The second season of Star Trek: Discovery brought the crew of the USS Enterprise to the series. Anson Mount played Capt. Christopher Pike. Rebecca Romijn played his first officer, Number One. Ethan Peck played Mr. Spock, the ship's Science Officer who had taken a leave of absence. The presence of the Enterprise in the show's second season begged the question of where it had been during the show's first season. The novel Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War reveals where the Enterprise was during the events of Discovery's first season.
All fans knew about the Enterprise's whereabouts during the Federation-Klingon War is that it was on a deep space mission. Starfleet did not recall the ship at the outset of the war with the Klingon Empire. Upon returning, Pike seemed irritated with the Starfleet admiralty for keeping him out of the fighting.
The Enterprise War, written by John Jackson Miller, reveals more. The Enterprise was exploring the Pergamum Nebula when the Battle at the Binary Stars broke out. The cloud nebula is notorious for radiation that makes it difficult to traverse. That radiation also interferes with subspace communication. News of the war didn't reach Enterprise until several days after Starfleet sent it.
The message ordered Pike to stay on mission. He assumed by then the orders must be too old to be relevant. He ordered the Enterprise out of the nebula only to receive fresh orders to return to the Pergamum despite the ongoing conflict.
In Discovery, we learn the reason for this. Starfleet wanted to ensure some remnant of the Federation survived if it lost the war with the Klingons. It's ironic then that Enterprise found its own danger within the Pergamum nebula.
A group called the Boundless, native to the Pergamum, kidnapped many members of Enterprise's crew. They pressganged the Starfleet officers into the Boundless and their fight against a species called the Rengru. Attempts to rescue the crew ended up with the Enterprise almost grounded for good on an inhospitable planet.
The Enterprise crew spent a nightmarish year stuck in the nebula and in the crossfire of a war not their own. Despite that, the crew reunited, discovered the truth about the conflict, made peace, and returned to Federation space to find the war was over. From there, they brought Spock -- who had suffered a mental break during the year in the Pergamum -- to a starbase medical facility. Then, they embarked on their new mission to investigate the mysterious red signals.
What do you think of Enterprise's mission during the Federation-Klingon War? Let us know in the comments. Star Trek: Discovery: The Enterprise War is on sale now. Read our review of the novel here.