The latest collection of 'Corps of Engineers' short stories previously available as e-books. I've always found the 'Corps of Engineers' stories difficult to get into: there is the wait from e-book to printed anthology collections, the series name change, the change from normal size paperback to trade paperback and to be blunt the quality of writing. This is only the second 'Corps of Engineers' book I've bought, the previous one being 'Wildfire'. Now 'Wildfire' was good but 'Wounds' is even better.
The stories gathered in 'Wounds' take place only one year after the end of the Dominion War (as depicted in the 'Deep Space Nine' finale 'What You Leave Behind') and the stories are:
Two mysterious deaths take place on the Da Vinci and Security Chief Corsi has to figure out what caused the deaths. This is good, the aftermath of the events of are still being felt.
The crew of the Da Vinci discover that a fissure between realities has been opened. To close it they have to somehow contact their counterparts on the other side of the fissure. This is a good one and the other universe intrigues. In it Starfleet, the Federation and Bajor are very different and the Emissary is none other than Jadzia Dax.
Sonya Gomez is taking some shoreleave on a somewhat dilapidated space station. Now someone has taken over the station and is threatening to kill everyone on board unless their insane demands are met. The problem for Gomez is that everyone thinks she is the crazed hostage taker. This is merely okay.
Fables of the Prime Directive
Two teams from Da Vinci beam down to a pre-warp planet which was occupied by the Dominion during the war. Their job is to determine what damage and cultural contamination has been caused to the previously uncontacted medieval society. Once there they learn the scars are greater than first thought, the Dominion interfered with the planet's religion and has set back their Renaissance by centuries. The team also learn that there is still a Dominion presence on the planet. This was good and nicely creepy.
Corsi recalls a security job that turned her into the cold hardcase she is today. This was merely okay and the villain was beyond obvious.
The Da Vinci's Dr Elizabeth Lense and DS9's Dr Julian Bashir are caught up in the reality fissure from 'Lost Time' and hurled into another reality and stranded on different sides of a devastated planet. Both believe the other dead and are captured by differing sides of an ideological conflict. Sometime ago the planet suffered a cataclysm that has rendered it all but uninhabitable and the aftermath of which is slowly killing the population with disease and infertility. The side who captured Bashir, have employed extreme technological survival measures. The side who captured Lense are fighting the imposition of such terrible measures. In differing ways, Lense and Bashir try to survive and help those they've encountered.
In the end though, they can't do much and rescue isn't the boon they hoped for. As they recuperate, they ponder on the planet and its inhabitants and come to a somewhat chilling conclusion. What if the planet was the homeworld of the race that eventually became the Borg? This was an excellent character story and the idea that the race are in fact proto-Borg is chillingly foreshadowed and all too plausible. This origin is far better than the one used in 'Destiny'. This was a wonderful read.