Project Ishtar -- the bold endeavor to terraform Venus, the most volatile planet in the solar system -- has reached a critical juncture. The project's first phase has had unexpected consequences that could tear Venus apart -- and mean the deaths of dozens of project workers and the S.C.E.'s computer expert, the un-bonded Bynar now called Soloman.
Now, with time running out, Soloman must move past the prejudice of his fellow Bynars -- who view his "single" status with disdain -- and find a solution before disaster strikes!
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
August 28, 2003
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Star Trek: Ishtar Rising Book 2 by Michael A. Martin
Stardate 53798.2 -- First Officer's Log, Commander Sonya Gomez. The da Vinci's mission to aid in Project Ishtar, the Venus Terraforming Project, has taken a turn for the worse. While the initial phase of "blowing off" Venus's turbulent atmosphere with specially designed force fields was successful, an unforeseen consequence has been a series of volcanic upheavals that are threatening the ground stations on the surface -- not to mention the viability of Project Ishtar. For now, our primary concern is evacuating the personnel in Aphrodite Station, which is the ground station in the most immediate danger. I am leading an away team in a shuttlecraft to begin that evac.
* * *
As Domenica Corsi and Fabian Stevens piloted Shuttlecraft Kwolek toward Venus, Commander Sonya Gomez sat just behind the cockpit, studying the readouts on the small display in front of her. This is going to be close, she thought, her entire body knotted with the tension that only an urgent engineering crisis could create.
She swiveled in her chair and looked back at P8 Blue, who was sitting in the specially constructed slope-backed chair near another small bank of instruments.
"How are those numbers holding up, Pattie?"
"It's going to be a rough ride, but we should be able to make it through the force fields with minimal loss of structural integrity," she said.
Seated beside Pattie, Lieutenant Commander Tev lifted his gaze from a tactical display and spoke toward the cockpit. "Commander Corsi, make sure you approach the force-field boundary at exactly the calculated angle. Miss it by the smallest margin and you could bounce us off the field lines and back into space."
"Or it could be even worse," Pattie said, clattering her mandibles for a moment and making a strange sound that Gomez translated as her version of splat! "To coin a phrase, we might be squashed like a bug."
Gomez smiled at the self-deprecating humor, but Corsi only grunted in response, obviously concentrating on her flying. A little humor certainly didn't hurt, given the unrelenting grimness of their current situation.
One of the project's technicians had provided them with the vibrational frequencies of the force fields, so that they could penetrate them and try to get down to Aphrodite Station before the approaching lava flow destroyed it. If that hasn't happened already, Gomez thought. Recent sensor readings had revealed that the lava was moving toward the ground station far more quickly than had originally been apparent. And the Kwolek's passage through the topologically complex, interlacing force-field network was bound to be tricky, even with the vibrational frequency data. And once down, they might have only seconds to effect any sort of rescue, most likely a hastily improvised one.