The Taurus Reach is in turmoil.
With tensions mounting between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, Ambassador Jetanien works frantically on Starbase Vanguard to halt the escalation toward war. Commodore Diego Reyes, the station's former commander, awaits trial for treason, while the shattered mind of his intelligence officer, T'Prynn, becomes the battlefield in a fight for her very life.
But even as matters deteriorate, the discoveries made in the Taurus Reach have captured the imagination of one of the Federation's most promising scientific minds: Dr. Carol Marcus believes she is close to solving a puzzle that will transform her life's work. Meanwhile, an unexpected defection brings a new perspective to the investigation, and Vanguard's Lieutenant Ming Xiong is confronted with an artifact that could be the key to decoding the TaurusMeta-Genome.
But with Operation Vanguard teetering between its greatest breakthrough and a conflict that could engulf two quadrants, its future may depend on the man Starfleet has selected to replace Reyes as base commander: Admiral Heihachiro Nogura.
Dayton Ward (born 1967) is a science fiction author primarily known for his Star Trek novels and short stories, which began with publication in the Strange New Worlds anthology series. He published stories in each of the first three Strange New Worlds volumes, making him the first author to render himself ineligible under the rules of that series. As such, future authors who achieved the same feat were said to have earned a "Wardy."
In addition to his Star Trek books, he has written numerous articles related to Star Trek in Star Trek Communicator and Star Trek Magazine. He has also published a number of short stories in various magazines and collections. His frequent collaborator on these and other works is fellow author Kevin Dilmore..