Star Trek: SCE: Wounds by Ilsa J. Bick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My casual reading of the Star Trek: Starfleet Corp of Engineers compilations continues in digital form with "Wounds" which is by far the darkest collection of stories and given what happened to the DaVinci not that long back is saying something. This collection comprises six stories from different authors and continues the excellent narrative the world of the SCE has provided.
MALEFICTORUM by Terri Osborne
After the mysterious death of a crewman the DaVinci security chief is having a hard time to reveal answers to how and why the death aboard ship occured. The fact the crewman was the son of a respected friend further complicates matter but Lieutenant Commander Domenica Corsi is nothing if not professional. Then a second death occurs and the method but not motive is uncovered but now with a line of investigation Corsi and her people have got the scent and rush to prevent a mass murderer from striking across the quadrant.
LOST TIME by Ilsa J. Bick
Deep Space Nine is in trouble as distortion waves pass through the station and continue across the system to impact Bajor itself, tectonic activity on the planet is increasing and even with members of the DaVinci crew on hand things are looking bad. Meanwhile on Empok Nor further investigations continue under the guiding hand of Commander Gomez but as the teams delve ever deeper into the mystery it's Soloman on board DS9 who uncovers the first clue, data and communication from himself but from somewhere else...
IDENTITY CRISIS by John J. Ordover
Commander Gomez is taking some shoreleave at the Recreational Station Hidalgo but after her intended companion had called off his visit she had become friendly with a guy she met on the station but still not over her grief she is unable to allow a relationship to develop. As Gomez is about to leave she is asked to provide some assistance in the stations main control room and while the technology is far from cutting edge she is happy to help. Discovering the system is being stressed by a strange communication she responds and then well things go from bad to worse to apocalyptic.
FABLES OF THE PRIME DIRECTIVE by Cory Rushton
Coroticus III was under the protection of the Federation and as a prewarp society observed for sociological purposes until the Dominion war when the Federation abandoned the planet and the people to occupation by the invading forces. Years later the Federation via Starfleet with its sociologists and the SCE return to the world to see what damage both physically and culturally had been incurred by the native population. Dangers await the team after finding the ruins of their original hidden observation post but is it from the native population changed through their time under the gaze of the gods (Founders) or something else.
SECURITY by Keith R.A. DeCandido
The DaVinci and her crew have been through rough times recently and with new additions to security Domenica Corsi has more than her fair share and now Dr Elizabeth Lense and Julian Bashir while on journey via runabout are missing. One of Corsi's new security team is from Izar a world where Corsi visited when serving on board the Roosevelt, what occurred there is something that she has not revealed to anyone not directly involved but now with life proving once again there are no guarantees she opens up to Fabian Stevens.
WOUNDS by Ilsa J. Bick
The events experienced by Dr Elizabeth Lense and Julian Bashir during the time they were missing and on a world very different to any they knew of are revealed in this story. A world in chaotic turmoil after global nuclear war many years ago and a clash between cultures in regards to the lengths one will go to to preserve life in whatever form that may be. The two Starfleet officers find themselves separated when their vessel crashes and each found by opposing groups with different ideologies and the full horrors of survival at any cost is experienced by both doctors.
Wounds is as a I said a very dark collection of SCE stories but the overall collection is wonderfully interconnected as stories overlap and intermix but you ain't gonna come away from these with a shiny happy feeling that's for sure.
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