"Furlough to Fury"
  Issue Number 40

Writer: Unknown
Artist: Alden McWilliams
Stardate: 19.25.9
Issue Date: September 1976
Cover Price: 25 cents


Cover Blurb:
   TRIANGLE OF PERIL: an alien beast- McCoy's daughter- and the Enterprise!

   The Enterprise is hit by a giant cosmic storm which it cannot avoid. Wave after wave of radio energy penetrates the hull, producing strange effects. After the storm passes, Kirk orders a "sonar scan" of the ship to look for damage. Spock reports a major crack in the hull fore section, sectors 29-G and H. He leads a repair team outside the ship to make repairs. With Mr. Spock himself at the controls, a laser-welder quickly seals the fissure.

   Kirk announces to the crew that the Enterprise will head straight for the nearest repair base - Earth's moon. The crew is elated at the idea of a furlough on Earth. "The Alpha Centauri Regional Opera Company is touring Earth!" Uhura tells Sulu. "Maybe, if we're lucky...", "An Alphaurian opera - where they sing between the keys?" Sulu interjects, "If we're really lucky, they will be sold out!". In the Captain's quarters, Jim and Bones are sharing a drink together. The Doctor tells him that he is planning to visit his daughter Barbara, who is a xenozoologist at Urey University. He invites Jim to come along, and the captain accepts. Elsewhere on the ship, Scotty asks Mr. Spock to come with him to visit his brother Robby's family in Glasgow. Spock, however, decides to stay on board the ship studying "a new branch of anti-matter physics".

   At Urey University, McCoy leaves Kirk to go find out where Barbara's office is. While Kirk is waiting, he hears a woman's screams. He rushes in to the Terrestrial Animal Research building to find a young dark-haired woman being held upside down by an alien octopus. He is about to use his phaser on the creature, but the woman stops him. The octopus puts her down playfully, and she explains that the Rykunian octopus always makes a screaming sound when it is excited.

   At that moment, McCoy arrives on the scene, and introduces the young woman to Kirk as his daughter Barbara. The three go to a seafood house for lunch. After eating, Barbara offers to show the two men a full-grown Vrell at the University.

    She tells them that the Vrell (which resembles a large, purple bear with three horns on its' head) is not intelligent, but yet is a natural telepathic relay. Two people standing near each other don't need to speak aloud when one is around - since it exchanges thoughts between them. The creature is chained, and very ferocious looking. Barbara bravely steps up to within reach of the animal and feeds it "Solithian Asparagus" by hand, in order to build trust between herself and the creature. Later, she tells Kirk that she "received" one of his thoughts while near the creature, but that she is unable to go out with him. "Right!" says Kirk, who had received one of her thoughts as well. "Unless you can find an excuse to break your date with Mr. Norris!"

   In the Space Engineers' club, Scotty and a friend are having drinks. They see a young red-headed man named Red Garvin across the bar. Scotty tells his friend that Garvin used to be on the Enterprise. While on the planet Orthoo, Garvin had been assigned to guard a large red ruby, called the "Eye of Ara" by the natives. The jewel had disappeared, and Garvin refused to take a neuro-verify test to prove his innocence. Kirk had kicked him off the Enterprise because of the incident. The jewel, however, had never been recovered. Scotty tells his friend that he is certain Garvin stole the gem.

   Back at the university, The Vrell manages to escape from its chains after one of the guards mistreats it. The guards page Barbara McCoy (who is at the theater with Kirk at the time) to come back immediately. The two arrive to find one of the security guards dead. The Vrell has climbed to the top of the Galileo tower, and is being fired at by fighter craft. Barbara orders them to stop shooting, and climbs up to comfort the creature and bring it down. She falls from the top of the tower, but the Vrell catches her and saves her life. In doing so, the Vrell itself falls from the tower and is badly injured.

   Meanwhile, not far from the Rocket Engineers' club, Scotty has disguised himself as a drunk in order to spy on Red Garvin. Earlier, Garvin had asked him where the Enterprise was docked, and Scotty figured that he was up to something. His suspicions prove to be true! He learns that Garvin is planning to sabotage the Enterprise in revenge for Kirk's action against him. Scotty goes to warn the ship, but Garvin sees him and knocks him out. The engineer is taken to a vast disposal center, and dumped there half-conscious.

   While Kirk is tending to the wounded Vrell, it transfers a telepathic message to him from Mr. Scott, warning him of Garvin's plan to destroy the ship. He and Barbara rush back to the Enterprise as fast as they can. At "Starship Lunar Repair Base 17", Garvin and his two henchmen overpower a guard, and gain access to the Enterprise.

   They travel to Mr. Sulu's quarters, where Garvin removes the stolen "Eye of Ara" ruby from its hiding place in a ventilation duct. Garvin then plants a time bomb in the duct.

   The Captain, Barbara, and Bones arrive just as the three men are leaving the Enterprise. Kirk and McCoy quickly overpower the three men, and McCoy is able to locate and disarm the bomb. Barbara gives credit to the dying Vrell for passing Scotty's thoughts to them, which saved the ship. When the damage caused by the cosmic storm is repaired, McCoy says good-bye to his daughter, and the ship departs. "Well now, Mr. Spock," says Scotty. "Weren't you surprised that it was my "feeble" thought processes that saved you?". "I never doubted your native intelligence, Mr. Scott" Spock replies. "Only your refusal to ever use it!"

(Summary by Mark Lookabaugh)

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