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The Never-Ending Sacrifice is a 2009 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel by Una McCormack. It features Rugal from the DS9 episode "Cardassians" as he experiences the turbulent period of Cardassian history from the end of the Occupation of Bajor to the Dominion War and beyond.


A boy looks up. He sees a Cardassian's hand on his shoulder and knows that this is usually a prelude to a beating or, if he is fortunate enough, arrest. The boy knows how many disappeared during the Occupation of Bajor. So he does the one thing he can think of: he bites the Cardassian. Then the nightmare begins.
He is ripped from the family that took him in as an orphan, clothed him, fed him, always loved him unconditionally. And no matter how earnest, how caring the commander of Deep Space 9 is, the boy knows this is all a horrible mistake. How can someone from Starfleet judge him by what he looks like, not by what he is? He prays to the Prophets; he is Bajoran. They all keep telling him that the test proves the large Cardassian man is his father, that the other Cardassian—that oily gul—took him away from his father. But the boy keeps telling them that he is Bajoran, he only wants to go home with his father. So they send Rugal home—to Cardassia.
On the homeworld of the Cardassian Union where sacrifice and devotion to the state are surpassed only by the government's need to keep its people in check, one very lonely boy discovers that if he doesn't resist, his life—like those of so many others—will be added to the tally of the never-ending sacrifice.


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AlarenMaria AlvarezAndersAraniIthas BamarekDarrah BajinSkrain DukatElatEnvekEraniFerekElim GarakMarcus GerrardTeretis GeylAlon GhemorTekeny GhemorGhetaGreeneJenJosephKelatColat KhevetElinas KhevetMikor KhevetPenelya KhevetTret KhevetHulya KiliçLeirtMartis LokMaletaArric MaretSerna MaretTela MaretMetelekMetrekKeiko O'BrienMiles O'BrienMolly O'BrienGeleth Pa'DarKotan Pa'DarRugal Pa'DarProka EtraProka MigdalGerat RejalMeya RejalRantokErek RhemetRocheSelikBenjamin SiskoJake SiskoEllen SmithTekisTevrekTora ZiyalRichard TownleyVerisel
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Tret AkleenArtocUlan CoracCorat DamarDarrah MaceTrekal Darhe'elAthra DukatEretisFemale ChangelingIliana GhemorHogueKeeve FalorNatima LangLeterikNelitaArys Pa'DarGhret Pa'DarIrvek Pa'DarPerseusLim PrekenyRecoRekelenEnabran TainTirimTurrelZolan

Starships and vehicles

Referenced only
GroumallKlingon bird-of-prey


Akleen MemorialAnaret ProvinceAshallaBajorBarvonok SectorBetek GalleryCardassiaCardassia CityCivilian Assembly HallCoranum SectorCoranum tunnelDeep Space 9Demilitarized ZoneDestinyEarthHeadquarters Allied Reconstruction ForcesIthic IIKeralek BaseLittleportLorikalManeaMarchMeritok SquareMesquadMetellaMunda'ar SectorOdekOgyas IIIOstekPaldar SectorParisPerokPromenadeQuark'sSeine RiverSlokatState Museum of Natural HistoryTamsketTarlak SectorTorr Central MarketTorr Central StationTorr SectorVeterans' BridgeVictory BoulevardWeibak IV
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Bajoran wormholeCardassia IVChin'tokaCulatFounders' homeworldGamma QuadrantHagalHall of HonorHeweKorto CityLakarian CityLake MasadMaklar PrisonMasadPeyitRetlak MountainsSea FallSeptimus IIITozhatTozhat MemorialValo II

Races and cultures

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States and organizations

Allied Reconstruction ForcesCardassian Central CommandCardassian ConstabulariesCardassian Intelligence BureauCardassian Justice MinistryCardassian Liberation FrontCardassian Science MinistryCardassian Second OrderCardassian UnionCivilian AssemblyDetapa CouncilDominionInstitute for State PolicyKhevet Agricultural HoldingsKlingon EmpireObsidian OrderOffice of Public OrderRomulan Star EmpireStarfleetUnited Federation of Planets
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Bajoran ResistanceCardassian Eleventh OrderCardassian Ministry of AgricultureCircleCouncil of MinistersDominion IntelligenceFounderInstitute of Commercial EndeavorOralian WaySchool of AgronomyVedek Assembly

Ranks and titles

archonCastellan of the Cardassian UnionChief ArchonChief Executor of the Detapa CouncildalinDeputy Commissioner for Public HealthEmissary of the Prophetsexarchgarreshgilglinngulkailegate

Other references

2371 Cardassian coupAge of Emergenceallied protectoratealva iceaytlik brothBajoran-Cardassian TreatyBajoran religionbellblack marketcanka nutCardassian First RepublicCardassian Second RepublicCardassian Third RepublicCivilian CommendationcloningThe CollectivitydaboDeclaration of the Transference and Assumption of Powersd'jarraDominion Wareltafounding settlementenigma talefeytgelatgeletaGorgonGreat Guls and LegateshasperathongeIh'vallaindikaithian treejumjakanarkeyeKlingon-Cardassian Warkosstkotralekleyaleya fruitleya juiceleyiklitikmekla bushmetricmobaThe Never-Ending SacrificeOccupation of Bajorpaghpeachperekpetharaktajinoratamba stewregnarredleafredleaf tearetariding houndrikotSethik's diseaseshri-talspoonheadskrittemettramtransporter stationTriple Medal of Valortuliwater feveryatik feverzabu stew



  • Robert Lyons of described The Never-Ending Sacrifice as "unlike any Star Trek book I have ever read before". [1]
  • Jens Deffner of Unreality SF gave The Never-Ending Sacrifice a review score of 90%. He commented "The Never-Ending Sacrifice is not only a very strong Star Trek novel, but simply an outstanding coming-of-age novel, since even if you stripped it of everything Star Trek-related, it would work just as well". [2]
  • In March 2010, The Never-Ending Sacrifice won the Unreality SF story of the year poll 2009/2010 with 19% of the votes. [3]

Related stories


Published Order
Previous novel:
The Soul Key
DS9 novels (post-finale) Next novel:
Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game
Previous story:
Hollow Men
Stories by:
Una McCormack
Next story:
Typhon Pact: Brinkmanship
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