"The Blaze of Glory" is the first of six TOS stories by William Rotsler in the young adult anthology Star Trek II Short Stories. The stories depict events in 2277 during Captain Kirk's second five-year mission aboard the refurbished USS Enterprise. In this story, an aging war hero comes aboard for one last mission.
- From the back cover
- Travel with your favorite Star Trek II characters into six new and original short stories written especially for you! Join James T. Kirk in THE BLAZE OF GLORY as he struggles to avoid galactic war with the Klingon Captain Kang. … A treasure trove of adventure for all Star Trek fans.
Kirk was excited to have the ship visited by legendary war hero Fleet Admiral Karis Tatenen, an event Kirk likened to a visit by Horatio Nelson or Francis Drake. Kirk confirmed with Spock and Scott that preparations were complete before beaming Tatenen and four aides aboard. Tatenen introduced his chief of staff, Tapia, aide-de-camp Baroness Commander Amalia, Cmdr. Ogar and Lt. Cmdr. Anderson. Amalia handed Kirk encoded helm instructions to a secret destination that Tatenen wouldn't discuss.
Kirk took Tatenen, Amalia and Tapia on a tour of the ship from engineering to the bridge. Tatenen twice lamented growing old, saying it was better to die in battle. After the tour, Kirk met with Spock privately, asking about the secret course and destination, which Spock determined to be a circuitous route to Pollux IV. Kirk said it was disputed territory and dangerously close to the Klingon Empire.
A dinner was held that evening. Tatenen enjoyed telling the story of Pakheth, a precursor to the Battle of Vonra for which he was most famous, but Kirk had some concern regarding the man's enthusiasm for aggression. Later, while discussing tactics, Tatenen emphasized the need to deal with Klingons and Romulans through strength with a first-strike attitude, which left Spock uncomfortable.
Later, while Kirk was on the bridge, three Klingon Kl'ar class ships approached. As Kirk hailed the ships, asking why they were within Federation space, Tatenen arrived and urged Kirk to attack, warning that they were losing the advantage. Kirk patiently pointed out that their goal was to avoid an incident, but when Tatenen continued to push, Kirk ordered non-essential personnel off the bridge. After Tatenen had left, Uhura got word that the Klingon ships were ambassadorial, under Federation protection, and bringing Kaare to Pollux IV.
Privately to Spock, Kirk wondered what Tatenen wanted, since attacking the Klingons would have ignited a war. Spock suggested that Tatenen might have a death-wish. Tatenen and his party beamed down to Pollux. The next morning, Uhura told Kirk that receptions had been held for both Tatenen and the Klingons, as a precursor to a conference today, and reporters had teased that an announcement was expected this afternoon.
Hours later, Kirk was called to the bridge, as Uhura had learned that the Klingons had angrily left the conference. Tatenen had accused the Klingons of not negotiating in good faith. Tatenen suddenly beamed back to the ship and announced over the intercom that he was implementing Starfleet Order 1-202-B, assuming command of the Enterprise. Suspicious of Tatenen's motives, Kirk stalled for time, pretending there was a communications failure and sending security to the transporter room. Chekov reported no activity by the Klingon ships, just that their shields were up. Sulu reached to the button that would raise their own shields, but Kirk stopped him, saying they'd take no action.
Kirk hailed the Klingons and was surprised to see Commander Kang. They briefly caught up, with Kang saying his wife Mara had retired from service to care for their daughters. Kang said that Tatenen had "insulted and belittled us." Kirk said Tatenen was no diplomat, which made Kang laugh, diffusing the tension. Kang said there was no honor in pointless battle. Kirk suggested that Kang and Kirk's ships leave Pollux IV together, so "neither is retreating from the other." Kang agreed.
Uhura reported that Tatenen had broken away from security in the transporter room and had commandeered the Galileo. Kirk implored Kang not to do anything, but the Klingon commander said he would do the Federation a big service. The shuttle approached the Klingons from a route where the Enterprise's tractor beam was blocked. Tatenen clearly intended to ram one of the Klingon ships, but at the last moment a Klingon phaser beam destroyed the shuttle. Kirk sent word via subspace that Tatenen died "on the bridge of a spaceship after an unfortunate accident," to retain the man's dignity.
- Amalia • Anderson • Pavel Chekov • Kang • James T. Kirk • Ryan Leslie • Leonard McCoy • Lex Nakashima • Ogar • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Tapia • Karis Tatenen • Nyota Uhura • unnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel
- Referenced only
- Neil Armstrong • Christine Chapel • Sandra Cohen • Deckert • Francis Drake • Dwight Eisenhower • Hippocrates • Kaare • K'naiah • Mara • Horatio Nelson • Plato • Surak
Starships and vehicles
- Khepri • Pollox IV • Regulus (Ra)
- Referenced only
- Abramsville • Altair • Axanar • Beta XII Alpha • Blue Planet ports • Brin • Dronning • Earth • Horus • Kaksi • Khonsu • Luna • Marsport • Nefertari • Osiris • Pakheth • Prantares • Ptah • Rhamses • Telemachus • Vonra
Races and cultures
States and organizations
- Federation • Federation Grand Council • Federation Starfleet • Klingon Empire • Miradi Empire • Starfleet Academy • Starfleet Command
- 2248 • admiral • aide-de-camp • Andorian wine-analog • baroness • Battle of Trafalgar • Battle of Vonra • Battle of Vonra (book) • bridge • cabin • captain • captain's chair • Captain's Mast • cavolfiore • chief of staff • commander • computer • conn • doctor • electrician first class • Emperor of Miradi • engine room • fleet admiral • general • hailing frequency • impulse engine • kok-ido • kukurydza • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • light year • longevity serum • nav cube • Normandy Invasion • nurse • nutritionist • orbit • parsec • petty officer • phaser • potato • reporter • Rigellian bone-stress • Romulan War • Seal of the Emperor of Miradi • shields • sonic shower • shuttlecraft • specialist first class • Star of Arcturus • Starfleet regulations • Starfleet uniform • Tactics in Space War • tractor beam • transporter room • turbolift • viewscreen • warp speed • yeoman • yellow alert • zanahoria
- The Pocket Books Timeline places this story and all of those in Star Trek II Short Stories in 2277.
- Kang and Mara have an unspecified number of daughters (as well as their son Dax, of course).
- The site of the Federation/Klingon conference, Pollux IV, was where Apollo resided in TOS episode: "Who Mourns for Adonais?"
- Reporters appeared to be on Pollux IV when the Enterprise and Klingon ships arrived, and details regarding the conference were broadcast during the evening and the next day, suggesting the conference was known publicly. Yet for some reason Tatenen’s mission and destination were kept secret from Kirk.
- In what was most likely an editing mistake, on page 20 Tatenen told Spock and others that Vulcans were related to Klingons. Clearly Tatenen and the writer meant Romulans, not Klingons, since neither Spock nor anyone else disagreed with the statement.
- TOS movie: The Motion Picture – When boarding the Enterprise, Karis Tatenen asked Admiral Kirk to tell him about the V'ger incident.
- TOS episode: "Day of the Dove" – This story is seemingly the first encounter between Kirk and Kang since the events of this episode. Kirk had heard that Kang had been disciplined following the incident, and asked how Mara was.
- TOS novel: Pawns and Symbols and the three-book series My Brother's Keeper – Other encounters between Kirk and Kang prior to the events of this story, though written after this story was published.
- TOS episode: "Whom Gods Destroy" – Fleet Admiral Karis Tatenen was revered by Kirk as a legendary war hero from the Battle of Vonra and others, whose exploits were read at Starfleet Academy. Garth of Izar had a very similar background and reputation, earned during the Battle of Axanar and The Four Years War.
- TNG episode: "Too Short a Season" – An aging admiral chooses to undertake one final mission to right past wrongs in 2364.
First in book
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- Some sort of military attempt was made to break the Federation-Romulan treaty 29 years prior to the events of this story. It was unclear if those events were part of the Battle of Vonra, or some other battle. It also was unclear whether the attempt involved Romulans, Klingons or both. However, any aggressive Romulan military activity in this period could conflict with Spock’s historical briefing in TOS episode: "Balance of Terror".