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Romulans board the Enterprise—and Kirk joins forces with his deadliest enemy!


Ael t'Rllaillieu is a noble—and dangerous—Romulan commander. But when the Romulans kidnap Vulcans to genetically harness their mind power, Ael decides on treason.
Captain Kirk, her old enemy, joins her in a secret pact to destroy the research laboratory and free the captive Vulcans.
When the Romulans discover their plan, the Neutral Zone seethes with schemes and counter-schemes, sabotage and war!


Ael i-Mhiessan t'Rllaillieu, a Romulan commander, ponders her situation and that of the Romulan Empire. Due to her objections to an immoral scientific project being carried out at Levaeri V, she has been assigned command of the vessel ChR Cuirass, on Neutral Zone patrol, as a form of exile. She receives a message from her son, Tafv, now commanding her former vessel, Bloodwing, covertly informing her that he is ready to implement their plan. Ael receives word of the arrival of a new Federation patrol group at the Neutral Zone, which includes the USS Enterprise.

Aboard Enterprise, Spock has been investigating the increasing severity of ion storms in the part of the galaxy they are currently exploring. In Recreation, Kirk and Spock play a game of 4D chess. As Kirk is about to resign, McCoy steps in for him and wins the game when pieces Kirk had "timed out" reappear in the playing area. Kirk receives orders from Starfleet Command to lead a task force consisting of Enterprise, USS Intrepid, USS Constellation and USS Inaieu to the border of the Neutral Zone. The reason for the mission is not specified. Kirk requests a report from Uhura on any information in recent Fleet dispatches that might provide insight into what Starfleet is concerned about. When Kirk reads the list in Uhura's report of Romulan ships patrolling the Neutral Zone, he is startled and concerned by the absence of Bloodwing.

Ael takes her personal gig, Hsaaja, on an inspection tour of the other three ships in the small fleet she is commanding, all of which were purchased from the Klingons. She discovers that all four ships' ID signals still identify them by Klingon names, and realizes that Command's intent is to order her across the Neutral Zone to fool the Federation into thinking the Klingons are attacking them and start a war between the two enemy powers. She returns to Cuirass to prevent the orders to cross the Zone from arriving, on the way launching a small probe that will carry a message to Tafv on Bloodwing.

Enterprise meets the other three ships of the task force in the sigma-285 Trianguli system. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty attend a briefing with the senior officers of the other three ships aboard Inaieu, a destroyer crewed primarily by natives of the Deneb system. Kirk is especially interested to meet Captain Suvuk of Intrepid, famous for his heroic actions during the most recent conflict with the Klingons. The four captains agree on their patrol pattern and guidelines for the conduct of the operation.



USS Enterprise[]

AmekentraAthendëRoz BatesBrandLia BurkeChristine ChapelPavel ChekovEisenbergFederEdward FisherJerry FreemanHarrisonHwavirëJaníce KerasusJames T. KirkJohn KyleLihwaRobbie LondonMahásëHarry MatshushitaColin MatlockJabilo M'BengaLeonard McCoyDahai Iohor NarahtPaulRemnerRotslerSathaMontgomery ScottSpockHikaru SuluHarb TanzerNyota Uhura
Referenced only
AbernathyAhrensAustinBischoffBrassardCanfieldCarverClaremontKhalifaKorrenTom KrejciLangsamAzrieh LeeLittDiane MaassDonald MaassMalksonMiñambrésMorrisMosleyMullerNortonOranjeboomSjveda

Starfleet personnel[]

USS Constellation personnel
Aline MacDougallIwao SasoakaRaela hr'SassishMike Walsh
Referenced only
Randy Cross
USS Inaieu personnel
Nhauris RihaulLahiyn RoharrnSyillLellyn UUriulAroun Yihoun
USS Intrepid personnel
Other personnel
Referenced only
K. MalcorT'KaienK. Willson


Nniol t'AAnikhAmehDhiemnDhiovDhisuiaEjiulGehenGwiu t'LaheiinHaehweHeiHelevHilaet'Hrientehtr'IawaainLyirru tr'IllialhaeIreqhtr'JaihenNdeian tr'JelaiGiellun tr'Keirianhtr'KhaellK'haethHvaid t'KhaethaetrehKhiyAidoann t'KhnialmnaeKhoalLhairLihat'LiunLlaaseilLyieMrianN'alaeLLunih tr'RaedheolRaiRhioaAel i-Mhiessan t'RllaillieuTafv ei-Leinarrh tr'RllaillieuT'maekhTriy
Referenced only
V. Raiuhes Ahaefvthetr'Arriufvit'Kaenmie

Other characters[]

Referenced only
AesculapiusApolloSamuel BarberLudwig van BeethovenMarlon BrandoLiviana CharvanekFrédéric ChopinDevoGorganAmanda GraysonInaieuJohn LennonSarekIgor StravinskyRalph Vaughan Williams

Starships and vehicles[]

Starfleet spacecraft[]

USS ConstellationUSS EnterpriseUSS ExcaliburUSS HoodUSS InaieuUSS IntrepidUSS Intrepid IIUSS Potemkin

Klingon spacecraft[]

IKS Hakask

Romulan spacecraft[]

ArakkabChR ArienChR BattlequeenChR BloodwingChR CourserChR CuirassChR EisnEhhakChR HelveHsaajaChR JavelinKenekChR LahaiChR Rea's HelmChR WildfireYkir


15 Trianguli40 Eridani A56 Arietis128 Trianguli218 Persei415 Arietis766 Trianguli780 Arietis2450 TrianguliAirissuinAlpha QuadrantAltairAndromeda constellationArcturus VIAreinnyeBaltimore HarborBeta AndromedaeBeta Pavonis IVBeta QuadrantCaliforniaCanadaCassiopeia constellationCygnus constellationDenebDeneb VEarthEisnEta TrianguliHa-SuiwenHeathrow AirportHihwendeIota AndromedaeJanus VIJupiterLacerta constellationLevaeriLevaeri VLos AngelesMexicoNew York HarborNorth AmericaOklahomaOklahoma CityPhi TrianguliRegulusRemus (ch'Havran) • Rocky MountainsRomulan Neutral ZoneRomulan OutmarchesRomulus (ch'Rihan) • Romulus IIRussiaSagittarius ArmSan FranciscoSeattleSespeSigma-285 TrianguliSol systemSydney Opera HouseTriacusT'Saien ClinicVegaVulcan

Races and cultures[]

!'hewAndorianDeirrDenebianElaasianEseriatEyrenHortaHuman (Roman) • KlahaKlingonOrganianOrionRihannsuSulamidTellarite

States and organizations[]

FederationFederation Intergalactique des ÉchecsRomulan High CommandRomulan PraetorateRomulan SenateRomulan Star EmpireStarfleetStarfleet Academy

Foods and beverage[]


Other references[]

admiralanabolic protoplaserantecenturionBattle of Organiabiomathematicscenturioncesiumclass N starclass R starclass S starcommandercommander generalcommunicationscryotherapydilithiumenzymeereinfour-dimensional chessfvaigalliumgendergoldGreekHilaefve's ParadoxHippocratic Oathhlaihnoiyikahyponeutroniuminteractional mesophysicsintradermal translatorsUSS Intrepid (CV-11)ion stormiridiumIrishironkahs-hirkan-sornkhre'RiovLays of Ancient RomeleadLIhrei'sianLlaekh-ae'rlM-5matter-antimatter convertermercurymesonmnhei'saheMoiramother henmultistate equivocator crystalMurphy's LawneodymiumnickelNZRM 4488NZRM 4486On the WaterfrontpalladiumPentares Peace Commendationplanetpsychiatrypsychologyrecreation deckrhodiumRomulan languagerubidiumsamariumS'harien swordshuttlecraftsiliconsimulpericardiumsonic grenadeStarfleet regulationsSteinwaystrontiumSunseedsusse-thraiswordTaer'thaiemenhtantalumthraithree-dimensional chessThrice written and thrice burnedTitanian two-steptribble predatorTrojan HorseulnavoderVulcan languagexenobiologyyttrium


Related media[]





published order
Previous novel:
The Search for Spock
TOS numbered novels Next novel:
The Tears of the Singers
Previous novel:
First in the series
Next novel:
The Romulan Way
Previous story:
The Wounded Sky
Stories by:
Diane Duane
Next story:
The Kobayashi Alternative
chronological order
Previous adventure:
The Wounded Sky
Pocket Books Timeline Next adventure:
Doctor's Orders
Previous adventure:
The Wounded Sky
Memory Beta Chronology Next adventure:
Doctor's Orders
Previous novel:
The Wounded Sky
Continuing voyages of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) Next novel:
Doctor's Orders
German : Der Feind, mein Verbündeter, translated by Andreas Brandhorst. (Heyne)
Portuguese : Meu Inimigo, Meu Aliado. (Editora Aleph)
French : Ennemi, mon frère. (Fleuve Noir)

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