- You may be looking for the DC Comic "The Rift!".
Every thirty-three years, a rift in space connects the Federation with a mysterious race called the Calligar who live on a planet hundreds of light years away - much too far to travel in a starship. Captain Kirk and the USS Enterprise are dispatched to transport a Federation delegation of diplomats, scholars and scientists who will travel to Calligar directly during the brief period of time that the rift will be open.
Mr. Spock leads the Federation party as they travel by shuttle through the rift just as a group of the aliens arrive in Federation space. The meetings go smoothly until the Calligar take Spock's party hostage and Kirk discovers that the aliens are keeping a deadly secret. With angry Tellarite and Andorian fleets ready to attack the Calligar, Kirk must save Spock and the others before war breaks out and the rift closes for another thirty-three years.
The Enterprise encounters a rift in space and makes first contact with the Calligar, a race much more technologically advanced than the Federation, but one that follows an isolationist policy. Long ago, they destroyed their homeworld's ecosphere and fled to a series of interconnecting orbital satellite cities, powered by a self-sustaining plasma fire that engulfs the planet. Master Builder Zyo seeks to expand his people's horizons, and thus allowed the contact, though his plans are at odds with conservative Master of Status Alt. While the crew learns as much about Calligar technology as their hosts allow, Lt. José Tyler has a whirlwind romance with Ecma, Zyo's daughter. Ecma's brother, Macro, strongly objects to the relationship and the two men come to blows. The situation nearly escalates into a full-blown battle between the starship and the Calligar Worldnet, but the entire encounter is abruptly cut short. The ship's passage destabilizes the rift, causing it to collapse earlier than expected, and the Enterprise barely returns to Federation space.
33.4 years later, the rift reopens and the Enterprise-A carries a diplomatic party to reestablish contact with the Calligar. Spock, Scotty, Tellarite representative Shondar Dorkin, Andorian representative Thak, and Dr. Richard Daystrom take a warp-capable shuttle through the rift rather than risk disrupting the rift with a massive starship. Meanwhile, Ecma, now the Master Builder, comes aboard the Enterprise for an exchange with now-Commodore Tyler and Ambassador Robert Fox. Tyler has spent the last three decades infatuated by memories of his brief encounter with Ecma and is disturbed to learn that she married her belligerent brother (neither a cultural taboo nor a genetic risk to her) and has a son. Ecma uses the trip to seek asylum aboard the Enterprise but collapses before she can fully explain her plight. A key facet of Calligarian society is the Worldmind, a vast database containing the minds of all deceased Calligar. This hive mind allows all Calligarians to commune with the total intelligence and wisdom of their forbearers. However, it also constantly measures each person's contributions to society and determines when they have achieved their full potential, after which point they are expected to voluntarily end their lives and upload their minds to the Worldmind for the betterment of the whole. Ecma's time of "thinning" is upon her, but she is unwilling to sacrifice herself. Her collapse was caused by separating herself from this Worldmind and fighting the cultural expectations she's known all her life, though she eventually recovers.
Spock's party find their efforts to learn more about Calligarian society and technology curtailed by Alt, Macro, and the rest of their insular hosts. When the Worldmind becomes aware of Ecma's plans, the Calligar hold the Federation team hostage in order to ensure her return. Spock uses alcohol and a mind-meld to gain crucial intelligence on the whole situation and reports it back to the Enterprise, but the shuttle is brought down before it can escape the city. Dorkin is killed fighting with Macro, though he saves Thak's life despite their mutual antagonism. Kirk and Tyler venture through the rift in another shuttle to negotiate for their team's release, though they have no success in dealing with the governing council. Kirk convinces them to allow a meeting with the Worldmind, the sole authority responsible for deciding Ecma's thinning or freedom. Spock attempts to make contact but is overwhelmed; Kirk and Daystrom also accidentally commune while trying to free Spock. They learn that Regger, Ecma's and Macro's son and next in line to be Master Builder, orchestrated the incident. Eager to claim power, he secretly reprogrammed the Worldmind to order Ecma's thinning, an order that the whole of Calligar never thought to question. Kirk and Daystrom fight Regger in a virtual battle that ultimately destroys Regger's mind. Zyo's consciousness emerges and mourns the loss of his gifted yet troubled grandson before agreeing to release Ecma. Kirk and the rest of the Federation team escape in their shuttle.
On the Enterprise, Sulu faces down Andorian and Tellarite cruisers that have responded to the capture of their representatives. The Andorians are reasonable enough, but the Tellarites force their way into the rift, again destabilizing it. Ecma regains consciousness and decides to return to her people for the good of everyone involved. She enters the rift just as Kirk's shuttle emerges and the rift is collapsing, but returns a moment later, having decided to remain with Tyler after all; the two are married. Shondar Dorkin is honored on Tellar, which declares war (and later victory in absentia) against the Calligar. Daystrom uses what he did learn of Calligar systems to create the precursor of Federation holotechnology, finally proving that he still has worthwhile contributions to make. Macro is made the new Master Builder, but finds little consolation for the loss of his wife and son.
- Alt • Caitlin Barry • Jerry Boyajian • Phillip Boyce • Pavel Chekov • J. Mia Colt • Richard Daystrom • Dorkin • Ecma • Robert Fox • Garison • Hicks • Khund] • James T. Kirk • Winona Kirk • Macro • Leonard McCoy • Meyer • Newman • Number One • Christopher Pike • Nils Pitcairn • Regger • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Stanzia • Hikaru Sulu • Thak • Tooch • José Tyler • Nyota Uhura • Vandor • Vincent • Viola • Yamata • Zyo
- Referenced only
- Flaherty • Galahad • Ghu • God • Lancelot • Landru • Louis XIV of France • M-5 • Carol Marcus • David Marcus • John Muir • Oracle of the People • Santa Claus • Valdini • Venus • Vina
Starships and vehicles
- Belligerent • USS Enterprise • USS Enterprise-A • USS Potemkin • Secord • Stealth • Yonada
- Referenced only
- Andorian class D-3 ship
- Argus X • Brigadoon • Delta Vega • Earth • Eminiar VII • Gamma Quadrant • Iowa • Jupiter • Luna • Rigel • Rimbor • Saturn • Starfleet Headquarters • Tellar • Uranus • Vega IX • Vulcan • Worldnet
- Referenced only
- hall of heroes • madrigal
Races and cultures
States and organizations
- Federation Council • Federation Intergalactic Studies Council • Klingon Empire • Starfleet • Starfleet Academy • United Federation of Planets
Science and technology
- A3 Interface Module • cordrazine • dilithium • duotronic • holodeck • hyperdrive • Illidium Pew-36 Explosive Space Modulator • Jefferies tube • lithium • medibed • Model 83 Logic Integrator • television • timewarp • transparent aluminum • transwarp • tri-ox • warp-sled
- 1812 Overture • cowboy • cyclops • Dixie • Down from Saturn and up Uranus • elephant • elf • Fly Me to the Moon • handshake • Harmony • horse • IDIC • Italian • jerk • knight • Latin • mukkup • Nobel Prize • pop • Prime Directive • Quakerism • Rigelian candigal • Rockabye Baby • snafu • snah phu • Spanish • turnip • tribble • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star • vodka • Vulcan lyre • waltz • wizard • Worldmind • Zankar-Bowles Prize • Z-Magnees Prize
- This story takes place in two time frames, in 2254 when the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) and Christopher Pike makes first contact with the Calligar, shortly after "The Cage", and aboard the Enterprise-A in 2287, shortly after Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
|TOS numbered novels||Next novel:|
Faces of Fire
Chapter 14, Section 2
|Pocket Books Timeline||Next adventure:|
Chapter 14, Section 3
Chapter 14, Section 2
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next adventure:|
"A Rude Awakening!"
|The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2287.|
The Memory Beta Chronology places events from this story in 1 other timeframe(s):
Chapters 7 & 15
Chapters 10 & 15