(written from a Production point of view)
In the aftermath of the death of Intendant Kira Nerys in the mirror universe, Iliana Ghemor makes her next move.
- From the book jacket
- A surprising tale of doubles, secret pasts, and alternate realities. In our universe, a Cardassian sleeper agent – Iliana Ghemor – was once surgically altered to resemble and replace Bajoran resistance fighter Kira Nerys. That plan never reached fruition, and the fate of the agent remained unknown... until now.
- Robbed of the past sixteen years, and on the brink of madness, Iliana is back with a vengeance. She has already made one attempt on the real Kira's life, and the heroes of Deep Space Nine must now stop the false Kira without derailing the delicate flow of history that must unfold if two universes, and countless others are to survive.
During an Orb experience, Benjamin Sisko learns that every universe has its own version of himself - its own version of the Emissary of the Prophets. The Prophets want the Emissary to discover the Bajoran wormhole in every universe. As the mirror universe's version of Sisko has apparently only faked his own death, the Prophets ask Ben to go look for him and have him discover the wormhole.
On Deep Space 9, Kira Nerys speaks to the mirror universe's version of Iliana Ghemor - and finds out that the counterpart of this our universe, Iliana Ghemor herself, is still a lookalike of Kira, i.e. altered to look Bajoran. She apparently lost her mind and killed Intendant Kira, as she is obsessed with the thought that she is the only person to have the right to bear that name. The mirror Iliana offers her help to stop this madness.
Kira and her crew start to trust mirror Iliana only slowly - but after investigations of all of Cenn Deska, Ro Laren, who still suffers heavily from the attack on her by Taran'atar, and Quark discover that Kira indeed had been to Elemspur Detention Center during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor - and that her memories there must have been transferred to Iliana.
After having established a com-link to Smiley O'Brien, in which his rebel-group is warned about Iliana, the link is broken and Iliana herself appears on screen, still looking exactly as Kira Nerys, threatening that she will kill Kira. Kira and Elias Vaughn manage to beam to the mirror universe - to stop Iliana and her madness.
Unknown to the others, Vaughn is on a secret mission of Sisko's - he is to discover the mirror Ben Sisko in order to establish the discovery of the wormhole also in the mirror universe.
While attending a military ceremony with her parents, Tekeny Ghemor and Kaleen Ghemor, Iliana Ghemor meets with her childhood friend Ataan Rhukal, to which she seems attracted. At the ceremony, she also notices the presence of a mysterious man named Corbin Entek; Skrain Dukat and his cousin Akellen Macet are also present. She immediately hates Dukat for his words about Bajor and how to treat the Bajorans.
Soon after, she and Ataan become a couple, but finally, he has to leave for Bajor, serving as a security guard. Entek then first approaches Iliana to ask whether she wants to join the Obsidian Order - an offer she angrily refuses.
Iliana receives letters from Ataan, depicting the situation on Bajor. First, he seems to be pleased by the progress he makes - but only until terrorist attacks increase and he struggles to understand the underlying reasons.
Finally, her father tells Iliana that Ataan has died in one of these attacks. It is then when Iliana leaves the art school where she studied and decides to really become an agent of the Obsidian Order.
In the next two years, Iliana undergoes a heavy agent training. During the last days, she kills her first victim - believing she is in a simulation.
After the training, Iliana gets to know her mission - she is to infiltrate the Bajoran resistance by replacing a Bajoran resistance fighter named Kira Nerys. She learns that her memory will be "wiped away" (but still will be restored after the assignment) and she will be implanted with Kira's memories. She agrees to take the mission, knowing that she will not be herself for two years.
However, after having been surgically altered and implanted with Kira's memories, she is held captive by Dukat, serving as a mere slave to him.
During the last days of the Dominion War, Kira/Iliana, almost destroyed by Dukat's cruel slavery, finally manages to flee from the prison. Together with the Kressari Shing-kur, the Tellarite Zhag and the Romulan Telal, she manages to escape - but finds out slowly in the process that she is not Kira Nerys, because she discovers files of the Obsidian Order's training in the prison's computer system. And finally she regains all of her memories - being split between the resistance fighter Kira Nerys and the agent of the Obsidian Order, Iliana Ghemor, and obsessed with the thought that she is the only person to bear the name Kira Nerys.
- Intendant Kira was killed by this universe's Iliana Ghemor - who is alive, clearly insane, and still looking like Kira. The mirror version of Iliana is trying to stop her.
- The prophets are aware of the mirror universes - there is an Emissary in every universe, and it's always Ben Sisko. For unknown reasons, the prophets want the Emissary to discover the wormhole in every universe.
- The title of this novel comes from a line in William Blake's poem "The Tyger".
- The novel is in a "flip" format – the book has two covers, and the story is separated into two parts, one from the "front" to the middle, the other from the "back" to the middle.
- It was announced that this novel would also have formed part of the Star Trek: Mirror Universe series of novels. However, the cover as published does not carry the Mirror Universe title.
- Fearful Symmetry was originally scheduled to be released in April 2007. It was then pushed back to August after a reshuffling of the 2007 release schedule, before being announced as being delayed in May 2007. At the Shore Leave convention in July 2007, the novel was announced as being scheduled for July 2008, with Leanna Morrow being replaced as author by Olivia Woods.
- A comment made by Corbin Entek in this novel states that Gul Danar has similar morphologies as some Humans, Klingons, and Romulans (i.e. he looks like people of those species). This is in reference to the fact that Vaughn Armstrong (who played Gul Danar) has played characters of those species through Star Trek history.
- 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
- Captain of Deep Space 9
- Iliana Ghemor (mirror)
- On a mission to stop Iliana Ghemor from our universe
- Elias Vaughn
- First officer of Deep Space 9 and Commander of the USS Defiant
- Benjamin Sisko
- Starfleet captain, returned from the Prophets and currently off-duty
- Ro Laren
- Security chief of Deep Space 9
- Ezri Dax
- First officer of the USS Defiant
- Julian Bashir
- Chief medical officer of Deep Space 9
- Simon Tarses
- A doctor on Julian Bashir's staff
- Chief of operations on Deep Space 9 and chief engineer of the USS Defiant
- Former tailor and agent of the Obsidian Order, now on Cardassia, working on the rebuilding of the Cardassian society
- Prynn Tenmei
- Chief helmsman of the USS Defiant and Commander Vaughn's daughter
- Orion dabo girl employed at Quark's
- Bartender on Deep Space 9 and Ferengi ambassador to Bajor
- Kasidy Yates
- Benjamin Sisko's wife
- Cenn Deska
- Deep Space 9's liaison officer to the Bajoran Militia
- Odo (mentioned)
- A Founder who sent Taran'atar to the Alpha Quadrant to learn about peace and cooperation
- Taran'atar (mentioned)
- A Jem'Hadar who seriously injured Captain Kira and Lieutenant Ro
- Iliana Ghemor
- A Cardassian Obsidian Order agent, surgically altered to look like Kira some 15 years ago
- Skrain Dukat
- Prefect on Terok Nor during the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor
- Corbin Entek
- An agent of the Obsidian Order
- Tekeny Ghemor
- Iliana's father
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