Caution major, MAJOR spoilers ahead!
Throughout the seven years that Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was on the air, Trekkies became accustomed to the Cardassian rust bucket that hung in space, first in orbit of the planet Bajor, then moved to the mouth of the Bajoran Wormhole, otherwise known as the Celestial Temple. We found solace in it. It became a symbol of peace and fierce determination, a guide post to the farthest reaches of the galaxy.
Pocket Books has done an exemplary job of continuing the saga of Deep Space Nine after the conclusion of the TV Series. They have expanded the existing characters, giving them more depth and personality, while at the same time giving us new characters to become attached to, sympathize with, and grieve for when they are ripped away from us.
Aside from the characters we all love (or love to hate), we became attached to other things as well, inanimate objects that we anthropomorphize. The space station Deep Space Nine is one of those things. Much like the USS Enterprise, or the USS Voyager, Deep Space Nine became a central character in the show. The station was designed by Trek Veterans Herman Zimmerman and Rick Sternbach. it was designed to look alien and mysterious, but over the course of the series it became home to its inhabitants, and it became a familiar and comfortable place to millions of fans worldwide. It became vitally important to the Federation during the course of the Dominion War, and many diplomatic ceremonies were held on board. In the DS9 episode Rapture, When Bajor was considering joining the Federation, Admiral Charley Whatley told Captain Sisko to, “Spruce up that floating bicycle wheel of his.”
Originally the station was called, “Terok Nor,” and was an Ore Processing facility in orbit of the planet during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. When it was abandoned by the Cardassians after the withdrawal from Bajor and the end of the occupation, Starfleet came in to run the station and help Bajor rebuild after decades of abuse, rape and the near destruction of their culture.
In some of the latest Star Trek novels, a new power has arisen against the United Federation of Planets. It’s a coalition, a union of some of Starfleet’s fiercest opponents: the Romulans, the Tholians, the Breen, the Gorn, the Kinshaya and the Tzenkethi. All of these powers have previously subscribed to isolationistic, and xenophobic policies have come together and call themselves the Typhon Pact. Look at them kind of like an “Anti-Federation.”
The Typhon Pact formed after the Borg invasion, and by their own admission was inspired by the Federation President Nanietta Bacco when she called on ambassadors from all corners of the quadrants to unite and stand in opposition to the Borg. The members of the pact had no desire to ally with the federation, and instead formed their own system of government.
The Typhon Pact fear the Might of the Federation and it’s Khitomer Accord Allies, the Klingons, the Ferengi and the newly added Cardassians. Starfleet has developed a new kind of propulsion called Quantum Slipstream Drive. With it they can travel much faster than the other powers in the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. In the novel Star Trek Trek Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by David R. George III, the Typhon Pact, after a stealth attack on Utopia Planetia to steal plans for slipstream, set out to steal technology from The Dominion that would enable them to adapt their ships for Slipstream Drive. They do this with the advantage of phasing cloaks first introduced in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Pegasus. This attack kills several Starfleet officers and could ostensibly set off a war between the Federation and the Pact.
President Bacco tries to bring the two galactic super powers together in a summit, and for awhile it looks like these implacable foes might actually work out a diplomatic understanding. They even go so far as to agree to open up trade routes through their space, giving one a glimmer of hope that, much like the Klingons a century earlier, there might be a peaceful future for them all. But all of that is snatched away when the Tal’ Shiar, a secret branch of the Romulan government, use these peaceful overtures as an excuse to violate Federation borders. The Romulan Praetor, Gell Kamemor, is a truly peaceful leader, but those beneath her will have nothing to do with it.
Amongst all of this stealth, drama and political intrigue, a founding member of the United Federation of Planets secedes. They feel betrayed by the Federation because of a perceived withholding of information that threatens the survival of their species. In retaliation, someone plants a series of bombs in the fusion reactor cores of Deep Space Nine.
What ensues is a desperate attempt by the Romulans and the Breen to sneak past Starfleet’s forces at the mouth of the wormhole and escape back to Romulus with the stolen equipment. During the firefight however, the Romulan Ship is destroyed, several other ships are also damaged or destroyed and as a result of the bombs and the battle, Deep Space Nine explodes.
Next time: Deep Space Nine, the Phoenix From the ashes…