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?
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!