Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

This summary is of a story arc from the newspaper comic strip Star Trek.

The Enterprise discovers two survivors of a nuclear war on a moon, only to find out the moon is an artificial construct intent on transporting the survivors to another star system.


On a survey mission in an "uncharted sector of the galaxy", the USS Enterprise picks up a radio signal from an unexplored star system in the ancient Toltan language. The message is simply "Come". When they approach its planet of origin, sensors reveal a devastation brought on by a nuclear war nine hundred years prior. The signal is traced to the moon, and Kirk, Spock, and McCoy don environmental suits to investigate an abandoned pre-warp spacecraft seen on its surface. The signal is then identified as coming from a treaded vehicle which approaches the landing party after beam-down. Immobilizing them in a ray, it communicates telepathically that they should not fear. It places the men into hypersleep chambers in an underground chamber, alongside two very small aliens in space suits. Using his Vulcan mental disciplines, Spock manages to signal the ship for help, prompting an immediate beam up of all five.

Spock performs a full scan of the moon and determines that it is a fake, a hollow shell of neutronium. While Spock tries to contact the computer controlling the vehicle that captured them, Kirk speaks to the aliens in sickbay. Concerned that their world was on the brink of total war, their solution was to travel to the moon and use it as a weapons platform to "enforce planet-wide peace". The aliens then reveal they believe the crew to be gods, based on an ancient belief that the moon is a ship guided by the gods. Just then the moon traps the ship in a tractor beam and, despite using maximum warp, starts to pull them in. Spock reveals that he has communicated with the moon's computer and has found out it is not unique – that "there are others like it scattered through the galaxy... built by an ancient culture." The purpose was to seed planets and, when the inhabitants reached a level of technology needed to achieve a moon landing, return to its origin with those who land. For reasons acknowledged to be unknown, the moon has suddenly decided it is time to go and wants the astronauts that are on the ship. McCoy, meanwhile, has told the aliens of the war nine hundred years in the past and, believing the moon is a sacred vehicle that will carry them to paradise, the aliens ask to be transported back. They are, the ship is freed, and the moon leaves orbit.

Memorable quotes

"I'd sooner defibrillate a Gorn, than go up in a crate like this!"

- McCoy, speaking of the pre-warp ship

Background information

  • The landing party uses thruster packs on the moon's surface like those used by Kirk and Spock in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • Flames are shown shooting out of the ship's impulse engines for the first and only time during the run of the comic strip.
  • Even though this comic has to take place after the movie, a Deltan navigator – identified not in this arc but the next as Lt. Ilia – is on the bridge. Either Warkentin was not informed she died in the film, or he simply liked the look of the bald woman and chose to resurrect her temporarily.




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First story in series Star Trek Comic Strip (US)
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