Saturday, September 6, 2008

Before Dishonour - Book Review

Star Trek - Before Dishonor.
By Peter David
Pocket Books 2007

One of my favourite characters in the Star Trek world is Seven of Nine, the ex-Borg from the Voyager series. I love the way she is a non-nonsense person, shows no emotions and is extremely logical in her thinking, her actions and her speech.

This book is centred around Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Seven of Nine. And it takes place in the year 2380, some years after the Voyager destroyed the Borg transwarp conduits in the Delta Quadrant and cut 16 years off their homeward journey back to Federation space. Seven is now a civilian Professor at the Star Fleet Academy. She teaches the cadets about Borg technology, assimilation and how to avoid it. Her mentor on the trip home was Captain Kathryn Janeway.

Janeway is now an Admiral, and she intends to destroy the Borg once and for all. A few years earlier, the Enterprise (under Captian Picard) had destroyed a large Borg cube and left it for dead. Janeways intends to go back to the dead cube and study it further in the hope that the Federation can learn new techniques to defend itself from Borg attacks. Once on the cube, Janeway and her away team are assimilated. They return to the Einstein where they assimilate the entire crew. The new form of assimilation means that new Borg drones only have one attachment at the back if their heads. As long as they face a person speaking to them, noone can tell that they are no longer human.

When Janeway is assimilated, she screams and her psychic scream sends horror into Seven's sleeping brain and shocks her out of sleep. Seven would not normally agree with premonitions and instincts but this time she chooses to act on her hunch. She contacts Admiral Jellico and asks for permissin to travel to the borg cube and check to find out if Captain Janeway is ok. Jellicoe says no, but after Seven leaves, he puts a transmission through to the Einstein and asks if the crew are managing ok. He is assured that the crew are all fine. Janeway is still on the cube but she can be patched through. Jellicoe is reassured and terminates the call.

Seven in the meantime chooses to disobey orders and hires a small ship (called the Pride) to take her to sector 10 where the dead Borg Cube is located. Starfleet have vessels chasing Seven so the Pride is stopped and the captain talks his way out of the situation, by engaging a cloaking device he has installed in the ship.

They escape and head for sector 10. When the captain finds out that they headed to a old Borg cube, he balks and refuses to go any futher. So Seven asks him to take her to Vulcan. Captain Picard and the Enterprise are at Vulcan, honouring Ambassador Sarek.

When she arrives, Seven speaks to Picard and together the two of them decide to go and find the dead borg cube. However the crew of the Enterprise refuses to follow orders. Sarek's son, Ambassdor Spock is also on board the Enterprise. He mind melds with Seven and opens a flood gate. The Borg hear her voice and they immediately head for Earth to find Seven and Picard (who used to be the Borg Locutus).

Picard, Spock and Seven come up with a plan to use the old Planet killer that is now dormant on the Museum planet known as the Trophy world. Admiral Jellicoe through Starfleet Command sends word to Captian Picard that he must return to Earth immediately and help in the defence of Earth against the Borg.

Picard refuses, as do Worf, LaForge, Spock and Seven. The other bridge crew attempt to take over the ship, but Spock has programemd the computer to go to the Trophy World. The mutineers throw Picard and co into the brig. Several hours later when they cannot override Spock's lock on the computer, they take Picard out of the brig and beg him to remove the locks on the computer. Picard refuses.

When the Enterprise arrives at the trophy world - Seven, LaForge and Spock take a shuttle craft and go and visit the Planet killer. Their plan is to reactivate the planet killer so that it can destory the Borg cube. Seven is able to reactivate the plent killer and off they go to Earth to destroy the Borg.

You'll have to read the book to know if the Borg won the battle.

I loved this book. Picard finally has to deal with a mutiny from the junior bridge staff who do not follow him blindly, They prefer a captain who follows orders. Picard is just like Kirk and Janeway. Neither of them followed orders either.

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