The immortal... There was no place for Humans in his scheme of life! — "This Tree Bears Bitter Fruit" was the 47th issue of Gold Key Comics' 1967 ongoing series of Star Trek comics, written by George Kashdan & Doug Drexler and illustrated by Alden McWilliams.
On course to New Paris colony, three plant-like pods are detected near the Enterprise, registering on Mister Spock's sensors as lifeforms of pure energy and considerable intelligence. When Captain James T. Kirk orders investigation, the pods ignore communications hailing frequencies. When Kirk orders Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu to pilot the ship closer, an energy discharge from the pods shuts down all shipboard power. Scotty's engineering station reports damage to circuitry. The pod restored the ships power only after distancing themselves. The pods change course to Beta Niobe III, and Kirk orders the ship to follow. In order to safeguard the technologically-advanced civilization on that planet, a landing party of Kirk, Spock and Doctor Leonard McCoy beams down. Three humanoid-shaped beings made of energy emerge from the pods, disintegrating everything in their path as they move about. McCoy asserts the lifeforms are using osmosis to process the vaporized material. Kirk fires a phaser stun at one of the beings, but it destroys his phaser pistol. The beings feed for a while, but do not kill any inhabitants or harm their dwellings, and quickly depart for space.
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- Pavel Chekov • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • Zhyopha • unnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel (USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel)
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- Beta Niobe III (Beta Niobe star system; the galaxy's Alpha or Beta Quadrants) • uncharted planetoids (Gamma Cygnet region)
- Referenced only
- Memory Alpha • New Paris colony (New Paris)
Races and culturesEdit
Science and technologyEdit
- computer • circuit • engineering • engineering station • evolution • hailing frequency • intercom • osmosis • phaser • phaser pistol • pistol • sensor • Sestra phaser II • spacecraft • starship • technology • time • transporter • tricorder • type-2 phaser
States and organizationsEdit
- Federation • Starfleet (command division • operations division • sciences division) • Starfleet Command
Ranks and titlesEdit
- captain • chief engineer • chief medical officer • commander • commanding officer • communications officer • doctor • pilot • engineer • ensign • Federation Starfleet ranks • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • first officer • helmsman • horticulturist • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • medical practitioner • navigator • officer • science officer • mister • tactical officer • weapons officer
- alien • anatomy • atmosphere • beam • captain's log • clothing • command chair • communications • communicator • conn • energy • USS Enterprise personnel • five-year mission • helm • humanoid • lifeform • log entry • matter • medicine • navigation • plant • planet • quadrant • races and cultures • rank • saucer section • space • secondary hull • shark • star • star system • stardate • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • stun • title • Tree of Life • uniform • universe • warp drive • weapon
- stardate 67:32.4, 2269 (2260s chronology, 2264–2270 Enterprise voyages)
- Enterprise changes course for Beta Niobe.
- The Enterprise's visit to a planet in the Beta Niobe system indicates this story takes place prior to the supernova of that star in this same year, 2269, as depicted in TOS episode: "All Our Yesterdays".
- Zhyopha claims to be an immortal Human who has been growing the space beings' tree for eons, but it is not clear if he was actually that long-lived. Immortals such as Flint or Morgan Primus have been documented as having a similar ability in other sources.
- A tree's height is limited by the laws of physics affecting how water moves from the trunk to the leaves. The tallest living tree on Earth is a 379 foot-tall redwood. To be hundreds of miles tall, the Tree of Life's biology must have been more complex than that of a normal tree, or its appearance augmented by illusion or projection. (Tree Heights article at the Northern Woodlands website)
- Co-author Doug Drexler described his volunteer contributions to this story as a script polish and edit, including adding callbacks to the Metrons and Organians. Gold Key Comics' offices were near the Federation Trading Post where Drexler worked at that time in New York City. He also provided the creative team with reference materials. (Drawing Trek Podcast, Episode 33, 29:30-44:00)
- TOS comic: "The Choice" – Similar to Zhyopha’s claim that the Tree of Life originated in a previous universe, the USS Enterprise encountered a Kirk and an Enterprise from a universe that existed prior to the Big Bang.
- TOS comic: "The Tree of Life, the Branches of Heaven" – In 2289, Kirk, Spock and McCoy encountered an illusion of the Tree of Life.
- TOS episode: "Errand of Mercy", the Organians
- TOS episode: "The Lights of Zetar", the Zetarians
- TOS episode: "All Our Yesterdays", Beta Niobe
- TOS episode: "The Galileo Seven", New Paris colony
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Murder on the Enterprise
The Mimicking Menace
A Warp in Space
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Sweet Smell of Evil
Gold Key Comics
All of Me
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