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STARFLEET CORPS OF ENGINEERS When a Federation world suffers a planet-wide blackout, it's the S.C.E. to the rescue. While Commander Gomez and her crack team of engineers work to help keep the planet from falling into chaos, the ship's linguist, Bart Faulwell, is given a special assignment: find the Asarion linguist named Jewlan -- who triggered the blackout with what appears to be a weapon in an archaeological dig. The Asarion people have a unique biology that causes random shifts from male to female. Faulwell's friendship with Jewlan, and her crush on him, is a minor diversion, at first, especially given the struggles Faulwell is having with his own relationship. But when Jewlan becomes Jolen, Faulwell finds himself with more than one difficult decision -- especially when the power outage worsens and threatens to destroy not only Asario, but the da Vinci as well!
For a century, the Cloud City of Stratos that hovers over Ardana has been abandoned, left only as a curiosity and a museum piece following the brutal civil war between the City Dwellers and the Troglytes. Now the city is starting to fall, and it's up to the S.C.E. team on the U.S.S. da Vinci to keep it from crashing to Ardana's surface. However, there's more to this than the usual engineer- ing conundrum. Relics from Ardana's past provide obstacles -- from a parasite that invades Fabian Stevens's brain to a booby trap that endangers Bart Faulwell's life, and þnally to the S.C.E. being caught in the cross þre between two opposing factions, whose disagreements may cost two da Vinci crew members their lives!
The Enterprise is assigned to ferry demolition experts from Deep Space 9 to Starbase 375, but just as they arrive. Admiral Leyton declares martial law on Earth and the Federation is put in a state of emergency. On the starbase, Admiral Hahn has gone missing, and there are several unexplained events -- and one of the demolition experts, Lieutenant Daniels, isn't convinced that it's necessarily Dominion treachery. Picard and the Enterprise crew must learn the truth -- about the martial law declaration and what happened to Admiral Hahn -- before the Enterprise itself becomes the next casualty...