(written from a Production point of view)
Beneath the Raptor's Wing is a Pocket ENT novel by Michael A. Martin, the first novel in The Romulan War series. Originally released in trade paperback format in October 2009 with a mass-market paperback reprint released in February 2011, and continuing the story told in The Good That Men Do and Kobayashi Maru, the novel details the first part of the Earth-Romulan War, and the role played by the crew of Enterprise.
- From the book jacket
- At the start of the twenty-first century, unconditional war swept across the Earth. A war that engulfed the great and the small, the rich and the poor, giving no quarter. Each side strove for unconditional victory, and as battle built upon battle the living began to envy the dead.
- Chastised by the cataclysm that they had unleashed, the governments of Earth banded together. Humanity vowed to put an end to war, and to strive for the betterment of every living creature. A united Earth created Starfleet, an interstellar agency, whose mission was to explore the cosmos, to come in peace for all mankind. It was a naïve wish that was battered by interstellar realities, yet man persists in the belief that peace is the way. Banding together with other powers to form a Coalition of Planets, humanity hopes that the strength each can offer the other, will allow for peaceful exploration.
- However, the rise of the Coalition strikes dread within the Romulan Star Empire. They feel its growing reach will cut them off from what is rightfully theirs. The Romulans know that the alliance is fragile, that the correct strategy could turn allies into foes. Perfecting a way of remotely controlling Coalition ships and using them as weapons against each other, the Romulans hope to drive a wedge of suspicion and mistrust between these new allies.
- One Starfleet captain uncovers this insidious plot, Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise. Determined not to lose what they have gained, outmanned and outgunned, the captains of Starfleet stand tall vowing to defend every inch of Coalition space. The tide begins to turn.
- The Romulans now plan to strike at what they see as the heart of their problem. With nothing left to lose, the Romulan Star Empire engages in all out war against humanity, determined once and for all to stop the human menace from spreading across the galaxy.
July 2156: Archer is making a request to the Klingon Empire to enter into the war on Starfleet's side, a war which Starfleet is losing. The Klingon chancellor, M'Rek, says he and the council will consider their request.
July 2155: The Enterprise has to warp home from the Gamma Hydra sector, a voyage which takes some time. Travis Mayweather decides he must leave the ship, because of what happened at Gamma Hydra, as he could not accept Captain Archer's decision to abandon the freighter Kobayashi Maru. Hoshi Sato also considers leaving, but Archer convinces her to stay, at least for the time being.
As war breaks out, Administrator T'Pau announces that the Vulcans will not assist Starfleet in the fight, which angers them. They compromise, however, with a detection grid that will give any fleet a few minutes extra warning, at most. Despite this advantage, the Romulans launch sneak attacks on Tarod IX, Deneva, Berengaria VII, Achernar II and Threllvia IV, reducing most of each planet to ruins.
Gannet Brooks, a reporter for Newstime, and Travis Mayweather's old flame, sends reports from the front lines, slamming Starfleet for their apparent no-shows at attacked planets. Admiral Gregory Black asks her editor to make her tone down her stories.
Trip is rescued from his escape pod near Tezel-Oroko by a Vulcan freighter, the Kiri-kin-tha, commanded by Captain T'Vran. Also on board is a V'Shar agent, Ych'a, who requests Trip's help in finding out more about T'Pau's government. He takes on the role of a Vulcan merchant called Sodok, who deals in kevas and trillium - items Trip has never heard of.
T'Pol is recalled to Vulcan, but she decides to formally resign her commission with the Vulcans and stay aboard Enterprise. Archer has other plans: with T'Pol on Vulcan, she can try to determine why the Vulcans have pulled out of the war. When meeting with T'Pau, the administrator reveals that she has Surak's katra within her, and as his primary focus was peace and not violence, the Vulcans shall follow his path.
On Romulus, Admiral Valdore and most of the Romulan senate are unimpressed by Praetor D'deridex's plans to invade Haakona, an old enemy. The Romulans lose half the fleet they send there and the mission fails. Unwilling to take the blame for the militarys losses due to the ever-deteriorating condition of the Romulan leader, Valdore uses his contacts to arrange for D'deridex's skimmer to have an "accident", which succeeds, killing D'deridex. Senator Karzan is installed as the new leader.
A combined Starfleet-Andorian fleet halts a Romulan attempt to invade the Procyon system, the location of Andoria. The Andorian's fleet is led by Shran, on the IGS Weytahn, whilst Travis Mayweather pilots the Daedalus-class USS Yorktown. During this battle, Captain Roy Dunsel becomes the first to use Starfleet's experimental self-destruct system, destroying his ship, the Challenger NX-03.
Ambassadors Thoris of Andoria and Gral of Tellar decide that they too must withdraw their fleets from the war.
In April 2156, Enterprise leads an assault to retake Starbase 1 and Berengaria VII from the Romulans. Archer has become a Commodore. Starfleet takes bad losses but the Romulans are driven off. The rest of the fleet joins up with Shran's ship and sets course for Deneva.
Back on Vulcan, an explosion destroys the living katra of Surak, causing T'Pau to cry openly and state that the planet may be permanently closed to "offworlders." On Enterprise, Archer feels the loss of the katra.
- The title was originally announced, simply as The Romulan War, at the Shore Leave convention on 11 July 2008.
- The book covers the first year of the war.
- An extract from the novel appeared in Star Trek Magazine issue 148.
- Tobin Dax, the second person to have the Dax symbiont, appears in the novel. He is working at the Cochrane Institute on Alpha Centauri III.
- Memory Alpha receives an acknowledgment from the author.
- The novel features appearances by Captain Sopek and the primary universe counterpart of the mirror universe character Admiral Black. Both of these characters were played by Gregory Itzin. He played the former in ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem" and the latter in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II".
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