(written from a Production point of view)
Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume Three: The Dominion and Ferenginar is a Pocket DS9 novel – part of the Deep Space Nine relaunch series and the third novel in the Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series – written by David R. George III and Keith R.A. DeCandido. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in January 2005.
- From the book jacket
- Within every federation and every empire, behind every hero and every villain, there are the worlds that define them. In the aftermath of Unity and in the daring tradition of Spock's World, The Final Reflection, and A Stitch in Time, the civilizations most closely tied to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine can now be experienced as never before… in tales both sweeping and intimate, reflective and prophetic, eerily familiar and utterly alien.
- FERENGINAR: Quark's profit-driven homeworld is rocked with scandal as shocking allegations involving his brother's first wife, the mother of Nog, threaten to overthrow Rom as Grand Nagus of the Ferengi Alliance. Making matters worse, Quark has been recruited by Rom's political adversaries to join their coup d'état, with guarantees of all Quark ever dreamed if they succeed in taking his brother down. While Ferenginar's future teeters on the edge, the pregnancy of Rom's current wife, Leeta, takes a difficult turn for both mother and child.
- THE DOMINION: Since its defeat in the war for the Alpha Quadrant, the Great Link – the living totality of the shape-shifting Founders – has struggled with questions. At its moment of greatest doubt, its fate, and that of the Dominion itself, is tied to Odo's investigation of his kind's true motives for sending a hundred infant changelings out into the galaxy.
- As Odo searches for answers and takes a hard look at his past choices, Taran'atar reaches a turning point in his own quest for clarity… one from which there may be no going back.
"Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed" (Ferenginar)
Quark is contracted by Chek, CEO of Chek Pharmaceuticals, to host a secret meeting for some of Ferenginar's wealthiest men. They want to oust Rom and restore the old Ferenginar, and they want Quark's help to do it. The bartender-turned-ambassador is torn between self-interest, family connections, and a deep nostalgia for the glory days of greed. He decides to visit Ferenginar to see the situation firsthand, inviting Ro and Nog along as well.
Rom is overwhelmed by running the government, instituting mass social reforms, facing the cutthroat Congress of Economic Advisors, and dealing with Leeta's hospitalization due to her difficult interspecies pregnancy. His First Clerk, Krax (son of Zek), and Ishka (who temporarily leaves Zek and retirement) help him run the government. Congressman Liph is fired for stealing government funds and investing them poorly, paving the way for Brunt's appointment to the Congress over Rom's objections. Brunt presents evidence that Rom is in breach of a Ferengi contract, claiming that Rom signed an indefinite extension of his first marriage contract (to Prinadora, Nog's mother) and that Rom's abandonment of a "dutiful Ferengi wife" in favor of an alien woman and a "half-breed" child should result in his removal as nagus. Rom is too distracted by Leeta's poor health to dispute Brunt's claims, leaving Quark, Nog, and Ro to deal with the crisis. Ro finds Ferenginar's weather and culture distasteful.
Gaila brings Zek back to Ferenginar and coerces him into publicly denouncing Rom. Nog is spurred to reconnect with his mother, but is disappointed to find her a simpleton raised in "traditional Ferengi values." Ro and Nog are unable to prove the contract as a fake through conventional means, but Ro does find evidence that Investigator Rwogo (hired by Brunt to investigate the matter) was likely bribed with large shares of stock in Chek Pharmaceuticals. That company is heavily promoting Brunt for nagus and Eelwasser Soda over competitors Rom and Slug-o-Cola (CEO Nilva is also on the Congress). Their only option is to compare Brunt's copy of the contract with its official copy filed in the Glat Archive, the final word in the sanctity of all Ferengi contracts. However, only two people can access the Archive and it takes months to get a response. Quark hires Eliminator Leck to break into the Archive, a fortress hidden within a highly toxic swamp and employing state-of-the-art security. Using a high-tech protective bog suit and an Orion codebreaker, Leck breaks into the Archive and steals an official copy of the contract, proving Brunt's copy to be a forgery. Ro and Nog link Brunt, Rwogo, Dav (Prinadora's father), and Chek to Gash, the prolific forger who created the false contract. Quark confronts Rom about his failure to denounce the fake contract, and Rom reveals that he didn't read the contract before signing it. He'd been beaten down by Keldar, Quark, and all of Ferengi society his whole life, and only started to make his own decisions because of Leeta. She’s more important to him than anything else, and he refuses to leave her side until she awakens from her coma. Quark calls him an idiot for abandoning all of the social reforms he's built in favor of a female.
The Congress agrees to hear Quark's evidence before voting on Rom's removal (Rom himself is absent). He presents the official copy of the contract, proving that its limited term has expired, reveals the conspiracy between Dav, Chek, and Brunt, and even has Gash confess his forgery. Ro takes it a step further, citing the 17th Rule of Acquisition that "a contract is a contract is a contract – but only between Ferengi." No one has presented Rom and Leeta's marriage contract as evidence of his breach of the first contract, and even if they had, it's not a Ferengi contract and therefore not recognized. As Brunt makes a final impassioned speech, Rom arrives with his own speech – championing the new ways, promising profit for all, and leading their people away from their poor (yet deserved) caricature. He reminds everyone that the Alpha Quadrant nearly fell to the Dominion because the various powers were divided, and those who stood with the Dominion now lie in ruin. For Ferenginar to survive, it must become an important contributing member of the galactic community. Rom retains the nagushood and shares the news that Leeta and their newborn daughter are healthy. They name the baby Bena, after the Emissary, though the word means "underflooring" in the Ferengi language.
Brunt is ousted from the Congress and stripped of all power and wealth, though he does win ten bars of latinum in the baby raffle, correctly guessing the sex, date, and time of Bena's birth. With no other options, he agrees to a partnership with Gaila offworld. Chek and Eelwasser suffer huge financial losses for their involvement in forging a Ferengi contract. Quark realizes that Krax helped to engineer the plot against Rom, but Krax claims he did it to solidify Rom's power. He discovered the plot already underway and forced the conspirators to act before they could build support and a stable foundation, thus enabling all of them to be discredited in one move. Quark keeps Krax's secret but promises to collect on this debt one day. Zek and Ishka return to their retirement, though Ishka brings Prinadora along as her personal assistant, promising to educate and "retrain" her.
Back on the station, Ro questions Quark's values and practices and admits to her total disgust with Ferengi culture. She compliments Quark as the embodiment of the modern Ferenginar, earning profit without generally hurting others (much), but she also calls out his lasciviousness and constant scheming. She ends their romantic relationship, agreeing to remain friends but vowing to hold him accountable for any illegalities she discovers.
- A businessman named Fram bought the rights to the concept of a latinum receptacle (used in great quantities across the Ferengi Alliance) for a pittance, then patented the device and made a fortune. He later used that fortune to build the Fram Spaceport, the largest on the planet, bringing in even more revenue.
- The Ferengi earring-necklace combination is known as a neckframe.
- This story establishes five new Rules of Acquisition:
- #20 – He who dives under the table today lives to profit tomorrow.
- #25 – You pay for it, it's your idea.
- #88 – It ain't over 'til it's over.
- #200 – A Ferengi chooses no side but his own.
- #280 – If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
- Leeta grew up a servant girl in the home of a Cardassian man named Gallek. As she grew older, he was attracted to her but never touched her. She used his infatuation to influence him to treat all of his servants better. He died shortly before the end of the occupation.
"Olympus Descending" (The Dominion)
Odo returns to the Great Link after several months away, tracking rumors of Opaka Sulan and the Ascendants. He notes a nearby supernova dominating the sky and finds his fellow Changelings to be agitated. He continues his work to reform the Dominion from within, presenting new perspectives to the Link and trying to foster new attitudes in Weyoun and Jem'Hadar Seventh Rotan'talag (one of the few Jem'Hadar found to be free of his white addiction). Spurred by the actions of defective clone Weyoun 6, Odo salvaged Weyoun 8's neural transcoder implant in the hopes that a future clone would also question the status quo. Odo posted both "aberrations" aboard Jem'Hadar Attack Vessel 971, which he visits frequently for private reflection and to maintain a connection to time and his life outside of the Link. Laas, having made it his personal mission to seek out more of the Hundred, returns with two of the lost Changelings and the remains of a third, killed by solids. He decries the violence of the solids but is also incensed at the Link for sending defenseless, ignorant, untrained Changelings out into the galaxy to suffer loneliness and death. Laas questions why the Hundred were sent out in the first place and how they were expected to accomplish a mission when they know nothing about it or even about themselves.
Odo finds a Founder (whom he nicknames Indurane, Bajoran for "ancient") willing to answer Laas' questions and to provide more insight on their people. Changelings do not appear to have any gender and do not procreate. Without procreation, each Changeling death diminishes the whole and brings their species closer to extinction.
The Great Link is made up of individuals, but also contains a mass of unformed biomatter. Pieces of this mass occasionally separate to become new individuals, but there are no Changeling infants; the term "newly formed" has no direct parallel to humanoid life. These new beings' small size and lack of shape-shifting abilities is due to inexperience rather than youth. Legend tells that a Changeling god, the Progenitor, created the universe, ultimately taking a group of solids and remaking them in its own image, creating the Changelings by design rather than evolution. The Progenitor then disappeared. Hoping to reconnect with their god and to stave off extinction, the Founders sent the Hundred out into the galaxy as a means of luring the Progenitor back to the Omarion Nebula. The Hundred were sent out ignorant of the plan to prevent solids from exploiting it and were not expected to actively search for the Progenitor. Indurane says they hid these truths from Odo and Laas out of shame, as the Link failed the Hundred, though the Hundred did not fail the Link. Many believe that the nova in the sky signals the Progenitor's return, so Odo, Laas, and Indurane travel to the nova to investigate.
Odo keeps to himself during the journey, feeling distant from his people and reflecting on his new knowledge. He struggles to accept his people's lack of procreation and eventual extinction, and he's wary of the fanciful legends and of how the Founders will react if they don't find the Progenitor. Upon arrival, they discover a planetary body composed of bio-mimetic material rather than rock or gas. However, this immense Changeling is dead, killed by radiation from the nova (which was caused by the Ascendant's isolytic subspace weaponry). Indurane and the other Founders are grief-stricken. The Great Link decides to disperse across the galaxy, to wallow in their anguish and guilt over failing the Hundred and luring the Progenitor to its death. Only Odo and Laas remain to prevent the entire Dominion from descending into chaos and revolt, and to prepare for the imminent Ascendant threat.
Vorta commander Vannis investigates the Ascendant crash site on the Sen-Ennis moon before dealing with a famine. Overne III recently suffered an agricultural plague that wiped out most of their food stores. As mass producers of Jem'Hadar ships and weapons, their population must be maintained. Vannis claims 75% of the food supplies of new Dominion member world Rindamil III, where the population is deemed to be less important. The Rindamil can offer no resistance without suffering the wrath of the Jem'Hadar, leaving many of their people to die from malnutrition and starvation over the coming months.
Taran'atar finds that his lack of ketracel-white, though non-lethal, causes him to sleep and to dream. He becomes increasingly agitated and convinced that he is defective and his mission is futile. He abhors the stations' residents, and though Kira has earned his respect, she serves as the figurehead of his frustrations. Taran'atar requests permission to visit the Founder Leader. She waived her right to a trial and agreed to solitary imprisonment so that Odo would return to the Great Link. Due to her longevity (she's already more than seven hundred years old), her sentence will be reexamined every fifty years. Taran'atar vows that his intention is not to release her and that he wouldn't do anything to endanger her life, claiming only that he "wishes to be of service to one of his gods." Though many people are still wary of his motives, the request is granted, so he and Kira travel to Ananke Alpha, a maximum security facility hidden within an asteroid in a barren star system. In a truth kept even from himself, he hopes that the Founder will release him from Odo's "pointless" mission and allow him to return to the Dominion. The Founder states that Odo's loyalties are divided, that his efforts to barter peace will fail, and that she believes he will abandon the Link for as long as Kira lives. She also declares that the Founders are not gods and chastises Taran'atar for presuming that he could help her.
Fearing that her isolation has impacted her state of mind, Taran'atar helps the Founder to escape. Using his shrouding abilities as a remote image generator, he makes it appear that she's still in her cell while he exits several layers of security, with the Changeling disguised as his clothing. When the illusion fails, he kills many guards and penetrates the final security barriers, though he suffers an intense radiation burst and a phaser shot. He kills Kira to reach the runabout, deliberately disobeying Odo's orders to obey her. However, he awakens to discover that the escape was all a dream. The Founder denigrated his visit and they left the prison without incident. Shrouding can't function as he used it in his dream. Trapped in the Alpha Quadrant, lacking purpose, and doubting his own physical abilities and sanity, he snaps. He destroys his quarters, imagining that he's slaughtering the station crew. When Kira and Ro respond to the internal security alarm, he attacks, breaking Ro's spine and plunging a knife deep into Kira's heart. Leaving them both to die, he heads for a runabout to escape to the Gamma Quadrant.
- This novel explains how and why another Weyoun is featured in the DS9 relaunch novels, despite the fact the Female Changeling had declared Weyoun 8 to be the last clone in "What You Leave Behind."
- Odo and Kira's unseen closet conversation in "You are Cordially Invited" is depicted. Odo tells Kira that he shouldn't have agreed to her request that he not to link with the Founder leader; it was unfair of her to ask him to break off contact with his people and to so go against his nature. It's also unfair of Kira to be angry at him for having humanoid sex with the Founder; he was trying to teach the latter more about humanoid life. He tries to educate her about Changelings and the Link, though he himself doesn't know many details. Linking doesn't mean sharing everything one knows, only what they chose to share. He draws parallels between Kira's connection to the Prophets and his to the Founders, and that they've both done things that they aren't proud of on behalf of their peoples. He acknowledges that he acted out of character and that makes it hard for Kira to trust him, but they begin to repair their friendship
- Vannis visits the moon where the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis fought, as seen in Battle Lines and Rising Son.
- Kira picks up the station's newest runabout, NCC-75353, which she names Yolja after a river on Bajor.
- Ananke Alpha first appeared in the comic "Alien Spotlight: Cardassians".
- The Ascendants were previously encountered in the novel Rising Son.
- Author Keith DeCandido noted that the idea for his story came from a scene he wrote in his earlier relaunch novel, Demons of Air and Darkness. He was keen to combat the stereotype of himself as "the Klingon guy" and felt that the Ferengi were a perfect counterbalance. (Voyages of Imagination, pp. 275-276)
- David George found the sections of his story dealing with the communication within the Great Link extremely difficult to write, because of the very nature of the Link. (Voyages of Imagination, pp. 276-277)
- Cover art by Geoffrey Mandel, design by John Vairo, Jr..
- 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.
"Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed"
- Quark (β)
- Barkeeper and Ferengi ambassador on Bajor
- Rom (β)
- Grand Nagus
- Leeta (β)
- wife of Rom
- Nog (β)
- Son of Rom, chief engineer on DS9
- Brunt (β)
- Former FCA member
- Gaila (β)
- Quark's cousin
- Ro Laren (β)
- Security officer on DS9
- Ishka (β)
- Mother of Quark and Rom and lover of Zek
- Zek (β)
- Former Grand Nagus
- Krax (β)
- Zek's son, now Rom's aide
- Leck (β)
- An eliminator
- Prinadora (β)
- First wife of Rom, mother of Nog
- Treir (β)
- Orion female, dabo girl in Quark's Bar
- Hetik (β)
- Dabo boy in Quark's Bar
- Odo (β)
- Changeling, one of the Hundred; When Odo and the female Changeling joined (see DS9: "Behind the Lines"), Odo later also slept with her, in order to show her how solids experience intimacy
- Laas (β)
- Another Changeling, also one of the Hundred
- Female Changeling (β)
- Leader of the Dominion during the Dominion war; now imprisoned by the Federation
- Kira Nerys (β)
- Captain on DS9
- Ro Laren (β)
- Chief of Security on DS9
- Taran'atar (β)
- Jem'Hadar warrior on assignment on DS9 by orders of Odo
- Weyoun 9 (β)
- Vannis (β)
- USS Brahmaputra (β)
- DS9 runabout
- USS Yolja (NCC-75353) (β)
- DS9 runabout
- USS Mjolnir (β)
- Norway-class starship
- "Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- "The Dominion: Olympus Descending" at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
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