- It was a simple shuttle trip—just a quick hop to a nearby planet where renowned computer genius Richard Daystrom will give a lecture. But then a tractor beam forces the shuttle to land at a remote Federation outpost. Medical Intern McCoy, Ensign Spock and Cadet Kirk have been kidnapped by space pirates! They're outnumbered and outgunned. McCoy and Spock simply want to escape and alert the authorities. But Professor Daystrom is the real target, and his shuttle will be entering this region of space soon. For Daystrom's sake, the fiery young Kirk is determined to destroy the pirates' outpost—even if he has to do it alone.
Cadet Kirk has been assigned the prestigious job of transporting Richard Daystrom to a seminar at Colony Cambria, as a reward for good grades, but at the last minute his orders change and instead he is assigned to transport two ensigns, Spock and Leonard McCoy. On a fly past of the automated Atlantis Outpost, they are captured by a tractor beam.
Realizing that the outpost is in the hands of hijackers, Kirk brings their ship, the Spitfire, in for a crashlanding. However, Spock is captured when he tries to negotiate with the criminals and Kirk and McCoy are captured attempting a rescue. It transpires that the criminals' leader, Joe Swingle, has been employed by a Klingon commander to kidnap Daystrom for information on a new computer and intends to ransom him back to the Federation afterwards.
Kirk manages to break them out and together the three sabotage the station, with Kirk tricking Swingle's men into destroying the power cable for the tractor beam. They attempt to escape in the Spitfire but find Swingle waiting for them. However, Kirk manages to overpower him.
Swingle's Klingon employers arrive but quickly retreat at the sight of the Enterprise, responding to the Spitfire's distress call. Captain Pike takes Swingle and his men into custody and invites Kirk, Spock and McCoy aboard his ship.
- Bonyor • Crawler • James T. Kirk • Klaag • Leonard McCoy • Christopher Pike • Spock • Joe Swingle • Zenoviev
- Referenced only
- Neil Armstrong • Richard Daystrom • Rachel Garrett • Garth of Izar • Orazio Guidal • John Harriman • Hovitch • Irwin • Kathryn Janeway • Wendy Lesnick • Jean-Luc Picard • Mark Piper • Michael Riley • Benjamin Sisko • Jake Sisko • Hikaru Sulu • Sybok
Starships and vehicles
- USS Enterprise (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • shuttlecraft • Spitfire (Zodiac-class warp shuttle)
- Referenced only
- cattleship • USS Enterprise-A (Enterprise-subclass refit Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • USS Enterprise-B (Excelsior-class) • USS Enterprise-C (Ambassador-class) • USS Enterprise-D (Galaxy-class explorer) • USS Excelsior (Excelsior-class) • USS Farragut (Constitution-class heavy cruiser) • Polly Herman (tank barge) • USS Saratoga (Miranda-class)
- Agira Basin • Atlantis Outpost (unnamed planets)
- San Francisco (Earth, Sol system, sector 001, Alpha Quadrant)
- Point Bonita Light • San Francisco Bay • Starfleet Academy • Starfleet Headquarters • Starfleet Medical School
- Referenced only
- Alaska • Aximar • Bajor • Camp Khitomer • Cardassia Prime • Colony Cambria • Deep Space 9 • Delta Quadrant • the galaxy's core • Genesis Planet • Georgia • Jupiter • Khitomer • Luna • Narendra III • Romulan Neutral Zone • Smith-McBride Asteroid Station • Starbase 1 • Uranus • Veridian III (Veridian system) • Vulcan Science Academy • Wolf 359
Races and cultures
States and organizations
- Federation • Federation Computer Science • Klingon Empire • Starfleet • Starfleet Central Dispatch • Starfleet Command • Starfleet Flight Control • Starfleet Medical Corps
- Referenced only
- Alexandria Spaceport Foundation • Light Brigade • Romulan Star Empire
Science and technology
- anatomy • blood • communication • computer • computer tape • hair • humanoid • hydrograph • impulse engine • Junction Buoy 2993 • lifeform • light • medicine • minute • nebula • Nexus • power cable • respiratory system • space • starship • subspace radio • time • tractor beam • warp drive
Ranks and titles
- admiral • bosun • cadet • captain • chief medical officer • commander • commanding officer • corporal • doctor • ensign • Federation Starfleet ranks • Federation Starfleet ranks (2240s-2260s) • first officer • fleet captain • generalissimo • lieutenant • medic • pilot • pirate • professor • science officer
- alliance • Battle of Wolf 359 • book • Borg Incursion of 2366-2367 • camel • Celestial Navigation • chicken • clothing • Computer Guidance in Small Craft • cow • crime • distress call • Earth-Romulan War • first contact • five-year mission • goose • government • grass • horse • Khitomer Accords • Khitomer Conference • Khitomer conspiracy • law • literature • llama • Maritime Law in the Age of Sail • Maritime Law in the Age of Steam • military • nation-state • outpost • pig • piracy • planet • rank • refit • rhodinium • Salvage Law • Seafarers' and Spacefarers' Dictionary • serial number • sheep • Spacelane Rules of the Road • Starfleet Academy Science Conference • Starfleet regulations • Starfleet Transport Code • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2240s-2265) • technology • tiger • title • toast • treaty • Treaty of Algeron • uniform • Victory at Aximar • weapon • year
- Point Bonita Lighthouse built on San Francisco Bay.
- Neil Armstrong walks on Luna.
- The Earth-Romulan War begins.
- Earth-Romulan treaty establishes the Romulan Neutral Zone.
- The Federation and the Federation Starfleet are formed.
- The Federation's Starfleet makes first contact with the Klingon Empire's expanding military. (Canon later states that first Human-Klingon contact occurred in 2151.)
- USS Enterprise launched.
- McCoy and Spock enter Starfleet Academy.
- Kirk enters the Academy.
- Captain Pike assumes command of Enterprise.
- Kirk is assigned to pilot Spitfire, and meets Spock and McCoy. (Events of this story.)
- Spock joins the Enterprise crew.
- Spock graduates from the Academy. McCoy completes his doctorate.
- Kirk graduates and joins the crew of USS Farragut as a lieutenant.
- Pike completes a second five-year mission aboard Enterprise.
- Pike passes command to Kirk and is promoted to fleet captain.
- Kirk prepares Enterprise to embark on his famous five-year mission. (While this book states this is a 2264 event, later canon sources place the actual launch in 2265.)
- McCoy permanently replaces Mark Piper as Enterprise CMO.
- Kirk's mission begins to come to a close, leading to his promotion to the admiralty. (While this book states this is a 2269 event, later canon sources place this event in 2270.)
- Enterprise begins a massive refit that will prepare the vessel for another series of five-year missions. (While this book places the completion of this refit in 2271, later canon sources make this relaunch a 2273 occurrence.)
- Kirk contemplates returning to the admiralty as an instructor at the Academy, and names Spock his successor as Enterprise captain.
- Kirk orders the destruction of Enterprise at the Genesis Planet.
- Kirk is demoted to captain and given command of the Enterprise-A.
- The Enterprise-A is temporarily commandeered by Sybok.
- All remaining alliances between the Romulan Empire and the Klingon Empire dissolve.
- Kirk's Enterprise-A and Captain Sulu's USS Excelsior save the Khitomer Conference and a Klingon peace initiative.
- USS Enterprise-B is launched, under Harriman. Kirk is lost on the vessel's first voyage.
- USS Enterprise-C is lost defending Narendra III.
- Romulans massacre the Khitomer outpost.
- Captain Picard takes command of the Enterprise-D.
- The Battle of Wolf 359, followed by the Borg defeat at Earth. The incident is survived by Ben and Jake Sisko.
- Commander Sisko takes command of Deep Space 9 at Bajor.
- USS Enterprise-D destroyed at Veridian.
- Kirk is recovered from the Nexus, but dies on Veridian III.
- USS Voyager is lost in the Delta Quadrant on Captain Janeway's first mission.
- The Klingon Empire begins a temporary withdrawal from the Khitomer Accords after Federation forces oppose their invasion of Cardassia Prime.
- The chronology featured in the opening is derived from the Star Trek Chronology, and has some details that conflict with canon. In particular, the date of Human-Klingon first contact occurred in 2151 in Star Trek: Enterprise and Kirk's five year mission and the date of TOS movie: The Motion Picture were established by a date reference in VOY episode: "Q2".
- This story takes place after the beginning of Kirk's Academy career in 2250 and after Pike's assumption of command of the Enterprise, in 2251. The story takes place after Spock is commissioned as an ensign while still at the Academy, but prior to his 2252 beginning of service on the Enterprise. Likewise, the story takes place prior to Kirk's ensign commission, and prior to the completion of McCoy's doctorate. Finally, the story occurs while Kirk is seventeen years old, placing it before his eighteenth birthday in March 2251.
- While the cover depicts all three main characters in silver cadet tunics, the dialogue has McCoy and Spock wearing standard sciences division blue ensign uniforms, having already received officer commissions while still at the Academy.
- Pike invites the shuttle crew aboard, but he does not meet Kirk for some reason. Kirk remembers in 2266 that he only met Pike once, during the change of command when Kirk took over the Enterprise.
- This book depicts the first meeting of Kirk, Spock and McCoy in the primary universe.
Hope and a Common Future