Preface

The idea for this story has been at the back of my head for a long time. In fact it is already it's own reincarnation. The original story "Words" grew to 100 pages, before I had to face the grim reality that my writing – although evolved – did not live up to the premise, mainly, because I didn't have the right support in the form of more than one talented and knowledgeable beta reader, which for me as a non-native English speaker is most important.

My initial idea was to start at the end of the episode "Bound" but I revised that in favor of more canon friendliness. The only deviation from that route is, that I will consequently ignore the events of "These are the voyages...", since that particular – rightly criticized – "valentine" did not show any real events, but a holo-deck simulation, the historic accuracy of which cannot be ascertained. Several indicators, like the lack of transfers, promotions or deaths over the course of 10 years, which included the atrocious Earth-Romulan war, make it rather probable that the shown holo-deck simulation was an utter and complete fabrication. At a later point in this book, that topic will be dealt with accordingly.

Acknowledgments:

- The Vulcan mourning chant in chapter 1 is from The Vulcan Information Centre For Extravulcanians

- High Priest Torok is from Dinah's The Thorne and the Rose and its sequel The Briar Patch and appears with kind permission of his creator.

- A big thank you goes to my wonderful beta's EntAllat and Cogito.

- All pictures in the print-version of the story are from TrekCore

Enjoy
Kotik aka Lukenwolf