From the next Cassidyverse novel...

Let's jump into the deep end with a chapter from The Ghosts of Tantor - the Cassidyverse novel which should be coming out in the spring of 2022!

This story deals with some serious subjects, and this is a fairly dark chapter.

During the last battle of the Artemis War, many ships and crews met their end.

They were the lucky ones.

Others had to deal with the aftermath.

TFS Pike, Officer’s Mess

Stardate 12407.25

Where does my duty lie? What price loyalty?

These were the questions Shi had asked herself for four years since the Roosa had been destroyed in the final battle of the War. They surfaced again as she sought a quiet corner of the mess to eat her meal.

An involuntary tremor shook through her and her tray rattled. She clamped down harder, trying to stop the shaking.

Not now!

It had been worse. In the immediate aftermath, she’d been a functional zombie, answering question after question: medics, then doctors, then the people and AI’s trying to reconstruct the events of September 14, and she’d dealt with them all. She’d answered the questions, reliving the horror of the Roosa’s final moments over and over again, ingraining the images and smells and sounds in her memory so deeply…

She pushed them away, tried to force them back into a corner of her mind.

It never worked.

It didn’t work now.

“Roll ship, damn it!” Captain Gonzalez’s frantic cry echoed through the bridge. The Roosa had been hastily retrofitted with Starfleet’s standard defensive equipment: a molecular coating of CeeSea reflective armor and a pair of EM shield generators. There hadn’t