Star Trek: Typhon Pact

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A series of books in the so-called Star Trek Novel Verse. As of the novel A Singular Destiny, itself following on from the Star Trek: Destiny trilogy, the political structure of the Star Trek galaxy has been shaken up considerably. Six formally non-aligned powers - the Breen, Gorn, Tholians, Tzenkethi, Kinshaya and half of the Romulans - have formed an alliance, becoming new interstellar superpower the Typhon Pact. For the first time, the United Federation of Planets is facing a rival with an agenda matching its own - peaceful co-operation between species for mutual benefit. Political tensions are high, and the state of The Federation now somewhat uncertain.

Full-sized novels:


  • The Struggle Within.

Tropes used in Star Trek: Typhon Pact include:
  • Anyone Can Die: Notably, Joseph Sisko, Tal'aura and Donatra in Rough Beasts of Empire.
  • Arc Welding: Apart from Ezri Dax and Sam Bowers, the characters of the Star Trek Deep Space Nine Relaunch were absent from Star Trek: Destiny. Star Trek: Typhon Pact brings the relaunch story arc forward to Destiny's aftermath, revealing the actions of many of these characters during the crisis.
    • Paths of Disharmony returns to the Andorian genetics/politics arc from the Relaunch, and explores the effect Star Trek: Destiny and its aftermath had on the situation. It also makes good use of ideas introduced in Star Trek: Vanguard, with the classified records of those novels' events being integral to Paths of Disharmony's plot.
  • Arch Enemy: Politically, President Bacco and Ambassador Tezrene are almost certainly arch enemies by now. In Zero Sum Game, Bacco "wins" the latest political tussle between them (the time before, in A Singular Destiny, Tezrene came out on top). In Paths of Disharmony, it's once again Tezrene's turn to score, when her people succeed in causing further political chaos in the Federation.
  • Artificial Gravity: The Tzenkethi manipulate gravity on a local scale so they can use every surface of a room for work or recreation. They consider using only the floor to be a foolish waste of available space. Also, they're psychologically uncomfortable with open spaces and prefer the sense of enclosement that comes from having workstations on every wall, floor, and ceiling.
  • Ass in Ambassador: Tholian Ambassador Tezrene, as always. She now represents not Tholia specifically but the Typhon Pact in general.
  • Batman Gambit: In Rough Beasts of Empire, the Tzenkethi manipulates Romulan politics so as to become an unofficial leading power in the Typhon Pact. The Romulans are the most powerful faction, but are currently led by somewhat hawkish leaders; this threatens the galactic stability seemingly desired by the Tzenkethi. In order to "reign in" the Romulans without drawing attention to themselves or damaging the Romulans' actual strength (which serves the Pact well), they conspire to remove the current Romulan leader and install a Praetor they'd prefer to be in power - all through subtle manipulation (and a few assassinations disguised as natural causes). This gambit is played out as Praetor Tal'aura works on her own; to reclaim the breakaway worlds of Donatra's Imperial Romulan State by framing Donatra for a supposed attack on Ambassador Spock, then arresting her when she accepts an invite to a diplomatic conference on Romulus. The latter gambit is playing into the former, as a reunited Romulan state benefits the Typhon Pact and thus is in the best interests of the Tzenkethi.
    • The gambit does have a long-term knock-on effect, however, that drives the Romulans to seek a modus vivendi with the Federation and thus serve as a moderating influence on the Pact itself, so it ultimately backfires on the Tzenkethi.
  • Call Back / Continuity Nod: A scene in Zero Sum Game, in which President Bacco is confronted by Federation Council members wary of her potentially questionable decisions, announcing their intention to veto a bill only to be outmaneuvered, recalls a scene in A Time to Heal, where then-President Zife faced a similar confrontation. Where Zife deflected criticism by appealing to humanitarian arguments, while actually up to his neck in illegal activities, Bacco attacks with information on the support she has from other councilors, seemingly convinced that she's on the right side of the moral line. As both novels were written by the same author, the similarities between the two scenes are likely entirely deliberate. Whether the Bacco scene serves to reinforce why she's different and better than Zife or hints uncomfortably at the possibility for Not So Different unless she's careful, is up to the reader.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Breen salutation "Night and silence protect you", and its reply "may darkness bring you fortune".
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each book focuses on one member (sometimes two) of the titular Typhon Pact, many of them previously somewhat minor players. The only member without a focus was the Kinshaya...until the announcement of a "bonus story" in novella form, which featured them extensively. The same novella took a non-Typhon Pact member, the Talarians, and fleshed them out too.
  • Democracy Is Bad: The Tzenkethi have this belief, which is why they're so opposed to the United Federation of Planets. Alizome, a Tzenkethi agent, reflects on the disturbing concept of allowing anyone a political voice:

"Those mediocre and substandard minds - uneducated, self-centered, avaricious, prejudiced, chauvinistically patriotic - would ultimately bring about the downfall of their society".

  • Double Meaning Title: As well as the obvious meaning, Zero Sum Game is also a reference to "cold war" as well as to the Breen, who are popularly supposed to live in sub-zero temperatures.
  • Evil Counterpart: Although the Breen is a multi-faceted people, as an antagonist culture they serve as this to the Federation. Like the Federation, they draw on multiple races and cultures to form their membership, and no race is legally subordinate to another. However, where the Federation celebrates its diversity and the potential for new perspectives, the Breen fear bias to an extreme degree, and insist on hiding their diversity even as they utilize it. Where the Federation is open and bright, the Breen are secretive, closed-off, and embrace the shadows.
  • Expy: Romulan Commander Marius for Commander Tomalak (who's busy elsewhere at present). The writing in Zero Sum Game even draws attention to the similarity, playing Marius and Captain Dax as a reflection of Tomalak and Captain Picard.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Thot Keer. It also overlaps slightly with Dying as Yourself, in that in his last seconds he removes his Breen mask to reveal his true face, deliberately dying as a member of his birth race while having "lived a Breen".
  • Fantastic Caste System: The Gorn have been given this (as was hinted in earlier Star Trek Expanded Universe works). The Tzenkethi sort of have one, though they don't appreciate the term "caste" being applied by outsiders.
  • Fantastic Rank System: Breen ranks include Thot (canonically established), Chot, and Ghoc. They're attached to the front of a Breen's short-hand name, so that the Breen Deshinar Tibbonel, for instance, is known as "Chot Nar".
    • Gorn ranks include the Ozuk, and Warrior Caste units are led by a First Myrmidon.
    • The Kinshaya ranks translate as Vicar, Deacon, Bishop, Arch-Bishop, etc.
  • Fictional Currency: The Breen Confederacy's Sakto.
  • Fictional Political Party: The Parliament Andoria is split between the Modern Progressives and the Visionists. The novel Paths of Disharmony also points out some of the flaws in a political system defined by "rival" parties.
  • General Ripper: First Myrmidon Gog'resssh, a Gorn command officer of the warrior caste. Driven slowly mad by radiation poisoning, he becomes increasingly brutal and unhinged. He switches between being completely paranoid and strangely trusting, though he's always dangerous.
  • Heel Face Turn: Apparently, some of the Ascendants (see Star Trek Deep Space Nine Relaunch). Raiq herself is studying on Bajor as of Rough Beasts Of Empire.
  • Hero Antagonist: Thot Keer, the Breen shipyard manager in Zero Sum Game. His work crews are developing a prototype starship using stolen Federation technology, and the protagonist's mission is to destroy both prototype and shipyard. Keer is certainly not a villain though; he is merely a patriot who takes pride in his work, and displays great bravery and (for want of a better term) humanity throughout the novel.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: "Permit me to make my meaning as clear as crysmetal".
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Dr. Ree makes the joke that gives this trope its name. Also, the Gorn under Gog'resssh briefly and half-jokingly suggests they could eat the Starfleet crew for provisions. Of course, Gog'resssh's crew is insane by this point.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Eklanir th'Gahryn reflects on the value of these in Paths of Disharmony. In particular, his friendship with his much younger aide ch'Drena is highly important to him.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: The Talarian genders have very different social roles, and are liable to underplay the importance of the other gender's work. Given that politics and leadership is a male role, this is most notable and extreme when the male government neglects their people's feminine sphere, leading to unrest in The Struggle Within.
    • The Gorn seem to have shades of the same problem; emphasizing the warrior component of their culture and disregarding the equally important non-military aspects. In their case, rather than a gender division it's a matter of caste; the Technologist caste appears to be looked down on by the warriors. As an interesting extension of the idea, the Political Caste seems to have such fear of the warriors' tendency to promote themselves above other Gorn that they've deliberately undercut their power by giving them only a single breeding world.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Tzenkethi, who glow with a beautiful light that is considered strikingly beautiful by most other species. They're actually very manipulative, though, and the clearest villains of Rough Beasts of Empire.
  • Military Maverick: Romulan Commander Marius, definitely. His apparent rival Captain Dax is often this as well.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: The Federation is now not the local superpower, nor is it the only nation working to bring mutually beneficial unity to the worlds of the galaxy.
    • On a far lesser note, Spock's Reunification Movement is now legal, and he has a full visitor's pass to any Romulan world.
    • As of Paths of Disharmony, Andor is quitting the Federation!
      • This ultimately reverts back to normal a few years later, but still does a fair amount of damage in the short term.
  • Occupiers Out of Our Country!: As of Paths of Disharmony, a vocal minority of Andorians have come to view the Federation as essentially an oppressive force manipulating Andor for its own ends at the expense of the planet's own national and cultural identity. This is the motivation behind the Well-Intentioned Extremist who serves as the novel's primary antagonist. The idea is encouraged by the Tholians, who arrange to drop a proverbial bombshell at just the right (wrong) time.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: The home and office of the Tzenkethi Autarch is inside a building with a flexible and highly changeable structural design. To access the house requires contemplation of mathematical principles and aesthetics, to puzzle out the likely position of concealed openings. Agents of the Autarch are therefore tested every time they report to the building, and must demonstrate their worth by finding a way inside.
  • Patriotic Fervor: On Andor, among several groups advocating the planet's withdrawal from the Federation in favor of more directly Andor-centric politics. Others fear that Andorian national/cultural identity is being destroyed by the influence of offworlders.
  • Pungeon Master: T'Ryssa, as usual. The highlight this time round is her referring to Kinshaya engaging in non-violent protests as "hippie-griffs" (Kinshaya being the Star Trek Novel Verse's Our Gryphons Are Different race).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Gell Kamemor, who becomes important in Rough Beasts of Empire. She's an Ensemble Darkhorse originally introduced in Serpents Among the Ruins, a novel of Star Trek: The Lost Era.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Discussed at some length in Seize the Fire, and also played with when the reptilian Gorn show similar revulsion to mammals.

"Mammals. Why did it have to be mammals?"

  • Revision: Zero Sum Game tackles the Continuity Snarl various sources have turned the Breen into (Do they really need cold temperatures to survive? If not, why do they wear those suits? How humanoid are they under the suits? Are they invulnerable to telepathy or not?) and comes up with the simple explanation that there are more than one species in the Breen Confederacy.
    • The suits also serve a rather, oddly enough, democratic purpose. The Breen compensate for their racial diversity by having all their members in official roles don the suits in public circumstances to make all equal in Breen eyes for official purposes. The intimidation factor it presents to non-Breen is also another handy bonus.
  • Space Cold War: The series has aspects of this, particularly in Zero Sum Game.
  • Space Station: Typhon I.
  • Terraform: In Seize the Fire.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: The Gorn Hegemony is shown to practice this as a form of execution. The prisoner is entitled to an official trial, but that doesn't stop some commanders from spacing traitors there and then. In Seize the Fire, the Gorn technologist S'syrixx is thrown out the airlock, having been found guilty of sabotage.
  • Villain Team-Up: Essentially the idea behind the series, only with a twist. The nations which form the Pact were historically antagonistic, often to each other as well as to the Federation. Their outlook is changing, but to what degree and how far will it take them? A "cold war" situation has developed, but the agendas of all the players are still somewhat unclear, and whether the Pact takes an openly aggressive stance towards the Federation depends on which members gain the most influence. The Tholians, at least, are out for blood, whether the rest of the Pact follows their lead or reins them in is anyone's guess.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Eklanir th'Gahryn, leader of the Andorian Treishya separatist movement.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: This comes up with the Andorian Treishya terrorists, though it's pointed out how absurd it is to suggest Andorians are in need of "freedom fighters".