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For other uses, see Communication Breakdown.

"Communications Breakdown" is the third of five TOS manga stories in the 2007 anthology Kakan ni Shinkou (To Boldly Go), published by TokyoPop, written by Christine Boylan and drawn by Bettina M. Kurkoski. This is the story of Nyota Uhura's first day back at her post after the Nomad probe wiped her memories, in TOS episode: "The Changeling".

Publisher’s description

Kakan ni Shinkou back cover
Uhura demonstrates the true power of communication...


Captain's Log, Stardate 3623.5.
It has been twelve days since Nomad, an antiquated Earth probe reprogrammed for genocide, wiped Lt. Uhura’s brain of its language and learned memory. She has spent every waking moment re-educating herself to her former adult levels. After holding in orbit to exact immediate repairs, we have just left the Malurian star system on a course for a Starfleet facility for further ship servicing.

After receiving a distress call from Malur, Starfleet orders the USS Enterprise to reverse course. Montgomery Scott reports the ship is in dire need of repairs and could function for four more days at most.

Escorted by Christine Chapel, Uhura returns to the bridge for her first day back to work after the Nomad attack. Young Ensign Hodge seems overwhelmed with the communications board, and Uhura takes over as channels are disrupted during the ship's passage through an Oort cloud. Uhura is able to resolve a garbled distress call, but reports something unusual in the message, an undertone that could put them in danger. Doubting her abilities and with no scientific explanation to back it up, James T. Kirk temporarily relieves her of duty.

As Kirk, Spock, Leonard McCoy, Hodge and another ensign are beaming down down to Malur, Uhura pulls the ensign off the pad and beams down instead. McCoy claims he allowed her to come, but Kirk sees through the lie. Nonetheless, despite the insubordination, he orders her to stay and justify being there. An automated planetary defense system suddenly fires at the ship. Spock has Pavel Chekov track the source and return fire.

Meanwhile, Uhura finds the main signal coming from a communications tower and the source of the secondary signal hidden within, and tracks it to its source, finding a Malurian survivor. He says he'd been on a prison transport during the attack, and that he didn’t kill his guard or the driver of the transport. The grifter said he'd gone legit out of necessity, that four planets worth of goods are his to sell, and the message was a global estate sale. He fired at the Enterprise knowing a starship was unlikely to be buyers. He told Kirk, "Those in the know can de-code the undertone. They have special equipment. Not my fault you didn't understand it. Your communications officer did."

Kirk wants to take the grifter to Starfleet Command where they can seek other Malurians, but the survivor doubts Starfleet would help a common criminal like him. Uhura suggests a compromise where the survivor uses his tech from Malur to look for survivors off-planet, with a relay set up to direct survivors back home. Kirk said an ambassador would review the case of the survivor’s estate sale. Kirk apologizes to Uhura for doubting her.



Christine ChapelPavel ChekovHodgeJames T. KirkMalurian grifterLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota Uhura
Referenced only

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise
Referenced only


Referenced only

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Section 8Starfleet Command

Science and technology

airlockbeaconcommunicatorcoordinatesdeflector shielddistress signalenginehandsawintercommeteorologyplanetary defense systemprobetoastertransportertricorder

Ranks and titles

ambassadorcaptaincommunications officercriminaldoctordriverensigngrifterguardlieutenantmeteorologistthief

Other references

assignment patchatmosphereBeyond Antaresbrainbridgecaptain's logcaptain's log, USS Enterprise, 2267catcitycivilizationcometcommunicationsdayFederation lawFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)galaxygenocidehawklanding partylanguagelogicmemorymusicmythologyOort cloudorbitprisonRussian languagesickbaystadiumStarfleet General Orders and RegulationsStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)Swahilitransporter roomwar



  • Four billion Malurians are killed on four planets by Nomad.
  • Nyota Uhura returns to duty 12 days after Nomad erases her learned memory.

Production history

September 2007
First printed in the Manga anthology Kakan ni Shinkou. (TokyoPop)
March 2009
Reprinted in the omnibus Star Trek: The Manga - Ultimate Edition. (TokyoPop)
5 December 2019
Reprinted in Graphic Novel Collection #89. (Eaglemoss)




Related stories


Published Order
Previous comic:
The Trial
TOS comics (Star Trek: The Manga) Next comic:
Scaean Gate
Previous story:
first story
Stories by:
Christine Boylan
Next story:
The Picardian Knot
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Changeling
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Operation Con Game

External links