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Star Trek: Enterprise: Daedalus [Mass Market Paperback]

Dave Stern
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Book Description

Dec 1 2003 Star Trek: Enterprise
October 5, 2140. After a half-dozen years of research and testing, Starfleet prepares to launch its first warp 5 vessel -- Daedalus. Propelled by a radical new engine designed by Earth's most brilliant warp field theorist, Victor Brodesser, the new ship will at last put the stars within mankind's reach.
But on the eve of her maiden voyage, a maintenance engineer, Ensign Charles Tucker III -- "Trip" to his friends -- discovers a flaw in Daedalus's design. When he confronts Brodesser, the scientist -- as charismatic as he is brilliant -- eases Trip's concerns. The ship launches on schedule, and as Trip watches in horror, it explodes in a catastrophic ion cascade reaction, killing all aboard.
Thirteen years pass. Still haunted by memories of that disaster, Trip now serves as chief engineer aboard Enterprise. When a freak explosion cripples his vessel, leaving her helpless before a surprise attack, Trip is forced to abandon his ship -- and his shipmates. As he is on the verge of mounting a desperate rescue attempt, however, a shocking turn of events forces him to confront the ghosts of Daedalus one final time.

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About the Author

Dave Stern is the author of numerous books, amongst them the novelisation of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Blair Witch Project.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

"Commander?"

Trip looked up from the intermix chamber, where he'd been monitoring the composition of the matter-antimatter stream. Engineer Second Class K. P. Ryan -- tall, lanky, usually quiet to the point of reclusive -- stood on the access ladder below him.

"Ryan. What's up?"

"You have a moment? It's about the cell-ship."

Trip -- Commander Charles Tucker III, chief engineer aboard the Starship Enterprise -- frowned. He had a systems status meeting with the captain in a few minutes, and he was already running behind schedule.

But the cell-ship...

Analyzing the captured Suliban vessel had been a priority for Trip over the last several months. First on his own, then with key members of his department -- including Ryan -- Trip had turned the cell-ship virtually inside out, trying to plumb the secrets of the Suliban's superior technology.

"What about the cell-ship?" Trip asked.

"Their warp drive. The propulsion system." Ryan's eyes gleamed with excitement. He looked more animated than Trip had ever seen him. "I think I've figured it out."

"You're kidding."

"No, sir." Now Ryan actually smiled. "I'm not."

"Sonuvagun." Trip set down his diagnostic spanner on top of the intermix chamber. "Come on. Show me."

Ryan led him out of engineering and down to Launch Bay Two. The cell-ship sat in the far corner -- looking like nothing so much as a multisided dice cube precariously balanced on one edge, perhaps a third as big as one of Enterprise's shuttlepods. Its forward hatch was open, and portions of the hull had been removed, exposing layers of exotic-looking circuitry. Cables of varying thickness and color -- most of them supplying power, but some more diagnostic in nature -- ran from various nodes in the circuitry to a diagnostic station nearby. One of those nodes was the warp-drive module -- a rectangular box roughly the size and shape of an old orange crate -- which had been pulled out from the instrument panel and now lay on top of the cockpit console.

Trip hadn't gotten very far in analyzing that module -- but one thing was clear. Unlike Enterprise, which used a series of controlled matter/antimatter explosions to achieve warp velocity, the Suliban drive depended on an exotic series of reactions between charged particle streams -- the exact composition of which had defied decipherment.

At least until now.

"We've been doing a black-box analysis on the module the last few days," Ryan said. "Feeding different particle streams in, measuring the energy that comes out."

"Yeah," Trip said impatiently. He knew that -- he was the one who'd started the black-box analysis a week ago. The last few days he'd had to spend most of his free time in engineering, though, so he'd handed over that analysis to others. "Go on."

"At approximately" -- Ryan consulted the display screen -- "fifteen hundred hours we input a series of discrete ion streams into the warp module. The power output was negligible -- until I had an idea. Alternate the charge on each succeeding stream -- follow a positive stream with a negative, then another positive, and so on. And if you -- "

"Hold on a minute." Trip felt suddenly light-headed. "Are you trying to tell me the Suliban ship runs off an ion drive?"

Ryan smiled. "Yes, sir. I think so."

Trip kept his gaze neutral.

But inside, his mind -- and his heart -- were racing.

An ion drive.

Daedalus.

Ryan was still talking, Trip realized.

"...somehow prevent the streams from crossing until the last possible second -- then all that pent-up energy gets released at once. I think that's what the Suliban drive does -- the ions come together like real streams do, to make a river."

"Cascading," Trip said softly. "The word you're looking for is cascading."

"A cascading ion drive." Ryan nodded. "That sounds about right. Of course, we can't be certain that's exactly what we're dealing with here -- it is a black box, after all, but..."

Ryan continued talking, but Trip no longer heard him. He was hearing another voice in his mind, a voice coming from fourteen years and billions of kilometers in the past.

Victor Brodesser's voice, as the most controversial scientist Earth had produced in a dozen generations stood up from behind his desk and reached forward to shake Trip's hand.

"Welcome to the Daedalus Project, Mister Tucker." Brodesser -- in his early sixties, a broad, barrel-chested man with a massive shock of wild gray hair that made him look every inch the mad scientist his reputation made him out to be -- had a fierce grip. "We're here to make history."

And they had. Just not in the way Brodesser had hoped.

* * *

"Commander?"

Trip realized Ryan had asked him a question.

"Sorry, K.P. Say again?"

"With your permission -- I'd like to follow this full-time. If these power curves hold, and we could gather enough data -- maybe we could even reverse-engineer the drive...."

Ryan's voice trailed off. The young engineer looked at Trip, and frowned.

"Is something the matter, sir? I suppose I should have called you down when I started to get results, but -- "

Underneath the ensign's worry, Trip could sense a hint of anger and suddenly realized what was going on. Ryan thought he was jealous of the ensign's discovery.

"Hey, no, no, Ensign. Everything's fine. Just...

preoccupied with something, that's all."

"About the cell-ship?"

"No," Trip answered, wondering if he should tell Ryan about Daedalus. No. He needed a conversation with the captain first. And -- there was no need to shoulder Ryan with the burdens of the past just now.

"Listen, this is good work, Ensign. Good work. You absolutely deserve to be the one following up on it."

"Thank you, sir."

"Now, full-time...I don't know about that. But for the next few days I'll switch you off the maintenance roster. You'll have to make up those shifts, though...down the line."

"Yes, sir. Thank you, sir."

Ryan smiled so broadly his teeth showed.

Trip couldn't help but smile back.

The companel sounded.

"Archer to Tucker. Archer to Commander Tucker."

The smile froze on Trip's face.

The status meeting.

Trip strode quickly to the nearest companel.

"Tucker here, sir. Be there in a minute. Just finishing up a little something in Launch Bay Two."

"The Suliban ship?"

"Yes, sir."

"Good. That's one of the things we'll need to discuss. When you get here."

"On my way, sir."

Trip closed the channel and turned back to Ryan.

"Keep me posted, K.P. Progress reports every day."

"Yes, sir."

Trip would be studying those reports carefully -- and certainly dropping by frequently to check up on Ryan's progress in person.

He'd put his heart and soul into Daedalus. Even after all this time...it would be nice to see that work -- not to mention Brodesser's belief in the ion drive -- validated. Even if the professor himself was no longer around to see it happen.

Still, as he headed for the turbolift, the ion drive wasn't uppermost in his mind.

Trip was wondering why in the world Captain Archer wanted to talk about the Suliban ship at the status meeting.

The captain, Sub-Commander T'Pol, the ship's armory officer, Lieutenant Malcolm Reed, and -- to Trip's surprise -- ship's physician Doctor Phlox, who almost never attended these status meetings -- were gathered around the situation room table as Trip entered.

T'Pol was in the middle of a heated speech -- heated for her, anyway; after serving with the Vulcan this long Trip had come to recognize the cutting tone her voice took on when she felt particularly strong about making her point -- and Trip waited for her to finish before making his presence known.

"...so my preference remains a continued series of long-range scans, rather than the uncertain -- and potentially catastrophic -- alternative Lieutenant Reed proposes, which would -- "

"Now, hold on a minute, Sub-Commander." Malcolm Reed -- who was also the ship's tactical officer -- frowned. "I grant you that by using the cloaked vessel we take a chance, but catastrophic? Surely that's a bit of an exaggeration -- "

"On the contrary, Lieutenant, catastrophic describes precisely the consequences almost certain to result should our presence be detected by the inhabitants of -- "

"All right. T'Pol, Malcolm -- please." Archer's own voice had an edge. "I think both of you have made your positions clear on this. Now -- "

Trip cleared his throat. "Excuse me -- Captain?"

Archer looked up at him and smiled. "Ah -- Commander Tucker, isn't it? Join us, please."

Everyone around the table -- everyone except T'Pol, of course -- laughed.

"Sorry about being late, sir. But" -- he looked around the table, from Reed to T'Pol to Doctor Phlox, and then back at the Captain -- "cloaked vessel? I have to guess you mean the cell-ship, but...would someone please fill me in on what else I missed?"

"We are talking about the cell-ship" Archer nodded. "As to what else is going on...T'Pol? If you wouldn't mind bringing Commander Tucker here up to speed..."

"Certainly." T'Pol shifted in her chair and spoke directly to Trip. "As you may or may not be aware, several days ago we entered the K'Pellis Cluster, an aggregation of previously unexplored stellar systems. Almost immediately sensors detected a massive gravitational anomaly within one of those systems. We have been conducting intensive studies of the anomaly since that initial contact -- and have agreed a series of close-up observations are in order."

Trip got it instantly. "And you want to use the cell-ship to do that."

Reed spoke up. "Yes."

"But cloaked -- why?"

"I will show you." T'Pol touched a button on the table in front of her, and the display set in the center of the table came to l...

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"COMMANDER?" Trip looked up from the intermix chamber, where he'd been monitoring the composition of the matter-antimatter stream. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another great "Star Trek" book! June 16 2004
By Eric
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Even though I grew up with the Original Series Star Trek, I also came to love TNG as well and, later, VOYAGER and ENTERPRISE. Being an avid fan of sci-fi in general, however, it would be an injustice on my part not to mention the many other old and new sci-fi works that both led me to Star Trek and which have forever forged my love for all sci-fi works: "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Puppet Masters", "Foundation", "2001", "2010", "Rendezvous with Rama", "Ringworld", all the "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" books, as well as books as new to the genre as "Advent of the Corps" and others.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written book. May 18 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fascinating story, good pacing, good action, deft handling of characters. The only flaw (if one agrees with me that it IS a flaw) is that it doesn't finish. It ends with a "to be continued", a practice which, common as it is, I despise. If you don't mind being left hanging until the next book for an end to the story, then consider this a five-star rating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enterprise: Daedalus April 7 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As I sit here writing this, the future of the TV show Enterprise is still uncertain. Will there be a Season 4? We don't know. Then there's that other vicious rumour...that Jolene Blalock may be trying to walk away from the show; if it's true it would just about crush me (she's such a wantable Vulcan!--and I don't just mean the gum-card, or the pop-together model). Meanwhile, I've had to endure weeks of repeats while we wait for the show to get back to new episodes.
My solution to all this frightening uncertainty married to scads of repeats has been to read this Enterprise: Daedalus thing and see what I think. Despite my chagrin at the Enterprise novel line seeming to ignore Captain Archer as a main character--do they not want him to even come close to rivalling Kirk?--I must say that this Trip adventure (with Hoshi in tow) is a complete success! It's exciting all the way through, it's full of twists and turns as it drops Trip in the midst of an unfamiliar but dangerous war, and there's even time for some romance and a Trip back-story that seems to pertain to things as they unfold. Admittedly, our author is not a memorable stylist, but I'll forgive that.
I'm not going to discuss much more of the plot, because it will sound very trad if I avoid all the clever twists and turns. Just join the fun as Trip allies himself with some rebellious asteroid miners, and other enemies of a ruthless usurper of power, to help stop a conflict that he's not even sure he should get involved in, while also trying to rescue the Enterprise and her crew from capture at the hands of the evil tyrant Sadir. In doing so, our plucky Engineer runs right into a sinister piece of his past.
I had a terrific time with this book, even though I've done myself a bit of a disservice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The TV show should be written this well March 24 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
We get to see part of federation history aboard a ship that didn't have a successful engine design. Years later Trip and Hoshi hope to prevent the same from happening while captured aboard an alien ship. Stern has a good grip on the characters. It's almost like a two part TV episode. The overall feel of the book is just like the show. Now if only the producers would hire Dave Stern to write for the Enterprise show.
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By John Kwok TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I managed to pick up a copy of "Enterprise: Daedalus" from a local library and thought it would be a mildly pleasant diversion for a long subway ride. To Dave Stern's credit, he had me hooked with a simple plot and a credible character study of Starfleet engineer Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker of the first Starfleet ship to bear the name Enterprise. Although the ending is a bit too predictable, the rest of the book is memorable in depicting Tucker's reaction to the seizure of his ship and his involvement in a civil war within a spacefaring civlization only a few decades younger than Earth's. Fans of the current Star Trek television series "Star Trek: Enterprise" will not be disappointed with this tale.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mirror, mirror? Feb. 18 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This novel feels a lot like a character exploration of Chief Engineer Tucker. The plot is simple but surprising well done and I enjoyed the read.
We spend the first fifty pages on the Enterprise and that is it. We spend the rest of the time exploring a civil war a new alien race and watching Trip struggle with his own first contact procedure. One of the advantages of doing this 'off ship' story it is very easy to hit the reset button and get everything back to normal.
I was disappointed with the ending--too predictable. The clues and logical explanations were everywhere. I look forward to seeing how this story resolves so I am waiting to get my hands on the second part.
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