Guess what? There is a killer on the loose in Deep Space 9!! Who’d’ve thought it? Well, actually this time, in a clever twist on a tried and tested formula, the killer is actually a disease rather than a person. And the millions of people dying are mostly children on Bajor. When the Cardassians (invading baddies) left Bajor they left these giant refugee camps that had been ignored by the provisional government so that now they are full of emaciated children and disease.
Some monk comes to beg Captain Sisko for help, saying that they are desperate for healers. He agrees to send them some help but can’t risk his precious Dr Bashir as he is needed on station. BUT THEN it turns out there is some prophecy about a child in the camps who will unite Bajor so Sisko decides to send Bashir anyway as it would be a shame for the child to die of this mystery illness before she reunites Bajor and a big political risk as well. We best hope nobody on DS9 takes a turn for the worse.
So Bashir (who is obnoxious and totally fancies himself and any woman with a pulse) goes to the surface, is horrified by the death and squalor in the camp he is sent to (which for reasons of cinematic pathos is populated almost exclusively by unloved, malnourished children) and sets off (ignoring his orders) on a crusade to heal people in all of the other camps too. There are so many trite passages about healers in this book that I strongly recommend a gin to steady the stomach before you start.
Anyway, the prophesied child is found. Eventually they track down Bashir where he is being held captive by some rebels and has fallen in love with a rebel healer (but they are both too responsible and self-sacrificing to their healing responsibilities to run off together. Cue vomiting noises from me). They all end up back on DS9. There is a real twist when it comes to the child, but it was a fairly pointless one as far as I could see.
And it all ended happily ever after, except for Dr Bashir and his fancy lady who solemnly held hands in the temple and agreed that they could never be together because of their healing duties. But we aren’t sad because he is so obnoxious he doesn’t deserve a lifetime of happiness.