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For the race referred to as "Demons of Air and Darkness", please see Iconian.

The galaxy's most relentless predator clashes with its deadliest soldier!

Demons of Air and Darkness is a Pocket DS9 novel – the fourth novel in the Deep Space Nine relaunch series, and the fourth in the Gateways series – written by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in September 2001.


From the book jacket
Scattered throughout the galaxy are Gateways which link star systems across unfathomable distances. The technology that built them has been lost for tens of millennia… but that doesn't mean that it can't be found again. Once they moved from world to world in a single step, through innumerable transdimensional gateways that spanned the galaxy. They were masters of space, and to those that feared them, they were demons of air and darkness. But long ago they left their empire and their miraculous technology behind. Now the key has been rediscovered, and all the doors have been flung open. Open for exploration… or open for invasion. On a world near space station Deep Space Nine, Colonel Kira Nerys, her crew, and some unexpected allies fight to avert destruction on a planetary scale. Meanwhile Lieutenant Nog and Ensign Thirishar ch'Thane search for a way to shut down the portals forever; and behind the scenes Quark plays a dangerous game that could determine, once and for all, who wins control of the Gateways…

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Two weeks after the events told in Abyss

When the Iconian gateways open all over the galaxy, chaos breaks out – including aboard DS9. The crew is assigned to evacuate the inhabitants of a planet that is threatened to be contaminated by radiation, because an alien species from the Delta Quadrant keeps throwing antimatter waste through one of the gateways that leads directly into the orbit of that planet; the crew is also tasked to find out why there are no gateways within the area of Bajor and DS9.

While the evacuation goes on and Julian Bashir does his best to treat the local people against radiation, Nog and Shar come up with a possibility on shutting down the gateways – a possibility that ultimately works, but only for about ten minutes, until the gateways have rebooted. The Starfleet and Bajoran personnel in charge get unexpected help from Gul Macet, who tries to build bridges between the Cardassians and the rest of the quadrant.

Kira and Taran'atar are forced to fly through the gateway, leading them into the Delta Quadrant, because of a massive amount of antimatter waste; they successfully manage to hold the waste from flooding through the gateway, but are attacked by some Hirogen; Kira beams on a very dry and hot planet, while Taran'atar fights the Hirogen. He manages to kill them and, severely injured, escape in a small pod back to the Alpha Quadrant. Kira, in the meantime, almost dying from radiation and heat, discovers another gateway – one that leads her directly to the Prophets. Assuming that she will die anyway, she steps through it.

Behind the scenes, Quark has been engaged by the Orion Syndicate; the Iconians want to sell the gateways to the highest bidder, and the Syndicate is in the game. However, negotiating for the Iconians is no other but Quark's cousin, Gaila. As the situation escalates, the dabo girl accompanying Quark is revealed to be Ro Laren; they manage to escape, but not without taking an Orion slave girl, Treir, hostage (and later release her on DS9, where she will start to work for Quark). They also manage to rescue Gaila, while they reveal the so-called Iconians to be a race called the Petraw.

Shar, in the meantime, tries to cope with the arrival of his mother, Charivretha zh'Thane, which does not go well. Also, a "business associate" of Quark's on Cardassia is discovered doing illegal business and gets visited by Elim Garak – Ro apparently helped Quark, because she could do some damage to the Orion Syndicate, but she still delivered some of the information she got about the Ferengi to Cardassian authorities.

Background information


Canon characters listed below are linked to the main article about them. Non-canon characters are not linked, but those that recurred, appearing or being mentioned in more than one story, are defined further in Pocket DS9 characters.

Regular and recurring characters

Kira Nerys (β)
Colonel, commander of DS9
Elias Vaughn (β)
Starfleet commander
Taran'atar (β)
Jem'Hadar ambassador aboard DS9
Nog (β)
Engineer aboard DS9
Thirishar ch'Thane (β)
Starfleet ensign assigned as science officer of DS9 following the Dominion War
This novel marks the first time Shar appears on a cover.
Quark (β)
Ro Laren (β)
Security chief on DS9
Macet (β)
Cardassian gul; commander of the Trager; Dukat's cousin; during the Dominion war, he was in Damar's resistance.
Jean-Luc Picard (β)
Captain of the USS Enterprise-E
Montgomery Scott (β)
Engineer genius
William Ross (β)
Charivretha zh'Thane (β)
Andorian member of the Federation Council, zhavey (mother) of Thirishar
Gaila (β)
Ferengi, Quark's cousin
Treir (β)
Orion slave girl

Other characters

Captain of the Ng
Cassandra (β)
Captain of the East Winds
Captain of the Halloran
Elaine Mello (β)
Captain of USS Gryphon
Walter Emick (β)
Captain of USS Intrepid


Apsac (β)
Malon supertanker
East Winds (β)
Risan ship of Captain Cassandra
USS Euphrates (β)
DS9 runabout
Goldblatt's Folly
Civilian ship
USS Gryphon (β)
Akira-class ship of Captain Elaine Mello
Halloran (β)
Mars freighter of Captain Monaghan
The Hirogen and the Jem'Hadar encountered each other centuries ago.
USS Hood (NCC-42296)
USS Intrepid (NCC-74600)
Captain Walter Emick
IRW Makluan (β)
Romulan ship
Ng (β)
civilian ship of Captain Hawkins
Pathfinder Project
USS Sungari (β)
Deep Space 9 runabout, destroyed
IKS Tcha'voth (β)
Klingon ship
Cardassian Galor-class warship of Gul Macet
USS Voyager
Zelbinion (β)
Old Bajoran ship

External link

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Section 31: Abyss Pocket DS9
Deep Space Nine relaunch series
Mission Gamma: Twilight
Doors Into Chaos (TNG) Star Trek: Gateways  No Man's Land (VOY)