Do Comets Dream?

by S. P. Somtow

The planet, Thanet is awaiting the arrival of the comet that will destroy them. It happens every 5,000 years or so and Thanet's people have come to treat it as a religious event rather than an annihilation of their race. That is until the Federation, and strangely, the planet's own High Council, appalled at this apparent waste of live, ask Captain Jean-Luc Picard to step in and see if he can find an alternative option, without completely disregarding the Prime Directive.
The fiesty ambassador's daughter, Kio soon adapts to the chance of life the Enterprise is offering and works to change her stoic father's mind. Eventually, with a lot of pressure all around, they come to a unanimous agreement to destroy the comet.
But on the countdown to the comets demise, Deanna Troi suddenly senses life within the comet, and with Will Riker, she beams over to the comet to discover that it is the home, and life-source, of a cybernetic boy called, Artas.
Via Data, Deanna links minds with Artas and travels back in time to the previous comet's arrival and learns that is the time when Artas and his mother lived, and with the planet's magical dragon-like beings, the Dialong, entrapped Artas within the comet. It is only Artas' fury and grief that is guiding the comet, and with Deanna's help and a lament from Data, they finally manage to release Artas' grief and he steers the comet away from Thanet.
But even so disaster has been averted, the planet still goes through a rebirth as it is the Dialong that recreated the planet before and they do so again, only this time, Kio becomes it's new ruler.

Notable Imzadi moment:

Page 114

Deanna Troi felt the momentary disjuncture of the transporter. In an instant, she materialized inside the comet. She was dizzy. It was the gravity. The corridor she was in corkscrewed up and around and over and the center of gravity didn't seem to be in one place. And then there was the tide of infantile desolation, sweeping over her, threatening to engulf her, down her - her stomach turned. She reached out for anything, anyone -
And Riker was there, holding her for a moment. She looked into his eyes. Saw the calm center of him, knew that deep within him was the ghost of an old love; she felt it and was comforted. "I'm here, Deanna," he said softly.



Thank you Carol for putting this together =)