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Restructuring Is Futile is a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It is the eleventh 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 epic story, Kirk finds a Klingon crew cyborged by a machine intelligence called the Omnimind.

SummaryEdit

Captain's Log: Stardate 7717.5.
The Klingons have killed General Onoth. With him dies the plan to involve Sarsithia in a war.
Captain's Log: Supplement.
The Sarsith are now free to learn a new way of life. However, the Klingons do not know this incident has ended. Their cruiser sustained heavy damage during General Onoth’s attack, and I am sure they will send for reinforcements. We must try to reason with them or they will return and destroy Sarsithia.

Klingon Commander Kolak’s battle cruiser departed Sarsith at warp six. The Enterprise gave chase.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7719.2.

The battle cruiser dropped to sublight in the Vulpecula 12 system, and Kirk raised shields as they tracked it to the fourth planet, a terrestrial world Sulu said was “shattered into a million pieces.”

Captain's Log: Supplement.
We have pursued the Klingons into the Vulpecula 12 system. However, debris from the destroyed fourth planet is confusing the sensors, and we have lost them.
Captain's Log: Supplement.
We have pursued the Klingons into the Vulpecula 12 system. However, the debris from the fourth planet, destroyed by an ancient meteor strike, is confusing the sensors. We have lost them.

When Spock noted that the Klingon’s main deflector had been lost in its previous battle, Kirk realized the battle cruiser would need to hide close to large debris to hide from the Enterprise’s sensors and also avoid being hit by debris.

Captain's Log: Supplement.
We have been ambushed by the Klingon vessel we pursued into the Vulpecula 12 system, and the attack has destroyed our sensors.
Captain's Log: Supplement.
The Klingon ambush has left the Enterprise without her sensors. She is blind and at the mercy of the enemy.
Captain's Log: Stardate 7720.5.

Leaving the Enterprise for dead, Kolak ordered his ship out of the Vulpecula 12 system. Scott had sensors operational in an hour, just as Uhura picked up a sublight probe approaching. It broadcast a distress signal: “To all sentient biological organisms… we desperately need assistance to combat the threat of total genocide. Come at once, but beware the Omnimind!”

LA11-probe

Probe transmitted a distress call.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7720.9.
The Enterprise is again fully operational and we have left the ill-fated Vulpecula 12 system behind. However, our pursuit of the Klingons has come to a mysterious end. We have located their vessel adrift in an asteroid field with no life aboard… A vital clue to the whereabouts of the 385 Klingons aboard may come from a primitive space probe heading toward us from that region of space. Its urgent message warns all sentient biological organisms to “beware the Omnimind.” We must investigate!
LA11-Wrecked-Klingon-ship

Wrecked Klingon battlecruiser.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7720.9.
The primitive space probe heading toward us could be a vital clue to the disaster that befell the Klingons. It passed through the asteroid field where their ship is adrift, and its message may have led them to their doom.

Analyzing the asteroid field, Spock realized it encircled a planet, which was also the probe’s point of origin.

Captain's Log: Supplement.
Almost a solar century ago, a probe was launched from the planet below, asking for help to combat an unknown threat to all biological life there. We are broadcasting friendship messages, but there is no response. We are under attack by the primitive asteroid defense system surrounding the planet. It has already destroyed a Klingon battle cruiser.
LA11-Asteroid-pattern

Peculiar asteroid orbits.

Spock detected “low-level energy fluctuations” from several asteroids as energy cannons began firing at the ship. Kirk realized such a barrage would have wiped out the unshielded Klingon cruiser.
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
Our shields will stand up against the bombardment from the asteroids, but it is time we demonstrated to those on the planet’s surface that we will not be intimidated or deterred from making contact!
LA11-Defenses

Planetary defenses hidden in asteroid field.

Phasers took out two of the planetary defense cannons, and then a signal came from the planet. It was Kolak, claiming the “warm welcome” was at his hands. He confirmed his ship was destroyed by the asteroid weapons around the planet he called Iskonia.
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
After destroying some of the asteroids we received a signal from the planet’s surface. Miraculously, Kolak, the Klingon captain, has survived the destruction of his vessel and now seeks to talk peace with us. We are beaming down.

Considering the possibility Kolak had aligned himself with the Iskonians, Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Security officers Umeki and Mezat Z’ar, and one other officer beamed down to talk truce.

LA11-Iskosian-robot

First contact with robots on Iskonia.

Materializing in the Hall of Science, the landing party was ambushed by two large robots next to two Klingons submerged in tanks. Spock realized that the war mentioned by the probe had been won by the machines. Kirk asked what happened to the Klingons, and a yellow robot replied they would be “restructured” and were “excellent tools” to serve the Overmind. The robot said it was “a servant, one part of the whole.” Asking to speak with the Overmind, the robot said he wouldn’t speak “with the inferior intelligence of biological organisms.” Kirk tried an argument that worked in TOS episode: "The Changeling", saying “A biological organism built you,” but was ignored. The yellow robot said their curiosity would be their undoing, and then they were gassed by a red robot. “Once we control Kirk, we will have access to their technology” which withstood the asteroid defenses, the yellow robot said.

The gas killed Mezat Z’Ar, but the rest of the landing party awoke in a pen, minus their gear. Spock said his tricorder had detected life, that the robots had not completely exterminated all life on the planet.

A different, multi-limbed robot entered. Surprised that the crew had awoken, it broadcasted an alert. Sulu kept the door open while Umeki grappled with the robot, and Spock deactivated it. Fleeing to the maze of corridors in the Hall of Science, two flying robots pursued, shooting energy bolts at them until the landing party could smash them with debris from a patched section of wall. The group wandered into a lab where a humanoid strapped to a table, Harré, broke his bonds and bolted, suggesting they follow him through the patched wall.

LA11-Kolak-augmented

Kolak, cybernetically enhanced.

But then Kolak appeared, sporting neurohydraulic prosthetics, an eyepiece and a brain implant. Kolak said, “You have become bothersome, Kirk. The Omnimind has ordered your termination.” Kirk asked about Kolak’s crew, which caused Kolak to pause before attacking. Trying to reach Kolak through the programming, Kirk asked whether being a “cyborg slave” was how “a Klingon captain chooses to live” and implored Kolak to focus. The robots increased power to Kolak’s “control module,” and Kolak screamed in agony, smashing one of the robots. The Klingons went berzerk and started a fire in the lab. The landing party fled the lab as Kirk tried to reach Kolak. “He’s the captain of a starship, Umeki. He deserves better than to die as a slave of the robots.” Kolak smashed the last robot as the blaze engulfed him. Spock emerged from the destroyed lab with some salvaged equipment that might be turned into a transmitter.

Harré, a sargeant of Strike Force Unit 3, led the landing party down to the city’s sewer system, where guerrilla strikes were led against the robots. At the end of several tunnels, the landing party met the rest of Harré's team. One was Lyra, who had had significant modifications done to her head and body. Lyra explained that the Omnimind was once their colony’s AI, protecting their civilization, and they needed its knowledge. Lyra explained that their group “represent the gradual slip in the Omnimind’s programming, Captain. It wished to protect, then to perfect, biological organisms. But, as you can see, the effort failed, and I’m something of a freak.”

Spock and Sulu rigged a communications device, but would need to deploy it on the surface, risking detection by the robots.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7726.9.
Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott Reportin’… The Enterprise remains in orbit around the planet Iskonia. Twelve hours ago, Capt’n James T. Kirk and First Officer Spock beamed down to the surface with a landin’ party. We havna heard from ‘em since. I’m sendin’ a second landin’ party down under cover o’ night, in hopes of findin’ ‘em.
LA11-Security-helmets

Latham’s team, equipped with infrared helmets and phaser rifles.

Captain's Log: Stardate Unknown.
The Omnimind, a sentient computer, was once the guardian of the humanoid civilization on Iskonia. It has now set out to destroy that civilization. We must find out why. However, contacting the Enterprise is our immediate problem. The crude transmitter constructed by Mister Spock must work!
Captain's Log: Stardate 7727.5.
We have contacted the Enterprise and learned that a three-man security detail is now on the planet’s surface looking for us. Commanders Sulu and Uhura have transported back to the ship, and Mister Spock, Lieutenant Umeki, and myself are once again equipped with phasers and communicators.

Kirk contacted Lt. Marsha Latham, head of the security team. Kirk, Spock, Umeki and Lyra left to rendezvous with them near the Hall of Science. But robot tanks located them first.

Captain's Log: Supplemental.
The security detail has encountered robots. We are en route to the rendezvous point near the Iskonian Hall of Science. I only hope we can get there in time to prevent Lt. Latham and her men from being captured… or killed!
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
The security detail has encountered robots. I am confident that Lt. Latham and her men could hold off attackers under normal circumstances, but they don’t know this enemy as we do. I hope we arrive at the Hall of Science in time.

The robot tanks changed tactics after receiving a message from the Omnimind, stunning the security team instead of killing them.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7728.1.
According to Karos the Giant, another of the Omnimind’s bizarre failed experiments, my security people have been captured and taken inside the Main Dome, housing the Omnimind. The Iskonian strike force units have never been able to penetrate this fortress-like structure, but we must.
Captain's Log: Stardate 7728.1.
My security people have been taken inside the Main Dome, housing the Omnimind. The Iskonian strike force units have never been able to penetrate it. However, they don’t have the power of the Enterprise at their disposal.
LA11-Main-dome-entrance

Guarded entrance to the Main Dome.

Inside the main dome, a robot deposited Latham’s body into a device, saying she would “serve as the perfect pattern.” Meanwhile, Scotty beamed two photon grenades down and prepared to fire ship’s phasers, but Kirk’s team near the entrance to the Main Dome suddenly dove to avoid an attack overhead from a bank of beam weapons. Karos ran off to draw fire from approaching robots, and Kirk tossed one of the grenades. It cleared their entry into the Main Dome, but the robots had killed Karos.
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
The fate of Lt. Marsha Latham and the security detail is still unknown. We are inside the Main Dome, but at the cost of a life – Lyra’s friend, Karos. Spock’s tricorder has indicated a central power core in the structure. We are proceeding toward it.
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
While following Spock’s tricorder signal to find the core of the Main Dome, we have discovered horrifying, half-dead creatures who exist in the corridors and empty spaces of the structure.
Captain's Log: Stardate 7728.3.
Spock has concluded that the Omnimind may not be a pure machine intelligence. But whatever we’re dealing with, it is obsessed with altering the humanoid life forms to suit its own twisted concept of ultimate perfection.

The existence of the 507-Units, failed early experiments, some alive and some not, but all with cyborg prosthetics, led Spock to conclude that the Omnimind could not be a machine intelligence, not only because its robots demonstrated “relentless fanaticism,” but because a “pure machine mind would not proceed on the flawed assumption that humanoids are the ‘perfect’ life form.” Lyra asked Kirk to kill the tortured 507-Units, but Kirk let them be. The group headed toward the core of the Main Dome, which radiated an energy field that started to kill the 507-Units and even began to affect Lyra’s circuits. Umeki phasered the power field and disrupted it. Entering a vast computer chamber, the team was stunned to encounter a metallic android replica of Latham.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7729.7.
Using Lieutenant Marsha Latham as a pattern, the Omnimind has transformed itself into humanoid form… It now considers itself perfect!

Spock said, “That is a bio-mechanical construct… capable only of focusing energy, not generating it.” Kirk tried antagonizing it by saying it was “inferior” to humanoids, but its angry reaction about immortality exposed a weakness.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7729.7.
Using Lieutenant Marsha Latham as a pattern, the Omnimind has taken human form. But the pattern was too perfect. The Omnimind has lost some of its power and it can’t control its emotions. We have now found its greatest weakness, and the purpose behind its bizarre experiments on Lyra and her people – an intense fear of death.
LA11-Construct-appears

Overmind-Latham android.

The landing party fired its phasers at the Latham drone, destroying it, prompting the computers around it to respond by generating a projection of Ilik Na, creator of the Omnimind.
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
The machine intelligence calling itself the Omnimind was only a guardian computer, constructed and programmed by Ilik Na, leader of Lyra’s people. He so feared abandoning his people, even in death, that he created an elaborate computer system incorporating his own essence… and his fears.
LA11-Colony-ship

Initial colonization of Iskonia.

The hologram of Ilik Na shut down all robots on the planet while Umeki rescued Marsha Latham from equipment she’d been placed in.
Captain's Log: Stardate 7731.1.
Medical and psychiatric personnel, as well as a sociology team, are remaining on Iskonia to help Lyra and her people to adjust to their new lives. Lt. Marsha Latham and her men are recovering from their ordeal in sick bay, as we proceed to the Neumenedes star system for a well-deserved R&R.

ReferencesEdit

CharactersEdit

USS ‘’Enterprise’’ crew
James T. KirkSpockLeonard McCoyHikaru SuluMontgomery ScottNyota UhuraPavel ChekovMarsha LathamUmekiMezat Z’arOsik
Referenced only 
Christine ChapelJanice Rand
Other characters
KolakOmnimindHarréLyraKaros the Giant507-UnitsOmnimind androidIlik Na
Referenced only 
Onoth

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS EnterpriseKlingon BattlecruiserIskonian probeColony Ship

LocationsEdit

IskoniaIskonian asteroid fieldVulpecula 12 systemHall of SciencePen 4-AHall of Science LabSewer SystemMain Dome
Referenced only 
SarsithiaNeumenedes system

Races and culturesEdit

HumanKlingonVulcanIskonian

States and organizationsEdit

Klingon EmpireStrike Force Unit 3Strike Force Unit 7Colony Expedition to Iskonia

Science and technologyEdit

control modulecyborgdeflector shieldflying robotsinfrared targeting masksmagnesiumneurohydraulic prostheticsphasersphaser riflesphoton grenadeplanetary defense systemprojected imagerobotssleeping gassonic lockstage 1 programmingtransmitterwatchdog computer

Other referencesEdit

captainplanetmeteor strike

TimelineEdit

Published Order
Previous comic:
#10: "Quarantine"
Star Trek: The Original Series
(US Comic Strips)
Next comic:
#12: “The Wristwatch Plantation
Previous story:
Quarantine
Stories by:
Sharman DiVono
Next story:
The Wristwatch Plantation
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Quarantine
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
The Wristwatch Plantation

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, including Klingons.
  • TOS comic: "Side Effects" – Described an encounter during James T. Kirk’s first five-year mission involving cybernetically-enhanced humanoids that may have led to the origin of the Borg Queen.

Information Edit

  • This is the 11th of 20 story arcs set after the events of TOS movie: The Motion Picture, and is set during Captain Kirk's second five-year mission aboard the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). It is the third of five comic strip stories written by Sharman DiVono, and ran daily over a period of 126 days (18 weeks).
  • This story arc was not published with a title. The name Restructuring Is Futile was created retroactively for the story's reprinting in The Newspaper Comics, Volume 2 to reflect the many similarities between the Overmind and the Borg. The introduction to that volume contains an essay comparing them, called “To Borg or Not to Borg…” by J.C. Vaughn.
  • This story begins immediately after the previous story, Quarantine. The next story, The Wristwatch Plantation, starts as Kirk records his final log entry for Restructuring Is Futile.
  • Recurring characters: Security officer Umeki appeared in four of Sharman DiVono’s comic strip stories. He also appeared in The Savage Within, Quarantine, and The Wristwatch Plantation. Security Lt. Marsha Latham also appeared in The Wristwatch Plantation. They were romantically involved.
  • Kirk quoted Shakespeare twice this story. As the ship was being bombarded by the asteroid defense weapons (Sunday, November 22, 1981), Kirk said, “The worst is death, and death will have his day,” from Richard II Act 3 Scene 2. After Karos died, Kirk consoled Lyra (February 5, 1982) with, “Our sighs of sorrow, proportioned to our cause must be as great as that which makes it,” from Antony and Cleopatra Act IV Scene 15.
  • The Klingon battle cruiser in the story was shown with K't'inga-class detail and markings, but was not identified as such in the text. A complement of 385 Klingons was said to be aboard her.
  • This story includes 27 log entries (two of which were blank; those two only noted the stardate).

Images Edit

External LinksEdit

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