(written from a Production point of view)
- "Captain's log, stardate 7952.6. With our medical mission to the Federation observation outpost on Te Awamutu VII a success, we're proceeding on schedule to our rendezvous with Reliant. While I was happy to avoid the drudgery of a supply stop at Starbase 34, as well as give Commander Kyle the opportunity to log in some hours at the conn, I'm anxious to return to the Reliant. Too many hours without the feel of the decks beneath my feet, and I begin to grow uneasy. It'll be good to be home."
Captain Terrell sits aboard the shuttlecraft Kepler with Commander Chekov, Dr. Wilder, and two crewmen from the Reliant, Skiles and Bates. They are returning from a medical mission and headed to Starbase 34 when a plasma wave in the primary power transfer causes the warp drive to fail, taking communications down with it. With only ten minutes of life support remaining, they make their way as quickly as possibly to a nearby Class M planetoid, crash-landing in the jungle there.
A blip come up on a RADAR, and a Gorn, Monitor Two brings it to his commander's attention. Something has struck the planet in sector thirty-eight. They scan it and cross-reference it with their library, recognizing that it is a Federation shuttlecraft. Monitor Two prepares to send out a war party, but his commander overrules him, reminding him of the events fifteen years earlier, when a Human captain spared the life of a Gorn. He notes that they cannot let the Gorn Hegemony appear inferior and sends out a medical and rescue party.
Back at the shuttlecraft, everyone is shaken, but unhurt. Leaving the shuttle, Wilder detects a large number of serpent-like lifeforms at a distance. Some quick exploring nearby reveals that they are not alone on the planet as a trap made of two tree trunks kills Skiles. Terrell suggests that they find strategic high ground and they establish a defensive position. Just as they settle in, they spot the approaching Gorn, many on foot, several in flying machines. Chekov confirms the suspicions and Bates begins to panic, commenting that on Cestus III before James T. Kirk fought them, "they wiped out that entire station like it was nothing!"
As the Gorn approach, Chekov and Terrell fire at them, but intentionally well short of their positions. The Gorn talk among themselves, trying to figure out how to convey their peaceful intentions, but their translators only work within a five meter radius. One of them chooses to go around behind and get close enough to them to talk.
At the defensive position, Bates is preparing to relieve Chekov when he hears a "snap" behind him in the jungle. He turns to see a giant lizard standing there and it begins to speak, "ssssaluta–" Bates screams and fires at the creature, hitting him in the midsection. Dr. Wilder checks him and discovers that he is carrying a diagnostic scanner and a cellular regenerator. She also notes that he appears to still be alive. Chekov and Bates pick up the creature, and they begin to carry him toward the Kepler.
Back at the Gorn headquarters, the news is confirmed, and the commander sends out a war party to punish the Humans.
Having arrived at the shuttle, Dr. Wilder begins to try to treat the Gorn, commenting that "his cells are already regenerating at an amazing rate &ndash I've never seen anything like it." The others set up outside the shuttle, intending to buy her as much time as possible to heal the creature. As Wilder continues to work on him, he wakes up and introduces himself as Thak. Bates hurries inside and helps Thak out to the door, apologizing for his previous actions. Thak speaks to the war party, telling them to stop their actions, telling them that "my injury wasss the result of an error in judgment."
The leader of the war party introduces himself as General Rellk and explains that their intent originally was to render assistance. Terrell tells him that he regrets the misunderstanding and that he is honored to meet the General. Rellk apologizes for being unable to help Skiles, telling the captain that the planet is a training ground for young Gorn warriors. Terrell thanks him and tells him that they'll be gone soon, once a ship responds to their rescue beacon.
"Lots of vegetation. High humidity. I hate this hot weather."
"Seems tolerable enough to me. Still, this place gives me the creeps."
"That's pathetic! This is the most excitement we've had in months."
"I don't feel pathetic..."
- - Bates and Skiles, right before Skiles sets off the trap that kills him
"That's not an assault team out there – It's a rescue party, and we just shot the doctor."
- - Dr. Wilder, confirming her worst fears
"If thisss isss how the Humansss reward mercy, today will be jussst the firssst of many mercilessss daysss to come..."
- - The Gorn commander, on discovering the attack on Thak the physician
"I for one will be glad when thessse Humansss are gone."
"I agree. These mammals give me the creeps."
- - Two Gorn warriors, after the misunderstanding is sorted out
- This is the first issue of the Alien Spotlight series.
- The story is set approximately fifteen years after the events of TOS: "Arena".
- Two pages of Gorn tech designs accompany the story.
- There was a limited retailer incentive photo cover released.
- The issue sold an estimated 8,371 copies in comic specialty stores in October 2007.  These figures do not cover copies sold on the direct market (bookstores, etc.).
- Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
- Special thanks to Paula Block of CBS Consumer Products for her invaluable assistance.
- Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in IDW TOS characters.
- Pavel Chekov
- First officer of the USS Reliant.
- Clark Terrell
- Captain of the USS Reliant.
- Officer on the Reliant.
- Officer on the Reliant. Killed by a log trap shortly after the landing.
- Bianca Wilder
- Doctor on the Reliant.
- Gorn physician. Shot accidentally by Bates and healed by Wilder.
- Gorn general. He commanded the squadron sent out to encounter the Humans.
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