Thanks for the comment! It is December in 1h 20mins here, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait a little longer - hope to have the prologue up by tomorrow night!
In the meantime, here is the summary for Volume 2...
STR Volume 2 Summary
Aboard Onyx Station, a Shy'at - a knight of the Laurentii Theocracy - comes to see the station commander with news of a starfighter that has gone missing along the Galactic Barrier. While watching the last moments of the fighter, they see a black emptiness engulf and destroy a whole star system...
Back in Federation space, three weeks have passed since the Klingon attack and Captain Sarine is overseeing the refit of the USS Redemption. Receiving a transmission from Admiral Kovat, the man who offered him command weeks before, Sarine learns that he must justify his actions during the Klingon attack before a review committee.
After spending three weeks on Romulus, S.I operative Zoraya arrives onboard the ship. She has been charged with spying both on Sarine and learning as much as she can about the Laurentii. Meeting Captain Sarine for the first time, she then reports over subspace to her handler at Starfleet Intell. She is interrupted by her Ferengi roommate who informs her that a Borg ship has just dropped out of warp near the ship.
Lieutenant Dax, recently given a temporary promotion to executive officer but still struggling with the former Dax host, is overseeing the bridge when the Borg ship arrives. Putting Redemption on red alert, he prepares to attack, but is overruled by Captain Sarine who announces that a group of Borg are to be allowed to beam onboard. Confronting the captain about his decision, Dax learns that these Borg have been granted temporary Starfleet commissions - and that one of them will be replacing the dead Ianto as Chief Engineer!
Kalara is preparing for her court martial down on Romulus when she learns that she has been offered a deal - no court martial if she accepts a bump down to Lieutenant-Commander and an official reprimand. Refusing the offer, she gives in to depression and tries to hurt herself, but is saved by the intervention of her husband, Damien. When she wakes up, she receives a visit from Ambassador Benjamani, who offers her an interesting position that makes her rethink her decision.
A day later, Sarine reports before the review committee. He has a face-off with the leader of the committee, a Bajoran Admiral named Sisko who has it in for Sarine due to certain actions Sarine took during the war. As the confrontation becomes heated, Sarine receives help from an unexpected ally - Ambassador Benjamani - who speaks up on his behalf for her own mysterioud purposes.
On Earth, Colin Groves, former Starfleet officer and current Deputy Chief of Staff in President Baxter's Administration, is called in to the office after a senior Starfleet admiral makes an inflamatory comment about the president's reluctance to declare war against the Klingons for their attack on Romulus. After a meeting with the President, Colin is ordered to use his connections in Starfleet to get a retraction.
Onboard Redemption, Jasto's conflict with the other Dax host, Haebron, takes a dangerous turn when he wakes up in the armoury to find a thermal detonator active in his hand. Although he realises that Haebron has taken control of his body, he is reluctant to seek out help and ruin his career.
At the same moment, Captain Sarine greets Ambassador Benjamani in his ready room after her arrival onboard the ship. He is shocked and angered when he discovers that Benjamani has chosen Kalara as her Starfleet liaison. Still, he tries to remain civil and offers to show them around the ship.
While Sarine gives Benjamani and her team a tour of the ship, agent Zoraya learns that Starfleet Intell have picked up traces of a Klingon transmission coming from Redemption just before the attack. She is tasked with finding the spy. That very same spy, Doctor Keene, is shocked when Kalara shows up in sickbay. Using a hidden camera, he listens in on a conversation between her and the CMO, and overhears them discover the truth: someone has been impersonating Kalara. Kalara vows to find the spy, leaving Keene with a thorny dilemma.
After this revelation, Kalara and her husband are contacted by Damien's cousin, the President's Communication's Director, who asks the couple for help in getting the retraction for the inflamatory comment about the President. Damien reveals that he knows the Starfleet Press liaison serving onboard Redemption and that he may be able to help them.
Damien meets with the laision officer, Saadene Benouakhir, in one of Redemption's R&R centers. The two discuss what has been happening recently, and Saadene agrees to help. Their meeting is interrupted, though, when a group of Borg walk in and Saadene is shocked to recognise one of them.
After confronting the officer whose life Haebron destroyed, Jasto has convinced himself that the former host has settled. Ordered before the captain, he is introduced to Prin Ly'et, a Cardassian woman who will be taking over as XO. He is also surprised to be offered the position of second officer, which he accepts.
As repairs progress, Sarine is called down to engineering where he learns that the Quantum Slipstream Drive is ready for use. Kane, the new Borg Chief Engineer, also informs him of an anomaly in the main computer - a huge amount of memory that has been seized by some unknown party...
Back on Earth, Colin Groves finally completes the task set to him and convinces the Starfleet admiral who made the unfortunate comments about the President to resign. His good humour does not last, however, when he learns that the President and Chief of Staff have been hiding a Starfleet Intell report clearly showing that the Klingon High Council directly ordered the attack on Romulus.
The situation with the Klingons further precipitates towards war when Redemption, on her first test cruise, picks up a distress call from a Federation freighter under attack from three Klingon Birds-of-Prey. Reluctantly accepting the help of Kalara, Sarine is able to fight the Klingons off and sends a team over to investigate. Although the team discover evidence that the Klingons were sent by the High Council, hidden Klingon operative Doctor Keene takes the opportunity to request an extraction from Federation Space from his handler in Imperial Intelligence. His request is refused, however, and he is given new instructions - take Commander Kalara's place and, as her, assassinate one of the Laurentii, thus precipitating a war between the Federation and the Hegemony.
Following this attack, the President has no choice but to declare war on the Klingon Empire. Although Colin is determined to help the war effort by smoothing things over between the President's office and Starfleet, he is ordered by the President to join the Redemption mission and make sure that the treaty goes through.
The day of the launch finally comes. After making a speech, Sarine orders the ship to depart spacedock and to make full speed for Laurentine space...
End of Volume II