(written from a Production point of view)
The third of three novels focusing on six civilizations, Book Three focuses on the Ferengi and the Dominion.
- 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.
- FERENGINAR: Quark's profit-driven homeworld is rocked with scandal as shocking allegations involving his brother's first wife, the mother of Nog, threaten to overthrow Rom as Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance. Making matters worse, Quark has been recruited by Rom's political adversaries to join their coup d'état, with guarantees of all Quark ever dreamed if they succeed in taking his brother down. While Ferenginar's future teeters on the edge, the pregnancy of Rom's current wife, Leeta, takes a difficult turn for both mother and child.
- THE DOMINION: Since its defeat in the war for the Alpha Quadrant, the Great Link – the living totality of the shape-shifting Founders – has struggled with questions. At its moment of greatest doubt, its fate, and that of the Dominion itself, is tied to Odo's investigation of his kind's true motives for sending a hundred infant changelings out into the galaxy.
- As Odo searches for answers and takes a hard look at his past choices, Taran'atar reaches a turning point in his own quest for clarity... one from which there may be no going back.
Satisfaction not guaranteed (Ferenginar)
Quark is contacted by one Ferengi named Chek, CEO of Chek pharmaceuticals. He and some friends want to restore the old Ferengi as it used to be before Rom became Grand Nagus. They want Quark to join them; Quark resists, but finally decides to go to Ferenginar; he has Ro Laren come with him, as well as Nog.
Rom has some difficulties in ruling Ferenginar - and additionally, his wife Leeta is about to give birth to their child, but the pregnancy is difficult because of the big Ferengi head of the child. Leeta ultimately has to go to a hospital. Due to Rom's difficulties, Ishka is with him and helps him, breaking her holiday with Zek on Risa.
The conspirators around Chek also convince Brunt to join them - and it is he who comes up with the claim that Rom, the Grand Nagus himself, has broken a contract - the marriage contract with his first wife, Prinadora. While Rom is not sure whether this could be true or not, Quark does not believe so. He hires Leck to break into the Glat Archive, a place where all Ferengi contracts are stored. Leck manages to steal the original marriage contract, and Quark and his friends are able to prove that Brunt lied. Brunt is expelled from the Economic Congress, but later teams up with Gaila, who, also aiding the conspiracy, tried to bring the former Grand Nagus Zek on their side - together, they are up to new business...
Meanwhile, Nog visits his mother Prinadora, only to find out that she is a "true" Ferengi female - she barely remembers him and is not able to talk about anything but meaningless smalltalk. Nog leaves, sad, but acknowledges that his mother was raised that way by her father, Dav.
Ro, who accompanied Quark to Ferenginar, definitively decides that she does not like this humid planet - and she also makes clear to Quark that she wants their relationship to be a platonic friendship, not more.
Finally, Leeta gives birth to Bena, daughter to the Grand Nagus - and with Rom restored fully to power, the reforms on Ferenginar can go on.
Olympus Descending (The Dominion)
On the world of the Founders, Odo observes a new light in the sky - obviously a supernova or something similar. He feels some excitement in the Great Link, and finally understands why: The Founders believe that the Progenitor, a deity they believe in, has returned. It is then that Odo learns from another, old Changeling called Indurane, that Changelings cannot procreate - and that the Hundred Changelings were sent out in order to get the Progenitor back to the Founders.
When Odo, Laas and some other Changelings use a Jem'Hadar vessel (which is lead by the new clone of Weyoun) to travel to the light spot in the sky, they finally find Changeling DNA - and it turns out what they have found are the remains of a recently killed, very big Changeling. It also becomes clear that it has been killed by the Ascendants - the race that hunts down the Founders.
The Changelings of the great link are heavily disturbed when they learn that the being of which they believe is the Progenitor, is dead - and see no meaning in their lives any more. One after another, they leave their homeworld, leaving essentially Odo and Laas as "The Dominion"...
Meanwhile, Taran'atar has asked to visit the female Changeling - who is imprisoned on Ananke Alpha, a Federation high-security prison. He has recently become more and more restless, and has heavy doubts about the mission Odo sent him on. He hopes that the female Changeling can relieve him - but she has no desire to speak with him, and even worse, she tells him that she is by no means a god.
Heavily disturbed and frustrated, Taran'atar returns to DS9 - and finally, out of his anger, destroys his whole quarter. When Ro and Kira, alarmed by the violent outbreaks that showed up on their scanners, go to seek Taran'atar, he finally accepts that he has failed Odo; and with a clear thought on what to do next, he shoots Ro and injures Kira very badly - then, he shrouds and leaves.
- Brunt is no longer serving the FCA, but has teamed up with Gaila.
- Leeta has given birth to Bena, a Bajoran-Ferengi baby.
- When Odo and the female Changeling joined (see DS9: "Behind the Lines"), Odo later also slept with her, in order to show her how solids experience intimacy.
- The Great Link is dissolved - all the Founders have left their home planet, leaving only Odo and Laas behind.
- The female Changeling is kept in a high-security Federation prison on Ananke Alpha.
- Taran'atar abandons his duties, and in the process of departing Deep Space 9, critically – perhaps fatally – injures Kira and Ro.
- The Ascendants were previously encountered in the novel Rising Son.
- 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.
Satisfaction not guaranteed
- Barkeeper and Ferengi ambassador on Bajor
- Grand Nagus
- wife of Rom
- Son of Rom, chief engineer on DS9
- Former FCA member
- Quark's cousin
- Ro Laren
- Security officer on DS9
- Mother of Quark and Rom and lover of Zek
- Former Grand Nagus
- Zek's son, now Rom's aide
- an eliminator
- First wife of Rom, mother of Nog
- Orion female, dabo girl in Quark's Bar
- Dabo boy in Quark's Bar
- Changeling, one of the Hundreds
- another changeling, also one of the Hundreds
- Female Changeling
- leader of the Dominion during the Dominion war; now imprisoned by the Federation
- Kira Nerys
- Captain on DS9
- Ro Laren
- Chief of Security on DS9
- Jem'Hadar warrior on assignment on DS9 by orders of Odo
- USS Brahmaputra
- DS9 runabout
- USS Yolja (NCC-75353)
- DS9 runabout
- USS Mjolnir
- Norway-class starship
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