(written from a Production point of view)
The untold story of Picard's first command!
The first Stargazer adventure!
- From the back cover
- Three hundred years ago, the USS Valiant was destroyed during an ill-fated attempt to cross the legendary galactic barrier. Starfleet had always assumed that the Valiant had perished with all hands aboard, until a pair of unusual humanoids arrive at Starbase 209, claiming to be the descendants of a handful of Valiant survivors who found refuge on an M-Class planet beyond the Barrier.
- Even more shocking, the visitors warn that a hostile alien species, the Nuyyad, are preparing to invade the galaxy. Uncertain of how much of the strangers' story to believe, Starfleet orders the USS Stargazer to investigate at once.
- Lieutenant Commander Jean-Luc Picard is second officer on the Stargazer. A young man who has yet to command a vessel of his own, he soon develops a special bond with one of the visitors, a strikingly beautiful woman who has inherited mysterious psychic abilities from her alleged Starfleet ancestors. But can Picard truly trust her?
The Valiant opens aboard the SS Valiant under the command of Captain Carlos Tarasco in the year 2069. A mysterious force has thrown the Valiant far from home and now the crew faces the grueling prospect of crossing the Galactic Barrier if they ever want to see Earth again.
The Valiant's primitive shields can do little to protect them from the Barrier though. Despite the fact that only the optical scanners can detect the Barrier, the effects it has on the crew are catastrophic.
Before Tarasco orders the ship to turn around, six crew are dead, one in critical condition, and the Valiant's systems have been badly damaged. In fact, the Valiant may not be able to repair her warp drive. Left to drift, the crew begins making their repairs. Relieved in part that Assistant Engineer Agnarsson is alive, the crew continues on their way.
It is only later that Agnarsson begins to manifest strange psychic powers. The Valiant's CMO realizes that the Barrier only affected those with extrasensory perception (ESP). Thanks to his advanced abilities, Agnarsson was able to survive and the Barrier somehow enhanced those abilities. They also caused strange personality aberrations however and Agnarsson soon begins to suspect the crew of plotting against him.
Faced with the possibility of being killed by the psychotic engineer, Captain Tarasco prepares to kill his crewman. Ordering the launch of a recorder (later retrieved by the Enterprise in "Where No Man Has Gone Before") Tarasco and his security officers then chase Agnarsson about the ship.
After Agnarsson kills several security personnel, Tarasco realizes the awful truth. He cannot stop Agnarsson on his own so he orders the evacuation of the Valiant and prepares to destroy his ship. The resulting explosion takes Agnarsson and Tarasco with it, leaving the survivors to drift on the opposite end of the Galactic Barrier with no chance of a rescue vessel.
- The audiobook version was abridged by George Truett.
- The Valiant would lead to the creation of Michael Jan Friedman's Star Trek: Stargazer series. It introduces most of the major characters of the Stargazer line as well as explains how Picard ascended to the center seat of the Stargazer. Some of the Stargazer crew had previously appeared in Friedman's novel Reunion. The paperback reprint retroactively inserts it as the first novel in the series.
- The novel references TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "By Any Other Name" and TNG: "The Battle" will be useful to the reader.
- The SS Valiant is mistakenly referred to as the USS Valiant.
- An extract from this novel appeared in Star Trek Monthly issue 66.
- Captain Carlos Tarasco
- First officer Amir Rashad
- Operations officer Dennis Gardenhire
- Science officer Lieutenant Hollandsworth
- Helmsman Lieutenant Mary Anne Sommers
- Chief tactical officer Womack
- Chief Medical Officer Jack Gorvoy
- Medic Chantal Coquillette
- Medic Rudolph
- Chief engineering officer Bill McMillan
- Engineer's assistant Geirod Agnarsson
- Engineer Davidoff
- Security chief Dan Pelletier
- Security officer Siregar
- Security officer Offenberger
- Security officer Peavey
- Security officer Marciulonis
- Security officer Santana
- Supply officer Williamson
- Astrophysicist Daniels
- Stellar Physicist Zosky
- Crewman O'Shaugnessy
- Crewman Maciello
- Crewman Kolodny
- Crewman Rivers
- Crewman Yoshii
- Captain Daithan Ruhalter
- First officer Commander Stephen Leach
- Second officer Lieutenant Commander Jean-Luc Picard
- Chief Medical Officer Carter Greyhorse
- Chief Engineer Lieutenant Phigus Simenon
- Engineer Pernell
- Engineer Zaffino
- Helmsman Lieutenant Idun Asmund
- Navigation Lieutenant Gerdan Asmund
- Navigation Lieutenant Charlie Kochman
- Communication Chief Martin Paxton
- Sciences Chief Angela Cariello
- Security chief Lieutenant Gilaad Ben Zoma
- Security officer Lieutenant Ang
- Security officer Lieutenant Peter "Pug" Joseph
- Security officer Lieutenant Garner
- Security officer Lieutenant Iulus
- Security officer Lieutenant Pierzynski
- Security officer Pteffer
- Security officer Fox
- Security officer Sekowsky
- Chief Weapons officer Hans Werber
- Weapons officer Lieutenant Vigo
- Weapons officer Chen
- Weapons officer Ramirez
- Transporter operator Lieutenant Vandermeer
- Ensign Montenegro
- Ensign Kotsakes
- Captain Eliopoulus
- Shield Williamson
- Guard Daniels
- Serenity Santana
- Medical center Director Law
- Engineer Armor Brentano
- James T. Kirk
- Gary Mitchell
- Captain Osborne - Leach's former commander on the U.S.S. Merced
- Goimard - 21st century architect
- Matthew Joseph - "Pug's" brother
- Slattery - Carter Greyhorse's roomate at Starfleet Academy
- Turan Relanios - Betazoid Scientist
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