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"If you attack the depot, you'll have to get through me first."
"I hope not. I truly hope not."

The attack on Bryma was an unsuccessful attempt by the Maquis to destroy a Cardassian weapons depot at the Bryma Colony in 2370. Knowing that the attack would lead to the Cardassian Union retaliating against Federation colonies in the Demilitarized Zone, Starfleet personnel from Deep Space 9 intercepted the two Maquis ships, disabling one and forcing the other to retreat.

Prelude

After Maquis operative Sakonna was captured, she was persuaded to reveal the Maquis intention to attack a Cardassian weapons depot hidden within a civilian Cardassian colony, though she claimed not to know where. Using his political connections, Gul Dukat was able to determine that the depot was located on Bryma.

Meanwhile, Commander Benjamin Sisko traveled to the Federation colony on Volan III to warn any Maquis operatives among the colonists that the Federation was aware of the attack and to call it off. Instead, Sisko was approached by his friend Lieutenant Commander Calvin Hudson, who had defected to the Maquis. Sisko urged Hudson to negotiate a peace agreement instead, even offering Hudson the Starfleet uniform Hudson had discarded in their last encounter. Hudson was unwilling to waver, however, even vaporizing the uniform with a phaser to emphasize his rejection of his old life in favor of a new one.

A confrontation with the Maquis now appeared inevitable. Sisko and Dukat agreed that alerting the Cardassian Central Command of the attack would be unwise, as they would likely use it to justify a retaliatory strike against Federation colonies, which in turn would likely lead to a war with the Federation. Thus they would have to stop the Maquis themselves, without alerting the colony. At Chief Miles O'Brien's suggestion, several dozen sensor probes were placed in the Bryma system's Oort cloud to alert them of any incoming ships. Three Danube-class runabouts from Deep Space 9, the USS Rio Grande, the USS Orinoco, and the USS Mekong took up a defensive position in the system, just outside the colony's sensor range. With their advance knowledge of the attack and the fact that Sakonna had told them the Maquis had only enough weapons to arm two ships, the Federation forces had the advantage, though they expected the Maquis to find that much harder because of it. Further, given the likelihood of the Cardassians moving the depot somewhere else, the Maquis could not afford to risk delaying their attack.

Conflict

The sensor probes quickly detected two appropriated Federation attack fighters approaching the system. Hudson was personally leading the attack from the first ship, with Maquis operatives Amaros as Hudson's co-pilot, and Niles commanding piloting the second ship. Sisko, aboard the Rio Grande, contacted him and urged him to turn back. Again, Hudson refused and pleaded with Sisko not to make Hudson fire on him. The Maquis ships then attempted to make a run for the colony. The Rio Grande and the Mekong quickly caught both Maquis ships with tractor beams. The Maquis, in turn, fired on the beam emitters of both runabouts, breaking free. Unable to restrain the Maquis, Sisko ordered the other runabouts to open fire.

Niles' ship was disabled by a direct phaser hit. In an attempt to even their odds, Hudson fired phasers on the Orinoco, blasting off its sensor pod and disabling attitude control. The Mekong was forced to break off to assist the Orinoco, leaving Sisko and Dukat on the Rio Grande to face Hudson alone. The two small craft exchanged fire, disabling Hudson's weapons, while the Rio Grande lost warp and impulse drive. Unable to complete his mission, Hudson had no choice but to retreat, while Sisko, with his ship reduced to maneuvering thrusters could not follow.

Sisko made a final plea for Hudson not to run, while Hudson in turn could only bid him a sincere farewell. Though he had an opportunity to fire on, and possibly destroy, Hudson's fleeing ship, Sisko chose not to, much to Dukat's anger.

Aftermath

Sisko was praised by Starfleet Command for his work in defusing the immediate crisis and possibly preventing a war. Sisko, however, would question if he had only delayed the inevitable. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part II")

Later that year, prior to the first Federation conflict with the Dominion, Captain Keogh attempted to dissuade the crew of Deep Space 9 to joining the USS Odyssey's mission into the Gamma Quadrant, by noting that aside from Kira and O'Brien, Odo, Jadzia Dax and Julian Bashir did not have combat experience. Bashir was quick to cite this conflict as an example of their experience, to which Keogh summarized by stating that "all the Maquis had were a pair of lightly armed shuttlecraft." (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")

Sisko's fears would prove justified, as continued Maquis attacks, many of them led by Hudson and other former Starfleet officers, ensured that tensions between the Federation and Cardassians would remain high for the next three years. It would also be a factor in Dukat and the Cardassian Union's decision to join the Dominion in 2373, which culminated in the complete extermination of the Maquis and the devastating Dominion War by the year's end. (TNG: "Preemptive Strike"; DS9: "Defiant", "For the Uniform", "By Inferno's Light", "Blaze of Glory", "Call to Arms")

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