(written from a Production point of view)
1st star-spanning collector's issue! -- The Klingons attack with a new secret weapon.
- "Captain's log, Stardate 8141.5. Though Klingon violations of the Neutral Zone are fairly frequent, they have been unusually numerous of late."
While patrolling the Neutral Zone as part of Organian Peace Treaty stipulations, the USS Gallant is ambushed and attacked by Klingon K't'inga-class battle cruisers, leaving the Gallant dead in space. Captain Bearclaw orders immediate launch of the ship's log buoy then asks Bryce, his science officer, what happened. Bryce doesn't have time to finish his reply as the ship is destroyed. The log buoy escapes.
On the bridge of a Klingon ship, Captain Koloth and other Klingons rejoice in the glory of the attack. Koloth orders his helmsman, Konom, to set course for home. Privately, Konom is horrified at the deaths of the Gallant crew.
At Starfleet Headquarters on Earth (stardate 8145.3), James T. Kirk meets with Grand Admiral Stephen Turner to request permanent command of the Enterprise, to which Turner consents. After the meeting, Kirk calls up to the ship to announce the news to an overjoyed crew. Soon, the Enterprise leaves Earth orbit (stardate 8145.6), en route to Section 14 of the Gamma Hydra star system. Kirk sits in his quarters reading the copy of A Tale of Two Cities given to him by Spock. Saavik calls to inform him that they're approaching the Neutral Zone. Kirk orders Saavik to patch him through the ship, and expresses his confidence in the Enterprise's newer crewmembers over the intercom.
In the ship's mess, Ensign Nancy Bryce, still recovering from the death of her father on the Gallant, leaves for her duty shift on the bridge. Outside Kirk's quarters, she is intercepted by Ensign William Bearclaw, whose father was the Gallant's CO. Bearclaw blames Bryce's father for his own father's death and starts a physical altercation. Kirk walks out as Bryce kicks Bearclaw, knocking him into Kirk. Kirk berates and advises them not to "do the Klingons' job for them". Bryce accompanies Kirk to the bridge. There, after the ship has dropped from warp, Saavik informs Kirk there is no sign of Klingon ships. Kirk decides to try "fishing", with the Enterprise as the bait.
On the bridge of Koloth's ship, Koloth plans to launch another surprise attack, upon the Enterprise. When no one is looking, Konom sends a warning transmission. Enterprise's sensors register the Klingon ships' sudden appearance in time to raise shields, just before the Klingons open fire. Noticing a pattern to their tactical strategy, Kirk prepares to use it against them. He orders Sulu to drop shields and Chekov to stand by on torpedoes. When Saavik starts to question his decision, Kirk snaps at her. Kirk's counteroffensive strategy succeeds, destroying two Klingon ships, causing the remaining two to withdraw to their hideaway. Saavik's inability to explain their whereabouts elicits another severe reprisal from Kirk, who orders a briefing in fifteen minutes and leaves the bridge.
In sickbay, McCoy is treating a patient when Saavik enters and asks to speak with him. McCoy takes her into his office, where she informs him of Kirk's attitude towards her, suspecting that Kirk will always think of her as "second best" compared to Spock. McCoy tells her he appreciates her problem, but she'll just have to deal with it – which Saavik doesn't find helpful. Afterward, McCoy confronts Kirk in Kirk's quarters, reminding him that she isn't Spock and deserves to be treated as an individual. Kirk realizes that he's right.
At the briefing, Saavik displays energy wave readings on a computer screen, gained as a result of Konom's transmission. Scotty identifies it as wormhole energy. Kirk and Scotty devise a plan to enter the wormhole. Saavik volunteers to go on the mission. It seems at first that Kirk will not allow it, until he reveals that he has already selected her. Kirk returns to the bridge to recruit Ensign Bryce as well. Bryce follows him to the transporter room, where engineers are modifying environmental suits. Kirk contacts Uhura on the bridge and tells her to notify the main council on Organia of the situation.
A short while later, Saavik leaves the ship in a modified shuttlecraft and activates the shuttle's warp sled, causing the vessel to enter wormhole space. At the same time, Kirk and Bryce beam out in the environmental suits. McCoy asks Scotty if he thinks they'll be all right, but Scotty isn't sure.
Elsewhere, Kirk and Bryce rematerialize in open space, above a massive Klingon space station.
"We've taken her away from you twice, and you've gotten her back twice. I think that's lesson enough even for a Grand Admiral, don't you… Captain?"
- - Admiral Turner, to Kirk, re: the Enterprise
"Damn that Kirk! He is a sorcerer!"
- - Koloth, after Kirk bests him in battle
(Sighs) "Muh poor engines…"
- - Scotty, when Kirk orders him to create a matter-antimatter imbalance
- Takes place between the events of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. The story continues in the next issue.
- Throughout this story arc (and many subsequent DC issues), Saavik is drawn in the likeness of Kirstie Alley.
- This issue introduces Bryce, Bearclaw and Konom, who reappear throughout DC's initial run.
- Klingons in this and all subsequent issues feature the ridged look, consistent with canon chronology.
- Editors cited in the letters columns of various issues that Sulu is Kirk's new exec while Spock is not present.
- Gamma Hydra ("Gamma Hydra, Section 14"), located in proximity of Romulan space, is a tip of the hat to the Kobayashi Maru scenario in The Wrath of Khan.
- Kirk's log indicates that, following the events of Star Trek II, Carol and David Marcus have returned to Regula I, and the crew of the USS Reliant has been relocated to Starbase 12 for medical attention and reassignment.
- Based on Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
- Writer : Mike W. Barr
- Editor: Marv Wolfman
- 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 DC TOS volume 1 characters.
Regular and recurring characters
- James T. Kirk
- Admiral and Enterprise CO.
- Leonard McCoy
- Enterprise Chief Medical Officer.
- Montgomery Scott
- Enterprise Chief Engineer.
- Hikaru Sulu
- Enterprise helmsman and first officer.
- Enterprise communications officer.
- Pavel Chekov
- Enterprise security and weapons officer.
- Enterprise science officer.
- Christine Chapel
- Doctor and Enterprise medical officer.
- Klingon helmsman on Koloth's ship.
- Stephen Turner
- Starfleet Grand Admiral.
- Bernie Bryce
- USS Gallant science officer, father of Ensign Nancy Bryce (dies in this issue).
- Klingon commander.
- John Bearclaw
- USS Gallant CO, father of Ensign William Bearclaw (dies in this issue, name originates in Who's Who in Star Trek #1).
- Enterprise crewmember in the ship's mess
- Enterprise crewmember; patient McCoy treats in sickbay.
- USS Gallant engineering officer
- Unnamed USS Gallant crewmembers
- Unnamed Klingon ensign
- Other unnamed Klingons on Koloth's ship
- Unnamed Enterprise crewmembers
- A Tale of Two Cities
- cloaking device
- Gamma Hydra
- K't'inga-class battle cruiser
- Klingon Neutral Zone
- Klingon space station
- Marcus, Carol
- Federation scientist, mother of Kirk's son.
- Marcus, David
- Son of Carol Marcus and James Kirk.
- Organian Peace Treaty
- Regula I
- Shuttlecraft Galileo
- Enterprise shuttlecraft #3
- Starbase 12
- Starfleet Headquarters
- thruster suit
- USS Enterprise
- Constitution-class starship
- USS Gallant
- Federation light cruiser, destroyed while patrolling the Klingon Neutral Zone
- USS Reliant
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