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Countdown to Darkness, Issue 4

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MAJOR SPOILERS
WARNING! This article contains MAJOR spoilers for the recently released comic Countdown to Darkness, Number Four. Caution is advised.

Publisher's descriptionEdit

This is it! Don't miss the shocking conclusion of this official prequel to next spring's STAR TREK film sequel! Overseen by STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci, this climactic issue leads directly into the upcoming blockbuster as Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew fight for fate of the Galaxy!

SummaryEdit

April contacts Klingon commanders on Qo’nos and proposes a deal: if they appoint him colonial governor of Phaedus IV, he will hand them the Enterprise.

In the Enterprise’s lower decks, Scotty tells Kirk and Spock that Protocol 31 has locked them out of everything; April controls the entire ship from the bridge. Kirk suggests they retake the bridge. Spock agrees, but with the turbolifts offline, they will need to use the Jeffries tubes, using their tricorders to ensure they do not get lost. However, April has already planned for this contingency, and uses Protocol 31 to seal off the tubes. April tells Kirk that the feeling of being trapped is nothing new for a Starfleet captain: they’re promoted because they can make tough decisions others cannot, but once they've earned their command, then their hands are tied by red tape. Kirk tells April he’s gone mad, and April agrees that by Starfleet standards, he has.

Kirk repeatedly kicks at one of the environmental seals until it dislodges, enabling him to pass through. Spock is able to similarly escape and makes his way to a maintenance shaft. Kirk emerges in Ten Forward, where April and Mudd have imprisoned most of his crewmates. Kirk tells them there is nothing to worry about, but McCoy motions to the viewing window; the IKS Klothos has arrived.

Commander Kor is impressed that April has managed to take control of the Enterprise. However, before April can finalize their deal, the power shuts down. Scotty tells Kirk that he could not bypass Protocol 31’s encryption, but he could deactivate the warp core, which would also shut down the central computer. The systems will reboot in a few minutes, giving them back control. However, with the Klothos on their bow, those few minutes are looking very long.

The first officer of the Klothos notes that the Enterprise has lost power. Kor orders a boarding party, saying that April was foolish to bargain with something they could simply take from him. With April and Mudd focusing on the power loss, Kirk and Spock easily ambush them. April insists that he is trying to save an entire people, while the Enterprise is just one ship. Kirk counters that the Enterprise is his ship, before stunning April. As Mudd quietly gives up, the power comes back online, and the central computer recognizes Kirk’s voiceprint. Kor hails the Enterprise and orders Kirk to surrender; any resistance will be seen as an act of war. Kirk insists that he does not want war with the Empire, then orders Spock to go to warp. Kor tells his crew to take heart; the Enterprise may have escaped, but Phaedus IV can be claimed for the Empire.

In a holding cell, Kirk tells April that it was foolish of him to think that he could save his friends by making a deal with the Klingons. His actions nearly started a war with the Klingons, something the Federation cannot afford. April tells Kirk he is naïve for thinking that such a war could be avoided; there are greater forces at work pushing toward it as they speak. Kirk tells April that his time away from Earth has driven him mad, but now he will go home to answer for all he has done.

Spock tells Kirk that Mudd will be remanded to the custody of Starfleet Security, but Kirk wants to keep her ship, as it might come in handy. Privately, Kirk grudgingly admits to Spock that he believes April was right; the Phaedans were on the brink of extinction. If Starfleet cannot prevent that kind of tragedy, then why are they there?

Spock surprises Uhura in her quarters. She wants him to promise that he will not engage in any further reckless behavior. She needs him, and so does the crew of the Enterprise. Spock agrees.

Admiral Pike tells Kirk that he has received new orders from Admiral Marcus; Kirk is to drop April off at the nearest Starbase, then proceed to the Nibiru System as per his original orders. Kirk protests; he wants to know why Protocol 31 was installed on the Enterprise, and suspects a coverup. Pike tells Kirk that Starfleet Intelligence will investigate; he needs to let them do their job, and remember who his real enemies are. In London, at a Starfleet Data Archive security console, access is granted to John Harrison.

ReferencesEdit

CharactersEdit

Robert AprilJohn HarrisonKeenserKorJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyMuddMontgomery ScottSpockNyota UhuraChristopher Pike
Referenced only 
Alex Marcus

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS EnterpriseKlingon ship
Referenced only 
USS Enterprise • Mudd's ship

LocationsEdit

Qo'noSPhaedus IVbridgeengineeringJeffries tubeEarthSan FranciscoLondon
Referenced only 
MississippiSan FranciscogalaxysickbayNibiru

Races and culturesEdit

KlingonPhaedan

States and organizationsEdit

Klingon EmpireImperial CommandStarfleetStarfleet SecurityStarfleet Intelligence

Science and technologyEdit

USS Enterprise (alternate reality NCC-1701) library computertricorderwarp core • central computerphasercontrol program

OtherEdit

Prime Directive • colonial governorcaptaincommanderboarding partylieutenantstarbaseStarfleet Data Archive

AppendicesEdit

TimelineEdit

Published Order
Previous comic:
Countdown to Darkness, Number Three
Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness Next comic:
Final issue in miniseries
The story continues in Into Darkness

Related storiesEdit


Stories set in the alternate reality from the movie Star Trek
Comics When Worlds Collide: Spock Confronts the Ultimate ChallengeNero ("Number One" • "Number Two" • "Number Three" • "Number Four") • Star Trek Movie Adaptation ("Number One" • "Number Two" • "Number Three" • "Number Four" • "Number Five" • "Number Six") • IDW Star Trek: Star Trek, Volume 1 (1st story arc: "Issue 1", "Issue 2" • The Galileo Seven: "Part 1", "Part 2") • Star Trek, Volume 2 (Operation: Annihilate: "Part 1", "Part 2" • Vulcan's Vengeance: "Part 1", "Part 2") • Star Trek, Volume 3 (The Return of the Archons: "Part 1", "Part 2" • The Truth About Tribbles: "Part 1", "Part 2") • Star Trek, Volume 4 ("Issue 13" • "Issue 14" • Mirrored: "Part 1", "Part 2") • Star Trek, Volume 5 ("Issue 17" • "Issue 18" • "Issue 19" • "Issue 20") • Countdown to Darkness ("Number One" • "Number Two" • "Number Three" • "Number Four") • Star Trek, Volume 6: After Darkness (After Darkness ("Part 1" • "Part 2" • "Part 3") • IDW Star Trek, Issue 24) • Star Trek, Volume 7: The Khitomer Conflict ("Part "1, "Part "2, "Part "3, "Part "4) • Khan ("Number One", "Number Two", "Number Three", "Number Four", "Number Five") • Star Trek, Volume 8 (Parallel Lives ("Part 1", "Part 2") • I, Enterprise! ("Part 1", "Part 2") • Lost Apollo (Part 1, Part 2)) • The Q Gambit (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6)
Novels Star TrekStarfleet Academy (The Delta AnomalyThe EdgeThe Gemini AgentThe Assassination Game) • Into Darkness
Board games Expeditions
Video games Delta Vega: Meltdown on the Ice PlanetAcademy TrainerCadet Training FacilityD-A-CRace to DestinyThe Mobile GameStar TrekRivals
Websites Starfleet ShipyardDossiersExperience The Enterprise
Live-Action Shorts Transporter CommercialBrilliant Enterprise CommercialCollision insurance commercialBold Explorers
Prequels in original timeline "Countdown" ("Number One" • "Number Two" • "Number Three" • "Number Four")
Apps Star Trek App

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