As a small child, Jules Bashir underwent illegal genetic enhancements that forever altered the natural course of his life. As an adult, ever since the day he discovered what his parents had done, Dr. Julian Bashir has wondered what he might have become if "Jules" had been allowed to live, certain he would never know the answer. But when the lure of a strange alien artifact in the Gamma Quadrant inexplicably begins to reverse Bashir's enhancements, the person he had thought long dead is given a second chance at life.
Ninety thousand light-years away, as the crew of Deep Space 9 tries to comprehend a shocking tragedy, Ro Laren makes a fateful decision about her life aboard the station. And although political maneuverings and failing diplomacy have already extinguished all hope of a real, lasting peace between Bajor and Cardassia, one man's search for his true calling may lay a new foundation for the future.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
September 30, 2002
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Excerpt from Mission Gamma Book Three by Michael A. Martin
"Are we certain it was suicide "
Lieutenant Ro Laren turned to Sergeant Shul as they stalked down the corridor, with Dr. Simon Tarses following close behind. "I'm not certain of anything yet, Shul," Ro replied. "At this point, what I know is that Councillor zh'Thane says that Thriss committed suicide in Shar's quarters."
Tarses spoke up, his brow furrowed. "Thriss seemed to be beyond the worst of her depression when she was working her last shift at the infirmary. And Counselor Matthias was optimistic about her improvement. I find it hard to believe that Thriss would have taken her own life."
"If she didn't, then we're looking at a murder investigation, Doctor," Shul said. "And I don't mean to be crass, but with everything else happening on this station, we don't need that to contend with, as well."
Ro grunted in agreement, then, before they got much farther down the hall, spoke in a low voice. After all, Andorian antennae were very sensitive, and she had no clue who might be listening two junctions down the corridor. "Whatever the situation, please remember that Andorian customs are different from ours. I haven't been able to brief you before now on certain... aspects of their relationships, but I suspect you may have already picked up clues along the way. This will be very delicate, especially with Councillor zh'Thane involved."
Both men nodded, and they continued toward Shar's quarters. No one was there to meet them outside the door, so Ro touched the wall panel that activated the door chime. "Councillor, it's Lieutenant Ro. I have Doctor Tarses with me."
The door slid open, and it took Ro's eyes a moment to adjust to the dim light within the room. Just inside the door was zh'Thane, her usually immaculate hair slightly disheveled. From her garments, Ro guessed that she had been asleep when she had gotten the call about the tragedy.
As Ro moved to enter the room, zh'Thane held up a pale blue hand as if to stop her. "Who is this other man "
"This is Sergeant Shul Torem," said Ro, gesturing toward her deputy. "He's well versed in Starfleet protocol pertaining to forensic investigations. And he can be trusted to be discreet."
Tarses spoke up. "Councillor, there may be a chance to save Thriss's life if you'll allow me to attend to her."
Zh'Thane swept her arm toward the interior of the room, where two figures crouched in the darkness, their arms around their legs and their heads bowed. The body of Thriss lay on the bed, perfectly still. "She seems quite beyond help, Doctor. If you can do something, please do, but do not violate the integrity of the body. The skin must not be broken."
Tarses nodded, then moved into the room with his tricorder in one hand and his medkit slung over a shoulder. As zh'Thane moved back a step, Ro and Shul stepped into the room, though they did not spread out.
"Can you tell me what happened, Councillor " Ro asked.
"Dizhei came to Shar's quarters, concerned that Thriss's depression might be more consuming than she had revealed to us. She found her on the bed, already dead. She called Anichent and me to the room, and I, in turn, called you."
Shul spoke up, his voice cool and low. "Was there any sign of struggle "
"No, Deputy," zh'Thane said. "Dizhei had tried to move her, to get her to respond. But there did not appear to be any struggle, and certainly nothing dangerous was found. Other than this." She produced a small hypospray from the folds of her robe. "She was clutching this in her hand."
His hands gloved, Shul gingerly took the device from zh'Thane and placed it into a small plastic bag he had pulled from a belt pouch. "Has anyone else touched this " he asked as he handed the bag to Dr. Tarses, who had already opened his tricorder.
"Not to my knowledge. I pulled it from Thriss's grasp myself."