Aberration on Abaris is a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It is the fifth 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).
Captain James T. Kirk receives an urgent message from a commodore at Starbase 15. Abaris is due to collide with another planet in three days, and the Enterprise, the only ship in rescue range, needs to rescue two archeologists stationed there. Arriving at warp 11, hails are met with a rude reply from the archeologists. Mentioning that Abaris' climate is "similar to Kitui Province in the African Confederacy," Nyota Uhura joins Kirk and Leonard McCoy to beam down. However, a sudden transporter malfunction makes it unclear whether the landing party has been killed.
Leaving Montgomery Scott in command, Spock takes Hikaru Sulu and Native American Ensign Greywolf in a travel pod to the archeologists' camp, a pair of prefabricated domes on the tropical surface. The camp is deserted, but they follow three sets of tracks at the beam-down point to a three-meter-tall, multi-ton pyramid within one of the domes. Noting a misalignment in the surface, Spock opens a hidden door in the pyramid, leading to a smooth ramp downward. Exploring, they see an image that looks like an atomic bomb and other carvings that seem familiar. Greywolf notes marks in the dust indicating the landing party had come this way, but feels uneasy, a sensation Spock says could "have a logical basis, such as the surfacing of subliminal data." Spock thinks he hears a noise. Unknown to them, they are being followed by a masked pirate armed with a laser rifle and a second holstered weapon.
Janice Rand locates a mechanical cause for the transporter malfunction, and repairs begin. Meanwhile, Spock, Sulu and Greywolf walk into a mammoth hall filled with carvings several stories high, as well as several species of enormous fungi which Sulu recognizes. There the Hoffs welcome them, but claim not to have seen Kirk, Uhura or McCoy. The Hoffs apologize for their rude behavior over the communicator and offer tea to Spock. But Sulu catches sight of Uhura's earring on the floor and kicks Spock's tea before he can drink it. Kirk, Uhura and McCoy pop out of a hidden wall panel, saying they've been drugged by the Hoffs, but are okay.
Complaining about Starfleet interference in their previous work on Lakh VII, they refuse to heed Kirk's plea to leave the planet immediately. McCoy realizes they are being irrational. The Hoffs show them Rosetta Stone-like inscriptions in three languages: Abaris hieroglyphs, an unknown language, and the ancient Earth language of the Sumerians, which facilitate translation. They lead the Enterprise party through the halls, a timeline of the planet's culture, ending at a 5,000 year-old marble carving of a starship.
Overhearing talk about a stone's incalculable value, the masked pirate emerges, weapon drawn, demanding the stone, but, after seeing it, says it looks unremarkable. Paul Hoff becomes enraged, pointing out its value is only to archeologists, and dives at the pirate, who unintentionally fires at the ceiling and causes a cave-in. Separated from everyone else, the pirate flees back through the tunnels. Trapped and unable to leave without the transporter, Spock hears Scott report it is repaired. Before they can beam up, the Hoffs say they have to also rescue the remaining inhabitants of the planet: 2,000 green, tiny fungal-type Abaris natives. Kirk says Starbase 11 is twenty light-days away, and they'll find room for the aliens.
The destruction of Abaris is witnessed on the bridge and in the recreation room. McCoy, observing the aliens, suspects their fungal biochemistry make them "serene," and realizes that their biology was abnormally influencing the Hoff's behavior. Questioning how the aliens anticipated their arrival 5,000 years ago, Spock offers the possibility of precognition. Meanwhile, Uhura picks up a small spacecraft escaping: the unmasked Abaris pirate, who lives to fight another day.
- Abaris pirate • Marcella DiFalco • Greywolf • Elsa Hoff • Paul Hoff • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Janice Rand • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura
- Referenced only
- C.S. Forester • Garth of Izar • Goldsmith • Horatio Hornblower
Starships and vehicles
- Ceti system (Abaris)
- Referenced only
- Earth (African Confederacy • Kitui Province) • Lakh VII (Crystal cities of Lakh) • Starbase 11 • Starbase 15 • Vulcan
Races and cultures
- Abaris native • Human (Native American • Sumerian) • Vulcan • Zaranite
- Referenced only
- Lakh VII cyborg
States and organizations
Science and technology
- astronomy • atomic bomb • book-tape • cyborg • data transfer unit • drug • flashlight • light speed • phaser rifle • radio • transporter • tricorder • wrist communicator
Ranks and titles
- archeologist • astronomer • captain • chief • chief engineer • commander • commodore • criminal • doctor • engineer • ensign • Federation Starfleet ranks (2270s) • first officer • lieutenant commander • mycologist • psychochemist • scholar • transporter chief
- Amanita muscaria • Amanita pantherina • animal • Antarian foxbat • archeology • bioluminescence • bridge • earring • energy • Garth of Izar on Tactics • geosynchronous orbit • gossamer mouse • granite • hangar deck • hieroglyphs • hornet • kilometer • landing party • language • lifeform • limerick • logic • matter • parking orbit • mushroom • pineal gland • planet • planetoid • poker • precognition • prefabricated dome • Pholiotina cyanopus • Psilocybe baeocystis • Psilocybe pelliculosa • Psilocybe silvatica • pumpkin • pyramid • radiation • recreation deck • Rosetta Stone • Starfleet uniform (early 2270s) • stone • surgery • tea • transporter room • wallaby • warp 10 • warp 11
#4: "Double Bluff"
|Star Trek: The Original Series
(US Comic Strips)
#6: "Husian Gambit"
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next adventure:|
"Experiment in Vengeance!"
- TOS movie: The Motion Picture – Describes the starship refit, crew changes, and technology updates that occurred prior to the events of this story.
- TOS comic: "Tomorrow or Yesterday" – A similar mystery where an extinction-level planetary crisis leads to the discovery of 24,000-year-old TOS movie: The Motion Picture-era stone statues of Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
- TOS comic: "The Cosmic Cavemen" – A stone sculpture of Spock is worshipped as a god.
- TOS comic: "Ground Zero" – A much taller sentient fungal species is encountered during the five-year mission.
- TOS comic: "Revolt on Dak-Alpha" – Also during the five-year mission, fifty-foot-tall statues of a landing party from the USS Enterprise aere found.
- This is the fifth of 13 stories set after the events of TOS movie: The Motion Picture with the crew wearing the Starfleet uniform (early 2270s). It was the last of five stories set in 2273 near the beginning of Captain Kirk's second five-year mission aboard the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). The story was told in daily and Sunday newspapers over 70 days (10 weeks).
- This story arc was not printed with a title. The title was provided from Warkentin's original script by his widow, Rosie Warkentin Ford, for the story's reprinting in The Newspaper Comics, Volume 1. (ST reference: New Life and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics).
- Scott and Rand use gossamer mice to test transporter repairs. Sensitivity of such mice to minute environmental changes was shown in TAS episode: "The Terratin Incident".
- Archeologists Elsa Hoff and Paul Hoff were first referenced in one of Warkentin's audition sample strips. In the proposed story, reprinted in The Newspaper Comics, Volume 1, Kirk mentions having attended the Hoffs' wedding on Zeon four years previously. In the published story, there is no indication that the Hoffs know Kirk.
- Book-tapes in Kirk's quarters are labeled Garth of Izar on Tactics, "Advanced Poker," "The Orchestral Goldsmith," "The Limerick," and "Hornblower" by C.S. Forester.
- Spock speculates that one of the wall carvings depicts the mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb blast. It actually turns out to be a bioluminescent mushroom.
- Although the unnamed pirate expects to run into Kirk again, the plot thread was not picked up.
- This may be the only time a Federation travel pod is depicted operating within a planetary environment.
- A Zaranite appears in engineering in the strip for August 10, 1980.
- Mark Rice, Wendy Yang, and Ron Harris are credited with art assists. Wendy Yang was actually Warkentin himself, playing a joke. (Checklist at Hasslein Books website)
- Rice's credit appears with Warkentin's on July 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 27, and August 3. Yang's credit appears with Warkentin's on July 17, July 21, August 10, and August 17. Harris' credit appears with Warkentin's from August 25-30.