"The Mummies of Heitus VII"
  Issue Number 21

Writer: Unknown
Artist: Alberto Giolitti
Stardate: 30:26.5
Issue Date: November 1973
Cover Price: 20 cents


Cover Blurb:
   Death Grazes the Enterprise Crew When 10,000-year-old Mummies Come to Life!

   Mister Spock, Doctor Leonard McCoy and an Enterprise security detachment take the shuttlecraft Galileo down to Heitius VII, a class-MZ planet, to pick up an alien mummy from archaeological diggings. Dr. Moria Storr, a Federation expert on interstellar archaeology and the security team take the electronic sarcophagus to the Enterprise via the shuttlecraft, while Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock stay on he planet with Dr. Stephen Mohr, the head of the project.

   Aboard the Enterprise in orbit of the planet, the mummy awakens and opens the transparent sarcophagus. After surprising and knocking out the two crewmembers on guard, the mummy proceeds to the starship's central computer core. Upon arrival there, it works the control consoles for some unknown purpose and then returns to its sarcophagus and climbs back into it. The guards report being attacked from behind, and that they didn't see who it was. Captain James Kirk doubles the guard on the mummy even though it appears undisturbed.

   Back on Heitius VII, McCoy and Spock accompany Dr. Mohr on a visit of the ruins of an ancient city. They find a previously undiscovered underground research laboratory that appears to have something to do with surgery. Within, they discover three more mummies sealed in sarcophagi and see the grisly remains of dozens of persons who apparently died when the laboratory was sealed off long ago. An accidental bumping by a security guard of a control stud causes the three mummies to revive, and emerge. The cloth-wrapped trio menace the science team and are resistant to phaser stun due to a force field they emanate. Spock's call for help to the Enterprise is unheard and he discovers why, the ship has inexplicably left orbit. Spock, McCoy and the others in the ancient lab are overpowered by the mummies.

   Aboard the Enterprise, Kirk and crew realize that the ship is locked on a course to a distant uncharted solar system, a course that cuts across Romulan space! All efforts to wrest control away from the computer fail. The mummy re-animates once again and after overpowering its guards, enters the Engineering section of the ship. Scotty tries to prevent it from approaching the main engine control console, but his phaser barrage has no effect on the creature's force shield.

   The mummy then plugs itself into the console directly causing the antimatter tubes to open, pushing the starship into dangerous overdrive speeds. All personnel evacuate from the radiation-filled engine room.

   On the planet, Spock, McCoy, Dr. Mohr and the security team regain consciousness. Spock's tricorder indicates that the mummies are not robots, but cyborgs - creatures taht are half-human and half-machine. The human parts of them are long dead, but the robot part has been reactivated. The mummies are programmed to convert all humans into more cyborgs, and they start with Crewman Jennings. McCoy and Spock can do nothing but look on as the mummies prepare Jennings for conversion.

   Meanwhile, Kirk calls a conference aboard the Enterprise as the ship hurtles closer to Romulan space. Doctor Moria Starr has been reading the records found at the excavation site, and she relates to the others what she has learned of the mummy and its purpose. Apparently, 10,000 years ago Heitius VII became a dying world due to its natural resources being "drained by overpopulation and strangled by unchecked technology." The doomed clutch of people on the planet outlawed all technology. When the ruling king began to die, the Science Ministry decided to convert him into a cyborg lest the people give way to chaos. So without his consent the king was turned into half man half machine. Hoping to use the new programmable monarch for his own purposes, the head of the Science Ministry hatched a plan.

   The king was instructed to announce to the people his plan to make all of them over into cyborgs, and that eventually the cyborg populace would be lead to the stars, away from their wasteland of a homeworld. "It was the ultimate scheme for a politically controlled society. Each man would become a robot programmed for a specific purpose," Dr. Starr told those assembled in the briefing room. The Heitian leaders and two members of the Science Ministry were cyborgized and programmed to make all the people into cyborgs in turn. But the people revolted. They mummified the four cyborgs would-be enslavers and sealed them into cylinders. Chaos reigned and over time the people died out, but they died as men - not machines. Dr. Moria Starr finished her account and told Captain Kirk that she had determined that the mummy aboard the Enterprise is the king, and that he is acting on a directive given him 10,000 years ago. "It thinks it's taking its people to the stars!" she said.

   Back on Heitius VII, Spock and McCoy act desperately when the mummies begin to operate on crewman Jennings.

   They are finally able to drop the mummies by forcing them to drain their power cells with a continuous barrage of phasers set to full destruct.

   In space, a Romulan ship detects the runaway Federation starship approaching their borders. The vessel's female commander orders that the Enterprise be destroyed the moment it crosses over - which will occur in just over 24 minutes.

   Aboard the Enterprise, Kirk comes up with an idea to defeat the king mummy, but Dr. Starr points a phaser at he and Scotty, demanding they not harm the mummy so that it can eventually be studied by science. Thinking quickly, Kirk grabs a nearby power cable and zaps her. He then holds her back while Scotty successfully incapacitates the mummy with a massive power feedback through its connection to the engineering console. Kirk orders Scotty to quickly repair and reprogram the cyborg, then heads to the bridge. Scott succeeds, and the cyborg restores computer control to the ship's crew. Moments before reaching the Federation-Romulan border, the Enterprise whips into reverse course at warp 6.

   The Starship Enterprise returns to Heitius VII and picks up their landing party, then drops off the mummies and Dr. Starr at the Federation Alien Life Studies Institute, a space station built into a massive asteroid. Kirk forgives Ms. Starr for her rash actions and the Enterprise speeds off to Centaurus V for a ship overhaul and a well-earned crew rest.

(Summary by Curt Danhauser)

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