- For other uses, see Cardassia.
CARDASSIA: The last world ravaged by the Dominion War is also the last on which Miles O'Brien ever imagined building a life. As he joins in the reconstruction of Cardassia's infrastructure, his wife Keiko spearheads the planet's difficult agricultural renewal. But Cardassia's struggle to remake itself -- from the fledgling democracy backed by Elim Garak to the people's rediscovery of their own spiritual past -- is not without opposition, as the outside efforts to help rebuild its civilization come under attack by those who reject any alien influence.
Miles and Keiko O'Brien are on Cardassia, assisting with a project at Andak to make a barren area fertile. However, although they have the support of Alon Ghemor, many members of the funding committee prefer a similar project at Setekh which has military applications so O'Brien travels to the capital to argue their case.
In his absence, Vedek Yevir visits the project. However, in the middle of his speech to the crowd, Nyra, the teenage daughter of one of the Cardassian scientists, produces a bomb and threatens to detonate it if the government is not disbanded, the Oralian Way banned and all aliens expelled.
O'Brien and Macet head back to Andak to try and resolve the situation. Yevir manages to win Nyra's trust, telling her of how Bajor survived its own occupation, and stops her detonating the bomb when Macet's troops storm the building.
Garak realizes that Nyra has been used as a pawn by the True Way and contacts Legate Korven, a member of the group who he "broke" while working with the Obsidian Order. Korvan tells him another leading member is Entor, an opponent of the Andak Project, and Garak and Ghemor are able to blackmail him into voting with them. Garak also learns that Ghemor's assistant Jartek manufactured the whole incident, feeding Korven and Entor information in order to precipitate a crisis and allow Ghemor to be hailed as a hero for resolving it, and warns him never to try anything without telling him again.
In the rebuilding of Cardassia, Alon Ghemor’s progressive government faces staunch opposition by the old guard Directorate, who don’t want Federation ideals inhibiting Cardassia’s return to former glories. Much of their society is barely surviving, facing disease and limited food and resources while trying to cope with the aftermath of the Dominion’s destruction. Many people are the only members of their family still alive. Keiko O’Brien leads the Andak Project, an effort to revitalize a barren valley into a major source of food. It’s the first step in making Cardassia agriculturally self-sufficient, a solution to the world’s historically greatest deficiency, which drove them to invade other planets. Some hope it will also be the start of a social and cultural revolution, setting their whole society on a new path. While the Andak Project is endorsed by Ghemor, it competes for funding with the Directorate-backed project at Setekh, a quick fix with military applications. Miles travels to the capital to champion Andak to the funding committee while Keiko deals with the politics of administration and tries to build not only a team, but a whole community. Many traditional Cardassians do not mix well with the Federation scientists or even those Cardassians who openly practice the (now-legal, but unpopular) Oralian Way. Professor Tela Maleren leads protests of the public Oralian ceremonies.
Vedek Yevir and a press contingent visit Andak, though his speech to the community is interrupted when Maleren’s teenage daughter, Nyra, threatens to detonate a bomb. Though she claims to be acting alone, she is a voice for the True Way, who believe alien influence pollutes Cardassia and threatens to destroy what little remains of their culture. She calls for the dissolution of Ghemor’s “puppet” government, the outlawing of Oralian lies and superstitions, and the expulsion of all aliens from Cardassian soil. Several people try to reason with Nyra, though Yevir himself—a figurehead of hated alien influence—is the only person to get through to her. He draws parallels between the suffering of Bajor and Cardassia (without reproaching her people) and convinces her that she has more to offer her world than more death and destruction. When Gul Macet’s forces storm the building, Yevir stops her hand from detonating the bomb and stays with her in the hours following the crisis. Tela Maleren reconsiders her hardline stances, distraught that she may have spurred her daughter into the hands of extremists.
Garak, now a top aide to Ghemor, intimidates an old acquaintance into revealing the True Way’s role in the affair; how they infiltrated Andak and misled the vulnerable Nyra into doing their dirty work. He learns of Directorate representative Merak Entor’s connection with the terrorist group, enabling Ghemor to force Entor back in line or risk a scandal. Garak also discovers that Ghemor’s aide Jartek secretly orchestrated the whole event to give Ghemor a very public win; he threatens Jartek not to do it again without consulting the former spy. Andak secures its funding and the O’Briens re-commit themselves to building their community and facing down threats. In the spring, Andak blossoms with unprecedented growth.
- Lamerat Anjen • Charles Drury • Merak Entor • Elim Garak • Alon Ghemor • Jack Emmett • Mev Jartek • Kira Nerys • Korven • Feric Lakhat • Akellen Macet • Nyra Maleren • Tela Maleren • Naithe • Crom Neret • Keiko O'Brien • Kirayoshi O'Brien • Miles O'Brien • Molly O'Brien • Remar • Teris Juze • Yevir Linjarin
- Referenced only
- Julian Bashir • Corat Damar • Skrain Dukat • Ekosha • Odo • Oralius • Shoggoth • Benjamin Sisko • Enabran Tain • Tarinas • Weyoun
- Andak • Andak Mountains • Cardassia • Cardassia City • Cardassian sun • Victory Square
- Referenced only
- Bajor • Deep Space 9 • Earth • Empok Nor • Lakarian City • Sarpedion V • Setekh
Races and cultures
Starships and vehicles
States and organizations
- Andak Project • Cardassian Guard • Cardassian Union • Directorate • Federation News Service • Interstellar Agricultural Aid Commission • Setekh Project • Starfleet • Starfleet Corps of Engineers • Oralian Way • Technological Appropriations Committee • True Way • United Federation of Planets
- Referenced only
- Cardassian Science Academy • Cultural Conservation Committee • Cultural Restoration and Reconstruction Commission • Department of Rhetorical Administration • Obsidian Order • Starfleet Intelligence • Twelfth Order
- aramanth • Attainder • Bajoran religion • Battle of Cardassia • canka nut • Castellan of the Cardassian Union • Dominion War • drokna • enigma tale • gul • holodrama • holosuite • kai • kanar • kotra • legate • meya lily • Occupation of Bajor • pagh • poker • Prime Directive • raktajino • redleaf tea • Relief of Rakantha • School • school bell • temperature modulator • transporter • Tzeka fever • vedek • xenosociology
- This novel was written by Una McCormack. It is the first of two stories in Worlds of Deep Space Nine, Volume One. The second story contained in this book is Andor: Paradigm. McCormack would depict Cardassia again in The Never-Ending Sacrifice, The Crimson Shadow and Enigma Tales.
- The Cardassians at the start and the end of the novel are not identified, although McCormack has called them "The Gentlemen". (Voyages of Imagination)
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