Book Excerpt: Star Trek Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game

It has been months since the last new Star Trek novel, but the wait is over in two weeks when Pocket Books kicks off the exciting 24th century cross-over "Typhon Pact" series. Pocket have now released the first chapter for the first novel in the series, "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game" by David Mack. Read it below


EXCERPT: Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game (Chapter 1)
by David Mack

"Intruder alert! Lock down all decks! This is not a drill!"

The warning repeated and echoed through the corridors of the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards’ command facility. Red lights flashed on bulkhead panels, and pressure doors started to roll closed, partitioning the space station.

Ensign Fyyl tried to block out the cacophony of deep, buzzing alarms as he sprinted toward his post, phaser in hand. Was it an attack? Fyyl had no idea what was happening. The skinny young Bolian was less than a year out of Starfleet Academy and until that moment had counted himself lucky to have been posted to the security detail on a platform orbiting Mars, one of the safest assignments in the Federation. Now it seemed as if he was in the thick of the action—the last place he’d ever wanted to be.

He stumbled to a halt in front of a companel. With trembling fingers he punched in his security code, confirmed his section was secure, and requested new orders. A multilevel schematic appeared on the display. In real time, sections of the station switched from yellow to green as deck officers and patrolling security personnel such as Fyyl checked in. Then a number of sections turned red, and the chief of security directed all his teams to converge on the intruder.

Here we go, Fyyl thought, sprinting from the companel to the nearest intersection. Courtesy of the station’s active sensor network, the junction’s airtight hatch slid open ahead of him and rolled shut behind him once he’d passed into the next section. Through the windows lining each tube-shaped passage he saw other security personnel moving toward the core ring ahead.

Then he winced at the searing flash of phaser beams slicing through the air and steeled himself for the worst as he charged through the next doorway into the thick of a firefight. Pressing his back against a bulkhead, he snapped off a pair of quick shots in the same direction he saw other Starfleet personnel firing. Through the smoke and blinding ricochets, he couldn’t see if he hit anything.

Fyyl ducked as a volley of electric-blue bolts blazed past him in the other direction. Two of his fellow Starfleeters collapsed to the deck, their eyes open but lifeless, their limbs splayed in the awkward poses of the dead. His heart pounding, Fyyl returned fire into the smoky darkness, trusting his training over his instincts, which told him to run and hide. Several meters ahead of Fyyl, visible even through the dense gray haze, a red warning light flashed.

Someone behind him shouted, "Fall back!"

Terrified and tripping over his own feet, Fyyl struggled to turn away from danger.

The corridor lit up like a sun, swallowing Fyyl and everything around him in a flash of light and heat beyond measure.

•  •  •

"There’s been an explosion inside the station," declared Lieutenant Vixia, the half-Deltan operations officer of the U.S.S. Sparrow. "They’re venting air into space."

Commander Evan Granger leaned forward in his chair as he eyed the vapor jetting from a ragged wound in the hull of the command base. "Take us to Red Alert. If they don’t get that breach sealed in twenty seconds, get ready to close it with a force field from our shield generator."

Beyond the decades-old space station, nearly two dozen half-constructed starships lay moored in their spacedock frames, mere shells of the vessels they were meant to become. Spread out beneath them was the shallow, dusky curve of the Martian surface, its crater-scarred face dotted with the gleaming lights of cities.

"Jex, any update from the station?" Granger asked his tactical officer.

The short young Bajoran man replied, "Not yet, sir." He tapped at his console. "I’m still picking up heavy comm chatter from inside the station. Sounds like the intruder’s still alive and on the move."

"Prep a tractor beam. Be ready to snag any ship or escape pod that leaves that station without clearance."

"Aye, sir." Jex began entering new commands on his console, then stopped, his eyes widening with alarm. "Another explosion inside the station."

Granger looked at the Sparrow‘s main viewscreen. Before the young commanding officer could ask Jex for more details, he saw all he needed to know: a massive conflagration had ruptured the station’s lower core, and a crimson fireball now surged toward the small patrol vessel.

"Evasive!" Granger cried out, gripping his chair’s armrests in anticipation. "All power to shields!" No sooner was the order spoken than the blast rocked the Sparrow. For several seconds stretched by fear and adrenaline, there was nothing for Granger to see on the main screen except static and a hellish cloud of flames, and nothing to hear but a deep roar of thunder against the hull.

The quaking ceased, and in the hush that followed Granger heard all the sounds of the bridge with perfect clarity: the soft chirps of feedback tones, the low thrumming of impulse engines beneath his boots, the gentle hum of ventilators.

"Damage report," he said. "Jex, any casualties?"

"Negative, sir. All decks secure."

Vixia said over her shoulder from the ops console, "Shields holding, sir."

"Jex, hail the station, see if they need medical personnel or damage-control teams. And see if you can find out what the hell just happened over there."

Sitting back, Granger wasn’t sure anyone would ever give him or his crew a true account of what had just occurred, but as he watched the station continue to burn, he wasn’t certain he really wanted to know.

"Do I even want to know what just happened at Utopia Planitia?"

Admiral Leonard James Akaar’s rhetorical question reverberated off the walls of his office on the uppermost level of Starfleet Command and gave way to a pained silence that none of his half dozen assembled peers seemed eager to disturb.

A tiny, throat-clearing cough snared Akaar’s attention. He turned his glare toward Admiral Alynna Nechayev, a trim, middle-aged human woman whose blond hair had begun to show the slightest traces of turning silver in the months following the previous year’s Borg invasion. "Preliminary reports," she said with the practiced calm of a political veteran, "suggest that the fleet yards’ command station was sabotaged as a diversionary tactic, to conceal the theft of classified data from its main computer."

Troubled looks passed among the other admirals in the room. Akaar got up from his desk and took his time stepping out from behind it. He towered over the other Starfleet flag officers, and his broad chest and shoulders made it easy for him to part their ranks as he moved to stand in front of Nechayev. The svelte woman held her ground, tilting her head back to meet his gaze as he loomed over her and asked, "What was stolen?"

"The schematics for slipstream drive."

Akaar’s jaw clenched. He sighed. "Everyone else, get out."

Nechayev stood with her hands folded behind her back as the other admirals left the room. As the door slid closed behind the last person to exit, Akaar inquired, "How much do we know for certain right now?"

"Not as much as we’d like," Nechayev said. "We’re fairly certain the spy was a civilian engineer named Kaz-ren. His dossier lists his species as ‘Dessev,’ but he appears to be the first of his kind we’ve ever met. He gained access to the main computer on Utopia Planitia’s command station at 1431 hours, using stolen credentials and specialized tools to fool the biometric sensors." She stepped over to a companel on the wall and called up a series of classified reports from Utopia Planitia. "The first explosion he set off helped him evade capture while he transmitted a locator signal. The second explosion appears to have been planned to disable the station’s shields and conceal his beam-out."

Settling back into his chair, Akaar asked, "Beamed to where?"

Punching up a new screen of graphs and data, Nechayev said, "Sensor readings from the station and its patrol ship, the Sparrow, suggest there was a cloaked Romulan vessel waiting nearby to pick Kazren up."

"How did a cloaked vessel get past our perimeter defenses?"

"We didn’t think the Romulans had this kind of cloak yet." Nechayev pointed out an isolated section of the graph. "Judging from these readings, I’d say the Romulans have put phasing cloaks into active service."

Akaar frowned. "If that’s true, they could be roaming at will throughout Federation space."

"I know," Nechayev said, "but right now we have a bigger problem. If the Typhon Pact develops their own version of the slipstream drive, we’ll lose the only tactical advantage we have left—and with it, our only hope of keeping this cold war from turning into a real one."

All at once, Akaar understood why Edward Jellico, his immediate predecessor as Starfleet’s chief admiral, had always seemed to be on the verge of a migraine. Massaging an oppressive ache that throbbed in his temples, he said in a somber tone, "Can you give me the room, please, Alynna? … I need to call the president."

…read the rest in "Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game" due out October 26th.

Cover for Zero Sum Game


3 more Typhon books coming

Zero Sum Game will be followed by a new Typhon Pact book each month, with "Typhon Pact: Seize the Fire" by Michael A. Martin in November, "Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire" by David R. George III in December and "Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony" by Dayton Ward in January. All are available now for pre-order at Amazon.

Excerpt: © 2010 CBS Studios Inc

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Excellent work again as usual Mr. Mack! I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of this book from Amazon!

OK, you see, STAR TREK, original timeline lives: good novels, videogames, star trek on line… CBS does not want original ST to die.
Next? a tv show. I’m pretty sure.

#2: I agree there’s much to be mined from the original timeline in terms of novels, games, etc. These are geared toward hardcore fans anyway. However, I’d be shocked if there’s ever a new T.V. show set in the original timeline.

There are hundreds upon hundreds of hours of T.V. and film set there, and the whole point of the new film was to reboot the franchise and free it from the weight of what’s come before. Why would CBS risk confusing folks when they have this brand new clean slate to work with? I suspect Trek will return to T.V. someday, but with something that operates in the new timeline.

ill take animated trek over anything at this point…


YES! I’ve been trying to tell people this for quite some time. IT LIVES! I’m playing in it RIGHT NOW.

David Mack’s a great writer–I adore his entries in the Vanguard series–but I don’t have any interest in this timeframe or these characters. Would love to see more Vanguard still though.

I can hardly wait for these books. The stories Pocket Books have developed for the prime timelines have been very impressive and clearly show that there is plenty of life left in the original universe!

#6, more Vanguard is supposed to be coming as well. I’ve actually enjoyed how they’ve added snippets about the Vanguard story into the 24th century stories…

Does the admiral phaser anyone who dares to say, “Ooochee-woochee koochee-koo!”?

I’ve been looking forward to these stories for a while. It’s been a while since I finished the last Voyager and Titan books and I have been starved for 24th century action for a while. This book recession these last few months did give me a chance to do some catch up reading though.

The new movie will be nice to see, but I am glad stories in the prime timeline continue as well. Hopefully that will continue. Keep buying and I’m sure they will keep selling.

To those who don’t think a 24th century setting for a show is viable: TNG and the original series movies did well together; I can see Abrams Trek on screen and whoever on TV at the same time easily.

I…. I like it. I really do.

Weird. I didn’t think I’d find the cold war idea at all interesting… but here I am, loving it. That settles it. I’m sold on the idea of the next Trek series involving a long-running cold war, similar to the Klingon tensions of TOS.

Meanwhile, I think it’s about time I returned to Trek literature for the first time since “Greater Than The Sum.”

#6: Your loss buddy. David Mack’s “Destiny” trilogy is the greatest TrekLit EVER. I own all the Vanguard novels but have yet to read them. Based on all his 24th century ST fiction I have read, I KNOW they will blow my mind.

#9: LMAO!

The latest TrekLit authors have ALL been great but David Mack is hey #1.


You’re in for a treat when you get to the Destiny trilogy. Its got a twist at the end that you literally don’t expect till you turn the page.

#12 and #14

Completely agree with you on the Destiny Trilogy. Might be the best Trek writing ever (and I’ve read a lot). I’ve been waiting almost a year for the Typhon Pact books to start coming out.

As for all you TOS only people out there… get over yourselves!

Remember to buy your ST books new at retail. The more money the publisher sees the more books they’ll publish.

To #12, #13, #14 and #15: Also great reading was the Deep Space Nine trilogy ‘Millennium’ by the Reese-Stevenes…longwinded at times, but never unnecessarily so…and a fascinating insight into hidden aspects of Trek, such as how Stardates came to me, what they’re calculating exactly, what a Trek Apocalypse akin to biblical prophecy would play out like, and explains tons of other things… in my opinion if ever there was a story that should be the story for Deep Space Nine films, the novels I mention are them. Retooled a bit to adapt to canon contradictions introduced by ST: Enterprise later on etc., but something that would be perfect for JJTrek-level budgeting, and the perfect director for said films would be Joss Whedon due to his penchant for supernatural thrillers…

#14. Destiny was a fantastic trilogy, but the twist had plenty of foreshadowing. I was not that surprised, but did quite enjoy its full circleness.

#16. The Reeves-Stevens’ “Millenium” is the best trilogy of Trek out there, imho. It rivals Andrew J Robinson’s “A Stitch in Time” as my fav Trek book(s).

Another fan of Mr. Mack’s Destiny trilogy here. I enjoyed it greatly and will be picking up Zero Sum Game.

David Mack is definitly a great writer. I can’t remember any of this books that I did not like. Destiny was great, his Vanguard books, Sorrows of the Empire, Warpath and many others were excellent reads. All the current authors have been writing good books. They all seem to have great respect for one another, judging from reading the acknowledgments. I also like that the relaunch novels all build on one another. It makes it easier to read them. I’m fine with the single story novels too, but one of my complaints have been when there are gross contradictions with each other. The relaunches have done a good job avoiding that.

I look forward to Mack’s book, and the other 3 Typhon Pacts as well. Nice to see the drought is over for next year. My only complaint to PocketBooks is 2 years between Romulan War books. Come on guys.

I tried reading Destiny, but it was really, -really- soap operatic. Riker crying in the arms of his first officer? Picard and Crusher trying to have a baby? WTF?

I stopped.

New timeline is a Paramount toy and a Paramount bussines. But CBS does not want TNG universe to die because is its bussiness: merchandises, novels, comicbooks, videogames, conventions, trek series (DVD and blue dics) …TNG Universe is too powerful and marvelous and too good bussiness to die or to be killed. A treasure to protect. The most important Scifi universe. A wonderful work of imagination and talent created by dozens of authors and producers…

I’m pretty sure: TNG Universe will come back. CBS protects TNG Universe. ST 2009 could not kill TNG Universe. It created a new timeline.
A big show for theaters. It’s good. Very good. But TV is another bussines.
And remember: Star Trek and related marks are CBS studios trademaks. TNG universe is only resting for several years.
CBS rules.

Hmm. I’ve been really looking forward to these books, on a post-Destiny high and very interested in the idea of the Typhon Pact cold war. But perhaps this was not the best extract to start off with – it seems very formulaic, the same old thing I’ve read in Trek a million times. Not badly written in any way, but I thought Trek books had moved beyond this kind of procedural thing. I had this and the other 2 on pre-order, might wait for reviews now.

tbh with the work that all the authors have done contuning the prime timeline ( and in david macks case destryoing it ;) ) it would be a real shame if something was to be released straight to dvd and whipe out the canon of these books

i know there not supposed to be canon , but its the only thing wev had in years and i for one wouldnt sacrifce it for a one of straight to dvd film etc ..

22, how can you say that the book will be formulaic from an excerpt? We don’t even necessarily know where in the book this excerpt is.

Flashing blue bolts of energy? Diversionary tactics and sabotage? Sounds like a group of J’em H’adar to me…

I didn’t, I said the excerpt was formulaic, in my opinion obviously. It reads like many, many other standard Trek books which are okay but not in the same league as the recent post-Destiny novels. Of course I can’t comment on the rest of the book yet, but presumably they allowed the site to use this bit as promotion therefore it is typical?

I mostly enjoyed the book, a good romp and typically well written by David Mack. But about 90% of the story is about Bashir & Sarina on their mission and I don’t find her a particularly interesting or sympathetic character, at least not as written in this story, so it didn’t hold my attention as most of Mr Mack’s other books. I’d like to have read more about Dax and the Aventine crew in this book, I’m sure it would have been possible to bring them more into the storyline. I’m hoping that the third installment of the series which features Sisko will fill us in more about the developments on DS9 post the Fearful Symmetry et al storyline as well so that we can find out what happened to the rest of the main characters from the tv series.
Not a classic but an okay Trek novel, but a decent enough introduction to the rest of the Typhon Pact series

I know this is an old post but hopefully it will do someone some good. Spoilers to follow

This book is terrible. I feel like I’m reading a third grade level junior adventures book that barely resembles star trek. I can not believe that this book came from the same mind that spawned vanguard… Which was apparently put on hold to start this series.

The story itself is completely absurd. Basically two spies are caught behind enemy lines by the only person with the will and means to supply them with everything they need. BORING!

I’m about 2/3 of the way through this book and ithas taken me three weeks to get this far. There’s no suspense, no intrigue, and very little action. Avoid this book at all costs.

To David Mack, I’ve seen you do much better. Thanks for wasting my eight bucks.

Forgot to mention, the blurb posted in this article is by far the best written and action filled part of the book. But it literally dies off after this section. I’m not exaggerating.

It’s as if the first chapter was written by the David Mack we have seen before, then passed on to a fifth grader to finish… in a week. It’s that bad. Please do not be fooled.

Vanguard is a great series that gives a different perspective to TOS. I applaud David Mack, Kevin Dillmore Dayton Ward for that continuing series and Mr. Mack and the team of writers for the Typhon Pact series that is going to be an incredible look into the continuing future of Gene Roddenberry’s dream. Keep up the great work and we will keep reading!!!

Fell out of bed feeling down. This has bgrihented my day!

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