(written from a Production point of view)
|Writer(s):||Tim Jones and Mike Johnson|
|Series:||Star Trek: Nero #2|
|Published:||9 September 2009|
Captured by the Klingons, Nero and the crew of the Narada are condemned to work on the prison asteroid of Rura Penthe for the rest of their natural lives...
On Rura Penthe, Nero grapples with a Klingon monster dog as two Klingon guards look on, betting on which of the combatants will win. It appears that Nero is losing the fight when suddenly he punches the beast in the face, ripping one of the fangs from its jaw. Jumping onto the beast's hide, Nero launches the sharp tooth into its eye, knocking it dead to the floor. The guards look on, laughing. "Never bet against a Romulan," one says, before dragging Nero back to his "hole" – a type of confinement cell. The Romulan remains determined, for he believes the fights are keeping him strong as the years go by.
A few years later, Nero is brought before Koth, the commander of Rura Penthe. He tells Nero that the Narada is still in orbit and admits that he admires Nero's silence and determination despite years of torturous conditions, but Koth also ominously assures Nero that they will break him soon enough. Nero remains unfazed, maintaining his stoic posture. He knows his ship is there; he can feel her waiting for him. The commander continues speaking, noting how Nero has made fifty-seven escape attempts, killing twenty-two guards, and that he should have been killed already. But for the first time in history, the mines of Rura Penthe have become profitable, and Koth knows credit belongs to the indefatigable Narada crew. They are worth more to him alive than dead.
In the mines, Nero's crew are working under guard. Nero continues to hack away at a piece of rock, but all he can see is Spock's face, the one who betrayed the Romulan people, the one who betrayed him.
The crew's internment continues; the days turn into months, then into years. Ten years go by, then fifteen, then twenty years have passed without change in the crew's circumstance.
Following this period of unrelenting hardship, Nero is talking to a man named Quocch in a dark passageway. He sells Nero a drug, one that can quiet his mind and allow him to see his love again. He begs her to come with him on the Narada, but she doesn't want to. "You'll be back soon enough," she says.
"Captain...?" comes Ayel's voice, Nero's first officer. He says he has found someone who can help them, a Human prisoner named Clavell. The three meet in a secluded corner. Clavell is surprised to meet "the one who does not speak," a moniker ascribed to Nero. Ayel interrupts, saying he speaks for his captain. Clavell explains that he is a stellar cartographer who was captured while taking scans of Klingon territory. He says he can help them locate when and where the black hole will open and where Spock will appear, but he surmises Nero is planning something big... and he "wants in."
While Ayel later sits in his own cell, Nero realizes something. The drugs he has been taking have done more than ease his mind; they have opened it. It appears to him that, despite the common belief that Romulans have weaker psychic abilities than their Vulcan cousins, this is no longer the case. Nero discovers he can communicate telepathically to Ayel and tells him to help the Human in any way possible. For the first time in years, Nero believes there is actually a chance for escape: he may yet be able to exact his revenge on Spock.
In orbit of Rura Penthe, the Narada remains in a quarantine field. Two Klingon engineers are on board, trying to figure out how the ship's systems work, but every time they pull one component out, it grows back, much to their bewilderment and frustration. One of the engineers is fully aware of the importance of their task; if they can uncover the vessel's secrets, they will be sent back to Qo'noS as heroes. Suddenly, a computer console comes to life. One of the engineers is excited to think that they have managed to energize the craft's internal workings, but the other realizes the activation had nothing to do with what they did. Before they can do anything else, a shock rips through the systems and electrocutes both of them.
On the surface, Clavell does not believe that Spock has arrived yet, but encounters a problem – despite his earlier claims, he cannot calculate with adequate precision when and where Spock will arrive. In fact, he is not sure that a computer exists anywhere that is capable of making that calculation. Despite this, Clavell has given Nero hope, and he predicts that he will determine this information himself. The guards interrupt their scheming, shouting "Nero! You're coming with us."
Back in orbit, the Narada is continuing to power up. Its weapon systems open fire on the field generators and then on the surface of the asteroid.
Nero is taken to a cell where a guard holds the weapon he had used to defend the Narada all those years ago. He tells Nero to take a good look, referring to the artifact as the last piece of Romulus he will ever see. Having discovered a way to make him talk, the Klingons intend to question Nero about both the weapon and papers found in his cell, the latter bearing a rendering of Spock's face. Five minutes after the questioning begins, Ayel is patiently waiting in his cell when he hears a voice. "Ayel," it says. It is Nero, standing in the doorway. "The wait is over."
Nero has freed himself and has begun to attack the Klingon guards. He, Ayel, Clavell, and Quocch fight their way to a docked shuttlecraft, where they head for the ship, and leave Rura Penthe behind. Once aboard the Narada, Ayel reports all systems are online but the helm is locked out. There is a course already laid in, and neither he nor Nero can change it. The ship begins to move by itself. Nero gazes out through the viewscreen. "Where are you taking us?" he wonders aloud. "Have you found Spock?"
"I can see his face everywhere. The one who betrayed us."
- - Nero, as he stares at the ore he extracts with his bare hands
"Here's your dose. But price goes up. Getting harder to sneak this in. You pay Quocch what Quocch wants, Quocch gets you what you need."
- - The shady smuggler, on supplying drugs that "open" Nero's mind to enhance his telepathy
"So. Nero. 'The one who does not speak.' ... The guards think you're a demon straight from Gre'thor."
- - Clavell, commenting on Nero
"You'd better have a new stash of Tri-ox arriving for me, Quochh, or I'll throw you in solitary!"
"Why you ask me that? Are you stupid? Whole point of contraband is keep it quiet!"
- - A Klingon guard and Quochh, discussing "payment"
"You did it! It's online!"
"But I didn't touch anything! It just turned on by its–"
- - Two Klingons, speaking their last words while attempting to reverse-engineer the Borg-modified, regenerating Narada
"Ayel. The wait is over"
- - Nero, communicating telepathically to his first officer, just as he has with his soon-to-be-free ship
"How do you know that thing's not gonna fire on us?"
"She won't. She's waiting for us. She's waiting for me.'"
- - Clavell and Nero, escaping to the looming Narada
- The issue sold an estimated 8,762 copies in comic specialty stores in September 2009.  These figures do not cover copies sold through mainstream retailers, such as bookstores (physical or online) and "big-box" stores.
- This issue was available in two covers. The primary cover sold in comic and specialty shops featured an illustration of Nero by the issue's artist, David Messina. A photo cover of Simon Pegg as Montgomery Scott served as a retailer incentive cover.
- The concepts that were reused here after first being created for the scenes that were deleted from the film's theatrical edit include the Narada crew's detention on Rura Penthe and the character of Quocch. Co-writer Mark Johnson explained, "When [Nero] was at Rura Penthe, David Messina is using that as his visual reference. There is an alien in those prison scenes, that has a speaking part in our mini-series and we give him a little more to do."  Nero's line, "The wait is over," appeared not only in one of the inspirational deleted scenes but was also used in the film's trailers and served as a promotional tagline before being used here. 
- The story suggests there is a psychic link between Nero and the Narada and reveals that the reason why Nero's right ear is shorter than the other is as a result from the fight with the Klingon "dog."
- The smuggler's name is spelled as both "Quocch" and "Quochh" in the issue.
- Based on Star Trek, created by Gene Roddenberry.
- Special thanks to Risa Kessler and John Van Citters at CBS Consumer Products, David Baronoff and J.J. Abrams at Bad Robot, and Rick Sternbach for their invaluable assistance.
- Rura Penthe inhabitant
- a one-eyed Klingon, commander of Rura Penthe
- Rura Penthe inhabitant and contraband smuggler
- a calming drug
black hole; captain; cargo hold; PADD; disruptor; Federation; Gre'thor; Helm; Human; Klingon; Klingon monster dog; Mek'leth; mining; mining vessel; Narada; Neutral zone; Romulan; Romulus; Klingon shuttlecraft; Quarantine field; Qo'noS; Rura Penthe; Starfleet; Stellar cartographer; Telepathy; Vulcan; warp drive
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