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Horn and Ivory
Series: Deep Space Nine
Miniseries: Gateways
Author(s): Keith R. A. DeCandido
Publication information
Printed: What Lay Beyond
Pages: 105-177
Omnibus: Twist of Faith
Date: 2376

After stepping through the gateway, Kira finds herself in Bajor's past, where she is fighting for the freedom of a Bajoran civilization.



After stepping through the Iconian gateway, Kira Nerys is transported several millennia into Bajor's past, and allies herself with rebels against the Lerrit Army, working with Torrna Antosso. After beating back the Army, the rebels organize into the Perikian provisional government, and entertain visitors from the Bajora during their first meeting, who seek them to join their global unification movement. Unwilling to sacrifice their newly gained freedom, the Bajora are rebuked.

General Torrna is named the liaison to the Endtree naval forces who will protect the harbor and port until the Perikians can build their own fleet. Torrna reluctantly agrees to set up an office at the port, but insists that Kira continue to remain with him as his second in command. Despite her best intentions of not working to change the history of Bajor, Kira still accepts the decision she made when she stepped through the gateway, and suspects the Prophets are guiding her. Few historical records of this time and place remained to the present day, so Kira feels confident she can live out as long as she stays.

After a successful naval engagement against pirates, Kira and Torrna receive word of a collapse of the fire caves, likely signaling an increase in traffic to their port. While drawing up plans for improvements to meet the new arrivals, Kira begins to draw parallels between her initial posting on Deep Space Nine and the current situation surrounding her.

The increase in traffic to the port also occurred simultaneously with a resurgence of the Lerrit, who attack mercilessly and manage to capture Torrna and Kira during one engagement. They are able to escape with the assistance of a spy working in the Lerrit organization, but the trek back to their territory is difficult, passing through a swamp and over mountains. Kira fears they will both die - Torrna from an arm wound, and she from exhaustion - but they continue to trek on. After Kira collapses, her thoughts are that she is dying.

She reawakens in the infirmary of their fort, where the nurse informs Kira that she had pneumonia, but her not telling Torrna likely kept him moving and able to drag her with him. The Lerrit have reported them both as executed, as an emotional ploy. Once healed sufficiently, Kira returns to Perikia aboard a naval vessel, and finds the port ablaze. As an act of desperation, the Lerrit have torched it so that no one may control it. With the Prefect and naval Admiral dead, Kira talks Torrna away from killing himself so that he may lead the region.

Without understanding why, Kira explores the caverns below the port, and discovers another gateway. After stepping through, she finds herself on a small circular floor staring up into the galaxy itself. A cloaked figure approaches, and introduces himself as an emissary or a custodian. The possible Iconian has cured her of the radiation sickness, and cleared the antimatter waste from the Europa Nova gateway along with returning the runabout. He opens a doorway for Kira back to Deep Space Nine, but she asks about why there were no gateways near Bajor; the figure cryptically responds that they respect the beings who watch over her worlds, and implores her to never give up her exploratory spirit.

Back on the station, Kira is briefed on the situation, and retreats to the ready room to read up on the historical period she was part of, finding little useful or concrete information. Kira finally removes Sisko's baseball from the desk, no longer hoping for his return to relieve her of the duties of command.


Referenced: Bareil AntosJulian BashirSam BowersSkrain Dukat • Furel • Tiris JastKira TabanKosst Amojan • Lupaza • Akellen MacetOdoPeriki RemarroQuarkRo LarenShabrenShakaar EdonBenjamin Sisko • Syba • TakmorElias VaughnWinn Adami • Ychell Mafon • Charivretha zh'Thane




Referenced: Bajoran wormhole/Celestial TempleBarlin FieldB'hala • Costa Rocosa • Dahkur HillsDelta QuadrantDenorios BeltEuropa NovaFire CavesFounders' homeworldJerad Province • Kendra Valley • Lonnat ValleyMakar ProvinceSempa ProvinceYvrig


Referenced: CardassianHirogenPah-wraithProphets

Starships and other craft

Referenced: USS Defiant | USS Marco Polo | USS Rio Grande | Trager

States and Organizations

Referenced: Alliance for Global UnityBajoran ResistanceDominion • Iconian Empire • Orion Syndicate


Bajoran history • Bajoran languageBajoran prophecyBajoran religion • Baseball • cannonDominion WarEmissary of the ProphetsFlagship • Hezlat • Iconian gateway • Monarchy • Occupation of BajorOrb of TimePaghPagh'tem'far • Piracy • QueenReckoningSailing ship • Shield enhancer • Tachyon eddy • Theta radiationThousands of years agoTime travel • Tuxedo


  • Horn and Ivory continues the story from Demons of Air and Darkness.
  • The title comes from Homer's Odyssey: "Two gates for ghostly dreams there are: One gateway of honest horn, and one of ivory".
  • DeCandido commented ""Horn and Ivory" was great fun to write because it was such an important story for Kira and I was thrilled by the great response to it". (Voyages of Imagination)
  • Horn and Ivory won "Best Short Story" of the 2001 Psi Phi Awards. [1]


In over thirty-three years of life, Kira Nerys had been sure many times that she was going to die.
Thus far, she'd been glad to have been wrong each time, but as she crouched in the half-meter of snow, sweat pouring from her brow even as she shivered uncontrollably, checking to see if anyone was coming up behind them, she was starting to wish she would die, just so her present hell would end.

-Kira Nerys, reflecting on her escape from capture

"You see that?"
"I don't see anythin' but-"
Losing all patience, Kira screamed. "The bodies! Look at the bodies! Those people died fighting for Perikia! So did Natlas, so did Inna - and so did Lyyra. You have no right to give up now - because if you do, Lerrit has won. There's no one else who can unite these people the way you can now - you're a hero! Without you, they'll fall apart, and either Prince Avtra or the Bajora will be able to come right in and take over."

-Kira Nerys talking sense into General Torrna Antosso

"We thought there was a natural phenomenon preventing your gateways from functioning in the space around my planet," Kira said. "That isn't completely true, is it?"
"No," the Iconian confirmed. "But we respect the beings who watch your worlds. And we long ago promised never to interfere with them."
"Worlds...?" Kira asked.
"Farewell, Colonel."

-Kira Nerys and the Iconian watcher

Related stories


published order
Previous novel:
Demons of Air and Darkness
DS9 novels
Next novel:
Mission Gamma
Previous story:
What Lay Beyond
Next story:
In the Queue
Previous story:
Demons of Air and Darkness
Twist of Faith
Next story:
Last in omnibus
Previous story:
Demons of Air and Darkness
Stories by:
Keith R. A. DeCandido
Next story:
Here There Be Monsters
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Doors Into Chaos
Demons of Air and Darkness
No Man's Land
Cold Wars
Pocket Next Adventure:
Here There Be Monsters
Previous Adventure:
Demons of Air and Darkness
Deep Space Nine Adventures Next Adventure:
The above chronology placements are based on the primary placement in 2376.
The Pocket Books Timeline places events from this story in one other timeframe:
Previous Adventure:
The Escape
Chapters 4, 5-7 & 23
27,600 BC
Chapters 1-9
Next Adventure:
Spock's World
Vulcan: Three

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


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