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A book in the Star Trek Novel Verse. Featuring characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (including Elias Vaughn of the Star Trek Deep Space Nine relaunch), it tells the story of the Dominion occupation of Betazed (Deanna Troi's homeworld), and the fight to liberate the planet.
From the back cover:
In the darkest hours of the Dominion War, as the Federation's downfall seemed ever more certain, Jem'Hadar and Cardassian forces conquered Betazed, the homeworld of Deanna Troi. Their victory sent shock waves through the Alpha Quadrant, and put the Dominion within striking distance of Vulcan, Andor, Tellar -- and possibly Earth itself. To secure their position in the very heart of the Federation, the Cardassians begin constructing space station Sentok Nor in orbit of Betazed. The station is to serve as both the seat of the Dominion occupation and the site of horrific experiments by Cardassia's foremost exobiologist, the infamous Dr. Crell Moset. With Starfleet's forces spread too thinly in the ongoing struggle to retake Betazed outright, the U.S.S. Enterprise, along with some old and new friends, is deployed to carry out a dangerous and desperate plan. But no matter what the outcome, the consequences could alter Betazed irrevocably, forcing Deanna Troi to choose between her world's survival and its very soul.
This novel contains examples of:
- Affably Evil: Crell Moset, the Mad Scientist. One of a trio of villains, he features alongside Complete Monster Gul Lemec and pragmatic, restrained villain Luaran.
- Badass Grandpa: Elias Vaughn. Mostly. He starts off like this, as he usually does, but partway through the novel he gets injured and is therefore of little use. In fact, he even serves as The Load for a bit. He seems to recover by the end, though, ready for his role in the Star Trek Deep Space Nine relaunch, set just over a year later. And Dr.Crusher sums up his Badass Grandpa status nicely:
"He's not the first hundred-year-old I've met who could go up against holographic opponents, or even real ones. Most people don't give it much thought, but there are actually a lot more active centenarian humans in Starfleet than is generally known. One of the benefits of an ever-lengthening life span. Just the same, I'm glad Vaughn's on our side.”
- Canon Immigrant: Crell Moset is originally from Star Trek: Voyager, although no other Voyager characters appear here.
- Continuity Nod: Elias Vaughn's participation in the liberation of Betazed was already established in the Star Trek Deep Space Nine relaunch, hence his appearance here. His exact role, and the mission itself, were left undescribed in the original mention, simply being a part of his back story. There was therefore a lot of flexibility, but the authors made sure to keep it consistant by featuring the character. The Battle of Betazed also makes a Continuity Nod to several other novels where Vaughn made an appearance, including tales of Star Trek: The Lost Era.
- Emotion Bomb: The Betazoid Resistance eventually use a technique of this kind to overwhelm the Jem'Hadar occupying the planet. They project every emotion they have.
- Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Cavat, a Betazoid cereal. Also Sadi, a tart yellow fruit.
- For Science!: Crell Moset's motivation, both in his experiments at Betazed and in everything else he does. He may be working for Central Command and so the Dominion, but really he's performing medical experiments for his own scientific curiousity.
- Freudian Excuse: Averted. Psychopathic killer Hent Tevren had a normal family and doting parents. He kills people mostly because he enjoys it, not out of any great trauma.
- It Never Gets Any Easier: Elias Vaughn, by this stage in his career, is very tired of casualty reports and damage figures. He's seen too many battles, too much death. This is a subtle Continuity Nod to his story arc in the Star Trek Deep Space Nine relaunch series, which begins a year or so after this.
- Mad Scientist: Crell Moset, the Cardassian biologist who is currently engaged in invasive medical experiments on Betazed's orbital station. He first appeared in Star Trek: Voyager (well, a hologram based on him did, anyway). His mission here is to try and produce telepathic Jem'Hadar, by transferring Betazoid brain material into Jem'Hadar soldiers.
- Mercy Kill: Cort Enaran (leader of the Betazoid Resistance), kills his friend Okalan with a poison dart, to spare him further pain as he's tortured by Dominion forces.
- Mind Over Matter: Hent Tevren and his fellows, part of a secret society, successfully unlocked the potential for telekinesis in the Betazoid brain.
- Mind Rape: Hent Tevren is fond of inflicting this. He even knows how to commit Mind Rape-murder, tearing a mind apart with the power of his own thoughts.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Data and Troi in one scene, while undercover on Betazed's neighbour world, Darona.
- Planetville: Cort Enaran is leading the Betazoid Resistance. Having one group of resistance fighters under one mountain chain referred to as "the Betazoid Resistance" seems to take us into Planetville territory. That said, Enaran and other leaders are former members of the parliament, so their resistance cell (near the capital) might be considered the resistance. Still, the novel probably runs afoul of this trope.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Luaran, the Vorta overseer, objects to Gul Lemec casually shooting Betazoids. Like most Vorta, she has no moral qualms at all, but does not approve of needless violence when there are more orderly ways to keep things in check. As far as she's concerned, Lemec's brutality will only serve to increase resistance among the occupied Betazoids.
- Put on a Bus: Mr. Homn, Lwaxana's valet, is strangely absent, and indeed isn't even mentioned. This despite usually appearing whenever and wherever she does (or being specifically mentioned as travelling elsewhere if not). A later novel went and transformed this into a Bus Crash; Star Trek: A Time to... revealed that he died during the initial invasion, so explaining his absence. The death is eventually shown in a short story, part of the Tales of the Dominion War anthology.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Betazed is liberated, but at the cost of a great number of resistance fighters. The ending isn't quite as upbeat as might be expected.
- Self-Made Orphan: Hent Tevren, whose parents were his first murder victims.
- Took a Level In Badass: Lwaxana Troi, resistance fighter. In fact, the Betazoid Resistance in general, seeing as these are Betazoids we're talking about.
- Try to Fit That on A Business Card: Sark Enaran is the scion of the Fourth House of Betazed, Heir to the Blessed Books of Katara, and Holder of the Sacred Scepter of Betazed. And of course Lwaxana Troi is Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Luaran, the Vorta overseer, who beams out in a climatic scene using a Dominion long-range transporter. She leaves her Cardassian colleagues behind to be captured, though. Luaran appears in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season seven, which takes place later in the Star Trek internal continuity, so this might explain why she was allowed to escape. On the other hand, she is a Vorta, so she could easily have been killed here without it damaging said continuity.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Deanna Troi is horrified to learn that the Betazoid Resistance wants to bring in Hent Tevren, the telepathic serial murderer, to teach resistance fighters how to kill with their minds. She insists that to do so would violate everything their society stands for.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Hent Tevren is an extremely powerful telepath. He's also a psychopath.