(written from a Production point of view)
- From the book jacket
- In 1893 a time-traveling Jean-Luc Picard encountered a long-lived alien named Guinan, who was posing as a Human to learn Earth's customs. During this "first encounter," Picard saved Guinan's life, a favor she would never forget.
- Five centuries later, Captain Picard, now commander of the Starship Enterprise, brought Guinan aboard as the ship's bartender. The hope was that her wisdom and inner peace would provide a moral grounding for Picard's crew as they experienced the dangers of space.
- Because he hadn't yet made his trip through time, Picard had no knowledge of his nineteenth-century meeting with Guinan.
- But he did remember a different first encounter with the mysterious El-Aurian - a tumultuous adventure in which Picard and Guinan would risk their lives in a maze of interplanetary intrigue, with the future of the known universe at stake.
- This is the story of that fateful meeting, and of a Guinan very different from the woman we think we know - a person wracked by pain and longing, shaken to the roots of her soul.
- A Guinan who yearns for oblivion.
She stared at Picard a moment longer, as if caught in some strange kind of inertia. Then, in a voice as weary and defeated as her eyes, she said, "You've got hair."
It was a bizarre observation, to say the least. "Apparently so," he responded.
The woman's eyes narrowed. "You don't remember...?" Her voice fell like a wounded bird.
The captain looked at her. "Remember what?"
Her brow puckered. "No," she said with something like resignation. "Of course you don't."
- This book explains much of the backstory for the friendship of Picard and Guinan.
- In the episode "Ensign Ro" Guinan tells Ro Laren that "a very long time ago I got into some serious trouble too, and I mean serious, and I'd probably still be there, if I hadn't trusted one man." This book explains what Picard did to help Guinan.
- During their mission, Picard and Guinan encounter a younger Enabran Tain, who shall go on to become the father of Elim Garak, a prominent recurring character in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- USS Stargazer
- A Template:ShipClass vessel under the command of Captain Picard
- An orbital city
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