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The Latter Fire is a Star Trek: The Original Series novel by James Swallow. It was released on 23 February, 2016.


The five-year mission of the Starship Enterprise has brought the vessel and her crew to the forefront of an important first contact situation. Under the command of Captain James T. Kirk, the ship is heading to the planet Syhaar Prime in the Beta Quadrant—the home world of an alien civilization preparing to take its first steps on to the galactic stage. One year earlier, the Enterprise came across a badly damaged Syhaari explorer vessel drifting in deep space. In collaboration with the explorer’s captain, Kirk and his crew were able to restore the ship to full function and send it on its way. And now, as the Syhaari display rapid technological advances made over the past year, hard questions must be asked. Did the Enterprise crew leak advanced technology or information to the Syhaari during their first encounter, in total violation of the Prime Directive?


Following the departure of navigator Pavel Chekov and the arrival of replacement Arex Na Eth, the Enterprise is transporting Federation envoy Xuur to establish diplomatic relations with the Syhaari race. The Enterprise was specifically requested because they made first contact with the Syhaari when they came to the rescue of a damaged ship approximately earlier. They are greeted by Kaleo, the captain of the ship they rescued, and discover the Syhaari have made significant advances in warp technology, possibly far beyond normal projections for a species such as theirs.

A potential explanation is provided when they meet another Syhaari captain, Tormid, who suffered a similar disaster at the same time as Kaleo. It cost the lives of all his crew but himself and his engineer Hoyga, but he managed to improve his ship's engines in order to return home. Scotty is suspicious, however, since the new engines are based around a different principle.

While Kirk and a landing party attend a diplomatic function on the surface of the Syhaari homeworld, patrols on the edge of the system are attacked by an overwhelming and unknown force. The Enterprise rescues a single survivor, and has an encounter with the planet-sized leviathan that attacked them. Spock and Uhura discover evidence that the leviathan is being driven by another alien race hidden on its surface.

Kirk, Kaleo and Xuur lead a team in a shuttlecraft to make contact with the aliens, the Breg'Hel, who take them prisoner. They meet Rumen, a member of Tormid's old crew, who reveals the reason for the conflict: When they were damaged one year earlier, a Breg'Hel ship arrived, probably to render assistance, but Tormid murdered the ship's entire crew in a fit of greed and paranoia, and left Rumen to be captured. The Breg'Hel believe all Syhaari are responsible for the murder, and so have launched their genocidal crusade against them.

The leviathan begins attacking Syhaari colony worlds, and Tormid leads the Syhaari forces in a doomed attack plan, with the Enterprise trying to minimise casualties. Kirk and Kaleo confront the Breg'Hel leadership, and Kaleo convinces them her people are not barbaric by offering herself and her unborn child as sacrifice to save her race. However, the device the Breg'Hel used to incite the leviathan to rage has now driven it insane. The immense alien attacks both Syhaari and Breg'Hel ships indiscriminately before heading for the Syhaari homeworld itself.

Tormid is taken into custody, and McCoy formulates a plan for the Enterprise, Syhaari, and Breg'Hel ships to enter the leviathan and send out a calming wave that will bring it back to sanity. Tormid escapes during a power fluctuation, and attempts to sabotage the plan so the leviathan and most of the ships will be destroyed and he will emerge a hero, but falls into a plasma stream while fighting Kirk. The plan succeeds, and all three cultures are left to open diplomatic relations with the Federation.



Arex Na EthChristine ChapelPavel ChekovDuchadEad'AeaRon EriksenGarnerGatagJana HainesHoygaKaleoJames T. KirkJohn KyleRyan LeslieLopezMatsuoLeonard McCoyShiboline M'RessRet'SedRumenMontgomery Scottch'SellorSpockHikaru SuluTormidNyota UhuraVeygaan XuurZondZud'HoaZyla
Referenced only
AdamsApolloRobert FoxMasoodMatsumotoJabilo M'BengaOstrowRainesSarekAlfred Tennyson

Starships and vehicles

The Day Ahead (ranger) • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • The Friendship DiscoveredIcarus (class F shuttlecraft) • The Light of StrengthThe Moon's Riseskimmer
Referenced only
USS ArcadiaArcher-classUSS AltairThe Explorer BeyondUSS RepublicThe Searcher Unbound


Beta QuadrantGadmuurGreat VeilHokaarNeliinsector 544-KSyaSyhaar PrimeYedeen
Referenced only
AxanarBeta IIIBlack StarCapellaDelta QuadrantEarth (IowaKenyaLondonNairobiReed AnnexScotland) • Elba II asylumEminiarGamma 7AGamma Trianguli VIIzarJanus VIMarsMercuryNeuralProcyonRhaandarSolStarbase 6Tantalus colonyTriexVendikar

Races and cultures

AndorianBreg'HelCaitianCygnianHumanleviathan (cosmozoan) • RhaandariteSyhaariTriexianVulcan
Referenced only

States and organizations

Federation Diplomatic CorpsLearned AssemblyStarfleetSyhaari GatheringUnited Federation of Planets
Referenced only
Federation CouncilGreater GatheringKlingon EmpireStarfleet AcademyStarfleet Materiel Supply Command

Science and technology

class-2 probealienclass B geomorteus planetbiotechnologyblack holeboridiumclass C geoinactive planetcommunicatorcrystaldeflector shielddelta radiationdilithiumduotronicelectroplasmagas gianthyronalinK class starclass LLandrulife support beltlight-yearclass Mmolecular memoryphaserphoton torpedoplasmatic coilprobequartzradiationsensorshepherd moonshuttlecraftsolar sailspacestarshipsubspacesubspace communicationsupernovatachyon eddythermoconcretetractor beamtransparent aluminumtransportertricordertri-ox compoundtritaniumturbolifttype-2 phaseruniversal translatorVaalviewscreenwarp corewarp drivewarp factorwarp nacelle

Ranks and titles

ambassadorcadetcaptainchief engineerchief medical officercommanderdoctorensignenvoyFeeder of Vaallieutenantlieutenant commanderMother of Agesnurse

Other references

banyanbeetlebirdbridgebrigbulkheadbumblebeecedarcephalopodchickenChristmas treecitycloud-sifterconnecting dorsalcorridordestroyerdogelephantescape podexplorerFederation Standardfirst contactfleageckoglassgrassharpheavy cruiserhomeworldJefferies tubeThe Krakenlanding partylifeboatlionmanta raynacelle pylonOort cloudplanetprimary hullPrime Directivequartersrecreation roomrogue planetruokaanscoutsickbayspace amoebaStarfleet General Orders and RegulationsStarfleet Technical ManualStarfleet uniform (2265-2270)technologytransporter roomtreetugwarshipwhalewildebeestyachtyearzebra



Production history

Published Order
Previous novel:
Child of Two Worlds
The Original Series novels Next novel:
Elusive Salvation
Previous story:
Sight Unseen
Stories by:
James Swallow
Next story:



This novel includes many references from Star Trek: The Animated Series:

Related stories


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