(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Gabriel Bell (April 24, 1987 – September 3, 2024) was a resident of Sanctuary District A in San Francisco on Earth, in the year 2024. He was a key figure in what came to be known as "the Bell Riots" during that time. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I", "Past Tense, Part II")
During the riots, Bell was one of the residents who held a number of hostages in the District's Processing Center, and protected them from harm. During that time, Bell was able to gain access to the Interface, allowing hundreds of residents to transmit their stories to the outside world. Later, due to rumors that the hostages had been killed, a SWAT team raided the processing center, killing a number of the hostage-takers, including Bell. After it was discovered that the hostages had come to no harm, public opinion regarding the Sanctuary Districts began to change. Bell's sacrifice made the Bell Riots one of the watershed events of the 21st century and led to the closure of the Sanctuary Districts across the United States of America.
In 2371, Starfleet officers Benjamin Sisko, Jadzia Dax, and Julian Bashir were transported back in time due to a transporter accident. After Sisko and Bashir were placed in District A, they came under attack by other residents. Seeing the incident, Bell attempted to help Sisko and Bashir, but was stabbed to death in the process. This change to history resulted in an alternate timeline that the crew of the USS Defiant were able to observe in the future because the ship had been protected from the changes by a subspace bubble. In this new timeline, Starfleet apparently did not exist, and Romulan transmissions were detected in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri.
Later, after realizing the implications that Bell's death would have on the timeline, Sisko chose to take his place, introducing himself to the other hostage-takers as Gabriel Bell. In that capacity, he ensured that none of the hostages were harmed, and managed to gain access to the Interface so the residents could tell their story (although he required the aid of interface tech mogul Christopher Brynner, whereas Bell had done it on his own). When the SWAT team raided the processing center, Sisko was shot while protecting a guard. After the riots were over, a sympathetic guard agreed to let Sisko go and informed the authorities that Bell had died in the raid. The Starfleet officers were later able to return to their own time period.
Upon returning to their own time, Sisko and Bashir found that historical records regarding Gabriel Bell depicted Sisko's image. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I", "Past Tense, Part II") This image was also displayed in Nog's information on Earth history. He noticed Bell's resemblance to Sisko and showed the image to his father Rom and uncle Quark. The latter dismissed it, claiming that "all hew-mons look alike." (DS9: "Little Green Men")
The content of the historical text read:
- "Known as the Father of Earth's Post-Modern Reformism, Bell galvanized the people and government of the United States of America when he led an uprising in San Francisco's Sanctuary District "A." Besides arranging for food and medical supplies for the hostages, Bell was able to establish a wide broadcast data link through the planetary communications system, "Interface." Through this broadcast, residents of Sanctuary District talk of their day-to-day struggle to survive. Bell was [...] by National Guard troops as they attempted to reach the hostages."