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Introduction (blurb)

Without warning or provocation, a Xindi weapon appears above Earth and unleashes a blast that kills millions across two continents. It is only the first such weapon: a second is being built, and this time it might very well destroy the entire planet. Desperately trying to save the Earth and her people, Starfleet must, in a heartbeat, change its mission from one of peaceful scientific exploration to one of military service.

There is only one ship fast enough to stop construction of this new weapon: the Starship Enterprise. But its crew can't do it alone. Captain Jonathan Archer accepts aboard his ship a contingent of Military Assault Command Operations personnel: battle-hardened soldiers known as MACOs.

Starfleet and the MACOs are two different services now sharing a common goal, but they are divided as to how to reach it. It is a culture clash that echoes across the centuries of military service. The men and women now aboard Enterprise know they must succeed in working together or the price will be paid in the blood of innocents. Failure is not an option.


Enterprise receives a lead that a spaceport on the planet Kaletoo has been known to do business with the Xindi. However, en route there, an encounter with an anomaly leaves several crew incapacitated, including Tucker and Sato. With his crew somewhat reduced, Archer takes an away team down to the surface.

The Enterprise crewmembers are pointed in the direction of La'an Trahve, a courier who sometimes works for the Xindi. Taking him prisoner aboard his ship, the group learns he has been transporting kemocite and after receiving a beating Trahve admits that he knows where the weapon is being constructed. He is ordered to transport a team including Archer, Reed and Hayes to the site.

Meanwhile, Enterprise detects a kemocite trail and since they are maintaining com silence T'Pol sends Mayweather and a detachment of MACOs led by Corporal Chang to follow it. They discover a Xindi refueling station which Chang insists on trying to destroy. While setting the charges, they activate a security system which interferes with the detonation signal. Thanks to an act of self-sacrifice by MACO Private Colin Eby, staying behind to send the signal at short range, the charges destroy not only the depot but also a Xindi warship that was about to destroy their shuttlepod.

Archer's team realizes just too late that Trahve is leading them into a trap - they have actually arrived at a partially-decommissioned old weapons facility, which locks a tractor beam on them. Archer sets Trahve's ship to self-destruct and O'Neill, who has followed them in the shuttlepod, attempts to evacuate the ship. However, the airlocks aren't compatible and the crew can only travel between the ships by means of an arduous space walk without protective suits. Trahve refuses to take the risk, heading to an escape pod instead. The empty ship explodes, destroying the weapons facility.

Later, Archer holds a funeral service for the Starfleet and MACO personnel lost during the two missions, with both groups beginning to recognize their common ground.



Enterprise personnel

Jonathan ArcherBairdCamachoRavi ChandraHideaki ChangColin EbySelma GuitierrezJoss HayesNelson KemperKranzFelipe MarcelTravis MayweatherDavid McCammonJ. Fiona McKenzieSascha MoneyNguyenDonna O'NeillMeredith PeruzziPhloxPorthosMalcolm ReedHoshi SatoT'PolCharles Tucker III (Carl)
Referenced only

Starfleet and MACO personnel

George Samuel Kirk, Sr.
Referenced only
George CaseyMoira EbyMaxwell Forrest


DegraGuruk DolimNarsanyala JannarQoh Kiaphet Amman'sorMalloraQamShresht
Referenced only

Other characters

GrakkaGeorge Samuel Kirk, Jr.James T. KirkWinona KirkLaurence MarvickReknaLa'an Trahve
Referenced only
Henry ArcherGerald BalinsweelTerrance BishopKamal ChandraZefram CochraneGora bim GralAbhirati IndraniElena KemperAbraham LincolnEmily LinscottPaul Mayweather, Jr.Paul Mayweather, Sr.Rianna MayweatherLeslie MorrisRamaRavanaStuart ReedVictor RenslowNathan SamuelsKhan Noonien SinghSkalaarSolkarSovalT'PauTaupinTiberiusCharles Tucker IIElaine TuckerElizabeth Tucker

Starships and vehicles

Enterprise (NX-class) • escape podHelkez TorvoShuttlepod 1Shuttlepod 2
Referenced only
USS Archon (Daedalus-class) • Constitution-classUSS Essex (Daedalus-class) • fighter jetECS HorizonhovercarXindi superweapon


Delphic ExpanseEarth (Golden Gate BridgeSan FranciscoStarfleet War Memorial), KaletooKuiper beltmining and refinery stationNew Xindus (Inner Sanctum) • weapons platform
Referenced only
Alpha CentauriAndromeda GalaxyBlagee IIIDraylax • Earth (AndesCandlestick AuditoriumEngland (LeicesterRiver Soar) • FloridaIndia (Aravalli hillsBarmerBiharGamgetic PlainsJaisalmerPatnaThar Desert) • Mexico (Rosarito) • MinnesotaNew Orleans (Lake Pontchartrain) • Pennsylvania (GettysburgPittsburgh) • Zefram Cochrane Museum) • Haket's MoonJanus LoopJupiterJupiter StationLuna (New Berlin) • Orassin distortion fieldsQo'noSRomulusTulawVegaVulcan (ShiKahr)

Races and cultures

DenobulanHuman (Latina) • VulcanXindi (Xindi-AquaticXindi-ArborealXindi-InsectoidXindi-PrimateXindi-Reptilian) • unnamed races and cultures
Referenced only
AndorianBlageeBresian • Human (EuropeanMāori) • KlingonRisanSulibanTandaranTellariteXindi-Avian

States and organizations

Earth StarfleetFederation StarfleetMilitary Assault Command Operations (Strike Team Hammerhead) • UESPAUnited EarthUnited Federation of PlanetsXindi Council
Referenced only
22nd MACO DivisionAndorian Imperial GuardEvington AcademyPatna Air and SpaceStanford UniversityStarfleet AcademyTerra PrimeUnited States of America

Ranks and titles

ambassadorarchitectastronautbouncerbounty hunterbridecaptainchemistchief engineerchief medical officercommandercommunications officerconstablecorporalcouriercrewmandoctorengineerensignflight controllergardenergeneralkinglieutenantlinguistmajorminerphysical education teacherpilotpirateprivatequartermasteremperorsenior vice-presidentsergeantslaversmugglersubcommandertactical officerteachertradervirtuoso musicianVulcan Ambassador to United Earthwatch officer

Science and technology

adrenalineairlockantigravantigrav cartantimatteraquaphobiaarchitecturearteryartificial gravityasphyxiationastrophysicsatmosphere (exospheremesospherephotospherethermosphere) • biometric recognitionblack holeblood • brain (brain stemcerebral cortex) • capillarycardiopulmonary resuscitationcentral nervous systemcomacommunicatorcomputercontraceptiondetonation-control interfacedilithiumdisaster recorderduraniumduraplastEMPenvironmental suitexoanthropologyexplosive decompressionfilm projectorG class stargrapple gungravitic particlegraviton particle cloudgravity wellgrenadegunpowderhalogen lampheat exchangerholofilmheads-up displayhull-breach repair foamimpulse driveinertial dampenerion trailkemocitekraylonlife-supportlinguistic algorithmlinguisticslungmagnetic bootmagnetic grapplemercurymicrogravityminingmining laserneutron starneutroniumnitrogenobsessive-compulsive disorderoxygenoxygen scrubberpaddphase pistolphase riflephotonic torpedophysical therapyplatinumpleximer tubepolarized hull platingpolymer plasticpregnancyprobequarkradiationretinaretinal scannerscannersecurity cameraseizuresensorspace sicknesssulfurtetralubisolthermal homeostasisthermal regulatorthrustertitaniumtractor beamtranslation matrixtransmittertransparent aluminumtransportertrelliumtri-thermitetri-thermite chargeturboliftuniversal translatorwarp corewarp drivewarp factorzero-g

Other references

2001: A Space Odyssey2136213821472148215621611990s2120s18th century20th century21st centuryAdvanced Tactical TrainingAmerican Civil WararmoryAsuraAugustBattle of BlageeBattle of GettysburgbeetlebirdbourbonbuttercanopycanteencantinacatChicago Mobs of the TwentieschurchcloacacloakcoffeecottagecricketdecathlonDecemberdedication plaquedesertdinardinosaurdistillerydoctoratedress uniformduffleDussehraduty shiftEarth-Romulan WareggsEnglish languageEugenics WarseuroFederation CharterFederation DayFinagle's lawflight schoolfogfootlockerfountainFrench onion soupfuneralfunicular railwaygazebogranitegraphite pencilgrassgraveyardgrilled cheese sandwichgumgymhangarhayHinduismHobson's choicehonor guardhospitalinsectIrish whiskeyJanus Pirate Warjerotkixlkhakiskidney stonekildratkimonoknifekreffinglabor campLatinlatinumlemonadeMACO dress uniformMāori languageMartian Freehold UprisingsMaymeatmess hallmoviemovie nightmovie theaterMurphy's LawOuroboros serpentpeach blossompelsmespiracyplomeek souppopcornporterhouse steakquartersquicksandracquetballrakerecitalReuben sandwichRigelian root-grubSam Browne beltsandstormsapsbnuitesci-fisea lionseagullshepherd's piesilverspace boomerspaceportStarfleet uniformsuborbital skydivingsummersummer dresssycamoretartetherthermal foiltomatotombstoneVacuum blossomvegetablevelcroVulcan neuropressurewaterwater poloweddingwhipcordWorld War IIwormwreathxenophobiaXindi incident


  • The working title for this novel was "Squids and Sharks".

Related Stories


  • Marvick's first name is misspelled as Laurence.
  • Kemocite is misspelled as kemacite.


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Star Trek: Enterprise prose publications
Novelizations Broken BowShockwaveThe Expanse
Original novels set during the series By the BookWhat Price Honor?Surak's SoulDaedalusDaedalus's ChildrenLast Full MeasureRosetta
set after the series The Good That Men DoKobayashi MaruThe Romulan War (Beneath the Raptor's WingTo Brave the Storm) • Rise of the Federation (A Choice of FuturesTower of BabelUncertain LogicLive by the CodePatterns of Interference )
published order
Previous novel:
Enterprise novels Next novel:
The Good That Men Do
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
The Expanse
Pocket Next Adventure:
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2153.
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
Previous Adventure:
Chapter 6
Framing story
Next Adventure:
The Final Reflection
Part Two