"Chekov's Choice" was the 19th issue of DC Comics' 1984 series of Star Trek comics. It was a special issue written by Walter Koenig. In this story, Pavel Chekov became overwhelmed with guilt from having been unable to save a helpless crew before the ship self-destructed.
Description[edit | edit source]
Summary[edit | edit source]
En route to meet the Eebrix of Pelham Five, Nyota Uhura intercepted an urgent distress call from a nearby ship. They said their ship would self-destruct in 20 seconds. James T. Kirk requested that transporters lock onto the crew, but Hikaru Sulu warned that they had to depart immediately or be caught in the blast. Kirk ordered the ship to warp, and they watched the other ship blow up. That evening, Kirk was unable to sleep and Chekov woke up in a cold sweat.
The next day, sensors picked up another vessel, but it didn’t answer hails. Chekov failed to respond to Kirk’s request for information. He was still distracted by the loss of the other ship and conceded that he was unable to keep his attention on his work. Kirk relieved him of duty, and Chekov went to his quarters, frustrated. In the Recreation room, the crew whined about Chekov’s being relieved. Montgomery Scott confronted a lieutenant who wouldn’t back down on the subject. Kirk lamented to Spock how easy it was in the past to seek out new worlds, but now he felt like he had to protect himself from pain.
Chekov awoke screaming from nightmares. He ran into the hall and bumped into Yeoman Marjorie Hamilton, who sat down with him in the officer's lounge. Chekov said dreamed of people suffering: his father, his captain, his closest friend, the girl that he loved, himself, and the doomed aliens. Hamilton comforted him.
Back on the bridge, Kirk and Spock discussed the new alien vessel as the Enterprise traveled through an asteroid field. Kirk second-guessed himself, wondering if the aliens needed help but couldn’t or wouldn’t help, but McCoy said he was overreacting. Kirk suggested taking a shuttlecraft, in case the transporter might prompt fear from the aliens. Spock suggested that he pilot the shuttle. Spock requested clearance to dock, but suddenly eight Vulcan warships appeared and fired on the shuttle.
Meanwhile, a fight broke out in Engineering and Scott reported overhearing mutinous talk. Ensign Burns reported that Chekov was on the rec deck trying to incite mutiny. Kirk ordered Sulu to take two officers and bring Chekov to the bridge. Sulu and Chekov got into a fight, and Burns stunned Chekov, prompting a mob reaction. A crowd of angry crewmembers took over auxiliary control, shut down power to the bridge, including helm control, and left the ship on a collision course with an asteroid.
Over the intercom, Kirk appealed to Chekov to get control of the mob, since they’d only listen to him. Kirk said if Chekov’s motives really were to preserve life, then he had to get control of the ship within eight minutes or the Enterprise would be destroyed. But neither Chekov nor Hamilton could see an asteroid in their viewer.
Spock entered Chekov’s quarters, explaining that the nearby alien ship created illusions of Vulcan warships to prevent him from landing. Spock believed the self-destructing ship had also been an illusion, a vision meant to compel the Enterprise crew to act chaotically and destroy themselves. But Chekov said neither he nor Hamilton saw any asteroids. Spock asked who Hamilton was, as there was nobody else in the room. Spock said he was able to overcome the illusions because he knew such Vulcan ships had not existed for 20,000 years. Chekov had to beat the illusions as well. He had to think not with his heart, but just do his duty. Hamilton replied that she loved Chekov. With effort, Chekov saw through the illusion and Hamilton faded. The two ran to auxiliary control and diverted the ship with seconds to spare.
Later, McCoy determined the illusions were not just hallucinations, but for the crew who were most susceptible they were a disease “causing bio-chemical alterations and neurological re-patterning,” and he determined that the crew were not responsible for their actions. Still, Chekov felt terrible for his insubordination. Kirk told Chekov that even while under the influence, he still acted out of compassion.
Uhura received a transmission from the alien ship. The Illusionists revealed themselves to be defenseless except for their ability to make illusions, having spent 1,000 years hidden from other races. They were afraid that the Federation would discover them after Eebrix came aboard their ships. The Eebrix were unemotional and unresponsive to illusions, which the Illusionists felt would make them susceptible to attack. But as the Illusionists were defeated without Eebrix aboard, they conceded defeat. Kirk explained that the Federation was peace-loving, and they could go in peace.
Log entries[edit | edit source]
- Captain's log, stardate 6714.3
- We're en route to interview the Eebix of Pelham Five. With no space capabiity of their own, the Eebix have volunteered their services to Federation vessels...
... They are a single-minded drone species that thrive on long hours and routine, monotonous work that results in space fatigue for so many of our crew.
- Captain's log, supplemental
- Of all the days I've spent in the service, this one may well have the hardest. And the night is proving no easier.
- Captain's log, stardate 6717.
- Our sensors have established the presence of another ship in our sector. Efforts to open communications have so far proven unsuccessful.'
- Captain's log, stardate 6717.7.
- The alien craft is still behind us, still maintaining a discreet distance and still will not or cannot break radio silence.
References[edit | edit source]
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Burns • Pavel Chekov • Marjorie Hamilton • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • unnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2270s and 2280s)
- Referenced only
- Andrei Chekov
Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]
Locations[edit | edit source]
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States and organizations[edit | edit source]
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Appendices[edit | edit source]
Related media[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
- This is the first comic book story set in the post Star Trek: The Motion Picture era since the first Marvel Comics series ended in 1982.
- Chekov’s nightmares provided some compelling background for the security chief. Chekov described the people in the dreams as being those of the girl that he loved, his father, his captain, and his closest friend. There were images of Chekov holding a collapsed blonde woman, a bearded man trapped behind a window in a burning house, a Starfleet officer being shot by a Klingon, and images of two older men. The blonde woman would be the girl that he loved, noting that Julia Crandall and Irina Galliulin both had dark hair. The bearded man would be his father Andrei Chekov. The faces might represent an aging James T. Kirk from The Deadly Years, with Hikaru Sulu being shot by a Klingon.
- On the 12th moon of Gormol, Kirk said Spock had laughed with happiness. Spock said he allowed a smile of appreciation. Kirk implied that the event happened when they would “seek out new worlds,” suggesting possibly that it had occurred during the five-year mission. However, it would be more likely for Spock to behave that way that following his encounter with V’Ger in 2273.
- Vulcan warships were established not to have existed for twenty-thousand years.
- The Illusionists did not provide the name of their species, but Kirk addressed them by that name. The race was established to have kept itself isolated from all others for a thousand years (circa the late 13th century).
- The aliens aboard the self-destructing ship were not addressed by name. The Enterprise was en route to meet Eebrix, so coming across an Eebix ship would be expected. But if they looked like Eebix, it's doubtful that they behaved like non-emotional Eebix, as their emotive pleas of desperation prompted a response of sympathy with the crew.
- The winged shuttlecraft with a rocket exhaust port was of an unusual design. It and the Vulcan warships resembled more traditional rocket ships.
- Writer Walter Koenig provided a hint in the story that the self-destructing ship was not real. It had appeared without any warning, and within transporter range of the Enterprise. Sensors would have picked up such a vessel from quite a distance. The emotional impact of the disaster seemed to distract the crew from questioning that it had really happened.
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Connections[edit | edit source]
Timeline[edit | edit source]
#18: "Rest and Recreation!"
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