As the Federation Alliance goes on the offensive in the Dominion War, a vengeful Cardassian sets a trap for Captain Limis. But the mercenaries he has hired have a completely separate agenda that could irrevocably alter the future of the Alpha Quadrant as pivotal battles in the war become fronts for the Temporal Cold War.

Takes place concurrently with DS9: "Tears of the Prophets".

Summary[edit | edit source]

Part One: Mysterious Enemy; The First Betreka Nebula counterstrike[edit | edit source]

The rebuilt Seventh Fleet is engaged in fierce combat with the Dominion at the Betreka Nebula. The Lambda Paz is dispatched to pursue two enemy ships breaking formation move out of range of the communications jamming field. Two spherical ships then emerge out of nowhere and fire on the Starfleet ship. These ships quickly disappear, but the Jem'Hadar come around for another pass.

Ronnie Kozar, Mandel Morrison, and Jonathan Davis lead a team confront a Jem'Hadar boarding party. While fighting in close quarters, Kozar and Morrison decide to pierce the plasma coolant tank. As the team is evacuating, Davis is tackled by an unshrouding Jem'Hadar, and perishes with the enemy soldiers.

Part Two: Dangerous Alliances[edit | edit source]

Six Months Later

Yelgrun is in a meeting with Sindareen information dealer Tor Vot. Tor Vot has indicated a major strategic weakness that would allow the Dominion to invade Betazed, with most of Starfleet's Tenth Fleet running training maneuvers near Wolf 359. Yelgrun thanks Tor Vot for the information that would put the Dominion in striking distance of the Federation's core systems and promises to reward the Sindareen once the war is won.

Tor Vot then retires to his private chambers to contact a mysterious humanoid figure. This individual has another assignment: deliver Captain Limis Vircona of the USS Lambda Paz, promising access to cormaline deposits on Makar Six.

Back on the Lambda Paz, Morrison is in the counseling session with a holographic counselor. He continues to punish himself for the death of Davis. He has even been temporarily relieved of his responsibilities as chief of security. As he is leaving this session, he is summoned to the observation lounge for a mission briefing. The Lambda Paz and the Seventh Fleet are again being dispatched to the Betreka Nebula. Now that the Romulan Star Empire has joined the Federation Alliance, Starfleet forces are in a position to launch numerous counter-offensives.

Limis is then summoned to the bridge, where she receives a holographic message from Gul Enic Hadar, whose brother's death she caused earlier in the year. Hadar is now threatening to kill her son. Limis is now angry with herself for not dropping everything to go look for her son after the massacre at Tevlik's moonbase. At that time, she felt that assuring the partial survival of the Maquis was more important than one person, even her own child. When Kozar offers the help of the entire ship, Limis replies that she cannot have an entire starship leave its mission. She and Rebecca Sullivan take the runabout USS Potomac to rendezvous with a Kobheerian freighter that will ferry them to Farius Prime, where a Bajoran fitting Yanith's description was admitted to the refugee center there.

Upon arrival at the rendezvous point, they discover that the Kobheerian freighter is actually a Sindareen ship using holographic stealth technology. They are taken aboard where Tor Vot informs them that many Cardassians will pay a huge bounty for the capture of two of the late Michael Eddington's former colleagues, especially the widow. Limis and Sullivan are later broken out of their cell by Jonas Grabowski, the helmsman who killed during the first Betreka Nebula counterstrike. He explains that he part of an organization from the 31st century charged with policing the timeline. He has also modified the runabout's weapons and shields to stand against the ships from the future.

Hadar later chastises Tor Vot for botching the whole operation. Hadar decides he will carry out the capture of Limis himself before signing off. His captive, Yanith, then demands that Hadar kill him. Hadar answers that Yanith is more valuable alive.

Part Three: Checkmate[edit | edit source]

Two Months Later

Limis's search for her son reached a dead end. She has had trouble sleeping recently, and against her judgment, she seeks counseling. Morrison's holographic counselor tells Limis to be content with whatever decision she makes, whether she chooses to continue observing her duties and go off looking for her son. She is then summoned to the bridge when the "Death Stars", as nicknamed by Kozar and Ops officer Goris M'Rev, reappear. She then orders Grabowski's weapon and shield modifications brought on-line, which swiftly turn away the ensuing attack.

The Lambda Paz is later lured into the Briar Patch by a fake distress call. A small fleet of Jem'Hadar and Cardassian warship emerges from the perimeter cloud. Gul Hadar, while pointing a phaser at Yanith's head, demands Limis's surrender. She calls his bluff, as her ship is outnumbered five-to-one. She refuses to surrender and battle begins. Her plan to saturate the metreon clouds that make up the Patch with low-level warp particles severely damages the ship.

While en route to the transporter room, Limis suddenly finds herself on a Bajor far different from the one she knows. Grabowski says he was instructed to transport her off the ship in the nick of time, but doing so created the alternate timeline he sought to prevent. As a result, Limis cannot be sent back to her own time period.


Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]

"Where the hell did those ships come from?"
"Ops can analyze the sensor readings later. Right now, their torpedoes are ripping right through our shields."
-- Kozar and Limis during the First Betreka Nebula counterstrike.
"A terrorist with a conscience? That’s a new one."
— Rebecca Sullivan, joking about Limis's remorse over the death of a Cardassian
"Since when do you disobey orders for the captain?"
"Since I suggested to you that you try to accept Tarlazzi as a member of this crew. I felt I should start to practice what I preach. If this a problem for you, let me know."
"One defective warp coil coming up."
-- sh'Aqba and Kozar, when Kozar decides to go against orders to search for Limis.
"For a dead man, you sure got us out of a lot of trouble."
— Sullivan on Grabowski's miraculous rescue
"If you want me, you’ll have to pry me off my cold dead ship. End transmission."
— Limis to Gul Hadar when demanding her surrender.

References[edit | edit source]

Characters[edit | edit source]

Shinar sh'AqbaSara CarsonJonas GrabowskiGul Enic HadarHasin YanithRonnie KozarLimis VirconaCharles H. LoganTor MakassaAurellan MarkalisMandel MorrisonLisa Neeley (referenced only) • Tirren Ra HothJovis RenRebecca SullivanTor Vot

Starships and vehicles[edit | edit source]

Cardassian Galor-class warship • "Death star" • Jem'Hadar battle cruiserJem'Hadar fighterUSS Lambda PazUSS PotomacSindareen battle cruiser

Locations[edit | edit source]

AdelphousBeta ThoridorBetazedBetreka NebulaBriar PatchCareyaDonatu VFarius PrimeH'atoriaLambda HydraeStarbase G-6

Races and cultures[edit | edit source]


States and organizations[edit | edit source]

Cardassian UnionDominionKlingon EmpireRomulan Star EmpireUnited Federation of Planets

Other references[edit | edit source]

Betreka Nebula counterstrikesFirst Battle of Chin'tokaKorean WarOperation ChromiteTemporal Cold War

Related Deep Space 9 episode[edit | edit source]

  • "Sacrifice of Angels": The first chapter features the First Betreka Nebula counterstrike, which coincided with Operation Return, featured in this episode.
  • "In the Pale Moonlight": The Romulans' entry into the Dominion War is addressed, although Benjamin Sisko's role is not public knowledge. Mandel Morrison and Limis Vircona speculate that the Romulan Senate decided it could no longer sit and watch after Dominion victories inside Klingon territory, especially since the Romulans are not known to do the Klingons any favors.
  • "Statistical Probabilities": Ronnie Kozar indicates the Romulan entry into the war caught the Dominion by surprise, possibly because the Dominion projected that the Romulans would not break their non-aggression pact until early in 2375 just as the genetically-enhanced think tank that visited Deep Space 9 did in this episode.
  • "Tears of the Prophets": Morrison reports forwarding Grabowski's shield and weapon modifications to the fleet being dispatched to the Chin'toka system in case a faction of the Temporal Cold War attempts to manipulate the battle's outcome.

External links[edit | edit source]

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