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A Time to Heal

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Introduction (blurb)Edit

From the back cover: A cataclysmic war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire has been miraculously averted, and a new government is finally in place on the planet Tezwa. But deadly secrets still threaten the fragile peace accord.

Rebels still loyal to the old Tezwa regime have captured Commander Riker and are willing to kill to achieve their goals... the Orion Syndicate is interfering in the rebuilding -- and may also be involved in much more than that. But the most devastating revelation of all threatens the very foundations of the Federation itself -- leaving Captain Picard to possibly face the very conflict that he labored so hard to prevent...

SummaryEdit

The crew and officers of the USS Enterprise and their convoy of Starfleet vessels worked to restore the planetary infrastructure and help the scores of injured. On the planet's surface, one crewman witnessed a Tezwan singing a sorrow-song from the roof of a building before leaping to his death. Elsewhere, teams poured through the wreckage of the nadion-pulse cannons, hoping for any signs or clues of Commander William Riker, whose captors had still not provided a ransom or even an acknowledgment. Counselor Deanna Troi tried to deal with her grief and anger, and met with the Counselor of the USS Amargosa; Christine Vale read over casualty reports from the continued guerrilla attacks against their personnel, which painted a grim picture of their progress on the surface. After Admiral Kathryn Janeway informs Captain Jean-Luc Picard that they had seventy-two hours to locate Riker, Picard authorized Vale to begin instructing Tezwan peace keeping forces on counter-terrorism techniques.

Back on Earth, Nelino Quafina negotiated with Orion Syndicate to get cargo designed to implicate the Tholians as the source of the weaponry. Simultaneously, President Min Zife was confronted by the councilors from Andor, Tellar, and Betazed who challenged his allocations of resources and threatened to introduce counter-legislation that would redistribute those resources to places they better feel demand them. Zife convinced them that if they do introduce such legislation, he would point out it would equal letting the entire population of Tezwa die a slow death, and would veto such legislation. After the councilors leave, Koll Azernal assured the troubled President that cover up cargo is under way.

On Tezwa, Prime Minister Bilok and the government agreed to a widening of the aid agreement to allow the counter insurgency attacks, despite the protests of Ambassador Lagan Serra. With the easement of military restrictions, Vale lead a joint strike force against a suspected position of General Gyero Minza. The strike is a success, and the team captured the general in the abandoned former hotel. Following these actions, former Prime Minister Kinchawn visited Commander Riker in his detainment area - little more than a small cube of space under a grate under a floor - and shared his plan to offer a trade, first officer for first officer.

With General Minza in detainment, Picard made his questioning top priority, and Lieutenant Vale started her efforts, within legal limits. She had the computer repeatedly read off the names and records of every single causality from the surface while Deanna Troi watched from the shadows of the Brig; the general was determined to not allow it to affect him, but cannot make himself comfortable enough to sleep. Vale left Troi to oversee the progress, and joined her teams on the surface, where they oversaw an investigation into a downed shuttlecraft, even going so far as to confiscate equipment from a news reporter to avoid leaking any critical information. Doctor Beverly Crusher helped out in a temporary hospital center, joined by one of her former students, Doctor Keith Hughes from the Syrinx.

At the government complex, several of the engineers from the various vessels speak amongst themselves as they try to eat a meal, pointing out the apparent hopelessness of their situation, noting that the site of the actual Kobayashi Maru disaster is only a mere half light-year away from the planet. Inside the building, Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge presented a suspicion about the work orders to Ambassador Lagan. Although she had signed them, she admitted that she had blindly agreed to all of the ones that came down from Starfleet Operations. The Ambassador agreed to speak to Bilok, but before they could act, the building was attacked and the two buried under the rubble. A rescue team was able to recover both of them alive, but the attack angers Vale, who orders Jim Peart to return to the ship and locate a Loyalist target to retaliate against.

Elsewhere in the galaxy, the freighter Caedera transferred a portion of her cargo to the Cyprus. A Caitian crew member secretly scanned the serial numbers of every container, and used the information to track their progress. forwarding the information to her superiors. She repeated this at each cargo drop - the Toronto, the Venezia, and the Damascus. After she gathered all the information, M'Rill sent it via a data dump to L'Haan, hoping they can do something with the data - and get her off the ship.

The harassment of General Minza continues; due to a careful reading of the Uniform Code, they determine that although they must give their prisoners a reasonable amount of sleep, it does not have to be given in a consecutive period. Rolando Valentin stood on the other side of the Brig forcefield, barking orders at him until the General showed a small sign of retaliation, leaping at the field before crawling under his bunk. Captain Picard tried to rest in his quarters, but found himself unable to, troubled by the uneasy situations around him. La Forge and Peart scanned the surface for likely targets, finding a building with a suspicious sensor scattering field. Peart transported down to the surface in runabouts, along with a hundred and fifty trained Starfleet Special Operations personnel. They infiltrate the building, but find minimal resistance. Sensing a trap, Peart called for a retreat, but the building imploded before many could escape, leaving only fourteen of their original forces alive.

Around the quadrant, the various leaders began to worry about their situations. Bilok received work from Deputy Prime Minister Tawnakel that at least one of the shipments from Azernal was captured by Kinchawn's forces, likely to use as leverage for later blackmail. Quafina delivered a report to Azernal that their work orders are being questioned on Tezwa. At a diplomatic function, President Zife mingles with various ambassadors, and is eventually confronted by K'mtok, the Klingon ambassador replacing the recalled Lantar, who had failed the Empire by allowing Zife to negotiate directly with Chancellor Martok. K'mtok also listed off the recent actions of Ambassador Worf, including the disabling of the Klingon fleet around Tezwa. Azernal intercepted the President, pulling him away to speak in private before he can say anything regretful; Azernal remained positive about their plans, despite Zife's deeper doubts.

On the USS Enterprise-E, Peart suffered from survivor's guilt, and expressed his feelings for Kell Perim to her. He also asked to speak to Captain Picard, to discover how he deals with loss and responsibility. In the Brig, Troi finally spoke to General Minza, who remained steadfastly loyal to Kinchawn, refusing to reveal any useful information, knowing the Federation is too weak to resort to extreme torture. In secret, La Forge and Taurik transport a large portion of the seabed to an abandoned warehouse to sort through the debris, hoping to locate the rumored chimerium portal Vale had witnessed earlier. The secret organization received the information from M'Rill and decided to put certain actions into motion; Commander Data received a personally addressed message from Starfleet Intelligence.

Data orders the immediate seizure and capture of the craft that transported materials to Tezwa. Peart led a boarding party and secured the Venezia, and recovered deleted logs and records of the transport of equipment necessary for massive directed-energy weapons. Runabouts with strike teams headed to the other cargo beam-down sites, and found near-Federation equipment usually with one or two aspects modified to appear Tholian in nature. The engineering teams begin to suspect a cover-up is in progress. Bilok, aware of Starfleet's movements, stepped up the timetable for the planned sabotage of their communications network, intended to erase their involvement in the plot. Kinchawn orders General Yaelon to mobilize forces to capture one of the planetary communication nodes, to gather the remaining evidence to blackmail the new government, and to execute Riker; Yaelon was earlier able to smuggle a phase cutter and recorded message to the commander, promising to help him escape when the time was appropriate.

Minza was able to goad Troi into a fit of rage, but still refused to speak; the Minister of Justice, Dasana, takes the General into custody and agrees to make Riker an asking point when they interrogate him. Picard and Peart questioned the freighter crews, and are able to get a list of contacts and order a warrant for the seizure of the Caedera. Picard was called away by La Forge; with Ambassador Lagan present, the engineer shows the Captain evidence of a carefully laid web of misdirection and orders that would eventually result in the complete collapse of the planetary communications array. He also shows them the recovered iris, constructed of a material only found on one planet under complete Federation control. Lagan agreed to the immediate cessation of engineering projects on the surface, allowing for a full investigation.

With the focus on the Caedera, Azernal attempted to persuade Quafina to have the ship dealt with permanently; the Orion Syndicate ordered the master, Trenigar to trash and scrap the ship to avoid implicating them. When he left to give news to his crew, he found them away from their posts; M'Rill informs him that she suspects a mutiny and leads him into a trap; she has killed the entire crew and has them disposed before beaming away to her transport.

The situation becomes dire; Kirchawn mobilized his entire forces, who captured orbital craft and attacked the Enterprise, leaving them unable to rescue or assist any ground-based installations and crews now under attack themselves. Regretting the decision even as it is made, Picard gave the order to use lethal force against the swarming craft. On the surface, the administrative building was attacked; Vale took the Ambassador into protective custody, and then went for the assembly. Explosions struck the building, and Vale ordered a counter-strike against the surrounding buildings. Taking heavy losses, they were barely able to survive until the Enterprise could provide orbital fire.

Four guards came for Riker, intending to carry out his execution. However, using the phase cutter, he is able to escape them and head deeper into the compound. Several guards locate the escaped prisoner from a trail of bloody footprints, but Yaelon kills his own soldiers and leads the Starfleet officer out. With loyal soldiers chasing them, the general gives Riker a data rod containing information on the resistance, and remains behind to allow Riker to escape. Riker emerged to find a runabout crashing from the sky; he set course for the wreckage expecting a salvage team to be close behind. Instead, he finds loyalist troops, but is saved at the last moment by Tezwan peace officers trained by Vale, who are able to hold back the loyalists until he can be beamed aboard.

The USS Republic reported they were able to successfully capture the Caedera and transmitted the crew logs to the Enterprise. The data rod given to Riker is analyzed and a location for Kinchawn is discovered. With the fleet back at Tezwa, every available security officer swept the streets, taking into custody any loyalist. The doctors treat what wounded they can find, and engineering teams gathered the dead for recovery. Vale and Peart joined the team to capture Kinchawn, who told Picard and Lagan that he had underestimated Starfleet, finding it more hardened than he expected. Searches of the compound found caches of weaponry and the missing shipments from the Caedera. With the evidence of a cover-up clear, Picard confronts Bilok and the assembly, who admitted nothing and severed the Federation's executive privileges, ordering a full withdrawal of their forces from the planet's surface.

After Data briefed the Captain and Ambassador on the entirety of the findings, along with the implications of Zife, Azernal, and Quafina, the two establish a communication with Admirals William Ross, Alynna Nechayev, Edward Jellico, Owen Paris, and Mamoru Nakamura. Understanding that they cannot expose the treachery without drawing the Klingons into a war, they devised a cover story for President Zife and arrange to force him to step down. Ross, Nechayev, and Nakamura confronted the three executives on Earth, and laid out the plan; Azernal initially attempted to call the bluff, but the three handed themselves over to Section 31 operatives, who had them executed quietly after he delivered his resignation speech.

Jim Peart and Kell Perim viewed the stacked dead in the cargo bay of the Enterprise; Peart had already turned in his rank insignia to the Captain and resigned. Perim agreed to join him, and the two leave Starfleet behind, unable to deal with the potentially necessary shadow actions. La Forge found his staff watching the President's resignation speech, and shut it off, unable to placate his anger. Picard finally approached Beverly for breakfast, but found Doctor Hughes just leaving when he arrived; Picard realized Beverly had moved on from their relationship, and vowed to do the same. In their quarters, Riker and Troi come to terms with their recent mission, and Riker's feelings of being too comfortable on the Enterprise, and decided to take command of the USS Titan, with Data more than ready to be the new first officer of the Enterprise.

ReferencesEdit

CharactersEdit

RegularsEdit

Jean-Luc PicardWilliam T. RikerBeverly CrusherDataGeordi La ForgeDeanna TroiChristine Vale

Enterprise-EEdit

Austin BraddockGeorge CarmonaCobbinsCruzenDanilovPeter DavilaRichard DuncanScott J. FillionFloydGiudiceJodie GoodnoughThomas A. GracinElaine M. GrigsbyHeatonLe RoyLeetLinderLirynJan LofgrinMagnerFiona McEwanMcPhersonMeloMobeMorelloMitchell ObrechtAlyssa OgawaParminderJim PeartKell PerimPorterRaoScholzAdrienne SorannoEmily SpitaleT'BonzT'EamaT'SonaTaurikth'ChunTroppVeldonSusan WeinsteinWolfeFalon Wriede

FederationEdit

Koll AzernalRa'ch B'ullhyBlancaflorCarlos CarranzaMatthew ChiavelliDennis ChimelisMarlyn Del CidLisa Del ColleDerroDietzCort EnarenCraig EnglerKellerasana zh'FailaBera chim GleerKeith HughesKathryn JanewayEdward JellicoKristin JourdonaisKoKudaL'HaanBrendan McGlynnMeldokMamoru NakamuraAlynna NechayevBrook NorthNybakkenOtamadOwen ParisNelino QuafinaWilliam RossLagan SerraShrakeT'LatrekAlex TerapaneTomorokRolando ValentinWitmerVasily ZeitsevMin Zife

TezwansEdit

BilokDasanaGorronIzimoKeelasKhotaKinchawnLeejayGyero MinzaNeeloNeerajSholoShonaTawnakelTenilaErokene YaelonYenliya

Orion SyndicateEdit

GolGorulIhazsErovan M'RillSalah HatrashNolramOlaz R'LashSaffTegTzazilTrenigarTuungZhod

OthersEdit

K'mtokT'KalaZogozin
Referenced only 
AdaraAnijBokJulius CaesarMackenzie CalhounCleopatraJack CrusherWesley CrusherYerbi FandauJason FillionGorkonKeenaKinyaKopekLantarLirwonMadredJunior ManceJohnny MandelMartok, son of UrthogOdanPengaRené PicardRobert PicardWinona RikenRoninSanganoElizabeth ShelbySeoTeelomJason VigoVitaleWorf, son of MoghTasha YarZungu

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Enterprise-EUSS AmargosaUSS MusashiUSS Republic

RunaboutsEdit

CumberlandDelawareOhioPotomacSamaraTsavoTunguska

OthersEdit

CaederaCyprusDamascusHeyerdahlMadridSyrinxTorontoVenezia
Referenced only 
USS da VinciUSS ExcaliburUSS HoodUSS JunoECS Kobayashi MaruPalermoRoanokeUSS StargazerThamesUSS TitanvaQchargh

LocationsEdit

Deneva

EarthEdit

Paris

LunaEdit

Lunasphere Artemis

TezwaEdit

Alkam-ZarAnara-ZelArbosa-LoDeelatavaIlanatavaKeelee-KeeKuruk-TauOdina-KehSavola-Cov
Referenced only 
Ajilon Prime ' AndorBakuBajorBetazedCestus IIIFarius PrimeGalvan VIIzarKes-PryttMarsMasheena-KelNokalana SeaOrganiaPaloma IIIPoloma ObservatoryPsi 2000Qo'noSRashanar SectorRigelRura PentheTellarSolasook PeninsulaTerra NovaVulcanXarantineXarantine Stellar Array

Races and CulturesEdit

AntedeanBajoranBaldukBarzanBetazoidBolianCaitianChalnothFerengiGornHumanKaferianKlingonNausicaanRomulanStroyerianTakaranTellariteTezwanVulcanZakdornZaldanZibalian
Referenced only 
Ba'kuCardassianKespryttLegaranMetronNaloriOrganianRomulanTholian

States and organizationsEdit

Federation News ServiceKlingon EmpireOrion SyndicateSection 31StarfleetStarfleet Corps of EngineersTezwaUnited Federation of Planets
Referenced only 
DominionStarfleet IntelligenceTalarian Republic

Food and drinkEdit

Aldebaran whiskeyBalso tonicEarl GreyHasperatjeefaKentucky BourbonRaktajinoZibalian chili

Other referencesEdit

Blue ManceChimeriumCochrane distortionDominion Warelininae • "Emily" • Gilbert and SullivanjeeloksKahless and MolorKataan probeliknullokeg wasplovaachRessikan fluteRing CycleSanganoSeshtoStarfleet Perimeter Defense NetworkThe MikadotrinaeTR-116TR-120undariRichard Wagner

InformationEdit

This is the eighth of nine books in the TNG series: A Time to....

ConnectionsEdit


The A Time to... Mini-Series
A Time to Be Born A Time to Die A Time to Sow
A Time to Harvest A Time to Love A Time to Hate
A Time to Kill A Time to Heal A Time for War, A Time for Peace
published order
Previous novel:
A Time to Kill
TNG novels
A Time to...
Next novel:
A Time for War, A Time for Peace
Previous story:
A Time to Kill
Stories by:
David Mack
Next story:
Small World
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
A Time to Kill
Pocket Next Adventure:
After the Fall
Previous Adventure:
A Time to Kill
Voyages of the
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E)
Next Adventure:
A Time for War, A Time for Peace

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