(written from a Production point of view)
Age of Unreason
- In the wake of the catastrophic events of Wildfire, Carol Abramowitz, Bart Faulwell, and Soloman are sent on a special mission to Vrinda, where the S.C.E. must introduce new technology to the world while avoiding getting embroiled in the political struggle between the Nasnan and the rival Tirza Sirajaldin. But first Abramowitz must participate in a ritual involving the expression of honest, naked emotion – one that has already been botched by Martin Mansur, the previous Federation representative, who is also a rival from Abramowitz's past. Never particularly comfortable expressing her emotions, Abramowitz must confront her own personal difficulties, and also confront Mansur, even as Tirza Sirajaldin saboteurs threaten the project's very existence...
On the planet Vrinda, Lord Farhan Tanek discusses the future of the Vardan religion and its people with his advisor, Enzo Clyvans. Tanek plans to use a new weapon to annihilate the Nasnan, a rival religious sect and Tanek's political enemy. Clyvans decides that the ensuing civil war would be too catastrophic for the planet and attempts to get to a communications tower located within a Vardan temple. He is able to transmit a signal to Starfleet Headquarters just before a security guard kills him.
Cultural Specialist Carol Abramowitz planned to spend her shore leave at a conference on Caliph IX. However, she considers changing those plans when she meets Ian – a "quality inspector" for a company – during her trip aboard a cargo freighter. She and Ian flirt until one of the freighter's crewmembers informs her of a message from Captain Scott.
Abramowitz is asked to meet with Soloman and language specialist Bart Faulwell on Vrinda. The planet's government has asked for Federation intervention as the two disputing sects want to avoid civil war. Although Vrinda could be described as "uncivilized" and "barbaric", they nonetheless possessed technology comparable to other major powers, given to them by an alien race with nothing along the lines of a Prime Directive.
Lord Tanek asks Abramowitz to host the ceremony that will begin a truce between the two warring powers. Meanwhile, Faulwell and Soloman investigate a new device created by one of Abramowitz's old rivals, Martin Masur. Masur's device can instantly duplicate a body and allow the one person to control both bodies, similar to "astral projection." However, the device also grants a person the ability to instantly appear anywhere and to gain or lose tangibility at will. For this reason, those in power on Vrinda are concerned about assassination attempts and the loss of all privacy.
While Faulwell and Soloman work with Masur on completing a device that would inhibit Masur's inventions world-wide, Abramowitz investigates the possibility that Masur is guilty of the crimes of which the Vrindans have accused him – including murder. At the same time, she has to prepare for the ceremony. Thinking it would be easier if there were two of her, she decides to try Masur's device. Afterward, she begins to feel power hungry and paranoid, further proving the device's negative side-effects.
At the ceremony, Abramowitz finally realizes Masur's big scheme. He didn't come to the planet to design a machine to inhibit the devices, but to empower them. The machine Faulwell and Soloman had been working on would in fact let the whole planet "astral project" when ever they like, plaguing the world with more chaos and violence then it already had.
The three of them leave the planet aboard the USS Sugihara and return to their shore leave. Peace on Vrinda was not reached but civil war was averted. The planet would begin the road towards Federation membership when its leaders decided that peace was better then the possibility of mutual annihilation.
"Tanek knew that as spiritual leader of the Varden faith, he had certain traditions to uphold, and cold-blooded murder performed without a ceremonial blade and before the first hour of dawn would be a break with ceremony, and thus looked upon unfavorably by his people."
- - Tanek, trying to deal with his advisor, Ezno Clyvans
"Even you can’t think things are that simple and straightforward. Not after being around these people for any length of time."
- - Mansur, upon encountering Abramowitz for the first time since he stole her idea
"They must have a library here. I'll need to see it."
"I doubt they'll allow that. They've been bringing items to me, and to Soloman, on a need-to-know basis."
"Then I'll tell them, what I need to know is all of it."
- - Abramowitz and Faulwell
- This eBook was collected in the print omnibus Breakdowns.
- Although Martin Masur and Martus Mazur have very similar names, and somewhat similar personalities, they are not the same person.
- The USS Sugihara (β) is a recurring starship in the Star Trek novels taking place in the late 2370s. Under the command of Captain Janna Demitrijian (β), it has appeared in several SCE novels, plus A Time for War, A Time for Peace and Star Trek: Articles of the Federation. Its namesake, Chiune Sugihara, was a Japanese diplomat to Lithuania during World War II who issued visas that helped more than 2,000 Lithuanian Jews to freedom.
- Lord Farhan Tanek (β)
- Leader of the majority party (Vardan) on the planet Vrinda. He requested the Federation's assistance when plans for his new weapon were leaked, and he decided to stop its use by anyone.
- Martin Mansur (β)
- A Federation citizen that once stole the idea of Carol Abramowitz and took the credit, he helped the Vrindans develop the astral projection technology. He was later taken to a Federation court via the Sugihara's brig.
- Alhouan (β)
- A bodyguard of Tanek's, he was actually a member of the opposition party to the device's use.
- Enzo Clyvans (β)
- Faked his death to get the Federation to come to the planet and repair what he lied was an inhibitor, which was actually a enhancer.
- Ian (β)
- A "quality inspector" for a major ten-world organization, he showed romantic interest in Carol Abramowitz. Abramowitz later meets him up on Pacifica.
- Tirza Sirajaldin (β)
- Leader of the Nasan, who almost killed Tanek, but was put in jail. It was later discovered that his "projection" was imprisoned, and he was using the device.
- Pacifica (β)
- The Lionarti was en route to this planet before Abramowitz had to leave. When the mission was over, she decided to meet up with Ian here.
- Belgarian (β)
- Species that owned the cargo organization the Lionarti worked for.
- Caliph IX (β)
- Planet that Abramowitz was originally heading for, before Starfleet sent her to Vrinda.
- The Highborn
- The legislative branch of Vrinda's government, it was made up of people who are believed to be born of noble blood.
- Lionarti (β)
- A cargo shuttle under the command of the Belgarian cargo authority, en route to Pacifica.
- Nasnan (β)
- The religious opponents of the Vardans; they were almost annihilated by the Vardan's use of the Astral projecting device. They decided to make peace with the Vardans when mutual annihilation became possible.
- Sinnravian drad music (β)
- Collection of musical compositions given to Abramowitz by Nog when she met him on an assignment to Deep Space 9. She listened to it often, and people often complained that it was horrible.
- Starbase 92 (β)
- The Starbase where Bart Faulwell's boyfriend was assigned. He spent most of his shore leave there with him.
- USS Sugihara (β)
- The Sugihara was a Federation starship that was in orbit of Vrinda in case the SCE team needed emergency beam out. They later brought the team to Starbase 92, and held Masur in their brig.
- Varden (β)
- Religious and political opponents of the Nasnan. Tanek was the leader of both the planet and the party.
- Vrinda (β)
- The planet inhabited by the Vrindans; the political party in control were the Vardan. They were split religiously and risked civil war until they asked the Federation to intervene.
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