- For other uses, see Enterprise.
He was the youngest man to captain a starship in Federation history. His crew included an untried first officer - and a maverick ship's surgeon. In the years to come, the voyages of Captain James T. Kirk and the USS Enterprise would become legend.
But before their historic five-year mission began, before the crew meshed into the superb unit that would journey across the galaxy, before the legend took shape, there was the mission that brought them together for the first time.
James T. Kirk awakens from a nightmare of the Battle of Ghioghe, in which he lost his ship (the USS Lydia Sutherland) and his first officer Gary Mitchell was badly injured. He visits the hospital, where Gary is unconscious but recovering, and runs into Carol Marcus. Meanwhile, Spock goes swimming on his last day of leave, Sulu looks forward to being assigned to the USS Aerfen, and on Arcturus, the Klingon renegade Koronin takes possession of a Bird-of-Prey.
Spock goes to Christopher Pike's headquarters to congratulate him on his promotion to Commodore and thank him for the opportunity to work with him. On the Enterprise bridge, Uhura returns from the Irish Harp Festival at Mandela City and Scotty hands out cigars to celebrate the birth of his niece Dannan Stuart. While on Spacedock, Kirk runs into an old friend, Agovanli, and the two share a few drinks together. Sulu is dismayed to learn that he has instead been assigned to the Enterprise, but his complaints to Spock prove fruitless.
At the reception for the change-of-command ceremony, Kirk meets his bridge crew and learns that Spock will be serving as his first officer. Admiral Noguchi turns down his request for Gary Mitchell to be assigned first officer. Kirk takes his mother and brother on a tour of the Enterprise, where they find an equiraptor in the shuttlebay.
Kirk meets the equiraptor's owner, Amelinda Lukarian. He is surprised and dismayed to learn from Admiral Noguchi that the Enterprise has been assigned for the next three months to transport Amelinda's vaudeville troop to the starbases in the Federation Phalanx in order to boost morale. Kirk tries to argue with the Admiral and speaks rudely to Amelinda. His mother scolds him for his behavior, and his brother tries to reach out to him, but both efforts fail. Later, he apologizes to and makes peace with Lindy.
Kirk postpones departing from Spacedock until McCoy can board the Enterprise. Several attempts are made to track down his whereabouts, but all of them prove fruitless. McCoy, who had been on a rafting vacation without any communications technology, is transported to the ship in time. That evening, the vaudeville troop dines with the crew in the mess hall, where the food synthesizers are malfunctioning. Kirk is late for dinner, having decided to catch up on his paperwork, and McCoy recommends that he get a yeoman to handle it for him.
Janice Rand is assigned as Kirk's yeoman. Although proving capable at organizing his paperwork, she lacks self-confidence and feels constantly frightened. McCoy gives a medical exam to Spock and gets into an argument with him on emotionalism. Kirk assigns Rand to help Lindy design an advertising poster for the vaudeville company. He later calls Gary Mitchell (who has regained consciousness), talks with McCoy about Rand, and impresses Spock by using intuition to solve a chess problem.
Rand shows up on the bridge in a disheveled state. Kirk harshly reprimands her for this, and she runs off in tears. Uhura follows and comforts her, learning of her background as a slave and refugee, and her current situation as a victim of her roommate's bullying. She gets Rand moved into the yeoman's cabin, and later Kirk apologizes to Rand. Lindy contacts a juggler for her act, a Vulcan named Stephen.
Spock has a barely-repressed emotional reaction on seeing Stephen and leaves for his quarters to meditate. Kirk follows him and learns that Stephen is considered a deviant on Vulcan for seeking out emotional experiences. Kirk and Lindy meet with Stephen after he docks with the Enterprise. The ship acquires cometary debris from an Oort cloud to cover the shuttlecraft deck with dirt so Athene can run on it. Kirk and Lindy converse, Lindy telling him the history of her vaudeville troop, and Kirk telling her about the Battle of Ghioghe.
Spock finds Stephen in his quarters and the two exchange harsh words. Kirk goes to the bridge early and meets Pavel Chekov as the Enterprise enters the Phalanx. Later, Kirk has a fencing match with Sulu, rides Athene, and takes Lindy to the arboretum, where she tells him - much to his disappointment - that she thinks she's falling for Stephen.
The vaudeville troop performs for the Enterprise crew. Spock attempts to deduce how Lindy does her magic tricks, prompting her to make him part of her act. After making him disappear, she angrily confronts him backstage. Spock had been concerned that Lindy was claiming to be a real magician, and the misunderstanding is cleared up. The troop's second performance is interrupted when the Enterprise is thrown out of warp by the sudden arrival of a gigantic starship. Kirk and Spock make contact with the ship's inhabitants, who communicate through complex song that cannot be translated. Matters are complicated by the arrival of Koronin's ship, the Quundar.
Beings from the worldship visit the Enterprise. Spock realizes almost too late that the ship's gravity is too high for them and quickly has them transported to the shuttlecraft deck. He mind melds with one of them, but is overwhelmed and loses consciousness. The being learns how to speak from the meld and communicates with Kirk. Spock is taken to sickbay and Uhura tries to learn the beings' song. When Scott objects to Kirk's order to reduce gravity throughout the ship, Kirk goes to engineering to confront him. Athene almost hurts herself attempting to imitate the beings' flying, prompting Stephen to take her and Lindy to the worldship.
Kirk decides to go after Stephen. He places Scott in charge of the Enterprise despite their earlier argument. On the worldship, Athene flies for the first time in her life. Stephen turns down Lindy's advances, as his Vulcan training keeps him from returning her feelings. Spock, believing himself to be one of the worldship people, escapes from sickbay and makes his way to the alien vessel. Koronin also boards the ship and, while trying to get the people to obey her, stabs part of the wall with her blade, causing a small explosion. Her crew captures Spock, and Kirk's team arrives on the ship.
A Klingon warship fleet assigned to capture Koronin arrives in the area. Kirk's party finds Lindy and Stephen and informs them of the situation. On Spock's advice, Koronin takes the Quundar to the worldship's center, believing it to be where the vessel's leaders are. When Koronin sees that the Klingon fleet has found her, she takes off, leaving Spock behind. Kirk, with Athene's help, rescues Spock, although they are injured in the process. Stephen mind melds with Spock, who wakes in time to warn Kirk that if fighting breaks out, the worldship will release enough energy to destroy several hundred star systems. Koronin attempts to ram the worldship's center to avoid capture and get revenge on the Klingon Empire, but is deflected by Kirk's shuttlecraft.
Kirk returns to the Enterprise and Koronin is captured by the Klingons. Kirk receives a call from Admiral Noguchi and Gary Mitchell. The Klingons present Kirk with a medal for his role in the capture of Koronin. Lindy's troop performs for the crew, the worldship people, and the Klingons, the latter of whom do not like the show except for Cockspur's soliloquy, which they appreciate immensely. The worldship departs from the Phalanx, and Koronin escapes from her captors.
- Agovanli • Pavel Chekov • Marietta Cheung • Christine Chapel • Cockspur • Eng • Greg and Maris • Hazarstennaj • Hunter • George Samuel Kirk, Jr. • James T. Kirk • Winona Kirk • Koronin • Amelinda Lukarian (Lindy) • John Kyle • Marcellin • Carol Marcus • Jocelyn McCoy • Leonard McCoy • Gary Mitchell • Kimitake Noguchi • Janice Rand • Newland Yanagimachi Rift • Roswind • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Stephen • Hikaru Sulu • Philomena Thetis • Tzesnashstennaj • Nyota Uhura
- Referenced only
- Phillip Boyce • Pavi Chekov • Chhay • Aurelan Kirk • George Samuel Kirk, Sr. • Peter Kirk • Matilda • Matilda • Mark Piper • Benjamin Rand • Sirri Rand • Sieren • Dannan Stuart
Starships and vehicles
- USS Aerfen • Copernicus (Federation shuttlecraft) • Dionysus • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • USS Lydia Sutherland • Quundar
- Arcturus • Arcturus IV • Faience • Federation Phalanx • Ganjitsu • Ghioghe • Hafjian • Ishikawa • Saweoure • Tau Ceti II
- Earth - Australia • Colorado River • Georgia • Grand Canyon • Macon • Mandela City
- Referenced only
- Monash University • Starbase 13 • Starbase 32 • Starfleet Teaching Hospital • Vladivostok Genetics Institute
Races and cultures
States and organizations
- Athene • Equiraptor • felinoid • Fire in Frost • Ilya • Irish Harp Festival • Lieber exoskeleton • Nine Suns • Pegasus (myth) • Starfleet (primate) • vaudeville • Vulcan ground creeper
- The stardate is derived from the audiobook adaptation of the story, wherein Leonard Nimoy opens the novel reading a log entry by Spock.
- The cover was presented, in paperback release, as a hidden panel behind a cardstock outer flap, with a cutaway corner showing the Enterprise beneath. Later editions omitted the intricacy and had the cover as one piece, thus only showing the Enterprise. In actuality, artist Boris Vallejo had created a much more expansive painting that was only included in book club editions as a wraparound cover, showing Chekov, Scotty, Sulu and Uhura on the back, and Kirk, Spock and McCoy on the front with the Enterprise in one corner. Kirk, Spock and McCoy appeared on the back cover of most paperback editions and on the inner flap of the original paperback printings.
First novel in Series
|TOS unnumbered novels||Next novel:|
Strangers from the Sky
|TOS novels||Next novel:|
Fortunes of War
Foundations, Book One
|Memory Beta Chronology||Next Adventure:|
All Those Years Ago...
Foundations, Book One
Strangers from the Sky
Book 2: Chapters 1-2
|Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
All Those Years Ago...