The Romulan Stratagem
© 1995 Robert Greenberger
A planet on the border of the Federation, Klingon, and Romulan empires has invited the Enterprise to sell its government on Federation membership. When the Big E arrives, however, they find a Romulan warbird waiting for them. The Romulans have also been invited to make a pitch for membership, and their negotiator is no less than Admiral Sela. Sela, who claims to be the daughter of an alternate-universe Tasha Yar, fell from grace after Picard dismantled her last set of nefarious plans, and for her snatching this planet from under his nose will be sweet revenge. During the week of meetings, however, several deadly explosions implicate the crews of both the Enterprise and Sela’s warship, threatening both powers’ desires. Incredibly, Data finds himself working with Sela to work out what third party is sabotaging the conferences. While this plot thread has considerable interest, given Data’s intimate history with Yar, that angle is never pursued. The ending is a departure from the unexpected, but on the whole there’s nothing really remarkable about the book. Ro Laren lends interest in her comic-relief thread, being assigned to babysit a civilian family after bodily throwing one too many civilians out of her way attracts the Wrath of Riker. A teenage boy in said family develops a raging crush on Ro, one which she is far too slow to pick up on. All told, this is enjoyable enough, but I only read it for the characters featured on the cover.