While traveling to a medical conference, the Runabout Missouri encounters a strange anomaly that sends the runabout crashing to the surface of an unknown planet, leaving its two passengers -- Dr. Elizabeth Lense of the U.S.S. da Vinci and Dr. Julian Bashir of Deep Space 9 -- separated.
Each physician thinks the other dead, and each winds up trapped with the factions of a decades-old conflict between those who want to replace dying limbs with cybernetics, and those who want to remain pure. Trapped with no hope of rescue, both Lense and Bashir must find their way on a primitive world -- or die....
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
August 02, 2005
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Excerpt from Star Trek: Wounds, Book 1 by Ilsa J. Bick
So, contestants, today's puzzler. Given the choice between a very long trip with Julian Bashir in a cramped little runabout, with nothing to do except stare at the same paragraph over and over until her eyes merged to the center of her forehead, would Elizabeth Lense rather:
a) have Tev torture her with Klingon painstiks for seven hours;
b) be reincarnated as Tev's personal Orion sex slave;
c) play footsie with Tev in the mudbaths on Shiralea VI;
d) just forget Tev, and stick pins in her eyes;
e) What, are you insane? Stop wasting my time. Just phaser Bashir, then pilot her own shuttle, thanks, and she'd be as happy as a Ferengi iný
* * *
"Elizabeth, have I done something to offend you?"
Let's go with e. "No, why do you ask?" Lying her head off.
Bashir's brows tented in a frown. "Because ever since we got the news about the Bentman Prize, you've been, well, positively frosty."
"Frosty? Honestly, I wasn't aware." Just shut up and leave me alone, because you really, really don't want to go there.
"That's not true," he said, like he'd read her mind, and then she started to get mad. Bashir cocked his head a little as if she were a species of fascinating bacteria. "Is there something you want to talk about?"
The way he said it, those wordsý She felt like she was sixteen again. She felt as if they were back at Sherman's Planet and it was Gold sitting there and not Bashir. Lense felt as if she'd been having this conversation in one form or another for most of her life. All kinds of peopleýher parents, her captain, not to mention several doctorsýasking if there was something she wanted to talk about. Like talking ever made a damn whit of difference. "No."
He gave a quizzical half-smile. "I don't think that's true."
"I'dý I don't want to get into it."
"Because it doesn't matter," she said, knowing that no, really, it did.
"Anything that's upset you matters, especially if it's something I've done."
That clinched it. He asked, right? "Okay. Honestly?" She reeled in a deep breath and said, "I don't think someone like you should be eligible for the Bentman Prize."
It was weird watching the way his smile deflated bit by bit, like his face was painted on some big balloon with a slow leak. "Someone like me." He said it slowly, as if each word was a land mine he had to mince around. "What do you mean?"
"Oh, come on." Squaring her padd on her console, she swiveled her seat until she faced him head-on. "You want me to spell it out? Someone who's been enhanced. Someone who's had his DNA rearranged so he's some kind of mental superman. That's what I mean."
Color flooded his cheeks. "I don't know that I understand. What's myý enhancement got to do with anything?"
"Oh, don't play dumb. Nobody's keeping score; nobody's watching. Don't play dumb."
He gaped. "Dumb? What are you talking about?"