Send in the Clones is a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip by Gerry Conway. It is the 16th story in the US Comic Strips series, published in newspapers over a period of 14 weeks by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. This story depicts events after Captain Kirk's second five-year mission but before TOS movie: The Wrath of Khan. In this story, Admiral Kirk returns to the USS Enterprise and assumes command to ferry a pair of courier clones on a diplomatic mission to end a war.
In San Francisco on stardate 9580.03, Admiral Yaramoto cut short Kirk’s vacation and assigned him temporary command of the Enterprise for a critical diplomatic mission. Kirk was to bring two clones bearing a peace message to Sangdor, hoping to end their hostilities with the Federation. The message was genetically-encoded into the cells of the clones, said to be the most secure way to deliver sensitive information, and would be decoded when the clones met their original on Sangdor.
- Captain’s log, stardate 9581.40.
- The Enterprise is en route to the Sangdor Principality, bearing a message of peace. … but peace, it seems, is far from the minds of certain crew members.
Scott reacted with extreme prejudice to seeing the clones, calling them heathen monsters. The clones, both named Lyssa, said prejudice like Scott’s was not unusual. They were bred to be stronger than normal humans.
- Captain’s log.
- Feigning ignorance, I questioned the courier clones about their peculiar branch of the diplomatic corps… Hoping to learn the reason for Scotty’s hostility toward them since he seems too angry to speak lucidly on the subject.
- Captain’s log, stardate 9782.87 (sic).
- I’ve just learned the tragic reason behind Commander Scott’s hatred of our passengers, two diplomatic clones…
Two clones were grown from brain tissue of the original diplomat. Each of the three has a third of a diplomatic code encoded in their DNA, and only when combined was the full message able to be decoded. Scott’s nephew Brian volunteered for this duty, but had died during the cloning procedure. Scott felt that the corps killed Brian, so he blamed them all.
- Stardate 9582.92.
- The U.S.S. Enterprise en route to the Sangdor Principality…
- Captain’s log, stardate 9583.11.
- Approaching the demarcation zone between Federation space and the contested territories of the Sangdor Principality…
The Enterprise was fired on as it entered the zone, then held in a tractor as a Sangdor warship attempted to ram them. Scott had left his post when the clones visited Engineering, but his backup was able to divert extra power and avoid the collision.
- Captain’s log, stardate 9583.13.
- In the demarcation zone between the Sangdor Principality and Federation space…
- Captain’s log, stardate 9583.18.
- We summoned Dr. McCoy to the courier clones’ cabin. He reacted just as we did…
Ensign Flynn discovered Scott in the clones’ cabin, holding a knife over the body of one of the clones. The other clone was nearby and appeared catatonic. Scott said he’d gone there to warn them not to enter secure areas of the ship, but was hit from behind and knocked out when he entered the cabin. He awoke to see the dead clone, with a knife in his hand.
- Stardate 9587.2.
- Power levels dangerously low, the Enterprise stands dead in space… for all intents and purposes, completely vulnerable to the next sally of the Sangdor Picket Ship…
The Sangdor requested surrender. Uhura stalled them.
- Captain’s log, stardate 9588.4.
- On my orders, Spock is attempting mind-link with the surviving, catatonic courier-clone…
- Captain’s log, stardate 9588.8.
- Captain Spock has uncovered an ugly secret while mind-linking with the courier-clone, Lyssa…
The clone had feigned catatonia. In reality, she hadn’t adapted to her shared life, and stabbed her clone sister out of jealousy. Lyssa-2 fled sickbay after the mind-meld, but she was stopped and stunned before she could kill Scott.
- Captain’s log, stardate 9588.8.
- Face to face with the commander of the Sangdor picket ship…
- Captain’s log, stardate 9588.9.
- Spock is attempting to break the diplomatic cipher which keeps the Federation’s peace message locked away in this unconscious clone’s genetic code… a feat which may well prove impossible. If Spock fails, war between the Federation and the Sangdor Principality will continue…with the Enterprise as the next casualty. I can only hope…
Spock deciphered the message and relayed it to the Sangdor commander, who immediately withdrew to contact superiors. Kirk was confident that a treaty would be signed within a month.
- James T. Kirk • Spock • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • Yaramoto • Lyssa clones • Flynn • Unnamed engineering officer
- Referenced only
- Lyssa (original) • Brian Scott
Starships and vehicles
- USS Enterprise • Sangdor picket ship
- Starfleet Headquarters San Francisco • drydock in Earth orbit • demarcation zone of Sangdor Principality
- Referenced only
- Edinburg Tech
Races and cultures
States and organizations
- A-Class Courier Team • Diplomatic Courier Corps • Federation Diplomatic Corps • Lords of the Sangdor Principality • Sangdor Principality • Starfleet
Science and technology
- bow armor • clone • courier clones • genetic code • genetics lab • main converters • tractor field
- exterior port bulkheads • glasses • peace treaty • Romulan brandy • smoking
#15: "Taking Shape"
|Star Trek: The Original Series
(US Comic Strips)
#17: "Goodbye to Spock"
"Goodbye to Spock"
"Wagon Train to the Stars"
The Captains' Meeting
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next adventure:|
"Goodbye to Spock"
- This is the first of five stories written by Gerry Conway, who co-created Marvel’s Punisher and scripted the death of Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man. Conway wrote the final five stories for the strip series, creating a period when Admiral Kirk revisited the Enterprise before the events of TOS movie: The Wrath of Khan.
- The story’s title was created for its reprinting in The Newspaper Comics, Volume 2.
- Lyssa was the Greek goddess of "mad rage" and "crazed frenzy." (Wikipedia)
- With Kirk an admiral, Spock a captain, and Chekov absent, this story took place after the second five-year mission ended (which would have been about five years after it started in August 2273, in summer or fall of 2278.) Afterwards, the ship was given “a thorough, months-long diagnostic to see how its prototype systems had held up.” Kirk became commandant of Starfleet Academy and would occasionally command missions, with Spock commanding the ship and some of their original crew coming along when available. During this period, they had been on “a number of interesting missions.” For instance, by November 2279, one year after Kirk became commandant of Starfleet Academy, Kirk, Spock, Uhura and Leslie were aboard the Enterprise for a mission, but McCoy, Scott, Sulu and Chekov were not. (TOS - Mere Anarchy eBook: The Darkness Drops Again) This arc, then, could have included some of those missions, which happened at a point before too many of the original crew had been reassigned, but after Kirk had settled in as commandant and could take a vacation. Sometime in the first half of 2279 seemed an appropriate time for this and the other four stories in this arc, prior to events of TOS novel: Wagon Train to the Stars.
- The content of the secret diplomatic message was not revealed, aside from the initial greetings, but it was apparently so satisfying that the enemy commander immediately ceased hostilities.
- Kirk said if Scott were court-martialed for murder, Kirk as ranking officer would be required to sentence Scott to death. While inconsistent with the death penalty premise stated in TOS episode: "The Menagerie", perhaps it was a function of the murder happening within the Sangdor Principality and Kirk having to obey local laws.
- Admiral Yaramoto's name was not provided in this story, but was used when he reappeared in TOS comic: "The Retirement of Admiral Kirk".
- Although imaginative, the Courier Clone Corps system had some faults. For one, Spock beat it with a mind-meld. Allowing for the possibility that Spock could read a message that was encoded in a person’s genetic structure, one of the clones said that each courier only carried a third of the message. How could Spock have retrieved the whole message out of one person? That would only be possible if the clone lied, and actually each courier carried the whole message. In that case, some sort of security was unlocked when the three reunited, and Spock just had to overcome the security. But there were other faults with the system. It was a potentially deadly procedure, since either the genetic re-sequencing to encode the message, or the actual cloning, had killed Scott’s nephew. Also, there were security liabilities in that medical personnel involved in the genetic manipulation would have to know the message, and, additionally, one might be able to take DNA samples from each of the three couriers after killing them and recover the message.
- The story repeated elements of TOS episode: "Wolf in the Fold", not just Scott’s murder mystery and the threat of the death penalty, but also the notion that Scott would blame a whole group for one action.
- After examining her for nearly an hour, McCoy declared Lyssa-2 catatonic. Later we learned she was faking. The medical examination did not reveal that.
- Romulan ale was called Romulan brandy in this story. Flynn was referred to as both an ensign and a yeoman.
- Scott left engineering during battle stations, which Kirk called out as being inappropriate. Kirk and Spock then left the bridge during battle to find out where Scott went.
- Artist Bob Myers provided a highly unusual rendition of the 23rd century. Admiral Yaramoto was shown smoking. An engineering officer wore strange goggles. The brig was labeled “jail,” with Scott behind actual bars with a keyed lock. The clone diplomats wore one-piece bathing suits with collared shirts, but seemingly without pants or shoes. A nurse wore a mid-20th century nurse’s hat. There was a posted sign for an elevator. Hand weapons looked more like 20th century pistols than phasers. And Spock’s mind meld was depicted with wavy lines coming from his head, rather than by him touching the subject’s face.