Star Trek Typhon Pact: Brinksmanship
© 2012 Una McCormack
Who’s up for the Cuban Missile Crisis….in spaaaaaaace? When an otherwise friendly nation on the borders of the Federation and two of its allies signs a treaty with a hostile power, allowing them bases for repair and refueling along the Federation border, Starfleet is understandably concerned — and doubly so when news arrives that a fleet is enroute to supply the bases for their new tenants, carrying chemicals that could be used in biogenic warfare attacks on the Federation. While the USS Enterprise speeds to meet with the Space Cubans to work the diplomatic angle, the USS Aventime is dispatched to do a little friendly snooping near the proposed base nearest the Federation border. When the Cardassians — who, along with the Ferengi are the other two threatened allies — arrive ready for war, and the Space Cubans catch wind of possible spies inserted in their country, events begin to spiral out of control, heading towards a war that no one wants but no one seemingly can avoid. But the drama unfolding in open view is only the smoke and mirrors for another maneuver, one that is using parties on both sides.
I bought this book a couple of years back, intrigued by the possible historical parallels and interested in a book which includes both Picard and Dax. The primary appeal of the book is learning about the Tzenkethi, who along with the Breen were pretty much black holes before the Typhon Pact series began. Romulans, we know, love, and fear; while the Gorn and Tholians can be wrapped up in primal fears about reptiles and insects, respectively. The Tzenkethi are presented as a very stable, very hierarchical society who have a natural affinity for the Space Cubans, another stable and hierarchical society. The Tzenkethi view the Federation as some kind of chaos monster, however, the epitome of their every social fear: it’s all argument, class-and-racial intermixing, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria! Who can tell what they’ll do, what new planet will sudden fall under their spell?
Having read beyond this series, I knew that no epic war between the Federation and the Typhon Pact broke out, so the drama was largely dampened for me. I assumed the drama would keep ramping up until something happened out of left field to defuse things, and that’s more or less what happens. Still, it’s nice to see Picard being the commanding diplomat again, and I’ll never say no to a story with Ezri Dax and her ship, in part because the Relaunch developed her in such a commendable way — turning the awkward 20-something shrink of 2000 into the Captain on the Bridge, and in part because the Aventine looks much different than the other Starfleet ships and I ‘m ever curious about it.