Warning: This article contains spoilers that some readers may prefer to avoid.

This will be a four part miniseries called The Khitomer Conflict.
War breaks out across the stars as the Klingon and Romulan Empires fight for supremacy, with the Enterprise caught in the middle! Don’t miss this epic all-new story set after the events of the blockbuster movie Star Trek Into Darkness overseen by Star Trek writer/producer Roberto Orci!
The events of Star Trek The Khitomer Conflict will occur across Issues #25-28 of IDW’s ongoing Star Trek series

Happy New Year, Visionary Trekkies! We’ve said, ‘Goodbye’, to 2013 and now, it’s time to blaze new trails and see what this 2014 has in-store. I’m putting my credits and latinum, on this being a good year… Hope it’s peaceful and prosperous, for all of us.
I’ve been lax, of-late, so I figured, what better way to kick-it-in-gear, than to do some writing on this New Year’s Day. Truth is, I’ve missed it. It’s therapeutic, in that it takes me away from life’s turmoil, at-least, for a little while; even if it means writing about the future-strife of the Federation and Starfleet’s finest.

Last-time, I looked, things were going downhill-fast for Kirk and our heroes. Kirk was lying unconscious, on the deck of Kor’s Naradaenhanced warbird, Spock and the Enterprise were surrounded by a Klingon war-fleet and the Federation was on-the-brink of interstellar war, from-both the Romulans and Klingons, with Section 31 pulling all the strings. Just another day in STAR TREK
IDW has done a great job of moving this story along. Issue 26 picks-up in the midst of the action, with Kor giving Spock an ultimatum: surrender, or die. Spock is ‘surprised’ by Kor’s uncharacteristic show-of-mercy, however; especially, when Kor beams Dr. McCoy back to the ship. (Kor is gloating, in showing another-tech breakthrough that his ship has: beaming-thru Enterprise’s shields.) With Bones back aboard and, arguing that Spock fight the bastards, Spock plays-a-hunch and warps-away to Deep Space Station K-11, leaving Kirk and the away-team in Kor’s clutches. Kor has anticipated this show of Federation cowardice and he uses the opportunity to torture Captain Kirk, Carol Marcus and the others, even-more, only-keeping them alive, to witness the demise of Earth.

On the Romulan front, at the Klingon border, plans are being made to destroy Kronos and annihilate the Klingons entirely. Section 31 has shared classified, cutting-edge tech with the Romulans, in a show of solidarity and alliance. It’s these weapons that enabled them to wipe out Khitomer and begin the first-strike in the conquest of their enemies. The Romulan commander is taken-aback, though, when Section 31 shows up out-of-thin-air, in some pretty impressive-looking ships. It only-serves to heighten the Romulan’s mistrust of it’s ‘allies’, as the operatives of this secret branch, continue to cloak themselves in shadows.

On K-11, Spock is laying-out the situation to Starfleet’s brass and tactical plans are being considered. However, Spock is ordered to stay-put at the station, until further notice. Meanwhile, Hikaru is using this lull to encourage his sister, Yuki, to put in a transfer. She is not to be swayed, arguing that a posting to Enterprise was, also-her dream, and despite his protectiveness, she’s staying.
Kor is interrogating Kirk, questioning him about Khan and his whereabouts, wanting Khan’s secrets and his involvement in the Federation’s weapons and plans. He’s unconvinced by Kirk’s ‘tale-telling’ and believes Kirk is in-cahoots with the superhuman. Kirk tries to indict the Romulans, only-angering Kor, further; Kor’s patience, diminishing with Kirk’s every word. (Are we surprised? Not.) On the Enterprise, Uhura tries to persuade Spock into disobeying orders and ‘doing what his captain would do…’ go get them.

Qo’nos: Kor assures Kirk that they will not see daylight, again, until he gives Kor the intelligence he seeks. Kirk learns that some of his crew have broken their shackles and he’s plotting their escape. His efforts are helped, when an attack begins. The Klingons scramble, giving the prisoners their opportunity to get the hell out of there. The Romulans are making quick-work of overtaking the Klingon capital, but Kor is still-adamant that it’s the humans who are laying-siege to the Klingon planet; of course, his argument is bolstered, by the arrival of a Section 31, (human) contingent, blasting their way in…

So, that’s where we are at the end of this issue. Mike Johnson and consultant, Roberto Orci have given us an action-packed installment, teasing us with more-clues, as to who Section 31 is and how they’re playing everyone on the board. The situation is looking grim for the Klingons, with the Romulan attack going on and, we’re left wondering if Section 31 will help Kirk, or-destroy the young captain, along with the Klingons.
As usual, I’m grinning, at the artwork for this issue, as it is terrific. Kudos to Erfan Fajar, Sakti Yuwono, Ifansyah Noor (of Stellar Labs) and letterer Tom B. Long, for brilliant coloring, spot-on likenesses and beautiful scenes. I will, however, gripe about that cover, though; not their best work, as-far-as, I’m concerned. And, Kor doesn’t look anything-like John Colicos, to me. Plus, why are the Romulans sporting tattoos? I thought, it was maintained, in the first-movie ‘Countdown’, that [they] ‘traditionally painted their grief upon their skin, in ancient symbols of love and loss, signifying the mourning of a loved-one.’
Overall, I’m pleased with the developments, thus-far. I can’t wait to see how this all plays-out and how this series concludes.

Off-topic, I’ve just-finished the final installment of THE FALL book-series and, WOW! I am completely blown-way by the whole kit-and-caboodle! David R. George III, Una McCormack, David Mack, James Swallow and, finally, Dayton Ward are to be commended, for an absolutely epic storyline. So many questions and issues have been resolved and answered. A whole-slew of new directions have been laid-out for the entire STAR TREK franchise, leaving us gasping for air, as we embark on these new paths and new horizons.

On a personal note, I’ve been-gifted, by Dayton Ward, a namesake-character, in ‘Peaceable Kingdoms’: Lt. Eric Cone, Federation Security. I’ve been collecting STAR TREK literature for 23 years and, I must say, I am honored, to be amid-the-pages of one of these novels, now-sitting upon my heavy shelves. Especially, to be a small part of this fantastic series. Thank you, Dayton, for fulfilling this nerd’s dream…
So…this review is complete and ready-to-publish. Until, next-time, then…
See ya, out there.
Lt. Eric Cone
Written by @cone_is