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Introduction (blurb)

The Romulans attack the planet Gateway, where Federation scientists are studying the Guardian of Forever - the mysterious portal to the past.

The Enterprise must protect the Guardian - or destroy it. But Spock has already used the portal to journey to the past. On the planet Sarpeidon, 5000 years ago, Spock knew a beautiful, primitive woman. Now he has gone to meet his son!


The historical records recovered from Sarpeidon show evidence of a young man with Vulcan characteristics existing on the planet in the past. Spock quickly understands the implication: He conceived a child with Zarabeth during his time on the planet. Unwilling to let him grow up alone, Spock arranges with T'Pau to receive permission to use the Guardian of Forever.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy travel to Sarpeidon's past where they encounter Spock's son Zar. However, the Guardian transports them to the time when Zar is a young man, with Zarabeth having died in an accident some years previous. He returns with them to the present. Although he joins them on the Enterprise, Spock has difficulty relating to a grown-up son while Zar begins to rebel against Vulcan customs.

Meanwhile, the Romulans launch an attack on the planet containing the Guardian, believing the presence of a permanent Federation guard means it is a military installation. The Enterprise and the Lexington fight off a Romulan patrol but a shuttle lands, with the crew torturing the archeologists and security detail to death for information on the non-existent installation and surrounding the Guardian with a cloaking field.

Since Zar can sense emotions, Kirk sends him and Spock to set up a force field around the Guardian. They fail and they and Kirk are trapped on the surface when more Romulans arrive. Kirk and Spock try again and succeed but are captured by the Romulans, who are led by Tal.

With Federation reinforcements having defeated the Romulans, McCoy and Uhura join Zar with a security team. Zar is able to destroy the Romulan shuttle and the cloaking device with an overloaded phaser, allowing the security team to overpower the Romulans and rescue Kirk and Spock. Having personally defeated Tal, Zar chooses to return through the Guardian to Sarpeidon's past, having realised he was responsible for a cultural awakening in his own time.

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AtozChristine ChapelJuan CordovaJames T. KirkLeonard McCoyTeresa McNairMontgomery ScottSpockDavid SteinbergTalT'PauAnna VargasRobert WesleyZar
Referenced only

Starships and vehicles

USS EnterpriseUSS ExeterChR Glory QuestUSS HoodUSS LexingtonUSS Potemkin


AndrosBeta NiobeCanopus IVColoradoGatewayR'sevSarpeidonStarbase 11Vulcan

Races and cultures


States and organizations

FederationGilbert and SullivanKhalRomulan Star EmpireStarfleet

Other references

Black Forest cakebolaCode 11cremationGuardian of ForeverKrenathplanetscientistVedra-Prahyear



Related stories



published order
Previous novel:
Web of the Romulans
TOS numbered novels Next novel:
Mutiny on the Enterprise
Previous novel:
First Novel in Saga
The Yesterday Saga Next novel:
Time for Yesterday
Previous novel:
First Star Trek novel
Novels by:
A.C. Crispin
Next novel:
Time for Yesterday
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Phaser Fight
Pocket Next Adventure:
Previous Adventure:
Phaser Fight
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
Next Adventure:
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2270.
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
Previous Adventure:
Spock's World
Vulcan: Four
2703 BC
Chapters 5 & 6
Next Adventure:
Time for Yesterday
Prologue, Chapters 5-10 & 14-15

External link