(written from a Production point of view)
- From the book jacket
- The USS Enterprise is ready to rejoin the fleet. The body of the great starship – which managed to survive the deadly Romulan-Reman attack only with Data's ultimate sacrifice – has been restored.
- With the departure of first officer William Riker and ship's counselor Deanna Troi, Picard has to replace two of his most trusted advisors. A Vulcan is granted the commission of ship's counselor. Logical and pragmatic, T'Lana is a highly decorated member of Starfleet who served with distinction during the Dominion War. For his Number One, Captain Picard has only one candidate: Worf.
- The captain is looking forward to putting the shadows of war behind him, shaping his new crew, and returning at last to being an explorer. However, the Klingon refuses the promotion. And Picard senses that his new counselor does not approve of Worf.
- Starfleet hands the Enterprise a simple assignment perfect for a shakedown cruise. Picard is confident that this is all he needs to bring his crew together. Before the mission commences, the captain once again hears the song of the Borg Collective. Admiral Janeway is convinced that the Borg have been crushed and are no longer a threat. Picard knows that she is wrong, and if he doesn't act immediately, the entire Federation will be under the domination of its most oppressive enemy.
While on course to Repok, Picard encounters several hallucinations – dreaming and hearing the voice of the Borg. While he first tries to wipe them away, as he is busy in assembling his new senior staff after the departure of Will Riker and Deanna Troi and the death of Data. (Star Trek Nemesis; Taking Wing) He asks Worf to become his first officer, but the Klingon refuses, thinking that after once deciding based on his feelings and not based on orders when saving his late wife Jadzia Dax, (DS9: "Change of Heart") he doesn't deserve the honor of this position. The new counselor T'Lana, a Vulcan, apparently also thinks so – as she witnessed the death of her captain, which was a direct effect of Worf's decision.
When Picard collapses and again hears the Borg's voice, he understands that they are in the Alpha Quadrant – regrouping, breeding a new Borg Queen and seeking revenge. While he first struggles to understand that the Borg act based on a "feeling", he intuitively knows where they are and that they have to be stopped. However, Admiral Janeway orders him not to do anything until Seven of Nine arrives on the Enterprise; knowing that it will be too late by then, Picard decides to disobey his direct orders. With the exception of T'Lana, who thinks that Picard is relying only on some feelings and formally objects, all of his senior staff follow him.
However, Picard's initial idea fatally fails – an away team under the lead of the new security chief Lionardo Battaglia (who had to kill his friend when he was assimilated by the Borg) is killed, with the exception of Battaglia – the Borg now "kill on sight". Picard, feeling guilty, decides that he has to become Locutus of Borg again, in order to beam to the Borg cube and kill the Queen. Beverly Crusher injects the Borg nanites, but also a neutralizer chip which prevents Picard from being assimilated permanently.
Picard beams to the Borg cube, leaving Worf in command of the Enterprise. The Queen immediately recognizes Locutus and tries to persuade him to stay with her. His attempt to kill her fails, and the Borg extract the neutralizer chip, assimilating Picard anew.
Worf comes up with a bold plan – he separates the saucer section, leaving T'Lana in command, and uses the engine section, equipped with a cloaking device to reapproach the Borg cube and to rescue Picard and finish the mission (after the recent struggles within the Romulan Star Empire, Janeway agreed that the cloaking device indeed can be used).
Together with Dr. Crusher, who has developed some theory on how the Borg breed their Queen and has prepared a neutralizer, conn officer (and newly-appointed chief of security) Sara Nave, who had a relationship with Battaglia and wants to rescue him, and some security officers, Worf beams aboard the Borg cube. After a heavy fight, in which both Nave and the Battaglia-drone are killed, Crusher manages to inject the neutralizer to the Queen, leaving the Borg again without orientation and saving Picard.
Picard is then informed by Janeway that he has to face consequences of his actions; Worf, feeling that he made the right decisions this time, finally accepts the position of first officer, and he and T'Lana set aside their differences.
- An excerpt from this novel can be found in the back of the hardcover edition of Death in Winter.
- This book takes place during Articles of the Federation and after Orion's Hounds.
- 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
- Captain of the USS Enterprise-E; remains connected to the Borg Collective and can hear their "voice".
- First officer of the Enterprise
- Beverly Crusher
- Chief medical officer aboard the Enterprise
- Geordi La Forge
- Chief engineer aboard the Enterprise
- Counselor on the Enterprise
- Sara Nave
- Late conn and Security chief on the Enterprise
- Leonardo Battaglia
- Late security chief on the Enterprise
- Borg Queen
- Re-bred and again killed (or rather turned back to a regular drone)
- Kathryn Janeway
- Starfleet admiral
- Seven of Nine (mentioned)
- Former Borg drone
- has been deactivated and sent to the Daystrom Institute
- formerly Data's cat, now lives with Worf
- USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E)
- The Borg can breed any drone to become a Queen – they use some kind of a "Royal Jelly" for this
- Borg Collective
- United Federation of Planets
- Federation Starfleet
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