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variable: noimg in /home/davidh/psiphi.org/cgi/upc-db.php on line 287 Notice: Use of undefined constant ppin - assumed 'ppin' in /home/davidh/psiphi.org/cgi/upc-db.php on line 361 Notice: Use of undefined constant ppin - assumed 'ppin' in /home/davidh/psiphi.org/cgi/upc-db.php on line 394 Notice: Use of undefined constant pragma - assumed 'pragma' in /home/davidh/psiphi.org/cgi/upc-db.php on line 394 Psi Phi: Notice: Use of undefined constant title - assumed 'title' in /home/davidh/psiphi.org/cgi/upc-db.php on line 400 #50: Malefictorum [Star Trek Books Database]

Psi Phi's Star Trek Books Database



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Previous: #49: Small World
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Star Trek: S.C.E.
eBook / April, 2005
XSCE000050

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Written by Terri Osborne

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Excerpt:

The first thing Lieutenant Commander Domenica Corsi did when the mess hall doors opened was drop to the deck on one knee.

The second thing she did was draw her phaser.

Before she could figure out exactly what had flown through the doors at eye level, it changed shape, morphing until a winged yellow ball about the size of her head floated in the air before her, complete with a strange, almost cartoon-like smiling face on its surface. The idea of Dominion incursion crossed her mind, but she quickly dismissed it.

It wasn't their style.

Why do I have a feeling Fabe's got something to do with this?

"Sorry, Dom," Fabian Stevens's contrite voice said from behind her. "It kind of got away from me there."

I like him, but I swear I'm going to have to kill him.

She holstered her phaser. "Kind of?" Brushing back a strand of blonde hair, she turned on him, fully prepared to read him the riot act for loosing a dangerous device on her ship. He, of all people, should have known better.

She stopped cold at the sight of an elaborate contraption sitting on top of his head. Black goggles rested on his forehead, with red, yellow, and blue leads running back to oddly shaped earpieces. Tiny red lights at the edges of the goggles' faceplate suggested that the device was still working. The only thing missing was a laser, but she was sure he probably had one in there somewhere. To her, it looked more like a truly unfortunate attempt at a Borg disguise than anything else. Corsi gestured at the contraption. "What is on your head?"

A Cheshire-cat smile spread across Fabian Stevens' face, and a mischievous glint she knew all too well lit his brown eyes.

Why do I suddenly get the feeling I'm going to regret asking that?

"A little idea I had," he said, gesturing with gloves that were covered in the same red, yellow and blue leads. "I was reading over some of the reports from Project Voyager. Do you know they've got a mobile emitter for their EMH? Then I remembered this report about an experimental control interface that Commander La Forge tried out a few years ago. It plugged right into the implants for this VISOR unit that the commander used to have. Ended up acting almost like an old-fashioned virtual reality unit, but this actually allowed him to control an experimental probe. He was able to guide it through the upper levels of a gas giant with this interface and directly interpret the data. Okay, yeah, the research was abandoned when the war broke out, but it's still a useful concept. Of course, I had to completely redesign it to work on someone that had no sensory implants, but it occurred to me that if we could combine those two ideas, we'd have--"

"Something with some very interesting possible uses," Corsi interjected. Her mind began to work over the various potential options, and liked what it saw.

Stevens nodded, his voice taking on that tone that she had long since learned to associate with engineers when they were on a roll. "Took me a while to figure out how the mobile emitter worked, and I'm still not sure I managed to get everything. I mean, come on, reverse-engineering technology from the future? I love a challenge, but according to their reports, this thing's got twenty-ninth-century technology built into it, and Voyager's engineer has a very weird way of keeping her notes. It wasn't easy, but I finally figured it out. Adding antigrav circuitry would make it too bulky to be practical. Wait a minute." The look in his eyes told her he'd had an idea. He walked back into the mess hall, placing the headset goggles on the table beside him and taking off a pair of gloves as he sat and began working on a padd. Surprisingly, his short dark hair wasn't mussed from the headgear. Neat trick.

"Fabe? Why aren't you working on this in the hololab?"

"Had to eat sometime," he said with a shrug, as though there were any other answer.

She turned back toward the flying yellow ball, which was still staring at her with that inane, childlike grin. The idea certainly had a lot of potential, she couldn't deny that. A mobile hologram that they could control from the bridge of the da Vinci--that could look like anything or anyone--was nothing short of tactical genius. Holograms as distractions were easy, child's play, even, but a hologram that could take an active offensive stance was something else.

Then there were the intelligence-gathering possibilities. The old saying 'If I could only be a fly on the wall for that meeting' would take on a whole new meaning. It would almost be like having a Dominion shapeshifter working on their side. Starfleet Intelligence would probably love to get their hands on something like this.

"Can this thing project something that can carry a weapon, too?"

The only answer Corsi got was the chirp of her combadge. "Commander Corsi?" She'd never heard fear in quite the manner it filled the crewman's voice.

Copyright © 2005 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

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