(written from a Production point of view)
The second of three novels focusing on six civilizations, Book Two focuses on the Trill and the Bajorans.
- From the book jacket
- Within every federation and every empire, behind every hero and every villain, there are the worlds that define them. In the aftermath of Unity and in the daring tradition of Spock's World, The Final Reflection, and A Stitch in Time, the civilizations most closely tied to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine can now be experienced as never before... in tales both sweeping and intimate, reflective and prophetic, eerily familiar and utterly alien.
- TRILL: They are a people with secrets. For centuries they kept their true nature hidden, even taking disturbing steps to protect the small population of near-immortal symbionts with whom a privileged few Trill are joined, body, mind, and soul. They are a people who hold memory to be sacred, yet deny their own past. Now amid a whirlwind of scandal, accusations, and growing civil unrest, Ezri Dax must penetrate millennia of lies and deceptions, and rediscover what should never have been forgotten, before her civilization rips itself apart.
- BAJOR: The honeymoon is over. Following the euphoria of Bajor's marriage to the Federation, the real business of making that union work has begun. But even on a world where politics and religion are intertwined, conflicting visions of Bajor's role in the interstellar arena divide the planet's leadership. As newly minted Captain Kira Nerys sets the tone for the kind of Starfleet officer she will be, First Minister Asarem makes a bold move to define Bajor's voice in the Federation, while the returned Benjamin Sisko prepares for a future that only he, as yet, can see.
Ezri Dax, Julian Bashir, Ro Laren, Cardassian doctor Vlu, and Taran'atar are on an expedition on Minos Korva, as this is likely the place where Shakaar Edon was infected with the parasite. They find no living parasites, but an ancient ceramic shard which is identified as being from a planet called Kurl. Later, they are contacted by Kira Nerys, informing them that Ezri has to fly to the Trill homeworld immediately, as there is political unrest - the (unjoined and joined) population has heard of the parasite crisis and demands answers, and Ezri is to be interviewed about the recent events.
When Ezri, who decided to have Bashir with her, arrives on Trill, things have gotten worse, there are violent outbreaks and demonstrations all over. Ezri and Bashir meet with Hiziki Gard and general Cyl; Ezri is to testify regarding the parasite crisis, but the situation gets even worse when some fanatics detonate neurogenic bombs placed around major buildings, killing hundreds of thousands of joined Trill and unjoined symbionts in their caves. Ezri decides to go to the caves of Mak'ala to search for answers, while Bashir is left to take care for the dozens of Trills injured during the violent demonstrations.
In the caves Ezri meets Ranul Keru, a Guardian - and one of the symbionts makes clear that she has to dive deep into the waters to find answers. She does so, and finally arrives at a place where very large and apparently very old symbionts dwell - the Annuated. These beings absorb the memories of all the symbionts that come here to die, and therefore know everything about the development of Trill society. Ezri encounters, and is nearly overwhelmed by, several stored symbiont memories. At one point, Ezri experiences the first joining of a symbiont (named Sef) twenty-five thousand years before, implanted into an ailing villager's post-birth incubation pouch (which both Trill men and women possess) by a Trill healer named Hodak. Hodak had noticed the synbionts, which he called "riverworms," occasionally riding animals and making them stronger, and hoped the symbiont could do the same for the villager.
Ezri then learns that roughly five thousand years ago Trill was already a race capable of interstellar travel; at some point they reached the planet Kurl, which proved suitable for both hosts and symbionts. For many years, the Trill outpost there grew, but then an unknown virus killed ten percent of the fifteen million colonists. The Trill of Kurl then engaged in a series of genetic experiments to strengthen the symbionts' immune system, but the alterations resulted in mad symbionts that dominated their hosts instead of merging with them. When the Trills on the homeworld learned of this, an armada was launched to quarantine Kurl and secure the parasites' cooperation in finding a cure for the virus and their madness. The Kurl parasites refused to cooperate and attempted to launch four ships from the planet. After destroying the ships, the leader of the Trill armada concluded that the parasites would continue trying to escape and that genocide was the only viable option for safeguarding Trill. Kurl was then bombarded by biogenic and incendiary weapons, and the remaining four million colonists were believed to have been killed. The Trill people, ashamed of the parasites' creation and the genocide, abandoned space travel. Eventually, a massive cover-up of the events led to the space program and the colony of Kurl being forgotten, as records were destroyed and those with knowledge of the situation were murdered.
Meanwhile, Bashir does his best to help treat the casualties of the bombings. The neurogenic energy of the devices drives the symbionts into shock, and all that he and the other doctors can do is to separate them from their hosts - leaving the latter to die while offering the former a chance to survive. Bashir then remembers the medicine developed by Bethan Roa (see DS9: "Invasive Procedures"). Against the advice and resistance of his doctor comrades, Bashir applies the drug to one injured joined Trill - thus being able to separate symbiont and host without having the host to die.
When the caves of Mak'ala are finally attacked by some violent groups, Cyl is fatally shot; he manages to jump into the water, when an unconscious Ezri appears from deep below with a broken environment suit. In one last act of sacrifice, he fixes her suit by taking vital components from his own, and then drifts down to deposit his memories with the Annuated before dying.
Ezri returns and briefs both Bashir and Trill president Maz on what she learned from the Annuated. The president delivers a planet-wide address in which she shares Ezri's discoveries and also reveals that she has undergone Bashir's new procedure to have the Maz symbiont removed and taken back to Mak'ala. The president also states that as she is now unjoined, her surname is no longer Maz but Durghan. Durghan then announces an indefinite moratorium on new joinings, as only ten percent of the symbionts have survived the bombing and they must be given time to breed and increase their numbers. Current hosts have the option of remaining joined until they die, or undergoing the new unjoining procedure; in either case, the symbiont will then be returned to Mak'ala to breed. Finally, President Durghan announces political reforms that will put more power in the hands of the unjoined.
During their flight back to DS9, Bashir and Ezri have some lengthy talks - by the end of which it becomes clear to both of them that, in light of all the recent events, they both have grown and developed - but not in the same direction. They split, ending their relationship, but both promising to remain friends.
Fragments and Omens (Bajor)
While Benjamin Sisko and Kasidy Yates go on living their life on Bajor with their newborn daughter Rebecca, Jake Sisko feels restless. He finally goes away, wandering around Bajor. During his travels, he meets the artist Korena and falls in love with her. After traveling with her to her home city and overcoming obstacles of her former life, the two marry. When Jake introduces Korena to Ben, he recognizes her as Jake's wife from an alternate timeline (see DS9: "The Visitor"). It also becomes clear that Ben knows quite a deal about the future, but he can't express himself properly. Something big is about to come...
On Bajor, a village is completely destroyed (the same village in DS9: "The Storyteller"). Captain Kira Nerys orders to chase the spaceship responsible for the attacks, only to learn that she has been fooled; when the USS Defiant reaches the ship in the Badlands, they are first attacked by Cardassian and Dominion weapons. After beaming on the hostile ship, they find nothing but dead people - and a missing escape pod. On the hostile ship, Hovath was a prisoner of someone he apparently knows - but it remains unclear who she is. Both Hovath and the mysterious woman were not found by Kira's team. Hovath was doing research on the celestial temple, and Ro Laren finally assumes that the enemies were after the orb fragment used to summon the Dal'Rok. It also becomes clear that there must be a mole on DS9, as nobody knew of this and it was only logged in DS9's personal logs of Julian Bashir and Miles O'Brien.
Meanwhile, the political situation around Bajor now being in the Federation begins to emerge; Ro proposes the re-establishment of a permanent militia liaison officer on DS9, and Cenn Deska, a Bajoran major is appointed - although reluctant, he finally accepts. Also, prime minister Asarem Wadeen appoints a new Bajoran representative to the Federation council, as the original one dies due to natural circumstances - it will be her former husband Krim Aldos, a former follower of the Circle (now back for good).
- There will be no more Trill joinings until announced otherwise, because the Trill symbiont population has decreased dramatically; currently joined Trills might be unjoined by means of the procedure initially discovered by Bethan Roa.
- There are big and very old Trill symbionts, the Annuated, dwelling deep within the waters of Trill - accessible by, for example, the caves of Mak'ala.
- The parasites were initially created by Trill medics when they tried to cure a virus that was infecting the symbionts - they failed and furthermore helped the evolving of the symbionts.
- Trill were an interstellar race in very ancient times - due to the horrific events on Kurl, these memories were subsequently "buried" and forgotten.
- Bashir and Ezri are no longer lovers.
- The Trill story completes the neural parasite story that was last seen in TNG: "Conspiracy".
- An unknown ship destroyed the village depicted in DS9: "The Storyteller"
- Ben Sisko knows something about the future, but he can't put it into words.
- Opaka Sulan has no desire to run for the Kai again, but Vedek Solis might.
- Jake Sisko is now married to Korena – she is the one Ben Sisko encountered in an alternate future in the episode "The Visitor".
- 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.
- Ezri Dax
- Julian Bashir
- Dr. Renhol
- Ranul Keru
- Unjoined Trill, serving as Guardian, on leave from Starfleet and formerly assigned to USS Enterprise-E.
- Keru previously appeared in the novel Rogue, where he and Lt. Hawk were possibly the first ongoing homosexual attachment to have appeared in the Star Trek franchise. Keru later became a character in the Star Trek: Titan series, as USS Titan's tactical officer and security officer, though he splits the job with Tuvok in The Red King.
- Hiziki Gard
- joined Trill, special agent who shot parasite-infected Shakaar Edon (see Unity)
- General Taulin Cyl
- joined Trill; the Cyl symbiont was joined with the daughter of Audrid Dax a few decades ago
- Lirisse Maz / Lirisse Durghan
- Trill president
- ancient Trill symbiont; a "caretaker" of the even more ancient, big Trill symbionts (the Annuated)
Fragments and Omens
- Benjamin Sisko
- The emissary
- Kasidy Yates
- The emissary's wife
- Jake Sisko
- The emissary's son, a storyteller
- Korena Sisko
- Jake's wife, an artist
- Kira Nerys
- Captain of DS9
- Ro Laren
- Security officer of DS9
- Elias Vaughn
- COO aboard DS9
- Asarem Wadeen
- Bajoran prime minister
- Lenaris Holem
- Bajoran general
- Krim Aldos
- Former husband of Asarem Wadeen, now Bajoran representative to the Federation council
- Cenn Deska
- Bajoran major, now militia liaison officer on DS9
- Former sirah - unknown whether he is still alive
- USS Nile
- DS9 runabout.
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