Alex White, the acclaimed author of A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, is about to captivate readers everywhere with their original novel based on the landmark TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine! In this exclusive sneak peek from the thrilling novel Revenant, Jadzia Dax has just spent the evening reconnecting with Etom Prit, the Trill Trade Commissioner and a dear friend from over two lifetimes, as he attempts to enlist her help reining in his wayward granddaughter, Nemi. But Jadzia will quickly find that she’s about to get more than she ever bargained for….
Dax left Prit’s ship that night with a fuzzy head and the warmth of nostalgia. They’d stayed up talking about the old days until he started to fall asleep. She remembered what it was like to be eighty years young; she didn’t miss it.
The silent corridors of Deep Space 9 stretched before her, a final challenge before bed. She wasn’t stumble-drunk and certainly not Klingon-drunk, but the liquor tugged at her limbs, beckoning her toward soft sheets and utter darkness.
She thought of Nemi and sighed. Prit had been so good to Jadzia when she needed him, taking her in after Curzon’s rejection during the initiate program. Had it been wrong to refuse?
He was just being paranoid. That was all. Nemi would eventually get past this and find her place. She was young and bright, if a little mercurial. And brash. And impetuous.
Curzon definitely would’ve washed her out.
To her shame, Dax had known Nemi wouldn’t make it when she’d endorsed her for a second run at the initiate program. Nemi wasn’t joining material, but Dax hoped she could inspire her. Unfortunately, she’d been wrong.
A patter of footsteps interrupted Dax’s thoughts, and she cast about for the source, finding no one. Perhaps she’d only imagined it, or the lidashk was stronger than she thought. Curzon had been a drinker, a vice that occasionally got Jadzia in trouble.
Another set of steps went thumping past, and Dax jolted in surprise. Those sounds were in the same corridor, mere centimeters from her own position. It sent a chill up her spine, and she wished she had a phaser—though she was more likely to drunkenly stun someone.
She tapped her combadge. “Dax to security.”
“Go ahead, Commander,” came the officer of the watch’s reply.
“Are you reading any life-forms near my location?
That didn’t actually make her feel better. Deep Space 9 could get weird; prophetic visions, subspace disruptions, or time ghosts weren’t out of the question.
Dax kept her breath steady and her hands relaxed. If something was amiss, she’d be ready to meet it. After a few seconds, nothing came, and she chided herself for being so jumpy. She’d been in plenty of tough scrapes, and hearing footsteps in a corridor wasn’t one of them.
She continued heading for her quarters while her heart rate returned to a reasonable pace. It’d be nice to get some sleep—exhaustion could contribute to hearing things. Her schedule was light the next day, so she could stay in, enjoy some tea, and perhaps a book. Jake had made a few recommendations.
While considering her next read, she almost ran face-first into Nemi Prit.
It’d been three years since Dax saw her, but she hadn’t changed much. Her platinum hair was tied in a bun, two loose strands falling across a sun-speckled forehead. Her icy blue eyes hadn’t changed at all, and her lips were quirked in a knowing smile. She wore a white gown, its seams gently flowing at her sides.
“Nemi!” Dax blinked. “What are you—I, uh . . .”
Her friend smiled, but the light was gone. Nemi seemed to stare through Dax, hands clasping and unclasping at her sides. Her right eye began to twitch, and a single teardrop of blood emerged, flowing down her cheek. Nemi listed on her feet, then fell backward, robes flowing like a pale jellyfish.
Dax went to grab her, but all she found was air. Nemi was gone, and Dax was left in the corridor, stunned and alone.
“You’ve already lost something precious to you,” came a low, male voice.
Dax turned to find a man bearing down upon her like an ill wind. She’d recognize that swept back blond hair, stern brow, and predator’s eyes anywhere. Her insides writhed at the very sight of him, and she took a step back. Dax had never wanted anything to do with this man ever again; she didn’t even like thinking of him.
Joran Dax—the murderer, and former host to her symbiont.
“What do you want?” she asked.
“A memory.” His voice echoed throughout the corridors.
The lights around her began to flicker, several of them going out. Shadows fell over the hall, distant at first but coming closer. Raw fear coursed through Dax, but she held fast. Joran wasn’t real. He couldn’t hurt her.
The rumble of the station rose in pitch, becoming a whine, a terrible sound like a drill. Joran smiled as the darkness engulfed them both. Dead whispers carried on the air, unintelligible and longing, reaching for Dax like drowning victims.
And then, nothing but an empty corridor.
She calmed her quivering breath and swallowed before straightening and smoothing down her uniform. Joran Dax was a part of her, but dead—a bad dream, a memory. There was nothing to be afraid of—
—while she was awake.