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Summary Edit

Back Cover Text:

Identical twins Gerda and Idun Asmund lost their human parents early in life and were raised as warriors on the Klingon homeworld. They were taught to face every danger shoulder to shoulder -- regarding each other as the only certainty in a dangerous and uncertain universe.

The Asmunds continued to depend on each other as helm officer and navigator on the Starship Stargazer, peril and adversity forging a bond between them as strong as tritanium.

But that bond is tested when a transporter mishap deposits a mysterious visitor on the Stargazer -- a beautiful woman from another universe who resembles Gerda and Idun as closely as they resemble each other.

As Captain Jean-Luc Picard pits the Stargazer against a savage alien species in a gallant attempt to send their visitor home, Gerda comes to suspect the woman of treachery. But she has to wonder -- is she following her Klingon instincts or succumbing to simple jealousy?

Gerda needs to find out -- before Picard and his crew pay for their generosity with their lives.


While investigating an unknown spatial anomaly in the Mara Zenaya system, the Stargazer intercepts a transporter beam containing a woman identical to the Asmund twins. She identifies herself as Gerda Idun Asmund, a counterpart from another quantum reality, and claims to have no idea how she got there. The crew begins working on a way to return her to her Stargazer. Disgraced Balduk officer Wutor Qiyontor, commander of the Middle Order vessel Ekhonarid, is dispatched to Mara Zenaya to protect the ever-expanding Balduk border from enemy incursion. The Ekhonarid drives off the Stargazer, granting Wutor the right to continue protecting the region, even after a High Order fleet arrives to take over the patrol. He hopes the mission will allow him to regain his former High Order status and wealth.

Pug Joseph is assigned as Gerda Idun’s security escort, though she gains the trust of the crew when she saves Joseph’s life during the battle with the Ekhonarid. Idun readily accepts their counterpart, though Gerda is more wary, and her acting out undermines her relationships with both Idun and Greyhorse. Andreas Nikolas, who was starting to turn his career around, finds himself instantly and madly in love with Gerda Idun. She responds easily, as she had been involved with Nikolas’s now-dead counterpart, and the pair sleep together.

Simenon studies the original trans-dimensional transporter accident and devises a way to send Gerda Idun back to her own reality, but the Stargazer must be in proximity to the anomaly to carry out the maneuver. Communications chief Martin Paxton studies the Balduk communications traffic and realizes that the larger High Order ship dictates the actions of its “satellite” ships, while the Middle Order Ekhonarid maintains its independence from the rest of the fleet. The Starfleet crew uses that cultural idiosyncrasy to disrupt the Balduk fleet’s communications, feeding false commands to the satellite ships while denying the High Order ‘coordinator’ ship its support craft. The Stargazer disables most of the enemy vessels, and Picard makes a bogus deal to surrender to Wutor after several minutes of access to the anomaly.

Gerda Idun uses the Balduk battle to carry out her true mission—to capture Simenon and deliver him to her reality in the hope that his engineering genius will help her people. She reveals that she actually does come from the mirror universe rather than another unexplored reality as she initially claimed, and that Simenon’s counterpart was recently killed in a battle with the Alliance. Nikolas leaves his post to try and accompany Gerda Idun back to her reality to continue their relationship, but he is unwilling to let her capture Simenon, and he and the still suspicious Gerda prevent Gerda Idun from succeeding in her mission. She escapes to her reality empty-handed, and mourns both her failure and her second loss of Nikolaus. Ensigns Paris and Jiterica begin an unlikely friendship.

Lt. Vigo is one of several starship security officers to attend a demonstration of the new type-9 phaser at the weapons research facility on Wayland Prime. He looks forward to reconnecting with his old friend and mentor Ejanix, though he finds the other Pandrilite strangely standoffish. Soon after, the facility is attacked by a group of rebel Pandrilites intent on reforming their society on behalf of the lesser castes, through violent action if necessary. The rebel leader, Kovajo, has convinced Ejanix to aid their cause and help them capture the weapons lab. Vigo and his fellow security officers, Runj and Sebring, escape the initial attack and are able to disable the rebel’s shuttle, preventing their escape from the planet, though they are captured in short order. When none of the security officers divulge how to repair the shuttle under interrogation, Kovajo tortures the facility’s Dedderac administrator, Riyyad, in an effort to sway the officers. After Riyyad’s interrogation accidentally leads to his death, Ejanix reexamines his commitment to the cause and helps Vigo and his comrades to escape. They release the facility’s security contingent and are able to defeat the rebels, though Ejanix is killed saving Vigo’s life.

In the mirror universe, the rebel cruiser Stargazer is badly damaged in a battle with the Klingons. Chief engineer Simenon, a technical genius invaluable to the rebels, is killed, so his crewmates hatch a plan to capture Simenon’s counterpart from our reality. Montgomery Scott, a member of the rebels, is able to recreate the infamous transporter accident and send Gerda Idun Asmund to the other side. She pretends not to know how she came to be there, gaining the trust of Picard and his crew, though she ultimately uses a battle with the territorial Balduk to stun several officers and escape to her reality. Her mission fails as she is unable to bring Simenon with her, diminishing the rebels’ chances of victory against the Alliance. 



Andreas NikolasJean-Luc Picard

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Hesperan thumping coughswordSword of Damocles

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The Art of the Impossible
Chapter 15

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