(written from a Production point of view)
A devastating attack shatters the peace in the Alpha Quadrant, as religious tensions and political upheavals envelop Bajor.
- From the book jacket
- In the aftermath of a war that brought the Alpha Quadrant to the brink of destruction, Starbase Deep Space 9 – the galaxy's nexus of scientific and military intrigue – is once more the flashpoint of impending Armageddon as a surprise attack cripples the station, killing hundreds and threatening the fragile new peace.
- Colonel Kira Nerys and the survivors – together with several controversial new officers – are all who stand against the outbreak of a new war and a terrible doom tied to the unborn child of Captain Benjamin Sisko.
- Elsewhere, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the starship Enterprise make a startling discovery... one that will affect the destiny of an entire civilization and forever change the lives of those aboard Deep Space 9.
Three months after "What You Leave Behind"...
The Enterprise discovers an abandoned Cardassian freighter in the Badlands. On the Enterprise, the Starfleet veteran Commander Elias Vaughn is traveling along; he forms part of a team that rescues the Bajoran "Orb of Memories" from the freighter. All members of the away-team have orb-experiences – Commander Vaughn amongst them. He later discovers that Ben Sisko was part of his experience, but does not know what this means. Picard decides to visit Deep Space 9 and to bring the orb there.
Meanwhile, the discovery of an old text on B'Hala changes a lot – the old text not only contains a prophecy of an "Avatar", obviously referring to the still unborn child of Benjamin Sisko and Kasidy Yates, but also a prophecy about the son of the Emissary searching for his father and returning with him. As he reads the text, Jake decides to head for the wormhole and return his father, but tells no one about his plans – not even Quark, whose shuttle he buys for this mission.
The text also causes trouble aboard DS9, when a Prylar is murdered. Newly assigned security chief Ro Laren, who has some troubles adapting to DS9 and especially getting along with the new CO, Kira Nerys, is assigned with investigation and finally finds the old book hidden somewhere on DS9. She discovers that the book's prophecies all have come true until now, and she also reads that before the Avatar is born, 10,000 people will die.
The arrival of one Vedek Yevir Linjarin apparently has something to do with the book – he is on some secret mission, obviously to find and to destroy the "book of obscenities".
DS9's troubles are not limited to Yevir's arrival; the station is suddenly attacked by some Jem'Hadar ships – a disaster, since the station has not enough personnel and is heavily under repair, as is the USS Defiant. The attackers can finally be overwhelmed, but at what cost? Newly assigned second-in-command, commander Tiris Jast, is killed, and a whole starship, the Aldebaran, is destroyed. And the station was on the edge of being destroyed, too – only the sudden arrival of another Jem'Hadar ship which attacks the other ones and thus helping the Deep Space 9 crew prevents this from happening. Later, a Jem'Hadar soldier, Third Kitana'klan, is discovered aboard Deep Space 9 – he claims that he was sent by Odo to assist Kira, and he also says that it was his crew who helped wiping out the attacking Jem'Hadar, and that the attackers were some renegades, not acting according to the will of the Founders.
- The book also explores the evolving relationship between some of the new (and old) main characters, including Julian Bashir and Ezri Dax, whose relationship is in some sort of troubles; newly-assigned Andorian science officer, Ensign Thirishar "Shar" ch'Thane, and Nog; and finally, Quark and Ro, who seem to get along quite well.
- This book marks the first installment of the "Relaunch" series, following events aboard the station after the final episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "What You Leave Behind".
- The beginning of the book features an extensive chronology detailing events up to the end of the Deep Space Nine series.
- Kira Nerys is now in charge of the station; several positions were newly assigned, including first officer, science officer, security officer, and chief of operations.
- B'hala is listed on the title page as the location of one of Pocket Books' offices.
- Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in Pocket DS9 characters.
Regular and recurring characters
- Kira Nerys
- Bajoran colonel, commander of Deep Space 9
- Thirishar ch'Thane at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Andorian science officer
- Prynn Tenmei at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Flight controller on USS Defiant
- Tiris Jast at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- DS9's Bolian first officer and commander of USS Defiant. Killed during the Jem'Hadar attack.
- Julian Bashir
- Chief medical officer
- Ro Laren
- Bajoran lieutenant, chief of security
- Ezri Dax
- Chief of operations
- Sam Bowers at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Tactical officer
- Jake Sisko
- Son of the Emissary
- Kasidy Yates
- Wife of the Emissary, carrying his baby
- Kitana'klan at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Jem'Hadar third apparently sent by Odo
- Jean-Luc Picard
- Starfleet captain
- Elias Vaughn at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Starfleet veteran
- William Ross
- Starfleet admiral
- Lieutenant of Ross' aboard Cerberus
- Turo Ane
- USS Cerberus
- Prometheus-class Federation starship, under the command of Admiral Ross
- USS Tamberlaine
- Federation starship, former wartime assignment of Ensign ch'Thane
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