In the epic finale of IDW's new hit mini-series, past and present collide as the new crew finds the most unlikely allies in the heart of uncharted space. Can they finally come together and change the future of Starfleet forever?
- PREVIOUSLY in STARFLEET ACADEMY...
- In the year 2258, Cadet Uhura discovered a secret at the heart of Starfleet. Now, in 2261, a new group of cadets has come face to face with that secret: the Starship U.S.S. Slayton, thought to be lost for a century. While the rest of the Federation continues to celebrate the Academy Centenial with a scavenger hunt in space, these cadets just hope to make it home alive...
As Bran Hendricks hopes Cadet ship A-137 is hiding a much larger ship behind it, Lucia Gonzales is dumbstruck to see the Slayton, requesting that she and her fellow cadets be allowed to beam over to explain things. Hendricks uses the cadets' arrival to quickly defuse the mutiny but as Jack Somers reminds him, while turning over his phase pistol, luck is the refuge of the incompetent.
A short time and five transporter trips later, the cadets have briefed the senior staff on their inadvertent time travel but note they have no way of getting the Slayton out of the system. As T'Laan explains, Wagner-219 was quarantined due to an undulating temporal maelstrom with continually shifting linear viscidity caused by dark matter rippling and gravitational distortions. Or in layman's terms, they're stuck in "time quicksand". The more energy the ship burns, the faster time passes relative to them outside the temporal field. After overhearing Chen's metaphor, T'Laan has an... unorthodox idea on how they can escape.
As Somers and T'Laan modify the engine, the latter tells the former of the changes to Earth in the last century, particularly Starfleet Academy. Despite his dislike of his father, Somers notes he was correct in Earth needing better space training, as indicated by Hendricks' lack of competent leadership. As T'Laan questions if this was the rationale behind the mutiny, she casually notes that his plan of controlled torpedo detonations would have only served to drain the power reserves more quickly and turn the ship into a tomb. Still unconvinced, Somers points out that T'Laan's plan is to make the shields into a giant sail. But where is the wind going to come from?
Much to Shev's shock, the wind will come from detonating the cadets' ship. Given that random energy bursts only drain power, it is T'Laan's hope that a large, controlled explosion, such as a warp core breach will allow the Slayton to sail beyond the range of the anomaly. And given that only the Slayton can carry everyone to safety, it only makes sense to blow up the cadet ship. Or as Grace puts it, they're going to detonate a bomb inside the time quicksand and try to surf the splash out. The problem is, one of the cadets will have to fly A-137 to the detonation range and detonate its core. And that is exactly the kind of challenge Grace signed up for.
Once Grace gets far enough, the shields are raised and the core is detonated, slamming two hundred teratons of energy onto the aft shields. Though the ship's hardware is pushed to its limits, the Slayton manages to exit the system whereupon it is hailed by the USS Wilson. Humbled, Somers offers himself for punishment only Hendricks to wave it off. Somers' modifications allowed them to survive as long as they did, something he will make note of in his log, but he is more than willing to leave disciplinary charges to the powers that be. In the meantime, they're going home.
One week later, the admiralty decorates the five cadets for not only rescuing the lost crew but for embodying the best that Starfleet can be: Races from across the galaxy coming together to do the unimaginable. Once the ceremony concludes, T'Laan seeks out Diak, now admiring the Sketia tree, to congratulate him on his victory and see him off. After speaking of New Vulcan, though noting it will never be the same as the original, he rescinds his earlier statement saying T'Laan will be welcome on the colony. Elsewhere, the other four discuss their own problems and wonder if T'Laan will still head home. Vel thinks however that "home" is a place that is hard and worthwhile. At that, Grace realizes the Monchezkin has vocalized his first abstract thought but the moment is ended when Vel promptly runs off... distracted by the alluring smell of pie.
In the months since the competition, T'Laan has grown quite acclimated to Starfleet Academy finding joy in what logic alone could not bring her, even taking part in ultimate frisbee. But she is still Vulcan and when Professor Trumble inquires as to her plans for semester break, she replies she's going to spend her time off studying.
As T'Laan settles in for a quiet break, she is unexpectedly contacted by Nyota Uhura, having heard of the rescue of the Slayton and wanting to thank her for solving her old academy mystery. When she asks about how it was solved however, T'Laan says it's a long story. Much to her amusement however, Uhura only settles in for the story.
- Cadet's log, supplemental.
- Logic is the cornerstone of my people. We rely on structure and reasoning to temper our spirit and guide our actions.
Unfortunately, logic leaves little room for exception.
It was reasonable to expect my school interactions would remain strictly academic, and unlikely I would find cadets who both challenged and engaged me. It was "logical" for me to return home.
Yet it is for these reasons that I have requested Professor Trumble withdraw my transfer petition, so that I may remain at Starfleet Academy.
Only time will tell if I have made the right decision.
Grace and Lucia have returned to Taiwan and Columbia to spend the hiatus visiting their families.
Shev and Vel have departed on what they are calling a "road trip" to the southern metropolis of Los Angeles.
I am content to continue my studies...
- Shev Akria • Grace Chen • Diak • Lucia Gonzales • Bran Hendricks • Vel K'Bentayr • James T. Kirk • Jack Somers • Spock • T'Laan • Trumble • Nyota Uhura
- Referenced only
- New Vulcan
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#4: Issue 4
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