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Husian Gambit

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
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Writer(s): Thomas Warkentin, Tom Durkin
Artist(s): Thomas Warkentin
Series: Star Trek #6
Published: 7 September 1980 - 17 January 1981

This summary is of a story arc from the newspaper comic strip Star Trek.

The crews of the Enterprise and the Venture are enslaved by Husians during maintenance repairs on their ships at the aliens' station.

Summary Edit

Dr. McCoy diagnoses the crew as being "bored" after numerous fights, operational errors, and minor practical jokes have plagued the ship. He recommends shore leave, and Kirk agrees to allow it at HUS-24, where the ship will be putting in for its biannual maintenance work. Also at the space station, undergoing similar work, is an old-style Constitution-class ship the USS Venture, commanded by the famous Morgan Avery. Avery invites the command crew to dinner, during which it comes out that HUS-24 is a very dull place, having "no original science, art, music, or literature." The crew takes shore leave anyway, and create their own fun with games, singing, and alcohol stills (which Scotty volunteers to test). Kirk becomes bothered that the Venture crew is finishing its maintenance work faster than his own, almost as much as Spock is bothered by Hathoz's (the Venture's Executive and Science Officer) belief that he could win a game of tri-dimensional chess against Spock. Avery is cagey as to why her work is going so quickly, and Kirk eventually finds out it is because of the Husians helping. The Enterprise gets them to help, too. McCoy and Kirk then have a chat in which each angrily accuses the other of spending an inordinate amount of time with women from the Venture: Kirk with Avery and McCoy with Dr. Wu. Maintenance completed, Kirk and Spock settle accounts with the dockmaster, but are stunned by a phaser before they can leave.

Venture crew comic
The Venture's Command Crew

They awake to find themselves on the planet's surface with large metal collars linked by chains around their necks and the Husians saying the ships' crews will remain there as slaves. The Husians' plan is to fake their deaths to Starfleet and steal their ships. Everyone is down there, and a Husian "spiritual leader" separates the crews: men to mine, women to farm. Fortunately, Lt. Tulb of the Venture is a Distosian, with no skull and a brain in his thorax. When the Husians threaten to kill the crew if they do not tell them the code to unlock the helm of the ship, Tulb squeezes his head through the collar. He attacks a guard, gets a phaser rifle, and shoots at the Husians (who are very poor shots). Tulb kills one guard who is firing at him, but despite explicit orders from Kirk to kill a Husian who is running away and no longer offering resistance, Tulb refuses to fire and instead cuts the captives' chains. After Kirk captures more Husians by bluffing them with an empty rifle, the men rig an ore train to carry the crewmen past a suspected ambush. They ram trucks the Husians have placed in their way but derail, resulting in another battle. Using phasers on overload as grenades, they engage in hand-to-hand combat while the Husians are stunned. Meanwhile, Avery has used her grandmother's earrings, which are "real glass", to start a fire in the field. Uhura, a winner of the 100-meter dash at the Pan-African games, runs to tell the others to escape, which they do under cover of smoke. The women find the men in battle and join the fight. The Husians are quickly overcome, and their leader Edrem is captured by Scotty. The ships leave dock, the entire Husian race will be placed on trial, and Spock's very long tri-dimensional chess game with Hathoz ends in a stalemate.

Memorable Quotes Edit

"No music, no honky-tonks, no blue sky."

- USS Venture crewman, complaining about how dull Hus-24 is

Background Information Edit

  • This is the first of the strips to have the story partially credited to someone other than Warkentin. It was also, until The Wristwatch Plantation the longest story arc in the series.
  • Acting unusually violent, Kirk urges Lt. Tulb to kill (not stun) a fleeing Husian because he might warn the others.
  • Numerous people die in this story, both Starfleet and Husian - somewhat unusual for a newspaper comic strip.
  • Earrings save the day a second time, as finding Uhura's in the previous story arc saved them from drugged tea.
  • This strip has Sulu's first name as "Itaka", the name given him in the unauthorized USS Enterprise Officer's Manual by Geoffrey Mandel and Doug Drexler and published by Interstellar Associates in 1980.
  • There are other references to canon Trek, too: plomeek soup, an older Constitution-class starship, dress uniforms from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and tri-dimensional chess. The phaser rifle makes a reappearance as well, with the Husians using them.
  • We never find out what Captain Avery is famous for, but she remarks at one point that Kirk was already a legend when she was at the Academy; this would seem to make her rise to a Captaincy meteoric.

Links Edit

Regular Cast Edit

Other Characters Edit

  • Capt. Morgan Avery
  • Hathoz
  • Dr. Wu
  • Chief Engineer Kraus
  • Lt. Tulb
  • Edrem


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Aberration on Abaris
Star Trek Comic Strip (US)
Story Arcs
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Heads of State
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