|Zero Sum Game|
|Published:||paperback - November 2010|
German language edition cover by Martin Frei
- A spy for the Typhon Pact—a new political rival of the Federation—steals the plans for Starfleet's newest technological advance: the slipstream drive. To stop the Typhon Pact from unlocking the drive's secrets, Starfleet Intelligence recruits a pair of genetically enhanced agents: Doctor Julian Bashir, of station Deep Space 9, and Sarina Douglas, a woman whose talents Bashir helped bring to fruition, and whom Bashir thinks of as his long-lost true love.
- Bashir and Douglas are sent to infiltrate the mysterious species known as the Breen, find the hidden slipstream project, and destroy it. Meanwhile, light-years away, Captain Ezri Dax and her crew on the USS Aventine play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a Typhon Pact fleet that stands between them and the safe retrieval of Bashir and Douglas from hostile territory.
The story begins in April 2382 with the Utopia Planetia Ship Yards under attack by an unknown assailant. Admiral Akaar on Earth is informed that Starfleet believes that the two explosions which went off were to cover the escape of an engineer named Kazren, who has stolen the plans for the quantum slipstream drive. Starfleet also believes that he escaped to the Typhon Pact using a Romulan ship with phased cloaking capability. Given the tactical advantage of having a slipstream drive, President Bacco authorizes Starfleet to conduct a covert ops mission to recover the plans.
Julian Bashir is on DS9, taking stock of the last few years of his life. He is now over 40 and has been on the station for thirteen years, and he has been overcome with loneliness. Miles and Garak are still on Cardassia, Sisko is on Bajor, Odo has not returned from the Gamma Quadrant, and Ezri has taken command of the USS Aventine. Bashir enters the infirmary to see Prynn Tenmei looking after her father, Elias Vaughn. Vaughn has been in a coma since a disastrous Borg encounter onboard his commanded vessel. Bashir again informs Tenmei that his medical opinion is to let him go peacefully, but Tenmei is not ready to make that decision.
Bashir is called into Ops by Captain Ro Laren, who is now DS9's commanding officer. She is joined in her office by Commander Aldo Erdona from Starfleet Intelligence, who has come to recruit Bashir for the covert mission. SI believes that by tracking movements of necessary components that they have found the Breen world where the Typhon Pact is building their slipstream vessel. As Starfleet knows almost nothing about the Breen language and culture, they want Bashir for his genetically engineered abilities. Bashir reluctantly agrees to meet with SI's experts in preparation for the mission.
However, these experts are revealed to be the "Jack Pack" of genetically altered misfits. Bashir correctly deduces that the Jack Pack will only reveal what they know to him personally. Erdona then brings out Bashir's partner for the mission, Sarina Douglas. By analyzing their speech patterns and physical movements, the Jack Pack has theorized that the Breen are not one species, but instead several species. After a private talk with Sarina, who Bashir still believes is his long lost true love, he agrees to go with her on the mission.
Bashir and Sarina have joined Captain Dax on the Aventine, which will take them to the Breen border. Their infiltration plan involves using a Breen ship captured in tact along with the identification credentials of a Breen civilian vessel recently destroyed. Bashir is summoned after the meeting to have dinner with Dax. After some warm moments, the two have a childish spat and Bashir walks out.
The Aventine crew fake a battle which leaves the captured Breen ship destroyed, with Bashir and Sarina held in one of the Breen escape pods. The Breen Confederate frigate Torzat receives the set up distress signal, and "rescues" Bashir and Sarina, who are in Breen refrigeration suits. Their fake ID credentials work and they are assigned quarters until they can reach Salavat.
The Aventine's sensors detect the Breen ship picking up the escape pod, but some sensor artifacts leaves the crew to believe they are likely being followed by a cloaked Romulan vessel. Dax adjusts their heading to see how interested the Typhon Pact is in their movements.
Bashir and Sarina are dumped on Salavat, where they soon realize that the vast majority of the colony city is underground. Their suit HUDs help with translating the written language, but they soon realize that the Breen also rely heavily on non-verbal body language cues. They find an alleyway which leads to an abandoned maintenance shaft, where they can set up a base and finally spend some time out of their suits.
Dax orders her ship to abruptly reverse course and continue at high warp. Once again Dax wants to see if the Breen can keep up, and what the sensor ghost behind them does.
Julian and Sarina leave their base and walk to a busy marketplace, where they can easily blend in and spy on local conversations. However, they overhear someone reporting their activity to the authorities as suspicious. A siren activates, Bashir and Sarina sprint until they reach a maglev train which they force everybody off of. Bashir is wounded by a guard's disruptor, but is able to escape with Sarina into a tunnel, when the explosives left behind on the train by Sarina detonate. The quiet allows Bashir to quickly repair his leg.
Chot Nar of the Breen Intelligence Directorate realizes that two people are causing errors at various public identification kiosks, and decides to personally track down the pair.
The Aventine receives a distress signal from the SS Tullahoma. The crew realizes it is likely a fake but are nonetheless obligated to investigate.
Nar catches Bashir and Sarina trying to break into a government building. However, Nar reveals that she is a dissident who offers to take them to safety. Back at her dwelling, she unmasks and insists the pair do the same. Bashir and Sarina reveal themselves as Human, and say they are Federation anthropologists. Nar reveals the names of several Breen species, such as her own, the Silwaan. Others include the Fenrisal (which have snouts, hence the mask), Amoniri (which have no blood and need the refrigeration suits), and Paclu (which have four lobed brains that foil telepaths). The Breen uniformity is done to prevent bias. Nobody is supposed to know their true species and identities except for immediate family. Nar is part of a group that wishes to change that, wanting freedom from things like arranged marriages. Nar wants Federation political asylum.
Thot Keer is under pressure to finish the slipstream vessel before they have to give the plans to the Romulans, which would relegate the Breen to a second class Typhon Pact power.
As the Aventine checks the fake distress signal, three Mogai-class Romulan warbirds decloak, leaving the Aventine outgunned. Commander Marius of the warbird Dekkona demands the Aventine's surrender, when five Klingon ships decloak, forcing the Romulans to retreat.
Chon Min arrives at Nar's to meet the Humans and escort them to the dissident hideout. At the sanctuary, the pair see all sorts of unmasked Breen freely moving about a cultural center. They are given a room to wait for Nar.
The Aventine goes back to patrol the border, where they are mirrored by a Breen blockade, which cloaked Romulans among them. Dax is unable to convince Starfleet Command for more Klingon reinforcements.
Alone in their room, Bashir and Sarina admit that they never again want to leave each other, as the spend the night in each other's arms. Nar is able to create new, more convincing identities for the pair. Their credentials will allow them into government and military buildings. However, Nar realizes that someone else has found out about her. She meets with the pair on the street and informs them that their credentials are at the Bank of Feringinar and that she's been compromised.
Bashir and Sarina get through security using their new credentials and search the building. They come across a technician who Sarina is forced to kill. Bashir is in momentary shock over witnessing the killing, and Sarina downloads the data she believes is connected with the slipstream project.
Nar is tortured by a Breen inquisitor, and the pair see the dissident hideout raided from a distance. They eventually check into a hotel that was set up by Nar along with their false identification. Bashir admits to Sarina how uncomfortable he is with the technician's killing, but sees that Sarina's logic in the situation was unbeatable. Breaking the stolen data, they track the slipstream components to a factory in the city of Utyrak, so they leave Rasiuk.
The Aventine crew hatch a plan to fake a Klingon attack by hacking into the Breen comm bouys, reversing their trick on them.
After a long torture session, Nar gives up the pair as Human spies, and tells the inquisitor about the credentials she prepared for them.
Once arriving in Utyrak, the pair realize that the Breen are using a recycling plant as a front for redistributing the parts to the hidden shipyard. At the plant, an alarm forces Bashir and Sarina to separate. Bashir manages to board the vessel headed for the shipyard, but Sarina is captured. Bashir soon realizes his destination is in an asteroid field. After an arduous torture session, Sarina is able to use her last bit of strength to grab a weapon from the Breen guard and make her escape. She takes the inquisitor hostage.
Bashir is able to easily blend in with the busy workers, and comes to the operations center door for the shipyard. He shoots the two armed guards, followed by six more inside the center itself. He sets the shipyard reactor to overload, Thot Keer realizes what is happening and plans to get the prototype (which he named Marjat) out before the shipyard explodes. Bashir uploads the virus to destroy the schematics and replace the backups with fakes. He then shoots two incoming guards and makes his escape. He hijacks a work vehicle and sends it hurdling toward the prototype, but this only slows it down. He then bails and activates his recall beacon. Dax gets the message and kicks off the planned diversion.
Sarina makes it to a hangar and steals a small fighter, setting her weapon to overload as a distraction. Sarina burns out the fighter while shaking her pursuers, and activates her beacon while hurdling toward Bashir. The Aventine arrives, and uses its shields to push the prototype back into the hangar. A last second maneuver allows the Aventine to escape the reactor breach while beaming onboard the pair, and dooming the prototype. The Aventine warps back to Federation space, and Sarina tells Bashir that she wants to stay with him.
Back on DS9, Bashir tells Prynn that while he does not believe that Vaughn will regain consciousness, something inside him is still fighting, and she may want to allow him to do so a little longer.
In the epilogue, Sarina is in Bashir's quarters when she is visited by L'Haan, a Vulcan Section 31 agent. She gives Sarina her next assignment. In order to develop Bashir as a Section 31 asset, Sarina must make Bashir love her. Sarina says that won't be a problem.
- Leonard James Akaar • Nanietta Bacco • Julian Bashir • Bera chim Gleer • Sam Bowers • Brex • Ezri Dax • Sarina Douglas • Aldo Erdona • Ezgog • Gren • Evan Granger • Kellerasana zh'Faila • Fyyl • Gesh • Gruhn Helkara • Jack • Jath • Jex • K'mtok • Keer • L'Haan • Lauren • Lonnoc Kedair • Mikaela Leishman • Lok • Marius • Oliana Mirren • Min • Naaz • Nar/Deshinar Tibbonel • Jang Si Naran • Alynna Nechayev • Neldok • Patrick • Esperanza Piñiero • Quark • Ro Laren • Raisa Shostakova • Rujat Suwadi • T'Latrek • Simon Tarses • Taryl • Prynn Tenmei • Tezrene • Tharp • Tomorok • Trem • Valnor • Elias Vaughn • Vixia
- Referenced only
- Lari Beltane • Cole • Leonardo da Vinci • Cort Enaren • Darwyn Friel • Elim Garak • Edward Jellico • Kazren • Kira Nerys • Krim Aldos • Leeta • Marjat • Miles O'Brien • Odo • Melora Pazlar • Benjamin Sisko • Luther Sloan • Taran'atar
- Alrakis system • B'hava'el system (Bajor-B'hava'el, Deep Space 9, Quark's) • Earth (Palais de la Concorde (Roth Dining Room, Ra-ghoratreii Room) • Salavat (Rasiuk, Utyrak) • Starfleet Command • Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards
- Referenced only
- Andor • Bajor • Deep Space 3 • Draconis sector • Gamma Quadrant • Ravanar • Resinoor Prime • Salavat (Pohodok, Tanhevit) • Sindorin • Starbase 514 • Tellar
Starships and vehiclesEdit
- USS Aventine (Vesta-class) • Breen interceptor • Breen escape pod • USS Defiant (Defiant-class) • IRW Dekkona (Mogai-class) • Guernik (Breen cruiser) • Interceptor Ten • IRW Kytonis (Mogai-class) • Marjat (Breen quantum slipstream prototype) • Negh'Var-class • Qang-class • unnamed Orion corsair • USS Sparrow • IRW Terrinex (Mogai-class)
- Referenced only
- Sitkoskir • SS Tullahoma
Races and culturesEdit
- Andorian • Bajoran • Breen (Amoniri, Fenrisal, Paclu, Silwaan) • Brikar • Bolian • Dessev • Ferengi • Gorn • Human • Klingon • Rigellian • Romulan • Takaran • Tellarite • Thallonian • Tholian • Trill • Zakdorn • Vulcan
- Referenced only
- Borg • Jem'Hadar • Kinshaya • Prophets • Tzenkethi
States and organizationsEdit
- Breen Confederacy (Breen Intelligence Directorate, Breen Militia, Confederate Congress, Confederate Information Bureau, Nezca Squadron • Special Research Division, Ulco Squadron) • Gorn Hegemony • Holy Order of the Kinshaya • Jack Pack • Klingon Empire • Romulan Star Empire • Tholian Assembly • Typhon Pact • Tzenkethi Coalition • United Federation of Planets (Federation Council, Federation Security Agency, Section 31, Starfleet, Starfleet Intelligence) • United Rigel Colonies
- Referenced only
- Corgal Institute • Daystrom Institute • Dominion • Vulcan Science Academy
- Chon • Chot • chroniton integrator • Dominion War • Domo of the Breen Confederacy • energy dampening weapon • Federation President • genetic resequencing • Kukalaka • Malbec • neural truncheon • optolythic data rod • ozuk • pinotage • raktajino • sakto • Starfleet Operational Security Act • thot • The Twilight Kingdoms • Vitruvian Man
- Zero Sum Game marks the first appearance of Deep Space 9 in stories set after Star Trek Nemesis.
- DS9 episode: "Statistical Probabilities"
- DS9 episode: "Chrysalis"
- ST novel: A Time to Kill
- ST - Typhon Pact novel: Rough Beasts of Empire
|Star Trek: Typhon Pact|
|Zero Sum Game • Seize the Fire • Rough Beasts of Empire • Paths of Disharmony • The Struggle Within • Plagues of Night • Raise the Dawn • Brinkmanship|
|Stories featuring the USS Aventine|
|Destiny (Gods of Night • Mere Mortals • Lost Souls) • A Singular Destiny • Zero Sum Game • Brinkmanship • A Ceremony of Losses • Takedown|