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Husian Gambit is a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It is the sixth story in the US Comic Strips series, published by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. The story was set after TOS movie: The Motion Picture, depicting events from Captain Kirk's second five-year mission aboard the refurbished USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). In this story, shore leave turns disastrous for two starship crews.

SummaryEdit

An unusual sense of malaise pervaded the Enterprise, leading to pranks such as gravity going out while Sulu and Chekov sparred, food processors on nine decks only providing tapioca pudding, and bagpipe recordings being played loudly throughout the ship. Mistakes and minor fights began to appear. Even Kirk said he was on edge. McCoy diagnosed it as boredom of epic proportions. Kirk said the ship’s biannual maintenance was due, and since Starfleet wanted the ship in this sector, shore leave would be taken in shifts during the repair work at the drydock repair facility at Hus-24.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7559.0.
Pursuant to Starfleet directive, we have arrived at Hus-24 to carry out our biannual maintenance duty at this most remote of Federation sanctioned orbiting drydocks.

Approaching Hus-24, the Dockmaster said they were assigned to Slip Three alongside the USS Venture, which arrived that morning. Kirk was interested to meet its famous captain, Morgan Avery, as Sulu brought in the Enterprise “with textbook precision” next to the Venture.

Avery invited their senior officers to dinner on the Venture and were introduced to her Exec and Science Officer, Hathoz, Medical Officer Wu, and Chief Engineer Kraus. Spock was surprised to learn Hathoz had given up 3-D chess “when it no longer presented a challenge.” Kirk told Avery Hus-24 was “the most boring planet in the entire quadrant,” with no arts of their own, and the Husians were friendly but dull.

LA6-Venture-crew

Introducing USS Venture’s senior officers.

At shore leave on the surface, crews mingled, with Sulu accepting a reptilian Venture officer’s offer of softball. Hathoz dismissed Spock’s suggestion that he could be beaten at 3-d chess, and they began a game. Uhura sang a song with an impromptu band made up of both crews. Scott offered suggestions to two engineers to improve their grain still. Kirk and Avery explored ad grain field, then had a romantic evening in Avery’s quarters.

With maintenance finished, Kirk and Spock reported to the Dockmaster to settle their account. But as they turned to leave the office, the Dockmaster stunned them with a phaser. They awoke in a moving ore car with chains tied to thick neck collars. It stopped, and Husians dragged them by chains to be reunited with McCoy and Scott, also chained. Scotty said gas, likely morpheum, was pumped through the ship’s air, knocking out the crew. Edrem, leader of the Husians, wearing platform shoes to tower over others of his race, proclaimed himself in charge of both ships, and its crews his slaves. Starfleet would be deceived into believing the crews had died. The men would work this mine till they died, while the women would harvest grain. Monologuing, Edrem complained about his people being overworked and underpaid, and now they revolted.

Later, Edrem returned and confronted Kirk, giving him two hours to provide access codes to unlock the helm. Considering escape options, Hathoz introduced Kirk to his crewmate, Lt. Tulb, a Distotian. With their brains in their thorax, Distotians had no skulls. Tulb believed he could squeeze his head through his collar. McCoy pointed out he could damage his eyes if not careful. Stretching and pulling, Tulb got his head free. Kirk called for a guard. Tulb lept and fought Lubo, trying to grab his phaser rifle. Two rear guards saw the fight and one aimed his phaser pistol, accidentally vaporizing Lubo. Tulb, realizing his rifle was jammed at the kill setting, was hesitant to fire back. With little choice, Tulb vaporized one of the two rear guards, and the other fled. Kirk yelled for Tulb to fire at him, but Tulb couldn’t “just shoot him in the back.”

LA6-Tulb2

Lt. Tulb, a Distotian.

With the rifle, they broke chains on their collars until the rifle’s charge died. As eight guards returned, the others hid while Kirk tried a bluff, that the rifle was set to wide field and he’d kill all the guards if they moved. They surrendered, and Chekov took their weapons,

Meanwhile, in the grain fields, the women worked the fields but were unchained. Avery showed Uhura a glass earring. With it, she started a fire and lit a wheat torch. Uhura mentioned she held the 100m record at the Pan-African Games, and took the torch, to run fast through the fields and set a blaze between the guards and the women. Expecting the men to be in the mine, the women headed there.

Kirk recalled from a prior visit to Hus-24 years ago that the mine only had one exit. Spock noted that the ore rail train, full and ready to depart, was manually driven. Knowing they would be ambushed by dozens of guards the moment they were spotted, the male crew hid in the ore cars. Outside, Husians heard the train coming and barricaded the tracks with several heavy trucks. But Scott had supercharged the train's engine to blast out of the mine at 110 kph. It smashed through the trucks, overloaded the starboard stabilizer and gyros, and tossed the ore cars off the track.

Scattering under phaser fire, the men fled for rocky cover. Spock noted that despite being poor shots, the Husians would eventually vaporize their cover. Over a hundred phasers were pitted against the nine held by the men. Unable to retreat or advance, they were stuck. To create a distraction, Sulu overloaded a phaser and lobbed it like a grenade to scatter five Husians. Then the men surged across a hill, overpowered a few Husians and took their weapons.

LA6-drydock-venture

Enterprise and Venture in drydock.

Overhearing the phaser fire, the women reached a plateau above the fighting. Avery considered pushing a massive boulder downhill, and thanks to lighter gravity and efforts of two dozen female crewmen, it fell, followed by the women who lept into combat. With fighting on two fronts, the Husians “gave up in droves.” Avery said they didn’t appear warlike, “as if that fanatic had them hypnotized.” Scotty appeared, dragging a meek Edrem, who had collar keys on him.

Kirk kept the collar as a reminder of what had happened. The Husians would stand trail. Back aboard as the two ships left drydock, Spock and Hathoz finished their chess game, a draw.

ReferencesEdit

CharactersEdit

USS ‘’Enterprise’’ crew
James T. KirkSpockLeonard McCoyItaka SuluMontgomery ScottNyota UhuraPavel ChekovChristine ChapelGreywolfTaskul
USS ‘’Venture’’ crew
Morgan AveryHathozWuKrausTulb
Husians
DockmasterEdremNumboSaldoGlynkoLuboUbo

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprise (Enterprise-class refit) • USS Venture (Constitution-class) • Husian ground carore train
Referenced only 
intra-system tripper

LocationsEdit

Hus-24orbital drydocktritanium mine
Referenced only 
Honshu

Races and culturesEdit

DistotianHumanHusianVulcan
Referenced only 
ZaraniteArcturian

States and organizationsEdit

Starfleet

Science and technologyEdit

Widgin pins type 302distilleryhinge and tumbler lock collarsore carsthoraxcode-phrasephaser rifleore train starboard stabilizergyrosphaser overload
Referenced only 
Denebian dust-pupsatmosphere sealsmorpheum sleeping gasairlocks

Other referencesEdit

alcoholartbraincaptainchief engineercollarcrewmandockmasterdoctordress uniformearringexecutive officerfarmfireglassgrenadehelmlieutenantmetalmeterminingmusicPan-African gamesphaserphaser rifleplanetplomeek soupriflesciencescience officersenior medical officershore leaveskullslavesongspace stationtri-dimensional chesstriticaleartificial gravityClass A uniformRigellian tarponmess officersoftball100 meter dashPan-African Gamestapioca puddingbagpipes

TimelineEdit

Published Order
Previous comic:
#5: "Aberration on Abaris"
Star Trek: The Original Series
(US Comic Strips)
Next comic:
#7: “Heads of State
Previous story:
"Aberration on Abaris"
Stories by:
Thomas Warkentin
Next story:
Heads of State
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
"Aberration on Abaris"
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
"Experiment in Vengeance!"

AppendicesEdit

Related storiesEdit

  • TOS movie: The Motion Picture - Described the starship refit, crew changes, and technology updates that occurred prior to the events of this story.

Information Edit

  • The USS Venture was a Constitution Class I starship under the command of Morgan Avery, with Executive & Science Officer Hathoz, Senior Medical Officer Wu, and Chief Engineer Kraus. The ship’s registry number was not included in the story. Wu was featured in one of Warkentin's 1978 sample strips, reproduced on page 6 of The Newspaper Comics, Volume 2.
  • Cameos: Native American Ensign Greywolf, introduced in TOS comic: "Aberration on Abaris", appeared without dialogue in five panels. An Arcturian, possibly dilithium mining expert Ensign Taskul introduced in TOS comic: "Dilithium Dilemma", appeared without dialogue in three panels. A male Zaranite was seen in two panels. A female Zaranite appeared once, and a male Andorian appeared once. All wore uniforms signifying they were part of the Enterprise’s crew.
  • References to prior stories: Spock said there were always alternatives; McCoy said he remembered what happened the last time Spock said that, a reference to TOS episode: "The Galileo Seven". Uhura said she held the record for the 100 meter dash in the Pan-African Games, a reference to TAS episode: " The Slaver Weapon".
  • A death toll number was not given, but several crewmembers from both ships were disintegrated by the Husians during the escape.
  • Kirk said the ship’s biannual maintenance was due. Taken at face value, the story could be set six months after the events of TOS movie: The Motion Picture.
  • In the first panel of the story, the strip gives Sulu's first name as "Itaka," which was given to him in the unauthorized USS Enterprise Officer's Manual.

Background Edit

  • Ron Harris and Dan Spiegle are credited with art assists on this story. (http://www.hassleinbooks.com/pdfs/TrekComics.pdf) Harris' credit appears alongside Warkentin's on September 25, 26, 27, 30, October 1, 2, 5, 6, 12, 13, 29, 30, 31, November 1, 2, of 1980 and, Jan 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 of 1981. Spiegle's credit appears alongside Warkentin's on September 8, 10, 17, and 19, 1980.

Images Edit

External LinksEdit

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