Continuing the adventures of the U.S.S. da Vinci, as Captain David Gold, Commander Sonya Gomez, and the rest of the Starfleet's miracle workers solve the problems of the galaxy, one disaster at a time.
Dr. Elizabeth Lense has left the da Vinci, returning to Earth to have the child conceived in another universe. But she arrives home to find that her estranged mother - renowned archaeologist Jennifer Almieri - is dead, and the investigation into her death is being handled by Starfleet. Soon Lense finds herself entwined in a web of intrigue, where everything she thought she knew about her mother is called into question.
Also returning to Earth is Bart Faulwell, recovering from the near-fatal injuries sustained in Signs from Heaven, and looking forward to a reunion with his lover Anthony Mark. But the reunion is far less satisfying than he'd been expecting.
Two crew members face major crossroads in their lives...
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
July 12, 2007
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Star Trek: Corps of Engineers: Ghost by Ilsa J. Bick
She was beat after a night of the kid doing the rumba on her bladder; the runabout smelled of too many people crammed into a too-small space. Scotty was just getting warm, telling Bart Faulwell the one about the Jenolen -- "though it was Franklin who came up with the notion of locking the system in a continuous diagnostic" -- and all Lense wanted was to crawl into a nice ice-box somewhere far, far away and catch sixty winks.
That, and maybe her job back.
Hunh. Lense let go of a long, slow sigh. That is so not going to happen.
Eight months pregnant and she was gonzo. Hasta la vista, babee, and turn off the lights on your way out, sweetheart, that's a love. Starfleet regs were very specific about the billets that would allow an officer to raise a newborn child, and Sabre-class vessels weren't on the list. She could keep the kid or keep the job, but not both.
Hell, Gold hadn't even waited until she was gone-gone. And she had trusted him. That little heart-toheart, his damn therapy, all that talk about family: You're not alone. You're part of a family here. Gold had known just how to manipulate her. And yet...
And yet, for a time, Lense had actually been happy. Not merely content. Happy. Part of the family, a little. That had meant a lot. After Saad, Lense hadn't been sure she'd ever be happy again.
A lump pushed in her throat as she thought about that last hour onboard, when Gold steered her into the mess hall, crammed with the da Vinci's crew: a surprise going-away party before she left for Starbase 375 with Faulwell and Scotty.
The sight of all those people absolutely floored her and she'd gotten teary, embarrassing herself, but she'd just been so bowled over between her anxiety for Faulwell and then surprise that she hadn't really seen the party for what it was.
She was gone. This was good-bye.
Actually, there was more to it than that. Ironically, just as she was leaving, she also got a promotion. Gold did it himself, removing the hollow pip and replacing it with a full one to match the other two. Commander Elizabeth Lense.
And she couldn't delude herself about it any longer now that Faulwell didn't need her full attention. A sly sideways glance at Faulwell -- wan, twenty kilos lighter, hollow-eyed -- and she knew that whatever healing happened now was out of her hands. Faulwell had come a millimeter away from death before she -- and, okay, Sarjenka, She of the Amazing Fame, Gold's new Golden Girl -- beat it back.
But there were wounds of the body and those of the soul. Lense suspected Faulwell's healing was a long time coming.
The baby twisted and flipped. She was absolutely certain that if she pulled up her tunic, her stomach would look like two Vulcan sehlats fighting in a gunny sack. One thing was for sure: The kid was as completely pissed off about having to take the slow boat as she was.
Well, don't beat me up; it's your fault, you little squirt.
Under any other circumstance, she'd have been happy to beam down to Earth, except she couldn't. The baby's father, Saad, had been unique, his cells antigenically neutral. While this made him the perfect candidate for Idit Kahayn's experiments, this also had allowed her system to adapt well to the fetus, something that couldn't always be counted on with an interspecies pregnancy.
Yet the baby's mixed antigenic status and the sheer amount of its unique DNA circulating in her blood meant that, theoretically, the transporter's pattern buffers would have difficulty resolving the two matter streams. Julian Bashir had confirmed her suspicions: use the transporter, and the fetus's transporter pattern might easily "bleed" into Lense's own, killing them both. She'd risked it a couple of times earlier on, but once she got into the final trimester, she couldn't chance it.