Missing for two hundred millennia, the legendary Iconians have returned, bringing with them the secret of interdimensional teleportation across vast interstellar distances. Awakened once more, their ancient Gateways are rewriting the map of the galaxy, and nowhere more than in the New Frontier®....
A century ago, the imperial Thallonians separated two feuding alien races, depositing each of them on a new world safely distant from that of their ancestral enemies. Now, however, the Gateways have made it possible for the long dormant blood feud to begin anew. Captain Mackenzie Calhoun of the U.S.S. Excalibur and his partner, Captain Elizabeth Shelby of the U.S.S. Trident, find themselves fighting a losing battle to keep the horrific violence from escalating, even as they gradually realize the catastrophic danger posed by the Gateways themselves!
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
October 02, 2001
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Excerpt from Gateways #6 by Peter David
Chapter 1: Aeron
The Zarn finally decided that if he did not get the matter settled, he was never going to be able to get any sleep.
It was not a decision that came lightly to him. The Zarn was a proud individual, and disliked intensely having to admit to any shortcomings or weaknesses. Certainly not being able to slumber was one such. Furthermore, he was going to have to seek aid from the Zarna, who had the temerity to lie peacefully next to him, snoring away contentedly. She had denied any number of times that she snored, and he had insisted with equal vigor that he, and not she, would be in a superior position to make such a determination. Such was the female's intransigence, however, that she refused to accept his word -- his word -- of this particular shortcoming of hers. Yet there she stubbornly lay, snoring blithely away. He wished, not for the first time, that there was a way to put an end to her snoring, and he further wished that he was not so besotted with her, even after all this time, that he could not bring himself to deal in any harsh manner with her.
The Zarn rolled over, studying the shape of her pale back, the jutting spine ridge exposed and alluring as ever. He ran his elegant fingers along it, not with a steady, brushing touch, but instead a series of light taps along the edges that he knew would rouse her, even in her sleep. Her hips twisted slightly with subconscious pleasure, and she made a little humming sound. "What are you doing?" she yawned thickly, but with the slightest sound of amusement in her voice.
"Nothing," replied the Zarn, sounding utterly innocent. He made no pretense of his own wakefulness, but instead simply lay there with his head propped on one hand. "I am doing nothing except regarding the magnificence that is your body."
"Mm-hmm," she said, in a tone that both managed to convey that she Was Not Amused, and yet simultaneously made him aware that she did, indeed, find it just ever so slightly funny. She wasn't looking at him, instead keeping the spine presented. It was a provocative decision, and she knew it to be so, but acted as if it wasn't. She managed to push the last vestiges of sleep from her voice. Her dark green eyes, solid and pupil-less, glowed in the darkness with that eerie luminescence so characteristic of the Aeron race. "All right, my husband...you have awakened me. Satisfied?"
"I? I intended no such thing," he assured her, sounding suitably stricken. He wasn't fooling her for a moment, of course, but after so many years together, they had developed little verbal rhythms that were as much a part of their union as sex or trust or anything else. "What sort of husband would I be if I thought I could disturb your much-needed rest whenever it suited my fancy?"