Exclusive Short Fiction Excerpt From ‘Star Trek Explorer Presents: “The Mission” And Other Stories’

Next week Titan releases Star Trek Explorer Presents: “The Mission” And Other Stories, an anthology collection of 14 original short stories from Star Trek Explorer magazine. The new illustrated collection includes stories from Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager from authors James Swallow, John Peel, Gary Russell, Greg Cox, Una McCormack, Michael Carroll and more. The stories include the return of noir detective Dixon Hill, a dramatic prelude to the classic episode “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” and even a story showcasing Captain Jonathan Archer’s loyal hound, Porthos.

TrekMovie has an exclusive excerpt from a Star Trek: The Next Generation story titled “The Disavowed,” a strange tale of the crew of Enterprise-D forgetting their first officer, William Riker…

————

“THE DISAVOWED”
Story: Christopher Cooper

Illustration from The Mission and Other Stories (Titan)

COMMANDER WILLIAM T. RIKER, PERSONAL LOG:

“Counselor Troi’s assessment of the political discord on Pivedan was bang on the money: tensions are riding high, to the point where it’s hard to imagine either side reaching a compromise, let alone making a joint argument in support of their world’s application for admission to the Federation – if they can even agree that’s what they really want!

We’ll see if anything changes in the next session, but right now I’m inclined to recommend we leave them to settle their differences in their own time.”

Riker shifted in his seat as he listened to the ongoing deposition of Conciliator b’Yornsyn, seemingly designed to muddy the diplomatic waters even further. He couldn’t deny that b’Yornsyn was a skilled orator, and she cast an effortless spell over the massed dignitaries crowded into the debating chamber, but it was beginning to feel like they’d become caught in a temporal loop of argument and counter argument.

He glanced over at Deanna, set beside Lieutenant Commander Data on the observer’s benches, but didn’t need her empathic abilities to sense she shared his frustration. Something had to give.

“If I may interrupt,” Riker interjected as b’Yornsyn made one of her signature dramatic pauses. The Conciliator glared at the Starfleet officer, clearly taken aback by his unexpected intervention. He fired one of his most disarming grins at her in return.                  “Of course, Mediator,” she acquiesced after glaring at him a moment longer. Giving him the floor, she’d made it clear she was not happy to do so.

Riker adjusted his uniform tunic and took her place at the center of the chamber. It was time to get things moving. Surely that was the point of installing a Federation outsider as a mediator in these proceedings?

“As a member of Starfleet, I’ve often found myself in situations where people don’t see eye to eye,” Riker began. He paused, checking that he had his audience’s attention. “As mediator in these talks, it’s my duty to at least get people facing in the same direction. It isn’t my place to lead the discussion, yet we seem to find ourselves at an impasse…”

Was it his imagination, or were the ambassadors from the Amorphan region tidying their papers as if the session was over?

“An impasse that…” He faltered again. Now they were getting up to leave, as were the Relkan Sect, which counted n’Yornsyn as its spiritual head. She was nowhere to be seen.

“If I could have your attention for a moment?” Riker raised his voice, but apparently no one was listening anymore. In fact, the chamber was rapidly emptying, the delegates sharing opinions on the proceedings convivially as they departed. Even Deanna and Data were leaving their seats. Riker hurried over.

“Hey. Where do you two think you are going?” he asked. “The session isn’t over. Or did I miss something?”

Neither reacted, and showed no sign they could even see him. Confused, Riker reached out to Deanna – and felt a shock when his hand passed right through her .

Composing himself, Riker almost instinctively tapped his combadge welcoming its familiar activation tone. “Riker to Enterprise.”

No response. He tried again.

Enterprise, this is Commander Riker. Can you hear me?”

Still nothing. Then the sound of Deanna’s voice caught his ear.

“Counselor Troi to Enterprise. Two to beam up.”

“Wait!” Riker protested, but his friends were gone.

————

Has Riker been abandoned? Why can’t anyone see him? You can read the complete story in Star Trek Explorer Presents: “The Mission” And Other Stories, on sale February 13. You can pre-order the Star Trek short story collection from Amazon for $24.99.

Cover for The Mission and Other Stories (Titan)


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Is that really the cover art?

It’s *hideous*.

Clearly had the rights to P-Stew and Marina Sirtis’s likeness. Whoopi Goldberg, likely not.

AI could have made a better cover art.

The 90’s just called, and they want their cover art back.

As a representative of the ’90’s, we formally decline the offer to take back this atrocity.

;-))

As the old saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover…

Despite the terrible cover art, the stories are really good. I recommend this book.

I feel like creativity in cover arts, posters, logos, car brand signs these days are terribly lacking. Now this could just be me not liking these but I feel like there is downward trend going in these kind of creative design endevours.(Maybe we can include ship and space designs here too) Maybe there is just too much talentless people working in the industries or this is just the new accepted norm. Either way I hope it gets better.

I’ve noticed that collection of short stories published in magazines in the last few years look more like, well, that than they did in the 90s when they were collected in mass market paperback form. The Star Wars Insider short story collections are much the same. I think I’d rather have a simple paperback on traditional print than have a set-up like this that preserves the magazine’s artwork for the story.