Having saved the Federation one more time in Star Trek®: The Undiscovered Country, Capt. James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise have finally gone their separate ways. Spock, McCoy, Sulu, and the others are spread out across the glaxy, pursuing their individual destinies -- until an interstellar crisis touches all their lives.
Bored with retirement and ill-suited to teaching at Starfleet Academy, Kirk jumps at the chance to help his nephews colonize an uninhabited planet in a distant corner of the Alpha Quadrant. He even manages to persuade Scotty and Chekov to come along for the ride.
But Kirk soon discovers that the hardy human colonists are not alone on the planet they call Sanctuary. An alien race, of whom little is known, has also established an outpost on Sanctuary for its own mysterious reasons. Suspicious, Kirk investigates, only to discover a terrifying threat that strikes at the secuity of the entire Federation.
Light-years from Starfleet Command, without a ship or a crew to call his own, Kirk thinks he faces the menace alone. Yet the bonds of loyalty transcend even the awesome distances of space, bringing together a legendary crew for one final, fantastic adventure!
Bridging the gap between two generations of Star Trek motion pictures, The Last Roundup fills in a missing chapter in Star Trek history -- and provides science fiction's greatest heroes with an unforgettable final hurrah.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
June 01, 2003
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Excerpt from The Last Roundup by Christie Golden
It was a dead world.
It had never supported life of its own. The planet known in Federation records as Polluxara IV had no intelligent life that might interfere with the Prime Directive. It sported not so much as a microbe, but within its lifeless, rocky exterior had once flowed a rich vein of what was then one of the most precious substances in the universe -- dilithium.
It was this deposit that had led Earth, almost a hundred and fifty years ago, to establish a colony in order to mine the mineral. But now, once again, Polluxara IV was lifeless, save for the twenty-seven souls that stood safely encased in environmental suits on its still-radioactive exterior.
Captain James Tiberius Kirk, once Admiral Kirk, and earlier and since captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, was one of the twenty-seven. The others were much younger and, at this moment, were quieter than he had ever heard them.
Kirk wasn't surprised. Standing at the site of a great tragedy had that effect.
Towering above them were the ruins of what had once been a colony of vital importance to a pre-Federation Earth. There remained only sharp shards of metal and other materials, warped, melted, twisted, and pulverized. The bodies were long gone, of course. What the Earth forces could come and retrieve to honor with a hero's burial had been so gathered, decades past. But there hadn't been enough remains to bury of most of them; hadn't been enough to find.
Kirk didn't speak immediately after they materialized. He let the cadets look around and absorb what they saw for themselves. The wide-eyed solemnity he saw in their faces -- a mixture of species that would have stunned those who had died here a century ago -- made him nod slightly in approval. Good kids, all of them. He'd been right to call in a few favors on this.