Some say the line between good and evil is narrower than we imagine -- a divide as subtle as a mirror, and perhaps just as deep. To peer into its black, reflective glass is to know the dark potential we each possess, and we cross that obsidian boundary at our peril . . . into a world where we no longer recognize who we are or what we believed ourselves capable of.
In the late twenty-fourth century, decades after the fall of the once-mighty Terran Empire, the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance dominates the worlds that, in another reality, made up the United Federation of Planets. Humanity and its former subject races are now bound together by their shared oppression, slaves to their cruel and brutal conquerors. But a downtrodden few have found the courage and the strength of will to act. Inspired by visitors from another continuum to fight for their freedom, they have rekindled hope . . . and rediscovered an ancient truth: that every revolution begins with a vision.
A rebel ship commanded by a former slave named Chakotay attempts to evade pursuit in the Badlands . . . only to encounter a strange ship that was catapulted seventy thousand light-years across the galaxy. On board the craft are two aliens, one of whom has the potential to completely alter the balance of power within the Alliance. But as both sides of the struggle race to get to the stranger first, treachery throws all schemes into a tailspin.
In the Delta Quadrant, Kes is held captive by the Kazon-Ogla, who torture her in an effort to gain access to the underground Ocampa city. Neelix prepares to boldly rescue her, but arrives to find that Kes’s telekinetic abilities have grown and she has already caused the entire tribe to expire. They flee the planet and are caught in a displacement wave generated by the Caretaker, which flings Neelix’s ship 70,000 light years away, into the Alpha Quadrant. The ship is quickly destroyed within the plasma storms of the Badlands, but Neelix is rescued by rebel commander Chakotay while Gul Evek of the Alliance recovers Kes.
Evek’s medical officer, B’Oraq discovers Kes’s mental abilities and recommends they travel to Ardana, where B’Oraq’s ally B’Elanna serves as commandant of a specialized research outpost on Stratos. B’Elanna, a Klingon-human hybrid who lost control of her previous post, finds kindred spirits in the outcasts of Evek’s crew, though she destroys Evek’s ship and claims Kes for her own glory. Drs Crell Moset and Lewis Zimmerman, Ardana’s scientists, are tasked with aggressively investigating and harnessing Kes’s abilities. Meanwhile, B’Elanna plays sadistic sexual games with her favorite slave, tlhomaS.
Though some of the rebels are suspicious of Neelix, they become convinced that they cannot leave as powerful a telepath as Kes in the Alliance’s control. With Seska, a Cardassian defector to the rebellion, acting as commander of Chakotay’s ship, the rebels approach Ardana, but engineer Kate Janeway reveals herself as a traitor to the rebellion acting on behalf of her patron, B’Elanna. Janeway kills Annika Hansen and delivers the rebels into B’Elanna’s hands. Seska is interrogated while Chakotay, Tuvok, and the sadistic Harry Kim are incarcerated, though Kim soon finds a way to fool the cell’s sensors and escapes, brutally slaying the Klingon guards sent to check on him. In the midst of the escape, tlhomaS tries to assassinate B’Elanna, though he is killed himself.
Chakotay goes after Kate, his turncoat lover, He is mortally wounded, but survives long enough to kill Janeway. Tuvok rescues Kes and Neelix from Zimmerman’s violent experiments and flee the outpost. Zimmerman is severely wounded when Kes’s abilities again surge in response to the human’s threatening Neelix. Neelix is injured, and Tuvok arranges for his wife, a member of the Memory Omega project, to take Kes to her secret hideout within the Regula planetoid, claiming that she discorporated when her powers surged once more. Kim rescues Seska, despite their frequent conflicts, and the two destroy Stratos’s anti-gravity generators, causing the city to plummet to the planet’s surface, before they too escape. B’Elanna and Crell Moset escape, with the majority of Zimmerman’s research on Kes.
Following the Terran Empire's collapse, its longtime rival, the Romulan Star Empire, has absorbed many of the fringe civilizations spread across that part of the galaxy. One of the Romulans' slaves is M'k'nzy of Calhoun, a savage and unpredictable Xenexian who dreams of death . . . and who learns the value of freedom from the unlikeliest of teachers, a Romulan named Soleta.
After the fall of the Terran civilization, the Romulans absorb or ally with many of the fringe systems neglected by the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance. They find friends in the Danteri, who have conquered the Xenexians. In the 2340s, D’ndai of Calhoun led the Xenexians in a failed uprising against the Danteri, and his father, Gr’zy, was forced (happily) to surrender his other child, M’k’n’zy, to the Romulans as insurance against future revolts. Praetor Hiren took an interest in the boy, whom he renamed “Muck,” and raised and educated him for a time, but ultimately his adoptive father came to be as scornful of Muck as his biological father was. Muck was sentenced to the mines of Remus, where he eventually teaches the other prisoners to fear him.
Years later, Romulan stateman Rojan and his daughter Soleta visited Remus while courting a potential ally. Soleta nearly falls victim to an assassination attempt on that ally, but was saved by Muck. The young woman, who used her secret half-Vulcan telepathic powers to the benefit of her father’s wealth and power, became fascinated by the well of hatred and chaos inside Muck and purchased him as a house servant. She studies Muck before releasing him from bondage, though he remains at her side and in her bed.
Praetor Hiren becomes increasingly paranoid over the years, seeing conspiracies everywhere. He hires Si Cwan and his crew of the warship Stinger to eliminate the Danteri and Rojan under the guise of a diplomatic meeting between both potential adversaries. Soleta suspects a trap and she and Muck join her farther on the mission. Aboard the Stinger, they encounter Si Cwan’s crew, including first officer Kebron, security chief Burgoyne, medic Kalinda, and slaves Elizabeth Shelby and Robin Lefler. They also sense a strange presence, which Muck later discovered to be an incredibly powerful slave named McHenry, who exists in a null sphere and who powers and runs the entire ship.
Si Cwan moves against his guests, murdering Rojan and the Danteri representative, claiming that the Danteri killed Rojan and giving the Romulan Empire an excuse to attack. Soleta and Muck escape into the bowels of the ship, joining with Shelby, but leaving a terrified Lefler to fend for herself. She and Kalinda survive the slaughter and agree to join Muck and Soleta. Burgoyne kills Shelby and is in turn killed by Muck, who allies with McHenry, effectively taking control of the ship. He demands that Si Cwan and his crew evacuate then promptly destroys their shuttle. Overcome by rage for his tormented life and the death of Shelby, Muck plans to completely obliterate the Danteri and the Romualns, but Soleta stops him. McHenry calms and focuses Muck by showing him other possible realities, alternate lives in which M’k’n’zy of Calhoun could be a better man. Muck returns to a liberated Xenex and vows to fight for the freedom of all life across known space.
One fallen dictator's struggle to regain her power and her position leads to the discovery of a bold rebel plan for a decisive military strike against the Alliance. But while Kira Nerys navigates the dangerous road of politics, sex, and military intrigue that she believes will lead her back to reclaiming the Intendancy, cracks form in the rebel leadership, leading to a showdown that will change the course of the Mirror Universe.
When the rebels capture Regent Worf (but somehow, not the Negh’Var), Intendant Kira escapes. Unfortunately for her, she is delivered to the new Regent, Martok, who uses and abuses her before passing her on to Bajor’s new Intendant and Kira’s old adversary, Ro Laren. An ally of Dukat and a proponent of Cardassian supremacy, Ro makes Kira no better than a slave, assigning her loads of menial administrative duties. However, these tasks allow Kira to notice a previously unseen pattern in the local crime reports, which she builds into a theory about a massive rebel undertaking.
O’Brien grows weary of war and feels guilt over the enemy soldiers he is murdering, though he can’t adopt less brutal tactics without appearing weak to his own army. He faces additional opposition from Bashir and Zek, who have allied to promote even more vicious attacks and to question O’Brien’s open door recruitment policy that could easily allow Alliance agents into their midst. The pair have also laid claim to the abandoned station Empok Nor, which they have turned into a new stronghold where they are building a whole fleet of Defiant¬-class warships. O’Brien retorts argue that their brazen raids in systems near Empok Nor and their reckless plans concentrate all their resources in one easy target. Zek and Bashir retort that O’Brien is unwilling to fight the Alliance, and reveal that Zek’s ship, the Capital Gain, is already operational, with eleven other ships nearly complete. They have shielded Empok Nor’s fusion core with the stolen kelbonite to mask its power signature from long-range scans.
The Defiant and Capital Gain execute a coordinated attack on the “Watchtower,” a long-range Cardassian sensor outpost that limits the rebels’ movements. When Zek wants to follow up by eradicating a nearby Cardassian farming colony, O’Brien refuses, threatening to target Zek himself if he attacks the unarmed civilians. To protect himself and his people from the coup he knows Zek is planning, O’Brien reluctantly spies on his crew to ensure that they can all be trusted. He learns about Leeta’s estranged relationship with her parents, Tigan’s desire to keep track of her family (until her mother and brother Janel are killed as rebel sympathizers), Muñiz’s exchanges of personal video shows with a long-distance girlfriend, and Sito’s unsent letter to her family, which reveals that she is pregnant. O’Brien is reluctant to send the pregnant young woman into battle but unable to relieve her of duty without revealing his spying. Keiko suggests medical screenings that will legitimately reveal Sito’s condition. On Terok Nor, Zek and Bashir gain more control over the rebel leadership, promising them their own Defiant-class ships if they’ll join his attack on Cardassia Prime itself. Most of them join Zek and depart for Empok Nor; only Eddington remains at O’Brien’s side.
Kira allies with Kurn, sharing her Empok Nor theory and offering him restored honor (and much more when she returns to power). Kurn tells Duras and Ro that he wants to restore his family honor by taking Kira to perform Mauk-to’Vor on the captured Worf at Terok Nor, obfuscating his true mission. Ro refuses to release Kira but is overruled by Duras, and Kira and Kurn head off aboard the Ya’Vang. They hold off attacking the station when they intercept Zek’s transmission to Empok Nor, realizing that they can deal a crippling blow to the rebel leadership if they lie in wait until the Capital Gain arrives. It is only later that Ro realizes that Kira orchestrated the whole thing, and she sends a message warning the rebels on Terok Nor of Kurn’s coming attack, hoping to eliminate her political rivals.
Eddington and O’Brien receive Ro’s message, but scans reveal no enemy ships nearby, and they believe the tip is actually an effort to pull rebel defenses back to Terok Nor and away from other assets… namely Empok Nor. They hail Zek and urge him to turn back from the trap, but he refuses, even after they discover the Ya’Vang lying in wait. He beams the newly appointed captains to their ships, though it’s too late. The Ya’Vang destroys Empok Nor’s fusion core with a single volley, obliterating the station and the eleven ships docked there. Kasidy Yates, Calvin Hudson, Tahna Los, Sarina Douglas, Sakonna, and hundreds of others are killed. The Capital Gain is disabled and Kurn’s XO, Krona secures the rebel crew and the cloaking device. Kira executes Zek (and soon after, most of the crew), keeping only Bashir alive to personally torture and interrogate.
As the entire Alliance celebrates the glorious victory, Ro is arrested for her treasonous message to the rebels and is tortured for the rest of her life. Kira is restored as Intendant of Bajor and Kurn is promoted to general, replacing Duras as commander of the Negh’Var. Duras is relegated to a much less prestigious post by his enemies. O’Brien, Eddington, and Keiko meet with Sito, confronting her about her medical test—she’s never been pregnant; she’s an undercover operative and the letter to her sister has been decoded as intel to her Alliance handler, revealing the distress among the rebel hierarchy and their construction of a new fleet. Cornered, she attacks the men, but is killed by Keiko before she can do any (more) harm. O’Brien then speaks to his troops, rallying them to fight for a brighter future, though he has no plan to bring about victory.
The relationship between Duras and Kurn and the death of Janel contradict the Dark Passions duology and Seven Deadly Sins: Freedom Angst.
|Star Trek: Mirror Universe publications and stories|
|Novels||The Sorrows of Empire • Rise Like Lions|
|Novellas||Glass Empires||"Age of the Empress" • "The Sorrows of Empire" • "The Worst of Both Worlds"|
|Obsidian Alliances||"The Mirror-Scaled Serpent" • "Cutting Ties" • "Saturn's Children"|
|Short stories||Shards and Shadows||"Nobunaga" • "Ill Winds" • "The Greater Good" • "The Black Flag" • "The Traitor" • "The Sacred Chalice" • "Bitter Fruit" • "Family Matters" • "Homecoming" • "A Terrible Beauty" • "Empathy" • "For Want of a Nail"|
|Star Trek: Mirror Universe||Next book:|
Shards and Shadows
|Star Trek anthologies||Next story:|
Strange New Worlds 10
See individual stories
See individual stories