"Politics is the art of the possible" - Otto von Bismarck, 1869
"What God is he writes laws of peace, and clothes him in a tempest?" -William Blake, America: A Prophecy, 1793
- From the book jacket
- THE YEARS ARE 2328-2346
- To the Cardassians, it is a point of pride. To the Klingons, a matter of honor. But the eighteen-year cold war between these two empires -- euphemistically remembered in later years as the Betreka Nebula "Incident" -- creates a vortex of politics, diplomacy, and counterintelligence that will define an age, and shape the future.
- What begins as a discovery that would enable the Klingon Empire to reclaim a lost piece of its past becomes a prolonged struggle with the rapidly expanding Cardassian Union, which has claimed dominion over a region of space that the Klingons hold sacred. Enter the Federation, whose desire to preserve interstellar stability leads Ambassador Curzon Dax to broker a controversial and tenuous peace -- one that is not without opponents, including Lieutenant Elias Vaughn of Starfleet special ops.
- But there are wheels within wheels to the drama unfolding in the Betreka Nebula. Within the shadowy rooms of the Cardassian Obsidian Order, Klingon Imperial Intelligence, and even the Romulan Tal Shiar, secret scales are being balanced -- and for every gain made for the sake of peace, there will come a loss.
Prologue: On High My Spirit SoarsEdit
On an unidentified Klingon world, a father tells his son the legend of Ch'gran: following the Hur'q attack on Qo'noS, the warrior Ch'gran urged the Klingons to set out into space to fulfill their destiny and to save their plundered world. Ch'gran built a fleet of seven starships, all which were lost after sending news that they had found a world to claim. One ship was later found near the Betreka Nebula, but the other six, and Ch'gran's colony, were never found. The prologue ends with the young boy dreaming of finding the Ch'gran colony and bringing glory to the Empire.
The Cardassian vessel Sontok, under the command of Gul Monor, is surveying planet Raknal V, where they discover the wreckage of an ancient Klingon ship. The Sontok is at the same time being shadowed by the IKS Wo'bortas, under the command of Captain Qaolin, and at the direction of Klingon Imperial Intelligence agent Yovang. Realizing the Cardassians have found the remains of the Ch'gran colony, the Wo'bortas calls in a battle fleet, as the Cardassians call in their own.
The two sides fight to a bloody stalemate, following which the Klingons propose to negotiate for Raknal V, with the Federation as mediators. Ambassador Curzon Dax and Lieutenant Elias Vaughn of Starfleet Special Operations are part of the team hosting the conference aboard the USS Carthage. Dax makes the proposal that both Cardassians and Klingons be allowed to settle on separate continents on Raknal V, the one able to prove best able to manage the planet to then gain full control.
Neither side is entirely pleased with this arrangement, but as neither is in position to fight a prolonged war, both agree. Meanwhile, the Romulan Praetor, Dralath, decides to take a special interest in the situation.
After five years of largely peaceful, if uneasy, co-existence on Raknal V, hostilities are ignited by an orbital collision between the Cardassian freighter Gratok and Klingon passenger transport Chut. Among the dead is General Worf, whose son, Mogh, serves as first officer of the IKS Pu'Bekh under Captain K'mpec. While Mogh insists he has no need for vengenace against Cardassians, he apparently causes the destruction of a Cardassian ship, the Boklar, which Councillor Kravokh has ordered captured and its captain tried for attacks in Klingon space.
Relations deteriorate between Cardassia and the Empire, capped by the death of Klingon Chancellor Ditagh. His successor, Kravokh, places K'mpec on the High Council despite his role in the destruction of the Boklar, and vows a more aggressive stance toward the Cardassians and a restoration of the Empire's former glory.
Relations between the Cardassians and Klingons have continued to deteriorate over the past several years. Cardassia is becoming more aggressive in their imperialism, while the Klingons continue to build militarily, and seem ready to shrug off their peaceful alliance with the Federation.
The Romulans attempt to take advange of Klingon-Cardassian tensions, first by destroying a Klingon building on Raknal V, designed to look like Cardassian sabotage, then with a direct attack on Narendra III. Despite these changes on the galactic stage, Chancellor Kravokh remains obsessed with Ch'gran and the Cardassians. When Kravokh's obsession results in the diversion of the IKS Sompek away from Khitomer as it is attacked by Romulans, he is challenged and slain by Councilor K'mpec.
Meanwhile, Vaughn and Dax have been investigating Kravokh and learned the reason for his obsession with Ch'gran: Kravokh's ancestor, Klartak, had mutinied when Ch'gran ordered a return to Qo'noS to overthrow the government. Kravokh wished to preserve Ch'gran's legend; K'mpec, however, believes too many warriors have been sacrificed for a single planet, and he cedes Raknal V to Cardassia.
Epilogue: Giv'n to the StrongEdit
On an unidentified Cardassian world, a grandfather tells his granddaughter about the greatness of the Cardassian people, and how they stood up to the Klingons and the Federation to take a planet named Raknal V. The young girl vows to grow up to bring even further glory to Cardassia.
- Alnak • Altrom • Amon • Aris • B'alikk • Belear • Curzon Dax • Darnay • De Martis • Dirak • Ditagh • Doval • Dralath • Ekron • Corbin Entek • G'Zar • Rachel Garrett • Gi'ral • Grivak • Vance Haden • Alyn Hallitz • Traya Hallitz • Hamnod • J'tal • Ja'rod • Jekri Kaleh • K'mpec • K'Tal • Kahlest • Talen Kallar • Kang • Kater Onell • Danig Kell • Kor • Korit • Koval • Kravokh • Kurn • Kurrgo • Larkan • L'Kor • Lig • Lorgh • Gran Marits • Mogh • Monor • Moraq • Narrk • Olett • Qaolin • Helena Rozhenko • Sergey Rozhenko • Ruuv • Sarek • Shawn Sulma • Susan Phillips • T'Prynn • Enabran Tain • Talik • Raisa Tartovsky • Juanita Tavares • Arn Teldin • Timol • Tobias • Tokath • Tolkor • Deanna Troi • Ian Andrew Troi • Lwaxana Troi • Elias Vaughn • Wai-Lin Li • Worf, father of Mogh • Worf, son of Mogh • Yovang • Zarin • Michael Zipser
- Referenced only
- Albino • Azetbur • Ch'gran • Chang • Zefram Cochrane • Cowboy Ralph • Danqo • DaqS • Lela Dax • Tobin Dax • Torias Dax • Drew Deighan • Duras • Fek'lhr • Gant • Gorkon • Amanda Grayson • Zane Grey • Huraga • Isaac • J'Doq • Kaarg • Kaasin • Kahless • Nilani Kahn • Kall • James T. Kirk • Klartak • Koloth • Krin • Lilya • Lukara • Mara • Mariq • Leonard McCoy • Larry McMurtry • Narviat • Onell • Parrik • Perrin • Ernest Pratt • Prella • Alidor Ralak • Riva • Nikolai Rozhenko • Carl Sagan • Skon • Spock • T'Latrek • T'Mret • T'nag • Kestra Troi • Velazquez • Xelo
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- Cardassian ships
- CDS Alkar • CDS Baknab • CDS Boklar (Akril-class) • CDS Eldrak (Akril-class) • Galor-class • CDS Golnor (Akril-class) • CDS Grannal • CDS Gratok • CDS Pa'Dan • CDS Sontok (Akril-class)
- Earth and Federation ships
- USS Carthage • Hoplite (shuttlecraft) • USS Intrepid • Woodlawn (shuttlecraft)
- Referenced only
- USS Enterprise-B • USS Enterprise-C • Phoenix • USS Stargazer
- Klingon ships
- IKS Aktuh • Chut (passenger liner) • IKS Dogal (Birok-class) • IKS Gowlak • IKS Kazin (Birok-class) • IKS Klothos • IKS Konmat • IKS Korvale • IKS Pu'Bekh • IKS Qo'noS One • IKS Sompek (Vakk-class) • IKS Wo'bortas (B'rel-class)
- Referenced only
- Barge of the Dead
- Colonies and planetary locations
- Arinak • Dakhur Hills • England • First City • Hall of Warriors • HoSghaj River • Kor Thon • Likra Mountain Range • Qora Forest • Raknal City • Room 2552 • ShiKahr • Sutor Mountains
- Outposts and space stations
- Cardassian Orbital Center • Deep Space Station K-7 • Korma Pass • Starbase 24 • Starbase 47 • Starbase 343 • Ty'Gokor
- Planets and planetoids
- Andor • Arvada III • Babel • Bajor • Betazed • Capella IV • Cardassia Prime • Cardassia II • Chin'toka III • Chin'toka VI • Devniad • Earth • Gault • Khitomer • Legara IV • Mempa IV • Narendra III • Organia • Praxis • Qo'noS • Raknal V • Risa • Romulus • Remus • Sherman's Planet • Tellar • Trill • Vulcan • Wrigley's Pleasure Planet
- Stars and star systems
- Archanis • Arvada • Barradas • Bryma • Cuellar system • Cursa system • Donatu • Morska • Raknal • Septimus system • Trelka • Umoth system
Races and culturesEdit
- Betazoid • Caitian • Cardassian • Human • Ferengi • Klingon • Romulan • Trill • Vulcan
- Referenced only
- Andorian • Bajoran • Breen • Calabrese • Chalnoth • Gallamite • Hebitian • Hur'q • Kreel • Kinshaya • Lethean • Lissepian • Nausicaan • Organian • Orion • Reman • Tellarite • Tholian • Tribble • Tzenkethi • Yridian
States and organizationsEdit
- Black Fleet • Breen Confederacy • Cardassian 3rd Order • Cardassian Central Command • Cardassian Central Command Library • Cardassian Union • Detapa Council • Ferengi Commerce Authority • House of Boral • House of Duras • House of Kultan • House of Mogh • House Ozhpri • Imperial Intelligence • Klingon Defense Force • Klingon Empire • Klingon High Council • Obsidian Order • Romulan Senate • Romulan Star Empire • Starfleet • Starfleet Academy • Tal Shiar • United Federation of Planets
Science and technologyEdit
- class-1 probe • qelI'qam • molecular-decay detonator • shatterframe • SIp • stembolt • triceron • T'Shevat's Syndrome • Type-3 disruptor
Ranks and titlesEdit
- allira punch • Altair water • bat'leth • bloodwine • bok-rat • bregit • Broken Bow • Calabrese Treaty • chech'tluth • chiral • d'k tahg • fistrium • gagh • ghIntaq • grakizh • gree worm • Greek • grishnar • gristhera • gritta • Hand of Kull • HaroS • hevrit • horga'hn • imzadi • jamaharon • kanar • keres • Khitomer Accords • Khitomer Massacre • lek • lIngta' • Locan Powder • Mauk-to'Vor • mek'leth • Mempa Knife Duel • meqba' • mok'bara • My Bear • Organian Peace Treaty • petaQ • pipius • Qapla' • racht • raktajino • razorbeast • rodinium • rokeg blood pie • Scotch • sehlat • Sem'hal stew • skahtchansohde • Sonchi Ceremony • SoSnI' • sword • Sword of Kahless • taknar • targ • tarka • tequila • tharul • tik'leth • tlhInghan'a • toDSaH • Tomed Incident • tova'dok • tralk • urall • uridium • vole • Vulcan lute • vulture • wam serpent • warnog • yIntagh • zenite • Zen
The section titles come from the William Blake poem America: A Prophecy, a favorite poem of the author.
|The Lost Era novels|
|The Sundered • Serpents Among the Ruins • The Art of the Impossible • Well of Souls • Deny Thy Father • Catalyst of Sorrows • The Buried Age • Day of the Vipers • Night of the Wolves • Dawn of the Eagles • One Constant Star|
The Human Factor
Ian Troi section
|The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2328.|
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in five other timeframes:
Well of Souls
The Shoulders of Giants
An Easy Fast
Sections 12 and 14
The Fourth Toast
Alice, on the Edge of Night
Chapter 2, Sections 4-7