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Deneb II (or Alpha Cygni II) was a Class M planet, and was the second planet located in the Alpha Cygni system and the site of mass murders of women by the killer Redjac, where he was known as Kesla. (TOS episode: "Wolf in the Fold")
The planet itself had frequent choking sandstorms, as well as not a lot of fresh water. Water that was fresh was kept in wells that needed to be cleaned due to the sandstorms. These wells were owned and controlled by certain families for at least a century as of the 23rd century. (TOS novel: Devil's Bargain)
Deneb II soon became discovered by the Federation and was subjected to the Prime Directive. Even so, the influence of the greater galaxy seeped in and the inhabitants sought to adopt modern ways of doing things. But what was considered out of date by the Federation was considered modern on Deneb II. (TOS novel: Devil's Bargain)
The planetary government, which was not strong to begin with, divided into two factions. The Water Holders were those who still believed in family rights to wells, and also proclaimed that the water in those wells should only be drunk by the well owner family. The Water Sharers believed in communal ownership of the wells. But in Sharer territories, no one kept the wells clean. They blamed the Holders for the bad wells, and the Holders believed the Sharers were sacrilegious polluters who drank unpurified water and had turned into demons as a result. (TOS novel: Devil's Bargain)
A bloody civil war broke out, and both sides had used their planet's wealth from dilithium mining to purchase advanced weaponry, which came with contingents of "advisers." One of these advisers was Johan Merling, who was also serving as a mercenary for the Sharer government. He trained a special forces unit whose mission was to poison Holder wells and knock them out of commission as water sources. (TOS novel: Devil's Bargain)
At first the Holders seemed to have the upper hand for a time. But then the Sharers re-surged, and a mass execution of Holders began. What started as a war became genocide. Out of desperation, the Holders started to use military nanotechnology, which was illegal in the Federation. An example of this kind of technology was the Rendar Mark 7, a type of injector pistol that utilized military nanotech. (TOS novel: Devil's Bargain)
It was unknown who struck first, but someone dropped some nano into the wells. An infected well was literally turned into a poisonous jelly. Those who drank it died writhing in pain, and then their bodies become infected, zombie-like "walkers" that traveled about spreading the contagion. Parts of the planet's surface became uninhabitable. (TOS novel: Devil's Bargain)