The Khitomer Conflict, Part 4 was the twenty-eighth issue of IDW Publishing's 2011 ongoing series of Star Trek comics. The issue is the conclusion in stories about a Klingon-Romulan conflict, by writer Mike Johnson, releasing in December 2013. Issue art was by Erfan Fajar, with Roberto Orci credited as creative consultant.
- PREVIOUSLY IN STAR TREK...
- After the events of STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, the remnants of the covert organization known as Section 31 have allied themselves with the Romulans in an attempt to destroy the Klingon Empire. Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise find themselves caught in the middle of the conflict on the Klingon homeworld of Kronos, and have just learned the identity of the undercover Section 31 agent in their midst: YUKI SULU, sister of Hikaru and the newest member of the Enterprise crew!
Vulcan, four years ago. Cadet T'Pan communicates with her friend Yuki Sulu about the upcoming semester at Starfleet Academy and T'Pan's blatantly obvious crush on her her brother. All of sudden, the call begins to turn to static. Yuki shouts one last statement to her friend promising to see her soon.
2261, Qo'noS, the First City. The call was not interrupted by subspace static. It was interrupted by an insane Romulan terrorist who then proceeded to destroy Vulcan. And it is because of those events that Yuki has given herself over to Section 31. To ensure such tragedy never has the chance to be repeated. Sulu is unsurprised, Section 31 tried to recruit him but he turned them down. It was only a matter of time before they went after his sister. Yuki is also unsurprised. Hikaru was never adept at moral ambiguity.
On cue, Romulan troops beam down with the last remaining piece of red matter, to be detonated in the heart of the Klingon Empire. Yuki knows her brother will never understand but she prays he will one day forgive her.
In orbit, the USS Enterprise finds herself squarely between the two fleets but even still, Spock refuses to fire back only directing Pavel Chekov to move them away and Montgomery Scott to find a way to enhance their shields. L'Nar notices the flagship limping away but is content to chase it at a later time. The Section 31 operative protests. Handing over the Enterprise was never a condition of the deal. The agent beams away warning the Romulan to choose his next move very carefully.
On the surface, the First City has been captured and the Klingon senate has been forced to their knees. As the Romulans boast of their victory, Section 31 guns them down, their purpose served. The Chancellor is impressed by Yuki's fortitude in spite of her young age. Yuki scoffs at him and sarcastically asks for a reason not to use the red matter. Kirk has two.
In orbit, the Romulans have triumphed and their remaning ships have cornered the Enterprise and hail the Federation flagship. L'Nar is his usual self and tries to force Spock into a surrender, bargaining the lives of the away team. Before Spock can answer, an unknown starship decloacks between the Enterprise and the Romulans. In spite of its black paint and cloaking device, its architecture is undeniably Federation meaning it is undeniably a Section 31 vessel. The mysterious agent cuts into the communication and declares the Human/Romulan alliance is through.
On the surface, Kirk explains. Destroying Qo'noS will accomplish nothing but making the Klingons angrier than ever. And as along as one Klingon still exists anywhere in the galaxy, Section 31 will have ultimately failed. Rather, Section 31 should use the red matter as a "nuclear deterrent". For if the red matter is used, it will be gone forever. The fear of planetary destruction is more useful than a single usage of it.
Having heard everything, the agent beams the Federation party aboard his ship. Almost gleefully, he shows Kirk a sleeper program that Section 31 hardwired into the Romulan ships. A program that he activates and destroys all four ships. Kirk is appalled, the Romulans will doubtlessly retaliate against Earth. How is Earth safer? Well Kirk has answered his own question. Red matter will serve as an adequate deterrent against hostilities, both the Klingon and the Romulan fleets have been crippled and the Romulans and Klingons are likely to go to war with each other. The chessboard has shifted to Earth's advantage.
As a gesture of goodwill, the agent frees them all before Yuki asks Kirk his second reason. Well that is simple. Kirk knows Sulu and he is convinced Yuki has the same heart as her brother. No matter what she did, no matter her noble goal, she could never forgive herself for using the detonator. Yuki attempts to apologize to her brother but words fail her. The Section 31 has vanished by the time the away team returns to the Enterprise but Kirk can only wonder if the galaxy is safer now.
Back at K-11, Kirk and Sulu discuss Yuki. Kirk suggests that Sulu deal in shades of grey and tell an...edited version of the truth to his parents. Downtrodden, Sulu says he never signed up for shades of grey. At the end, he just wants to fly a ship, not fight a war. A feeling Kirk can sympathize with.
Some time later, the Enterprise finally sets out on her mission. A mission that has never been important than right now. For a mission of discovery is an invitation of hope. Something the galaxy sorely needs right now.
Captain's Log, Stardate 2261.168 We have debriefed Starfleet on the events that unfolded in the wake of the Khitomer attack. In light of extraordinary circumstances, Commander Spock has been absolved of any charges of insubordination after he returned to Qo'nos in violation of orders. Now we wait, and we wonder. We wait for the ripples of this latest conflict to play out across the galaxy. And we wonder if peace between all civilizations is ever possible. In such a time of uncertainty - of fear -, it is more important than ever that the Enterprise returns to her original mission. To seek out. To explore. To find new possibilities. We go with a spirit that is the opposite of fear. We go with hope. And when we go, we go boldly.
- Pavel Chekov • Kai • James T. Kirk • L'Nar • Klingon Chancellor • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Yuki Sulu • T'Pan •Nyota Uhura • Zahra
Starships and vehicles
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Technology and weapons
Ranks and titles
- communications officer • Klingon Chancellor • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • chief medical officer • doctor • helmsman • officer • weapons officer • terrorist • cadet • commander
- energy • Federation Starfleet ranks • Federation Starfleet ranks (alternate 2250s) • galaxy • government • gravity • humanoid • lifeform •nation-state • races and cultures • rank • space • Starfleet uniform (Prime) • Starfleet uniform • technology • time • title • uniform • universe • warp factor • year • crush • subspace static • Away team • Flagship
- TOS comics: "The Khitomer Conflict, Part 1", "The Khitomer Conflict, Part 2", "The Khitomer Conflict, Part 3" - This is a continuation of the previous story.
- TOS comic: "The Return of the Archons, Part 1" - Sulu recounts how he refused to join Section 31.
- TOS movie: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country - Captain Kirk reconciles with the Klingons.
- TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: Star Trek - Vulcan is destroyed by the Narada.
- TOS video game: D-A-C - The destruction of the Romulan ships could well explain the conflict between the Federation and the Romulans in the video game.
The Khitomer Conflict, Part 3
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Parallel Lives, Part 1