Star Trek Mirror Universe Saga #1: Spectre

Star Trek Mirror Universe Saga #1: Spectre

4.3 16
by William Shatner, Judith Reeves-Stevens, Garfield Reeves-Stevens

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Retired and happily in love, Kirk believes his adventuring days are over. But as he returns to Earth for the first time since his apparent "death" upon the Enterprise-B, events elsewhere in the galaxy set in motion a mystery that may provide Kirk with his greatest challenge yet.
The Enterprise-E, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, is exploring an… See more details below


Retired and happily in love, Kirk believes his adventuring days are over. But as he returns to Earth for the first time since his apparent "death" upon the Enterprise-B, events elsewhere in the galaxy set in motion a mystery that may provide Kirk with his greatest challenge yet.
The Enterprise-E, under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, is exploring an unstable region of space on a scientific mission of vital concern to Starfleet when they discover the last thing they ever expected to find: a lonely, battle-scarred vessel that is instantly recognizable to every member of Picard's crew. Five years after being lost with all hands in the Delta Quadrant, the Starship Voyager has come home!
The commander of Voyager, one Tom Paris, explains that Captain Kathryn Janeway and half of the original crew is dead, but if that is true, who is the mysterious woman who has kidnapped Kirk back on Earth, pleading with him to assist her against a threat to the entire Federation?
All is not as it seems, and soon Kirk is forced to confront the hideous consequences of actions taken more than a hundred years prior, as well as his own inner doubts. After years of quiet and isolation, does he still have what it takes to put things right-and join with Captain Picard to save the lives of everyone aboard a brand-new Enterprise?
An unforgettable saga peopled by old friends and ancient enemies, Star Trek: Spectre propels Kirk on a journey of self-discovery every bit as harrowing as the cataclysmic new adventure that awaits him.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In his fourth contribution starring his alter ego, Shatner (The Return, Audio Reviews, LJ 12/95; The Avenger, Audio Reviews, LJ 1/97) once again deposits Capt. James T. Kirk into the center of a highly intricate plot, where only he can save the universe. Co-written with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, the author provides everything a Trekkie could ask for: two Mr. Spocks; a 150-year-old Dr. "Bones" McCoy; a time-displaced "Scotty"; a generous helping of action balanced by a pinch of camaraderie and sentiment; and topped off with contributing efforts by Captain Picard and Captain Janeway and their crews from The Next Generation and Voyager, respectively. This latest installment doesn't have quite the emotional investment in the family of characters as his last offerings. No matter; bestowed upon the reader are Kirk's heroics and love life, Spock and McCoy's acerbic bantering, and a crossover among three different casts. Shatner does his usual adequate job, offering a melodious reading with a hint of apathy. Recommended for all sf collections.Charlie Weiss, formerly with "Library Journal"

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Pocket Books/Star Trek
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Star Trek: All Series
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"He's still alive," the Vulcan said.

Though Kate heard the Vulcan's words, she didn't understand their significance. She leaned forward across the small table in the bar on Deep Space Nine. Some huge alien with a drooping face like a shriveled prune had just won a triple Dabo. He was making so much noise by the gaming table that normal conversation was impossible.

A nervous Ferengi scampered out from behind the bar, pushing his way through the noisy crowd, arms waving. "Morn! Morn! Put her down!"

The alien, Morn presumably, was performing some type of victory dance with a Dabo girl. As he spun her around in his embrace, her feet no longer touched the floor and she was precariously close to losing what little there was of her outfit.

With all eyes and other sensing organs in the bar on the dancing Morn, the Vulcan took advantage of the distraction to slip a small padd across the table to her human companion.

Kate palmed the flat device, cupped her hand around its miniature display, and activated it. She gasped as she recognized the face that appeared. The hatred that sprang to life within her was like a physical blow.

"James Tiberius Kirk," the Vulcan whispered. She kept one hand -- her real one -- up by her face, half-covering her mouth. She was young, no more than twenty, Kate knew, but her eyes were older. Where she and the Vulcan came from, everyone's eyes were older.

"When was this image recorded?"

"A year ago," the Vulcan said. "During the virogen crisis, Kirk was arrested by port authorities at Vulcan. This is from a magistrate's hearing."

Instantly, Kate did the math. Kirk's birthdate, in the Earth year 2233, would be forever burned into her memory. "T'Val, that's impossible. This man is no more than sixty at most. But Kirk ... today, he'd be ... a hundred and forty-two years old."

A second Ferengi, in a Bajoran uniform, now joined the nervous one, and both took the place of the Dabo girl in Morn's arms. The lumbering alien was spinning the two Ferengi around as he hopped lightly from one foot to the other while bleating out a tuneless series of notes that sounded more like the mating call of a Yridian yak than the song of a sentient being.

The Vulcan, T'Val, sipped her water, using the moment to glance around the bar. "Eighty-two years ago, Kirk was presumed lost during the maiden voyage of a new starship from Earth. But in actuality, he was caught in a nonlinear temporal continuum."

Kate frowned. "I don't understand what that is," she said, staring once again at the monster on the padd display.

T'Val allowed a momentary flicker of shared confusion to play across her features, so subtle that none but another Vulcan, or Kate, would notice. Everyone else would be distracted by the flat red blister of a disruptor scar etched across the olive skin of her forehead. "Do not be troubled. No one does. But four years ago, Kirk was discovered within that continuum by . . ." T'Val's eyes scanned the nearby tables. Kate and she were in a corner, almost beneath the stairway that led to the second level and the notorious holosuites, but the Vulcan's attitude clearly stated that it paid to take no chances. T'Val dropped her voice to an even softer whisper.

...Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard."

Kate's eyes widened. How could such a thing be possible? Even here?

T'Val continued. "After that, Kirk was once again thought to have perished almost immediately on the backwater planet where Picard retrieved him. But a year later, to everyone's surprise, he returned. A Romulan faction had used Borg technology to . . ." The Vulcan searched for the correct terminology.

"Bring him back to life?" Kate said.

But T'Val shook her head. "Logic dictates that because he lives today, he did not die then. It is more accurate to think of Kirk experiencing a momentary interruption in normal biological processes."

Kate had heard none of this before. "And then what?"

T'Val steepled her fingers, the fingertips of her natural right hand almost but not quite aligned with the crude bionic structure that served as her left hand. "And then, most of what followed is not part of the official record. It must be considered that, perhaps, Starfleet would prefer to keep the knowledge of Kirk's return a secret. Unofficially, it is known that two years ago, in a classified operation, Starfleet prevented a BorgRomulan alliance from invading the Federation. They did so by undertaking an unprecedented preemptive assault on what they believed might have been the Borg homeworld. Last year, the Borg response to that assault was the launch of a desperate, single-ship attack on Earth in which, unconfirmed reports suggest, the Borg created a chronometric passage to Earth's past, and attempted to change that planet's history."

Her mind swimming with all she was learning, Kate sat back in her chair and watched as Mom was led from the bar by a security officer, also in a Bajoran uniform, who bore a strangely planed face, as if he were a sculpture half-completed. She was surprised to see the nervous Ferengi pat Mom on the back. The gesture seemed one of support, yet Kate saw its true intent as it diverted attention from the Ferengi's other hand slipping into the hulking alien's belt and reappearing with a bar of latinum.

Kate was not the only one to have noticed the maneuver. The smooth-faced security officer stopped, faced the Ferengi, and held out his hand with an expression of tired disgust.

The Ferengi feigned innocence for a few moments as he muttered something about "damages." Then, looking equally disgusted with the security officer and the universe in general, he shrugged and surrendered the latinum.

He doesn't know how good he's got it here, Kate thought. She looked around the bar. None of these people do.

"And Kirk survived all of that?" Kate asked.

"He was not involved in defending Earth from the Borg. But last year, again under strict conditions of secrecy, he played a key role in resolving the virogen crisis."

"And now ... T'Val."

"And now, as best our sources can ascertain, he has withdrawn from all contact with the universe at large. Not even the war with the Dominion has drawn him out. In effect, he has retired. To a world named Chal."

Kate was intrigued. "A Klingon word?"

The Vulcan nodded. "'Heaven.' The one place where no one would expect to find Kirk. The colony on Chal was established more than a century ago by the Klingons and Romulans. A military installation to house a doomsday weapon, in case the empires lost what they expected to be an all-out war with the Federation."

Kate rubbed at a bead of moisture on the table. It was still a novelty to sit in a public place and not be afraid of being arbitrarily arrested. It was as refreshing as the new civilian clothes she wore, and the room she had rented in the habitat ring, a room she didn't have to share and where she could stand in the sonic shower all day if she wanted. The slight inconvenience of cutting her hair to bristleshort length and dyeing it flame red, as part of a disguise, was an inconsequential price to pay. She was certain that out of uniform, no one would recognize her, especially where they did not expect to find her. "If Kirk's retired, what makes our sources think that he has access to the material we need?"

"Starfleet honors its heroes."

Kate almost gagged at the term. "Hero? Kirk?"

"Remember where you are," T'Val cautioned her. "Following its standard policy to support personnel that have been temporally translocated, Starfleet stands ready to offer any aid and assistance to the famous Captain Kirk, at any time. Last year, he was even offered a position on the science vessel Tobias. He refused, but the Fleet would welcome a chance to reclaim one of its own, especially one with so much ... experience."

Kate nodded, a sour smile on her face. All around her and T'Val, the bar was returning to normal. Or, at least, as normal as any bar run by a Ferengi could be. "If Kirk is such a hero, if he's held in such high regard, why don't we just ask him for what we need?"

The Vulcan raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Given all you know," she said, "would you trust him?"

"Hell, no. How could it?"

"Precisely. Thus, we must place Kirk in a situation in which he will have no choice but to accept the sincerity of our request, and the inevitability of his compliance."

Kate studied the image on the padd. Automatic waves of revulsion swept through her. "He was never the sort to respond to threats."

"Threats, no," the Vulcan agreed. "But logic, yes."

"T'Val, whatever else he is, Kirk is no Vulcan. What if logic doesn't work?"

The Vulcan's face became an impassive slate. "Logic always works. And since total secrecy-for ourselves and our activities -- must be maintained, if James T. Kirk does not acquiesce to our requests, then we must do what logic demands." Kate didn't need to have it explained to her. "We kill him." "Precisely," the Vulcan said. "James Kirk has retired. For whatever reason, he has decided he has nothing else to contribute to this universe. But he can still serve us. And, if he will not, then he has no reason to live,"

"I could have told you that," Kate stared down at the image of Kirk on the padd. "In a way, I hope he doesn't cooperate. I think I would enjoy killing him."

For the briefest of instants, T'Val's face was transformed by a remarkable expression of emotionunfiltered hate and anger. "I understand," she said, and that emotion was in her voice as well as her eyes. Then, just as quickly, she regained her composure.

Kate held her finger above the padd's delete control, hesitated for just a moment of sweet anticipation, then pressed it. James T. Kirk was wiped from the device's memory as if he had been no more than a dream. Or a nightmare.

Erasing the detested image brought fierce pleasure. No question about it. For all he had done to her and her people, she would relish killing Kirk. She turned to her companion.

"Maybe after he's helped us," she said to T'Val, "you and I can kill him anyway."

The Vulcan's gaze was fixed on the blank padd display, and even Kate could read the unVulcanlike desire for revenge simmering beneath the surface. "Yes, we could," T'Val said. "One way or another, James Tiberius Kirk must die."

Copyright© 1998 by William Shatner

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