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Captain Calhoun confronts his greatest failure.

Once Burned is a Star Trek: New Frontier novel and the fifth novel in The Captain's Table series written by Peter David. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in October 1998.


From the book jacket
There's a bar called "The Captain's Table," where those who have commanded mighty vessels of every shape and era can meet, relax, and share a friendly drink or two with others of their calling. Sometimes a brawl may break out but it's all in the family, more or less. Just remember, the first round of drinks is always paid for with a story… even in Thallonian space.
Six years ago, long before he took command of the starship USS Excalibur, a young Starfleet officer named Mackenzie Calhoun served as first officer aboard the USS Grissom. Then disaster struck, and Calhoun took the blame. A court martial led to his own angry resignation from Starfleet… or so it appeared. At long last Captain Calhoun reveals the true story behind the greatest tragedy of his life.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Background information[]

  • This novel's plot was adapted from a previous Peter David story in the second run of DC Comics' series of comics.
  • Although the novel indicates the events of the flashback are six years previous, it is probably closer to five years, since Jellico, who was portrayed as an admiral in the novel, was still a captain until at least 2369, when he appeared in TNG: "Chain Of Command, Part II".


Elizabeth Shelby, 2367

Elizabeth Shelby in the 2360s


Mackenzie Calhoun
Captain of the USS Excalibur, formerly the first officer of the Grissom.
Elizabeth Shelby
Calhoun's executive officer aboard Excalibur; Shelby had been romantically involved with him before his assignment to Grissom
Norman Kenyon
Captain of the Grissom
Katerina Mueller
Executive officer of the Grissom
Edward Jellico, 2369

Jellico in 2369

Edward Jellico
Starfleet admiral


Alexander the Great
Edward Smith
Captain of the RMS Titanic.
Danteri guard
A Danteri assigned to guard Stener. This man was knocked unconscious by fourteen-year-old Mackenzie Calhoun, but awoke and attacked with his sword. Calhoun engaged him in a swordfight, and dropped him with a blow to the head, caving his skull. The man thanked the boy for holding his hand as he died.
In their youth, Mackenzie Calhoun's brother held him back from attacking Danteri guards.
Miles Gloriosus
Mick Gold
Virgil "Gus" Grissom
Byron Kenyon
Marsha Kenyon
Stephanie Kenyon
Jean-Luc Picard
Paullina Simons
Romeo Takahashi


Oppressors of the Xenexians
Danteri riding animal, bred to be an all-purpose steed.
Xenexian language term, equivalent to the Earth title captain. Mackenzie Calhoun was made r'ksha of a flier vessel with a crew of fighters as his first command in the Xenexian resistance, which he would eventually take supreme command of.
Homeworld of the Xenexian species. Xenex was freed from Danteri oppression by a resistance army led by young Mackenzie Calhoun. Xenexians closely resemble Humans, except for their purple eyes.

External link[]

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