The Riddled Post by Aaron Rosenberg
Published October 2001
Re-released in print form as part of the S.C.E. compilation Some Assembly Required in April 2003.
Read April 4th 2015
Previous ebook (S.C.E.): #8: Invincible, Part Two
Next ebook (S.C.E.): #10: Here There Be Monsters
|Original ebook cover
|Compilation of SCE #'s 9 - 12
From the back cover:
The dilithium mining outpost of BorSitu Minor is an understaffed, uninteresting, unspectacular place full of miners, engineers, and scientists who have never done harm to anyone, nor do they have anything of value.
Yet the outpost has been devastated by a brutal assault, with almost all hands lost -- and the survivors have no idea what attacked them. Worse, the attack weapon appears to have the power to penetrate the outpost's powerful shields. That has the crew of the USS da Vinci worried, as it could just as easily destroy a starship!
Now the SCE team, led by Commander Sonya Gomez, must find the truth behind what ravaged the outpost, and hope that someone hasn't unleashed a weapon that could destroy them all!
An entire mining outpost destroyed, riddled with holes, every member of the team stationed there killed. It's a fascinating mystery, and one that showcases the talents of the S.C.E. ensemble very well. Every character gets their role to play in this one, from the engineers who work out exactly what happened, to the cultural and language experts who must translate a peculiar piece of writing.
Most of the stories so far have focused on one or two of the characters, but The Riddled Post is the first to really utilize the strengths of a majority of the characters. The mystery of what has left the mining station filled with holes and where the "weapon" that caused the damage is now was sufficient to hold my interest throughout. Likewise, the character development was well-done, and each of the crew advance their stories somewhat. Definitely sufficient for this point early in the story of the da Vinci and her crew.
The final conclusion to the mystery is an interesting one, but the true joy of the story is the steps that the crew takes to solve it. The short length of the story lends itself to this style of storytelling as well, with a clear-cut mystery and resolution. I think this Corps of Engineers concept lends itself very well to the novella format, and would similarly work very well for a weekly episodic television series.
An interesting mystery story that utilizes the entire cast of S.C.E. quite well. I am enjoying the crew dynamic and the procedural style of the stories featuring these characters. Not exactly groundbreaking or enthralling, but a satisfactory story that makes me want to read more about this crew.
My next read:
Tomorrow, the next S.C.E. story: Here There Be Monsters, a follow-up to the Gateways miniseries by Keith R.A. DeCandido!