Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire

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Overview

Still on Romulus in pursuit of his goal of reunifying the Vulcans and Romulans, Spock finds himself in the middle of a massive power struggle. In the wake of the assassination of the Praetor and the Senate, the Romulans have cleaved in two. While Empress Donatra has led her nascent Imperial Romulan State to establish relations with the Federation, Praetor Tal’aura has guided the original Romulan Star Empire toward joining the newly formed Typhon Pact. But numerous factions within the two Romulan nations vie for ...
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Star Trek: Typhon Pact #3: Rough Beasts of Empire

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Overview

Still on Romulus in pursuit of his goal of reunifying the Vulcans and Romulans, Spock finds himself in the middle of a massive power struggle. In the wake of the assassination of the Praetor and the Senate, the Romulans have cleaved in two. While Empress Donatra has led her nascent Imperial Romulan State to establish relations with the Federation, Praetor Tal’aura has guided the original Romulan Star Empire toward joining the newly formed Typhon Pact. But numerous factions within the two Romulan nations vie for power and undivided leadership, and Machiavellian plots unfold as forces within and without the empires conduct high-stakes political maneuvers.

Meanwhile, four years after Benjamin Sisko returned from the Celestial Temple, circumstances have changed, his hopes for a peaceful life on Bajor with his wife and daughter beginning to slip away. After temporarily rejoining Starfleet for an all-hands-on-deck battle against the Borg, he must consider an offer to have him return for a longer stint. Beset by troubling events, he seeks spiritual guidance, facing demons new and old, including difficult memories from his time in the last Federation-Tzenkethi war.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439160817
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Series: Star Trek Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David R. George III has written more than a dozen Star Trek novels, including The Lost Era: One Constant Star, The Fall: Revelation and Dust, Allegiance in Exile, the Typhon Pact novels Raise the Dawn, Plagues of Night, and Rough Beasts of Empire, as well as the New York Times bestseller The Lost Era: Serpents Among the Ruins. He also cowrote the television story for the first-season Star Trek: Voyager episode “Prime Factors.” Additionally, David has written nearly twenty articles for Star Trek magazine. His work has appeared on both the New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller lists, and his television episode was nominated for a Sci-Fi Universe magazine award. You can chat with David about his writing at Facebook.com/DRGIII.
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Read an Excerpt

1

The blade tore through his flesh with cruel ease.

Agony erupted in Spock’s midsection, a red-hot ember blazing at the center of an instantly expanding inferno. He grabbed for the knife protruding from his abdomen, for the hand that wielded it, but as he staggered backward a step under the assault, he reflexively threw his arms wide in an attempt to retain his balance. He knew he had to prevent himself from falling, vulnerable, before his unknown, half-seen attacker. Loosed from his grip, Spock’s handheld beacon clattered to the rocky ground, its narrow beam sending long shadows careering about the subterranean remnants of the ancient Romulan settlement. In silhouette, visage concealed by darkness, his assailant loomed above him, broad-shouldered and a head taller.

Spock struggled to concentrate, understanding on the heels of the ambush that he likely would have little time to defend himself. Seeking to rule the pain screaming through his body, he focused on the other details of sensation. He felt the cool metal of the knife against his now-exposed right side, even as his blood rushed warmly from the newly opened wound. He smelled the musty scent of age and abandonment that swathed the underground ruins, commingled with the fetid odor of the modern city’s sewer system, which ran nearby. The electric tang of copper filled his mouth.

Spock had tasted death before, and recognized it. Intense memories surged in a flash through his mind. Piloting the faltering Galileo above Taurus II, the heat in the smoky main cabin climbing as the shuttlecraft and its crew began plummeting back into the atmosphere. On the planet Neural, hearing the report and then feeling the strike of the lead projectile as it penetrated his back, mangling his viscera. In the Mutara Nebula, repairing Enterprise’s warp drive, and suffering the lethal effects of extreme radiation as he did so.

But then the images slipped, melting away in a flat wash of color. The past faded from Spock’s mind as quickly as it had arisen, and thoughts of the future suddenly seemed unreachable. Only the excruciating present remained, and only at a remove. Loss of consciousness beckoned, and beyond it—with no ready receptacle for his katra—so too did nonexistence.

The would-be assassin closed the small distance, the single pace, that Spock had put between them. The attacker seized the handle of the knife and twisted the blade within the ragged wound, doubtless searching for vital organs. With the pain intensifying, Spock reversed course and reached with his mind for his physical distress, embraced it, clung to it as a means of preventing himself from passing out. He summoned his strength to fight back, only to discover that he had already taken hold of the hand clutching the weapon. As a Vulcan, even at his advanced age—a year short of his sesquicentenary—he possessed corporal might exceeding that of the individuals of many humanoid species. He could not fend off his assailant, though, perhaps owing to his compromised condition—or more likely, he thought, because his adversary enjoyed commensurate bodily prowess.

Romulan, Spock thought, though in the inconsistent lighting, he could not be certain. But the conclusion followed, considering the aversion of the Romulan government—of both Romulan governments—to his efforts to reunify their people with their Vulcan cousins. It also made sense given his current location, deep beneath Ki Baratan, the capital city of Romulus, and the very heart of the Romulan Star Empire. Few natives, let alone outworlders, knew of even the existence of the old dug-out structures, much less how to access them. Buried by both history and the foundations of the present-day metropolis, much of the belowground, stone-lined tunnel system had been converted long ago into sewage conduits.

A patina of perspiration coated Spock’s face as he strained to push his attacker’s hand away, to drive out the knife from where it had breached his body. He could do no more than keep his assailant at bay, but he felt his own vigor continuing to wane and knew that he would soon fold. A haze once more drifted across his awareness. He didn’t know how much longer he could remain conscious.

On the threshold of desperation, Spock peered past his attacker and gauged their distance from the far wall, ascertaining their position within the passage. Then with all the force he could bring to bear, he swiftly raised one hand and brought the side of it down against his assailant’s wrist. The blade jumped within Spock, causing a fresh wave of pain to slice through the lower part of his torso. At the same time, his attacker cried out, his yelp echoing through the tunnel, his hold on the haft of the knife slackening. Spock quickly retreated one long stride, then another, and a third and fourth. Stopping where he judged necessary, he steeled himself and yanked the weapon from his body. More blood issued from the wound, the warm, green plasma saturating his clothing.

Spock reseated the knife in his grasp, its point outward, arming himself. His attacker faced him but made no immediate move other than to reach up and wrap his other hand around his injured wrist. For a moment, stillness settled over the tableau. Spock could hear his own tattered breathing, could feel the rapid throb of his heart.

He knew he would have to act. Though the confrontation had reached a standstill now that he held a weapon, he could not in his condition maintain that impasse for long; soon enough, he would falter. For the same reason, retreat seemed as unlikely a solution.

Spock tightened his grip about the knife, preparing to engage the enemy. But then a tendril of irritation reached him, a fragment of emotion carried into his mind by an empathic projection—a strong empathic projection. At once, Spock realized that he had not been assaulted by a Romulan. He also saw how the truth underlying that fact could aid him with the rudimentary plan he had formed.

He lifted his arm and whipped it downward in a single, rapid motion, hurling the knife at his foe. Light glinted along the blade as the weapon passed through slivers of illumination. Spock’s attacker nimbly jumped aside, turning to watch the flight of the knife as it shot past and disappeared into shadows untouched by Spock’s lost beacon. For an instant, the face of Spock’s assailant became visible in a patch of reflected light: a bald skull, mottled flesh, large pointed ears curling outward from his head, raised brow and cheekbones surrounding sunken eyes, a jagged line of teeth.

The Reman did not chase after the knife, but spun back around, his features receding once more into the gloom. He reached for no other weapon that he might be carrying, but he bent his knees and tensed his body, obviously about to spring toward his prey. Spock knew that the Reman would require nothing but his hands to complete the slaying he’d begun.

With virtually no time and no other opportunity left to him, Spock willfully surrendered his mental discipline. His own fears, both intellectual and emotional, soared within him. Though Spock had long ago accepted the reality—indeed, the necessity—of the feelings his mind generated, and though he regularly allowed himself to experience what he imprecisely regarded as his “human half,” he still sustained considerable control over his internal life. As he faced his own mortality directly and without restraint, though, a surfeit of powerful emotions threatened to overwhelm him.

Instead of battling his fear, Spock latched onto it. He searched for and found the anger accompanying it: anger at the violence perpetrated against him, anger that his death would forestall his attempts at reunification, anger that he would be forcibly and permanently removed from the lives of those about whom he cared. Then he deliberately dropped his mental guard, pulling down the defenses he maintained about his mind that protected him from external forces.

He immediately felt the full, robust empathic presence of the Reman. Spock allowed it to sweep over and through him, to buffet and suffuse him with impatience, frustration, and a determination to kill. Rather than battling against it, Spock added to it, layering it with his own anger. As the redoubled emotions grew into a rage, he redirected it to his attacker.

The Reman flinched, cocking his head to one side for a second. Then he launched himself forward, his body uncoiling as though released from great pressure. He came at Spock fast, lifting his hands before him as he closed the gap.

Spock remained motionless, calculating that he would have but one chance to save himself. He judged the speed at which the Reman moved, the man’s long gait devouring the distance between then, and still Spock waited. He watched the long, bony fingers his assailant clearly meant to wrap around his neck.

Finally, with the tips of the Reman’s curved fingernails nearly upon him, Spock moved. He threw himself backward onto the ground, simultaneously pulling his knees in toward his body. The pain emanating from his midsection swelled to almost unimaginable proportions, and his vision began to cloud at the margins. Still, he willed himself not to stop.

Unable to halt his momentum, the Reman overbalanced, but as he fell forward, his fingers found their target and encircled Spock’s throat. Spock felt the touch of his assailant’s cold, clammy hands on his neck, along with the weight of the Reman’s body descending atop him. Their gazes met at close range, their faces mere centimeters apart.

Spock thrust his legs upward. His feet connected with the Reman’s hips, causing a massive jolt of agony to rip like lightning through the center of Spock’s body. But the action continued his attacker’s momentum, and the Reman hurtled over and past him.

Spock felt his assailant’s hands jerk free from around his throat, then heard a meaty crunch as the Reman’s head struck the near side of the tunnel. Under normal circumstances, Spock would have found the sound repugnant, but in this case, it proved satisfying, and a cause for hope. The Reman slumped to the ground, his right boot coming down hard on Spock’s face. Spock felt the cartilage of his nose splinter and blood spurt from his nostrils.

He waited, not to learn whether or not he had incapacitated his attacker, but because he could do nothing else. He felt enclosed within his pain, unable to escape its un-relenting clutches. If the Reman recovered and resumed his assault, there would be no struggle.

For minutes, both combatants remained still. Gradually, Spock focused on the frayed whispers of his own breathing. As best he could in his depleted condition, he raised his mental defenses and reestablished control of his emotions. He sought to rein in his pain, but met with only limited success.

When at last he felt capable, Spock pushed himself up from the tunnel floor. Dirt clung to the blood on his hands and clothing. Beside him, the Reman did not move.

Once he’d stood up fully, Spock applied pressure to his wound. It still bled, and would until he either received medical treatment, or perished. He possessed no means of sending for assistance. Not long ago, the praetor had sent capital security forces into the tunnels beneath the city in search of the Reunification Movement. Several of Spock’s comrades had been lost, tracked down via their own communicators. As a result, those in the Ki Baratan cell had agreed in the short term to cease carrying the devices.

Spock regarded the man who had attacked him. Half-covered by shadows, the Reman lay prone, one arm bent awkwardly beneath him. A dark pool had formed by his head. Though the movements of his chest seemed shallow, he continued to breathe.

Spock considered ending the Reman’s life—via talshaya, or by taking a rock to his head, or simply by smothering him. Beyond having to answer the moral questions raised by such a choice, Spock didn’t believe he currently possessed the strength to do so. Instead, he followed the lone beam of light in the tunnel to its source and retrieved his handheld beacon. Then he resumed his trek to the present location of his Reunification cell.

Spock had walked nearly half a kilometer before he collapsed, unconscious, to the ground.

© 2011 CBS Studios Inc

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 2, 2011

    True-to-the-Show Characterizations? Daring, Bold Changes to the Trek Status Quo? Not Here.

    The last two or three years of Trek fiction has really shaken things up. The Borg are gone, the Klingons are moving in a more well-rounded, not-just-battle direction, the Romulans have been split into two competing states (one in the anti-Federation Typhon Pact, one quite cozy with the Feds as far as Romulans go), the Typhon Pact has been created, and almost every major living character is moving on with their life in a believable way.

    In other words, I had really hoped that we were moving into a golden age of Trek fiction where 1) the status quo would be allowed to change and move beyond what we've seen in the shows, and 2) characters would actually be encouraged to move past their roles in the show in consistent but exciting ways.

    This book actively works against those two hopes of mine. I'm going to try not to spoil the ending, but if you don't want to be able to figure out what happens, then don't read further.

    1) The splitting of the Romulan people into the Romulan Star Empire and the Imperial Romulan State was one of the most interesting developments for that whole race in years. It seemed to give all kinds of possibilities to the Romulans as both adversaries and allies. The threat of civil war loomed, and lots of green-blooded conflict seemed imminent. Gosh, those were good times, when I felt like Trek fiction had something surprising to offer.

    2) Early in the novel (so this doesn't spoil the ending), Sisko leaves his family to avoid a vague "prophecy" that he would suffer if he married Kassidy Yates. That's right, Sisko fans and Avery Brooks: Sisko leaves his family. As another reviewer on another site put it, if this had been an episode, I think Brooks would have refused to act in it. Even before this novel begins, Sisko goes from a bold man of courage to being a sniveling, anti-social jerk who abandons his young daughter because he's afraid that some random event might hurt her. I can't conceive of the character doing this even for half of a book, and this novel spends way too much time trying to explain/justify Sisko's decisions.

    The Typhon Pact novels have been unfortunately lacking in narrative drive, in my opinion, but this one takes the cake. I've been extremely enthused about Trek fiction since the events leading up to the Destiny Trilogy, but I'm afraid that my hopes will turn out to have been unfounded. Another misfire like this one and I'll take my reading dollars elsewhere, I think.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2011

    A good read...

    I have enjoyed this book, seeing that Capt. Sisko has some difficult choices and how it plays out makes the book a worthwhile read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2002

    Part of addicting series

    I'm addicted to this current DS9 storyline, but the first book in this "four book series" (don't let the "four book series" business fool you - this story is 10 books and counting now!) was a real disappointment to me. It was incredibly contrived, slow and very, very padded. I put it down for several weeks before picking it back up. It advances the stories it needs to, but at an excruciating pace, and uses bizarrely unneccessary devices to induce suspense. It's a book, not a TV show. Several things about the series as a whole have irritated me: 1: The story is spanning several book series (and is being dishonest about it) including jumping to series like the "Section 31" books 2: this book will be confusing to read if you have NOT already read the previous books ..i.e., it makes no introductory explanations of previous books. This is NOT a standalone series! 3: Previously established characters like Ro Laren are NOT behaving in character 4: it touts itself as the "relaunch" of the DS9 series when it is not, and it is confusing to attempt to read it that way. Why is Ro alive and on DS9? Why is she not in the brig? Why are she and Quark...gurgle...flirting? I can't pretend I'm not going to continue reading this series, but this book was difficult for me and I'm getting frustrated that the series is not concluding as promised. Avatar, Avatar 2, Abyss, Demons of Light and Darkness (book four of seven in Gateways series), a few chapters in book 7 of Gateways, the four books in the Mission Gamma series and Rising Son....These are all the books that deal with this DS9 "relaunch". That's THREE "standalone" series come and gone with no conclusion. Get with it, or suck it up and make it clear this is an indefinite serial series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I was surprised to read about Capt. Sisko's character developmen

    I was surprised to read about Capt. Sisko's character development. I don't recall reading any books that took place between the time DS9 ended and this book that suggested the Ben Sisko I grew up with would have this kind of turn. The usual strong, decision maker that lead the Federation through the Dominion conflict is developed into an overthinking, detached emotionalist that seems unable to truly grasp the reason & results of his actions. Don't get me wrong, there is probably a reason to the deconstruction of this pillar of Federation lore, all of which served little purpose in the book’s overall progression.
    Speaking of plot progression, the other half of the book dealing with Spock bodes little to the Typhon Pact Arc. Spock's work with the Reunification Movement & as a Federation ally is focused on amid the ebb and flow of the Romulan political machine and internal workings. Very few of the events captured in this book make it indispensable to overall Typhon arc. Much like seeing the credits in Transformers Revenge of the Fallen & Dark of the Moon the best part of this book was when it was finally over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    This the vip room

    Vip only

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Mediocre

    There were three stories. The first and the last one were palatable. The second was terrible. Thought it was written for teens. Little science without deep conversation, introspection or complexity. Substitute the second story and the book may have been worth the cost.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    This is a good story that incorporates many of episodes of Start

    This is a good story that incorporates many of episodes of Startrek that featured Dr. McCoy. It centers around the episode City on the Edge of Forever, creating two timelines for McCoy's life. I found the story very entertaining, sparking memories of episodes from the original series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Amazing Story, Actually Two!

    Always having considered "City on The Edge of Forever" one of the great episodes of the Original Series, the concept of this book - and the other two in the trilogy - sounded intriguing. If you have looked at the description of the storyline and feel the same way. Let me assure you, the author does not dissappoint the reader.

    The level of character development weaved into two alternate timelines and presented from the perspective of our beloved Doctor (as well as shipmates both familiar and some that might take a moment to remember) is crafted by the author with such care that you will come away feeling you know these characters, especially Leonard McCoy, even more.

    This one is a winner, in any timeline!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    To jess

    I meqn 5 th page sorru

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    Jess

    Kk

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    Lonaika

    Elena?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    srry to intrude

    Star school all results is perfect

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    Room A14

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2012

    Weapons Room

    Galaxy Defenders

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    Strong

    This book connects seamlessly with multiple dangling plotlines from previous novels and tells a gripping, three-dimensional tale.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2011

    Disappointing

    A two pronged story with Spock and Sisko. The Spock sections are OK. The Sisko sections are disappointing. His actions are not in keeping with how I understand his character and the sections are slow. The whole book could have been done in about half the pages without missing anything. Not much action. If you're really into the Romulans, you'll appreciate it. Lots of detail on their government.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Sad Benjamin is sad.

    I've always loved is Captain Sisko, and I don't mind a spot of brooding... but "Rough Beasts" would be more accurate if the cover portrayed him as wearing eyeliner and cutting himself. Not that it's poorly written, just a matter of personal taste. I just have trouble dealing this level of angstipation from any character that doesn't sparkle.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2011

    Ok

    This was an okay book. It was not as good as the others but the stories were engaging enough

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    I don't recommend this book

    I read half the book and thought it was boring and had no direction or plot. I would not recommend it even if they gave it to me for free!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    Good book for Star Trek fans

    This book explores an alternative stories for events that are familiar to most Trekkies.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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