Rogue Saucer (Book #39)
by John Vornholt
All set to enjoy a much needed shore leave, the Enterprise and its weary crew
land at Starbase 211, but as soon as Captain Picard spots Vice Admiral Alyanna
Nechayev, he knows he's not going to get his well earned rest. And nor is the
rest of his most trusted senior crew.
Nechayev wants Picard to test run a new prototype saucer, and seeing as his own saucer is undergoing repairs, due to a rather convenient surprise attack by a Pakled ship, Picard has no excuse not to agree. Using only Riker, Geordi, Worf and Data, they set sail.
The Pakled ship that had attacked them had been brought by a group of Marquis, and after doing what they set out to do, returned to their hideaway, to the home of the lost souls; New Hope to wait for the true reason of their mission; to capture the new Federation, super-efficient, prototype saucer. But they are attacked by Cardassians and flee.
Admiral Nechayev and her sidekick, Commander Henry Fulton intended to put the saucer through its paces, using simulated attacks against the Enterprise's deadliest enemy, the Borg. But Fulton, a Marquis secret undercover member, detonates a bomb in the Enterprise's hull section, forcing Picard to let the saucer go on alone. Riker and Geordi carry on with the planned test and Picard, using a shuttle, piloted by Worf manages to free the ship from the Borg's tractor beam. But by the time they have freed themselves, the saucer section has disappeared. Picard radio's back to Starbase 211, and finding that their saucer section has been repaired before schedule, all but a few minor things, instructs Doctor Crusher and Counselor Troi to bring the saucer to them.
Meanwhile, hidden in a vast cloud formation, a Marquis party has boarded the prototype saucer and takes command. But Will, Geordi and Nechayev manage to free themselves just in time to stop Picard from rejoining the hull with the saucer. They flee the cloud just as the real Enterprise saucer arrives and Picard has no way of telling which is which. Picard decides to fire at both saucers, knowing that when he went to warp, the real saucer would follow him, as the prototype did have not have warp capabilities.
Realizing that the Marquis has only one option left to them; to crash land on the inhabited planet of Pedrum, a planet the Federation has strictly forbidden out-side intervention. Picard's hull section and Crusher's saucer finally reunite and join back together as one ship and set off after the prototype, only they find they have minimum warp drive - one of the things that had not been repaired.
On board the damaged prototype, Will Riker manages to persuade the Marquis to let him land the saucer, but during the entry of the planet's atmosphere, Will gains control, and knowing that they have been out-done, most of the Marquis party help Will land in the best place they can find; the ocean near a small island.
But when they successfully land, they are boarded by a Cardassian party and after a shoot out, they are killed and most of the Marquis group are injured.
Geordi, an unconscious Nechayev and the wounded Marquis manage to get free of the ship and wade to land, only to find themselves up to their ears in quicksand. Only Geordi's experience gets them onto firm ground. A Cardassian party is searching the wooded area Geordi is hiding in. He succeeds in evading them, but Fulton does not and is captured.
Picard and the Enterprise arrive in the nick of time to pick up Geordi, and soon after they rescue Will who is trapped in the rapidly sinking prototype. Then they rescue Nechayev. The Enterprise torpedoes the saucer , and it sinks beneath the ocean.
Notable Imzadi moment:
Pages 252 to 253
When Deanna Troi saw Will Riker sprawled on the floor of the transporter room
- looking as if he'd been chewed, swallowed, and spit out by a whale - she nearly
bolted past Beverly Crusher to get to him. But she remembered her place and
hung back as Beverly opened her medical tricorder and gave him a quick examination.
He gazed gratefully at all of them and even gave her a slight smile, but he
seemed dazed. She could feel waves of anxiety oozing out of him, and she just
gave him a thumbs-up and smiled encouragingly.
"Wow!" said Guinan. "You didn't look this bad after your last shore leave."
"This is the worst shore leave I've ever had," he wheezed in agreement.
"Don't talk or move," ordered Beverly. "No serious injuries but lots of little ones, including dehydration. The worst is that disruptor burn. And how is it that you have a medical probe inside you?"
Riker bolted upright and stared at them like a wild man. "Medical probe! Have you got the admiral yet?"
Beverly pushed him back down. "Don't worry about the admiral."
"No!" he rasped, gripping her arm. "Admiral Nechayev has this same medical probe inside her! See if you can find it and lock on."
Beverly rose to her feet, strode across the transporter room, and handed her tricorder to the operator. Deanna took that opportunity to sit beside Will and give him a hug. To her surprise, he was shivering.
"Damn cold water," he breathed. "Damn cold."
Thank you Carol for putting this together =)