Under the best circumstances, terraforming is a tough, dangerous task that pits the hardiest of pioneers against an unforgiving environment. When the terraformers on the planet Paradise fall behind schedule, commander Riker is given temporary leave from the U.S.S. Enterprise and sent to assist.
Riker's replacement on the Starship Enterprise is a volatile officer named Stone whose behavior soon raises questions about his ability and his judgment. Meanwhile, Commander Riker has become enmeshed in a life and struggle with Paradise's brutal landscape. However, he soon learns that not all of the planet's dangers are natural in origin -- as he comes face to face with Paradise's greatest danger and most hideous secret.
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1 . Star Trek: TNG "A Rock and a Hard Place"
Posted October 28, 2008 by Trek Fan , DFW, TXWritten by Peter David this is an excellent story that Trek fans owe it to themselves to read. Riker has to go on a mission to a frozen planet where it is being teraformed and ends up having to survive from the local wildlife. Meanwhile, Riker's replacement on the USS Enterprise, a commander by the name of Stone, is not the ideal first officer Captain Picard would prefer to have.
Yes, the picture on the cover is actually in the book. Excellent book!
Pocket Books/Star Trek
April 02, 2002
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from A Rock and a Hard Place by Peter David
"Stone. In my quarters."
Captain Borjas did not get the reaction he expected from his first officer. Actually, he got no reaction at all.
Stone just sat there, at his customary corner table in the crew lounge, and stared thoughtfully at the glass in his hand. The synthehol swirled around inside, catching the overhead lighting and glistening with the multicolor effect for which the Ferengi invention was noted.
It was not, Borjas noted, the standard-issue glass used in the lounge. Stone kept his own glasses, his own liquor supply, his own everything, as if he was determined to keep himself isolated from the rest of the crew.
Borjas stood there a moment more, composing himself. He knew that the eyes of various crew members were on him. He should have sent a subordinate down to do this. Hell, none of it would have been necessary if Stone had just answered the damned page in the first place.
Borjas leaned forward, knuckles on Stone's table. A roll of fat was just starting to develop around Borjas's waist. He was grateful for the recent redesign of Starfleet uniforms that provided for the short jacket uniform top instead of the straight, simple lines of a one-piece jumpsuit. It was kinder to older officers.
Borjas had thinning black hair and eyebrows so thick that they seemed to join across the bridge of his nose. His jaw twitched in irritation. Generally, his scowl was enough to intimidate even his veteran subordinates.
Not this time, though.
"Stone, the longer you continue to ignore me, the harder you're going to make it on yourself."
Slowly, Stone looked up.
Borjas remembered the first time that he had seen Stone. The man had made him nervous since the beginning of their relationship. Stone had sturdy enough features, high cheekbones, a pointed jaw, but a long scar ran down the right side of his face. Stone's scar was odd because modern technology could remove such unpleasant blemishes in a matter of seconds. But Stone wore his like a medal.
His hair was black, cut short and spikey. Regulation, but... odd looking. His eyebrows were upswept, almost to the point where Borjas wondered if he had some Vulcan blood in him.
His eyes, though, had been what disturbed Borjas that first time. Those eyes could bore through you, or focus on some other part of the room, or meditate on his inner self. There was a great deal going on behind those eyes, and Borjas never knew what it was.
Stone took in a deep breath and then let it out slowly, lovingly. "Ahhhh." It was a sigh of relief. "There it is."