Star Trek Magazine is unveiling a thrilling hardcover anthology of 11 exclusive illustrated short stories, with original characters from the game, Star Trek Online.
Star Trek: The Short Story Collection features action-packed tales by Christine Thompson, Jesse Heinig, Tyler Nagata, KatherineBankson, Jaddua Ross, Sean McCann, and Paul Reed, starring characters from The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Star Trek: Voyager, plus fan-favorite alien enemies like the Klingons and the Jem'Hadar. The collection hits shelves November 8; pre-order now on Amazon, Forbidden Planet, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Books-A-Million, or wherever you purchase your books.
This collection of short stories features the exploits of Captain Va’Kel Shon, an Andorian, and the crew of the Enterprise-F as they encounter Romulans, Klingons, and more. Tales include the new captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise getting some advice from Data, refugees from the Mirror Universe arriving in the Prime Universe, Admiral Tuvok taking command of the U.S.S. Voyager in search of a lost civilization, and Scotty being investigated for his experiences of time travel.
First launching in 2010, Star Trek Online is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) which was the first role-playing game based upon the Star Trek franchise. The game has been constantly expanded with new updates bringing in a wide variety of elements from all of the Star Trek spin-offs. These short stories feature characters and situations from the game in exclusive mini-adventures.
Thanks to our friends at Titan Magazines, we have an exclusive excerpt of the short, The Gale, by Jesse Heinig with Christine Thompson!
Captain Shon intervenes in a dispute between Federation and Reman miners.
Captain Shon’s antennae twisted inward slightly. The gesture’s significance was lost on Sam Winters, seated to Shon’s right. To Shon’s left, though, Counselor Matthias noted the slight motion and recognized the indication of tension, just like a human might clench a fist. On the main viewscreen, an icy world rotated slowly while a white star shone in the distance.
“Still no response, Captain,” said Lieutenant Kav. The operations officer’s voice was calm, but clipped as if influenced by the frustration that her captain felt.
Shon turned away from the viewscreen and glanced at Matthias, and then squarely faced his first officer. “If the Remans aren’t going to answer our call, we’ll have to knock on their door. Lieutenant Kyona, with me. Winters, you have the conn.”
Commander Winters acknowledged the transfer and stood to take the Captain’s chair. “Aye, sir. I urge you to take additional support, just in case the Remans prove to be hostile.”
Shon nodded as he headed toward the turbolift. “I don’t want to precipitate hostilities. We’ll beam in some distance from their site to take a look. They may have already run afoul of something else hostile.” Shon tapped the combadge on his uniform. “Doctor Savel?”
A serene Vulcan voice replied. “This is Savel.”
“Meet me in transporter room two, Doctor. Dress warmly.”
The turbolift door quietly whisked open, and then shut behind Shon and his Caitian security chief.
On the surface of T’liss, icy wind gave way to the blue, sparkling beam of a transporter, and the trio of officers from the Enterprise materialized. Shon squinted slightly as the cold wind buffeted his face, but the crisp air was a welcome change from the warmth favored by standard Starfleet environmental controls. Though Starfleet uniforms were tailored for a variety of temperatures, the icy chill awakened a sense of familiarity, a reminder of Shon’s homeworld of Andoria.
Behind Shon, Kyona’s fur puffed out slightly to create a buffer layer of warm air. The Caitian’s whiskers pulled inward to avoid the strong wind. She turned her phaser rifle slightly forward and crouched as her eyes flicked back and forth across the site of the beam-in. Although she wore security armor – a standard precaution for security officers in these turbulent times – Shon couldn’t hear her movements over the sound of the wind.
Doctor Savel impassively withdrew a tricorder from his side and immediately began scanning. His voice was slightly muffled by a heavy scarf draped over his shoulders and face. “Reading both dilithium and decalithium, Captain. Some indigenous life-forms… a small number of humanoids headed in our direction. One hundred and thirty meters.” His calm voice rang out over the whistle of the gale, perfectly pitched with the usual Vulcan detachment.
“Let’s get some place where we can take a better reading,” Shon said. He gestured in the direction of a dark outcropping ahead and to the left, and the trio started pushing their way through the heavy snow. As they made slow headway, Savel continued reading from his tricorder. “One hundred meters. Ninety meters. Eighty meters. Captain, they are also scanning for us.”
Shon strained his eyes against the snow, trying to make out figures as soon as they were close enough. Before he could spot anyone, though, green light lanced out with a shrieking sound, and disruptor fire passed only a few meters from him.
“Cover!” shouted Shon as his feet churned against the snow. He pushed as hard as he could to reach the rocky crag that loomed ahead. At the corner of his vision, he saw Kyona fire wildly into the snow, the compression bolts from her phaser rifle launching wide into the white as cover fire.
Shon dove behind the rock escarpment and drew his own phaser pistol, and then turned so that his back pressed against the stone. Savel struggled to reach Shon as Kyona’s wild shots interrupted the disruptor fire from the unseen enemy. Kyona barrelled toward the rock and then sprang into the air, her taut muscles leaping with the strength of her ancient forebears, and she landed easily atop the rock and flattened herself against it to steady her aim with the rifle. Savel staggered to the outcropping as well, and slid into a seated position next to Shon.
Shon held his pistol up, took a breath, and then slid around the corner of the rock, but no disruptor fire resulted. He glanced up at Kyona, who continued to peer intently into the snow, and he frowned. “Why aren’t they flying?”
“Maybe I hit them all,” Kyona said archly.
“Negative,” replied Savel. “I suspect it is because of our choice of cover. The rock in his area, including this outcropping, bears significant amounts of unrefined decalithium. Firing upon us might be… concussive.”
Shon’s breath slowed as he waited. Blurred humanoid figures made shadowy outlines, and then a group of a half-dozen Remans advanced cautiously into view. Disruptor pistols in hand, the Remans approached with exaggerated scowls on their pasty, wide faces.
“Starfleet. It was only a matter of time,” said one of the Remans. “At this range, we won’t miss. Even if we do, you’ll still be blown to pieces. Stand up. You are now our prisoners.”
Shon eased up onto his feet and tossed his pistol gently to one side. Savel followed suit, and after a moment Kyona pushed her rifle aside and, under the cover of the Reman weapons, slid down the face of the rock. The Reman who’d spoken moved quickly among them and confiscated their communicators, then pushed the trio onward into the gale.
Shon wondered what had befallen the Enterprise that prevented them from detecting the exchange and simply transporting the away team back to safety.