As the Enterprise warps through space a strange call comes from the depths of space. When run through the computer it is found to be an old distress code from long ago. Picard orders the ship to the distress signal at Warp 8.
Upon arrival the Enterprise finds a massive super-structure in space, so large and intense that it dwarfs the largest stars in the galaxy. The Captain calls it a Dyson Sphere, a mythical structure that would surround a star and inhabit life inside. Soon, though, the USS Jenolen, NC - 567 is found, impacted on the surface. An away team is ordered to investigate the wreckage.
Riker, Geordi, and Worf beam into the old ship finding burned out consoles and barely breathable air, and a strange sight - a transporter console functioning through the magic of power loops and diagnostic systems, and even weirder - a pattern still intact inside. Somehow Chief Engineer LaForge brings the weary passenger back from the confines of matter transportation, only to find out it's Captain Montgomery Scott of the original Starship Enterprise.
The old man tells tales from yesteryear of a time when the Klingons were the enemy, and where ships' captains were the most powerful men in the galaxy. But soon he finds that those days are gone, replaced with the clinical precision of a galaxy where a captain takes orders from a higher authority, and where all the old enemies are now allies. The world around him has changed, and his place in it has as well.
Captain Picard, out of a sense of compassion and loyalty to Captain Scott, sends him and LaForge to the Jenolen to effect repairs to the grizzled old ship. Upon arrival Scotty finds himself deep in the bowls of depression; unable to shake the fear that he is no longer a useful member of society.
But soon, something goes wrong. The Enterprise seemingly disappears, and the only thing to explain it is a severe wave of radiation leading to a large portal in the side of the sphere. Using what's left of the Jenolen's engines the ship goes to the Enterprise's last known coordinates.
Inside the sphere the Enterprise drifts slowly towards the G-Type star in the middle. Solar flares erupt from its surface and the ship faces utter destruction.
This book follows the exact plot of the original episode, but includes a prologue with the 'before' part of the story when the Jenolen first becomes in trouble, and an amazing tale of an away team mission to the surface of the star. See some of the more minor characters become major players in this novelization of a classic 'Star Trek The Next Generation' episode. 5 Pips
Author: Michael Jan Friedman
Review by: CL4 Robert Alexander Griffith