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Miniature people under a strange sun threaten the lives of the Enterprise crew! — "Dwarf Planet" was a Star Trek: The Original Series comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in 1974, their 25th issue. It was the 23rd story credited to artist Alberto Giolitti and the sixth written by Arnold Drake. In this story, James T. Kirk, Spock and Nyota Uhura discover tiny people in a miniature city in the year 2266.

Description

Come along with the crew of the starship Enterprise as they race to solve the mystery of a world in which all life is rapidly shrinking to — oblivion!

Summary

Captain's log, star date 19:24.8 – Lt. Uhuru, our chief comm-officer, has detected intelligent radio signals from the little explored area of space, Sector 119-D!

A landing party from the Enterprise journeys to an unknown planet in Sector 119-D, via one of the starship's shuttlecraft. Captain James T. Kirk, Mister Spock and Lieutenant Uhura are investigating radio signals from the area that indicate intelligent lifeforms. The crew land in a city which is technologically advanced. The landing crew find the city is deserted, and move to a nearby settlement, finding it to be built for smaller beings, and equally as empty. Exploring further, they find another still smaller city, less than a mile distant from the first landing site. The structures and trees of the miniature city are only waist-high. Scattered vehicles are abandoned as well…

The trio separates to learn more, but each is incapacitated by tiny rockets with bolas and beta gas. They are hoisted by crane, loaded into wooden carts by foot-tall humanoids, and brought into the third city to President Alata. Alata explains that two generations ago their star began emitting an unknown radiation that started shrinking the people and plants. They built a second city appropriate to their new proportions, and the next generation built the third city. Her people don't want to abandon their world, but also don't want to shrink into oblivion. Kirk offers to study the radiation and seek a cure. Alata agrees, but keeps Uhura to ensure that Kirk would return.

Captain's log, star date 19:24.9 – On route toward the sun of the planet Kujal where we hope to find the key to the mystery of that shrinking world!

A jammed sensor array prompts Montgomery Scott to put on a foil-lined spacesuit and climb out an airlock to repair it. He manages to fix it, but in the process he tears a tiny hole in his suit. He collapses, and Kirk quickly retrieves him wearing a second suit. Scott's suit appears empty, but actually he's been shrunk to less than one foot tall. He's absorbed a huge amount of radiation due to his proximity to the star and soon will become microscopic.

Acting quickly, Scott is placed in an antiseptic container. While the radiation is being identified, however, two soldiers sent aboard the ship by General Kwy to cause trouble find the container and shoot at the ventilation hose. Leonard McCoy captures them and reseals the hose, but it is too late – contaminants have gotten in. Soon a microbe attacks Scott, who is now the size of a grain of salt. He tosses rocks at the creature and is forced to pummel it with what seem like huge piles of boulders. McCoy retrieves Scott and places him under an experimental anti-shrink-ray device, which restores him to full size. Back on Kujal, Kirk promises to provide enough devices to restore all Kujalans within a year. Alata promises that General Kwy will be the last person restored.

References

Characters

AlataDeloImartaJames T. KirkKwyLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota Uhuru

Starships and vehicles

aircraftcraneUSS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Galileo (class F shuttlecraft) • groundcarrocketstanktruck

Locations

Sector 119-DKujal (Fara-1 CityFara-2 CityFara-3 City)
Referenced only
Earth (Highlands)

Races and cultures

KujalanHumanVulcan

States and organizations

KujalanFederationStarfleet

Science and technology

airlockbeta gasbolacircuitcommunicatorcomputerharpoonjetmachinemicro-specsmicroscopeobservatoryradioradio energy analyzer dishradio signalriflesensor domeshieldspacesuitswordtelescopeweaponwhip

Ranks and titles

chief communications officercommandergeneralhorticulturalistlieutenantpresidentprofessorscientistteacher

Other references

airlockairportatmospherebacteriabolabushcellcitydemonexecutiongasgermglasshatchhelmethourinchwoolly mammothmicrobemileminutemuseumpeaceradiationsardinesaltsectorslaveryspacestarsuntreeuniversewhaleyear

Appendices

Related media

Background

  • The story celebrates Gulliver's Travels, written by Jonathan Swift in 1726. In his first voyage, Lemuel Gulliver was captured by a race of tiny, humanlike Lilliputians who secured him with ropes, the same as happened to Kirk.
  • The radiation which caused the shrinking was said to have been identified, but it was not named in the story. Similar effects were caused by spiroid epsilon waves emanating from the planet Terra 10 in TAS episode & Log Four novelization: The Terratin Incident. Spiroid epsilon waves penetrated the shields and hull, affecting molecules with complex chains, including animal life, plant-based clothing, and dilithium crystals. The radiation in this story might be of a similar type but not as strong. Although it penetrated shields, it did not get through the hull and only affected living matter, not clothing or crystals. It also shrank people more slowly on the surface, having taken three generations to shrink people down to one foot tall. Scott shrank much more rapidly because he was in space and much closer to the source of the radiation.
  • "The Terratin Incident" first aired 17 November 1973. This story had a publication date of July 1974, but it could have been in development prior to the TAS story or it might have been inspired by it.
  • The crew traveled to and from the surface via shuttlecraft, so there was no opportunity to learn whether the transporter could have restored shrunken matter, as it did in "The Terratin Incident".
  • Scott climbed onto the Enterprise primary hull's upper sensor dome to repair its uppermost antenna. During the EVA, his foil-lined spacesuit protected him from shrinking. That suggested an easy short-term solution was to cover Fara-3 City with a large sheet of foil.
  • Amplification was treated strangely in this story, as if the technology were unfamiliar to readers. The vehicles had giant microphones to pick up sound from the landing party. General Kwy wore amplifier equipment he called a "forehead device", so that his tiny voice could be heard by Kirk, yet none of the other miniature people needed them to be heard.
  • Uhura was misspelled "Uhuru".
  • The reprint in The Enterprise Logs, Volume 3 omitted page 11. On that page, the crew were fed and allowed to confer. Kirk considered how they might go about finding an antidote to the radiation. The cut page meant that the officers were speaking directly to the president on one page, then suddenly they were alone but being spied on.
  • Uhura, Kirk and Spock arrived on the planet via the Galileo. Later, Kirk and Spock left via the transporter, with no mention of the shuttle.
  • This story has been released six times in English and translated into Italian and Portuguese.

Images

Chronology

2210s (Two generations prior)
Explosions on Kujal's star triggered emissions of a radiation that began shrinking Kujalans
2240s (About one generation prior)
Fara-2 City built for smaller Kujalans
2260s (Current generation)
Fara-3 City built for even smaller Kujalans
2266 (Stardate 1924.8)
USS Enterprise identified the radiation and developed an anti-shrinking-ray

Connections

Gold Key Comics stories and publications
Issues "The Planet of No Return" • "The Devil's Isle of Space" • "Invasion of the City Builders" • "The Peril of Planet Quick Change" • "The Ghost Planet" • "When Planets Collide" • "The Voodoo Planet" • "The Youth Trap" • "The Legacy of Lazarus" • "Sceptre of the Sun" • "The Brain Shockers" • "The Flight of the Buccaneer" • "Dark Traveler" • "The Enterprise Mutiny" • "Museum at the End of Time" • "Day of the Inquisitors" • "The Cosmic Cavemen" • "The Hijacked Planet" • "The Haunted Asteroid" • "A World Gone Mad" • "The Mummies of Heitius VII" • "Siege in Superspace" • "Child's Play" • "The Trial of Captain Kirk" • "Dwarf Planet" • "The Perfect Dream" • "Ice Journey" • "The Mimicking Menace" • "Death of a Star" • "The Final Truth" • "The Animal People" • "The Choice" • "The PsychoCrystals" • "A Bomb in Time" • "One of Our Captains Is Missing!" • "Prophet of Peace" • "Furlough to Fury" • "The Evictors" • "World Against Time" • "The World Beneath the Waves" • "Prince Traitor" • "Mr. Oracle" • "This Tree Bears Bitter Fruit" • "Murder on the Enterprise" • "A Warp in Space" • "Planet of No Life" • "Destination... Annihilation!" • "And a Child Shall Lead Them" • "What Fools These Mortals Be.." • “Sport of Knaves” • "A World Against Itself" • "No Time Like the Past" • "Spore of the Devil" • "The Brain-Damaged Planet" • "To Err Is Vulcan" • "The Empire Man!" • "Operation Con Game"
Additional stories "James T. Kirk: Psycho-File" • "A Page From Scotty's Diary" • "Spock: Psycho-File" • "From Sputnik to Warp Drive"
Collections Star Trek Annuals (1969197019721973197419751976197719781979198019831986) • The Enterprise Logs (Volumes 1234) • The Key Collection (Volumes 12345) • Gold Key Archives (Volumes 12345) • Gold Key 100-Page Spectacular
Related media "Voyage of Discovery" • "The Exile" • "The Red Hour" • "The Tunnel of Death" • "... Wild Goose Chase!" • "A Hint of Life" • "Space Chase" • "Escape from the Clinging Dags" • "Eye of the Beholder" • "The Menace of the Mechanitrons" • "Trial by Fire!"

Timeline

Published Order
Previous comic:
#24: The Trial of Captain Kirk
TOS comics (Gold Key) Next comic:
#26: The Perfect Dream
Previous story:
The Trial of Captain Kirk
Stories by:
Arnold Drake
Next story:
The Animal People
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
The Cosmic Cavemen
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Furlough to Fury
Previous comic:
The Cosmic Cavemen
Voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), Year Two Next comic:
Furlough to Fury
Production history
July 1974
First published by Gold Key Comics
August 1976
Printed (minus page 11) in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 3 (Golden Press)
June 2004
Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 4 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
September 2008
Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
August 2014
Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Gold Key Archives, Volume 5 (IDW)
2015
Cover art reproduced as a 9x13 embossed tin wall sign (Open Road Brands)
15 February 2018
Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #30 (Eaglemoss)
Translations
March 1978
Portuguese: As "Microaventura" in the omnibus Jornada Nas Estrelas Special (Abril)
2006
Italian: As "Il Pianeta Nano" in the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 7 (Free Books)

External links

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