Cover by Rod Whigham & Carlos Garzon
|Series:||The Original Series, No. 52|
A chilling first contact!
- Captain's log, stardate 8752.5. The Enterprise has been sent to Theata Leonis to make first contact with a species called the Atyansa. The first-in survey described this species as highly intelligent and peaceful. If all this is true, this mission should be a pleasure.
Theata Leonis is close to Klingon space. The survey team reported the Atyansa were "uniquely prepared for contact", and they have requested Kirk, Spock and McCoy by name, although they have never before visited the planet. Kirk asks Spock if the Atyansa could have overheard Starfleet communications, but they are at the technological level of 16th century Earth.
Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam down into a verdant landscape. They are met by a group of pink-skinned, four-armed children, who shout, "They're back!" The children guide the three men to the home of Lagonda, the chief, who is surprised to see them -- she did not expect "the space people" to come today. Lagonda greets them by name, including "McCoy of the complaints." Expecting them soon to leave on their quest, she shows them an ancient scroll depicting them climbing a mountain accompanied by an Atyansa boy. Lagonda explains that the boy is her son, Meresh, who will be their guide, as he was when they last did this a thousand years earlier. Meresh enters, eager to leave and confront "the creature of the mountain". Lagonda says the book makes clear they must find the creature.
The Klingon battlecruiser Arekkieh, commanded by Kalak, decloaks in front of the Enterprise. Kalak demands that Enterprise leave the area. Scotty retorts that the system will not become part of Klingon space for 13.6 standard years. Kalak threatens the landing party, which the Klingons have been monitoring, but Scotty promises to destroy the battlecruiser if they harm the landing party. Kalak cuts off the transmission. In accordance with the Prime Directive, the landing party is unarmed. Scotty wonders if there is some way to prevent the Klingons from beaming down. Asking Uhura to tell Kirk what has happened when he checks in, he leaves the bridge for the transporter room.
At their camp, McCoy and Spock bring firewood while Kirk tries to start a fire with two sticks. Meresh does so easily with a match and flint. As they sit around the fire, Meresh tells the Starfleet officers that the creature is guarded by "each trespasser's worst goblin", things which killed some questers and drove others half-mad. Kirk and Spock wonder if this is some form of mind control, but realize it cannot be a hallucination if it has killed people. Kirk feels as though he is in an epic poem; Meresh agrees that the four of them are heroes. Saying he considers being a hero overrated, McCoy asks what weapons they will use on the monster. Meresh shows him a forked stave, like the ones they were carrying in the ancient drawing.
Working under the transporter console, Scotty is informed that energy readings from the planet have increased. Kirk contacts him, and Scotty explains that the readings are low frequency, but massive and close to Kirk's position. He predicts that the Klingons will soon attempt to beam down to investigate the anomaly, but tells Kirk and Spock that he can use the transporter to jam the Klingons' transporters in the area where they are -- but he will not be able to use the transporter otherwise while doing so.
The three men and Meresh have entered a snowy area. Spock detects increased energy readings, including high levels of broadcast power. Suddenly they are attacked by a Gorn, a Mugato, a large serpent and a purple flying creature. The entities are solid and leave footprints in the snow. Kirk kicks the Mugato under the jaw, and Spock jams a stick in the serpent's mouth. Seeing the "Gorn" as a large hairy creature with four arms, Meresh fells it by using his forked stave as a slingshot. Kirk realizes that he and Meresh perceive the creature differently. Spock declares that their minds are being influenced, and that the energy readings have quadrupled. As they walk off into the snow, the Gorn fades away.
On the bridge, Scotty asks Ryder to tell him when the Klingon transporters power up. He has to let the first Klingons beam down in order to calibrate the jamming. The Klingons transport a large number of personnel, but when they try to transport again, their beaming is jammed, trapping the second group in transit. A Klingon with an eyepatch appears on the viewscreen and demands that the Enterprise cease its interference or be destroyed. Scotty points out that that would also destroy the patterns of the second landing party -- possibly including Captain Kalak.
Kirk and the others have defeated a Talosian and a salt vampire, which put up less of a fight than the previous creatures. As they approach a cave, the first group of Klingons appears and fires on them. Kirk contacts Scotty, who says he cannot beam the Klingons away without losing the patterns of the Klingons in transit. At Spock's suggestion, the group uses their slingshots to loosen rocks above the cave mouth, allowing them to dash inside the cave. The rocks seal the cave entrance, temporarily blocking the Klingons from entering.
Kirk's group enters a large cavern filled with an advanced computer installation. They are greeted by the "creature", who appears as a beautiful woman with silver skin, hair and clothes. Spock's tricorder readings show she has been waiting for them for 550,005 years. She explains that her programming allows her to appear in a form that gains attention from the life-forms to which she speaks. She was built by the ancestors of the Atyansa, who gave her tachyonic data inputs, allowing her to see all that happens for thousands of light years and extrapolate future events.
The Klingons are burning their way into the cave with their hand weapons. The "creature" knew Kirk and the others would come and wrote Lagonda's ancient book, but protected herself with the monsters so no one else could damage the installation. She is about to cease functioning, and needs the Federation to recover the data banks containing the knowledge of the Atyansa's ancestors. The Klingons enter and demand the surrender of the installation, but the "creature" transforms into a terrifying female Klingon monster. Towering over the Klingons, she threatens to destroy their ship if they do not return to it, and makes their weapons explode in their hands. Kirk orders Scotty to drop the jamming, and the Klingons beam up, vowing to return. As Kirk, Spock and McCoy prepare to beam up, the "creature" explains that she presented the quest as an eternal cycle because it was comforting to the Atyansa that way.
Kirk returns to the Enterprise bridge, where Kalak rages at him on the viewscreen. Both ships arm weapons, but the Klingon ship is knocked out of orbit at warp factor 9.4 by a tractor beam from the planet's surface. Kirk asks Uhura to notify Starfleet of the "creature"'s request for help. In the turbolift on the way to Kirk's quarters, Spock tells Kirk and McCoy he is satisfied that the Atyansa will long remember "McCoy of the complaints!"
- James T. Kirk • Spock • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Nyota Uhura • Ryder • Meresh • Lagonda • Kalak
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- Referenced only
Races and culturesEdit
Materials and substancesEdit
Foods and beveragesEdit
Technology and weaponsEdit
- communications • communicator • computer • hologram • phaser • shields • slingshot • tachyonic data input • tractor beam • transporter • tricorder
- bridge • first contact • Klingon language • mind control • Prime Directive • 16th century • transporter room
| Star Trek: The Original Series|
(DC Comics, Series Two)
#53: Time Crime, Part 1
- Scotty refers to himself as lieutenant commander in a line of dialogue, but by the time period portrayed by the stardate, uniforms and rank insignia, he should have been a captain.