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Spock has traveled to Talos IV in order to offer Captain Christopher Pike, now 70 years old, the chance of a return to the Federation. Upon arriving, Spock unexpectedly meets a young boy who seems to recognize him. Captain Pike appears and identifies the boy as his son with Vina, Phillip Pike. Pike and Vina invite Spock to dinner, and Spock observes that Pike, Vina, and Philip appear to be reclaiming the surface of Talos IV, cultivating vegetables, and beginning to overcome the ecological disaster of Talos IV. Given the danger of losing oneself in illusion, Spock is uncertain about the reality of the situation. His offer of medical help that would enable the family to leave Talos causes Pike and Vina to consider their situation, but they decide to stay. When Spock is attacked by a le-matya, then a Klingon, Number One, and then Pike himself, he realizes that Philip is real and trying to scare him off with illusions. Pike explains how he and Vina were able to have a son and Spock accepts their decision. He returns to the Enterprise-A and recommends that Captain Pike be returned to Starfleet's active duty roster.

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Log Entries[]

  • Personal log, Captain Spock, stardate 8684.2 
    While the Enterprise delivers a diplomatic party to the conference facilities on Babel, I am under orders to visit Talos IV, a world unseen by outsiders for over twenty years. A world whose inhabitants possess such formidable mental powers that Federation law forbids any contact with them... under penalty of death.
    My last visit to this world was direct violation of that law. I brought Fleet Captain Christopher Pike here to live his life out in comfort.
    Paralyzed and disfigured by radiation, but with his mind fully intact, Pike could communicate only with a race of true telepaths with all hope of an active physical life gone, he could only find solace in the illusionary world which the Talosians are capable of crafting.
    To my knowledge, he still lives here with Vina, a human woman whose existence, without the Talosians' aid, would be extremely difficult.
    Captain Pike once fought to leave this world because he found a life of illusion empty. He returned because he had nothing else for which to live- I trust he still finds this life empty.
    I have come to offer him the chance of a new life.
    Personal log, supplemental 
    The idea that the child, Phillip, is real is unlikely.
    Both of his alleged parents are, in their true states, severely disabled.
    Further, Captain Pike's DNA would have been hopelessly damaged by the same radiation which ended his Starfleet career. Like this house in which I have been made welcome, Philip is logically the product of the Talosian power of illusion. Whether the Talosians are generating that illusion, or Captain Pike is doing so, so I have yet to determine.
    Christopher Pike is a strong man. Despite temptations offered by the Talosians forty years ago, he rejected a life of captivity and illusion. His injuries cheated him of dreams of an active life, a wife, and a family. However, it is possible that his loss has depressed him to the degree that he has taken refuge in illusion once and fora all.
    There is no doubt that the man I talked to tonight believes this house and his child are real.
    I am left with one question, then. Am I seeing the Captain Pike I am seeing deranged? Or is, he too, a product of Talosian illusion? If so where is the real Captain Pike?



Christopher PikePhillip PikeSpockVina
Referenced only 
Number OneTalosian Magistrateillusory Klingons

Starships and vehicles[]

Heinlein (Type-4 shuttlecraft)
Referenced only 
USS Enterprise-A (Enterprise-subclass refit Constitution-class heavy cruiser)


Talos IV

Races and cultures[]

Referenced only 

States and organizations[]

Referenced only 
Klingon Defense ForceKlingon Empire

Other references[]

animalcaptaincommandercommanding officerecologyfirst officerfourth planetgovernmenthumanoidlifeformmagistratemedicinenation-statephaserplanetplantraces and culturesrankstarshiptechnologytelepathytitlevegetable


Related stories[]

"The Cage" • "The Menagerie" • Burning Dreams



Published Order
Previous comic:
"No Compromise, Part III"
DC Comics, second series Next comic:
"The Alone"
Previous story:
"A Little Man-to-Man Talk"
Stories by:
Steven H. Wilson
(as Steve Wilson)
Next story:
"A Question of Loyalty"
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
"No Compromise, Part III"
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
"Bait...and Switch"

External link[]