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"Restructuring Is Futile" is a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip. It is the eleventh story in the US Comic Strips series, published daily in newspapers over a period of 18 weeks by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. The story was set during Captain Kirk's second five-year mission aboard the refit USS Enterprise. In this epic story, Kirk finds a Klingon crew cyborged by a machine intelligence called the Omnimind.

Description[]

Omnibus introduction
Pursuing the Klingons from the previous story arc, Kirk and the Enterprise crew are lured by an ancient probe to the planet Iskonia, on which robotic life has emerged the victor over organic life. Upon their arrival they discover that the Klingons have been taken over by the machines and made to do their bidding.

Summary[]

Captain's Log: Stardate 7717.5.
The Klingons have killed General Onoth. With him dies the plan to involve Sarsithia in a war.
Captain's Log: Supplement.
The Sarsith are now free to learn a new way of life. However, the Klingons do not know this incident has ended. Their cruiser sustained heavy damage during General Onoth's attack, and I am sure they will send for reinforcements. We must try to reason with them or they will return and destroy Sarsithia.

Klingon Commander Kolak's battlecruiser departs Sarsithia at warp six. The Enterprise gives chase. The battlecruiser drops to sublight in the Vulpecula 12 system, and Kirk raises shields as they track it to the fourth planet, a terrestrial world reduced to asteroids by a meteor impact. Spock notes that the Klingon ship's main deflector had been damaged in its previous battle, and Kirk believes Kolak will keep his ship close to large planetary fragments to hide from the Enterprise's sensors and also to avoid being hit by smaller debris. Suddenly, Kolak's ship fires at a magnesium-laden fragment that explodes and disables sensors aboard the Enterprise. Montgomery Scott has the sensors repaired in an hour, but Kolak has left the Enterprise for dead.

Wrecked Klingon battlecruiser.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7720.9.

The Enterprise is again fully operational and we have left the ill-fated Vulpecula 12 system behind. However, our pursuit of the Klingons has come to a mysterious end. We have located their vessel adrift in an asteroid field with no life aboard... A vital clue to the whereabouts of the 385 Klingons aboard may come from a primitive space probe heading toward us from that region of space. Its urgent message warns all sentient biological organisms to "beware the Omnimind." We must investigate!

As the Enterprise approaches the asteroid field, Spock discovers that it is a planetary defense system laden with cannons protecting the probe's point of origin, where a war was once fought between organisms and machines. As the weapons begin firing at the Enterprise, Kirk realizes such a barrage would have wiped out the unshielded Klingon cruiser.

Captain's Log: Supplemental.
After destroying some of the asteroids we received a signal from the planet's surface. Miraculously, Kolak, the Klingon captain, has survived the destruction of his vessel and now seeks to talk peace with us. We are beaming down.

First contact with robots on Iskonia.

Considering the possibility that Kolak has aligned himself with those on the planet Iskonia, Kirk chooses to beam down with Spock, Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, and security officers Umeki and Mezat Z'ar. Materializing in the Iskonian Hall of Science, the landing party is ambushed by two large robots next to two Klingons submerged in tanks. Spock believes that machines defeated organics in the planet's war. Kirk asks what happened to the Klingons, and a yellow robot answers that they would be "restructured" and were "excellent tools" to serve the Omnimind. The robot says it is "a servant, one part of the whole." Asking to speak with the Omnimind, the robot says it wouldn't speak "with the inferior intelligence of biological organisms." The yellow robot says organic curiosity will be their undoing, and then the red robot knocks out the landing party with sleeping gas. "Once we control Kirk, we will have access to their technology" which withstood the asteroid defenses, the yellow robot said.

The gas killed Z'Ar, but the rest of the landing party awakens in a pen, minus their gear. Spock says his tricorder had detected life, that the robots had not completely exterminated all life on the planet. A different, multi-limbed robot enters. Surprised that the crew were already awake, it broadcasts an alert. Sulu keeps the door open while Umeki grapples with the robot, and Spock deactivates it. Fleeing to the maze of corridors in the Hall of Science, two flying robots pursue, shooting energy bolts at them until the landing party can smash them with debris from a patched section of wall. The group wanders into a laboratory where a humanoid strapped to a table. Harré breaks his bonds and flees, suggesting they follow him through the patched wall.

Kolak, cybernetically enhanced.

But then Kolak appears, sporting cybernetic prosthetics, an eyepiece and a brain implant. Kolak says, "You have become bothersome, Kirk. The Omnimind has ordered your termination." Kirk asks about Kolak's crew, which causes Kolak to pause before attacking. Trying to communicate to Kolak through his programming, Kirk asks whether being a "cyborg slave" was how "a Klingon captain chooses to live" and implores Kolak to focus. The robots increase power to Kolak's "control module," and Kolak screams in agony, smashing one of the robots. The cyborg Klingons go berzerk and start a fire in the lab. The landing party flees the lab as Kirk tries to reach Kolak. "He's the captain of a starship, Umeki. He deserves better than to die as a slave of the robots." Kolak smashes another robot as the blaze engulfs him. Spock salvages some equipment from the destroyed lab that might be turned into a transmitter.

Harré, a sergeant of Strike Force Unit 3, leads the landing party into the city's sewer system where guerrilla strikes have been led against the robots. At the end of several tunnels, the landing party meets the rest of Harré's team. One is Lyra, who has had significant modifications done to her head and body. Lyra explains that the Omnimind was once their colony's artificial intelligence guardian, and she and her people "represent the gradual slip in the Omnimind's programming, Captain. It wished to protect, then to perfect, biological organisms. But, as you can see, the effort failed, and I'm something of a freak."

Spock and Sulu rig a communications device to contact the Enterprise, but need to deploy it on the surface, which risks detection by the robots.

Latham's team, equipped with infrared helmets and phaser rifles.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7726.9.
Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott reportin'... The Enterprise remains in orbit around the planet Iskonia. Twelve hours ago, Capt'n James T. Kirk and First Officer Spock beamed down to the surface with a landin' party. We havna heard from 'em since. I'm sendin' a second landin' party down under cover o' night, in hopes of findin' 'em.
Captain's Log: Stardate 7727.5.
We have contacted the Enterprise and learned that a three-man security detail is now on the planet's surface looking for us. Commanders Sulu and Uhura have transported back to the ship, and Mister Spock, Lieutenant Umeki, and myself are once again equipped with phasers and communicators.

Kirk contacts Lt. Marsha Latham, head of the security team. Kirk, Spock, Umeki and Lyra leave to rendezvous with them near the Hall of Science, but robot tanks locate them first. The tanks change tactics after receiving a message from the Omnimind, stunning the security team instead of killing them.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7728.1.
According to Karos the Giant, another of the Omnimind's bizarre failed experiments, my security people have been captured and taken inside the Main Dome, housing the Omnimind. The Iskonian strike force units have never been able to penetrate this fortress-like structure, but we must.

Guarded entrance to the Main Dome.

Inside the main dome, a robot deposits Latham's body into a device, saying she will "serve as the perfect pattern." Meanwhile, Scotty beams two photon grenades down and prepares to fire ship's phasers, but Kirk's team near the entrance to the Main Dome suddenly dives to avoid an attack overhead from a bank of beam weapons. Karos runs off to draw fire from approaching robots, and Kirk tosses one of the grenades. It clears their entry into the Main Dome, but the robots have killed Karos.

Captain's Log: Supplemental.
While following Spock's tricorder signal to find the core of the Main Dome, we have discovered horrifying, half-dead creatures who exist in the corridors and empty spaces of the structure.

The existence of the 507-Units, failed early experiments, some alive and some not, but all with cyborg prosthetics, lead Spock to conclude that the Omnimind could not be a machine intelligence, not only because its robots demonstrated "relentless fanaticism," but because a "pure machine mind would not proceed on the flawed assumption that humanoids are the ‘perfect' life form." Lyra asks Kirk to kill the tortured 507-Units, but Kirk let them be. The group heads toward the core of the Main Dome, which radiates a power field that starts to kill the 507-Units and even begins to affect Lyra's implants. Umeki phasers the power field and disrupts it. Entering a vast computer chamber, the team is stunned to encounter a metallic android replica of Latham.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7729.7.
Using Lieutenant Marsha Latham as a pattern, the Omnimind has transformed itself into humanoid form... It now considers itself perfect!

Spock says, "That is a bio-mechanical construct... capable only of focusing energy, not generating it." Kirk tries antagonizing it by saying it is "inferior" to humanoids, but its angry reaction about immortality exposes a weakness.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7729.7.
Using Lieutenant Marsha Latham as a pattern, the Omnimind has taken human form. But the pattern was too perfect. The Omnimind has lost some of its power and it can't control its emotions. We have now found its greatest weakness, and the purpose behind its bizarre experiments on Lyra and her people – an intense fear of death.

Omnimind-Latham android.

The landing party fires its phasers at the Latham drone, destroying it, prompting the computers around it to respond by generating a projection of Ilik Na, creator of the Omnimind.

Captain's Log: Supplemental.
The machine intelligence calling itself the Omnimind was only a guardian computer, constructed and programmed by Ilik Na, leader of Lyra's people. He so feared abandoning his people, even in death, that he created an elaborate computer system incorporating his own essence... and his fears.

Initial colonization of Iskonia.

The hologram of Ilik Na shut down all robots on the planet while Umeki rescues Marsha Latham from equipment she'd been placed in.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7731.1.
Medical and psychiatric personnel, as well as a sociology team, are remaining on Iskonia to help Lyra and her people to adjust to their new lives. Lt. Marsha Latham and her men are recovering from their ordeal in sick bay, as we proceed to the Neumenedes star system for a well-deserved R&R.

Additional log entries[]

Captain's Log: Supplement.
We have pursued the Klingons into the Vulpecula 12 system. However, debris from the destroyed fourth planet is confusing the sensors, and we have lost them.
Captain's Log: Supplement.
We have pursued the Klingons into the Vulpecula 12 system. However, the debris from the fourth planet, destroyed by an ancient meteor strike, is confusing the sensors. We have lost them.
Captain's Log: Supplement.
We have been ambushed by the Klingon vessel we pursued into the Vulpecula 12 system, and the attack has destroyed our sensors.
Captain's Log: Supplement.
The Klingon ambush has left the Enterprise without her sensors. She is blind and at the mercy of the enemy.

Probe transmitted a distress call.

Captain's Log: Stardate 7720.9.

The primitive space probe heading toward us could be a vital clue to the disaster that befell the Klingons. It passed through the asteroid field where their ship is adrift, and its message may have led them to their doom.
Captain's Log: Supplement.
Almost a solar century ago, a probe was launched from the planet below, asking for help to combat an unknown threat to all biological life there. We are broadcasting friendship messages, but there is no response. We are under attack by the primitive asteroid defense system surrounding the planet. It has already destroyed a Klingon battle cruiser.

Peculiar asteroid orbits.

Captain's Log: Supplemental.
Our shields will stand up against the bombardment from the asteroids, but it is time we demonstrated to those on the planet's surface that we will not be intimidated or deterred from making contact!

Planetary defenses hidden in asteroid field.

Captain's Log: Stardate Unknown.

The Omnimind, a sentient computer, was once the guardian of the humanoid civilization on Iskonia. It has now set out to destroy that civilization. We must find out why. However, contacting the Enterprise is our immediate problem. The crude transmitter constructed by Mister Spock must work!
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
The security detail has encountered robots. We are en route to the rendezvous point near the Iskonian Hall of Science. I only hope we can get there in time to prevent Lt. Latham and her men from being captured... or killed!
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
The security detail has encountered robots. I am confident that Lt. Latham and her men could hold off attackers under normal circumstances, but they don't know this enemy as we do. I hope we arrive at the Hall of Science in time.
Captain's Log: Stardate 7728.1.
My security people have been taken inside the Main Dome, housing the Omnimind. The Iskonian strike force units have never been able to penetrate it. However, they don't have the power of the Enterprise at their disposal.
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
The fate of Lt. Marsha Latham and the security detail is still unknown. We are inside the Main Dome, but at the cost of a life – Lyra's friend, Karos. Spock's tricorder has indicated a central power core in the structure. We are proceeding toward it.
Captain's Log: Supplemental.
While following Spock's tricorder signal to find the core of the Main Dome, we have discovered horrifying, half-dead creatures who exist in the corridors and empty spaces of the structure.

References[]

Characters[]

USS Enterprise crew
Pavel ChekovMarsha LathamLeonard McCoyJames T. KirkOsikMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluNyota UhuraUmekiMezat Z'ar
Referenced only 
Christine ChapelJanice Rand
Other characters
507-UnitsHarréKarosKolakLyraOmnimindOmnimind android
Referenced only 
Ilik NaOnoth

Starships and vehicles[]

USS Enterprise (Enterprise-subclass refit Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • unnamed D7 class starships (Kolak's K't'inga-class Klingon battlecruiser)
Referenced only 
colony ship

Locations[]

Iskonia (Iskonian asteroid fieldIskonian Hall of ScienceIskonian Main Dome) • Vulpecula 12 (Vulpecula 12 IV)
Referenced only 
EarthNeumenedes systemSarsithia

Races and cultures[]

HumanIskonianKlingonVulcan
Referenced only 
Sarsith

States and organizations[]

FederationKlingon EmpireStrike Force Unit 3Strike Force Unit 7

Science and classification[]

androidartificial intelligencecannoncommunicatorcomputercoordinatescudgelroboticscyborgdeflectordeflector shielddisruptordistress beaconprojected imageinfrared targeting masklaboratorymachineorganismphaserphaser riflephoton grenadeplanetary defense systemprostheticsrobotsensorsleeping gassociologytransportertricorderviewscreenwarp drive

Ranks and titles[]

captainchief engineercommanderhelmsmanlieutenantofficersergeantslavewarrior

Other references[]

alert status (red alert) • asteroidbeambrainbridgebriefing roomcaptain's logcattlecenturycitycivilizationcolonycorridorcrewdeathdecadedistress callemotionengineeringFederation Starfleet ranks (2270s)firefleafourth planetgenocidehourhumanoidlanding partylibrarylifeformlogicmagnesiummetalmeteormeterminuteorbitorganismparsecpeaceplanetprison cellprobesecuritysewer systemshore leavesickbayslaverysleeping gasspaceStarfleet uniform (early 2270s)stonesubspacetransporter roomtruceuniversewarwarp factor (warp six) • xenophobiayear

Timeline[]

Chronology[]

Several centuries ago
22nd century 
2170s 
2274 

Production history[]

26 October 198128 February 1982
Published in daily newspapers. (Los Angeles Times Syndicate)
September 2013
Collected in the omnibus The Newspaper Comics, Volume 2. (IDW Publishing)
23 November 2017
Collected in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #24. (Eaglemoss)

Appendices[]

Related media[]

Background[]

Quotes[]

Kirk: Did you discover what you were searching for — the secret of life?
Ilik Na hologram: I found only that the secret of life is death, for without it, there is no continuity.
Kirk: That wasn't very helpful.

Images[]

Connections[]

Published Order
Previous comic:
#10: Quarantine
TOS comics
(US Comic Strips)
Next comic:
#12: The Wristwatch Plantation
Previous story:
Quarantine
Stories by:
Sharman DiVono
Next story:
The Wristwatch Plantation
Chronological Order
Previous adventure:
Quarantine
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
The Wristwatch Plantation

External link[]