imageI’m currently sitting in my local Barnes & Noble Bookseller enjoying a very good artichoke and spinach quiche, a triple chocolate chunk cookie and a sweet green tea. This is my first outing using my new Surface Touch RT and I’m experimenting with the WordPress on this new machine. I feel like I have come into the 21st century as I sit here, surrounded by people reading quietly, or talking in low voices over teas and espressos; a couple of other gents are also punching keys, and…I feel like I belong here. I may have to come here more often. Plus, I’m on Day 20 being #SmokeFree and it’s getting easier to write, now that the cravings are leaving.

So, I’ve finished the new Star Trek comic from IDW; Issue 31 in the ongoing series. This one is titled ‘I, Enterprise’ and like the two-parter before it, it’s different from the very start. It opens with science officer 0718, a being we saw only-briefly in Star Trek: Into Darkness’. He is Starfleet’s first and only humanoid mainframe interface; 0718 monitors every real-time process executed by the ship’s computer, alerting the captain to any potential complications. Now, you know this isn’t going to bode well, right? How many times have we seen machines become ‘freaky’, eh? Especially – when they’re called the brain. As the story unfolds, we learn more about 0718’s duties and get a sense of his mindset; he prefers to spend his off-time in the botanical lab.

Mainframe-interface-humanoidThe core of this story takes place prior to the events in the last big screen adventure. The Enterprise comes upon (what reminded me of a Dyson Sphere) a perfect spherical planetoid composed of unknown material. Spock is fascinated by the discovery, finding no clues to its construction or purpose. Captain Kirk orders a landing party and they beam down to a smooth, almost mirror-like surface. Chekov finds curious readings that suggest the planetoid may be a living organism. Aboard the ship, Uhura picks up surface noise and a repeating signal, that coincides with the party’s beaming down. They lose contact, albeit-briefly, but it’s enough to make Kirk leery, and he orders the team back aboard, as well.

On Enterprise, Chekov informs Spock of some curious readings he’s gotten, while trying to download the gathered data into the ship’s computer; the computer has quarantined the data, raising red flags. Of coarse, that’s when the ship begins exhibiting strange behavior; caused by a foreign program from the tricorder data that was downloaded into the computer. It’s nothing major, at first, but that doesn’t stay the situation, for long. Kirk wonders if the planet isn’t trying to communicate with the crew. The ship’s systems are becoming increasingly erratic, to the point where the ship even begins to separate on it’s own (threatening the integrity of the warp core); then freezes in mid-operation! As Scotty prepares to correct the damage and bring the saucer section back into its proper alignment with the main hull, he is incapacitated by a severe electrical shock and needs to be taken to the med bay.

Dr. McCoy gives the stricken engineer treatment, but that’s when they realize one of the surgical bays has locked itself and is performing some complex procedures…it’s creating a new life form! Well, is anybody surprised here, when this life form steps out, looking a whole-lot like 0718? Or – when this new creation declares: “I am the Enterprise.Of course, not…we’ve seen this so many times before.

However…that doesn’t mean, that I’m not intrigued by where Mike Johnson is going to take this story. What will become of 0718 and how will the computer evolve, or be separated from this new life form? Who are the aliens who’ve built this sentient creation and how does it fit in with the planetoid from which it came? This is the JJ-verse, so anything is possible, and that’s not a bad thing, to me. Everyone keeps harping about this not being the Trek they’re used to… Damn right!

All-in-all, I gave this issue 4 stars, as I had some gripes about the likenesses of Kirk (especially – the cover), and Scotty seemed a bit off in some areas, also. Plus, we didn’t see Dr. McCoy a whole-lot, in yet, another-issue. Come on, Mike! Dammit, man! WE want to to see MORE of Bones! (Says everyone…) That said, go out and buy this new adventure, or download it onto your device…er – wait! That’s what started this hellacious mess in the first place; downloading foreign data into the ship’s computer, eh? Well, beware, I guess. I’m done here; I’m reading Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Martian Chronicles’ for the first time. WHAT?! Yep…but, it’s never to late, you know.

‘Til, next time, I’ll see ya ‘out there.’

Lt. Eric Cone