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In the Star Trek: The Voyage Home, Chekov is captured after sneaking on board the USS Enterprise. During his interrogation we see three items of 23rd century origin:

  1. Chekov's Starfleet ID
  2. Phaser
  3. Communicator

I suspect that the phaser and communicator were actually of Klingon origin and came from the Bounty.

During this interrogation Chekov unsucessfully attempts to use the phaser during his escape and ends up just running away before falling and injuring himself. Kirk et al rescue Chekov from the hospital where he was taken and the movie goes on.

But what happened to those three 23rd century items? Even if the phaser was inoperable, it and the communicator would provide a wealth of information for any military research center.

To me, the leaving behind of future tech is akin to the leftover bits and pieces of Arnie that Cyberdyne Systems heavily researched (and we all know how that turned out!)

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  • 1
    Dept of Temporal Affairs probably collected it
    – Valorum
    Dec 6 '20 at 2:11
  • 1
    "and we all know how that turned out!" -> It turned out exceptionally well. For Skynet, obvs.
    – Valorum
    Dec 6 '20 at 2:24
  • 5
    Chekov's gun wasn't fired?! What is the world coming to?
    – DavidW
    Dec 6 '20 at 3:10
  • 1
    @DavidW - He did fire it. It just...fizzled.
    – Valorum
    Dec 6 '20 at 9:31
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They fell into the ocean, at least according to the novelisation.

He grabbed the rail. He started to vault, then tried to stop short when he saw what lay below. His boot caught on the decking. He stumbled, bounced into the rail, tumbled over it, flung out his hands to catch himself. The phaser and communicator arced out and splashed into the sea. The wind caught his I.D. and fluttered and spun it away. His fingertips slipped on the wire cable. He cried out.

You might also want to note that the communicator was rigged to explode if it was opened by an unauthorised person.

Pavel tried to pretend he did not care about his communicator, while at the same time he tried to stay within reach of it and hoped desperately that they would not take it away to disassemble it. If he could get ten seconds with the communicator in his hands, he might still escape. But if his captors opened it improperly, it would self-destruct.

The film shows him leaving the communicator on the table but based on the info above, we can assume that it was eventually opened and then destructed itself. The ID badge has anachronistic information on it, but we can imagine that the materials were fairly mundane and are of little interest to the military.

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  • 1
    Those events from the novelization conflict with what what is seen in the movie. How do you resolve conflicting canon?
    – Peter M
    Dec 6 '20 at 2:34
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    Novelizations are typically done ahead of filming and often conflict with what is seen onscreen. This is the case with the original Star Wars novelization and others as well. The truth though in this case, you are right: Paramount could allow a writer to exploit the gaffe of the communicator still being on the table. But who knows? Dec 6 '20 at 4:14
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    @PeterM - Well, he definitely had the phaser on his so that could easily (in line with the novel) have fallen into the ocean and the communicator may still (in line with the novel) have had a self-destruct. Put those together (and assume that the navy man eventually opened the communicator and had it blow up), and the only thing you're left with, canonically speaking, is his ID badge made out of cheap acrylic and paper.
    – Valorum
    Dec 6 '20 at 9:04
  • It doesn't say it will blow up, but that it would "self-destruct". Not necessarily the same thing.
    – BBlake
    Dec 7 '20 at 19:41
  • @BBlake - The novelisation goes into more detail. The explosion will be energetic and life-threatening
    – Valorum
    Dec 7 '20 at 20:44
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I recall reading part of a novel where these items were recovered by the resourceful Gary Seven, presumably to be destroyed as anachronistic.

The stranger’s hand still rested on the handle of a partially opened drawer, while her other hand gripped the black, rectangular “radio” captured from Chekov. The remaining artifact, the one that resembled a handgun, still rested on the polished steel counter, just beyond the intruder’s reach.

...

The blonde woman smiled sadly. 'I understand what you're saying......But letting you people hold on to these gadgets is a worse idea than New Coke.'

"The Eugenics Wars-The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh - Chapter 31."

I know the books aren't canon but that seems as good an answer as any.

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    This is almost a decent answer, but it reads as a comment. It took me a short bit of searching online to find this: “Lincoln was also sent by Seven to Area 51 in July 1986 to recover a Klingon disruptor and communicator left aboard the USS Enterprise by Pavel Chekov.” This comes from Star Trek: The Eugenics Wars series of novels. Dec 6 '20 at 4:17
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    I've downvoted. Without a citation, this answer isn't especially useful. Is it the novel mentioned by Giacomo1968 above? And if so, editing in a cite would be good, a quote would be better.
    – Valorum
    Dec 6 '20 at 9:08
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    Thanks Giacomo. I knew it might have been that one, but Seven and Lincoln have been used fairly extensively in Trek fiction and I just wasn't sure which appearance was linked to this event. Dec 6 '20 at 20:08
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    @EmsleyWyatt - I've taken the liberty of tidying your answer up a bit and adding a more fulsome quote.
    – Valorum
    Dec 6 '20 at 20:56
  • @EmsleyWyatt Great job! Dec 6 '20 at 22:09

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