The Federation faces extinction from an awesome new weapon!—The Pandora Principle, by Carolyn Clowes, was the 49th novel published as part of Pocket Books's numbered series of TOS books, released in April 1990.
- A Romulan bird-of-prey mysteriously drifts over the Romulan Neutral Zone and into Federation territory. Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise investigate, only to find the ship dead in space. When Starfleet orders the derelict ship brought to Earth for examination, the Enterprise returns home with perhaps her greatest prize.
- But the bird-of-prey carries a dangerous cargo, a deadly force that is soon unleashed in the heart of the Federation. Suddenly, the only hope for the Federation's survival lies buried in the tortured memory of Commander Spock's protégée, a cadet named Saavik. Together, Spock and Saavik must return to the nightmare world of Saavik's birth—a planet called Hellguard, to discover the secret behind the Romulans' most deadly threat of all…
The Enterprise discovers a ship containing a dying Vulcan woman who Spock mind melds with. He secretly leads a group of Vulcan to Hellguard, a world in the Neutral Zone home to a group of half-Vulcan half-Romulan children, the products of rape who have been abandoned there. Spock insists they are integrated into Vulcan society and is given a year's leave from the Enterprise to raise one of them, Saavik, who eventually attends the Academy.
The Enterprise discovers a drifting Romulan ship with its crew dead, which was fitted with an unlimited cloaking device. They are ordered to bring the ship back to Earth. Kirk realises this is part of a scheme to return him to a ground assignment and tries to avoid it by sneaking into Starfleet Command to file a report in secret. However, two objects found on board the Romulan ship turn out to be filled with a contaminant that, upon released, destroys oxygen, killing everyone in Starfleet Command and the sealed Life City, except for Kirk who was sealed in the basement vault.
The Federation prepares for war, unaware the scheme was actually perpetrated by a secret Romulan cabal, the Twelve. Spock learns that Saavik saw the boxes containing the contaminant being prepared on Hellguard and gets permission to take thwe Enterprise there. En route, they take on board a Romulan smuggler, Achernar, who is actually working for Tahn, a disenchanted member of the Twelve.
Spock and Saavik beam down to Hellguard and encounter the architect of the scheme, which was tested on the parents of the children, but he commits suicide before they can get information from him. Spock plans to detonate a bomb in the store of the boxes and Saavik incapacitates him to plant it herself. They are both beamed aboard but not before the boxes are breached by the explosion, which sets off a chain reaction that destroys Hellguard.
Tahn and Achernar do a deal that sees the Twelve exposed while Than slips away. McCoy realises that Saavik survived exposure to the contaminant because of elements in the dust where they were stored and this is used to neutralise the contaminant on Earth. Kirk is allowed to remain as captain of the Enterprise for now.
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- Achernar • Bradley • Pavel Chekov • Conklin • Fred DiMuro • Malcomb Dorish • Janet Goldman • Robert Harper • Maxim Kinski • James T. Kirk • James Komack • Jessie Korbet • Leonard McCoy • Michaels • Nelson • Heihachiro Nogura • Obo • El-Idorn Rakir • Ayla Renn • Richards • Saavik • Salok • Sarek • Montgomery Scott • Spock • George Stocker • S'tvan • Hikaru Sulu • Tahn • Nyota Uhura • unnamed USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) personnel • unnamed Dantrians • unnamed Humans • unnamed Romulans • unnamed Starfleet personnel • unnamed Vulcans
- Referenced only
- Katia Harper • T'Pau • T'Pren • T'Sai
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- Achernar's transport • Federation travel pod • unnamed Romulan starships (Romulan bird-of-prey, Romulan warship, other attacking ships)
- Enterprise-subclass (Constitution refit) class XI heavy cruiser
- USS Constitution • USS Enterprise • USS Potemkin
- USS Enterprise
- bridge • corridor • engineering • quarters (Spock's, Kirk's, Saavik's) • sickbay • turbolift
Outposts and establishmentsEdit
- Spacedock • Starfleet Academy • Starfleet Headquarters • The Vault
- Referenced only
- Gamma Eridani research station • Gol • Starbase 10
Planets and planetoidsEdit
Stars and systemsEdit
Races and culturesEdit
States and organizationsEdit
- Federation Council • Romulan Star Empire • Starfleet • Starfleet Command • The Ten • United Federation of Planets • Vulcan Council
Technology and weaponsEdit
- airlock • blade • cloaking device • CoffeeTech • command chair • communicator • computer • dagger • damping field • environmental suit • food synthesizer • hand-held weapon • impulse engine • intercom • life support • log buoy • paper • pencil • phaser • phaser pistol • photon torpedo • pistol • plasma torpedo • record tape • recorder • servo-miner • ship-mounted weapon • signal buoy • space station • starship • sword • torpedo launcher • tractor beam • transporter • tricorder • turbolift • universal translator • viewscreen • warp coil • warp engine
Materials and substancesEdit
- antimatter • atom • blood • bloodstone • coolant • cyanide • dilithium • element • neutronium • silicon
Food and drinkEdit
- alcohol • ale • coffee • Glenlivet • potato • ration pack • Romulan ale • Romulan wine • Scotch • wine
Communications and languageEdit
Ranks and titlesEdit
- adjutant • admiral • ambassador • cadet • captain • chief engineer • chief medical officer • commander • commanding officer • commodore • communications officer • doctor • engineer • ensign • Federation Starfleet ranks • Federation Starfleet ranks (2270s-2350s) • first officer • fleet admiral • healer • helmsman • IDIC • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • midshipman • officer • praetor • president • President of the United Federation of Planets • rear admiral • science officer • security • security chief • specialist • subcommander • tactical officer • technician • weapons officer
- baseball • binary star • calendar • clothing • colony • communication • day • desert • DNA • earthquake • electromagnetism • emotion • fifth planets • galaxy • gamma ray • genetic hybrid • government • Grand Design • gravity • hour • Kolinahr • language • law • lifeform • light • logic • matter • memory • meter • mind meld • minute • molecular virus • moon • nation-state • Neutral Zone Treaty • ops manual • orbit • planet • planetary classification • pon farr • races and cultures • rank • rape • red alert • religion • sector • space • spectroanalysis • sports and games • star • stardate • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2278-2350s) • star system • suicide • technology • third planets • time • title • treaty • uniform • virus • weapon • yellow alert
- See the continuing voyages of the USS Enterprise
- Enterprise attempts to rescue T'Pren, Spock pursues her origin on Hellguard. (A year prior to Spock's tutelage of Saavik)
- Spock attempts to civilize Saavik. (Six years prior to the story)
- Saavik enters the Academy, Enterprise discovers the derelict. (Date of Academy entrance in ST reference: Star Trek Chronology')
Rules of Engagement
|TOS numbered novels||Next novel:|
Foundations, Book Three
Dwellers in the Crucible
|The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2281.|
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
Pawns and Symbols
Chapters 9-14, Epilogue
To Reign in Hell: The Exile of Khan Noonien Singh (Chapter 22)