CONTINUING THE ADVENTURES OF THE
Thirty years before the days of Star Trek: The Next Generation®, Captain Jean-Luc Picard was thrust unexpectedly into command of another proud vessel: the U.S.S. Stargazer. Surrounded by a crew he doesn't entirely know or trust, the young Picard must answer the challenges of leadership....
While Picard and his senior staff accompany Chief Engineer Simenon to his homeworld of Gnala to undergo a ritual, his second officer, Victoria Wu, is left in command of the Stargazer. Responding to a distress call from a nearby star system, Wu finds herself in the middle of a mystery involving a damaged ship and a peculiar interstellar phenomenon -- one that threatens to destroy the Stargazer if she can't learn its secret.
Meanwhile, on Gnala, Picard must help his friend undergo the ritual -- and find out who is trying to sabotage their chances of completing it before they're all killed!
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
May 03, 2002
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Excerpt from Star Trek: The Next Generation: Stargazer: Progenitor by Michael Jan Friedman
Jean-Luc Picard had lost his fencing partner.
His name was Daithan Ruhalter. Ruhalter had also been Picard's captain, his predecessor as commanding officer of the Stargazer.
Picard had been happy to discover that there was another fencer on the ship, a security officer by the name of Pierzynski, who had a good few inches on Picard and outweighed him by perhaps thirty pounds. Unfortunately, as Pierzynski had subsequently discovered, size and skill didn't always go hand in hand.
At the moment, Picard enjoyed a four-touches-to-none advantage in a five-touch match. To this point, Pierzynski had failed to take advantage of his longer reach, just as he had failed to do so in the four matches that preceded this one.
Picard could have postponed the inevitable and toyed with the fellow for a while. However, he didn't want to give Pierzynski the illusion that they were competitive enough for the captain to consider doing this on a regular basis.
It was unfortunate. Picard had hoped a good fencing session would distract him from what he was obliged to do when the Stargazer reached Starbase 42.
But Pierzynski hadn't provided much of a distraction for him. The disposition of Caber and Valderrama still weighed heavily on the captain's mind, making him wonder how he could ever have allowed himself to embrace those individuals in the first place.
Picard sighed. "En garde."
Pierzynski raised his blade in response. Then, aggressive by nature, he took a step toward the captain.
Picard frowned. He didn't even have to parry to create an opening. Taking a couple of steps back, he waited for Pierzynski to follow him. Then he planted his back foot, extended his point and launched himself forward -- all in one quick, fluid motion.
He hit Pierzynski in the ribs, just below his elbow. Point and match. "Alas," he said.
Pierzynski reached for the top of his mask and pulled it down, exposing his flushed, fatigued-looking face. Then he tucked the mask under his sword arm and extended his hand to the captain.