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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown (Anglais) Poche – 29 janvier 2015

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Star Trek: The Next Generation: Takedown


The one good thing about having a job that took you to hell and back was that you slept soundly. All your nightmares had already happened during the day.

William Riker had always slept well. But this morning, rising was the hard part—and he wasn’t surprised in the least to discover he was already dressed. He’d slept in full uniform many times as an overworked ensign, never as an admiral. But this behavior made perfect sense: He’d been through the wringer in recent days. He was just glad he’d made it to the bed. Falling asleep in a turbolift wouldn’t have done, at any rank.

He knew he’d earned being this tired. There had been another voyage to perdition—or worse—just behind him, but it made his head hurt to think much about it. It didn’t matter. The best way to escape a bad day was to start the next.

Or to try to start it, at least. Riker’s muscles objected as he attempted to sit up in bed, and he nearly fell back down. Standing was the next frontier, and that took longer to accomplish as well. Finally, he succeeded. Looking groggily around the VIP quarters aboard Starship Titan, he wondered for a moment where his wife was—before remembering the vessel’s destination was Betazed, her homeworld. That was one of the last things he’d heard before going to sleep. Deanna had hoped to take their daughter to Betazed’s capital city on a visit, if they had the time.

The time. He checked it as he shambled to the mirror. Sixteen hours, he’d slept. Riker shook his head. It was a good thing he wasn’t on duty of any kind. But then, oversleeping was the bad dream of an ensign. Admirals’ problems were a lot worse; he’d held the rank just long enough to learn that. And his body showed it. The face in the mirror was a fright. His dark, gently graying hair had gone this way and that during his repose, and a whole lot of new whiskers had appeared.

“Must have been some party,” he mumbled. His condition owed to something else entirely, but it didn’t matter. Drydock was about cleanup work, and that went for people just as well as their ships. He set to making himself presentable.

A short time later found Riker in the turbolift. He didn’t fall asleep on this ride either—but he wouldn’t have been able to snooze for long in any event. The doors weren’t halfway open when a firm Vulcan voice declared, “Admiral on the bridge!”

“You make a fine wake-up alarm, Tuvok.” Riker looked over to the tactical station, where the dark-skinned Vulcan didn’t acknowledge the joke. Tuvok simply bowed his head slightly and turned back to his console.

Stepping onto the bridge, Riker looked up and saw through the forward viewport that Titan was indeed orbiting above Betazed, the vessel parked near a large mushroom-shaped space station. The ship had been ordered here for replacement of faulty parts for some subsystem or other; it wasn’t Riker’s job to know about it anymore. That responsibility lay with the woman who looked back at him from the captain’s chair.

“Welcome, Admiral,” Christine Vale said. “How are you?”

“Shipshape,” Riker said, scratching his beard. “If the ship is a garbage scow that’s seen better days.”

“Forgivable, after what you’ve—” Apparently thinking better of her comment, Vale stopped in midsentence and gestured ahead instead. “I’m afraid you missed Counselor Troi by a few minutes. She said to let you sleep.”

“She’s nice like that.”

Walking past the command chairs, Riker studied the scene outside more closely. He’d never heard of Betazed Station 4 before, much less visited. Its spacedock doors were open, waiting to accept the Luna-class vessel. Just beyond the station, he could see a shuttle heading for the blue-green planet below.

That’s one of ours, he thought. But before he could ask about it, a chirp came from the communications officer’s panel. “Shuttlecraft Armstrong hailing us.”

Riker looked back to see Vale smiling at him. “Someone wants to say hello,” the redheaded woman said. “On-screen.”

Turning back forward, he saw the giant image of his little dark-haired daughter waving at him. “Hailing frequencies open, Daddy.”

“Hello, Natasha.” Riker put up his hand in a slight wave and smiled wanly. “You flying that alone?”

“She wants to,” Deanna Troi said, appearing over the child’s shoulder. “She takes after her father.”

Riker nodded. Titan’s bridge wasn’t really the place for a family call, and out of the corner of his eye, he could see members of the crew turning away to hide their amused expressions. Several seconds passed, silently, with neither of them talking: Deanna would have known he wouldn’t want anyone else asking about his health, not here. She, at least, looked well rested—and as beautiful as the day he’d met her. “Why did you take a shuttle?”

“Admiral,” Vale said, “we’ve taken the transporters offline in preparation for the new upgrade equipment we’re getting from spacedock.”

“Natasha thought it’d be more fun to fly over this way,” Deanna said. “She likes to look at the clouds as we—”

Before Deanna could finish the sentence, an alarm screeched aboard Titan—and Riker heard an echo from Armstrong’s cabin, where a similar alert went off. “Warning,” announced a computerized voice aboard Titan. “Plasma storm approaching, high magnitude.”

“Here?” Vale seemed startled. “We weren’t expecting anything like that.”

“Origin unknown. Danger posed to orbiting vessels.”

“How soon?”

Tuvok had the answer. “Four point seven seconds!”

“Shields up!”

Riker looked up to Deanna on the screen. “Deanna, shields, now!”

He grabbed for the railing at the rear of the bridge even as the world around him went sideways. Titan shook, apparently battered by a flood of plasma ejected from Betazed’s sun. Yet his eyes never left the forward viewscreen. Lit by the unholy fury of whatever was outside the shuttle, Deanna clung desperately to Natasha. Riker could barely hear the child screaming over the din of impact.

Riker looked around, not understanding. Like many other populated areas, the Betazed system was monitored by satellites that transmitted information faster than light, via subspace. Even a freak plasma storm should have been preceded by some warning before a tsunami of fire and radiation struck. And yet, here it was, shaking Titan like a tree in a hurricane.

And Armstrong was bearing it far worse. “Counselor!” Vale yelled, clutching the armrests of her chair. “What’s your condition?”

“Not good!” Internal lights strobing across her terrified face, Deanna punched at controls with one hand while hanging onto Natasha with her other arm. “Shields failed. Losing structural integrity!”

Forgetting who was in command, Riker barked, “Beam her out of there!”

“Engineering reports transporters will take three minutes to be placed back online,” Vale said. “Helm, put Titan between the solar wind and Armstrong!”

“It’ll take a moment, Captain,” came a voice from behind her. “We’re still oriented for spacedock approach.”

Damned repair mission! With the ship turning into the storm, Riker lurched over to a control panel whose operator had fallen away. Titan rocked and quaked, fighting against the fiery tide. Riker found his bearings and checked the ships’ relative positions, trying his best not to focus on Natasha’s wail, now in the background but unmistakably there. “Any ideas?”

“I have one, Admiral,” Tuvok said, his fingers a blur over the keypad. “I may be able to extend Titan’s shields to cover the shuttle.”

“At this range?”

“It will require reshaping the shield on the side of Titan facing the shuttle into a hyperbolic paraboloid, to maximize its range and effectiveness.”

“Do it!” Vale ordered.

“The spatial geometry needed is complex,” Tuvok said, seemingly calculating even as he tried to make himself heard. “And Titan is in motion, further complicating—”

A deafening crack came from above—followed by plummeting metal beams as the supports holding part of the bridge’s storm-weakened ceiling gave way. One girder swung down like a club, belting Tuvok from behind and slamming him into the console. He collapsed, bleeding and senseless.

“Tuvok!” Without regard for his own safety, Riker dove into the area near the collapse. Tuvok was alive but out cold.

Vale called out to him. “Armstrong’s hull is failing!

Riker stepped over the fallen Vulcan to reach his console, hoping against hope that he only needed to push a button to enact Tuvok’s stratagem. No such luck, he saw. “He never finished entering his equations!”

“Will, do something!” It was Deanna. He looked back at the huge display screen nearly in a panic. His wife and child were in mortal danger. He was powerless to help them—unless he could complete a mathematical sequence that it would take most people a lifetime to figure out. Still, he turned to the panel, looking at the maze of numbers and variables controlling the shields. There had to be something he could do, anything.

Another shock shook the ship. He heard Vale’s voice. “Finish the sequence, Admiral!”

And now, Deanna. “Do it, Will!”

Riker focused on the figures on the screen—and suddenly saw clearly.

“I won’t,” he said, turning around to face the bridge crew. “It’s not necessary.”

Vale was flabbergasted. “What do you mean?”

Titan quaked again—but this time, Riker wasn’t swayed. “I mean there is no plasma storm.”

From his right, a plaintive call. “Daddy!”

“That’s enough.” Looking stern, he faced the terrified pair on the screen. “Whoever’s doing this, you can stop now.”

The bridge shook again, and then again, until all went silent. “As you wish,” said a gravelly male voice behind him. Then the lights went out.

Présentation de l'éditeur

When renegade starships wreak destruction across the quadrant, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are shocked to discover the mastermind behind this sudden threat: none other than Picard's protégé and friend, Admiral William T. Riker. The newly minted admiral is on special assignment aboard the U.S.S. Aventine, helmed by Captain Ezri Dax-someone who is no stranger to breaking Starfleet regulations. Her starship is by far the faster vessel…and Riker cannot yield, even to his former mentor. It's a battle of tactical geniuses and a race against time as Picard struggles to find answers before the quadrant's great powers violently plunge into total war…

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards)

Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5 131 commentaires
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Engaging story. Great tie in to the TV episode 19 février 2015
Par Craig Huggart - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Unless you have an amazing memory, I think you will enjoy the book more if you watch the episode "The 9th Degree" again. It was free on Amazon Prime.

The story was so good I didn't want to put it down. What made it even better for me is that there was no gratuitous sex or violence. The author was even careful with the language. Several times he would write "he swore" or "she swore" instead of using harsh language. I really appreciate that.

Enjoyed it from beginning to end.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A good return to form for a series that has been drowning in pessimism. 15 mars 2015
Par Richard - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This novel is set in the year 2385, roughly six years after the events of the final TNG-era movie Star Trek: Nemesis. Within the expanded universe of the Star Trek novels this story is set after "The Fall" miniseries and runs around the same time frame as the book "Star Trek: Deep Space 9: The Missing". The book focuses its attention on the crews of three Federation starships; the USS Enterprise commanded by Captain Jean Luc Picard, the USS Titan commanded by Admiral William Riker, and the USS Aventine commanded by Captain Ezri Dax. The book makes references to past novels and TV episodes, but is largely self contained and can be enjoyed without reading anything before hand.

The core of the story focuses on a series of attacks perpetrated by diplomats from several of the major civilizations in the region, one of whom is Admiral Riker. Picard must chase down his former first officer while Dax must fight to save her ship and crew after Riker hijacks her ship.

Overall the story is well paced, balancing things just right to stay mysterious without being confusing. In the early going the stories mysterious nature leaves the reader wondering if Riker's actions are just misunderstood rather than outright wrong. This is a welcome touch of subtle story telling that has been lacking as of late. It is nice for a story to take its time and let the reader come to their own conclusions without the author trying to spell everything out from the start. The story maintains enough suspense to give a sense of menace in what is happening without it turning into a totally overblown melodrama.

The characters feel largely in character, the overall mood feels appropriate for Star Trek and is noticeably more positive than many of the more recent novels have been, and the story is compelling and never left me feeling bored. Many Star Trek books tend to lean towards being mediocre at best, but this one is a gem and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the TNG era of the franchise.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent story 6 février 2015
Par Casey H. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This was one of the best Star Trek novels I have read in recent times. It was thoroughly engaging and had me looking forward to each successive chapter. I'm normally more a fan of the DS9-arc books, but this one was exciting, funny, and thrilling all at the same time, and sets up Riker's character arc for more big adventures in the future. Please continue making these books, and with this author, I will buy them with great pleasure and anticipation!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A fun read. 9 août 2016
Par James Yanni - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
There wasn't really a whole lot of meat to this book; it wasn't one of those Star Trek books that makes you think, or that is so riveting that you'll rave about it to anyone who will listen. But it was definitely a fun read if you enjoy the genre, and if you don't, why are you reading this review? The characters were handled well, the pacing was good, the plot more or less held together (no worse than most, anyway) an in general, it was just a good, solid example of the genre.
14 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fun From Cover to Cover 10 février 2015
Par Skuldren - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
I’ve always enjoyed Star Trek, but I’ve never gotten into the books. For me, Star Trek was first and foremost a TV show that also had some movies. However, I do love a good book, and as a fan of John Jackson Miller’s previous work, I wanted to give Takedown a try. It was a bit of a gamble, but in this case it paid off. From space battles to squabbling diplomats and unraveling mysteries, Takedown is a lot of fun.

“Let me get this straight. You’re telling me all this may have begun at a peace conference?” -Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Takedown.

First off, there are a lot of layers to this story, and half the fun is the way it unfolds, so I don’t want to spoil too much. More or less, it all begins with a peace conference called The Summit of Eight. Among those eight ambassadors are Admiral William T. Riker, a Romulan senator named Bretorious, a Klingon general named Charlak, a DaiMon of the Ferengi Alliance named Igel, a Cardassian named Gul Rodrek, a Gorn named Vekt, a Tzenkethi named Pikatha Tor Nim Gar-C, and a Tholian named Zyene. Some of those characters are major players while the rest have much smaller parts. Regardless, they are gathered for a meeting where something very important happens. Things spiral out of control and attacks begin happening on major communications arrays. Chaos ensues as people struggle to figure out what is happening. Ultimately it is up to Riker, the crew of the Aventine and the crew of the Enterprise to piece together the mystery and put a stop to the mess before everyone winds up in a massive war of mutual destruction.

Along the way, John Jackson Miller carefully builds the story with the characters. Riker is at the core of the book, both in the action and the unfolding mystery. He’s used as a touchstone for readers, immediately giving us someone we can relate and attach to. Early on there are some new characters, like Bretorious, who bring a lot of color to the story with their odd personalities. Yet it’s the familiar Riker who kicks things off. The first few pages of the book thrust him into danger, only to take a step back as readers get a glimpse of where this story is going. New characters are introduced, the plot thickens, and before you know, things get crazy in a good way. One chapter, you’re on the Aventine with Riker and Captain Ezri Dax as they race across space to stop a Romulan attack. The next chapter, your onboard a Romulan warbird as Bretorious plots his next attack. By the time Picard and the Enterprise enter the picture, there’s as much mystery as their is revelation, and still more than half the book to go.

By combining a cast of familiar characters with new ones, it makes it easier to follow along with the story. Even then, the new characters are striking enough that they stand out and it isn’t hard to juggle around the shifting viewpoints. There may be eight ambassadors in the beginning, but there aren’t that many major viewpoint characters in the book. Most of the story comes from Riker, Dax, Picard and Bretorious. The action centers around their interactions with their crews and with each other.

Through great pacing, Takedown manages to jump start with a blast of excitement and keep things fun and interesting throughout. When there’s not a challenging attack going on, there’s a intellectual puzzle. Crews of the various ships are forced to examine their circumstances to try and find a way out. One way or the other, it keeps readers guessing on what’s really going on. And considering the entire story takes place in space with just a few breaks on space stations, it’s amazing that none of the environments ever become boring. Part of that is due to the pacing. Like any good story, it escalates as it progresses, but it also shifts the scenery. The focus might move from one part of the ship to another, or to an entirely new ship and crew in a whole new area of space. All in all, it works perfectly.

While it would be cheap to say this is the best Star Trek book I’ve ever read since this is the first Star Trek book I’ve ever read, it was definitely a great read. Takedown packs in the tension and excitement, along with moments of humor, witty dialog, and great characters. It opens with a great hook, leaving you wondering where things are going, then proceeds to lay down the story with a lot of mystery. If you enjoyed John Jackson Miller’s novella Titan – Absent Enemies, then Takedown promises a whole lot more. I give it a five out of five and highly recommend it to Star Trek and John Jackson Miller fans alike.
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