STAR TREK: WORLDS OF DEEP SPACE NINE BOOK TWO
Published by Pocket Books
Edited by Marco Palmieri.
In stores February 2005.
320 pgs., Paperback (ISBN: 0-7434-8352-9) $6.99
Click here to purchase Star Trek:WODS9 II at Amazon
Click here to purchase Star Trek:WODS9 I at Amazon
Click here to purchase Star Trek:WODS9 III at Amazon
Three books. Two novels in each. Seven authors. The Worlds of Deep Space Nine as you've never seen them explored before!
Book One (June 2004):
Cardassia: "The Lotus Flower" written by Una McCormack
Andor: "Paradigm" written by Heather Jarman
Book Two (February 2005):
Trill: "Unjoined" written by Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin
Bajor: "Fragments and Omens" written by J. Noah Kym
Book Three (February 2005):
The Dominion: "Olympus Descending" written by David R. George III
Ferenginar: "Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed" written by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Back Cover Copy
Within every federation and every empire, behind every hero and every villain, there are the worlds that define them. In the aftermath of Unity and in the daring tradition of Spock's World, The Final Reflection, and A Stitch in Time, the civilizations most closely tied to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine can be experienced as never before . . . in tales both sweeping and intimate, reflective and prophetic, eerily familiar and utterly alien.
WORLDS OF STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE
TRILL: They are a people with secrets. For centuries they kept their true nature hidden, even taking disturbing steps to protect the small population of near-immortal symbionts with whom a privileged few Trill are joined, body, mind and soul. They are a people who hold memory to be sacred, yet deny their own past. Now amid a whirlwind of scandal, accusations, and growing civil unrest, Ezri Dax must penetrate millennia of lies and deceptions, and rediscover what should never have been forgotten, before her civilization rips itself apart.
BAJOR: The honeymoon is over. Following the euphoria of Bajor's marriage to the Federation, the real business of making that union work has begun. But even on a world where politics and religion are intertwined, conflicting visions of Bajor's role in the interstellar arena divide the planet's leadership. As newly minted Captain Kira Nerys sets the tone for the kind of Starfleet officer she will be, First Minister Asarem makes a bold move to define Bajor's voice in the Federation, while the returned Benjamin Sisko prepares for a future that only he, as yet, can see.
An chat with Mangels and Martin on July 2, 2006 appears at The Omega Sector.
An interview of Mangels and Martin with Julio Angel Ortiz from may 29, 2006 appears at The Next Chamber.
""Unjoined" is a beautifully constructed story that explores Trill's previously hidden history by carefully taking into account everything previously established about the planet and it's culture and expanding upon it in a very creative and interesting way."
Jackie Bundy, The Trek Nation
""Unjoined" hits you in the gut and keeps doing it as you need to find out what's going on... Mangels & Martin show us an intriguing look at a world under siege by terrorists, though these terrorists have a point. The government *is* hiding something from them all...The entire story is gripping.
David Roy, Amazon.com
"Just as good as the first one. In fact, it's probably a wee bit better...The Trill story is the better of the two by a nose, because it wraps up completely. It focuses on the upheavals on Trill after the events of Unity, the role of Trill in the parasite evolution and the reasons for the parasite's hatred, and it has a very strong ending with very strong repercussions..."
G. Marshall, Amazon.com
"The story left me with very mixed feelings. There is a lot in 'Unjoined' I found very interesting and there is a lot I liked. But unfortunately there is one element in the story that pretty much spoiled it for me...Nevertheless, it is a very powerful story...Trill as a whole became much more complex with this story. I am looking forward to find out how things will develop in future."
Baerbel Haddrell, TrekBBS.com
"In a short number of pages, the story does nothing less than shake Trill to its very foundation and it was completely riveting from beginning to end...Many of the ideas put forth by the novel were simply fascinating... Martin and Mangels are becoming my favorite authors and the book is probably the best Trek book I've read in the last 15 months."
EXCERPT FROM "UNJOINED"
Every time he stepped into the expansive chamber, Leonard James Akaar felt an almost primal apprehension. With the immense metal doors to either side and the rear, and the illuminated risers placed along the walls, the Federation Council assembly hall had the feel of a gladiatorial arena. Capellan tribesmen had once fought each other to the death in such places--though the combat venues had been much larger, and did not feature polished black opalite floors--and Akaar imagined that some of his countrymen probably still conducted such blood rites in Capella IV's backwater provinces.
Akaar knew that the main Federation Council chamber was built both for function and grandeur. The acoustics of the central space not only allowed speakers to be heard clearly from any section of the room, they also imparted a stentorian resonance that befitted those who assembled before this august body to represent their respective homeworlds. But even though he had been born to a line of hereditary monarchs and was now an influential fleet admiral in Starfleet, Akaar was more comfortable in humbler surroundings; simple tents were far better suited to the martial tastes of a Capellan teer, even one in exile.
Akaar's high birth notwithstanding, the political coup that had forced him and his mother, Capella's Regent Eleen, to flee their homeworld during his childhood meant that he currently held no Capellan titles or lands. Because of this, he tended to look with disfavor upon councillors and dignitaries and political functionaries. They had their place--and he was in one of those places now--but he felt little kinship with them. It was an aspect of his personality that he tried to conceal from all but those closest to him.
He stood to one side as the councillors filed in to take their seats. Today's briefing was not meant to be a full quorum session of the Federation Council, but instead was comprised of the representatives of the Federation Security Council.
The Tellarite Councillor Bera chim Gleer was Akaar's least favorite of those in attendance. Like most of the Tellarites Akaar had dealt with over the years, Gleer tended toward rash emotionalism. Though the passionate warrior aspect of Akaar's personality could empathize with that trait, he still found Gleer frustrating at the best of times. On the other side of the spectrum was Councillor T'Latrek, a Vulcan who was in charge of her world's external affairs. After eighty years on the Council, she had seen many members come and go, and had witnessed the eruption and resolution of numerous wars and crises. But, true to the culture in which she'd been raised, she seemed completely unencumbered by emotion, expressing her thoughts in the rational and occasionally didactic manner of her people.
Somewhere between Gleer's fire and T'Latrek's ice was Councillor Matthew Mazibuko, representing Earth, whose diplomatic career had thrived by avoiding temperamental extremism. It was a trait, Akaar knew, that tended to be mistaken for a lack of decisiveness and conviction--a fallacy many of Mazibuko's opponents on issues brought to the floor of this chamber had learned to their great regret. As the human took his place among his peers, his vividly colored ambassadorial robes adorned in the intricate patterns of his native Africa, Akaar reflected that it was precisely this tendency to underestimate human subtlety that had enabled Earth to become such a formidable member of the Federation.
Akaar caught the gaze of Charivretha zh'Thane for a moment, but the Andorian councillor broke eye contact almost immediately, her antennae twitching in a manner that Akaar knew signified embarrassment. He'd heard she had been recalled to her homeworld and would be departing shortly after this meeting. When he had asked her earlier in the day if the rumor was true, she had deflected his question with several pointed inquiries of her own about Capellan notions of privacy. Akaar had taken the hint and withdrawn, unoffended, imagining that whatever the reason for zh'Thane's return to Andor, he would learn about it in due course--or not.
Several of the other councillors had already taken their seats, among them Huang Chaoying from Alpha Centauri, Ra'ch B'ullhy from Damiano, and Dynkorra M'Relle from Cait. But Akaar's attention was soon diverted by the arrival of the Federation president, Min Zife, who entered through the side door, flanked by several Starfleet security guards. The Federation's affable chief executive strode forward with confidence, his blue Bolian features complemented by his smartly tailored, light gray civilian suit.
"I call this session of the Federation Security Council to order," Zife said after he had taken his place behind the podium emblazoned with the Federation seal. All talk in the room sharply dropped away as the gathering turned its whole attention to the front of the chamber. "Today's meeting is to be considered sealed, unless the entire Council votes, at a later date, to reveal the proceedings herein."
Zife gestured toward Akaar, who squared his shoulders and stood straight, drawing himself to his full 2.2-meter height. He stood at attention as the president continued. "We will first hear from Fleet Admiral Akaar about the situation in question, then discuss the Council's best course of action. Admiral?"
Akaar stepped forward, bowed his head respectfully toward the president, then turned to address the councillors seated along either side of the chamber. "Thank you, Mr. President. Esteemed councillors, I trust that by now all of you have read Starfleet Command's official after-action reports on the recent crisis on Bajor, and its apparent connection to the world of Trill."
Councillor Gleer raised his porcine snout truculently. "I most certainly have, Admiral Akaar. And I am greatly displeased by the many questions it leaves unanswered."
Unsurprised by Gleer's attitude, Akaar met the Tellarite's glare impassively. "I will be pleased to answer any questions that you or any of the other esteemed councillors present may wish to raise, Councillor Gleer."
Apparently unimpressed by Akaar's attempt at openness, Gleer pounded one of his hirsute fists on the table before him. "How could all of this have been kept secret for so long?" he bellowed.
Akaar found that Gleer's blunt question brought him up short. "To what are you referring specifically?" he asked after a moment's consideration.
"All of it! These parasites and their apparent genetic relationship to the Trill symbionts, a fact that the Trill authorities must have been concealing from us for quite a while--just as they used to hide from friend and foe alike their true nature as a joined species. Then there's the matter of the Trill government's use of assassins against other Federation heads of state. The Federation Council cannot countenance the wanton--"
Growing irritated by the Tellarite's peremptory tone, Akaar interrupted him. "I am prepared to discuss Starfleet's operational knowledge of and involvement in last month's parasite-related incidents. However, it might be indecorous of me to use this venue to speculate about the internal workings of the Trill government."
"Indeed," said Councillor T'Latrek, raising her right eyebrow in what Akaar interpreted as a display of curiosity. "Inquiries into the Trill government's knowledge about the parasites--and its apparent sanctioning of the assassination of Bajor's First Minister Shakaar--would be more appropriately directed toward the councillor representing Trill."
It had not escaped Akaar's notice that Councillor Jerella Dev of Trill was conspicuously absent.
"Just why isn't Councillor Dev present at this meeting?" asked Ra'ch B'ullhy, the representative from Damiano. "For that matter, I would think Bajor, given the manner in which it was directly impacted by Trill operatives, would demand representation at these proceedings as well. We are talking about an act of aggression by one Federation member world against another, are we not?"
Akaar's gaze shifted to the presidential podium, behind which Zife stood. The Bolian looked uncomfortable, apparently at a loss for words. Not for the first time, Akaar wondered not only how this president had gained his reputation for decisiveness, and how he had maintained it during the tumultuous years of the Dominion War.
"To their credit, and our good fortune, the Bajoran people have not been blind to the extenuating circumstances surrounding the death of their leader," Councillor zh'Thane said, cutting short the embarrassing silence from the podium. "Their own doctors have agreed that Shakaar Edon had irrevocably ceased to exist well before his parasite-dominated body was shot and killed aboard Deep Space 9. Understandably, the Bajoran government continues to demand a full investigation into Trill's handling of this crisis, about which no Bajoran or Federation officials were ever consulted. However, the Bajorans have agreed to wait for this Security Council to issue its recommendations before bringing the matter to the floor when the full council reconvenes later this month." Zh'Thane paused before continuing. "As for the other matter, our business today very much concerns Trill, and might well be hampered by the presence of a representative from that world."
"But must we conduct this business behind the backs of the Trill people?" Councillor Huang wanted to know, her obvious distaste for subterfuge emphasized by her grim countenance.
"Why not?" said Gleer, his voice a low rumble. "The Trill have never had a problem concealing essential truths from other Federation member worlds. It seems to come naturally to them. Consider the manner in which they used stolen Starfleet property to achieve their ends on Bajor!"
Hiziki Gard's isolation suit, Akaar thought. Ordinarily utilized for benign covert cultural study of prewarp civilizations, the Starfleet "cloaking" garment had become the means by which Shakaar's killer had hoped to evade capture while he remained hidden aboard Deep Space 9. Gard said he had obtained the suit through black market channels, a claim supported by the fact that the suit's serial number tied it to the U.S.S. Kelly, which had been destroyed at the Battle of Rigel during the war. Ships of the Orion Syndicate were known to have ventured into the debris field in the aftermath of the battle, salvaging what they could from wreckage before Starfleet could claim its own. It made Akaar wonder how much classified Federation technology had been recovered in the same manner by unscrupulous parties. Another postwar headache to deal with.
"In light of its government's actions," Councillor M'Relle was saying, his usually purring tones sounding jangled and dangerous, "a reevaluation of Trill's status as a Federation member may be in order,"
"I agree," said Gleer, prompting Akaar to wonder whether the Tellarite councillor had ever before uttered that particular phrase.
Councillor Rach gently shook her horned, cerise-hued head. "That might be a bit extreme."
"I concur," said Matthew Mazibuko. "All the facts are not yet in, and it would be well for us not to rush to judgment, despite the shocking nature of recent events. Moreover, even with the Dominion War behind us, the Federation can't afford to simply cut loose long-standing member worlds. Our postwar recovery depends as much upon our continued political cohesion as it does upon mere physical reconstruction."
T'Latrek nodded at Mazibuko. "Perhaps a vote for censure would be more appropriate."
A buzz of cross conversation steadily rose among the members of the Security Council, and Akaar patiently waited for it to subside. Standing behind the podium as though using it for cover, President Zife seemed to wish he were light-years away. Perhaps he regards the dissension surrounding Trill as a personal failure on his part, Akaar thought.
"As deserving as the Trill government is of our criticism, we cannot afford to let that distract us from clear and present dangers," Gleer said, his nasal voice cutting through the cross talk like an rodinium-tipped mining drill. The Tellarite's stern gaze fell directly upon Akaar.
If Gleer had expected Akaar to flinch, he was disappointed. "To what are you referring, Councillor?"
Gleer snorted. "I should think my meaning is obvious. I'd like to know how we can be certain that the parasite crisis is indeed over. After all, twelve years ago--after the creatures temporarily seized control of Starfleet Command--the threat was thought to be ended. But this year they've managed to return, popping up on Bajor of all places. If these organisms can wreak havoc with the Federation's newest inductee, then how can we really know we're rid of them?"
The perspicacity of Gleer's point was underscored by a renewed barrage of cross-talk that erupted across the chamber. Akaar waited until it had died down before replying. "You raise a very good point, Councillor Gleer. At the moment, all we have is the testimony of Captain Benjamin Sisko that the immediate threat is over... and the complete absence of any evidence disproving that assurance."
Gleer grunted derisively. "Far be it from me to doubt the testimony of the Emissary of the Bajoran Prophets," he scoffed.
"What my esteemed colleague means," interjected Mazibuko, shooting Gleer a sharp look before turning to Akaar, "is that the responsibilities of this council to the people of the Federation require that we test those assurances, Admiral."
"Agreed," Akaar replied. "It should therefore please the council to know that during the four weeks since the crisis on Bajor ended, all Starfleet databases, as well as those of local peacekeeping authorities, have been sent explicit declassified information about the parasites, including data gleaned from the encounters on both Deep Space 9 and Bajor.
"Additionally, Starfleet teams are even now reconstructing the travels of everyone known to have become infected by the parasites, in order to determine whether any residual threat yet exists."
Charivretha zh'Thane leaned forward in her chair and spoke. "Admiral Akaar has so far neglected to mention that the Trill government has asked Starfleet and this Council to withhold from the public certain salient information, namely, the genetic similarities between the parasites and the Trill symbionts."
Akaar found zh'Thane's gaze and tone grating. Was she always this condescending? Or had he gotten on her bad side when he'd asked about her recall? "Thank you, Councillor zh'Thane," he said, concealing his irritation behind a stoicism perfected by long decades of practice. "You have anticipated the next item on my agenda."
"And have we accommodated the Trill government's request?" M'Relle of Cait asked, his tail twitching absently near his right shoulder. The graceful felinoid seemed unaware of the tension between zh'Thane and Akaar.
"So far, Councillor M'Relle, neither the Federation Council nor Starfleet Command has revealed anything the Trill government has requested be kept secret," Akaar replied.
President Zife cleared his throat quietly, bringing everyone's attention back to the podium. "I have been in communication with Trill's President Maz, who has informed me that her government is undertaking a full investigation of the parasite issue, including an exploration of the apparent genetic links between the parasites and the symbionts. She respectfully requests that the Council grant the Trill Senate adequate time to conduct these proceedings before taking any precipitous action regarding Trill. President Maz has assured me on her honor that she knows nothing more than do we at the moment."
Akaar wondered briefly whether Maz was telling the truth about her personal ignorance, or was engaging in the time-honored political practice known across the quadrant as "plausible deniability."
Evidently having got his second political wind, Zife continued. "President Maz has also informed me that her people are currently experiencing considerable domestic political stress. I believe this underscores the necessity of honoring her request. It is, after all, in the interests of this Council to help Federation member worlds to maintain domestic social stability--providing they can do so without violating the Guarantees of the Federation Constitution.
"I therefore recommend that this Council allow President Maz and the Trill Senate a reasonable period of time to complete their own public inquests into the parasite affair before we make any public statements--or calls for a censure vote of any kind against Trill."
"Does the Trill government truly believe that news of the parasite-symbiont connection won't become public before it completes its own investigation?" Rach asked, her crimson face a mask of incredulity. "I find that ridiculous. If I understand the admiral's report correctly, dozens of people--perhaps even hundreds--already know all about this, from Starfleet to Bajor to Cardassia. It seems certain that the story will leak to the general public no matter what either the Trill authorities or this Council does."
"The odds in favor of that eventuality are high indeed," T'Latrek said. "Word of this will get out. It is just a matter of time."
Akaar stopped himself from nodding as the councillors conferred all around him, conversing quietly with one another in low tones.
As the members of the Council began their official vote on the matter, Akaar found that he agreed wholeheartedly with Rach and T'Latrek. Whatever domestic political problems lay ahead for the Trill people, he hoped their leaders were prepared to deal with the havoc that was sure to be unleashed, once the secret of their relationship to the parasites stood revealed.
Copyright © 2005 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
more news to come!