When a mysterious alien woman from the planet Laertes convinces Dr. Bashir to gamble for her at Quark's gaming tables, things seem innocent enough. Yet the more Dr. Bashir wins, the more things go wrong in the Federation: Ore ships vanish. Planets lose their atmosphere. Suns go nova. The cause and effect is hard to understand, but is proven by the bizarre Laertian science called Complexity Theory.
When Bashir tries to stop gambling, a Laertian warfleet appears to force him to continue, while on the planet Laertes itself Major Kira and Science Officer Dax must battle their way through chaos and danger to find a way to stop the Laertians -- and save Deep Space Nine and the Federation from utter destruction!
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
May 06, 2002
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Excerpt from The Laertian Gamble by Robert Sheckley
Dr. Julian Bashir was sitting alone in the little lounge just outside of Quark's Place. The lounge wasn't part of his gambling den, but Quark served drinks there anyway, and treated it like his annex. With its comfortable chairs and small tables, it provided a quiet place in the crowded space station to sit and think.
Bashir sat with a half-finished cup of coffee in front him, playing a solitaire machine. The machine took standard Bajor coins, and Bashir had a pile of them in front of him. Julian didn't expect to win; just to pass some time. He was playing in a bored, inattentive fashion when Chief O'Brien came by.
"A good morning to you, Doctor," O'Brien said heartily.
"Is it morning?" Julian said. "How can you tell?"
"By the clocks, of course," O'Brien said. "And the station's lighting is set to a twenty-four-hour cycle to spare our old circadian rhythms a lot of readjustment."
"Maybe my circadian rhythms have adjusted," Julian said. "But I haven't."
"No? I don't understand why not. You've been out here long enough."
"To get used to life on-station, of course."
"Maybe I've been out here long enough to get fed up."