Obsidian Alliances has three stories. The first focuses on the crew of Voyager, the second on the New Frontier characters, and the third one on Deep Space Nine characters.
The Mirror universe in the book is based on the DS9 episodes where Terrans are slaves and the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance rules most of the known universe. The Dark Passions books are set in a different alternate universe.
Publication year: 2007
Page count: 435
Publisher: Pocket Books
I read the first and the third novellas. I think I’ve read a few New Frontier books at some point but that was years ago and I didn’t remember much about the characters which took away the point of reading Peter David’s Cutting Ties.
In The Mirror-Scaled Serpent by Keith R.A. DeCandido Chakotay, Seska, Kate Janeway, Annika Hansen, Tuvok, and Harry Kim are a cell in the rebellion. Chakotay is the captain of his ship Geronimo and Kate is his engineer. The crew are in the Badlands, being chased by Gul Evek when they encounter two escape pods that suddenly appear. They are able to save one of pods, and the Alliance ship rescues the other. The Rebels get Neelix, an alien from far away. Neelix tells the skeptical humans, Cardassian, and Vulcan that his lover Kes is a powerful telepath and he wants her back. Tuvok convinces the rest of the crew that the Alliance must not get a telepath, and they start a desperate rescue mission. Evek has taken Kes to an old science station where B’Elanna is the commander. B’Elanna herself is partial to torture as well and her favorite is a blond Terran named Thomas.
The story contains a lot of torture. At the start of the story poor Kes is being tortured by the Kazon-Ogla and soon the Terran doctor Zimmerman is torturing her again in order to study her. Apparently, the torture activates her telepathic powers. Also, Tom has to endure a lot in the hands of sadistic B’Elanna who combines torture and sex.
The crew of the Geronimo don’t get along well. Chakotay spent his childhood on a remote colony but after the Alliance conquered the planet, he and his family became slaves. He’s only escaped slavery a short time ago. He doesn’t have Starfleet training or discipline, and neither does his crew. Harry Kim is the most tortured man in the crew and has become bitter but an excellent fighter and saboteur. Seska was the right hand woman of Gul Evek until she defected. She believes that the Cardassians have been twisted by their association with Klingons and is fighting to end that. She also despises humans. Tuvok has a secret mission of his own. Additionally, one of Geronimo’s crew is a traitor and their actions seem actually pretty logical, given the world they live in.
This story is very dark, by Star Trek standards. None of the characters are really admirable; they’re just trying to survive as best they can. Chakotay has some idealism but even he has to face facts. He actually pretty close to his Prime universe counterpart in character. However, I was amused that this is the first story with Seven/Annika in it when she didn’t take over the whole story. She’s also clearly nothing like her Seven persona; it’s seems that she’s more interested in sex than work.
The more sadistic characters are on the side of the Alliance. Doctor Zimmerman seems to enjoy torture. B’Elanna enjoys torturing others but she’s also a tortured character; she despises herself because she’s a half-breed and because she’s been demoted to the supervisor of a remote science station.
The story has a lot of action.
Saturn’s Children by Sarah Shaw brings back a lot of familiar characters from the DS9 Mirror episodes.
The former Overseer Kira Nerys is a bad place: after her disgrace, she was allowed to live only on the “mercy” of Regent Martok who delights in inflicting every cruelty on her. Then, she’s given to the new Bajoran Intendent: Ro Laren. Apparently, Ro and Kira have been adversaries for a long time and Ro wastes no time putting Kira into the slave quarters and into menial jobs. Ro’s headquarters are on a Klingon ship and Kira doesn’t have any current allies on it.
Meanwhile, Rebel General O’Brien has his own troubles. General Bashier and his newest closest ally, General Zek, are trying to undermine O’Brien’s authority and control the Rebels themselves. O’Brien is more interested in staying alive and keeping other people alive, too, and posturing. Bashier and Zek accuse O’Brien of being soft when he didn’t destroy a civilian outpost. Also, O’Brien met Keiko Ishikawa just two weeks ago and they are already a couple. Bashier thinks there’s an informant in O’Brien’s crew which forces O’Brien to spy on his crew. At the same time Bashier and Zek have plans in motion.
This story has lots of familiar characters: Leeta is O’Brien’s first officer aboard Defiant and I was delighted to see that she’s no-nonsense officer and competent. Ezri Tigan is the tactical officer, and married to Leeta, and Sito Jaxa is the pilot. Michael Eddington is O’Brien’s closest ally and he seems to be as levelheaded as in the show. Worf’s brother Kurn is the captain of the Klingon ship where Ro and Kira are. I think that Zek is supposed to be the Mirror universe counterpart but he’s just as greedy and ambitious as in the prime universe.
This story focuses more intrigue than in action and we also get to know more about the Rebel characters when O’Brien has to look at their personal files.
Both of the stories are fast paced with lots of plot twists. They’re a great glimpse to the twisted Mirror Universe.