Cover by Tom Hallman
|Series:|| Mirror Universe:|
The Original Series
The Next Generation
|Author(s):||Mike Sussman with Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, David Mack and Greg Cox|
|Published:||Paperback - 20 February 2007|
There are moments glimpsed only in shadow, where darkness rules and evil incarnate thrives. You hope against hope that in your lifetime, evil is relegated to the shadows. But what if it wasn't?
What if you lived in a universe where your life was measured only by what you could do for the Empire? What would you do to survive? Would you sell your soul to free yourself? If you were offered the chance to rule, would you seize it? If you could free your universe from the darkness but only at the cost of your life, would you pay that price?
She seized power in a heartbeat, daring to place herself against all the overlords of the Empire. Empress Hoshi Sato knows the future that could be; now all she has to do is make sure it never happens. For her to rule, she must hold sway not only over the starship from the future but also over her warlords, the resistance, and her Andorian husband. As quickly and brutally as Hoshi seized power, imperial rule is taken from her. Her only chance to rule again is to ally herself with a lifelong foe, and an alien.
Sato’s order for Starfleet to stand down is ill-received. A fierce battle ensues, in which the Defiant destroys the defending task force of starships and Starfleet Headquarters. When the survivors finally surrender, Sato installs herself as empress and appoints A.G. Robinson as Starfleet’s C-in-C. During the battle, an undercover Vulcan agent helps T’Pol to escape with one of Defiant’s advanced shuttles and a copy of the Federation database. Phlox opts to remain behind and is ultimately forgiven for his earlier betrayal, becoming the empress’s personal physician. Reed recovers from the injuries he sustained in battle with the Gorn, but is left scarred.
Sato deletes all copies of the Federation database, save T’Pol’s pilfered copy and her own personal archival copy. However, what details she reveals to the public are falsified support her rule, as she claims that the database covers the future of her own universe rather than an alternate one. Upon learning of General Shran’s surreptitious support to the alien rebels, she coerces him to ally with her as her consort. Shran claims to redouble his efforts to end the rebellion, though his actions become suspect. He sends the Defiant to the Devolin system, where his intelligence claims the rebel fleet is waiting unprepared for attack. However, the rebels instead attack Earth while the Defiant is away. Numerous cities are hit and millions are killed, and public opinion turns against the Empress.
Shran moves against Sato, abducting her and forcibly exiling her from Earth while taking control of the Empire and claiming to speak for her to the public. However, Hoshi’s incarceration by the Andorians is short lived as her yacht is captured by rebels. Shran instructs the Imperial Science Advisor, Dr. Arik Soong, to create a binary clone of himself and Sato, a human-Andorian hybrid who will be heir to the throne, further cementing Shran’s hold on power. He also uses his influence to advance the status of the Andorian Imperial Guard, promoting his own officers to key positions within Starfleet. Many key members of the Defiant’s crew are replaced by Andorian Guardsmen, including the unseasoned Captain Mayweather, who is reduced to Admiral Talas’s first officer. Finally, Shran uses the attack to obliterate key Vulcan facilities in retaliation for the attack on Earth, directing the blame onto Sato.
T’Pol travels to Vulcan, where she allies with the rebels, led by T’Pau. She provides them with the true future database and the shuttlecraft’s advanced technology, eventually coming to gain the rebel’s trust. After the rebels capture the Empress, T’Pau puts her on trial for the Empire’s war crimes, televising the event to bolster support of her cause. The Defiant ultimately uses the broadcasts to locate the rebel’s hideout on Aldus Prime and attacks. T’Pau’s agent attempts to eliminate T’Pol, though she survives and learns that T’Pau was also responsible for her mother’s murder. She then helps Sato to escape to the Defiant, in exchange for Sato’s making the Vulcans first class citizens within the Empire and appointing T’Pol as planetary governor, before seeing to T’Pau’s death.
Sato and Defiant’s human officers move against the Andorians before returning to Earth and deposing Shran. Andoria’s position within the Empire is diminished while Vulcan is elevated to equality with Earth. Reinstated, Empress Sato I decides not to eliminate all of her enemies, as they may prove useful, and has Phlox reanimate Jonathan Archer.
One man can change the future, but does he dare? Spock, intrigued by the vision of another universe's Federation, does what no Vulcan, no emperor, has ever done: seize power in one blinding stroke of mass murder. And at the same instant he gains imperial power, Spock sows the seeds for the Empire's downfall. Is this a form of Vulcan madness, or is it the coolly logical plan of a man who knows the price his universe must pay for its freedom?
Humanity is a pitiful collection of enslaved, indentured, and abused peoples. No one dares to question the order, except at peril of their lives. One man survives by blinding himself to the misery around him. However, Jean-Luc Picard resists, just once. And in that one instant he unlocks a horror beyond the tyranny of the Alliance. Can a man so beaten down by a lifetime of oppression stop the destruction?
Luc Picard works as an archaeological treasure hunter for his parton, Gul Madred, retrieving ancient treasures, such as the Stone of Gol, for the gul’s personal collection. Vash— Picard’s former lover, who left him to join the Terran Resistance—asks him to join the brilliant Terran scientist Dr. Noonien Soong in locating a fabled cybernetic race, the Borg, whom the Resistance hopes will become a powerful ally in their struggle against the Alliance. Picard initially refuses, but he changes his mind after Klingon soldiers ransack his ship, steal his precious last bottle of Château Picard, and beat his young friend Wesley to within an inch of his life. While the two men follow a path of obliterated colonies and outposts along the Romulan Neutral Zone, Vash leads a commando team to destroy a metagenic weapons research lab rumored to be hidden under the surface of Celtris III. The lab turns out to be a trap, and only Vash narrowly escapes capture before fleeing the planet. Picard and Soong finally encounter a Borg diamond, which they witness laying waste to an Alliance outpost and a Klingon warship. They board the Borg ship and try to make contact, but find that Vash has already met the Borg… and been assimilated into the collective. Distraught, Picard kills the drone that used to be his lover and escapes. Soong refuses to leave, and he, too, is assimilated, becoming Locutus of Borg for the diamond’s invasion of Alliance space. As the Borg cut a swath towards Qo’noS, Picard decides that the Borg are more dangerous than the Alliance. He locates the devastated home of the ancient Iconians and attempts to retrieve the Iconians’ rumored software weapon, but he is intercepted by Madred, who has learned of Picard’s involvement with the rebels. Madred falls victim to the weapon and his ship is destroyed, allowing Picard to capture the weapon and put it into stasis. He intercepts the Borg in the middle of a massive one-sided battle against the Alliance fleet, and successfully deploys it. The Borg are destroyed, though the Borg king expresses an interest in returning, and Picard escapes to join the Rebellion.
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