This novella deals with the aftermath of the Jem'Hadar attack on DS9 which left the station without a powersource. Nog decides to fetch the power source of Empok Nor - but he needs the S. C. E.'s help for that. However, the Androssi, a species who has crossed paths with the da Vinci before, have taken control of the abandoned station.
I've never been overly fond of Nog - but he works here in this context, among a group of people who search for ever more harebrained solutions to simple problems. And it's also easy to side with him, given that he's treated condescendingly, as though only the SCE-team knows engineering and no one else. So it's good to see him come up with the solution and have the others baffled for a change.
As for the characterdynamics: It's interesting to see the focus shift to the relationships on the da Vinci, Duffy and Gomez, now Fabian Stevens, the tactical specialist, and Domenica Corsi, the security chief who up until now came across as a bit wooden. But it's hinted here that there's some kind of past trauma that she has to work through yet. Quite hilarious were the problems P8 Blue and Abramowicz were facing over the latter's music of choice - an issue that Nog could solve through his negotiating tactics. Generally speaking, I liked Nog and his application of Ferengi rules quite a lot.
And the Androssi - well, I'm curious to see whether we'll ever get the back story of their conflict with the da Vinci. The only thing I'm quite wary of is the fact that alien, hostile species get rather generic in Star Trek. They are often mission-oriented, have little to no regard for other lifeforms, including the lives of subordinates, come from a hierarchical society etc. It would be good to see something different every now and then.
Overall, this is a strong entry in the SCE-series, with lots of fun (including the 5th Rule of Acquisition, "Always exaggerate your estimates", which Scotty used to apply decades prior to Nog's birth), a mildly interesting new foe and intriguing glimpses into the inner workings of the da Vinci that has whetted my appetite for more. Mission accomplished.