The Sunbeam Strike
|Title:||The Sunbeam Strike|
|Date(s):||1995 or before|
|Fandom:||Star Trek: TNG|
|External Links:||Entropy Press flyer|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
On the frontier of Federation space, where Celestial Territories are under constant dispute, lies an asteroid field so mineral-rich that it has been called El Dorado. The title to the Dorado Field lies provisionally with the monstrous Federation resource cartel, Australian Allied Minerals. The flagship of their fleet, the Iron Empress, and the immense production platform, the DeepSky Explorer, are systematically tearing the Dorado Field to pieces, at extraordinary profits, and shipping the strategic materials home to the ever hungry Starfleet, which is still rebuilding after the disastrous battle at Wolf 359. The Dorado Field was discovered and claimed by AAM, and named for Australia's legendary Sunbeam Shaft.
There is but one fly in this celestial ointment: The Ferengi claim that right and title to the Dorado Field has lain in their hands for centuries. They want the Australians out and the minerals back ... or payment in full, whichever the Federation can afford.
The Ferengi swear that the situation has already come to blows, and the Australian crew aboard the DeepSky Explorer have shown that they are unscrupulous, armed, and will do anything for a profit. The Australian position is that the Ferengi merely crashed their marauder into a passing asteroid... and the stage is set for lightyears of litigation. Starfleet has two main interests: to Prevent the fast-impending Australo-Ferengi war, and to secure the minerals it so desperately needs.
Enter a diplomat of legendary renown on the difficult, dangerous frontier, maker of peace with Klingons — the man who actually tried to mediate with the Borg, and almost got them to listen. The only being in the known universe who ever outsmarted Q. Now, Jean-Luc Piccard faces his ultimate challenge. On one side, two thousand bloody-minded Australians fresh up from downunder; on the other side, two hundred bloody-minded Ferengi, hell-bent on profit at any cost. In the middle, the Enterprise, with an impossible mission.
Keep the peace ... secure the minerals ... and in the short term, preserve Human and Ferengi life in the Dorado Field, which orbits an unstable binary sun. Once every thousand orbits, the two mated stars, locked in a inexorable gravitic embrace, fall so close together that the energetic thresholds of their gravity wells interact, producing a catastrophic radiation flux. The DeepSky Explorer and the Iron Empress are equipped with radiation flare shields, but the Ferengi's main contribution to this predicament was a brief exchange of phaser fire. The shield generators are out. The binary system is close to perigee, and the radiation pulse will fry every living thing.
Diplomacy is stretched like a bowstring. Picard, Riker and Troi must get at the truth of the wreckage of the Ferengi vessel, and engineer a peace between enemies. Meanwhile, LaForge, Data and a team of technicians race the clock to raise those shields before they find themselves with a ringside seat at the stellar event of the decade.Peace at any price? Nobody has this much money.