- For the novel Mutiny on the Enterprise, click here.
- Captain's log, star date 18:41.2 – The Enterprise is in standard orbit around planet Beta II while First Officer Spock and I conduct a small surveying expedition on the surface...
The landing party splits up to search for ores believed to be on the planet. Some time later, Scotty contacts Spock from the ship to tell him there is an urgent message from Star Fleet Command and he cannot reach Kirk. Spock's group tracks Kirk's communicator and finds him and his two companions lying on the ground before a gigantic Betasaur. Spock and his companions kill the reptile by firing at its mouth. Kirk revives, but the other two crewmen are dead.
Back on the ship, Kirk insists on leaving Sick Bay to respond to the priority one message. Star Fleet orders Kirk to transport an Omegan ambassador from Star Base 6 to his home planet, thus proving to him that the Omega system should not shift its alliance to the Klingon Empire.
- Captain's log, star date 18:41.4 – We are in orbit around Star Base 6, awaiting the arrival of the Omegan Ambassador...
The supercilious Ambassador T'Ki is beamed aboard and shown to his quarters. Kirk rudely orders Scotty to increase speed from warp two to warp four. Later, while Kirk is giving the ambassador a tour of the ship, an ensign rushes past and bumps into T'Ki. The diplomat ungraciously accepts the young man's apology, but Kirk is much angrier and orders him to the brig, to Spock's concern. Spock consults McCoy, who blames Kirk's behavior on his blow to the head on Beta II. Kirk enters and accuses Spock and McCoy of plotting against him. Back on the bridge, Kirk orders a heading which Sulu warns him will take the ship into the B-Gamma Maelstrom. As T'Ki arrives on the bridge, the ship enters the huge whirlpool in space...
- Captain's log, star date 18:41.8 (Mr. Spock reporting) – There is something wrong with the captain. Since he was attacked on Beta II, a subtle change has come over his personality – he has become moody, short-tempered, almost tyrannical – and his behavior threatens our relations with the Omegan government – and our very lives as well!
The Enterprise plunges into the Maelstrom, which is inhabited by monstrous creatures. Kirk orders Scotty to throw the ship into full thrust reverse, then to send it forward at warp 8. The ship escapes the whirlpool. Spock apologizes to T'Ki for the "accident", but the ambassador says the Klingons were right about the Federation's foolishness. Kirk orders the ship to maximum warp; when Scotty refuses to obey this reckless order, Kirk stuns him with a phaser. At Scotty's bedside in Sick Bay, Spock, McCoy and Sulu discuss removing Kirk from command.
Spock, McCoy and Sulu confront Kirk on the bridge and ask him to remove himself from command on medical grounds. Kirk fires his phaser at McCoy and escapes into the elevator. On a lower deck Kirk shoots several crewmembers before Spock and McCoy find him and trade phaser fire with their friend. Kirk steals a shuttlecraft and flees the ship. Finding Spock and McCoy in the shuttle hangar, T'Ki sneers at this further instance of Federation incompetence, but Spock reveals that they wanted Kirk to escape because he is not Kirk.
The Enterprise returns to Beta II, Spock telling T'Ki the delay will be worth his while. The ambassador accompanies the landing party to the surface, where Spock finds the shuttle, in which he had hidden a tracer device. Inside a cave they find two Kirks and a party of Klingons. Spock explains that the Klingons intended to discredit the Federation in the ambassador's eyes. Having intercepted the Priority One message before the Enterprise received it, they faked the mineral deposits on Beta II, then replaced Kirk with a duplicate while he was searching for the ore. The duplicate Kirk runs from the cave, pursued by the real Kirk. Following them outside, Spock cannot tell the two Kirks apart until one orders him to kill the other. Spock stuns that Kirk with his phaser, knowing the real Kirk would never order him to kill.
Back on the Enterprise, T'Ki says his government will strengthen its relationship with the Federation. Kirk asks Spock what would have happened if he had shot the wrong Kirk; Spock replies that he would have turned himself in for court-martial.
- James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • T'Ki • unnamed Klingons • unnamed Starfleet personnel • unnamed USS Enterprise personnel
Starships and vehiclesEdit
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
Ranks and titlesEdit
Science and technologyEdit
- brain • communicator • concussion • cosmos • elevator • galaxy • gas • impulse engine • lifeform • light • motor • orbit • phaser • probe • silicon • solar minute • star • starship • tracer device • transporter • tricorder • viewscreen • warp engine • warp factor
- Betasaur • bridge • brig • captain's log • court-martial • diplomacy • government • hangar • helm • insubordination • laboratory • lizard • logic • mineral • mutiny • ore • paranoia • planet • priority one • quarters • rat • reptile • sick bay • star date • Star Fleet Regulations • stun • tribble • war • whirlpool
- Due to artists unfamiliar with the Star Trek series, this issue features Dr. McCoy wearing a command division green-gold Starfleet uniform, rather than his proper sciences division blue uniform. Scotty is also shown wearing such a command uniform, although in his case the uniform is explainable – as second officer, he can properly wear command colors as an alternative to his regular operations division uniforms. Scotty makes switches between command and operations uniforms in his last few movie appearances.
- Kirk is wearing a wrist watch on this story's splash panel.
- There is a reference to the impulse engines propelling the Enterprise faster than light (apparently at warp 2).
- Not only is the bridge turbolift referred to as an "elevator", it has a large "ELEVATOR" sign on the door.
- The climax of the story is strikingly similar to that of TOS episode: "Whom Gods Destroy".
#13: Dark Traveler
| Star Trek: The Original Series|
#15: Museum at the End of Time