Star Trek Guide

Theory: Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s Murder Mystery Solved?

IDW’s long-awaited Star Trek Deep Space Nine mini-series “Too Long a Sacrifice” finds Constable Odo investigating multiple unexplained murders in the midst of the bloody Dominion War. As the list of suspects on the station multiplies faster than a well-fed Tribble, it becomes increasingly apparent that Odo is looking for clues in all the wrong places. If none of the usual suspects are behind this string of mysterious killings, who is, and why? The most likely suspect may be the one Odo least expects.

A Bajoran-owned restaurant is rocked by a deadly explosion just as Dr. Bashir and Garak are sitting down to lunch. Thanks to Garak’s quick thinking, the duo narrowly escapes behind a duranium wall. As the smoke settles, Odo and the Deep Space Nine crew begin sifting through the rubble for any evidence that might reveal the culprit behind this deadly attack. With the Dominion War raging and the proprietor of the establishment a Bajoran, the Cardassians seem the most likely suspects. That is until Lavin, the restaurant’s owner, implicates her chief competitor, Quark. This case of corporate sabotage becomes less clear-cut when Worf reports the stabbing of a respected Bajoran official.

Not long after, Major Kira discovers the poisoned corpses of a Ferengi trade delegation. The death tally climbs to four Ferengi, three Bajorans, three Benzites, and two Nausicaans. These revelations don’t quite clear Quark, but the grand scope of this case seems to suggest a force far more powerful than one Ferengi bartender. As the suspects mount, so do the questions: Why would the Dominion go through the trouble of bombing a restaurant? If Garak planted the bomb for them, why take the risk of having lunch there? Killing the Ferengi traders who supply the Federation with photons makes sense, but where does the Bajoran commissioner fit in?

Star Trek purists have long considered Deep Space Nine the red-headed stepchild of the storied sci-fi franchise. With its darker tone and long-form storytelling, the show never quite fit in with its episodic peers. It’s no wonder then that “Too Long a Sacrifice” is publisher IDW’s first DS9 title in a decade. It was worth the wait. David and Scott Tipton, long-time Trek contributors, have constructed a taut tech-noir whodunit that would make even Dixon Hill scratch his head. And with only two issues left in this four issue mini-series, there isn’t much time to prognosticate about the possible culprit.

Starfleet did it. Section 31, to be exact. With the Dominion War going badly, it’s the only theory that makes sense. First, the bombing of the restaurant is perfect as it’s a non-military target. It won’t keep DS9 from functioning but will send shivers down the spines of Federation member planets. The deaths of the Ferengi trade delegation will scare Ferenginar into giving the Federation the Photons they desperately need at a more reasonable price. While the Nausicaan fatalities will provoke the previously unaligned race into siding with Starfleet if things get desperate. And Garak at the scene of the bombing, along with the assassination of the Bajoran health commissioner, frames the Cardassians for the entire affair. Starfleet’s hands are clean. Star Trek Deep Space Nine's mystery is solved.

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