Saturday, August 22, 2015

No Surrender

Star Trek: S.C.E. #13
No Surrender by Jeff Mariotte
Published March 2002
Re-released in print form as part of the S.C.E. compilation No Surrender in 2003.
Read May 11th 2015

Previous ebook (S.C.E.): #12: Some Assembly Required
Next ebook (S.C.E.): #14: Caveat Emptor

Original e-book cover

Compilation of SCE #'s 13 - 16
No Surrender (Paperback) from |
No Surrender (Kindle) from |

Spoilers ahead for No Surrender and the rest of the Corps of Engineers series!

From the back cover:
The Kursican Orbital Incarceration Platform -- known as "the Plat" -- is the primary prison facility for Kursican, a world applying for Federation membership. When the Plat malfunctions, the U.S.S. da Vinci is sent to Kursican to board and repair the out-of-control orbital station.
But the da Vinci crew finds itself in the midst of a political firestorm, as the malfunction is the result of sabotage by a group of political agitators -- one of whom is Augustus Bradford, an old friend of Captain Gold's. While Commander Gomez and her crack S.C.E. team try to put the Plat right, Gold must balance his duty against his loyalty to his friend -- before Kursican explodes!

My thoughts:

It's been a few months since I've posted a Starfleet Corps of Engineers review, so I figure it's time to give that series a bit of attention once again. Next up is number 13, No Surrender, the first story in the fourth S.C.E. omnibus, also titled No Surrender.

In this story, the da Vinci is called upon to repair an out-of-control orbital prison and to rescue a number of Federation officials who are visiting the station. Complicating matters is the involvement of an old friend of Captain Gold's. Years ago, Gold and Augustus Bradford were good friends who attended the academy together, but over the years, Bradford became disaffected with the Federation and Starfleet. Now living in the Kursican system, Bradford has become politically active, opposing ties between the system and the Federation.

Each of the characters seem to be getting their own "story" in turn, and No Surrender is primarily a Captain Gold story. We see how he reacts when he has to choose between his duty and loyalty to an old friend, a story that is by no means new or unique. Still, we get some good insights into Gold's character, and it was nice to learn more about him.

There are some fun moments in this story, including an exciting sequence in which a rescue team from the da Vinci must infiltrate the out-of-control prison complex via a dangerous spacewalk, all the while avoiding automatic weapon fire and the relentless forces of Newtonian physics. A fun, ably-told story, although there is nothing supremely groundbreaking here.

Final thoughts:

Captain David Gold finally gets some interesting character moments, and we see what duty to the Federation and Starfleet means to him. The primary antagonist comes across as fairly deluded and a little off-his-rocker. I would have been interested to see a more reasoned debate from him, with a legitimate argument rather than the dangerous threat of violence that automatically makes his character unreasonable. Still, an interesting story with a few good action sequences that made this a sufficient afternoon read.

Also by Jeff Mariotte:

My next read:

The Next Generation: The Best and the Brightest by Susan Wright, an unorthodox tale about cadets attending Starfleet Academy. Look for that review next week!

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