Message in a Bottle was a 21-page Star Trek: The Original Series story which appeared in the third issue of Marvel Comics' anthology series Star Trek Unlimited along with the TNG story "Sins of the Fathers". In this story, when Captain Kirk is knocked unconscious on a mission to a pocket universe, Lieutenant Uhura must assume command of the mission and find a way to return the crew to their own universe.
- Communications officer's log, stardate 5989.6. While charting the remote Huygen cluster, the Enterprise has encountered a curious spatial phenomenon.
What initially appeared to be a wormhole is in fact the entrance to a pocket universe a fraction the size of our own.
The regular bursts of quantum matter within it seem to contain repeated, structured phrases... an indecipherable language of pure energy…
Captain Kirk has assembled a landing party to run the gauntlet between the quantum discharges. We are to investigate the anomaly and if so, to communicate with it.
Kirk, Christine Chapel, Hikaru Sulu, Nyota Uhura, and crewman Corman boarded the Columbus to explore the anomaly. The ship traversed a lengthy conduit between the primary universe and the pocket universe, but unexpected energy discharges flipped the shuttle and knocked out Kirk. As ranking mission officer, Uhura assumed command over Corman's heated objections.
- Acting captain's log, Lieutenant Uhura reporting. We are nearing the entrance to the pocket universe. In the absence of Captain Kirk, I will initiate first contact procedure should it become necessary.
Until I hear otherwise, from Mr. Spock, the welfare of this mission and crew are my responsibility.
They discovered bio-electrical relays between crystalline clusters that acted like neural synapses, and Uhura suspected the entire anomaly was one massive living entity. Sulu detected dangerous gravitational variances when it was unsafe to reenter the narrow conduit, so they abandoned ship in environmental suits. A plasma flare destroyed the Columbus, stranding its crew.
- Acting captain's log, supplemental. I'm returning to the primary cluster at the heart of the anomaly. If I'm right, it could be the key to sending a distress signal back to the Enterprise.
I plan to use one of the quantum pulses as a carrier for the signal. However, this entails making contact with the being's consciousness.
After the way it treated the shuttle, I rate my chances somewhere between slim and none, but I have to try... I don't think I've ever felt so alone.
I've reconfigured my translator to emit a universal greeting on a similar wavelength to the shuttle's energy signature which initially attracted the being's attention. Aside from acting as vehicle for the distress call, it may well provide a means of talking to the anomaly itself. It's a long shot, but as the captain says, those are sometimes the best ones.
They transmitted just as a dangerous energy pulse appeared below Uhura. Their carrier wave signal provided transporter coordinates, and the USS Enterprise immediately beamed them back. While Kirk was treated in sickbay by Leonard McCoy, Uhura explained to Chapel that she had been able to make the entity aware of them. Its linguistic broadcasts were actually singing, and she was working to define its vocabulary. Corman approached them, perhaps to apologize.
- Christine Chapel • Pavel Chekov • Corman • James T. Kirk • pocket universe entity • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • unnamed USS Enterprise personnel (2260s) (helm officer, relief communications officer)
- Referenced only
- Leonard McCoy
Starships and vehicles
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- communications • distress call • engine • environmental suit • gravity constrictor • helm • life support • sensor • thruster • transporter • universal translator
Ranks and titles
- captain • communications officer • crewman • ensign • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • lieutenant • nurse • officer • pilot • Starfleet ranks
- assignment patch • brain • command division • communications officer's log • coordinates • crystal • death • electromagnetism • energy • event horizon • evolution • gravity • impulse • landing party • language • life • lifeform • mammal • minute • observation port • operations division • orbit • plasma • pocket universe • probe • seat belt • singing • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • universe • wormhole
- This comic marks the destruction of the shuttlecraft Columbus. An alternate account of the vessel's loss in 2270 was described in TOS novel: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh, Volume 1.
- Kirk said to the crew of the Columbus: "Once more unto the breach, dear friends." That was a line from Act 3, Scene 1 of Henry V by William Shakespeare. (Henry V, Act 3 Scene 1 at the MIT Shakespeare website)
- The unnamed navigator from "Action of the Tiger" returned, this time as an ensign manning the helm.
- Christine Chapel made her debut in the series.
- TOS comic: "Spectre of the Zond" – In 2267, Nyota Uhura assumed command as duty officer for an evening watch.
- TOS comic: "The Marshall Plan" – Uhura assumed command while Scott lead a strike force aboard Galileo.
- TOS comic: "By Order of the Empire" – James T. Kirk gave Uhura command – both being under Klingon hypnosis – while he dealt personally with mutineers.
- TAS episode & Log Two novelization: The Lorelei Signal – In 2269, Uhura took command when Montgomery Scott was incapacitated by Taureans.
- TOS episode & Star Trek 10 novelization: The Galileo Seven – Debut of the Columbus.
|Star Trek Unlimited comics|
|#1 ("Directives" & "Dying of the Light") • #2 ("Action of the Tiger" & "The Unkindest Cut") • #3 ("Message in a Bottle" & "Sins of the Fathers") • #4 ("None But the Brave" & "Inheritance") • #5 ("Secret Lives" & "As Flies to Wanton Boys ") • "Heart of Darkness" • "An Infinite Jest" • #8 ("The Boy", "The Warrior" & "The Veteran") • "Trekkers" • "A Piece of Reaction"|
#2: Action of the Tiger
#4: None But the Brave
The Unkindest Cut
|Star Trek: Unlimited||Next comic:|
Sins of the Fathers
The Unkindest Cut
Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton
Sins of the Fathers
Action of the Tiger
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next adventure:|
None But the Brave