Summary Edit

From the back cover: While answering a distress call from a scientific station in a remote part of the galaxy, the U.S.S. Enterprise becomes infected with a mysterious alien life form which feeds on and transforms inorganic materials.

The Starship begins to gradually disintegrate, and Starfleet is forced to order its evacuation and destruction to prevent the dangerous infection from spreading throughout the galaxy. It's the end of an era for Captain Picard and his crew, who are scheduled for transfers that will split them up among different Starfleet vessels.

But even as the end draws near for the Starship Enterprise, Captain Picard begins to formulate a desperate plan to save his ship and preserve his crew -- a plan that will force him to defy Starfleet orders and lead him to a confrontation with a malevolent alien force which has the power to destroy the entire Federation.



AndrewsBeverly CrusherDataDaviesLars FredricksMetrina HarcourtGeordi La ForgeMichaelsMontgomeryOblataJean-Luc PicardWilliam T. RikerAdrienne TillstromMikal TillstromDeanna TroiPenelope WinthropWorf, son of Mogh
Referenced only 
Kyle RikerTasha Yar

Starships and vehiclesEdit

USS Albedo (tug) • USS Enterprise-D


Beta Epsilon science stationPhaedraStarbase 210
Referenced only 
Roanoke ColonyXerxes III

Races and culturesEdit


States and organizationsEdit

Psychology DivisionStarfleetStarfleet MedicalUnited Federation of Planets

Science and technologyEdit

airalienatmosphereaurora borealiscomputerelectromagnetic fieldelectrongasgausshourion traillifeformlightmagnetospheremedical tricorderorbitoxygenpositronic brainsecondsiliconsolar windstarbasestarshiptransportertricorderVISORvolcanoyard

Ranks and titlesEdit

admiralcaptaincommandercommanding officercounselordoctorlieutenantNumber onepainterscientist

Other referencesEdit

alkalisbasaltclaydistress callfloodhistorymagnesiummountainmudpaletteplanetquartersquartzrockrock quarryself destructsoultechnologyvolleyballwateryear


External linkEdit

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published order
Previous novel:
TNG numbered novels Next novel:
The Romulan Prize
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Captain's Log: Jellico
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
A Matter of Dates
Previous Adventure:
The Romulan Prize
Pocket Next Adventure:
The Inner Light
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