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While the Federation stands on the brink of war, Captain Picard is stranded in the past.


Twenty-five years ago, Captain Jean-Luc Picard conducted breakthrough negotiations with an aggressive race called the Gorn. Now, on the anniversary of that achievement, Captain Picard and the USS Enterprise are headed for the Gorn homeworld to continue that important work.
But when the ship stops to investigate a mysterious alien artifact, Captain Picard is suddenly hurled through time and space. Just as Commander Riker and the starship Enterprise crew begin an impossible search for their captain, the Gorn summit goes terribly wrong.
As war looms over the galaxy and Picard is desperately needed on the Gorn homeworld, the captain finds himself stranded in the past on a planet called Cestus III at a crucial turning point in Federation history. Now, caught in a deadly situation that challenges Picard's most cherished beliefs, he must weigh the fate of a world against the future of the entire Federation...



AielloReginald BarclayGilaad Ben ZomaBurke (USS Enterprise-D)Chang (USS Enterprise-D)Beverly CrusherJack CrusherDataGeorgeGorn ship captainCarter GreyhorseHalloran (USS Enterprise-D)Matthew HaroldRhonda HealyMichael HronskyHurlihyIlamKandelKeeyahKelowitzJames T. KirkKowalskiGeordi La ForgeLangLeonard McCoyMittlemanPersoffJean-Luc PicardMartina O'ConnorDarby O'DellSariel RagerWilliam T. RikerRo LarenJulia SantosHans SchmitterSpockTal EphisTraversDeanna TroiVarleyVigoBenjamin WashingtonWorfYamaguchi
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HatilDixon HillLaskerMisonPakrisS'sleeWilliam ShakespeareTranh

Starships and vehicles

USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • USS Enterprise-D (Galaxy-class) • USS IroquoisUSS PeerlessUSS Stargazer (Constellation-class)
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AexixBeta QuadrantCestus III
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AlaskaBajorChrysalis systemEnglish ChannelFranceSector 145Starfleet Museum

Races and cultures

Referenced only

States and organizations

Bon AmarGorn HegemonyStarfleetUnited Federation of Planets
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Royal Air ForceStarfleet AcademyStarfleet Command

Science and technology

airlockcloaking devicecommunicatorGuardian of Foreverholodeckhyposprayphaserreplicatorsensorspacestarshiptimetractor beamtransportertricorderturbolifttype-1 phaserviewscreenVISORwarp drive

Ranks and titles

captaincommodoreensignlieutenantlieutenant commander

Other references

aluminumbenzoritebridgeCestus III MassacreChateau BriarcoppercreditGorn SummitHamlethomeworldplanetPrime Directiveready roomterilliumWorld War IIyear


Related Stories


published order
Previous novel:
Foreign Foes
TNG numbered novels Next novel:
Balance of Power
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Dramatis Personae
Pocket Next Adventure:
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2369.
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in two other timeframes:
Previous Adventure:
The Squire of Gothos
Time travel
Next Adventure:
Previous Adventure:
Chapter 4
Next Adventure:
Alice, on the Edge of Night
Section 6

External link