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The first of a trilogy covering the Occupation of Bajor, this novel covers the beginning of the Occupation from 2318-2328.

Publisher's description

A seemingly benign visitation to the bountiful world of Bajor from the resource-poor Cardassian Union is viewed with cautious optimism by some, trepidation by others, and a calculating gleam by unscrupulous opportunists. What begins as a gesture of compassion soon becomes something very different. Seen through the eyes of participants on both sides-including those of a young officer named Skrain Dukat-the personal, political, and religious tensions between the Bajorans and the Cardassians quickly spiral out of control, irrevocably shaping the futures of both worlds in an emotionally charged and unforgettable tale of treachery, tragedy, and hope.


Occupation Day Zero (2328)


Within the stone walls of Korto City's Naghai Keep, Vedek Gar Osen is safe. As he watches from the Keep's windows, the Cardassian Occupying Army intrudes upon the city with the confidence of invaders who know they've already won. He hears a noise at the gates and instinctively grabs a phaser pistol nearby. But the intruder is not who he was expecting— instead of Cardassian soldiers, Bennek, a Cardassian follower of the Oralian Way and friend of Gar bursts into the room, asking the vedek for sanctuary. Gar sadly reminds him that the Keep wouldn't keep him safe, and Bennek changes his plea: hide the relics of the Oralian Way that the Cardassian has brought with him.

Ten Years Ago (2318)

Chapter One

On board the Cardassian Ship Kornaire, a young Dalin, Skrain Dukat, sits down opposite Kotan Pa'Dar in the mess hall. The scientist and the officer jokingly tease each other about their respective backgrounds. Elsewhere on the ship, members of the Oralian Way, Hadlo and Bennek, join Gul Danig Kell and Professor Rhan Ico for a mid-day meal in the gul's private dining chamber. Hadlo, leader of the Oralians tries to engage the gul in pleasant conversation, but the gul makes it clear the Oralians are only on the ship because Central Command has ordered him to take them along on the mission to Bajor. They hope the presence of the Oralians will help win the good favor of the more spiritually focused Bajorans. Back in the mess hall, Dukat and Pa'Dar discuss the ongoing famine on Cardassia Prime. Dukat silently worries about his wife, Athra, and their newborn son. Both men hope the Bajor mission is a success— Cardassia needs the resource-rich Bajor to help feed its people.

Chapter Two

With B'hava'el low in the sky, Constable Darrah Mace makes his rounds of Korto's sky-port. He sees his friend Syjin, a pilot of questionable morals, in a spot of trouble with an angry man of a higher D'jarra. Darrah lets Syjin squirm a bit, before stunning the larger man (who had finally lost his temper). A grateful Syjin gives the constable some food for his wife, Karys, and his children. Darrah is wary of Syjin's motives, before his old friend reminds him that it's the week of the Gratitude Festival.

On the Kornaire, Kotan Pa'Dar analyzes the wreckage of a small Bajoran ship while Dukat looks on. Pa'Dar is surprised that the technology of the Bajoran ship is about a century behind Cardassian technology. Dukat says that although the Bajorans may have been around for tens of thousands of years, they have become an isolated, stagnant culture, unlike the Cardassians. Pa'Dar then comments that the interior of the ship has been declared off-limits by Professor Ico and observes that they weren't told of the circumstances under which the alien ship was found. Bennek then enters, hoping to bless the dead. Dukat attempts to provoke an argument but is cut short by the announcement that the Kornaire will soon be arriving in the Bajoran System.

Lonnic Tomo, adjutant to Minister Jas Holza of Korto informs her patron that Colonel Li Tarka of the Space Guard and First Minister Verin Kolek wish to speak with him. The Cardassians have found the wreckage of the scout ship Eleda and wish to return it, along with its dead, to Jas, who owns the ship. Li expresses his wariness, while Verin voices his more isolationist views. Jas speaks with the Cardassians, stating his gratitude for returning the Eleda and its crew, and saying that Korto District will welcome the aliens with open arms, as will Bajor. First Minister Verin is furious, reminding Jas that he doesn't have the authority to speak for all of Bajor, and that he's just invited an unknown alien quantity onto Bajoran soil.

Chapter Three

Prylar Gar Osen pays a visit to the Korto precinct house to provide spiritual comfort to the imprisoned and to chat with his old friend Darrah Mace. The pair are joined by Lonnic Tomo, who has come to ask Darrah to head up security for the Cardassians' visit. Darrah agrees, before heading out to escort visiting minister of Qui'al, Kubus Oak. The man's behavior grates on Darrah's nerves, and the constable skips out early on his duties to hurry home before the Gratitude Festival starts.

Inside the Naghai Keep, Jas Holza greets Kubus Oak. Kubus has come to court Jas' support in dealing with the aliens, because the men share similar viewpoints regarding alien contact. Kubus, however shrewdly ensures Jas' unwavering support by subtly threatening to blackmail him over an incident yet unknown.

Darrah makes it home just in time to catch his family heading out to the Gratitude Festival. He briefly clashes with his wife, Karys, however, when he starts to change into a fresh Militia tunic instead of civilian clothes. Karys doesn't want him working at all tonight, insisting he doesn't spend enough time with the family. It is revealed that Karys married outside of her D'jarra by marrying Darrah. Because Karys is Ih'valla, part of the artist caste, Darrah, himself part of the lower ranked Ke'lora caste, sometimes feels uncomfortable with her expectations about their lifestyle. At the festival, the pair watch as Jas Holza gives the standard blessing. However, instead of immediately burning his renewal scroll, Jas takes the time to write something new on his scroll— the character for "isolation". He explains, as he casts Bajor's isolation into the flames, that Bajor is about to enter a new era.

Chapter Four

Tha Cardassian Delegation lands in Korto. Hadlo and Kai Maressa are immediately fascinated by the other's religion, while the other members of both groups subtly try to size each other up. The kai leads a funerary ceremony for the members of the Eleda, and afterward, the groups split, with the Oralians following the kai, while the other Cardassians follow the politicians into the Naghai Keep for a welcoming feast. Dukat, awed by the amount and quality of food provided to him, feels sickened as he sees the careless way the Bajorans waste their food. Meanwhile, Gul Kell makes awkward overtures of a trade alliance between the two worlds. First Minister Verin quickly dismisses his proposal, to the ire of Kubus, Jas, and the Cardassians. Bored by the unskilled negotiations led by his commanding officer, Dukat steps out for some air. He is joined by Darrah Mace, who makes small talk in an attempt to learn more about the Cardassians. Dukat tells Darrah about his wife and son, who is yet unnamed because Cardassian custom dictates that both parents must be present in order to name a child. Dukat has not even seen his infant son in person.

Chapter Five

Meressa, Gar and Vedek Cotor give Hadlo and Bennek a tour of the library at the Noghai Keep. Both groups are fascinated by the similarities between their two faiths but Meressa does not wish to proceed until she receives a sign from the Prophets. She asks Hadlo to enter communion with one of the Tears of the Prophets, the Orb of Truth, and without really understanding Hadlo agrees. He later tells Bennek that he knows their faith is under threat but he also knows that Central Command is desperate to expand into the Bajoran sector and if they can succeed in forming an alliance where Kell and Ico failed they will have much capital.

Jas and Lonnic receive a visit from Kubus, who has been asked to stay in the area by Verin until the Cardassians depart. Kubus approaches Jas as an ally - he is aware that Jas has several financial difficulties, most notably that the colony on Golana established by his parents is failing, and tells him that if they lead Bajor into an alliance with Cardassia they will gain much political power.

Kell is called to the Kornaire's laboratory, where Ico tells him that she has confirmed Bajor is rich in minerals. Kell is still eager to leave the area as soon as possible and let Central Command deal with the problem but Ico tells him that the situation is more urgent than he believed - the disappearance of Hadlo has caused rioting in several areas of Cardassia, including Lakat, Dukat's home province, and it is rumored the Talarians are involved. Having already guessed there is an agent of the Obsidian Order onboard the ship, Kell privately informs his security chief, Matrik, to keep a close eye on Ico.

Chapter Six

As they approach the Tears, Hadlo asks Meressa for permission for the Oralians to establish an enclave in the area. Meressa privately tells Gar that she had a vision that the Celestial Temple will be revealed and Bajor united at the coming of an alien; she believes it might refer to the Cardassians. Hadlo experiences a vision from the Orb of Truth where he sees himself as a Bajoran, figures in Oralian masks crumbling to dust and attacks by vipers who take the Orbs. Although shaken by the experience and unsure whether it refers to the future of Bajor or Cardassia, he remains resolved to have the alliance.

Lonnic meets with Darrah and Proka. All of them have mixed feelings about the Cardassians and Lonnic questions Darrah about what really happened to the Eleda. The Cardassians are preparing to withdraw when Pa'Dar tells Dukat about the rioting and clashes between military and Oralians in Lakat. Dukat lacks the authorisation to contact Cardassia but Bennek is able to provide it for him: Dukat requests a line with his father, Procal Dukat.

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Bajoran characters
ArinColdri SennCotorDarrah BajinDarrah KarysDarrah MaceDarrah NellEls RenoraGar OsenJarelJaro EssaJas HolzaJekko TybeKalem AprenKeeve FalorKoredKubus OakLale UsborLi TarkaLirroLonnic TomoMeressaMydaProka MigdalRifinRifin BeldaSyjinTikka RillioTimaVerin KolekWuleYilb
Cardassian characters
BennekProcal DukatSkrain DukatHadloHekitRhan IcoDanig KellPasir LetinMatrikOrlocKotan Pa'DarSerenTunolUrad
Other characters
ForoeDavid GoldGrekMark JamesonJolevGwen Jones/Jonor WennaMuhleAlynna Nechayev/Nechen AllaOraliusDilat sh'SenaShabrenTepperTrakorT'Vel
Referenced only 
DennitAthra DukatJekko KaskaTethen

Starships and vehicles

ClarioncutterDaikonEledaflyerUSS Gettysburg (Constellation-class) • GlyhrondJanad-class (gravity tank) • KashaiKaskaKornaire (Selek-class) • KylenLhemorPajulTzenkethi marauderVandir (Galor-class) • grav-tank
Referenced only 
Romulan Bird-of-PreyTzenkethi raider


AjirAjir IXAjir IX's moonAshallaBadlandsBajorB'hava'elB'hava'el systemCemba StationCity OvalDahkurDernaDerna BaseEdar BridgeKendra ProvinceKendra MonasteryKortoNaghai KeepSahving ValleyTasakTasak VIIValo II
Referenced only 
Ab-TzenkethAmleth NebulaAndrosArawathBatalBreen ArmCalashCalash retreatCardassiaCelestial TempleCeltrisCorvonCuellarCulatDakeenDelavi IIIDenorios BeltDraygoFire CavesGallitepGolanaGrand Avenue of LightsHathonHedrikspoolIlviaIngavJalandaJanirJeraddoJo'kalaKarnothKendran RangeKiessa MonasteryLakarian CityLakatLonar ProvinceMusillaOlmerakOriasPerikian MountainsProphet's LandingPullockQuatal IIIQui'alQuinorRellikethRigelRondacSenmirTalariaTamulnaTecyr RiverTellelTellel BasinTempasaTemple of OraliusTilarTormanTozhatUndalarWhispering HallYolja River

Races and cultures

Referenced only 

States and organizations

Aerial GuardAlliance for Global UnityBajoran MilitiaBajor Traffic ControlCardassian Central CommandCardassian GuardCardassian Ministry of JusticeCardassian Science MinistryCardassian Second OrderCardassian UnionChamber of MinistersCity WatchDetapa CouncilIh'vallaKe'loraMinistry for Public HealthMi'tinoObsidian OrderOralian WayRepublic of BajorSpace GuardStarfleetStarfleet IntelligenceThird RepublicUnited Federation of PlanetsVa'teloVedek Assembly
Referenced only 
Bajoran First RepublicBreen ConfederationChurch of the Love of the FatesFederation CouncilDesert PathFederation Security CouncilNine TribesOffice of Cultural AnalysisTalarian RepublicTzenkethi Coalition

Science and technology

Bajoran phasercloaking devicedecadilithiumdisruptorduraniumfeldomitefolded space transporterisolinear rodjevonitekelbonitekellipatelinnipatemaraji crystalmerculite warheadmetricmizainiteorbOrb of Truthorbital refinery platformphase compression riflephaser riflephaser turretplasma stormshimmerknifesolar sailsonodanitespiral-wave disruptortachyon eddytessipatetriceronultritiumuridiumYerrin Syndrome

Ranks and titles

Archoncaptainchief inspectorcolonelcommanderconservatorconstabledaldalinensignFirst Minister of the Republic of BajorFirst Speaker of the Detapa Councilfleet jagulgarreshgeneralgilglinngulhetmaninspectorjagulkailegatelieutenantmajorPrefect of Bajorprylarranjensenior constablevedekwatchman

Other references

Age of Enlightenmentagnam loafAlvanian brandyBajoran religionbantacabarrowbugbateretBell of SoulsborhyabrangwaCardassian enclavecastecockroachcoincopalcopperdeka teaD'jarraFace of the FatesFerengi Rules of AcquisitionFerengi Salvage CodefusionstoneGalor BannerGaudaal's Lamentgemstonegranitegrass viperGratitude Festivalhara cathasperatHebitian Recordshiuna leafironkanarkatterpodkava juicelatinumlitaLupar's Summer Talesmakara rootMantickian olivemapa breadmethrin eggmistwoodnyawoodOld HebitianOld High Bajoranpaghpagh'tem'farpalukooplanetporlipraykoraktajinoThe Recitationsrenewal scrollrokassa juicerokatShabren's Propheciesspringballspringwinetaphousetaspar eggtefla brothTerokTrakor's PropheciestranyatyrfoxUnion DayveklavaWelshYalar's New Insightsyamok sauceyear


Background information

  • Day of the Vipers includes a dramatis personae of characters and appendices with information on characters, places and other references in the novel.
  • An excerpt from this book was printed in Star Trek Magazine #137.


  • Day of the Vipers won the "Best Speculative Fiction Original" 2009 Scribe Award. [1]

Related stories


The Lost Era novels
The SunderedSerpents Among the RuinsThe Art of the ImpossibleWell of SoulsDeny Thy FatherCatalyst of SorrowsThe Buried AgeDay of the VipersNight of the WolvesDawn of the EaglesOne Constant Star


published order
Previous novel:
First in miniseries
DS9 novels
Star Trek: Terok Nor
Next novel:
Night of the Wolves
Previous novel:
Obsidian Alliances
Saturn's Children
DS9 novels Next novel:
Terok Nor
Night of the Wolves
Previous story:
The Sky's the Limit
Ordinary Days
Stories by:
James Swallow
Next story:
Infinity's Prism
Seeds of Dissent
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Strange New Worlds VI
The Human Factor
Memory Beta Chronology Next Adventure:
The Art of the Impossible
Chapters 1-14
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2328.
The Memory Beta Chronology places events from this story in two other timeframes:
Previous Adventure:
Tales from the Captain's Table
Iron and Sacrifice
Sections 1,3,6,22
Chapters 1-17
Next Adventure:
Strange New Worlds 9
Solace in Bloom
Section 1
Previous Adventure:
Nova Command
Chapters 8-17
Next Adventure:
Tales from the Captain's Table
An Easy Fast
Section 2

External links