Foreign Foes (Book #31)
by Dave Galanter and Greg Brodeur
On the neutral planet Velex, Picard attempts to delegate between the Klingons
and the Hidrians. The Klingon's need a vaccine that only the Hidrian's can supply,
and the Hidrian need Aridium for the reactors that only the Klingon's can supply,
but they both loathe one another too much to back down. Instead, Picard manages
to pit the two warring parties against himself, therefore forcing them to work
together to stop Picard's bullying tactics.
After Worf and the Hidrian ambassador, Zhad argue, Worf hits him, and with his last dying breath, Zhad manages to murder one of the Klingon party in revenge.
On the planet's surface, a scientific team are attempting to study the grain being grown. It has healing properties, and after Geordi samples it, he collapses in excruciating pain. Data also samples it and appears to be unaffected. But slowly as his body absorbs it, he becomes delusional and starts his own vendetta against the Klingon warbird.
On the planet, Riker and Deanna leave Picard and Worf and head back to the Enterprise, only to crash land. Riker is badly injured. Somehow they are transported inside what they originally believe to be a ship, but eventually discover they are in fact, deep inside the planet, a planet run entirely by machines.
Back on the Enterprise, Geordi, now totally blind after Doctor Crusher has to remove his optical implants to save his life, sets about trying to save the ship, and the entire Klingon race from Data's obsession.
When Crusher and the scientist finally get together and collaborate their findings, they find that it is nanites that are the grains healing source, and also the cause of the Hidrian ambassadors death. Once convinced the Klingon and Hadrian party accept that maybe there is a chance of working together. Another success story for Picard and the crew of the Enterprise.
Notable Imzadi moments:
Page 34 to 35.
Sunlight streamed through the windows and folded itself over the pillows scattered
across the floor. Riker lightly brushed Barbara's cheek where the butter-coloured
rays caressed her milky skin. He couldn't remember feeling so comfortable with
anyone...not since Deanna.
"I don't usually fall into bed after I've just met someone," he said.
"We're not in bed," Barbara said, rising. She smiled and as she rose, the brightly colored throw that had been around her collapsed into the bars of sunlight. The brilliant reds and forest greens of the blanket caught the light and tossed it throughout the room. "But it is good to hear, even if I don't believe it," she added as she walked into the next room, her nude form also catching the light as she left.
Riker pushed himself up against the overstuffed chair that held his empty uniform. She disappeared through the doorway and he chuckled softly. He didn't know what it was about her. All he knew was that she either understood that social graces were left floating near the dock when you spent your life tearing through the galaxy, or she didn't care about them in any case.
From the folds of his collapsed uniform, his communicator sounded. He dragged the red tunic toward him and pressed the arrowhead comm badge. "Riker here."
"Deanna here, Will. The captain wants us to report to the meeting hall as soon as possible," she said.
"On my way," Riker said quickly.
"Where are you? I'm on the western side of the colony. I could pick you up on my way."
He and Deanna might not be together anymore, but they tried not to rub each other's nose in the fact.
"I'm far on the other side. I'll meet you there. Riker out."
He jabbed the communicator off.
School teachers and empaths, they could always tell. Never lie to either.
Pages 54 to 55
He pursed his lips and silently fumed, unable to stem the burst of emotion
he knew would probably catch Deanna's empathic attention. He could feel her
staring - those know-all-tell-nothing eyes of a counselor-and wondered where
the intimate eyes of a friend had gone. Or did he even want them?
And what did Thomas Riker see when he looked into Deanna's eyes?
There was a strange and confusing turn of events. Recently Riker decided he led a...well, an odd life. What normal person waked up in the morning to find that a transporter malfunction years ago had created an exact duplicate of himself? It had been strange to look in that mirror...to see a man he could have been - would have been - had things not happened at certain turns in his life.
Thomas Riker, as Will's duplicate now called himself, had been stranded early in his - their? - career, marooned at an abandoned post. That Lieutenant Riker, as he would remain while Will Riker received two promotions, lived his life not among the stars, but scraping an existence from day to day. Thomas Riker only dreamed of the life that Will Riker was actually living. More than that, Tom Riker was still in love with Deanna Troi.
Not so surprising, that. So why wasn't Will Riker? And why did he feel those twinges of jealousy and guilt when Tom and Deanna had began...or was it continued?...where he and Deanna had left off?
Maybe he was still in love, in a way. He still enjoyed her company - more than any woman he had ever known, but he wasn't really interested in rekindling anything at this point, was he? Falling in with Barbara was evidence of that. Then why did he feel those twinges?
It probably didn't matter. Deanna wasn't interested in Will Riker anymore, it appeared. She was interested in Tom Riker. Even if Will did want to rekindle anything...well, he didn't know if that was possible. It all depended on Deanna, and she wasn't an open book right now.
What else was new? For a psychological counselor she was a master at uncovering other people's feelings while shielding her own. She could sense, feel and report on others, but so often bottled her passions while seeming to be open.
Right now she didn't even seem that, and it was beginning to annoy. Since when didn't she confide in him?
Page 91 to 92
"Yes. Where are you?"
She heard him groan and she began to rise, but her head pounded her back, dizziness washing over her, sheets of cold fog blurring her mind. She quickly lowered herself the few inches back onto the cold slab of whatever she had been lying on.
"Deanna, stay where you are. Don't get up quickly."
"I can't feel you," she sobbed, her voice raspy. An echo. Not sickbay.
"I'm right here."
But he wasn't there. Not in the sense that she meant. She shook her head, or imagined she did, and tried to put into words the emotions she was feeling. Her emotions - not his. His were absent, and the loss was palpable.
"No, Will," she said slowly, trying to control the quaver in her voice. "Mentally you're not here."
Riker coughed, but Deanna could have sworn it sounded more chuckle than choke. She realized just how her comment had sounded, and some of the disorientation she felt was pushed away by the humour.
Fingertips - Riker's - on her arm, brought back her empathic sense, and his discomfort mixed in with hers. But so did his high spirits, and she felt herself sigh, a bit more relaxed.
She moved her hand over Riker's and gave his fingers a squeeze. "You're here now, mentally."
"Will wonders never cease?"
She knew he was smiling.
"You haven't heard the whole idea -"
"I don't think I want to."
She rose, and gestured into the room, toward one of the broken machines. "Look at the wealth of metal. All we must do is cut a piece off, heat it sufficiently, then use it to close your wound."
He looked from her to a bent piece of the metal panel on one of the damaged machines. "You're not kidding when you say painful."
"I'd rather you were in pain than dead," she said.
"Why are those always my only two choices?" He smiled. The did this to each other in times of stress - each tried to be the one that lightened the mood a little more. It didn't seem to be working today. Under each smile, Riker knew, was worry and trepidation.
She held out her hand."Your phaser."
Nodding, he handed the weapon to her. " be careful."
Thank you Carol for putting this together =)