Fearful Symmetry by P-SimonSchuster


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									Fearful Symmetry
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Author: Olivia Woods

In our universe, a Cardassian sleeper agent--Iliana Ghemor--was once surgically altered to resemble and
replace resistance fighter Kira Nerys, future Starfleet captain and hero of the planet Bajor's liberation.
That plan never reached fruition, and the fate of the agent remained unknown...until now.Robbed of the
past sixteen years, Iliana Ghemor is back with a vengeance. Over a decade and a half of imprisonment
and abuse by her former masters has brought her to the brink of madness, sustained only by the twisted
belief that she is, in fact, the real Kira Nerys. She has already made one near-successful attempt on the
real Kira's life, but instead of assuming the identity of the woman she was intended to replace, Ghemor
has set her sights on the most unexpected target of all: Kira's other double, the malicious Intendent,
Bajor's iron-fisted ruler in the alternate reality commonly known as the "Mirror Universe." But far more is
unfolding in the Mirror Universe than Ghemor realizes, and the heroes of Deep Space Nine somehow
must stop the false Kira without derailing the delicate flow of history that must unfold if both universes,
and countless others, are to survive.Parallel stories set in both universes reflect and build upon each
other in this Two-in-One "Flip Book," the continuation of both the ongoing DS9 saga as well as the Mirror
Universe line of books.

PrologueSeven days agoThe world receded behind an infinite vista of radiant white, until all that remained
was the beating of his heart -- the steady rhythm that kept him anchored to his life on the linear plane. He
found his hand, long brown fingers flexing above his open palm, just as he had done during his original
encounter with the Prophets. And like that first time, he came to understand that he was not alone.But he
had intuited from the start that this was not to be another meeting with the wormhole entities. His sudden
need to experience the Orb that had guided him here had come from his vague sense of a different sort of
connection, one deep in the center of his being...something that transcended even the most intimate
relationships of his linear life. As his awareness continued to spread outward, he started to recognize
those who were already assembled here: seven others who had, like him, been drawn by necessity to
this place that was not a place, at a time when there was no time. He walked forward into a circle of
Emissaries.A gathering of men named Benjamin Sisko.They looked at one another across the whiteness,
men from different universes; each one, like him, born by design, and each of whom in time -- despite
how differently their lives had unfolded -- had met his destiny on a world called Bajor.Ben felt the void at
once, a cold and yawning emptiness very close by, like a missing piece of his soul. To his immediate
right, there was a break in the circle. Someone was missing."I take it," he said, "that we're here to do
something about the hole in our ranks.""Not us," said one of the others. "You."Ben's gaze fixed upon the
speaker, a clean-shaven civilian wearing the formal attire of a Federation diplomat, and as their identical
eyes met, his counterpart's life and the world from which he came were suddenly an open book:
Ambassador Sisko of the UFP Diplomatic Corps, who had lost his wife Jennifer on Cardassia Prime
during a suicide attack by Kohn-Ma terrorists, even as he was trying to negotiate the withdrawal of
Cardassia's military forces from Bajor....Ben heard his heart beating faster. He focused on the sound,
followed it back to his true self, realizing that it would be all too easy to become lost in the alternate lives
arrayed around him. "I don't understand.""He was your responsibility," someone else said. Ben turned
and focused past the break in the circle, where another counterpart was gesturing toward the vacant
space between them. What appeared to be a dagger was sheathed in the sashlike belt of his gaudy
metallic uniform: Fleet Captain Sisko, the military governor of Bajor under a Terran Empire that never fell,
the livid scar across his right, sightless eye the only legacy of the father who had betrayed him. "It was
your task to reach him, to convince him to take his place among us.""What are you talking about?" Ben
asked. "I never even met our counterpart in that reality. How is anything about him or that universe my
responsibility?""You ignored the signs," the imperial said."What signs? Every crossover was their doing,
except for the first one, and that was entirely by accident!" As he spoke, the events of that original
contact came back to him: Nerys and Julian's runabout mysteriously malfunctioning as it entered the
wormhole, out of control until it emerged, inexplicably, in the alternate universe of the Intendant.Then he
paused, comprehension slowly dawning...along with the terrible realization that he had been blind to a
pattern that had been...

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