Terminally Yours is a Star Trek: The Original Series comic strip by Gerry Conway. It is the 18th story in the US Comic Strips series, published in newspapers over a period of 41 days 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, McCoy contracts a deadly plague and flees the Enterprise to protect its crew.
- Captain’s Log, stardate 9620.
- Yesterday, a thief aboard the Enterprise stole one of our shuttlecraft. The theft remained undetected for hours, because the thief had drugged the duty officer and apparently knew enough about the Enterprise to avoid alerting the rest of the ship. The medical staff has failed to revive the duty officer, so I had Dr. McCoy paged—but he hasn’t responded, and the door to his quarter is sealed shut with a new computer code… so I have no choice but to order a privacy override.
In McCoy’s quarters, security found a sealed message disc with a recording made by the doctor. In the briefing room, staff listened as McCoy recounted events from their mission 12 days prior to the recording, when they responded to a distress call from Circe-Six and beamed down in environmental suits to discover most of the 30,000 colonists were dead from the most virulent outbreak of an epidemic McCoy said he’d ever seen. While checking a corpse, he accidentally cut his hand and exposed himself to the toxin. He was too embarrassed to report the incident, but after returning to the ship and analyzing the cut, he confirmed being infected. He sterilized the medical lab and his quarters, then fled the Enterprise in a two-man shuttlecraft. Kirk and Spock agreed that McCoy had not been thinking rationally, since quarantine could easily have been set up aboard the ship, so they set out to find McCoy and seek a cure for the disease.
- McCoy’s log, stardate 9623.
- It’s getting harder to think clearly… the disease I caught on Circe-Six is already well progressed… But I must stay sane… long enough to reach my destination that’s the only way… to keep the Enterprise safe… have to… keep them safe…
- Science log, stardate 9630.
- Spock reporting. I have examined samples of Dr. McCoy’s infected blood and I have determined the nature of the disease which destroyed the inhabitants of Circe-Two [sic], and may yet cost McCoy his life…
Spock identified the contagion as the same virus that brought about the Red Plague on Vulcan two centuries earlier. Kirk agreed that Spock should proceed to Vulcan aboard a shuttle and retrieve the cure while the Enterprise continued searching for McCoy’s shuttle.
- Admiral’s log, stardate 9632.1.
- Captain Spock has departed the Enterprise to seek a cure of McCoy’s illness on the planet Vulcan…
- Admiral’s log, stardate 9633.2.
- Still no sign of Dr McCoy’s shuttle…
Considering where McCoy might go since his shuttle hadn’t been found through conventional searches, Kirk theorized McCoy might have returned to Circe-Two, since it was already contaminated by the virus, so his being there wouldn’t harm anyone else. After returning to Circe-Two, and Kirk, Chapel and Scott prepared to beam down in environmental suits to search for him, leaving Sulu in command.
- Science log, stardate 9633.3.
- I saw no need to worry Admiral Kirk with any additional concerns before my departure from the Enterprise, so I have neglected to inform him that there is some small danger involved in attaining the cure for McCoy’s contagion. In any case, the probability that I might die in the attempt is only .57808. An acceptable risk. Spock out.
- Science log, stardate 9635.2.
- I have arrived on Vulcan, in desolate out-region known as Kendha-Ya—“the Dead Ocean.” It was here, two centuries ago, that the Red Plague killed more than a million of my people—and may today kill Dr. McCoy! Only one thing saved us… the healing nectar of a flowering vegetation known as Shin-Ka-Ti. The question is… after 200 years, do any of these flowers yet remain?
Spock located a living Shin-Ka-Ti plant, and carefully removed it. But at that moment, an enormous Vulcan sand worm popped out of the dry ocean sand and threatened him. Spock fired his phaser at its head, and it collapsed on top of him, forcing him to shoot his way out of the dead animal.
- Captain’s log, stardate 9636.3.
- Commander Sulu reporting for Admiral Kirk; the admiral has spent several hours on Circe-Two, searching for Dr. McCoy, who is dying from a disease known only as the red plague. So far, the admiral’s found no trace of McCoy, but even if he does find him, there’s little we can…
Rendezvousing with the Enterprise, Spock learned that McCoy was on the surface, so Spock changed course and landed near the search party. They had found McCoy, but he was hidden in a building and shooting at them to keep them away. Spock played a gambit, implying to McCoy that the Vulcan was immune to the virus in order to get close to him. Spock distracted McCoy long enough for Chapel to sneak in and hypo McCoy with an extract from the Shin-Ka-Ti plant. Spock then asked her to inject himself, as Vulcans were more susceptible to the virus than humans.
- Captain’s log, stardate 9637.02.
- In the sickbay aboard the USS Enterprise…
Chapel oversaw McCoy and Spock recovering in sickbay. Back to normal, McCoy explained how quickly he became paranoid after being exposed. Spock denied acting heroically to save McCoy’s life, citing the doctor’s value as a Starfleet investment.
- James T. Kirk • Spock • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • Christine Chapel • Unnamed navigator
Starships and vehiclesEdit
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
Science and technologyEdit
- Environmental suit • message disc • medical distress call • Red Plague • Shin-Ka-Ti a.k.a. Flower of Mercy • Vulcan sand worm
Ranks and titlesEdit
#17: “Goodbye to Spock”
|Star Trek: The Original Series|
(US Comic Strips)
#19: “The Retirement of Admiral Kirk”
“Goodbye to Spock”
“The Retirement of Admiral Kirk”
“Goodbye to Spock”
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next adventure:|
“The Retirement of Admiral Kirk”
- 21st Century – the Red Plague erupted in a desolate region called Kendha-Va and killed more than a million Vulcans “some two hundred years” prior to the story
- 13 days prior to stardate 9620 – The Enterprise arrived at Circe-Six in response to a distress call and discovered most of the 30,000 colonists were dead from an epidemic.
- One day prior to stardate 9620 – McCoy fled the Enterprise in a two-man shuttlecraft.
- After a revolving door of four artists, Dick Kulpa took over the strip, illustrating its final three stories.
- The story’s title was lost to time, so a new one was chosen by Rich Handley for the story's reprinting in The Newspaper Comics, Volume 2. (http://www.hassleinbooks.com/pdfs/TrekComics.pdf)
- This was the third of five stories written by Gerry Conway, famous for co-creating Marvel’s Punisher and scripting the death of Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man comic book. Conway wrote the final arc in the strip series, creating a period when Admiral Kirk revisited the Enterprise before the events of TOS movie: The Wrath of Khan.
- Published in 36 strips (over a span of 41 days, skipping Sundays), this was the second shortest story in the series. Only It's a Living at 35 strips (over 35 days) was shorter. Called Home at 42 strips (over 42 days) and Getting Real at 42 panels (over 48 days) tied for third shortest.
- This story and its flashback followed shortly after the previous one, based on the stardates. The rationale for Gerry Conway’s stories being set in 2279 was presented in the article for TOS comic: "Send in the Clones".
- The two-man shuttlecraft design depicted during Gerry Conway's tenure was not seen previously. The wrecked Copernicus in TOS comic: "Goodbye to Spock" was the only one identified by name. McCoy and Spock each flew shuttles solo in this story, and one was flown in TOS comic: "Getting Real". This particular design may have been of an experimental type, per the testbed status of the Enterprise during this period (TOS - Mere Anarchy eBook: The Darkness Drops Again).
- The devastated planet was called Circe-Six in the strips for July 8, 11, and 16, 1983. But without explanation, it was called Circe-Two from July 17 onward.
- Spock deceived the paranoid McCoy into thinking Spock was immune to the disease by implication, avoiding an outright lie.
- When Kirk said he ordered a privacy override to McCoy’s quarters, it sounded like he had an authorization code to override the lock. Instead, he meant the door had to be cut open by phaser fire.
- The unnamed navigator is this story resembled Pavel Chekov. But as he was not identified by name and did not speak with an accent, it’s uncertain whether he was meant to be Chekov. However, Chekov was not in any of the other comic strip stories set in 2279.
- TOS episode: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" — McCoy contracted xenopolycythemia, a deadly disease, and left the Enterprise, remaining on Yonada.
- TOS comic: "Quarantine_(comic_strip)" – Chapel contracted a plaque with similar symptoms of paranoia (the same way as McCoy, by accidentally becoming exposed, then not reporting it) and fled in a small ship.
- TAS episode: "The Pirates of Orion" — Spock contracted choriocytosis, deadly to Vulcans.
- TOS comic: "Cura Te Ipsum" – Spock contracted a plague on a planet in the Omicron Persei system, an illness which had devastated the population of the planet. A cure was made from Suja moss, a bioluminescent plant, which Montgomery Scott brought back from distant hills.