This is my response slow paced the DS9 relaunch novel series is. This will be the first installment of four stories that address the effects the Dominion War had on various Alpha Quadrant powers and on the Dominion. Episode 1: The True Way Historical Note: The main events of this story take place in mid-2376, roughly six months after the end of the Dominion War as seen in "What You Leave Behind." Chapter One, Part One Cardassia Prime: Capital World of the Cardassian Union The Cardassian Union, once a great Alpha Quadrant power, was now in a state of uncertainty in the aftermath of the Dominion War. Its capital world, Cardassia Prime, lay in ruins as retaliation for a popular uprising against Dominion rule. Nearly a billion civilians lost their lives in the genocidal attack. The future of this once powerful empire was in question. Cardassia City was the site of a diplomatic conference to discuss the future of the Cardassian Union. Humans, Vulcans, Andorians, Klingons, Romulans, and Bajorans were among the various Alpha Quadrant races in attendance meeting with representatives of Cardassia’s new democratic provisional government and various members of the Cardassian diplomatic corps. Within the crowd, a large dark-skinned humanoid stood amongst a slow-moving line of people. He visually surveyed the large auditorium-sized meeting area. The right side of his face was fitted with what appeared to be a metal brace with a thin rubber tube jutting out towards his lips. Various dignitaries pointed at him suspiciously, noting no change in his facial expressions as he acknowledged orders from whomever he was communicating with. The crowd of people in front of the suspicious humanoid began to disperse, and he began to pace towards an innocuous wall panel. He effortlessly yanked off the panel revealing a large carrying case inside the wall. He removed the case and set it down on the floor. Two Cardassian security guards dressed in civilian attire to avoid looking conspicuous approached the mysterious humanoid. The guards removed rectangular badges bearing a red Cardassian Union logo from their equipment belts. One guard then verbally identified himself and his colleague. “Central Guard, sir,” he said. “Several people here have reported suspicious activity. We’re going to need you to come with us.” The unidentified alien opened a velcro pocket on one side of his trousers and pulled out a long gun-like weapon. He fired two energy projectiles into the guard’s chest, turned to right, and fired two more into the other guard’s chest. A large group of onlookers gasped in horror. The alien fired his weapon towards the ceilings to fend off the crowd. He then opened the case to reveal an explosive device and pushed a large button at the top of it. A fireball enveloped the entire meeting area. In place of the shiny brown walls and humanoids of various races were walls covered in ash and partially incinerated charred corpses.