Immortal Coil (Book #64)
by Jeffrey Lang
Seventy years previous, three of the universe's greatest scientists, Ira Graves,
Emil Vaslovik and Noonien Soong, Data's creator, discover on the planet Galor
1V an android, and an unbelievable laboratory that had been created a millennia
before their time, and inside, they find a duplicating machine that not only
cloned people, but their minds too.
Seventy years on, On the Enterprise, the crew await the arrival of Data's shuttle with trepidation, for he is bringing his 'mother's' body home. Juliana Tainer, an android with remarkable humanoid abilities had died, leaving Data, who had only recently activated his emotion chip, totally grief-stricken.
But his grief has to be pushed to one side when the Enterprise is asked to go to Galor 1V to investigate an explosion at the cybernetic laboratory.
Because of adverse weather conditions, the planet was surrounded by a weather control grid. But somehow, it had failed and the laboratory had taken the full force of an electrical storm and had partially collapsed, rendering Commander Bruce Maddox unexplainably unconscious and crushing the scientists life work; the first prototype sentient android. They also find Data's name written in a blood puddle, hinting that all is not as it seems.
Data and new security chief, Rhea McAdams begin to investigate, but find nothing more than what the laboratory's own security team have found.
Data and Rhea, who hour by hour get closer and closer personally, also get closer to uncovering the truth when they excavate the crushed android and discover that it is a fake. Looking deeper still, they find that every file and piece of data has been erased, leading them to only one conclusion; that Emil Vaslovik is behind the elaborate scam.
An away team go to Emily's home. To the human eye, it looks to be a normal, quaint house, but to Data's eye, he sees more and finds Emily's secret much more advanced laboratory.
When they find themselves under attack by two strange looking androids, the team manage to escape in an antiquated shuttle. But from out of nowhere, a fleet of ice-ships appear and attack the Enterprise. Just in the nick of time, Beverly Crusher beams Riker out of the shuttle, aided by Sam, the Enterprise's new barman, who later turns out to be someone else entirely. He also brings Maddox out of unconsciousness, and all is revealed. It had all been a set up to lure Data to Exo 111.
One hundred and thirteen years ago on Exo 111, a race of androids were created, but due to limited expertise to let the androids evolve and aid their planet which was dying, they were put in stasis, guarded by one solitary android called, Ruk. A man called Roger Korby landed there, badly injured and Ruk saved his life. And then he started to duplicate people and infiltrated them all over the universe, including Starfleet. Starfleet discover them and attempt to destroy the laboratory, but Noonien Soong frees the androids from stasis and they escape.
Rhea takes a critically wounded Data to a space station in Exo's orbit where they find Vaslovik and between them, they repair Data. Data also discovers that Rhea is also an android, but understands more when Vaslovik links Data up to his computers and he relives Noonien's memories.
The Exo androids beam away Rhea and Data with the plan to duplicate her so that they can evolve, but Data refuses to aid them, and triggering his com-badge, he reactivates an android called M-5 in Vaslovik's museum, which reacts to being attacked by the Ice-ships and begins destroying them.
Using himself as bait, Sam, the bartender and also THE original 'Old one', the first android creator, takes a shuttle and lures the Ice-ships away so that Riker can rescue Data and Rhea.
After the battle, Vaslovik vanishes, taking Juliana's corpse with him. Data also loses Rhea when she leaves too to join Sam and continue on with their work
Notable Imzadi moments:
Barclay, despite the pale green cast to his complexion, saw Riker's expression
and, over the whine of the engines, shouted, "What's so funny, sir?"
"I was thinking about what Worf would say in this situation."
Barclay winced, knowing exactly what the commander was referring to. "Please, Commander. Don't say it..."
Riker found his thoughts shifting to Deanna. "Maybe you're right," he decided. "Just be ready when I give the word."
She checked the transporter sensors, then rechecked them, then a third time,
scanning, coaxing, silently begging them to lock onto something, anything. But
there was only a void.
"I've lost him," she whispered, then realizing what she had said, raised her voice and said, "Captain, I've lost them. There was nothing for the transporter to lock onto. I...I'm sorry." She braced herself then, waiting for the moment when it would hit her, for the echo of Will's death to hit her. Imzadi...I'm so sorry...
No one on the bridge moved and Troi felt her heartbeat slow, minds becoming sluggish, despair becoming a tangible thing. Then, she felt the captain shrug off his despair and bark, "Damage reports. Welles - stabilize our orbit. Ensign Rixa, contact Doctor Crusher and inform her we have casualties." And on and on - orders, orders, orders: the captain setting the world to order. Lights came back up to full; medics tended the injured. Blowers cleared the air. Troi felt her hands move and heard herself speak. She was doing her job, doing what she had been trained to do, but every moment, every moment, she was waiting, waiting for her heart to be pierced. It's coming, she thought. It's coming any second now and then there will be a hole in my soul...
And then the captain was there standing next to her, laying his hand on her shoulder and Troi felt some of the crushing weight lift from her. "Commander," he said softly. "Deanna, I need you now. I need you to help hold the crew together. If he's truly gone, more than ever, I need you. They need you. Can you do this?"
Thank you Carol for putting this together =)