Ensign Andreas Nikolas, heartsick over the loss of his Mirror Universe lover, has resigned his post on Jean-Luc Picard's starship, the Stargazer, to seek a home on the freighter Iktoj'ni. All he wants of his new life is a chance to forget his troubles. And that's what he gets -- until the Iktoj'ni is taken over by a monstrous alien with unbelievable powers and a disdain for all forms of life. Without saying why, the alien sends the freighter hurtling toward a part of space inhabited by the Ubarrak, the Federation's deadliest and most xenophobic enemy. And Nikolas, who fears that the incident will start a war, can't convince his captor to turn back. Picard's only hope of stopping the alien menance is Serenity Santana -- a woman who once abused his trust in the name of her people's survival. Now she's back, asking for the captain's trust a second time. Picard desperately needs Santana's help in his struggle to save his galaxy. But will she justify his faith in her -- or once again twist it to serve her own shadowy ends?