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Kirk and the Enterprise battle an enemy warship, an amorous computer -- and a galaxy heading for war!


Ravaged by a killer virus, the Romulans enter Canara, where the only antidote can be found. Desperate, they incite a victorious Enterprise attack on one of their vessels - but Kirk discovers their ruse.
Meanwhile, the central computer has fallen in love with him, severely crippling the Enterprise. Now Kirk must bring the antidote to the Romulans - before the galaxy crashes over the brink of war!


The Enterprise is sent to the Neutral Zone to investigate strange rumours about the Romulans. There, the crew witness a Romulan bird of prey, the Raptor, cross the border and cloak. At the same time, the Enterprise's computer is showing the effects of a recent reprogramming, which has caused it to fall in love with Kirk, until it eventually refuses to obey or even acknowledge any other crewmember, effectively leaving the ship crippled.

The lack of communication from the Enterprise causes the paranoid Starfleet Intelligence admiral Iota to become convinced that the ship has been destroyed and a Romulan invasion is in progress. He insists on accompanying a fleet commanded by Captain Garson to the Neutral Zone.

As the Raptor makes an attack run on the Enterprise, Kirk convinces the computer to give them access to auxilliary control and they successfully manage to cripple the ship. The Romulan commander, S'Talon, agrees to surrender and beams himself and his crew over to the Enterprise after setting the Raptor to self-destruct.

It is quickly revealed that the Raptor was a decoy. The Romulan Empire is afflicted by an outbreak of mutated myrruthesia and the only treatment is quinneal. Since the drug can only be manufactured from gran, the Praetor has led a Romulan fleet to attack Canara, a Federation planet which is the nearest major source of the plant.

Kirk persuades S'Talon to trust him and the Enterprise heads for Canara where they find the Romulans and the Canarans engaged in a standoff which could destroy the planet and the gran. Kirk and S'Talon act as emmissaries and persuade the Canarans to trade with the Romulans for the gran.

Meanwhile, Iota, convinced they are at war, has taken control of the USS Potemkin and opened fire on a Romulan rear guard. Garson instructs the rest of the fleet to protect the Romulans and threatens to self-destruct the Potemkin. Iota is finally persuaded to surrender when Kirk allows him to overhear S'Talon convincing the Praetor of the Federation's good faith. The Enterprise escorts the Romulans out of Federation space with the knowledge that the new gran processing plants and the vaccine refined by McCoy will soon end the epidemic.



ArgelianArvielaBelisannaBirdieBowetskiBrialaBryanChristine ChapelCharlesPavel ChekovRex ColfaxFarrellGarrovickMikel GarsonBen GreenHeeryHexceJake IotaJaaelRomm JorammKaalLaurence KalvecchioJames T. KirkKopkaKoucJohn KyleKyotamoYang LiLiviusJublius ManniusLeonard McCoyMurphyOnoraxPompePopovArc PoppaeliaJanice RandKevin RileyMontgomery ScottSpockS'TalonS'TarleyaS'TeerStewartS'TokkrS'TorTiercellusNyota UhuraYellowhorseZorax
Referenced only
AngelaMatthew BradyJohannes BrahmsConnorsKaylaAbraham LincolnMartinelliJohn MasefieldJabilo M'BengaMurombaSean O'CaseyVictoriaRichard Wagner

Starships and vehicles


USS EnterpriseUSS ExeterUSS FarragutUSS HoodUSS Potemkin

Romulan Star Empire

ChR EagleChR Raptor (Vas Hatham-class) • ChR RemusSeabird


AldebaranCanaraCygnet XIVEnglandGettysburgIrelandNew York CityPearl HarborRomulan Neutral ZoneRomulusStarbase 8Starfleet Command HeadquartersStarfleet Intelligence HeadquartersTriskelion

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Federation CouncilFederation Defense CouncilFederation Intelligence CorpsRomulan High CommandRomulan Star EmpireStarfleetStarfleet CommandStar Fleet IntelligenceUnited Federation of Planets

Other references

Arcturan musk oilauxiliary powerbaconbeefbotany labbridgebriefing roomcapital citycaptain • "Captain's Square" • centurionchesschickenchief engineerchief surgeoncitycloaking devicecoffeecolonycommand modulecommandercommodorecommon coldcomputercorncustarddecontamination chamberA Definitive Biography of Abraham Lincolndragonensignfirst officerflowergalleyGettysburg AddressgranhelmsmanhoneyintercomJudas goatkalehKelley devicelieutenantlieutenant commander • "Love in the Afternoon" • "Lullaby" • macaronimacaroni saladmagnoliamyrruthesianavigatorofficer's loungeoutpostphaserphilodendronphilosophyplanetpoetryPraetor of the Romulan Star EmpirepsychologyQuaestorqueenquinnealred alertRigellian custardrosesandwichSelective Intelligence Communications Robotshore leavestarbasesupervisorSupreme Commander of the Fleetswiss cheesetechniciant'lisstomatoturboliftviewscreenvioletVulcan clawfruitvulturewarp factoryeoman


Related stories

"Tomorrow is Yesterday"

The Enterprise is still suffering from the computer malfunction which plagued the ship in this episode following a layover at Cygnet XIV.

"Balance of Terror"

In this episode, the Enterprise became the first Federation starship in nearly a century to encounter a Romulan vessel. Because of this encounter, Kirk and his crew are considered experts in the tactical psychology of the Romulans.

"The Enterprise Incident"

There are references to the Klingon-Romulan alliance as initially discussed and seen in the episode. However, as this story takes place before the episode, it could be suggested that the alliance had been in existence since 2267.

"The Gamesters of Triskelion"

There is a reference made about the danger of games such as chess becoming a reality, and Kirk refers to his experience on Triskelion. Again this episode takes place after the stated timeframe.

Log entries



published order
Previous novel:
TOS numbered novels Next novel:
The Yesterday Saga, Book 1: Yesterday's Son
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Tomorrow is Yesterday
Pocket Next Adventure:
The Return of the Archons
Previous Adventure:
Vicious Circle!
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
The Return of the Archons

External link