As the U.S.S. Titan ventures beyond the outermost reaches of known space, the telepaths in her crew -- including Diplomatic Officer Deanna Troi -- are overwhelmed by an alien cryof distress, leading the ship to the scene of a shocking act of carnage: a civilization of interstellar "whalers" preying upon and exploiting a familiar species of sentient spaceborne giants.
Appalled but reluctant to rush to judgment, Captain William Riker and his crew investigate, discovering a cosmic spawning ground in a region of active star formation -- the ecosystem for a bewildering array of diverse but similarly vast life-forms. While attempting to negotiate an end to the victimization of these creatures, Riker's crew inadvertently grants them the means to defeat their hunters' purpose...only to learn that things are not exactly as they seem.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
December 31, 2005
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Star Trek: Titan #3: Orion's Hounds by Christopher L. Bennett
U.S.S. TITAN, STARDATE 57137.8
Deanna Troi bolted upright in bed. For a moment she felt adrift in the dark, in a void whose emptiness chilled her bare flesh. She wasn't sure where she was, or even who she was. She felt terrible fear, but did not know why.
But then she felt his arms embracing her, bringing her home. Will. Her imzadi. Her husband. Her captain. Her anchor. When he touched her, she was never lost.
She relaxed against him, and they stayed that way for a precious moment. Then he spoke softly. "The nightmare again "
"I'm not sure," she said. "The same sense of ' intrusion ' yet different. Not as malevolent." Talking about the recurring nightmare brought unwelcome flashes of memory. It had been over three months since Shinzon of Remus and his viceroy Vkruk had raped her, using Vkruk's telepathy to place themselves in her mind while she made love with Will; yet although the nightmares came less frequently of late, her memory of the event remained as vivid as ever, and she knew it always would. What made it worse was that it had been her second telepathic sexual assault, the first being at the hands of the Ullian historian Jev nearly a dozen years ago. He too had usurped Will Riker's place in her perceptions, forcing her to relive an erotic memory which he twisted into a violation. It was a testament to Deanna's love and faith in Will that she was still able to take joy and comfort from his touch today.
Sometimes it took a little work, though. Reliving those memories intensified the fight-or-flight impulse the dream had triggered, and suddenly she felt a desperate need for personal space. She clambered out of bed and moved to the windows, not stopping to don a gown first. Over the past few months, Will had grown accustomed to her occasional need not to be touched, so he didn't follow. "Not as malevolent " he asked, his voice gentle. "You seemed pretty scared."
Deanna stared out at the stars, gathering her thoughts. "I don't remember. It was as though ' something else's fear was being forced into me."
"Something Not someone "
"It felt very alien. Yet ' somehow distantly familiar." She shook her head, giving a slight, nervous chuckle. "Never mind. It was just a dream. A bit of undigested chocolate."
"You sure of that, Ebenezer " She didn't have to turn to see the smirk on his face. "You've been contacted through dreams before. Eyes in the dark," he intoned in a spooky voice that made her laugh.
"Anything's possible, I suppose, but there's too little to go on." She gazed out at the stars. "Something alien, but familiar ' probably some symbol my brain pieced together, representing anxiety at the unknown. A natural enough response, considering our mission."