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From the back cover
It has been eighteen months since the Starship Enterprise completed her historic five-year mission and her legendary crew has separated, taking new assignments that span the galaxy.
On Earth, Admiral James T. Kirk has married and started a new life as Chief of Starfleet Operations where he is overseeing the refit of his beloved ship, now commanded by a new captain - Will Decker. Kirk's only tie to his former crew mates is his Chief of Staff, a young Lieutenant Commander named Kevin Riley.
But Kirk's new, quiet life changes when he meets a scientist named G'dath who is on the brink of perhaps the greatest scientific discovery in a century. G'dath's new invention could mean tremendous strides in Federation technology, or - in the wrong hands - the subjugation of countless worlds.
When Klingon agents capture this new technology, Admiral Kirk and Lt. Commander Riley are all that stands between peace and devastation for the entire Federation.


Dr. G'dath, an exiled Klingon civilian, teaches a gifted high school class on Earth. He faces discrimination from society and some of his students, and is unable to secure a position equal to his truly gifted intellect, despite several advanced degrees. Carlos Seigel and Ricia Greene are G'dath's star pupils, while Ira Stoller is quite a troublemaker. Joseph Bricker, who's younger brother recently died, is nearly on academic probation and has trouble rising to the challenges repeatedly put forth by his professor. Joey resists Ira's racist, brutish friendship and starts leaning towards redemption with Carlos and Ricia.

G'Dath adopts a stray kitten, whom he names Leaper. The same evening, an experiment he has been working on for years comes to fruition. G'dath designed a new energy device, though it greatly exceeds his expectations—the test probe travels at greater than 350 light-years per second! Though excited, he also fears that his creation may threaten the balance of power between the Federation and the Empire. G'dath is watched around the clock by Keth and Klor, two Klingon soldiers whose dead-end assignment at the Klingon embassy on Earth comes as the result of family dishonor. When they realize the potential of G'dath's new invention, they plot to steal it for their own redemption and a way to return home.

After a few months as a diplomatic troubleshooter, Nogura reassigns Kirk to head of Operations. In this role, he oversees the Constitution-class refit program and devises a new approach in which the saucer section is refit planetside, more quickly and cheaply than in space. While Kirk becomes the Fleet's rising star, heavily focused on the Enterprise refit, his new wife, Lori Ciana, finds herself increasingly unhappy. Admiral Nogura no longer trusts her judgment, making it impossible for Ciana to achieve her own professional goals, and her husband is ever more absent. She confronts Nogura for his poor treatment and separates from Kirk, taking a months-long assignment visiting the outermost colonies. Meanwhile, Nogura assigns Kirk as Starfleet's (temporary) liaison to the press, hoping the charismatic Kirk will be a better posterchild to the public than the current PR officer, the humorless Admiral Timothea Rogers.

The Enterprise saucer launch into space, where it is reunited with the stardrive section, is a major media event. Kirk, however, finds it bittersweet, as he must finally and truly surrender the starship to her new captain, Will Decker. In his new role, Kirk is interviewed by Nan Davis of WorldNews regarding Starfleet's celebration of the Apollo tricentennial and the Dart project—the restoration and retrofit of the Space Shuttle Enterprise OV-101, to be flown at the vanguard of a space vessel parade between Earth and Luna. He accompanies Davis to her interview of G'dath, intrigued by the Klingon expatriate's story. G'dath proves an interesting and charming subject, though he keeps his new invention a secret. The true extent of the racism G'dath faces is revealed when a group of anti-alien Barclayites attack during the interview. Realizing that he's likely under surveillance, G'dath subtly flees the apartment, with Leaper in tow, and seeks protection from Davis and Kirk. Unfortunately, Keth and Klor steal the experimental device before Starfleet can recover it, killing the neighbor, kindly old Mr. Olesky, in their raid.

Already long separated, Anab opts not to renew her marriage contract to Kevin Riley, again sending him into a depressive state. He disappoints Kirk professionally at the interview and later fails to order the proper security for G'dath, allowing the situation to spin out of control. At his lowest, Riley again considers resigning his commission, but his new friendship with WorldNews producer Jenny Hogan and his own realization of his true past with Kirk sparks something in him. (Riley learns that it was a 14-year-old Kirk who saved his 4-year-old self on Tarsus IV, having long ago blocked out most of the details of that horrible event. It is that shared history—and seeing something of himself in Riley—that makes Kirk watch over Riley and push him to better things.)

The final part of Davis's interview of G'dath involves observing his class. However, Keth and Klor interrupt, taking hostages—Jenny Hogan, Ricia Greene, Joey Bricker, and G'dath—and stabbing Carlos Siegel. Ira steps up and helps to save Carlos's life. Riley steps up, offering himself and a flitter in exchange for the other hostages, though only the women are released. The Klingons flee with the flitter, the device, and the hostages, but are pursued by the refit Space Shuttle Enterprise (with Kirk aboard) and the partially refit starship Enterprise (Decker and his crew). Klor grows increasingly dissatisfied with Keth's extreme measures, having gradually become one of G'dath's students and accepting his own human ancestry. He allows G'dath to sabotage the device, and both warriors are killed when the device self-destructs, though the hostages are rescued.

All of G'dath's students finally appreciate his guidance and vow to further interspecies relations. G'dath himself has become a celebrity, though he plans to refuse his dozens of job offers in favor of continuing his teaching career. Riley finally realizes that he really wants his job, and is allowed to stay on—though on probation—as his heroism impressed both Kirk and Nogura. Ciana, who has had time to think, invites Jim to discuss saving their marriage.

Background information

  • Part of Nan Davis's interview with Kirk mentions the upcoming tricentennial celebration of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which would place this novel in July 2269. But A Flag Full of Stars also takes place a year after The Lost Years, placing it in 2272.
  • The events in this novel take place after the events in TOS novel: Traitor Winds, despite that novel being released after this novel. It is the second in the Lost Years series of novels.



Joseph BrickerLori CianaNan DavisWillard DeckerSuzanne DiFalcoAlice FriedmanG'dathRicia GreeneJenny HoganKethJames T. KirkKlorLeaperAlec MacPhersonLisa NguyenHeihachiro NoguraOleskyKevin RileyTimothea RogersMontgomery ScottCarlos SiegelIra StollerNyota Uhura
Referenced only
Leonard McCoySpock

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • Enterprise (space shuttle) • flitter
Referenced only
USS Endeavour (Constitution-class) • USS Starhawk


CaliforniaCentaurusEarthGolden GatePacific OceanSan FranciscoSpacedock FourTarsus IV
Referenced only
Atlantic OceanRiver ClydeJapanTanzaniaTokyo

Races and cultures


States and organizations

BarclayitesDart ProjectKlingon EmpireRockwell InternationalRoyal Shakespeare CompanyStarfleetUnited Federation of PlanetsUnited States Air ForceWorldNews

Science and technology

energylight-yearprobespacestarshipTarsean Blight

Ranks and titles


Other references

aliencolonyhigh schoolkittenmarriagemonthOrganian InterventionOrganian Peace Treatyplanetsaucer sectionturtleheadyear



The Lost Years novels
The Lost YearsA Flag Full of StarsTraitor WindsRecovery
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