by Diane Duane
After picking up the dolphin-like, Commander Hwiii, the Enterprise continues
on its course until suddenly everyone goes through a momentary shift in time
and Hwiii informs the crew that they are no longer in their own time frame.
When an intruder is picked up, they discover it is a duplicate member of staff
and that somewhere out in the vicinity, is a duplicate Enterprise and crew.
Finding the source that enabled the other Enterprise to beam across the crew member, the present Enterprise are able to see inside the other ship and are horrified with what they see. Picard is still the Captain, constantly with his life under threat. Counselor Troi is chief of security. Worf is nothing more than a slave and Commander Riker is someone who clearly wants to be boss. Each and everyone of them a sinister, dark mirror of themselves.
An away team, consisting of Geordi and Deanna beam over to the other Enterprise to retrieve vital data so that they can return to their own space. Stepping into totally alien roles really tests their talents, and nerves. Unable to get into some of the more secure files, they request the captain to assist them, and Picard beams over too.
It doesn't take him long to find out that there are a few crew members that want him dead, and given the first chance they are given, Wesley Crusher tries to do just that. He fails and is tortured to near death by the sadistic other Troi.
Picard also discovers the other Enterprise' ultimate goal; to evict his Enterprise of its crew and take over. Picard has to stop them at all costs. Locating some nanites in sickbay, Picard adapts them so that they corrupt the ship's computers. But gradually, as Geordi, Deanna and Picard's 'unusual' behaviour begin to get noticed, they start to battle for their lives. Finding an ally in Worf, who knew something was amiss when Picard spoke kindly to him, the three crew members manage to get off the ship and back to their own.
With the information they need to get back to their own space, the Enterprise sets off, followed closely by by the other Enterprise. Using a system rigged by Commander Hwiii and Geordi, they boot the ship into 'high gear' and get far enough away from the other Enterprise to lose it.
Notable Imzadi moments:
Pages 106 to 107
Geordi blinked at the sight of her, then grinned widely. "Counselor, I'm
envious. You've got more on than I have!"
Troi smiled. "Probably just by a few percentage points, I think. I take it we're about ready?"
Geordi nodded. "We're loading in some provisions - we had to strip the replicator out: no room for it. Everything else is aboard."
"I brought a copy of this," Troi said, holding up a chip. "The view we got of the other Troi, and the other La Forge. We'll have about an hour or so on impulse before we reach the beam-in point?" Geordi nodded. "A little more time to spend studying these, then."
"Very well," Picard said. Behind him the corridor doors opened again. Riker came in and stood quietly behind Picard, but Picard knew where Riker's attention was turned and found it completely understandable.
"It seems inadequate to wish you luck," Picard said. "But I do. Complete your mission and come back safely, as quickly as you can."
They nodded and got into the shuttlecraft; its door sealed down, and the whisper of the manoeuvring system came up softly as it began to warm toward ready. The engineering crew headed quickly out of the shuttle bay, until only Picard, Riker, O'Brien and Hwiii remained, watching. Then Picard turned toward the doorway.
"Number One," he said, to spare Will the pain of remaining the extra few seconds, and headed off for the bridge, the others following him, the doors shutting softly behind them.
Picard looked up finally and said, "I'll go."
"I'm willing to hear what else you have to suggest," he said to Riker as calmly as he could 0 and it was hard: it felt to him as if his blood were jangling. "But you have about one minute to convince me. Otherwise that other ship's security is going to come down around our people's ears."
"I'm not sure that the risk to them is as great as the risk would be to you," Riker said. Picard looked at him with veiled admiration. What must it take for the man to say that when one of the away team is Deanna? he thought.
And Deanna. he turned away in pain from the thought. her attempts in the old
days to teach him the Betazed mind-disciplines had never worked out well. Now
he wished with all his heart that he had a bit more ability, that he tried harder
- anything, so that he could possibly reach out to her perceptions and let her
know that he was with her in mind, if no other way. She knows that anyway, he
told himself. But did she really? At such times, the certainty would have been
worth more than gold. But it wasn't available. And you have more than a thousand
other lives to look after as well, he reminded himself, as severely as he could.
He knew the sound of his own hopelessness and ignored it. "I am troubled,"
he said to Hwiii. "My commanding officer and two of my shipmates are absent
in circumstances of extreme danger. And I'm particularly close to all those
"But especially to one of them."
"Gossip gets around, doesn't it?" Riker asked softly.
Hwiii swung his tail. "Observation is enough, Commander. Circumstances like these can be extremely painful. I honor your commitment."
"You mean my bloody-mindedness," Riker said softly, "to suggest that she - that I send my shipmates into a situation like this."
Thank you Carol for putting this together =)