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At last, the long awaited novel featuring both famous crews of the starships Enterprise in an epic adventure that spans time and space. Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) are faced with their most challenging mission yet - rescuing renowned scientist Zefram Cochrane from captors who want to use his skills to conquer the galaxy.
As the two crews struggle to fulfill their missions, destiny draws them closer together until past and future merge - and the fate of each of the two legendary starships rest in the hands of the other vessel...
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2293: James Kirk, sixty years old and recently retired from Starfleet, visits the Guardian of Forever one last time. The Guardian has been inactive since a few years after he discovered it, and a researcher there requests that he ask it a question. He does, and it doesn't respond. But when the researcher walks away, leaving Kirk alone with his regrets, he whispers the word "Why?", and the Guardian answers...
2065: Zefram Cochrane has just returned from his historic first warp flight to Alpha Centauri and back in just eight months. His friend and patron Micah Brack warns him that the Optimum, a militaristic political movement bent on the eradication of any person deemed genetically and/or ideologically "inferior", has taken an interest in his work, and that a high-level officer, Colonel Adrik Thorsen, will arrive in a few hours. Brack explains that he's about to release the warp research he funded, royalty-free, because he believes the Optimum's rise will result in a bloody, planet-leveling war, and he wants extrasolar colonies established well before then. He arranges for Cochrane to be taken to a secret lab where he can continue his research outside the Optimum's grasp.
2078: Cochrane returns to Earth. The Optimum has taken power across most of the world, suspending the Constitution in the United States, imprisoning the British royalty, and everywhere making sure to "contain" nonoptimals. Thorsen captures Cochrane and demands that he explain how to build a "warp bomb." During early research on the warp drive, an accident caused an antimatter explosion. Everything within eighteen meters of the equipment disappeared without even a trace of radiation. The diameter was determined by the laws of physics and couldn't be changed, but Thorsen refuses to believe that. Cochrane eventually escapes, nearly killing Thorsen in the process and making him suboptimal.
2119: Thorsen, having survived World War III and now possessing prosthetic enhancements, comes after Cochrane in his old age, killing the scientist's wife. Cochrane flees his home in the Alpha Centauri system and disappears. He eventually ends up on the planetoid Gamma Canaris, having been rescued by the Companion.
2267: The USS Enterprise, under command of Captain Kirk, is called to answer for a mysterious transmission from a person who appears to be Nancy Hedford, who was thought to be dead. The Enterprise discovers that Cochrane has been kidnapped by the Optimum. They rescue Cochrane, and eventually begin to head toward a quantum singularity to escape the Optimum.
2366: Picard's crew has been dispatched to retrieve a "special science package" from the same black hole. In a strange twist of black hole physics, both the Enterprise and the Enterprise-D end up trapped inside the same black hole, time having been compressed. The two ships cannot communicate with each other in order to preserve the timelines. Eventually, the Enterprise-D rescues Cochrane, and both ships escape the Optimum. Thorsen finally dies when Picard destroys an ancient artifact containing all that is left of him.
2371: Shortly after the Enterprise-D is lost on Veridian. Picard and Riker are on Titan, when Picard receives a letter that had been written to him before his birth. He discovers it is from Kirk, who tells him the entire story.
2293: The Guardian completes its revelation to Kirk, who departs.
Distant Future (new stardate γ 2143.21.3): After all the space faring races of the Milky Way galaxy unite into one galaxy-wide Federation, a starship named Enterprise is sent to investigate a Preserver artifact in the space between galaxies. Finding it to be a doorway to alternate dimensions, the female commanding officer orders the Enterprise to proceed through to investigate what is on the other side.
- Micah Brack • John Burke • Monica Burke-Cochrane • Pavel Chekov • Zefram Cochrane • Beverly Crusher • Data • Richard Galen • James T. Kirk • Geordi La Forge • Mary • Leonard McCoy • Okuda • Jean-Luc Picard • Pol • William T. Riker • Sarek • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Sternbach • Hikaru Sulu • Adrik Thorsen • Deanna Troi • Nyota Uhura • unnamed Humans • unnamed Vulcans • Worf
- Referenced only
- Neil Armstrong • Buck Bokai • James Bond • Gautama Buddha • Oliver Cromwell • Cross • Daar • Delgado • Stephen Garrovick • Phillip Green • Stephen Hawking • Jein • Edith Keeler • David Marcus • Newson • Christopher Pike • Khan Noonien Singh • V'Ger • Yoshikawa
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- armored troop carrier • Betsy • Enterprise • USS Enterprise • USS Enterprise-D • limousine • lunar transport disk • Nautilus-class • Orbital Fighter Escort • orbital transfer unit
- Referenced only
- Bonaventure • City Of Utopia Planitia • USS Enterprise-B • USS Excelsior • Great Western • John Cabal • maglev train • sailing clipper • steamship • yacht
- Earth (Battersea Stadium • Buckingham Palace • Heathrow Airport • Highgate Prison • London • Victoria Station/Thorsen Central Hub • WED Research Platform) • Gateway (Ellison Research Outpost) • Titan (Christopher's Landing)
- Referenced only
- Altair IV • Bradbury's Landing • Coridan • Earth (Afghanistan • Atlantic Ocean • Bristol • Hawaii • India • Los Angeles • Natal • New York City • San Francisco • Sandringham House • Seoul • Stockholm • Syria) • Luna (Copernicus City • Kashishowa Station) • Mars • Neptune • RG-1522 • Sol • Tycho IV • Wolf 359 (Stapledon Center)
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
- Brack Interplanetary • Cochrane Foundation for the Study of Multiphysics • Ferengi Alliance • Her Majesty's Royal Resistance Force • New United Nations • Optimal Republic of Great Britain • Optimum Movement • Piaget SA • Rolls-Royce • Romulan Star Empire • United Federation of Planets
- Referenced only
- Analytical Committee • Austrian Empire • British Empire • Chinese Empire • London Kings • Manchester Druids • Massachusetts Institute of Technology • Martian Colonies • Ottoman Empire • Prussian Empire • Royal Astronomical Society • The Times • United Nations Intelligence • United States of America • Vulcan Science Academy
Ranks and titlesEdit
- astronomer • botanical engineer • captain • colonel • commanding officer • corporal • paratrooper • scientist
Science and technologyEdit
- antimatter • battlefield pulse emitter • cordrazine • EM shield • fistgun • galaxy • gravity • impulse engine • inertial dampener • Josephson probe • liquid vacuum telescope • lithium converter • matter • nanotechnology • neural inhibitor • particle cannon • Preserver obelisk • shredderbomb • sidewarp • spray hypo • transporter • tricorder • warp drive
- Anglo-Zulu War • armored infantry • artificial intelligence surrogate • asteroid interceptor • Babel Conference • baseball • baseball bat • baseball glove • Cambridge Riots • Casino Royale • Clark corollary • dog • duraplast • Emergency Measures Act of 2076 • Eugenics Wars • Eurodollar • fanjet • fig tree • Fourth World • Fundamental Declarations of the Martian Colonies • glass • Guardian of Forever • home plate • identification card • industrialist • lacrosse • Law of Parallel Planet Development • new stardate • norsehlat • Opium War • optics • Ozymandias • photograph • Post-Atomic Horror • radiation armor • rationing • snipe hunt • string quartet • synapse • Theory of Special Relativity • Treaty of London • The Walrus and the Carpenter • World Series • World War II • World War III • zombie
- This novel is a sequel of sorts to the TOS episode: "Metamorphosis".
- Though the events of this novel were largely contradicted by Star Trek: First Contact, it remains a fan favorite.
- Federation was reissued in 2006 as part of the Star Trek 40th Anniversary Celebration along with The Entropy Effect, Vulcan's Glory, and Strangers from the Sky.
- In this novel Cochrane's ship is the Bonaventure, rather than the Phoenix. The Bonaventure was the ship identified as the first to have warp drive in the TAS episode: "The Time Trap".
- The dates of Kirk's visit to the Guardian of Forever and Zefram Cochrane's return from Alpha Centauri are given, respectively, as 2295 and 2061. The Pocket Books Timeline adjusts these dates to 2293 and 2065 to make them compatible with the dates given in the films Generations and First Contact.
Shadows on the Sun
|TOS Stories||Next novel:|
|TNG Stories||Next novel:|
Balance of Power
|TOS unnumbered novels||Next novel:|
The Ashes of Eden
Ménage à Troi
Journey to Babel
|Voyages of the |
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
(2264 to 2270)
The Vulcan Academy Murders
|The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2366.|
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in seven other timeframes:
The Lives of Dax
Encounter at Farpoint
Chapter 2, Section 5
A Girl for Every Star
Journey to Babel
To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh
Shadows of the Indignant
A Flag Full of Stars
The Last Roundup
Past Tense, Part II
The Ashes of Eden