Star Trek 5 (Novel)
|Published by||Bantam Books|
|Previous||Star Trek 4 (Blish04)|
|Next||Star Trek 6 (Blish06)|
|Written by||James Blish|
(FASA Roleplaying Game)
More Thrilling Adventures from the Prize-Winning Television Series Created by Gene Roddenberry
The Enterprise blazes new star trails to danger as Kirk, Spock and the rest encounter
- an asylum planet where the mad rule
- a universe with a total population of one
- race warfare to the death—whiteblack against blackwhite
- paradise—with a most unusual serpent
- the ultimate in women's lib
- an almost eternal triangle
- a gang of galactic drop-outs
and other startling problems and perils.
The entire crew was deserting, hurrying down to the planet that had been declared deadly to human life.
Uhura had short-circuited all communications to Star Fleet Command. McCoy was getting blissfully drunk on mint juleps.
And Spock… Spock had fallen passionately in love!
Just one of the exciting stories included in this new collection, adapted from the award-winning TV series by James Blish, himself a Hugo Award winner and one of today's outstanding science fiction writers.
Whom Gods Destroy
Captain Kirk takes the Enterprise to Elba II, home of an asylum for the Federation's criminally insane. He has brought a new drug that, when used in conjunction with other treatments, can cure these individuals. Beaming down, Kirk and Spock are met by the colony's governor, Donald Cory — who turns out to be Garth of Izar, a brilliant, former starship captain. Now an inmate of Elba II, Garth used his mysterious shape-changing power to assume Cory's appearance. Imprisoning the real governor, Garth then freed his fellow inmates and took over the asylum.
Now he seeks to gain possession of the Enterprise. His attempts, involving impersonation and the wiles of the Orion inmate Marta, are unsuccessful. In a rage, Garth has Marta dragged into the poisonous atmosphere beyond the asylum's protective dome and killed with a powerful explosive he invented. Mr. Scott, left in command of the Enterprise, cannot penetrate the asylum's forcefield to aid Kirk. But Spock manages to escape his guards — only to discover that Garth has transformed into Kirk's double. The Vulcan correctly deduces which is the impostor, and after control of the asylum is restored to Cory, Garth is treated with the new drug and on his way to recovery.
The Tholian Web
The Enterprise discovers another Federation starship, the U.S.S. Defiant, adrift in an unexplored region of space. Beaming aboard in spacesuits, Captain Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Chekov find the Defiant's entire crew dead: the victims of violence. The ship is rapidly shifting into a parallel dimension and becoming "nonexistent" in this one. The landing party returns to the Enterprise — except for Kirk, who is stranded aboard the Defiant when it vanishes. Spock is able to calculate when and where the ghost ship will rematerialize, and at that time, the Enterprise will be able to rescue Kirk, if his oxygen supply lasts.
The wait proves hazardous. This region of space, due to its peculiar physical properties, renders the ship's crew hostile to one another. Then the Tholians enter the scene and accuse the Enterprise of trespassing in their space, and weave an energized "web" around the Enterprise. The expected "interphase" between universes occurs, but the Defiant fails to rematerialize, and when Kirk is presumed dead, the crew's morale begins to deteriorate even further. Then several crew members, and ultimately the entire bridge crew, see the captain's ghostly figure appear before them. Kirk is alive, Spock realizes, and there is still a chance to save him. The Enterprise manages to flee the Tholian web, taking Kirk's disembodied form along with the ship. The captain is finally beamed aboard, his suit's oxygen supply nearly exhausted.
Let That Be Your Last Battlefield
On an urgent rescue mission, the Enterprise intercepts a stolen Federation shuttlecraft and its thief, a humanoid named Lokai, who asks for asylum. Lokai, a native of the planet Cheron, is half-white and half-black. Soon after his arrival, the Enterprise discovers another ship following them at incredible speed. Locking on that craft's passenger, the Enterprise transports him aboard just as his ship explodes. The passenger is Bele, another Cheronian, who is also half-black and half-white, though oppositely-colored from Lokai. He claims to be Cheron's chief officer attached to the commission of political traitors, in pursuit of Lokai. Captain Kirk resists his undiplomatic extradition attempts, and after the near destruction of the Enterprise, the starship arrives at Cheron to discover a dead world: the inhabitants have all killed one another with their insistent hatreds. Bele and Lokai chase one another down to their dead planet, where they continue their senseless fight.
This Side of Paradise
The Enterprise arrives at planet Omicron Ceti III, where Kirk expects to find all the colonists dead because of the deadly Berthold rays to which they have been exposed for three years. But when a landing party beams down, colony leader Elias Sandoval informs them that everyone on the planet is quite well—including Leila Kalomi, a young botanist with whom Spock had worked six years before. Leila leads Spock to a clump of plants that spray him with their spores, liberating the Vulcan's emotions. Spock expresses his long-suppressed love for Leila. Other members of the landing party are exposed, plants are beamed up to the Enterprise, and before long everyone is affected. Then the captain discovers that strong emotional reactions are the antidote to the spores' effects, and tricks Spock into coming back aboard the Enterprise. He goads him into a fight, and barely avoids being killed by the Vulcan's superior strength. The conflict restores Spock to normal, and he assists Kirk in constructing an apparatus that frees the Enterprise crew and the colonists from the spores.
Dr. Janice Lester, once romantically involved with Jim Kirk, hates the captain because she was unable (and unfit) to become a starship commander as well. She lures Kirk to Camus II, where she has discovered an alien mechanism capable of transferring minds between bodies. Using the device, Lester transfers her consciousness into Kirk's body, trapping his mind in hers. Dr. Arthur Coleman, Lester's partner, makes sure that Kirk is kept sedated, but Spock becomes susupicious and, using a mind meld, discovers what has happened. Lester initiates court martial proceedings against Spock and all who oppose her, but she is unable to control her temper, arousing further suspicion. When Lester charges Dr. McCoy and Mr. Scott with mutiny and tries to impose a death sentence, the entire crew realizes that something is seriously wrong. Kirk, with Spock's telepathic assistance, is able to reverse the effects of the mind transfer, and Lester, in her own body once again, falls into a comatose state.
Requiem for Methuselah
When an outbreak of deadly Rigellian fever strikes aboard the Enterprise, the starship travels to planet Holberg 917-G in search of ryetalyn — the disease's only known antidote. Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to the supposedly uninhabited planet's surface, only to discover a mysterious man named Flint. Despite his initial anger over their presence, Flint orders his robot servant to gather the crucial mineral while he and his ward Rayna Kapec entertain the Enterprise landing party. Spock notices that Flint's home is filled with rare art treasures, including an unknown Brahms waltz. Meanwhile, Rayna and the captain are swiftly developing feelings for one another.
When Flint's robot proves to be more of a hindrance than a help in gathering the ryetalyn, the landing party strikes off on its own and makes a shocking discovery — a succession of Rayna androids, the latest of which is the one that Kirk knows. Flint reveals that he is an immortal who wandered the Earth for millennia, existing as da Vinci, Brahms, and many other important individuals. He came to Holberg 917-G to rest at last — and to ease his loneliness, he built the Rayna androids. He initially encouraged the present Rayna's involvement with Kirk in the hope that it would accelerate her emotional development, but is now intensely jealous. As he and Kirk begin to fight over Rayna, the android, sensitive and confused by her newfound and conflicting emotions, short-circuits and dies. The landing party collects the ryetalyn and returns to the Enterprise, where McCoy tells Kirk and Spock that Flint, too, will soon die: in leaving Earth, Flint also left behind the source of his immortality. To help ease Kirk's heartache at Rayna's death, Spock uses a Vulcan mind meld to erase the painful memory from Kirk's mind.
The Way to Eden
Captain Kirk sights a stolen spaceship, the Aurora, and orders pursuit. The strain of the chase overheats the Aurora's engines, and everyone aboard is beamed to the Enterprise just before the Aurora explodes. The guests are a group of young idealists seeking to begin a new life on the mythical planet Eden. Their leader is a brilliant engineer, Dr. Sevrin, who is also quite insane — as well as a carrier of synthococcus novae, a disease deadly to those not immunized against it. Sevrin seeks to gain control of the Enterprise and find Eden. Among his followers are Irina Galliulin, a young woman who was once involved with Ensign Chekov, as well as the son of a Catullan ambassador to the Federation. The latter's presence results in Kirk receiving instructions to handle the group gently and to allow them freedom of movement aboard the Enterprise.
While Sevrin is placed in protective confinement, Spock begins a search for Eden — which he surprisingly discovers. Once the Enterprise is in orbit, Sevrin's followers arrange for his escape, and before they leave, the mad engineer rigs an ultrasonic device that nearly kills Kirk and several crewmembers. Stealing a shuttlecraft, the group flees to the planet below. Kirk and a landing party follow, only to discover that Eden's soil and vegetation are highly toxic: one young man is already dead. The others agree to leave, save for Dr. Sevrin, who commits suicide by eating a nearby piece of fruit.