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The Crier in Emptiness

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Cover of Record #6
Writer(s): Alan Dean Foster
Publisher: Peter Pan Records
Series: Star Trek Story Records #3
Published: 1975
Run Time: Approx. 12 Minutes
Comic Pages: 20
Stardate: 5444.9 (2260s)

SummaryEdit

"Captain's log, stardate 5444.9. The Enterprise is on a charting run through the partially explored Moran Sector. Since this region seems relatively devoid of suns and planets, we expect to be finished here in a few days. Kirk out."

Lieutenant Connors tells Kirk that, despite liking solitude and quiet, exploring this sector is testing his limits. Kirk notes that they should be done by tomorrow and on their way home. Kirk hears a noise and asks Uhura is she is going to acknowledge the communication, and she tells him that she thought it came from the navigation console. Sulu states that it wasn't from there. Neither Connors nor Spock can figure out where it came from, and Spock begins a sensor scan of the area.

It seems that all instruments are functioning as normal, there are no ships nearby, and nobody on board is trying to contact them, yet the noise continues. Kirk broadcasts a message over the intercom asking people to cease making the semi-musical noises on the bridge, but the noises continue.

"Captain's log, supplementary. The mysterious music has been with us for three days now and gives indications of increasing rather than abating. Every effort to locate some source for the sounds has proven futile. We are no closer to an explanation than we were days ago."

Spock, Kirk, and Dr. McCoy discuss the problem, and how the only way to block out the sound is with earplugs. Spock notes that the source of the sound seems to be moving about the ship and that the noises have modulations, suggesting that the crew is being visited by a being of pure sound. McCoy reports that some of the crew are having trouble blocking out the sound with earplugs and are sleeping on a shuttlecraft that Nurse Chapel is monitoring, but that will not be sufficient for everyone, and that the noises could eventually deafen everyone aboard the ship.

Kirk tells them that they can not contact anyone on the deep-space beam, as it is filled with static or variations on the music that they are hearing. They surmise that they need to contact it or combat it, but nothing that they have done thus far has made any impact. Suddenly, a large noise erupts on the bridge, causing everyone to hold their heads in pain. Sulu reports that the transparent covers on his control panel have shattered due to the extreme volume.

Connors enters the bridge dragging a large instrument, an Edoian Elisiar. Spock notes that "the triple keyboard operates an echo chamber, resonating bars made of bone, and something that rather resembles an Earthly xylophone twisted into a mobius strip." They set up the keyboard instrument and Connors begins to play, improvising one of the themes in the alien sounds.

The sound being begins to respond to the music, but Connors begins to tire. Kirk suggests that Connors attempt to play sad music. The being responds in kind, but the noise levels cause more pain. Suddenly, the alien noise stops. McCoy and Kirk wonder where the alien came from and whether they'll ever encounter it it again. The comm channels have cleared, and the Enterprise resumes its charting course.

Memorable QuotesEdit

"... and we can't have everyone walking around with ear plugs... I can't run this ship by sign language."
"Speaking of ear plugs, Spock..."
"Please doctor, for once try to be serious."

- Kirk, McCoy, and Spock


"I heard a voice, crying in the wilderness."
"What was that lieutenant?"
"Nothing sir. All channels appear clear now. Shall I contact the nearest Starfleet base?"

- Uhura and Kirk, after the alien leaves


"Bones, have you ever listened to any violin concertos?"
"I'm not much of a classical aficionado, Jim"
"There are times when that lone violin is up there, against all those other instruments, and they're quiet, and that one violin is the loneliest sound in the world."

- Kirk and McCoy, discussing the alien

Background InformationEdit

  • This story was sometimes accompanied by a comic book telling of the story. The comic book did make some errors in character depiction however:
    • Sulu is shown as a black man in a blue science uniform.
    • In the book, Uhura is shown as a blond Caucasian woman, whereas on the cover, she is depicted properly as a dark-haired African woman.
    • Connors is often drawn in some awkward poses, possibly indicating the penciler originally drew Arex, not a Human, at navigation and playing the Edoan musical instrument. References to Connors' name in speech balloons indicate it was once several letters shorter.
  • The Edoan Elisiar is intended as a reference to Arex from The Animated Series. The author of this story also wrote the novelizations for The Animated Series, and referred to Arex's species as "Edoan".

ReleasesEdit

  • This story was released a total of six times during the Peter Pan Records run. It could be found on Records #1, #6, #11 (a re-release of #1), #12 (a re-release of #6), and #22.

CharactersEdit

Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in Peter Pan Records characters.
James T. Kirk 
Enterprise captain.
Spock 
Enterprise exec and science officer.
Leonard McCoy 
Enterprise surgeon.
Hikaru Sulu 
Enterprise helmsman.
Uhura 
Enterprise communications officer.
Christine Chapel 
Enterprise nurse. Referenced, but not seen.
Connors 
Rank of Lieutenant; navigator aboard the Enterprise, who speaks with a heavy accent; possibly used to replace Chekov or Arex in the story

ReferencesEdit

Moran Sector 
An empty sector of space, with a lack of stars and planets.
Edoan Elisiar 
A musical instrument that utilizes triple keyboard, which resonates tone bars made of bone and something resembling a mobius-shaped xylophone.


Previous audio production: Series Next audio production:
"In Vino Veritas" Peter Pan Records "The Time Stealer"
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