is this a secret plot by Guinan to get Worf out of 10 forward and stop drinking all her prune juice?

You have any idea how bad the head smells once Worf is done in there??

Worf is in his quarters kneeling in front of a shrine. He speaks some phrase in Klingon including the name of his dead mate, K’ehleyr.

Captain Picard stands on the bridge asking where Worf is. Usually he picks up a double shift. Counselor Troi reminds the captain that its the anniversary of K’ehleyr’s death.

To quickly move past that awkward conversation, Riker asks Geordi in the back how the pulsar they’re studying–Beta Caligula–is doing.

Geordi responds it’s giving a lot of information for the science departments to delve into. He also notes his wariness at being so close to such a powerful phenomenon.

Totally not foreshadowing at all

Elsewhere on the ship, Data escorts Thadiun Okona towards sickbay. The man isn’t in need of any medical attention, mind you, but is looking to get Dr. Crusher on that dinner date he was pestering her about in the previous story.

While they walk Okona asks where Wesley is since normally the boy would have come to see him by now. Data informs Okona that Wes is at Starfleet Academy.

Okona says the boy’s mother must be very proud of him and Data confirms that’s true. Okona starts to put two and two together that if Data knows Wesley’s mom, and Wesley’s last name is Crusher… Oh no! Dr. Crusher is Wesley’s mom!!

Wesley’s mom has got it goin’ on

Okona has a strict rule of not dating family members of friends. Usually that means sisters but mothers are off limits as well. Even the hot ones.

Worf sits alone in 10 forward, brooding. Guinan approaches and asks if he’d like some prune juice. He declines. She then asks if he’d instead like some company (as she sits down anyway.) He growls in acceptance and explains to her why he is upset.

He misses K’ehleyr, but she died an honorable death. As a Klingon he should not miss her at all. It is a sign of weakness.

Guinan begins to give her usual wisdom but then stops mid-sentence, frozen in place.

Earth to Guinan?

Worf looks around and realizes it’s not just Guinan. All of 10 forward is frozen in place. Even a spilled drink remains suspended in mid-air.

The security chief calls up to the bridge but there’s no response. He rushes out of 10 forward to see the entire deck appears to be affected by whatever this is. Or rather… The whole ship!

Taking the turbolift up to the bridge, Worf sees everyone is frozen in place. Even Data doesn’t respond when Worf tries him on the comm. Only Worf appears unaffected.

As Worf contemplates what is going on, another figure emerges onto the bridge. And it’s K’ehleyr! She asks Worf what she’s doing here and says she can’t remember anything.

Or maybe you’re so crazy you’re hallucinating

Worf isn’t buying it. He yells that K’ehleyr is dead. Whoever this being is, it is not her.

She begs him to believe her and to hold her. To comfort her and reassure her while she tries to understand what happened here. But Worf remains steadfast. He knows it isn’t her. It can’t be. He thinks maybe it’s Q, but K’ehleyr doesn’t even know who that is. Worf orders this being to stop screwing around.

Who do you work for?!

Seeing the ruse isn’t working, the being impersonating K’ehleyr comes clean: the alien is a being capable of controlling matter and even suspending the laws of physics. And while their lifespan is only about a day long, they have a genetic memory stretching back ages.

One of the memories the being was most intrigued by was of aliens in starships. So they sought one out. “Overhearing” Worf’s strong memories, the being took the form of his deceased mate and froze the rest of the ship to limit interaction that would be overwhelming.

“K’ehleyr” causes a feast to appear on the bridge. A table full of Klingon dishes like fresh gagh and blood wine. She tells Worf to sit and join her and he refuses. Which is no matter. The being forces him to sit anyway.

Worf doesn’t play games

K’ehleyr’s imposter asks Worf why he doesn’t take this as an opportunity. Not many people get a second chance to be with a loved one they have lost.

As it seems to actually be convincing Worf, a beeping sound emerges from the conn. Worf exclaims the alert means they’re too close to the pulsar. He insists on being allowed to leave the table to adjust course, but the K’ehleyr imposter keeps him trapped at the table.

She explains that she actually uses the power from the pulsar to keep up her disguise. She moved the ship closer to the pulsar in order to draw power more easily. Power she needs.

You sly dog you got me monologing!

Imposter K’ehleyr explains that they know the crew is likely going to die in a fiery ball of death, but that’s the price she’s willing to pay. This is the experience she has most wanted in her entire (hours long) life and she’s not letting anyone stop her!

Worf bangs his fist on the table and chastises the alien. If this being was truly anything like K’ehleyr it would understand the meaning of sacrifice.

Let my people go!!

The imposter considers the impassioned speech of Worf and agrees to let her hold on the ship go. She thanks him for the powerful lesson and reminds him that–thanks to their racial memory–her entire race will benefit from this lesson.

Before the imposter leaves, Worf rushes across the deck and gives one last… Nibble? On the neck of his lost love.

One last goodbye

The crew suddenly is able to move again and just in time to pull up from a very hot, melty death. Ensign Ro apologizes, unsure how she let the ship get so close. But this is one mystery Worf can explain.

I admit at first I was not in to this story. Worf stories are weak for me to begin with and we were too quick to find out the imposter was an imposter.

But despite all that, Worf had a chance here to show his passion both in his principals and his love life. Just scroll up and look at that kiss. Wow.

On to the mail

Totally agree on all points. I love how these comics have the benefit of not having to worry about a special effects budget. I wish they would do more non-humanoid aliens since they can. The Skriiti are a great example.

And more strong women is always a plus. I’ve really enjoyed how much Troi has been utilized in these comics. She actually has way better stories in these than she ever got in the show. More please!

Of ghosts and kings

This is part 3 of the story. To see part 1 go back a couple posts.

They are back to wearing the super cool outfits on the cover and I swear if they don’t dress in these at some point I dont care how long ago these were made I am tracking someone from DC down to complain.

Also check out the hooded Cylon back there

Okona (which my phone insists on changing to “Poona” no matter how many times I correct it) and the away team are pinned down behind a wall, an archer high on the rooftop has them pinned.

Data suggests splitting up which Okona shuts down. But then Okona suggests… splitting up. He and Worf are to try to sneak around back and get the archer from behind while the others draw their fire.

If we’re not back in 5 minutes… just wait longer

The crew of the Enterprise are trying to break through the shields on the planet in the meantime, but are so far unsuccessful. Phasers do nothing, and O’Brien can’t manage to modulate for the shield harmonics.

The shields are pretty advanced which begs the question: what happened to the race that put them there? Why were there no sentient life readings?

Worf and Okona climb up the side of the building the archer is shooting from. Okona complains that he still believes this whole trek to be a fool’s errand, and Worf gets real sick of his crap real fast. Especially since they are trying to be stealthy and Okona won’t shut his yapper.

That IS a pleasant way for a Klingon to say it

Dr. Crusher wonders out loud why the sensors didn’t pick up any life if they’re now sitting there getting shot at by it. Perhaps an artificial being?

Deanna confirms that may be right. She hasn’t felt any emotions from the archer at all. It could be a machine. Not one as advanced as Data, but an AI of some kind nonetheless.

But then why is this being shooting at them? And why was Okona kidnapped in the first place?

As they speculate, Worf and Okona knock the archer out. Worf goes the extra step and snaps its bow in half. But as they call down to the other half of the team, the archer stands back up and raises Okona in to the air!

He and Worf are both thrown off the roof one by one. But luckily, Data is a good catch.

Data to the rescue again

With everyone safely on the ground, the team runs off and the archer can only watch them go.

Riker and Picard discuss the situation in the captain’s ready room. Will brings up the possibility that this planet is something like Minos. A planet programmed to demonstrate the effectiveness of its defense systems. Maybe Okona was transported there to be sold something?

Picard agrees it’s possible but if that’s the case why would they go about it by kidnapping a person off their ship? By feeding, housing, and clothing a random stranger? Even the Minotians didn’t intentionally capture their customers.

As the away team gets a safe distance from the archer, a trunk reaches around the corner and grabs Counselor Troi! A huge clawed, four-trunk elephant appears, swinging her in its clutches.

Not just double the trunks. Quadruple

The elephant smacks Worf out of the way with one of its spare trunks, and the rider chucks a spear straight at Data, landing in his abdomen.

My baby!!!

Luckily, being an android, the spear is easily removed with basically no damage. Worf, on the other hand, is in rougher shape and slow to get up.

As Data and Okona plan to attack the elephant with the spear, another one angrily rides in, colliding with the first and knocking the spearman off his mount.

As the two beasts fight, the group sees their chance to leave. Okona knocks out the spearman as the others help Worf up. They then make a run for it.

On the bridge of the Enterprise, officer Allenby has managed to decipher the transmissions coming from the planet. They decipher what the planet is for. But they don’t explain how to get him back.

Also theres a recipe for chicken salad I wanna try

The away team and Okona run down the streets until they are again stopped. This time by a tall, blonde woman. She grabs Okona, pulls him in… and kisses him.

Coming up for air, Okona asks if anyone is going to do something. But they don’t see him in any danger. In fact they find this the perfect chance to tease the man.

The shoe is on the other foot!

The woman points and leads the team onward. They don’t know if they can trust her, but they don’t have many other options, either. So on they go.

Ensign Allenby explains that the planet is a giant burial monument. Similar to the pyramids, this race’s rulers were buried with their possessions.

On top of that they also were buried with the living beings of their lives. Those most important to them like their families or their enemies. Only the living beings are translated in to holograms and therefore live on forever.

The planet scans for passing ships and when one goes by, it transports a person down to the surface to see this giant tomb for themself. They are treated to a “guided tour” and then released back home to tell others of what they saw.

So once the tour is over, assuming the tourist survives it, the energy field should drop and allow the tourist to depart. All the Enterprise can do, then, is wait.

On the planet, the mysterious woman leads them to a square. But there are many enemies lurking about. Did she lure them in to a trap after all?

Who you calling old?

She points to a sewer grate. Okona protests. If the enemies topside are this bad who knows what evil lurks underneath? Counselor Troi makes the executive decision to trust the woman. She’s taken them this far after all.

The away team hails the Enterprise. Upon reaching the outskirts of the city (thanks to their “guide”) their comm badges, clothing and such were returned to them in one piece.

That chick is super tall

Captain Picard explains to the team what they discovered about the planet. From that info they are able to deduce that the woman was the monarch’s queen. And the elephant that came to their rescue was the king’s mount.

Okona thanks the “queen” for leading them to safety.

No fedora though

The mystery solved and everyone safe, Counselor Troi asks to energize. O’Brien is happy to oblige.

They never wore the super cool outfits on the cover art and I am legit upset. Data went from having a cool breastplate looking thing with an awesome blue cloak to… A green dress and a funny cone hat. So lame.

The story itself was fun, though. Especially Worf and Okona bickering back and forth. Plus Data got to be a hero more than once.

On a sad note, apparently this issue went to print about the same time Gene Roddenberry died. The editor and Michael Friedman both wrote obituaries of sorts for him to be placed in this issue just before production.

RIP

I hope that’s readable. I thought to just take some snippets but felt it best to leave these tributes intact.

There are also a couple of very poignant letters this issue

What an interesting take and one that does make sense. To put in to context this letter, this was in 1991. AIDS was on the rise and was in fact at its peak around this time. People didn’t care because they saw it was a “gay” disease. It took a lot of pushing to get to work on actually tackling the issue.

It’s amazing reading this stuff from ~30 years ago and yet it could just as easily have been written today.

Thank you, Gene, for giving us a show about hope. One which is still giving us these hopeful stories even today.