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All he wants of his new life is a chance to forget his troubles. And that's what he gets – until the Iktoj'ni is taken over by a monstrous alien with unbelievable powers and a disdain for all forms of life.
Without saying why, the alien sends the freighter hurtling toward a part of space inhabited by the Ubarrak, the Federation's deadliest and most xenophobic enemy. And Nikolas, who fears that the incident will start a war, can't convince his captor to turn back.
Picard's only hope of stopping the alien menance is Serenity Santana – a woman who once abused his trust in the name of her people's survival. Now she's back, asking for the captain's trust a second time.
Picard desperately needs Santana's help in his struggle to save his galaxy. But will she justify his faith in her – or once again twist it to serve her own shadowy ends?
Following Picard’s attack on the Nuyyad depot, the Nuyyad send a ship across the galactic barrier to scout Federation territory in anticipation of continuing their invasion. The ship’s shields fail for an instant, exposing one of the crew to the barrier’s effects. The crewman, Brakmaktin, develops extreme telepathic and telekinetic abilities when left unchecked. He kills the rest of his crew, attacks the first ship he encounters, the Iktoj’ni, and takes control of that vessel. He kills the freighter’s crew as well, though he leaves Andreas Nikolas alive and begins converting the vessel into a cavern as practice for creating a nest for his offspring. Pulling a target world from Nikolas’s mind, Brakmaktin sets course for Ubarrak territory. He erases the minds of the entire crew of the first Ubarrak cruiser he encounters, leaving them alive but as mental vegetables until they die from self-neglect. Brakmaktin then transfers himself and Nikolas to the Ubarrak warship and continues to his target: the Ubarrak mining colony on Epsilon Morazh III.
Meanwhile, the Stargazer is contacted by a Magnian vessel. Picard meets with Serenity Santana and Nuyyad representative Dojjaron, who inform him of Brakmaktin’s enhanced abilities and his intention to breed similarly augmented progeny. The captain is suspicious of Santana, who has proven untrustworthy in the past, and her enemy-turned-ally, but warily accepts the unofficial mission without approval from Admiral McAteer or Starfleet Command. The Magnians and Dojjaron come aboard the Stargazer, which begins the hunt for Brakmaktin. They find the Iktoj’ni adrift and discover that Nikolas had joined the crew, but is missing. The crew, especially Obal, worries after their former comrade. Picard and Santana avoid any personal interaction, instead focusing on the mission, though Dojjaron confronts them over their former relationship.
Brakmaktin regrets becoming an aberration, which his people view as unacceptable. He pretends to accept Nikolas’s offer of Federation aid in returning the would-be god to his former self, though only as a ruse to distract Nikolas while the warship continues toward Epsilon Morahz. Nikolas is also diverted by an illusion of his lost love, Gerda Idun, though the reunion is short lived. Brakmaktin literally absorbs the faux woman, causing Nikolas a great amount of renewed grief, then obliterates Epsilon Morazh’s planetary and orbiting defenses, killing hundreds. On the planet, he kills hundreds more and constructs his nest.
Jiterica befriends one of the Magnians, Stave, making Paris jealous and threatening their burgeoning relationship. Things deteriorate when Stave later dies in the assault, though Paris and Jiterica ultimately work things out. The gifted Ensign Tricia Cadwallader joins the crew, quickly feeling right at home. However, she nearly causes an interstellar incident when she bumps into Dojjaron, and the Nuyyad protests being touched by a female, a Nuyyad social taboo. Picard confronts Dojjaron over his unacceptable behavior, though Santana later berates Picard. She tells him that Dojjaron is terrified sitting amongst his enemies and that he has only displayed such considerable bravery by joining the mission because of the high stakes involved.
The Stargazer is closely escorted through Ubarrak space to assist with the situation at Epsilon Morazh, where the Magnian offensive against Brakmaktin fails completely and horribly. Picard is abducted directly from his ship and brought before the “god” to answer for his crimes against the Nuyyad. Brakmaktin reveals that he has kept Nikolas alive in order to gain access to Picard, the butcher of several of his family members and thousands of his countrymen. Picard is tortured as a test of his mettle and as a means for Brakmaktin to again experience the emotions that he has evolved beyond. Kastiigan devises a plan to force Brakmaktin back into his vulnerable child-bearing state by exposing him to intense heat and he transports into the nest, finally placing himself in danger on behalf of his crewmates, much to his satisfaction. After a fierce though ineffective phaser barrage against the Nuyyad, Nikolas sacrifices himself by pushing Brakmaktin into a lava pit, though he is saved at the last moment. He rejoins the Stargazer crew, having learned to live without Gerda Idun. Brakmaktin’s consciousness, surviving his body’s death and evolving beyond physicality, goes “home” to the galactic barrier.
Picard is called before a review board to be judged for his competence as captain, with McAteer vehemently against Picard and Mehdi in support of the young officer. The stalemate is broken when Dojjaron testifies on Picard’s behalf, confirming his people’s intentions to invade, and Admiral Caber (the father of Ensign Joe Caber) votes in Picard’s favor. The Stargazer is assigned a deep-space exploratory mission, far from the oversight of Admiral McAteer.
- Alartos • Gerda Asmund • Idun Asmund • Emily Bender • Brakmaktin • Caber • Tricia Cadwallader • Carter Greyhorse • Jiterica • Peter Joseph • Nol Kastiigan • Ed Locklear • Arlen McAteer • Mehdi • Andreas Nikolas • Obal • Cole Paris • Jean-Luc Picard • Redonna • Bill Refsland • Santana • Phigus Simenon • Urajel • Vigo • Elizabeth Wu • Gilaad Ben Zoma
- Referenced only
- Joseph Caber • Elizabeth Dehner • Ejanix • James T. Kirk • Gary Mitchell • Daithan Ruhalter • Benjamin Sisko • Joseph Sisko
- Magnia • Pandril
- Referenced only
- Arias III • Cardassia • Djillika • Earth • French Quarter • Gulf of Mexico • Mercker V • Mississippi River • New Orleans • Risa • Samito III • Sisko's Creole Kitchen • Starbase 59 • Starbase 325
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- Ayatani-class • Iktoj'ni (Yridian cargo hauler) • USS Stargazer (Constellation-class)
- Referenced only
- USS Enterprise
Races and culturesEdit
- Andorian • Binderian • Dedderac • Gnalish • Human • Kandilkari • Magnian • Nizhrak'a • Nuyyad • Pandrillite • Ubarrak
- Referenced only
- Cardassian • Yridian
States and organizationsEdit
- Maker was the last novel in the Star Trek: Stargazer series.
- Picard reads about the events of "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
- This is a direct sequel to The Valiant.
|Stargazer numbered novels||Next novel:|
last in series
The Art of the Impossible (Chapters 16-18)