The Search, part 1
Stardate: 48212.4
Original Airdate: Sep 26, 1994

Last time on Star Trek Deep Space Nine

SISKO: If you could do any science project you wanted to, anything at all?
JAKE: Visit the Gamma Quadrant?
(They meet Eris, who knocks Sisko down with an energy ball before the Jem'Hadar take Sisko and Quark prisoner.)
QUARK: We've never heard of the Jem'Hadar.
ERIS: Then you've been fortunate. Negotiations with the Dominion can be a dangerous thing.
TALAK'TALAN: The Dominion will no longer stand by and allow ships from your side to violate our territory.
KEOGH: Starfleet's orders are simple. Traffic through the wormhole will be suspended until the Odyssey can investigate the Jem'Hadar's threat.
DAX: What about Benjamin and the others?
KEOGH: Don't worry, Lieutenant. Commander Sisko's return is a top priority.
DAX: If you're going to try to rescue them, then we're coming with you.
(Eris takes down the security field. Sisko kills a Jem'Hadar.)
KIRA: Here they come.
BASHIR: Major, one of the Jem'Hadar ships is making a direct run at the Odyssey.
(KaBOOM)
SISKO: The Jem'Hadar wanted us to escape, didn't they?
ERIS: You have no idea what's begun here.
(Eris taps her cuff and beams out)
KIRA: She'll be back. The question is who she'll bring with her?
SISKO: If the Dominion comes through the wormhole the first battle will be fought here, and I intend to be ready for them.

And now, the continuation.

[Ops]

KIRA: We're in trouble, people. We've run seven simulations, and they all come out the same. The Jem'Hadar overwhelm our defences and board the station within two hours.
BASHIR: Two hours doesn't even give us time to get reinforcements from Bajor.
DAX: There must be something we overlooked.
O'BRIEN: Major, I'm the last one to say it's hopeless, but given DS Nine's structural limitations, our available power supply, and the difficulty of defending a stationary target against a heavily armed mobile force, I'd say two hours is optimistic.
BASHIR: Regardless of the time, the casualties would be appalling.
KIRA: All right, let's say we let them board the station. That still doesn't mean we have to surrender.
DAX: What are you suggesting?
KIRA: We can hide in the conduits, set up booby-traps, prepare ambushes. Try and hold out until we can get reinforcements.
ODO: We can try, but I don't think there'd be much of a station left by the time they got here.
DAX: That leaves us with two options. Abandon the station and make a stand on Bajor or collapse the entrance to the wormhole.
KIRA: I want a third alternative. I cannot believe that we can't
(A console starts beeping.)
DAX: Some kind of large subspace surge has just activated our security sensors.
KIRA: Where is it?
DAX: Bearing one four eight mark two one five. Distance three hundred metres.
O'BRIEN: Three hundred metres? That's almost inside our shield perimeter.
DAX: From the intensity and the harmonic signature, it could be a cloaked ship, but I've never seen an energy dispersal pattern like this.
KIRA: It's too close for comfort, whatever it is. Red Alert. Raise shields, energise phaser banks, stand-by to lock photon torpedoes on
DAX: The energy signature's fluctuating. It's decloaking.
(It's Starfleet, NX 74205, which makes it a prototype for its class.)
DAX: It's definitely a Federation starship but I've never seen that design before.
O'BRIEN: A Federation ship with a cloaking device?
DAX: It's hailing us.
KIRA: On screen.
SISKO [on viewscreen]: Hello, Major. Sorry to startle you, but I wanted to test the Defiant's cloaking device.
KIRA: The Defiant?
SISKO: I've brought back a little surprise for the Dominion.

[Wardroom]

(DS9's observation lounge, sort of)
SISKO: Officially, it's classified as an escort vessel. Unofficially, the Defiant's a warship. Nothing more, nothing less.
KIRA: I thought Starfleet didn't believe in warships.
SISKO: Desperate times breed desperate measures, Major. Five years ago, Starfleet began exploring the possibility of building a new class of starship. This ship would have no families, no science labs, no luxuries of any kind. It was designed for one purpose only, to fight and defeat the Borg. The Defiant was the prototype, the first ship in what would have been a new Federation battle fleet.
DAX: So what happened?
SISKO: The Borg threat became less urgent. Also, some design flaws cropped up during the ship's shakedown cruise, so Starfleet decided to abandon the project.
O'BRIEN: What sort of design flaws?
SISKO: You'll have complete access to the ship evaluation reports but to put it simply, it's overgunned and overpowered for a ship its size. During battle drills, it nearly tore itself apart when the engines were tested at full capacity.
KIRA: And this is the ship that Starfleet sends us to fight off an attack by the Dominion?
SISKO: We're not going to fight the Dominion, Major. At least, not yet anyway. Our mission is to take the Defiant into the Gamma Quadrant and try to find the leaders of the Dominion, the Founders. We have to convince them that the Federation does not represent a threat to them.
BASHIR: What if they don't believe us?
SISKO: That's why I asked for the Defiant. She may have flaws, but she has teeth, and I want the Dominion to know that we can and will defend ourselves if necessary.
(A Romulan woman and a Starfleet man enter)
EDDINGTON: I've posted two security officers at the Defiant's docking port, sir. No one'll get near the cloaking device without us knowing about it.
ODO: I wasn't informed about any special security arrangements.
T'RUL: The security arrangements were by my request to protect the cloaking device.
(Everyone say Hi! to Martha Hackett, soon to become the duplicitous Seska on Voyager.)
SISKO: A few introductions are in order. This is Subcommander T'Rul from the Romulan Empire. She's here to operate the cloaking device which her government so kindly loaned us for this mission.
T'RUL: Romulan interests will be served through cooperation, and my role is to keep unauthorised personnel away from the cloaking device.
SISKO: May I present my officers. This is Major
T'RUL: Thank you, but I know their names, and I'm not here to make friends.
(T'Rul leaves)
KIRA: Charming.
EDDINGTON: Well, I am here to make friends. I'm Lieutenant Commander Michael Eddington, Starfleet Security.
KIRA: Major Kira Nerys.
ODO: Odo. Head of station security. May I ask what your function is here, Commander?
SISKO: There will be a complete mission briefing at eighteen hundred hours, but be prepared to depart the station at oh seven hundred tomorrow morning. Dismissed.
(Everyone leaves except Sisko and Odo)
ODO: You needn't brace yourself to give me unpleasant news, Commander, I'll save you the trouble. I've been relieved as Chief of Security.
(Odo stalks out without waiting for an answer.)

[Corridor]

SISKO: Odo, wait. You've not been relieved. You're still in charge of all non-Starfleet security matters aboard this station.
ODO: And what about matters that are Starfleet?
SISKO: In those areas, you'll coordinate your efforts with Commander Eddington.
ODO: Coordinate is another way of saying I'll report to him.
SISKO: I'm sorry, Odo. This wasn't my idea.
ODO: I'm sure it wasn't. You were just following orders.
SISKO: An order I strongly disagreed with. I did everything I could to fight this. I even took it to the Chief of Starfleet Security herself. But their decision was final.
ODO: May I ask why?
SISKO: There were some concerns regarding several recent security breaches.
ODO: If I was given the authority I asked for instead of being tied to Starfleet regulations, there wouldn't have been any security breaches.
SISKO: Odo, your resistance to following Starfleet regulations is part of the problem.
ODO: I think there might be a simpler explanation, Commander. I think Starfleet decided to bring in someone they could trust, someone besides the shape-shifter.
SISKO: This is not a racial issue, Odo. I understand how you must feel, and I want
ODO: Commander, I don't require your understanding. My resignation will be logged within the hour.

[Sisko's quarters]

(Jake is enjoying an I'danian spice pudding when Sisko enters.)
SISKO: Hey, hey, hey, I thought you were unpacking.
JAKE: I am. I mean, I was. But I just kept looking at the replicator and
SISKO: And you just had to have some I'danian spice pudding.
JAKE: I still can't believe I couldn't get a decent bowl back on Earth.
SISKO: That didn't stop you from ordering it at every replicator you saw. So, is it good to be home?
JAKE: Yeah, I can't wait to sleep in my own bed again.
SISKO: Phew. I wonder when that happened?
JAKE: What?
SISKO: When did I start thinking of this Cardassian monstrosity as home?
JAKE: I think it happened last Thursday, around seventeen hundred hours. When you took all this stuff out of storage back on Earth.
SISKO: Careful. That's a two thousand year old Yoruba mask and that stuff is one of the finest collections of ancient
BOTH: African art you'll ever see.
JAKE: I know. And I also know how much it means to you. But to me this will always be the stuff in your library at home. When you took it out of storage so you could bring it here, it meant Earth wasn't home anymore. This was.
(Sisko takes the mask and holds it up against a bulkhead, in dappled starlight.)
SISKO: So, what do you think?
JAKE: Perfect.

[Promenade - upper level]

(Odo is stargazing.)
KIRA: Odo, there you are. I just finished talking to the Provisional Government and they want you to go with us to the Gamma Quadrant tomorrow to act as an official Bajoran representative.
ODO: I'm no diplomat.
KIRA: I know. That's why they want you to go. If we do locate the Founders, we're going to need more than diplomacy. We're going to need to size them up, see what kind of threat they pose to Bajor, analyse
ODO: You're the military expert, Major, not me. And I doubt that the Provisional Government contacted you and asked for my presence on this mission. If I'm not mistaken, this is a misguided attempt to make me feel better.
KIRA: Maybe it is. Maybe I'm your friend, and maybe I want you to see that you are still needed here no matter what some idiot Starfleet admiral might think. The Defiant leaves at seven hundred hours.

[Commander's office]

QUARK: I'm a little confused, Commander. You want me to go with you to the Gamma Quadrant to help you locate the Founders?
SISKO: See? It's not so confusing after all.
QUARK: You're joking with me, aren't you? Having a little fun with Quark?
SISKO: I'm quite serious.
QUARK: You can't be. I'm not a diplomat, or an explorer, or a tactical officer, or whatever else you might need on this trip. Now, if you need a caterer, I'll be happy to loan you a new replicator that I just got from
SISKO: Eight months ago, you helped the Nagus establish a trade agreement with the Karemma. Tulaberry wine, I believe. The Karemma are part of the Dominion.
QUARK: A minor part, a very minor part.
SISKO: They might still be able to help us contact the Founders. Since you're experienced in dealing with the Karemma, it seems to me you're the logical person to
QUARK: Actually, my brother Rom did most of the talking. I think he'd be better suited for this mission.
SISKO: Not Rom, you.
QUARK: But why? Rom only has a son to think about. I have a business.
SISKO: You.
QUARK: I'm sorry, Commander, but I must refuse. My last experience with the Jem'Hadar was not a pleasant one and I have no intention of repeating it. Now, there's no way you can legally force me to do this.
(Sisko produces a staff. A staff with a golden Ferengi head for decoration.)
QUARK: The sceptre of the Grand Nagus.
SISKO: I had a chance to discuss this mission with him on my way back from Earth. He seemed to agree with me, unless peaceful contact can be established with the Founders, business opportunities in the Gamma Quadrant might suddenly dry up. He also agreed with me that you are the perfect man to help me.
QUARK: I don't believe it.
SISKO: Which is why he sent this along. He thought it might convince you of the high value he holds for the success of this mission. Now, are you going to defy the wishes of the Grand Nagus himself?
QUARK: No, no, of course not. I'm happy to serve the Nagus any way that I can.
SISKO: Thank you, Quark. I knew I could count on you. (Quark turns to leave) Quark, aren't you forgetting something?
(Sisko holds out the staff, and Quark kisses the head)

[Wardroom]

(Sisko is staring at map 580813 on the monitor when Dax enters.)
DAX: I just thought you'd like to know that the Defiant'll be ready at oh seven hundred hours.
SISKO: Did it pass the Chief's inspection?
DAX: Does anything? His maintenance list is as long as this table, but he did say it'll take us where we're going.
SISKO: And back, I hope.
DAX: Well, he said that was up to you.
SISKO: I'd never have volunteered for this mission if I didn't think we had a chance of coming back.
DAX: How many times did Curzon tell you never volunteer for anything?
SISKO: As I recall, Curzon broke that rule a few times himself.
DAX: And regretted it every time.
SISKO: This is different. I'd be regretting it even more if we just waited around for an invasion.
DAX: If I know Starfleet, they must've run at least two hundred probability studies on this mission of ours. So what are the odds of us succeeding?
SISKO: Slim. But better odds than fighting off a Jem'Hadar assault on this station. And if the station falls, then Bajor falls, and I will not let that happen.
DAX: You know, after Jennifer died I never thought I would see you this passionate about something again.
SISKO: Two months ago I would have agreed with you. Then I went back to Earth and I spent all those weeks debriefing at Starfleet Headquarters. And I, I used to get a thrill just walking into that building. I'd look around at the Admirals and think, one day that's going to be me. One day I'm the one that's going to be making the big decisions.
DAX: Curzon always thought that was very funny.
SISKO: Did he?
DAX: What I mean is, he could never see a set of Admiral's stars on your collar. He thought that just making the decisions would never satisfy you. You had to implement them, see the results, face the consequences. Curzon always thought you were the kind of man who had to be in the thick of things, not behind some desk at Headquarters.
SISKO: He was a smart old man, wasn't he?
DAX: He liked to think so.
SISKO: You'd better get a good night's sleep.
DAX: I was just about to say the same thing to you. I'll see you in the morning, Benjamin.

[Bridge]

(Much more compact than we're used to, with a single console in front of the Captain's chair, a small viewscreen and stations around the bulkheads.)
BASHIR: The medical database is practically nonexistent. I've downloading as many of my files from the station as I can, but this ship simply wasn't designed to handle many casualties.
SISKO: Do the best you can and let's hope your new database won't be put to the test.
BASHIR: Yes, sir.
DAX: Quark's settling into his quarters and asked me to relay his profound disappointment in the accommodations, and to inform you that he could get you in touch with several reputable interior decorators for a modest fee.
SISKO: I'll take his offer under advisement. Stand by to get underway.
O'BRIEN: Tactical and Communications are ready, sir.
DAX: Navigation and Operations ready.
KIRA: Weapons ready.
T'RUL: Impulse engines online. Warp power available at your command.
SISKO: Very well. Seal the airlock. Release docking clamps. Aft thrusters
O'BRIEN: Just a moment, sir. There's someone in the airlock. It's Odo.
SISKO: Sisko to Odo. Is there a problem, Constable?
ODO [OC]: No, Commander. I would like permission to come aboard. I'm here at the request of the Bajoran government.
SISKO: Permission granted.
ODO [OC]: Thank you, sir.
SISKO: Dax, we'll have to arrange some quarters for the Constable.
BASHIR: I'll do it, sir. I need to go down to what is laughingly called the Sickbay.
SISKO: Thank you, Doctor.
(Bashir leaves)
O'BRIEN: Odo's aboard, sir. The airlock's clear.
SISKO: Release docking clamps. Aft thrusters at one quarter, port and starboard at station keeping.
(Defiant backs out of the garage, switches on the headlights, then pivots on a sixpence to head out into space.)
DAX: We've cleared the station.
SISKO: Lay in a course to the wormhole. I want to cloak as soon as we reach the Gamma Quadrant.
T'RUL: Understood.
DAX: Course laid in, sir.
SISKO: Engage.
(WHOOSH, and into the Gamma Quadrant. Defiant disappears, and turns into a submarine under cloak, with lower lighting levels)
T'RUL: The cloaking device is operating within normal parameters.
SISKO: Set course for the Karemma system, warp seven.
T'RUL: Aye, sir.
SISKO: Engage.

[Passenger's cabin]

(Quark is sulking on the bottom bunk of a tiny room when the door opens)
QUARK: Odo!
ODO: Is this the best you can do?
BASHIR: I'm afraid so. Most of the crew quarters don't have life support yet. Besides, I think we'd all feel a bit better with someone here to watch over Quark.
QUARK: I take that as a personal insult, Doctor.
BASHIR: You should. Now, I think I'll let you two bunkmates get more comfortable.
(Odo enters the room)
QUARK: Am I glad to see you. I've been stuck down here in this miserable hole ever since I came aboard. Bunk beds, no view, and I can't tell you what came out of that replicator when I asked for synthehol.
(Odo puts his bucket in a corner.)
QUARK: So, what's your role on this little adventure? Providing security, no doubt. Well, of course you are. I mean, why else would you be here? I can tell you I feel much safer now, just knowing that you're along, because I know I can trust you
ODO: I have been holding this shape for sixteen hours. I have to revert back to my liquid state, but I don't want you to watch and gawk at me.
QUARK: I understand, completely. This is a very private moment and I won't interfere. (turns his back) This won't be so bad, sharing
ODO: (growls) I have no interest in speaking to you, or in listening to your witless prattle. So stay out of my way, or you'll regret the day you ever met me.

[Bridge]

O'BRIEN: Commander, long range scanners have picked up two Jem'Hadar warships directly ahead. They're heading this way at warp five.
SISKO: How close will they pass us?
O'BRIEN: One hundred thousand kilometres.
KIRA: That's well within range of their weapons, Commander.
DAX: Should I alter course?
SISKO: No. We need to know if they can see through the cloaking device and this is as good a time as any. Maintain course and speed. Red Alert.
KIRA: Aye, sir.
O'BRIEN: Here they come. They'll pass us in five seconds.
SISKO: On screen.
(And they fly past)
SISKO: Track them.
O'BRIEN: They're continuing on their original heading no indication that they saw us. Wait a minute. They're changing course, heading this way.
DAX: They must've seen us.
KIRA: They're powering their weapon systems.
SISKO: Prepare to decloak. Lock phasers on the lead ship and
T'RUL: No. We may not have been detected.
SISKO: Explain.
T'RUL: A cloaked ship radiates a slight subspace variance at warp speeds.
O'BRIEN: I've never heard of that.
T'RUL: It's not something we've been eager to reveal. I suggest dropping out of warp. That will eliminate the variance. When they reach our position they'll find nothing.
SISKO: Do it.
DAX: All stop.
(The Jem'Hadar ships search the area.)
O'BRIEN: Commander, they're sweeping the area with some kind of anti-proton scan and they're being very thorough about it.
SISKO: Will an anti-proton scan penetrate the cloak?
O'BRIEN: That's a good question.
T'RUL: I'm not sure.
KIRA: They're getting closer.
O'BRIEN: Commander, the Defiant's power signature is unusually high for a ship this size. The cloaking device may not be masking everything.
SISKO: Cut main power.
(Silent running as a Jem'Hadar hovers over them.)
KIRA: The other one has broken off its search. It's headed this way.
SISKO: Stand by weapons and shields.
(The two ships hover then leave.)
KIRA: They've gone into warp and resumed their original course.
SISKO: The first thing to go right in the Gamma Quadrant in a long time.
KIRA: Let's hope it's not the last.

Ship's log, stardate 48212.4. We have arrived at the Karemma homeworld and opened talks with one of Quark's business partners in an effort to contact the Founders of the Dominion.

[Bridge]

(The Karemma is looking at everything with a merchant's eye, including the Nagus' staff.)
QUARK: The Grand Nagus himself has sent me as an emissary on his behalf. If you aid us in our mission, I'm authorised to increase our purchases of tulaberry wine to the Karemma by three percent.
ORNITHAR: Mmm, looks like a polyduranium alloy blend. Interesting, but the metal has no real value. A three percent increase is negligible.
QUARK: I have considerable leeway to bargain in this circumstance. Name your terms.
ORNITHAR: Nothing, nothing, nothing. The terms are not the issue. I cannot help you locate the Founders because I do not know who they are or if they even exist. (Dax) Nothing. (Kira's earring) Ah, here's something interesting. appears to be diamide laced beritium. I'll give you fifty two diraks for it.
QUARK: Done.
SISKO: Quark.
QUARK: I mean, one deal at a time, Ornithar. We were talking about the Founders.
ORNITHAR: There is nothing further to say. If the Founders exist, they clearly do not wish to be contacted. That is good enough for me.
SISKO: Who's your contact in the Dominion regarding administration, trade, defence?
ORNITHAR: Our only contact with the Dominion has been through the Vorta. I have no idea who they report to. All I know is that the Vorta say to do something and you do it.
SISKO: Why?
ORNITHAR: Because if you do not they will send in the Jem'Hadar, and then you die.
SISKO: Will you put us in contact with the Vorta?
ORNITHAR: Commander, we do only as we are told, nothing more. And so far, we have not been told to help you in any way.
SISKO: You haven't been told not to, either.
ORNITHAR: No, but I prefer to err on the side of caution.
QUARK: In this case, being cautious will cost you a substantial profit. The Ferengi will cease purchasing tulaberry wine immediately.
SISKO: If you lost such a valuable contract with the Alpha Quadrant, it might displease the Vorta. They may even send the Jem'Hadar here to find out what happened.
ORNITHAR: I will need to access one of our computers on the surface.
(He calls up a starchart on the viewscreen which interests Odo.)
ORNITHAR: This is the Callinon system. The Dominion maintains an unmanned subspace relay on the seventh planet. We have been told by the Vorta to direct all communications there. Where the messages are sent after that is not our concern.
ODO: What is that?
ORNITHAR: It is the Omarion Nebula.
ODO: The Omarion Nebula.
ORNITHAR: If there is nothing else, I would like to leave now.
SISKO: Of course.
QUARK: Commander, I believe I have fulfilled my role on this mission, so if you don't mind
SISKO: You want to stay behind.
QUARK: That was our agreement.
SISKO: How can you be sure he won't turn you over to the Dominion as soon as we leave?
QUARK: He may serve the Dominion, but I'm the one lining his pockets with latinum. I'll book passage on the next ship going through the wormhole, and I'll make a profit in the process.
SISKO: All right, Quark. Good luck.
QUARK: Same to you, Commander.
(Quark and Ornithar leave.)
SISKO: Lay in a course for the Callinon System.
DAX: Aye, sir.

[Sisko's cabin]

(Sisko is lying on the claustrophobic lower bunk when the doorbell rings.)
SISKO: Come in.
KIRA: Did I wake you?
SISKO: Not quite. What can I do for you, Major?
KIRA: It's about Odo.
SISKO: You're worried about him.
KIRA: Is it that obvious?
SISKO: No, I'm worried about him too. But at the moment I don't know what to do about it.
KIRA: Can I speak freely? What the hell is wrong with Starfleet? How could they do this to him?
SISKO: This has been a long time coming, Major. Starfleet has never been happy with the Constable. They've been pressing me to replace him for the last two years.
KIRA: Because he worked for the Cardassians.
SISKO: No, it goes deeper than that. Odo is not what you'd call a team player.
KIRA: Why? Because sometimes he doesn't go through the proper channels?
SISKO: That's a start. You know Odo. He enjoys thumbing his nose at authority. He files reports when he feels like it. His respect for the chain of command is minimal
KIRA: He gets the job done.
SISKO: Starfleet likes team players. Starfleet likes the chain of command, and frankly, so do I.
KIRA: So you agree with their decision?
SISKO: No. But I understand it.
KIRA: And when this mission is over, you're just going to let him go?
SISKO: Look, Major, I want him to stay as much as you do but he has to want to stay.
T'RUL [OC]: Bridge to Commander Sisko. We've reached the Callinon System.
SISKO: On my way.

Ship's log, supplemental. The Defiant has cloaked and assumed a standard orbit around Callinon Seven. I plan to send Dax and O'Brien down to survey the relay station on the surface.

[Bridge]

KIRA: According to our sensor sweeps, it looks like Ornithar was telling the truth when he said the relay station was unmanned. It also appears there are very few security measures in place.
SISKO: Nothing fancy. Get in, find what we need, and get out.
DAX: Understood.
SISKO: On your way.
(Dax and O'Brien leave)
SISKO: The transporter will need six seconds to beam them down. I want to decloak for exactly six seconds.
DAX [OC]: Dax to Bridge. We're ready, Benjamin.
SISKO: All right. Disengage cloak. Energise.
KIRA: They're on the surface.
(Cloak is re-engaged)
SISKO: Were we scanned during transport?
KIRA: I don't think so.
DAX [OC]: Dax to Defiant.
SISKO: Go ahead, Dax.
DAX [OC]: We're in what seems

[Outpost]

DAX: To be the central computer room. The user interface is a little unusual, but I think we can access it.
SISKO [OC]: Keep us posted.
O'BRIEN: I'm into the main directory.
DAX: That was fast.
O'BRIEN: Yes, it was. A bit too fast if you ask me.
DAX: Any indication that we've tripped some kind of security protocol?
O'BRIEN: No, I still have access to everything.
DAX: Then let's get the information and get out of here.
O'BRIEN: That's fine with me.

[Bridge]

(The coffee is horrible.)
SISKO: I should've taken Quark up on his offer for a new replicator.
BASHIR: Sir?
SISKO: Nothing. Let's make good use of this time, Major. Begin running a level three diagnostic on
DAX [OC]: Dax to Defiant. I think we have something, Benjamin.

[Outpost]

DAX: We've accessed the communications log of outgoing transmissions.
O'BRIEN: From the way I read this, sir, it looks like eighty percent of outgoing traffic is sent to one location. It's my guess it's either another relay station or a command centre.
SISKO [OC]: Do you have the coordinates?
DAX: I'm sending them to you now.
(Alarms sound and power is cut. Someone puts a hand on Dax's shoulder.)

[Bridge]

KIRA: We've lost contact with them.
SISKO: Get them out of there!
KIRA: I can't. Some kind of shield has appeared around the outpost. I can't get through it.
(Alarm)
BASHIR: We're picking up three Jem'Hadar ships, Commander, heading this way.
SISKO: Can we punch through the security shield with our phasers before the ships get here?
KIRA: I'm not sure. I've never seen this kind of field before.
T'RUL: In order to use the phasers we will have to decloak. That means we'll be seen by the Jem'Hadar.
BASHIR: We've got to do something. We can't just leave them there.
T'RUL: That's exactly what we should do Doctor. Leave them. We came here to locate the Founders, not to fight the Jem'Hadar over two expendable crew members.
BASHIR: No one is expendable.
KIRA: The Jem'Hadar ships have entered the system. They'll be in orbit in thirty seconds.
SISKO: Prepare to leave orbit, Major.
BASHIR: Commander.
SISKO: As you were, Doctor. Lay in a course to the coordinates Dax sent us.
KIRA: Course laid in.
SISKO: Warp seven. Engage.
(After the break)
BASHIR: What do you think'll happen to Dax and O'Brien?
SISKO: They'll probably be held for interrogation. If I know Dax, she'll use the opportunity to try and contact the Founders, and I intend to do the same. Sisko to Odo. Report to the Bridge, Constable. I want to discuss the security arrangements for our arrival at
ODO [OC]: I'm presently indisposed Commander. Please find someone else for the job.
BASHIR: That doesn't sound like Odo.
SISKO: No, it doesn't. I'd better have a talk with him.
KIRA: Let me, sir. I think he'll listen to me.
T'RUL: Three Jem'Hadar ships have just entered sensor range, bearing zero three seven, mark two one five.
SISKO: Is there any sign they've detected us?
T'RUL: Negative.
SISKO: Bring us out of warp, and then cut main power. We'll wait here until they pass.

[Passenger's cabin]

(Odo is studying the starchart when the doorbell rings.)
KIRA: Odo, it's time we had a talk.
ODO: I'm not going to the Bridge, so you can save your breath. And I'd appreciate being left alone right now.
KIRA: Well, you've tried being alone and it hasn't done any good, so maybe it's time to stop brooding and started talking.
ODO: Are you the ship's counsellor now?
KIRA: No, I'm your friend. You know, the one who comes to you when she needs help. I'm just trying to return the favour.
ODO: Well, you can return the favour by giving me a shuttlecraft and letting me go.
KIRA: Go? Go where? We're in the heart of the Dominion. Where the hell do you think you're going to go?
ODO: The Omarion Nebula.
KIRA: Why?
ODO: I'm not sure why. I just know I have to, that's all.
KIRA: You're going to have to do a lot better than that. Odo, talk to me. Tell me what's going on.
ODO: Ever since we've come into the Gamma Quadrant, I've had this feeling of being drawn somewhere, pulled by some instinct to a specific place. The Omarion Nebula.
KIRA: Why there?
ODO: I don't know.
KIRA: All right. Once we've contacted the Founders, I'm sure Commander Sisko
ODO: No. Not after we've contacted the Founders. Now! I have to leave now!
KIRA: Look, I understand this is important to you, but we have a mission to complete.
(Bang. Boom! and a bulkhead blows in.)

[Bridge]

T'RUL: Direct hit on the port nacelle.
BASHIR: How did they see through the cloaking device?
T'RUL: They might have analysed the sensor information from the anti-proton scan and found a way to penetrate the cloak.
SISKO: We'll have to save the speculation for later. Disengage the cloak, raise the shields, and fire on my command.
(Three Jem'Hadar attack the Defiant.)
T'RUL: Communications and long range sensors are out.
SISKO: What's the status of the warp drive?
T'RUL: The starboard power coupling is destroyed. I'm trying to reroute main power.
(Boom! kills the anonymous helmsman)
BASHIR: He's gone. I'll take the helm.
SISKO: I'm locking onto the lead ship. Ready?
BASHIR: Ready.
SISKO: Fire!
(KaBOOM!)
BASHIR: The other two are moving out of phaser range. (Bang) They're coming back for another pass but they're moving a little slower now.
SISKO: They'll be more cautious this time. Doctor, use evasive pattern delta five. We need to keep them off balance until we get warp power back.
BASHIR: Aye, sir.

[Passenger's cabin]

(There's a big hole into the corridor. Odo hauls debris off Kira.)
ODO: Are you all right?
KIRA: Just a few bruises. Kira to Bridge. Kira to Bridge. We have to get up there.

[Bridge]

(Another crewman is dead without speaking)
SISKO: T'Rul, where's my warp power?
T'RUL: I can't get the phase inducers to align with the ODN matrices in the
BASHIR: Commander, three more Jem'Hadar warships approaching off the port bow!
SISKO: Full impulse, get us out of here.
(Boom)

[Corridor]

KIRA: We've lost main power.
ODO: We've got to get to a shuttle.
KIRA: Our duty is to get to the Bridge and help defend the ship.
ODO: If main power is out, then the shields are out, Kira. The ship is defenceless.
(Jem'Hadar beam in and the hand to hand fighting starts.)

[Bridge]

(The place is a wreck)
T'RUL: Main power is offline! The shields have collapsed!
BASHIR: I've lost helm control. Inertial dampers failing
SISKO: Ready escape pods. Prepare to abandon ship.
(Jem'Hadar beam in, and they fight, but it's pretty one-sided. T'Rul is the only one using a weapon and she doesn't last long.)

[Shuttlecraft]

KIRA: (waking up) Where, where am I?
ODO: You're in a shuttlecraft. You were wounded. Try not to move around.
KIRA: Odo, what happened? We were under attack.
ODO: The ship was boarded. You were wounded in the attack. I managed to get us to this shuttlecraft, but I don't know much more than that. The last time I saw the Defiant, she was dead in space and surrounded by Jem'Hadar ships.
KIRA: Sisko? Bashir?
ODO: I don't know.
KIRA: Where are we?
ODO: Approaching the Omarion Nebula.
KIRA: You should have taken us back to the wormhole.
ODO: You didn't object at the time.
KIRA: I was unconscious. Have you found anything? (she checks sensors) There's a class M planet, no star system. A rogue planet?
ODO: Yes.

[Planet surface]

(They've landed in the permanent night of the planet, by a orange glutinous sea. They go to the shore and three figures form themselves and come out of it. A fourth emerges and goes right up to Odo.)
FEMALE: Welcome home.

To be continued...

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