(written from a Production point of view)
This summary is of a story arc from the newspaper comic strip Star Trek.
Captain Spock and Lt. Cmdr. Singh are aboard the USS Enterprise shuttlecraft Copernicus, investigating a distress beacon in orbit around a planet in the Fortenue system. The buoy apparently marks the spot where a colony ship crashed 200 years before. A distress signal comes in from about 100 kilometers inside the rings of the planet, where the Copernicus finds the beacon, but no colony ship. Suddenly, the shuttle is hit by an energy surge from the rings. It loses power and begins an uncontrolled descent. Spock sends out a distress signal, along with his estimate of where he thinks they will crash. Donning EV suits, the shuttle crashes and Spock pulls Singh out just before it explodes. Two humanoids on the planet see the crash and investigate. They determine that Singh is dead, but that Spock lives. The woman, the lady Dyana, finds him "quite handsome". While the Enterprise searches, Spock awakes in an elegant bedroom, surrounded by people dressed and acting like those in Medieval England. He is told he is in the care of High Captain Argus, Chief of the Clan Omega Level II. The woman attending him is his daughter, Lady Dyana. She asks Spock his name, but he doesn't remember that or anything else about his past. The last thing he recalls is falling, "and then you were there... a beautiful sight." Overhearing their conversation is one of Argus' advisers, who vows to inform her father of Spock's romantic advances.
Spock and Dyana walk, but grow annoyed at their chaperons, so they sneak off and share time alone, including a kiss. Meanwhile, Dyana's father is upset that after welcoming Spock into his home, he woos his daughter without permission. Just then another shuttle lands, and James T. Kirk and Leonard McCoy step out. Kirk considers whether these people could be descendants of the colony ship. They are greeted by Argus, and Kirk notes that Argus is wearing Starfleet-issue epaulets on his shoulders. Kirk and McCoy dine with the feudal lord, who drugs them in order to turn Kirk into a fighting knight.
Shortly thereafter, Spock and Dyana come upon a knight in black armor, who insults Spock and slaps Dyana to the ground as a "demon-lover". Argus walks up and asks Spock why he does not defend the lady's honor. Spock is uncertain what to do; the black knight's voice is vaguely reminiscent of his past. Argus goads Spock on to either defend his daughter's honor or give her up. Spock challenges. But he had not realized the challenge meant a trial by combat. With the lotus nectar numbing any pain, Argus' advisers believe the black knight cannot lose.
The fight is set and many are in attendance as the black knight – Kirk, drugged – and Spock, an amnesiac, ride on two-legged bird-like animals into combat, a combat in which no quarter may be asked for or given – a fight to the death. Dyana overhears discussion indicating the black knight is drugged and cannot lose, so she cries out a warning to Spock. Her father slaps her for her action. To hear what she said Spock removes his helmet, though, and is promptly hit to the ground by Kirk. At that moment Spock sees the epaulets on Argus' shoulders and after thinking hard about it recalls Starfleet and the rest of his memories. He then easily knocks Kirk's sword out of his hand.
Spock has won the battle, but Argus decides to kill him himself anyway. Dyana runs to Spock and asks to die with him; Argus, furious, agrees. Just then Montgomery Scott and a security team beam down, since Kirk's report was late. They take control of the situation, but are shocked when Dyana kisses Spock in celebration of his survival. McCoy is quickly located with a massive headache from the drug. Spock explains all to Dyana, who has to come to terms with the man she now loves feeling nothing for her. The society there does not want Federation assistance, so the Enterprise respects their wishes and leaves, marking the area as "closed" on Federation maps. Spock stares wistfully into space as he contemplates the love he has left behind.
"A flying chariot - by the gods!"
- - Argus, upon seeing a shuttle land
"Ad-Mi-Ral Kirk will make a deadly knight."
- - Argus' adviser, commenting on the Admiral's chances of success
"I said halt, spawn of Satan!"
- - Kirk, addressing Spock under the influence of the drug
"No unblooded freak may claim my daughter's body."
- - Argus, commenting on Spock's suitability as a son-in-law
Thematically this bears a strong resemblance to TOS: "This Side of Paradise" and "All Our Yesterdays", with Spock only being able to fall in love when he is not himself, and being vaguely saddened by his acknowledgment that his makeup is such that he cannot give love under normal circumstances. The final, wordless, strip of Dyana looking at the stars but heading back inside also echoes Leila Kalomi's realization that Spock cannot be the lover she wants him to be, but echoes or not, it is a nice moment. It is not explained how the lotus nectar given Kirk as a drug provides him with both strength and a knowledge of feudal phraseology. Alfredo Alcala drew several of the strips after Colón began, and was evidently not given (or did not like) the updated uniform design from the second film. As a result, his uniform design is a unique mixture of the uniforms from the first two movies, in some drawings most closely resembles those from TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before". Alcala also only contributed to part of the story arc, and after him, strips were drawn by an artist whose work was much cruder than either Alcala or Colón's, credited under the pen-name "Serc Soc" (whose true identity is unknown). This resulted in a gradually deteriorating appearance of this arc over time.
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