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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Star Trek: Scavenger Hunt "Scavenger Hunt"
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy #4
Written by: Mike Johnson and Ryan Parrot
Art by: Derek Charm
Letters by: Neil Uyetake & Tom B. Long
Cover by: Derek Charm
March 2016


In 2258, Uhura and Spock reconcile; in 2261, T'Laan's team comes into contact with Wagner-219.


Story Summary


In 2258, Spock comes to Uhura's defense before Admiral Marcus, leading to a reconciliation between them.


In 2261, T'Laan's team encounters a giant carnivorous space worm on a planetoid during the scavenger hunt, escaping it by the skin of their teeth in their small cadet ship and finding themselves currently in last place in the competition. They soon find themselves approaching the quarantined Wagner-219 system and Chen gets the idea to skirt the edge of the quarantine zone to use a nearby star's gravity to slingshot them forward to the first place position. After some debate, the team agrees, but during the maneuver, a plasma conduit blows, injuring Shev. Meanwhile, Chen's readings indicate the ship is actually slowing, not speeding up. They realize something really strange is happening when they suddenly find the long-lost Slayton NX-05 ahead of them.




Notes from the Star Trek chronology


This issue takes place in two different time periods, the year 2258, during Uhura's fourth year in Starfleet Academy and in 2261 with a previously unseen crop of cadets. The issue opens on stardate 2261.55.


Characters appearing in this issue


Cadet T'Laan

Cadet Vel K'Bentayr

Cadet Lucia Gonzales

Cadet Shev

Cadet Chen

Admiral Marcus

Commander Spock

Cadet Uhura

Captain Hendricks

Chief Engineer Jack Somers

Hyun Yan

Commander Juliet Bashir 




Didja Know?


Star Trek: Starfleet Academy was a 5-issue mini-series published by IDW. It relates an adventure of Kirk, Spock, and Uhura with some new cadets at Starfleet Academy before their initial mission aboard the Enterprise in "The Vengeance of Nero".


The issues of this series did not have individual issue titles. I assigned "Scavenger Hunt" as the title of this issue based on the scavenger hunt portion of the centennial competition in which the 2261 cadets are participating and which makes up the bulk of this issue's story.


Didja Notice?


On page 9, the story switches from 2258 to 2261, but is incorrectly labeled as 2258.


On page 11, Vel remarks on Chen's proposed slingshot around the star of Wagner-219 to gain an edge in the scavenger hunt competition in a manner similar to that of the Apollo program, using the gravity of the Moon to propel the command module back to Earth, and to the Apollo astronauts playing golf on the lunar surface. NASA's Apollo moon program did indeed use something similar to Chen's slingshot proposal to return the Apollo command modules from lunar orbit to Earth during the program's existence from 1966-1972. During Apollo 14, astronaut Alan Shepard hit two golf balls on the Moon with a six-iron head he attached to a lunar excavation tool.


On page 18, Vel asks Lucia for a dermal stem gun to treat the wounds from a burst plasma conduit suffered by Shev. A "dermal stem gun" may be akin to a skin cell gun, a device developed in 2013 which is used to spray a patient's own donated stem cells to treat burns and similar types of wounds; the stem cells differentiate into normal skin, helping to heal the wound rapidly.


The events on the Slayton on pages 19-20 are a re-presentation and continuation of the events Uhura and Kirk watched on a video recording in the Starfleet archives in "A Search for Answers". 


Notes from the Starfleet Academy Cadet files in this issue


Lucia is 20 years old during the events of this story (2161). Her home city is Barcelona, Spain.


Vel is 23 years old during the events of this story (2161). His home city is Chento on Mewhao.


For some reason, Cadet Grace Chen does not receive a Cadet file entry in any of the issues of this mini-series. 


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