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- From solicitations
- From Star Trek writer/producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and the creative team behind the best-selling Star Trek: Countdown. The story of the villainous Nero continues as we learn how Nero spent the years between his battle with the Kelvin and his reunion with Spock! You don't want to miss this essential chapter in the rebirth of Star Trek!
On the Klingon prison planet Rura Penthe, Nero is fighting a vicious dog-like creature. It has him on the ground with its teeth in his face. Watching, one Klingon guard asks another to pay up. The second guard says the fight is not yet over. Nero jams the dog's jaws together and pulls its head away, ripping the point off his own right ear. He then fatally injures the dog's head with his bare hands. A guard says he told the others not to bet against Nero; another guard holds up the lost point of Nero's ear and tells him he dropped something. As Nero is taken back to his cell, he ponders the fact that the fights keep him strong.
His hands shackled behind him, Nero stands before a raised dais where Koth and two other interrogators sit. Koth tells him his years-long silence is impressive, but that he will eventually tell the Klingons where he comes from, the nature of his connection to the Romulan Empire, and how his ship, the Narada, works. Koth tells Nero the Narada is still in orbital quarantine, but Nero thinks to himself that he already knew this -- he can sense the ship waiting for him. Nero has made fifty-seven escape attempts which have resulted in the deaths of twenty-two guards, but he has not been killed because he and his crew have increased Rura Penthe's mining yield by 300%. Back at the labor camp, Nero senses that Spock is still alive. He seems to see Spock's visage in the rockface he is chiseling.
Twenty years pass. Nero obtains a vial of a drug from a smuggler named Quocch. In his cell, the drug allows Nero to remember his wife refusing to accompany him on the Narada. She did not wish to give birth in the mining ship's cargo hold, even though Nero was concerned that they might not be in time to save Romulus. His wife promised that she would be safe at home, where they and their child belonged.
In the mess hall, Nero is approached by Ayel and a human named Clavell, a former stellar cartographer. Clavell comments on how Nero does not speak, and says the guards think Nero is a demon. Ayel has told Clavell that Nero wishes to know when a black hole will open on the edge of the Neutral Zone. Clavell has spent his years on Rura Penthe drawing maps of Federation space for the Klingons. He offers Nero his expertise, but demands to be included in whatever he is planning. Nero walks away silently, and Ayel says his captain has accepted Clavell's offer; when Clavell asks how Ayel knows this, the Romulan replies, "Because you're still alive, Clavell."
The drugs Nero takes have enhanced his innate Romulan telepathic abilities. From his cell he is able to communicate with Ayel and tell him to give Clavell all the information he needs. Clavell works assiduously on his star charts. Nero begins to believe again that it may not be too late to avenge his wife. Quocch arrives with another shipment of contraband, including tri-ox for one of the guards and datapads for Clavell. Aboard the Narada, which is surrounded by a force field in orbit, two Klingon engineers are still attempting to learn how the ship works; its systems activate by themselves, and both Klingons are electrocuted.
In the mess hall Clavell tells Nero that the occupant of the other ship must have gotten caught in the black hole, just as the Narada did, and has not arrived yet. Clavell cannot calculate exactly when and where the black hole will reopen, however, and is not sure there is a computer anywhere that can do so. Nero is determined to find such a computer, but while breaking rocks again he is approached by guards and told he is coming with them.
The Narada destroys the force field around it and begins firing on the planet. Nero is shown his bladed staff, taken from him when he was captured, and told it is the last piece of Romulus he will ever see. Clavell's star charts, on one of which Nero has sketched Spock's face, have been found in his cell. Nero is told that a way has been found to make him talk. Five minutes later, sitting in his cell, Ayel hears a loud boom. Nero enters, carrying the bloodstained staff; he says aloud, "The wait is over."
Narada continues firing on the planet. Nero and his crew fight and kill several guards; Clavell appears, also having killed a guard, and demands to be taken with them. Quocch leads them to the secret exit and shuttle of the guards who steal ore for their own profit. There are two guards in the shuttle, but Clavell and Nero kill them. As they fly to the Narada in the shuttle, Nero wonders who awakened the ship. Clavell asks how they can be sure the Narada will not fire at them, but Nero knows his ship is waiting for him. On the Narada's bridge, Ayel reports that the helm does not respond; he cannot change the course that Narada seems to have chosen for itself. Nero is unable to override. As Narada moves away from Rura Penthe into space, Nero wonders where it is taking them, and whether it has found Spock.
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- asteroid • dog • mining • labor camp • Ambassador • demon • physics • black hole • stellar cartographer • captain • contraband • tri-ox • datapads • brain • computer • engineer • Debrune Teral'n
- This issue was available in two covers. The primary cover by the issue's artist David Messina features Nero; the retail incentive cover features a photo of Montgomery Scott.
- This issue is partly based on a deleted sequence from TOS movie: Star Trek. Nero's line "The wait is over" appeared in the film's trailers and served as a promotional tagline.
- The smuggler's name is inconsistently spelled as both "Quocch" and "Quochh".
Nero, Number One
Nero, Number Three
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