When two powerful rival families of the spacefaring merchant race called the Tizarin are to be joined through marriage, theU.S.S. Enterprise is chosen as the site for the wedding. Though Captain Picard is pleased by the happy duty, his pleasure is cut short by the arrival of the Federation delegate from Betazed: Lwaxana Troi -- the mother of ship's counsellor, Deanna Troi.
Despite Lwaxana Troi's romantic overtures toward the captain, the celebration seems to go smoothly until the situation is further complicated by the arrival of the notorious and all powerful being called Q -- who has come to examine and challenge the human concept of love. Suddenly, the festivities are in turmoil, the powerful Tizarin families are on the verge of war, and Lwaxana Troi is determined to teach Q a lesson in love that he will never forget...
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
June 01, 1994
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Adobe DRM EPUB
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Excerpt from Q-in-Law by Peter David
KERIN LET OUT a slow breath, trying to calm the slamming of his heart against his chest. The stars hung suspended around him, the stars that had been part of his daily existence for as long as he could remember. He'd heard that when one stood on the surface of a planet, the stars actually twinkled because of atmospheric distortions. He wouldn't know firsthand, having never -- in his eighteen years -- set foot on a planet.
At the moment, the thoughts of planets were as far off as the stars. His full concentration was on the great mother ship of the Graziunas that loomed in front of him. It was dark blue, oblong, with great spires jutting out at odd angles. Swarming about it, insectlike, were a variety of single- and double-pilot ships, patrolling in a leisurely formation against incursion by any enemies who might be in the area.
Kerin could clearly see the great landing bay at the far end of the mother ship, and even if he couldn't, the array of instrumentation in front of him could easily pinpoint it for him. He scanned it with practiced ease. He knew his high-powered, single-pilot shuttle inside and out. It was a gift from his father for his twelfth birthday, and for a moment he allowed himself the luxury of remembering the thrill of the first time he'd stepped inside the shuttle, run his fingers across the controls, and sat in the command seat -- his command seat. All his.
Kerin glanced at his own reflection in the viewport before him. He was amazed how much he was beginning to look like his father. His hair was cut into the widow's peak that was customary for all members of the house of Nistral. He was sloe-eyed, his pupils dark, yet luminous. His skin was a dusky silvery hue that gave him an almost metallic sheen. He had a strong jaw that was set in a determined fashion.
Glancing across his weapons array he noted with satisfaction that everything was fully charged. All engine readings were normal. He'd checked and rechecked everything a hundred times before setting off from the Nistral mother ship. The nervousness he felt and his overcaution had gotten him some good-natured ribbing and derision from his friends. He didn't care, because the redundant checks that had consumed hours before now gave him the confidence to worry about nothing except his obstacles.
The first of the patrol ships of the Graziunas family had broken off and were approaching. Only two. More than enough for a routine check.
"Approaching craft," said a crisp voice, "state your business with Graziunas."
His long, tapered finger paused over the comm controls for a moment before he flicked a switch. "This is Kerin of the house of Nistral. I go where I wish. I do what I wish. And I take what I wish."
There was a silence on the other end. A long, significant silence.
"If that is how it must be," the slow and measured response finally came, "then that is how it must be."
Message sent. Message received. Everything understood at both ends.
Kerin let out another breath and tried to calm himself, tried to forget everything that was at stake. Just let the reflexes take over, the long, practiced movements that had been drilled into him for as far back as he could remember.
He took one more look at the battle array, belted himself in, and slammed into overdrive.
The sleek craft shot forward, dipping just under the two wing fighters that were coming towards him for the intercept. He dropped like a stone, then levelled off quickly and angled straight towards the great mother ship.
The fighters banked around and came after him. Kerin had them both tracked, timing their pulse bolts, his fingers racing over the computer navigator for evasive maneuvers. Blasts exploded to his right and left, and his shuttle swayed gracefully, avoiding them with amazing precision. He allowed a small smile to play across his lips. "Catch me if you can," he muttered.