Star Trek: The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms

( 14 )

Overview

Following the resolution of the fertility crisis that nearly caused their extinction, the Andorian people now stand ready to rejoin the United Federation of Planets. The return of one of its founding member worlds is viewed by many as the first hopeful step beyond the uncertainty and tragedy that have overshadowed recent events in the Alpha Quadrant. But as the Federation looks to the future and the special election to name President Bacco’s permanent successor, time is running out to apprehend those responsible ...

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Overview

Following the resolution of the fertility crisis that nearly caused their extinction, the Andorian people now stand ready to rejoin the United Federation of Planets. The return of one of its founding member worlds is viewed by many as the first hopeful step beyond the uncertainty and tragedy that have overshadowed recent events in the Alpha Quadrant. But as the Federation looks to the future and the special election to name President Bacco’s permanent successor, time is running out to apprehend those responsible for the respected leader’s brutal assassination. Even as elements of the Typhon Pact are implicated for the murder, Admiral William Riker holds key knowledge of the true assassins— a revelation that could threaten the fragile Federation-Cardassian alliance.

Questions and concerns also continue to swell around Bacco’s interim successor, Ishan Anjar, who uses the recent bloodshed to further a belligerent, hawkish political agenda against the Typhon Pact. With the election looming, Riker dispatches his closest friend, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, in a desperate attempt to uncover the truth. But as Picard and the Enterprise crew pursue the few remaining clues, Riker must act on growing suspicions that someone within Ishan’s inner circle has been in league with the assassins from the very beginning . . . .

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476718996
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Series: Star Trek Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 143,353
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dayton Ward is a software developer, having become a slave to Corporate America after spending eleven years in the US Marine Corps. In addition to the numerous credits he shares with friend and cowriter Kevin Dilmore, he is the author of several Star Trek novels, the science fiction novels The Last World War, Counterstrike: The Last World War, Book II and The Genesis Protocol as well as short stories which have appeared in more than twenty anthologies. He’s also written for web sites such as Syfy.com, Tor.com, and StarTrek.com. He lives in Kansas City with his wife and daughters, but he’s a Florida native and maintains a torrid long-distance romance with his beloved Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Find him on the web at DaytonWard.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Star Trek: The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms


  • “And just as we did more than two centuries ago, the people of Andor stand once again with the United Federation of Planets, and we are humbled that you have welcomed us now as you did then: as friends and allies. As such, we Andorians rededicate ourselves to the principles that have guided this unrivaled coalition from its first days, speaking as one voice for freedom, for security, for the right of self-determination. We renew our pledge to join with our fellow beings from worlds across the Federation, serving and protecting each of its citizens as though they were born of our own world.”

Thunderous applause stopped Kellessar zh’Tarash as she stood before an open session of the Parliament Andoria. Propping himself against the edge of his desk, Admiral William Riker watched the speech as it had been recorded for later broadcast across the quadrant via the Federation News Service. The current leader of the Andorian government’s Progressive Caucus seemed almost regal on the large viewscreen that dominated the far wall of Riker’s new office at Starfleet Command Headquarters.

“She certainly knows how to blow the doors off the joint, doesn’t she?” Riker asked, gesturing toward the screen.

Seated in an overstuffed chair in one corner of the office that afforded her an unfettered view of the broadcast, Deanna Troi turned from the screen to regard her husband. “She’s quite something. The people of Andor seem to have a great deal of faith in her, and her support looks to be growing across the Federation.”

On the viewscreen, zh’Tarash continued. “Though we may have lost our way for a time, we are reminded that the Federation’s compassion and sense of unity made us a stronger world than if we had continued to stand alone. Indeed, those very ideals were exhibited yet again during a time of dire need, and it is our hope that we will have the opportunity to express our eternal gratitude for the service the Federation has provided to our world and our people. It is this cooperative spirit that has compelled me to seek the office of President of the United Federation of Planets.

“If it is the will of the people that I am allowed to serve you in this manner, I will commit myself to demonstrating that the Federation is deserving of its place of prominence in the cosmos, not through threat of force but by continuing to extend the hand of friendship. It was Nanietta Bacco’s firm belief that no sentient species in this galaxy could have a greater friend or ally, and I promise you that I will spend each day proving that she was right. This I pledge, to every citizen of this Federation, which we Andorians are honored once again to call our family.”

“Computer, pause playback,” Riker said, and the image on the screen froze as members of the Parliament Andoria were rising to their feet to once more applaud zh’Tarash. Folding his arms, the admiral blew out his breath, shaking his head. “I’ll bet Ishan is climbing the walls right about now.”

“Polls indicate an overwhelming approval of Andor’s readmission,” Troi said. “It’s an interesting change from surveys taken after their secession.”

“I remember.” Public reaction had been intense following the explosive announcement three years earlier that Andor, one of the Federation’s founding members, had decided to withdraw its membership following a close, tumultuous vote by the Andorian government. Common sentiments had included feelings of anger and betrayal, owing in large part to a lack of knowledge of the events leading up to the unprecedented decision. It had been reported that Andor’s secession was triggered by knowledge given to them by the Typhon Pact that Starfleet had examples of alien technology and information that might have led to a cure for an escalating reproductive predicament that was threatening the eventual extinction of the Andorian people.

While that was true in and of itself, what was only now being told to the public’s satisfaction were bits and pieces of the larger story surrounding the still-classified nature of Operation Vanguard and the data and materials it had collected, which were all that remained of the ancient race known as the Shedai. Chief among the discoveries made more than a century ago was the so-called “Shedai Meta-Genome,” which Starfleet had found to carry enormous potential to expand or even redefine any number of scientific and medical principles. After everything that had transpired during Starfleet’s all-but-disastrous attempts to understand the Shedai and the awesome power they once had commanded, someone within the Federation hierarchy had decided that the entire project should be buried and forgotten, citing the potential for unchecked abuse should such knowledge fall into the wrong hands.

Though Starfleet had shoved the collected data and materials into the depths of a classified archive facility and consigned almost everyone who had survived the operation to relative obscurity, other parties who had acquired information and understanding into the Shedai continued to perform their own research. One such group was the Tholian Assembly, who, after emerging from their normal seclusion to join the Typhon Pact, had approached Andor with the knowledge they now possessed, having discovered that the Meta-Genome held the potential to end forever the planet’s fertility crisis. The Tholians also had managed to spin the truth about Starfleet’s involvement just far enough to paint it and the Federation as having somehow betrayed the Andorian people by not sharing with them their own cache of information about the Shedai and the Meta-Genome.

And the rest, Riker mused, as they say, is history.

“Even though the full story behind Operation Vanguard remains classified,” he said, pushing away from his desk and moving to the window set into his office’s rear wall, “the parts Starfleet’s been releasing seem to be appeasing the public.” His own knowledge of the top-secret project did not extend much beyond the official information releases distributed by Starfleet Command to the press, and Riker knew that the bulk of the operation’s history likely would remained cloaked in shadow for years if not decades to come. “They’re being smart about it, focusing on the good it’s done for Andor, even though the whole thing would never have happened if not for Julian Bashir.” The former chief medical officer of Deep Space 9 had accessed the classified Shedai data and used it to develop a cure for Andor’s dilemma, and while the Andorians considered him a hero, Starfleet had no choice but to charge him with espionage and possibly even treason. At this moment, arrangements were being finalized for Bashir’s return to Earth for trial. If there was a way to save the doctor from permanent disgrace and incarceration, Riker had yet to conceive of it.

One problem at a time, Admiral.

“It doesn’t hurt that zh’Tarash is advocating using the entire affair as the catalyst for reaffirming Andor’s bond with the Federation,” Troi said. “Polls indicate her popularity is growing every day. At the rate she’s gaining on Ishan, this could end up being a very close election.”

“Don’t count Ishan out yet. There’s still plenty of time for him to pull a rabbit out of his hat.”

The upcoming special election to select a successor to the late President Nanietta Bacco now was mere weeks away, in keeping with Federation law that such proceedings were required within sixty days after a sitting president’s death or permanent removal from office. It now had been more than a month since Bacco’s assassination during the dedication of the new Deep Space 9 and the nomination of a president pro tempore to hold the office for the period leading up to the election. For this, the Federation Council had selected Ishan Anjar, a relatively junior council member representing the planet Bajor. Ishan had been serving in this capacity for less than a year at the time of his appointment, which many within the Federation government and Starfleet had viewed as a questionable choice, made as it was while preliminary evidence had implicated a Bajoran as Bacco’s assassin. There were those who believed Ishan’s selection was intended as a symbolic gesture to the people of Bajor, to demonstrate that the Federation would not allow the heinous actions of one individual to undermine its relationship with an entire civilization.

With the special election drawing ever nearer, the two front runners had staked out their platforms, each opting to place themselves on the opposite sides of what had become the hasty campaign’s key issue: security. Ishan Anjar was advocating a much more proactive stance with respect to the Federation’s role in interstellar politics, wanting to prevent future threats from enemies like the Borg or even more “conventional” adversaries like the Typhon Pact. Though Kellessar zh’Tarash was expressing similar sentiments, her vision was more in line with what many—Riker included—considered to be bedrock Federation principles, with peaceful coexistence being the ideal goal even while standing ready to meet whatever threat might present itself. Many had noted that there existed only a fine distinction between the two philosophies, but the relevant differences in attitude all were to be found within that narrow rift. Ishan was encouraging a more aggressive stance with respect to potential conflicts, even putting forth the notion that preemptive action was justified against verified targets presenting clear and imminent danger to Federation interests. Amity could be maintained, he reasoned, but any threat, no matter how benign it might appear on the surface, had to be met with overwhelming force.

Peace through superior firepower. Riker released an irritated grunt at his own dour joke. Despite a lifetime devoted to Starfleet service even after all the threats he had faced, such an attitude still sounded alien to him. It certainly was not in keeping the oath he had sworn, and while many railed against such a fundamental shift in thinking, Ishan Anjar seemed to be enjoying the growing support from a vocal segment of the population still reeling from the loss of a beloved leader.

“If Ishan wins the election,” Troi said, rising from her seat to join Riker at the window, “there’s no telling how far he’ll go to get what he wants. Just based on what we believe he’s done to this point, the possibilities are frightening.”

In light of recent revelations, Riker had been forced to consider the very distinct possibility that Bacco’s assassination and everything that had followed was part of some larger plan with the ultimate goal of elevating Ishan to the presidency in order to push antagonistic policies that, though motivated by the legitimate cause of securing the Federation against possible enemies, ultimately would lead to war with the Typhon Pact. On this matter, Ishan Anjar had spoken at length, citing his own experience as a Bajoran living under the oppressive rule of Cardassian Occupation. Never again, the interim president had vowed, should anyone be forced into such a hellish existence.

As for Ishan’s extraordinary career trajectory, it had become obvious to Riker and others that it all had been orchestrated by Ishan’s close confidant and former chief of staff, Galif jav Velk. Having served as a member of the Federation Council’s support staff since before Ishan’s arrival, Velk had a deserved reputation as someone who suffered no fools while knowing how to get things done, even if it meant ruffled feathers, bruised egos, or bloody noses. The Tellarite’s stance with respect to the issue of Federation security, like Ishan’s, was well-known and widely regarded, particularly in the wake of the Borg invasion that had taken place four years earlier and driven the Federation to within a hairsbreadth of annihilation.

“The question I’ve been asking myself,” Riker said, “is how much can Ishan do without his biggest cheerleader? If Velk was really propping him up behind the scenes, how far can Ishan go without him? Was Velk the one with the contacts—and the guts—to pull off all of this?”

Troi shrugged. “It’s too bad you can’t ask him.”

Insight into the true extent of Velk’s involvement in pushing Ishan’s plans had become apparent after intelligence data revealed the location of the assassins responsible for President Bacco’s murder. Tzenkethi agents had been implicated in the conspiracy and supposedly could be found on a remote, unimportant planet on the fringes of Federation space. Velk had dispatched to the planet a special-operations team that had included Commander Tuvok, Lieutenant Commander Nog, and Riker’s “brother,” Thomas. Upon arriving at the planet, the team had discovered that the assassins were not Tzenkethi, but Cardassians: members of an extremist sect known as the “True Way.” After a fierce skirmish that saw the Cardassians taken into custody, they were not returned to Earth but instead taken to what was revealed to be a secret “black site” prison facility on the Klingon world Nydak II.

Upon realizing that the strike team’s leader, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Kincade, was working for Velk with orders to make sure the Cardassians—and anyone else who knew the truth—never left the planet alive, Tuvok and Nog attempted to mutiny against the colonel in order to escort the Cardassians to Earth for proper trial. In the resulting chaos, which ultimately had resulted in the deaths of the Cardassian prisoners, Tuvok confronted their leader, Onar Throk, who confessed to being the one responsible for killing Bacco. Throk also revealed that Velk had given him all the information and support required to carry out the assassination. Despite the Tellarite’s best efforts to cover his tracks by ordering the elimination of Tuvok and Nog, the officers had been rescued by Riker and the U.S.S. Titan.

Perhaps to avoid being exposed as the mastermind behind Bacco’s assassination and implicating Ishan as a co-conspirator, Velk had been arrested by the Federation Security Agency and remanded to a classified detention center, though the charges against him had been limited to his unauthorized use of Starfleet resources and the illegal orders sending the team to Nydak II. Riker knew it was an end-run maneuver, designed to insulate both Velk and Ishan from being implicated in the murder plot. With Onar Throk’s claims being at best dubious and with no physical evidence to corroborate the story he had given Tuvok, there was no way to level such accusations and have them stick. What was needed was a confession or some other evidence that might still be out there, waiting to be discovered. To that end, Riker had dispatched a small cabal of trusted officers consisting of Titan senior staff members as well as his oldest and closest friend, Captain Jean-Luc Picard, to seek out and find that evidence, in whatever form it might take. Meanwhile, it went without question that no confession would be coming from Ishan, so that left Velk, wherever he might have been taken to await his trial.

Velk will never live to see any trial. Of this, Riker was certain, which was why tracking down the Tellarite—assuming he still was alive—in order to get from him the confession needed to expose Ishan once and for all was of paramount importance.

“What makes you think Velk’s not dead already?” Riker asked.

“As you say, Ishan probably needs him, at least in some capacity. He’ll want to stop Velk from going to trial and perhaps exposing him, but it’s almost certain that he has information that could cripple Ishan if it got out or access to people who somehow are a threat to him.” Troi leaned against the window, pausing to look out at the cityscape of San Francisco far below them. “For all his talk about strength, I think it’s obvious Velk is the one with most of the power. Without him, Ishan may well be in over his head.”

Nodding in agreement, Riker allowed his own gaze to wander over the breathtaking sight that was San Francisco at night. Though he had not yet settled into his role as a desk-bound admiral rather than the captain of a starship, he had conceded that one of the job’s perks was the view outside his office. Still, even on its best night, any city on Earth could not compare to staring out a viewport at open space and distant stars.

You’ll get back there. One day.

“We definitely need to find Velk,” Riker said after a moment, “along with anyone else Ishan may have contacted or corrupted to get this far.”

“And what if we don’t find him?” Troi asked. “He’s the only link connecting Ishan to President Bacco’s murder.”

Riker sighed. “Then we’re going to need to find something else.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 21, 2014

    Great ending to an interesting series of books

    I found the entire series to be quite an enjoyable read and would recommend it to any Star Trek fan.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A disappointing end to a promising story arc.

    Firstly, don’t buy the hype that the five book in this story arc can be read a standalone novels; it is both misleading and biggest drawback to Peaceable Kingdoms, the final book in the Star Trek: The Fall Series. The final book is not completely dependent on the prior four books, but only because so much space is taken up explaining what happened in the last four books. Dayton Ward should have spent more time coming up with a satisfying conclusion to the arc rather than padding the pages with information most reader would already have (because, honestly, the reader are fans and it is unlikely that they are reading it out of order.)
    While much of the book is still well written, it suffers from trying to wrap up and include too many plot points while leaving breadcrumbs for the next series. I like that this continuity is now open ended and that the writers have more freedom to explore different ideas (Rear Admiral Riker for example) they are choosing a format and writing style that I would expect in an Avengers comic and not a Star Trek novel. Specifically, the Federation conspiracy is tied up neatly when Dr. Crusher, Tom Riker (sigh…yup they bring him back.) and Cardassian scientist reveal a startling secret behind President Pro Tem Ishan. There is little fanfare and thing pretty much go back to normal. Ward spends the rest of the time having Picard brood about his Starfleet career and missing his wife. Fans of the character would hardly recognize the castrated version of Picard that Ward portrays.
    Like most other Star Trek novels, it is worth reading if you are fan for no other reason than to be prepared for the next story arc. However, be prepared for an unsatisfying end for an otherwise promising saga.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    A good conclusion to The Fall. The story itself can stand alone,

    A good conclusion to The Fall. The story itself can stand alone, but works a lot better if the reader has read books from the Typhon Pact series and the other four from The Fall.
    The story itself is centered around most of The Next Generation characters and some character from Star Trek Titan. If you have not been following Star Trek for a while this would be a tough book to get into. Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who are keeping up to date on the books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Excellent story telling

    Well crafted conclusion to the story arc

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    Well done

    I initially had my doubts about this series. Marco Palmiri (sorry about the spelling) has been missed. But this series really delivered. There are a few loose ends that will keep readers checking release dates for upcoming books. But overall, this was a satisfying conclusion to an awesome series.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    It was quite a good ending to "The Fall" series. There

    It was quite a good ending to "The Fall" series. There was enough going on to keep the book moving and enough story to keep you guessing for a bit, although near the end it became a matter of wrapping it all up. The book wraps up most of the storylines from the series, although there are a few loose ends that have follow up in books coming up in 2014. I'm excited for the follow up Titan story in February's enovella (hope it doesn't cost too much) and I'm not sure when the next Enterprise-E adventure is due, but I'm excited to read it. The timeframe in the novel is a little mushy given the stuff from the last book, but that could be because there were 5 authors writing 5 different books about the same time, so I'll go with it. Overall, a pretty good book and a satisfying conclusion to the series. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    Bios at StarClan at 'star fall'

    Bluestar-the thunderclan leader back in her prime.
    Shykit-a young kit who died killed by a rouge.She is a shy grey kit with blue eyes and is sweet and wise.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    Squirrelflight- How she died

    She was killed when a couple of BloodClan cats and evil rogues invaded and attacked StormClan. She was killed by a person going by the name "the dead" and she was the only one killed that day.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Mediocre ending to an otherwise good series

    The series started off with strong characters and a great storyline, and ended up in my opinion to be a disappointing who done it leaving way too many loose ends.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    Can you just give us a list that has the order in which we shoul

    Can you just give us a list that has the order in which we should buy any new series??? I don't have time to figure this out but would like to start at the beginning, if you please. By the way, supreme KUDOs to all the great authors and editors of all the Star Trek series! You guys rock!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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