"A World Gone Mad"
  Issue Number 20

Writer: Unknown
Artist: Alberto Giolitti
Stardate: 32:47.2
Issue Date: September 1973
Cover Price: 20 cents


Cover Blurb:
   In a world gone mad, Scotty and Dr. McCoy fight for their lives - AGAINST EACH OTHER!

   Spock and Scotty beam down to an elite military school to pick up the Crown Prince Raviki, and bring him back aboard the Enterprise. The Prince turns out to be a blonde headed young man, wearing a pompous-looking uniform with an excess of gold trim. When they are introduced, the Prince refuses to shake hands with Spock. "Do not touch me" he shouts, "it is forbidden!" The Prince's manners quickly go from bad to worse. He orders Spock to carry his luggage, and Scotty to carry him on his shoulders to the transport area! "We were not told that your Imperial Highness couldna' walk" says Scotty. "I walk perfectly well" the Prince retorts, "but I save myself for more important things!" Once back aboard the ship, Kirk welcomes the Prince aboard. Raviki is not at all impressed, and takes the opportunity to appoint Scotty as his personal attendant!

   Later, the Captain gives the senior officers a briefing. "You'll remember that the Prince's father, Emperor Djan, ruled only through his parliament" Kirk says, "and his world was quite democratic. But the Prince's parents were killed in an accident! During the past three years, General Vlas has ruled while the Prince remained at school. The Federation fears that Vlas will not give up his rule! You can be sure the General will try to stop us from delivering the Prince safely, but we'll do it! Meanwhile, his every wish must be granted!" Prince Raviki quickly takes advantage of Kirk's words, and orders the crew to play "Space Ball" with him. Dr. McCoy and Mr. Scott are forced to join the Prince in space suits, outside the Enterprise, for a game. (complete with baseball gloves, and a bat!)

   When the Enterprise arrives at Prince Raviki's home world of Nukolee, Kirk and the senior staff escort the Prince to the surface in the shuttlecraft Galileo. Upon landing, a balding man dressed in a white uniform introduces himself as Dr. Nazino of the Customs Health Authority. "All citizens returning from long journeys must be examined" he says. "Hold this medi-analyzer, please". As soon as he gives the device to the Prince, the man runs away. Scotty notices that the analyzer is getting warm, and realizes it is a bomb! As he quickly throws it away, it explodes in mid-air. The landing party narrowly avoids being killed! The "doctor" who gave them the device manages to escape into the crowd.

   An old, grey haired man rushes up to the Prince. "Are you safe?" he asks. "I would kill myself if any harm had come to you!" Prince Raviki introduces the man as Subomar, his loyal servant. Kirk asks Subomar is there has been any unrest on the planet recently. Subomar tells him that there has been, and that the police have investigated, and been unable to find a reason for the incidents. Kirk tells Subomar to lead them back to the palace, so that Prince Raviki can be crowned ruler of Nukolee. As Subomar ushers the Prince and the landing party into a limousine, he quickly turns on Raviki and pulls a laser pistol! "Enter and die!" he shouts. Nearby guards manage to kill Subomar, as Kirk knocks the Prince out of the way of the laser blast. Another narrow escape!

   On the way back to the palace, the motorcade passes alongside the "Lake of Liquid Fire", a sea of molten lava. A guard riding a "nucle-cycle" deliberately runs his vehicle through a wall, and into the lava - killing himself instantly! Spock suspects that something more than treachery is happening on the planet. Back at the palace, Prince Raviki is welcomed by his sister Lulo, and General Vlas. Vlas asks the Prince to sign an edict, giving him military rule to crush the recent plots against the throne. "This is exactly what the Federated Planets feared" Kirk whispers to Spock. "How do we slow it down?" Spock steps forward and suggests that that the attacks might be the result of a form of "madness", not a rebellion. Raviki refuses to listen. He tells General Vlas to assemble the Supreme Council the following day, at which time he will sign the edict, and Vlas departs.

   At that moment, the Prince's sister arrives, bringing food. As she serves the men, she pulls out a knife and tries to stab the Prince! Spock grabs her, and knocks the weapon from her hand. She suddenly comes back to her senses, and then breaks down sobbing. She confesses to Raviki that two weeks ago she killed her dog, Bando! "Then it's true Captain" Raviki says. "My whole planet has gone mad - even my beautiful sister!" Kirk convinces the Prince not to turn over military rule to General Vlas. The General, however, is watching the events from a secret view screen in another part of the palace. He orders his allies to storm the palace in one hour! Meanwhile, the landing party sees a news report on a viewscreen. The broadcast shows pictures of a comet that passed nearby recently, showering the planet with tiny meteorites which filled the air with wisps of gases. "That's it!" Spock says, "This Sanduy's comet enveloped the planet in a gas that brought spells of madness to the entire population! Now we know how to..." He is interrupted as troops loyal to General Vlas begin storming the gates of the palace!

   The landing party and Prince Raviki hide in the throne room as the troops begin searching the palace for them. "What is your plan, Captain" the Prince asks. "How do we slow up General Vlas?" "He's going to be issuing orders in your name" Kirk says, "but you will broadcast to your people, telling them the truth!" Kirk orders McCoy and Scotty to beam back up to the Enterprise, find the comet, and analyze the gasses to produce a cure. He, Spock, and Raviki manage to sneak out of the palace, and travel to a nearby television studio. They break into a sound room and interrupt an announcer in the middle of a live broadcast. The Prince takes the man's place, and tells his people to "rise up and let the soil run red with the blood of Vlas and his traitors!" Unfortunately, they discover that Vlas has knocked out the signal before the message went out! They leave the studios and try to get to the central communications center, in order to reach the citizens of the planet.

   Meanwhile, back on the Enterprise, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Scott don space suits, and begin collecting samples from the meteor that passed near Nukolee. Their first spacewalk doesn't yield enough of a sample to analyze properly, so the two suit up again and go out a second time. McCoy accidentally sniffs some of the samples and goes crazy! He attacks the Engineer in space. Scotty manages to knock the Doctor out, and bring him back to the ship. McCoy later recovers, and is able to produce an antidote for the meteor gas.

   Near central communications, Prince Raviki, Kirk and Spock are nearly stoned to death by citizens under the effects of the gas. The Prince strips off his fancy uniform, and stands before his people as just a boy. "Listen to me, my people" he yells. "I want only good for my world! If you don't believe me, then strike me down now! Kill me!" The citizens are stunned into silence by this brave act. At the same time, Scotty flies overhead in the shuttlecraft Galileo, spreading the meteor gas antidote in the atmosphere. Law and order are quickly restored on the planet - the citizens stunned that they could have acted so terribly toward the Prince. "I'm sorry you do not wish to stay behind, Scotty" Raviki tells the Engineer as the Enterprise prepares to depart, "I would name you a baron or a duke! We could play space ball, and..." "Nay your highness!" Scotty cuts in. "Much as the thought delights me, I must return to my responsibilities! Ochhh! What a shame!"

(Summary by Mark Lookabaugh)

STAR TREK is a Registered Trademark of Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Gold Key is a registered trademark of Western Publishing Corp.

Email: cdanhauser@yahoo.com