Project Ishtar -- a bold endeavor to terraform Venus, the most volatile planet in the solar system, and the grandest achievement in the spectacular career of famed terraformer Dr. Pascal Saadya. But when Saadya hits a snag in the project, he calls upon his old friend, Captain David Gold of the U.S.S. da Vinci.
Part of Saadya's team is a Bynar pair, 1011 and 1110, who are using their species' natural affinity for computers to increase efficiency. Saadya's hope is that they can join forces with the da Vinci's Bynar pair. But half of the Bynar pair assigned to the S.C.E. team on the da Vinci was killed months ago, leaving only Soloman -- a non-bonded Bynar who is now a pariah in their culture. Saadya finds himself confronted not only with a failing project, but with Bynar prejudice, as 1011 and 1110 treat Soloman with nothing but contempt....
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
June 30, 2003
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Excerpt from Star Trek: Ishtar Rising Book 1 by Michael A. Martin
Thirty-nine Days Ago
This place is the closest I've ever come to hell.
Dr. Pascal Saadya gazed through the viewport at the heat-distorted vista that lay before him. The terrain was typical of Venus: Fractured rock surfaces flattened by the ninety-bar atmosphere stretched toward the walls of a steep canyon whose details grew indistinct with distance in the smoglike haze. He knew the lethal heat of the planet couldn't penetrate Hesperus Ground Station's reinforced duranium hull -- at least not so long as the shields remained operational. Nevertheless, tiny beads of sweat formed on his upper lip.
Venus was a terraforming challenge unlike any other. She was a deadly foe, and his body refused to be convinced otherwise.
"After spending six years overseeing Project Ishtar," said Adrienne Paulos as she inspected the instrument panel beside Saadya's, "it's hard to believe you've never been all the way down to the surface before."
Still looking out through the viewport, Saadya imagined he could feel the atmosphere of Aphrodite Terra pressing down on the ground station's structure, like the hand of some merciless god inexorably closing into a fist.
He forced the image from his mind.
"The big-picture theoretical work requires a global perspective, Adrienne," Saadya said, "and that's rather difficult to achieve down here beneath the clouds. Like trying to forecast Earth's weather from the bottom of the ocean. How are the force-field generators holding up "
"Everything in the ground network is still looking nominal," Paulos said, then turned toward the pair of Bynars who ran the computer console to her immediate left. "How do the atmospheric numbers and the probe network data look "
1011 and 1110 -- known to the predominantly human crew members of Project Ishtar as Ten-Eleven and Eleven-Ten -- spoke in their customary smooth, collaborative manner, each finishing the other's utterances.
"According to the probe data--"
"-- and our last round of chaotic atmospheric motion simulations--"
"-- the force-field generator network should succeed in lifting the bulk of the atmosphere from this valley--"
"-- all the way to the superrotational region of the cloudtops--"