The PsychoCrystals — they glitter with death! — "The PsychoCrystals" was a Star Trek: The Original Series comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in 1975. It was the 34th issue of their TOS series of comics, the 8th of 22 stories written by Arnold Drake and the 31st drawn by Alberto Giolitti. In this story, a landing party from the USS Enterprise discovers a world of telepathic crystalline lifeforms.
- An innocent scientific expedition becomes a subterranean nightmare when Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise find themselves racing against the clock of their own executions.
- Captain's log: star date 19:27.4. On routine mineral and biological survey of space sector 179, sub-sector 23-C...
Spock observes that planet Alpha 23-C is rich in industrial minerals, so Kirk, Leonard McCoy and Montgomery Scott beam down to conduct an overnight topographical survey. The trio split up to climb a plateau. Scott spots a beautiful outcropping of gemstones that he thinks will make a good necklace for a woman he likes, but before he can chop off a sample with a pick axe, it shoots him with a laser beam. Peering into one gem, he is strangely psychoanalyzed — facets reflect various sides of his personality, including fantasies as a heroic Highlander and secret agent as well as images of himself terrified by witches as a child. He yells before passing out. Kirk revives him, then finds McCoy in hysterics.
When they camp that evening, Kirk awakes in paranoia and begins strangling Scott. McCoy stirs and quickly stuns Kirk. Realizing they aren't prepared for this type of psychological assault, Kirk decides to return to the Enterprise, but their communicator signals are jammed. Suddenly a bipedal crystalline lifeform approaches. Scott reaches for his phaser but the being, named Izor, fires a laser beam from its head and disarms him. It calls the landing party kidnappers and attempted murderers, revealing that the crystal gems are its species' infants. Kirk surreptitiously drops his communicator as Izor leads them into deep caverns.
- Captain's log: star date 19:27.5. Mr. Spock's "sophisticated crystals" have turned out to be living things! And we are being marched to their underground civilization!
They emerge into an underground crystal city paradise populated with the crystal lifeforms. Despite Kirk's protest of innocence, their president condemns the humans to die. Later, they are brought back to the president's office. Kirk observes from a periscope that Spock has beamed down and begun to inspect the gemstones. However, the infants reflect only geometric images, unable to spark emotions from the Vulcan. Nonetheless, Spock is captured and reunited with the landing party.
The president cannot read their minds to confirm that they are innocent, as only their children have strong telepathy. Suddenly, a large crystalline dinosaur, a rampaging slourda, disturbs the city's peace, retreating tentatively when spears are thrown at it. The dragon is immune to natives' thoughts which generates laser beams, as people are from repeated exposure to bacteria, but Kirk believes that he, Spock, Scott and McCoy can act like foreign germs. Spock proposes to channel new thoughts through one of the crystal infants, but it means carrying a baby gem into danger. When they next encounter the slourda, Spock projects scientific concepts though the gem such as the formula of sulfuric acid, E=MC2, Newton's Third Law of Motion, and theories behind rocket engines, which shatter the dragon into pieces.
Having demonstrated their good intentions, the landing party is allowed to leave. Kirk and Spock provide the natives with scientific texts to produce enough new thoughts to keep them free of slourda forever.
- Izor • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • unnamed Alpha 23-C natives
- Referenced only
- Albert Einstein • Isaac Newton
Starships and vehicles
- Sector 179 (Alpha 23-C)
- Referenced only
- Earth (Scottish Highlands) • Flaming Lakes of Orion • Jupiter (Jupiter Colony V) • Mars (Deimos • Phobos)
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- backpack • communicator • geometry • laser • narco-pellet • periscope • pick axe • radio • rocket propulsion • science • spear • sword • technology • transporter • weapon
Ranks and titles
- commander • commanding officer • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • guard • Highlander • harpist • poet • president • secret agent • skipper • Starfleet ranks
- 20th century • assignment patch • bacteria • beam • bird • book • cake • captain's log, USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2266 • carbon • cavern • century • city • coma • condor • crystal • culture • death penalty • devil • dog • dragon • eagle • emotion • execution • fire • foods and beverages • goat • harp • headache • horse • insanity • language • library • lifeform • light • logic • metal • mineral • month • moon • music • Newton's Third Law of Motion • nitrogen • oxygen • paradise • paranoia • poetry • prison • psychoanalysis • rat • rock • second • sector • slourda • sports and games • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • sulfuric acid • sunspot • telepathy • transporter room • witch
- ENT episode: "In a Mirror, Darkly" – In the mirror universe in the year 2155, the ISS Enterprise encounters a crystalline Tholian.
- TOS comic: "... Like a Woman Scorned!" – In 2273, Scott's fear of witches is exploited by Andrea Manning.
- TNG episodes: "Datalore", "Silicon Avatar" – In 2364 and 2368, the USS Enterprise-D encounters the Crystalline Entity.
- "The PsychoCrystals" was collected in Dynabrite, Issue 11358 along with "A Bomb in Time" and in Star Trek Annual 1977 along with "Sceptre of the Sun".
- Despite eschewing technology, the Alpha 23-C natives had periscopes and printed books.
- At least three crystalline species are seen: The bipedal natives, dogs, and the dragon.
- When Scott sees the crystal dragon, he remarks, "St. George never saw the likes of a dragon like that." He is referring to the legend of "Saint George and the Dragon," a saint who slayed a dragon and saved a princess. (Saint George and the Dragon article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
- Spock projects the thought, "For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction." This is Sir Isaac Newton's Newton's Third Law of Motion. (Newton's laws of motion article at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)
- Scott references a woman on Jupiter Colony V. Possibly she is Blanda Lane, whom he fancied at the time. (TOS comic: "A Page From Scotty's Diary")
- Scott twice exclaims "Great moons of Mars!"
- This story has been released seven times in English and translated into Dutch, German, and italian.
#33: The Choice
#35: The Peril of Planet Quick Change
#33: The Choice
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The Animal People
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World Against Time
- October 1975
- First published by Gold Key Comics
- Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1977 (World Distributors Limited)
- August 1976
- Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 4 (Golden Press)
- Printed in Dynabrite, Issue 11358 (Western Publishing)
- June 2004
- Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 5 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
- September 2008
- Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
- 21 June 2018
- Reprinted in Graphic Novel Collection #39 (Eaglemoss)
- German: As "Paradies der Kristalle" in Zack 1976 #17 (Koralle)
- Dutch: As "De Psychokristallen" in the omnibus Ruimteschip Enterprise Classics Strip-Paperback #1 (De Vrijbuiter)
- German: As "Die Psychokristalle" in the omnibus Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Taschenbuch #1 (Condor)
- Italian: As "I Psicocristalli" in the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 9 (Free Books)