"The Planet of No Life"
  Issue Number 50

Writer: Arnold Drake
Artist: Alden McWilliams
Stardate: Not Given
Issue Date: January 1978
Cover Price: 35 cents

Prev
Next

Cover Blurb:
   Kirk must die for the Evictors to survive!


Synopsis
    The Enterprise crew beams aboard Lieutenant Jinz, a new member of the crew amidst concerns that because his record is unremarkable and because Jinz is the son of a member of Starfleet high command, he'll be expecting special treatment. As it turns out, Lieutenant Jinz did not request posting to a starship, but only gave in to his father's desires. Jinz further states that he will leave as soon as his "minimum tour of duty" is completed.

   The Enterprise proceeds to its assigned mission to investigate readings of life on a planet thought incapable of supporting such.

   When they arrive, Lieutenant Uhura receives a transmission from the planet, "Attention starship! You are intruding on planetary outer limits. This is Inoduko, leader of the great Sanoora people! Identified point of origin and purpose in this sector!" Both Kirk and Inoduko recognize each other, with Inoduko blaming Kirk for his people losing their ancestral home. Kirk explains that the planet shouldn't be able to support life for another 700,000 years and Inoduko invites the Enterprise to enter orbit as he consults his counsel. Kirk explains the Enterprise's prior dealings with the Sanoorans, and how Inoduko and his people in their giant ship were forced to continue looking for a planet on which to live. The Sanooran's leader contacts the Enterprise again, informing Kirk that his council has voted to admit to Kirk and one other.

   A rocket capsule with a supply of anti-radiation medicine is launched to allow them to survive the planet's toxic atmosphere.

   Kirk chooses Lieutenant Jinz to accompany him. The two take the anti-radiation treatment and experience a brief period of fever and chills. Upon beaming down, Kirk and Jinz are met by the lovely Dahvi who explains that she is their guide. Nothing grows on the planet except an amino-acid-rich liquid moss that is processed by the inhabitants into food. Dahvi flies them all around in a hover vehicle showing them their cities and the natural beauty of their world. Once they arrive at the council chamber, Inoduko welcomes them, but Bir, the Leader of the minority Returner faction accosts them with accusations that Kirk interfered with the reclaiming of their original planet.

   Inoduko explains, "Since the day of pain, when you turned us back from our homeworld, our people are divided. Most, like myself, prefer peace... even on this blighted planet! We are the Builders! But the young ones, the Returners, they would again invade our homeworld, no matter the cost, and each day they grow in number!" Kirk mentions that the Federation would help defend their former homeworld from any attack by the Returners, but are willing to help the Sanoorans live on the poisonous world.

   Bir becomes enraged by Kirk's words, and as the time arrives for Kirk and Jinz to receive their anti-radiation medicine, Bir and his followers produce guns and demand the public address system be activated. Bir announces to all that that he accuses the Federation of trying to enslave them by helping them only if they do not attack their ancestral home. The Builders are to be held under arrest and the starmen, they shall be refused any further A-R renewal injections. The first signs of A-R withdrawal manifest on Kirk and Jinz - darkened eye sockets and foaming salivation. Jinz, terrified of dying, pleads with Bir saying he had no part in the Enterprise's prior interference with reclaiming their homeworld.

   This scene is observed by Spock, McCoy and Scotty from aboard the Enterprise. The Enterprise senior staff plan to remedy this situation based on the results of their chemical analysis of the A-R formula. Meanwhile, the second stage symptoms are in evidence on Kirk and the cowardly Lieutenant Jinz - their flesh begins to turn transparent making their skulls and bones visible!

   This so frightens Jinz that to get medicine he says he will prove his innocence by killing Kirk with a gun given by Bir. Suddenly, Spock appears on the council chamber viewscreen. He broadcasts on the public viewscreens and tells the populace that the Federation will retaliate if Kirk and Jinz are killed, and that if Bir and the Returners halt their murder, the Federation will share technology that will rid the planets soil of radioactivity. Inoduko argues that he and the Builders had stated that a formula to restore the soil was possible, but Bir claims it to be only a trick.

   To illustrate their good intentions, the Enterprise crew launches two special missiles that hover over a section of the planet spraying life-giver chemicals. Then, the second missile released plants. The plants that landed in the treated soil lived, while nearby the plants released into untreated soil quickly wither and die.

   Bir claims it to be a trick and tries to get Jinz to kill Kirk, but Jinz, who is now convinced that the Returners are wrong, sides with Kirk and attacks Bir. In the struggle, Jinz is killed while saving Kirk's life. The Sanooran public rush into the council chamber and subdue Bir.

   Back aboard the Enterprise, McCoy successfully treats Kirk of any lingering effects of A-R withdrawal. Later a funeral is held for Lieutenant Jinz. The Enterprise leaves the strange planet and Kirk receives a file transmission from Inoduko who explains, "We will begin planting the moment we receive the supplies from you, Captain! I hope you will return to plants our millionth tree!" to which Kirk cheerfully answers, "You could never keep us away, sir! Good luck to you all!"

(Summary by Curt Danhauser)

Notes:

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