- Located far beyond the boundaries of explored space, the Goeg Domain is a political union of dozens of planets and races. When the USS Enterprise arrives in its territory to investigate an interstellar phenomenon, Commander Laspas of the Domain Defense Corps is at first guarded, then fascinated to discover the existence of an alliance of worlds much like his own, and finds a kindred spirit in Captain James T. Kirk. And when the Enterprise is attacked by the Domain's enemies, crippling the starship's warp capability and leaving its crew facing the prospect of a slow, months-long journey home, the Goeg leader volunteers the help of his own ship, offering to combine the resources of both vessels to bring the Enterprise to a nearby Domain facility to make the necessary repairs.
- But what at first seems to be an act of peace and friendship soon turns out to be a devil's bargain, as Kirk and the Enterprise crew learn that there are perhaps more differences than similarities between the Federation and the Domain. When the Goeg's adversaries strike again, the Enterprise is drawn deeper and inexorably into the conflict, and Kirk begins to realize that they may have allied themselves with the wrong side…
Captain James T. Kirk is sparring with fellow crewman, Lieutenant Joseph D'Abruzzo from security in the ship’s gymnasium, during which the ship suddenly shudders from hitting a wave of subspace turbulence as it approaches the area of space it has been sent to investigate, the Nystrom Anomaly, discovered by the first generation warp probe, Friendship One, eighty years earlier. Observing from a distance, the Enterprise gleans little more information than the probes had, that the anomaly appears to be somehow bending local space-time and subspace, but also almost impervious to sensors scans.
Kirk orders the ship closer, and they discover that the anomaly is a star and planetary system surrounded by a field of shimmering, crystalline asteroids, later dubbed Nystromite by the crew after a piece is brought on board and examined. The unique properties of the Nystromite make it hazardous to fly through or use phasers on. So the crew use the ship’s tractor beams to manipulate a regular asteroid, followed by a photon torpedo detonation to clear a path through the field. With a path cleared through the field, free of interference from the Nystromite, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura picks up what she believes are faint subspace radio transmissions coming from the fourth planet, indicative of intelligent life.
Making orbit, the ship’s sensors pick up an artificial power source on the planet, though the particulate Nystromite in the atmosphere make detailed sensor readings difficult. A landing party composed of two members each from science and security, accompany the captain, and Mister Spock, onto the surface. As the landing party discover the remains of a campsite, they come under fire by a group of alien soldiers from the Goeg Domain patrol vessel 814 on the surface, who had mistook them for being members of the Taarpi, a terrorist group they had been tracking. Whilst above in orbit, the Enterprise comes under attack from a swarm of nystromite asteroids fitted with fusion rocket engines. The ship is hit multiple times, taking severe damage to its warp engines, and is left unable to go to warp.
A ceasefire is called, but not before D’Abuzzo is wounded in the fire fight. As Deeshal, a doctor from The Domain ship offers to help treat the injured man, Captain Kirk and commander Laspas of the Goeg ship converse, and discover that the Goeg Domain is also an organisation comprised of a union of different species like the Federation. Deeshal admits his unfamiliarity with human physiology, and that D'Abuzzo's best chance of survival would be to get him back to the Enterprise. They contact the ship, and learn that the Enterprise is under attack by the Nystomite asteroids and causing interference with communications. Commander Laspas orders his ship into orbit, and immediately the asteroid weapons retreat, and are destroyed by the Domain ship.
Montgomery Scott makes an assessment of the damage and repair work that would be needed, and reports that the Enterprise would be without warp drive for at least six weeks, then at least ten weeks to reach Starbase 43, over a hundred light-years away for further repairs. The captain and crew are dismayed at their situation, but have little choice. But then the ship is hailed by the Goeg ship. Commander Laspas informs them that there is a repair facility nearby at Wezonvu. But it is twenty two light years away, and still very far for a ship without warp drive.
Laspas understands, and offers to help. His chief engineer N’Mi, has thought of a plan to physically link the two ships together and reroute the warp plasma generated from the Enterprise’s more powerful reactor to the 814’s warp nacelles, to create a warp field large enough to encompass both ships. Kirk, though grateful, is hesitant, as it would require relinquishing much control over to the other ship. Ultimately, Kirk accepts the offer, and work connecting the two vessels begins.
Riding on top of the 814, Kirk muses, much like the Enterprise’s predecessor, the prototype Space shuttle on a Boeing jet aircraft, they travel at warp to the repair facility. Initially relations between the two crews are positive, spending time together in the recreation room, and Kirk forms a friendship with Laspas in finding in him a kindred spirit. Even nurse Christine Chapel becomes involved with a brief romantic relationship with doctor Deeshal.
Despite the joviality aboard the Enterprise, the Starfleet officers stationed on board the Domain vessel discover life on board the 814 is not so pleasurable, having to adhere to strict rules, and are met with views of hostility. And they soon start to realise that there is more differences than similarities between the Federation and Goeg Domain, and that they're more intent on putting their own interests before the interests of others.
Relations are tested further when the ships discover the remains of a civilian transport ship, believed to have been attacked by the Taarpi. Under the 814’s control, both vessels change course to find the perpetrators. The 814 and Enterprise engage the Taarpi vessel, intending to disable the vessel, until the 814 commandeers the Enterprise’s weapons systems and launches two photon torpedos, unaware of the torpedo’s power, the Taarpi ship is destroyed.
The Enterprise recovers three survivors from a life craft, two insect-like Urpires, and an amphibian-like Abesian. Both the Urpires, due to their fragile physiology don’t survive. Doctor Deeshal, helps to treat the casualties, but is shocked to learn that Urpires were aboard a Taarpi vessel, as Urpires were supposed to be politically neutral.
The female Abesian, named Ghalif survives, and they learn that the Taarpi are in fact citizens of the Goeg Domain who are in revolt against the aggression and inequality by the dominant Goeg race amongst its citizens. While there are amenable members of the Goeg Domain, such as commander Laspas, who are willing to do the right thing, unlike his first officer, Satrav, who is less flexible, and stands for keeping the system as it is.
Ghalif also claims that it wasn’t the Taarpi that destroyed the civilian transport, but the Goeg. They intentionally murdered their own people, to discredit the Taarpi. In the meantime, Ghalif is kept in on the Enterprise in protective custody. But before they reach Wezonvu, the 814 drops out of warp and are confronted by four heavily armed Goeg enforcement ships who demand Ghalif be handed over to them, and that they will be escorting the conjoined ships for the remainder of the journey.
Kirk agrees to a extradition hearing for Ghalif. Before which, doctor Deeshal reveals vital information regarding the destroyed transport ship, backing up Ghalif’s claims of Goeg sabotage that was to stop a meeting between the Taarpi and the Urpires, having decided to end their neutrality, and join the rebellion against Goeg tyranny.
The ships at last reach Wezonvu, the 814 and Enterprise are separated and repairs made, via the use of robotic drones. With the repairs mostly completed, all seems well until they detect a rogue Nystromite shielded drone attempting to smuggle a photon torpedo from the launch tubes. Scott succeeds in recovering the warhead, but they learn from its memory banks that it had already stolen two more photon torpedoes and taken them to the 814.
Kirk orders the Enterprise to intercept the 814. When they do, they find it in orbit of Nalaing, broadcasting threats to the planet for giving the Taarpi refuge and demands their surrender. Laspas follows it up with the detonation of one of the stolen photon torpedoes in orbit as a demonstration of power. Kirk hails Laspas, appealing to his good nature, warning him that a photon torpedo detonation within the atmosphere would kill everything on the planet. Laspas listens, opening a visual link, and is then shocked to learn that Satrav has lied to him, that the weapons were not offered, but had been stolen. Satrav, mutinously, orders Laspas relieved of command, and gives the order to fire the second torpedo. But N’Mi stands up for Laspas and intervenes, delaying the launch, and a struggle for control ensues. Uhura, familiar with the Goeg's coding system, observes that Laspas has secretly gestured with his fingers the code to open fire on the 814.
The Enterprise places itself in-between the 814 and the planet, then fires on the Domain ship, triggering an automatic fire response. The photon torpedo is released and detonates against the Enterprise shields. Control is regained on the 814, with Satrav and his conspirators placed under arrest.
Final repairs are made, but before they part ways, Kirk visits Laspas, injured during the struggle with Satrav. Laspas is remorseful from his actions, though he believes he will be stripped of his command. Kirk gives words of encouragement: with Laspas' unique position as a commander, and as a Goeg, he has the opportunity to help influence others and work towards a better future for the Domain, and they part as friends.
- Altoing • Asmar • B'Gof • Kaylee Chao • Christine Chapel • Pavel Chekov • Cleveland • Joseph D'Abruzzo • Deeshal • Fallag • Jameel Farah • Farrell • Fexil • Fradella • David Frank • Morgan Gannon • Ghalif • Graham • Houlihan • Kent • Kikkikizz • James T. Kirk • John Kyle • Laspas • Steven MacNeal • Jabilo M'Benga • Leonard McCoy • Migor • M'Ress • Arex Na Eth • Nakahara • N'Mi • Ogden • Jean O'Reilly • Rizil • Palmer • Reynolds • Rogers • Satrav • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Stevenson • Strassman • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura
- Referenced only
- Robert April • Jonathan Archer • Artful Dodger • Rollin Bannock • Rob D'Amato • Richard Daystrom • Devil • Erhokor • Benjamin Franklin • Stephen Garrovick • God • Amanda Grayson • Izay • Kawhye • Roger Korby • Landru • Margaret Mead • Gary Mitchell • Harcourt Fenton Mudd • Neefrem • N'Lar • Loretta Nystrom • Christopher Pike • Raltgel • Rojan • Sarek • John Stiles • Jocelyn Treadway • George Washington • Windracer
Starships and vehicles
- Civil Transport 043 (Civil Transport Class I) • USS Enterprise • escape pod • Galileo (shuttlecraft) • lifepod • observation car • Short-Range Enforcement Vessel, Class I (fighter) • Short-Range Enforcement Vessel Class I/7704 (Class I Starvessel) • Starvessel 814 (Starvessel Class III) • Taarpi vessel
- Referenced only
- Daedalus-class • Enterprise • Enterprise (space shuttle) • USS Enterprise • (aircraft carrier) • USS Farragut • freighter • Friendship One • USS Intrepid • jet aircraft • Miranda-class • Oberth-class • USS Republic • Romulan bird-of-prey • Whorfin-class
- the galaxy • Keempo Expanse • Nalaing • Nalaing Civilian Spacedock • Nalaing-Qo • Nalaing system • Nystrom IV • Nystrom Anomaly • Nystrom system • Wezonvu • Wezonvu Repair Facility • Wezonvu system
- Referenced only
- Abes • Andromeda Galaxy • Baikonur Cosmodrome • Beta III • Bliss Mountains • Cestus III • Cravalco • Earth • Frattare 85 quasar • galactic barrier • Gamma 7A • Georgia • Goega • Heaven • Hell • Klingon Neutral Zone • Lir • Mudd • North Star • Pacific Ocean • Rome • Romulan Neutral Zone • San Francisco Fleet Yards • Starbase 43 • Starfleet Museum • Vladivostok • Vulcan
Races and cultures
- Abesian • Caitian • Goeg • Human (Centaurian • Russian • Terran) • Icorr • Liruq • Nalainger • Rokean • Triexian • Urpire • Vulcan
States and organizations
- Domain Defense Corps • Goeg Domain • Starfleet • Starfleet Security • Taarpi • United Federation of Planets • Urpire Curia
- Referenced only
- Allies • Axis Powers • Corps Intelligence • Earth Starfleet • Executive Congress • Kelvan Empire • Starfleet Academy • Starfleet Command • United States Navy • University of Mississippi
Science and technology
- adrenaline • airlock • air vent • alien • amphibianoid • amphibian • analgesic • animal • antenna • antigrav unit • antimatter • artificial gravity • astrogation console • astrophysics • atmosphere • atom • audio receiver • battery • biobed • biosensor • biosphere • blood • bone • bovine • brain • caffeine • camera • carbon-fiber tether • chronometer • clock • clothing reclamator • cobalt fusion torpedo • cobalt fusion warhead • command chair • comm link • communications array • communicator • companel • computer • computer bank • concussion • cordrazine • dark matter • data bank • data card • data slate • deck plate • deflector • dimension • diomotin • doh • drug • drydock • earpiece • electron • electroplasma • electrosensor bandage • emergency bandage • emitter • energy • energy weapon • engine • environmental suit • evolution • exoskeleton • explosive bolt • Feinberg receiver • feline • fire • food dispenser • food slot • food synthesizer • fur • fusion rocket • galaxy • gas • grappler • gravitational field • graviton • gun • habitat module • hair • heart • hour • hull plate • humanoid • hydrocortilene • hydrogen • hypospray • identity recorder • image enhancer • imaging hood • impulse engine • indicator • inertial damper • insectoid • insect • ion • ion-pulse impulse engine • jamming field • keyboard • kilometer • kinetic energy • leonine • library computer • lifeform • light-year • listening station • liter • long-range sensor • M1 • M-5 computer • magnet • mag-track • manipulating servo • matter • medical tricorder • medicine • meter • metric ton • micro-g • microlaser refuser • minute • molecular welder • monitor • nanometer • navigational deflector • nebula • nuclear winter • oil • orbit • oxygenation enhancer • oxygen • pelazine • pharmacology • phaser • phaser bank • phaser rifle • photon • photon torpedo • photon warhead • physics • pistol • plant • plasma • plasma transfer conduit • polarizing light filter • polyenzyme therapy • positioning jet • power generator • probe • pylon • radiation • radio • reactor • red giant • re-fusion beam • repair slip • reptilian • rifle • robotic drone • robot • scanner • second • sensor • sensor array • sensor cluster • sensor pod • shield emitter • shield generator • shields • skull • sonic boom • sonic decoupler • sonic shower • space • spacedock • spacewarp generator • spatial anomaly • speaker • spine • star • starbase • starship • star system • stereoscopic viewer • structural integrity field • subdwarf star • subspace • subspace distortion • subspace inversion field • subspace pocket • subspace radio • support module • surgery • surgical support frame • targeting scanner • thorax • thumbprint scanner • thunder • thruster • time • tissue regenerator • torpedo • torpedo launch tube • torpedo launcher • tractor beam • tractor emitter • transmitter • transporter • transporter pad • tricorder • tri-ox • turbolift • umbilical • universal translator • universe • video • viewport • viewscreen • warhead • warp core • warp core breach • warp drive • warp factor • warp field • warp nacelle • warp plasma • warp plasma filter • warp plasma transfer conduit • warp probe • waste extraction • water • white dwarf • xenopharmacology
Ranks and titles
- advance scout • ambassador • bioresearcher • bureaucrat • cadet • captain • chargé d'affaires for the Goeg Domain • chief • chief engineer • chief medical officer • chief surgeon • commander • commanding officer • communications officer • crewman • diplomat • doctor • Emissary of the Urpire Curia • engineer • ensign • envoy • executive officer • first lieutenant • first officer • fisherman • healer • helmsman • junior engineer • junior officer • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • medic • morale officer • navigator • nurse • officer • orderly • physician • pilot • president • science officer • scientist • second commander • second lieutenant • security guard • security officer • senior chief • senior officer • sociologist • Starfleet liaison officer • technician • terrorist • third lieutenant • undersecretary of interplanetary affairs • weapons officer
- 18th century • 20th century • alpha shift • Andorian percussion block • ant • armor • asteroid • astrogation • bagpipes • ball • beach ball • bean pod • Beautiful Dreamer • bell • belt • beta shift • billiards • bison • black powder firecracker • book • boot • bourbon • brass • bridge • briefing room • brogue • buckwheat flapjack • bulkhead • bull • cake • calisthenics • campfire • candle • cargo bay • cart • century • chess • chime • choir • cinnamon • city • Class M • clothing • coffee • communications station • corbomite • corridor • credit • crystal • cue stick • day • decade • democracy • dilithium • divorce • Domain medical library • dom-jot • dormitory • duranium • Earth-Romulan War • emotion • empire • engineering • execution • fishing • folk dance • forest • gaat • gallows • gelbartix • gemstone • genocide • gi • glass • glove • government • guitar • gurney • gymnasium • hail • hangar deck • harpoon • heenye • helm • helmet • hen • history • hobgoblin • holding cell • homeworld • horse • hospital • hull • iron • Jefferies tube • jellyfish • jigsaw puzzle • judo • Kentucky bourbon • kiss • klaxon • Kobayashi Maru simulation test • kona • laboratory • landing party • language • leather • library • lion • locker • logic • marriage • martial arts • mask • mess hall • metal • micrometeor • military • money • mongrel • monograph • month • moon • mountain goat • mule • music • mutiny • nickel • noodle • novel • nystromite • olive • onyx • pancake • pencil • philosophy • photograph • picnic • pillow • planetoid • planet • playing card • prejudice • Prime Directive • psionic • pyurb • quarters • rag doll • rank • rec room • red alert • reel • restaurant • robe • rock • rubber • Russian language • The Sailor's Romance • salt • sauce • saucer section • sausage • school • science station • shoe • shooting star • shuttlebay • sickbay • signal chime • silk • song • space amoeba • Starfleet General Orders and Regulations • Starfleet uniform • stereotype • stew • sugar • sword • taarpi • tea • technology • telepathy • terrycloth • three-dimensional chess • Tiburonian wheel harp • toolkit • towel • transparent aluminum • transporter room • tree • ukulele • umbrella • uniform • United Earth Intercollegiate Championship • vegetable • violin • visor • Vulcan lyre • weapon • wharf • wolf • wood • woodwind • World War II • year • yellow alert
- Spock noted that the probe Friendship One had discovered the Nystrom Anomaly 89 years earlier, during its twelfth decade of operation.
- Spock also muses about the events of stardate 1709.2-1709.6, noting it occurred 17 months prior to this novel's events (during the TOS episode "Balance of Terror").
The Folded World
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From History's Shadow
Losing the Peace
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