Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Vaughn and the crew of the Defiant pursue Taran'atar into Cardassian space, while Kira and Ro lie near death on Deep Space 9.


From the book jacket
They were created to be killing machines. Highly intelligent, resourceful, and deceptively complex, the Jem'Hadar are a species engineered for war and programmed at the genetic level for one purpose: to fight until death as soldiers of the sprawling stellar empire known as the Dominion. No Jem'Hadar has ever lived thirty years, and not even their masters, the shape-shifting Founders, know what such a creature is capable of becoming were it to be freed of its servitude.
One Founder, however, has dared to wonder.
Appointed by Odo himself to learn peaceful coexistence aboard Deep Space 9, Taran'atar, an Honored Elder among the Jem'Hadar, had for months been a staunch, if conflicted, ally to the crew of the station, ever struggling to understand the mission on which he was sent... until something went horrifically wrong.
Consumed by self-doubt and an ever-growing rage, Taran'atar has lashed out against those he was sworn to aid. While Captain Kira Nerys and Lieutenant Ro Laren both lie near death aboard Deep Space 9, their assailant has taken a hostage and fled into Cardassian space, pursued by Commander Elias Vaughn on the USS Defiant. But as the hunt unfolds, Taran'atar's true objective becomes increasingly less certain, as the rogue Jem'Hadar leads the Defiant to a discovery even more shocking than his crime.

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Taran'atar's escape Edit

After wounding and incapacitating Ro Laren and severely injuring Kira Nerys, Taran'atar escapes from the station by capturing the runabout Euphrates; because Prynn Tenmei is in there practicing, he takes her hostage. When the crew of DS9 discovers this, Elias Vaughn immediately pursues them with the Defiant. Taran'atar manages to trick him, making him believe he has killed his own daughter, and escapes with a Klingon smuggler ship; after a while, the Defiant catches the signatures of the ship and continues the pursuit. Meanwhile, Prynn tries to sabotage the ships, but she does not succeed; ultimately, she ends up in chains. Taran'atar is heavily disturbed and haunted by images – images of people he knew, and also images of her face.

On DS9, Nog and Bashir find out that Taran'atar was possibly mind-controlled by some messages he received; they ultimately find out that he is heading for Harkoum – an old Cardassian prison site, now overseen by the Romulans.

Vaughn and the Defiant's crew ultimately manage to almost catch Taran'atar, but he escapes at the last minute. At least, Vaughn learns that Prynn is still alive. They reunite and barely manage to escape from the prison, which is self-destructing. They meet the mirror universe's version of Iliana Ghemor, who tells about the danger posed by Iliana of our universe.

The alternate universe Edit

While it seemed that Intendant Kira was behind Taran'atar's "abduction", when he finally meets her, another Kira Nerys joins them – the Intendant thinks it's the real Kira, but it is Iliana Ghemor, now looking like a Bajoran. She kills the Intendant, and it then becomes clear that it was her who was influencing Taran'atar.

Kira and Ro Edit

Bashir manages to save both Kira and Ro; Ro has severe injuries in her back, but he can save her and her ability to move and to walk. Kira gets an artificial heart; while the women are in surgery and later on asleep in the sickbay, Quark watches over Ro – and Benjamin Sisko arrives to watch over Kira. Both awake and will be fully restored.

Kira's near-death experience Edit

While in coma, Kira suddenly finds herself in the Celestial Temple, where the Prophets take the forms of many people she knew, including Jadzia Dax, Tora Ziyal, Bareil Antos, Shakaar Edon, Kira Taban, and Aamin Marritza. She learns that she has to "set the hand upon the path", but does not fully understand.

She then finds herself in the ancient Bajor as a general – trying to defend a fortress against an army of the Ascendants. However, it takes a long time to convince the inhabitants of the fortress – the Ea'voq, that she is on the same side as they are. When she "dies" in this vision of the old Bajor, she is back in the Celestial Temple – and finally understands; she is "the hand" of the prophets, and apparently they want her to defend the temple against the Ascendants.

Background informationEdit


  • Warpath won Psi Phi's Best Star Trek novel cover of 2006. Marco Palmieri said "I recall thinking that I wanted Taran'atar to appear dangerous and vulnerable at the same time. To that end, I had the idea of him looking really pissed off as he stared back at the reader through crosshairs. We went with an amber wash over the whole thing because that was the color we'd established for Jem'Hadar blood."
  • Empire Magazine recommended Warpath in a 2013 article on Star Trek literature. [1]


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.
Kira Nerys 
Bajoran Starfleet captain in command of Deep Space 9.
Ro Laren 
Bajoran Starfleet lieutenant serving as Deep Space 9 security chief.
Jem'Hadar elder.
Elias Vaughn 
Starfleet commander assigned as Defiant captain and Deep Space 9 first officer, father of Prynn Tenmei.
Prynn Tenmei 
Chief helmsman of the USS Defiant and Commander Vaughn's daughter.
Ferengi Starfleet lieutenant assigned as chief of operations.
Ezri Dax 
Trill Starfleet lieutenant assigned as Vaughn's executive officer.
Julian Bashir 
genetically enhanced Starfleet lieutenant commander assigned as Deep Space 9 CMO.
Benjamin Sisko 
Starfleet captain, former CO of DS9, who recently returned to this realm from the Bajoran wormhole's entrance to the Celestial Temple.
Simon Tarses 
Starfleet medical officer.
Opaka Sulan 
Former kai of Bajor.
Kurn (mirror) 
See also: Kurn
Kira Nerys (mirror) 
Intendant of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance
Iliana Ghemor 
Cardassian look-alike of Kira Nerys
Iliana Ghemor (mirror) 
murderer of Intendant Kira


Alpha Quadrant; Bajor; Bajoran; Deep Space 9; Cardassian; Chalna; Chalnoth; Defiant, USS; Dominion; Dominion War; Eris; Ferengi; Rules of Acquisition; Founder; Gre'thor; Klingon; Jem'Hadar; mirror universe; Nausicaan; Odo; Obsidian Order; Panora; Romulan; sickbay; Starfleet; Starfleet Medical; Tiburonian; Trill; United Federation of Planets; Vorta; Vulcan; warbird

External linksEdit

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Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: #3: The Dominion and Ferenginar Pocket DS9
Relaunch series
Fearful Symmetry

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