Created by the incalculably ancient Iconians, whose transcendent technology is quantum levels beyond that of the Federation and its allies, the Gateways offer instantaneous transport across unimaginable distances. Throughout the known galaxy, from Deep Space Nine to the New Frontier, from the Delta Quadrant to the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, the sudden reactivation of the Gateways has destabilized interstellar relations between planets and cultures previously separated by countless light-years. Starfleet's finest have coped with the crisis as best they can, but circumstances have forced several valiant commanders to leap through separate Gateways into the unknown.
Captain James T. Kirk of the original Starship Enterprise
Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation®
Colonel Kira Nerys of Deep Space Nine
Captain Kathryn Janeway of the U.S.S. Voyager
Captains Calhoun and Shelby of Star Trek : New Frontier
Commander Nick Keller of the U.S.S. Challenger
All of these heroes, for their own reasons, have taken the ultimate gamble: hurling themselves personally through a Gateway without any knowledge or forewarning of what lay beyond. Each must face their own unique challenge, struggling to find a way back to the ships and homes they left behind.
And waiting behind at least one of the Gateways are the ageless Iconians themselves, the primordial architects of the mysterious portals causing chaos throughout the Milky Way galaxy.
Where did they disappear to, many long eons ago, and what do they want now? The answer lies on the other side....
What Lay Beyond brings the Gateways saga to a spectacular finish, in an all-star collaboration by six popular, bestselling Star Trek authors.
Among them, Diane Carey, Peter David, Keith R.A. Decandido, Christie Golden, Robert Greenberger, and Susan Wright have written dozens of Star Trek novels. This is their first mega-collaboration.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
June 05, 2002
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Gateways Book Seven: What Lay Beyond by Diane Carey
Captain Kirk was suspended in the gateway, floating between the countless dimensions. The interstellar transport lasted for only a few seconds, but the flashing light seemed to freeze every thought and feeling he had.
Then he was falling out the other side, rolling to his feet and un-steady on the soft surface. He was standing on the edge of a small platform, suspended near the top of a giant crevice. The sheer parallel cliffs extended for miles to either side.
Holding his arms out for balance, Kirk could only look down. The cliffs descended out of sight. The bottom was obscured by mist or smoke that was rising, softening the sharp edges of the cliffs. The rocks on both sides looked as if huge sections often sheared off and fell forever into the center of the planet.
Backing away from the edge, Kirk looked around and saw the two Kalandans. "Tasm! Stop!"
Commander Tasm was on the other side of the platform, trying to wrest away the large cylindrical unit from her errant officer, Luz. The blue neutronium cylinder was the key component of the gateway, and they were waving it around between them at the edge of an abyss!
Kirk briefly considered stunning them, but they were too close to the edge and he was afraid they would be knocked over by the impact. So he ran forward and grabbed Tasm around the waist, pulling her away. Luz hung on to the cylinder and came with her.The soft ground gave Kirk plenty of traction, and he was able to drag both women closer to the wall of the cliff. There was an arched doorway there leading to a tunnel. Apparently that was the way off the platform.
Tasm struggled against him, but Kirk took hold of the cylinder with one hand, expertly twisting it away from her. The Kalandans were thin and frail even if they were tall.
But Luz hung on, kicking at him and jerking on the cylinder as if she were crazed. It swung wide and hit Tasm in the head, driving her down to the ground with an agonized cry. The commander rocked crouching on her knees, her head in her hands.
Glaring at him, Luz managed to push Kirk closer to the sheer drop. The streaks of green and blue on her eyelids suddenly looked right. He hadn't seen such a display of outright passion from any of the Kalandans.
"It's mine!" Luz screamed. "Let go!"
Kirk stayed calm. "Stop fighting me or we're both going over."
In response, she swiped a leg at him, catching him behind the knee. Kirk stumbled, and her momentum carried her forward, taking him right to the edge of the platform. Kirk wasn't letting go of the cylinder. He meant it -- if he went over, then he was taking her with him.
Their brief struggle showed that she didn't know anything about hand-to-hand combat. But she fought in a frenzy, nearly knocking him off the platform.
Kirk got his feet under him and spun away from her, back toward the doorway in the cliff. As she fell back, he grabbed hold of her wrist. She tried to wrench it away from him, but he twisted her arm down, forcing her to take one hand off the cylinder.
With a quick turn, he stepped behind her, bringing her arm behind her back. Now that he had leverage on her, he had the advantage. She didn't have enough brute power to shake him off.
He jerked the cylinder from her grasp and bent her arm up until she went to her knees. Her cry didn't stop him. He hung on to her long enough to make her realize there was no way she could win in a fight. "Had enough?"
Panting, she continued to struggle to get away from him. But she knew she couldn't beat him.
Finally Kirk let go, pushing her away to roll on the ground next toTasm. Tasm was still on her knees, groaning from her head injury. Her eyes were bleary as she tried to focus on him.