Star Trek fans were first introduced to the mirror universe in the classic Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror." That episode ended with Captain James Kirk planting the seeds of reform in the mirror universe's version of Spock. But what happened to Spock after that?
The "Ripe for Plunder" backup stories included as part of IDW Publishing's Star Trek: The Next Generation - Through the Mirror comic book miniseries reveals the fate that befell the mirror universe version of Spock, at least according to IDW's comic book continuity.
What we know from Star Trek canon, based on the mirror universe episodes from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, is that Spock rose in the ranks of the Terran Empire to become Commander-in-Chief. He instituted numerous reforms, but those reforms were said to have failed and left the Empire too weak to defend itself against the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. The Alliance attacked and, still angry over their races' previous treatment by the Terran Empire, enslaved Vulcans and humans alike.
"Ripe for Plunder" reveals that's only partially the truth. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who stole the Empire's new ship Enterprise, discovers that historical files on Spock, who eventually rose to become Terran Emperor, had been altered and sends Data to investigate.
It turns out the Spock is not dead, but in hiding after being deposed. Data discovers him being guarded on a mostly uninhabited planet by a small force of Tellarite guards, but Data proves too strong for them to handle. Spock tells his side of his story, saying that - despite what the recorded histories may imply - his reforms were actually proving quite successful and should have brought a new era of prosperity for the Terrans.
The Terran Republic was strong, but even the Empire would not have been strong enough to face the combined forces of the Klingons and the Cardassians. That the Alliance's assault came during this time of reform made Spock and his political movement into an easy scapegoat to take the blame for the Terran's defeat.
However, Data is less interested in Imperial history and more interested in where he can find supplies and tech to keep the ISS Enterprise in the fight against the Alliance. Data is specifically after information on the alternate universe that Spock's Enterprise made contact with during the events of "Mirror, Mirror," which Star Trek fans have known as the Prime Timeline. Spock resists, but Data doesn't take no for an answer. There's a fight, and Data leaves with blood on his uniform and having gained the information he sought on the other universe. Whether or not he left Spock alive is unknown.
What do you think of Emperor Spock's fate? Let us know in the comments!
All five issues of Star Trek: The Next Generation - Through the Mirror are available now. The collected edition of the miniseries releases in October. The next chapter of the Star Trek: The Next Generation mirror universe saga, Terra Incognita, begins with issue #1 on July 25th.