ROTF: Uncertain Logic Annotations

ROTF Uncertain Logic coverThis document explains the continuity references, allusions, in-jokes, and scientific concepts contained in Star Trek: Enterprise — Rise of the Federation: Uncertain Logic (ROTF:UL).   I assume that the reader is familiar with the basic characters and background of the Trek universe.  Readers seeking further information on references to past Trek episodes or movies are advised to consult the Memory Alpha Star Trek wiki.  Information about Star Trek novels can be found at the Memory Beta wiki.

ROTF advances the post-series Enterprise continuity whose previous installments include the novels The Good That Men Do and Kobayashi Maru by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin and The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor’s Wing and The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm by Martin. However, it begins a new storyline and stands largely on its own. UL continues the arcs begun in ROTF Book 1, A Choice of Futures (ACOF) and Book 2, Tower of Babel (ToB).

Be aware that this document contains spoilers for the whole of UL and for numerous episodes, films, and novels from all Trek series, particularly EnterpriseI would strongly recommend not reading it until one has completed the novel, since many of the notes contain spoilers for things not revealed until later scenes or chapters.

Episode and book titles are ENT unless otherwise indicated.  Episode and short-story titles are in quotes, while film and book titles are italicized.


ENT — Enterprise TOS — The Original Series TAS — The Animated Series
TNG — Next Generation DS9 — Deep Space Nine VGR – Voyager
TGTMD – The Good That Men Do KM – Kobayashi Maru
TRW – The Romulan War (duology) BTRW – Beneath the Raptor’s Wing (TRW Bk. 1) TBTS – To Brave the Storm (TRW Bk. 2)
ACOF – A Choice of Futures ToB – Tower of Babel STSC – Star Trek Star Charts

Chapter Annotations


Uncertain Logic is a reference to Sarek’s line from The Search for Spock, “My logic is uncertain where my son is concerned.” This is partly because the book heralds the birth of Sarek and features his family. It’s also a reference to the Vulcan people’s uncertainty about the nature and application of logic in the wake of the Kir’Shara reforms, as well as a reference to the computer logic of the Ware, whose purpose is unclear to the characters.

p. vii

Epigraph: The quote from Surak is my own coinage—in fact, it’s a line I deleted from the first draft of the novel proper but wanted to keep around.


p. 4

Here again is my design for the Starfleet uniforms in use in this period:

p. 6

I once saw a Malurian leader kill dozens of his own people…”: Kimura is referring to the events of Chapter 1 of A Choice of Futures.

Temos says that Garos cares about his “men” because only Malurian males generally travel in space; the dominant females are large, fairly sedentary beings who mostly stay at home on Malur and its colony worlds in the Malurian system.

p. 9

It’s a bit disappointing to me that T’Rin makes no further appearances in the novel, although she is alluded to in Ch. 13. She actually kind of took over the scene in the first draft; I had to dial back her role to make Kimura more important to the outcome.

The term “Administration Tower” and its placement in Central ShiKahr were established in the duology The Romulan War by Michael A. Martin. Otherwise, I would have been unconvinced that the large city seen in “The Forge,” “Awakening,” and “Kir’Shara” was meant to be Shi’Kahr, which appeared in “Yesteryear” to be a relatively small border town. But the version of ShiKahr seen in the background of the remastered edition of TOS: “Amok Time” is a somewhat more developed city, though different in architecture from the cityscape seen in the ENT episodes. However, I chose to stick with the precedent of the earlier novels with regard to the location of the Administration Tower.

p. 10

T’Nol’s stratagem is intended as a parody of the “Birther” movement that attempted to discredit President Barack Obama’s legitimacy by fraudulently claiming he was not born in the United States.

p. 12

For the origin of “the Analects,” see Tower of Babel p. 131.

Chapter 1

p. 22

The type of energy that supposedly killed the replica Mayweather in “Dead Stop” was called an “isolytic shock,” even though it was basically just an electric shock. Now, Star Trek productions in this era used the word “isolytic”—literally “equally dissolving”—in fairly absurd contexts. Voyager’s “Friendship One” referred to an “isolytic reaction” as a chain reaction that neutralized antimatter radiation, while Insurrection referred to an “isolytic burst” as a torpedo-like weapon that could cause a subspace tear. Neither of these is remotely close to the use of the word “isolytic” in real life. I can find two such uses: One is an isolytic muscle contraction, a physical therapy technique used to break up (lyse) fibrotic masses in a muscle—a particular application of what’s normally called an eccentric contraction, stretching out a muscle while a person is contracting it. In this case, the “iso-” (equal) refers to the process being constant throughout the contraction (analogously to isotonic contraction, which maintains constant muscle tension, and isometric contraction, which maintains constant muscle length). The other use is in reference to isolysis, a medical term for the action of an isolysin, a type of antibody that dissolves cells containing an isoantigen (which is an antigen found only in a specific subset of a population, like blood type antigens or the antigens that cause tissue rejection in transplants). In that case, I guess the “iso-” refers to the equality between subjects with the same blood type, tissue type, or the like.

So in this case, “isolytic shock” could be interpreted to mean a type of energy shock that causes cell dissolution, though I’m not sure where the “iso-” comes into play. It’s harder to justify the term in the other two cases. Maybe the “isolytic reaction” is breaking down antimatter particles or something, and the “isolytic burst” is somehow dissolving space or subspace? Aw, heck, it’s just a term that Trek science advisor Andre Bormanis was apparently inordinately fond of. But “Dead Stop” is the one case where it almost kinda sorta works.

p. 25

The Ganges class is meant to be the so-called “Warp Delta” class glimpsed in “The Expanse,” “Twilight,” and “In a Mirror, Darkly.” (More images here.) I decided to name the ships after river deltas in honor of the unofficial name (anticipating the 24th-century Danube-class runabouts, which are named after rivers). I chose Ganges as the class name because the Ganges Delta is the largest delta on Earth. The starship Eberswalde is named for the Eberswalde crater delta on Mars, the largest fossil delta on the planet.

p. 30

Fluorine reacts with water to produce oxygen, ozone, and hydrogen fluoride (HF), which in turn forms corrosive hydrofluoric acid on contact with living tissue.

Chapter 2

p. 35

If it seems odd for the Menaik to have “hind arms,” remember that they have large eyes on the side of their heads, giving them nearly a 360-degree view. It’s possible that they’re able to operate more or less symmetrically, swapping front and back as needed, except for having a mouth on only one side. Though I’m not sure why they’d need to evolve this ability.

p. 37

The Planet of the Undead was a movie title glimpsed in the ship’s motion picture library menu in “Cogenitor.”

p. 39

The Ware battleship drones are inspired partly by a rejected concept sketch that John Eaves did for “Dead Stop.” I took the boxy nacelles from that sketch and combined them with the core structure of the final station from the episode, as seen in Doug Drexler’s Facebook album of the episode’s design process. They lack the central sphere of the station because I decided, after consulting with Drexler, that the sphere would be associated with the primary data core housing live captives.

p. 42

In real life, so I gather, naval vessels don’t use elevators due to the risk of the shafts being warped or blocked in combat. Personnel are expected to be physically fit enough to run or climb wherever they need to go. Star Trek uses turbolifts for budgetary reasons—easier to build a small compartment than a bunch of ladders and gangways—and dramatic reasons, since a turbolift can be a handy place for a private conversation. But it is a bit hard to justify why Starfleet considers this safe. Perhaps it’s because Starfleet vessels are not designed primarily as combat vessels, although that wouldn’t explain why Deep Space Nine’s battleship Defiant had a lift (especially since it was small enough not to need one).

p. 43

An osteogenic brace is my own coinage, and is meant to be a futuristic equivalent of a cast, an apparatus that encases a broken arm and stimulates bone regrowth (osteogenesis).

p. 44

The names Prentis Morrow, Kano, and Bergmann are in-joke references to Space: 1999, specifically to the three first-season characters who were written out of the show without explanation in the second season: Paul Morrow (Prentis Hancock), David Kano (Clifton Jones), and Dr. Victor Bergman (Barry Morse). I inadvertently added an extra N to “Bergman,” but that’s okay, since it’s just a namesake.

Chapter 3

p. 45

Fort Baker, California is a park area adjacent to Sausalito, just east of the northern terminus of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s apparently the site of the Starfleet Headquarters campus seen in Enterprise, according to Memory Alpha, and according to my cousin Cynthia, who lives in the Bay Area. Specifically, the 22nd-century HQ appears to be on the shore of Horseshoe Bay in Fort Baker. This must be a different facility from the Starfleet HQ seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which is on the grounds of the Presidio on the southern, San Francisco side of the bridge. But judging from artwork in DS9: “The Changing Face of Evil,” the Horseshoe Bay headquarters is still in use in the 24th century. The Undiscovered Country shows there’s also a Starfleet HQ facility on the ridge to the west of the northern/Sausalito end of the bridge. Clearly Starfleet really likes building stuff around that bridge (and taking over parkland to do it). This map from Ex Astris Scientia (part of the article “Locating Starfleet Buildings in San Francisco”) shows the locations of the various Starfleet sites in the San Francisco Bay Area.

p. 48

Thanks to cousin Cynthia for suggesting the houseboat idea.

p. 50

The starship Thelasa-vei is named for a province on the Andorian homeworld established in Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine—Andor: Paradigm by Heather Jarman.

p. 52

Tobin Dax’s pre-joining surname has not been previously established, so I came up with “Fendus.” I was going for something that fit his nebbishy, neurotic personality without being too comical.

p. 53

Jadzia Dax stated in DS9: “The Nagus” that she had been a mother three times and a father twice. She later said in “Time’s Orphan” that she’d had five children as a mother and four as a father, so she must have meant that she’d been a mother in three different lives. This means that all three of Dax’s female hosts prior to Jadzia—Lela, Emony, and Audrid—must have become mothers. Jadzia also said in “You Are Cordially Invited” that she had been a bride three times before and a groom twice, so presumably each host who married did so only once (unless one or more hosts had their children out of wedlock). For a discussion of the Dax hosts who were fathers, see p. 381 note below.

Chapter 4

p. 56

Ice bores are wormlike Andorian creatures introduced in “The Aenar.” They generate great heat to let them burrow through ice.

p. 57

Archer stole the Illyrian vessel’s warp coil in “Damage.” Archer’s hasty departure was in “Zero Hour.” Technically Enterprise didn’t have to leave the Expanse right away, but “Zero Hour” pretty much glossed over their remaining responsibilities in the region in its haste to wrap up the storyline. Perhaps this can be excused given that the crew believed Archer to have been killed in the final battle near Earth, giving the rest of the crew an incentive to rush to the site and confirm the account for themselves.

p. 58

A detail I initially included, but then deleted for brevity and clarity, was that Archer also asked the followup expedition to check on the human settlement from “North Star,” the descendants of the Old-West population abducted by the Skagarans centuries earlier.

The reason the followup expedition was Vulcan rather than Starfleet is because Vulcan ships at the time were capable of higher warp factors. Also, Vulcan was still the dominant political force in local space at the time, so it stands to reason that they would have been the ones to spearhead diplomacy with the Xindi. The destruction of the sphere array in the Delphic Expanse would have neutralized the spatial anomalies and eliminated the need for Trellium-D shielding (which is toxic to Vulcans), making it safe for a Vulcan expedition to enter the region.

p. 59

The expression Archer is referencing is the adage “Generals always fight the last war,” i.e. that they tend to rely on tactics and philosophies that worked in the past, rather than updating their mindset to suit a current, different threat or situation.

p. 67

Skon was established as the translator of The Teachings of Surak in “Two Days and Two Nights.”

p. 69

The two reasons that shaking Zadok’s hand would be a faux pas are 1) Tobin’s fingers are sticky and 2) Vulcans generally don’t like to be touched.

Chapter 5

p. 72

The mention of fabricated docudramas is a reference to the idea, as established in The Good That Men Do by Andy Mangels & Michael A. Martin, that the simulation of Trip Tucker’s “death” watched by Will Riker in “These Are the Voyages” was a coverup for the real events as revealed in the novels.

As mentioned in the acknowledgments, the movie on the screen is Our Man Flint with James Coburn and Lee J. Cobb. “That movie about the arguing jurors” in which Cobb appeared was Twelve Angry Men.

p. 73

“Good evening, Mister Tucker” is an allusion to the “Good morning, Mister Phelps” line (“Mister Briggs” in the first season) that opened the tape briefing scenes in Mission: Impossible.

An odalisque is a female harem slave or concubine. Flint’s four female companions in Our Man Flint, and his three in the sequel In Like Flint, were nominally presented as highly competent and gifted individuals whom Flint treated with respect, but it was nonetheless clear that they were essentially his kept women—a parody of the male power fantasy represented by James Bond.

p. 75

Trip’s bitterness is about the events of Tower of Babel, in which Section 31 commanded him to make no attempt to undermine Maltuvis’s growing power on Sauria, lest it disrupt the Federation’s trade relations with the dictator.

Trip follows up Malcolm’s Mission: Impossible reference with a nod to another tape-briefing catchphrase: “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”

p. 77

If it isn’t clear, Malcolm himself was the one to get Trip into Section 31, as seen in The Good That Men Do.

Abramson (pronounced with an “ah” sound) was an alias mentioned by Flint in TOS: “Requiem for Methuselah,” implicitly a famous name that his listeners would recognize. The middle name Paul is a nod to science fiction author Poul Anderson, whose novel The Boat of a Million Years tells the life story of an immortal not unlike Flint.

Akomo is a Kenyan surname. I modeled the character’s appearance and manner on actress Viola Davis.

Abramson’s drone is similar in design to his later M-4 robot from “Requiem,” and makes roughly the same mechanical whine as it hovers.

p. 79

“Bio-neural gel” was the technology used by the starship Voyager in the 24th century. Abramson is working on the ancestral version of the technology. The term “bionic plasma,” however, comes from Gene Roddenberry’s backdoor-pilot movie The Questor Tapes, which I and other authors have occasionally implied to be part of the Trek universe (though this can’t be stated explicitly for legal reasons). In Immortal Coil by Jeffrey Lang, the 24th-century Flint used the alias Emil Vaslovik, the name of Questor’s builder in TQT. I wanted to suggest that he may have studied cybernetics under the real Vaslovik and later adopted the name as a tribute. 

Trip unknowingly guesses at Abramson’s true goal. As we will see in “Requiem,” he is indeed trying to develop the technology to create the ideal, immortal woman. 

Trip’s alias of Philip Collier is another Mission: Impossible reference, homaging the original team’s engineer Barney Collier (Greg Morris) as well as his son Grant Collier from the 1988 revival series, who was played by Phil Morris, son of Greg. Phil Morris has also appeared in multiple Star Trek roles from TOS to VGR. 

There is plenty of debate over the true intent of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but I question the conventional assumption that it’s a cautionary tale about the evils of playing God. That’s how the narrator Victor Frankenstein feels, but I think the book portrays the creature as a more sympathetic character than Victor, and makes it clear that the creature could have been a kind and loving individual if his father Victor and the rest of society had not condemned him simply for being ugly. I’m assuming here that Abramson/Flint knew Shelley personally (perhaps he was Lord Byron?) and was aware of her real intentions. 

I established the use of android assassins in WWIII in Ch. 15 of The Buried Age, as an attempt to explain why robotics research had been mostly abandoned in ST’s future. Autonomous drones are a potential threat in the more immediate real-world future.

p. 80

Abramson’s view of the role that technology played in rebuilding after WWIII is based on his own efforts in “The Immortality Blues” by Marc Carlson in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 09.

p. 81

What’s the private joke behind Project Aedilis? Well, “aedilis” was one type of ancient Roman official, and “questor” was another. Abramson continues the Roman theme in the following sentence by echoing Mark Antony’s “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act III, Sc. ii.

p. 82

Jacques Tarrant is a blend of two aliases of the immortal lead of Anderson’s The Boat of a Million Years. That character could not have been Flint himself; the details of his life and his universe were rather different. But could it be that Poul Anderson knew Flint and loosely based a novel on his life story? (Anderson’s time-travel novel There Will Be Time is built around just such a conceit.)

p. 83

Jerome Drexel was an alias used by Flint in “The Immortality Blues,” while Wilson Evergreen was the name he used in The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh by Greg Cox. 

Abramson/Flint having known an android is another veiled Questor allusion. Flint, as Evergreen, met the Augment Khan Noonien Singh in The Eugenics Wars, as well as meeting Gary Seven, who has been a time traveler in some of his portrayals. “The Immortality Blues” has Flint (as Drexel) recalling an acquaintance with the Vulcan Mestral from “Carbon Creek” and alluding to encounters with the “Greek gods” from TOS: “Who Mourns for Adonais,” the Sandarans from TOS: “Plato’s Stepchildren,” and the Q.

p. 85

I mentioned Vol’Rala in passing in AcoF. Ultimately I couldn’t resist including an alien “Enterprise” in the series, particularly after Tower of Babel featured no scenes aboard Enterprise at all, despite still having Star Trek: Enterprise in its title.

Chapter 6

p. 92

The Denobulan-Antaran history, and Phlox’s role in initiating the thaw in relations, was established in “The Breach.”

p. 93

The Delta scenes in this chapter were originally written for Tower of Babel but removed for length.

I established Dhei-Lta as Delta IV’s real name in DTI: Watching the Clock.

While 22nd-century ship names are normally used without a definite article—just “Essex,” not “the Essex”—it should be “the U.S.S. Essex,” because that’s short for “the United [Federation of Planets] Star Ship Essex.”

p. 99

Tiburonians were seen in TOS: “The Way to Eden” (introducing the scalloped ears) and DS9: “The Ship” (introducing the forehead bumps). Zora in TOS: “The Savage Curtain” was said to have performed experiments on Tiburonians, but her different makeup left it unclear whether she was Tiburonian by species.

Implicitly, Ahn suffered more extreme effects because he took multiple sexual partners, while Paris limited herself to one.

p. 101

We know from the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture that sex with Deltans is dangerous for humans—a concept that I explored previously in DTI: Watching the Clock. The RotF setting gave me the opportunity to explore how that danger was discovered in the first place. This suggested a story in which the Deltans might initially appear hostile from the perspective of the Starfleet crew—essentially the kind of story you’d occasionally see on TOS or TNG where the paradise planet turns out to have a dangerous secret.

This, to me, is the fun of the ENT setting, and a potential that the show itself rarely embraced to my satisfaction—the chance to show the early, painful mistakes and accidents that later generations learned from. The show tended to spare its crew from the worst mistakes or consequences: The first transporter accident was non-fatal, T’Pol tended to convince Archer to practice non-interference, and so on. I always found that a missed opportunity.

Chapter 7

p. 105

The characterization of Semet is inspired somewhat by my late uncle, the renowned classical scholar Dr. Emmett Bennett, Jr., to whom I previously dedicated The Buried Age.

p. 106

The terrorist strike on Mt. Selaya occurred in Ch. 82 of The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor’s Wing.

p. 107

According to its auction page at Christie’s, the Kir’Shara prop is 18 inches high, or 457 millimeters. I estimated its width in proportion to that height based on photos. It was unclear whether it was supposed to be stone or metal, but metal suited my purposes better. Apparently it was actually made of cast latex.

p. 108

The printed texts within the Kir’Shara are my own conjecture, but it seems reasonable to have a backup in case the projection systems break down.

p. 109

The term “Conflagration” comes from Myriad Universes: The Tears of Eridanus by Steve Mollmann & Michael Schuster.

p. 111

I felt it would be appropriate to give Haroun al-Rashid (first mentioned as an early UFP president in Articles of the Federation by Keith R.A. DeCandido) a fuller name according to Arabic naming conventions. The “Abdurrahman” is borrowed from the full name of Deep Space Nine’s Alexander Siddig, although he spells it “Abderrahman.” However, I modeled my depiction of al-Rashid on actor Idris Elba.

Chapter 8

p. 115 The Kyraw homeworld is covered mostly in ocean, with a high enough water level that only the highest peaks and plateaus are above the waves, so there are no continents, only islands. Most of the planet’s metal is too deep to reach, and the planet might be more metal-poor than Earth to begin with.

The kwieekawn are some sort of giant cephalopods (squid or octopus), fairly intelligent but not as much so as the Kyraw. The relationship between them is not unlike the symbiotic partnership that formed between humans and wolves in prehistoric times.

p. 116

In my first draft, and in the epilogue of ToB, I described the Ware facilities as white because I’d forgotten that the repair station in “Dead Stop” appeared dull gray on the outside. In most of this book, I’ve corrected it to gray when describing the stations’ exteriors. But it’s possible that something appearing gray in the dim light of interstellar space might appear fairly white in direct sunlight; and the station interiors are pristine white. So it’s possible the Kyraw could think of the “temples” as white.

p. 118

Corvids are the family of birds that includes crows and ravens among others. They’re one of the most intelligent types of bird, exhibiting startling memories and creativity. In the Trek universe (according to TNG: “The Chase”), most planets were seeded with preprogrammed DNA that tends to produce not only humanoids but other families of life evolving in parallel; we’ve seen catlike aliens (Caitians et al.), doglike aliens (Anticans), piglike aliens (Tellarites), and so forth, as well as intelligent avian species including the Aurelians and Skorr from TAS and the extinct Xindi Avians from ENT. So sapient corvids are well within the realm of possibility as well.

Of course, this means that the Ware’s near-extermination of the Kyraw populace is the galaxy’s largest murder of crows.

p. 119

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes” (literally “I fear the mainland Greeks, even those bearing gifts”) was spoken by Laocoön in Book II of Virgil’s Aeneid. He was warning the Trojans not to fall for the Trojan Horse gag, but Minerva (Athena) sent snakes to devour him right afterward, which was how you discredited an argument in ancient times, I guess. Cassandra was depicted in Greek mythology as a Trojan prophetess who was cursed to have her prophecies disbelieved, so her warnings of the fall of Troy were ignored. (The Aeneid is Roman rather than Greek. It’s been referred to as “Homeric fanfiction.”)

p. 124

Travis Mayweather transferred off Enterprise in Beneath the Raptor’s Wing, following the destruction of the E.C.S. Horizon in the previous novel, Kobayashi Maru.

Chapter 9

p. 128

The term cthia for Vulcan logic was coined by Diane Duane in TOS: Spock’s World. It was also referenced in the script and novelization for the 2009 Star Trek movie, but did not make it into the final film.

p. 129

T’Pol displayed familiarity with Lorillians in “Broken Bow”; I have thus assumed that the species had a history with Vulcans, as suggested in ToB. The Vulcans’ early contact with the Trill was established in “First Steps” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch in the anthology The Lives of Dax. The Vulcans’ meddling in Agaron society was established in “The Seventh.”

pp. 129-30

Forrest died saving Soval’s life in “The Forge.” Soval’s heroic actions played out in “Awakening” and “Kir’Shara.”

p. 133

Archer’s infamous “gazelle speech” is from “Shockwave, Part II.”

p. 135

Surak’s katra was lost in the Mt. Selaya terrorist bombing mentioned in Ch. 7.

Chapter 10

p. 139

I’m inclined to think that the second syllable of “Vanot” or “Vanotli” should be pronounced like “note” rather than “not.”
My original intention behind the Vanot scenes was to do a riff on 1960s-70s Doctor Who, TOS: “Assignment: Earth,” and similar stories about alien heroes coming to present-day Earth to deal with high-tech or alien threats. That’s why all the Vanot scenes are written from native characters’ viewpoints—I wanted Travis’s team to be the mysterious aliens. However, at the time I wrote the book, I was listening to the surviving episodes of the Adventures of Superman radio serial that are available online (at the Internet Archive), so that ended up influencing how I wrote the Vanotli characters and setting. Ganler thus has some attributes of Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter; for instance, his “jumping jilazi” and “glisp” interjections are a play on Jimmy’s favorite interjections, “Leapin’ lizards!” and “Gleeps!”

p. 140

The inspiration for Vanot’s climate was rather more serious. Human civilization has developed during the Holocene Period, a span of about 12,000 years in which the climate has been fairly stable and consistent, providing a comfortable window for civilization to develop. We therefore tend to assume that it’s normal for a planet’s climate to remain stable for millennia. But I read an article pointing out that this is a fairly unusual state of affairs for Earth. There have been many times in prehistory when the climate has been far more unstable, erratic, and hostile for civilization. (Indeed, we’re heading for another such period through our own actions, as we destabilize the Holocene balance through all the carbon we’re dumping into the atmosphere.) Most science fiction portrays alien worlds with stable climates, but if that kind of stability is not routine for Earth, it would actually be quite a coincidence if every alien world we visited were in an equally stable climatic period at the same time. So I thought it would make for an interestingly novel environment for Vanot if it were not in the same kind of stable climatic epoch. That let me give the Vanotli a distinct culture and worldview shaped by their unstable environment.

p. 141

The intruders’ speech cadence sounds odd to Zeheri because she’s too far away for their universal translators to kick in. Which doesn’t really work if you think about it, but that’s always the case with universal translators.

p. 142

The Pioneer crew’s “superstrength” in Vanot’s low-ish gravity (maybe around 75-80% of Earth’s) is another Superman influence. Superman’s creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were influenced by a pulp story in which an Earthman went to an alien world and gained superstrength because of its low gravity, and they reversed it by having Superman come from a high-gravity planet so that he could exert great strength or jump extremely high on Earth.

Humans raised in low gravity would probably tend to grow unusually tall, but that’s because our bone growth mechanisms are evolved for Earth’s gravity. I suspect that a species that evolved in lower gravity to begin with, like the Vanotli, might have shorter limbs due to not needing as much leverage to resist gravity.

p. 143

Ganler’s climbing skills and silken line are based on another teen sidekick who frequently appeared on the Superman radio series, Robin the Boy Wonder.

p. 154

I haven’t completely worked out why the Vanotli have given so little thought to outer space, given that they are aware of its existence and nature. Perhaps it’s due to their lack of a significant-sized moon, and the smallness of the other planets in the system. Vanot itself would be smaller and lighter than Earth, so it stands to reason that it’s in a star system of lower metallicity, i.e. with fewer heavy elements to make large planets from. And with their moons only being small captured asteroids, their early astronomers might have assumed the planets were similarly tiny and uninhabitable. We had the advantage of a moon that’s large enough to be perceived as a world in its own right, so maybe that made it easier for us to conceive of the idea of life elsewhere.

Additionally, it could be that the Vanotli’s civilization-long experience with harsh climate phases has made them wary of anything coming from the sky. They would want to study meteorology to guard against potential threats, but otherwise, they might see little allure or wonder in the sky and thus be relatively unmotivated to imagine space travel.

Mainly, though, I just wanted Zeheri to have a fringe belief that was more novel and distinctly Vanotli than “space aliens.”

p. 155

Since I gave the Vanotli cooling fins, I figured it made sense for their body temperature to be higher than a human’s, hence Travis’s hand feeling cool to Zeheri.

Chapter 11

p. 156

Stom is recapping the events of the climax of the episode “Kir’Shara.” A “to’tsu’k’hy neuropressure hold” refers to a Vulcan neck pinch, combining the term from the Vulcan Language Dictionary with my own supposition that the nerve pinch is a combat-oriented application of the neuropressure technique introduced in season 3 of ENT.

The sublieutenant whom Kuvak neck-pinched went unnamed in the episode. “Torac” is just an anagram for “actor,” since Memory Alpha credited “an unknown actor” in the role.

p. 161

Trek literature has been inconsistent in its portrayal of same-sex relationships among Vulcans. New Frontier: Renaissance by Peter David, set in the 2370s, suggests that at least some Vulcans, specifically the parents of Dr. Selar and her gay brother, see homosexual relationships as an aberrant behavior preventing their participants from experiencing their “true” nature and going through pon farr and childbearing as nature intended. However, the Vanguard series by David Mack, Dayton Ward, and Kevin Dilmore, set in the 2260s, features a lesbian Vulcan, T’Prynn, who did go through pon farr and whose sexuality did not seem to be stigmatized. Vanguard: Open Secrets establishes on p. 238 that Vulcans are considered free to make their own life choices, even though some of their traditions like childhood betrothal seem to conflict with that. Perhaps Selar’s parents were simply more traditionalist and prejudiced than most Vulcans.

p. 162

Gliese 229 is a red dwarf star (with a brown dwarf companion) located just under 10 light years from 40 Eridani, the generally accepted home star of Vulcan.

p. 163

The passage about T’Kea of Mond (“frankly, an underappreciated genius”) is a nod to the Mathnet segment of the 1992-4 educational television series Square One Television. Mathnet was a very clever, well-made Dragnet parody featuring police mathematicians Kate Monday (Beverly Leech) and her partner George Frankly (Joe Howard) as they used math to solve crimes.

p. 164

Like the earlier Delta scenes, most of the scene of Devna’s arrival at Delta was written for Tower of Babel, though I revised it here to acknowledge the events of the ToB subplot that replaced this one. This scene is last one I wrote before I decided to remove the subplot from ToB, although the remaining scenes are based on the original outline for the sequence.

p. 165

The novel Prime Directive by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens established the Orions’ name for themselves as Ur’eon, while the Decipher role-playing game called them Kolari. Naturally any species (at least, any one capable of phonetic speech) can be assumed to have multiple names for itself in various languages.

The theft of the hormone supplement (the origin of the Venus drug from TOS: “Mudd’s Women”) was depicted in ToB.

p. 167

V2292 Ophiuchi, the star I selected for Delta’s primary, is a variable that gives off periodic x-ray flares. I’m not quite sure what constituents there could be in a planet’s rings that would create the described iridescence, but there are enough exotic compounds in Trek to justify it.

pp. 169-70

The passage on early Vulcan-Andorian history is an attempt to reconcile my reference in ACoF to first contact being three centuries before with the reference in “Proving Ground” to two centuries of Vulcan-Andorian tensions. Fortunately the reference is ambiguous enough that my earlier dating doesn’t quite constitute an error, but I felt a clarification was called for.

Chapter 12

p. 173

Tucker’s musing about the utility of replicators is a nod toward the frequently raised question of how Voyager two centuries later could keep replenishing its shuttles and repairing its damage so easily. Really, it surprises me that this is even a question, since onboard replicators should make it simple. (And though Voyager’s crew did have limited, strictly rationed replicator power at first, this ceased to apply after the first couple of seasons, suggesting that they were able to resolve their energy problems.)

p. 174

Akomo’s words about delta-radiation “lock-in” syndrome are a nod to Captain Pike in TOS: “The Menagerie.” That 1966 episode’s portrayal of the difficulty in enabling the injured Pike to communicate beyond a simple blinking light is difficult to reconcile with modern advances in brain scanning and neural interfaces. So I’ve tried to address that discrepancy.

p. 178

I wrote Daskel Vabion with actor Lance Reddick in mind.

Chapter 13

p. 184

I should clarify that the debate house is not literally a coffee shop, in the sense of serving a beverage brewed from plant seeds of the genus Coffea. Rather, I meant that it’s the equivalent type of social gathering place. I intend “public forum” in the Roman sense of a public gathering place where political meetings and debates are held (among other functions).

p. 186

My loyal readers may recognize Soreth as the Federation commissioner from my debut novel, TOS: Ex Machina. That book was written and published before ENT season 4 showed us the Vulcan reformation, so Soreth’s attitudes there are those of the pre-reform ENT-era Vulcans, even though the book is set more than a century later. I established Soreth as a few years younger than T’Pol, so he was on my list of established characters who could potentially show up in Rise of the Federation, and I wanted to take the opportunity to establish why his attitudes remained unchanged. But making him a direct or important participant in the coup would’ve been too hard to redeem, as well as running afoul of small-universe syndrome. So he ended up in a peripheral role, but serving as the exemplar of one voice within the general populace.

The portrayal of the weaponized use of melding in pre-Reformation times draws mainly on The Tears of Eridanus. It helps to explain why many reasonable Vulcans would be receptive to anti-melding attitudes.

p. 192

Hoshi Sato’s biography screen glimpsed in “In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II” gives her birthday as July 9, 2129.

p. 193

Despite the scene heading specifying the museum, the first seven paragraphs of this scene are a flashback set in Skon’s house. Location headings can be tricky when a scene covers more than one location.

p. 194

My inspiration for the heist methodology no doubt comes from all the Mission: Impossible I’ve watched over the past couple of years.

Chapter 14

p. 198

Earth’s auroras are generally dominated by green because that’s the color oxygen atoms give off when they’re excited by electrons from the solar wind, though different concentrations of oxygen and nitrogen at different altitudes can create red or pink/purple auroras; see But the atmosphere of a gas giant planet is mostly hydrogen, and excited hydrogen glows red or magenta. This is the true color of Saturn’s auroras, though published false-color images photographed in ultraviolet or infrared often render them as blue or green.

p. 199

Perhaps the passage should read “the power dynamic among a race’s genders” rather than “between,” since a number of human cultures define more than two genders, and some alien species in Trek have more than two sexes to begin with. But the passage is from Devna’s point of view, and she’s mired in the Orions’ rather dualistic gender culture (even though she’s bisexual herself).

p. 204

The Balduk were referenced in TNG: “New Ground” as fearsome warriors, and Star Trek Star Charts puts the Balduk system near the region I’ve chosen for the Ware’s territory. Balduk have appeared as mercenaries in novels by David Mack including DS9: Warpath. The fullest description of their physical appearance and culture comes from Stargazer: Three by Michael Jan Friedman, which establishes them as a proud and aggressively territorial people with “pitted, pitch-black skin” scarred to denote rank, “mere holes for ears,” tiny green eyes, pronounced brow ridges and cheekbones, sharp but short teeth, and a thick mane of white hair.

Nadions (an imaginary particle) were established in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual by Rick Sternbach and Michael Okuda as the constituent particles of phaser beams.

p. 207

The U.S.S. Trenkanshent sh’Lavan is named after the late captain of the U.S.S. Thejal, who was introduced and killed in AcoF. It’s a Sevaijen-class light cruiser, the same class as Thejal.

The Flabbjellah is named for the traditional Andorian weapon/musical instrument that was established in the costuming notes for the species in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. A photo of the prop created for TMP can be seen at, though it’s difficult to see how that object could function as a weapon.

p. 208

Arkenites were introduced in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and named in the FASA role-playing supplement for that film, which also established them as former Andorian subjects. Their culture’s strong sense of debt and obligation was established in “The Ruins of Noble Men” by Marco Palmieri in Vanguard: Declassified. Kinaph is meant to be an Arkenite name, even though the ship is of Andorian design.

p. 209

Just to be clear, here are the member ships of the Ware task force and their commanding officers established thus far:

Vessel Registry Class Commanding officer Home port
USS Pioneer NCC-63 Intrepid (light cruiser) Captain Malcolm Reed Earth
USS Vol’Rala AGC-7-10 Kumari (heavy cruiser) Captain Reshthenar sh’Prenni Andoria
USS Thelasa-vei AGC-7-48 Kumari Captain Menteshay th’Zaigrel Andoria
USS Flabbjellah AGC-6-16 Sevaijen (light cruiser) Andoria
USS Kinaph AGC-6-34 Sevaijen Captain Kulef nd’Orelag Arken II
USS Trenkanshent sh’Lavan AGC-6-49 Sevaijen Andoria
USS Zabathu AGC-11-09 Ilthirin (high-speed courier) Commander Finirath ch’Mezret Andoria
USS Tashmaji AGC-11-15 Ilthirin Andoria


Shen is one of the “female” genders in the Andorian four-sex paradigm used in the novels. Shens are generally rather tall and robust compared to the other female sex, the zhens.

Chapter 15

p. 214

Kel province was established in the map of Vulcan in the Last Unicorn Games role-playing game. The Irinthar Mountains are my own invention. I wanted to show a different part of Vulcan than the standard desert setting.

p. 215

Hokkaido is the northernmost prefecture of Japan. Its climate is “hemiboreal,” similar to that of the northern United States, southern Canada, northeastern Europe, or southwestern Russia.

p. 216

Sun Tzu is famous for his treatise The Art of War, which includes such passages as “Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought.”

There are actually a number of ways to cheat at chess, but they tend to be rather constrained: Secretly getting help electronically or by collusion with a spectator, throwing a game to help a partner advance, failing to move a piece after touching it, and the like. I suppose it’s possible to attempt illegal moves or sneaking captured pieces back onto the board, but those would probably only work against an inexperienced player.

Chapter 16

p. 225

I named Kimura’s parents after the romantic-lead characters in the original 1954 Godzilla, Hideto Ogata and Emiko Yamane. This is because, as mentioned in the p. 19 note for ACOF, Kimura’s name reminds me of Takashi Shimura, who played Professor Yamane in that film, and Takeshi Kimura, who wrote Rodan and other numerous other kaiju films.

p. 227

I had two primary reasons for ending Kimura’s career aboard Endeavour. First off, since Kimura’s relationship with Sato was already in place by the end of To Brave the Storm, and since they were established in behind-the-scenes materials as eventually marrying, I really didn’t have anywhere interesting to take their relationship in between those points unless I introduced some kind of major complication. Second, I felt that Tower of Babel was too easy on the characters; the astropolitical stakes of that novel were high, but I felt the personal ones were too low for most of the cast. I wanted this volume to have more of an impact.

p. 228

Corporal Askwith (Rafael Boza) was a security guard at the Earth embassy on Vulcan in “The Forge.” Soval’s mind meld with the dying corporal revealed the true identity of the bomber.

p. 230

Doko ni… is basically “Where are…?” The –chan suffix is an affectionate diminutive. Samishi katta desu means “I missed you” or “I was lonely.” Yamero, baka is “Stop it, silly.” In present-day Japanese, women tend to use the more polite yamete or yamete kudasai, but that custom might not apply in a more egalitarian future; besides, the ruder form seems more appropriate here. The remaining Japanese words on this page are explained in the text.

p. 231

Yurusenai! is an interjection often heard in Japanese fiction, basically meaning “Unforgivable!” In Japanese culture, this is apparently a particularly ferocious condemnation. See

TOS and TAS established several varying terms for Vulcan mental contact, including “mind meld,” “mind touch,” and “mind fusion.” While they generally tended to be interchangeable terms for the same thing, I tend to think of “mind touch” as referring to a shallower, less involved form of mental contact than the full meld.

Chapter 17

p. 239

Note that Vabion cites electric cars rather than gasoline cars. In real life, electric cars came on the market in the late 1800s and were actually more popular than gasoline cars in the early 20th century, since they were non-polluting, quiet, and didn’t require the difficult hand-cranking that gasoline engines needed to start up. But gas-powered cars ultimately proved more affordable and more capable of long-distance use, since no one was successful at developing a truly long-lasting battery (a technological bottleneck we struggle with even today). Improved inter-city roads and the discovery of new sources of oil, along with the invention of an easier ignition system, increased the appeal of gas autos, and electric cars faded from popularity. (See On Vanot, the stormy climate may make rail travel preferable to long-distance driving for safety reasons, and perhaps they haven’t made any major oil field discoveries since inventing the automobile. And perhaps their walled, semi-enclosed cities make the pollution from internal combustion engines less tolerable. So they may have had more of an incentive to stick to electric vehicles.

p. 243

My thinking behind Andorian registry numbers is that “AGC” stands for something like “Andorian Guard Cruiser” (naturally it’s translated from Andorii), the first number represents the class, and the second number represents the place within that class. So Zabathu is the ninth ship of the eleventh commissioned class of Andorian Guard vessel.

p. 244

Karthikeyan’s eyes appear “unnaturally black” to Zeheri because he’s not wearing the contact lenses the others are using. He has the spots and prosthetic fins in case he needs to go into the city, but since he’s alone in the shuttle, he’s taken out the contacts to rest his eyes.

Zeheri is hearing Travis’s speech through the universal translator, so she hears “warp” translated literally as “distortion” (or the equivalent word in her language).

p. 245

The straight-outward dock configuration is based on one of Doug Drexler’s prototype designs for the “Dead Stop” repair station—basically the last prototype before the final design, which simply rotated the docks 90 degrees.

p. 248

Tyrellians were mentioned in TNG: “Starship Mine” and Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire. STSC puts Tyrellia near Balduk.

Chapter 18

p. 252

Note that from here on, the Vulcan and Ware portions of the story are no longer in chronological sync with each other; this scene is set five days before the previous scene, and the Vulcan storyline (and the Delta storyline) will continue to lag behind the Ware storyline. This is because I grew tired of the contrivance in the first two books of having unrelated subplots come to a head simultaneously in order to preserve chronological order. Since the stories have no direct interaction, it doesn’t really matter when they take place relative to each other; and physically speaking, simultaneity across interstellar distances shouldn’t really be definable anyway (although FTL travel and communication would effectively negate that principle). In earlier chapters, there were enough gaps in the events of all three subplots that I could neatly intersperse events without arbitrary simultaneity; but as the two main plotlines came to a head, they both became more continuous and faster-paced (the usual pattern in my books), so I had to change tactics and just plain tell them out of order, placing dramatic structure above linear chronology. In fact, I wish I’d been able to set the two plotlines even farther apart in time.

pp. 254-55

Phlox is recalling his encounter with xenophobic humans in “Home.” There as well, he felt that it would be better to withdraw quietly and avoid trouble, though it didn’t play out that way.

p. 258

Nevasa was established as the Vulcans’ name for their sun (40 Eridani A) in Sarek by A.C. Crispin.

The idea that V’Las was a Romulan sleeper agent was perhaps implicit in the aired trilogy, but was first stated outright in Federation: The First 150 Years by David A. Goodman. Goodman’s account asserts that V’Las assassinated and impersonated the genuine article, but I found more potential in the idea that V’Las was Romulan by ancestry but Vulcan by birth. It could be that Goodman’s version, presented as a historical text written centuries later, represents Federation historians’ incomplete understanding of the facts of V’Las’s life.

The episode “Minefield” created a problem. The name “Romulan” was clearly always intended to be the name that humans applied to the species; no doubt humans were supposed to have named their twin planets after Romulus and Remus, the mythical twin founders of the city of Rome. Diane Duane followed this presumption when she revealed in TOS: My Enemy, My Ally and its sequels that the Romulan name for themselves was Rihannsu—a name that the Romulan War duology (among others) re-established as their true name in the modern novel continuity. And yet in “Minefield,” for some reason, it was established (by T’Pol, after Hoshi mispronounced their name as “Romellan”) that the race’s actual name for itself was pronounced “Romulan.” This was quite an odd decision, and I’ve tried to rationalize it here by creating a word that approximates Jolene Blalock’s pronunciation of “Romulan” in that scene while still being as distinct from the word “Romulan” as I can make it, and consistent with Rihannsu phonetics. The result is Rom’ielln. I almost went with Rahm’ielln, but I decided to nod in the direction of F:TF150Y’s coinage of Rom’Alosh (Raptor’s Nest) as the Romulans’ name for their homeworld.

To be honest, I feel I’ve overused the trope of coining alien names that are almost-but-not-quite pronounced like the Earthly names they’re given onscreen—Dhei-Lta for Delta, Raij’hl for Rigel, and now Rom’ielln for Romulan. But in this case, where we were explicitly told that it was the species’ own name for itself, I had no choice.

p. 259

As stated in the acknowledgments, the hundred-year Romulan-Vulcan war was mentioned in VGR: “Death Wish” and roughly placed in the timeline by TRW; the rest is my own fleshing out. Praetor Sartorix is my own creation and is a nod to the Romulans’ creator Paul Schneider (his surname is German for “tailor,” which is “sartor” in Latin).

The idea that the Vulcan culture seen in ENT was shaped by a vast Romulan conspiracy is a bit melodramatic for my tastes; I generally find sweeping conspiracies that remain undiscovered for generations to be unrealistic. But it helped to explain how the stigma against something as fundamental as mind-melding could have arisen, how the true teachings of Surak could have been so forgotten and distorted, and so forth. Given the timing of the Vulcan-Romulan war, and given the Romulans’ apparent objectives toward Vulcan as suggested in “Kir’Shara” (and in F:TF150Y), the theory fell rather neatly into place. Anti-melder prejudice made sense if it was part of a Romulan ploy to undermine the Vulcans’ telepathic advantage over them.

p. 260

According to BTRW, the bombing of Mt. Selaya and the destruction of Surak’s katra was what kept the Vulcans out of the war (although I’d think that sort of thing would provoke most species to join a war effort rather than retreating from it—but then, these are Vulcans, so who knows?). So I’m hinting here that the bombing may have been V’Las’s idea. But that wouldn’t have been relevant to this already-lengthy narrative, so I left it implicit.

p. 261

As seen in ToB, Professor T’Nol was briefly a candidate for the Federation presidency, though never a very credible one.

p. 263

TBTS briefly alluded to V’Las being mind-probed into a vegetative state and left it at that. But I didn’t want to let that scuttle my own plans for the character. Welcome to the world of creative retconning.

Chapter 19

p. 270

Neuroleptic medications are a class of antipsychotic drug used in treating dissociative disorders, among others.

p. 271

We know from TNG: “Power Play” that Essex will be operating under Admiral Narsu’s flag out of Starbase 12 by 2167. But STSC puts Starbase 12 on the opposite side of the Federation from Delta, so I couldn’t use it here. I chose Starbase 8 because it’s completely unmentioned in canon and barely mentioned in any tie-ins. Most of the other single-digit starbases, going by their descriptions in canon or the novel continuity, all seemed to be in the wrong parts of space, save only for Starbases 7 and 8. And Starbase 8 has been mentioned less often overall, making it more of a blank slate.

Chapter 20

pp. 277-80

Erratum for the print edition: The character called “T’Syra” on these four pages should be called “T’Nelet” instead. Originally I had T’Nelet show up unharmed in Ch. 26 less than a day after being critically injured in this chapter, so I tried to fix the error in the galley stage by splitting her into two different characters, keeping the name T’Nelet in this chapter and changing it to T’Syra everywhere else. Unfortunately, the change was erroneously made everywhere, and due to an e-mail foulup, the revised galleys were trapped in a spam filter and I didn’t discover them until it was too late to fix the error in the first printing. The e-book edition and subsequent printings of the paperback should have the correct character name in this chapter, I hope.

p. 282

The main instance of Archer and T’Pol being bound together was in “Shadows of P’Jem,” which used their plight as a source of rather juvenile, prurient humor. One could also count Archer and T’Pol’s shared captivity in “The Andorian Incident” and “Acquisition,” though in those cases only Archer had his wrists bound. T’Pol was caged in “Borderland,” but then was rescued by Archer. And T’Pol was bound by Major Talok in “Kir’Shara,” but only after being separated from Archer. So either she’s overstating things for effect, or there were other, unchronicled instances of joint captivity during the Romulan War.

p. 283

T’Pol is referring to her abduction by Terra Prime (alongside Tucker) in “Demons” and “Terra Prime.”

p. 284

Here, T’Pol is refuting Mao Zedong’s famous proverb, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” (“Problems of War and Strategy” (November 6, 1938), Selected Works, Vol. II.)

p. 287

Tolaris forced a meld on T’Pol in “Fusion.” T’Pol telling Archer of the event in sickbay was not shown, only referred to after the fact. The aftereffects of the forced meld were revealed in “Stigma” and cured in “Kir’Shara.”

My editor Margaret Clark deserves credit for pointing out (in response to my first-draft outline) how distressed T’Pol would surely be at the threat of a second forced meld.

p. 290

A V’hral is a Vulcan hour, equal to about 84.3 Earth minutes, according to the Vulcan calendar created by a fan named Marketa Zvelebil and used as the basis of the Vulcan calendars referenced in The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor’s Wing and DTI: Watching the Clock. That calendar site is no longer online but is available at the Internet Archive:

Chapter 21

p. 296

One of my main inspirations for Vabion and was Tobias Vaughn, villain of the 1968 Doctor Who serial “The Invasion”—which, rather similarly, involved an industrialist allying with a high-tech alien force that was using him to conquer the world. The production code for that serial was VV, and it was serial 46—hence Vabion’s access code.

p. 298

There’s no other indication in the book that the Ware only chooses “processors” of the right neurological configuration, but it stands to reason that it has some parameters for choosing whom to abduct. However, it’s possible that Vabion is making an assumption from incomplete data, or just trying to sweeten the deal.

Chapter 22

p. 304

Archer taught T’Pol about melding in “Affliction,” using what he had learned from carrying Surak’s katra.

p. 308

The tripartite balance Iloja refers to was between the Cardassian Central Command (the military), the Obsidian Order (the elite families), and the Detapa Council (to represent the masses). Una McCormack’s The Fall: The Crimson Shadow explains that the Obsidian Order was founded as an interfamily council to stem the violence between elite families that was devastating Cardassian society. Of course, it later evolved into a secret police and intelligence agency.

p. 310

According to the story “The Glories of the Hebitians” in the coffee-table art book New Worlds, New Civilizations, written by Michael Jan Friedman, the Cardassian Central Command began raiding other worlds and building its empire with financing gained from the looting of Hebitian tombs discovered in 2167, two years after this novel. So at the time of Iloja’s exile, Cardassia’s contact with other worlds would have come mostly through others visiting them, which is why Iloja needed to hitch a ride on an alien ship. Note that Cardassians were capable of interstellar travel before this; one of the captive processors in the Ware station in “Dead Stop” was Cardassian, and the Organians in “Observer Effect” noted that a Cardassian ship had previously visited the planet Enterprise was exploring. But they had not yet become a significant interstellar presence. Compare the way Earth sent out multiple colony expeditions and exploratory probes in its first few decades of warp travel, but only slowly built up its presence in space until the Warp 5 engine was perfected in 2151.

Chapter 23

p. 315

The Pebru were somewhat inspired in shape, though not in personality, by the dog in residence at my local bike shop, a chubby creature who waddles over to customers and flops down headfirst at their feet.

p. 323

It occurs to me that this scenario depends on Trip’s party not having long-range comms of their own. If we assume that “long-range” means subspace communications and that the distance involved is significantly greater than orbital altitude, then I can believe that 22nd-century communicators wouldn’t have the range. But the boarding party presumably has access to at least one shuttlepod. But I guess the problem is that it would take too long to convince Vabion of the need to reach a shuttlepod and then to actually get there. Still, I wish I’d thought of this in time to do something about it.

Chapter 24

p. 327

Sapporo is the capital of the aforementioned Hokkaido Prefecture. Presumably this is Kimura’s hometown.

p. 330

My depiction of Endeavour’s engine room is based on the conjectural design on The Enterprise Project’s Facebook gallery page, as well as on the warp reactor principles put forth on the main Enterprise Project site.

Chapter 25

p. 334

Star Trek often shows ships happening to find convenient nearby nebulae or asteroid fields to hide in. But space is mostly empty, which is why it’s called “space.” Most of the time, there shouldn’t be any convenient place to hide.

The “past encounters” Devna’s thinking of include the one between Enterprise and Harrad-Sar’s ship in “Bound.” The Orion ship was handily able to outmaneuver Enterprise at sublight.

p. 335

Morgan Kelly was established in TNG: “Power Play” as Shumar’s chief of security. As of now, all three canonical Essex crewmembers as of 2167—Bryce Shumar, Steven Mullen, and Morgan Kelly—are in place aboard the ship. “Power Play” did not specify whether Kelly was male or female, but I’ve chosen female for variety’s sake, as Michael Jan Friedman did in Starfleet: Year One. However, Friedman’s Lt. Kelly was a redhead, while mine is of African ancestry, since I wanted her to be a relative of Crewman J. Kelly from “Vox Sola.”

p. 341

And yes, folks, I am implying that Travis has experimented sexually with both men and women. Juan (Philip Anthony-Rodriguez) was established in “Horizon” as a close childhood friend of Travis’s, making him a reasonable candidate. Now, it’s been suggested before that if any ENT cast member were gay, it was probably Malcolm Reed, and Dominic Keating has even said he played him that way. However, Reed was written as strictly heterosexual in his interests, and while his behavior might be consistent with a closeted gay man in our era, I saw no reason why a gay man in the 22nd century would need to hide his preferences. If anyone in the cast was going to have same-sex interests, I wanted it to be someone more unexpected. Of course, every ENT character has been shown onscreen as having heterosexual interests and relationships, so any same-sex interest would have to be in addition to that. Granted, this is a fairly tentative reveal, since lots of people experiment in adolescence before settling on an adult preference. But it’s a seed that could potentially be built on in the future.

p. 342

It’s a myth that humans have only five senses. The famous five are our primary external senses, but we have distinct sensors for anywhere from 14 to 21 different things, including (beyond the basic five) balance and orientation, body position, muscle tension, temperature, pressure, pain, itching, hunger, thirst, and the passage of time. I’ve mentioned proprioception (literally “self-sensing,” awareness of one’s own body position and motion) in connection with Rennan Konya, the Betazoid security officer from SCE: Aftermath and TNG: Greater Than the Sum; he has the ability to read other’s proprioceptive sense and thus anticipate the moves they were about to make.

Chapter 26

p. 348

The details of the role of dilithium as a mediator for the warp reaction were established in the TNG Technical Manual by Sternbach & Okuda. Again, I’m indebted to The Enterprise Project’s page on the Warp 5 engine for the details of its anatomy.

p. 349

In TOS: “The Naked Time” (the source of “You can’t mix matter and antimatter cold,” thank you, Scotty), Kirk proposes a controlled implosion as an alternative, but Scotty says “That’s only a theory. It’s never been done.” Spock, of course, then works out the calculations and makes it happen (inadvertently inventing time travel in the process—see DTI: Forgotten History). But clearly the idea of a controlled implosion was already sufficiently established in theory for Kirk to know about it, even if it had never been achieved in practice. So someone had to have the idea well before Kirk’s time.

p. 353

Slapping a Vulcan was established as the standard awakening technique for a healing trance in TOS: “A Private Little War.”

The real reason that T’Pol can’t reach Trip telepathically is because the storylines are out of sync and I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of reconciling the timing. Looking at the date headings, though, it turns out that this scene probably falls sometime between the second and third scenes of Ch. 17, after the crew briefing about the Ware hub complex and before the attack on said complex. So it is possible that Trip is preoccupied with preparations for that attack. Or maybe there’s another in-story reason that will be revealed in Book 4….

p. 357

Karik-tor is the Vulcan word for “strengthen,” according to the Vulcan Language Dictionary.

The Maymora class was mentioned but unseen in “Breaking the Ice.” Memory Alpha speculates that it could be the class name of the D’Kyr-type combat cruiser; however, both the Romulan War novels and the Star Trek Online game have referred to that cruiser as the D’Kyr class. I suppose the Maymora class could be an earlier version of the D’Kyr class, but I have no firm opinion.

T’Khut, also called T’Kuht, T’Rukh, or The Watcher, is Vulcan’s companion planet. While Spock said in TOS: “The Man Trap” that “Vulcan has no moon,” both TAS: “Yesteryear” and the theatrical edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture show an enormous cratered world in the sky; thus, fandom has assumed the existence of a companion planet, referred to by various names. “T’Kuht” was its original spelling when it was introduced in the novel The Vulcan Academy Murders by Jean Lorrah, but “T’Khut” was the spelling used by Diane Duane in Spock’s World and has been the preferred spelling ever since. I previously referenced T’Khut in Watching the Clock, though I neglected to mention it in my annotations there.

Chapter 27

p. 362

My initial intent was to reveal the true origins of the Ware in this volume, but it turned out that I didn’t have room, so I had to scale back the story and introduce the Pebru as a red herring—responsible for the harm to Vanot and the other pre-warp worlds, but not for the Ware itself. While I feel that’s effective at raising the stakes for Book 4, and that it’s appropriate to keep the focus on the Ware as the primary threat, I do wish I’d had room in this manuscript to flesh out the Pebru somewhat.

p. 364

The sky whales, of course, are from A Choice of Futures. The fact that the Vanotli even know what “whales” are suggests that there’s more parallel evolution going on.

p. 370

VGR: “The Disease” established that Starfleet had clear regulations in place pertaining to sexual fraternization with aliens. However, no such regulations were ever mentioned in TOS, TNG, or DS9 in any of the numerous instances where fraternization occurred. Either the rules were mainly honored in the breach, or it took a very long time for Starfleet to get around to codifying them.

Chapter 28

No notes.


p. 377

Although I used the family name S’chn T’gai and the clan name Hgrtcha for consistency with their use in The Tears of Eridanus, they were originally coined by Barbara Hambly in her TOS novel Ishmael. It’s unclear which of these was meant to be the unpronounceable family name mentioned in TOS: “This Side of Paradise” and “Journey to Babel.” “S’chn T’gai” is explicitly the family name, but it doesn’t seem all that difficult to pronounce—unless the apostrophes represent some kind of strange sibilants or clicks, but there’s no evidence of such things in the spoken Vulcan we’ve heard over the years. Maybe it just sounds like some really embarrassing Vulcan phrase unless you get the intonation just right?

Iloja was described in DS9: “Destiny” as a “serial poet.” Ideally I would’ve liked to delve into what that term means, but I don’t know poetry well enough to figure it out.

p. 378

Sarek of Vulcan will become both a computer expert and an accomplished diplomat. As it happens, his wife Amanda will be a linguist, so it’s interesting that “Two Days and Two Nights” gave Skon the same profession. For what it’s worth, in The Undiscovered Country, Spock attributed a famous Sherlock Holmes maxim to an ancestor of his, suggesting that he was descended from Holmes, or more likely from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; so there’s some detective pedigree on his mother’s side as well. (Particularly if you buy the fan theory that Amanda Grayson had an acrobatic ancestor named Dick…)

Skon’s description of Surak’s family life is informed by Spock’s World by Diane Duane and the Vulcan’s Soul trilogy by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz.

p. 379

Okay, you all knew going in that the baby was going to be named Sarek, so I didn’t have to keep it secret. In the first draft, I revealed the name much earlier. But it just didn’t read as well. The naming of the baby worked better as a final payoff, a climax to the arc; and explaining its meaning carried more weight if it came at the end of the story. It’s not a surprise, but surprise is not the only reason for deferring a payoff. Besides, it is a surprise to the characters, and a story is more authentic if it’s shaped with the characters’ reactions in mind rather than the audience’s.

p. 380

The epilogue of To Brave the Storm, set in 2186, reveals that T’Pol will eventually become an ambassador.

p. 381

We know that Tobin Dax will eventually have multiple children, one of whom, Raifi, “put Tobin through hell” (DS9: “Nor the Battle to the Strong”). Tobin will, however, be unable to discipline his children no matter what they do (DS9: “Afterimage”).

As discussed in the p. 53 note above, only two of Dax’s male hosts had children. Since Torias was joined for less than a year and Joran for only six months, the other father must have been Curzon, though nothing has been established about Curzon’s offspring. We know that Dax was a husband twice, and DS9: “Rejoined” established that Torias married Nilani Kahn; so either Tobin or Curzon must have had their children out of wedlock. Curzon is by far the more likely candidate for that.

p. 383

Monotremes are the class of animals that includes the platypus and echidna (spiny anteater). Pebru are closer to the echidna in shape, though they’re covered in soft fur rather than spines.


p. 385
Yes, I had an ancestor named Zadok Alonzo Bennett. Zadok was named for a figure in the Bible, probably the one who was High Priest of Israel. The Bennett clan was apparently a lot more religious a few generations back. There was also a Philander Bennett in there, back when “philander” was understood literally to mean “lover of men” (same root as “philanthropy”).

  1. Mike Estes
    June 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    I like the idea of the USS Vol’Rala. You should make a line of ships that bore that name as well, that could go well into the late 24th/early 25th century.

  2. Bernd
    November 13, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    In my ebook the Vulcan character on page 277-280 is called T’Syra. Obviously Amazon didn’t change anything.

  3. August 1, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Just wanted to give you a heads up that something strange has happened to the formatting here. The table cells and text are overflowing past the column, making big chunks of it unreadable.

    It seems to be a browser-specific thing? Taking a look at in in Firefox it’s fine, but in Chrome and Edge it’s doing what’s in that screenshot. Doesn’t look like the newer formatting style you’re using in your later annotations is having this issue at least, it’s just this style.

    • August 2, 2018 at 8:39 am

      Is it just that one annotations page that has the problem, or are there others?

      • August 2, 2018 at 9:02 pm

        Oh, after looking through all the others, it looks like it’s just this one, yes.

    • August 7, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Okay, I’ve fixed the table width problem by converting it to a non-table format. I think the problem was that I had a table inside a table (the list of task force ships under p. 209) and that was screwing up the display width. I couldn’t get it to change the table width without losing the table formatting altogether, so I just went with that.

  4. ED
    September 10, 2019 at 9:52 am

    May I suggest that a ‘Serial Poet’ might most logically be interpreted as one whose poems each stand on their own, but combine to form a wider whole when read together? (Either the living image of a wider universe or some numinous moment in time or, again, of some story greater than any single perspective can encompass it).

    Being a Cardassian and a Cardassian poet to boot, it seems highly likely Iloja of Prim has an abiding interest in the Generational Epic and working as a ‘Serial Poet’ may be one way of contributing to that Tradition.

    • September 10, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Seems reasonable.

      • Michael Estes
        October 27, 2019 at 2:30 am

        Hello Christopher. My name is Michael Estes. I am just wondering that with the destruction of the USS Vol’Rala, will there be a possible successor to the vessel?

        On Tue, Sep 10, 2019, 7:55 AM Christopher L. Bennett: Written Worlds wrote:

        > christopherlbennett commented: “Seems reasonable.” >

      • October 27, 2019 at 4:50 am

        Since Vol’Rala is Andorian for “Enterprise,” I kind of intended the later Enterprises themselves to be the successors. But it’s always possible, I guess.

      • Michael Estes
        October 27, 2019 at 10:52 am

        Fair enough. I just thought that with there still being an 80 year gap between the Vol’Rala (destroyed 2165) and the USS Enterprise (launched in 2245) i thought that the name could possibly be reused.

        On Sun, Oct 27, 2019, 2:50 AM Christopher L. Bennett: Written Worlds wrote:

        > christopherlbennett commented: “Since Vol’Rala is Andorian for > “Enterprise,” I kind of intended the later Enterprises themselves to be the > successors. But it’s always possible, I guess.” >

      • October 27, 2019 at 11:18 am

        The reason for that gap is addressed in Live By the Code.

  1. August 7, 2018 at 1:32 pm
  2. July 2, 2020 at 11:12 am

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