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Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin take the Enterprise crew into their future...
with some shocking surprises!

Published by Pocket Books
Edited by Margaret Clark.
In stores March 2007.
464 pgs., Paperback (ISBN: 0-7434-4001-3) $7.99
Click here to purchase Star Trek Enterprise:The Good That Men Do at Amazon

Following their previous best-selling and spectacularly-reviewed Star Trek work,
Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin have written another new Enterprise novel, based on UPN's television series!

For some plot details and excerpts, see below. But beware: there is SPOILER material below, especially if you haven't read shocking revelations at the tail end of Mangels and Martin's previous novel, Last Full Measure!

Editor Margaret Clark announced at New York Comic Con in February 2007 that in September 2008, Andy Mangels and Michael A. Martin would continue the Enterprise relaunch with Kobayashi Maru, telling major events in Star Trek history! Clark said that, "we will see the NX-01 and the NX-02 and the unfolding history of Starfleet and the Coalition Compact...and the Klingons... and the Romulans."


Pax Galactica. Enemies become allies. Old secrets are at last revealed. Long-held beliefs and widely accepted truths are challenged. Man turns to leisurely pursuits.

In this golden age, two old friends are drawn together. They seek to understand, and wonder how what they have long believed, what they have been taught was never so.

Over two hundred years ago, the life of one of Starfleet’s earliest pioneers came to a tragic end, and Captain Jonathan Archer, the legendary commander of Earth’s first warp five starship, lost a close friend. Or so it seemed for many years. But with the passage of time, and the declassification of certain crucial files, the truth about that fateful day—the day that Commander Charles “Trip” Tucker III didn’t die—could finally be revealed.

Why did Starfleet feel it was necessary to rewrite history? And why only now can the truth be told?


Editor Margaret Clark announced at Shore Leave convention in July 2006 that The Good That Men Do will function as a sort of relaunch for the franchise, setting into motion some major events in Star Trek history! The book will also address historical inconsistencies from the Enterprise TV series finale "These Are The Voyages..." and address some shocking revelations at the tail end of Mangels and Martin's previous novel, Last Full Measure! Clark also revealed that Section 31 may have something to do with the plot, and pointed out to fans that Trip Tucker is standing in his EV suit... on a Romulan ship!

More of Margaret's SL quotes are available here.

On the Trek BBS, Margaret Clark made several comments on posts, including:

"In TATV we see that six years have passed, six years? In six years, no one has been promoted, no one has left the ship. No one? It seems there might be some problem with the holodeck program. And consider that the period of time between Riker and Archer is the same amount of time between us and the American Revolution. And I'm sure there is more we've forgetten about that time then we remember."

As to the identities of the two people who investigate the historical discrepancies, Margaret said, "I will say they are 24th Century contemporaries of Riker and Troi."

Later, explaining what needed to be changed with TATV, she said: "The Enterprise books were few and far between, because the show was in production, and I had a book, at the printers, that was contradicted by an episode, that had not yet aired, but would have by the time the book printed.... very complex. The books dealt with characters that the show wasn't. Hoshi, Mayweather. When I did books that involved the characters the show was using, we took care to make sure that they could not be contradicted, or I hoped that would be the outcome.

I loved what Manny Coto did in the fourth season, and there were many other shows during the three years that I liked and even loved.

Going forward. THE GOOD THAT MEN DO had to deal with that final show. (The reason for the framing sequence in
Last Full Measure was that I knew there was going to be a year before the next ENT book, I wanted to give the readers a signpost.) That book will set up what we do in the future. And all of the crew will be involved. Keep in mind that this is the most tenuous time in Earth's history, daring to explore space, and knowing that we really don't have all the tools to deal with what is in front of us.

The possiblities are endless."

Recently, Andy Mangels added more fuel to the spoilers with posts in this Trek BBS thread:

"Hmmm, trying to figure out what I can preview without spoiling anything...

There are scenes on Earth, Vulcan, Andoria, Rigel X, Adigeon Prime, outer space, *******, and *******.

Cast members include all the regulars, plus several new ones, plus familiar faces such as Shran, T'Pau, Harris, and more.

The framing sequences (as Margaret revealed) take place in the future, and feature a pair of familiar characters investigating discrepancies in the history of the Federation, and the TATV holo-program specifically.

As Margaret has also revealed, Tucker is aboard a Romulan ship on the cover. And Section 31 is involved in the story.

Events from every season of Enterprise are referenced, including significant references to the Terra Prime two-parter. There are also references to events or characters from TOS, TAS, TNG, and DS9.

Things that happen in the book (some more than once): a spaceship battle, a ceremony, a speech, a wedding, a death, a really gory operation, a cover-up, a psychic mind-link, double-crossing, a warp jump, triple-crossing, rule-breaking, alcoholic consumption, a burial, piracy, a discussion about God, bonding, betrayal, asteroids, tears of grief, tears of joy, glowing worms, EV suits, dilithium, prayer, heavy rain, and a rescue.

Some events as seen in TATV are revealed to be completely true.
Some events as seen in TATV are revealed to be completely false.
ALL events as seen in TATV are revealed to be more complex than we saw onscreen.

The novel will set up future events that are very important in the Star Trek mythos.

How's that for some teaser info?"

He followed up with: "A few more nuggets for your anticipation:

This is our longest book yet, at around 121,000 words. Our previous longest was around 104-105,000.

There are over fifty chapters.

And a few other teasers I forgot: night-vision phaser-fight, evacuation, MACOs, sacrifice, mercenaries, defection, revelation, engineering breakthrough, breakfast, secrets..."

more news to come!


Posted November 9, 2006, the first of three teasers which will come pre-release. Please note that this has been edited down from the full version of this scene, and that certain elements of the scene will be familiar-yet-different from a scene in TATV:

Sunday, February 9, 2155
Enterprise NX-01

Lying on the narrow bed in his quarters, his shoulders propped up by a pile of none-too-soft Starfleet-issue pillows, Archer idly tossed a water-polo ball against one of the four walls of his Spartan cabin. Lying in the far corner with his face on his outstretched paws, Archer’s beagle Porthos watched the captain intently.

T’Pol was standing beside Archer, resolutely refusing, as usual, to sit in either of the room’s two simple, gray Starfleet-issue chairs. He wondered if his first officer found the chairs uncomfortable or if she wasn’t simply trying to keep her distance from Porthos, whose scent she had often said she found disagreeable.

“If we’re late for the ceremony, it will have far-reaching consequences,” she said finally, clearly not content to leave that matter of the Aenar mass kidnapping alone until Archer had resolved it one way or the other.

Archer frowned, annoyed to be reminded yet again of the impending diplomatic event on Earth. “If Shran hadn’t helped us, I never would’ve gotten aboard the Xindi weapon. Have you forgotten that? This alliance is based on friendship and loyalty—exactly what Shran is looking for right now.”

After a beat of silence, she said, very quietly, “I don’t trust him.”

“You don’t trust Andorians,” he said, his annoyance escalating another notch. “Thank God the Vulcan Council is a little more enlightened. If they’re willing to forge an alliance with Andoria, the least you can do is give Shran the benefit of the doubt.”

Though her Vulcan poise seemed to remain in place, Archer sensed that she was shrinking from his words, rebuked. He tried to soften his tone somewhat as he continued: “When we met four years ago, I didn’t trust you. For that matter, I didn’t trust any Vulcans. You helped me get past that, remember?” He paused, struggling for the words that would best explain the decision he’d just made. “I can’t turn my back on him, T’Pol. Try to understand.” Archer walked to the wall-mounted com unit beside which T’Pol was standing. He pushed the large button in the panel’s center.

“Archer to Lieutenant O’Neill.”

“O’Neill here, sir,” came the third watch commander’s crisp reply.

Archer’s eyes locked with T’Pol’s.

“Change our heading, Lieutenant. We’re going into Andorian space. Best speed.”


“I want to follow the trail of that Orion slave ship. Ensign Sato will inform Shran and Theras. Commander Tucker and Lieutenant Reed will coordinate our efforts with theirs. Shran will provide us with the vessel’s warp-signature profile for our sensor scans.”

“Aye, sir.”

“Archer out.” He pressed the button again, closing the channel, then headed for the door.

“Captain,” T’Pol said.

He turned to face her, “Yes?”

“Permission to speak freely, sir?”


“I can’t help but wonder whether you had already made your mind up to help Shran before you contacted Admiral Gardner.”

Archer allowed himself an enigmatic smile. “I can see how it might look that way.”

“Indeed. Especially given the fact that you never came right out and asked the admiral for his permission to investigate the mass Aenar kidnapping.”

“I suppose you also noticed that Gardner never exactly ordered me not to go after the slavers. All he said was that he couldn’t order me to do it.”

She raised an eyebrow and a look rather like a smirk twisted her lips. “I will remember to mention that when I appear as a character witness at your court-martial.”

Archer couldn’t have been more stunned had she drawn a phase pistol on him and fired. “That’s remarkable, T’Pol. Did you. . . did you just make a joke?”

“For your sake, sir, I certainly hope so.”

Was that another one? he thought as he opened his door. He let his enigmatic smile glide right into a mischievous grin as he walked back into the doorway.

“Sometimes,” he said over his shoulder as T’Pol followed him, “it’s a lot easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”


Posted December 8, 2006, the second of three teasers which will come pre-release (a fourth will appear in an issue of STAR TREK MAGAZINE). Please note that the scene below has been edited down from the full version of this scene, which occurs early in the book:

Thursday, January 30, 2155
Vulcan's Forge

As she attempted to meditate, kneeling on the floor opposite Commander Tucker, T’Pol recalled one of the last conversations she had had with her mother, elsewhere in this very sanctuary. They had argued about the Syrannites, whom T’Pol had opposed. They had quarreled over the aims of Surak’s teachings, the efficacy of the leadership of the High Command, and the overly forceful manner in which T’Pau had tried to retrieve Surak’s katra from Captain Archer. “I shouldn’t have come here looking for you, and I don’t want anything more to do with you,” T’Pol had told her. Minutes later, when the High Command attacked, her mother had been mortally wounded.

Meditating here, in front of the sepulchers that contained the remains of her mother and of her own cloned daughter, T’Pol felt herself clinging to the hope that neither of them was truly gone. That perhaps their katra did exist, perhaps embedded in the very stone, sand, and soil of this hallowed place.

Of course, she also had to admit to herself that her hope was undeniably born of emotion. Her mother had often admonished her for having so little control over her emotions, and while she didn’t agree with that assessment, in the nearly one-year period since she had conquered her addiction to trellium — the substance that allowed her to free herself from the grip of logic and emotional constraint — she had known that her ability to control her emotions was now clearly, perhaps irrevocably, damaged.

There were times when she blamed this damage for her continued feelings for Trip Tucker, and yet she knew that even that explanation was disingenuous. Love, while commonly thought of as an emotion, was certainly possible for even the most logical and restrained of Vulcans. Partners loved one other, families loved each other. . . it wasn’t the love itself that was the issue, it was the emotions that accompanied it. Joy, sadness, ambivalence, anger, fear, comfort. . . all of these had come to her, and had sometimes threatened to overwhelm her, during the times she’d shared with Trip.

Even now, as she looked over to him, kneeling on the stone floor, his head bowed in prayer, tears streaming down his dusty cheeks, T’Pol felt herself torn. She wanted to go to him. She wanted to comfort him, and to seek his comfort in turn, but she also wanted to reject him, to gird herself against the emotions of weakness and vulnerability.

She knew that their love was undeniable. Just as she knew it was untenable.

Unbidden, she felt a sharp laugh escape her throat, from deep within her. It was a laugh born not of mirth, but rather spawned by something very akin to despair. It seemed to echo inside the chamber for an uncomfortable eternity, though she supposed it had probably remained in the air only long enough cause Trip to open his eyes and look at her.

In that moment, she was lost. T’Pol squeezed her eyes tightly, willing away the tears that welled up in them. She clenched her teeth as her lips trembled. She felt the IDIC symbol that hung from the chain around her neck — the centuries-old symbol, delivered to her by her ex-husband, but given to her by her mother. The metal and stone in the symbol were cold in her hand. Cold and dead. As was her mother. And her child.

No. Their child was dead.

In the short time she had known Elizabeth, she was astonished at the instinctual bond she’d shared with the tiny creature. The girl had laughed and cooed several times, but mostly, she had just stared at T’Pol and Trip with those dark, round eyes, a sense of nearly complete serenity radiating from the core of her being. Even while in the throes of her terminal fever and sickness, if T’Pol and Trip were both present, Elizabeth had barely cried. It was as if she suppressed only the negative emotions, allowing only the positive ones to come through.

Was that happiness and calm related to the synthesis of her parents’ Vulcan and human DNA, or had it been a function of her individual personality? The answer to that question would never be known.

T’Pol felt herself trembling, could hear a keening sound she knew was coming from within her. The waves of loss rolled through her mind, washing over every emotional barrier she possessed.

She felt a hand on her shoulder, and opened her eyes. Through the blur of unshed tears, she saw Trip in front of her, tears streaming down his own face. This was a recently familiar sight; he had cried in her quarters last week, and then again several times during the Coridanite ship’s flight from Earth to Vulcan. But this time, she was crying with him.

Every part of her wanted him to enfold her in his arms, wanted him to protect her from her own feelings. But he was more emotional than she was. She knew that the more she was with him, the more she would lose control of herself, of the carefully-constructed mental barriers she had erected, of the intense passions they kept at bay.

She was broken inside, and she knew that now, and for the future, Trip would only keep the fractures open.

Their child was dead.

And she knew that their feelings for each other must, by necessity, by logic, die as well.

And yet, through her tears, she saw her own arms reaching out for him, saw him moving toward her, felt the comfort of his embrace, the strength within him.

For a long time, they held each other and cried, for all the losses of their past, their present, and perhaps, of their future.


Posted February 2, 2007, (Happy Groundhog's Day) is the third -- and most SPOILER revealing -- of three teasers which will come pre-release (a fourth will appear in an issue of STAR TREK MAGAZINE). Please note that the scene below has been edited down from the full version of this scene, which occurs very early in the book:



The early twenty-fifth century
Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana

Although light-years separated him from his homeworld, the cool rain falling through the moss-covered trees reminded Nog of Ferenginar. The smell was different here, of course; the Louisiana swamps were redolent with decay and rot, and the lukewarm rain — falling not quite at a glebbening level yet, but close — added a dampness that made the humid air almost palpably pungent.

Nog stood in front of the door, his hand raised and poised to knock. He rapped his knuckles loudly against the door, four times, then took a step back.

“Greetings, old man,” Nog said, remembering what Benjamin Sisko used to call Dax. It seemed somehow appropriate now, here, as he saw his friend’s eyes widen in delighted surprise.

“Nog!” Jake Sisko’s voice cracked slightly as he shouted his friend’s name, and then he opened the door wide, holding his arms out.

Nog stepped forward, opening his own arms and clasping them around Jake’s torso. It was only after he had hugged his friend for several seconds that he remembered that he was soaking wet. He pulled back, looking up at Jake.

Turning, Jake gestured inside. “Let’s get you out of the rain and into my warm, dry den. Then you can tell me what brought you out to my hideaway in the middle of hurricane season!”

* * *

Jake Sisko pulled the cork from the top of the bottle with as much élan as he could muster, especially given the way his fingers were cramping up these days. He poured two glasses of the dark liquid and set the bottle down even as Nog reached forward for one of the deep, rounded wineglasses.

Raising his glass, Jake regarding the dark liquid inside thoughtfully and giving it a gentle swirl. “You’ve certainly come a long way since the old root beer days back on the station.”

Nog snickered. “We live and we learn, Jake.” He paused to swirl the contents of his own glass. “To an old friendship.”

Jake clinked his glass against Nog’s. “Not so old,” he said, smiling. He took a sip, eyeing the Ferengi over the rim of his glass. His friend still looked barely a week older than his teens.

“Well, not so old for you,” Jake finally added, smiling. “I swear, you Ferengi don’t ever seem to age.”

Nog grinned back, his sharp, pointed teeth gleaming. “Oh, I’ve had a few nips and tucks over the years, Jake,” he said, running his right hand over his right lobe. “Don’t want my lobes to get too droopy. Hard to get another wife if I look like a melting candle. Speaking of which, where’s Korena?”

“She’s on Bajor,” Jake said. “The weather’s better there, and I wanted some time by myself to write. I’ve got half a dozen novels started, but nothing seems to be grabbing me and shaking itself out of my brain.”

“I read your latest about six months ago,” Nog said, settling back onto a replicated nineteenth-century chair. Its tall back, padded with a rich red velvet, towered over the diminutive Ferengi’s head, making him look like a child. “It was quite entertaining. I wasn’t able to figure out who the killer was before you revealed it. . . or them, actually.”

“Well, that’s part of the fun of writing a mystery set in the era before scanning technology,” Jake replied. “The detectives have to work a bit harder to figure out their cases.”

Nog took a sip from his glass, and then fidgeted for a moment. “Actually, I don’t want to make it sound like I had to have a reason to visit you, but something just came up and I thought of you.”

“So, what is it?” Jake leaned forward slightly.

Nog pulled a small isolinear chip out of a pocket in his tunic. The firelight glinted off it, making it appear as though it had a firefly trapped within its slender, emerald-colored confines.

“I discovered this when I was researching twenty-second-century warp mechanics,” Nog said. “I was digging around in some of the newly declassified files.”

Jake raised an eyebrow. “Declassified files? From where? By who? And when?”

“The when is part of what makes this complicated. It concerns events we’ve been told happened in 2161. But the real events actually occurred years earlier, in 2155. And I can’t tell whether the where and who are related solely to Section 31, or whether this apparently deliberate cover-up was something sanctioned by those in charge during the earliest days of the Federation.”

“All the answers aren’t in the declassified information?” Jake was intrigued, especially with the mention of Section 31.

“I hope they are,” Nog said, interrupting. “But as soon as I started to get into it, I thought, I know one hew-mon who would not only find this fascinating, but might be able to write a best-selling book about it. So, here I am.”

Jake chuckled. “I see. Well, that certainly sounds intriguing. But do you really think this is important enough that people will care, two hundred years after all the facts and fictions have become part of dusty history?”

Nog looked surprised again, and then his features took on a conspiratorial, almost sinister, cast. “Jake, from what I’ve seen, this story involves hew-mons, Andorians, Vulcans, Denobulans, and Romulans. It has kidnapping, assassination, slavery, death, resurrection, and cover-ups. And it may just change everything we know—or everything that we’ve been told—about the founding of the Federation itself.”

Jake found himself grinning widely. It had been a long time since he and Nog had played detectives in the shadowy corridors of Deep Space 9, trying to solve the mystery behind some strange occurrence or other that they were naively certain would stump even the formidable deductive abilities of Constable Odo. And now, he felt the same surge of boyhood adrenaline rush into his system.

He held out his hand for the chip.

“So, let’s get to it.”


Surprise! Posted January 26, 2007, an unannounced fifth teaser was released on This is the complete first chapter of the book, though not the first scene...:

Chapter One

Day Five, Month of Tasmeen
Unroth III, Romulan space

Doctor Ehrehin i'Ramnau tr'Avrak stood before the research complex's vast panoramic window, listening to the control center's background wash of electronic chirps, beeps, and drones as he looked out over the remote firing site where the prototype would shortly thrum to life. For the past several days, every console in the cramped control center had shown reassuring shades of orange, with hardly a hint of the green hues that Romulans tended to associate with blood and danger. The only green the elderly scientist had seen since his arrival here more than ten of this world's lengthy rotations ago was that of the carpet of forest that spread from the base of the gently rolling hillside beyond and below the control facility's perimeter walls, all the way to Unroth III's flat, eerily close horizon.

Unlike most of his research staff, Doctor Ehrehin was unwilling to keep his gaze perpetually averted from the sea of greenery that lay beyond the control room windows. But he also refused to allow the forest's alarming hues to unnerve him, concentrating instead on the soothing, ruddy light of the planet's primary star, which hugged the forest canopy as it made its preternaturally slow descent toward evening. Despite the low angle of the diffraction-bloated sun, several long dierha remained before the wilderness outside would become fully enshrouded in darkness.

"It is time, Doctor," said Cunaehr, Ehrehin's most valued research assistant. "Are you ready to begin the test?"

His gaze still lingering on the forest that sprawled beyond the window, Ehrehin offered Cunaehr a dry, humorless chuckle. A better question would be, Is the prototype finally ready to begin the test? he thought, leaving the query unspoken lest he draw the unfavorable attention of the malevolent cosmic force that sometimes caused field tests to go awry in new and unexpected ways.

"I have my instructions, Cunaehr," Ehrehin replied, keeping his reedy voice pitched only barely above the room's background noises. "The admiralty is watching from orbit, and they have ordered me to be ready by now. And so we are. Please prepare to initiate the test on my signal."

"Immediately, Doctor," Cunaehr said. Ehrehin knew without turning that his assistant was hastening back to his own console.

Ehrehin considered the bird-of-prey that now circled this remote planet, and wondered whether or not the admiralty truly expected today's test to succeed. Then he banished the thought, refusing to allow the military's obvious reticence about posting any of their people on the surface to threaten his composure. In fact, the notion that a prototype field test could make the admiralty look unnecessarily fearful had quite the opposite effect on him, buoying his spirits and increasing his confidence.

Steadying himself against the neutronium-reinforced concrete wall into which the window was set, Ehrehin turned to face his associates, all of whom were busy either running or monitoring several semicircular rows of consoles. Despite his recurrent misgivings about the military-enforced pace of his team's research, he realized that he was waging a losing battle against the triumphant grin that was already beginning to spread across his lined, weathered face.

Standing beside his console, Cunaehr ran his fingers through his perpetually tousled, jet-black hair in yet another vain attempt to tame it. He cleared his throat loudly, quickly capturing the attention of the science outpost's thirteen other research personnel. All of the project's staffers now stood alert at their stations, the staccato rhythm of their professional conversations momentarily halted, their usually busy hands now stilled above their consoles, their eyes turned toward Doctor Ehrehin in silent anticipation of his words.

"Thank you, my friends, for all the labor and sacrifice you have given this effort so far in order to realize our collective dream," Ehrehin said, raising his thin voice slightly. "The time has arrived for us to make history. Now we shall light the torch that soon will bring near the farthest reaches of the heavens. At last we will achieve avaihh lli vastam.

"The warp-seven stardrive." And there can be no margin for error this time, he added silently, wondering yet again whether the Romulan Star Empire's military was right to worry that Coridan Prime -- or perhaps even one of the other recently Terran-aligned worlds -- had already equaled or even surpassed the painstaking work of Ehrehin's team.

Cunaehr began slowly applauding, and the rest of the staff immediately joined in until the hand claps escalated into a torrent. Ehrehin's smile broadened as he held up a single wizened hand to call for silence.

"Shall we?" he said once the room had quieted.

At Cunaehr's deliberate gesture, the team members resumed their vigilant poses behind their respective consoles, leaving Ehrehin with little to do other than to watch and wait as orders were exchanged and relayed, and a countdown began, reinforced by an emotionless synthetic voice generated by one of the computers. No one appeared to be breathing for the duration. Ehrehin suppressed a tremor in his left hand as the machine crisply pronounced the numerals that represented the last five ewa in the countdown sequence.






A low rumble came a moment after the computer reached "Lliu." Ehrehin rather likened it to thunder, except that he felt it deep in his bones rather than hearing it directly, as he did the crisp, businesslike voices that were ringing out across the small control center.

"Power output rising along predicted curves," Cunaehr said. "Holding steady."

The man behind Cunaehr nodded, adding, "Power output consistent with a velocity of warp three."

"Confirmed," chimed a woman's voice from a nearby console. Others made noises of agreement. Ehrehin heard several jubilant shouts as the first dilated moments passed and everyone in the room appeared to resume their regular breathing patterns. The monitors continued showing orange and amber as the subaural rumbling continued and intensified.

Cunaehr smiled elatedly in Ehrehin's direction. "Warp three already from a standing start."

But Ehrehin felt that a victory celebration might be a bit premature. "Gradually reduce the containment field diameter, Cunaehr, and reinforce it. Increase the power yield incrementally."

"Warp four," Cunaehr said after relaying Ehrehin's orders, his eyes riveted to his monitor. "Five. Six."

"Continue until we reach maximum yield," Ehrehin said, grinning in spite of his caution. It was working. Warp seven really was within reach.

"Fluctuation," said the technician seated immediately behind Cunaehr. The sharp note of alarm in the young woman's voice was unmistakable.

"Compensate," Ehrehin said automatically.

"Warp six point five," Cunaehr said.

"Containment instability," another tech reported.

"Reinforce!" Cunaehr barked before Ehrehin could interject.

The room was suddenly awash in green as the hue of the banks of monitors and gauges changed in unison, accompanied by numerous horrified gasps and pointed exclamations from across the length and breadth of the room. Ehrehin's attention was drawn back to the window, through which he watched the preternatural orange light that was washing across the horizon. The distant rumbling gradually became audible, not quite drowned out by the rising clamor of alarm klaxons. But Ehrehin found this orange light anything but reassuring.


Chaos. A hard jolt made the floor jump. A bank of unanchored instruments leaned forward and tipped over with a resounding crash. Someone cried out in pain. A ceiling beam collapsed directly on top of a man and a woman, spraying emerald blood across the floor and showering the rear wall as several others struggled toward the now partially blocked exit. The overhead lighting flickered and failed. A frantic voice boomed over one of the room's com speakers, saying something about beaming to the safety of an orbiting bird-of-prey before it was too late.

Cunaehr had somehow moved to Ehrehin's immediate right, and was shouting into his ear. "Doctor! We have to evacuate immediately!"

No wonder the military didn't want to post any of their people down here,
Ehrehin thought bitterly as he watched a trio of bleeding, injured technicians vanish in a blaze of amber light as the bird-of-prey's transporter seized them.

An earsplitting crack barely preceded the fall of another beam. This one narrowly missed Ehrehin, brushing just past his right arm as it neatly stove in Cunaehr's skull. Outside the window, Ehrehin could see the fires of Erebus consuming the forest as they swept hungrily from the test apparatus toward the control complex. The control room shook, twisted, and began to tear itself apart. The air stank of coppery blood and ozone.

Ehrehin noticed that the room was already nearly empty, and hoped that whoever hadn't died here already would make it to safety. Then his skin began to tingle; he knew that he was either being transported up to the orbiting bird-of-prey, or was about to discover what it felt like to be vaporized, along with the wreckage of the control complex.

Considering the way the admiralty sometimes dealt with failure, he wasn't at all certain which fate was the preferable one.

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