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Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Writer(s): K.W. Jeter
Penciler(s): Toby Cypress
Inker(s): Jason Martin and Mark Irwin
Colorist(s): Bad@ss and Dan Brown
Letterer(s): Nagmeh Zand
Publication information
Publisher: Wildstorm Comics
Published: August-November, 2000
Pages: 87




Chapter One

Nog, who has been made the acting Chief of Security, is showing Kira an act of sabotage in the EPS Exhaust system, noting that he has found 56 similar systems failures around the station. Kira asks Nog for a report on the situation in the next 13 hours, and when walking by Quark's, notices something is awry and asks Nog to check it out.

Kira then returns to Ops and asks if they've heard anything from the USS Defiant, as the new commander of the ship was supposed to have arrived by now. The Defiant has not yet arrived, but a Romulan shuttle operating under a diplomatic pass is approaching and, under the command of Mos Senay. Kira isn't happy to hear his name and tells Nog to meet her in cargo bay 12.

Nog enters Quark's, and is told that Quark seems to have gone crazy, but in a good way. He just offered free drinks to all the customers and is dancing wildly around the room. He is also writing out no collateral interest-free loans to anyone who wants them. Nog becomes concerned and asks Quark what he's doing. Quark explains that he has decided the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition are outdated, and the only important thing is to build market share by making sure the customer knows he's your friend. Nog tells Quark he's scaring him, and while leaving to meet with Kira, tells Dr. Bashir to go take a look at Quark.

Kira and Nog intercept Senay on his way to Cargo Bay 12, where apparently Starfleet allowed him to set up a research laboratory a year before. Kira wants to through Mos Senay off the station, but due to Senay's diplomatic pass, he has been given permission to operate on Deep Space Nine. Since the Federation and Romulans are allied, there isn't much Kira can do about it.

Quark appears to suddenly come to, and upon seeing everyone with free drinks kicks them out of the bar. One customer hands him a PADD containing a record of all the no-interest no-collateral loans he made, causing him to pass out.

Nog presents his report to Kira, noting that all the instances of Sabotage point to one person. Neither of them can believe it, and Kira tries to decide whether she should alert Starfleet Internal Affairs to the situation. Mos Senay enters the office as soon as Nog leaves to offer his help to Kira, saying he knows more about the sabotage than either she or Nog does, but Kira refuses to accept his help and sends him away, though Senay assures her that they will speak again.

Bashir and Ezri both analyze Quark, but are unable to find anything wrong with him. Quark worries about his reputation, thinking that other Ferengi will refuse to take him seriously since he gave things away. Meanwhile, back in his lab, Mos Senay makes a research entry noting that the "viroid" penetrated the target host more deeply than he anticipated and that the results will be interesting.

That night on the Promenade, two men are walking together bragging about how much money they got from Quark. When one of them breaks off, he is suddenly approached by a mysterious figure who assaults him, saying that he owes Quark money. Quark returns to his quarters to find a pile of latinum with a note attached declaring "This one is paid in full. More to come".

On Earth, Miles O'Brien is unpacking when he hears a ring coming from the door. He answers it and is greeted by Commander Tiris Jast. Jast explains she has taken the liberty of cancelling all the classes O'Brien was supposed to teach and will contact his wife and family, since he must return to Deep Space Nine to answer charges of sabotage. Jast has O'Brien secured and orders the Defiant on a course to Deep Space Nine.

Chapter Two

One of the station's fusion reactors fails due to sabotage and the resulting explosion kills one crew member. Shortly thereafter, Commander Jast arrives and wastes no time in struggling with Kira over who has jurisdiction in the sabotage investigation. Jast warns Kira that if the sabotage investigation isn't completed soon, Starfleet may rethink allowing her to keep command of the station.

Kira then goes to confront Quark about his new loan-sharking business, as now close to a dozen individuals, all of whom owed Quark money, are in the infirmary after being beaten severely. Kira warns Quark to shut the business down before she shuts him down.

Bashir goes to visit O'Brien in his holding cell, telling him that he is one of the individuals assigned to investigate him. Bashir claims he never would have agreed to be part of the investigation if he thought O'Brien was guilty, but warns him that all the acts of sabotage could be traced back to when O'Brien was Chief of Operations.

Later, Jast reveals to Bashir that she has listened in on the conversation and has taken over the sabotage investigation. She warns Bashir that she has no attachment to anyone on Deep Space Nine, and if O'Brien is found to be guilty, all of his former associates will fall under suspicion as well.

As per Kira's orders, Quark tries to stop the loan-sharking. While trying to think of a way to do this, he notices a hand near him dropping off some latinum. He grabs the hand and says he appreciates the help, but needs some answers. The mysterious benefactor identifies himself as Viqtor, saying he has done all of this to gain Quark's trust so that the two of them can go into business together.

Bashir enters Mos Senay's lab since Senay contacted him saying he had evidence to prove that O'Brien wasn't involved in the sabotage. Senay then clarifies to Bashir that he said O'Brien wasn't responsible, not that he wasn't involved. Senay then explains that he came to Deep Space Nine to observe a viroid called "N-Vector" in operation. N-Vector is highly classified, known to only a few people in the Romulan Government. Unlike a normal virus, N-Vector can infect any organized material, be it biological, mechanical, or electronic. When N-Vector infects something, it can change its behavior or even physical shape however it desires to. Furthermore, there is no limit as to the size of the object it can infect, ranging from something as small as a rat to something as large as DS9 itself. Bashir asks Senay how he could have developed this, and he hints strongly that he discovered it in the Gamma Quadrant. Senay then warns Bashir that the viroid is conscious and wonders if it is smarter than they are.

Viqtor clarifies his business proposition to Quark. He wants Quark to help him collect discarded equipment and junk from the station in the remote storage lockers. He refuses to clarify why he needs to junk and why he needs Quark's help, but reminds Quark that he doesn't have a choice. As the two start moving the junk, Quark warns Viqtor it will be difficult to leave the station since Kira has ordered all flights held until the sabotage investigation is complete. Viqtor however does not seem concerned. Quark starts looking through the junk and notices one coffin-shaped object came from Senay's lab. He opens it to investigate and a pile of what appears to be liquid goo forms into a haphazard replica of Quark. Viqtor notices this, picks Quark up by the throat, and slams the coffin shut, saying though they are partners, some things don't concern him.

Senay explains to Bashir his plan to get the N-Vector viroid under control. The viroid picks its own targets and jumps from host to host in a pattern of increasing complexity. The viroid cannot stay in one host indefinitely, as it begins to break down its host. Senay infected O'Brien intentionally, then O'Brien unknowingly infected the station. The sabotage is a result of the viroid beginning to break down its host, so if the viroid is removed, the sabotage will simply disappear. In order to confine N-Vector, Senay wants to use Bashir as a carrier his genetically enhanced body should serve as a tempting target, intending the virus to jump from DS9 to him. Senay injects himself with a Romulan "therapeutic death" serum which will render Bashir temporarily lifeless as soon as Senay triggers it, leaving the viroid no choice but to jump into the container Senay has prepared.

Bashir infects himself by cutting his hands with one of the propellers from the sabotaged EPS Exhaust ports. Senay tries to trigger the serum, but it doesn't work as Bashir never injected the serum. Bashir then reveals he has already been infected by the viroid, during his talk with O'Brien, and describes himself as "infected with big plans."

Chapter Three

The damage inflicted to the station has all miraculously healed without any of the engineering staff lifting a finger. This vastly confuses Kira and Nog since damaged equipment is not generally known to simply heal itself. Commander Jast arrives to tell Kira she has finished her investigation and confirms Nog’s report, that there is no longer any sign of deliberate damage to the station. Kira is irritated, again telling Jast she has no business running her own investigation as she commands the ‘’Defiant’’, not DS9. Jast clarifies that her orders to do so came directly from Starfleet Command, as they have been raising questions about the manner Kira is running DS9 and there will likely be more due to this recent incident. Jast then warns Kira that if she doesn’t find out why this damage disappeared, she will be the one under suspicion.

Bashir releases O’Brien from his holding cell, informing him that since the evidence of sabotage has disappeared, the charges against him have been dropped. It doesn’t take long for O’Brien, along with Ezri, to realize that something is different about Bashir, he seems much more remote, colder, and almost evil. They bring this to Kira’s attention, but she dismisses it as stress on the part of the crew and doesn’t want to start up another round of accusations so quickly. As O’Brien and Ezri exit the Commander’s Office, Mos Senay approaches them to explain the situation and offer his help.

Quark and Viqtor have left the station aboard Viqtor’s ship, though Viqtor still refuses to tell Quark exactly where they are headed. They soon arrive in a remote sector of the Alpha Quadrant. Quark frantically tries to explain to Viqtor that they can’t do business here, since there is no one present to buy the junk from the storage lockers. Ignoring him, Viqtor says everything is going according to plan and empties out the cargo bay into space. Quark watches in confusion as the scrap metal, along with the coffin of goo that previously emulated his form, come together to form a haphazard replica of Deep Space Nine.

After deciding on a plan, Senay and O’Brien board the ‘’Defiant’’ with use of Senay’s diplomatic pass. O’Brien comments that this is the stupidest thing he’s ever done, after just being cleared of sabotage charges, he now prepares to commit sabotage. Meanwhile, Senay enters the ‘’Defiant’’ conference room and interrupts a conversation between Bashir, and a Romulan dignitary. Soon thereafter, a main power failure occurs on the ‘’Defiant’’, causing Bashir to panic and run out of the room. He catches up with O’Brien and the two begin to fight. Senay enters soon thereafter and injects Bashir with the “therapeutic death” serum.

A few hours later, Bashir wakes up and is brought back up to speed by Ezri. Senay was successful in bottling up the virus that had been plaguing DS9, however the main viroid itself was successful in leaving the station.

Chapter Four

O’Brien and Ezri explain to Kira how they were successful in removing the viroid from Bashir’s body. Kira is somewhat frustrated with herself as if her crew hadn’t disobeyed her orders, Bashir would still be infected and DS9 would still be in danger. Kira convinces Jast that the situation has been resolved and orders O’Brien to return to Earth. Mos Senay then enters to Commander’s Office to remind them that the crisis is not over, and that he’s the only one who knows where to find the viroid and what exactly its plans are.

Quark and Viqtor enter the replica of DS9 and Quark immediately begins spouting off business propositions. Viqtor seems to fade out of existence leaving Quark alone and eventually a little frightened once he realizes this.

Mos Senay insists on having complete control on any expedition going after the viroid, but refuses to tell the DS9 crew what makes it so dangerous. They are however successful in convincing him to explain why he needs their help. He informs them that he actually gave the N-Vector viroid more powers by creating a morphetic substrate for the viroid that it could shape into any form. (‘’This is the coffin of goo encountered by Quark’’). While infecting this substrate, the viroid is not a true shape shifter. It can only hold one shape once it sets and then begins to slowly devolve until it is reabsorbed into the larger N-Vector viroid. Since the morphetic substrate, along with all the scrap metal left on the station, has disappeared, Senay infers that the viroid will join those two things together to form a massive infectious body (‘’the replica of DS9’’), and then split apart to infect anything it comes in contact with. Kira then allows Senay to assemble a team to track down the viroid before it spreads.

Quark is alone on the replica DS9 and attempts to depart the station. However, the transport he and Viqtor used to arrive there is now fused into one of the pylons. After he watches the station destroy the transport, Quark decides it’s time to send a distress signal and starts accessing one of the control panels.

On DS9, the crew becomes aware that Quark is missing and it doesn’t take them long to realize Quark probably thought he had some kind of business arrangement with N-Vector’s human form. Nog, Bashir, and Senay then take a runabout to go stop the virus. En route, the trio picks up Quark’s distress signal. Senay responds to him, warning him that he is in danger, which Quark retorts he is already aware of, Senay continues that it is not as bad as it seems, since because Quark has already been infected by the viroid, he is now immune to it. The transmission is then inexplicably cut off at Quarks end. Bashir tells Senay it wasn’t very smart to warn the viroid that Quark was immune to its control, as it will likely now try to kill him.

Sure enough, on the replica DS9, Quark notices the station appears to be coming apart. While he tries to make some quick repairs to the station, he is approached by what appear to Bashir and O’Brien, who assure him that they’re here to help but drag him away from the console he is working on.

The runabout now approaches the replica DS9, but is unable to find a place to dock. Bashir takes them in anyway and the three arrive in time to save Quark from the duplicate O’Brien and Bashir. Quark and Nog go back to the runabout. Bashir asks Senay what they should do about the viroid, and Senay suggests they do nothing. The viroid is not yet ready to produce spores, but with its location found, it must defend itself the only way it knows how, by going dormant. When Bashir disagrees, Senay threatens him with a distruptor and tells him to get back to the runabout. Bashir runs back on board and has Nog take them away from the replica station immediately. As the runabout departs, the replica DS9 falls apart, collapsing in on itself until nothing is left.

On Deep Space Nine, Bashir explains to Kira that since N-Vector was Senay’s discovery, when it imploded out of existence he chose to go with it. Ezri notes that the viroid is not really gone, and it could show up anywhere like a space anomaly, whereas Kira retorts she doesn’t care if it shows up again, as long as its someone else’s problem when it does. Quark overhears this, complaining that at least when the viroid showed up he had a dept collector, and now is left with only debts.



Julian BashirEzri DaxTiris JastKira NerysMornNogMiles O'BrienQuark • Mos Senay • Viqtor
Referenced only 
Keiko O'Brien

Starships and vehicles

USS Defiant


Deep Space 9Gamma Quadrant

Races and cultures


States and organizations

Romulan EmpireStarfleetStarfleet Academy • Starfleet Internal Affairs • United Federation of Planets


gold-pressed latinum • Rules of Aquisition • uniform


  • A year prior to this series, Mos Senay, a Romulan, was given permission by the Federation to set up a research facility on Deep Space Nine.
  • After Odo's departure for the Great Link, Kira made Nog acting chief of security aboard Deep Space Nine.
  • Starfleet Command decided to leave the USS Defiant dispatched to Deep Space Nine, giving command of the vessel to Commander Tiris Jast, who would also serve as Deep Space Nine's executive officer.
  • Shortly after arriving on Earth, Miles O'Brien was forced to return to Deep Space Nine to answer charges of sabotage.
  • At this time, the Bajoran Wormhole was ordered off limits for general travel by Starfleet.
  • N-Vector was reprinted in the trade paperback Other Realities along with All of Me and Double Time.

External Links

Star Trek Comics Checklist

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


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