Stardate 47573.1: While exploring the Gamma Quadrant for habitable planets to start colonies, Commander Sisko and Chief O'Brien transport down to a Class M planet only to find that they are unable to return to the Runabout that brought them to the new world. On the planet, they come across a group of human colonists who had crashed on the planet ten years ago, and had encountered interference on the planet that rendered useless the technology they had once used to survive.
When the Cardassian occupation of Bajor ended in 2369, the mining space station Terok Nor was left abandoned, its systems ripped out. By invitation of the Bajoran provisional government, Starfleet stepped in to oversee the rebuilding and day-to-day operations of the newly christened Deep Space Nine.
The years of Starfleet's nonintervention into Cardassian matters, however, had taken its toll on relations with the Bajorans. Consequently, Starfleet's position was a tenuous one; many Bajorans, suspicious and hostile as a result of decades of Cardassian oppression and brutality, did not greet the Federation's presence with open arms. The Federation's assistance is put to the test as DS9 becomes a center of travel and commerce that stretches into the Gamma Quadrant.