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Breakdowns is a Pocket SCE eBook novella – #28 in the series – written by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in June 2003. The novella was later collected in the SCE omnibus Breakdowns.


From the book jacket
After the catastrophic events of Wildfire, both Captain David Gold and Commander Sonya Gomez return to their homes, to take refuge in family in the wake of tragedy. But neither commanding officer nor first officer finds the road to recovery an easy one, as each confronts demons from the past and uncertainty about the future, leading to a bitter confrontation from which neither may ever truly recover…

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

In San Francisco, a Starfleet Tribunal headed by Vice Admiral William Ross finds the near-destruction of the da Vinci and all twenty-three deaths related to the incident on Galvan VI not the fault of Captain David Gold and in the line of duty. The only officers present are Admirals Ross, Sitak, and Captain Scott – as David Gold had requested a closed session to let the survivors stay on their shore leave. Captain Scott, head of the Starfleet Engineering Corps reminds Gold that it really wasn't his fault – and that nothing he could have done would have changed the outcome. Gold finally gives in to Scotty, and heads to his home in the Bronx, New York with his wife Rachel. After a happy reunion with his dog Freser, he is greeted by his entire family (which is very large.) He sees several of his children and great-grandchildren he hasn't seen in years. After several minutes of exchanging stories, they go to have dinner, another of Rachel's famous meals.

In Vieques, Puerto Rico, Sonya is in her parents attic, which serves as her mother's sculpting studio, contemplating the Galvan VI incident again. Her sister Belinda comes in, and after trying to strike up a conversation, she gets Sonya to tell her what happened – and explain how Kieran proposed. After more jabbing from Belinda, she finally gets her to come out of the attic and the to head to a nearby beach.

Back in the Bronx, Gold happily and silently sits at the head of his huge table, with his entire family eating and chattering around it. But after dinners over, several of them have to head back home. Joey, who hasn't said more then a few words the whole night, leaves on bad terms – arguing that he doesn't want to be there anymore, and doesn't speak to his father. Before Khor and Esther can leave, David insists the two stay at the house. After some persuading that they really should head back to the Klingon embassy in Paris, Rachel convinces them using some Klingon word play that it is only honorable to accommodate such an accommodating host.

After some more of Rachel's food, the family members that are staying the night gather in the living room to hear David tell the full story of what happened at Galvan VI. David Gold explains how a missile being carried aboard the USS Orion was to be tested on a gas giant, until the ship mysteriously got caught in its atmosphere. The da Vinci went to rescue it, and a powerful explosive it was carrying, when it to got caught in the atmosphere. Trying to prevent the explosive from going off, killing the entire native population of non-corporeal beings, 23 crewman gave their lives. One of which, pushing Gold out of the way of a falling piece of debris that destroyed his hand. (Gold has since had it replaced with a bio-synthetic copy of his original hand, though he complains it doesn't feel the same.) Gold vows to contact the families of all twenty-three dead, and give his personal apologies.

While some families take Gold in better then others, he, one by one, contacts everyone on Earth. In Juneau, Alaska, the father of Lieutenant Kara Bain took his arrival very badly, slamming the door in his face and cursing at him several times. In the Gobi Desert, Gold gave his regards to the son of a security officer, who seemed unemotional about the whole thing. Gold gave Eddy's son the Starfleet Citation for Conspicuous Gallantry she'd earned, as he was the next of kin. In Dublin, Ireland, Gold finds the parents of Stephen Drew, as well as Drews friend (fellow da Vinci crewman) Vance Hawkins. The two share some stories with Drew's grandparents, who couldn't have been prouder of their grandsons sacrifice.

Back home in the Bronx, Gold is waiting for it to be an appropriate hour on Betazed so he can call the parents of Lieutenant Elleth Deo. Rachel argues it can wait till tomorrow, and that he's been overworking himself contacting everyone in such little time. After some convincing, and a reminder of how rarely he gets to return to Earth whether lone his bedroom, he decides it can wait till tomorrow.

In Vieques, Gomez is having a breakdown – she needs to go to Portland to see Kieran's mother and Kieran's grave. When her mother tries to get Gomez's mind off it at dinner, it just starts an argument about another of Gomez's sister Belinda's careers. Belinda screams that Sonya's indecision probably led to Kieran killing himself, and Gomez believes it. She runs out, and gets on a shuttle to Portland.

There, she finds Christa Duffy (Kieran's mother) and Captain Gold, who Gomez blames for Kieran's death. When Gomez screams at him for killing Kieran, but Gold finally convinces her that Kieran didn't die because he thought she didn't love him, nor did Gold order him, but because he was the only one who could have disarmed the warhead and saved everyone. When Gomez is finally convinced of this, the two head back to New York where Gomez stays with him for several days.

The day before the da Vinci is ready to return to duty, Gold and Gomez has their returning crew meet at Gold's home. After Gold gives a speech on how they should mourn their losses, but also celebrate living (something he's learned coming from a big family) after which, its time to hand out the promotions. Several once-junior officers are promoted to division heads – and Gomez and Gold approve on the transfer of the new second officer, a Tellarite. The crew goes inside to eat one of Rachel's delicious meals, as Sonya ponders if she'll be able to go on without Kieran. "Tomorrow, she'd find out…"

Memorable quotes

"Got another surprise for you two inside."
"Son, Freser trying to knock me to the ground isn't a surprise, it's an inevitability."

- Daniel Gold and David Gold, about their dog Freser

"This is the most emotion you've shown since you got here. I was starting to think you got replaced with an android or something. Doesn't that happen to you Starfleet guys all the time, getting replaced with android duplicates?"
"Changelings more often these days."

- Belinda Gomez and Sonya Gomez, finally joking since Sonya's return home


Christa Duffy (β)
Mother of Kieran Duffy, she lives in Portland, Oregon. She is unusually tall. Sonya felt the need to visit her while grieving Kieran, and when she did found Captain Gold at the house. When Sonya yelled at him to get out, Christa reminded her whose house it was and that she should respect her authority. Christa's husband also died years earlier, and is buried next to her son in a near by cemetery.
Freser (β)
The Gold-Gilman family golden retriever. Weighing over sixty pounds, he loves jumping on anyone who enters the yard. He never listens to anyone except Khor, the two of whom share a bond Captain Gold decided best not to look too deeply into.
Rachel Gilman (β)
Captain Gold's wife, a rabbi and great-grandmother. She was infamous for always getting what she wanted from anyone, especially her family. She was also known for not using a replicator, and was a magnificent cook with an old-style stove and real food. Anyone who visited the home reported feeling a kilo heavier after enjoying her food. She and David have lived in their house for fifty years, and have been married for 52 years.
Daniel Gold (β)
David Gold's son, husband to Jessica Silver. He and his father have a routine they do when ever they see each other ("Hi, pop."; "Hi, son, don't call me pop."; "Don't call me son, pop.") that everyone else thinks has gotten old, but they still enjoy it. He met his father after the tribunal to take him home.
Belinda Gomez (β)
Sonya's sister, she's gone from one job to another for years, often leading to arguments with her mother that end with "Why can't you be more like Sonya…". Some jobs include her stint as a newscaster for the FNS, a soccer player, a soccer coach, a sculptor, and a civilian transporter technician.
Guadalupe Gomez (β)
Sonya and Belinda's mother, husband to José Estaban. She is a professional sculptor, with a studio she built in her attic years ago. She often argues with Belinda, about her not being able to stay with a job.
Jessica Silver (β)
Daniel Gold's wife; David Gold's daughter-in-law. A beautiful woman whose once blond hair is in fact starting to show signs of silvering itself. She and her husband met up with Captain David Gold right after the tribunal to take him home.
Daniel and Jessica's youngest daughter, she is dating "Khor, son of Lantar" who she describes as her "par'Machai." She and Khor end up staying the night at the Gold residence, instead of returning to Paris. Happy to sleep in a mattress, after traveling on a Klingon vessel with her husband for several days – sleeping on a metal "board."
Khor, son of Lantar
A Klingon with the diplomatic corps, he works in Paris. Attending the family gathering in a green cassock, adorned with many honors, he is happy to see David Gold enter if only because "now that the House Head has returned, at last we can feast!" He is one of many that gives in to Rachel's persuading powers, when she insists they stay the night.
José Estaban
Sonya Gomez's father.
Gold's great-grandson, born in 2371. His mothers name is Hiroko, and his father is Daniel Gold's youngest son Michael. He ran up to Captain Gold's leg right as he walked in, reminding him of Freser's welcome only seconds earlier.
Danielle Hirsch (β)
Daughter of Nate and Elaine, she is married to Ira Hirsch. (She is one of David and Rachel's granddaughters.)
Simone Meyer
Daughter of Nate and Elaine, she is married to Jared Meyer.
Eden Graylock
Daughter of David and Rachel.
Robert Graylock
Eden's husband, also present at family gathering.
Ruth Graylock
David Gold's granddaughter, she is pregnant. Her husband is Rinic Kayven, and the two already have one son: Rinic David Kayven.
Rinic Kayven
Ruth's husband, attended large family gathering with his expecting wife and son.
Rinic David Kayven
Son of Ruth and Kayven, Captain Gold remembers him being so young, he's almost as tall as his mother.


Bronx, Riverdale – New York City
Location of Captain Gold's house. The exact house may have been rebuilt a couple times since its construction over 400 years earlier, but they have a photograph from 1990 of the house then.
Matt Franklin (β)
His first assignment was as an engineer on the USS Jenolen, only a few weeks out of the academy when it crashed into the Dyson sphere – and he and Montgomery Scott were the only survivors. With so little life support remaining, they put themselves into transporter suspension. Franklin didn't survive, when rescue came seventy years later. Scotty often thinks back to him, wondering why such a young boy with his whole life ahead of him died – while old him, on his way to retirement, survived. He relates this story to Captain Gold when he felt bad about losing half his crew to the "Galvan VI incident."
USS Gettysburg (β)
David Gold's first starship assignment, more than fifty-two years prior.
Lian T'Su (β)
Old friend of Sonya Gomez's, she was a year ahead of Sonya at the Academy. When Lian got the posting on the USS Enterprise-D, Sonya announced to everyone that she'd make the Enterprise as well, dedicated to her goals. Captain T'su was killed when the USS Orion was destroyed at Galvan VI.
John Copper (β)
An aging med-tech, that is one of the few survivors of the Galvan VI incident who decided not to stay aboard. Instead, he decides to retire – something he's been saying he'd do for years.
Federation Medal of Honor
Captain Gold brought it to Christa Duffy's house in Portland to give to her when Gomez stopped by. Kieran was awarded it for giving his life in the line of duty, to save his ship and an alien race.
Nate Gold
One of David's sons, married to Elaine. They have two daughters, both married. He was killed when the Dominion took Betazed.
Elaine Gold
Nate's wife, mother of two. She was with her husband when they were killed on Betazed.
See: "The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned," Tales of the Dominion War.
Ina Mar (β)
Bajoran lieutenant and survivor of the Galvan VI incident. She is the only officer to request a transfer, and so Gomez was going over her replacements.
Mor glasch Tev (β)
Tellarite engineer, Scotty suggested him for new second officer of the da Vinci. Gomez recognized his name for writing a monolith on methods of penetrating cloaking shields in 2375. He also wrote a paper on the miniaturization of transporters.
A Starfleet officer killed during the Dominion War aboard the da Vinci.
Salek (β)
Vulcan former first officer of the da Vinci, he was killed during the Dominion War. When he needed to be replaced, Gold asked Scotty for recommendations – eventually coming to Sonya Gomez.

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