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"Heads of State" is a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It is the seventh story in the US Comic Strips series, published in 60 daily installments by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate in 1981. The story was set after TOS movie: The Motion Picture, depicting events from Captain Kirk's second five-year mission aboard the refit USS Enterprise. In this story, Kirk must avert war with the Klingon Empire when a Federation world threatens secession.

Summary

Captain's log, stardate 7988.3.
We are approaching the planet Zeta-Atez, the largest of a confederation of six large and twelve lesser planets known as the Gates of Scylla. Stability in this sector is vital because Zeta-Atez is the only source of lozite-M, an anti-magnetic bio-metallite critical to current state-of-the-art weaponry.

Little is known about Imperator Dykranus, the new ruler of Zeta-Atez, who twice said he'd secede from the Federation, prompting Klingon ships to mass at the Neutral Zone, seeing an opportunity to possess lozite-M. With Dykranus' health a mystery, James T. Kirk takes Spock, Leonard McCoy and Christine Chapel with him on the diplomatic party, beaming down in dress uniforms.

Captain's log, stardate 7988.3.
We have entered orbit at Zeta-Atez, the largest of a group of six large and twelve smaller planets known as the Gates of Scylla.

Prime Minister Chak

Prime Minister Chak seems overly protective of the napping, reclusive ruler while arranging a tour by aircar, including a look at fields of the razor sharp lozite-M. Dykranus is rude as he announces Zeta-Atez would withdraw from the Federation, but then yields to another nap. Concerned for the man's health, the team sneaks out to meet him again, navigating a protective maze of lozite-M. Meanwhile, outposts are on Code One alert, expecting war with Klingons.

Dykranus

Guards catch the landing party at the base of the imperator's cloister building, but Dykranus spots them and asks them to be brought up. Seemingly unaware that he'd previously met them, he shows them plans for a celebration of the planet's 50 years as a loyal member of the Federation, then falls asleep again. Suspecting schizophrenia or twins for his personality changes, Chapel and McCoy ease off his headdress to reveal he has two heads. The other head awakes, manic and reactionary, and threatens the group with a branch of lozite-M. But he stumbles and falls, and the branch severs one of his heads.

Chapel and McCoy perform a radical dichotomectomy in sickbay while Kirk speaks privately with Chak. McCoy mentions he'd unsuccessfully tried the procedure on Alkuk VI. This time they succeed. The friendlier Dykranus awakes, thankful for the help, now able to leave his palace, the threat of war ended.

References

Characters

ChakChristine ChapelDykranusJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyMontgomery ScottSpockNyota Uhuraunnamed Zeta-Atezians
Referenced only
J.B.S. Haldane

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Zeta-Atez aircar

Locations

Zeta-Atez (Cloister of Dykranus)
Referenced only
Alkuk VIEarth (Georgia) • Federation-Klingon Neutral ZoneRigel III

Races and cultures

HumanVulcanZeta-Atezian
Referenced only
HortaKlingon

States and organizations

FederationGates of Scylla ConfederationStarfleet IntelligenceU.F.P.

Science and classification

anti-gravitybio-metalliteforcefieldgurneymagnetic stripsleep cycletransportervideo
Medical science
cephalothinculturedichotomectomydiseasedrugencephalitis lethargicahypno-sedativelidocainemedicationnerve restructureomnicainepolycephalyRegulan feversteroid

Ranks and titles

astronomercaptaincommandercriminaldoctordriverFederation Starfleet ranks (2270s)guardhealerimperatorImperator of Zeta-Atezmajestymonarchprime ministerranksailorsenior surgeonsurgeon

Other references

assassinationassignment patchasteroid fieldbeveragecaptain's logcitadelcodeCode One alertconfederationcosmoscredit discdiplomacydogetiquettedress uniformFederation Starfleet ranks (2260s)galaxygarrisonmutant strainheavenlanding partylog entrylozite-MmazeorbitpalaceplanetplantpolarityQ-level priorityquartersraces and culturesschizophreniasecessionsectorsecuritysickbaysphinxStarfleet uniformStarfleet uniform (early 2270s)starshipstar systemstatuesurgerythronetransporter roomwarweapon

Timeline

Production history

18 January21 March 1981
Published in daily newspapers. (Los Angeles Times Syndicate)
25 December 2012
Collected in the omnibus The Newspaper Comics, Volume 1. (IDW Publishing)
20 July 2017
First week of the story collected in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection. #15 (Eaglemoss)
23 November 2017
Remainder of the story collected in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #24. (Eaglemoss)

Appendices

Related stories

  • TOS movie: The Motion Picture – Described the starship refit, crew changes, and technology updates that occurred prior to the events of this story.

Background

  • This was the seventh of 13 stories set after the events of TOS movie: The Motion Picture with the crew wearing the early 2270s Starfleet uniform, and the second of nine set in 2274.
  • Christine Chapel was prominent in this story, her only appearance wearing a dress uniform. She would be featured again in the tenth strip, "Quarantine". James T. Kirk, Spock, and Leonard McCoy also wore dress uniforms in the sixth strip, "Husian Gambit".
  • The twist of an emperor with two heads was telegraphed by the name of the confederation, Scylla (the mythological Greek monster that had an opposite, Charybdis), the planet Zeta-Atez (a palindrome: zeta spelled forward and backward), mention of a potential physical deformity early in the story, and even Kirk's idea of bringing two doctors because "two heads are better than one." McCoy noted it himself from the name Dykranus (Latin for two craniums).
  • Kirk quoted the line "the cosmos is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine," paraphrasing a statement written by J.B.S. Haldane in a scientific paper in 1927.

Creator credits

Quotes

Dykranus: It feels so odd to have only one head.
McCoy: You'll adjust. It's not so bad, once you're used to it.

Images

Connections

Published Order
Previous comic:
#6: Husian Gambit
TOS comics
(US Comic Strips)
Next comic:
#8: It's a Living
Previous story:
Husian Gambit
Stories by:
Thomas Warkentin
Next story:
It's a Living
Previous adventure:
The Nogura Regatta
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
It's a Living

External link

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