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The Dark Veil is the second original novel for the television series Picard, written by James Swallow, published in January 2021.


"As I utter the words now, we will conduct this tribunal in Federation Standard, in deference to Captain Riker's presence," continued Kastis, "and in the interests of openness with the United Federation of Planets".
The judicator said the word as if it was sour to her, ashen and alien on her tongue. She indicated the three shadowy forms around her. "Tribune Delos will observe for Major Helek. Tribune Nadei will observe for Commander Medaka and the Romulan Senate. And our… visiting advocate will observe for the Human captain".
Riker shielded his eyes, trying to peer past the light from the glow-globes to get a good look at the person assigned to him, but it was impossible to pick out anything. The shadow gave him nothing, no face, no hint of gender, only uncertainty.
He knew little of Romulan legal practices. Was Riker's silent watcher his lawyer, his judge? Executioner, even? He banished that last notion with a grimace.
Will Riker stood foursquare behind his every decision, even after everything that had happened over the last few days. What that would mean here and now in this place, he couldn't know. But there would be no obfuscation from him, no wordplay and clouding of the truth.
And once again, something came back to Riker, something Picard had said to him, years earlier on their very first mission together. If we're going to be damned, let's be damned for what we really are.


The Titan is transporting a Jazari delegation back to their home planet but arrive to find it is uninhabitable: The Jazari exhausted its resources constructing a giant spaceship and their entire population is leaving that area of space. However, shortly before launch, an accident destroys one of their orbital habitats. The Titan attempts to create a static warp shell in order to prevent a bigger disaster and only succeeds thanks to help from the Romulan warbird Othrys, commanded by the reasonable Commander Medaka.

The Titan has been damaged during the incident and the Jazari allow some of the crew and civilian population to be evacuated to their ship during repairs. The Jazari are notoriously secretive, having revealed nothing about their culture. Medaka offers to help guide both ships through plasma storms. Vadral, a Romulan surgeon working for the Tal Shiar, informs Major Helek, the Tal Shiar who serves as the Othrys first officer and is also a member of the Zhat Vash, that there are synthetics aboard the Jazari ship.

Helak abducts a Jazari technician, Redei, which is witnessed by Thaddeus Troi-Riker, who had ventured outside the designated area exploring. However, Thaddeus is injured in an explosion and unable to tell anyone, with the Jazari treating him. Helak tortures Redei, who breaks free and is killed by Vadral, being revealed as a synthetic himself. Helak realises all the Jazari are synthetic.

When Medaka refuses to believe her claim that the Federation and Jazari are planning to attack Romulan worlds, Helak frames him as a traitor and takes command of the ship, ordering it to attack the Jazari. The Titan fights them off and when Zade, a Jazari who served on the Titan, is injured in the process, Riker and Troi learn the Jazari's true nature. They were sent from the Andromeda Galaxy to observe and, after spying on other societies in secret, adopted the identity of the Jazari to move around freely. They had hoped the Federation would help them reveal themselves, but the recent synth ban has taught them they will not be accepted there, so they intend to return home. Riker and Troi agree to keep their secret.

A pitched battle occurs, with two Tal Shiar ships being destroyed backing up the Orthys. Vale eventually leads an away team that frees Medaka and restores him to control of the ship; Vadral is killed by Helak, who is then apprehended. The Jazari ship departs through a vortex. A Romulan senate enquiry clears Riker and Medaka of any wrongdoing, placing the blame on Helak for the conflict. She is placed under arrest, with the Zhat Vash offering her no help except a dagger to commit suicide with.



Titan personnel and residents[]

CantuaJonathan EastMacha HernandezRanul KeruKono (Kelpien)LivnahKaren McCreedyMinPhosiaHanee PhosiaRa'agWilliam T. RikerShaeShelsaTalovT'PirDeanna TroiThaddeus Troi-RikerChristine ValeHal WesterguardZade
Referenced only

Other characters[]

BenemDasixDelos (Tribune)DessehFelleFriendGarnHade-TahSansar HelekHosaHutorKastisKeretKort (Romulan)LarisLebreMaianJoron MedakaMoritzNadeiJean-Luc PicardQaylanRedeiSabemSpockTarsinUmbranVadrelVeyenYasilZhaban
Referenced only
AnijVictor BordsonBeverly CrusherDataAlidar JarokJames T. KirkGeordi La ForgeLoreMiles O'BrienShinzonKhan Noonien SinghKestra Troi-RikerWorf

Starships and vehicles[]

ArmstrongColtraneEllingtonHolidayUSS Titan (Luna-class reconnaissance science vessel) • IRW Othrys (Mogai-class) • D'deridex-classJazari generation ship
Referenced only
USS EnterpriseUSS Enterprise-EUSS LionheartUSS PattonUSS RobinsonUSS Verity


the galaxy's Beta Quadrant
Jazari star systemOchre DomeReclaim Zero Four
USS Titan
Referenced only
Andromeda GalaxyAvenue of RightBeta StromgrenDeep Space 5DenevaDevolinGalorndon CoreKi BaratanLembatta ClusterMalcor IIIMarsMintakaNimbus IIIPavonis SectorPraxisRemusRomulan Neutral ZoneRomulusStarbase 88Station K-3Station Salem-OneUtopia Planitia Fleet YardsVegaVejuroVulcanYuyat Beta

Races and cultures[]

Referenced only
AenarAndorianBajoranBa'kuBolianBorgCairnCardassianFounderJem'HadarKlingonLurianMakers (Andromedans)NausicaanNorkanianPakledTalarianTellariteTezwanVulcan

States and organizations[]

Borg CollectiveCardassian UnionDominionFederationJazari Governing SeptKlingon EmpireRomulan Star EmpireStarfleetStarfleet AcademyTal ShiarTaurhai UnityZhat Vash

Science and classification[]

energyfelodesinelifeformmatterneural sequencingomega moleculeplasma stormred matterspacetechnologytimeuniverseweapon



Materials and substances[]


Technology and weapons[]


Andromedan synthetic.

androidcombadgecommand chairEPS relayplasma boltstarshipsynth

Ranks and titles[]

captaincenturionchief engineercommandercommanding officercrewmandecurionensignFederation Starfleet ranks (2380s)judicatorlieutenantlieutenant commandermajorpraetorsublieutenanttribuneuhlan

Other references[]

AdmonitionclothingCondition DaggerCondition ScytheEarth-Romulan War • "Fever" • governmentimzadiinsigniaKeluLe Petit Princenation-stateraces and culturesrankrank insigniaryetalynscienceStarfleet uniform (2380s)Starfleet uniformtitletunicuniform


Related media[]




Star Trek: Picard (PIC) Series title image.
Series cover image.
episodes season 1 "Remembrance" • "Maps and Legends" • "The End is the Beginning" • "Absolute Candor" • "Stardust City Rag" • "The Impossible Box" • "Nepenthe" • "Broken Pieces" • "Et in Arcadia Ego"
season 2 "The Star Gazer" • "Penance" • "Assimilation" • "Watcher" • "Fly Me to the Moon" • "Two of One" • "Monsters" • "Mercy" • "Hide and Seek" • "Farewell"
season 3 "The Next Generation" • "Disengage" • "Seventeen Seconds" • "No Win Scenario" • "Imposters" • "The Bounty" • "Dominion" • "Surrender" • "Võx" • "The Last Generation"
prose (novels) The Last Best HopeThe Dark VeilRogue ElementsSecond SelfFirewall
comics Picard: Countdown ("Issue 1" • "Issue 2" • "Issue 3") • Picard: Stargazer ("Issue 1" • "Issue 2" • "Issue 3")
audio originals No Man's Land


published order
Previous novel:
The Last Best Hope
Picard unnumbered novels Next novel:
Rogue Elements
Previous novel:
Fear Itself
Novels by:
James Swallow
Next novel:
The Ashes of Tomorrow
chronological order

German : Der Dunkle Schleier, translated by Stephanie Pannen. (Cross Cult)

External link[]