STARFLEET CORPS OF ENGINEERS
More than a century ago, the U.S.S. Defiant disappeared with all hands into an interspatial rift deep in Tholian territory. Now the derelict ship has been seen drifting in and out of ordinary space, and the Tholian authorities have reluctantly agreed to let Starfleet retrieve the Defiant from the rift. Perhaps, at long last, the lost ship can be brought home and its valiant crew paid their final respects.
Captain David Gold and an S.C.E. team from the U.S.S. da Vinci succeed in boarding the Defiant, but their investigation soon uncovers a dangerous secret. For more than a hundred years, an ancient super-weapon has been hidden away within the scarred and lifeless starship, along with evidence of a long-forgotten atrocity -- evidence that could ignite a vast interstellar war!
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
February 27, 2001
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Interphase Book 1 by Dayton Ward
Nostrene could sense the tension permeating the room, though he himself refused to display any outward indications except that of perfect calm. His posture contrasted with that of his crew and the scientific advisors bustling about the command deck as they made last-minute adjustments or ran final tests. Consoles and viewscreens displayed a vast array of data, each one dedicated to some facet of the monumental experiment currently under way.
"Holding at light speed minus three," reported the subordinate manning the helm with no attempt to hide the excitement in his voice. Nostrene could not blame the younger officer, who was serving aboard ship on his first assignment and was displaying much of the same excitability and enthusiasm he himself had at that age.
"Report current status, Dlyax." In response, one of the scientists stationed near the front of the command deck turned to face Nostrene, the deep red hue of his crystalline body reflecting the harsh illumination emitted from the deck plating.
"Commander, the drive system appears to be functioning normally. Our diagnostic scans show no anomalies or irregularities. It is our consensus that the test can proceed without further delay."
Of course they would think that, Nostrene mused. Their reputations are being tested here today as much as any new propulsion system.
Tholian ships had enjoyed success with their ability to attack from positions of stealth and to utilize their much feared energy web generators, draining the power and crushing the hull of even the sturdiest enemy vessel. But it had been Nostrene's experience that ships controlled by enemies he'd faced in past battles had possessed definite advantages in speed. While Tholian vessels had been able to travel faster than light for generations, they never had been able to achieve speeds comparable to those recorded by ships of other races. The vessels most frequently underscoring this shortcoming, to Nostrene's chagrin, belonged to the United Federation of Planets.
This concern had been brought to the forefront during the recent war between the Federation and the Dominion. Alpha Quadrant forces had nearly succumbed to the might of the so-called "Founders" and their legions of genetically engineered soldiers, the Jem'Hadar. The Assembly's tenuous state of peace with the Federation had strengthened during the conflict, allowing the Tholian people to largely observe the war. That position fit securely with the nonaggression pact they had established with the Dominion. Though it had not been popular opinion to state publicly at the time, Nostrene was certain that Tholian forces would have fallen quickly to the vastly superior strength exhibited by the Dominion. Fortunately the war had ended, with the Founders and the Jem'Hadar being forced back into Gamma Quadrant space before his suspicions could be tested.