A book in the Star Trek Novel Verse, and a sequel to the popular Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "In the Pale Moonlight". It deals with Benjamin Sisko’s continued efforts to come to terms with the illegal actions undertaken in that episode. These resulted in a favourable outcome; the Romulans joining the war against the Dominion, as allies of the Federation. Sisko is in the midst of a personal and emotional crisis as he and Garak are summoned to Earth to take part in the first Allied talks to come out of the new partnership. Much of the novel deals with Sisko’s self-loathing. Meanwhile, Garak becomes a pawn in a scheme against a human political dissident, and Odo deals with an apparent robbery attempt back on Deep Space 9 -— which is not what it seems.
This novel contains examples of:
- Blatant Lies: Bashir tries to help Odo by recounting a story Garak told him: an account of one of Garak’s previous missions. It involves the assassination of a Tzenkethi Autarch. Odo asks Bashir if he really thinks Garak would admit to being involved in such a high-profile murder. Bashir is forced to realize that no, he wouldn’t...meaning whatever Garak’s mission was actually about, nothing he’s told Bashir about the details is true. Odo then points out that this makes the whole story less than useful.
- Body Horror: The Hamexi.
- Born Lucky: Auger, a wide-eyed innocent youth serving under Captain Steyn. She has him on the crew entirely because he’s Born Lucky (well, that and she’s quite fond of him). He has a natural affinity for gambling, and seems to somehow “tap into”...something...other beings can’t, so as to always win. Note that this is consistent with the TV show, which occasionally suggested luck was governed by an unknown force that could be sensed or even controlled. Quite why this boy has the talent remains unexplained. Steyn apparently doesn’t care, she’s just happy it makes her money.
- Call-Forward: The battle at Sybaron, which was referenced in an episode of the TV series, one set later in the continuity.
- Divided We Fall: A Cardassian government-in-exile is invited to the Allied conference, but Garak isn't impressed (they have no real influence, for one thing). Sisko calls him out for spending more time opposing his fellow Cardassian exiles than supporting them.
- The Good Captain: Auger sees Steyn as this. She mostly fits the trope, albeit she’s a little on the shady side when it comes to the law...
- Government in Exile: The Cardassian government-in-exile is invited to the allied war conference. Most peoples' reaction is "wait, the Cardassians have a government-in-exile?"
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: “When life hands you ungaberries, you’ve got to make...”“Ungaberry juice?”“No. Detergent”. Hew-mons could be so disgusting...
- Maligned Mixed Marriage: Rom gets talking to a Lissepian criminal and learns of his woes regarding his upcoming marriage to a Nausicaan woman; her family are trying to put a stop to it, unable to accept the validity of a mixed-race marriage.
- Nice Hat: Mexh Brixhta wears a distinctive large-rimmed hat at all times.
- Not So Different: Following his actions with the Romulans and the events of In the Pale Moonlight, Sisko believes that he and Admiral Leyton (his old commander who tried to stage a military coup) are Not So Different. It’s a source of great discomfort to him that Leyton was punished with life imprisonment, whereas he has gotten off without punishment; upon confessing to Starfleet Command, they think he did the reasonable thing.
- Resignations Not Accepted: Tomas Roeder discovers this about Section 31. When he tries to back out, they first try to soothe his troubled conscience. When that doesn’t work, they resort to more aggressive means.
- This Is the Part Where...: See Villain Exit Stage Left, below.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Mexh Brixhta lampshades it, asking if this is the point where he makes an unlikely but dramatic escape. It isn’t.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Sisko is increasingly frustrated that no-one will give him a speech of this kind. The Romulan intelligence liaison, Starfleet Command, Leyton...everyone who finds out what happened with Vreenak seems to accept it, but he wants them to share the sense of disgust he feels. Garak continues to try and snap him out of that self-loathing, in a surprisingly sympathetic manner.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Sisko, over and over.