Massive computer malfunctions are plaguing the Enterprise when Kirk suddenly receives a shocking message from Star Fleet Command: Centaurus has been bombed and annihilated; thousands are dead. Give whatever help you can. Centaurus is a beautiful, peaceful planet, home to many humans -- including McCoy's daughter Joanna.
The crew risks beaming down to investigate. But Kirk is thrown into a deadly struggle between violent enemy terrorists and vengeful Centaurians. Now Lt. Uhura, left alone in command, must jeopardize the cripple Enterprise to save Centaurus, Kirk -- and Joanna McCoy!
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
March 01, 1986
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Excerpt from Crisis on Centaurus by Brad Ferguson
As befit the capital of an old, successful colony planet, New Athens had built for itself the biggest (and, local boosters said, the best) spaceport on Centaurus -- or anywhere else in the Federation.
The main concourse of New Athens Spaceport hummed and bustled with the gentle roar of twenty thousand travelers, each intent on getting to his (or her, or its) departure gate as quickly as possible. Not much had changed since the nineteenth century on Earth, when the locomotive had introduced humans to mass transportation; all that had been added was four hundred years of so-called progress in passenger handling. Perhaps one day the technology of the transporter would become advanced enough to allow cheap point-to-point transfer on the surface of a planet at no more risk than, say, getting there by shuttlecraft, or even airplane . . . but not yet. Until that welcome day, there would be a need for monster facilities such as New Athens Spaceport.
Most of the travelers hurrying on their way through the concourse were humans -- but by no means all were. A sharp-eyed observer could easily pick out several individuals from virtually every member race of the Federation among the thousands of humans. There was even a pair of Klingon traders heading quickly from one of the local gates to an interstellar flight bound for a neutral treaty port. New Athens was a cosmopolitan city, in the literal sense: Beings from everywhere lived in New Athens and did business there.
Souvenir stands lined the concourse. They did a brisk business in the traditional knickknacks bought by vacationers who, when home, knew better than to buy such junk. One small stand had been doing very well for years, selling overpriced replicas of the Statue of Liberty with SOUVENIR OF CENTAURUS and I LOVE NEW ATHENS stickers on their bases, even though the real statue still stood in New York Harbor -- a mere 4.3 light years away -- and had no sister on Centaurus.