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Publisher's description

Captain Sulu of the U.S.S. Excelsior and his crew are kidnapped. When Federation-conducted negotiations come to a standstill, Captain James T. Kirk and the former officers of the U.S.S. Enterprise reunite to rescue their old comrade.

The officers learn carrying out their mission could prove difficult when they encounter the kidnappers - a greedy, little-known race called the Thraxians, who believe their way is the only way. Now the Thraxians are demanding super-powerful weapons in exchange for the hostages.

With no other alternatives, Kirk is forced to consider giving in to the Thraxians to save the Excelsior crew - a decision that could save a few, but endanger the lives of an entire star system...




A'ronBarushViolet BaysBelzieB'hutoCavanaughPavel ChekovDavidDraminCaius FesidasJulius FesidasGarth FlanaganSpiros FocusGarithPeter GarvinHandlerBernard HansHenreyKannishJames T. KirkKornishLicusMaldariEugene MarascoLeonard McCoyMelgoodMikaliBarbara O'MarlaSandra PasturPuss-in-BootsJanice RandReissRussel RooseSarekNora SchmidtMontgomery ScottSencusSilky WaySpockHikaru SuluNorquist SvensonTaras TarquinRockefeller ThaylorNyota UhuraVegune
Referenced only
AkaraRobert AprilCapuletsChangJacques CousteauGaiaGuardian of ForeverHamletHarrisonKerlaMontaguesSamuel MorseMother EarthChristopher PikePoloniousWilliam ShakespeareSinghValerisMasoud ValtaneZieglar

Starships and vehicles

USS Excelsior (Excelsior-class) • Plush PrincessShanghai ExpresscraftSundew
Referenced only
CalypsoHMS EnterprizeUSS Enterprise-AIKS Krogshat (B'rel-class) • Yonada



Starbases, Space Stations and Orbital Facilities

Starbase 499

Planets and planetoids

Alpha MemoryBeta Prometheus 1Beta Prometheus 2Beta Prometheus 3Beta Prometheus 3aEarthGamon VILunaMarsMemory AlphaMirageTalos IVVulcan
Referenced only
Cytrops 469JupiterOrgonPollux IVQo'noSRakatanRangorenRura PentheVenus

Plantary locations

ArchnosCentral Reference LibraryChina BeachConclave HallEurosphereGlobe TheatreHealth Science CenterHighlandsLeningradLondon IntergalacticMercury RoomNew YorkNorth AmericaPacific OceanSan FranciscoSan Francisco BayShikarSiberian continentStarfleet HeadquartersStarship's WharfSutro Selestial BathsTelegraph HillT'Khasi
Referenced only
AfricaChinatownEnglandMandelaportSouth AfricaTroy
Bars and Restaurants
Asian ParadoxFlag and GrogHeaven's HearthNebulaeNo Where cantinaPluto's InnPoseidonStar Club

Star Systems and Sellar Locations

Beta Promethean systemBeta QuadrantNeutral ZoneOrion NebulaSol system
Referenced only
Delta Triciatu systemDeuteronimous systemMurasaki 312Vornok system

Races and cultures

BeingBeta PrometheanBetazoidCaltarianDeltanDolpheelHumanKartoanKitarianKlingonOctoanPhylosianVulcan
Referenced only
AndorianAurelianCaitianCentaurianChameloidChemizoidCytrops 469 nativeKaferianLegaranMelkotianRomulanTellarite

States and organizations

ConclaveDeltan DuoFederation CouncilGaianInner CouncilIntergalactic Geographic MuseumIntergalactic News NetworkInter-Galactic SystemsMaritime MuseumMelpomene PlayersOffice of the President of the Federation CouncilPeople of LightRuling FamilyShrewdest OnesSpiritual LeadersStarship Historical Preservation SocietyTrans-Universal ShippingThe TrendoidsUnited Federation of PlanetsVulcan Science Academy
Referenced only
Byzantine EmpireDilithium Mining Corps


Alien Language TranslationCommunications Satellite TrackingDepartment of Humanoid ResourcesGalaxy Vegetation ResearchHumanoid Resource RecordsNavigational Research DivisionStarfleet AcademyStarfleet CommandStarfleet Navigation Group

Ranks and titles

kingknightpiratePresident of North AmericaPresident of the United Federation of PlanetsPress LiaisonZone Governor

Other references

19th century20th centuryalcoholAlien Parksanabolic protoplaserantantigravity plasticineAphasiaAsianasteroidBasic OrdersBerengaria dragonBon VoyageBook of MuharbarbrainwashingbridgecacoaCalypsocetaceanchessChristmasCobanian cigarcommunicatorconference roomconndatabankdatapaddDebellium brain rot diseasedesertdilithiumdisruptordistress signaldolphinDos VidaniyaducatdwarfeelelephantenviropodEuropeanfal-tor-panFantasy StimulatorfirestormfogGaelicgoldgolfGreekGrog optoman, nokt ingoG-stringHamlethelmsmanHigher CallingholodocinfoportInterior ArchitectureivorykernKitarian Cloud RockknifeKobayashi Maru scenarioKolchinsky gambitKwaheriLatinlinguacodelogicLuxury Worldsmacrobiotic foodmedical tricorderMediterraneanMercury bourbonMongolianMongolian TeaMorse codemushroomnavigatorNorwegianOnly WayOudachyPan Gowpearlphaserphoton torpedoPhylosian cognacpianoPicadespopsiclePrime DirectiveradiationradioreptilianrobotRomeo and JulietRomulan aleRussianSaurian brandyScottishSemper FidelissensorsheepshieldssilverSlán agatspray applicatorsquirt gunStar YachtsSwahilitelegraphThaylor ExpeditionTholian WebtitaniumtoadstooltransportertricorderTrojan HorseturboliftUkrainianuniversal translatorvacationviewscreenvolcanoVulcan neck pinchwaterWinter Solsticezoo


  • The back cover blurb calls the Beta Prometheans "Thraxians", which they are never called in the novel.
  • The story is dated to spring 2294; the Pocket Books Timeline adjusts this date 2293 to make it compatible with the Star Trek Chronology. The claim that Kirk has been retired for six months is also disregarded.
  • Mirage is stated to be one hundred fifty billion years old, making it ten times older than the universe itself.
  • Valtane's first name is given as Masoud. This was later contradicted canonically in Star Trek: Voyager.
  • Scotty speaks of travelling "hundreds of millions of light-years into deep space", which surely must be an exaggeration, as it would place them in another galaxy.


published order
Previous novel:
TOS numbered novels Next novel:
First Frontier
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
The Ashes of Eden
Pocket Next Adventure:
War Dragons (framing story)
Media featuring the USS Excelsior (NCC-2000) under Captain Hikaru Sulu
episodes/movies The Undiscovered CountryFlashback
novels The Undiscovered CountryThe Fearful SummonsThe Captain's DaughterThe Ashes of EdenStarfleet AcademyThe Captain's Table: War DragonsThe Lost Era: The SunderedExcelsior: Forged in FireFlashbackThe Lost Era: One Constant StarBurning Dreams
comics Tests of Courage (The Tabukan Syndrome)A Wolf in Cheap Clothing (1234) • Captain's Log: SuluThe Undiscovered CountryThe Veteran
Captain Sulu Adventures
games Shattered Universe
characters Hikaru SuluPavel ChekovJanice RandDevon GablerDmitri ValtaneLeonard James AkaarLojurTuvokAltos Viger