Investigating the disappearance of a secret Romulan fleet, the U.S.S. Titan, commanded by Captain William Riker, is unexpectedly propelled more than 200,000 light-years into the Small Magellanic Cloud. One of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies, the Cloud is also home to the Neyel, the long-sundered offshoots of Terran humanity, with whom the Federation has had no contact in over eighty years.
Nearby, Riker's uncertain ally, Commander Donatra of the Romulan Warbird Valdore, rescues a young Neyel, the survivor of a mysterious cosmic upheaval that seems at times to be both unraveling and reweaving the very fabric of space...the fulfillment of an apocalyptic vision that has already claimed millions of lives. Titan's science team soon finds evidence that the ravaging of Neyel space is the work of a vast and powerful intelligence: the stirrings of a dormant consciousness that is maintaining the existence of the Small Magellanic Cloud -- and all life within it -- from one moment to the next. And if it should awaken, the consequences are unimaginable.
As Riker considers his options, his new crew struggles with the scientific and philosophical implications of what they've discovered...while the young Neyel in their midst forges a bond with the captain, conjuring old ghosts Riker has yet to lay to rest.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
October 18, 2005
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Star Trek: Titan #2: The Red king by Michael A. Martin
SMALL MAGELLANIC CLOUD, 7 JANUARY 2380 (AULD GREG AERTH CALENDAR)
"Behold," Frane said, unable to keep a slight tremor of awe out of his voice. Or is it fear? he wondered in some deep, shrouded corner of his soul.
But the vista that stretched before the assembled Seekers After Penance took Frane to a place far beyond fear. It was the most beautiful and terrible sight he had ever beheld. Effulgent tendrils of energy reached across millions of klomters of trackless emptiness toward the battered transport craft, like the probing fingers of some great, grasping hand.
Frane heard Nozomi gasp as she cowered behind him, as though the image threatened to reach straight through the cramped vessel's viewer and grab her.
"Have faith," Frane said. As a Neyel who had forsworn his own people's conquest-hardened traditions to live among society's slaves and outcasts, he knew well that faith was often the only thing that sustained him. To comfort Nozomi, he took one of her hands even as her graceful forked tail gently entwined with his. He gently disengaged from the female Neyel after noticing that one of her feet was grasping his leg hard enough to whiten the gray flesh beneath his loose pilgrim's robe.
"I'm keeping station here," said Lofi, the female Sturr who was handling the helm as well as the sensor station. Because she belonged to a race of multipartite colony creaturesýone of the first local peoples, in fact, to be conquered by the ancestral Neyel after their arrival centuries ago in M'jallanish spaceýLofi was able to separate several of her rounded thoracic segments briefly in order to perform disparate simultaneous tasks. Looking toward Lofi, Frane considered how this ability had made the Sturr species so useful to the earliest, most expansion-bent generations of precursor Neyel, the eldest Oh-Neyel Takers who spread throughout the M'jallan region to build the Neyel Hegemony on the backs of dozens of conquered slave races.
Will my people ever expiate the shame of those sinful days? Frane wondered. He feared he already knew the answer.
Eager to chase those dark thoughts away, Frane turned his gaze back toward the great, slowly coruscating starburst of energy that filled the screen before him. He saw that the image was holding the attention of everyone else in the narrow, dimly lit control room.