|Shards and Shadows|
Cover by Tom Hallman
|Editor(s):||Marco Palmieri & Margaret Clark|
|Published:||Paperback - January 2009|
Fractured history. Broken lives. Splintered souls. Since the alternate universe was first glimpsed in the classic episode "Mirror, Mirror," something about Star Trek's dark side has beckoned us, called to us, tempted us -- like forbidden fruit on the Tree of Knowledge. To taste it is to lose oneself in a world of startling familiarity and terrifying contradictions, where everything and everyone we knew is somehow disturbingly different, and where shocking secrets await their revelation.
What began in 2007 with Glass Empires and Obsidian Alliances -- the first truly in-depth foray into the turbulent history of this other continuum -- now continues in twelve new short tales that revisit and expand upon that so-called "Mirror Universe," spanning all five of the core incarnations of Star Trek, as well as their literary offshoots, across more than two hundred years of divergent history, as chronicled by...
Christopher L. Bennett - Margaret Wander Bonanno - Peter David - Keith R.A. DeCandido - Michael Jan Friedman - Jim Johnson - Rudy Josephs - David Mack - Dave Stern - James Swallow - Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore - Susan Wright
Twelve short stories by various authors in the settings of various series, including prose-only ones.
Empress Sato tasks Commander Tucker with the design and construction of a new starship, Nobunga, based on the Defiant’s advanced technology. He includes a prefix code that will enable the Empress to take direct control of the vessel by remote. However, he later defects to the rebels, now led by a reanimated Jonathan Archer, and shares the prefix code with them, effectively giving them a weapon to match the Defiant.
Tucker is later captured by Starfleet and subjected to an intense virtual reality in an effort to recover Nobunga.
Commodore Robert April of the ISS Constellation, the “Quiet Tyrant,” eliminates Captain Thorpe of the ISS Indomitable for failing in his mission to investigate a new Klingon weapon, taking on the mission himself. Meanwhile, his wife, Dr. Sarah April, develops the handheld agonizer for crew discipline and interrogation. April locates the Klingon testing team on Donatu V and finds that even the failed weapon experiments are enough to rip away a planetary atmosphere. A landing party recovers only some of the research, and learns of the main outpost in the Strelluf system. The Contellation and the Indomitable come under Klingon attack, and the latter takes severe damage. April takes remote command of Indomitable and pilots it into the planet’s surface, destroying the Klingon facility. Sarah, however, objects to his failure to capture the Klingon weapon for their own use and assumes control over him through blackmail and threat of violence.
The Talos IV mission ends with Captain Pike a broken man, enthralled to the Talosians as their spy within the Empire. They enable him to mask his true appearance, which is aging significantly, and run interference whenever his superiors consider removing him. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Kirk plots to gain command of the ISS Enterprise following his experience on Tycho IV, in which he sacrificed half of his Farragut crewmates to rise in rank. He fosters allies in Marlena Moreau and in Spock, who believes he’d be a better first officer than Pike’s current XO.
Forced to repay a favor and to seek psychiatric counseling following the Tycho VI incident, Kirk travels to Tantalus V to see Dr. Simon van Gelder. He meets the facility’s chief, Dr. Tristan Adams, who wishes to rehabilitate his patients, who are really just political prisoners. Van Gelder wishes to destroy Tantalus and escape into anonymity, promising to divide Adams’ fortune with Kirk, though Kirk wishes to hear Adams out. Instead, he is forced to action when van Gelder enables the inmates to escape. Kirk discovers Adams’ secret weapon, the Tantalus field, and tests it on van Gelder before escaping himself.
The Talosians, sensing Pike’s increasing uselessness, abandon him and plan to make Kirk their eyes and ears. Kirk uses the Tantalus field to eliminate Pike’s bodyguards and confronts Pike before assassinating him. Ready for death, Pike makes no protest and allows Kirk to take his badge of office as proof that he was the assassin and is entitled to Pike’s command. Captain Kirk’s first action is to destroy Talos IV.
T’Prynn meets with Captain Zhao Sheng of the ISS Endeavour and makes an offer on behalf of Admiral Spock. In exchange for a promotion to the admiralty, the restoration of his honor, and the release of his woman, Atish Khatami, a prisoner of Commodore “Red” Reyes, Zhao agrees to help terminate Reyes’ command and destroy Operation Vanguard. Meanwhile, Reyes makes plans with the Orions and the Klingons to secede from the Empire and establish his own kingdom in the Taurus Reach, sharing with the aliens the secrets of Vanguard in order to establish a nonaggression treaty. T’Prynn infiltrates Vanguard and sabotages the station and Ming Xiong, another of Spock’s operatives, frees the captive Shedai while the Endeavour attacks the station at point blank range. Reyes and most of the station’s contingent is killed, though T’Prynn sees to the safe evacuation of Dr Carol Marcus and her science team from the Vault. Reyes’ would-be Klingon ally, Lurqal, escapes death, though she is badly injured. Zhao rescues Khatami moments before a Tholian fleet arrives to join the Shedai in obliterating the station, though the Tholians then destroy the Shedai and claim the Taurus Reach for themselves.
Captain Guinan of the Lakul, leads a party of rebels to a secret meeting with a sympathetic group of Daa’Vit, led by the seditious prince Morgen. Soon after they arrive at the rendezvous point, they encounter Jean-Luc Picard, an opportunistic traitor to his own people, with a Klingon patrol not far behind. They kidnap Picard off the Stargazer and hold him as an insurance policy while meeting the Daa’Vit. Picard escapes to the planet, where he actually helps the rebels defend themselves against the Daa’Vit, who have proven loyal to the Alliance and led Guinan into a trap. After escaping from the Klingons, Picard and Guinan meet in private. She learns that he is actually an Iyaaran using holography to pose as Picard in order to gather intel on and to destabilize the Alliance. She does not, however, reveal that she is actually a shapeshifter from Daled IV posing as Guinan to carry out the same mission.
Following the near genocide of the Betazoid species at the hands of the Terran Empire, the Fifth House establishes a hidden pleasure retreat as a sanctuary to the last remnants of their species. By 2371, Lwaxana Troi ran the Sacred Chalice, which catered to high-ranking Alliance officers with (secretly telepathic) prostitutes. Luc Picard seeks employment as a musician there and makes quite an impression on Deanna Troi, giving her the first tastes of her latent empathic abilities. She soon discovers that Picard is working with Troi’s sister, Kestra, whom she believed to be long dead, and that both Kestra and Picard are members of the rebellion. They request Deanna’s help in retrieving Lwaxana’s secret files on top Alliance officials and Kestra tells her that their mother has been retarding their Betazoid abilities since birth. The reunion is cut short as the Duras sisters arrive to enjoy the Chalice’s offerings. They destroy the Stargazer in orbit, killing Kestra and Picard’s crew, before beaming down, where Picard readies to carry out the other part of his mission—the assassination of the sisters. Picard’s grief Deanna’s overwhelm the empath, who inadvertently deploys Picard’s bomb herself, killing the sisters and her mother. The rest of the resorts staff are forced to flee their sanctuary before the Klingon crew destroy the Sacred Chalice in retaliation.
Tuvok and Kes undertake a mission to investigate the rumors of B’Elanna’s new telepathic powers thanks to genetic engineering by Crell Moset. They find her hidden on Archanis, taking refuge within the house of Ishka. Harry Kim, Seska, and Neelix are on hand as backup, unaware of Kes’s presence. The team finds the rumors to be true, but B’Elanna is unable to control her ability, which is driving her somewhat mad. Kes is tasked with eliminating B’Elanna but finds it difficult to commit such an act, and also thwarts Harry’s efforts to do the same. She feels betrayed by Tuvok, who had falsely promised to reunite her with Neelix. Meanwhile, Seska poses as a servant girl to seduce Moset, convincing him to return to Cardassia in an effort to deflect his transporter beam and trap his data pattern within a holocube. B’Elanna sees to Moset’s murder before the rebels can capture him, but is instead captured in the same holocube. Kes is returned to Memory Omega, but secretly steals the holocube containing B’Elanna, intent on using her powers and her new bargaining chip to return to Neelix.
2372 Gul Akellen Macet learns of possible Klingon traitors against the Alliance and informs his cousin, Supreme Legate Skrain Dukat. Macet has previously tried to discuss his concerns with Captain Kurn, but has been ignored. Despite this, Kurn and Macet are together tasked with preventing future hijackings of supply convoys, and they are joined by the IKS Pagh. Along their course, the freighter Kamich is sabotaged, the task force is attacked, and the cargo of weapons is stolen. The Kamich’s junior engineer is interrogated, revealing that he did cause the sabotage and suggests that he was hired to do so by a member of the Klingon High Council. Kurn and Drex, son of Martok, conspire to foster their own personal advancement, out of the shadows of their prominent family members. The Pagh’s XO, Commander Klag, is able to trace the course of the hijackers and tracks them to Marcan V. On Marcan, Klag survives the attack by half of his own landing party and kills the traitors, though he loses an arm in the battle. Klag then discovers evidence that implicates the House of K’Tal, secretly aided by his commander, Kargan, who has turned against his treacherous brethren. Kargan ultimately sacrifices himself, his ship, and his crew to defend the rest of the convoy from a second raider attack, thus regaining his own honor. On Qo’noS, Worf confronts K’Tal, who reveals his distrust of the Regent and the Empire’s Cardassian allies before he is executed. Macet, Klag, and Kurn are awarded for their involvement in exposing the conspirators. Klag is promoted to captain of the newly commissioned IKS Gorkon. Kurn is also granted a more prestigious command, though he is still jealous of Klag’s greater vessel. He continues his secret alliance with Drex, who now serves as the Gorkon’s XO and watches Klag for any weaknesses.
After liberating several slave colonies and taking on a number of new crewman, including Edward Jellico, the Excalibur responds to a distress call from an escape pod. The pod’s sole occupant, a Romulan woman named Thue, tells Mac that her cargo vessel carrying the components for a powerful new weapon was hijacked by an Alliance strike force. To date, the Romulan Empire has only remained a free and independent power by agreeing to develop new weapons for the Alliance. The stolen shipment is part of the latest prototype, a cascading biogenic pulse that produces enough thalaron radiation to kill billions and to render an entire planet uninhabitable. Soleta sneaks into Thue’s cabin and attempts a mind-meld to divine her true intentions, but is rebuffed by Thue’s mental conditioning. Thue is actually a Vulcan agent named Selar, and she informs Soleta that all of their people indeed have these secret mental abilities. McHenry tracks the stolen vessel, which is still on its original course for Romulus, and the crew deduces that the Alliance wanted to maintain control over this critical part of their new weapon. The Excalibur intercepts and captures the transport and deliver the weapons component to Praetor Hiren themselves. Hiren instantly recognizes Soleta and Mac, but they are immediately followed by Alliance representatives, so Hiren is unable to confront the enemies in his midst without losing control of the situation. Hiren had intended to retain possession of the weapon to maintain the balance of power between Romulus and the Alliance, though Mac has the same idea. Hiren convinces the Klingon and Cardassian “observers” to allow his team (Mac, Soleta, and Selar) to assemble the weapon, but they claim the device immediately upon its completion. They intend to test the weapon on Romulus itself, but a firefight ensues and Mac, Soleta, Selar, and Hiren escape with the device. As the Excalibur engages the Alliance warship in orbit, Alliance soldiers pursue Mac and Hiren. With the stakes as high as the survival of Romulus itself, Hiren agrees to order his fleet to join forces with the Excalibur. The soldiers corner Mac and Hiren and are able to get their hands on the weapon, activating it. Hiren, Mac, and his team escape to the Excalibur. Romulus is decimated and fewer than 50,000 survivors flee their homeworld aboard the Romulan fleet. The refugees ally with Mac’s rebels and Mac forces Hiren to accept his authority over the fleet. The Romulan Empire is declared an enemy of the Alliance.
Keiko Ishikawa is part of a shipment of slaves sent to the Korvat mining colony. Within a few months, she has made an ally of one of the guards, Glinn Broca, by exposing slave troublemakers and promising the Cardassian sexual favors.
Using her connections with Broca, Keiko warns base commandant Gul Zarale of a slave plot to eliminate Overseer Kozak. She convinces Zarale to merely punish the conspirators rather than executing them, as Kozak’s lethal policies have been rather ineffective thus far. In exchange, she agrees to share the gul’s bed, furthering Keiko’s influence over her masters.
With Zarale firmly in her pocket, Keiko uses Kozak’s drunkenness and assorted professional failures to eliminate him and she is promoted as his replacement. She makes an instant enemy of another slave, Tiron.
As Overseer, Keiko has made special projects of several slaves and been training many more to be her army. Tasha Yar arrives with a shipment of other slaves, though she delivers a message to Keiko from Memory Omega: “Rebellion is afoot. Continue training your army and prepare for travel to Terok Nor.”
By this time, Keiko has made an ally of Tiron. She leads her army in escaping Korvat, though there are some casualties. Keiko kills Zarale herself before escaping with the slaves aboard two transport vessels. Keiko escapes with close to 100 slaves, though Tasha is forced to sacrifice herself, her people, and her vessel in combat with a bird-of-prey. The survivors head for Terok Nor, where they join O’Brien’s rebels.
Following the loss of Empok Nor, O’Brien and Eddington try to plan their next moves with little success. Terok Nor’s long-range sensors fail due to sabotage, and the rebels fear that as a prelude to an Alliance attack. Tiron voices his suspicions that Keiko was involved, and the argument escalates into him shooting Keiko. She survives while Tiron is interrogated by Eddington and Shar, but he faces Keiko shortly before his apparent death. In truth, Keiko and Tiron worked together to orchestrate the whole thing. The sabotage spurred the rebels to adopt a better strategic position for the battles to come, and Tiron’s death was staged; he is extracted by Memory Omega. Keiko’s position in the rebellion is cemented, though O’Brien deduces her involvement and berates her for her lies and personal betrayal, despite the positive outcome. Though she knows they will work it out, Keiko admits to herself that she loves O’Brien, jeopardizing her true mission for Memory Omega.
Dr Jaza Najem works to mitigate Dr Ree’s sadistic treatment of Irriol test subjects in a project to weaponize their rare empathic abilities, though his entreaties are ignored by the similarly sadistic military governor Khegh. While Jaza treats his Terran slave, Christine Vale, with respect and love in private, Khegh tortures his slave, Melora Pazlar, for his own pleasure. Meanwhile, a small rebel ship, the Deanna, lands on Lru-Irr to either liberate the enslaved Irriol or to destroy them to prevent the Alliance from using their abilities. Captain Ian Troi, Aili Lavena, and Tuvok are decent people, but William Riker is a ruthless mercenary. They meet their contact, Vale, though she soon betrays them to Jaza, her love, as she has nothing but contempt for her own people and their rebellion. The rebels are attacked by the local wildlife, mentally coerced by the Irriol’s abilities; Troi is mauled to death and Lavena is murdered by Vale herself. Tuvok and Riker are captured, but Tuvok makes telepathic contact with one of the test subjects, Orilly Malar. He convinces her and the other Irriol to rebel against their Alliance masters, and they again drive the local animals to attack, though targeting the Alliance this time. Many of the Irriol die, having “burned themselves out” through extensive use of their control equipment. Riker kills Ree and escapes with Vale as his captive, and the Alliance equipment is destroyed, derailing the entire project. Tuvok is injured and captured, though Jaza is willing to trade the Vulcan for Vale. Instead, he finds that Riker has horribly violated and slain Vale, but Tuvok is able to convince Jaza of the futility of vengeance. He agrees to work from within the Alliance to return it to the right path and he helps Tuvok and Pazlar to escape. Riker lays claim to the Deanna, but his pride and cockiness get him killed in combat with an Alliance patrol.
Longtime partners K’Ehleyr and Reg Barclay, a covert operations team from Memory Omega, work to rescue the captured MΩ General Alynna Nechayev from a backwater Klingon base. Barclay provides strategic tactical support from their cloaked advanced recon vessel, the Soloman, while K’Ehleyr infiltrates the facility. Nechayev reveals to the base commander, General Duras, that she is actually defecting to the Alliance and offers him critical intel and advanced technology of MΩ. K’Ehleyr monitors the interrogation, realizing that she must now eliminate Nechayev and anyone she talked to, and retrieve her master quantum transceiver (MQT), which could reveal the locations of all hidden MΩ bases, also spelling the end of the Terran rebellion. However, she is captured and Barclay is forced to don his own stealth suit and penetrate the base in order to carry out the dire mission. He deploys “spiders,” small robotic explosives, throughout the base, throwing things into disarray. K’Ehleyr is interrogated by Colonel Gowron, but she is soon freed by Duras, who kills Gowron and reveals himself as an ally of MΩ. Barclay retrieves the MQT and confronts an escaping Nechayev, whom he is forced to murder. As the team escapes the burning Klingon base, their crucial secrets safe, Barclay must deal with his horrible, though necessary, actions.
- The book was scheduled for an April 2008 release, but was announced as being delayed in February of that year until January 2009.
- Early cover for the book featured Shran rather than T'Pol. With the addition of an author list, the cover has remained otherwise unchanged since early solicitations.
- A separate CoE e-book was planned for release to tie in to the release of the book, but this was scuppered due to the cancellation of the CoE e-book series.
- Keith DeCandido has reported his Gorkon tale shows how Klag and Macet became friends. David Mack's tale includes more on Spock's plan seen in The Sorrows of Empire, while the Ward-Dilmore tale features the mirror versions of Robert and Sarah April.
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