Tuesday, December 26, 2017

"The End" Week: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #15!

Before I went on vacation, I picked up a pile of paperbacks to read on the plane, including Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: A Stitch in Time. It's the backstory of Cardassian spy and exile Elim Garak, written by the actor that played him, Andrew Robinson. It's pretty good! Co-incidentally, I got today's issue at the same time, also featuring Garak: from 1998, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine #15, "Requiem in Obsidian" Written by Andy Mangels and Michael Martin, pencils by Greg Scott, inks by Josef Rubinstein.

Eight years ago, when the station known as Terok Nor was still under Cardassian control, Garak killed a courier for the Obsidian Order, the intelligence agency he was a member of: the courier died without knowing why. Today, "plain, simple tailor" Garak is surprised to see said courier in the Promenade of Deep Space Nine, although she disappears before he can confront her. Later, at lunch with Dr. Bashir, Garak--rather casually, really--recounts how he assassinated the courier, Yenla Tosh: she had been a telepathic courier, but when paranoid "security concerns" arose her death was ordered. Despite seeming calm, Garak goes on a rampage when he sees Tosh again, and is stunned and taken to sickbay, where Bashir finds Garak's "neural pathways are rapidly breaking down." A very Star Trek condition!

Bashir is able to stabilize Garak to the point he can go out, and the next time he sees Tosh he's able to catch up with her, but she isn't the courier he killed, she's her sister, Keytra. Yenla had not been typical of her people, and seeking revenge at the moment of her death, implanted an "offensive memory engram" in Garak, like a computer virus. Garak had an implant in his head that may have stalled the engram for years, but with its recent removal the engram was catching up to him. Not believing in vengeance, Keytra wants to help Garak, but he doesn't think he deserves it, and tries to fight her off; both of them are stunned by a security officer. Waking up in sickbay again, Garak is fine, but Keytra is dead, having taken the engram into her own mind. Bashir suggests it may have been forgiveness, but Garak is saddened over another death on his conscience.

The letters page notes while this was the last issue, DS9 and Voyager were slated to return as limited series rather than a monthly title; possibly due more to scheduling than sales. At a glance, it did not; but DS9 had a solid comics presence between Marvel, Malibu, DC and IDW. I do wonder if any of the planned limited series was completed though; the letters page pitches it as set during the Cardassian Occupation, a dark time not often explored.

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