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Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows Paperback – January 6, 2009

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About the Author

Peter David is a prolific Star Trek author whose novels include IMZADI, TRIANGLE, Q-IN-LAW, Q-SQUARED and the NEW FRONTIER series, featuring Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and the crew of the USS Excalibur, specially created for Pocket Books.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Dave Stern

HISTORIAN'S NOTE: "Nobunaga" takes place in early 2156 (ACE). The Terran Empire has possession of a powerful weapon, the twenty-third-century Federation Starship Defiant ("In a Mirror Darkly," Star Trek: Enterprise; "Mirror, Mirror," Star Trek). The Empress Sato, having mercilessly destroyed the usurpers to her rule (Star Trek Mirror Universe: Glass Empires -- Age of the Empress), now seeks to eradicate any rebellion.

He dreamed of T'Pol.

Not the Regent she had become but the woman she had been. The woman he had loved, out of duty at first and then with all his heart. He pictured her as she had looked ten years ago, at the time of the Empress's ascension, wearing the uniform she had taken from the Defiant's stores, a blue skirt that let her long legs show, that left the curve of her neck bare.

He pictured himself kissing that skin, felt her long hair brush against his face, felt his hands moving over her body, her yielding to him. He luxuriated in the moment, stayed with T'Pol as she had been for as long as he could stand the memory.

And then the memory faded, and for a second, he saw T'Pol as she was now, T'Pol the Regent, hard, harsh, close-cropped hair. He pictured her standing over him, her face blank, expressionless, emotionless. Alien. Vulcan. As if they had shared nothing. As if he were nothing more to her than another cog in the Empress's machine.

He saw her hands reaching for him. Her fi ngertips on his forehead. Her mind invading his. Her strength forcing him to yield.

He shot up in bed, suddenly awake. Drenched in sweat.

Completely disoriented.

He wasn't aboard Defiant. He was -- where?

Wearing a hospital gown. A hospital bed. Dim lighting in the room, a small room, no windows, a door at the foot of his bed, ventilators humming...

The door cracked open. Lights -- dimmed, thank God for that -- came on.

Dr. Phlox walked in.

"You." Tucker hated the Denubolan with a passion. "Where am I?"

"I'd take it easy if I were you, Commander. Your body needs time to recover from the -- "

"Answer the damn question."

Phlox smiled.

"You're in a private medical facility. On Earth."

"Earth? How did I get here?"

Tucker shook his head. Images fl ashed through his mind. He was out on Defiant, near the Neutral Zone, hunting the rebels. Hunting Archer.

"I want that man caught!" Robinson yelled, slamming his fist into the padded armrest of the captain's chair. "I want more speed!"

He turned and glared at Tucker.

"I want my ship!" he screamed, and his face morphed into Hoshi's. The Empress's.

Tucker blinked, returning to the here and now.

"There was an accident," Phlox said. "In engineering."

"I don't remember that at all."

"Not surprising. It was rather a large explosion. You've been unconscious for some time."

"Some time."

"Three weeks."

"Three weeks? What about the ship?" Tucker asked.

"The ship is functional."

"Functional. What does that mean?"

"There is time to worry about the ship later," Phlox said. "For now, I need to examine you."

The doctor moved closer to the bed. Tucker flinched.

"I'd rather have another doctor."

"You don't get a choice. The Empress has personally charged me with your care."

Ah. Tucker could guess how that conversation had gone.

Heal him, or else.

He gritted his teeth, and endured the doctor's none-too-gentle probing. His machines and his tests. At the end, Phlox stepped back.

"So?" Tucker asked. "How am I?"

The doctor shook his head. "Dying," Phlox said.

Something to do with delta rays and radiation. The Defiant's warp engines and the explosion that had occurred. Impending CCB -- catastrophic cellular breakdown.

A more extreme version of the energies that had scarred his face at Bozeman, at the warp training facility, twenty years ago.

"Fix me," Tucker said. "The Empress charged you with my care, right?"

"Believe me, I am well aware of that fact. There is nothing I can do, however."

Tucker sat up. Frowned. "I don't feel any pain."

"It will be minimal at first," Phlox said. "As the nerve endings deteriorate, however, you will begin to -- "

"Spare me the gory details." Tucker glared, rubbed the small of his back. "I hope this isn't another one of your sick jokes."


"Maybe I should get a second opinion."

"A second opinion." Phlox burst out laughing and, just as suddenly, stopped. "Get all the opinions you want, Commander. The Empress would certainly love to have you with us for as long as possible. But the data are irrefutable. Machines do not lie."

There was a rolling cart next to the bed; on it, a case lay open. A machine lay within the case, the last machine the doctor had used. He popped a data chip out of the machine and put it into Tucker's hand.

"So, what kind of time frame we talking about?" Tucker asked.

"A few weeks. Perhaps longer. Depending."

"On what?"

"On the speed of the breakdown. How fast the effect travels through your system." The doctor retracted cable, folded sensors, snapped the case shut. "If I were you, I would get my affairs in order. Sooner rather than later."

He picked the case up by a handle, nodded, and left.

Tucker got out of bed. A mirror, three feet square, occupied one wall of the room. He went and looked at himself in it.

His body was scarred all over, burned. New scars to go with the old ones, the ones running down the side of his face. Souvenirs from Bozeman and the years he'd spent slaving next to the reactor chambers of various starships. Enterprise. Defiant. And --

Pain stabbed into his head. Sudden, sharp, debilitating. He groaned, lowered his head, waited for it to pass. Eventually, it did.

He stood up, and the room stopped spinning after a moment.

He'd never felt pain like that before. Not even after Bozeman.

Dying. Maybe Phlox was right.

He went to a terminal on the other side of the room. He popped in the data module Phlox had given him and reviewed what was on it. Started to, anyway. He was no doctor. He couldn't make heads or tails out of what he was seeing; it was highly unlikely, though, that Phlox had been lying. The Empress would have his head. Tucker was important to her -- or, rather, the knowledge in his head was important.

His stomach growled. He walked out the door and into the hall.

There was a guard there, of course. There were guards everywhere.

This one was a good half-meter taller than he, built like a walking mountain.

"You don't leave the room." He drew his weapon and motioned Tucker back inside.

"Food," Tucker said, and went back into the room. Ten minutes later, a tray showed up. Hospital crap. He ate it anyway.

He lay back on his bed, hands behind his head, and closed his eyes.


When he'd never really had a chance to live.

He slept, and dreamed again. Of T'Pol at fi rst, not the T'Pol he had loved but the Regent, standing over his bed. Her fingers probing. Her mind probing.

The Empress stood next to her. Watching. Glaring. Fury written all over her face.

The pain in his head returned, stronger than ever.

The dream shifted.

He was back on Defiant. Back in his quarters. Staring at a red light fl ashing on his console: message waiting.

Message? Who would be sending him a message?

No way to know without opening it, of course.

His fingers danced above the input screen. Curiosity and fear warred within him.

Curiosity won.

He tapped the screen; it came to life.

The past came to life with it.


The message was from Jonathan Archer.

"I won't waste words," Archer said. "You can't do it. You can't let her -- "

Tucker stabbed at the screen.

"Delete!" he shouted. "Delete, delete, delete!"

If the Empress found out...

He awoke, his heart thudding in his chest. His head ached. His body stank. He needed a shower. He needed to get back to Defiant. Whatever life he had was back on that ship. Correction: whatever life he had was that ship. He had no friends; his family had long ago abandoned him. His work was his legacy.

He took care of the washing up fi rst, then went to the terminal. He opened a comlink, and after almost an hour of waiting, got through to his ship. To the captain.

"You're awake." Robinson looked neither pleased nor displeased. "What can I do for you?"

"How's the ship?"

"The ship is fine. How are you?"

"Ready to get back to work."

Traces of a smile flitted across the captain's face. "I heard you were dying."

"So they tell me. But I'm not dead yet." He leaned forward. "And I'm sick of this place already."

"I can understand that. I hate hospitals myself. But..." Robinson shrugged. "I can't help you."



From whom? Tucker was about to ask, and then realized that, of course, there was only one person Robinson took orders from these days.

Right at that second, he heard footsteps in the hall. He turned in time to see the door open.

A woman stepped in.

The Empress.

She wore a black robe styled like a uniform and boots that added half a foot to her height. Bodyguards crowded the doorway behind her.

Tucker went to one knee, gritting his teeth the whole way down. "Empress."

"Commander. Rise -- please. There's no need for such formality between old friends."

Which was an out-and-out lie, of course, Tucker thought as he got back on his feet, a lie that Travis Mayweather's component atoms -- wherever they were -- would happily attest to.

Hoshi entered the room. Two of the bodyguards followed her in -- hulking monsters, bigger even than the man-mountain who'd shooed Tucker out of the hall before. Augments, though if what Tucker had heard about the Empress was true, she hardly needed them these days. The word was, she'd augmented herself as well, her strength, her recuperative powers...other things. Image-projection fi elds, allowing her to disguise herself. Telepathic abilities. The rumors were legion. Three-quarters of them were false, no doubt, but they all added to her mystique.

The Empress. Some said she would live f... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Series: Star Trek (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek; 1 edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416558500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416558507
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Spottiswood on January 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For twelve stories over such a range of time and Trek series, they end up being remarkably similar. They showcase the violence and treachery of the Mirror Universe, all right, but not much more, and the stories themselves are uninspired. Also, a heck of a lot of established characters get killed off. I realise that part of the appeal of the Mirror Universe is that writers can raise drama with the genuine possibility of character death. By halfway through the book, known character deaths becomes routine. Drama is not found in routine.

The first four stories are sent in the Terran Empire. The first story is told in flashback, but you can't tell which point is the present for 'Trip' Tucker. The second story is an intricate story of betrayal. The third is James Kirk becoming captain of the I.S.S. Enterprise. It is good, but told in a creepily light-hearted manner. After these three good stories, the Vanguard story is basically an action set-piece. It is the kind of story that works better on a screen than in print.

After that, the stories are set in the post-Empire period, with a mix of Alliance and Terran Rebellion stories, with the Memory Omega conspiracy as a frequent sub-plot. Three stories feature the Stargazer crew, some of the Next Generation cast, and some of the Voyager crew, and all are basically about the groups treacherously decimating each other. Keith R.A. DeCandido's story is the mirror for the Battle of Marcan V. Part of the interest in the story is that you don't know who is treacherous or who they intend to betray. The other main part is that the writing is very good and, it has to be said, noticeably above the quality of the rest of the stories.

Peter David's story is what Star Trek: Nemesis would be if mirrored, using the Excalibur setting ...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Peterson on January 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have much enjoyed the Myriad Universes and Mirror Universes collections and have eagerly awaited this installment since it was announced for last year. However, this entry did not strike me fondly as its predecessors. Some of the offers were quite good (ie Homecoming, The Black Flag, Nobunaga), but others didn't strike me quite well (Sacred Chalice, the format of Family Matters.) Overall, it's a good read, but I would recommend reading the rest of the Mirror Universe books before delving into this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. McCoy on February 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shards and Shadows continues on from Part One. I noticed, however, that some of the stories referenced other stories in Obsidian Alliances. Fortunately, I had the other book and was able to access the previously-referenced stories to get a better handle of the "thread" contained within Shards and Shadows.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
One of my favorite episodes in the Star Trek original series was "Mirror, Mirror" and I consider the comment by the Imperial Spock about considering Kirk's suggestion to change the Empire to be the most ideal cliffhanger moment. Unfortunately, there was no subsequent episode of the original series depicting what the Imperial Spock actually did after his Captain Kirk materialized.
Fortunately, the potential of that storyline has been followed in episodes of subsequent television series as well as in books and other forms of print. This book contains a set of twelve stories of the mirror universe set using many of the characters of the "normal" universe, from the original series through much later times.
The stories are all interesting to the reader cognizant of the various Star Trek incarnations, if you are not familiar with them, being placed within that plotline with little in the setting of the context will make it difficult to understand. This is especially true if you are unfamiliar with the stories "Glass Empires" and "Obsidian Alliances." For example, the historian's note lead-in to the story "A Terrible Beauty" is "The present-day portions of this tale are set in early 2376, two weeks after the events of `Saturn's Children' from `Star Trek Mirror Universe: Obsidian Alliances'."
It is a tribute to the power of the original Star Trek concept that it has spawned so much subsequent creativity in books, short stories and movies. This book contains some good to excellent short stories about the parallel universe, a concept that originated in one single one-hour episode of the original series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debbie's World of Books on July 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
It's been a long time since I have read Star Trek book beyond the ones I own. I found this book while browsing the shelves at the library and was glad to find it. I've always been a fan of the mirror universe episodes and books. It's interesting to see what my favorite characters would have been like if they took a different path in life or grew up in a different environment. This book is made up of 12 short stories that take place at different times and involve characters from each of the Star Trek series. I will admit I did not read the ones about the classic Star Trek characters. Some of the stories were just ok but Nobunaga by Dave Stern, Bitter Fruit by Susan Wright and A Terrible Beauty by Jim Johnson in particular really left me wanting more. I'm going to have to check to see if any of those were fleshed out into full length books. Nobunaga involves the crew of the series Enterprise and centered around Trip (my favorite of the crew) and imagine an evil empress Hoshi. Bitter Fruit is filled with the Voyager crew. It sounds like Kes may have a darker plan in mind for the world. A Terrible Beauty seems to have a mix of characters from various series. We see Riker, Tuvok and Deanna Troi's father. This was definitely another great addition to the mirror universe books and I can only hope some of them were or will be developed into full length books.
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