Cover image for Mission to Horatius
Title:
Mission to Horatius
Author:
Reynolds, Mack.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Pocket Books, 1999.

©1968
Physical Description:
210 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm.
General Note:
"Authorized edition based on the popular television series."

Originally published: Racine, Wis. : Western Pub. Co., c1968.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780671028121
Format :
Book

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Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Captain Kirk investigates a planet whose inhabitants are split into two kinds: real people and clones with no civil rights. Out of print for over 30 years, the first Star Trek novel is back--in an exact, authentic facsimile of the original 1967 edition.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One: Secret Mission Dr. Leonard McCoy, senior ship's surgeon of the U.S.S. Enterprise, stormed from the turbo-lift elevator which opened onto the starship's bridge and glared about. The scene, however, couldn't have been more normal. Captain Kirk sat musing in his command chair, facing the large bridge viewing screen. Directly in front of him, also facing the screen, sat the navigator, Ensign Chekov, and Helmsman Sulu. In the outer circular elevation behind them, various crewmen and ship's officers stood or sat before their control panels. Immediately to the doctor's right was Communications Officer Uhura, her trim eyebrows a bit high at his precipitate entry. Immediately across from the elevator and behind the captain, Commander Spock, the ship's science officer, sat at his library computer station, also looking mildly surprised at the doctor's obviously upset condition. Mr. Spock, with his long face, his pointed ears, his satanic eyes, never allowed himself to show more than mild surprise; it would have been beneath his dignity as a supposedly emotionless native of the planet Vulcan. Captain James T. Kirk looked up as the ship's doctor marched toward him. "Yes, Bones?" he said. "Something bothering you?" Although he had had wide experience in the Starfleet Service, James Kirk was a young man in his early thirties. An Academy graduate, he held the rank of starship captain, the youngest man in the fleet to do so. He prided himself on the fact that he had won his command solely through his own efforts. He was a handsome specimen, with a wide, generous mouth but with the seriousness that the responsibility of his rank demanded. Even his closest intimates, such as Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and the other senior officers of the Enterprise, seldom jested with their captain. Dr. McCoy stood before him now and put his fists on his hips as though in belligerence. "Look here, Jim," he said, "I demand to know where we're going." The attention of everyone on the command bridge was on him, but he ignored them all as he glowered into Captain Kirk's face. Kirk looked at him strangely. "Why, Bones?" "Why! I'll tell you why! This ship has no business being in space! That's why!" Mr. Spock replied, "To the contrary, Dr. McCoy. The Enterprise was built in space and is much too large ever to land." Dr. McCoy turned his glare in that direction. "You know what I mean, Spock. We should not be on a mission at this time. We should be in orbit around some Starfleet Command Center for a period of rest and reconditioning of the ship. More than half the crew are due for extended leaves. The chief steward tells me that the commissary is shockingly low on supplies. Scotty tells me that his section is in need of various repairs. I want to know where we're going and how much longer we expect to be in deep space!" Captain Kirk shifted in his chair and allowed himself a slight frown. Dr. McCoy was possibly his closest friend and the only man on board who called the captain by his first name. He said, "I repeat, Bones -- why? What is this sudden interest on your part in the performance of this ship's duties -- that is, beyond the workings of the medical department?" The other snapped, "My interests do not extend beyond the medical department, Jim. That's what I'm talking about." The captain thought about that. He said, "I see what you mean, Bones. Space strain? The confinement syndrome?" "Worse than that. Head Nurse Chapel has detected the first symptoms of cafard in Yeoman Thomkins." Captain James Kirk winced. Helmsman Sulu looked over his shoulder, his alert face dismayed. "Cafard?" he blurted. "That will be all, Mr. Sulu," Kirk said. He looked over at his science officer. "Mr. Spock, comments?" Spock said, "Space cafard. Compounded of claustrophobia, ennui -- boredom, if you will -- and the instinctive dread of a species, born on a planet surface, of living outside its native environment. The instinctive fear of deep space. Formerly the fear of being in free fall, though that seldom applies any longer. A mania that evidently is highly contagious. It is said that in the early days of space travel, cafard could sweep through a ship in a matter of hours, until all on board were raging maniacs, and -- " Captain Kirk said dryly, "I did not require a complete rehashing of the illness, Mr. Spock." The science officer finished, however. "It does not, of course, apply to Vulcans. Only to the less adjusted and less well balanced humanoid species." McCoy snorted. "Unhappily, Spock, you're the only Vulcan aboard the Enterprise. The rest of us are subject to cafard." "All right, all right," Kirk said. He looked at Spock again. "The most recent case known?" "Only last year -- on the Space Scout Westmoreland. It was found drifting, the whole crew dead. The investigation determined space cafard." "Dead! Of what?" "They had killed each other, Captain. Evidently in their madness." Lieutenant Uhura couldn't refrain from asking, "Killed each other? How?" Spock looked at the pretty young lieutenant, his face characteristically empty of emotion. "They tore each other apart with their bare hands, Lieutenant." Uhura closed her eyes in pain and shuddered. Kirk said in irritation, "The Westmoreland, if I recall, Mr. Spock, was a four-manner without artificial gravity and consequently subject to free fall. The Enterprise is a starship with a crew of four hundred and thirty persons, a gravitational support system so that Earthside conditions are duplicated, ample recreational facilities, and a completely equipped and staffed ship's sick bay. Do you know of any starship class spacecraft that has ever succumbed to cafard?" Spock said, "No, Captain." Captain Kirk looked at his ship's doctor. "Well, Bones -- comments?" Dr. McCoy said testily, "There can always be a first. This ship has been on continual patrol for a year -- long past the normal period to be spent in deep space. Our supplies are shockingly low." "We took on supplies at Space Station K-Eight." "As you well know, Jim, a space station is not a star base. It lacks the facilities. We took on emergency supplies of fuel and basic food. We did not take on new recreational equipment. We did not have shore leave. The officers and crew were not allowed to journey to their home worlds to visit families, wives, husbands, or sweethearts. It was no more than an emergency stop. Our people need fresh air; they need to participate in sports impossible in the confines of the Enterprise . They need to look at mountains, lakes, rivers, and oceans, walk city streets, go to shows, restaurants, have a good time. They're normal, flesh-and-blood people, Jim. They can't spend their whole lives in the confines of a starship. They go stale. Finally they get sick. I'm warning you, Jim. Cafard is the farthest thing from a joke in the medical book." Captain Kirk's face worked. "I obey orders, Bones. Like any other ship's captain in the Starfleet." "They're the wrong orders, then!" "I didn't issue them." Dr. McCoy demanded, "I still want to know where we're going. How much longer do you expect to be in deep space?" Kirk said, looking at him evenly, "I don't know." Even Spock blinked at that. Captain Kirk looked around the bridge. "All right, now hear this. All of you. I am under verbal orders only. We were scheduled, as you know, to return to Star Base Twelve for the protracted shore leaves, replenishing of ship's supplies, and the repairs that Bones has pointed out have become necessary during the past cruise. While en route we were redirected to Space Station K-Eight to take on emergency supplies. There it was revealed to me that a subspace distress call had been received by Starfleet Command." McCoy snorted, "But why us? Why not some other ship?" The captain looked at him. "We were the nearest." "The distances can't be as great as all that!" "Evidently they are, Bones." Dr. McCoy was unhappy and argumentative. "But where are we heading? What was this distress call?" "I don't know." All eyes were on him now. On the face of it, this made no sense at all. Spock lifted his satanic eyebrows in question. Captain Kirk said wearily, "On my desk is a sealed tape. When we reach our immediate destination, NGC four hundred, I am to open it." It was Spock who worded it for them all. "Very interesting. As everyone knows, NGC four hundred is about as far into the galaxy as the Federation has penetrated. So far as we are concerned, there is nothing beyond." "There is always something beyond, Mr. Spock. True, neither the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, nor the Romulan Confederation has penetrated into the quadrant beyond NGC four hundred. However, at the present rate of expansion of all three, it cannot be too very long before we do." Dr. McCoy said testily, "If we have to go as far as NGC four hundred before this mysterious mission even begins, there is simply no saying how much time will be involved. I repeat, I demand that we turn back." Captain Kirk looked at him for a long, empty moment before answering. Then he said, "Dr McCoy, the Enterprise has a proud tradition. Since I took over its command from Captain Pike, it has never failed to take any assignment ordered, no matter what excuses might be available. I have no intention, Doctor, of ending that proud tradition now." The glare had returned to the ship doctor's eye. "Very well," he snapped. "But I request that my position be logged." Kirk looked at him in surprise. He shrugged. "That is your right, Doctor." He reached forward, touched a switch, and then said in a flat tone, "Captain's log, star date" -- he cast his eyes up at the chronometer-calendar on the bulkhead -- "three-four-seven-five, point three. We are on a secret mission, the nature of which will not be revealed to us until we have reached the position NGC four hundred. Senior Ship's Surgeon Leonard McCoy has officially put himself on record as opposed to continuing on the grounds that the personnel of the Enterprise are in no condition to remain in space." Captain Kirk flicked the switch again, ending his log entry, and turned back to the doctor. "Bones," he said, I will make one concession to your fears. We'll speed up as much as possible." He flicked another switch and looked up into the intercom viewing screen which faded in on an empty command chair in the engineering section. Kirk said crisply, "Lieutenant Commander Scott, please." The screen faded again and then flicked to a smaller compartment which was a maze of electronic equipment. Three men in coveralls were working over a confusion of wires, tubes, and circuits. Senior Engineering Officer Montgomery Scott, an electronic wrench in one hand, a tiny power connector in the other, looked up impatiently until he saw who it was. Then he came to his feet and looked into the screen. "Aye, Captain?" He said over his shoulder to his two engineers, "Bide a wee, lads." Kirk said, "Scotty, we're been proceeding at a standard warp factor five. Please increase this to warp factor seven." "Seven?" The chief engineer scowled. "That is correct." Kirk began to extend his hand to flick off the intercom. "Wait a minute, sir," Scott said worriedly. "What is it, Scotty?" "An order's an order, sir, and if necessary, of course..." He hesitated. Captain Kirk could see that the craggy-featured space engineer was unhappy. He well knew the other's fierce pride in the engine department of the ship. And he also knew how much the Scotsman hated to admit that anything in his department wasn't functioning at top level. Kirk said, "Well? What is it, Scotty?" Scott took a deep breath. His voice was almost surly. "Captain, we've been on continuous patrol for a solar year, and...well, sir, I hate to push the engines beyond our present speed." The Scottish burr in the engineer's voice was obvious, as it always was when he was under pressure. Kirk stared at him. "We've been proceeding at warp five, Scotty. I fully realize that maximum safe speed of this vessel is warp six, but that it is capable of warp eight, under considerable strain. Do you mean to tell me -- " The senior engineering officer said doggedly, "You are the captain, sir. I'll give you warp six, if you feel it necessary. However, any warp factor beyond that is against my better judgment." "We're in a hurry, Scotty." "Aye, sir. Obviously. However, if you order me to proceed at a factor greater than warp six, it is over my protest, considering the present condition of the outboard engine nacelles, both of which need replacing." "Your protest, Scotty?" Scott said doggedly, "If one of the matter antimatter engines blows this far out, we'd take the rest of eternity to limp back on the impulse power engines. In fact, we'd have to send out a distress call for emergency repairs. It'd be a spot on my record I wouldn't like to see, Captain Kirk." "Very well, Scotty," Kirk said stiffly. "We'll proceed at warp factor six." He flicked off the screen. Dr. McCoy had gone over to Spock's library computer station where he was saying, "You have some influence over him, Spock. Use it to have him turn back." Spock said, "My dear doctor, he is the captain. Besides, I am as familiar with the Enterprise's proud tradition as anyone else. Most enviable. I would dislike to see it ended by a simple fear of the crew's going stale." The doctor stared at him. "Going stale!" he blurted. "Spock, you have no conception of the reality of cafard." He turned to stomp off in disgust. Captain Kirk, still irritated, was staring at the helmsman before him. He said suddenly, "Mr. Sulu, what in the world is wrong with your tunic?" The helmsman turned, his face blank. "My tunic, sir?" "That bulge. It seems to be moving." Lieutenant Sulu cleared his throat unhappily. "Bulge, sir?" Captain Kirk said, "Mr. Sulu, what do you have there under your tunic?" By this time all attention was on the slightly built helmsman, even that of the disgruntled Dr. McCoy. Sulu closed his eyes in apprehension. "Well, sir," he said, "it's probably Mickey." The captain looked at him. Sulu cleared his throat again and reached a hand up under his uniform tunic. He brought forth a small brown animal. He set it down on the console before him and said apologetically, "Mickey, sir." Captain Kirk stared. "Where did that come from, and what is it doing on my bridge?" Sulu said, more bravely now but still with the element of apology in his voice, "From the planet Vishnu, sir. When we stopped at Space Station K-Eight I was fortunate enough to acquire Mickey from one of the locals. He's a highly trained animal, sir." "I thought you were clear on the orders against pets aboard the Enterprise since our troubles with the tribbles, Lieutenant." The captain was looking with distaste at the little beast, which was nervously twitching its well-whiskered nose and staring back at the ship's skipper with slightly reddish eyes. "Well, yes, sir, of course. However, Mickey isn't exactly a pet, sir." "Not a pet? What would you call him, or it, then? I assume, Lieutenant, you didn't bring it aboard with the intention of utilizing it as food." "Eat Mickey? Oh, no, sir. He's the first of my collection of exotic animals, Captain. You see" -- the words were beginning to come in an enthusiastic rush now -- "here we are, touching a hundred different planets, many of them with strange life forms. The way I see it, we should pick up samples of these and when we return to Earth turn them over to the zoological authorities. Very educational, sir. Perhaps someday -- " there was a wistful something in Sulu's voice now -- "someday, perhaps, there will be a section of a zoo back on Earth called the Lieutenant Sulu section, consisting entirely of rare animals I have donated." Spock had been eyeing the crouching little animal. He said now, "Most interesting. I had thought them extinct." The captain looked at him. "Mr. Spock, comments?" Spock said, "If Lieutenant Sulu wishes to start a collection of exotic alien life forms, I would suggest he begin with other than, ah, Mickey. We have a specimen here of Rattus norvegicus of the family Muridae, originally native to Central Asia -- " "A bit less technical, if you please, Mr. Spock." "Better known as the brown rat. If I am not mistaken -- " "You are seldom mistaken, I find, Mr. Spock," the captain said dryly. " -- the brown rat migrated westward early in the eighteenth century, reaching Great Britain about A.D. 1730. A great frequenter of ships, it had soon spread throughout the world, reaching the United States in 1775." "Very well, Mr. Spock, we will not at this time go into the full details of the rodent family." The captain looked at his chief helmsman witheringly. I doubt if the zoo authorities back on Earth would be interested in your far-traveled specimen, Mr. Sulu. Consequently -- " Dr. McCoy spoke up. "Jim, I suggest you allow Lieutenant Sulu to retain his trained pet as a ship's mascot. We can use such little diversions. Our recreational facilities are in a sad state after all these months in deep space." Captain Kirk was not averse to placating his old friend, whom he had just had to step upon. He said, "Very well. However, I am not interested in having, ah, Mickey, on my bridge during your watch, Mr. Sulu. I suggest that you take him below. Mr. Akrumba, please take over Mr. Sulu's position at the helm." "Yes, sir." The large junior officer stepped forward and slid into the chair Sulu vacated. The navigator spoke up. "Sir, we have reached our position. NGC four hundred." Dr. McCoy snorted. "So now, I assume, we can find out just what this mysterious mission is and how long we can be expected to remain in deep space." Copyright © 1968 by Paramount Pictures Copyright renewed © 1996 by Paramount Pictures

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