A fleet of Klingon ships is stationed around Deep Space Nine, and the Promenade is swarming with Klingons. However, the warriors aren't their usual antagonistic selves. General Martok, who leads the force, tells Sisko they have come to help the Federation fight the Dominion. Sisko finds this odd, since the Federation neither requested nor expected help. Garak and Odo then have a run-in with Drex, a young Klingon, who later attacks Garak for no apparent reason.Review
When a freighter is stopped by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, Sisko confronts its commander, Kaybok. Under orders from the Klingon High Council to assist the Federation alliance, he insists the freighter must be inspected for Changelings. But Sisko, aboard the Defiant, forces him to let the vessel pass. Martok later has Kaybok killed for not carrying out his orders. Since Martok will not explain their motives, Sisko summons Lieutenant Commander Worf, formerly of the U.S.S. Enterprise, hoping the Klingon officer can determine their plans.
Worf starts a fight with Drex, Martok's son, in order to get the general's attention, but Martok won't reveal why the Klingons are on Deep Space Nine. Worf's allies are equally closed-mouthed, but he soon learns the truth from a Klingon officer indebted to his family. Realizing he is betraying his own people, Worf reluctantly informs Sisko that the Klingons are planning a massive invasion of Cardassia. Apparently, a coup on that world has left a civilian regime in power, one which the Klingons insist is backed by the Dominion. But, with no proof to support this belief, Martok is asked by Sisko to call off the invasion. However, the Klingon general instead leads his fleet on a course into Cardassian space.
The Federation orders Sisko to remain neutral until word is heard from the Klingon leader, Gowron, who Worf believes is using the Dominion takeover idea as an excuse to reclaim their race's warrior heritage. Garak is allowed to learn about the dire situation, after which he tips off Gul Dukat on their homeworld, allowing the Cardassians a chance to defend themselves. The Federation condemns the invasion, at which point the Klingon Empire withdraws from their peace treaty. Gowron then comes to Deep Space Nine and offers Worf the chance to redeem himself by joining his people in the assault on Cardassia.
Torn between his duty and his people, Worf declines, prompting Gowron to excommunicate Worf's entire family. Worf then attempts to resign from Starfleet, but Sisko refuses to accept his resignation at this critical time. Sisko decides it's time to speak with Dukat, now part of the new government, and tells him that he will help escort the ruling council out of the war zone, even though, as Worf points out, he might actually be helping the Dominion. Sisko, Worf, Dax, and Bashir take the Defiant to a rendezvous point, where Dukat's ship is under heavy fire. The Defiant decloaks and prepares to attack the Klingons, ending two decades of peace.Review
While engaged in battle with the Klingon vessels, Sisko and his officers beam aboard the Cardassians, losing the Defiant's cloaking device in the process. They head back to the station with two Klingon ships in pursuit, while Bashir tests the blood of the council members to make sure they aren't Changelings. When they finally reach Deep Space Nine, several dozen Klingon ships arrive ready to attack.
Sisko prepares the station for the imminent onslaught. Martok demands for him to surrender the council members, but is told that the Cardassians are not Changelings. However, Gowron says that this doesn't matter because the Alpha Quadrant will be safer with Klingons in control of Cardassia. Sisko refuses his demands and warns Gowron that several weapons upgrades have been made to the station. Gowron dismisses the threat and the Klingons attack.
Deep Space Nine opens fire, inflicting heavy damage on the Klingon fleet, but Gowron doesn't give up, and Klingon boarding parties begin to overrun the station, fighting in Ops and on the Promenade. The attackers are contained, then several Starfleet ships appear on the scanners. Sisko points out to Gowron that splitting the Federation, the Klingons, and the Cardassians is probably just what the Dominion wants. Gowron sees the logic and opts to stand down, but tells Sisko that he will not forgive or forget what has happened. Afterward, Sisko convinces Worf to remain as his new Strategic Operations Officer. But Dax interrupts the celebration with some grim news. The Klingons are refusing to give up the Cardassian colonies they've seized, meaning they are there to stay.
Decades into the future, an elderly Jake Sisko is visited at his New Orleans home by a young, aspiring author named Melanie, who is curious to know why he stopped writing at age 40. Jake reveals how he lost his father, Benjamin Sisko, when just 18-years old. The younger Sisko had gone along on the Defiant to witness a rare inversion of the wormhole that happens just once every 50 years. During the trip, Sisko was hit by a bolt of energy from the malfunctioning warp core, after which he dematerialized, eventually given up for dead by his anguished crew.Review
Months later, Sisko appeared in his son's room briefly, then vanished. The incident was dismissed as a nightmare until, after a few more months passed, Jake again saw his father. This time, he was able to touch him, and immediately summoned help. Sisko was taken to the Infirmary, where the officers realized his temporal signature had been altered during the warp core accident. But before they could save him, he dematerialized again, while his son watched helplessly.
For the next few months, Dax and O'Brien tried to locate Sisko, but were soon forced to abandon the station to the Klingons. Jake returned to Earth, became a writer, got married, and started to put the past behind him. Then, while Jake was in his mid-thirties, his father appeared in his home. This time, Jake was overcome with guilt, upset over doing nothing to help his father for all those years. So when Sisko dematerialized yet again, Jake became obsessed with getting him back. He abandoned his writing to study subspace mechanics, losing his wife in the process. But, after many years, Jake was prepared for his one chance to recreate the accident - the wormhole was scheduled to invert again. Reunited with a much older Defiant crew, led by Captain Nog, Jake returned to the scene of the accident, and wound up with Sisko in a subspace limbo. Unfortunately, the plan didn't work, and Jake was only able to spend a few moments with his father, who begged Jake to make a life for himself before it was too late.
The aged Jake finishes his account by presenting the departing Melanie with a collection of stories he's written to fulfill his father's wishes. He then reveals that Sisko is scheduled to appear - and Jake has finally learned how to save him. If he dies while his father is with him, the "cord" which has been pulling Sisko through time with his son will snap, springing Sisko back to the moment of the accident. Sisko arrives, stunned to learn that Jake has poisoned himself. But Jake tells his father that he wants another chance to go through life with his dad. He dies, and Sisko is suddenly back on the Defiant at the fateful instant. This time, he ducks before the bolt from the warp core strikes, avoiding the accident, and giving him a second chance at life with his son.
Returning from a mission in the Gamma Quadrant, Bashir and O'Brien respond to what they believe is a ship in trouble on a remote planet. Instead, a plasma field causes them to crash-land on the surface, where they become prisoners of Jem'Hadar soldiers. They intend to kill the pair, but when they learn Bashir is a doctor, the leader, Goran'Agar, orders the men taken to a holding area.Review
Goran'Agar soon takes Bashir to a makeshift lab where he must carry out scientific research - or die. Goran'Agar explains that he has been mysteriously cured of his addiction to Ketracel-white, the drug the Dominion genetically-engineered the Jem'Hadar to require for survival. Goran'Agar wants Bashir to find the cure so that his soldiers can escape the Dominion's tyranny - a task he must complete before their drug supply runs out in five days. Bashir requests O'Brien's assistance, and they work on a device to help them escape, pretending it is actually part of Bashir's research. But a soldier named Arak'Taral becomes suspicious and activates the device, injuring Meso'Clan, another Jem'Hadar. Arak'Taral grabs O'Brien and threatens to kill him, but Goran'Agar orders him spared.
Having decided to stop living by the Dominion's brutal rules, Goran'Agar also spares Meso'Clan, who would have been otherwise killed by the uninjured soldiers. Bashir is excited by this show of compassion, and later tells O'Brien that he believes they should help Goran'Agar. If they can free the Jem'Hadar from their Dominion leash, he reasons, this could reduce the Dominion threat to the Alpha Quadrant. O'Brien doesn't share Bashir's sentiments - the Jem'Hadar are bred to kill. He flatly refuses to help, so the doctor pulls rank and orders him. Instead, O'Brien engineers his own escape into the planet's dense jungle.
Goran'Agar orders Arak'Taral to bring back O'Brien alive. But when the order is refused, the Jem'Hadar commander realizes his men will no longer obey him. Bashir suggests that Goran'Agar find O'Brien first, promising in return to stay and continue working. While O'Brien is being hunted, Bashir makes progress and soon is onto a discovery that could lead to a cure. At that moment, O'Brien walks in, ready to help Bashir escape, but is shocked when the doctor refuses to go.
Certain the Jem'Hadar will kill Bashir even if he finds the cure, O'Brien destroys the experiment. Goran'Agar sees the damage and sadly allows them to leave, saying he will kill his soldiers in combat rather than subject them to the pain of dying without the drug. Bashir and O'Brien return to the station, each disagreeing with the actions of the other, but at least coming to an understanding.
A Bajoran smuggler tells Kira he has recovered a piece of metal that might be from the Ravinok, a Cardassian ship that disappeared six years ago with a group of Bajoran prisoners. A good friend of Kira's was among those lost, and she makes immediate plans to investigate, but learns a Cardassian representative wants to accompany her. Kira reluctantly agrees, then discovers that the representative is her nemesis, Dukat. The two take a Runabout, meet the smuggler, and authenticate the metal fragment, which was found in the Dozaria system. They then land on a desert planet in that system and encounter the wreckage of the Ravinok.Review
Kira and Dukat notice 12 graves near the site, but since several more people were on the ship, they realize some survivors may still be alive. First, however, Dukat opens the graves in order to identify bodies, and is overcome with grief when he finds the remains of a Bajoran woman who was his mistress. Kira's surprise turns to hope when it turns out that her friend was not among the dead. They soon set off on foot, scanning the planet for survivors. While setting up camp, Dukat reveals that he had a daughter with his mistress, Tora Ziyal, a girl who is one of the possible survivors. Unfortunately, if he finds her alive, he'll have to kill her.
Kira tells Dukat she won't allow him to kill Ziyal. But he insists that if her existence is revealed, he'll lose his wife, his family, and his unstable position in Cardassian government. Soon, Kira and Dukat discover a mining operation of Bajoran and Cardassian prisoners, supervised by members of a race known as the Breen. Dukat sees his half-Cardassian, half-Bajoran daughter among the prisoners.
Kira and Dukat, disguised as Breen, overcome the guards and round up the prisoners. Kira is crushed to learn that her friend died two years earlier, but Dukat is only interested in finding his daughter. When more Breen guards attack, Dukat escapes from Kira's gaze and runs off after Ziyal. When he finds her, she instantly recognizes her father, thrilled to see him despite the fact that he is aiming a phaser rifle at her. Kira arrives and tries to stop him, and the little girl realizes what is happening. Still, Ziyal refuses to run, telling her father she'd rather die if she can't go with him. She hugs him affectionately, and Dukat, shaken with emotion, decides to take Ziyal home - even if it costs him everything he has.
Sisko summons Dax to his office with some serious news. A group of Trill scientists, led by Dr. Lenara Kahn, will be using the Defiant to conduct experiments. Lenara is a joined Trill who, while her symbiont was joined to a previous host body, was married to one of Dax's former male hosts, Torias. Dax shows some concern, since Trill society expressly forbids relationships with lovers from past lives. The penalty for "reassociation" is exile from the Trill homeworld and the eventual death of the symbiont when the current host dies. However, Dax decides to make the best of it, believing she can control any feelings she may still have for her former wife, and even chooses to attend a dinner reception for the scientists. There, the two women meet at the buffet table and share a laugh. Despite the casual tone of their conversation, however, an attraction begins to develop between the two.Review
The Trill team - Lenara, her brother Bejal, and Dr. Pren - begins work on the experiment to create an artificial wormhole. As science officer, Dax is involved, which keeps her near Lenara. The women can't resist the urge to talk about the past, so Dax invites her to dinner, with Bashir as chaperone. That night, he politely listens as Dax and Lenara talk about old times and their lives since the marriage of their previous hosts. It's almost a relief for Bashir when he is summoned to the Infirmary, leaving the former spouses alone. Feeling more at ease, Dax takes hold of Lenara's hand, which Pren happens to quietly notice.
When work resumes on the Defiant, the closeness between Dax and Lenara is obvious, reaching a crescendo when the two women hug after the first phase of the experiment proves successful. Soon after, Bejal confronts his sister on the station, and she insists that nothing is going on between the two. Lenara later visits Dax's quarters to tell her what happened. There, the two give in to the building passion between them and kiss. Lenara then forces herself to leave, and Dax remains to struggle with her emotions.
The next day, Dax turns to Sisko for advice. He pushes her to fight the attraction to Lenara out of duty to ensure the continuation of the Dax symbiont. But Dax, realizing that she loves Lenara, is unsure. Later, on the Defiant, the scientists proceed with the second phase of the experiment when their artificial wormhole collapses in a blast of energy which slams into the ship. Lenara is knocked unconscious in the engine room, separated from the others by a roaring plasma fire. Dax risks her life to save Lenara - and the two women realize that they never want to lose each other again.
Afterward, Dax checks on Lenara in her quarters, and the scientist worries about her failed experiment and the extra work she knows she'll have to put into it. Dax seizes the moment and invites Lenara to stay at the station - with her. Lenara, however, cannot bring herself to take that final step, painfully refusing to break their society's rules. Dax desperately asks her to stay, but Lenara leaves, preserving Dax's life - and breaking her heart.
Quark is excited to receive a shuttle his cousin Gaila has owed him for ten years, and decides to use it to fly Nog to Starfleet Academy on Earth - while doing a little smuggling on the side. But, just as the shuttle enters Earth's system, Rom is unable to take the ship out of warp, and realizes that the spiteful Gaila designed the ship to malfunction. Luckily, Rom figures out how to stop the ship and make an emergency landing. However, when the three travelers wake up after the crash, they find themselves in an examining room - in July 1947 at Roswell, New Mexico.Review
Outside the room, a team of United States military and science personnel has assembled, including General Denning, Captain Wainwright, Professor Carlson, Nurse Garland, two M.P.s, and a German shepherd. The group observes the Ferengi trio, who they believe to be Martians, then enter the room and attempt to communicate. Unfortunately, none of the three can either understand or talk back, since their universal translators were damaged in the crash. Realizing, however, that these are primitive humans, Quark smells profit. While Carlson and Garland observe the aliens, Rom manages to convey to the nurse that he wants her hairpin, then uses it to work on the translators. Garland then summons the others - Quark is speaking English, and he has a business proposition for them!
Quark explains the translator to his stunned hosts, then offers to sell them advanced technology. However, the suspicious General Denning demands that Quark tell him why they are really on Earth. Quark insists they have come to do business, if not with the Americans, then with the Russians. Later , when the three are alone again, Quark watches with surprise when the dog suddenly morphs into Odo, who stowed away on the shuttle to catch Quark smuggling. Odo tells the group where their ship is hidden, but Quark doesn't want to leave. He's sure he can manipulate the primitive humans and become Earth's ruler, caring nothing about how he would alter history as a result. But Quark's thoughts of conquest are put on hold when he, Rom, and Nog are forcefully taken to an interrogation room.
Quark is repeatedly injected with truth serum, but it doesn't work on the Ferengi. Nog then steps in and claims they are the first of an invasion fleet that has come to take over Earth. He gets Captain Wainwright to untie him and uses the opportunity to deck his captor. Carlson and Garland, not pleased with the treatment of the aliens, step in to help them escape and return to their ship. When General Denning tries to stop them, Odo appears to save the day, and the group takes off. They use an atom bomb test blast to help send the ship back to their present, and are able to drop off Nog at Starfleet Academy after all.
Sisko and his officers take the Defiant to a remote system in the Gamma Quadrant for a trade discussion with the Karemma representative, Hanok. During the talks, two approaching Jem'Hadar warships are detected. The enemy vessels target the Karemma ship, which flees into the gaseous, volatile atmosphere of a nearby planet. Sisko enters the dangerous area in pursuit, and the Defiant is blinded and buffeted by high turbulence. They employ an echo-location technique to find the other ships. But the pulse gives them away to the Jem'Hadar, who attack and cripple the Defiant. Dax goes below to help get the engines on-line, but a hull breach develops, endangering her and others on that deck.Review
After evacuating Sickbay, Bashir notices Dax trying to escape. Just then, the forcefield that protects her collapses, allowing the deadly atmosphere to enter. Sisko orders Bashir to seal off the area, but just as he does, the doctor steps inside to rescue Dax and drags her into the turbolift, trapping both of them. Meanwhile, on the Bridge, the engines come to life, indicating that Dax was successful. O'Brien arms two atmospheric probes with quantum torpedoes and the crew resumes its search for the Karemma vessel. However, a Jem'Hadar ship finds the Defiant and opens fire, damaging it severely before the Defiant destroys it.
The Bridge is on emergency power only, while Sisko is seriously injured. Kira discovers that he has a concussion, meaning she must keep him from losing consciousness or risk having him slip into a coma. In the turbolift, Dax and Bashir have only limited air remaining; while, in the Mess Hall, Quark is trapped with Hanok. Worf makes it from the Bridge to the Engine Room, where O'Brien and his engineers are working to restore the ship's systems. Then, the echo-location scanner picks up torpedoes heading for the Defiant. The ship manages to elude one, but the other embeds itself into the Mess Hall bulkhead - still primed to detonate - and surprising Quark and Hanok.
Quark and Hanok realize they must work together to diffuse the torpedo before it blows. Meanwhile, the engineers come up with a new plan to fire phasers through the Deflector Array - which will only be good for one shot. And as Sisko slowly slips out of consciousness, Kira risks killing him by injecting a stimulant.
In the Mess Hall, Quark and Hanok manage to remove the torpedo casing and deactivate the warhead. On the Bridge, Sisko awakens, indicating to Kira that she did the right thing. In Engineering, O'Brien locates the Jem'Hadar ship, which is lured to a decoy using the remaining atmospheric probe. Worf's team destroys the enemy ship with the Deflector Array and rescues the Karemma crew. Bashir and Dax are freed, and the repaired Defiant returns to Deep Space Nine.
Worf prepares to accompany Dax and Kor, a legendary Klingon warrior, on a mission to recover the Sword of Kahless, the mythical, millennium-old weapon of the Klingon Empire's first leader - an artifact missing for centuries. When the drunken Kor finally retires to his quarters after first speaking with Worf, he is attacked by a Lethean, who reads his mind, then erases the incident from Kor's mind. The next day, Sisko - hoping to restore Federation/Klingon relations - allows them the use of a Runabout for travel to the Gamma Quadrant world where the Sword is believed to be located. Upon arrival, the three get into a deserted, protected chamber, but find that all the artifacts hidden there have been removed.Review
Kor is crestfallen. But Worf, unwilling to give up, discovers another hidden chamber, where they finally find the Sword of Kahless. They prepare to depart, but are met by Toral, a Klingon enemy of Worf's, with four soldiers and the Lethean. A fierce battle for the Sword ensues, and while Worf is wounded, the three manage to escape with it into a cave-tunnel and trap their adversaries in the chamber. Once free, they discover that contact with their Runabout has been blocked - they'll have to make their way to the surface on foot for a chance to transport off the planet.
As they travel, Kor begins to feel contempt for Worf, dismissing him as "too human." Worf also becomes less-than-enamored with Kor, especially when Kor hints that he will not present the Sword to the emperor as planned - he will use it to unite the Klingons himself! Later, Worf decides that it is his destiny, not Kor's, to possess the Sword and lead his people.
The seemingly-endless journey takes the three of them to an abyss, where Kor slips and loses his footing, but still holds the Sword. Worf saves Kor by grabbing the other end. Straining, he tries to convince Kor into letting go and landing on a dangerously small ledge, but Kor refuses. Finally, Dax has to intervene and help pull up Kor. Tired of their fighting for possession, she insists on holding the Sword for the remainder of the trip, even while she sleeps.
Dax is awakened by the sound of Worf and Kor, ready to fight to the death. Suddenly, Toral, the other Klingon warriors, and the Lethean attack, but the three are able to defeat them, Kor wielding the Sword - which seems to make him invincible. Then, Worf and Kor turn on each other, and Worf is on the verge of killing Kor when Dax stuns each of them with her phaser, then transports the three of them back to the Runabout. Later, onboard, Worf and Kor realize that the Sword turned the two against each other, and will probably divide the Klingon people as well. Because of this, they transport the Sword into space, hopefully not to be found for at least another millennium, when the Klingons may be ready for it.
Bashir is enjoying a holosuite program that casts him as a super suave, 1960s Earth secret agent when Garak intrudes on his fantasy, convincing the doctor to let him stay. At the same time, Sisko, Kira, Dax, Worf, and O'Brien transport from a Runabout just before sabotage causes it to explode, but the force of the blast blows out the Transporter during Eddington's rescue attempt. He is able to store their patterns with an emergency computer override - but where?Review
Kira suddenly appears in Bashir's program as Anastasia, a Russian spy - and is completely oblivious to her true identity as Kira. Concerned, Bashir contacts Ops, and Eddington tells him about the accident. Realizing this is where the physical patterns of the officers are now stored, he tells Bashir to keep the program going, since ending it could end his crewmates' lives. Playing along, Bashir asks Kira to explain their assignment, and she tells him about a string of artificial earthquakes and the disappearance of Professor Honey Bare, whose photograph looks just like Dax. Bashir and Garak are even more surprised, however, when O'Brien appears as Falcon, the program's hired assassin, and pulls a gun on them.
The three overpower O'Brien and his two henchmen, then Kira prepares to kill him. But Bashir stops her, realizing that she would be killing the real O'Brien's body instead of a program. Traveling to Paris, Bashir poses as a noted scientist, believing a Dr. Noah may be behind the disappearance of Professor Bare. Bashir, Garak, and Kira meet up with Worf, who is now Duchamps, Dr. Noah's assistant. He knocks the three unconscious, and they wind up at Dr. Noah's headquarters on the slope of Mt. Everest. There, they meet Noah, who is actually Sisko.
Sisko explains his diabolical plan to destroy the planet by creating artificial quakes that will release lava from the Earth's core. As it shrinks, oceans will flood everything but Mt. Everest, where Noah will start a new society there on his "island." The scientist helping Noah is Professor Bare/Dax, who appears to be assisting voluntarily. After explaining his plan, Sisko reveals that O'Brien is also working for him, and that he knows Bashir is really a secret agent. They then take Bashir and Garak to a cave, where they are handcuffed to a laser which in five minutes will drill a hole into the ground, releasing a pool of lava into the cave and killing them.
Luckily, Dax lets her attraction to Bashir get the better of her and rescues him just in time. Garak then tries to end the program, but Bashir shoots him, proving he is serious. They return to the control room, where Bashir pretends to want to join Sisko's side, then actually deploys his deadly device and destroys the world. Unsure what to do, Sisko prepares to shoot Bashir anyway, but suddenly dematerializes along with the rest of the trapped physical patterns, which are finally reunited with their neural patterns on the Defiant's transporter pad. Only Garak and Bashir remain in the program. Like true secret agents, they actually saved the day.
An explosion at a Federation/Romulan diplomatic conference on Earth has killed 27 people. Most disturbing is evidence that the bomb was set by a Changeling - meaning the Dominion has reached Earth. Sisko and Odo are summoned to San Francisco to advise Admiral Leyton, the head of Starfleet Operations, on the Dominion. Once there, Leyton informs them that, effective immediately, Sisko will be in charge of Starfleet Security on Earth.Review
A trip to Earth also means a visit home for Sisko and his son, Jake. They head to the New Orleans restaurant owned and operated by Sisko's father, Joseph. Later, Sisko and Leyton meet with Federation President Jaresh-Inyo, who balks at Sisko's ideas for increasing security. But when Sisko's briefcase suddenly morphs into Odo, Jaresh-Inyo sees the seriousness of the Dominion threat, and agrees to allow Sisko to implement blood screening measures on Starfleet officers and high-ranking Federation officials.
On the grounds of Starfleet Headquarters, Odo encounters Leyton and his executive officer, Commander Benteen. During their conversation, Odo suddenly grabs Leyton's hand, which then dissolves into gelatinous goo. Revealed to be a Changeling, the duplicate morphs into a bird and flies away. The real Leyton is extremely upset by this news, but his discussion with Sisko is interrupted by an urgent call from Jake - Joseph has been arrested.
Sisko returns to New Orleans, where his father has refused to submit to the blood testing now required of all relatives of Starfleet members. Joseph angrily retreats to his restaurant kitchen to chop vegetables, but cuts his finger. Sisko can't help checking the knife to make sure the blood doesn't become Changeling goo. That night, Earth's entire power-relay system goes off-line. When Leyton blames sabotage, Sisko surmises the Changelings have left Earth defenseless.
Sisko and Leyton use the systems of an orbiting starship to transport to the President's office, and convince him to declare a State of Emergency on Earth. Armed Starfleet troops are quickly mobilized across the planet. Sisko prepares his homeworld for war with the Dominion.
When Dominion sabotage is blamed for a planetwide power outage, Starfleet stations troops all over Earth to prepare for an invasion. However, Sisko is suspicious when he learns that the Red Squad, an elite group of Starfleet Academy cadets, was demobilized shortly after the State of Emergency was declared. By pretending to know about the mission, he tricks a Red Squad member into revealing that his group was ordered to create the power outage. Sisko fears Admiral Leyton is planning to overthrow the Federation government and replace it with military rule.Review
Federation President Jaresh-Inyo is unconvinced, but he agrees to force Leyton and his troops to stand down if Sisko brings him proof. Later, Leyton confronts him and tries to convince Sisko that martial law is the only way to deal with the Dominion threat. But Sisko refuses to participate in what amounts to treason against the Federation, so Leyton relieves him of his duties running Starfleet Security and orders him back to Deep Space Nine. On the grounds of Starfleet Headquarters that night, Sisko is approached by a Changeling in the form of O'Brien, who reveals that he is one of four Changelings on Earth. Their plan: use fear and paranoia to their advantage against the humans.
Sisko sends a message to Deep Space Nine and sets a plan in motion, then returns to his former office with Odo, who breaks into Leyton's classified Starfleet files. They surmise that Leyton's coup is scheduled to take place the day before the President's upcoming speech. Armed with new information, Sisko pays a visit to Jaresh-Inyo's office, where Leyton, Commander Benteen, and four security guards are waiting for him. They force Sisko to give them a blood sample in front of the President, and his blood promptly morphs into Changeling goo.
With Sisko in a holding cell, Leyton admits that he faked the blood test and tells Sisko he'll be set free after the coup. But after Leyton leaves, Odo helps Sisko escape and tells him the Defiant is headed for Earth. Sisko soon confronts Leyton with a phaser and demands his resignation - Lieutenant Arriaga, in custody on the Defiant, has admitted to helping Leyton make it look like a cloaked Dominion fleet was entering the Alpha Quadrant. Leyton responds that he has sent the Lakota to stop the Defiant, telling the Lakota crew that the Defiant is manned by Changelings.
The Lakota attacks the Defiant, and, realizing they have no choice, Worf orders his crew to fight back. In the heat of the battle, Leyton gives Benteen, who is commanding the Lakota, orders to destroy the Defiant - not just disable it. Uncomfortable with killing fellow officers, she instead shuts down her weapons and allows the Defiant to proceed to Earth. His most loyal officer having deserted him, Leyton realizes he has lost and removes his admiral's pips. With order restored on Earth, Sisko determines to not let fear conquer his homeworld for the Dominion.
First Minister Shakaar arrives at Deep Space Nine to negotiate for Bajor's early admittance into the Federation. The dignitary creates quite a stir around the station - especially with Kira, a friend since she worked for him in the Resistance. Soon after his arrival, Odo learns that "The True Way," a Cardassian extremist group, is planning to assassinate Shakaar. Security is beefed up throughout the station, and Odo personally shadows him. But when Shakaar takes a leisurely stroll with Kira, Odo's hidden affection for her leaves him with an uncomfortable feeling.Review
After a tough round of negotiations, Shakaar asks Odo to accompany him back to his quarters. Once there, Shakaar awkwardly admits that he's falling in love with Kira, and wonders if Kira has any similar thoughts about him. Since Odo's own feelings for Kira go beyond mere friendship, he realizes that he now has a rival for her affections.
At their weekly security meeting, Kira is distracted, which concerns Odo. She begs off early to give Shakaar a tour of the station, and Odo has to follow them as part of his security duties. He sees the two grow closer and almost kiss before remembering they're not exactly alone. Soon after, the three enter the turbolift, and Worf announces over the com that they must be re-routed. Odo asks Worf to verify his security code before control is transferred - just as Shakaar makes a dinner date with Kira. Distracted, Odo releases the turbolift before verifying Worf's code, and the turbolift suddenly goes into freefall.
Thinking quickly, Odo is able to morph into metal rods and stops the turbolift, saving their lives. Afterwards, he admits to Sisko with embarrassment that he allowed the saboteur to act by turning over control of the turbolift without verification. Realizing that he has to do something, Odo heads for Kira's quarters and guards reveal that Shakaar has been inside with her since returning from dinner - three hours ago. Odo relieves a guard and stands outside her door until morning, when Shakaar finally departs. She happily tells Odo of her developing relationship with Shakaar, after which Odo leaves, only to discover that Worf has apprehended the saboteur without his help. Hurt and frustrated, Odo returns to his quarters and in an uncharacteristic fit of rage, demolishes everything.
Disturbed by the noise, Quark comes to Odo's quarters and is surprised by what he sees. He tells Odo that he has to resolve his feelings for Kira one way or another in order to regain control of his life. Odo returns to Kira's quarters and tells her he wants to stop their weekly meetings. She's puzzled, but doesn't push him, and Odo forces himself to get his mind back on his job - and nothing else.
At First Minister Shakaar's request, Kira prepares to travel to a Cardassian Outpost to share Bajoran intelligence about the Klingon Empire. She is surprised to discover their her old nemesis, Dukat has been demoted from his powerful position and is now commander of a freighter that will take her to the outpost. Dukat reveals that he is in this situation because he brought Tora Ziyal, his daughter by his Bajoran mistress, back to Cardassia, a move which will destroy his life and career. Ziyal and her father are now outcasts, and the freighter is their home. Upon arrival at the conference site, Kira and Dukat find that Klingons have attacked the outpost and all the Cardassian and Bajoran diplomats are dead.Review
The Klingon Bird-of-Prey responsible for the attack immediately detects Dukat's ship, but he is both humiliated and angry when the ship ignores his vessel, even after the freighter's feeble attempts at intervening. After the Bird-of-Prey leaves the area, Kira suggests they adapt the outpost's more powerful weapons for use on the freighter before the Klingon ship.
As they work to install the outpost's disruptor on the freighter, Dukat tells Kira that stopping the Klingon ship will allow him to regain his standing in the Cardassian Empire. Later Kira gives Ziyal some crude military training, beginning to bond with the young woman. Soon Kira and Dukat deduce that the Bird-of-Prey's next target will be a remote world where the Cardassians have a secret weapons research installation. Once in orbit, the freighter sends out a false signal to mislead the Klingon ship into believing it has a valuable cargo, hoping to lure the Bird-of-Prey into firing range. It works and the Klingons soon appear.
As expected, the Klingons lock a tractor beam on the freighter, giving Dukat the opportunity to fire his disruptor blast. Crippling the Klingon ship, Kira and Dukat commandeer it and transport its crew onto the freighter, while beaming their own crew to the Klingon ship, after which Dukat destroys the freighter, killing the Klingons. He reports his capture of the Klingon ship - and the valuable information it contains - to his government, but is shocked to learn that the Cardassians want to reach a diplomatic solution instead of seeking retaliation. Disgusted by his peoples' change of heart, Dukat vows to fight the Klingon Empire alone.
Dukat asks Kira to join him, reminding her that after Cardassia, Bajor will probably be the next target of the Klingons. But she realizes that the life of a solider is no longer for her. She also knows it's no life for Ziyal, and takes the young woman back to Deep Space Nine with her to live until Dukat's war is over.
Worf's brother Kurn arrives unexpectedly and asks Worf to kill him. He explains that since Worf sided with the Federation against the Klingon Empire, Kurn and his family are outcasts on the homeworld. Having lost everything, he can only regain his honor through the Mauk-to'Vor, a death ritual which only Worf can perform. Worf reluctantly decides to carry out his brother's wish and fatally stabs Kurn, but Dax and Odo burst in just in time to transport Kurn to the Infirmary.Review
Luckily, Kurn survives, albeit unhappily. Meanwhile, Sisko grows suspicious of Klingon "Military Exercises" witnessed by Kira and O'Brien outside Bajoran space and orders them to investigate. Later, Worf, hoping to give Kurn a purpose on the station, convinces Odo to make him a deputy on his security force.
Kurn takes the job, and initially performs well. Meanwhile on the Defiant, Kira and O'Brien encounter a damaged Klingon ship in the area of the exercises, and the injured crew is forced to request a tow back to Deep Space Nine. Later Worf finds Kurn again in the Infirmary, and discovers that his brother allowed himself to be attacked, hoping to die this way. Odo refuses to work with a man carrying a death wish and fires Kurn. Miserable, Kurn says that his life is in Worf's hands.
While investigating the explosion that disabled the Klingon ship, Worf realizes that it was laying a minefield of cloaked explosives to cut off the Bajoran system from the rest of the Federation - a precursor to war. In order to disable the mines, they need the coordinates. Worf and Kurn have their features and DNA signatures temporarily altered and make their way onto the disabled ship. They soon find the deployment plan for the mines, but a Klingon officer suddenly walks in on them.
Kurn kills the intruder, which shocks Worf until Kurn reveals the Klingon had a knife and was preparing to kill him. But Kurn's act only sinks him deeper into depression as he realizes his dishonor is complete. With this in mind, Worf makes the ultimate sacrifice. He has Kurn's features altered once again and has his memory erased, allowing Kurn to start life over again with a new identity. Kurn has regained his place in Klingon society - but Worf has lost his only remaining link to that society forever.
After suffering for weeks with an ear infection without a day off, Rom finally collapses in Quark's bar and is taken to the Infirmary. Bashir is outraged that Quark refuses to give any employees sick leave and casually suggests that Rom form a union. When Rom returns to work, Quark announces that he is cutting the salaries of his employees to compensate for declining profits. Angered at this mistreatment and inspired by Bashir's words, Rom calls a secret meeting of Quark's waiters and Dabo girls and announces that he wants to start a union.Review
While some of the Ferengi employees are initially fearful about angering the Ferengi Commerce Authority, Rom says that they have little to lose, and the union is formed. He makes up a list of demands - increased pay, shorter hours, paid sick leave - and presents them to Quark, who simply laughs them off. But Rom has the last laugh when he tells his brother that the new union is now on strike.
Rom pays customers to stay out of Quark's - a tactic that seems to be paying off, because the bar is practically deserted. On Sisko's orders, Odo refuses to disperse the strikers - even when Worf, O'Brien and Bashir wind up in a brawl. However, Sisko does threaten to collect Quark's back rent if he doesn't settle, so Quark offers Rom a bribe to stop the strike. Rom refuses - but Quark's problems may be solved anyway. Liquidator Brunt from the FCA has arrived, and promises Quark he will put a stop to the strike by any means necessary.
Brunt crashes a union meeting and threatens the Ferengi workers if they don't return to Quark's. However, Rom inspires his troops once again, and they rededicate themselves to the strike. Later Quark tries to talk Rom into giving up, worried about what the FCA will do to his brother, but Rom holds firm. Things only get worse when Brunt has his Nausicaan thugs beat up Quark as an example.
In the Infirmary, a wounded Quark offers to secretly honor the demands of the strikers as long as Rom disbands the union and pretends that Quark has won, to which Rom agrees. Once everyone returns to work at their new, higher salaries, Rom announces that he has quit to work for the station as a repair technician - having proven to himself that he can really survive on his own, without Quark's "help."
A centuries old Bajoran vessel mysteriously exits the wormhole, and its passenger, a legendary Bajoran named Akorem Laan, is immediately beamed to the Infirmary. Shocked to learn that more than 200 years have passed since he left Bajor, he tells Sisko and Kira that he had an accident in space and was saved by the Bajoran Prophets, which led him to believe that they have chosen him to be the Emissary. Sisko, who was never comfortable with the assumption that he was Emissary, steps aside to let Akorem assume the revered position. Soon afterward, Akorem makes his first public address, telling the crowd that the prophets chose him to return Bajor to the old ways - including strict adherence to a caste system that restricts people to specific "D'jarras," or occupations.Review
Sisko is disturbed, since caste-based discrimination goes against the Federation Charter, which will cause Bajor to be excluded from the membership, but Akorem is convinced he is following the wishes of the Prophets. That evening, Sisko is so troubled, he has a nightmare and is unable to get back to sleep. He goes for a walk on the Promenade and encounters a vision of Kai Opaka, who warns Sisko that he does not know himself.
Bashir tells Sisko that he experienced an "Orb Shadow" - a phenomenon encountered by people who've been exposed to the Bajoran orbs, but which only occurs if the advice the Prophets tried to give has been ignored. Later, Sisko reveals to Kira that he believes he has failed in his mission to bring Bajor into the Federation. Kira assures him that it isn't his fault, but complicates his dilemma by telling him she plans to resign her post to follow her D'jarra and become an artist.
Sisko's contemplative mood is interrupted when Odo summons him to the Promenade - a Bajoran monk has died. Vedek Porta states that he is responsible, saying he pushed the man to his death because he refused to resign, even though his family's D'jarra is "unclean." Appalled, Sisko requests another meeting with Akorem and admits that giving up his position as Emissary was a mistake, then reveals that he is forced to challenge Akorem's claim. Since they have no other way of proving which is the real Emissary, Sisko suggests that the two of them go to the wormhole and ask the Prophets.
In the wormhole, the aliens within reveal that Akorem was sent into the future for Sisko - the true Emissary. At Sisko's suggestion, the aliens return the dejected Akorem to his own time, to live out his life without any memory of the future. Sisko is finally convinced that he is the Emissary and ready to handle the responsibility.
While under Klingon attack, Worf ordered for the Defiant to fire on a vessel that decloaked in front of it, apparently unaware that it was a Klingon transport until too late. While Admiral T'Lara oversees the hearing, Ch'Pok, the Klingon Advocate, accuses Worf of negligence brought on by his inherent bloodlust. Sisko, Worf's defense counsel, counters that this was a tragic, unavoidable accident. Later, Dax is called to the stand, where she is forced to reveal that the day before the attack, Worf fought a simulated holosuite battle in which he ordered the destruction of a town filled with Klingon civilians.Review
Other witnesses are called to help determine Worf's state of mind. Sisko says that he was confident putting Worf in charge of what was supposed to be a humanitarian mission delivering aid to a Cardassian colony. But Quark reveals that Worf told him before leaving that he hoped the Klingons attacked - ostensibly so that he could retaliate.
Odo investigates the history of the dead Klingon transport captain, but learns nothing incriminating. Later, Kira is questioned about the events leading up to the battle and states that she believes Worf was correct in giving the order to fire. But, when O'Brien is questioned, he is forced to reveal that, had he been in command, he would have acted differently. Later, Ch'Pok suggests that Sisko concede before Worf takes the stand, promising to spare Worf's life. Sisko refuses.
On the stand, Worf says he still believes firing on the transport was the only option under the circumstances. But when Ch'Pok questions, he infuriates Worf by suggesting he destroyed a ship of innocent people to prove himself a true Klingon. Angered, Worf attacks Ch'Pok, proving that, contrary to what he has said, he would knowingly attack an unarmed opponent. Satisfied, Ch'Pok rests his case.
Just when Worf appears to be doomed, Sisko presents new information to T'Lara and Ch'Pok. Apparently, every passenger Worf supposedly killed was also aboard a vessel that crashed a few months earlier - but all "miraculously" survived the accident, only to "coincidentally" die months later on the transport. Sisko forces Ch'Pok to admit that the entire affair could have been staged to discredit Worf. Afterward, Sisko chastises Worf for an attitude that puts winning over innocent lives, then concedes Worf was lucky and softens the blow by expressing his belief that Worf will make a fine Captain someday.
A shaken O'Brien returns to Deep Space Nine after his mind has been altered to make him believe that he spent the last two decades in prison. Accused of espionage by the Argrathi, he was given the painful memories of a 20-year incarceration - the alien race's time- and money-saving alternative to constructing jails - and released before his fellow officers could arrive to stop the punishment. Although the process took only a few hours, the effect on O'Brien is clearly devastating, and while he's told what he went through was not real, the memories are too vivid to be dismissed. While Bashir explores how to erase those memories, O'Brien must see a counselor to help him handle the intense psychological effects.Review
Bashir determines that, since O'Brien was subjected to a time-compressed interactive simulation of the prison experience, it feels like he really lived those 20 years. Only erasing O'Brien's mind can eliminate the memories. Since this isn't an option, O'Brien is forced to tough it out, and he tries to throw himself back into his work and life with his daughter and pregnant wife. But he can't escape the memories of his imaginary ordeal and of Ee'char, his cellmate and only friend.
As time goes by, O'Brien's nerves begin to fray. He imagines seeing Ee'char around the station, although he knows the alien wasn't real - and even hallucinates a conversation with him while sitting in Quark's. Worse, he begins snapping at others, including Bashir, Quark and Odo.
Having learned about his behavior, Sisko relieves O'Brien of duty and orders him to resume counseling sessions immediately. Angry, O'Brien confronts Bashir for informing Sisko. Just then, Ee'char appears to O'Brien and encourages him to let Bashir help, but O'Brien storms back to his quarters instead, where he snaps at his daughter Molly and almost hits her. Upset that he could have harmed his child, O'Brien goes to the Cargo Bay, takes out a phaser, and prepares to shoot himself.
Bashir arrives just as O'Brien is about to pull the trigger and engages him in conversation, causing O'Brien to finally reveal the source of his pain. While in prison, he killed Ee'char, whom he believed was hoarding food from him. O'Brien sees the experience as proof that his humanity is gone, making him a potential danger to family and friends. But Bashir reminds him that this memory is part of his cruel punishment at the hands of the Argrathi, and if he gives in to these feelings, they win. This provides O'Brien the strength to face his ordeal, and with the help of his counselor and some medication, he is soon on the road to recovery.
Jake can hardly believe his eyes when his father introduces him to a woman who looks, talks and acts exactly like his late mother, Jennifer. She and Sisko reveal that this is Jennifer - at least, her double from a mirror universe which Sisko once visited, where she was married to his now-dead counterpart. Sisko leaves the two of them alone for awhile. But when he returns, Jennifer and Jake are nowhere to be found. All that remains is a small device, which Sisko realizes is used for transport to the mirror universe. He activates it and appears on Terok Nor, the other universe's Deep Space Nine, where he meets O'Brien's rebel counterpart and announces he is taking Jake home. Pointing weapons at Sisko, O'Brien replies that neither he nor Jake is going anywhere.Review
O'Brien tells Sisko they need his help in their fight against the tyrannical Alliance forces. The rebel group built its own Defiant, but is having trouble making the powerful warship operational, and the Alliance is due to attack Terok Nor in four days. Sisko asks to see Jake, who tells his father he came to be with Jennifer. Angry, Sisko takes Jennifer to task for using his son, but still agrees to help. Elsewhere, leading a fleet of Klingon and Cardassian ships, the Alliance Regent, Worf's counterpart, lashes out at Garak's counterpart for losing Terok Nor to the rebels. Garak swears his loyalty as they prepare to take back the station.
Sisko meets up with the counterpart for Kira, once Terok Nor's leader but now a prisoner of the rebels. Meanwhile, Worf learns about the Defiant's construction and increases the fleet's speed to the station. Back on Terok Nor, Jake grows more fond of Jennifer, despite Sisko's concerns, and Jennifer reveals to Sisko that she can't stop thinking of Jake as the son she'll never have. Their moment is interrupted by news that the Alliance fleet is less than eight hours away.
Needing another plan, Sisko asks Kira for help, reminding her that Worf and the Alliance probably blame her for the loss of Terok Nor. Kira tells Sisko that Alliance ships have targeting systems that are easily fooled, information he uses to create a diversion while finishing work on the Defiant. Jennifer assists him and talks about her deepening bond with Jake, then decides to return the child to Deep Space Nine and out of harm's way. The Defiant now ready, Sisko volunteers to lead its rebel crew in battle. Meanwhile, Jennifer prepares to send Jake home. But the pair encounters the evil Kira, who has now escaped and trains her weapon on them.
Kira plans to take Jennifer as a hostage in order to get back into the Regent's good graces - then prepares to fire on Jake. But Jennifer jumps into the line of fire, struck to the ground by the blast. Learning the truth about Jake and Jennifer's connection, Kira spares his life - but promises to collect on this debt later. Back on the Defiant, Sisko, O'Brien and the rebel crew force Worf and the Alliance to retreat after a fierce battle. Sisko returns to Terok Nor, but arrives to find Jake at Jennifer's deathbed. She summons the strength to wish him goodbye, then dies, leaving father and son to deal with her loss a second painful time.
Lwaxana Troi pays a visit to Odo's office with the surprising news that she is pregnant. She is thrilled to be having a baby boy, but her Tavnian husband insists she adhere to the custom of giving him their son to raise alone until the child is 16. Unwilling to give away the baby, Lwaxana decides to give birth to him on Deep Space Nine. Meanwhile, a mysterious alien woman named Onaya arrives on the station, telling Jake that she can help him with his writing.Review
Lwaxana finagles an invitation to Odo's quarters, and while Odo is initially uncomfortable - she once had a romantic interest in him - he starts to warm up to Lwaxana and even feels her belly as her baby kicks. Meanwhile, Jake opts out of a trip with his father and shows up at Onaya's quarters. She encourages him to write on paper, something he has never done before, and touches him as he works. Amazingly, Jake's thoughts flow more freely than ever before, and he is clearly excited by what is happening. What he fails to notice, however, is that Onaya is somehow drawing energy from him as he writes.
Lwaxana and Odo continue to bond until her husband Jeyal arrives on the station. Odo tells him that he plans to marry Lwaxana, which will cause her union with Jeyal to be automatically annulled and give Odo claim to her child. He tells Lwaxana of the plan - they will marry in a legal Tavnian ceremony, she will have the baby, and after a few months, they will get an annulment of their own. But Lwaxana informs Odo that in order for the marriage to be valid, he must convince Jeyal that he truly loves her. Meanwhile, back in Onaya's quarters, Jake continues to write, unaware that Onaya is literally sucking the life out of him.
The officers assemble for Odo and Lwaxana's wedding, where he surprises everyone by revealing true, heartfelt feelings for her. Even Jeyal is unable to deny his sincerity, so the two are married and Jeyal leaves the station. Jake, meanwhile, is still writing, drained and exhausted but determined. Onaya, who can't absorb any more of his energy at the moment, insists he rest. He reluctantly agrees, but passes out while heading for his quarters. Bashir tells Sisko, who has just returned, that something has been stimulating Jake's cerebral cortex to the point of near-synaptic collapse. But soon after they leave the unconscious Jake, Onaya appears and takes him away.
Using traces of Onaya's energy as a lead, Sisko sets off to find his son, while Jake, near collapse resumes his writing while Onaya absorbs energy. Suddenly, Sisko bursts in to their hiding place, phaser in hand. Onaya tells Sisko that she gave countless legendary creators their inspiration - and immortality - at the cost of their lives. Sisko tries to stop her from leaving, but she transforms into an energy being and disappears. Meanwhile, Lwaxana informs Odo that she is also leaving to have her baby on her homeworld. Odo is surprised and disappointed, but understands. Later, Sisko reads Jake's unfinished manuscript and is clearly impressed. Jake worries to his father that Onaya deserves the credit, but Sisko reminds him that the words and ideas were his own - she only used her power to draw them out. All Jake needs to do is find that power within himself.
With the conflict between the Klingons and the Cardassians taking its toll, a shipment of desperately needed replicators destined for Cardassia is set to pass through Deep Space Nine. Odo and Lieutenant Commander Eddington of Starfleet Security recommend heightened measures to deter both the Klingons and the terrorist group known as the Maquis, then reveal some troubling news - they believe there is a Maquis smuggler aboard the station, and they have shreds of evidence that the smuggler is Kasidy Yates, Sisko's romantic interest. After hearing the basis for their suspicions, Sisko gives the go-ahead to find a reason to search her ship.Review
When Kasidy tries to leave for her next delivery, Odo insists on making an emergency health inspection of her ship. Upset that the inspection will make her miss her rendezvous, Kasidy appeals to Sisko, who grants her permission to leave. However, he has the Defiant follow Kasidy and observe her actions. Suspicions are confirmed when her ship meets a Maquis vessel in the Badlands.
Back at the station, Eddington and Worf brief Sisko on their findings. When Kasidy returns, Sisko is clearly uncomfortable. Later, when Odo and Eddington recommend following Kasidy's ship to its next rendezvous and arresting all parties involved, Sisko is forced to agree - and chooses to command the Defiant, leaving behind Eddington to wait for the replicators. Sisko makes a last-ditch effort to stop Kasidy, suggesting she let her first officer handle the delivery instead. Kasidy tells him she has to honor her commitment, then leaves.
On the Defiant, Sisko follows Kasidy's vessel in the Badlands, but no Maquis ship arrives to meet her. After waiting for several hours for a rendezvous to happen, Odo suspects that this may all be a ruse to lure Sisko away from the station. They beam aboard Kasidy's ship and Sisko demands to know why he has been baited, but she reveals that her orders were only to meet a Maquis ship-which has still not arrived. Meanwhile, back at the station, Eddington pulls a phaser on Kira, knocks her unconscious, then takes control of Deep Space Nine.
Realizing the truth, Sisko hurries back to the station, but he's too late. A Vulcan freighter has already taken the replicators, and Eddington, a Maquis spy, has gone with it - leaving Sisko coldly determined to see the traitor court-martialed someday. However, when Kasidy returns to Deep Space Nine to turn herself in for her crimes, Sisko is much warmer. Kasidy admits her love for him, and Sisko promises to wait for her if she goes to prison.
When a Jem'Hadar strike force attacks the station, Sisko takes Worf, Dax, Odo, and O'Brien with the Defiant and pursues them into the Gamma Quadrant. The crew comes upon a disabled Jem'Hadar warship emitting a distress signal, and transports aboard the survivors, six Jem'Hadar and Weyoun, their Vorta master. Weyoun reveals that they were attacked by the same Jem'Hadar who surprised Deep Space Nine. He then tells Sisko privately that the attackers are Jem'Hadar renegades who have turned against the Dominion and are trying to restore an ancient alien Gateway - a sophisticated Transporter that would give them the power to go anywhere instantaneously. This could give them the potential to take over the Gamma Quadrant and the Federation. Sisko agrees to join Weyoun and destroy the Gateway, which is located on the surface of a remote planet.Review
The officers are surprised to learn that they will be working with Weyoun and the six Jem'Hadar. Sisko also tells them that the Jem'Hadar don't know about the Gateway - they think they are only out to stop the disloyal renegades. Later, Sisko establishes order by insisting that the Jem'Hadar Omet'iklan, hints that things will change after their assignment is completed, they form an uneasy alliance.
Omet'iklan tells Sisko that the only way this troops will respect Sisko's crew is to fight alongside them on the planet, then suggests they work in mixed teams, only Weyoun refuses. But when Omet'iklan reveals that his men already know about the Gateway's existence, Sisko agrees, and the Jem'Hadar and Defiant crews begin working together. Their alliance is tested, however, when a Jem'Hadar named Toman'torax attacks Worf. After helping Sisko break up the fight, Omet'iklan kills his man in a display of Jem'Hadar discipline. Sisko refuses to do the same with Worf, however, and Omet'iklan promises to kill Sisko when the mission is over.
Worf learns of Omet'iklan's intentions, and warns the captain against joining the away mission on the planet. Sisko insists on going, however, and promises to watch his back. The Defiant soon arrives at the planet. When the teams transport to the surface, however, they learn that their phasers and combadges have been rendered unusable by the energy from the Gateway - just as a team of renegade Jem'Hadar materializes before them and attacks.
A bloody battle ensues, but all the key players on Sisko's team manage to survive this initial confrontation. The group makes its way to the Gateway chamber, engaging in hand-to-hand combat all the way. While weaving through the corridors, Sisko saves Omet'iklan's life, much to the Jem'Hadar's surprise. The entire group then escapes the chamber moments before O'Brien's explosive device destroys the Gateway, which allows their weapons to function again. Omet'iklan turns his phaser on Weyoun - killing him for questioning his group's loyalty - but spares Sisko's life. The Jem'Hadar then separate from the Defiant crew with the grim reminder that the next time they do battle, it will be on opposite sides.
The attackers contaminated the inhabitants with a terminal disease that is passed on from generation to generation. The Blight, as the malady is known, causes blue lesions all over the faces of sufferers. When the afflicted near death - a period called "the quickening" - the welts become red and inflamed while the disease grows very painful. Bashir and Dax transport to the planet's surface, where they encounter a woman and take her to a hospital. But they soon discover that Trevean, the hospital's "healer," is in reality a man who poisons those who are quickening in order to end their suffering. Bashir wants to help save them, but Trevean insists that there is no cure.Review
However, a woman named Ekoria privately seeks Bashir's help - she is pregnant, and afraid she will not live to have her baby. Bashir and Dax decide to stay and try to find a cure, while Kira leaves in the runabout so the Jem'Hadar - hopefully - won't detect their presence. Bashir then begins studying the disease. With Ekoria as a volunteer, he isolates the virus, but since she is in the dormant phase, he cannot complete his research. However, few people in the quickening stage are willing to help him - even if it means they could be saved. Bashir fixes a boy's broken arm to prove that his healing powers are advanced. However, Trevean tells him that his people have been fooled before, and that no one has yet found a cure. Finally, Epran, a man in the quickening stage, volunteers, and a few days later, Bashir has a makeshift infirmary full of patients, all in a similar condition.
He injects everyone with doses of what he believes may be a cure. After a little while, however, Epran suddenly gets dramatically worse. Bashir discovers the virus is mutating. Realizing the electromagnetic fields from his medical instruments are responsible, he frantically shuts down everything, but it's too late - all the patients die horrible, painful deaths. Trevean shows up to put the sufferers out of their misery, while Bashir reflects on his failure. Later, he runs into Ekoria, who has entered the quickening phase. Realizing she will probably die before her child is born, Bashir gains new resolve, then chooses to stay on the planet while Kira and Dax return to the Alpha Quadrant.
After drawing Ekoria's blood, Bashir is disappointed to discover that her body has not one trace of the antigen he had given her. Knowing Ekoria will not survive to see her baby born naturally, Bashir decides to induce labor in two weeks. Ekoria's suffering worsens, and Trevean eventually goes to see her, offering to help her and the unborn child die. But Ekoria chooses to give her baby a chance to live, and Trevean wishes her well. Finally, the child is born, and Ekoria lives just long enough to see a miracle. While the antigen did not work on her, her baby is born without lesions - meaning he doesn't have the Blight, and that the fetuses of pregnant women can be vaccinated against it. While Ekoria's generation will die, their children will survive, and her people's suffering will finally end.
Quark returns from a visit to Ferenginar with the distressing news that he has Dorek Syndrome, an extremely rare disease that should end his life within a week. Since a Ferengi must pay off his debts before he dies, Quark decides to put up his remains for bidding on the Ferengi Futures Exchange to earn the needed latinum. Meanwhile, Bashir, Kira and the pregnant Keiko O'Brien return to the station after a serious accident. But when O'Brien visits the infirmary to check on his wife, he discovers that Kira is now carrying the unborn child.Review
O'Brien and Keiko slowly absorb the news that Kira will have to take their child to term. In the meantime, Quark is depressed by the lack of bidding for his remains. Then, a huge anonymous bid of 500 bars of latinum is placed, which he immediately accepts, happy to die a winner. But Quark soon gets a message from his doctor - he does not have Dorek Syndrome after all. Quark quickly sets about undoing all his debt-settling work and preparing for a long life. But that night, he gets a surprise visit from Brunt, the feared Ferengi Liquidator, who informs Quark that he purchased his remains - and he intends to collect, no matter what.
Quark tells Brunt that the diagnosis was a mistake. But Brunt insists that Quark honor his contract and surrender his body parts within six days - period. The only way for Quark to save his own life is to break the contract, an appalling option to him, and one which will render him a pariah in Ferengi society. Realizing he has no choice but to die, Quark tries recruiting Garak to perform the deed.
Rom is horrified by his brother's decision, but Quark insists that a true Ferengi has no other choice. Garak is more than willing to kill Quark, and the pair begins exploring several options in a holosuite. Quark decides that he wants his death to come as a painless, bloodless surprise. Garak assures him that he can pull this off, and Quark realizes that he has just signed his own death warrant. That night, he nervously enters his quarters, and within moments, he arrives at the Ferengi version of the afterlife - the Divine Treasury. Apparently, Garak was true to his word - Quark didn't feel a thing.
After much thought, Kira moves in with the O'Briens so that their unborn child can be close to them. Back in the Treasury, Quark meets Gint, the First Grand Nagus, who looks strangely like his brother, Rom, and reveals that this is actually a dream. He urges Quark to break the contract with Brunt, stating that the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition are only guideposts. Then Brunt appears to remind Quark of the consequences involved with not honoring the contract - including poverty and exile from Ferenginar. Quark awakens from the dream, realizing what he must do. He finds Brunt at the bar and returns the 500 bars of latinum, plus interest. Brunt seizes Quark's assets, leaving him with nothing but the empty bar. But later, Sisko, Bashir, Dax, Odo, and many others step in to help, filling up the bar again and letting Quark know he still has the most valuable asset of all - friends.
Odo is rushed to the Infirmary when he suddenly collapses. After a thorough examination, Bashir determines that Odo is losing the ability to maintain his solid form, but it is unclear as to why. Despite his protests, Bashir gives the patient strict orders to remain under observation since movement could bring on another attack. Odo reluctantly consents, until Kira brings him the day's criminal activities report to take his mind off his troubles. He sees a suspicious notation, leaves the Infirmary to investigate, and promptly collapses into a puddle of goo.Review
His condition worsening, Odo realizes there is only one place he can find help - with his people, the Founders. Sisko, O'Brien, Worf, Bashir, Dax, and Garak take him into the Gamma Quadrant on the Defiant to find his mysterious homeworld. Soon, the Defiant, is intercepted by a squadron of Jem'Hadar warships.
Three Jem'Hadar warriors and the Female Shapeshifter who confronted Odo in the past materialize on the bridge. She has come for him, stating that only returning to this homeworld's Great Link can help him, and takes over the ship's navigation controls to keep secret their destination. She then meets with Odo and is able to stabilize his condition temporarily by linking with him. He then realizes that the Founders caused his illness to force him to return. As the only Changeling to kill another of his kind, Odo has been brought back to be judged by his own people.
The Female Shapeshifter explains that Odo must rejoin the Great Link, not only to be cured of his illness, but in order to allow his people to determine whether his actions were justified, and what punishment should be given. Sisko and the others try to develop a plan to protect Odo, but he tells them that he wants to be judged. Upon arrival at the homeworld, Sisko and Bashir transport to the surface with Odo and the Female Shapeshifter, then watch helplessly as the Changelings disappear into the sea of goo that is Odo's people - joined in the Great Link.
On the Defiant, Worf catches Garak attempting to fire the ship's weapons on the planet, refusing to help him commit genocide on the Founders and kill Sisko, Bashir, and Odo in the process. Later, Odo is expelled from the Great Link - as a human. The Female Shapeshifter explains that this is their punishment, but left Odo's face as it was to remind him of what he lost. Soon after returning to the station, a message from Gowron, leader of the Klingon Empire, is received. As the crew watches what borders on a declaration of war against the Federation, Odo reaches a startling realization. Gowron is not a Klingon at all. He is a Changeling.