(written from a Production point of view)
The Elite Force comic is a short story based on the video game Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force, where a commando team from Voyager must fight off enemies like the Borg and other unexpected aliens.
- From the back cover
- When the U.S.S. Voyager™ is crippled and trapped in a veritable Saragasso Sea of space, the crew find themselves threatened by a mysterious and deadly force, and robbed by a similarly stranded Borg ship. His options limited, Tuvok, U.S.S. Voyager's Security Officer, sends a hand-picked Hazard Team to the Borg cube to reclaim the ship's stolen property.
- The Hazard Team is Voyager's equivalent of a SEAL or SWAT team – the toughest and bravest from a shipful of the strong and the brave. But an excursion to the stranded Borg cube is just the first of many trials that will eventually pit them against an incredibly powerful enemy, The Forge, and The Forge's homegrown army of killers.
- Based on material from the new Activision/Raven Software computer game, STAR TREK: VOYAGER – ELITE FORCE introduces a new crew of commandos who learn that sometimes winning a battle requires teaming with unexpected allies – and that the price of victory may be higher than they want to pay!
- "Captain's log, stardate 53854.7, our attempt to sneak past the Borg in this sector has failed. We have no choice but to counter-attack to buy ourselves breathing space. Seven of Nine has configured a way to transport a Hazard Team aboard the Borg cube attacking us. Their mission is to plant explosives that will disable it long enough for Voyager to make a run to safety. No one said such a mission would be easy, but from the sounds of their last communication… I fear it is nothing short of impossible!"
On a Borg cube, Ensign Munro, second in command of the Hazard Team, is fighting off the encroaching Borg drones with the help of his squad – Austin Chang, Telsia Murphy, Rick Beissman, and a now unconscious Chell. Beissman, hitting Borg left and right and armed with two phasers, is almost enjoying himself until a Borg grabs him from behind and drags him away to be assimilated. Chang jumps to his rescue but is stunned by some kind of energy pulse fired by one of the drones. Just as Murphy and Munro say their final farewells, a bolt of energy knocks out several of the drones. Lieutenant Foster, leader of the Hazard Team, explains that it is "an I-MOD" (Infinity Modulator) which changes modulation after every shot so that the Borg can't adapt. But while Foster is boasting, he also is captured by the Borg. Munro grabs the I-MOD, and the Borg capture Murphy. After outrunning them, Munro falls down into a chamber where his former teammates, now assimilated, try to assimilate him. Claiming he could never shoot them, Munro does nothing. Tuvok ends the confrontation – and the holodeck program – by saying "End Simulation."
Tuvok tells Munro that he has failed to follow Hazard Team procedure, and thereby the simulation. Munro argues that it was impossible for him to fire on his own people, but Tuvok tells him someday he will be asked to do the impossible, and to consider this his own "Kobayashi Maru."
On the bridge, Captain Janeway orders all hands to battle stations. After the unknown vessel doesn't answer hails she orders her crew to return fire. But phasers have no effect, and as Voyager's shields are about to fail Tom launches a full spread of photon torpedoes. The torpedoes strike a direct hit, but the alien ship begins to explode much more than the torpedoes should have caused. A gigantic shock wave hits Voyager, and suddenly there is nothing seen on the viewscreen but stars.
Voyager has instantly appeared somewhere else, in an apparent graveyard of ships. Janeway begins to order that they start repairs until they can figure out where they are, when a Borg cube begins heading their way. Janeway tells the Hazard Team to be on alert, as the Borg will probably try to board them. As Beissman is about to make a snide remark in Main Engineering, a group of Borg beam in. Before anyone can do anything, they begin putting tags on ship components – consoles, panels, processors – and beaming them to their ship. As the Hazard Team finally gets a shot in, a Borg grabs Foster by the neck, and they all return to their ship – components as well.
Reports show that four crewmen were taken, as well as all the isolinear modules. Scans show another ship is approaching, but slowly. So Janeway has Seven meet her in the Brig to interrogate one of the Borg they captured while they attempt repairs. Seven uses her connection to the Borg to find that they are trapped in an "null-entropy chasm," constructed by "the Forge."
Janeway has the Hazard Team suit up to board the cube to retrieve the materials. Armed with the new I-MODs, and joined by Seven, they beam aboard in two teams of 3. All is going well until several of the components have been reclaimed, and the Borg begin attacking. While the team fends them off, Chell gets the last component and Seven connects to the hive mind. Just as the Foster-drone appears, Seven brings down the shields. Before Munro can fire, he has Voyager beam them back.
- "Captain's log, supplemental – The so-called Harvester is on its final approach towards us. It doubtless anticipates more easy prey … a stricken ship without drive or weapons. But we have used the time it has taken to reach us to effect emergency repairs. We have enough impulse power to avoid its clutching gravimetric tractors … and enough phaser capacity to surprise it. And wound it. We may have hurt it badly or it may simply be, as Mr. Tuvok suggests, that our resistance has confused its simple preprogrammed mission. Whatever the case, it turns and retreats, back towards this mysterious "Forge" that sent it. Within seconds, it is outstripping our best available speed. But we have taken our chance, and in the brief instant its shields were down… managed to beam four members of the Hazard Team aboard."
Clawed insect-like aliens crowd and attack the Hazard Team on the Harvester, but they fend them off. Exploring the ship, the team discovers that the deeper they go the more advanced the aliens – dubbed the harvesters – seem to get. The next set are able to walk on their hind legs, and one kills Beissman. Fortunately, the remaining team members are rescued by a team led by Tuvok that beams aboard. With teams located all around the structure, they continue to search for its purpose. But they are soon interrupted by an extremely powerful telepathic entity that overloads all their minds, bringing them to their knees. The entity tells them to get out now, and explains that his purpose has been to take materials from ships that get caught in the chasm to build an army, similar to the Borg, and that his purpose is to conquer the entire galaxy.
Recovering, the teams set charges throughout the ship. Murphy, Munro and Chell find the entity, which tells them that the Tarlus will rule the galaxy, and he is doing their bidding. Alex tries to reason with it, but the situation once again breaks out into a firefight. With the three of them trapped against a wall, they are truly surprised to see their saviors transport in: the Borg. Led by the Foster-drone, the Borg assist and together they defeat the Forge. The Foster-drone tells Munro that the collective has analyzed the individual known as Fosters memory, and concluded that their the collective is reliant on Voyager's survival, which is reliant on Munro's.
The teams beam back to Voyager and the charges are blown. They also fire a full spread of torpedoes, and the Borg join in the effort. The structure explodes, with the result that both ships are returned to normal space. Harry reports that they have emerged two years closer to home. In light of his excellent leadership during the crisis, Janeway has Munro promoted to both Lieutenant and head of the Hazard Team.
"Where are the freaking Borg? I hate this creeping around when I could be kicking Borg butt. Uh.… No offense ma'am. I mean… as Borg butt goes… you got…"
"Don't dig yourself in any deeper Mr. Beissman."
- - Mr. Beissman and Seven of Nine
"Apparently, here captain."
- - Tuvok, responding to "where had Voyager been transported" in more general terms than usual
"Watch my back, Mr. Beissman."
"That hole you're digging Beissman, it's getting deeper."
- - Seven of Nine, Mr. Beissman
"I've seldom seen Tuvok so animated."
- - Captain Janeway, after Tuvok had complimented Munro on a job well done
- The comic abridges most of the game's story, and focuses on the Borg rather than the Forge masters.
- At the end of the story is a "Letter From the Editor", Jeff Mariotte, explaining that this is the first time they've tried to cross a Star Trek story from one medium to another (game to comic) at the company, and that the game need not be played to enjoy the comic, and vice versa.
- The last three pages of the comic have pinups of early art designs, such as an early version of The Forge which looks much more humanoid (almost ancient Egyptian) and early designs for Hazard Team members. One panel has Munro as a "Lieutenant junior grade" instead of a full Lieutenant, as in the story.
- Similar to the rumored Millennium Falcon in Star Trek: First Contact, several Star Wars ships seem to have found their way into the null-entropy chasm: When Voyager first appears, half of an Imperial Shuttle can be seen. On the page starting with "Captain's log, supplemental" a Star Destroyer can be seen.
- Neither Neelix nor The Doctor appear in the comic book, though both appear several times in the video game.
- The cover portrays two different ships on the left and right of the Hazard Team from the game, neither of which appear in the comic.
- The comic offers special thanks to "Paula Block, Laird M. Malamed, and Brian Pelletier."
- The story bears remarkable similarities to TAS: "The Time Trap", in which the USS Enterprise is also transported to a vast "Saragasso Sea" in space with numerous dead and dying ships. As here, cooperation with a group typically hostile to the Federation – in that case the Klingons – is required to escape. And – ironically given that this later version is a comic book – the animated episode itself has similarities to a Gold Key TOS Star Trek comic book: Issue #15 "Museum at the End of Time" dated August 1972.
- A special edition version of the comic packaged with the game also contains the one-shot story "False Colors".
- This comic was collected as part of the trade paperback "Encounters With the Unknown".
- Grammatical: In the opening Captain's log, the page reads "Seven of Nine has configured away…" not "a way", as it should.
- Graphic/Dialogue: During the initial fight scene, Munro's speech bubble incorrectly reads "Been nice knowing you, Munro…" and Murphy's reads "Chang's gone too, Murphy. Just you and me now."
- Graphic/Dialogue: When the Borg are beaming consoles out of Engineering, Lt. Foster fires at a Borg with implants over most of its head, including both eyes. In the next panel, the same Borg is shown with far fewer implants, over only one eye.
- Graphic/Dialogue: Tuvok says that a majority of the crew ("capable of using an I-MOD") had beamed aboard the Forge's station. Then Commander Chakotay is shown on the bridge while Captain Janeway says something. Later, Chakotay is shown beaming back aboard Voyager and walking to his station, despite the fact he apparently wasn't on the away team.
- Based on:
- Editor: Jeff Mariotte
- 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 WildStorm VOY characters.
- Kathryn Janeway
- Commanding Officer of Voyager, she personally requests the Hazard Team to go on several missions.
- First Officer of Voyager, may have been on the away team to set charges on the Forge's complex. (See Background information, Errors)
- Creator of the Hazard Team, and Voyager's Chief of Security. He observes and critiques the Hazard Teams simulations, as well as going on several of their missions with them.
- Tom Paris
- Voyager's Helmsman, piloted during the battle with the unknown ship, as well as firing torpedoes.
- Harry Kim
- Voyager's Operations officer, happy to report that they had returned to normal space 2 years closer to home.
- B'Elanna Torres
- Chief Engineer, she was knocked unconscious when the Borg first beamed aboard. While the Hazard Team was aboard the Borg cube, she was hurried to repair the few ships systems she could.
- Seven of Nine
- Former Borg drone, she assisted the Hazard Team on several of their missions involving them. Was able to seemingly telepathically join with a Borg held in custody to retrieve information. She later fought alongside the Hazard Team aboard the cube, to retrieve the stolen materials.
- Alexander Munro
- Ensign in the Security department, he was close friends with Lieutenant Foster. Initially couldn't make the tough decisions of command, such as in a Holodeck simulation, but once he gets over it Lt. Tuvok promotes him to Lieutenant, and leader of the Hazard Team.
- Rick Beissman
- Trigger-happy Hazard Team member, and possible engineer, he enjoys fighting Voyager's enemies. In the simulation, he was noted for having used the most ammo, while having fewest hits. Unfortunately he often underestimates his opponent because of his cockiness – such as when he was killed by what he thought was just a "big bug in a jar."
- Austin Chang
- Hazard Team member, his only mistake in the simulation was that he tried to save Beissman, which got him assimilated as well.
- Bolian engineer, and former Maquis, he serves as technician on the Hazard Team. In the simulation, he didn't check an inspection panel for booby traps and was knocked unconscious.
- Telsia Murphy
- Hazard Team medic, she was the only one who received a passing grade on the simulation (except for also being assimilated). She is close friends with Alex Munro.
- In the videogame, a romantic relationship is a secondary plot line in the story between her and Munro, but is only slightly hinted at when they are near death in the comic. In the video game, Jurot is the teams medic, and as she doesn't appear in the comic, it seems the two characters were combined to make this Telsia.
- Lieutenant Foster
- Head of the Hazard team, selected by Tuvok as the best of the best, he organized the missions and simulations (with Tuvok's assistance) until he was assimilated by the Borg when they beamed aboard.
- The Forge
- A creation of the Tarlus, he was ordered to create an immense army in the chasm of space using stolen parts from ships trapped there to one day take over the galaxy. When Munro tried to reason that he'd been there for centuries, maybe his orders had degraded, the Forge didn't even consider it. He was destroyed by the combined fire of the Borg and the Hazard Team.
- The Borg are first used in a simulation, and then a real mission when they are the first ship to show signs of life in the entropy. Later the Borg come to Munro and the Team's rescue aboard The Forge's station, assisting in destroying it to get out.
- Spatial anomaly
- The Null-Entropy Chasm is a mini-universe in space created by The Forge to conceal the building of his army, which if Voyager had not stopped, would eventually attempt to overtake the Galaxy.
- Photon torpedo
- After phasers don't work, Tuvok suggests a spread of photon torpedoes to destroy the unknown ship. Later they are also used to destroy the Forge's station.
- Kobayashi Maru
- A popular Starfleet Academy simulation, where the player is given an impossible scenario to overcome. Tuvok calls Munro's not being able to shoot his assimilated team mate his personal "Kobayashi Maru."
- USS Voyager
- Intrepid-class Federation starship trapped in the Delta Quadrant. Loses 4 crewmen in the attacks, armed with photon torpedoes and phasers. Crew of approximately 150.
- The "Infinity Modulator" is a weapon designed by Tuvok, which changes modulation every time its fired so the Borg can't adapt to it. It is slightly less effective on Harvesters.
- In the videogame, they contain Borg technology, and were developed by Seven of Nine instead of Tuvok.
- Transporter tags
- Miniature combadge shaped devices that could be slapped on a piece of equipment, and instantly be transported back to Voyager. Helpful when several consoles were stolen by the Borg, and had to be recaptured quickly. (See also: Emergency transport unit and Isolinear tag.)
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