|Illustrator:||Harry F. Lindfield|
|Periodical:||Joe 90: Top Secret #1-6|
|Series:||Star Trek Comic Strips (UK)|
|Published:||18 January 1969 - x 1969|
The Universe Star Ship Enterprise left Earth's atmosphere to embark on a five year deep space exploration. Massive in proportion and manned by thousands, the Enterprise's mission is to make peaceful contact with any form of life in the universe.
The U.S.S. Enterprise... captive on a planet of robots!
While on a star mapping mission, the ship encounters interference, which they think was cause by a supernova. When they experience turbulence, Spock realizes that the viewscreen is showing them footage in a repeating loop. A repair wagon is sent to fix the exterior cameras, and it is discovered that they are orbiting a planet. The crew confirms the planet's existence by opening viewing ports, although it does not register on any instruments.
Since the computers are giving false readings, Kirk orders them all disconnected. A crewman is given a strong electrical shock as he tries following orders, and a message arrives through the computer. It warnns that no one should disconnect any more computers and that the ship will be brought in for a landing. As the ship lands, robots greet the crew and warn them not to resist. Once the entire crew is lined up, the robots stun them and load them into mobile transports.
Kirk and a few officers escape their transport and enter a large building. They see a large statue, made in the image of a humanoid scientist. A crewman finds a helmet and puts it on, receiving some sort of shock. In response, the pedestal of the statue sildes away, and a mechanical arm grabs the crew.
The system outfits Kirk and his men with helmets to communicate with them. It claims that Humans built the robots and abandoned them on the planet a million years ago. Spock muses that Humans could have come from somewhere prior to Earth. The robots' power source is dying out, and they are dismantling the Enterprise for a new power source. Since the Master Computer was built by Humans, it is programmed not to harm them, as opposed to the robots, who were constructed by other robots.
Robots enter and apprehend Kirk and his men, forcing them to assist in accessing power rods from the ship's engine. Kirk sabotages a power rod, timing it to detonate. As he exits the ship, Sulu, Bailey, and some crewmen, armed with clubs, make a savage attack on a group of robots. The robots overpower the men, and direct Kirk to install the power rod himself.
Kirk, Spock, and some robots travel to the power unit building in the city, and detonate the rod after installation. In turn, all the robots collapse through loss of power and the city is left in flames.
- Captain's log. Star Date 24.09.45. Proceeding on star mapping mission. All has been quiet for five months...
- Captain's log: Star Date 24. 10.57. 72 minutes since the Enterprise was struck by the cosmic storm.
- Captain's log: Star Date 24. 14.21. Repair wagons returned to base. Computer work began...
- Captain's log: Star Date 15.23 Enterprise on shallow glide path towards planet. Scenery similar to Earth's. Cited city prior to landing.
- Captain's log: Star Day 24, 3.51. Regain senses as robot transporter entered the city.
- 16-47 hrs, 3.5.1. With Mr. Spock and two others, started search of largest building.
- Captain's log: Star Date 25.00.10. Brought back to Enterprise under escort. All robots were assembled.
- Captain's log: Proceed to withdraw pile rod from main engines.
- Captain's log: Completed decontamination. Capsule ejected to waiting robots with the rod container.
"As smooth as any landing we've had. These people know what they're doing."
- - Captain Kirk
"We are free, Captain. This will read like an adventure story in your log book."
"I doubt it, Mr. Spock. Our task is to map the stars... All my log will state is, "Explored uninhabited planet... life form nonexistent!""
- - Spock and Kirk
- None of the UK weekly stories had titles.
- Kirk's log makes the unlikely claim that all has been quiet for five months.
- This story introduces a work bee-like vehicle called a "repair wagon". It is yellow on the top half, with a checkboard pattern across the midsection, resembling a taxi. There is a large deflector dish on the front, not unlike that of the Enterprise.
- In canon, a Constituion-class vessel does not have landing capability. Nevertheless, some scenes of the Enterprise on the planet's surface resemble the USS Voyager's landings.
- In a deus ex machina, the transport bearing the captive command crew spontaneously explodes, freeing Kirk to plan escape from the robots.
- The shrine to an ancient scientist has a "Jesus Fish" on its pedestal.
- The hazard suits Kirk and Spock don for the engine room prefigure those seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, although this version includes a helmet that completely obscures the wearer's face.
- The engine's power rod is stored in a cobalt container for transport.
- Signage on the robots' buildings resembles ASCII punctuation. For example, the power unit building says "<-//!=".