Star Trek Titan: Fortune of War
By David Mack
“Death slumbers in the ashes of silent planets, waiting to be awakened and unleashed. Twenty years have passed since the interstellar scourge known as the Husnock were exterminated without warning by a being with godlike abilities. Left behind, intact but abandoned, their desolate worlds and derelict ships brim with destructive potential.
“Now a discovery by a Federation cultural research team has drawn the attention of several ruthless factions. From black market smugglers to alien military forces, it seems every belligerent power in the quadrant hopes to capture the Husnock’s lethal technology.
“All that stands between the galaxy and those who have come to plunder the cruelest secrets of the Husnock are Admiral William Riker, Captain Christine Vale, and the crew of the Starship Titan.”
The Husnocks, destroyed by the Douwd Kevin Uxbridge in The Next Generation‘s The Survivors, may be gone, but their deadly technology still exists awaiting rediscovery.
What happens when word gets out about a fleet of Husnock ships, including a star-killing missile, and a treasure trove of weapons? A mad rush ensues, with governments and individuals each seeking to get their hands on the ships and weapons; some to make money off of them and others to use the weapons against their adversaries.
The players trying to grab the goodies include the Federation (part of which would rather have the technology than see it destroyed), the Pakleds, the Orions, the Breen, and Ferengis Brunt (former liquidator) and Gaila.
But none of this would have happened until the Husnock language was deciphered. Once the language was decoded, the locations of the ships and weapons were revealed as well as the command codes to launch the weapons.
Those who have just decoded the language are valuable to those who want the weapons, and they are kidnapped by a group who means business. And then we’re off to the races!
However, getting to the ships and weapons first does not necessarily mean that one wins the prize. Holding both the weapons factory and the data chip containing the Husnock command codes proves to be problematic. It becomes a game of “now you have it; now you don’t,” but finally, in the end someone will win the prize and others will lose.
Lives are lost and some are disappointed, but in the end, the Federation ends up the winner. But is this a good thing or not?
This was a fun book. It was a bit slow-going at first because there were many players and keeping them straight took some effort.
But once the action really began, beginning with the kidnapping, the story picked up speed. Each group and the group’s motivations for wanting the weapons was described. Power, greed, and the desire to make a lot of latinum were the motives and some of those pursuing the Husnock technology would stop at nothing to get the language data chip and then the weapons, including murder.
What really made the book fun was the “Now you have it; oh no, you don’t!” chase to get the weapons. A group or individual would get the codes, or the factory, or the ships, only to lose them a short time later. Some were lucky to get away with nothing but their lives, but some paid the ultimate price in their quest to get the weapons.
In the end, the “good guys” win, but are they really so good? The solution that would be best for everyone was not used; and as a result, the Husnock technology survives to be used another day.
Author : David Mack
Publisher: Pocket Books
Star Trek Titan: Fortune of War is available as a mass market paperback $7.99 ($6.36 on Amazon), and as a Kindle eBook $6.99. To order, head to the link located here.