Saturday, April 2, 2011

Issue Eight: Blood Fever

Wow! It's been a while so let's get right to it, shall we?
Last time in the pages of STAR TREK...

If you recall, Lt. Saavik is experiencing Pon-Farr, the Vulcan mating cycle. Admiral Kirk and company race Saavik home to be reunited with Xon,  her Betrothed, only to discover that he has left on a secret mission for Vulcan! Lt. Saavik's adopted father Sarek surreptitiously discloses where Xon can be found. Saavik steals a ship and heads out towards the great barrier on the edge of the galaxy. Kirk and company pursue Saavik to try and keep her from doing harm to her self or anyone else. Saavik turns on the Enterprise and threatens to destroy it....

OK, so as issue eight opens Saavik is out of her mind with the Plak-Tow, the blood fever. She tells the Enterprise that if they don't disclose where Xon is she will blow them out of the heavens. Kirk arranges a little game of possum after Saavik fires on the ship. The Enterprise appears dead in space. Believing that she has blown up the Enterprise Saavik mutters something about Romulans and continues her trek to the Great Barrier.
Gary Mitchell with pinball eyes!

Now, it's important to know that the great barrier at the edge of the galaxy was introduced way back in the second pilot for Star Trek-"Where No Man Has Gone Before". The barrier has some weird forces at work that make some beings who travel into it develop god-like powers.  That's what happened to then Captain Kirk's best friend, Gary Mitchell.  Poor Gary fell victim to his extraordinary new powers and was eventually killed by Capt. Kirk in a last ditch effort to save himself and his crew from the thing Mitchell was becoming. If you want to know more about "Where No Man Has Gone Before", Gary Mitchell, and the Great Barrier click here for the scoop! It'll certainly make the plot of this issue more clear.

The Great Barrier as realized on Star Trek
Alright, so...while Saavik is bugging out with Pon Farr, Xon is posing as a Romulan security guard on an a super secret Romulan planetoid outpost. They are there to harness the immense, freakish nature of the Barrier to turn a bunch of Romulan volunteers into mortal gods. You know, it's the latest and greatest idea in the Romulans never ending quest to squash the Federation and rule the universe.

It's never really said how the Romulans gained knowledge of the Barrier's unique properties but one can assume that just like Kirk and company they tried at one point or another to penetrate the barrier and wound up paying the price for it.

Lt. Saavik finally pinpoints Xon's location and lands her shuttle on the planetoid. Xon is understandably  shocked to see her. Their reunion is quickly ruined by a squad of pesky Romulans who have had suspicions about Xon all along. They have followed the Vulcan and discovered him milling about a Vulcan shuttle. Fortunately Saavik slipped away before they discovered her presence.

Xon is hauled back to the base to be interrogated and tortured about his true identity and why he has been posing as a Romulan. Meanwhile, Kirk and company have been on Saavik's trail and show up just in time to receive a desperate call for help from Saavik.  The Enterprise crew discover vast amounts of energy being siphoned off of the great barrier and blast the Romulans receiver. This action has serious consequences for the minds who were plugged into the barrier at the time of the blast.  The Enterprise crew rescue Xon and Lt. Saavik and prepare for combat. Of course, the Romulans give chase and Kirk tricks them into racing headlong into the great barrier. Navigational instruments are non-functional in the barrier so the Romulans are left to wonder for eternity lost in the immense energy ribbon. And, one could imagine, subjected to the maddening whims of the Romulans who will inherit the god-like powers of the barrier.

On the good ship Enterprise all is well again. David Marcus is returned to Regula One Space Station and Xon is patched up from his near death encounter with the Romulan god-soldiers. It is implied that because Xon and Lt. Saavik's bonding as children wasn't perfect that the two won't become husband and wife. Seems they left it very open ended so there could be wiggle room no matter which way it went.

Be here next time for the comic adaptation of STAR TREK III: The Search For Spock!