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Picard confronts a deadly secret from the past!

Description[]

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!

Summary[]

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.

References[]

Characters[]

ChangBeverly CrusherDataJanice EardmanEddiesFendersonForsythGadinGarrettGuinanJarahGaru JordHarna KarishKarlsonAkiko KarunaAshobi KarunaKochanskiGeordi La ForgeMillerAlissia MuratJulia MuratLucian MuratLysander MuratJean-Luc PicardWilliam T. RikerRipleyDeanna TroiWorf, Son of Mogh
Referenced only 
BambergBambergCarnelliCarnelliChangFendersonKarlsonKadishKarunaKochanskiLa ForgeChristopher MarloweJohn MasefieldMillerJoachim MuratTillean MuratNagaruNapoleonChristopher PikePreadyQivaRipleyAkiko Torunaga

Starships and vehicles[]

Betelgeuse (sleeper ship) • USS ConstitutionUSS Enterprise-D (Galaxy-class) • P-51 MustangRashasashuttlecraftTarn starshipsUSS TsushimaUSS Verdun
Referenced only 
USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • USS Enterprise-C (Ambassador-class) • F-16 Fighting FalconIKS Paghroyal bargetruck

Locations[]

Shipboard and stationbound locales[]

USS Enterprise-D 
bridgecorridorholodeckobservation loungequarters (Picard's, Eardman's, Karish's) • ready roomten forwardtransporter room
USS Verdun 
bridge

Planetary locations and institutions[]

AmericaAtlantic OceanDelta ThreeDelta SevenEuropeFederation Battle Station Torgu-VaFranceIndianaMaineRomeRussiaSan FranciscoStarfleet Academy

Stations and outposts[]

Delta ElevenDelta FiveTarett IV orbital baseWatch Station Zebra

Planets and planetoids[]

Torgu-Va
Referenced only 
EarthHenson's WorldGaramoraTarett IVTerga VII

Stars and systems[]

Torgu-Va system
Referenced only 
TarettTerga

Stellar regions[]

Magellanic CloudsTarn Neutral Zone

Races and cultures[]

androidBetazoidHumanKlingonTarnVulcan
Referenced only 
Romulan

States and organizations[]

8th Company of the Hadarish CommandBattle Group BambergBattle Group Carnellicommand divisionConfederate States of AmericaCouncil of CirclesFirst CircleKalaKaruukiKatulaKlingon Defense ForceKlingon EmpireLa Forge familyoperations divisionsciences divisionStarfleetStarfleet 4th Torgu-Va Assault BattalionStarfleet Ground Attack MarinesTarn EmpireTarn Imperial FleetUnited Federation of PlanetsUnited States of AmericaUS 28th Colored Troops

Science and technology[]

acidantimatter space-to-surface penetratorsartificial heartatomic weaponbattle jumpsuitbinocularsbloodCelsiuschain gunchemical weaponchlorinecommand chaircomputercorditediagnostic softwareenvironmental suitGotherin EightGotherin Eight-Bfragmentation grenadeinfraredkilometerkilotonlaser scalpellifeformM1 Garandminemortarmultiple burst lasernapalmorbitPADDparachuteparsecphaserphoton torpedoprojectile weaponreplicatorseismic probesensorsonic showerspace stationstarstar systemstarshipstasis fieldsurface-to-space phaserstargeting scannertransporterturboliftuniverseuraniumwormhole

Ranks and titles[]

admiralcadetcaptainchief engineercommandercommanding officercommodorecorporalcounselordoctoremperorengineerenlistedensignfirst officergeneralgunnery sergeanthistorianlieutenantlieutenant commanderMarshal of Francemidshipmannavigatorofficerprincelingprofessorsecond officersecurity chiefsergeant

Other references[]

American Civil WararchaeologybatBattle of the CraterBattle of TrafalgarbayonetbeveragechesschocolateChristmasCirclecolonydiplomacydistress calldress uniformFederation Code of ConductFederation StandardFederation-Tarn WarfoodFrench languagegarthin cactusgovernmentgranitehammasihandshakeHarmahistoryHoly OneshullinsigniaironknifeleadLegion of Meritlimestonelog entryNapoleon brandynitrateobduliplanetplasta laminationPrime Directivepsychologyrankrank insigniareptileSea-FeverStarfleet Historical ReviewsteelstrawberryTacigTamburlaine the GreatTarn Ceremonial DaggerTarn languagetechnologyThirty OutcaststigertitletreatyuniformVenduvian saucewateryaktu

Chronology[]

July 30, 1864 
La Forge's ancestor loses arm at Battle of the Crater.
mid-21st century 
Betelgeuse sleeper ship departs Earth.
2160s 
Tarn Wars begin. Ensign La Forge killed in attack on USS Constitution.
mid-22nd century 
Magellanic Cloud sleeper ship departs Federation.
2163 
Verdun lost.
2165 
Tarn Wars end.
2239 
Betelgeuse sleeper ship survivors found.
2358 
Riker and Eardman part ways.
2367 
Enterprise-D explores the former no-fly zone and discovers Verdun.

Appendices[]

Background[]

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.

Connections[]

published order
Previous novel:
The First Virtue
TNG numbered novels Next novel:
Gemworld, Book One
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Qpid
Pocket Next Adventure:
The Drumhead


External link[]

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