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Authors: J.M. Dillard

Bloodthirst

BOOK: Bloodthirst
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STAR TREK
®

BLOODTHIRST

THE NEW NOVEL BY
J.M. DILLARD

POCKET BOOKS

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

An
Original
Publication of POCKET BOOKS

POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
www.SimonandSchuster.com

Visit us on the World Wide Web:
http://www.SimonSays.com/st
http://www.startrek.com

Copyright © 1990 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

STAR TREK is a Registered Trademark of Paramount Pictures.

This book is published by Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc, under exclusive license from Paramount Pictures.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020

ISBN: 0-7434-1988-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-7434-1988-8
eISBN-13: 978-0-7434-1988-8

POCKET and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster Inc.

Table of Contents

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Epilogue

Excerpt

Look for STAR TREK fiction from Pocket Books

Acknowledgments

Back in 1985, when
Mindshadow
was at the bottom of an editorial slushpile and
Demons
was a mere twinkle in my eye, I lived under the mistaken notion that I was the only
Star Trek
fan in the entire Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Hoo boy, was
I
wrong.

It was Liz Clark who got me (trembling and unsure) to my first
Star Trek
convention. Liz used to work at a local bookstore. It was she who introduced me to Ann Crispin at ClipperCon 1986. As Ann shook my hand, I think I stammered something about enjoying
Yesterday's Son
, but I don't remember much except that I was
sure
Ann thought me a total idiot. But to show you the type of person Crispin is, she went straight to the dealers' room and bought a copy of my book, and had me sign it for her.

What can you say about such a generous person? From there, Ann has helped me to get onto panels at other conventions, introduced me to publishers, and thrown out literally thousands of ideas when I was mired deep in a plotting problem. (As a mutual friend of ours says, Ann always has eleven ideas before breakfast.)

She also gave me advice on getting an agent. Hers was Merrilee Heifetz, and I'm glad to say that Merrilee is now my agent, too. Besides being an incredibly pleasant person, Merrilee is the type of agent who goes beyond the call of duty, and I'd like to thank her here.

But back to Ann Crispin. Not only did she introduce me to Merrilee, she introduced me to all the wonderful members of the Whileaway Writers Co-op:

Debby Marshall, talented writer and quite possibly one of the most charming people on this planet;

Anne Moroz, author of
No Safe Place
, which deserved all the rave reviews it got;

Teresa Bigbee, talented reader and commenter, and

Kathleen O'Malley, not only a talented writer but the most inspired editor I've ever met.

These here are Good People, folks.

Other Good People I've had the pleasure to come into contact with since
Mindshadow
was published:

Dave Stern,
Star Trek
editor for Pocket Books. Luckily for us, Dave is a fellow fan who knows and respects
Trek
,

Bob Greenberger of D.C. Comics, and his beautiful entourage of wife Debbie and daughter Katie (who, we all know, is actually Saavik's child);

Dave McDonnell and Dan Dickholtz
of Starlog;

My mother-in-law, Argyri Kalogridis, who is not only delightful company but absolutely the best public relations agent anyone could ever hope for;

Maritta and Faye, friends and fellow
Trek
fans, and the youngest Trekker of them all, Amanda Eileen;

Kum Ja and Chenda of the McLean Café, who deserve thanks for the most delicious sandwiches in McLean;

and last, but by no means least, all of you fellow
Trek
fans out there. Feel free to write to me at P.O. Box 7182, McLean VA 22106-7182.

Jeanne M. Dillard
May 1987

P.S. For the sake of our Vietnamese friends, please note that Ensign Lisa Nguyen's last name is pronounced almost exactly the same as the English word “when.” Those of you interested in reading more not only about the rest of the
Star Trek
crew but also Nguyen and Tomson can find out more about them in
Mindshadow
and
Demons
.

Prologue

YOSHI AWOKE KNOWING that sometime in his sleep, he had made the decision to kill.

His eyes opened to the flickering yellow light of the half-melted candle in the hurricane lamp, and after a second of disorientation in which he feared he had awakened to the wrong century, he remembered he was in Lara's quarters. His jaw ached. He had been sleeping sitting up, with one side of his face flattened against the hard lap of the rolltop desk.

He had not been able to bring himself to sleep in her bed.

His tongue seemed fashioned of dry wool. It stuck to the inside of his cheek, and he winced as he tugged it away; bits of soft, membranous skin clung to it.

The pain awakened his anger. He had been dreaming just then of Reiko, and he could still taste the bitterness that had filled him in his dream: anger at her for leaving him, fury that she was not with him now, when he most needed her. Dying alone was a cruel thing. Of all times, he wanted her with him now, so badly that he saw her in front of him, there, in Lara's quarters, laughing, hair and eyes shining. Her eyes were clear amber glass, nothing hidden, so that he could see right down to the bottom of them, just as on their honeymoon he had looked down through the warm celery waters off HoVanKai and seen minnows nibbling his feet. He had always read those eyes: seen the joy in them each day when she greeted him, seen the pain when their infant daughter died. He could bear his own sorrow, but he could not bear the grief in Reiko's eyes. Even then, it had seemed she still loved him.

Reiko's image stopped laughing. Against his will, he saw the time she had faced him with those sweet eyes—a memory more painful to him than the day the child died—and he had seen nothing at all. Nothing for him, just a new, strange deadness that made him want to cry out when he saw it.
How have I failed you?
he asked.
What have I done? What have I forgotten to do?

Nothing, the image whispered, and those beautiful crystal eyes generated cold so fierce it took his breath away. There was someone else, he knew instantly, someone else.
Nothing you've done.

It had always been so with the evil in his life. Nothing he had done, and yet the evil never ceased coming. He had been a model son, a model student, a model husband and worker, for his own part inflicting grief on no one, yet it always managed to find him. First the loss of his mother, then a different loss in Reiko and now, to be forced to kill—and die, all for nothing he had done.

His right hand gripped the scalpel so tightly that the skin above the knuckles paled to the color of the bone beneath. He hardly realized that he was still holding it, that he had clutched it tightly through the long fitful night. He was knotted with the need for revenge, for his mother, for himself but there could be no retribution for him. For his mother, perhaps, if he died quietly. It was for her sake that he would consider it.

In his office there was an old holo of his parents, taken long ago when his mother was alive. He wanted to see it again so badly that he physically ached, but there was no chance of that. He stared at the dark red back of his eyelids and summoned it from memory as best he could. His father appeared first, olive-skinned and proud, back when he still had a full head of dark hair. Next to him stood his Japanese wife, as delicate and slender as her husband was thick-boned and coarse. Yoshi's father had changed when she died, become morose and brooding, and Yoshi had grown up constantly reminded of her absence. His father had never quite forgiven himself and Yoshi for living.

BOOK: Bloodthirst
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