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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Stargazer: Enigma (Star Trek: Stargazer) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Jan Friedman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Without warning, a Starfleet ship is overwhelmed by a mysterious, alien aggressor -- one who appears to possess an intimate knowledge of the vessel's tactical technology. Then a second Starfleet ship is attacked. And a third.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the U.S.S. Stargazer -- a Constellation-class starship -- is ordered to help form a desperate line of defense against the aggressor. But it seems nothing can stop the aliens' headlong plunge into the heart of the Federation.

Or rather, nothing in front of them can. Trailing one of the alien attack formations is a tiny Starfleet shuttle with a half dozen crewmembers aboard. One of them is Picard's first officer and best friend, Gilaad Ben Zoma.

Another is Arlen McAteer, the ambitious admiral who has made it his business to relieve Picard of his command.

Can Ben Zoma and McAteer work together to unlock the secret of the alien assault? Or will their differences sabotage their effort -- and deprive the Federation of its last hope for survival?


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Jan Friedman is the author of nearly sixty books of fiction and nonfiction, more than half of which bear the name Star Trek or some variation thereof. Ten of his titles have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. He has also written for network and cable television, radio, and comic books, the Star Trek: Voyager® episode "Resistance" prominent among his credits. On those rare occasions when he visits the real world, Friedman lives on Long Island with his wife and two sons.

He continues to advise readers that no matter how many Friedmans they know, the vast probability is that none of them are related to him.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Chapter One


As Jean-Luc Picard made his way down the long,
curving corridor on his way to Transporter Room
One, he saw Lieutenant Urajel coming from the other
direction.

"Lieutenant," he said, favoring the Andorian with
a nod.

"Captain," she returned.

But she wasn't looking him in the eye. She was
looking at his head -- a common problem of late, as he
had been compelled to shave it weeks ago in a place
called Oblivion, and his hair was growing back more
slowly than anyone had expected.

At the moment, it was little more than stubble, and
itchy stubble at that. Rather a nuisance all around, the
captain reflected, as he passed Urajel and continued on
his way.

Unfortunately, his hair was the least of his problems.

At the end of the corridor, he found a set of double
doors, which hissed open at his approach. Beyond
them, two of his people were waiting for him.

No, he thought, amending his observation. Just one
of them is still mine.

That was Goetz, the red-haired junior operator on
duty in the ship's primary transporter room. She was
standing behind the enclosure's lone control console,
awaiting the captain's authorization to proceed.

The other figure in the room -- the one who was no
longer Picard's to command -- was standing on the
slightly raised transporter platform, dressed in a brown
tunic with gray pants and a shirt of the same color. He
had left all his cranberry-and-black Starfleet uniforms
hanging in his quarters, as it was no longer appropriate
for him to wear any of them.

Picard met the man's eyes. "Mister Nikolas," he said.

The ensign -- no, the captain reminded himself, former
ensign -- inclined his head. "Captain."

Andreas Nikolas appeared relieved, as if a great
weight had been lifted from his shoulders. And no
doubt it had been. A couple of days earlier, he had
come to Picard with a haunted, hollowed-out look in
his eyes -- the same look the captain had seen lurking
there for the last several weeks.

Ever since Gerda Idun Asmund had left them.

She had arrived on the Stargazer in an apparent
transporter accident, one that had shot her from her
original timeline into Picard's own. As it turned out
later, her transit was actually part of an elaborate plan
to kidnap Phigus Simenon, the Stargazer's chief engineer,
and put him to work for a rebel cause.

Gerda Idun was foiled -- with Nikolas's help, as fate
would have it -- and she was returned to her proper universe
empty-handed. But that was only after Nikolas had
done himself the disservice of falling in love with her.

From that point on, the ensign's life on the Stargazer
had been a little bit of hell. After all, Gerda and Idun
Asmund, who looked exactly like Gerda Idun, were
still serving alongside him on the ship. And every time
Nikolas bumped into one of them, in a corridor or a
lounge, he was painfully reminded of what he had lost.

Picard had been aware of Nikolas's discomfort.
However, he had assumed that Nikolas would get over
it, as Picard had gotten over his own lost loves. So he
was surprised when the fellow walked into the captain's
ready room a few days ago, sat down opposite
him, and asked for his discharge from Starfleet.

Picard was torn by the request. Ever since Nikolas
had beamed aboard the Stargazer, the captain had
identified with him and seen promise in him.

Nikolas had been reprimanded a few times for getting
into fights, that was true. But Picard had his share
of ill-considered dust-offs at that age, and he had eventually
grown past them. He had seen no reason why
Nikolas couldn't do the same.

Then Gerda Idun had appeared, and Nikolas
changed. The day she was slated to leave, his orders
called for him to report to engineering. Instead, he
went to the transporter room from which she was departing,
determined to speak with her.

And days later, after the captain had specifically
warned Nikolas about getting into any more fights with
his fellow crewmen, he had managed to get into not
one such conflict, but two -- both of them with Lieutenant
Hanta, who should have known better as well.

Picard had considered the idea of encouraging
Nikolas to transfer to another ship. However, that
would have solved only a portion of the fellow's problem.
Even if Nikolas had been removed from the presence
of the Asmund twins, he would still have been
distracted by his memories of Gerda Idun.

And an officer on a starship couldn't afford such a
distraction. Not when it might place his colleagues in
deadly danger.

Finally -- feeling he had no choice in the matter -- the
captain had given in. He had approved Nikolas's resignation
from the fleet. But he had done so with a heavy heart.

Under normal circumstances, Nikolas would have
been compelled to remain on the Stargazer for weeks.
It usually took that long to arrange a series of handoffs
with other starships in the transport of a low-priority
passenger.

However, there had been a change in Picard's orders,
requiring him to go halfway back to Earth. That
had drastically expedited Nikolas's departure -- bringing
about this day, this time, and this unfortunate moment.

Standing there alongside Goetz, the captain considered
Nikolas for a moment. He couldn't help feeling
that he had failed somehow -- that he had let the
younger man down, rather than the other way around.

No matter how one looked at the situation, it was a
shame. Picard turned to his transporter operator.

"Is the Manitou ready?" he asked, referring to the
ardship with which they had rendezvoused minutes earlier.

Goetz nodded. "She is, sir."

Picard turned to his former ensign and said, "I wish
you well, Mister Nikolas."

Nikolas's brow knit, as if he were feeling a pang of
regret. Or maybe it was simply an indication of how
impatient he was to be off the Stargazer.

Finally, he said, "The same to you, sir."

The captain acknowledged the gesture with a nod.
Then he glanced at Goetz and said, "Energize."

Picard watched a column of golden light take shape
around Nikolas, immersing him in its brilliance. After
a moment, he began to fade away. Little by little, his
features became indistinguishable from the light.

Then the light faded too, leaving nothing in its place.

Picard sighed. But it wasn't just Nikolas's departure
that compelled him to do so. After all, the Stargazer
was slated to receive a transport subject as well as give
one up.

Goetz turned to the captain. "Sir, Nikolas has arrived
safely on the Manitou."

Picard nodded. "Proceed."

This time, the transporter operator didn't have much
to do, as her opposite number on the Manitou was the
one initiating the transport. Goetz's only responsibility
was to give the other ship's operator the go-ahead,
which she did with a tap on her console, and then monitor
the procedure.

Seconds later, another column of golden light took
shape on the platform. As Picard looked on, it became
clear that there was someone forming inside it -- someone
obviously humanoid, who solidified as the splendor
around him vanished.

He was blond, of medium build, and older than the
captain by a couple of decades. Though he was wearing
the same cranberry and black uniform, the insignia
on it denoted a rank superior to Picard's -- that of the
Starfleet admiral overseeing this sector of space.

McAteer, thought the captain, and not with any special
fondness. But what he said was "Admiral. Welcome
to the Stargazer."

McAteer smiled as if he were happy to see Picard,
but his smile wasn't to be taken at face value. It was
merely a tool that he used to disarm his adversaries.

"Picard," he said as he stepped down from the platform.

Not Captain Picard. Just Picard, without the title. But
then, McAteer had never seemed comfortable with the
notion of someone Picard's age commanding a starship.

"You've cut your hair," the admiral observed.

"I did," the captain confirmed. "A necessary part of
my assignment on Oblivion."

"Ah yes," said McAteer. "Oblivion." As if that single
word were comment enough.

Picard's mission there hadn't been a complete success.
He had, after all, failed to obtain strategic information
that would have given the Federation a
significant advantage over its adversaries in the sector.

However, he had flushed out a scheme to put the
Federation at a significant disadvantage. Most superior
officers would have taken that into consideration. But
not McAteer.

"I trust your trip here was a comfortable one," said
the captain.

"It was," the admiral confirmed. "But then, Captain
Dorchester knows his way around."

And I don't, Picard couldn't help adding silently.
The implication was there whether McAteer said it out
loud or not.

The captain indicated the exit. "Shall I have someone
see you to your quarters?"

"Not just yet," said McAteer. "Right now, I'd like to
go over a few things in your ready room."

Of course you would, thought Picard.

Carter Greyhorse, the Stargazer's chief medical
officer, appeared to be studying the red-on-black digital
readout on the side of one of his biobeds. However,
he was really thinking about Gerda Asmund.
In point of fact, he was always thinking about Gerda
Asmund.

And why not? She was his lover.

Greyhorse had never imagined he would be saying
such a thing, not even to himself. But it was true. The
fates had been kinder to him than he could ever ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 2217 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (July 27, 2004)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1UPW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695,865 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Twice as long as the story deserves. October 11, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This features a huge, unstoppable alien fleet heading straight for the Earth. It is also very slow and not much happens. Those are two things that should not go together, but the author managed it. With that said, the characterisations are fairly good and the action that does happen is clearly described. The author also manages to slowly but surely build the tension level and get some anticipation for a big ending going. The ending is one of the most unexpected and bizarre in style that I have come across in Trek reading. I prefer not to give out spoilers, but it will appeal to those who like diplomacy but not those who favour big space battles. Overall, this book is mediocre, not memorably good or bad. The main flaw is simple: this is not a story worth 250 pages. It could and should have been told in less. There is a lot of material that is just here to keep minor storylines going until they can, presumably, be resolved in the next book. So, anyone who has read the Stargazer series up to this point might as well get it. Anyone looking for a good story in its own right will have to look elsewhere.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid entry into the Stargazer series September 20, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Star Trek: Stargazer is an interesting series for the TREK book line. Within this series, we see the early days of Picard's first command, the USS Stargazer (as seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Battle"). It takes place during a little-charted era in Star Trek lore, so there's breathing room for storytelling. However, we've seen a good number of the crew 30+ years later chronologically in the Next Generation novel "Reunion". So we know who lives and doesn't from the main Stargazer crew (for example, you know Picard lives on to command the Enterprise). So where's the suspense and drama?

It comes from two areas. First, if you're a die-hard Trek fan or really into the books, it comes from watching a young (28-year old) Picard dealing with his first command, as an Admiral works in the background to undermine and strip him of it. Secondly, it comes from the cast of secondary characters or senior crew memebers we don't see in "Reunion". Friedman has developed a nice cast to fill the Stargazer, each with their own idiosyncrasies. From Jiterica, who lives on the Stargazer within a containment suit because her native planet is a gas giant to mild-mannered Obal, the last guy you'd imagine would be in security as he look like a plucked chicken but could tear you up in two point three second. There's also the development of the main characters. The Asmund twins make an interesting pair, humans who were raised by Klingons, and the clandestine (and tragically tumultuous) relationship between one of the twins (Gerda) and Doctor Greyhorse. It's also interesting to see a younger, unsure Picard (with hair!) and the relationship he has with his first officer, who is a year younger than him and also his best friend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A review of 'Enigma' May 22, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I started the 'Stargazer' series with this book. It pretty much filled in the situation w/o having to purchase the 1st book, 'The Valiant'.

Story begins quite early with the crew's discovery of a 'sabatuer' on board the USS STARGAZER. We don't know WHY he did what he did, then we find out, neither does HE! This induced me to continue reading.

Novel has a miffed, if not jealous Admiral whom has a strong dislike for the young Capt.Picard. I liked the tension between them, and politics of behaving around each other.

Con: A few of the crew members sort of bored me, but the author doesn't remain mired down long on any of them before shifting gears. One character becomes it's own story but as a side note.

Pro: The character makes the story more real as he becomes a washout and doesn't remain a crewmember. The Federation soon reports the loss of some Starships as they encounter a new, dangerous, more powerful enemy. The Stargazer crew has a mystery of trying to find out who this new enemy is, as well as the motives behind their sabatuer, [in the brig].

I like the 2 methods taken, by 2 individual people to deal with the prisoner. Author writes a good mystery, plenty of Starship action, puts in twists with a surprise ending.

I thought it was a decent read.
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