On the cusp of their epic battle with Shinzon, many of Captain Jean-Luc Picard's long-time crew were heading for new assignments and new challenges. Among the changes were William Riker's promotion to captain and his new command, Riker's marriage to Counselor Deanna Troi, and Dr. Beverly Crusher's new career at Starfleet Medical. But the story of what set them on a path away from the Starship Enterprise has never been told. UNTIL NOW. It was supposed to be a mission of mercy, until the unthinkable occurred: the destruction of the U.S.S. Juno, killing all hands on board. Starfleet Command has unjustly assessed the actions of Captain Picard and the Enterprise crew during that fateful assignment to the Rashanar Battle Site-the sector that saw one of the fiercest conflicts of the Dominion War, and which is now a hazardous interstellar graveyard filled with hundreds of devastated starships. While the court-ordered medical evaluation that relieved Picard of command is ongoing, there is growing speculation that his illustrious career may be coming to an end. To clear his former commander, acting captain William Riker and a demoralized skeleton crew agree to conduct a covert operation, and must venture the Starship Enterprise back into Rashanar to track down a mythical menace-one that may already be responsible for the annihilation of countless fully armed starships. Unbridled hostility and the promise of death lurk at every turn, but they could never imagine that their only chance of survival may lie in the unexpected return of a long-absent friend...
by John Vornholt
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