Admiral James T. Kirk, former Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise and now Chief of Starfleet Operations, is at a crossroads in his career. When he is assigned to supervise the testing of the U.S.S. Recovery, an experimental new rescue vessel, he begins to realize how tired he is of being trapped behind a desk, away from the action. Fully automated, the Recovery is a high-speed transport vessel capable of evacuating large populations without risking the lives of Starfleet personnel. But when its creator falls under alien influence, the Recovery becomes a pawn in a deadly game that could lead to interstellar war.
Trapped in the bowels of the ship is Admiral Kirk's old friend Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy, who is being hunted by a homicidal madman determined that no one on the ship will survive. Taking command of a starship, Admiral Kirk must find a way to save Dr. McCoy's life, and save the galaxy from deadly chaos.