Gateway to the Future was a Star Trek: The Original Series short story published in 1970. It was the fifth of 11 annual stories in the UK comic strips series, and was printed along with the comic strips "Captives in Space" and "Planet of Rejects" in TV21 Annual 1971.
- 1 Publisher's description
- 2 Summary
- 3 References
- 4 Timeline
- 5 Appendices
- Omnibus teaser
- On a planet orbiting a dying star in Galaxy M-674, Kirk's crew meets the Guardian of the Future, a tattered old man who shows him a future glimpse of mankind oppressed by alien invaders.
The USS Enterprise picks up life readings on a frozen planet in an unexplored system. Kirk beams down with Spock and crewmen Hurst and Shafer in environmental suits rigged for extreme cold. Near a mountain range, they discover an elderly humanoid with a staff but no spacesuit, who stands near two tall, glowing pillars. He introduces himself telepathically as the Guardian of the Future, and offers to show them the future via time travel. Kirk asks if he can see Earth after the end of their five-year mission. Leaving Hurst and Shafer behind, Kirk and Spock remove their life-support gear and pass between the pillars.
They emerge near what appears to be Los Angeles, and can see Hollywood, the Hollywood Bowl and groundcar roadways, with rockets traveling overhead. On the other side of a freeway, however, they see a military base defended by a huge cannon. They are approached by a group of armed pacifist Arrowists. When Kirk introduces himself, they say they don't believe him, and that the Enterprise was destroyed by asteroids the previous week. Kirk asks why the pacifists are armed. They explain that they had started a rebellion — a last resort after being restricted to living in certain areas and having to beg for food — but most of their group has died.
Spurred by a realization, Spock suddenly stuns the Arrowists with his phaser. As they approach the installation, Kirk and Spock see that it is run by Nobians. They fight their way to the cannon and fire it, wiping out part of the hillside. Spock explains that they are not in Los Angeles, nor even on Earth, but rather some future homeworld for humanity. Kirk smiles, glad to see that his species will make it to the distant future, then both suddenly reappear between the pillars of the time portal. The Guardian wanted to warn humanity of a potential disastrous fate, which Kirk is certain they're now able to avoid.
- Guardian of the Future • Hurst • James T. Kirk • Shafer • Spock • Nobian soldiers
- Referenced only
- Amanda Grayson • Christopher Columbus • Father Time • Sarek
Starships and vehicles
- Earth (Los Angeles • Hollywood • Hollywood Bowl) • Galaxy M-674
- Referenced only
- Earth (Alaska • Athens, Greece • Canada • Mexico) • Mars • Sol
Races and cultures
States and organizations
- Referenced only
- United States of America
Science and technology
- arrow • bow • blaster • communicator • computer tape • environmental suit • microphone • phaser • radar • radio • sensor • time machine • transporter • tricorder • weapon
Ranks and titles
- asteroid • bridge • century • colony • dictatorship • English language • empire • five-year mission • galaxy • gas • Pillar Gateway • ice • landing party • lifeform • magic • military • mountain • oil • peace • planet • rebellion • solar system • space • staff • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • sun • telepathy • temple • time travel • universe • viewscreen • war
- 1 September 1970
- First printed in TV21 Annual 1971 (City Magazines)
- December 2016
- Reprinted in the omnibus The Classic UK Comics, Volume 2 (IDW Publishing)
- This was the only story in the UK comic strips series presented in prose with accompanying illustrations rather than as a comic strip.
- Crewman Hurst was featured in "The Crucial Element". He also traveled with Kirk to meet Roggaf in "The Eagles Have Landed".
- In appearance and function, Guardian of the Future was reminiscent of the humanoid/crystalline Guardians of Forever as they appeared in Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever, Issue 1. As an ancient guard, he resembled Portal 63 of the Tkon in TNG episode: "The Last Outpost", who also carried a staff.
- Spock's parents were both referenced, but not by name.
- The publication date was September 1, 1970. (Amazon.com.)
- TOS episode: "The City on the Edge of Forever" – Kirk, Spock and Leonard McCoy time traveled through the Guardian of Forever.
- TOS comic: "The Choice" – James T. Kirk encountered a Kirk from the previous version of the universe.