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Introduction (blurb)

The Tellarite colony world of Kharzh'ulla is a planet of many wonders, but its greatest feature is the Ring, a massive orbital construction, serviced by a series of "space elevators." During the Dominion War, the elevators were damaged by a Jem'Hadar attack. Now, a year and a half later, the elevators have weakened to the point that the entire Ring may collapse, endangering the planet's population -- unless the crew of the U.S.S. da Vinci can save them.

But Kharzh'ulla also contains several deadly secrets from Lieutenant Commander Tev's youth. In order for the S.C.E. to save the planet, Tev must face more than one demon from his past...


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The Tellarite colony of Karzuh'ulla was the home of USS da Vinci engineer Mor glasch Tev for much of his youth, until he went to Starfleet Academy. The planet, not a member of the Federation, is home to the second largest artificial construct in known space, after the Dyson Sphere, a giant space station encircling the planet's equator called The Ring, held in place by space elevators originally built by the Furies. During the Dominion War, The Ring was used as a fleet yard, until one month before the end of the war, the planet was attacked by the Jem'Hadar. In the battle, a 400km long section of the Ring was destroyed, and a space elevator damaged. The Karzh'ullans called in the SCE to assess the damage done to the Ring so that they can fix it.

After meeting with the Karzh'ullan transport minister, Eevraith, and first minister, Grevesh - both of whom Tev knew - the SCE contingent assess the damage to the space elevator. They determine that the structural integrity field the Karzh'ullans erected to keep the elevator stable has caused more damage than was previously thought, as it kept the Ring too stiff. It is determined that the damage cannot be repaired, and that the elevator will collapse, causing a domino effect which will collapse all the other elevators, within a few years, causing complete devastation of the planet.

The SCE crew come up with a plan to save the planet, but they know that the Tellarites will not accept a plan from outsiders, so they send a secret message to Eevraith, who presents the plan to save the planet as his own. The SCE crew agree to go along with "his" plan - collapsing the elevator in a controlled way. Unfortunately, decompressing the elevator when it is detached from the Ring leads to premature detonation of the explosives that were to be used to separate the top section of the elevator. However, the da Vinci is able to catch the section and tow it out to space. After Grevesh leaves, Captain Gold confronts Eevraith about the genesis of the plan, but Eevraith denies all knowledge of any conspiracy. Later, Eevraith apologises to Tev over the comm.

It is learned that Eevraith has more to apologise for than was previously thought - Bart Faulwell listens to Eevraith's thesis on the Ring, and finds that it is littered with Romulan curses which have been turned into Tellarite phrases. He thus deduces that Tev was the author of the thesis, as Tev swears in Romulan.



Carol AbramowitzMartina BarreP8 BlueDomenica CorsiEevraithBart FaulwellGreveshDavid GoldSonya GomezSusan HaznedlAlexandre LambdinElizabeth LenseAnthony ShabalalaFabian StevensMor glasch TevWinn MaraSongmin Wong

Starships and vehicles

USS da VinciUSS Madison


Brundage PointKharzh'ulla

Races and cultures


States and organizations

DominionStarfleetUnited Federation of Planets

Other references

Dominion WarGormenghastThe Lord of the RingsThe Swords of LankhmarThieves' World


The cover of the omnibus Grand Designs.

Related stories

Star Trek: Corps of Engineers stories and publications
eBooks The Belly of the BeastFatal ErrorHard CrashInterphase (Part OnePart Two)Cold FusionInvincible (Part OnePart Two)The Riddled PostHere There Be MonstersAmbushSome Assembly RequiredNo SurrenderCaveat EmptorPast LifeOathsFoundationsEnigma ShipWar StoriesWildfireHome FiresAge of UnreasonBalance of NatureBreakdownsAftermathIshtar RisingBuying TimeCollective HindsightThe DemonRing Around the SkyOrphansGrand DesignsFailsafeBitter MedicineSargasso SectorParadise InterruptedWhere Time Stands StillThe Art of the DealSpinCreative CouplingsSmall WorldMalefictorumLost TimeIdentity CrisisFables of the Prime DirectiveSecurityWoundsOut of the CocoonHonorBlackoutThe CleanupProgressThe Future BeginsEchoes of CoventryDistant Early Warning10 is Better Than 01Many SplendorsTurn the PageTroubleshootingThe LightThe Art of the ComebackSigns from HeavenGhostRemembrance of Things Past
Short stories "Field Expediency" • "An Easy Fast"
Omnibuses Have Tech, Will TravelMiracle WorkersSome Assembly RequiredNo SurrenderFoundationsWildfireBreakdownsAftermathGrand DesignsCreative CouplingsWoundsOut of the CocoonWhat's Past


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