Star Trek 1136: Past Life

1136. Past Life

PUBLICATION: Starfleet Corps of Engineers #15, Pocket eBooks, April 2002

CREATORS: Robert Greenberger

STARDATE: Unknown (follows the last novel)

PLOT: The da Vinci goes to Evora where a strange artifact has been found. Unbeknownst to the crew, a coup is brewing. An isolationist faction resents Federation interference and fear that the artifact's discovery may undermine Evoran history and faith. The crew find that it is much older than the Evoran civilization and connected to a network that spans the entire planet. The isolationists' leader makes his move and deposes the Regent, while his forces destroy the artifact and capture the da Vinci crew. There is immediately a massive earthquake and it is revealed that the network was built to prevent such things from occurring on what must be the most unstable world to ever develop life. The SCE repair the network and the isolationists, who realize they were wrong to shun outsiders, relinquish power back to the Regent.

CONTINUITY: Admiral Ross (DS9) gives the da Vinci its mission. The Evorans and the Regent Cuzar were the fish people seen at the start of Insurrection (the same ritual greeting us used). The Preservers (The Paradise Syndrome) are evoked as possible builders of the stabilizer network.

DIVERGENCES: None.

CASTING OF THE WEEK - Peggy Miley reprises her role as Cuzar.
REVIEW: As is usual with these ebooks, they manage to get many of the characters in despite the low page count. For the second time in a row, Captain Gold gets to go planetside and spin his diplomatic wheels (though his wisdom sometimes gets a bit, how do the Brits say, twee). The use of the Evorans is nice, adding some texture to aliens we've seen before. The Regent is an especially good character here. One thing that struck me was how many references to past SCE stories Greenberger injected into the narrative. The story doesn't seem slim or anything, so I can't call it padding. Maybe just his comic book background coming to the fore? In any case, I'm sure the casual reader will find these useful as reminders of what has gone before and what's coming ahead (the next book's Lense story is hinted at). After all, this reads as a weekly series, but was actually a monthly.

Next for the SBG Book Club: Warped (DS9), Oaths (SCE), World Without End (TOS), A Rock and a Hard Place (TNG).

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