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.


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.

Trapped with Okona

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

Not gonna lie I love the outfits they are wearing on this cover and I am going to be extremely disappointed if I open up this comic and they don’t end up wearing them at some point.

Felt like conquering the neighboring village idk might delete later

Okona tells the Starfleet officers what brought him to this planet and for the most part its about what you’d expect. He was smuggling and doing runs for people who paid him enough to do it.

The money was good but it started to get stale so he switched it up and took a shortcut through uncharted space. This is when he was mysteriously whisked off his bridge and placed on the planet.

I wanna point out Data’s outfit right now is NOTHING like the cover omg

Despite the Enterprise sensors only detecting Okona, he insists that there are plenty more people on the planet. A whole city full of them. And they are not nice.

On the Enterprise, O’Brien confirms with the bridge that he lost all 4 communicator signals at the same time. Right after they beamed down.

Riker insists on going after them but Picard denies the request. Last thing he wants is to lose another away team. They need to figure out what happened first.

Meanwhile, on Earth, the Rozhenko family is having a picnic. Jeremy is drawing a picture and Alexander asks what he’s doing.

Jeremy explains it’s for a school assignment. He has to draw a picture from his favorite story. The story Jeremy chose is one of two friends: Radak and Marut.

Why is he doing this now while outside though? Go play, kid

Radak was a reckless person and Marut tried to keep him out of trouble. But one day Radak accidentally killed a nobleman’s son. He was arrested and sentenced to death.

Radak accepted his punishment, but wanted to see his family one last time. The nobleman didn’t want to let him go in case he fled and never came back, so Maruk took Radak’s place. If Radak didn’t return, Maruk would be executed instead.

Time passed and the execution drew near without sight of Radak. Maruk continued to trust his friend would return.

Before Jeremy could finish the story, a sudden downpour comes out of no where and they flee for shelter.

Uhhh dont they have a weather grid that specifically controls said weather?

On the alien planet, Okona tells the away team that he really doesn’t care about this planet’s mysteries and is ready to just get out of there. Data reminds him that their communicators are gone, but Okona has another idea.

He leads them to a nearby room which happens to be full of old equipment and contains a communications device he had managed to piece together. The problem until now was the lack of a power source. But with Data here, that problem is now solved.

Data truly is the answer to all of life’s problems

Hooking up Data to the machine works, and Okona is able to hail the Enterprise. He transmits the coordinates of himself and the away team so they can be beamed up.

While they wait for O’Brien to lock on to their coordinates, Okona takes the time to hit on Beverly some more.

The Rozhenkos make it to shelter and Alexander immediately bugs Jeremy to finish the story.

Marut is taken to the public square to be executed. Alexander asks if he is killed and Jeremy answers with a question of his own: what do you think?

Alexander says Radak must have come back because humans don’t let each other down.

Of course Alexander didn’t pick up on the names

Jeremy explains that, yes, Radak did return. He was late in returning due to the dangers of the road–robbers and wild animals–but arrived in time all the same. The nobleman was so impressed with their friendship that he let Radak go free.

But where Alexander was wrong is they weren’t human. They were Klingon. Which shouldn’t be surprising, says Jeremy, because Klingons always keep their word.

Alexander runs out from the shelter and in to the rain crying. They couldn’t have been Klingons! They lie! Just like his mother lied to him!

This poor kid is seriously traumatized

Jeremy consoles Alexander and tells him how he lost his mother, too. And he too felt betrayed by it at first. But Worf bonded with him and has always been there for him even from a distance.

He goes on to say that Worf cares about both of them, and supports them. In fact, Jeremy wouldn’t be surprised if Worf was thinking of both of them right now!

Jeremy also tells Alexander that in addition to Worf and the Rozhenkos, he’s got one other person looking out for him. His big bro! (Or is it uncle?)


Alexander feels a lot better, and Jeremy leads him back to the structure and out of the rain.

Chief O’Brien runs in to an issue when trying to beam up the away team. There is apparently some kind of dampening field blocking transporters. The chief sends down the location of the nearest spot where the field doesn’t reach, and its only half a kilometer away.

The problem is Okona could hardly walk a block without being set upon. Going a full half kilometer is a lot more dangerous than he thinks the team realizes. Still they don’t have much choice.

This guy looks nothing like Okona

Jeremy Aster packs a suitcase as he gets ready to leave back for home. Sergey comes to talk to him and praises the boys intelligence in telling the story. But he recognized the tale as one from Earth, not one with Klingons. So why change the names from Damon and Pythias?

Jeremy explains there actually is a Klingon story similar to the one told on Earth. The ending is a little different though and maybe not as appropriate.

Clever lad

As they talk, Jeremy asks if maybe Alexander can visit him some time. And Alexander wanders in to the room, holding a teddy bear, asking Jeremy for a bedtime story. A Klingon bedtime story.

The away team wanders down an empty street toward the beam up coordinates and it seems pretty calm. Even Okona notes that he’s surprised they made it as far as they had.

As if on cue, an arrow fires at the team! Okona knocks Dr Crusher out of the way. Worf reaches for his phaser only to remember its been stripped. The team looks for shelter.

In other words move your ass

The group manages to duck around a corner, but appear to be pinned down. How will they get to the beam up point now?

I see what they are trying to do with the Rozhenko part of the story, but I feel like Alexander let Jeremy off way too easy. I guess because he looks up to him. I would have expected Alexander to yell at Jeremy about how Worf treats him better or something.

As for the A story… They are not dressed at all like the cover and my disappointment is boundless. Wtf is Data wearing?!

Apparently this comic came out around the time another special event was happening!

Congrats, Gates!

Some insight here on a couple relationships from both series

This actually seems really accurate. It’s clear they wanted Riker (and Kirk) to be a ladies man. Having a relationship kinda makes that difficult. At least Riker got to be with his Imzadi in the end.

Kirk just ended up under a bridge.

Brothers from other mothers

Worf adopts Jeremy Aster and finally gets the son he’s always wanted. Alexander joins Okona and finally gets the father he’s always wanted. Everyone wins!

The Rozhenkos are just glad they arent stuck babysitting anymore

Our story this time begins in sickbay where Worf and Riker are congratulating a new father and mother on their child. The mother is a security officer under Worf.

Dr. Crusher shoos out the visitors so the parents can have some alone time with their newborn. Riker protests but he and Worf are shoved out of the room.

Riker likes being a daddy

On the bridge, the Enterprise encounters a familiar vessel. Picard recognizes it immediately as the Erstwhile–Thadiun Okona’s ship.

The vessel appears to be stranded. Captain Picard orders to hail the ship and see what the trouble is this time.

Data sits in an open room of some kind, playing a board game with a boy named Andrew. Andrew thanks Data for being so patient and teaching him how to play.

Worf and Riker stroll past and Will notices that something has been bothering his friend. When he asks what’s wrong, Worf replies that he is a father. Yet he doesn’t feel like one.

Alexander and Jeremy are both light years away being raised by Worf’s parents and Jeremy’s aunt, respectively. While Worf knows they’re in good hands, its not the same as being there.

In addition, Jeremy will be visiting the Soviet Union for spring break. The boys will finally be meeting for the first time and Worf isn’t there to witness it.

Apparently the soviet union exists in the 24th century

Will sympathizes with Worf but before they can talk much more about it their conversation is interrupted by orders to head to the bridge.

Jeremy Aster arrives in the soviet union by what looks like futuristic airplane. So not only does the SU exist in the 24th century but so do airports.

The Rozhenko’s meet him on the tarmac and welcome him. Alexander is there as well but he doesn’t look nearly as excited.

The sibling rivalry has already started

On the Enterprise bridge, they find that the Erstwhile is actually empty. Nothing on sensors and Troi doesn’t sense anyone aboard. They suspect Okona may have crossed the wrong person, but can’t know for sure just what has happened.

Picard tells Riker to head over to the vessel and take Geordi with him to see if they can find some clues.

Jeremy and Alexander run off to play before dinner and they talk about their respective home lives. Jeremy misses his friends from before moving to Earth but Alexander never had any. Alexander is much happier on Earth with his human friends than he ever was surrounded by adults who wanted nothing to do with him.

Jeremy is in awe of Alexander being a real Klingon and talks about how great they are because they never go back on their word. Alexander vehemently disagrees and says only humans are trustworthy.

You just stepped on a landmine Jeremy

Riker and Geordi beam over to the Erstwhile. They arrive in what looks to be the cargo hold and dig in to the boxes to see what he was carrying. Apparently Okona had some valuable art that he wouldn’t have just abandoned. But then it clearly wasn’t stolen either.

They check the ship’s logs and see that the vessel was headed to a peaceful, non-aligned world named Beta Athabascar Seven. But Okona stopped registering on the ship’s internal sensors light years from its present location. The last reading was in the uncharted space of Alpha Pintara.

Okona apparently didn’t use his transporter, but that doesn’t mean someone else didn’t beam him off.

Despite Picard not even being sure Okona is in any danger, he sets course for Alpha Pintara anyway just to make sure.

If he’s not in trouble he gonna BE in trouble

Alexander says goodnight to Jeremy and is taken to bed by his grandmother. Grandpa Rozhenko sits with Jeremy in the living room and is glad to see the boys get along.

Sergey tells Jeremy how while Alexander looks so much like Worf, he acts nothing like him. While Worf was standoffish and obsessed with Klingon culture, Alexander can’t get enough of other kids and thoroughly rejects the Klingon lifestyle. Sergey worries that Alexander is adjusting to life on Earth a little too well.

Time for big bro to have a talk

The Enterprise arrives in the Alpha Pintara system and it turns out there’s only one planet capable of supporting humanoid life so that narrows down the search. The search is further narrowed when they find only a single sentient lifesign on the planet. One that matches the bio signature of Thadiun Okona.

They attempt to hail him but there is no response. Picard sends an away team led by Counselor Troi this time. Worf, Data, and Dr. Crusher are to accompany her in case of trouble or if Okona really needs medical care.

Riker protests at being excluded but Picard lightly scolds him. How else are others supposed to develop their leadership skills if they don’t get to use them?

As the team heads to the transporter room, a response comes up from the planet but its not in any known language. Picard decides to let the away team beam down while they decipher the message.

When the away team arrives on the planet’s surface, they quickly discover their clothes have changed and their equipment is missing.

Have you checked behind your abs?

A similarly-dressed man greets them and introduces himself as Thadius Okona. He thanks the crew of the Enterprise for coming to his aid while hitting on Dr. Crusher.

Worf gets between them ready to throw down with Okona when Troi steps in and gets them to calm down. We don’t need to argue right now, we need answers.

What is this place? Why are we dressed this way? And how did Okona get here in the first place? Okona replies that he’s got quite the story.

But we wont know it until the next comic.

I thought for sure Alexander would hate Jeremy just because Worf chose to add Jeremy to his family whereas he has pretty much rejected Alexander. But it looks like the boys get along pretty well which is sweet. I’m looking forward to the next issue where I assume Jeremy will help Alexander work through his feelings a bit.

I’m also looking forward to seeing more of these ridiculous outfits the away team got stuck in, lol

Not a lot of letters stood out but I do have a comment on this one.

Rich, as a parent myself I can confidently say that a loving parent would never get used to the thought of their child dying. I don’t care how often they end up in danger.

But I do agree with the rest. It was great to see other parents for the various crewmembers including Selar’s parents.