In the year 2288, not long after the events of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: Captain James T. Kirk, in command of the Enterprise-A, is on a peacekeeping mission to an independent star system, where two rival planets, Oyolo and Pavak, are attempting to negotiate a settlement after years of bitter conflict. Oyolo has fought violently against Pavak's past attempts to exploit and colonise it, with atrocities and bloodshed on both sides.
Neither world is aligned with the Federation, which has been aware of the situation in this sector for some time, but stayed out of the conflict until requested to act as a mediator. Beyond the obvious humanitarian motives, Starfleet has a vested interest in promoting peace in this troubled region. Interplanetary wars are in no one's best interests-especially for Kirk, when assassination committed to disrupt the peace process is involved!