Picard confronts a deadly secret from the past!
- 1 Description
- 2 Summary
- 3 References
- 3.1 Characters
- 3.2 Starships and vehicles
- 3.3 Locations
- 3.4 Races and cultures
- 3.5 States and organizations
- 3.6 Science and technology
- 3.7 Ranks and titles
- 3.8 Other references
- 4 Chronology
- 5 Appendices
- The legendary Starfleet Captain Lucien Murat, a contemporary of Christopher Pike, disappeared during a battle with the alien Tarn. Now, generations later, Captain Picard is conducting delicate diplomatic negotiations with the Tarn when the starship Enterprise discovers the descendants of Murat and his crew stranded on a desolate planet, still fighting a war that ended decades ago.
- The Human castaways face destruction, but more than these precious lives are at stake. Unless Picard can find a solution, a lost hero's legacy may ignite a new era of interstellar war!
Descendants of survivors from Murat's vessel have no functional subspace radio—and are completely unaware that the war is over. They have developed their own crude industrial base in order to defend themselves from the equally militant descendants of a crashed Tarn vessel's crew. They have copies of P-51 Mustang warplanes, copies of M1 Garand rifles, and copies of full body armor and uniforms bearing Starfleet markings. They retain the information necessary to fabricate these things because they make use of the intact databases from their ship. Standing forces who consider themselves to be loyal members of the Federation, fighting for their lives, employ methods such as child soldiers and mass incineration booby traps. They also have and use lethal chemical and biological weapons at a tactical level. The Tarn on the planet, for their part, have recently relearned the fabrication and use of crude low-yield tactical nuclear weapons. They not only do not know that the war between the Tarn and Federation is over, but they also do not know that the Federation-Klingon war is over.
Both combatant groups have suffered extreme psychological anguish, and are extremely bloodthirsty and intransigent. Verdun crew descendants, for example, feel contempt for Riker and the other Enterprise personnel when they learn that these strangers have not earned their ranks through promotion for killing many Klingons in battle—furthermore, they find that these others do not derive pleasure from extreme violence. Soon, armed vessels from both sides arrive, standing ready to re-ignite the larger war between the Tarn and the Federation in order to "save" their respective citizens fighting on the planet below. The situation is finally resolved when Jean-Luc Picard and Harna Karish agree to each simultaneously give strategic mass destruction weapons to the opposing side in the fighting below. This creates a situation in which it finally becomes possible to get each side to cease hostilities and agree to be evacuated.
- Chang • Beverly Crusher • Data • Janice Eardman • Eddies • Fenderson • Forsyth • Gadin • Garrett • Guinan • Jarah • Garu Jord • Harna Karish • Karlson • Akiko Karuna • Ashobi Karuna • Kochanski • Geordi La Forge • Miller • Alissia Murat • Julia Murat • Lucian Murat • Lysander Murat • Jean-Luc Picard • William T. Riker • Ripley • Deanna Troi • Worf, Son of Mogh
- Referenced only
- Bamberg • Bamberg • Carnelli • Carnelli • Chang • Fenderson • Karlson • Kadish • Karuna • Kochanski • La Forge • Christopher Marlowe • John Masefield • Miller • Joachim Murat • Tillean Murat • Nagaru • Napoleon • Christopher Pike • Pready • Qiva • Ripley • Akiko Torunaga
Starships and vehicles
- Betelgeuse (sleeper ship) • USS Constitution • USS Enterprise-D (Galaxy-class) • P-51 Mustang • Rashasa • shuttlecraft • Tarn starships • USS Tsushima • USS Verdun
- Referenced only
- USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • USS Enterprise-C (Ambassador-class) • F-16 Fighting Falcon • IKS Pagh • royal barge • truck
Shipboard and stationbound locales
- USS Enterprise-D
- bridge • corridor • holodeck • observation lounge • quarters (Picard's, Eardman's, Karish's) • ready room • ten forward • transporter room
- USS Verdun
Planetary locations and institutions
- America • Atlantic Ocean • Delta Three • Delta Seven • Europe • Federation Battle Station Torgu-Va • France • Indiana • Maine • Rome • Russia • San Francisco • Starfleet Academy
Stations and outposts
Planets and planetoids
Stars and systems
Races and cultures
States and organizations
- 8th Company of the Hadarish Command • Battle Group Bamberg • Battle Group Carnelli • command division • Confederate States of America • Council of Circles • First Circle • Kala • Karuuki • Katula • Klingon Defense Force • Klingon Empire • La Forge family • operations division • sciences division • Starfleet • Starfleet 4th Torgu-Va Assault Battalion • Starfleet Ground Attack Marines • Tarn Empire • Tarn Imperial Fleet • United Federation of Planets • United States of America • US 28th Colored Troops
Science and technology
- acid • antimatter space-to-surface penetrators • artificial heart • atomic weapon • battle jumpsuit • binoculars • blood • Celsius • chain gun • chemical weapon • chlorine • command chair • computer • cordite • diagnostic software • environmental suit • Gotherin Eight • Gotherin Eight-B • fragmentation grenade • infrared • kilometer • kiloton • laser scalpel • lifeform • M1 Garand • mine • mortar • multiple burst laser • napalm • orbit • PADD • parachute • parsec • phaser • photon torpedo • projectile weapon • replicator • seismic probe • sensor • sonic shower • space station • star • star system • starship • stasis field • surface-to-space phasers • targeting scanner • transporter • turbolift • universe • uranium • wormhole
Ranks and titles
- admiral • cadet • captain • chief engineer • commander • commanding officer • commodore • corporal • counselor • doctor • emperor • engineer • enlisted • ensign • first officer • general • gunnery sergeant • historian • lieutenant • lieutenant commander • Marshal of France • midshipman • navigator • officer • princeling • professor • second officer • security chief • sergeant
- American Civil War • archaeology • bat • Battle of the Crater • Battle of Trafalgar • bayonet • beverage • chess • chocolate • Christmas • Circle • colony • diplomacy • distress call • dress uniform • Federation Code of Conduct • Federation Standard • Federation-Tarn War • food • French language • garthin cactus • government • granite • hammasi • handshake • Harma • history • Holy Ones • hull • insignia • iron • knife • lead • Legion of Merit • limestone • log entry • Napoleon brandy • nitrate • obduli • planet • plasta lamination • Prime Directive • psychology • rank • rank insignia • reptile • Sea-Fever • Starfleet Historical Review • steel • strawberry • Tacig • Tamburlaine the Great • Tarn Ceremonial Dagger • Tarn language • technology • Thirty Outcasts • tiger • title • treaty • uniform • Venduvian sauce • water • yaktu
- July 30, 1864
- La Forge's ancestor loses arm at Battle of the Crater.
- mid-21st century
- Betelgeuse sleeper ship departs Earth.
- Tarn Wars begin. Ensign La Forge killed in attack on USS Constitution.
- mid-22nd century
- Magellanic Cloud sleeper ship departs Federation.
- Verdun lost.
- Tarn Wars end.
- Betelgeuse sleeper ship survivors found.
- Riker and Eardman part ways.
- Enterprise-D explores the former no-fly zone and discovers Verdun.
The author acknowledged the novel's uncredited co-writer, Elizabeth Kitsteiner Salzer, in Voyages of Imagination by Jeff Ayers.
Many notes from the book seem to depict a belief that the Tarn Wars were an occurrence of the era of The Original Series, such as the uniform colors, the uniform pictured on the cover and descriptions of miniskirt uniforms and rank insignia as well as the mentions of Captain Pike and the original Constitution class Enterprise. This is in contradiction to the dating information, which places events in the mid 22nd century, two hundred years prior to the TNG era the book is set in, and one hundred years prior to TOS. It is possible that the authors were unfamiliar with the Star Trek timeline, or that the book had been heavily re-edited to remove information that could be seen as contradictory to TOS continuity.
A very vague reference creates a possibility that Picard was considered to have been a relative or descendant of Captain Murat, in that Picard tells Midshipman Forsyth that he had an ancestor who played chess with the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Marshal Joachim Murat is noted to have been one of Napoleon's chess opponents. In real life, Murat is a direct ancestor of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine star Rene Auberjonois through his mother.
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