Before the Dominion War and the decimation of Cardassia...before the coming of the Emissary and the discovery of the wormhole...before space station Terok Nor became Deep Space 9(tm)...there was the Occupation: the military takeover of an alien planet and the violent insurgency that fought against it. Now that fifty-year tale of warring ideologies, terrorism, greed, secret intelligence, moral compromises, and embattled faiths is at last given its due in the three-book saga of Star Trek's Lost Era...
Eighteen years into the Occupation, a new star rises in Bajor's sky. It is the seat of power in this system, a place of slave labor and harsh summary judgments, the symbol of Cardassian might and the futility of resisting it. But even as the gray metal crown of Terok Nor ascends to its zenith, ragtag pockets of Bajoran rebels -- including a fierce young fighter named Kira Nerys -- have begun to strike back at their world's oppressors, and they intend to show the Cardassians that the night belongs to them.
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
April 28, 2008
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Excerpt from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Terok Nor: Night of the Wolves by S.D. Perry
Kalem Apren could have been perfectly content with his current lot in life. When he had been minister of Hedrikspool Province, before the average Bajoran even knew that there was a Cardassian Union, there was always a part of him that resented the responsibility that came with his birthright. He had never been like Kubus Oak, who relished his power so comprehensively that it had devoured him, landed him straight into the lap of a traitorous alien presence. No, Kalem had never been one to clutch and grapple at the authority of his D'jarra; he had always thought himself more like Jas Holza that way, content to simply wield his title and let his adjutants do most of the actual governing.
How times have changed, he thought grimly as he wandered through the afternoon marketplace at Vekobet, in the central region of Kendra Province. Kalem had never particularly cared for Kendra, and had often wondered why the Prophets arranged it that he would be here on business when the Cardassians first showed their true colors. It had been a chaotic time, frightening, infuriating, terrifying. He had offered to help reorganize civilians in the aftermath, with Jaro Essa and some of the other Militiamen on the scene -- those of the Bajoran homeguard who had not been killed or absorbed into the false Cardassian-sanctioned new government. And somehow, he had remained here for all these years. He was fairly certain now that he would die here, too, for his new wife was from Kendra, and she seemed to have no intention of leaving. What was there left for him in Hedrikspool anyway? Hedrikspool had lost more than half its population to the exodus, even before the soldiers had come; the government had effectively been taken over by Cardassian political "liaisons," with most of the older civilians falling in line and the younger running off to join the resistance or subsiding into apathy. Bajor didn't need politicians at the moment; it needed leaders.
So now that he lived out a simple life in Kendra Province, with a beautiful new wife and many friends, he could simply resign himself to having been plucked from that uncomfortable seat of responsibility and deposited here, to a time and place where a former politician's roles were much less complicated than before. He still had money and resources; though they had dwindled significantly, there was enough to keep him in relative comfort -- relative to the suffering elsewhere on his world. He still had residual influence among the people here, as much for his role in quieting citizens in the aftermath of the first attacks as for his former minister's seat.
But he could not accept his lot in life. He would not. He recognized now how much he had taken his position for granted in the past -- he could have done more, so much more to prevent his world's current circumstances. But there was nothing to be gained from regret; the only thing to do now was to plan the next step. Because, despite the pessimism of many, Kalem had to believe there would be a next step. It was the only thing that kept him moving.
People greeted him as he passed through the marketplace; a few even stopped to shake his hand. He met the eyes of a man about his own age, a man with a taut, malnourished visage and a pleading expression in his eyes. Please, Minister, his expression read, please assure me it's going to get better. Kalem smiled at the man, saying nothing, but his expression telling him what he wanted to hear. Just wait. Things will be different someday. Did any of them truly believe it? Kalem knew they couldn't possibly -- they simply repeated it to themselves to shut out the roaring insistence of defeat.
Passing through the marketplace, he found his way to the residence of Jaro Essa, who had been a major in Bajor's Militia before it had been disbanded. A great many were slaughtered in the early days of the Cardassian attacks, and the handful that were left put in a very quick surrender -- much to the chagrin of those like Jaro, who had been in favor of a military coup since long before the Cardassians had announced their formal annexation. If only Kalem and the others would have supported his position! But there was that regret again. Nothing to achieve from it now. The Militia was a distant memory, as was any semblance of real Bajoran government; Kubus Oak and the others were a mere panel of Cardassian pawns.
Kalem represented one of dozens of former politicians and leaders who had sunk into informal law-keeping positions, men and women who had simply taken charge of things at the right time to have fallen into permanent ad hoc positions that seemed to carry lifelong terms, for who else would fill their shoes? There were no elections, no formal designations -- only secret town meetings with the few Bajorans who weren't too despondent, who still saw the point in trying to maintain government at the provincial level. Time and again, the people of Kendra agreed that Kalem, Jaro, and a handful of other volunteers continued to do what they had always done -- which was to prevent complete chaos from taking over in the wreckage of their cities.
He stepped to the door of a small adobe home, which opened to his knock.
"Hello, Major," Kalem said.