(written from a Production point of view)
- The beginning of a new Star Trek odyssey!
- From the book jacket
- After almost a decade of strife against foes such as the Borg, the Cardassians, the Klingons, and the Dominion, the United Federation of Planets is at the dawn of a new era. Starfleet is renewing its mission of peaceful exploration, diplomacy, and the expansion of knowledge. Among the starships spearheading that endeavor is the USS Titan, commanded by Captain William T. Riker and manned by the most biologically varied and culturally diverse crew in Starfleet history.
- But their mission does not begin according to plan.
- In the wake of Star Trek Nemesis, Praetor Shinzon, slayer of the Romulan Senate, is dead. The power vacuum created by his demise has put the Romulan Star Empire, longtime adversary of the Federation, at the brink of civil war. Competing factions now vie for control of their fragmenting civilization, and if the empire should fall, that entire area of the galaxy may destabilize.
- To restore order to the region, Titan's long-anticipated mission of exploration is delayed as Starfleet assigns Riker to set up power-sharing talks among the Romulan factions. But even as the first tentative steps are taken toward building a new Romulus, the remnants of the Tal Shiar, the dreaded Romulan intelligence service, are regrouping behind the scenes for a power play of their own. With no other help available, Riker and the Titan's crew become the last hope to prevent the quadrant from falling into chaos.
In 2379, the crew of the USS Titan along with Starfleet Admiral Leonard James Akaar is forced to set aside its exploratory mission to undertake a diplomatic mission to Romulus, where tensions between the Romulans and Remans have flared up and the Romulan Star Empire is quickly descending into chaos as various factions fight for power. A small fleet of Klingon warships joins the Titan, since the Klingon Empire has made the Remans a protectorate of their empire at the behest of the Remans. Titan recovers Commander Tuvok, who had been undercover on Romulus to contact Ambassador Spock, who is also picked up by the Titan. Riker negotiates a temporary peace between the Romulan factions, but a fleet of antiquated Romulan ships crewed by Remans takes positions over the cities of Romulus and threatens to wreak havoc if the Romulans do not agree to concede an uninhabited southern continent, Efrie'efvil, to the Remans. Meanwhile, Romulan Commander Donatra, who along with Commander Suran has assumed control of the Romulan military, attempts to hide her fleet in the spatial rift created from the destruction of Shinzon's Thalaron weapon as a contingency plan. However, most of the fleet falls into the anomaly's event horizon and only Suran's flagship escapes to tell Donatra aboard the Valdore what has occurred. At the end of the novel, Donatra decides to enter the anomaly to search for her lost fleet; Riker takes the Titan to accompany her to the edge of the event horizon but is also taken into the anomaly. Both ships find themselves far away from where they began, outside the galaxy in the Small Magellanic Cloud. Tuvok and Akaar have traveled here previously, aboard the USS Excelsior while under the command of Captain Hikaru Sulu (see The Sundered); they grimly reveal that this is the home of the Neyel, a race of genetically-enhanced Humans.
"Don't wait seven years to join the poker game."
- - Deanna Troi, to Captain Riker
"Well, small mammals make me hungry. Care to join me in the mess?"
- - Dr. Ree, to Captain Riker after successfully delivering the child of Olivia Bolaji
"Faith, Mr. Ambassador? Are you sure that's entirely logical?"
"There were times, captain, when faith in the power of logic was all that sustained Surak himself. It will suffice, I should think."
"I hope you're right. That one would surely tax the patience of even Surak."
"Indeed, but if logic was an easily attainable goal, there would be little need for diplomats."
- - Spock and Riker
- The fate of the Romulan Empire is in question after the events of Star Trek Nemesis – there are different parties aiming for power, and the peace settlement Riker agrees upon might be very unstable.
- Spock is still on Romulus (see TNG: "Unification II"), but his presence is now known to many.
- The next novel to feature Spock on Romulus is Rough Beasts of Empire.
- At the end of the book, it's New Year's Eve 2380.
- Ki Baratan, the Romulan Empire's capital in this novel, is listed on the title page as the location of one of Pocket Books' offices.
- The epilogue of this book takes place during Articles of the Federation.
- Cover art by Cliff Neilson (sic), design by John Vairo, Jr..
- 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 Star Trek: Titan characters.
- William T. Riker
- Captain of the USS Titan.
- Deanna Troi
- Commander, chief diplomatic office aboard the Titan
- Christina Vale
- Executive Officer of Titan.
- Starfleet secret agent and later tactical officer on the Titan
- Alyssa Ogawa
- Shenti Yisec Eres Ree
- Chief medical officer on Titan
- Ranul Keru
- Titan's chief of security
- Melora Pazlar
- stellar cartographer
- Sariel Rager
- Vulcan ambassador on a mission for peace
- temporary Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire
- Proconsul to the Romulan Senate
- Romulan captain
- Romulan captain
- Romulan senator
- Geordi La Forge
- William Ross
- Jean-Luc Picard
- Captain of the Enterprise-E
- USS Titan
- Luna-class starship.
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