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Star Trek: Destiny #2: Mere Mortals (Star Trek: All) [Kindle Edition]

David Mack
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

On Earth, Federation President Nanietta Bacco gathers allies and adversaries to form a desperate last line of defense against an impending Borg invasion. In deep space, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Captain Ezri Dax join together to cut off the Collective's route to the Alpha Quadrant.

Half a galaxy away, Captain William Riker and the crew of the Starship Titan have made contact with the reclusive Caeliar -- survivors of a stellar cataclysm that, two hundred years ago, drove fissures through the structure of space and time, creating a loop of inevitability and consigning another captain and crew to a purgatory from which they could never escape.

Now the supremely advanced Caeliar will brook no further intrusion upon their isolation, or against the sanctity of their Great Work....For the small, finite lives of mere mortals carry little weight in the calculations of gods.

But even gods may come to understand that they underestimate humans at their peril.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Mack is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five novels, including the Star Trek Destiny and Cold Equations trilogies. He co-developed the acclaimed Star Trek Vanguard series and its sequel, Star Trek: Seekers. His writing credits span several media, including television (for episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), film, short fiction, magazines, comic books, computer games, and live theater. He currently resides in New York City.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Blue fire preceded a crimson flash, as one of the Borg cubes on the main viewer erupted into a cloud of blazing wreckage. The two that had followed it from the indigo fog of the Azure Nebula barreled through its spreading debris, accelerated, and opened fire on their lone adversary.

Pitched alarums of struggle surrounded Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who sat in the bridge's command chair, stone-faced and silent, watching and hearing the battle unfold around him.

Over the thunder of energy blasts hammering the shields of the Enterprise, Commander Worf bellowed, "Helm! Attack pattern Echo-One! Tactical, target the closer cube and fire at will!"

Picard tried to focus on the voices of his crew -- Worf barking orders, second officer Miranda Kadohata relaying damage reports, security chief Jasminder Choudhury confirming her targets, and the low buzz of several junior officers manning backup stations and sensor consoles everywhere he looked -- but they all were drowned out by the one voice that was many: the dehumanized roar of the Borg Collective.

Resistance is futile. You will be exterminated.

It had been more than fourteen years since the Borg's voice had first invaded the sanctum of his mind, when the Collective assimilated him. Transformed into Locutus of Borg, Picard had watched through a dark haze, a spectator to his own life, as the Borg used his knowledge and experience against Starfleet and against Earth. Even after he had been physically liberated from the Collective, he'd remained yoked to its voice, attuned to its soulless group mind.

His bond to the Collective had faded with the passage of years. He had expected to welcome its permanent absence from his thoughts, but then the Borg returned with an unprecedented ferocity marked by aggressive tactics and a disturbing new motivation. It had been several months since, in a desperate bid to understand the true nature of the new threat posed by the Borg, he had attempted to infiltrate the Collective by posing as Locutus. He'd thought he could outwit them, that experience and innovation would protect him as he dared to plumb their secrets. What a fool I was, he castigated himself.

A powerful concussion threw the bridge crew to starboard and strobed the lights. A port-side console exploded into smithereens. Glowing-hot bits of smoking debris landed in Picard's lap, and the momentary jolts of hot pain on his legs broke the spell that the Collective had held over his thoughts.

He swatted the blackened embers off his thighs as he stood and moved to stand beside Worf. The Klingon executive officer remained focused on directing the battle. "Helm," Worf shouted as Lieutenant Joanna Faur scrambled back into her chair, "hard to port!" To Choudhury he added, "Ready aft torpedoes!" As Worf turned forward again, Kadohata switched the main screen to display the ship's retreating aft view. A Borg cube loomed dramatically into sight, dominating the screen. "Fire!"

Four radiant blue bolts flew from the Enterprise's aft torpedo launcher and separated as they followed weaving, spiraling paths to the Borg ship. At the final moment they shot toward different faces of the cube. Two penetrated the Borg's shields and ripped through its hull. Within seconds, cerulean flames consumed the Borg vessel from within and broke it apart. A blinding flash reduced it to fading supercharged particles.

Two down, one to go, Picard mused as the main viewer image reverted to its normal, forward-facing perspective.

"Attack pattern Bravo-Eight," Worf ordered, and the bridge crew translated his words into action with speed and skill.

Picard heard the intentions of the Collective and saw the trap that Worf had just stumbled into. He snapped, "Belay that! Evasive maneuvers, starb -- " The bone-jarring thunderclap of an explosion cut him off, and the deck felt as if it had dropped out from under him. He fell forward and landed on his forearms. A bank of large companels along the aft bulkhead blew apart and showered the bridge with a flurry of sparks and shrapnel.

Gray, acrid smoke lingered above the shaken bridge crew. "Continue evasive maneuvers," Worf said to Faur. He plucked a jagged bit of smoking debris from the rings of his metallic Klingon baldric as he stepped behind Kadohata, who was struggling to halt the erratic malfunctions that flickered across the ops console. "Damage report," Worf said.

"Hull breaches, Decks Twenty-two and Twenty-three," replied the lithe human woman of mixed Asian and European ancestry. Her Port Shangri-La accent was just similar enough to a Londoner's inflections that Picard had to remind himself again that she wasn't from Earth. "Direct hit on our targeting sensors," she continued. Then she swiveled her chair to face Worf and added with alarm, "Sir, we can't lock weapons."

Another shot from the Borg cube rocked the Enterprise. "Break off, Number One," Picard said.

"Full evasive," Worf said, "maximum warp. Engage!"

As Worf stepped quickly from station to station, gathering status reports, Picard moved forward and stood beside Kadohata's console. In a confidential tone, he said, "Casualty report."

Reciprocating his quiet discretion, she replied, "Four dead in engineering, several dozen wounded. Still waiting on official numbers from sickbay, sir."

"Understood," he said.

Worf finished his circuit of the bridge and returned to Picard's side. "Captain, the transphasic shields are starting to overload. Lieutenant Choudhury estimates -- " Cacophonous booms resonated through the bulkheads. When the echoes had faded, Worf continued, "She estimates shield failure in nine minutes."

"Commander," Picard said to Kadohata, "we need those targeting sensors. Devote all free resources to their repair. Mister Worf, help Lieutenant Choudhury find a way to target our torpedoes manually."

The XO nodded and said, "Aye, sir."

As Worf walked back to the tactical console, Kadohata confided to Picard, "Sir? The damage to the targeting system was major. I doubt it can be repaired in the next nine minutes. And manually targeting transphasic torpedoes is almost impossible. Without the targeting computer, we'll never adjust the phase harmonics quickly enough."

"What do you suggest, Commander?"

"With all respect, sir...a distress signal."

Picard frowned. "To whom? Our nearest allies are several hours away, at best."

Kadohata mustered a bittersweet grin and shrugged.

"You have your desperate measures, I have mine."

He had to admire her ability to smile in the face of danger. "Make it so," he said. Then, dropping his voice again, he added with grim resignation, "And prepare the log buoy."

Captain Ezri Dax was seated and steady, with her hands relaxed on the ends of her command chair's armrests, but in her mind she was pacing like a caged beast, feverishly circling her anxiety.

"Time to intercept?" she asked.

Lieutenant Tharp answered over his shoulder, "Two minutes, Captain." The Bolian conn officer returned to his controls and faced the main viewer, whose image was dominated by the retreating mass of the Borg cube that was pursuing the Enterprise.

Her first officer, Commander Sam Bowers, returned from his hushed conference with Lieutenant Lonnoc Kedair, the Takaran chief of security for the Aventine, and stood beside Dax. "I feel like a dog chasing a shuttle," he said, watching the Borg ship. "Even if we catch it, what do we do then?"

"Sink our teeth in, Sam," Dax said. "As deep as we can."

Kedair looked up from the tactical console. "We've just been scanned by a Borg sensor beam," she said, her deep-green face darkened half a shade by concern.

"So much for a surprise attack," Bowers said.

"Lieutenant Mirren," Dax said to her senior operations officer, "signal Enterprise. We need to coordinate our attack."

Mirren nodded. "Aye, sir. Hailing them now."

"Sixty seconds to firing range," Tharp said from the conn.

The cube was large enough now on the main viewer that Dax could discern the layers of snaking machinery and the haphazard network of grids, plates, and crudely grafted pieces of alien machinery that this ship must have assimilated in its past. She couldn't tell by looking how long ago each component had been acquired, or even guess at how new or old the cube might be. Every Borg cube, from the raw to the battle-scarred, had the same weathered, dull look, the same drab utilitarian aesthetic.

"Incoming signal from the Enterprise," Mirren said.

"On-screen," Dax replied. A blizzard of visual noise and twisted images danced on the main viewer while banshee wails and the crackle-scratch of static muffled the words of Captain Picard, who Dax could recognize even through the storm of interference. "Mirren," she said, "can we clean that up?"

Mirren jabbed at her console and grimaced in frustration. "Trying, Captain. The Borg are jamming us."

Lieutenant Commander Gruhn Helkara, the ship's second officer and the head of its sciences division, called to Dax from one of the aft bridge stations. "Captain, I might have a way to bypass the jamming!" The wiry Zakdorn moved toward one of the starboard auxiliary consoles. "The Klingons use a super-low-frequency subspace channel to stay in contact with cloaked ships." He keyed commands into the auxiliary panel at furious speed. "I'll interlace an SLF signal on a subharmonic fre -- "

"Less talk, Gruhn," Dax said. "Just make it work."

"Aye, sir," he said, and then he tapped in a few final details. "Channel ready. Try it now."

Dax waited while Mirren reestablished contact with the Enterprise. After several more seconds of garbled images and sounds, the visage of Captain Picard snapped into shaky but mostly clear focus. "Captain Dax?"

"At your service," Dax said.

"I thought your ship was in the Gamma Quadrant."

She was about to explain, then shook off the impulse. "Long story. We're coming up fast on the Borg. How can we help?"

"We need you to b...

Product Details

  • File Size: 3067 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek; 1st Pocket Books Pbk. Ed edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0017SWTE4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,441 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Thom
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After the first book of the trilogy you can bet that I was extremely excited about reading the second book. The Star Trek universe is about to have something happen that will change the face of it forever. The "Destiny" Trilogy is a perfect title because this story reminds me ofsomething that is felt in very few novels and that is something that will impact everything that is published for quiet some time.

This book picks up right were book one leaves off. The Enterprise and the Aventine are now working together to uncover the secret behind the subspace tunnels and Borg entrances and exits to and from the Alpha quadrant. The Titan crew has become the newest prisoners of a race of beings known as the Caeliar. The Caeliar you find out in "Gods of Night" were responsible for the disappearence of the Columbia and of course Erika Hernandez's long journey with the Caeliar and how she became many years younger when she welcomed the crew of the Titan that she was when she disappeared.

It is very simple if you were a big fan of the first book then you are in for a real treat. In my opinion "Gods of Night" while a great read was just setting the table and "Mere Mortal" you are starting to eat the meal. This book is better than Gods of Night a lot more action and everything starts to come into focus. The danger of the Borg hits you in the face by the end of the novel. We are not just talking about another little battle with the Borg, this is war.

Bottom line: If you like "Gods of Night" then you will absolutely love "Mere Mortal" and even if you struggled to get thru the first book you still need to give this book a go it is a lot better.

Grade: A
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About Time October 31, 2008
By Mateo
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After the almost child-like and flat writting in Greater than the Sum I was about ready to give up on TNG works. While not nearly as stupid as the Voyager relaunched it certainly found itself leaning to that simple third grade writing style rather than the rich, compelling and complicated beauty that is the DS9 works, in particular the fabulous Terok Nor trilogy. However, the first two books, Mere Mortals, in particular, have renewed my interest. Well written and impossible to put down, the authors weave a number of stories as they flesh out characters that we can like, dislike or simply believe in. What I found most interesting was the story of Erika Hernandez and her three crewwoman stuck on Axion. It is such a sad, desperate tale that truly leaves the reader feeling for each of these characters and more specifically Hernandez. The writing is great and the stories are well crafted. Each crew and story gets its own time and never seems to long or rushed. While initially suspicious of the Borg storyline (since I feel it has been exhausted and while fine in this one hopefully will end) I was happy to see that while in the background, it really isn`t a focal point. The books thus far are more about the crews and individual characters. About time that we fleshed some of these characters out! Finally, Voyager shows up, and while it is a short appearance at least they weren`t ignored as much as they have been in recent publications. All in all, a great read for anyone.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Installment in the Destiny Trilogy October 28, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Picking up where Gods of Night left off, Captain Riker and the Titan have stumbled upon the Caeliar and are now trapped as another captain and crew was. Meanwhile, Captain Picard and Captain Dax have joined forces to investigate the area that the Borg may be using to enter the Alpha Quadrant. And back on Earth, President Bacco must convince every neighboring empire and alliance to help defend the quadrant against the Borg invasion.

Time is running out for the crew of the Titan, and not just in their fight against the Borg. Deanna's pregnancy is becoming more detrimental to her health. But she doesn't want help from the Caeliar even though they are far more advanced technologically. This part of the story bothers me a bit. Obviously, she's distraught and wanting to keep her baby at all costs. But wouldn't you check to see if the Caeliar had the technology to help heal her and keep the baby? I know she doesn't trust them. But if she's truly as desperate to keep her baby (as most women would be), you'd think she'd be willing to try anything. As a female reviewer, I obviously got hung up on this subplot and found myself siding with Troi from the beginning.

Captain Hernandez has gone through a lot of changes, mentally and physically. Her character has the most depth in this story, as the central storyline revolves mostly around her. She's intriguing and easy to sympathize with. I'm looking forward to seeing where the author takes her next.

And, of course, on the frontlines of the invasion, the Borg are proving to be near impossible to combat. As the situation grows worse, tensions and suspense run high. And Mere Mortals ends on a major cliffhanger that left me on the edge of my seat. I'm eagerly awaiting the conclusion - Lost Souls, set to release in late November. Again, Star Trek fans, don't miss this crossover trilogy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Diamonds in the Garbage Pile December 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a general rule, books based on popular tv series or gaming series (D&D) are usually pretty bad. The old TNG books (like the first run of TNG books) had some gems, namely by Peter David (I would note that his more recent ST books have suffered tremendously. Not sure if he is bored and just fulfilling a contract, or just collecting a paycheck without caring, or what).

I'm not sure if Mr. Mack does this on purpose, or whether he is required to by the publisher, but he has this annoying penchant for feeling the need to write scenes from the POV of like every ST character of every frigging series that's been on tv, or at the very least mention them in some way. This book covered all 4 series. I mean he even managed to squeeze in a mention of Jonathan Archer.

Classic obnoxious example that did nothing to advance the story: there is one scene... ONE SCENE, that is all... where Tom Paris is the POV. Apparently Tom is all depressed about his wife and daughter leaving, and we get several pages' worth of explanation of the why and how and the conflict with his father. Scene ends with his father sending him a message. Now, keep in mind there was no other mention of Admiral Paris before this. And after this? We don't see Tom Paris again at all, and the only other Voyager scene was Chakotay and Voyager getting their *** kicked by the Borg.

Pointless. Why did you bother? It's not that I don't care about Tom Paris and Voyager, but clearly this book has zilch to do with either. This is not a Tom Paris book, so why are you wasting my time? There is a LOT of wasting the reader's time in Mack's books in general, I have noticed. I find myself skimming over the scenes told from the viewpoints of various no-name minor characters who are pretty much just there to die.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, had to get third one to see how the story ends.
Loved this book, had to get the third one to see how story ended. David Mack is my favorite Star Trek author.
Published 12 days ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is the best star trek series ever. Wait till you get to the end of book three.
Published 1 month ago by Kevin Ophoff
4.0 out of 5 stars Got when I expected and in good condition.
Good Story.
Published 5 months ago by jeff robertson
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it could have been
I reserve 5 stars for these top books that I will reread, probably recommend to friends, and in my mind could become a classic. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Honey Young
4.0 out of 5 stars picks up nicely
First book in this story moved fairly slow and almost didn't come back for this next part. Glad I did! Read more
Published 9 months ago by R. Dickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking series
Absolutely brilliant series and the Caeliar being explored as a new race is extraordinary. I loved everything about this series!!!
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars a technical and historical interlude..
Too much "star trek" technical language is the only flaw in this critical book of information between books 1 and 3. Read more
Published 11 months ago by 2000 carolyn carlson
4.0 out of 5 stars an imaginative and interesting middle of the story
This second part to the Destiny series, tells multiple stories simultaneously covering hundreds of years. Read more
Published 12 months ago by LichMD
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining and well paced, multi story.
This is a well writen, quick paced. Entertaining pice of work, and i look forward to the next book in line.
Published 14 months ago by Timothy
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Trek Destiny, Mere Mortals Book II
The book was great. David Mack is a great writer and did a good job with this arc.
I love Star Trek all of them and look forward to more,
Published 16 months ago by Jimmie D. Burnett
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More About the Author

DAVID MACK is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five novels and novellas, including the STAR TREK DESTINY and COLD EQUATIONS trilogies. He developed the STAR TREK VANGUARD series with editor Marco Palmieri. His first original novel was the critically acclaimed supernatural thriller THE CALLING.

Beyond novels, Mack's writing credits span several media, including television (for episodes of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE), film, short fiction, magazines, newspapers, comic books, computer games, radio, and live theater.

His latest published novels include the best-selling A CEREMONY OF LOSSES; book one of STAR TREK: SEEKERS, a new original series; and the STAR TREK spy-thriller SECTION 31: DISAVOWED. His novelette "And Hell Rode With Her" is included in the new anthology APOLLO'S DAUGHTERS, available from Silence in the Library Publishing.

Upcoming projects by David Mack include THE MIDNIGHT FRONT, a World War II-era fantasy adventure, and a pair of new STAR TREK novels.

Mack resides in New York City with his wife, Kara. Visit his official web site, and follow him on Twitter @davidalanmack.


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