Star Trek: The Original Series: Crucible: Kirk: The Star to Every Wandering : The Star to Every Wandering
IN A SINGLE MOMENT
. . . the lives of three men will be forever changed. In that split second, defined paradoxically by both salvation and loss, they will destroy the world and then restore it. Much had come before, and much would come after, but nothing would color their lives more than that one, isolated instant on the edge of forever.
IN A SINGLE MOMENT
. . . James T. Kirk, displaced in time, allows the love of his life to die in a traffic accident, thereby preserving Earth's history. Returning to the present, he continues a storied career as a starship captain, opening up the galaxy. But as he wanders among the stars, the incandescence that once filled his heart remains elusive.
IN A SINGLE MOMENT
. . . that haunts James T. Kirk throughout his life, he preserved the timeline at the cost of his happiness. Now, facing his own death, the very fabric of existence collapses across years and light-years, forcing him to race against -- and through -- time itself, until he comes full circle to that one bright star by which his life has always steered.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
February 01, 2007
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Excerpt from Star Trek: The Original Series: Crucible: Kirk: The Star to Every Wandering by David R. George III
Kirk stood beneath a hazy sky, feeling hazy himself. Around him rose trees and brush. A light breeze blew, causing the switchgrass to sway against the legs of his black uniform pants. The strong scent of Solomon's plumes wafted through the air, though in his mouth, he still tasted the tang of metal.
He reached his left hand to his lips, and his fingertips came away stained with blood. Kirk peered down at himself and saw dark patches on his crimson vest, and streaks of red on his long-sleeved white shirt and on his right hand. The material of his uniform had been covered with dirt and torn in numerous places. He struggled to recall what had happened -- and then did.
Soran. Veridian Three.
Kirk remembered falling, remembered gazing out from beneath the misshapen remains of the bridge that had crushed him and knowing that he had only seconds to live. He'd seen the flaming ribbon of energy, racing toward him and bringing the obliteration of space and time with it. The ribbon and the ruin had extended down to the planet, had engulfed him and Picard --
Kirk looked left and right, then turned in a circle, searching for any sign of the Enterprise captain. He didn't see him, though, nor did he see the rocky desert locale where they'd fought Soran. Instead, he found himself once more among the rolling, wooded hills of Idaho, in the area where he and Picard had last spoken prior to their mission on Veridian Three.
Except that they hadn't really been in Idaho, but in some type of temporal nexus that had allowed Kirk to imagine himself there. Picard had told him that, but Kirk had really known the truth of it even before then. He'd ridden Tom Telegraph out here from his uncle's barn sensing that it had been the day he'd met Antonia, but also knowing that it could only be an imitation of that time.
Movement caught Kirk's eye. He looked across the ravine to the hilltop, to where Antonia sat on horseback. Beneath the filmy sky, another horse and rider ascended the slope, approaching her. Only when they arrived at the summit of the hill and neared Antonia did Kirk recognize the second rider: himself, dressed not in the clothes he had worn on that long-ago day, but in the black slacks, white pullover shirt, and crimson vest of his Starfleet uniform -- the same uniform he wore right now, though neither ripped nor coated with the soil of Veridian Three.
What's happening? Kirk thought, and with an absurdity he realized a moment later, he actually patted the front of his own body in a visceral attempt to verify his own physical existence. He reasoned that he must be witnessing some sort of reproduced scene, since clearly he could not exist both here and there -- or could he? Could his presence here, in this spot, simply be a later version of himself than the one right now appearing to meet Antonia for the first time? Could he be standing here minutes after he and Picard had stopped Soran sometime in the 2370s, viewing a period in his life that had taken place in 2282?
He didn't know. That hadn't seemed to be how the nexus had functioned before. In his previous spell within the mysterious region, he hadn't been a witness to events, but a participant in them. He remembered preparing breakfast for Antonia on that day when he had been about to break the news to her of his intention to return to Starfleet, and then having his change of heart and telling Picard about it. He remembered stranding Gary Mitchell on Delta Vega but not being forced to kill him; finding a different way of dealing with Apollo on Pollux IV that did not require the self-styled god to spread himself thinner and thinner upon the wind, until only the wind remained; sharing a birthday meal with his son as David turned forty; and living ....