By David Mack

They have been created to be killing machines. extremely smart, inventive, and deceptively complicated, the Jem'Hadar are a species engineered for warfare and programmed on the genetic point for one function: to struggle until eventually loss of life as infantrymen of the sprawling stellar empire referred to as the kingdom. No Jem'Hadar has ever lived thirty years, and never even their masters, the shape-shifting Founders, be aware of what one of these creature is in a position to changing into have been it to be freed of its servitude.

One Founder, in spite of the fact that, has dared to ask yourself.

Appointed by way of Odo himself to benefit peaceable coexistence aboard Deep area 9 ™, Taran'atar, an commemorated Elder one of the Jem'Hadar, had for months been a staunch, if conflicted, best friend to the team of the station, ever suffering to appreciate the undertaking on which he was once despatched . . . until eventually anything went horrifically flawed.

fed on by way of self-doubt and an ever-growing rage, Taran'atar has lashed out opposed to these he was once sworn to assist. whereas Captain Kira Nerys and Lieutenant Ro Laren either lie close to dying aboard DS9, their assailant has taken a hostage and fled into Cardassian area, pursued through Commander Elias Vaughn at the U.S.S. Defiant. yet because the hunt unfolds, Taran'atar's real goal turns into more and more much less yes, because the rogue Jem'Hadar leads the Defiant to a discovery much more surprising than his crime.

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She’s method off her flight plan and cruising at warp eight-point-one. ” Vaughn was once definite Dax had learn the warp-speed facts improper. “Eight-point-one? A runabout? ” “Lieutenant Nog’s been toying with a few ‘upgrades,’ sir. ” “Ensign Selzner,” Vaughn bellowed to the communications officer. “Hail the Euphrates, precedence one. positioned it onscreen. ” “Aye, sir,” Selzner stated as she entered the instructions. a number of stressful seconds dragged earlier whereas she labored at her console, frustration slowly twisting her overbite right into a frown. “No reaction, sir. ” “Are you yes they’re receiving us? ” “Yes, sir. ” Selzner checked her readings back. “I have a proven sign lock, yet no reaction. ” “Open a channel,” Vaughn stated. He waited until eventually Selzner nodded to him that it used to be prepared, then he persevered. “Runabout Euphrates, this can be Commander Vaughn on Deep house nine. we all know you’re receiving us. reply instantly. That’s an order. ” The silence weighed seriously on Vaughn, who was hoping that Dax and Si Naran have been mistaken, that Taran’atar was once nonetheless at the station, and that Prynn used to be out on one other of her ordinary high-speed joyrides, track blaring so loud that it drowned out the comm. It was once a reassuring lie, yet he didn’t think it. “Dax,” he acknowledged. “Access the runabout’s transponder and start up a command override. i need that send again now. ” “Aye, sir,” Dax stated. She opened the command channel to the Euphrates whereas Si Naran retrieved its command prefix code. With each passing second, Vaughn imagined that he may well truly think the Euphrates—and Prynn—racing further from his succeed in. Then a shrill alert tone from the placement desk introduced Dax and Si Naran’s joint efforts to a halt. Dax appeared up from her paintings, her face taut from the hassle of attempting to conceal her dismay. “The runabout’s transponder is offline,” she stated. “We can’t interact the override. ” “Si Naran,” Vaughn stated, “get a long-range sensor lock at the Euphrates and music it so long as you could. ” Si Naran nodded as soon as and went to paintings. Vaughn became towards Dax. “Taran’atar’s at the Euphrates, and I’m going after him within the Defiant. You’re accountable for the station until eventually i am getting again. ” “Good good fortune, sir. ” Vaughn tapped his combadge as he moved towards the turbolift. “Vaughn to Bowers. ” “Bowers the following. ” “Get to the Defiant and prep her to send out, at the double. around up a safety crew that has strive against event opposed to Jem’Hadar. ” “Aye, sir,” Bowers stated. “On my approach. ” “Vaughn out. ” The turbolift arrived. He stepped inside of and directed it easily, “Defiant. ” staring at the decks rush earlier because the raise descended, acid churned in Vaughn’s intestine. His pulse was once heavy and oppressive, thudding mercilessly in his ears, and his breath got here fast and shallow. He focused on slowing his breathing and fought to regular his shaking body, which all at once felt as previous as its years. Cool head, he instructed himself. Don’t lose keep an eye on. Calm. regardless of years of educating, he couldn’t resolve the knot of anger swelling inside of him. He couldn’t unclench his jaw. there has been no trick he knew that may ease his swelling fury.

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