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

For the ENT episode with a similar title, please see "Future Tense".

Colt on the run… from Starfleet?
And it's Captain Kirk to the rescue?!

"Future Tense" is issue 13 of Marvel Comics' Star Trek: Early Voyages, originally published in February 1998.


Yeoman Mia Colt, still slightly disoriented from traveling to the future after scanning an alien artifact, is confronted by two Starfleet security personnel who question why she is in a restricted area. She provides her name, rank and serial number; however the security guards notice her obsolete uniform, question her sanity and attempt to take her into custody. Colt resists and is able to make her way into the open corridors of the seemingly deserted USS Enterprise as the recovering guards radio for assistance citing that the intruder is "violent" and "possibly unbalanced."

As she continues her escape, thoughts, questions and speculations race through mind ended only when she encounters a crowd of what appear to be tourists. Colt realizes she is in some sort of "display."

Colt is actually on the USS Enterprise which is housed in the San Francisco Smithsonian Museum of Air, Sea and Space administered by the Federation as part of Starfleet Headquarters Archive Facility where it is housed with other exhibits related to ships named Enterprise.

Now being pursued by additional security she elects to "jump" first landing on the wing of the space shuttle orbiter Enterprise (while dodging phaser fire) a then to one of the masts of a wooden sailing vessel where, using the strap of her tricorder, she slides down rigging lines making her escape out the facility doors into pouring rain. Her antics are viewed by an interested individual.

This individual follows her only to be ambushed by Colt from some bushes, the individual turns the table and pins Colt to the ground. Colt confronts the individual as to why he is following her. He informs her that he knows her identity and identifies himself as James T. Kirk.

The two discuss matters at the Phoenix Tavern where Colt recounts her situation. Kirk informs Colt that he was once in Starfleet. He had been a promising young cadet to was assigned to the Enterprise as Pike's yeoman, he had hoped for the USS Farragut under Captain Garrovick. After personality conflicts with Pike and other issues emanating from unresolved matters surrounding Colt's disappearance, Kirk left Starfleet and became a commercial freight captain. He visits the museum occasionally to ponder what might have been.

Colt asks Kirk for help to return, however, Kirk has his doubts citing they are both bound to this timeline. After Colt points out that all Kirk does is wonder about what might have been, the two depart for Kirk's ship, the Bounty.

On the Bounty, Kirk introduces Colt to his crew… including his engineer, Montgomery Scott; his Helmsman, a Trill named Lamek, his Operations Officer, a female Andorian named Yssir, and his First Officer, a Human named Zhota. Zhota asks if Colt is a "paying client." The crew points out several cases Kirk as involved them in where the risk has been high and the payout nonexistent also chiding Kirk for accepting every charity case they encounter. Kirk reveals that they had all at one time been Starfleet and that, despite no longer being in the service, they should still try to do the right thing.

When Kirk informs them their destination is Argol, Scott reminds him that the Klingon's annexed that sector some 15 years before. Kirk informs them that such risks never stopped them before and that it is imperative that they complete the mission. The crew, ever loyal, prepare for the journey.

While en route, the Bounty suddenly drops out of high warp when the strain of maintaining Warp 8 causes several critical systems to fail. There position gains the attention of a Klingon Battle Cruiser. A Klingon Officer informs General Chang of the vessel speculating that it is a "tramp freighter" taking a shortcut through Klingon space. Chang toys with the Bounty until Kirk has the Bounty "brought around" having a photon torpedo placed on reserve to fire. Kirk orders the torpedo fired just as the Klingons open their tube to fire. This severely damages the Battle Cruiser's torpedo deck prompting Chang to order the Bounty destroyed.

Yssir reports that a second vessel has appeared… it's the USS Enterprise-A. The starship drives Chang away with a volley of phaser fire.

Kirk has Yssir answer the Enterprise's hails, which reveals a perturbed Christopher Pike, wearing the uniform of a flag officer, who informs Kirk that he is finished and orders his crew arrested.

Memorable quotes

"Mommy? Who's that strange lady?"
"Is she part of the display?"

- Tourists, responding to Yeoman Colt's sudden emergence from the USS Enterprise exhibit

"For you to be here, for us to even be having this conversation, means you are bound up in this future. Face facts…there's no going back. Time isn't that forgiving."
"How do you know until you try? I thought you said you wondered how things might have been? Or was that just a line?"
"Kirk? Say something."
"Let's go."

- Colt and Kirk, discussing returning Colt to her proper time and Kirk's willingness to help

"It's been a long time, Pike."
"In my view, Kirk… not long enough. You've done it this time. They're going to throw the book at you. And the key in the opposite direction."

- Kirk and Pike, commenting on Kirk having violated Klingon space

Background information



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 Early Voyages characters.
Christopher Pike 
Enterprise captain.
Number One 
Enterprise exec.
Enterprise science officer.
Philip Boyce 
Enterprise CMO.
The Klingon General.
Last seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
James T. Kirk 
Freighter captain.
Freighter crewman

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#12: "Futures, Part One" Early Voyages #14: "Futures"