For twelve years she captained the flagship of the Federation. But while her exploits are legend, little has been revealed about Rachel Garrett, her vessel, or the unusual men and women of her crew. Until now. When the archeological find of the decade hints at an earlier Cardassian civilization, it attracts not merely academics and knowledge-seekers but also those with far less noble interests. Among them is Asfar Qatala, a notorious criminal cartel with a disturbing connection to one of the highest-ranking officers on the Enterprise. Captain Garrett and her crew find themselves swept in to a maelstrom of kidnapping, extortion and murder -- as well as a desperate, secret struggle between the Qatala and its chief rival, the fledgling Orion Syndicate. And beneath the surface of the frozen world on which the proto-Cardassian discovery was made, another drama is playing out that will force Captain Garrett to make the most difficult decision of her career...amid ruins reputed to link the living with the dead.