Following the explosive events of Star Trek® Nemesis, the Romulan Star Empire is in disarray, and Ambassador Spock attempts to render aid by launching a last-ditch effort to reunify the Romulans with their distant forebears, the Vulcans. But when Spock is publicly assassinated at a Romulan peace rally, Starfleet and the Federation are unable to search for the criminals responsible without triggering an intergalactic war.
Thus, it falls to James T. Kirk, now retired, to investigate his beloved friend's murder. Given clandestine assistance by Captain Will Riker of the Starship Titan, and accompanied by his good friend Jean-Luc Picard, Kirk travels to Romulus as a civilian, along with his five-year-old child, Joseph, the cantankerous Doctor Leonard McCoy, retired Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott, as well as several members of Picard's crew, still waiting to return to duty on the badly damaged U.S.S. EnterpriseTM NCC-1701-E. But on Romulus' sister world, Remus, Kirk unexpectedly encounters an alluring enemy from his past as Picard and he discover that Spock's apparent murder hides an even deeper mystery, literally reaching beyond the limits of the galaxy.
Trapped on a deadly, alien world on the eve of a Romulan civil war that could plunge the galaxy into a civilization-ending conflict, Kirk's investigation at last brings him to the heart of a staggering conspiracy. Now, he discovers the true threat facing the Romulans, and is forced into the heartrending realization that for peace to prevail, he must sacrifice the freedom of his son, whose very blood holds the secret to his startling destiny.
Captain's Blood is a return to the sweeping action of William Shatner's greatest Star Trek adventures, bringing together both generations to face an unstoppable enemy in a battle for the existence of all life in this galaxy, and beyond.
About the Author
William Shatner is the author of nine Star Trek ® novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Ashes of Eden and The Return. He is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Get a Life! and I’m Working on That. In addition to his role as Captain James T. Kirk, he stars as Denny Crane in the hit television series from David E. Kelley, Boston Legal—a role for which he has won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. Find more information at WilliamShatner.com.
Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens are the authors of more than thirty books, including numerous New York Times bestselling Star Trek novels. Their newest novel of suspense, Freefall, is a follow-up to their Los Angeles Times bestseller, Icefire, and is set against the political intrigue and historical conspiracy surrounding the next race to the Moon.
In keeping with their interest in both the reality of space exploration and the science fiction that helps inspire it, in 2003 Judith and Garfield were invited to join a NASA Space Policy Workshop for the development of NASA's new goals as put forth in the agency's 2004 Vision for Space Exploration. Then, for the 2004 television season, the couple joined the writing staff of Star Trek: Enterprise as executive story editors. For more information, please visit www.reeves-stevens.com.
Read an Excerpt
Prologue: The Galileo Gambit
PRIMEDIAN, ROMULUS, STARDATE 57465.6
Spock remembered heat.
He remembered the shuttlecraft shuddering around him, the last frantic beats of a dying heart. His own heart, now, he knew.
It was the way of things.
No matter that logic had so many times been circumvented. No matter that fate and luck and James T. Kirk had so many times intervened in the flow of cause and effect; inevitably everything must die.
Vulcans were no exception.
Spock opened his eyes. Meditation eluded him.
Even in the shadows of the ground transport's passenger compartment, lit only by the slow green flicker of passing streetglows, he saw the worry in Marinta's expression. Romulans were so free that way. In truth, there was much these lost children could teach their Vulcan forebears.
Spock focused his thoughts on chance his one last chance to make that transfer possible.
It was all that mattered to him now.
"We're almost there," Marinta said.
Spock knew that wasn't what she meant.
"I am fine," he assured her.
Marinta smiled. "I don't believe you."
Spock raised an eyebrow at the young woman with whom he had worked for almost half a standard year, ever since the dark days of confusion following Shinzon's coup and the slaughter of almost every member of the Romulan Senate. He had no reason to question Marinta's loyalty to his cause of reuniting Vulcans and Romulans after more than two millennia of bitter estrangement. But the respect he had reluctantly come to accept as his natural due as a senior Vulcan ambassador was something she seldom demonstrated. Spock decided it was that refreshing freedom from formality he appreciated most about her.
After more than a century and a half of life lived within the protective cloak of total logic and emotional self-control, Spock craved freedom.
That craving drove him now. Just as he recognized that the war between his two halves human and Vulcan had once dominated him before he had achieved his own unique balance. But now that same struggle still continued, unresolved, between the Vulcans and the Romulans. Only the scale was different.
Spock's personal battle ended decades ago, when V'Ger had come to claim the Earth, though the scars of that victory would be with him forever.
Now he wanted he needed to bring the same peace of acceptance to his chosen people. That same freedom.
Before he died.
"You're doing the right thing." Marinta spoke quietly, as if she sensed his thoughts. Being Romulan, it was entirely possible that she did. Vulcan telepathic traits were encoded in Romulan and Reman DNA, and not always dormant.
"That is not in question."
"I sense your doubt."
"Not doubt," Spock answered. Then surprised even himself with his confession. "Remorse."
Through the dark windows of the transport, Spock watched as the ancient stone streets of Primedian scrolled by, rough-hewn, black as space, overlaid with centuries of urban soot. And in the shadowed intervals between pools of pale green light, reflected in those same dark windows he glimpsed the faces of the dead.
Lieutenant Latimer. Pierced by an alien spear.
Lieutenant Gaetano. Crushed by alien hands.
Both of them dead and buried on Taurus II.
Because of him.
"There is no need for remorse," Marinta said.
He looked back at her. "Still, it exists."
Marinta's dark eyes flashed. "Mister Ambassador, I submit that reaction is not logical."
But Spock caught the smile she tried to suppress and unexpectedly found himself doing the same. No one else he knew these days, at least not under the age of one hundred fifty, would dare take him on in logical debate. "That is not the issue. Remorse is an emotion. Logic plays no part."
"I thought you believed logic plays a part in...everything."
"The words 'logic' and 'believe' do not often belong in the same sentence."
"Then what you are about to do," she said slowly, "does it flow from logic, or belief?" Marinta, despite her brave challenge to him, sounded confused. Spock couldn't blame her. If he allowed his own constrained emotions to surface, he knew he would betray the same hesitation.
Spock kept his face neutral, his lined features more akin to carved stone than flesh. But with his stark words, his heart, his memories escaped all shielding.
"I once commanded a shuttlecraft crew. The Columbus. Our mission: to investigate a quasarlike object. We were forced down. There were seven of us when we crash-landed. Only five survived to return to the Enterprise."
Marinta was quick to form a conclusion. By telepathy or insight, it didn't matter. She was correct either way.
"That's why you feel remorse. For the loss of those two crew members."
"They were my responsibility. They were not the first to die under my command. Nor the last. But they are the two I remember most clearly."
Spock glanced out the windows again. The transport was slowing. Like a failing heartbeat.
"They died while I attempted to lead by logic. I, and the others, survived only when I set logic aside." Spock again surprised himself. Though Doctor McCoy had speculated on the motivation behind Spock's decision at the time of the incident, this was the first time Spock had confessed it aloud.
Uncharacteristically, Marinta offered no comment or judgment, as if waiting for him to continue. But Spock said nothing more.
The transport stopped and Spock felt it settle slowly as its wheels withdrew. In this most ancient of Romulan cities, where the planners of the central streets and plazas had been among the first outcast Vulcans to land on this world, old technologies were a tradition.
Spock pulled his ambassadorial robes close. They were lighter than those he usually wore, since he had forgone the traditional jewels and silver embroidery of his office. Spock had no desire to stand apart from his cousins. Much of Rom-ulus was still impoverished in the aftermath of the Dominion War, harsh conditions made worse by Shinzon and the subsequent disruption of government services.
He rewarded Marinta's quiet patience.
"After repairs, the Columbus achieved a decaying orbit. We had, at best, almost an hour before we were forced down again. I chose to ignite all our fuel at once. Not for propulsion, but as a signal. One with little chance of being detected. A signal that meant the Columbus would burn up in minutes."
Spock again felt the heat of that terrible moment. The buffeting of the thickening atmosphere. The acrid bite of burning insulation as the temperature rose. The unspoken accusations of his crew. The approach of death.
"But obviously the signal was detected," Marinta said.
Spock drew a breath, dispelled the past. "The signal was detected." He sat forward in his seat as he waited for the armored compartment door to be opened by the bodyguards outside. "And now I am preparing to commit the same act of desperation. To ignite all the fuel, as it were." He held Marinta's gaze. "It is not logical. But I believe it is my last best hope."
"Our best hope." Marinta's bright smile was undisguised.
Spock nodded. "For both our people. One people."
The door puffed out, then hummed as it slid open.
Primedian's night air was cold, unusual for the season. The musty, layered scent of age enveloped Spock, and for a stifling moment he felt as ancient as the city's weathered blocks and roadways.
Two private bodyguards Romulan, in drab and featureless civilian garb stood outside, their stern features harshly shadowed emerald by a single, overhead streetglow that shone straight down. Each guard had a microcommunicator in one pointed ear. Narrow disruptor tubes in magnetic holsters were strapped to their forearms, their outlines almost concealed by the fabric of their sleeves.
"It's time," Spock said, to himself as much as to anyone else.
But Marinta reached out and lightly placed her hand on a fold of his robes, taking care not to touch his arm. "Mister Ambassador..."
Spock looked at her, waited.
"The shuttlecraft. I've read so many accounts of your life. It wasn't the Columbus. It was the Galileo."
In defiance of his self-mastery, Spock felt his stomach tighten. She was right. How could I have forgotten? Have I grown so old?
"Of course," he said calmly, fiercely walling off anything he thought, anything he felt. He had commanded the Galileo, not the Columbus. "I misspoke."
If Marinta sensed anything of his inward struggle, she did not share it with him.
She merely took her hand from his robes. "I'll...wait for you here?"
"That would be best."
Saying nothing else, Spock stepped from the transport, into the night, into what must happen next.
But his lapse of memory tore at him, spurring the unwanted memories of heat and smoke and...
He saw two figures in an alley. Dead eyes locked on his in bitter accusation.
Latimer and Gaetano, both in their antique uniforms. Sodden with fresh blood.
Spock's guards saw his reaction, spun together, disruptors already in their hands as they aimed across the street at...
The empty alley.
Like burrowing snakes, the disruptors slipped back up the guards' sleeves.
"Did you see something, Mister Ambassador?"
Spock answered by walking toward the private entrance to the towering coliseum, robes swirling around his boots.
The bodyguards hurried to match his pace.
No sign of what Spock felt or thought was visible in his demeanor.
But within, he was consumed by doubt and felt the first insinuating tendrils of what any human would recognize as panic.
His decision had been made. His path could not be altered any more than a decaying orbit could escape the siren call of gravity.
But he had commanded the Galileo, not the Columbus.
And just as he was haunted by the mistakes he had made in the past, he feared the mistakes that still remained before him, and already felt remorse for those who could be harmed because what he must do next might somehow be wrong.
Consumed by doubt, displaying confidence, Spock strode into the first coliseum built on Romulus, where three thousand Romulans were waiting to hear his message of peace and reconciliation.
But what Spock felt or how he looked didn't matter.
Because exactly fourteen minutes later, those three thousand Romulans saw Spock die.
Copyright © 2003 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Maybe it's me. Maybe I am just getting too old to be reading Star Trek novels any longer, especially if they still feature the original Star Trek cast of characters. But then again, maybe the problem is what has been done with these characters. As almost any fan will know, Shatner has picked up the silly threads from The Next Generation, and improbably reunited Kirk, Spock, Scotty and McCoy with the TNG characters. In this volume, they are all together once again. Even Admiral Janeway (perhaps the least simpatica leading character this franchise ever produced) manages to play a major role. The plot is the usual yarn of disreputable aliens (this time Romulans), centered around an apparent assination of Spock, and the importance certain Romulans place upon Kirk's gender-shifting, hybrid 'son' of completely unbelievable DNA. In typically Star Trek fashion, the 'boy' is adorable, a genius, quick-witted and just about perfect. Meanwhile everyone else is similarly perfect, Picard and Janeway, by way of an example, 'treating' us to a fencing match that would leave Olympic champions in the dust. YAWN! Spock spends most of the tale off stage, so we get to follow Kirk (always the REAL star of Shatner's yarns), improbably trailed by a 150 year-old McCoy, as he gets to the bottom of all this and, as usual, saves the day. The introduction of Kirk's 'son,' Joseph, probably meant to add new blood to the by now time worn tales, has been a big mistake, one that gets larger with every installment of this story. Rather than making Kirk a more believable character, the child's presence only seems to give Kirk new opportunities to puff up, draw lines in the sand, and generally act indignent. But that could be just bad writing.... It is time all these people took a well deserved retirement and left the galaxy in more capable, less pompus hands. Sentient beings throughout the quadrant, I can assure the authors, would be eternally grateful.
The story line was excellent and the way Willaim Shatner portrayed the emotions of Kirk as a father, captain, adventurer was very well done. The only issue with the story is that it raises more questions than it answers. Here is hoping the next book comes out soon.
William Shatner did an outstanding job. Bringing the Crew o the Enterprise and the Titan together. Outstanding