CAN THE GALAXY'S GROWING VIOLENCE BE STOPPED? Captain Kirk and his crew are on a mission to investigate the mysterious wave of violence that has overtaken the Helvans -- revolutions, mass riots, horrible tortures. This chaos is all part of an experiment by an unimaginable power that soon grips even the crew of the U.S.S. EnterpriseTM.
Captain Kirk is plagued by violent hallucinations and removed from command. Spock takes charge but his orders seem irrational -- even cruel.
Unless this terrible power can be stopped, not only the Starship Enterprise, but an entire galaxy will be ensnared in the deadly grip of the...
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
March 05, 1990
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Excerpt from The Prometheus Design by Sondra Marshak
Captain James T. Kirk angled his horns menacingly and bluffed out a devil-horned Helvan who tried to bar his way. Without pause he ducked past and around a corner, out of sight of the horned crowd that had become a mob.
He scaled up over a fence and flattened into a handy alcove while the pursuit pounded past. For a long moment he had not thought he would make his rendezvous with Spock and the landing party. Dr. McCoy's elegant semisurgical makeup jobs on the horn implants were supposed to make Helvan safe for Kirk's democracy. They had not.
He wore the short horns of a Helvan male in a dormant phase, not the deadly spiked horns of a Helvan male in falat. The fact that the short horns would strike any Human as devilish was neither here nor there-let alone how they looked on Spock, who had the ears for it....
The Helvan sky shaded from lavender to great flaming clouds of red-gold, which seemed always caught by some sunrise or sunset of the double sun. The Helvan culture was little beyond Stone Age, but much of the city was built of great crystal sheets and columns from some natural quarry. The effect was mirrored red-gold splendor, as easily a scene out of tomorrow as a vision of hell.
Kirk reached to use his communicator. Somehow in this atmosphere of revolution the Helvans had spotted him for a danger. Worse, what was now happening to Spock, Bones, and the landing party?
It suddenly occurred to him to wonder why he had ever divided his forces in this dangerous situation. Then he looked up-and his stomach knotted.
Spock waited for the rendezvous with almost Human impatience. He did not say worry. Yet his brief question to Kirk as to the wisdom of separate missions in the street-mob Helvan atmosphere of impending revolution had been brushed aside with uncharacteristic brusqueness. True, time was limited. The disappearances on many planets, including especially this one, were increasing alarmingly.
Once Spock might have pressed the argument further.
The 2.8 years he had spent with the Vulcan Masters, attempting to expunge his Human half, had not wholly been erased by his return to the Enterprise.
Nonetheless, Spock should have insisted on the foolhardiness of separation.
Kirk was 4.5 minutes late. McCoy was overdue. Chekov appeared to be in some rather vague state. Uhura was missing. And Spock was far from the total logic of Konlinahr....
Kirk backed against the wall. The beings who had come out of nowhere were not Helvan. They were not of any known species.
And they struck Admiral, Acting Captain, James T. Kirk, possibly the most experienced commander in the galaxy in dealing with unknowns, as gut-level terrifying.
They were not large-perhaps a head shorter than he was. They had conical noses on mouthless heads that had a vaguely mechanical look. Yet he sensed that they were beings, not robots. How he knew it, he did not know. But he knew also that there was some sense of utter callousness about them, as if they had no empathy or fellow-feeling for a living being.