Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Years before the USS Enterprise, a young Picard must prevent a war!

The First Virtue is a Pocket TNG novel – #56 in the numbered series, and the sixth and final novel in the Double Helix miniseries – written by Michael Jan Friedman and Christie Golden. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in August 1999, and forms a prequel to the main Double Helix storyline.


From the book jacket
An insidious plot for revenge has spanned several years in the life of Jean-Luc Picard, but how did this merciless vendetta get started? Like a double helix, curling back on itself, the final answer lies at the very beginning…
A series of terrorist attacks have heightened tensions between two alien races, bringing an entire sector to the brink of interplanetary war. While Picard, captain of the USS Stargazer, struggles to keep the peace, Lieutenant Commander Jack Crusher must team up with a Vulcan officer named Tuvok to uncover the hidden architect of the attacks, but the outcome of their quest would breed dire consequences for the future.

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.


Governor Gerrid Thul visits the Thallonian emperor, Tae Cwan. As a general, Thul had previously only entered the throne room during crowded gatherings, but now was invited alone. After being greeted by Cwan, handmaidens emerge and introduce Mella Cwan, sister of the emperor. Thul professes his admiration to the plain-looking woman, and asks for her hand in marriage, which Tae Cwan withholds. Tae Cwan states Thul, as a military man, is below royal standing, and is not trusted. Thul is insulted, but leaves in peace and vows to find a way to increase his standing, and power, in the Thallonian government.

Chapter One

Thul travels to a Reggana City tavern in commoner's clothes and hood.

Background information

  • Two versions of this book's cover exist, one shows Picard and Beverly Crusher, the other shows Crusher and Tuvok. Both versions are anomalous, as Crusher only appeared on two pages in this book.
  • The novel contains Chapter One of the serialized novel Starfleet: Year One.

Cover gallery


Jean-Luc Picard 
Captain of the USS Stargazer.
Jack Crusher

Jack Crusher

Jack Crusher 
Lieutenant Commander under Picard's command, second officer of Stargazer.
Ensign in Starfleet Security.
Gerrid Thul 
Thallonian general.
Gilaad Ben Zoma (β)
Peter "Pug" Joseph (β)
Phigus Simenon (β)
Beverly Crusher 
Wife of Jack Crusher, junior medical officer.
Mendan Abbis
Tae Cwan
Mella Cwan
Karl Broadnax 
Captain of the Wyoming.
Stargazer lieutenant.
Stargazer lieutenant.
Stargazer ensign.
Stargazer ensign.
Philip Terrance 
Space captain who made the first survey of Zebros IV.
Possibly named for South Park characters Philip and Terrance.


Substance which floated in the air as smoke in a Reggana City tavern.
Archaidae sector 
Location of Zebros IV.
Material the Thallonian throne had been composed of, preserved since the 14th century.
Reggana City
USS Stargazer

USS Stargazer

USS Stargazer 
Constellation-class starship.
Humanoid species.
These aliens were created by Peter David for the Star Trek: New Frontier series.
USS Wyoming 
Federation starship commanded by Karl Broadnax.
Zebros IV

External link

Previous novel: Series Next novel:
#55: Double or Nothing Pocket TNG
Numbered novels
#57: The Forgotten War
Double Helix  Final novel in series
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