The USS Enterprise's most deadly foe returns!
- The Borg—half organic and half machine, they are the most feared race in the known galaxy. In their relentless quest for technological perfection, they have destroyed entire star systems, enslaved countless peoples, and, in a single brutal attack, decimated Starfleet's mightiest vessels. Only a final desperate gambit by Captain Picard and the USS Enterprise crew stopped the Borg from conquering the entire Federation. And now they have returned.
At Starfleet Academy, Cadet Jean-Luc Picard and his class (including rival Morgan Korsmo) attend a lecture on Starfleet history by Professor Talbot. A topic discussed is the doomsday machine encountered by the USS Constellation and USS Enterprise. Picard speculates that the planet killer could not have come from far outside the galaxy, because its low speed and requirement of planetary masses for fuel would make it incapable of traveling from another galaxy. Before and during the lecture, Picard repeatedly sees a mysterious woman, who disappears quickly and whom no other person is able to see. Later that night, Picard is alone in his quarters when he sees her again. She speaks to him, thanking him for his insight into the origins of the planet killer. She says that it was built to combat the soulless ones who destroyed her kind, and that she would stop them. Puzzled by her words, Picard tries to find out everything he can about the planet killer and its origins, but is unable to answer the questions the woman's appearance left with him.
On the planet Penzatti, the family of Dantar the 8th is engaged in a family ritual, when klaxons sound. A Borg ship is approaching. The planetary defense system, completely controlled by computers, analyzes the threat and recognizes the attackers as the Borg. Still, the Penzatti are not worried, because the defense system has always saved them, even from an attack by the Romulans twenty years earlier. However, the defense computers actually welcome the Borg, recognizing their way of life as superior, and the defense systems are deactivated. The Borg begin carving up large portions of the planet, transporting them to their ship with tractor beams. Meanwhile, the Penzatti try to defend themselves on the ground. Dantar the 8th is able to kill a Borg soldier with his energy weapon, but the others quickly adapt with force fields. Dantar is knocked unconscious, and a Borg drone enters Dantar's house. Trying to interact with a computer terminal, the Borg is attacked by Dantar's wife, who is able to stick a knife into the Borg's circuitry. The Borg defends itself, killing one of Dantar's daughters and his eldest son. The piece of Penzatti where Dantar's house stands is the last to be cut up by the Borg. While it is being dragged up, the house collapses, killing the whole family, with Dantar as the last witness. Meanwhile, another ship approaches the Borg cube in orbit and quickly begins an attack. Heavily damaged, the Borg stop transporting the last piece of the planet up, which begins to fall back to the surface. The Borg are able to send a warning to the Borg Collective before their ship is destroyed. The ship that destroyed them moves on.
USS Enterprise-D crew
- Boyajian • Tom Chafin • Beverly Crusher • Data • Guinan • Geordi La Forge • Meyer • Miles O'Brien • Jean-Luc Picard • William Riker • Selar • Deanna Troi • Worf • unnamed USS Enterprise-D personnel
- Referenced only
- Jack Crusher • Wesley Crusher
USS Repulse crew
USS Chekov crew
Other Starfleet personnel
- Borg drones • Reannon Bonaventure • Dantar the 8th • Dantar the 9th • Darr • Delcara • Lojene • Loskene • Martok • Turane (Vastator) • unnamed Penzatti
- Referenced only
- Miguel de Cervantes • Dantar the 6th • Dantar the 7th • Locutus
Starships and vehicles
- Borg cube (unnamed Borg cubes) • USS Chekov (Excelsior-class) • USS Curie (hospital ship) • USS Enterprise-D • Turane's ship (unnamed Ferengi starships) • Doomsday machine • USS Repulse (Excelsior-class)
- Referenced only
- Phantom Cruiser • USS Enterprise (Constitution-class) • USS Constellation (Constitution-class)
Planetary locations and landmarks
Planets and planetoids
Races and cultures
- android • Betazoid • Borg • El-Aurian • Ferengi • Gorn • Human • Klingon • nanite • Penzatti • Shgin • Tholian
- Referenced only
- Orion • Romulan
States and organizations
- Federation • Federation Council • Ferengi Alliance • Klingon Empire • Romulan Star Empire • Starfleet • Tholian Assembly • United Federation of Planets
Technology and weapons
- android • antiproton beam • biobed • blaster • communicator • computer • force field • hologram • Keldin blaster • knife • lance • nanite • starship • tractor beam • transporter • tricorder • VISOR • warp nacelle • windmill
- antiproton • castrodinium • cancer • civil war • communications • Dapple • energy • galaxy • God • government • hair • history • homeworld • horse • hyperspace • klaxon • light-year • money • moon • planet • philosophy • Picard Maneuver • rank • Rozinante • Starfleet Academy • weapon • zinator
- Picard's Academy days.
- The Romulans attack Penzatti.
- The Borg begin their approach to sector 001.
- After the Borg are defeated at the Battle of Wolf 359, Starfleet begins rebuilding. The next Borg incursion is at Penzatti.
- This novel originated at a time when the producers of the Star Trek franchise did not tend to collaborate with the authors and editors of licensed works, but a number of concepts from this book ended up being used in later productions, ostensibly by coincidence and not by design:
- The one-line character of Leah Sapp in Picard's Academy days, and his subsequent musing about not following through with her infatuation with him was mirrored by Picard's involvement with Marta Batanides in TNG episode: "Tapestry", two years after this publication.
- Seven of Nine, a breakout character from Star Trek: Voyager, had a similar backstory as Reannon Bonaventure, as a Human who had lived a long portion of their life as a Borg drone after experiencing assimilation. When Vendetta was published, the idea of assimilation by the Borg had only been originated in TNG episode: "The Best of Both Worlds" and was a new concept that author Peter David was exploring, to a much more tragic effect than seen in the television incarnations of Star Trek. The similarity between Bonaventure and Seven of Nine was mentioned in TNG novel: Before Dishonor.
- This book was translated for a German language edition by Heyne-Verlag as the 20th book in their TNG series. When the translation rights for new TNG material moved to Cross Cult, Heyne issued eBook versions of all their previously translated material, including this novel.
|TNG unnumbered novels||Next novel:|
Of Cabbages and Kings
|The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2367.|
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
An Easy Fast
Enter the Wolves