THE YEAR IS 2336
For twelve years, she was captain of the Federation's flagship. But while her exploits as commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-C are legend, little has been revealed about Rachel Garrett, her vessel, or the unusual men and women of her crew. Until now.
When the archaeological find of the decade offers possible hints about an earlier Cardassian civilization, it attracts not merely those seeking to quench their thirst for knowledge, but also parties with far less noble interests. Among the latter is the Asfar Qatala, a notorious criminal cartel with a disturbing connection to one of the Enterprise's highest-ranking officers. Now Captain Garrett and her crew are swept into a maelstrom of kidnapping, extortion, and murder -- as well as a desperate, secret struggle between the Qatala and its chief rival, the fledgling Orion Syndicate.
And beneath the surface of the frozen world on which the proto-Cardassian discovery was made, another drama is playing out that will force Garrett to make the most difficult decision of her career...amid ruins reputed to link the living with the ancient dead.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
October 13, 2003
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Well of Souls by Ilsa J. Bick
If she scanned one more duty roster, Captain Rachel Garrett was certain she would either scream or take her thumbs and pop the eyeballs out of the head of the first unlucky person to set his big toe into her ready room, and probably both.
Oh, we are in a good mood, we are just full of good cheer, aren't we, sweetheart?
"Well, I hate this," Garrett said, talking back to that nagging little voice in her head. She scowled, hunched over yet another ream of scrolling names, and knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she had a migraine coming, a real whopper, and wasn't that just her dumb luck? "And I hate you."
But I'm not the one who wanted to be captain. Nooo, you wanted the glamour, you read about all the Archers and the Aprils and the Pikes and the Kirks and the Harrimans of the universe and how they zipped around in their starships and you decided, girl, you want you one of those. Only no one ever talked about duty rosters and being short an officer because you were stupid enough to let your XO go on R and R and the crew's still being on edge because you were too far away to help Nigel Holmes when he needed you most and everything that's happened since is your fault, it's your fault, it's your.
"Go away." Blinking against a lancet of pain skewering her brain, Garrett pinched the bridge of her nose between her thumb and index finger. "Buzz off."
But the voice had a point, and the very fact that she was arguing with that little piece of herself hunkered somewhere deep in the recesses of what passed as her brain meant that maybe she should call it a night, or maybe a day, or...what time was it anyway? Frowning, Garrett glanced at her chronometer and then groaned. She'd worked straight through into the beginning of gamma shift. That meant that her new ops, Lieutenant Commander Darya Bat-Levi, was gone, relieved by the next Officer of the Day. Well, working straight through beta shift would explain why she was hungry, tired, sore -- Garrett reached around and massaged a muscle, tight as a banjo string, in her neck. If she hadn't eaten or moved her aching butt one millimeter for hours, no wonder she was having an argument with a nasty little voice in her head. Except someone had to do this work, and without a first officer to pick up the slack, there really wasn't anyone else, was there? Not anyone qualified, that is. Oh, she could probably tag one of the bridge officers to step up to the plate. Bat-Levi, maybe, though Garrett didn't like the idea; the woman was on probation, after all. But Thule G'Dok Glemoor, for example: the Naxeran lieutenant was tactical, good head on his shoulders. In fact, he was OOD this very minute; maybe she should loosen the reins, tap Glemoor to.
"Don't kid a kidder," Garrett muttered, saying it before that needling little voice started up again. She was no more likely to order one of her bridge officers to step outside the scope of his duties than she was to suddenly sprout a set of Andorian antennae. The plain truth was she had trouble letting go. Not allocating duties: she couldn't captain the ship otherwise. But if there was extra work, she did it. Great, when she was a kid and her mom had chores that needed doing. Terrible, now that she was a captain and short an officer, and couldn't even tag ops to take over because Bat-Levi was still on psychiatric probation, and that new psychiatrist, Whatshisname, Tyvan, hadn't given his blessing yet and...