James T. Kirk braves the perils of the Badlands to confront a Romulan Bird of Prey that has entered Federation space in pursuit of a fleeing smuggler. But trespassing Romulans may be the least of Kirk's problems when the mysterious forces at work in the Badlands threaten both his ship and his crew!
2268, stardate 5650.1 (several months after "The Enterprise Incident")—
The Enterprise is ordered to a distant unexplored sector on a secret mission to capture a smuggler transporting stolen technical plans of the Romulans' advanced plasma weapon. At the coordinates, the crew discovers and studies a massive plasma storm and hides from the smuggler within the region's sensor shadow. They capture the smuggler's ship and flee from a Romulan bird-of-prey sent to intercept the stolen plans. The Romulans push their engines too hard while giving chase and their ship explodes. The Enterprise is damaged by the shock wave and returns to the sensor shadow to make repairs.
The ship and crew are increasingly disrupted by strange multi-flux gamma radiation. They struggle to effect repairs while more and more crewmen are struck down. Specialist Galloway receives a lethal amount of radiation and dies, and many others are at risk of the same. The source of the radiation is uncertain, but Spock theorizes that the Romulans used a subspace proximity weapon to take their enemy with them even after their own ship was destroyed.
Meanwhile, Kirk questions the smuggler—Commander Teral of the Barataria, a female Romulan. She claims to be unaware of any technical plans and suggests that she was sent as a decoy, allowing the true smuggler to make his delivery unmolested. However, Kirk never quite believes her and she later proves to be complicit after all. She escapes her quarters long enough to jettison a concealed data sphere containing the information outside the starship before she is recaptured. A Klingon battlecruiser, the Tr'loth under Commander Dorak, arrives and threatens the disabled starship, and Kirk suspects that he is Teral's buyer. When Teral is finally stricken by the radiation, she surrenders the location of the sphere and its data. The Enterprise makes final repairs, recovers the device, and returns to Federation space, never learning the source of the radiation.
- Calloway • Christine Chapel • Pavel Chekov • Dorak • Harrison • Kelly • James T. Kirk • Komack • Matheson • Leonard McCoy • Meghann • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Teral • Nyota Uhura
- Referenced only
Starships and vehicles
- Badlands • Kamiat Nebula • Starbase 33
- Referenced only
- Badlands • Bajor • Ferenginar • Iowa • Palazian • Romulan Neutral Zone • South Dakota
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- computer • dilithium • gamma particle • gamma radiation • parsec • plasma exhaust • plasma storm • radiation • space • subspace • tricortizine
Ranks and titles
- ale • black market • bulkhead • Delavian chocolate • intoxicant • parrises squares • quarters • Romulan ale • sector • shuttle bay • trilanium
For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
Day of the Dove