Publisher's description[edit | edit source]

The survival game.

It's Cadet Kathryn Janeway's last chance to prove her fitness as a future Starfleet officer: a field study on a wilderness planet involving alien animals and their handlers. Captain Holbrook's menagerie of snarling, exotic beasts doesn't bother her. Their unruly alien handlers do. With an arrogant Klingon, an aggressive Talarian and an insecure Betazoid on the team, the war has begun even before they're beamed down to Diehr IV. How can I prove myself when I'm saddled with this bunch? Kathryn wonders. It seems like an impossible mission as she desperately tries to get everyone to cooperate....

Time is running out as Kathryn leads her mission through treacherous territory to the exit point -- only to discover that they are marooned on the alien planet! Now they must pull together -- or perish!

Summary[edit | edit source]

Janeway takes part in a training simulation involving a contaminant leak aboard a starship, which results in the death of the entire simulated crew. Afterwards, she is informed the simulation deals with the Chance Factor, the ability to plan for all possible problems, and is left wondering whether to remain at the academy.

Janeway is recruited by Captain Holbrook after stopping a runaway saurian for a team aiming to prove Holbrook's belief that animals could be used by Starfleet in situations where technology fails. The rest of the team are an eclectic bunch: volatile Klingon youth Thorn, mistrusting Talarian Endar, Vulcan girl T'Lor and the young Betazoid Jon Brazir. Their mission is to retrieve a probe on a planet's surface and take it back to the transporter site.

There are several personality clashes during the mission until the group are attacked by a local wild cat. They are saved by Thorn's targ Jub, who knocks himself and the cat off a cliff. The experience bonds the survivors and they and their animals work together to survive various other wildlife encounters.

The group narrowly make it back to the beamdown site on time and are retrieved by the USS McMurray. Holbrook reveals they beamed Jub aboard when he fell (and beamed the cat to another part of the planet) and he has been granted the funding to continue his research, while Janeway remains determined to remain in Starfleet.

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References[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

BrannonJon BreziCastilleChoyEndarFionaHolbrookKathryn JanewayTed RalstonRobertsMario SantoriTavaThornT'Lor
Referenced only 
Edward JanewayJames T. KirkSarekSpock

Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]

USS McMurray (Oberth-class)
Referenced only 
USS LancasterRMS Titanic

Locations[edit | edit source]

Diehr IVEarth
Referenced only 
IndianaManark IVSehgal

Races and cultures[edit | edit source]

Referenced only 

States and organizations[edit | edit source]

StarfleetStarfleet AcademyUnited Federation of Planets
Referenced only 
Klingon EmpireKlingon High CouncilVulcan Diplomatic Corps

Science and technology[edit | edit source]

animalcontaminant leakfireflashlightprobestarshiptransporter

Ranks and titles[edit | edit source]


Other references[edit | edit source]

Baneriam hawkBramblebutterflycatChokaCourtney's PridedanceDeltan puddingdinosaurfield rationFionaflowerFoozGinjarhorseHoy nejJupKhitomer AccordsKlingon fire beetleKlingon operaKobayashi Maru scenariomossMurphy's LawParrises SquaresplanetquicksandRayonicasandbatsarkSehgal serpentsehlatShammiShawneesnakeTalarian hook spiderTangotargtechnologyTeeshatennistraining simulationtreet'stayanzabathu

Connections[edit | edit source]

published order
Previous novel:
Voyager books Next novel:
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Capture the Flag
Pocket Next Adventure:
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