"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.
- 1 Summary
- 2 References
- 3 Timeline
- 4 Appendices
Summary[edit | edit source]
- 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 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.
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[edit | edit source]
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Chak • Christine Chapel • Dykranus • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Nyota Uhura • unnamed Zeta-Atezians
- Referenced only
- J.B.S. Haldane
Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]
Locations[edit | edit source]
- Zeta-Atez (Cloister of Dykranus)
- Referenced only
- Alkuk VI • Earth (Georgia) • Federation-Klingon Neutral Zone • Rigel III
Races and cultures[edit | edit source]
States and organizations[edit | edit source]
Science and classification[edit | edit source]
- anti-gravity • bio-metallite • forcefield • gurney • magnetic strip • sleep cycle • transporter • video
- Medical science
- cephalothin • culture • dichotomectomy • disease • drug • encephalitis lethargica • hypno-sedative • lidocaine • medication • nerve restructure • omnicaine • polycephaly • Regulan fever • steroid
Ranks and titles[edit | edit source]
- astronomer • captain • commander • criminal • doctor • driver • Federation Starfleet ranks (2270s) • guard • healer • imperator • Imperator of Zeta-Atez • majesty • monarch • prime minister • rank • sailor • senior surgeon • surgeon
Other references[edit | edit source]
- assassination • assignment patch • asteroid field • beverage • captain's log • citadel • code • Code One alert • confederation • cosmos • credit disc • diplomacy • dog • etiquette • dress uniform • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • galaxy • garrison • mutant strain • heaven • landing party • log entry • lozite-M • maze • orbit • palace • planet • plant • polarity • Q-level priority • quarters • races and cultures • schizophrenia • secession • sector • security • sickbay • sphinx • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (early 2270s) • starship • star system • statue • surgery • throne • transporter room • war • weapon
Timeline[edit | edit source]
Production history[edit | edit source]
- 18 January – 21 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[edit | edit source]
Related stories[edit | edit source]
- TOS movie: The Motion Picture – Described the starship refit, crew changes, and technology updates that occurred prior to the events of this story.
Background[edit | edit source]
- 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[edit | edit source]
- Author credit is printed as, "By Thomas Warkentin from a story by Peter Jacoby."
- Ron Harris is credited with art assists to Warkentin on January 27-31, February 16-20, and March 18-21, 1981. He also provided art assistance for 24 days of the sixth strip, "Husian Gambit" and one day of the eighth strip, "It's a Living", before becoming the strip's primary artist for the ninth strip, "The Savage Within".
Quotes[edit | edit source]
- 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[edit | edit source]
Connections[edit | edit source]
#6: Husian Gambit
(US Comic Strips)
#8: It's a Living
It's a Living
The Nogura Regatta
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It's a Living