The sword was the ultimate symbol of Romulan power, tradition, and pride. It lay in the Senate Chamber of the Romulan Star Empire, revered and untouched for centuries, until the day Dr. Leonard McCoy was tried for treason -- and both were stolen during a daring attack on Romulus itself.
Now, to avenge that insult and save face in the eyes of their deadly enemies, the Empire must recover the sword at any cost. Their envoys to the Federation demand the return of the sword and the extradition of the Romulan renegades who aided the Starship Enterprise in McCoy's escape. If diplomacy fails, the Romulans will trap the Klingons and the Federation in open war.
In such dangerous times, the Starship Enterprise is assigned the most valuable -- and volatile -- element of all: the fugitive Ael, her stolen Bird-of-Prey Bloodwing, and the sword they carry. Ael will undoubtedly attempt to use ship and sword to foil her enemies and play her hand in the dangerous game that she's begun. But she will do it all under the watchful eyes of James T. Kirk, the Federation starship captain who knows her dangerously well...
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
October 03, 2000
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Excerpt from Star Trek: The Original Series: Rihannsu #3: Swordhunt by Diane Duane
Deep in the longest night, in a ship passing through the empty space thirteen light-years from 33 Trianguli, a Rihannsu woman sat in a hard-cushioned chair behind a desk and looked out through a small viewport at the stars, waiting.
Her surroundings were blessedly familiar; her own small cabin, in her own ship. It was everything outside, now, which was strange to her -- the spaces in which she was a barely tolerated guest, the stars that filled them, either unheeding of her presence or subtly inimical to it...
She raised her eyebrows briefly at her own fancy. I grow whimsical, she thought, and her gaze slid sideways from the surface of her tidy desk to the chair which now sat by itself against the far wall. But perhaps, having you around, there is reason.
In the present dim nighttime lighting of the cabin, what lay across the arms of the chair seemed barely more than a sliver of shadow; pure unrevealing darkness, absorbing whatever light fell upon it. Not quite straight, but very faintly curved, the sheath and the hilt seeming to fade seamlessly into one another by the skill of the ancient swordsmith, the Sword occupied another empty chair much different from its former one, and the thoughts of the woman whose cabin it now shared.
Occupation...She smiled faintly. It was as good a word as any for the hold which this object had had over her since she put her hand out in the Senate chamber, two months and a lifetime ago, to take it. In her people's traditions there had always been tales of creatures or objects which expressed the Elements unusually perfectly. These tended to bend the Universe out of shape around them, as intense gravity fields bend light, and equally they bent awry the intentions of those mortals who had close dealings with them.
She had little thought to find herself, ever, so used. It had simply come to her, in that moment's impulse in the Senate chambers, that she would willingly take possible disaster on herself in order to save the most sacred part of her people's heritage from further dishonor. Now she wondered, sometimes, exactly whose impulse that had been; exactly who was the Sword, and whose were the hand and will wielding it.