(written from a Production point of view)
- From the back cover
- Months ago, young Jake Sisko came upon a mysterious prophecy in the ruins of B'hala, one that told of a Son destined to enter the Celestial Temple of the Prophets and return home with a lost Herald. Certain that the ancient text was intended for him, Jake entered the wormhole to bring back his father, Captain Benjamin Sisko – missing since his final, fateful confrontation with Gul Dukat in the Fire Caves of Bajor. But Jake's quest has failed. Or so he believes.
- Flung across the galaxy by a power beyond his understanding, Jake is rescued by a strange ship with an even stranger alien crew. Joining them on a voyage unlike any he has ever experienced, Jake learns that his search for the truth will lead him to find the last thing he ever expected, and to discoveries far beyond his wildest imaginings.
Stardate 53267.5: Expelled from the wormhole and thrown nearly a hundred parsecs into the Gamma Quadrant, Jake’s shuttle drifts powerless and he prepares for an icy death. Instead, he is rescued by the Even Odds, a ship of freelance fortune hunters. Self-described “retrievers,” they make their living by recovering lost or stolen artifacts and salvage, often running afoul of local authorities. With his shuttle beyond repair, Jake settles in for a months-long trip aboard the Even in the direction of the Anomaly (wormhole).
Easy-going Captain Zin Dezavrim (“Dez”) takes an instant liking to Jake, seeing himself in the young man, and works hard to convince Jake to stay with the Even rather than return home. Dez’s father abandoned his family for the life of a retriever, and his mother was only marginally interested in him. When Dez was Jake’s age, he spent a year tracking down his father, but found the elder man wanted nothing to do with him. Though greatly disappointed, Dez realized that he had to make his own way in the universe and that the last year of adventure was the best of his life. He wants the same for Jake—to stop chasing the father who abandoned him and to follow his own path, with Dez as his surrogate father. First officer Facity Sleedow, a Wadi, shares her people’s love of gambling and betting. She has a casual relationship with Dez and is the voice of reason against Dez’s most fanciful plans. Pifko “Pif” Gaber is an overeager and talkative canine Aarruri with a love of running, danger, and adventure. Arislelemakinstess is a Friagloim, whose five mushroom-shaped segments (Aris, Le, Lema, Kin, and Stess) can operate independently (hive mind), though only Stess can talk. She also projects emotions. Cardassian medic Allo Glessin, a haunted survivor of the Battle of the Omarion Nebula, keeps to himself. Karemman engineer Atterace Prees works closely with Srral, a living machine who lives inside machines. His “species” was engineered by the extremely advanced Himh to effect repairs and improvements to their global technology network, though they have the free will to chart their own paths. Rounding out the crew are Ferengi accountants/traders Feg and Triv, and artifact specialists Neane Tee, Aslylgof, Brad-ahk’ka, Pri’ak, and newcomer Coamis.
The ship itself is just as unique. Built two centuries ago by an unknown but advanced race, it’s had at least a dozen major overhauls utilizing disparate alien technologies. (Mostly) contained within a subdeck is a mysterious chamber(s) known as the Wa—a dimensional shift pocket that changes shape and position at will, and that presents as an infinite room full of colored splotches. Approaching different splotches activates different functions or rooms (such as extra control centers that control unknown things, simulators, etc.); no one’s been able to catalog or understand them all. The gray splotches are deemed too dangerous and may be responsible for the unexplained disappearance of the previous crew.
During the “Quadrant War,” the Dominion annexed the region surrounding the Anomaly’s GQ terminus, upsetting the geopolitical landscape. Since the war’s end, they’ve retreated into their borders, leaving less scrupulous species to take advantage of the power vacuum. Among those are the Drang, aggressive and territorial sauropods who believe that the end of the universe is near, and that whoever has the most possessions will be saved by the gods. To that end, they have plundered many worlds. The Even was hired by the Yaron to retrieve their Oracle—a pot containing the mortal remains of their divine being—from the Drang, and the crew plans to make the most of their incursion, picking up other plunder as well in what may be their biggest score in years. They are surprised and uncertain when Dez asks Jake to join the team only two weeks before the mission. Upon arriving at Drang, the landing party are trapped by a transporter scrambler and attacked by guards. Dez and Jake sneak and fight their way to the scrambler, deactivating it so that they can escape. Though the mission was not an easy and bountiful success, they do retrieve the Yaron Oracle and Jake proves his worth by recovering a priceless Giani’aga box.
The Even later makes a run to planet Hw17, where a rival retrieval crew was forced to dump its cargo before being arrested. Lema and Kin are killed by the planet’s security measures, and the remaining parts of Arislestess, though physically unharmed, cannot survive without the whole and die a few hours later. In her final moments, she profoundly touches Glessin, encouraging him to truly live again. Using the tragedy and his own history, Dez convinces Jake to stay onboard permanently. Though the Even’s crew are friendly and welcoming, and Jake finds fortune hunting exciting, he never quite feels at home in the alien region, where Federation morals are a luxury. There is no Starfleet to help those in need, and his crewmates are more interested in payoffs than in charity. He’s unwilling to steal from a graveyard when he realizes that the abandoned Dominion outpost they are scavenging is the site of the massacre of the New Bajor colony. Though Dez claims to be open to Jake’s values, it’s more of a subterfuge to placate him.
On the planetwide trading post of Ee, Jake encounters a distracted Tosk. Months earlier (about the same time Jake started his own adventure), this Tosk set down on a desolate world in the Idran system. He found a small crystal that gave him a glimpse of a whole city in place of the barren landscape, then implanted in him a new mission—to find the “Other.” Lacking any further guidance, he warily set off in a directionless search. At the same time, Jake and Tosk meet Wex, a Trellian pilgrim seeking a local mystic who is helping the planet’s poor. When they find her, Tosk is certain that she is the Other, and Jake is shocked to find that its Bajor’s lost kai, Opaka Sulan.
Opaka spent a year learning the language of the Ennis and Nol-Ennis tribes and trying in vain to start peace talks. She began meditating on the battlefield, refusing to pick up a weapon in self-defense or vengeance despite being killed multiple times. The soldiers’ suspicions eventually gave way to intrigue, and Zlangco and Shel-la agreed to the first of several cease fires. The tribes began to meditate with Opaka, ultimately uniting into one tribe, the Sen-Ennis. Soon after, an alien ship crashed, the latest victim of the planet’s security web, and Opaka and the Sen-Ennis nursed her back to health. Upon recovery, the alien revealed herself to be Raiq, an Ascendant. Her people are on a millennia-old Quest to find the Fortress, the hidden home of the True (gods), cleansing the stars of heresy (genocide) as they go. They hope to be judged worthy before burning in eternal fire. As a reward for saving her life, Raiq disables the security grid, as well as the microbes keeping the Sen-Ennis immortal yet infertile, allowing them to have a normal life again. Though most people remain at their new home to raise families, Opaka and some of the Sen-Ennis venture out to the stars, helping those in need on several worlds before ending up on Ee.
Having foreseen this encounter in her dreams, Opaka agrees to help the Tosk fulfill his mission, and then to return to Bajor as the Herald of Jake’s prophecy. Dez is easily convinced to ferry Tosk and Opaka to Idran, confiding only in Facity that he suspects Tosk discovered the fabled world of the Eav’oq, who disappeared 50,000 years ago. On the barren world, Opaka follows a strong sense of pagh to a cave containing Bajoran stones arranged unnaturally and alien writing scratched into the wall. Tosk is able to read the text to the group, fulfilling his mission, moments before the Hunters arrive and kill him. Following Tosk’s instructions and using his own knowledge of ancient Bajoran archaeology, Jake touches the stones in the proper sequence, revealing the lost Eav’oq and their city in a sort of stasis. At the same time, the Wa momentarily erupts throughout the Even and the entire Idran system moves to the position of the wormhole. One Eav’oq, Itu, awakens and warmly greets Opaka and the landing party, thanking them for restoring his people. The Eav’oq are pacifists who revere the “Siblings” and their “Eyes of Light,” but they were attacked for their religious beliefs and fled into a transdimensional realm. Unable to wake themselves, they had left the crystals (like the one Tosk found) for someone else to summon their return. Opaka realizes the similarities (and some extreme differences) in the religions of the Bajorans, the Eav’oq, and the Ascendants: the Prophets, the Siblings, and the True are all the same creatures living within the wormhole/ Temple/Fortress; their orbs are the same whether called Tears of the Prophets, Eyes of Light, or Eyes of Fire; Bajoran pagh and Eav’oq res are the same spiritual energy. Opaka marvels at this new “sister” race, though she’s uncertain how her people will receive them. She can feel that their pagh is strong, but the Eav’oq have no actual worship or rituals; they believe each person will ascend to become a new Sibling themselves. Though beautiful, their beliefs are quite different from Bajor’s, and they challenge Bajorans’ singular relationship with the Prophets. However, she is sure that Bajor and the Eav’oq must stand together against the coming Ascendant threat.
Jake finds the Even’s crew carrying out minor plunder of the Eav’oq city and realizes that Dez had no intentions of charity; he was only chasing the next reward. Wary of Dez’s different values and well-intentioned though still hurtful lies, and finally accepting his own life’s path, he decides to return to Bajor with Opaka. Dez snaps at him, then pleads, but they ultimately part on good terms. After spending a few days with the Eav’oq, Jake, Opaka, and Wex pilot Tosk’s ship towards the wormhole. Their ship breaks apart, but they are "rescued" by Weyoun aboard a Jem’Hadar ship before being delivered to the approaching Defiant. Jake learns that he can chart his own course, independent from his father, having helped to change the face of the Gamma Quadrant on his own merits, and that his adventure was a promising start to a whole series of stories.
This story establishes Opaka’s given name as Sulan, the Ascendants, the Ea'voq, and the crew of the Even Odds (later revisited in Sacraments of Fire).
The last time Dez was as quick to trust (as he is of Jake), Vash took advantage of him.
Friagloims are born as 3-, 4-, or 5-segment beings, no more or less.
Merdosians, such as Pri’ak, have transparent teeth implanted in place of real teeth due to cultural belief that liars’ tongues turn color. It’s more of a cultural habit than it is based in fact.
The Ennis/Nol-Ennis homeworld is Tevlin-De.
The Ascendants’ Quest (and Cleansing) have been going on for millennia, their homeworld lost to time. They have a lifespan of at least 300 years. Their numbers are diminishing, and they now rely on advanced technology to carry out their mission. They gather every fifty years to exchange information, technology, and to mate.
"…battles fall and fail, and there is a Time of waiting, the space between breaths as the land heals and its children retire from war. The Temple welcomes many home, the faithful and the Chosen."
"A Herald, unforgotten but lost to time, a Seer of Visions to whom the Teacher Prophets sing, will return from the Temple at the end of this time to attend the birth of Hope, the Infant Avatar. The welcomed Herald shares a new understanding of the Temple with all the land's children. Conceived by lights of war, the alien Avatar opens its eyes upon a waxing tide of Awareness."
"The journey to the land hides, but is difficult; prophecies are revealed and hidden. The first child, a son, enters the Temple alone. With the Herald, he returns, and soon after, the Avatar is born. A new breath is drawn and the land rejoices in change and clarity."
- - Prophecy from the Ohalu Text
- This novel spans a long period of time, beginning just after Avatar, Book Two and ending during the events of Lesser Evil.
- This book was named the seventh-best Star Trek novel in TV Zone #207. Rising Son was described as being "moving" and "charming". Other novels to be included in the top ten list were The Galactic Whirlpool, The Entropy Effect, The Final Reflection, My Enemy, My Ally, Once Burned, The 34th Rule, Ex Machina, A Time to Kill and Crucible: Provenance of Shadows. Marco Palmieri commented: "Jake's journey is the journey of anyone trying to overcome personal loss and find their way back. His odyssey with the Even Odds and its colorful crew of fortune hunters, which Danelle created, presented a rare opportunity to tell a Star Trek story entirely outside the usual Starfleet point of view" . (Voyages of Imagination, p. 161)
- Cover art by Cliff Nielsen.
- Allo Glessin is one Cardassian who survived the battle between the joint Cardassian-Romulan task force and the Dominion, as told in DS9: "The Die is Cast".
- There are at least three civilizations with strong ties to the Prophets: the Bajorans and the Eav'oq worship the Prophets, while the Ascendants fear them and are trying to destroy them.
2369; Ajilon Prime; Alpha Quadrant; Argrathi; arva node; Bajor; Bajoran prophecy; Bajoran religion; Bajoran wormhole; Bareil Antos; Bashir, Julian; B'hala; Breen; Cardassian; Chula; dabo girl; Dax, Ezri; Dax, Jadzia; Deep Space 9; Defiant, USS; dom-jot; Dominion; Dominion War; Earth; Emissary of the Prophets; Federation Alliance; Federation News Service; Ferengi; Rules of Acquisition; Ferenginar; freighter; Gamma Quadrant; Human; Hunter; Iconian; Iconian gateway; Jaro Essa; Jem'Hadar; kai; Karemma; Kira Nerys; Li Nalas; Metron; New Bajor; Nog; Occupation of Bajor; O'Brien, Miles; Odo; Organian; pagh; Parada; Q (species); Quark; Quark's; Reckoning; Rom; satellite; Shakaar Edon; Shel-la, Golin; Starfleet; United Federation of Planets; Vedek Assembly; Vorta; Wadi; Winn Adami; Yates, Kasidy; Zlangco
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