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Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Miniseries: Gateways, No. 4
Author(s): Keith R.A. DeCandido
Publication information
Published: Paperback - September 2001
Pages: 320
ISBN: ISBN 0743418522
Omnibus: Twist of Faith



Once they moved from world to world in a single step, through innumerable doors that spanned the galaxy. They were masters of space, and to those who feared them, they were demons of air and darkness. But long ago they left their empire and their miraculous technology behind. Now someone has found the key to it, and all those doors have been flung open.



A world near Deep Space 9™, threatened with destruction from the distant Delta Quadrant, becomes the focus of a massive rescue effort as Colonel Kira Nerys, her crew, and some unexpected allies fight to avert disaster on a planetary scale. Meanwhile, as Lieutenant Nog and Ensign Thirishar ch'Thane search for a way to shut down the spatial portals forever, Quark becomes involved in a dangerous game that could determine, once and for all, who will control the Gateways.


Two weeks after station Deep Space Nine is brought back to operational status, the USS Defiant begins laying the foundation for a renewed exploration of the Gamma Quadrant - a communications array at the far terminus of the Bajoran wormhole. After testing the functionality, the Defiant is recalled to base for a meeting with Admiral William Ross.

A distress call from Europa Nova was received, and a full scale evacuation of the planet is required to save the population from a sudden onslaught of radioactive antimatter waste. Starfleet also confirms numerous reports of strange displacements throughout known space. Several days prior, the Federation was approached by a group of beings claiming to be the ancient Iconians, seeking to sell their gateway technology to the highest bidder. As a demonstration, they brought the entire network of gateways online. Various vessels are dispatched to map and study the network, but the USS Defiant is tasked in determining why there are no gateways within ten light years of Bajor.

Aboard the runabout Sungari, Nog and Shar take up the investigation of the gateways. With information that a doorway appeared within ten light years of the Gamma Quadrant end of the wormhole, they rule it out as the cause. However, they determine a link between the Denorios Belt and declassified reports from Commander Elias Vaughn's experience with a gateway to suspect that tachyon particles interacting with certain noble gases could cause a disruption of gateway formation. With this information, they are able to construct a method to shut down the gateway network, but the runabout is attacked.

As the Iconians seek the highest bidder, Quark is hired by the Orion Syndicate to negotiate on their behalf; the Iconians end up being represented by his cousin, Gaila. Negotiations proceed well, with Quark producing the best possible offer on behalf of the Syndicate. However, having intercepted the Sungari's communications, Gaili insists Quark is a Starfleet collaborator, working in concert with his nephew Nog. Quark's companion dabo girl turns out to be Ro Laren in disguise, who effects their escape.

Joining the evacuation efforts at Europa Nova, the Defiant is tasked to collect the VIPs, including a visiting Councilor Charivretha zh'Thane. A small gateway is located on the surface, but the other end is on Torona IV, the homeworld of the Jarada, a xenophobic species. Commander Vaughn is able to negotiate with the Jarada to allow a set number of colonists through, in exchange for classified intelligence information. The evacuation proceeds smoothly until the radiation becomes too strong to safely utilize the transporters; vessels able to make a planetary landing shuttle colonists up to the larger craft in orbit. With time running out, Kira decides to take the runabout Euphrates through the gateway to the Delta Quadrant and stop the source of the antimatter waste.

On the other side of the gateway, Kira's runabout detects the waste being offloaded from a Malon vessel, and before she can act, it attacks and disables her ship. Kira and Taran'atar are beamed off by a Hirogen hunter who has captured the Malon ship. Kira is bound and used to bait out the Jem'Hadar, which the Hirogen believes is worthy prey. Taran'atar has shrouded to conceal himself, but the trap lures him out into the open. Rescuing Kira, Taran'atar ensures she escapes back to the runabout safely then remains behind to give her the time she needs to carry out a plan to block the gateway. She installs a shield enhancer from the Malon vessel then plants the Euphrates in the doorway itself, jamming it, then beams off to a barely inhabitable planet.

With the evacuation of Europa Nova complete, Vaughn gives the order to seal the gateways. The tachyon beam is successful in closing the doorways until the Iconians are able to reset the system and reopen the gateways. However, their efforts were watched by the Orion craft, who reveal them as the Petraw. At Europa Nova, the runabout Rio Grande is left behind to await news of the fate of Kira or Taran'atar. Following his extensive battle with the Hirogen, Taran'atar is severely wounded but able to escape in an escape pod and pass through the gateway. However, no sign of Kira can be found - on the planet's surface, she has stepped through another gateway and disappeared.


Julian BashirSam BowersMackenzie CalhounThirishar ch'ThaneJeannette ChaoEzri Dax • Martino DelaCruz • Deru • Walter Emick • Tony Fusco • GailaElim GarakGordimer • Gril • Hig • Kam • Kira Nerys • Kron • Lenaris Holem • Loga • Akellen Macet • Ychell Mafon • Malic • Marssi • Elaine Mello • Monaghan • NogJean-Luc PicardQuarkRenhol • Riilampe • Ro LarenGerda RonessWilliam RossMontgomery ScottElizabeth Shelby • Grazia Silverio • Solok • Spillane • Taran'atarSimon TarsesPrynn TenmeiTreirElias Vaughn • Vincam • Kasidy YatesCharivretha zh'Thane
Referenced only 
Bareil Antos • Cassandra • Corat DamarCurzon DaxJadzia DaxSkrain Dukat • Furel • Tekeny GhemorGirani SemnaHagathHo'nigIshkaIstani ReylaEdward JellicoKeevanKira Reon • Lorit Akrem • Lupaza • Benjamin MaxwellAlynna NechayevNassucKeiko O'BrienMiles O'Brien • Pirak • Prinadora • Regent of Palamar • RomShakaar EdonBenjamin SiskoJake Sisko • T'Nare • Tora ZiyalDonald VarleyWinn AdamiWorf, son of MoghYevir LinjarinZek




Alexandra's Planet • Andor • Armus IX • AR-558BajorBajoran wormhole • Café Roma • Cardassia • Chieti • Chin'toka IXClarus system • Costa Rocosa • Deep Space 9DozariaEuropa NovaFarius PrimeFerenginar • Finneas XII • Gaila's moon • Gallitep labor campGamma QuadrantIconiaKar-telos system• L'Aquila • Malon Prime • MarsMemory AlphaMirror Universe • Osborne's World • Padilla • Palamar • Pullock V • RisaRomulan Neutral ZoneRondac IIIShiKahrSindorinSinghaSisko's house • Spilimbergo • Starbase 96Starfleet HeadquartersTorona IV • Torona Alpha • Vandros IV • Void • Wormhole relay station

Starships and small craft

ApsacBarakaChaffee • USS Defiant • USS Defiant(II) • East WindsUSS EnterpriseUSS Enterprise-DUSS Enterprise-EUSS EuphratesUSS ExcaliburGoldblatt's FollyUSS GryphonHalloranUSS HoodUSS IntrepidUSS Jenolen • IRW MakluanNgQuark's TreasureUSS Rio GrandeSaganUSS SungariUSS T'KumbraIKS Tcha'vothTragerUSS TridentUSS VoyagerXhosaUSS YamatoZelbinion

Starship classes

Akira-classDanube-classDefiant-classFlitter • Hirogen warship • Galor-classIntrepid-class • Malon supertanker • Orion starship

Races and cultures

AndorianBajoranBreenCardassianCarreonDeltanEuropaniFerengiHirogenHumanIconianJaradaJem'HadarKlingonKobheerianMalonOrion • Ovirian • Petraw ProphetsRomulan • Sheliak • TellariteThepnossenTrillVulcanXenexianVorta

States and Organisations

Bajoran MilitiaCardassian GuardCardassian Liberation FrontCouncil of the United Federation of PlanetsDominionFerengi Commerce AuthorityImperial IntelligenceKlingon Defense ForceKlingon EmpireLamnakObsidian OrderOrion Syndicate • Ornathia • Pathfinder ProjectRomulan Star EmpireSection 31StarfleetStarfleet AcademyStarfleet Corps of EngineersTal ShiarUnited Federation of Planets


Akorem Laan MuseumAndorii • anthrazine • antimatter mine • arithrazine • AttainderBajoran languageBajoran religionbaseballBussard collectorChurnikcloaking devicedabo girlDominion WarduraniumespressoFerengi Rules of Acquisitionfirst contactflux capacitorholographic communicatorholosuiteHonored ElderhyronalinIconian Gateway • isolinear rod • Jovian run • jumja stick • kanarKar'takinmonotaniumOccupation of Bajorraktajinoreplicatorroginiumself-replicating mine • shield modulator • shroudsilithiumSlug-o-Cola • structural integrity field • tachyon • tachyon eddy • taspar eggtheta radiationTholian silktube grub


  • The reference books DeCandido used while writing the novel include the Star Trek Encyclopedia, the Star Trek Chronology, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual and the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual.
  • In her review of the Gateways series, Michelle Erica Green named Demons of Air and Darkness as being her favorite. Green also called it "one of the finest Kira stories ever written". [1]


"Attention all hands, this is Commander Vaughn. Starfleet's primary mission has always been one of exporation. Over seven years ago, Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax discovered a stable wormhole in the Denorios Belt, one which opened the door to an entire quadrant of new worlds for us to seek out. Five years ago, Starfleet, Bajoran, and Cardassian personnel worked together to install a subspace array on the Gamma Quadrant side of the wormhole to provide communication between the quadrants. Unfortunately, that array did not survive the hostilities of the Dominion War - a war that, sadly, also closed the door that Benjamin Sisko opened.
"But the war's over now. And thanks to efforts by the cew of the Defiant and Deep Space 9, a new communications array has been successfully deployed and is now online. As of this moment... we're back in the Gamma Quadrant."

-Commander Vaughn

"You believe caring for your home brings you closer to your gods?"
"I suppose that's one way of looking at it," she said neutrally.
"Yet your gods cast you out."
On reflex, Kira's hand went to her right ear, which had gone unadorned since she'd been Attained. "Not my gods," she said, quietly but firmly. "Only a few men and women who claim to represent them"

-Taran'atar and Kira

"I was assigned by Central Command to work with a Starfleet ship to track Maxwell down when he went rogue. That ship was the Enterprise." Macet took a deep breath. "I did as I was told, and we were eventually able to stop Maxwell before he murdered any more citizens of Cardassia. But the strange thing was - Maxwell was right. Those ships were carrying weapons. I did not agree with the actions of Central Command in that case, but I was a good soldier, and said nothing, even when Captain Picard told me he knew the truth.
"I learned an important lesson that day, Commander, and that lesson is why I am here today. You see, both Maxwell and Picard knew that we were violating the treaty. But where Maxwell's reaction was to madly destroy our ships, Picard's was to work to preserve the peace."
Macet took another deep breath and folded his arms. "My people have been too much like Maxwell of late. We have worked against the galaxy. At a time when the entire Alpha Quadrant united against a common threat, we alone stood with the threat - well," he added with a smile, "we and the Breen. We did not realize our mistake until it was too late. Now many of us - including myself - believe that we are better off trying to become part of the quadrant once more. We were a nation to be reckoned with once, Commander. If we are to be so again, we must work with our neighbors to preserve peace, not against them in conflict. You may consider this," he said, holding his hands outward, as if to encompass the entire convoy, "the first step on this road."

Related stories


published order
Previous novel:
DS9 novels
Next novel:
Gateways: What Lay Beyond
"Horn and Ivory"
Previous novel:
Doors Into Chaos
Next novel:
No Man's Land
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Doors Into Chaos
Pocket Next Adventure:
No Man's Land
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine relaunch publications and stories
Novels A Stitch in TimeAvatarAbyssDemons of Air and DarknessTwilightThis Gray SpiritCathedralLesser EvilRising SonThe Left Hand of DestinyUnity • "Cardassia: The Lotus Flower" • "Andor: Paradigm" • "Trill: Unjoined" • "Bajor: Fragments and Omens" • "Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed" • "The Dominion: Olympus Descending" • WarpathFearful SymmetryThe Soul KeyThe Never-Ending Sacrifice
Miniseries and anthologies The Lives of DaxDivided We FallMission GammaWorlds of Deep Space Nine (Volume One, Two & Three)
Short stories and novellas "Horn and Ivory" • "The Officers' Club"
Comics N-Vector • "Crossfire" • "No Quarter" • "All Fall Down" • "United We Stand"
Omnibuses Twist of FaithThese Haunted Seas

This article uses material from the "Demons of Air and Darkness" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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