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Serpents Among the Ruins

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Introduction Edit

From the Back Cover:
THE YEAR IS 2311
It is a year of infamy, a year that later generations will remember as one that altered the course of history at the cost of thousands of lives. It is the year of the Tomed Incident, and its tale can at last be told.
In the midst of escalating political tensions among the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Federation, Starfleet goes forward with the inaugural flight of Universe, a prototype starship that promises to revolutionize space exploration. But the Universe experiment results in disaster, ravaging a region of space dangerously close to the Romulan Star Empire, apparently confirming suspicions that the Federation has begun testing a weapon of mass destruction.
As the military buildup accelerates on both sides of the Neutral Zone, Captain John Harriman of the Federation flagship U.S.S. Enterprise™ NCC-1701-B is fated for a final confrontation with his oldest enemy at a flashpoint in history -- with the Beta Quadrant one wrong move from the outbreak of total war.

"There is an old Romulan saying that tells that if all around you lies in ruins, either fault yourself, or seek the serpent. Are you the serpent?" -Aventeer Vokar

The three major powers in the Alpha Quadrant are in a state of tension. The Klingon Empire has been severely weakened by the destruction of Praxis eighteen years ago, and has been receiving Federation aid since then. Meanwhile, the Romulans have been expanding their empire, pushing their borders closer to that of the Federation every day. Most Admirals in Starfleet believe that a second Federation/Romulan war is inevitable. To make matters worse, there are those in the Klingon Empire who believe that they have been at peace for too long, and seek to regain the former glory of their Empire.

This story focuses on the crew of the USS Enterprise-B, which has been serving as the Federation Flagship for the last eighteen years. It is assigned to the patrol the Foxtrot sector, along the Romulan Neutral Zone, and at the forefront of a brewing war.

Summary Edit

The story opens with members of the USS Enterprise-B senior staff on a duck blind mission on the planet Koltaari. Disguised as natives, they attempt to discover the source of a planet-wide dampening field that the pre-warp natives should not have the technology to create. It is then revealed that the Romulans are responsible for this when their flagship descends into the atmosphere and begins bombing the planet. The Enterprise crew tries to rescue as many natives from the fire as they can while they meet and prepare to return to the ship. After a brief skirmish with Aventeer Vokar, the crew is able to return to the Enterprise. It is noted that Koltaari is a resource-rich planet in disputed territory, and its occupation by the Romulans greatly increases tension in the region.

The story then jumps forward a few months and the Enterprise is making a routine rendezvous with the USS Agamemnon and Space Station KR-3, under the command of Captain Harriman's love interest Amina Sasine. Crew members are constantly being rotated on and off the thirteen outposts in the Foxtrot sector and the Enterprise is transporting classified equipment to the outposts. The Enterprise is then ordered to escort and supervise the testing of the new prototype hyperwarp ship USS Universe.

Meanwhile, tense negotiations are underway between the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans. A new Federation/Romulan war is thought to be inevitable, however both sides are considered evenly matched and assistance from the Klingons will be necessary in order to ensure a decisive victory. The main topic at this point is banning the use of a metaweapon or isolytic subspace weapons, one of which was responsible for the destruction of the Romulan planet Algeron III some time ago.

The Enterprise arrives in the Bonneville Flats, and along with the USS Ad Astra and USS Canaveral, proceeds to supervise the USS Universe as she makes the jump to hyperwarp. Unfortunately, something goes wrong and the ship appears to explode right after hyperwarp is achieved. The explosion also damages the Ad Astra, critically injuring Admiral Blackjack Harriman. The Romulan flagship IRW Tomed, under the command of Aventeer Vokar, is cloaked within sensor range, detects the explosion of the Universe, mistakes it as the testing of a Starfleet metaweapon, and rushes news of this back to Romulus.

News of a Starfleet metaweapon shakes up the negotiations quite a bit, and the Klingons declare that they will fight for peace; meaning that they will declare war on whichever side makes the first strike. Meanwhile, Captain Harriman attempts to cope with what seems to be the inevitable death of his father.

The story then jumps back probably about 20 years to when John Harriman held the rank of Lieutenant and served as the helmsman of the USS Hunley. Hunley is responding to a distress call from the freighter SS Dakota, which has accidentally crossed into Romulan Space and struck a mine. Hunley arrives at approximately the same time as the Romulan Cruiser Daami, under the command of Admiral Aventeer Vokar. Hunley asks to repair the ship and tow it back into Federation space, and Daami responds by firing on the Hunley. The Hunley is severely outgunned by Daami and a hull breach eventually kills most of the senior officers. While Vokar lowers the shields of the Daami in order to beam over a boarding party to capture the remaining Hunley crew, Lt. Harriman beams to the bridge of the Daami and holds Vokar at gunpoint. Harriman is successful in capturing the Daami crew and recovering the Hunley. Due to his failure, the ambitious Vokar is demoted all the way down to Sublieutenant.

Back in the present, two Starfleet Special Operations Officers, Drysi Gravenor and Elias Vaughn, arrive in order to join Captain John Harriman on a mission into the Neutral Zone. Harriman orders the Enterprise to proceed to the Neutral Zone and rendezvous with the Tomed, which will escort Enterprise to the peace negotiations where the specifications of the Universe will be given to both the Romulans and Klingons to prove that the project was never intended for use as a metaweapon. Harriman then temporarily relinquishes command of Enterprise to Commander Demora Sulu, saying only that he will be staying behind at Algeron, and also that he keeps thinking about Iron Mike Paris.

While leaving Algeron and being escorted from Romulan Space, the Enterprise suffers a radiation leak due to an impulse engine failure. Tomed lowers shields and prepares to help evacuate the ship. At this point, Harriman, Gravenor, and Vaughn beam over to Tomed in order to begin their covert mission, a sabotage and seizure of the Romulan Flagship.

Still curious about Harriman's words, Sulu looks up Paris' personal record. She is confused when the record lists that he still serves as executive officer on the USS Agamemnon as she watched him die a year ago on covert mission to Devron II. Demora takes this information to Admiral Mentir, suspecting a Romulan spy is at work. Mentir reveals that there was a spy on the Enterprise, Lt. Grayson Trent, chief computer scientist. However, Harriman discovered this soon after Trent set foot on the vessel. Mentir then decides to recruit Sulu and the Enterprise for the covert mission Harriman is currently on. While here, Demora stops by to check on Blackjack, barely conscious, who chides Sulu's father for breaking regulations and refers to his son as weak and ungrateful. Meanwhile, General Kaarg warns Azetbur that Gorak is planning to challenge her and offers to defend her were that to occur.

The sabotage is successful and Tomed suffers a containment field breakdown in the quantum singularity powering her warp drive. Tomed's engineers note that the containment field breakdown can be slowed but not stopped. Vokar orders Tomed's course to be changed so it is not heading towards any populated systems and then gives the order to abandon ship. The entire crew departs save for Vokar, Linavil, and three engineers, who try to slow down the containment field breakdown and apprehend those that sabotaged the ship, as Vokar is convinced they must still be on board. The special ops team is met with resistance by the Romulan engineers, but is still successful in capturing the cloaking device, a shuttle, and gaining control of the vessel. Vokar and the engineers are captured while Linivil is killed in combat by Elias Vaughn. After altering the course of Tomed to the Foxtrot Sector, Harriman gives the Romulans the option of captured or remain on the Tomed, two of the engineers agree to be captured, and are then killed by Vokar and Akeev. Harriman stuns both of them, and only Vokar has recovered by the time Harriman, Gravenor, and Vaughn plan to depart in the shuttle Liss Riehn. Harriman and Vokar share a few parting words, and Vokar stays behind on the Tomed.

Enterprise detects Tomed heading towards the Foxtrot Sector with the failing containment field, but neither Enterprise or Agamemnon is able to stop the ship. The field finally collapses in the system, resulting in a subspace shockwave that destroys all thirteen outposts and the Agamemnon, a total loss of four thousand lives. Apparently. In truth, no one was actually present on any of these outposts or on the Agamemnon. All Starfleet personnel had been rotated off and replaced officially by officers who had died in covert missions, and thus their deaths were not recorded. The same was true for the Universe as well. Just before the shockwave hits, Demora Sulu carries out her part of the plan, which was beaming the special ops team off the shuttle before it was torn apart by the shockwave.

Nevertheless, the Tomed Incident is recorded as an act of terrorism initiated by Aventeer Vokar with the attempt to start a war with the Federation. In the aftermath, the Federation and Klingons begin massing ships at the Romulan Neutral Zone. The Romulans propose the Treaty of Algeron: they will agree to leave the planet of Koltaari if the Federation agrees to abandon research on cloaking technology. The treaty is signed and the Romulans withdraw into their borders.

Back on Qo'noS, the attack Azetbur was warned of finally occurs. General Gorak attempts to assassinate Azetbur, but is killed by Morahg, one of Kaarg's men. It is then revealed that Morahg is actually Ditagh in disguise, and murders Azetbur in order to ensure that General Kaarg will rise to the position of Chancellor.

Finally, the crew of the Enterprise throws a party for Borona Fenn as she will soon be departing for the Frunalian homeworld. Captain Harriman announces to Demora Sulu that he will relinquish command of Enterprise to her and suggests that she choose Xintal Linojj as her executive officer. Harriman departs the Enterprise and proposes to Amina Sasine while the ship departs on a mission to explore an uncharted region of space, the Röntgen Wall.

ReferencesEdit

CharactersEdit

AkeevAnner'naminAzetburBexxJack BresharRafaele BuonarrotiDitaghDeYoungElviaPaulo EndaraBorona FennGorakGorregDrysi GravenorGrinagerJohn HarrimanJohn "Blackjack" HarrimanHirenGell KamemorKaargKageRamesh KanchumurthiKestKuronLatasaRenka LinavilLinneusXintal LinojjGabe MárquezLos Tirasol MentirMorahgUta MorellN'MestVorex OntkenRanekRenkRevikRinlaEsteban RodriguezAmina SasineMurray SperberDemora SuluTengerTolekGrayson TrentAlira T'SilRennis ValinVan RiperElias VaughnVerantVinokAventeer VokarRentikin VoldatMerken Vreenak
Referenced only 
AerelBuzz AldrinNeil ArmstrongBenzonZultu BiniFrank CapraAlexei CherninCivitaZefram CochraneCreynGreer GarsonRaban GedroeGorkonKahless the UnforgettableJames T. KirkAdrienn KuwanoSusan LingVerna MitriosMorathCole ParisMichael Thomas ParisRaventClaudine RobinsonRonegVictoria SantosSaren-SahDoris SeaverMargaret Sinclair-AlexanderSpockHikaru SuluSurakT'PrelVentinOrville WrightWilbur Wright

LocationsEdit

Izar's ShroudRöntgen Wall

Colonies and planetary locationsEdit

JennitaMartian ColoniesAfricaRépublique de Côte d'IvoireAboissoBonneville Salt FlatsGreat BasinKill Devil HillNorth CarolinaGreat HallFirst CityWalesHume TownshipRubicon

Outposts and space stationsEdit

Starbase 189Starbase IridaniFoxtrot XIIIFoxtrot XIIFoxtrot XIFoxtrot XFoxtrot IXFoxtrot VIIIFoxtrot VIIFoxtrot VIFoxtrot VFoxtrot IVFoxtrot IIIFoxtrot IIFoxtrot ISpace Station KR-3Helaspont StationRomulan Space Station AlgeronStarbase 77

Planets and planetoidsEdit

Algeron IIIAlonisAlpha CentauriAltair IVArgelius IIAskalon VCanopus PlanetCatullaCortDevron IIEarthGanalda IVGlintaraKoltaariLunaMarris IIIMarsPacificaPraxisQo'noSRomulusTerix II

Stars and star systemsEdit

Algeron SystemBelakAlgorabAchernarUnrothDevorasChaltokGaskoD'DeridexTranome SarNequencia

Stellar regionsEdit

Alpha QuadrantBeta QuadrantFoxtrot sectorNeutral ZoneBonneville FlatsArandra EntryEcho sector

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Ad AstraUSS AgamemnonUSS CanaveralUSS Enterprise-BUSS UniverseUSS Enterprise-DUSS New YorkUSS Sea of TranquilityUSS ExcelsiorPhoenixIRW TomedUSS AllegianceAndoriaUSS HunleySS DakotaIRW DaamiUSS ColumbiaUSS MjolnirShuttlecraft Liss RiehnShuttlecraft Liss OrnahjUSS AspireIKS Nuh Bey'

Races and culturesEdit

KoltaariRomulanHumanOrionBoslicFrunalianVulcanRemanGornTholianTzenkethiLorillianVedalaLissepianOtevrelV'tosh ka'turBetazoidAlonisBenziteTellariteAndorianNivochanDeltanYridian

States and organizationsEdit

United Federation of PlanetsKlingon EmpireRomulan Star EmpireAntares Advanced Design LaboratoriesStarfleetStarfleet AcademyKlingon High CouncilKlingon Defense ForceRomulan SenateBeryk InstituteYouth GuardImperial Fleet CommandStarfleet CommandKlingon Internal SecurityImperial IntelligenceRomulan Intelligence ServiceR'Mala Military Academy

Other referencesEdit

dilithiumpergiumcormalinebilitriumSakuro's diseaseTri-oxIvarix-classD'Vorix-classOdysseus-classItalianLa lotta continuaFoxtrot OutpostPeragoit ruinsFor Now and EverAlgeron Effecturukan treemetaweaponpetaQisolytic subspace weapontargbloodwineMrs. MiniverRandom HarvestAn Ancient SeasonIt's a Wonderful LifeThe ShifthyperwarptranswarpportKhitomer AccordsSto-Vo-Kord'k tahgTemple of RogaxTemple of MolgarVentarix-classD7-classhyronalinJolan truRomulan alecarallunIDICStill Life, with PhilosophyJefferies tubedeuteriumsensor veilSilver Palm with ClusterGrankite Order of TacticsClass of ExcellenceArcher Ribbon for Conspicuous BraveryKaragile Order of Heroismbody armormek'lethNivochan asteroid runnerMary CelestevoraantRomulan Imperial Fleet uniform

ChronologyEdit

2307 
The USS Enterprise-B undergoes a rather extensive refit, possibly bringing it up to the standards of the new Romulan Ivarix-class vessels.

InformationEdit

  • The USS Enterprise-B serves as the flagship of the Federation for at least 18 years after the events of Star Trek: Generations.
  • The Tomed Incident, first mention by Data in the TNG Episode "The Neutral Zone" as a conflict in which 4000 lives were lost, was in the official records, due to a rogue suicide attack by Aventeer Vokar. In truth, it was a covert operation by Starfleet in order to avoid a Romulan/Federation War.
  • This novel marks the death of Harriman's father, John "Blackjack" Harriman, who initially appeared in the novel The Captain's Daughter
  • Elias Vaughn, a centenarian in the post-finale Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel series, is seen in this novel on his first field assignment for Starfleet Intelligence.
  • Vreenak, the senator from the DS9 episode "In the Pale Moonlight", appears in this novel as a young aide already suspicious of Federation treachery. He is given the first name "Merken".
  • Demora Sulu assumes command of the Enterprise-B following the Tomed Incident.
  • Azetbur serves as Chancellor until 2311, when she is assassinated by Ditagh and succeeded by General Kaarg.

ConnectionsEdit

The Lost Era novels
The SunderedSerpents Among the RuinsThe Art of the ImpossibleWell of SoulsDeny Thy FatherCatalyst of SorrowsThe Buried AgeDay of the VipersNight of the WolvesDawn of the EaglesOne Constant Star

External linksEdit

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Previous Adventure:
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