Which is both available as good old fashioned book and Audio Tape. The version I have is on two cassette tapes from Simon and Schuster Audio which I’ve had since I was 11, the best part is that the story reader is Mr James Doohan himself.
The tape opens as if the whole story is part of the Memory Alpha black box recording from Starfleet command which gives run down of the original 12 starships which set out on there first ever five year missions, name checking five and listing want has happened to each ending with the Enterprise.
But its not just a list in fact we get, ‘Le reve d’etoiles’ – the dream of stars” the reason cadets aspired to the join Starfleet Academy, in the hope that one day they will become captain’s of the great Starship and carry the five year missions.
Part One – Aftermath
The tail beings in the aftermath of the Enterprise’s last mission as was remands of this once grand Starship floats around the Talin system, Her once gleaming hull streaked black, and her crew one thing that gave her life gone, save for Montgomery Scott who is left to watch as Starfleet engineers patch the ship together the best they can.
He reflects on past mission and is thankful he wasn’t removed from command like the rest of the Enterprise Five senior staff , (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Chekov, Sulu and Uhura) but just as begins get his head around this the Commander of the repair team a Lieutenant Commander Styles tells Scotty that he’s now in control of the refit and once this done he will one day soon become the true captain of the Enterprise.
Scotty can’t take this a leaves Styles to the refit and once back in his own quarters resigns from Starfleet after leaning the work crew have called the once inhabited planet of Talin 4 ‘Kirk’s World’ giving himself the freedom to find out want really happened on Talin 4.
Moving though space we join Captain Kirk as he works the controls of a cargo web scratching out a living under the name Leonard Scott where he meets, Anne Gauvreau the captain of the cargo ship Ian Shelton, Kirk first tries to talk her out of giving him the job, but it will take him a few more steps back to Talin,
As they travel Anne Gauvreau play chess but its only when he asks the name of the three cats who live on the ship dose he give himself away, but it’s a fact Anne already know if fact she was a member of Starfleet herself for 21 years first officer aboard the Yorktown, she knows what it takes to become a captain in Starfleet, she knows that before the Enterprise went to the Talin system Talin 4 was thriving planet a few decades shy of first contract but five days later it was graveyard.
She willing to take him along to the next stop for the next 14 days but only if he tells her want really happened and not want the office finds says
Part Two – The Last Mission
Under a total commutation black out the Enterprise travels into the Talin system, and before they join the members of the First Contact Office hide on the dark side of the Talin moon
Lieutenant Carolyn Palamas fills the crew in on who and what the Talin are which turns out to be a reptilian race with a wide culture and nation states on a level with late 20th Century earth and that may lock into a cold war.
At the end of her briefing it be comes clear to Kirk that the crew are hopping that this mission with turn into one of First Contact, but Spock points out the Prime Directive stands in the way so they can’t stop the Talin from wiping each other out, if a war dose start.
When the Enterprise reaches Talin 4 they are order not only to shut down all subspace commutation and the main dithhium reactor which run the warp drive, but they have to use a shuttle to travel from the Enterprise to the First Contact Office leaving Mr Scott in command of the ship, The Landing Party shocked to discover that the people of Talin 4 have video of a First Contact shuttle.
The Office’s on the FCO base believe that the forward thinking Talin people would welcome the Federation but there those who believe that shuttle is in fact a weapon, which could push Talin into war, the problem get more complicated by the fact the Talin have the raw materials to build a subspace commutation beacon.
The FCO leader has the idea of putting a few spy satellite into orbit over Talin so that they can find out how much information the people of Talin really have about them, so they can end the war even before it starts,
When all the satellites are in place the crew of both the Enterprise and the FCO are relived to find out the people of Talin have put down there arms and are now at peace, leaving the Prime Directive still intact.
But just seconds later all hell brakes lose as a hand full of the nuclear silos begin to exploded without any of the Talin starting them off, chain reaction after chain reaction happens making it clear to Kirk that the Talin are not responsible and they for orders the missiles to be shot out the air.
One by one the Enterprise shoot down most of the missiles but as the last of the take to the sky the start to change course targeting the Enterprise itself, even hitting her port side crippling her and damaging the warp engines causing a worm hole to form, the only to end it, is to eject all the matter and anti-matter, leaving them flowing helpless in space.
As the smoke clears, the crew patch themselves up, it becomes that the people of Talin 4 are dead and Kirk is now responsible, and that Mr Scott the only member of the Enterprise not be on the bridge should take command of the ship.