Tooth and Claw (Book #60)
by Duranna Durgin
In exchange for a star chart to aid the Ntignano, a race who face annihilation
from their star going supernova, the Enterprise agree to aid a party of hunting
Tsorans, led by ReynTa Akarr in their pursuit of a trophy - one of the many
carnivorous animals that habited the preserve - a sanctuary named 'The Legacy',
entombed within a protective shield on the planet, Fandre.
Failing to successfully take the shuttle in through the forcefield, Riker crash lands in the heart of the jungle, injuring many of his party, giving the creatures an easy hunt of their own. Very soon after the party leave the shuttle, Will stumbles upon his first beast - a huge snake-like animal. He manages to escape, barely. But within minutes, they are attacked by a Sculper, an enormous hyena-type of creature. They manage to scare that one off too. Their tussle with a pack of Sholjagg is not so successful when it makes off with one of the injured party.
After making it through a horrendous night, surrounded by Sholjagg's, they come under attack again by a flock of skiks - flying pterodactyl-like creatures that spat acid at them. Worf's arrival in another shuttle is just in the nick of time.
On their way back to Worf's shuttle, the party are faced with the Legacy's largest, and most prized creature - the Cartiga. As Will fells it, he reveals his suspicions; that the Tsoran's weapons had been sabotaged. Someone never intended them to escape alive, let alone with a trophy.
Yet again, the shuttle crash lands, taken down by the forcefields unusual energies, and they have to walk to the portal site. They finally reach the portal, diving through it with a herd of huge elephant-like beasts called Ictaya hard on their heals.
On board the Enterprise, Akarr's mother, and his older brother, Takarr are battling it out with Picard in an attempt to stop him from obtaining the desperately needed star charts, until the hunting party return and the treachery is revealed.
Notable Imzadi moments:
No, we're not going to leave it to chance. Picard glanced at Troi. "Counselor, it's my understanding that you often have an impression of Commander Riker's feelings."
"Yes," she said, glancing at the instantly curious Tsorans, hesitating, and responding candidly anyway. "There's a small number of people I can receive a sense of at any given time. Will is certainly one of them."
An understatement if he'd ever heard one, Picard thought. He didn't know exactly what had happened between those two, and he suspected he'd never know...but he did know the strength of the connection it had left behind.
Pages 93 to 94
When she left, he immediately called Deanna Troi. She was off duty - as, technically, were he and Beverly Crusher - but that didn't stop her from arriving in the ready room, in uniform, within fifteen minutes of his request.
"What," he said, with very little preamble, "Would you predict of the Tsoran response if they discovered we had initiated mapping of the space under discussion?" Or not under discussion, as the case may be.
"I doubt they'd have anything to do with the Federation for a long, long time," Troi said, tucking her hair behind her ear - the long unruly curls were the only sign that she'd been caught out of uniform, although her fatigue was evident, and worry rested in her eyes. Worry over Riker, no doubt. The past ties that bound them were strong - stronger, sometimes, than Picard thought either of them realized, regardless of what other entanglements they entered.
Thank you Carol for putting this together =)