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Die Standing is a Star Trek: Discovery novel written by John Jackson Miller. Published by Gallery Books, released 14 July 2020.


No one in the history of histories has lost more than Philippa Georgiou, ruler of the Terran Empire. Forced to take refuge in the Federation's universe, she bides her time until Section 31, a rogue spy force within Starfleet, offers her a chance to work as their agent. She has no intention of serving under anyone else, of course; her only interest is escape.

But when a young Trill, Emony Dax, discovers a powerful interstellar menace, Georgiou recognizes it as a superweapon that escaped her grasp in her own universe. Escorted by a team sent by an untrusting Federation to watch over her, the emperor journeys to a region forbidden to travelers. But will what she finds there end the threat – or give "Agent Georgiou" the means to create her old empire anew?


Georgiou is instructed by Section 31 to retrieve a prisoner from the penal establishment on Thionoga but quickly realises it is simply a test and makes an aborted escape attempt. In the process, she meets Sean Finnegan, who in her universe was her head assassin but in this one is in jail for punching the crown prince of Troyius.

Meanwhile, medical researcher Emony Dax is the only one of her team to survive an attempt to help the stricken USS Farragut, whose crew have been wiped out by a mysterious cloud that fed on blood. Her dying superior, Eagan, tells her to inform both Starfleet and Section 31. A connection is soon made with an incident over twenty years earlier when then-Lieutenant Philippa Georgiou, serving on the USS Archimedes came across the aftermath of a similar disaster on a trade ship, the Jadama Rohn. In the process, she encountered Quintilian, a human trader working for the Troika, three species who claimed a nearby area of space. Since Georgiou and Quintilian corresponded for some time afterwards and he is unaware of her death, Agent Georgiou is asked to pose as her counterpart to get information from him. Georgiou, who had a similar experience in her own universe and knows the cloud creatures as "blood devils", agrees, taking Finnegan and Emony with her.

The group make contact with Quintilian but an encounter with his jealous ex-lover, S'stah, sees them exiled by one of the Troika races, the Casmarrans. They move onto the next race, the Dromax, whose tribes are constantly at war with each other. Georgiou becomes a general for one of the tribal leaders, Agamalon, and helps him capture a waterfall known as the Cascade on their first moon. It transpires that the Cascade produces an imperfect duplicate of anything that enters it: The Dromax use it to produce disposable shock troops. Using the same trick as against the Klingons, Georgiou plants a bomb at the Cascade which Agamalon will detonate unless the other Dromax work for him.

Georgiou leaves Finnegan as a prisoner of the Dromax and heads for the homeworld of the last Troika race, the Oastlings, with Emony stowed away on board. She discovers a vault where the blood devils are sealed away: They were the result of an Oastling being duplicated by the Cascade. It then transpires that Quintilion has been the mastermind behind everything. He tried to use the blood devil aboard the Jadama Rohn to attack the Archimedes but it got loose and killed the crew: It was probably the same one that attacked the Farragut. He also provided Georgiou with the bomb, in order to bring the Dromax under his control. Captain Georgiou sealed the vault during a private investigation and only she could open it. He plans to use the blood devils to dispose of all the large empires that he despises after his home world was devastated in a skirmish between the Federation and the Klingons.

Playing every angle, Georgiou has left a message on Finnegan's body, which, when Leland retrieves him to stop him being killed by the Dromax, allows them to track where Georgiou is. Section 31 attack Quintilian's encampment, while Georgiou detonates the bomb at the Cascade, robbing Quintilian of his leverage over the Dromax. Emony seals the vault again, with only Quintilian able to enter. Already dying from a previous encounter with the blood devils, he sacrifices himself to them.

Starfleet and Section 31 agree to cover up the full story of what happened to the Farragut to keep the blood devils secret. Leland assigns Georgiou a new job on the Klingon Homeworld.



AgamalonAnankeBlackjackMichael BurnhamMichael Burnham (mirror)Katrina CornwellEmony Daxdikironium cloud creatureRodolfo EaganRodolfo Eagan (mirror)EllgonSean FinneganFrietasVihaan GarberGarphPhilippa GeorgiouPhilippa Georgiou (mirror)GnaeusGraffJames T. KirkKubisiakLelandMaddoxOhtakPhyllaP'rouP'rou (mirror)PyramisQuintilianQuintilian (mirror)S'satahS'satah (mirror)SydiaDess Glon TahThisbeUmydaVercerVercer (mirror)WemmisMae WinnockXornattaZee
Referenced only
Peter AbelardAlexander (mirror)Alexander the GreatAnowathBrett AndersonPappy BoyingtonSamuel Taylor ColeridgeLela DaxTobin DaxDax (symbiont)DrakeSkrain Dukat (mirror)Mary FinneganGilhooleyHeloiseGabriel Lorca (mirror)L'RellMorwoodMiles O'Brien (mirror)OvidPatarPlinyMarcus Fabius QuintilianusErwin RommelHoshi Sato (mirror)ShakaSkoveSpock (mirror)SuetoniusTaizongVespasianZattah

Starships and vehicles

USS ArchimedesBoyingtonChennaultDoolittleHansonUSS FarragutISS HephaestusJadama RohnJadama Rohn (mirror)LeizuNCIA-93USS PacificaCasmarran vessels
Referenced only
ISS Archimedes' FlameISS CharonUSS DefiantUSS DiscoveryUSS EuropaUSS HipparchusECS Kobayashi MaruMussolini-classUSS Shenzhou


Alien RegionBeta QuadrantCasmarraCommercial Landing ZoneDomus QuintilianaDromax (planet)Dromax systemThe House of the Lost Travelermirror universeMoon OneMoon ThirtyOastStarbase 23TaganthaTallacoeThionogaThionoga Detention CenterTycho IVVertex 22 Impound Station
Referenced only
AndorCoridan VEnglandQo'noSVulcan (planet)

Races and cultures

Referenced only

Ranks and titles


Science and technology

absorption nebulaagonizer boothCascadedata slatedikironiumhovertankhydro probehypospraypainstikphoton torpedoreplicatorsatellitetemporal fissuretransporteruniversal translatorViridium Integrated Dental Surveillance System

States and organizations

ChinaDouble CrescentFederationFederation Security AgencyForest CircleJagged SpikeKlingon EmpireOne-StarOrion EmpireSection 31StarfleetStarfleet IntelligenceTerran EmpireThree-CrossTroikaUnited StatesVeneti Corporation

Other references

casmarcyclegrellion stalkRoad to RebellionThe Songs of UthallaThe Stillborn DynastyWorld War II




published order
Previous novel:
Dead Endless
Discovery unnumbered novels Next novel:
Previous novel:
The Enterprise War
Novels by:
John Jackson Miller
Next novel:
Rogue Elements
chronological order

External link