The Red King (Star Trek: Titan, Book 2)
Michael A. Martin, Andy Mangels
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Investigating the disappearance of a secret Romulan fleet, the U.S.S. Titan, commanded by Captain William Riker, is unexpectedly propelled more than 200,000 light-years into the Small Magellanic Cloud. One of the Milky Way's satellite galaxies, the Cloud is also home to the Neyel, the long-sundered offshoots of Terran humanity, with whom the Federation has had no contact in over eighty years.
Nearby, Riker's uncertain ally, Commander Donatra of the Romulan Warbird Valdore, rescues a young Neyel, the survivor of a mysterious cosmic upheaval that seems at times to be both unraveling and reweaving the very fabric of space...the fulfillment of an apocalyptic vision that has already claimed millions of lives. Titan's science team soon finds evidence that the ravaging of Neyel space is the work of a vast and powerful intelligence: the stirrings of a dormant consciousness that is maintaining the existence of the Small Magellanic Cloud -- and all life within it -- from one moment to the next. And if it should awaken, the consequences are unimaginable.
As Riker considers his options, his new crew struggles with the scientific and philosophical implications of what they've discovered...while the young Neyel in their midst forges a bond with the captain, conjuring old ghosts Riker has yet to lay to rest.
is the best shot the Federation will ever get at making a successful re-contact with the Neyel, he thought, wishing, as always, for broader shoulders whenever such a crushing load of responsibility seemed determined to settle onto them. “He’s obviously projecting his people’s historic motivations onto us,” Deanna continued. “As well as his own related personal feelings of guilt. It’s certainly understandable, considering his cultural baggage. The Neyel have spent the last few centuries building
now that the Klingons have a beachhead on the Two Worlds. We can’t afford to wait around here any longer than we have to.” “You’re right, Suran. We must act,” Donatra said, her eyes lingering on the bandages that still swathed Suran’s head. Suran noticed her stare and scowled. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?” “Are you sure you’re feeling well, Suran?” Suran’s scowled deepened. “I’m fine.” Donatra assayed her most serious I’m-terribly-concerned-about-you expression. “You’ve gone
was visible in the corridor beyond, which led directly to the infirmary entrance. That, Donatra knew, was a detail that Venora had arranged. “So you’re in on this, too, Doctor,” Suran said, turning toward the Valdore’s chief medical officer. He moved into a defensive crouch, as though daring Venora to attack him. Never, ever turn your back on me, Suran, Donatra thought, removing the hypo from her left tunic pocket. Striking with the speed of a jhimn adder, she emptied its contents into Suran’s
working alongside two others whose hearts and minds were sure to be as focused as hers was on the task at hand. SHUTTLECRAFT BEIDERBECKE To his credit, Hachesa had managed to activate the navigational deflector and raise the shields just prior to the shuttle’s inundation and submersion. The cockpit bulkhead had automatically sealed as well, protecting the forward cabin both from the elements and the frantic refugees. Fortunately, the Beiderbecke’s shields had held, keeping the deluge outside
are determined to die for their cause, we must respect their wishes.” He turned his back quickly, as his lips began to tremble. The rescue missions were becoming increasingly perilous as the protouniverse’s energy discharges became more frequent; one Romulan ship, the S’harien, had been destroyed, hulled directly through the engine core by a pair of simultaneous interspatial energy blasts that had appeared too quickly to be avoided. Another one of Donatra’s vessels was too damaged to continue,