- John Byrne continues his new Star Trek photonovel adventures! … From the raging heart of the galaxy comes a message that summons the crew of the Starship: Enterprise on their most bizarre and dangerous mission. A message sent by their own captain… ten centuries earlier!
- Captain's log, stardate 4826.2: Deep Space Monitoring Station 18 has summoned the USS Enterprise off our assigned patrol. Station commander Resnick has been most… cryptic in telling us why he has sent the unusual call. I might have been inclined to ignore the message, but for an endorsement from Lt. Uhura. That was two days ago. It has taken us until now to reach this isolated listening post.
The reason for the diversion was to inspect a mysterious message transmitted by James T. Kirk from the galactic core 1,170 years ago. Spock and Uhura verified the message and Montgomery Scott verified the station's equipment, leaving the crew with a bona fide mystery. Kirk asked Admiral James Komack for permission to investigate.
- Captain's log, stardate… not applicable. We are three thousand light years from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, and even at this distance we can feel the power of the super-massive black hole that hides behind the curtain of stars before us.
At coordinates cited in the message, the Enterprise located a highly irradiated planet axially facing its star, creating a narrow region around the equator where life could exist. Hikaru Sulu detected the secondary hull of a crashed Constitution-class starship — the Enterprise. Kirk, Spock, Scott and Leonard McCoy rode Galileo II to the surface, finding all power cells and usable equipment scavenged from the thousand-year-old wreck. On a mountainside they discovered the primary hull and a small city. Inhabitants spotted them and stunned them with a phaser.
The city's inhabitants were 40th generation descendants of Enterprise crew. Kirk met with Kroy, who had been trained for this day, the day of their origin, and could speak English. Using a well-maintained tricorder, Kroy played back a log entry Kirk had yet to make:
- Captain's log, stardate… unknown. Mr. Spock has calculated what we hope is the best escape vector to get us free of the gravitational well of this planet.
The tricorder recorded Spock's suggestion to use a time warp. During the attempt, they implemented a saucer separation to try to avoid impacting the surface. They were unsuccessful, killing 250 people in the crash.
Kroy let the officers leave to play their part in history. Back aboard the starship, Spock proposed instead that they use a gravimetric slingshot maneuver. The strategy worked, erasing the city and its inhabitants from history. Suddenly, rather than being near the galactic core, the ship was now a dozen light years from Earth, where it would have been had they not been hailed by Resnick.
- Pavel Chekov • James Komack • James T. Kirk • Kroy • Kyle • Leonard McCoy • Resnick • Montgomery Scott • Shea • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura • Winget
- Referenced only
Starships and vehicles
- Deep Space Monitor Station 18 • Milky Way Galaxy (galactic core • unnamed star system • unnamed planet)
- Referenced only
- Earth (Easter Island) • Vulcan
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- chronometer • communicator • coordinates • decontamination • DNA • electromagnetism • identification beacon • impulse power • phaser • primary hull • robot • power cell • probe • scrubber • secondary hull • shield • transporter • tricorder • warp drive
Ranks and titles
- admiral • captain • commander • communications officer • Federation Starfleet ranks (2260s) • guard • lieutenant • science officer
- animal • assignment patch • atmosphere • black hole • bridge • century • city • civilization • crew • culture • English language • gravity • hangar deck • history • iron • kilometer • landing party • life form • light year • listening post • logic • meter • mountain • nickel • nitrogen • orbit • oxygen • planet • playing card • pressure • radiation • roller coaster • saucer separation • sector • star • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • starship • star system • statue • Stone Age • temperature • time warp • vacuum • vodka • worm • year
- Admiral James Komack specified that as of that date, only robot probes had been sent to the galactic core, confirming that the story took place prior to TAS episode: "The Magicks of Megas Tu".
- Because the time warp was avoided, history reshaped itself such that none of the events actually occurred. Nonetheless, the Enterprise crew recalled their experiences.
- Circumstances created a predestination paradox, a type of paradox discussed by DTI agents Gariff Lucsly and Marion Dulmur in DS9 episode: "Trials and Tribble-ations".
- The shuttle's Galileo II nomenclature was visible on page 15.
#1: "The Mirror, Cracked"
#2: "Sweet Sorrow"
"Made Out of Mudd"
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"The Paradise Syndrome"