Exiles (Book #14)
by Howard Weinstein
In the distant Etolus System, two planets, bitter enemies, struggle to survive.
Accepting that each need each other, the two leaders agree to meet and attempt
a compromise, much to the despair and wrath of both planets people.
Alaj, a planet choking and dying from it's very active volcanic activity, is in dire need of relocation to help not only save themselves, but the many animals and flora that it had pledged to keep from the ever increasing jaws of extinction.
Etolus, a planet filled with bitter people that the Alaj had evicted centuries ago, but in need of the one thing that Alaj still had, albeit only the last remaining few, the sacred creature, the Nefittifi.
Picard and Deanna Troi meet with the Alaj's to help determine how they can assist, and Riker and Data take a shuttle to collect the Etolian delegate for the meeting.
All goes well, with a verbally agreed trade; the unhabitated planet Alanna in exchange for two breeding pairs of Nefittifi. But en route back to Alaj, Riker's shuttle is forced to enter a gaseous cloud rendering all on board unconscious, except the android, Data. When they awake some three hours later, they find themselves imprisoned in possibly the biggest ship they have ever encountered.
Meanwhile, after an explosion in the Nefittifi sanctuary, two of the creatures, and their handler, plus two dignitaries, beam aboard the Enterprise for safe keeping.
Riker and two crew members manage to find a way out of the cavernous hold that they are held in and eventually find themselves in the control room. They discover that the ship is being controlled by one solitary man called Danid, and a computer named Nole. When Riker learns that Danid was the first to be evicted from his home planet, Alaj, and that he intends to destroy the planet by putting his huge ship is on a collision course, he does his utmost to persuade Danid and Nole to think again.
On board the Enterprise, they too enter the gaseous cloud in search of their comrades, eventually coming face to face with the giant ship. Faced with the annihilation of Alaj, Picard has no other option than to put the Enterprise on a collision course with it and hope that it is enough to cripple and stop the ship from its deliberate course.
With seconds to spare, disaster is averted with Riker's help and Danid agrees to transport the Alajians to another planet.
Notable Imzadi moment:
Robbal clasped his hands over his heart as he gazed at Troi across drinks in
a private corner of Ten-Forward. "I can't help it, Counselor. It happened
the first time I saw you," he said, flashing a goofy grin. "It was
almost enough to make me speechless, and I think you've already noticed that's
something I rarely am."
Deanna sat primly, her hands folded in front of her, an embarrassed smile playing at the corners of her mouth. Robbal's moony gaze never strayed from hers, and she found that a sweet change of pace from many of her experiences with the opposite sex. Males of most species, she noted with her trained powers of observation, could scarcely refrain from undressing with their eyes any female they found attractive. But Robbal's pure affection reminded her of-
Oh my stars, she suddenly realized, he reminds me of Will the first time we met...so afraid he'd make a fool of himself, and so head-over-heels that he couldn't help it.
Thank you Carol for putting this together =)