"The Legacy of Lazarus"
  Issue Number 9

Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Alberto Giolitti
Stardate: 10:26.3
Issue Date: February 1971
Cover Price: 15 cents


Cover Blurb:
   George Washington is alive and well - watch out Mr. Spock!

   The Enterprise enters orbit around Gamma Alpha V (with flame streaking from her engines!) to verify findings of the robot probe that discovered the planet ten years ago. "Peculiar Captain" Spock says. "The probe reported this planet as class M - able to sustain human life, but totally uninhabited!". "What's so strange about that, Mr. Spock?" asks Kirk. "According to my sensors, Captain" Spock replies, "there is a thriving civilization on the planet's surface!". Kirk, Mr. Spock, Mr. Sulu, Lt. Uhura and Dr. McCoy beam down to the planet to investigate. They arrive in the midst of a large, advanced city. "My apologies, Mr. Spock" says the Captain, "you were most definitely right!". "Naturally, Captain" Spock replies, "Did you expect otherwise?". "You know, Spock" McCoy adds, "sometimes you can be irritatingly human!". "Really Doctor" Spock says, "This is no time for insults!".

   The landing party walks up to a man wearing an old-style military uniform, complete with tricorn hat and epaulets. Kirk speaks to him, and when the man turns to reply, the Captain recognizes him instantly. "Good Lord!" he says, "George Washington! But this is impossible! You've been dead for centuries!". Spock tells Kirk that his tricorder readings prove the man is very real.

"My friends, you seem puzzled" George Washington says. "Come! It is almost dinner time! Dine with me and we'll talk! Perhaps I can be of some help!". He leads the party into his home, where he introduces them to his wife, Helen of Troy. Kirk asks the General how he got to the planet. "In fact" says Washington, "All of us have been here for as long as I can remember! Life is simple here, nothing to do all day but sit and reminisce! Anything we want is supplied for us! There's nothing we can't do, no place we can't go, except the silver spire!". The General shows them a huge silver tower, in the middle of the city. "That's it" he continues, "the only area that is restricted to us!".

   Kirk orders Spock and Sulu to go investigate the tower, while the rest of the landing party continues to question George Washington. "General" Kirk says, "you keep mentioning 'others'. What others? Where are they?". Washington leads them out to the city streets, and introduces the party to other famous citizens. They meet Nero - the Emperor of Rome, Anton York - the 45th President of the United States, and Abraham Lincoln, among others. "Is this some kind of collection?" Kirk asks. "You might say that" Washington replies. "Collected in this city are the greatest figures in history! Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Cleopatra, Louis XIV, Florence Nightingale, the chronicle of man breathing, walking, talking, across the face of an empty world!". "Dear Lord Jim!" McCoy says, "We've found Heaven!". "Somehow, Bones, I don't think so!" Kirk says, pointing out Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, standing nearby. "If there is a logical explanation, our Mr. Spock will find it!". The Captain attempts to contact Spock via his communicator, but is unable to reach him. Worried, he and the others race across the city to the great silver spire where they discover Mr. Sulu outside the tower, waking up with a large lump on his head. Mr. Spock is nowhere to be found!

   Meanwhile, far below the surface, Spock is being held prisoner in some sort of control room, by an older man wearing a cape, and carrying a dagger. "Ahh, Mr. Spock!" the man says, "You've awakened! I wouldn't count on my friends to rescue me if I were you! I doubt they'll ever even find you here miles beneath their feet!". "That remains to be seen" Spock replies. "Right now I'm interested in who you are and why you have brought me here!". The man introduces himself as Alexander Lazarus. He tells Spock that he is an Earth Historian. "Just like my associates on Earth" he says. "They scoffed, laughed at me! One minor malfunction in my computer alienated me from Earth's scientific community. But they were unworthy of my discovery! Gathering my android assistants and my computer, I fled into space, eventually landing here - on this deserted world. The androids placed the computer in this cavern I discovered miles underground and then erected the silver spire on the planet's surface to act as an antenna - a receiver of sorts".

   "Imagine Mr. Spock" Lazarus continues, "A computer capable of attracting and recording the brain-waves - the very thoughts of every famous person in Earth's history! It has recorded all of that history on these punch-cards!". "Fascinating" Spock says, "but what of the inhabitants of the planet's surface?". Lazarus tells him that one day, the 'psi-clone' short circuited. As the androids fled the chamber, one of them was caught in a burst of energy from the exploding computer. In some strange manner, the thought patterns of Benjamin Franklin had been transferred to the android's electronic brain. The androids built a city around the silver spire, and Lazarus constructed a machine to produce more androids and imbue them with the mental processes of Earth's most fabled people. (One would expect that Spock would have noticed that George Washington was an android when he ran tricorder readings on him!)

   "Fascinating!" Spock says. "But that does not explain your reasons for abducting me!". "Basically, Mr. Spock, It's very simple" Lazarus says. "For years, I've studies the figures above us - listened to their lives, over and over and over again! But how many times can you listed to Napoleon telling how he won the battle of Austerlitz! I'm Bored, Spock - bored to tears! Then I saw you on the planet's surface, and an idea evolved! I'm going to study Vulcan history, Mr. Spock, and I need your help!". "My assistance?" Spock asks, "In what way?". "It's simple, Spock, incredibly simple!" Lazarus replies. "All I want from you is - your brain!".

   At that moment, an alarm goes off in the cavern. Lazarus goes to his monitor screens, and sees the rest of the landing party gathered around a hatchway they have discovered on the surface. "Pry it open, Mr. Sulu" Kirk is saying to the others. "Let's see what we can find!". "You'd find far more than you'd ever suspected Captain" Lazarus says to himself, "far, far more! It's really a shame that you're not going to live that long!". Lazarus flips a large switch on his control panel, and then turns back to prepare Spock for the brain transfer.

   On the surface, Kirk and the rest of the landing party are attacked by the historical figures. Kirk refuses to beam off the planet without Spock, and orders phasers set on stun as they try to defend themselves from the androids. Meanwhile, Spock is able to break away from Lazarus while he is being taken to the "brain chamber". Lazarus tries to kill Spock with a laser pistol, but misses. The stray laser bolts cause the main computer to begin to destroy itself. Spock chases Lazarus though the underground caverns, and into the brain chamber. Lazarus accidentally falls into the chamber, and it activates automatically - destroying his mind completely!

   Spock calls the Enterprise, and tells Scotty to beam up the Captain and the others immediately. "Aye sir, but what about yerself?" Scotty answers, "I canna leave ye down there alone!". "Forget me, Scott" Spock replies, "I've discovered records down here that I must attempt to save! Just beam the others up, now!". Just as they are about to be overrun by the androids, Kirk and the rest of the landing party are beamed back aboard the Enterprise.

"Zounds!" General Washington exclaims, "They are indeed wizards!". "Zey vanished before our very eyes!" adds Napoleon.

   Kirk orders Scotty to beam Spock back aboard as well. "Cap'n! Spock's too far beneath the planet's surface! I canna transport him up!". "You must, Scotty!" Kirk answers. "Turn the transporter up on full!". "But Cap'n, that's more then double the output!" Scotty cries in alarm. "The transporter canna take that for long!". Spock is beamed out of the cavern in the nick of time, as it collapses around him. As soon as he arrives on the ship, he orders the ship away from the planet at warp five. The planet soon explodes, and the Enterprise is knocked about violently by the shock waves.

   Later, Spock tells Kirk and McCoy about his discovery. "I only regret I was unable to save those computer tapes!" he says. "I'm surprised , Spock" McCoy quips, "I'd have figured it was all indelibly etched on your memory banks!". "I assume, Dr. McCoy, that that was a feeble attempt at humor!" Spock replies. "All that information, lost forever!" Kirk says. "After all, what is man without his heroes, his fables and legends? Our heritage is our inspiration, Bones, to reach for things beyond what we can already touch - to dream a greater dream and mold it into a reality! Without the thinkers, the planners, the leaders, the doers, without our history to catch us when we fall and set us on our feet again, what has man got left?"

(Summary by Mark Lookabaugh)

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