Star Trek: The Next Generation: Armageddon's Arrow
Centered on the targeting screen and highlighted by the pulsing blue reticule, the moon seemed small and insignificant. It hung alone before a backdrop of utter blackness, reflecting the rays of the Canborek sun as though sending out a beckoning signal. It possessed no atmosphere to provide even minimal protection from uncounted generations of punishment it had suffered in the form of violent impacts from meteorites and other objects traversing the Canborek system. Even from the ship’s current distance, the evidence of this abuse was clearly visible, with uncounted craters marring the bulk of the moon’s surface. Other terrain features—mountains and canyons—also were observable.
“Targeting telemetry is locked in,” reported Bnira, the crew’s weapons specialist. Shifting in her seat, she turned so that she could look down from her station at Jodis. “Primary weapon will be at full power in less than three linzatu.”
Glancing up at his shipmate and close friend, Jodis nodded at the report. “Very well.” Once the antiproton particle cannon reached full power, it would require only another linzat or two to carry out what in stark reality was little more than a test of the ship’s capabilities. Only after this trial run was completed would the true mission begin. Even the ship seemed to know this, as Jodis could feel the reverberations coursing through his console, the deck plating beneath his feet, and every surface of the cramped cockpit as power from nonessential systems was channeled to feed the vessel’s mammoth armaments. The Poklori gil dara was a ship created for a single purpose, and everything and everyone aboard was here for no other reason than to support that goal: win a war, now and for all time.
As Bnira turned back to her station, Jodis heard her grunting and muttering a string of vulgarities as though to herself. “Is something wrong?” he asked.
“I think these restraints are trying to kill me,” Bnira replied. “I need to adjust them.” As with everyone else operating stations on the command deck, she was held in her seat by a harness to prevent her from floating out of her chair. Each seat had been custom designed and molded to fit its intended occupant to maximize protection, and this included the integrated restraint system worn across the body. “It feels like it was set for Ehondar.”
Jodis could not help a small laugh as he thought of the Poklori gil dara’s diminutive engineer, who at this moment was overseeing all onboard systems from his workspace several decks below the cockpit. The accomplished technical specialist was of slim build and modest height, presenting the appearance of an adolescent. Only the deep lines in his dark, weary face betrayed his true age.
As for the special seats and their restraints—including those plaguing Bnira—they were necessary, as no gravity plating had been installed in the cockpit, thereby allowing the ship’s designers to take full advantage of the space. The command deck’s eight workstations—one for each member of the crew—were positioned along the bulkheads as well as what would be the cramped chamber’s floor and ceiling. While Jodis’s station faced forward, Bnira’s consoles were mounted above him and to his left. The other stations, each dedicated to the oversight of major systems, were vacant, as the rest of the crew had moved to the engineering spaces An all-new novel of The Next Generation expanded universe from the New York Times bestselling author!
It is a new age of exploration, and the U.S.S. Enterprise is dispatched to “the Odyssean Pass,” a region charted only by unmanned probes and believed to contain numerous inhabited worlds. Approaching a star system with two such planets, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew find a massive alien vessel, drifting in interstellar space for decades. Sensors detect life aboard the derelict—aliens held in suspended animation. Thought to be an immense sleeper ship, the vessel actually is a weapon capable of destroying entire worlds...the final gambit in a war that has raged for generations across the nearby system. Captain Picard is now caught in the middle of this conflict and attempts to mediate, as both sides want this doomsday weapon…which was sent from the future with the sole purpose of ending the interplanetary war before it even began!