High above the planet Earth, an alien probe appears -- and in an unspeakably horrific instant, releases a deadly blast that strafes the planet's surface, leaving a miles-wide, smoldering crater of destruction in its wake. Millions die in Florida, Cuba, and Venezuela, their lives blotted out in a blazing millisecond.
Just as swiftly, the probe implodes and crashes on the planet surface, but the remnants provide no clue as to its origin. Who are the attackers, and what provoked them?
Aboard the Starship Enterprise, Captain Jonathan Archer learns of the destruction. His ship is called home; it is uncertain whether its mission of space exploration will continue.
But before Enterprise reaches Earth, Archer is abruptly kidnaped from the bridge by the time-traveling enemies he has encountered before. He finds himself aboard a Suliban vessel, face-to-face with his old nemesis, Silik, a high-ranking indiviual in a battle known only as the Temporal Cold War. Silik leads him to his master, a mysterious humanoid from the far future.
The humanoid claims that the attack on Earth was just a test; and the next attack will destroy Archer's home planet...unless he and the Enterprise crew stop it.
To do so, they must enter a region of space called The Expanse - an area so dangerous that no ship has ever emerged from it unscathed. Vulcan crews were driven to bloodthirsty madness, Klingon crews were anatomically inverted, their internal organs exposed outside their bodies...while they still lived. Many vessels were lost, never to be heard from again.
Archer faces the greatest crisis of his career: Should he believe Silik's time-traveling master, and expose his ship and crew to the perils of The Expanse, in hopes of saving Earth from destruction? And can he convince Starfleet Command and the Vulcan High Council to let Enterprise go to face her biggest challenge?
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
February 28, 2003
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Excerpt from The Star Trek: Enterprise: The Expanse by J.M. Dillard
He was a Xindi warrior, of his culture's highest class, and out of a sense of decorum he had worn his ceremonial armor on this, his last mission, though he would not need it, and though it could not protect him from his fate.
He had already attended his own death ceremony, already been honored for the heroic deed he would perform on behalf of his people, his homeworld, against the Enemy-to-come. Then, he had felt only a sense of pride. He had been accorded every pleasure, every desire: his kin were left behind with great prestige and wealth. They would build monuments to his memory.
Now he sat in the Enemy's home system, at the controls of the destroyer/probe. It was a handsome craft: two concentric spheres, each as perfect as his world, each rotating within the other. It had two functions: the first, to send information to his leaders; the second, to destroy.
The warrior passed through the alien solar system without difficulty, and sped toward his target: the planet where the Enemy-to-come dwelled, unaware as yet of its future crime. The world itself -- Earth, an ugly word, bitter on the tongue -- was not as hideous as the warrior had imagined, with its swirls of blue and green. There was, in fact, an odd beauty to it. For an instant, the warrior permitted himself to consider the life-forms dwelling there, on the green landforms, in the blue oceans: They were unaware of the crimes that would be perpetrated by their heirs, and therefore not guilty. The Xindi knew nothing of their culture: perhaps they were not so different from his own people.