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Star Trek: The Original Series: My Brother's Keepe Kindle Edition

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Length: 288 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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About the Author

Michael Jan Friedman is the author of nearly sixty books of fiction and nonfiction, more than half of which bear the name Star Trek or some variation thereof. Ten of his titles have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. He has also written for network and cable television, radio, and comic books, the Star Trek: Voyager® episode "Resistance" prominent among his credits. On those rare occasions when he visits the real world, Friedman lives on Long Island with his wife and two sons.

He continues to advise readers that no matter how many Friedmans they know, the vast probability is that none of them are related to him.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Jim Kirk emerged from the entrance to the immense lithium-cracking station, the sight of Lee Kelso's corpse still mercilessly fresh in his mind, and took a look at the jumbled, gray landscape ahead of him.

Craggy peaks rose haphazardly like the uncut gems in some gargantuan crown, piercing the bloated underbelly of the blue-gray clouds. The wind howled as if in pain, carrying the dust and tang of a dozen different metal ores.

Gary was out there somewhere, the captain told himself. Dehner, too. And they were his responsibility.


After all, it had been Kirk's decision a couple of days ago to try to penetrate the shimmering barrier at the edge of the galaxy -- an attempt that had ended bluntly in failure. Worse, it had snuffed out the lives of nine crewmen, all but disabled the Enterprise's engines, and turned two of his staff officers into living fireworks.

One was Gary Mitchell -- a close friend since his Academy days who had saved Kirk's life more than once. The other was Elizabeth Dehner, a willowy young psychiatrist studying crew reactions under emergency conditions.

Little did Dehner know how big an emergency she would be privy to -- the emergence of a being who could shut down every system on the ship as easily as he could shut down his own vital signs...the birth of a power so huge, so terrifying, it could choke the life from a populated world as easily as it had choked the breath from Kelso.

And now Dehner was out there among the rocks at Gary's mercy, his living, breathing pawn...or perhaps his chosen consort. Either way, the woman was in unspeakable danger.

Tucking his phaser rifle securely into the crook of his elbow, the captain left the protection of the station and set out across the sandy open area surrounding it. The wind whipped around him, driving dirt and loose debris into his face.

Kirk barely noticed. His mind was too focused on the monumental task ahead of him. I could have avoided this, he thought ruefully. I should have seen it coming. But it began so innocently....

After their violent reaction to the energy barrier, both Gary and Dehner had been examined by Chief Medical Officer Mark Piper, who determined that the victims had one thing in common -- a talent for extrasensory perception. Dehner's esper rating had been an impressive 089, while Gary's had been even higher at 091.

A small difference, statistically speaking -- but a difference nonetheless, judging by the results. While Dehner's vital signs showed no change after what she went through, the change in Gary was hard to ignore.

His eyes, for instance, went from brown to a startling, luminous silver. His voice took on an expansive, echoing quality from time to time. And he began reading at speeds even Spock could barely believe.

None of that constituted a reason to fear the man. After all, the captain had always trusted his friend implicitly, no matter what the stakes.

But there was something in Gary's arrogance, a disdain for those around him...that put Kirk on his guard. That, and the unsettling computer logs of the Valiant, the last ship that tried to cross the barrier at the galaxy's edge.

Reports of queries about extrasensory perception, for instance. And, later, of a self-destruct order apparently given by the Valiant's captain...who had to have been confronted with a truly staggering menace to even consider such a command.

But even then, the captain couldn't bring himself to believe that Gary presented that kind of menace. And Dehner had believed it even less.

I was a fool, Kirk mused. A damned fool.

As he reached the perimeter of the sandy area and entered the cleft between two towering crags, he shifted the weight of the phaser rifle in his arms. After the shrilling of the wind, it was quiet in the shelter of the rocks. Deadly quiet, he thought.

After all, Gary could be anywhere up ahead. Anywhere at all. Senses alert, the captain pressed on.

At least the others will be safe, he assured himself. Spock, Piper, Alden...none of them would perish like poor Kelso. Of course, if he had paid a little more attention to Spock's warnings, Kelso might still be alive...and Dehner might be safe on the Enterprise as well.

Kirk recalled what the Vulcan had said at the briefing -- the one that seemed so long ago now. Soon, we'll not only be useless to him, but actually an annoyance. In a month, he'll have as much in common with us as we'd have with a shipful of white mice.

The captain hadn't wanted to hear it. He had lashed out -- told Spock he needed recommendations, not vague warnings.

And his first officer had risen to the occasion. Recommendation One: There's a planet a few lightdays away from here. Delta Vega. It is the only possible way to get Mitchell off this ship.

Kirk had balked at the idea, saying he wouldn't do it. He wouldn't strand his friend on an unpopulated planet, where even the ore ships only called every twenty years.

But Spock had persisted. Then you have only one other choice. Kill Mitchell while you still can.

The captain had rejected the option. He'd told the Vulcan to leave him the hell alone.

Again, Spock had refused to budge. It is your only other choice -- assuming you make it while you still have time.

At least act like you've got a heart, Kirk had admonished him. We're talking about Gary, Spock.

The Vulcan had scowled. The captain of the Valiant probably felt the same way, he said ominously.

It was that reminder that had finally swayed Kirk. Taking a deep breath, he had placed duty over friendship -- and authorized Spock to set a course for Delta Vega.

As he neared the end of his passage between the crags, the captain stopped and scanned the area ahead of him. There was no sign of Gary -- or Dehner either, for that matter. Just a sandy shelf that angled upward into a higher range of rocks.

Cautiously, Kirk emerged from concealment -- though he wasn't certain anything could hide him from what Gary had become, or shield him if Gary decided to put an end to him. Step by step, he made his way to the shelf. Then, still wary, he began to climb it.

Suddenly, a boulder in his path came loose and rolled down the rocky surface beside him. The captain stopped and looked around, his heart beating hard in his chest, his phaser rifle at the ready.

He couldn't see Gary anywhere, but he knew it was Gary who had sent the boulder tumbling. Kirk could hear Mitchell's laughter in the wind. He could see his friend's smile in the swirling of the dust up ahead of him.

Gary was mocking the captain, toying with him -- letting him know that his approach hadn't gone without notice. And, perhaps, warning him. Telling him to go back if he knew what was good for him.

Gritting his teeth, Kirk went on anyway.

He recalled something Gary had said back on the Enterprise, while he sat there in his bed in Piper's sickbay. It's like a man who's been blind all his life suddenly being given sight. Sometimes I feel there's nothing I couldn't do, in time. Some people think that makes me a monster...don't they, Jim?

That was when the captain had realized that Gary could read their minds. He wondered if that was happening now -- if his old friend was tracking Kirk's thoughts, maybe even finding amusement in them.

Not that it mattered. The captain had to find Dehner -- to save her if he could. And beyond that, he had to destroy his old cohort, no matter what kind of power he held in his hands.

Again, he recalled Gary's words in sickbay. I can sense mainly worry in you, Jim...the safety of your ship.

Kirk had eyed his friend. What would you do in my place? he had inquired almost casually.

Gary had smiled. Probably just what Mr. Spock is thinking now -- kill me...while you can.

There was no longer any need for pretense. With his last remark, Gary had torn away the veil.

Kirk had tried to get at Gary before he could bring his power to bear, but his friend had raised his hand and pierced the captain with a hideously painful energy charge. As Kirk faltered, Spock had launched himself at Gary as well -- only to be hurled back by the same kind of charge.

Then Gary had revealed a bit more of himself. I also know we're orbiting Delta Vega, Jim. I can't let you force me down there. I may not want to leave the ship...not yet. I may want another place.

He had smiled to himself with the utmost confidence. I'm not sure yet what kind of a world I can use.

Dehner had looked at him. Use? she asked in a wavering voice.

Gary began to get up from his bed. I don't understand it all yet. But if I keep growing, getting stronger...why, the things I could maybe a god could do...

Before he could finish, while he was still intent on his vision of the future, the captain had slammed his elbow into his friend's side. Then Spock hit him also, and Kirk sent him sprawling across the bed with a right hook.

Taking advantage of Gary's stunned condition, they had sedated him with a hypospray. Then, as quickly as they could, they had brought him to the transporter room and beamed down to the dilithium-cracking station.

Kelso and his team were already down there. The lieutenant had grimaced at the sight of Gary, his friend as well as Kirk's, being dragged through the entrance to the facility and imprisoned behind a forcefield. But if Kelso had had any objections, he had kept them to himself.

After all, he knew that Gary had become dangerous. Unfortunately, he didn't know how dangerous. None of them did -- or Kelso might have survived to return to the ship.

Dragging his thoughts back to the present moment, the captain came to the end of his sandy incline and peered over its crest at a path that wound its way among the crags. Still no sign of his friend. But Gary was out there, an almost tangible presence in the landscape.

Kirk got to his feet and shifted the ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1051 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0671019147
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (February 28, 2002)
  • Publication Date: February 28, 2002
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0TD6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,126 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bonita L. Davis on May 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
James T. Kirk has committed a heinous act. He killed his best friend, Gary Mitchell. Sorrow, guilt and frustration take their toll on Kirk as he begins to reminiscence over a relationship that went sour.
Republic, the first book, in the three part series of My Brother's Keeper, tells the story of how Kirk and Mitchell became friends at Starfleet Academy. There we meet two different personalities. Kirk is Mr. Play It Safe Lieutenant while Mitchell is a fun loving cad. The two get on one another's nerves. While on the U.S.S. Republic on a training mission, the two begin to learn that they must work together in order to save a planet about to be torn apart in an interplanetary conflict.
Republic is a good story in introducing us to two intriguing characters forging a friendship in their youth. We see just what Kirk was like before becoming a Captain and get a taste of Mitchell's influence on his life. This was an enjoyable read which will take you to the stars as well as teach you about the meaning of friendship.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Yanni on November 7, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book starts off with a treatment of the original series episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" that far outshines the James Blish version from "Star Trek 8", even if it does start in the middle of the story and fill in the background as flashback. We then have a few pages of seeing the aftermath, something that was glossed over in the series; the psychological effects on Kirk of having had to kill his friend. We see an early, very stiff and contained Spock making his first attempt at reaching out past his emotional limitations to connect with Kirk, and the rest of the story is the story Kirk tells Spock of his first encounters with Gary Mitchell back in their academy days.

All told, the story is well-handled all around, although in some places the characterizations are not necessarily what I would have made them; I can believe Mitchell as an immature, irresponsible jerk (given what we saw of him in the episode set a dozen years later, even before he went insane, it's hardly a stretch to figure that he wasn't very stable or dependable as an eighteen year old, although I doubt that his psychic talents were as well-developed or clear-cut as they are portrayed here.) It's more of a stretch to believe in a Kirk who was so by-the-book and straightlaced, even if Mitchell does tell us in the episode that when he met him, Kirk was "positively grim". What Mitchell would consider grim would be just about anybody with a grain of responsibility; that doesn't necessarily mean that he was. It's an interesting concept, though, to hypothesize that it was his friendship with Mitchell that helped to create the dynamic, intuitive Kirk that we saw through most of the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 30, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A good but not a great Star Trek book. If you ever wanted to know when and how Kirk and Mitchell became such great friends, this is the book for you. Beginning as a flashback in the aftermath of Gary Mitchell's death, Republic is an entertaining, intriguing tale of Kirk's relationship with Mitchell, offering insight into Kirk as a younger man, and what makes both of these guys tick. Not great writing, but fascinating in its description of the interplay between the two men. A great gift for a Trekkie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery S. Phillips on May 30, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
We're all Trek fans reading these for most of us, they're generally appreciated and enjoyed, even with their flaws.

The "My Brother's Keeper" trilogy is light-hearted gap-filler with some fun moments. But I agree with another reviewer's comments about the author's belaboring style. Friedman obviously has great affection and familiarity for the characters. But maybe too much. Or perhaps it isn't the familiarity that bothered me, but rather a lack of discretion in showing it off.

I don't mind an occasional reference to random details from actual episodes here and there...but if you removed them from this three-volume, 800-page story, you'd have a pamphlet. Page 55 of "Enterprise", as a random example, is typical of the trilogy. Check it out, and then select a few more pages at random on your own, you'll see what i mean. These characters were never so cute and cuddly together...just how we'd like them to be if we could hang out with them ourselves. By the way, counting these inside-Trek references throughout the trilogy would actually make a great drinking game. Please pass the Saurian brandy.

Friedman's dialog never resists demonstrating what wonderful, life-long pals all these characters are, or will become. So much of the dialog is jam-packed with forced--albeit often jolly--exposition, simply for the sake of nodding to Canon without advancing the story. Aside from the ubiquitous Trek references, pages--sometimes entire chapters--tell and retell the same scenes, almost to the point of novelization. In fact, if you've ever seen "Where No Man Has Gone Before" more than once (and who reading these books hasn't?), you can literally skip the first three chapters of both "Republic" AND "Enterprise" (I just saved you 80 pages right there).
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