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The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms (Star Trek, Band 5) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 31. Dezember 2013

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Dayton Ward is the New York Times bestselling author of the science fiction novels The Last World War, Counterstrike: The Last World War—Book II, and The Genesis Protocol, and the Star Trek novels Legacies: Purgatory’s Key, Elusive Salvation, Armageddon’s Arrow, The Fall: Peaceable Kingdom, Seekers: Point of Divergence (with Kevin Dilmore), From History’s Shadow, That Which Divides, In the Name of Honor, Open Secrets, and Paths of Disharmony. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with his wife and daughters. Visit him on the web at DaytonWard.com.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

Star Trek: The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms

One

Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco, Earth


“And just as we did more than two centuries ago, the people of Andor stand once again with the United Federation of Planets, and we are humbled that you have welcomed us now as you did then: as friends and allies. As such, we Andorians rededicate ourselves to the principles that have guided this unrivaled coalition from its first days, speaking as one voice for freedom, for security, for the right of self-determination. We renew our pledge to join with our fellow beings from worlds across the Federation, serving and protecting each of its citizens as though they were born of our own world.”

Thunderous applause stopped Kellessar zh’Tarash as she stood before an open session of the Parliament Andoria. Propping himself against the edge of his desk, Admiral William Riker watched the speech as it had been recorded for later broadcast across the quadrant via the Federation News Service. The current leader of the Andorian government’s Progressive Caucus seemed almost regal on the large viewscreen that dominated the far wall of Riker’s new office at Starfleet Command Headquarters.

“She certainly knows how to blow the doors off the joint, doesn’t she?” Riker asked, gesturing toward the screen.

Seated in an overstuffed chair in one corner of the office that afforded her an unfettered view of the broadcast, Deanna Troi turned from the screen to regard her husband. “She’s quite something. The people of Andor seem to have a great deal of faith in her, and her support looks to be growing across the Federation.”

On the viewscreen, zh’Tarash continued. “Though we may have lost our way for a time, we are reminded that the Federation’s compassion and sense of unity made us a stronger world than if we had continued to stand alone. Indeed, those very ideals were exhibited yet again during a time of dire need, and it is our hope that we will have the opportunity to express our eternal gratitude for the service the Federation has provided to our world and our people. It is this cooperative spirit that has compelled me to seek the office of President of the United Federation of Planets.

“If it is the will of the people that I am allowed to serve you in this manner, I will commit myself to demonstrating that the Federation is deserving of its place of prominence in the cosmos, not through threat of force but by continuing to extend the hand of friendship. It was Nanietta Bacco’s firm belief that no sentient species in this galaxy could have a greater friend or ally, and I promise you that I will spend each day proving that she was right. This I pledge, to every citizen of this Federation, which we Andorians are honored once again to call our family.”

“Computer, pause playback,” Riker said, and the image on the screen froze as members of the Parliament Andoria were rising to their feet to once more applaud zh’Tarash. Folding his arms, the admiral blew out his breath, shaking his head. “I’ll bet Ishan is climbing the walls right about now.”

“Polls indicate an overwhelming approval of Andor’s readmission,” Troi said. “It’s an interesting change from surveys taken after their secession.”

“I remember.” Public reaction had been intense following the explosive announcement three years earlier that Andor, one of the Federation’s founding members, had decided to withdraw its membership following a close, tumultuous vote by the Andorian government. Common sentiments had included feelings of anger and betrayal, owing in large part to a lack of knowledge of the events leading up to the unprecedented decision. It had been reported that Andor’s secession was triggered by knowledge given to them by the Typhon Pact that Starfleet had examples of alien technology and information that might have led to a cure for an escalating reproductive predicament that was threatening the eventual extinction of the Andorian people.

While that was true in and of itself, what was only now being told to the public’s satisfaction were bits and pieces of the larger story surrounding the still-classified nature of Operation Vanguard and the data and materials it had collected, which were all that remained of the ancient race known as the Shedai. Chief among the discoveries made more than a century ago was the so-called “Shedai Meta-Genome,” which Starfleet had found to carry enormous potential to expand or even redefine any number of scientific and medical principles. After everything that had transpired during Starfleet’s all-but-disastrous attempts to understand the Shedai and the awesome power they once had commanded, someone within the Federation hierarchy had decided that the entire project should be buried and forgotten, citing the potential for unchecked abuse should such knowledge fall into the wrong hands.

Though Starfleet had shoved the collected data and materials into the depths of a classified archive facility and consigned almost everyone who had survived the operation to relative obscurity, other parties who had acquired information and understanding into the Shedai continued to perform their own research. One such group was the Tholian Assembly, who, after emerging from their normal seclusion to join the Typhon Pact, had approached Andor with the knowledge they now possessed, having discovered that the Meta-Genome held the potential to end forever the planet’s fertility crisis. The Tholians also had managed to spin the truth about Starfleet’s involvement just far enough to paint it and the Federation as having somehow betrayed the Andorian people by not sharing with them their own cache of information about the Shedai and the Meta-Genome.

And the rest, Riker mused, as they say, is history.

“Even though the full story behind Operation Vanguard remains classified,” he said, pushing away from his desk and moving to the window set into his office’s rear wall, “the parts Starfleet’s been releasing seem to be appeasing the public.” His own knowledge of the top-secret project did not extend much beyond the official information releases distributed by Starfleet Command to the press, and Riker knew that the bulk of the operation’s history likely would remained cloaked in shadow for years if not decades to come. “They’re being smart about it, focusing on the good it’s done for Andor, even though the whole thing would never have happened if not for Julian Bashir.” The former chief medical officer of Deep Space 9 had accessed the classified Shedai data and used it to develop a cure for Andor’s dilemma, and while the Andorians considered him a hero, Starfleet had no choice but to charge him with espionage and possibly even treason. At this moment, arrangements were being finalized for Bashir’s return to Earth for trial. If there was a way to save the doctor from permanent disgrace and incarceration, Riker had yet to conceive of it.

One problem at a time, Admiral.

“It doesn’t hurt that zh’Tarash is advocating using the entire affair as the catalyst for reaffirming Andor’s bond with the Federation,” Troi said. “Polls indicate her popularity is growing every day. At the rate she’s gaining on Ishan, this could end up being a very close election.”

“Don’t count Ishan out yet. There’s still plenty of time for him to pull a rabbit out of his hat.”

The upcoming special election to select a successor to the late President...


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