(written from a Production point of view)
The first voyage of the starship Enterprise 1701-E!
- From the book jacket
- Revealed at last! The lost years between Star Trek Generations and Star Trek: First Contact.
- The starship Enterprise 1701-D has been destroyed, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard finds himself without a command. While waiting for his new ship, Captain Picard has gone with Lt. Commander Worf on a delicate diplomatic mission to the Cardassian Empire.
- As Picard conducts high-level negotiations for prisoners of war, the starship Enterprise 1701-E is being constructed under the supervision of Captain Bateson, a veteran of the twenty-third century who spent nearly ninety years in a pocket universe. Commanding this new Enterprise on a shakedown cruise, Captain Bateson has an idea of his own. In defiance of Starfleet Command, he will take Starfleet's newest, strongest starship and strike at the heart of the newly aggressive Klingon Empire.
- Captain Picard's negotiations proceed smoothly – until he discovers that a hate-crazed Klingon commander – Captain Bateson's archenemy from ninety years ago – has taken the Enterprise from Bateson and launched a vicious attack on Cardassia Prime. To save the ship and preserve the intergalactic peace, Picard must ally himself with his former Cardassian torturer, rely on the legendary skills of one Montgomery Scott and draw new strength and inspiration from the memory of James T. Kirk...
- Ship of the Line reveals an unforgettable lost chapter in the ongoing saga of Star Trek that will thrill readers of every generation.
Part One: The Color of Envy
- "It was a bad moment, up there at the foremasthead, perhaps the worst moment Hornblower had ever known." - Hornblower and the Atropos
The SoSoy Toj, under the command of Kozara, is on a course to attack Starbase 12 in the Benecia sector. The Klingons have set up a fleet on their side of the Klingon Neutral Zone to distract the Federation as they move in. As the chapter ends, the ship enters the Typhon Expanse.
Chapters 2 to 5
- The year 2278
- Fries-Posnikoff sector, Klingon Neutral Zone border
- Bridge of the USS Bozeman
Captain Bateson and his XO, Gabriel Bush, share some of Bush's grandmother's rum on board the bridge of the Bozeman, a border cutter similar in duties to the 21st century United States of America Coast Guard. We learn that for the past two weeks, instead of putting into Starbase 12, Captain Bateson has had his crew doing repairs themselves. As they discuss the fact that Spock is bringing two new officers on board, the Enterprise comes into view and the crew stare in amazement at its beauty. Kirk and Bateson have a discussion of general goings-on and the Enterprise's current mission. Spock arrives on the bridge and introduces Lieutenant Michael Dennis and Science Specialist Lieutenant John Wolfe. The lieutenants ask Bateson what Klingons are like; he tells them he doesn't know what they're like because he never met one in person, but in battle they're predictable and when they try to be unpredictable, they're more predictable. All of a sudden, comm systems go off-line. A Klingon ship then decloaks in front of them.
In response to the appearance of a Klingon ship, a green-tinted D7 or Template:ShipClass ship, Bateson orders red alert. They then initiate their "yellow jack" lights, signifying to the Klingons that they are requesting the surrender of the Klingons. After a scan of the ship, they learn that they are carrying incendiary containers. They move to intercept the Klingon ship. Wolfe, at the science station, reads the ID code of the Klingon ship as "...SuSoy Duj or mutoy muj." Bateson immediately recognizes it as the SoSoy Toj, which Kozara had named for his deceased mother; he also notes that Kozara usually helms a Bird-of-Prey. Bateson realizes what is happening: the Klingon fleet is a distraction as Kozara's ship moves in to destroy Starbase 12. Bateson then tells Gabe that they are going to miss Gabe's wedding because their mission just became a suicide mission.
Kozara's XO tells him they are still three hours from Starbase 12 at warp 5. Recognizing Bateson's ship, Kozara has one of his officers break the communications interference, but only for short range communications, so he can speak to Bateson himself. Bateson tells Kozara it is his intention to impound the SoSoy Toj. Kozara cuts the channel and opens fire at the still-damaged Bozeman. Bateson orders evasive maneuvers and makes an escape run as Kozara pursues. Bateson then orders them into a nearby solar system to try and slow down Kozara.
As they enter the system, Kozara continues his assault. Bateson then decides to launch a comm hardshell, a sublight-only device that emits a comm signal, towards Starbase 12. They determine they need to distract Kozara so he will not destroy it, and then they need to keep him occupied for one minute as it leaves the system and heads towards Starbase 12. They rig it for a thirty-minute countdown before it "screams its little ass off". Bateson then has Gabe take "precautions," telling the crew to prepare for evacuation.
The Bozeman successfully deploys the hardshell, as a distracted Kozara misses the launch. The Bozeman returns fire and scores a hit. Guidance systems then start to fail. With nineteen minutes left, Bateson orders the crew to look for a 'hiding place'; they find a "hazy globular mass", which they then enter. After they enter the mass, they lose guidance and Kozara's ship. Bateson doesn't believe that Kozara is gone, and he orders the crew to find him, but sensors then register a ship that is a "moving mountain... triple... the size of Kozara's ship". Bateson orders them to brace for impact. As the crew readies for impact, the "enormous oblong ship" flies over, barely missing them. As they run a scan on it, they detect it as being Starfleet, but not of any design they've ever seen. With six minutes until the hardshell activates its transmission, and the comm blanket gone, Bateson opens a channel to the new ship. When the channel opens, he announces himself and his ship, then sees a "rather stately bald gentleman of medium build..." sitting, who then rises and announces himself as "Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the... Enterprise". Bush doesn't believe him and has to hold back from screaming "liar" at Picard. Picard then explains what happened and Bateson tells them they left "Starbase 12 three weeks ago". Picard then asks Bateson the year and he tells them 2278, but Picard tells him "Captain... there's something we need to discuss." They cut the channel and Bateson and Bush discuss the uniforms and Bateson beams over to the Enterprise.
Chapters 6 and 7
- Year 2368
- The USS Enterprise-D
Riker and Picard talk to Bateson about what has happened in Picard's ready room. Bateson demands that Picard and Riker identify themselves and the ship; Picard tells them that they are the Enterprise-D, but Bateson tells them that the Enterprise is a Constitution-class vessel and that they rendezvoused with the Enterprise less than an hour ago. Picard tells Bateson that they are the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D - emphasizing the "D" - and that they are from 2368. Bateson replies that Starfleet will try to make them comfortable in the 23rd century. Riker throws an "Are we sure it is not us?" glance to Picard and Bateson, then subtly checks the 17 year old Linden Navigational Outpost; they receive a comm signal from it, confirming that it is 2368. Riker nods to Picard, who tells Bateson that he is the temporally displaced person and ship. In a state of shock, Bateson sits down on Picard's couch and drops his head in melancholy. Bateson asks them if the Bozeman mattered. Picard and Riker inform Bateson of what happened next: his actions saved Starbase 12, and its main thoroughfare was named Bateson Boulevard in his honor. The Search and Rescue attempt for the Bozeman went on for months. Deprived of their expected victory, the Klingons denigrated Kozara's attack plan as "cowardly espionage." Kozara's family fell out of power, but was saved from execution solely for the fact that Kozara "destroyed the Bozeman". Picard then extends the "comfort" offer Bateson had offered to them minutes prior. Bateson asks Riker to inform the Bozeman's crew what has happened, and Riker agrees; Bateson also asks to remain captain of the Bozeman, and Picard says he will probably encounter little to no resistance. Picard offers the services of Deanna Troi for counseling the Bozeman's crew, but Bateson says he doesn't need her services because the crew will be able to console themselves. Picard then remembers a "...little quirk in [Bateson's] favor", his seniority. Riker then mentions that there is "...no provision in [the] active duty articles that takes time travel into consideration"., but Picard then corrects Riker in that there is one: before Kirk went back in time to observe the 1960s, Starfleet put an article in place that maintains seniority in reverse time travel but not in forward, making Bateson the senior-most captain in Starfleet. Bateson then says that his ship has no mission or purpose and that it is now his mission in life to give them one.
Bateson walks back to the Enterprise-D's transporter room and beams back to the Bozeman, walks to the bridge, gathers the bridge crew around him, puts his arm around Gabe and his hand on Mike Dennis and says, "Gabe, gonna miss the wedding."
Part Two: The Near Unknown
- "Service in a flagship might be a way to quicker promotion, but there were many crumpled petals in the bed of roses." - Hornblower and the Atropos
- Three years later, the year 2371
Riker arrives in the officer's lounge on Starbase 12 where Picard is sitting, both awaiting reassignment. Riker and Picard start talking about recent and current events, namely the loss of the Enterprise-D three months prior and where they will go now. Riker then tells Picard that the only reassignment requests he's received were from general crew, not from his command staff and that the reason is that they're all hoping for Picard to take another command, but Picard isn't so sure. He then reflects on his two commands and adventures he's had and thinks he might resign and become an archaeologist. They continue discussing what the future may hold. Riker then wonders how Kirk dealt with the loss of the original Enterprise, Picard then tells him that Kirk ordered the destruct sequence. Picard then reminisces about the 23rd century and how captains had more freedom during "those years of early expansion". Picard and Riker then set out to see "the new starship".
Kozara's ship pulls into a Klingon dock over Qo'noS after spending seven years (instead of a planned five years) performing meaningless tasks for a Klingon, such as exploring. His original command staff is still serving under him. As the ship docks, Kozara begins speaking to Gaylon about his son, Zaidan, who is an architect in the employ of the High Council. As they have only communicated with Klingon High Command twice in those seven years, they are unaware of who is now in charge, what houses are on the council, etc. As soon as the ship is fully docked, the airlock door opens and standing there is Zaidan, who is now almost 100 years old; he is wearing regular construction worker garb, not supervisor garb as his father had hoped. His son then tells him that his house is disgraced for one reason only: Bateson is still alive.
A disbelieving Kozara tells Zaidan he is sure that Bateson is dead, that he crashed into a planet in the system where he fought Bateson in 2278, but his son tells him that he traveled forward in time. He also says that he is out of a job and that "no one [even] wants... a sewage station" built by Zaidan. He also tells his father that the newest Enterprise has been completed and that Bateson is the master of the ship. He then disowns himself from the house of Kozara, but Kozara begs for one more chance. He states that he will kill Bateson and his crew, and that the chance of success is high because there is a Klingon operative on Bateson's staff. As the ultimate revenge, he will steal the Enterprise-E and destroy the name "Enterprise". He swears that "on the blood of [their] fathers, there will never be another Enterprise."
- "The ship was a thing of exquisite beauty in an exquisite setting... She was a magnificent fighting machine, the mistress of the waves over which she was sailing in solitary grandeur." - Lieutenant Hornblower
Picard and Riker arrive at the Enterprise-E and dock and are greeted by Beverly Crusher, Troi, and Geordi La Forge, with Data following right behind him. They make their way to main engineering, where the newly-recommissioned Captain Scott is working. As Scott is talking to Picard and the other four, Bateson walks over to their vicinity surrounded by junior officers as he's giving them orders. After they leave, he then realizes they are there and walks over and begins talking to them. Scott then departs to give schematics to the under-construction USS Roderick, which is being built in a nearby dock. Bateson then takes Picard on a tour leaving Riker, Troi and Crusher stranded in engineering. They then begin discussing the possibility that "he's jockeying for command." Crusher then tells Riker that there's the possibility of "Captain Riker" and they tell him that if Picard does retire, he might not be able to "dodge" command. He tells Troi and Crusher that Picard told him he wants command of the E. They ask him to tell them his exact words but says he can't as Picard approaches. He tells them that Bateson is on the other side of engineering waiting to conduct their tour and that he's been "called away" to Admiral Farrow's office. After Picard leaves Crusher and Troi hypothesize that Farrow is going to give command of the Enterprise to Picard.
Picard arrives at Admiral Farrow's office and they begin discussing why Farrow has called him there and it is revealed why: Picard is to go to Cardassia and rescue Federation POWs from the Cardassians. He was also offered a promotion to rear admiral. Farrow then tells Picard that Bateson is to command the Enterprise-E on its maiden voyage. Picard and Farrow then discuss Picard's upcoming mission.
Riker, Troi and Crusher join Picard in his spartan quarters on Starbase 12 where he breaks the news that he hasn't been given command of the Enterprise, and neither has Riker. He also breaks the bad news, to them, that Bateson has been given command and that Riker is to be his first officer. He then says that he has accepted an assignment from Admiral Farrow to retrieve MIAs that were captured. He also mentions that Gul Madred is likely behind it and that he intends to go in with a civilian ship. Troi, Riker and Crusher begin to protest Bateson's appointment, but Picard stops them before they get too far. He tells them that Scott is staying aboard as chief engineer and La Forge will be assistant chief; Troi is a medical officer since Bateson doesn't want a counselor aboard, and Data is to serve as a science officer as well. He then tells Crusher that she is going with him, to some relief of the three, and that he will stop by Deep Space 9 to "borrow" Worf. Riker and Troi leave as Picard tells Crusher she has an hour to pack for the mission.
- "There was a storm brewing, without a doubt, and moreover a storm which had so long been foretold would be all the more violent when it did come" - Ship of the Line
- Cardassia Prime
- "Madred Village"
As shelling surrounds the ruined building in which they stand, Lieutenant Dan Leith and Steve McClellan, the 26 year old commanding officer, see a transporter beam in the middle of the compound. Initially, they believe it is a Cardassian, but then Dan realizes it is Steve's brother Mark, whose 24th birthday is that day. Steve runs over to greet his brother, but when Steve gets to his brother's beam-in location, he sees his brother is exhausted, although still happy to see him after being on Cardassia Prime for so long. Mark then realizes it is his brother that has greeted him and are both thrown to the ground following a nearby shelling. Dan calls for them to join him in a garage further from the shelling than the office. The McClellans barely get inside far enough to miss the caving in of the entrance area ceiling. Steve, trying to cover his younger brother, slams his right shoulder and hip into a metal tool chest; he collapses from the pain, but is still conscious. Mark goes over to check on his brother and Steve tells his brother that "[he] thought [he] was dead"; Mark replies that he thought the same thing. Steve then explains what is going on: The Cardassians are bombing them and that this is a fake Federation spaceport, not a real one as Mark had thought.
Steve informs Mark that they are in a functioning Federation version of a "Madred Village"; rumor has it that there are also Klingon and Romulan villages, and that they have been under attack for about six weeks. Steve explains that the base and themselves are being used for target practice so the Cardassians can learn how the Federation fights and thinks - what works and what doesn't. Even though Steve and Dan refuse to use their phasers to fight back, the Cardassians want them to have the ability to fight back; the Cardassians also have been providing minimal amounts of food and water. Mark asks about the runabout next to them, but Steve tells him that it is just a shell. Nineteen of their crewmembers from the Durant have disappeared as Mark did, but they still have about half a dozen crew members remaining, excluding themselves. They have killed some Cardassians and have learned how the Cardassians think from this. They are also being monitored by satellites and the occasional listening device. If they win, they get food, and a few days rest; if they lose, they get tortured. Mark then asks what happens if you don't fight. Dan tells him that one of their officers did just that and has him look out a crack in the wall to an object hanging from a lamp post. Mark acknowledges it and asks if that the "burned rag... is... his uniform." and Dan replies with, "Not just his uniform, my friend," which sends Mark into shock. Another man arrives, Brent Atherton, a merchant captain who is keeping his crew in a gymnasium. Atherton reports that the Cardassians have destroyed a section of a barricade they have built around their food stores and that they need repairs fast; he collects supplies and leaves. Dan leaves to check on the Durant's remaining crew, leaving Mark and Steve alone in the office. Steve then tells Mark 'happy birthday'; Mark dazedly responds, "Is it my birthday?"
- Between Chapters 13 and 14 there is an excerpt from a eulogy given by the author.
As Riker boards the Enterprise-E, he is greeted by Wizz Dayton and Mike Dennis. As they escort Riker to the bridge, a voice coming from inside a metal tool locker says "Hey, hi, bud," and out reels a drunken Gabe Bush, to Riker's surprise and the indifference of Wizz and Mike. They introduce Riker to the inebriated Bush, who then proceeds to complain that Riker is the first officer, not him. After he finishes complaining, he wanders off down a corridor and into a lab. Mike and Wizz explain that he's been that way for the past three years, give or take six months. They explain that, for months following their disappearance, Ruby, Gabe's fiancée, searched for them using bounty hunters and hired merchants. Ruby finally decided to take a ship and search for them herself, following a rumor that they were being held prisoner in Klingon space. When she entered Klingon space, she was arrested for spying and sent to Rura Penthe. After some time, the Klingons were about to let her go on a technicality, but when they found out she was the fiancée of the XO of the Bozeman she was sent back to the Federation in ten small boxes: one for each of the dignitaries removed from the High Council. They then ask him to not tell anyone, and Riker grudgingly agrees.
They arrive on the bridge and Riker greets Troi, who is working at the environment station. They begin discussing Gabe's condition and they agree he needs help, but Troi can't help him because Bateson doesn't want a counselor on board. Riker goes over to Bateson and reports in. After he reports in, Bateson summons Scott, La Forge, Data, and two of his engineering officers from the Bozeman to report to the bridge for the Enterprise's first warp jump. As the engineering teams enter the bridge, Bateson orders a jump to warp 1 and Gabe is escorted on to the bridge. As the crew asks where they're headed, he reports that they are going to participate in war games near the Klingon Neutral Zone. As the Enterprise-D's crew feels upset about the lack of Picard, Bateson show them a panel and support struts made from remnants from the 'D', some with brass plaques; he also tells them that the conference lounge table is from the 'D' as well. Riker says that Bateson and he have to talk and Bateson replies, "Is that so? All right, Will. Go ahead. Talk."
Picard arrives on the transport Half Moon which will carry them to Cardassian space. The captain, Chip Reynolds, after small talk, hands Picard some holoprograms to be used in the modified cargo bay, which Riker had modified for Picard. Picard then reads the title, 'Starship Logs, Enhanced, USS Enterprise NCC-1701, Captain James T. Kirk. Stardate 1709.2: Romulan incursion at the Neutral Zone. Picard then enters the bay and runs through the holoprogram as an inspiration and a distraction as he awaits the cross into Cardassian space.
He stands on the bridge beside Kirk as they answer a distress call from Commander Hansen on Outpost 4, which has sustained severe damage from an attack by an unidentified vessel, which then decloaks right in front of the Enterprise. Picard immediately recognizes the incident. The ship open fires and destroys Outpost 4. Spock reports it likely hasn't detected them and sets a course back for Romulan space. Kirk then orders them to set a parallel course and match speed with the vessel. Picard then comments that "... this is when the hunt begins...", to which Kirk replies that "... the game from now on is dangerous" and that "... every move [they] make [is] a critical one." Phaser systems overload and they retreat as the vessel fires a plasma torpedo. It begins to dissipate, but it overtakes them and impacts causing severe damage. After phasers have been repaired, Kirk orders them to pursue the ship and enter the Neutral Zone.
Picard stands patiently as Kirk orders Sulu to continue firing. Sensors detect debris likely from the Romulan ship, but the mass isn't large enough to account for the whole ship. Spock then reports that they've lost track of the ship. After waiting for nine hours, forty-seven minutes, Picard asks Kirk if he doubts his actions, but before Kirk can reply McCoy enters Kirk's quarters. Kirk talks with McCoy about his action. Picard then has the computer jump him to the bridge. The Enterprise fires again and they register more debris, except that this set has a "metal-cased object" which turns out to be a depth charge, which detonates and inflicts heavy damage on the Enterprise. With all but the forward phasers off-line, they fire again with good result: they cripple the ship. Kirk talks with the captain, who activates his ship's destruct sequence. Picard then realizes Kirk isn't the god-like figure he's painted as. Picard then ends the program.
Kozara tells his crew about the Enterprise's war game: the Nora Nicholas and the Enterprise will fight each other and that is when they will strike. He then informs them that he will disable Data's positronic net so they will not have to fight him, and that he knows all of this because he is still in contact with his spy. Kozara's son states that his father will fail somehow; Kozara responds, "watch real warrior's work". Riker is protesting Bateson's orders to take the newly christened Enterprise into a demilitarized zone near Klingon space. Bateson retorts that he knows how to deal with Klingons and Riker doesn't. Riker then responds that their Klingons are different than his Klingons. Bateson tells Riker and Picard's crew to either get off the ship or follow his orders; they choose to follow Bateson. Bateson then explains the outdated scenario of hunting credit counterfeiters, which Riker says is no longer a problem because "in this century, [they] strive to better themselves." An offended Bateson asks, "Who is it you think you're better than?" Riker admits it sounded arrogant, but he says they don't need to bait an enemy by staging war games "in their front yards. " Bateson says it does mean that they need to get familiar with the territories where they will be fighting. Riker and Bateson then begin arguing about the Klingons. Bateson then offers him the chance to leave again, but he again decides to stay on board.
As the Enterprise enters the Typhon Expanse, Bateson orders yellow alert and to accelerate to full impulse, to raise shields and arm weapons, albeit at reduced power for the games. They begin scanning for the Nora Nicholas and take a hit that shakes the ship violently. Sensors read full shields on the Nora Nicholas and Bateson orders shields and weapons to full. The ship takes another hit causing damage and Scott reports it will take half an hour to bring shields to full. Sensors then report that the ship's configuration is not the Nora Nicholas and that they are taking disruptor hits, not phasers. Bateson opens a channel to the ship and announces himself. His opponent then announces himself: Kozara.
One of Kozara's officers reports that they are still obscured by the nebula they are hiding in, and they prepare to strike again. Shields are now down to fifty percent on the Enterprise, and Bateson orders red alert as Kozara's Bird of Prey exits the nebula. Bateson reveals that the game was to lure the Klingons across the border; they return fire, which produces only minor shield damage on the Bird of Prey. Riker suggests retreat, but Bateson continues the assault. As they fire again, Mike Dennis' controls overload and explode, causing minor burns to Mike. Bateson calls for a medical team to the bridge as he orders Gabe to take tactical; simultaneously, engineering reports systems shutdowns all over the ship and they suspect sabotage. Bateson orders pursuit as Riker recommends retreat, but Bateson again ignores him and they begin arguing over the best course of action. Engineering reports some phaser power restored and that shields are at 42%. Bateson orders return fire, causing hull damage on Kozara's ship; Kozara strikes again and compromises their guidance systems. La Forge reports that, without the override codes, they would have to do a complete system restart to get around the system shutdowns. Kozara opens a channel to Bateson; Kozara informs Bateson that they have destroyed the Nora Nicholas because they "got in [their] way." A transporter beam engages, beaming over a device that disables Data. Half a dozen more beams bring more items on board: grenades.
Part Three: A Harbor of Doubtful Neutrality
- Part III begins with an excerpt from the author's log from her time on board the cutter Californian.
- Year 2266, Stardate 1672.1
- Briefing room – USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
- (holographic simulation)
Picard and "mild Kirk" discuss why Kirk is the legend he is. Kirk responds that he had an unwritten contract with his crew: he is willing to take the same risks his crew is. Picard then tells him he isn't an old time general, but Kirk says that he basically is. He further replies that he is the most expendable crewmember, even more than a junior officer, and that he'll die before he lets his crew die. Picard realizes this is why Kirk didn't like the admiralty, and why Riker avoids commanding a starship. Picard walks to Engineering to speak with "animal Kirk", who is armed. When confronted by "mild Kirk", "animal Kirk" fires and vaporizes a control panel behind "mild Kirk"; "animal Kirk" is then paralyzed by Spock. Picard then jumps to the resolution of the conflict when the two Kirks are rejoined. He shakes Kirk's hand and ends the program just as Captain Reynolds enters and reports that they have entered Cardassian space. Picard then tells him he was going to go in diplomatically, and tells Reynolds to give his men the sidearms he provided. He also tells him to give the programs back to Riker, because he doesn't need them anymore.
- "In a ship detached far from superior authority, there was nothing a captain might not do..." - Hornblower and the Atropos
Picard arrives in Madred's office, where Picard was once tortured. Picard tells Madred that he wants the captives back. Madred replies with a subtle prod for information. Madred and Picard then begin to discuss the after effects of Picard's torture and the events that occurred during his captivity. Picard brings up Madred's daughter, Jil Orra; she is now 13 and understands that Madred's torture of innocent people was wrong. Picard also says that if Madred doesn't reveal their location, he will have Klingons and the Federation at his throat. Madred advises that he could "appease" Picard with a few, that is "... if [he] had possession of [those] missing people." Picard demands them all; unimpressed, Madred tells Picard to do his worst. Picard then walks over to the door, where a Klingon brings Jil Orra in. Picard says that Madred didn't know his limits, but Picard knows his: his daughter. He then takes out a K'luth, a Klingon device used to test bravery that emits a neural disruption wave in a 50 foot radius. Telling Madred that it is "... a most unpleasant way to die", Picard triggers a timer which begins counting down from 100. Picard states that he will only stop the countdown if Madred gives him the location of the MIAs. Madred complies, but Picard allows the countdown to continue. At T -4, Madred gets in front of his daughter to take the blast as Jil Orra steps back. Madred ends up on his knees in front of Picard as the counter turns to 0, then back to 100. Madred gets up and leads Worf and Picard to the men.
Riker regains consciousness to find that he, Bateson and Scott are locked in an escape pod. Bateson informs him that the Bozeman's crew were put on Kozara's ship and left it adrift and that they're locked in there. Riker suggests that they alert the Federation as to Kozara's plan to attack Cardassia and Bateson says that they could possibly inform Picard because he's in Cardassian space. Riker asks him how he knows this and he tells him that Farrow let him know when he was given command. Bateson reveals that Picard "had his own concerns" because it wasn't a classified mission. He also reveals that he didn't want to take command unless Picard was otherwise occupied; this alleviates Riker's belief that he usurped power to take command. Riker then hears a groan from inside the pod and turns to find a sleeping Scott, whom Bateson awakens. When Bateson advises Scott of their situation, Scott opens an EV suit locker, rips off the breastplate controls, hooks the suit controls up to the internal door controls, and opens the airlock. From a nearby Jefferies tube, Scott sends a low power communication to Starbase 12, but it will take four hours to get there. They then discuss what to do and decide to assault Kozara's crew. Bateson, in a change of attitude, says he doesn't want to kill any, and they move off to begin the assault.
Riker runs down a corridor, chased by six armed Klingons. Bateson calls to him to come to the doorway where he's standing. He enters and goes flush with the wall, as Bateson has done, just before the Klingons enter the pitch black room. Bateson and Riker quickly slip out and lock the door. Scotty activates program Scott 1A and suspends vocal commands. They hear cackling noises from inside the holodeck as the Klingons begin yelling to be let out. Scott then tells them that the program is his great-uncle's poultry farm, with forty-five thousand birds; for every one they kill, two more take its place. Scott brags that "they'll never find the door."
- "The dark squares of their sails were urgent with menace, and Hornblower's eye could read more than the mere drama of the silhouettes against the clear horizon." - Ship of the Line
- Cardassia Prime
- Madred Village
As Mark, Steve, Dan and the remaining Starfleet personnel see a Cardassian vessel landing, they run for cover. As it begins to touch down, they conceive a plan to board it and leave the moon they're on, but as the door opens they see something they didn't expect to see: a Human disembarking. The man asks if Steve was Captain Fernando in English, to Steve's surprise. Steve introduces himself and the Human introduces himself as Captain Jean-Luc Picard; Steve reports that Captain Fernando and most of the crew are dead. Steve's men and Atherton's men exit their hiding place as Picard announces they'll be heading home, causing cheers from the MIAs. Picard calls out Madred, who begrudgingly apologizes and announces that all Madred villages - Federation, Klingon, Romulan, Orion and all others - will be shut down. Picard then has Captain Reynolds beam down Madred's daughter, who tells Madred that she told the Federation about the Villages. They begin discussing Madred's forms of "interrogation" as Reynolds reports that a "Klingon called Kuzar", who Picard immediately recognizes as Kozara, has taken the Enterprise. The nearest ship to intercept is six hours away, by which time the Enterprise will have been at Cardassia Prime for two hours; the nearest ships are two fighters. Picard has the Half Moon, the Cardassian vessel they hijacked, and the fighters move in to get the Enterprise back.
- "And the timbers creaked and the rudder groaned and the wind whistled and the sea hissed, everything blending into an inferno of noise as he clung shuddering top the rail." - Ship of the Line
As the Enterprise races towards Cardassian space, Riker, Bateson and Scott initiate what they have dubbed Operation Skunk: using a putrid combination of various chemicals to incapacitate the Klingons in the room they're watching. The Klingons begin complaining and fall unconscious. Riker, Bateson and Scott throw the incapacitated Klingons into the closet from where they got the chemicals. Bateson then adjusts the gravity field on their deck. Klingons arrive, and Riker and Bateson duck quickly into two different crew quarters just as the gravitational field on the 50 foot stretch in front of them rotates 55°. Scotty initiates Phase Two; the floor ices over, causing the Klingons to slide to where Bateson is as he throws nets on them. They then realize that Kozara has began to fire as they try to figure out what to do now.
- "Did it matter if a grain of dust in a whirlwind retained its dignity." - Hornblower and the Atropos
As Kozara observes the assault from the bridge, Bateson and Riker enter the bridge and open fire with the phasers they've stolen. Riker and Bateson are then captured after disabling a few Klingons. Picard's team arrives not long after. Bateson then says he gives up, prompting Kozara to surrender to Picard's team. After Picard beams over to the Enterprise, sensors detect a Klingon vessel approaching ready to fight, but it turns out it is Kozara's old ship piloted by Gabe. They reveal that Wolfe was the saboteur, but it wasn't the real Wolfe. They then depart back for Starbase 12.
Picard and Bateson enter the conference lounge for a party, and there Picard announces that the USS Roderick will be renamed USS Bozeman NCC-1941-A, eliciting cheers. Everyone now had what they had wanted including the newly-assigned captain of the Enterprise-E: Jean-Luc Picard.
- USS Enterprise-E
- One year later
As Riker asks Picard "why they're out there chasing comets" while the Borg are en route to Earth, Troi reports that the fleet has engaged the Borg. He opens a comm with the fleet and hears the sounds of the devastation. He orders his helmsman to set a course for Earth, in violation of their orders. Picard then leaves the bridge for his ready room and Riker follows to make sure Picard doesn't talk himself out of it. After Riker and Picard plan their upcoming fight and Riker leaves, Picard orders some tea: chilled Japanese green tea with ginseng and honey.
"Entiproyse... I love that accent, Gabe. Never lose that."
- - Bateson, playfully teasing Gabe Bush, his XO, about his New England accent
"Oh, anytime. Corn flake stew, corn flake casserole, corn flake kabobs, corn flake pie and rotisserie corn flakes."
- - Gabe Bush, in response to Bateson's comment of having Gabe cook
"Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?"
"How do you know when to tune bagpipes?"
"What's the French word for 'bouquet'?"
"Was 'dead reckoning' ever alive?"
- - Various crewmembers, in response to Bateson's comment that they could ask Spock whatever questions they wanted to
"Tea, Earl Grey, hot."
"Sounds funny with you saying it."
"Well, I've heard you say it often enough."
"Yes... I never order anything else, do I? Every time it's 'tea, Earl Grey, hot.' Perhaps next time I'll be wild and ask for 'hot Grey tea Earl'."
"The poor computer'll have a stroke."
"We've all got our favorites, sir."
"I suppose. Or I could just be stuck in my ways."
- - Riker and Picard, talking after Riker orders Picard some tea.
"You know, we have a problem. One of us is going to have to shave this D'Artagnan imitation. Either that, or everybody aboard is going to have to grow one." "Don't look at me!"
- - Bateson, on his and Riker's beards and Troi's reply
"Boy... there are times when I really hate to be right"
- - Bateson, in response to Kozara's appearance
"Tell me, how many lights are up there? Four or five?"
"Four or five, whichever you prefer!"
- - Picard and Madred, referencing the events of Picard's torture
"Batson the Dog"
"Kozara the Butterfly"
- - When Batson and and Kozara meet for the first time in the 24th century
- The audiobook version was abridged by George Truett.
- This novel is a prequel/sequel to TNG: "Cause and Effect", a sequel to TNG: "Chain of Command, Part I", "Chain of Command, Part II" and a sequel to Star Trek Generations.
- The hardcover edition book jacket notes don't quite match the story inside.
- This story takes place during the Federation-Klingon War (2372-73).
- Picard experiences the events from TOS: "Balance of Terror" and "The Enemy Within" from within a holoprogram.
- Most of this book was written while the author was serving on board the cutter Californian.
- In Chapter 10, while Data is speaking to the crew, he uses "we're" and "you'll", however this may just be poetic license, as Data now has his emotion chip.
- An extract from this novel appeared in Star Trek Monthly issue 32.
- The events in this book take place approximatly one year before the events of Star Trek: First Contact.
- Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in Pocket TNG characters.
Regular and recurring characters
- Jean-Luc Picard
- Former Starfleet captain of the Enterprise-D. In 2368, Picard commanded that vessel as it made contact with the time-lost Bozeman. By 2371, Picard had fought alongside James T. Kirk and lost his command, and was awaiting reassignment on Starbase 12. Admiral Farrow offered Picard a promotion to rear admiral when he assigned him on a "diplomatic commando" mission into Cardassian space. Picard ended up accepting the mission, but not the promotion, and was later recommended for the post of Enterprise-E captain by Bateson. Picard found inspiration along the way in the recorded missions of Kirk's earlier career, provided to him in holographic form by Riker.
- William T. Riker
- Starfleet commander, Picard's XO.
- Android Starfleet operations lieutenant commander.
- Deanna Troi
- Half-Betazoid Starfleet counselor under Picard's command.
- Beverly Crusher
- Starfleet commander, Picard's CMO.
- Geordi La Forge
- VISOR-sighted Starfleet lieutenant commander, Picard's chief engineer.
- Klingon Starfleet security officer.
- Morgan Bateson
- Starfleet captain.
- Montgomery Scott
- Starfleet engineer, rank of captain.
- Cardassian gul.
- James T. Kirk
- Gabriel Bush
- Starfleet commander with a New England accent.
- Michael Dennis
- Starfleet lieutenant, one of two replacement officers brought on board by Spock.
- John Wolfe
- Science specialist lieutenant, one of two replacement officers brought on board by Spock.
- Wizz Dayton
- Starfleet communications officer.
- Starfleet engineer.
- Ham Hamilton
- Starfleet chief engineer.
- Andy Welch
- Starfleet ensign, a pilot by specialty.
- Klingon commander.
- Starfleet admiral.
- Kaycee Fernando
- Brent Atherton
- USS Bozeman (NCC-1941)
- USS Bozeman II (NCC-1941-A)
- USS Durant
- Starfleet escort of Captain Kaycee Fernando. Missing thirteen months.
- Dilithium crystals ("DCs")
- USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
- USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)
- USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E)
- Gabe Bush joked that his cooking would include only "corn flake stew", "corn flake casserole", "corn flake kabobs", "corn flake pie" and "rotisserie corn flakes", but that corn flakes with strawberries would be too "pedestrian". Bateson countered that, with Gabe's accent, it seemed like he would prefer to have chowder in Gloucester, and Gabe added steamers and crackers with scrod to the selection.
- Fries-Posnikoff sector
- George Hill
- USS Bozeman crewmember and mascot, a ten-armed octopus-like being.
- Half Moon
- Merchant explorer of Captain Reynolds.
- Klingon Neutral Zone
- Nora Andrew
- USS Nora Nichols
- Starfleet fighter of Captain Brownell.
- Power transfer conduits ("PTCs")
- USS Roderick
- Destroyer vessel that was renamed Bozeman II.
- At change-of-watch, Bateson and Bush enjoyed a rum drink with cinnamon and vanilla. They poured glasses for the newest initiates to the crew, and a portion for Captain Spock as well.
- SoSoy Toj
- Klingon warship.
- Starbase 12
- Satellite tender of Captain Brent Atherton.
- Typhon Expanse
|Previous novel:||Series||Next novel:|
|Day of Honor #1: Ancient Blood|| Pocket TNG|
|Starfleet Academy: The Best and the Brightest|