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- For other meanings of "Badlands", see Badlands (disambiguation).
The Badlands are a region of space along the border between the United Federation of Planets and the Cardassian Union, that are known for intense plasma storms and gravitational anomalies. For that reason, it is commonly avoided by most interstellar traffic. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I")
The Badlands were believed to have been formed around 500,000 years ago, and contains at least 2 stars, 17 planets, 43 moons, and a large asteroid belt. Sector 21305 is dominated by the Badlands. (New Worlds, New Civilizations, Star Trek: Pendragon)
During the Cardassian occupation of Bajor, the Bajoran Resistance frequently used the Badlands as a refuge from Cardassian patrols. Because of the severely limited sensor ranges in the area, the Bajorans used echolocation techniques to navigate and detect other ships. (DS9: "Starship Down")
During the 24th century many ships became lost in the Badlands. During the 2340s and 2350s alone, the Cardassian Union lost many vessels, including the freighters Kamal and Ravinok. The remains of the Ravinok were later discovered on the planet Dozaria, and was found to have been attacked by the Breen. (DS9: "Indiscretion"; DS9 novel: Avatar, Book One, Star Trek: Pendragon: "Restoration", "Exile")
Because of its strategic location inside the Demilitarized Zone between Cardassian and Federation space, the Badlands became a favorite hiding place and staging area for the Maquis during their insurrection against Cardassian control from 2370 to 2373. In their first major operations, the Maquis took the kidnapped Gul Dukat to a class M asteroid in the Badlands. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I")
When Thomas Riker and a Maquis cell hijacked the USS Defiant from Deep Space 9 in 2371, they piloted the Defiant to the Badlands to rendezvous with other Maquis attack ships prior to launching an assault on Cardassian space. (DS9: "Defiant")
Around stardate 48300, the Caretaker abducted several starships from the Badlands, including a Maquis raider piloted by Chakotay, and the Federation starship USS Voyager, which had been sent to track Chakotay. (VOY: "Caretaker") A Cardassian Galor-class warship was also abducted from the Badlands around the same time. (VOY: "The Voyager Conspiracy")
- It was never made clear, but the USS Equinox may have also been abducted from the Badlands. (VOY: "Equinox, Part I")
Bajoran trader Razka Karn also hid out in the Badlands when the Tholians were pursuing him for some unscrupulous "business" practices. Kasidy Yates's freighter route between Bajor and Dreon VII often took her close to the Badlands, as well. (DS9: "Indiscretion", "For the Cause")
When the Cardassian Union was annexed by the Dominion in 2373, the remaining Maquis cells that managed to escape the Jem'Hadar took shelter on Athos IV, an abandoned mining colony on the edge of the Badlands. The Maquis sent a disguised distress signal, coded as a confirmation of the launch of a missile strike against Cardassia Prime, to send word to Michael Eddington that the Maquis remnant had survived. Those few survivors were rescued by Starfleet a short time later. (DS9: "Blaze of Glory")
The Badlands remained a strategic location during the Dominion War from 2373 to 2375. Fleet movements in the region required additional escorts to guard against ambushes from inside the plasma storms. (DS9: "Waltz")
Following the end of the Dominion War in 2376, the USS Enterprise-E was dispatched into the Badlands to confirm rumours that Breen forced were hiding in the Badlands and were awaiting to attack the Federation. While no Breen were found, the Enterprise discovered the Cardassian freighter Kamal, which contained the Orb of Memory, and transported it back to Bajor. (DS9 novel: Avatar, Book One)