In 2370, Jadzia Dax and Arjin, a Trill initiate who had been assigned Dax as his field docent, attempted to pilot the runaboutRio Grande through the wormhole in an attempt to return a rapidly-expanding protouniverse to the Gamma Quadrant, but experienced difficulty in that, every time they passed through a verteron node, the node interacted with the energy fluctuations of the protouniverse, causing a resonance leakage. Although they had attempted to use a powerful containment field to protect the protouniverse from verteron radiation, the attempt failed when the field began to degrade. This forced Arjin, who was a level-five pilot, to precision fly the runabout between the nodes, allowing them to safely return the protouniverse to the Gamma Quadrant. (DS9: "Playing God")
The script described the nodes thusly: "we can see hundreds of light yellow nodes surrounding them: these are verteron nodes... and they create for the runabout an incredible minefield to traverse...". The nodes were also described as
like "icebergs blocking the Titanic".
Glenn Neufeld commented: "We've never seen a verteron node before, so the challenge was determining what they actually look like. There was a lot of discussion about this during the preproduction meeting and it was one of those rare instances where nobody really knew what a node was. In script they were described as fuzzy yellow blobs and this was a big problem for me because there's no scale to fuzzy yellow blobs — you can't tell if you're up close or far away from them. Since nobody knew what they were, I had complete freedom to make them whatever I wanted them to be, so I made the node into these very bizarre asteroid-like things. I decided that they would have this irregular shape with lances of energy shooting out of them, so they would look like something you wouldn't want to run into". Tony Meininger built the model of the node, including an internal light source. (Cinefantastique)