Gemworld Book One (Book #58)
by John Vornholt
Gemworld, a planet that over the many millennia, transformed from a luscious
world to a world dominated by Crystalline structures. Six very different life-forms
reside there; The Lipul's, The Frill's, the Jeptah, the Yiltern's and the Elaysians.
Each and every one adapted to their crystalline world.
When a temporal rift appears, strange things begin to happen to their world. Black, mutant crystals begin to develop, emitting lethal Thorran radiation that poisons the healthy ones.
A group of new recruits join the Enterprise, one of which is an Elysian called, Melora. When she experiences visions of impending doom on her homeworld, she persuades Troi and Picard to help.
On arrival, the Enterprise is caught in the Temporal rift's pull, causing damage and injury to the ship and its crew. Managing to escape the rift's hold, the Enterprise moves beneath the planet's protective shell. Relieved that help has finally come to them, the planet's residents flock to the outside of the ship, forming a welcoming committee. But the planet's peril becomes all too clear when an avalanche of dead crystal breaks away and bombards the ship, and it's hosts.
Troi, Data, Barclay, Picard and Melora take a shuttle and travel deep into Gemworld's dying core to meet Gemworld's highest leaders to decide on a course of action to save their world. They learn that the planet is fed by six special crystals, tended by six of their most esteemed engineers, and when it is discovered that one of those engineers is a traitor and is feeding his healthy crystal with the dark matter that is killing the planet slowly but surely, Barclay is designated to find him. Something terrible happens in Deanna's mind while she sleeps and Beverly has to sedate her.
Believing that the rift simply needs to be closed by and explosion, many of the planet's Elaysian's take the Enterprise hostage and insist that Picard fires a torpedo into the rift. The Enterprise crew, unsure of what the effect of the explosion would be, foil the Elaysian's by using the holodeck to simulate the task, thus appeasing them when they see that it is a failure.
Meanwhile, Gemworld's leaders decide that the only way to close the rift is to shut down the planet's shell, knowing that the Thorran radiation will kill off all but the Lipul's within eight days...
See Book two for conclusion of this story.
Notable Imzadi moments:
Pages 150 to 151
"How is she?" asked Riker with concern.
"Sedated. You can see her, but she's just sleeping." Crusher grimaced in frustration. "I tried to keep her awake - to ask her questions and find out what happened, but she wasn't responsive.
"Did she say anything at all?" asked Picard.
"Quite a bit, but none of it made any sense."
Crusher looked pained as she replied, "Like something was trying to get her. Like there was a rip in the bulkhead of her quarters. She said something about 'it' being in her mind, but I don't know what 'it' is. I can tell you, there's no medical cause for her condition. With her symptoms, I would normally call in the ship's counselor, but she is the ship's counselor."
"What will she be like when she wakes up?" asked Riker.
The doctor shrugged wearily. "I honestly don't know. Maybe she'll be fine, or maybe she'll be like she was when they found her - screaming and incoherent."
"Do you know what she was doing?" asked Picard.
"From her dress, I'd say she was in bed. They found her in the corridor outside her quarters, and I guess her quarters were also in disarray."
"We can find out from the computer if there were any intruders in her quarters," said Picard, starting for the door. "Do you want to come, Number One?"
The first officer again looked stricken with worry. "If you don't mind, sir, I'd like to stay here...in case she wakes up."
"She won't wake up for hours," said Crusher with a sympathetic smile. "I'll call you first, Will."
"Thank you." The first officer nodded to the captain, and the two of them strode briskly into the corridor.
When Crusher entered the main sickbay, she found Will Riker pacing. The big
man whirled around and stared expectantly at her, his clean-shaven face making
him look more boyish than he had in years. "Any change?"
"No," she answered softly, "but the sedative will be wearing off in fifteen or twenty minutes. The next time she wakes up should tell us a lot about her condition."
"Can I see her?"
"Why don't we wait until she's awake," said Beverly pleasantly. "I'll let you buy me a cup of coffee until then."
Riker looked uncertain about leaving Deanna again - after all, it wasn't that long ago that he had re-discovered his feelings for her. But Crusher smiled and took his arm, guiding him out of the door and into the corridor before he could mount a protest. With any luck, thought the doctor, the next time he saw her, she wouldn't be strapped sown and unconscious.
Page 174 to 175
"Don't you know you're killing me! Stop it! Stop it!" she cried between
screams and lunges.
"Twenty cc's of lectrazine," ordered Crusher, holding out her hand for the hypospray.
"Wait a minute...can't we talk to her first?" Riker rushed to her bedside, pushing the others out of his way. He gently touched her trembling, sweaty forearm. "Deanna, do you hear me? It's Will."
"Ah! No! Stop!" She cried like a frightened animal caught in a trap, while she struggled pathetically against her binds.
Riker gazed with anguish at the troubled woman. "Does she have to be tied up like this?"
"Look at her, Will," shouted Crusher over the din. "I'm afraid she'll hurt herself!"
Just then, Troi erupted with a scream that was primal, like a childbirth scream, and even Riker recoiled. Crusher glanced at Ogawa, caught her eye, and waited as the nurse placed a hypo in her palm.
Will inserted himself between them, shielding Deanna from the hypo. "Let me talk to her for just a second."
"She's in pain," said Crusher. "I don't know why she's like this, but the mind can do real damage to the body."
Riker desperately tried to grip Troi's hand, then he yelped in agony as she dug her fingernails into his flesh. Spittle flew from her mouth as she shouted, "Don't do that again! You stabbed me! Why? I gave to you, and you took - " Deanna grimaced and would have doubled over in pain if she weren't bound so tightly.
With considerable effort, Riker wrenched his bloodied hand away from hers and rose to his feet, a distraught look on his face. With the path clear, the doctor waded in with her hypospray.
"You wanted it!" shouted Troi, struggling against her bonds. "You wanted to know...now you have it all! It's in you...and me. Everyone -"
"I'm sorry," said Crusher as she administered the hypo.
Pages 175 to 176
"There's nothing you can do for her?"
"We'll keep her comfortable, and we'll try to talk to her again," answered Crusher. "Next time, I'll bring her around more gradually. We don't have any Vulcan's on board, do we?"
"No, none at the moment," muttered Riker. "During the war, most of them went to serve on Vulcan ships, and we never got them back. You can forget about a mind-meld."
"Will, I don't know what to tell you." She patted him again on the shoulder, and they both looked down at the bound figure. Beverly didn't want to give him any false hope, and she was fresh out of words of encouragement.
"I'm going to get her out of here," vowed Riker. He strode from the examination room, through main sickbay, and out of the door.
"He's here," said nurse Ogawa, motioning to the door of the examination
A shadow blocked the entryway, and Beverly Crusher turned from her preparations to see Will Riker looking apprehensive as his gaze traveled from her to the sleeping figure of Deanna Troi. She was still restrained, but now intravenous tubes were attached to her arms. Not a pretty sight, but Crusher was determined to change that.
"Hello, Commander," she said. "Shall we wait for the captain?"
"No, he's going to be delayed for a while," answered Riker, moving past her to look worriedly at Troi. "How is she?"
"She's weak, and we had to feed her intravenously. But physically, she's fine." Crusher leaned over her patient and lifted an eyelid. The pupil underneath retracted in reaction to the light, and Troi flinched slightly. "She'll be waking up soon, anyway, but we're going to be helping her along. Last time we let her awaken on her own, but this time it will be more gradual."
The commander didn't take his eyes off Deanna, and Beverly went on, "You don't have to stay, Will, but I thought I'd give you the option. There's a good chance it will turn into a repeat of what we've seen before."
"Then we'll deal with it," he answered, rising to his feet and stepping back. "I know you'll do the best you can."
Page 210 to 211
"Hmmm...what's going on?" she asked slowly, licking her dry lips.
She tried to focus her eyes on Riker, and Crusher stepped back to give her a
clear field of vision. "Will? Is that you?"
"It's all right," he answered with joy and relief, rushing toward her bed. "You're going to be all right."
"I am?" she asked doubtfully.
"You had an accident," said Beverly. She pressed a button, and the restraints snapped back, drawing attention to themselves.
"Why...was I tied down?" asked Troi with a flash of anger.
"Because of the intravenous tubes," answered the doctor evenly. "So you wouldn't pull them loose. Let's not talk much now, all right? You've been through a lot, but I think it's permissible to give Will a hug."
Riker didn't hesitate to follow the doctor's orders, engulfing Deanna's slim body in his biggest bear hug. Immersed in his all-encompassing embrace, she gripped him fiercely for a moment, then she went limp with relief and exhaustion.
Thank you Carol for putting this together =)