Star Trek: Discovery: Drastic Measures by Dayton Ward
It is 2246, ten years prior to the Battle at the Binary Stars, and an aggressive contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV and the eight thousand people who call it home. Distress signals have been sent, but any meaningful assistance is weeks away. Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Lorca and a small team assigned to a Starfleet monitoring outpost are caught up in the escalating crisis, and bear witness as the colony’s governor, Adrian Kodos, employs an unimaginable solution in order to prevent mass starvation.
While awaiting transfer to her next assignment, Commander Philippa Georgiou is tasked with leading to Tarsus IV a small, hastily assembled group of first responders. It’s hoped this advance party can help stabilize the situation until more aid arrives, but Georgiou and her team discover that they‘re too late—Governor Kodos has already implemented his heinous strategy for extending the colony’s besieged food stores and safeguarding the community’s long-term survival.
In the midst of their rescue mission, Georgiou and Lorca must now hunt for the architect of this horrific tragedy and the man whom history will one day brand “Kodos the Executioner.”
The events in Drastic Measures was referred to in the episode “The Conscience of the King” of the original Star Trek series. Governor Kodos decides to murder thousands of colonists in order to save a small group to survive a looming famine. After the devastating massacre, Starfleet steps in to aid in the relief effort and hunt down those responsible. Lieutenant Commander Lorca loses someone close to him and takes the job personally. And Commander Georgiou arrives to take charge of the situation.
The story is told from varying points of view that feel like reading a news article about what happened on Tarsus IV. It’s a shocking premise that leads to plenty of drama, heartbreak, and suspense. We get to see a different Lorca – one who is pushed to the edge and broken from losing a love interest. This novel was hard to put down. And fans of Discovery will love this early look at Lorca and Georgiou and several fun cameos from other familiar characters. Even knowing that Kodos escapes to show up years later with the Enterprise, this stirring read does not disappoint.