Ghost Ship (Book #1)
by Diane Carey
A long time ago, a Russian carrier ship, the Sergei G Gorshkov vanished into
thin air. Over time, several more ships, and their crew also vanished, sucked
up into a huge gas giant, never to be seen again.
That was until the latest Enterprise and her new crew graced space. Overtaken by images and haunting dreams, Deanna Troi becomes disturbed, alerting the rest of the crew that all is not well.
Ghosts - Nightmarish images begin to haunt the crew, and outside the gas giant attempts to capture its latest target; the Enterprise. Only Troi and Data appear to have a connection to the anomaly, and Riker insists that Data becomes a mediator, regardless of the outcome.
Separating the saucer section from the battle station, the crew attempt to lure the anomaly away from the saucer, and after a short and ineffective battle, rejoin.
Deanna then discovers that the ghosts that are haunting her and the ship, are really looking for closure; death, and after a heated debate, Picard finally agrees, and with Wesley's inventive idea, they finally manage to destroy the gas giant, release Data and Deanna from it's hold, and free the trapped souls.
Notable Imzadi moments:
Ghost ship Pages 138 to 139
Her voice was soft, but this time it had an inflection they didn't recognize, one that made them turn to her now in spite of Data's entrapment as Deanna Troi stepped stiffly down to the main deck. Riker reached out for her and she took the hand he offered, but her expression was that of one who was looking into a blinding light. The same as Data's now - seeing something that wasn't there.
"Your language," she murmured. "I speak it."
Riker was holding her hand, and now he began a hesitant step that would draw him right up close.
"No," Picard said sharply then, gesturing him back. With an extra push he nudged Riker away and came between them, quite aware of Troi's hand, suddenly empty, reaching for Riker's as it fell away. So part of her was here, at least.
"Who are you?" Picard began carefully.
Troi's eyes began to tear with the strain.
"We don't understand. We don't know what you are," the captain clearly said.
Troi began to tremble, a bone-deep trembling that came as much from her own effort as from the effect of whatever was happening to her. Despite Picard's renouncement of folklore and ghost stories, the battle bridge took on the hazy elemental aura of a seance. Troi herself was like a specter now, a thing of dark times, of times when ignorance made indelible marks upon the imaginations of all men for all time. She was a whisper of legend somehow transferred into present. Her hair glowed, ebony beneath the flashings, and in spite of all the lights from Data's assailant, her eyes were still their usual pumice black. Yet in the midst of enchantment there was also the conscious work of a scientist. And never once were they allowed to forget that Data was also involved;the snapping brightness from the vortex around him slithered across Troi's face in a constant and patternless reminder.
Riker stepped tentatively toward her, and was grateful that Picard didn't try to stop him. "Deanna..." he began. Then he had nothing to say afterward.
Troi forced herself to speak. Somehow they could see and understand that the insistence was hers and no one else's. "You...can end...it."
The captain squinted as though he could see the words. Something about the way she said it made him motion the bridge to silence.
Her voice - still soft. A raspy whisper only. But it held a power, a decisiveness Picard hadn't expected to hear at such a moment. And then when the statement was over, it was completely over. Her effort slid off, she was allowed a deep breath, and the light patterns reflecting on her face began to fade.
Riker and Picard spun about, and sure enough Data was looking more like Data and less like a fourth of July sparkler.
"No one move!" Picard warned. "Wait until it's completely gone."
In spite of the order, Riker sidled toward Troi, keeping his eye on her while Data glittered in his periphery, and when she suddenly collapsed, he was almost beside her.
The color fled from her face, and Troi dropped so sharply that Riker almost missed her completely. He was able to catch her upper arm and keep her head from striking the bridge rail, but she turned in his grip like a dangling fish until he could rearrange himself and lay her down on the deck. He knelt beside her, brushing the trailing black curls from her forehead, and looked up in time to see the same thing happen to Data.
Page 150 to 151
He sensed Riker approaching, knew the first officer was looking over his shoulder, taking advantage of his height to look at Deanna Troi and silently ask if perhaps he could also be involved in her secrets. Only that made the captain's decision tricky.
"Very well," Picard said. He took Troi's arm and steered her toward the turbolift. "All hands, transfer command back to the main bridge immediately. Riker, you square off with Data. Get some answers. We're going to hit this problem from both fronts. Counselor, my ready room. The rest of you...stations."
Riker watched perhaps too longingly as the captain escorted Troi from the dim battle bridge. He could live without her; perhaps he would have to. He'd called a halt to all relationships when he accepted this post, staring at twenty years of single mindedness, and he'd kept that promise to himself well enough. Until he stepped onto the ship itself. Until she floated out of nowhere toward him. Suddenly the years ahead appeared more a test than an assignment. Was it unwise for long-term commanders to commit themselves to relationships? This whole business about having families aboard ship...it was so new. Did anyone know if ship's commanders reacted differently when their loved ones were on board than they did if they could divorce themselves from everything but the dangers at hand?
Deanna would know. And she's the only person I can't ask.
Pages 220 to 222
Troi's black eyes lay unfocused on the pool of coffee. "They're on me every second. They give me no rest ...these strangers. They're so desperate, Beverly, and it's an intimacy beyond description. I don't think even a full Betazoid could understand it. I tried so hard to make the captain understand...and Bill..."
Crusher leaned forward and squeezed Deanna's wrist reassuringly. "Don't take it too hard. he was doing what he thought best."
"Oh. I think so."
Troi felt her lips tighten as she fought back the rush of emotion. "I wish one or the other of us could be...somewhere else."
"I know," the doctor said sympathetically. "It's difficult to deal with someone who reappears out of your past. Especially when you disagree."
"I expected his support," Troi said, her voice cracking. "We know each other better than either of us knows anyone else on this ship. I thought he of all people would accept my judgement."
"It's not his job to accept your judgement, Deanna, you know that. If anything, his duty is to make sure the captain is clear on all angles of a crisis."
"Oh, Beverly, that's not what he was doing. I could feel it. He really believed the things he said."
"He's entitled to," Crusher said soothingly. "Having an affection for each other doesn't mean you have to be joined at the brain. You're allowed to disagree."
"I know that, but..."
"How long have you know each other?"
"Oh, nearly five years." A warm tinge of nostalgia mellowed her distraught expression. "We had a lively time together before he decided to devote his life to a long-term mission. There was a time when we planned a future together...before we realized we wanted different things from life. He was gallant and gentlemanly, as he is now, perhaps a bit brusque and arrogant - "
"As he is now," Crusher appended with a playful smile.
Troi nodded. "This," she said, glancing around at the wholeness of Enterprise, was a coincidence neither of us foresaw."
"Why do you call him Bill when everyone else calls him Will?"
Troi's cheeks flushed, and she managed a smile. "I didn't know it was so obvious."
"It's not. I'm just astonishingly observant, you know."
Troi's delicate smile widened. "'Bill' sounds like a word in the language of Betazed. A word I like...reminds me of my childhood there. There's no translation, but it had to do with - oh, I shouldn't tell you. I wouldn't want to compromise him."
"Go ahead," the doctor said, a mischievous gleam in her eyes, "compromise him."
"Well, it means..."
"'Bill' means 'shaving cream' in Betazoid?"
Troi felt a touch of laughter bubble out of her. "That word always reminds me of this particular brand of Macedonian shaving cream my father used to use. It was scented evergreen-"
"Oh, that explains it!" Crusher said. "Latent childhood impressions of parental evergreenery. There you are! It's not Riker who attracts you - it's pine trees! And I think I'm only a fair psychologist. Move over, Deanna, I think I like this. Wait till Wesley hears about it. Shaving Cream Riker."
"Beverly, you wouldn't!"
"Oh, wouldn't I? It'll spread like wildfire among everyone under twenty years old..."
Thank you Carol for putting this together =)