It is a time of renewed hope. As the U.S.S. Defiant sails through the wormhole and charts a new course of discovery into the unknown ocean of the Gamma Quadrant, powerful individuals from distant worlds gather at station Deep Space 9(tm) to usher in a bright new era; with the Dominion War now only a memory, Bajor is poised at last to enter the Federation. For Colonel Kira Nerys, Commander Elias Vaughn, and all those who follow them, these are the voyages they were born to undertake.
But where they seek to go is defined by the journeys they have made before, and ghosts populate these uncharted waters -- the spectres of lost leaders, fallen friends, forsaken lovers, vanquished enemies, and earlier selves. Some of these shades drive the travelers on, others are drawn inexorably into their wake; but all make their presence felt, and in feeling, the men and women of DS9 and the Defiant must somehow navigate the perilous rapids of their pasts in order to find the future.
Originally published as Twilight and This Gray Spirit -- the first two novels in the critically acclaimed Mission: Gamma series -- These Haunted Seas is the next chapter of the epic saga begun in Twist of Faith, continuing the chronicles of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine(r) beyond the small screen, propelling its heroes to realms they could never have imagined, and truths they cannot escape.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
June 16, 2008
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: These Haunted Seas by David R. George III
He watched her die, and in that terrible instant, he relived the moment of their separation, felt the weight of the years since, and regretted everything.
Prynn's body landed in a heap beside the captain's chair, the foul smell of singed flesh already rising from her. Elias Vaughn looked down at her as he leaped from the chair, and saw the midsection of her uniform burned away. Past the seared edges of the fabric that remained, her skin was charred black. Blood seeped from her mangled body and pooled in her wounds like crimson floodwaters across a ruined landscape.
Vaughn pulled his gaze away and, with an emotional effort, moved past the remains of his daughter, toward the console she had a moment ago been operating. He suppressed the ache growing within him and focused on reaching the conn, on keeping Defiant intact and headed away from its attackers. Prynn was dead, but the rest of the crew were not.
With each step, Vaughn felt the labored vibrations of the impulse drive translating through the deck plates. Dark gray eddies of smoke swirled about the bridge, carrying with them the electric scent of overheated circuitry. Flashes of scarlet, the visual call to battle stations, shined here and there through the haze. He reached the conn and bent to assay the readouts, waving away the smoke with an open hand. The low moan of the straining engines deepened as Vaughn eyed the display, and he was not surprised to find the ship no longer holding course. He reached down to work the controls, but flames surged up from beneath the console. Vaughn threw an arm up in front of his face as he staggered back a step, the intense heat blistering his arm even through his uniform sleeve. The air pressure decreased a moment, the hungry fire gathering fuel for itself. The flames sounded like a banner whipping in the wind, loud enough for Vaughn to hear over the inconsistent thrum of the overburdened drive and the many alarms screaming for the crew's attention.
A voice called out above the din -- "Weapons power to the shields?" -- only to be followed by another shouting that Defiant's weapons were offline. Lieutenant Bowers at tactical, Lieutenant Nog at engineering, Vaughn thought, startled for a moment to realize that he was not alone. Even as his instincts to save the crew had driven him to action, their presence had vanished from his mind; for long seconds, his entire universe had been smoke and flame, vibration and sound, and the image of his daughter's mutilated corpse.
Ensign ch'Thane worked the sciences station, Vaughn thought, forcing himself wholly back into the moment. And somewhere behind him, Lieutenant Dax and Dr. Bashir filled out the roster of bridge personnel. If any of them were saying anything, he could not hear them.
Vaughn looked past his upraised arm and squinted at the fire engulfing the conn. Streaks of brilliant indigo snaked up through the otherwise orange-yellow flames. Chromium, Vaughn thought, even as he began to move again, the recollection or misrecollection of which elements burned which colors incongruously percolating up from memory. He moved around the console and dropped to his knees. From this vantage, he could see the jagged margin of a hole in the decking beneath the conn, the flames erupting from it in great sheets. The explosion that had claimed Prynn had obviously occurred just below.
Defiant rocked suddenly and violently, inertial dampers failing for a second. Another Jarada disruptor bolt, Vaughn guessed as he felt the ship pitch forward. Too close to his goal to give it up, and knowing time was running out for the crew, he grabbed for the console support as he was thrown off balance. Somehow, his fingers found their mark and took hold. Pain flared through his right hand, his flesh binding itself to the hot metal in a horrible embrace. But he held on, pulling himself back to his knees and closer to the underside of the console.
A disembodied voice yelled something Vaughn could not make out, the fire bellowing in his ears like the roar of some mammoth molten beast. He listened for other words, but heard only the flames. A murky cloud seemed to pass through his mind, like the smoke churning through the bridge. He realized he was on the verge of losing consciousness.
With a bellow of his own, Vaughn thrust his free hand up under the conn and felt for the fire-suppression canister. His uniform sleeve caught fire, and beneath it, so too did his skin. His fingertips brushed the canister, amazingly still cool to the touch. Vaughn quickly pulled the cylinder free with one hand, then pulled his other hand from the console support, the pain of his skin tearing away an afterthought in the wake of his determination.