Introduction (blurb)Edit

When an abandoned space habitat is found within a distant asteroid belt, the Starship Enterprise is sent to investigate. Captain Kirk and his crew discover an artificial world full of technological marvels -- and unexpected dangers. But wonder and curiosity give way to fear when the habitat's shifting orbit sends it on a collision course with an inhabited planet within the same solar system. Now Kirk and Spock must find a way to save the planet without destroying a treasure trove of alien science, and time is running out....


A computer virus has destroyed the databases of many Federation worlds and the Enterprise has been assigned to help restore them. En route to the last planet, the isolationist human colony Tyrtaeus II, they detect an unknown object travelling through the solar system.

After completing their mission, the Enterprise crew turn to investigating the object, which appears to be a mobile worldlet and is on a collision course with the sun. Kirk leads a landing party inside the object where they try to track down lifesign readings but they keep moving and when a shield briefly encases the mobile, they elect to return to the ship rather than risk being trapped.

Worried the shield may damage the sun and cause a climactic disaster on Tyrtaeus II, the Enterprise tries to divert the mobile but fails. Spock returns in a shuttlecraft to try and find a control panel but is trapped onboard when the shield comes back on. An attempt by the Enterprise to destroy the mobile fails and it plunges into the sun.

However, the mobile actually entered the sun to recharge and is safe aboard a sun-core station, located inside a fold in space. Spock uses a control panel to enter the artificial reality where the alien inhabitants exist, having shunned the physical universe in favour of their own reality. They are uncomfortable about the intrusion and fear further investigation.

Kirk and McCoy enter the sun in a shuttlecraft and the aliens allow them onto the mobile when they realize they only intend to retrieve Spock. The three officers promise they will be left in peace and shortly after the mobile exits the sun and the sun-core station is left to be destroyed. Kirk makes a show of pursuing the much faster object in order to conclusively demonstrate to the aliens that they are safe from further curiosity.



Tonia BarrowsChristine ChapelMyra ColesJames T. KirkKyleTristam LundAristocles MarcelliAli MassoudLeonard McCoyJanice RandKevin RileyMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluCathe TekakwithaNyota UhuraWellesley Warren
Referenced only 
John W. CampbellEllisteKareninaLazarusLopezMaraisChristopher PikeWilliam Shakespeare

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class)


Arrian MountainsCallinusCynur IVDoretta's CafeteriaEarthEgyptEmben IIIEuniss MountainsNew Paris coloniesRedann's TavernRomulan Neutral ZoneTalos IVTeresisTyrtaeus II

Races and culturesEdit


States and organizationsEdit

FederationLurissan GuidesStarfleet

Other referencesEdit

anthropologyarchaeologyaurora flowercommunicatorcomputer viruscourt martialexileimpulse boosterkahs-wankoon-ut-kal-if-feeneutroniumOccam's Razorphaserprobeshore leaveshuttlecraftSpartanspidersuicidesubspace communicationstractor beamtransportertricorderUlyssesvirtual realityVulcan harpworldlet


published order
Previous novel:
Mind Meld
TOS numbered novels Next novel:
Assignment: Eternity
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Shore Leave
Pocket Next Adventure:
The Squire of Gothos
Previous Adventure:
Shore Leave
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
The Squire of Gothos
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