In the midst of the Dominion War, the stage is set for a final apocalyptic confrontation between the Prophets and the Pah-Wraiths: immeasurably powerful alien entities that exist outside of linear time. Bajor is in falmes. The corridors of Terok Nor echo with the sound of battle. It is the end of the Cardassian Occupation -- and the beginning of the greatest epic adventure in the annals of Deep Space Nine. Six years later a secret which has remained hidden since the Cardassian withdrawal is revealed for the first time and Captain Benjamin Sisko must face the most dangerous challenge of his career: unless he can gain the secret of the fabled lost Orb of the Prophets, what began with the fall of Terok Nor will end with the destruction of Deep Space Nine -- or worse. Plunged into a nightmare in which the Pah-wraiths have triumphed and linear time no longer exists, Sisko and his crew have one slim chance to avert a cosmic disaster. They must return to Deep Space Nine -- but when? On the day of the Cardassian withdrawal from Terok Nor, or on the day, six years later, when Deep Space Nine was destroyed? Which choice will lead to the triumph of the Prophets, and which to eternal victory for the Pah-wraiths? For Sisko to change the past and restore the present, he must be prepared to make the final sacrifice: his future...The three volumes which make up the Millennium Omnibus are Book One: The Fall of Terok Nor, Book Two: War of the Prophets and Book Three: Inferno.
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Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens are a well-known science fiction writing team. They are the co-authors of William Shatner's bestselling Star Trek novels and their other bestsellers include the reference books The Art of Star Trek and The Next Generation: The Continuing Mission.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
On this day, like a beast with talons extended to claw through space itself, the Station stalked Bajor one final time.
Viewed from high above, from orbit, the dark, curved docking arms angled sharply downward, as if gouging the planet's surface to leave bloodred wounds of flame. And from each blazing gash of destruction, wave after wave of ships lifted from the conquerors' camps and garrisons, on fiery, untempered columns of full fusion exhaust.
As those ships exploded upward through the planet's smoke-filled atmosphere, the sonic booms of their passing were like the echo of the death-screams of the ravished world they left behind. The jewel-like sparkle of the departing ships' thrusters like the glittering tears of that world's lost gods.
On this day, on this world, sixty years of butchery and brutality had at last come to an end.
But on the dark station that was Terok Nor, with viewports that flashed with phaser bursts and shimmered with the fire of its own inner destruction, there was still far worse to come.
On this day, the Day of Withdrawal, the Cardassians were leaving. But they had not left yet...
Held within the cold and patient silence of space, the Promenade of Terok Nor itself was a tumultuous pocket universe of heat and noise and confusion.
The security gates that had bisected its circular path had by now collapsed, twisted by hammers and wirecutters and the frantically grasping hands of slaves set free. Glowing restraint conduits that once had bound the gates now cracked and sparked and sent strobing flashes into the dense blue haze that choked the air, still Cardassian-hot.
Hull plates resonated with the violent release of multiple, escaping shuttles and ships. A thrumming wall of sound sprang up as departing soldiers phasered equipment too heavy to steal.
Decks shook as rampaging looters forced internal doors and shattered windows. Among the empty shelves of the Chemist's shop, a Bajoran lay dying, Cardassian blood on his hands, Cardassian bootprints on his back, his collaboration with the enemy no guarantee of safety in the madness of this day.
Turbolifts whined and ladders rattled against their moorings. Officers shouted hoarse commands. Soldiers cursed their victims. In counterpoint, a calm recorded voice recited the orders of the day. "Attention, all biorganic materials must be disposed of according to regulations. Attention...."
But on this day, the only response to that directive was the desperate, high-pitched shriek of a Ferengi in fear for his life. And in fear for good reason.
Quark the barkeep kicked and fought and shrieked again, as the Cardassian soldiers, safe in their scarred, hard-edged armor, dragged him from his bar, soiling and tearing his snug multicolored jacket.
Quark opened his eyes just long enough to recognize the scowling officer, Datar, a glinn, who waited for him with a coil of ODN cable. In the same quick glimpse, he saw the antigrav lifter from a cargo bay bobbing in the air nearby; he heard the soldiers as they mockingly chanted the last words he would hear before he stood at the doors of the Divine Treasury to give a full accounting of his life --
"Dabo! Dabo! Dabo!"
Yet even as he faced his last minute of existence, Quark still couldn't help automatically tallying the damages each time he heard a crash from his establishment as the Cardassian forces laid waste to it.
A sudden blow slammed Quark to the Promenade deck, and a quick, savage kick from a heavy leather boot forestalled any thought of escape.
But even as he cried out in pain, Quark wondered if his brother and nephew had made it to a shuttle, and if the Cardassians had found his latinum floor vault. He gasped in shock as he felt Glinn Datar's rough hand claw at the sensitive lobes of his right ear, the violation forcing him to his feet. In the same terrible moment, Quark found himself wondering just why it was Cardassians always had such truly disgusting breath.
"Quark!" the glinn growled at him. "You have no idea how it pains me to take my leave of you."
"All good things," Quark muttered as waves of incredible pain radiated from his crushed right ear lobe and across his skull and neck.
Datar's swift, expert punch to the center of his stomach doubled Quark over, his lips gaping in vain for even a mouthful of air.
"Relax, Quark," the glinn hissed, reaching out for Quark's earlobe again. "It's not necessary for you to speak -- ever again!"
Quark felt himself hauled up until he stared right into Datar's narrowed eyes. He felt his poor earlobe throb painfully, already starting to swell.
"My men and I are going to make this a real farewell." The glinn nodded once and Quark felt huge hands forcibly secure his shoulders and arms from behind. Datar addressed his soldiers as if reading from a proclamation. "Quark of Terok Nor, you miserable mound of sluk scum: For the crime of rigging your dabo table, for the crime of watering your drinks, short-timing the holosuites, inflating tabs, and...most of all for the crime of being a Ferengi...I sentence you to death!"
Incredulous, Quark tried to plead his innocence, but his rasping exhortations were drowned out by the cheers of the surrounding soldiers. He tried to blurt out the combination of his floor vault, the shuttle access codes Rom and Nog were going to use to escape, even made-up names of resistance fighters, but the sharp cutting pressure of the ODN cable Glin Datar suddenly wrapped around his neck ended any chance he had of saying a word. Even the squeak that escaped him then registered as little more than a soon-to-be-dead man's choked-off wheeze.
Eyes bulging, each racing heartbeat thundering in his cavernous ear tunnels, Quark could only watch as two soldiers hooked the other end of the thick cable to the grappler on the cargo antigrav.
Datar slammed his hand on the antigrav's control and the meter-long device bucked up a few centimeters, steadied itself, then rose smoothly and slowly and inexorably, trailing cable until it passed the Promenade's second level.
The cable snapped taut against Quark's neck, yanking him at last from the grip of the soldiers who had held him. Kicking frantically, he felt a boot fly free. He grimaced in embarrassment as he realized his toes were sticking through the holes worn in his foot wrappings. Hadn't his moogie told him to always wear fresh underclothes?
Even Quark knew that was a foolish thought to have, especially at the moment in which he was drawing his last breath. His fingers scrabbled at the cable around his neck, but it was too tight and in too many layers for him to change the pressure.
Dimly through the pounding that now filled his head, Quark could hear the soldiers' laughter and hooting. Even as his vision darkened, he raged at himself for having failed to predict how quickly the end of the Occupation would come.
He had seen the signs, discussed it with his suppliers. Another month, he had concluded, perhaps two. Time enough to profit from the Cardassian soldiers being shipped out, eager to convert their Bajoran "souvenirs" to more easily transportable latinum. He had even already booked his passage on a freighter and --
-- Dark stars sparkled at the rapidly shrinking edge of Quark's vision, as he mourned the deposit he had paid to Captain Yates. Just then the roar of something large approaching -- something loud and silent all at the same time -- swallowed the jeers of the Cardassians, and Quark felt himself fall, flooded with shock that he was not ascending to the Divine Treasury but apparently on his way to the Debtors' Dungeon. How could that be possible? He had lived a life of greed and self-absorption. How could he not be rewarded with eternal dividends? He wanted to speak to someone in charge. He wanted to renegotiate the deal. He
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Descrizione libro Star Trek, 2002. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110743442490
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