Enterprise 7: Daedalus

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Author: Dave Stern Published: December 2003 I read: December 16 - December 19, 2006 Non-spoilery short description:
Enterprise checks out a spatial anomaly, and is unexpectedly attacked and boarded. Trip and Hoshi escape to find they've been caught up in a war, and find refuge from the other side.
Totally spoilery summary:

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|<td>A junior engineer begins to make progress on figuring out the Suliban cell-ship's propulsion system: a cascading ion drive. This is similar in design to an old classified project Trip worked on. That ship, the Daedalus, was destroyed 14 years ago during its test flight. Enterprise discovers a spatial anomaly in a star system populated by a pre-warp but spacegoing civilization called the Denari, so the suggestion is made to use the cell-ship's cloak to check things out incognito. Shortly before it is to be launched, though, Enterprise is hit by a mine they had somehow missed, and is then attacked and boarded by warp vessels from the next star system over. The situation seems hopeless for Enterprise, so Trip and Hoshi quickly make an escape using the cloaked cell-ship. They have a minor hull breach, though, and need to signal for assistance. They get picked up by the Eclipse, a ship on the other (losing) side of the war the ships that attacked Enterprise were for, commanded by Marshall Kairn. Eclipse is with the Guild, as opposed to the other ships under control of General Sadir of the Presidium; both factions Denari. In the short term Trip helps repair and improve the undermanned Eclipse in turn for repairs to the cell-ship, though he refuses to give high technology like warp drive. He helps out with strategy a few times to save everyone's skin, which results in the loss of one of their small craft to be used in a long-planned prison rescue operation. Trip considers aiding them by piloting the cell-ship. At this point Hoshi goes into a coma; a severe reaction, though both she and Trip have seemed to have some strange allergic reaction to common Denari foods. Since they've been so helpful, Trip decides to help in return. Though they don't find all the prisoners they were looking for, they do find one Victor Brodessor, designer of the Daedalus. Apparently the believed total destruction of the Daedalus at the atomic level was incorrect, but it did reach high warp and end up in the Denari system having suffered massive damage, where Sadir found their ship and was able to gain such secrets as warp technology, with the aid of Captain Duvall, who became his queen. On the side Trip has become very close to the ship's doctor Trant, though her husband is still alive on the ship as a shell of his former self, tortured and essentially lobotomized long ago by Sadir. Trip is worried about the state of Brodesser's mind since he's been imprisoned for 14 years, seems to have some memory problems, and is proposing the assassination of Sadir. Trip instead hopes their next mission will be to recapture Enterprise, though the crew has already been taken to another location. The rest of the Guild decides their next mission will be to capture Sadir, not kill him. Hoshi wakes from her coma, and Trant has discovered the source of their strange allergy. Trip and Hoshi seem to be allergic to some basic proteins, which for some reason are formed slightly different in themselves (stereoisomers). This means that while they still have a few rations left and a limited selection of compatible Denari food, they'll eventually have malnutrition problems. Trip goes on the operation to capture Sadir. There is a snag in that since they once saw the cloak in action, they discovered a way to detect it, so their approach was less secret than desired. However, Sadir didn't anticipate a second cloaked vessel (courtesy of Brodesser's engineering magic), so the turnaround is turned around. Sadir manages to kill himself with a concealed poison before he can truly be captured, though. While there at Sadir's compound, Trip sees the office of ex-Starfleet Captain Duvall, and sees a few mementos from the Daedalus, including a book that was a gift to Brodesser which he (among others) had signed. However, the written line is slightly different than he remembers writing it. This, combined with the stereoisomers and differences in Brodesser's memory, cause Trip to believe that he is actually in an alternate universe. "His" Daedalus was truly destroyed, while the alternate universe one's semi-success created the anomaly. This explains why Enterprise didn't detect mines or a war going on sooner. Book ends here. To be continued.</td></tr>