As Captain Kirk prepares for a gauntlet of combat against his Klingon persecutors, Dr. McCoy attempts to expose a disturbing secret that stretches to the highest levels of Starfleet Medical – even if it costs him his career.
Aboard the IKS Gauntlet, Kirk is set to walk the Red Path for his many crimes against the Klingon Empire, a ritual that will see him stripped of any and all honor before his life is claimed. With typical Kirk stubbornness however, the captain presses through each and every challenge, firing off a few Klingonese insults, before he faces Dev Vo'Qul once again. Though burnt and bruised, Kirk demands the Bat'leth he is owed for making it this far.
On the USS Theseus, Areel Shaw is having far less luck trying to convince Koraxi of mounting a rescue mission, the admiral stubbornly choosing to trust the Klingons' concept of honor. Walking out, he beams himself over to the USS Asclepius, passing by the medical horrors, with disquieting clam and to a guarded room.
In the room, the bound Spock and McCoy discuss the likely depths of the conspiracy they have stumbled on before Koraxi arrives. After it is made clear that neither side will bend to the other's point of view, Spock asks how the admiral intends to cover his tracks. After all, hundreds of missing crewman will hardly go unnoticed. Smugly, Koraxi reveals that Kirk on the Klingon ship with Shaw ready to make a rescue attempt any second now. Realizing that Koraxi is counting on the Klingon's bomb as an excuse for the missing officers, the disgusted Vulcan promptly breaks free of his bonds and bludgeons the admiral into unconsciousness. When the guard enters, Spock asks to be taken to Shaw.
On the Gauntlet, Kirk continues to duel the Vo'Qul, even as his mind continues to compare his life and Sam's. Refusing to fall, Kirk taunts his opponent, noting that passing the Red Path has restored his honor. If Kirk were Klingon, and if he were to fall, wouldn't he then pass on into Sto-vo-kor? Though Kirk has angered his foe enough for rash and sloppy combat, Vo'Qul bluntly says that he has no interest in honor. He just wants Kirk's blood.
Stepping onto the bridge of the Theseus, Shaw assumes command of the fleet. After confirming that Captain Olanolan had nothing to do with Koraxi, Shaw informs him that the man was an Originalist who let the Klingons in. Not needing to hear more, Olanolan orders his crew into action and Kirk is beamed to safety just as his grip on Vo'Qul's blade starts to fail.
No sooner has Kirk materialized do radiation readings begin spiking. Ordering himself patched through to the fleet, Kirk reveals that Vo'Qul is bluffing. At his order, every ship powers up their weapons but only fires a warning barrage from their phasers with wide burst scanner beams. His bluff called, Vo'Qul warps away.
Stepping onto the bridge, Kirk is praised as a hero, offering some advice to Olanolan, before the trio departs. As Kirk enters the turbolift, he denies Areel's suggestion that he run for President of the United Federation of Planets. It should be her.
Back aboard the USS Enterprise, Kirk continues his philosophical musings, noting that he was more eager to fight Klingons than see Earth again. He is broken from his musings when an alarm sounds regarding an anomaly in a supposedly empty region of space. Though Spock is eager to investigate, Kirk overrules him. Their shift is done, that's someone else's job now.
But as McCoy asks, can they be counted on to do it right?
- Arex Na Eth • Bright Eyes • Dev Vo'Qul • James T. Kirk • Koraxi • Leonard McCoy • Olanolan • Areel Shaw • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura
Starships and vehicles
Races and cultures
States and organizations
|Star Trek: The Original Series — Year Five|
|Omnibuses/Issues||Odyssey's End||1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6|
|The Wine-Dark Deep||7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12|
|Weaker Than Man||13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19|
|Experienced in Loss||20 • 21 • 22 • 23 • 24 • 25 • Captains of Sea and War|
|Creators||Brandon Easton • Jackson Lanzing • Collin Kelly • Jody Houser • Jim McCann|
|Cover artists||Greg Hildebrandt • Stephen Thompson • Charlie Kirchoff • J.J. Lendl • Marc Laming|
- TOS episodes: "Errand of Mercy", "The Trouble with Tribbles", "Friday's Child", "Elaan of Troyius": Kirk's many crimes against the Klingon Empire are restated.
Year Five, Issue 13
|The Original Series (Year Five)||next comic:|
Year Five, Issue 15