001/002. Emissary 46379.1
For six days in Stardate 43997, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise was held captive by a sinister race called the Borg. The Borg altered the captain's appearance and mind and forced him to lead an attack against the Federation, during which the U.S.S. Saratoga was all but destroyed. One of the Saratoga's officers, Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Sisko, managed to escape with his young son Jake. Unfortunately, his wife did not survive.
Three years later, a reluctant Sisko and his even more reluctant son are transferred to the space station Deep Space Nine in Bajoran territory. Now a Commander, Sisko has been ordered to oversee the repairof the giant space station, which was heavily damaged during a period of Cardassian military occupation.
After his arrival, Sisko begins to meet his crew. He first encounters Chief Operations Officer Miles O'Brien, who has been transferred from the Enterprise, and Kira Nerys, a Bajoran who helped lead her people's painful fight against the Cardassians. Kira agrees to act as Sisko's first officer, but has reservations about the Federation's presence on the Bajoran space station. Soon afterward, he meets Odo, a shape shifter and security officer who exhibits his chameleon-like talents while apprehending a Ferengi thief. Quark, the Ferengi owner of the local watering hole and gambling establishment, arrives to bail out the thief -- his young nephew, Nog. Sisko agrees to free Nog only if Quark will remain aboard and continue to operate his recreation center for the station's residents and visitors.
The Enterprise docks at Deep Space Nine, and Sisko has a tense meeting with Picard, whom he blames for the death of his wife. Picard tersely informs Sisko that his mission aboard the space station is to assure the Bajora enter the Federation. Sisko indicates that while he will do his job as long as he is there, he may resign his post. The two part on less-than-friendly terms. Sisko looks to Kira for insight into the Bajora, and she tells that his only chance for success is for the Bajora, a somewhat diverse group, to find reason to unite. She suggests that he seek out Kai Opaka, the Bajoran spiritual leader, and Sisko immediately sets out to find her. Kai Opaka reveals that Sisko's arrival has a deep spiritual purpose, but is unable to reveal exactly what it is. She entrusts Sisko with a powerful and mystical orb, telling him his destiny is to reclaim eight other orbs stolen by the Cardassians. To demonstrate the orb's power, Kai Opaka uses it to transport Sisko to the beach where he first met his wife.
Back on Deep Space Nine, Sisko greets his new crew of medical and science officers, including Dr. Julian Bashir, a cocky and ambitious young doctor, and Jadzia Dax, a beautiful Trill. Sisko's relationship with Dax is complicated by the fact that, as a Trill, she lives by inhabiting different host bodies. She and Sisko were close friends while she inhabited her previous body -- that of an old man. In the laboratory, Sisko shows Dax the orb and explains they must find the eight others. When Sisko leaves, Dax experiences the orb's immense power when it takes her back to an earlier time, just as it did with Sisko.
Before long, the Enterprise disembarks and a Cardassian warship arrives at the station. The Cardassian leader, Gul Dukat, immediately tries to convince Sisko to relinquish the orb, but Sisko denies knowing anything about it or the other orbs. Later, Dax researches the orbs' history and informs Sisko that they may come from the nearby Denorios belt.
Dax and Sisko set out for the Denorios belt in a runabout pod. Without warning they are propelled through a giant tear in the fabric of space -- a wormhole. After a spectacular light show, the pod slips out of the wormhole and into another corner of space -- seventy-thousand light years from Bajor. Realizing this may be the venue the orbs entered their system, Sisko and Dax re-enter the wormhole to return home and study the implications. However, they land on a remote planet where an orb captures Dax and transports her back to Deep Space Nine. Dax immediately informs the others of her journey, exciting all of them with the possibilities the discovery presents. Kira demands that they transport Deep Space Nine to the mouth of the wormhole so the Bajorans may claim and operate the wormhole and gain power over the Cardassians. But Odo, who was discovered in the Denorios belt and does not know of his origins, has mixed feelings about the wormhole and the link it may provide to his past.
Left alone on the strange planet, Sisko communicates with the awesome force behind the orbs, who first perceive him as a threat. The force does not understand linear time, and presents Sisko with a barrage of images from his life, including the day he met his wife, Jennifer, and the battle where she was killed. Sisko is able to communicate with the alien images of Jake and his late wife. Soon after, Sisko and the force begin to understand each other.
O'Brien begins the task of maneuvering the space station into the mouth of the wormhole, but a Cardassian ship reaches it first. However, the mouth of the wormhole collapses around the alien ship, stranding it in a remote part of the galaxy. The alien force detects the Cardassian ship's presence and informs Sisko that they are no longer alone. However, the force continues to communicate with Sisko, indicating that he is trapped at the moment in time when his wife was killed aboard the Saratoga. Realizing his pain has been holding him back, Sisko allows the force to guide him through the circumstances leading up to his wife's death and helps him to finally grieve for his loss.
Aboard Deep Space Nine, Kira is contacted by Cardassian leader Gul Jasad, who accuses the station crew of destroying the lost Cardassian ship. The crew denies the accusation, but Jasad declares war, prompting Kira to launch an attack against the enemy. The battle escalates and the space station is damaged, but the wormhole suddenly reappears. Sisko's runabout is seen towing the Cardassian ship out of danger, and the fighting ceases.
Later, a changed Sisko speaks with Picard about the events of the past few days. He decides to keep his post on Deep Space Nine, and Picard agrees. Later, he speaks with Kai Opaka, who informs Sisko that this is not the last time he will work with the Bajoran prophets to secure the future of the space station inhabitants.

003. A Man Alone 46421.5
The adjustment period aboard Deep Space Nine continues as transplants from across the galaxy attempt to come to terms with their new life and each other. O'Brien's wife Keiko misses the Enterprise and her career as a botanist. Sisko's son, Jake, plagued by loneliness, eases his boredom by befriending a rowdy Ferengi boy named Nog. Meanwhile, Odo is faced with a more pressing problem when he spies Ibudan, a Bajoran he once arrested for murder, gambling in Quark's. He attempts to rid the station of the criminal, first by ordering him to leave and later by asking Sisko to throw him off the station, but neither effort proves successful. However, Odo soon gets his wish despite this lack of cooperation when Ibudan is found stabbed to death in a Holosuite.
Sisko orders an investigation of the killing, only to find his son Jake is also in trouble for playing pranks around the station with Nog. Strangely, this awkward situation between father and son creates an opportunity for Keiko, who volunteers to supervise the children of Deep Space Nine by starting a school. Later, Odo becomes the prime suspect in the murder investigation when mounting evidence, including the fact that the killer was most likely a shape-shifter, points to him.
Deep Space Nine's residents soon become suspicious of Odo, and although many officers believe their colleague's claims of innocence, Sisko relieves him of duty as Chief of Security. Keiko also faces trouble in her own endeavors when members of the diverse space station community resist the idea of sending their children to a Federation school. While she tries to recruit students, Bashir works to prove Odo's innocence, experimenting with DNA fragments that were found in the dead Bajoran's Holosuite.
Discouraged by the public's response to her school, Keiko considers abandoning her plans but is encouraged to press on by her husband. Meanwhile, Odo finds himself ostracized by the public, as angry residents vandalize his office and threaten his well-being. Bashir continues his investigation of the DNA patterns found in Ibudan's Holosuite, hoping to solve the mystery by causing them to replicate into the form of the being it belongs to.
Responding to the tension aboard ship, Sisko and Kira order more security to protect Odo. As they confront an angry mob's demand for justice, Bashir provides a more definite solution to Odo's problem when he reveals the result of his experiment. The murdered man was not Ibudan, but a clone he created and killed in order to frame Odo for his murder. His rank restored, Odo soon finds the real Ibudan aboard his ship, and since murdering a clone is still a crime, he is finally able to arrest his man.

004. Past Prologue
Dr. Bashir is excited to meet Garak, the last Cardassian aboard Deep Space Nine and a rumored spy. He rushes to tell the rest of the crew, but they are busy rescuing a Bajoran, Tahna Los, whose ship has been attacked by Cardassians. Tahna and Kira instantly recognize each other from their days in the Bajoran underground. The Cardassians hail Sisko and demand he turn Tahna over to them, saying he is a member of a Bajoran terrorist group called the Khon-Ma. However, Tahna renounces terrorism and asks for asylum, and thanks to Kira's impassioned plea to a wary Sisko, he gets it.
A day or so later, Klingon sisters Lursa and B'Etor arrive at the station and arouse Odo's suspicions, prompting him to tail them to a secret meeting with Tahna in the Cargo Bay. Odo assumes the shape of a rat and follows them in, and overhears as they demand a payment in gold from Tahna in exchange for an undisclosed item.
Sisko gives Kira approval to help two more Khon-Ma members receive asylum. But when Odo informs him of the exchange he witnessed in the Cargo Bay, Sisko is suddenly unsure of Kira's loyalty. Meanwhile, Lursa and B'Etor visit Garak in his shop, where they make a deal to trade Tahna for more gold. And in Tahna's quarters, Kira is shocked when he reveals that he is still a member of the Khon-Ma and came to Deep Space Nine on purpose, to enlist her help in a plan to win Bajor's freedom.
On the Promenade, Garak seeks out Bashir and asks the doctor to meet him in his shop at a specific time. Confused, Bashir runs to Sisko, who suggests he attend the meeting. When he arrives at the shop, Bashir is hustled into a dressing room just before Lursa and B'Etor arrive. Hidden from view, he overhears as Garak gets them to reveal that they are selling Tahna a cylinder of Bilitrium, an ingredient needed for a very powerful bomb.
The entire crew assembles to discuss the dangerous situation, and after much deliberation, Sisko decides to let Kira take Tahna to meet the Klingon sisters. The exchange is made, and Cardassian forces, alerted by Garak, appear and threaten to fire. Sisko and O'Brien threaten to fire as well, but all are forced to let Tahna proceed with his plan when he reveals that his bomb will spread radiation across the entire system. He tells Kira that his target is the wormhole, which he wants to close off in order to diminish Bajor's importance to the Federation and the Cardassians so that they will leave the planet to the Bajora. He attempts to release the bomb, but Kira is able to delay him so that the bomb explodes harmlessly at the other side of the wormhole. The pair are then transported back to the station, where Tahna is arrested and Kira is left to wonder whether she betrayed or helped her people.

005. Babel 46423.7
Frustrated by the mechanical problems on the space station, O'Brien attempts to fix the food replicators. Little does he know, an alien device has found a way into the station circuitry.
For some unknown reason, O'Brien speaks to Kira in gibberish when she approaches him in the Ops center. Bashir examines him and finds no physiological damage, and diagnoses him with an unusual form of aphasia--a dysfunction in the brain that renders him incapable of expressing himself to others. Soon, Dax also falls victim to the mysterious ailment.
Suspicious of the nature of this aphasia, Bashir runs a neuro-synaptic comparison of Dax and O'Brien and finds that they share a common virus. Sisko and Bashir encounter two more afflicted crewmembers, and Sisko establishes a quarantine on Deep Space Nine.
Odo discovers that Quark has illegally accessed crew replicators to fulfill his orders, inadvertently contaminating all of his customers with the strange virus in the command level replicators. On a hunch, Bashir tests an air sample and learns the virus has mutated to an airborne form--meaning the station population may get infected.
Upon close inspection of an access tunnel, Kira encounters the alien device that O'Brien unknowingly triggered to unleash the virus. Kira suspects Cardassian sabotage. All crewmembers agree something must be done soon, due to the epidemic proportions the virus has reached. Not even Dax and Jake could escape contamination.
Bashir then informs Sisko that the virus was probably created by Bajorans, and Sisko assigns Kira the task of investigating this theory. Meanwhile, O'Brien has contracted a high fever and may die if Kira does not quickly find an antidote. Kira manages to locate Surmak Ren, an underground Bajoran scientist who seems to know something about the virus.
Meanwhile Sisko and Odo attempt to prevent Jaheel from breaking quarantine by leaving Deep Space Nine. Jaheel doesn't comply with Sisko's order, and his efforts in breaking away put the docking ring in jeopardy. While trying to rectify the situation, Sisko comes down with the virus, rendering his commands incomprehensible. Odo and Quark take control, and are able to push Jaheel's ship free of the docking port.
At the same time, Kira, determined to find the antidote, orbits Bajor in a runabout and transports Surmak aboard against his will. Surmak eventually agrees to help develop an antidote, and follows Kira to Deep Space Nine. Fortunately for all, Surmak is successful and life on the station resumes a normal pace.

006. Captive Pursuit
While listening to a complaint about Quark's lascivious behavior from a Dabo girl, Sisko is alerted that an alien vessel is coming through the wormhole. The vessel contains a reptilian being named Tosk, who reluctantly agrees to allow O'Brien to tow in his destroyed ship.
O'Brien then boards Tosk's ship to inspect its systems and introduce himself. Though suspicious of O'Brien's kindness, Tosk follows him onto the Promenade and is fascinated by all that he sees. After talking awhile, O'Brien learns that Tosk is very different from human beings--he requires very little sleep, food, and he has no sense of humor. His behavior seems odd to O'Brien, and he alerts Sisko to keep an eye on him.
After talking more with Tosk while repairing his ship, O'Brien tells the rest of the officers that he thinks Tosk is in danger. Then, Odo discovers Tosk altering a junction box in a remote corridor and apprehends him. Much to Sisko's frustration, Tosk does not respond to questioning, and O'Brien feels partially to blame for the mess because he introduced Tosk to the station.
Later, a new ship with emission patterns that match those of Tosk's ship arrives at Deep Space Nine, and three aliens beam aboard without invitation. The beings are hostile, and a phaser battle ensues as they are able to enter Odo's security office and capture Tosk.
The lead alien then informs Sisko that he is a hunter and Tosk is his prey. Sisko tells the hunter that his type of blood sport is no longer practiced at this station. Against his better judgment but in accordance with Starfleet's Prime Directive, Sisko agrees to release Tosk into the hunter's custody. Then Kira, sensitive to O'Brien's feelings of despair for his new friend, suggests that Tosk request asylum--thus allowing him to be protected by the Federation.
Alas, Tosk refuses to go against his culture and does not ask for asylum. However, O'Brien, claiming to have orders from Sisko, intervenes when the Hunter tries to take Tosk off the station. O'Brien programs a security checkpoint to debilitate the Hunter as they pass through it, and he grabs Tosk and leads him to a narrow escape.
Sisko reprimands O'Brien for taking matters into his own hands, yet it is obvious that Sisko thought he did the right thing. Killing, they agree, simply for the sake of sport should not be allowed in any star system.

007. Q-Less 46531.2
Returning from a mission to the Gamma Quadrant on the other side of the wormhole, Lieutenant Dax and an ensign are trapped in their Runabout. While O'Brien works to free them, Dr. Bashir sees there are actually three people inside the scout ship. When they get the hatch open, O'Brien recognizes the third occupant as Vash, a woman he met while serving on the Enterprise. He and Sisko wonder how she got to that distant part of the galaxy two years ago. Their answer, unknown to them, stands nearby -- the mysterious Q.
Suspicious, Sisko tries to learn more about Vash and her claims to be an archeologist. Meanwhile, Vash, now back in Federation territory, makes plans to leave the station. She locks away her valuable artifacts from the Gamma Quadrant, including a beautiful geode that glows with a pulsating internal light. Sisko questions Vash about how she arrived there without going through the wormhole, but she keeps the matter to herself. She also learns from him that Earth's Daystrom Institute is interested in her adventures, which could mean free passage back home. O'Brien reveals to Sisko that Vash and the Enterprise's Captain Picard were once very close friends, but their discussion is interrupted by a sudden and brief loss of power throughout the station. Dax points out that a similar phenomenon happened when she was on the runabout Ganges. Suspicions increase.
Later, Q pops in on Vash in her quarters, attempting to revive the partnership they once had. Vash, however, is uninterested. She is then visited by Quark, who has learned of her prized treasures and smells profit in the air. They form an agreement to hold an auction at the station for her artifacts, from which Quark will get a small percentage. Meanwhile, Bashir, infatuated with Vash, stops by to invite her to dinner. She agrees. But Q interferes with the date by making Bashir too tired to meet her.
These minor mysteries begin to make sense when O'Brien recognizes Q from the Enterprise. He immediately warns Sisko and the other officers about the alien prankster, and when the station experiences a major drop in the main power grid, O'Brien attributes it to one of Q's jokes. Sisko is not amused.
Meanwhile, Quark haggles with Vash over the price of her geode. He senses great value for himself from the artifact, but Vash isn't about to sell it to him for next to nothing. Sisko then arrives to speak with Vash in private, but Q appears and confronts the commander. True to his character, Q places himself and Sisko in a circa 1900 boxing ring, but is surprised when Sisko actually punches him in the face. The setting reverts to normal, and Vash asks Sisko to help her be rid of Q. Sisko isn't sure what he can do.
The next day, the station experiences another great loss of power, but this time the officers notice that these episodes are facilitating a series of hull fractures. Sisko reconsiders whether or not Q is really responsible for this. At this rate, station life support will fail in fourteen hours. Sisko and the rest of the officers decide to flood the station with a small amount of tridium gas in order to trace the source of the power drain.
Q persists in pestering Vash to rejoin him on his travels. She still refuses, and he briefly forces her to experience some of the ghastly things that could happen to her in the galaxy without his protection. Q then appears with Sisko and his fellow officers, taunting them to find a solution to their predicament, and mentions to Sisko that maybe Vash is more dangerous to the station than they realize.
Later, Quark holds an auction at his bar, but it is interrupted by a violent shaking. Apparently, the station's graviton field has increased, and it is being pulled toward the wormhole by an unknown force -- one that's not Q or the wormhole itself. Quark's auction continues even though Q warns the crowd that the space station itself may be destroyed any minute.
Dax suggests bringing the reactors back on line to render the power drain large enough to trace. They then determine that the drain is originating from Quark's bar. Sisko, Kira, and Dax rush to the bar, and find that Vash's glowing geode is what's causing the drain. O'Brien transports the artifact off the station just before it explodes in a brilliant flash of light, from which emerges a winged energy creature that soars into the distance.
With everything returned to normal, Vash prepares to return to Earth. She and Q exchange goodbyes, both acknowledging that they will miss each other. After that, as always, Q disappears -- and who knows when he'll return? Vash, on the other hand, decides on impulse to instead explore a new archeological site, and strikes up a partnership with -- Quark!

008. Dax 46910.1
Lieutenant Dax, preparing to return to her quarters for the evening, is being observed by a male Trill named Selin Peers. Ilon Tandro, a humanoid from Klaestron Four, joins him in the shadows. Confirming Dax's identity with Peers, Tandro and two of his officers succeed in taking her hostage. Bashir, unable to save her, alerts the other officers. Sisko, Kira, and Odo attempt to locate them, but Dax's combadge was removed and left behind. To Odo's amazement, Tandro and the two officers, with Dax in tow, avoid the security tracking grid with ease. To complicate matters, Sisko realizes that the abductors have disabled the station's tractor beam. Kira finally discovers them in an airlock and imprisons the group in a force field. However, they deactivate it and board a Klaestron ship. Sisko, though, manages to get the tractor beam working again, and they are able to keep the ship from escaping.
Forced to re-enter the space station, Tandro informs Sisko that this is an extradition mission. Dax is under arrest -- charged with treason and the murder of Tandro's father, General Ardelon Tandro, thirty years ago. Sisko realizes that he is accusing Curzon Dax, not Jadzia, of committing the crimes on Klaestron Four. For some reason, however, Dax refuses to tell Sisko what happened back then.
In Dax's defense, Sisko and Kira tell Tandro that, since the space station is technically Bajoran, an extradition hearing must be held before they can release Dax to him. Quark reluctantly agrees to allow the hearing to be held in his bar. At the hearing, Sisko tries to convince Judge Els Renora that Jadzia Dax is an entirely different entity than Curzon. Due to the unusual circumstances, Renora agrees to extend the proceedings.
Sisko, determined to keep Dax alive, directs Kira, Bashir, and Odo to dig up all of the evidence they can find to prove Dax's innocence. Odo, on Klaestron Four, contacts Enina, Tandro's mother, who claims that Curzon Dax had nothing to do with the death of her husband. She also claims that Tandro is obsessed with his father's death, and that Tandro believes Curzon was responsible because he can establish the whereabouts of all suspects except himself. In short, Dax has no alibi.
The hearing resumes, and Tandro calls Selin Peers, the Trill who helped locate Dax, to the witness stand. Although Peers confirms that if a Trill committed a crime, the symbiont's future host body would know and feel everything involved with that crime, Sisko establishes that with each new host, a new and different personality results from the joining. A recess is called, and Dax remains tight-lipped. She asks Sisko to please end his efforts on her behalf, which leaves him wondering.
Bashir is called to testify that Curzon and Jadzia are two physically distinct individuals. Unfortunately, Tandro then indicates it is impossible to determine whether or not the brainwave patterns of the symbiont have changed since they joined the new host, Jadzia.
In a last effort, Sisko calls himself to the witness stand and allows Kira to interrogate him. She and Tandro take their turns questioning Sisko, after which a one hour recess is declared. Suddenly, Sisko receives an urgent message from Odo on Klaestron Four, that reports all evidence points to Curzon Dax and Enina Tandro having an affair thirty years ago -- which grants Curzon a perfect motive for murder. Jadzia, confronted with this information, admits shame over the marital indiscretions, but still neither admits or denies any knowledge of the murder.
Returning from the recess, Dax takes the witness stand. Tandro proceeds to pin her down with questions, when he is interrupted by the surprise appearance of his mother, Enina. She admits, to everyone's astonishment, that Curzon could not have been responsible for her husband's murder. When the crucial transmission was made that resulted in his death, she and Curzon were in bed together. Dax is free to go, Sisko and the other officers are relieved, and life on Deep Space Nine returns to normal.

009. The Passenger
Traveling in a Runabout, Kira and Bashir pick up a distress signal from a disabled Kobliad ship. They beam over to discover an injured Kobliad woman named Ty Kajada, a security officer. Her passenger -- a murderer named Rao Vantika, who had set the ship on fire in order to escape. Vantika has been seriously hurt, and after attempting to strangle Bashir, falls over dead. Kajada collapses from her injuries. When she regains consciousness aboard the space station, she tells Bashir that Vantika has faked his demise before and asks the doctor to run tests to prove he is dead. Later, Bashir, Sisko, Dax, and Kira determine that Vantika was probably heading for Deep Space Nine to steal a shipment of deuridium, a rare substance that prolongs the dying Kobliad race's lifespan. Sisko orders Lieutenant George Primmin, a Starfleet security officer assigned to protect the deuridium, to defer to Odo's plan to guard that shipment when it arrives at the station. However, when Odo attempts to access his plan on the computer, it is gone. Everything in the station computer's active memory has been accessed and purged -- something Kajada grimly reports that Vantika has done before.
The computer mystery enables Kajada to convince Sisko assume that Vantika is still alive. That night, Quark also learns that Kobliad still lives when, hidden by darkness, Vantika orders the Ferengi to follow through on his promise to hire mercenaries to help him obtain the deuridium.
The next day, Bashir tells Kajada that his tests prove Vantika is really dead. He goes on to meet with Dax, who is exploring the idea that while Vantika's body is gone, his consciousness may have found a way to live on in another person's brain. The pair immediately suspect Kajada, deducing that Vantika could be occupying her brain without her knowledge while he waits for the deuridium. They share this theory with Sisko, and the group decides that Kajada must be watched. Meanwhile, at Quark's, the mercenaries arrive -- an alien named Durg and two Bajoran accomplices. Their haggling with Quark is interrupted by the sound of a woman screaming. Kajada, who was spying on the group, falls from the third floor balcony.
Now in the infirmary, Kajada reveals that she did not fall, but was actually pushed by Vantika. Meanwhile, Dax, who has been trying to discover how Vantika could transfer his consciousness into another person's brain, shows Sisko a small device buried under the dead Kobliad's fingernails. She believes Vantika stored his consciousness in the device as bio-electric pulses, in case he needed an escape route. As soon as Kajada's condition is stabilized, they can confirm the theory by examining her. Meanwhile, Quark, Durg, and the mercenaries prepare to meet Vantika in person -- and are shocked when he arrives in the physical form of Bashir.
Hoping to share her discovery with Bashir, Dax is surprised to find his combadge abandoned on a counter. Meanwhile, Primmin discovers that the station's defense array has been rigged to shut down -- which will allow Vantika to hijack the freighter carrying the deuridium. A grateful Odo informs Sisko of their discovery just as the freighter enters the vicinity. The group notices a Runabout going out to meet the vessel just as Dax joins them with the announcement that Bashir is missing. Vantika and the mercenaries commandeer the freighter -- killing its crew. Suddenly, the hijacked ship is captured by a tractor beam from the space station. Sisko hails the freighter and speaks with Vantika, who threatens to destroy Bashir's body and the ship if he is not allowed to proceed. The ship's shields are up, so Bashir cannot be transported out. Dax is able to temporarily disrupt Vantika's control over Bashir by using an electromagnetic pulse to disrupt Vantika's neural energy patterns. She tells the dazed Bashir to lower the shields. He does, and the group transports him back aboard Deep Space Nine where he is purged of his evil possessor. A recovered Kajada is given Vantika's remains, and she destroys them, and her nightmare, with a single phaser blast.

010. Move Along Home
Commander Sisko, in dress uniform, prepares to receive the first formal alien delegation from the Gamma Quadrant -- a group from a newly discovered species known as the Wadi. Sisko, Kira, Dax, and Bashir greet the new representatives from this race at one of the docking bays, after the Wadi's arrival through the wormhole. But the leader of the group, a humanoid male named Falow, dispenses quickly with the pleasantries. He and his companions want to be taken immediately to Quark's, where they have heard they will find games to play. The disappointed officers escort the delegation.
Quark, upon meeting the Wadi, senses profit in the making. The aliens show Quark they have much to wager in priceless gemstones, and quickly learn how to play the game of Dabo. Hours later, they are still going strong and winning big at the Dabo table. A weary Sisko decides to call it a night, leaving the Wadi with an equally tired Quark. He unsuccessfully tries to discourage them into leaving. Discreetly, he has one of his assistants rig the Dabo table to make the aliens start losing, hoping that will do the trick. Unfortunately, Quark's accomplice is caught by the Wadi. The Ferengi fears reprisal from the visitors. But Falow decides instead to have Quark participate in playing a new game -- one of Falow's choosing. He opens a rectangular metallic case, which releases a blinding flash of light. When it clears, the Dabo table is gone -- replaced by a strange alien game board. The game is called Chula. Quark's objective -- to move his four oddly shaped onyx figurines around the serpentine downward spiral of the board. Quark watches with apprehension as the board is set up and the Wadi begins placing bets. Meanwhile, Sisko, sound asleep in his quarters, turns over in his bed. He wakes up to find himself dressed in standard uniform, lying on a hard stone floor instead of the bed. He is no longer on the space station, but in an alien corridor, empty but for a series of doors with strange markings -- and totally alone.
Determining he is in no holodeck illusion, Sisko tries each of the doors, looking for escape. He finally opens one, only to find Falow on the other side, instructing Sisko cryptically to move along home, after which the door quickly closes. Then a piercing scream leads Sisko down the corridor, where he discovers a terrified Bashir, trying to wake himself up from what he thought was a bad dream. Kira and Dax turn up next. Together, they try to find the way "home".
Learning from Sisko's son that the commander has disappeared from the station, Odo soon discovers the other three senior officers are also gone. Back at Quark's establishment, the Ferengi is forced to begin play on the new game, even though he does not yet know the rules. He places a minimum bet and rolls the alien dice. Falow states that the combination will cause Quark's pieces to meet the Chandra.
In the labyrinth, Sisko and the other officers follow a singing voice to discover a young Wadi girl chanting a rhyme while playing an alien game similar to hopscotch. A force field keeps them from getting to a door on the far side of the room, but the girl can pass through it without a problem. Dax determines they can get to the door that only by repeating the rhyme and performing the hopscotch-like moves. The four officers do it, and are able to exit, with the girl telling them they are at the Third Shap. As this happens, the Wadi group in Quark's goes wild because he has reached the next level. The befuddled Quark wins a nice payoff, not realizing the connection.
Falow proposes to Quark that he can progress faster by taking a shortcut on the board, although it doubles the risk to his game pieces. However, a successful move can also double his winnings. While he thinks, Odo arrives, asking Quark if he might know anything about the missing crew members. A knowing look from Falow causes Quark to make the connection with the four game pieces and the four missing officers. Realizing that the lives of Sisko and the others are literally in his hands, Quark chooses to move the pieces along the safer path. The four officers, meanwhile, continue along the alien corridors, slowly realizing that they may indeed be pawns in one of the Wadi games. A door opens revealing a Wadi party in a smoke-filled room. Falow and other revelers carry drinks. The officers begin to cough violently form the smoke, until Bashir discovers the drinks are really an antidote. A back door to the room opens, and Falow announces the proclamation of Shap Four. The party vanishes and the officers exit through the door. Back at Quark's, huge reactions with the success. A larger pile of jewels is shoved toward a happy Quark, while Odo watches with displeasure.
Discovering a strange bi-polar current aboard the Wadi vessel, Odo finds a room on the ship that emits a blinding light. He enters the chamber, and suddenly appears in Quark's. Odo tries to break up the game. But Falow, knowing that Odo is putting the pieces together, tells Quark the game must continue or he will lose his players. Quark, with Odo's prodding, decides to continue his game pieces along the safer path. He rolls the dice. The Wadi gasp, and Falow announces that it is an unfortunate roll. In the maze, the officers hear a weird energy surge building, which becomes an ominous swirling field which they try to elude. But Bashir is caught by it and swept away. Back to the game, the Bashir game piece is placed in a holding area on the board. Quark decides to gamble, despite Odo's protestations, and take the pieces on a shortcut, hoping to end the game in one move. The chance doesn't work, though. The resulting dice roll causes Falow to declare that Quark must sacrifice one game piece so that the other two may live. Quark begs to not be forced into picking a piece. Falow leaves it for the board to determine at random. As the final wagers are placed, Sisko, Dax, and Kira continue wandering through the corridors. They hear Bashir, shouting he's found the way home. Following his voice, they enter a cavern. The ground begins to shake, causing Dax to injure her leg. Falow again appears, telling them to go to Shap Six. Not finding Bashir, the officers try to escape, but massive quakes in the cavern open an abyss into which they fall helplessly. Suddenly, all four of them find themselves back in Quark's establishment. Falow then informs them that even though Quark lost, they were never in any real danger. It was only a game, after all. Sisko and the others realize this predicament wouldn't have happened if if it wasn't for Quark's cheating. As for whether or not he learned his lesson...

011. The Nagus
It's business as usual for Quark at his bar, until he is approached by a Ferengi named Krax, who presents his father, Grand Nagus Zek, the elderly, shrewd, revered leader of the Ferengi business empire, accompanied by his Hupyrian servant, Maihar'du. Quark and his brother Rom, in awe and fear, quickly try to show Zek the respect he deserves, and set him up with five of Quark's favorite holosuite fantasies. However, Quark is worried that the legendary Ferengi is really on the station to buy the establishment -- at a price which Quark can't refuse -- dirt cheap. Zek then emerges from the holosuite, quite satisfied, and makes Quark invite him to dinner. Quark is quite dissatisfied with this.
Meanwhile, O'Brien, playing substitute teacher at the station's school until his wife returns from Earth, takes note of Nog's falsehood as to why his homework isn't done -- and even more so, Jake's reluctant willingness to cover for his Ferengi friend's lie. He voices his concern to Sisko, advising him to find a way to separate the two children. Sisko understands, but also fears that trying to force them apart will ultimately work against his relationship with his son.
That evening, in Quark's quarters, Zek, Krax, and Rom are in the midst of dinner, with Maihar'du and Nog performing the serving duties. Zek states how pleased he is with the bar's success, which worries Quark even more. But Zek is enraged when he learns that Nog attends school, upon which Rom tells his son to immediately stop going. That dealt with, Zek gets to the business at hand -- he wants the bar, but only for the next day, with Quark playing host to a very important conference to be held there. The purpose -- the future of the Ferengi. And the future lies -- in the Gamma Quadrant.
Many important Ferengi arrive at the station for the conference, including a very belligerent one named Gral, who does little to hide his dislike for Krax. Much to Quark's surprise, Zek demands that he stay for the discussion. Then, much to everyone's surprise, Zek announces that he is stepping down as Grand Nagus, and that the Ferengi who will replace him and lead their greedy ventures into the Gamma Quadrant -- is Quark! The conference erupts into chaos, and Quark stands in shock.
With great power comes many friends, Grand Nagus Quark quickly discovers. Also, potential threats, as he learns from an encounter with Gral, who offers to "protect" Quark from harm -- in exchange for Gral's pick of the most lucrative opportunities in the Gamma Quadrant -- a trade that Quark would be wise not to refuse. Terrified, he goes to Zek, who basically tells him that threats come with the job. While Quark is asking more advice, Zek quietly passes away, leaving the new Grand Nagus to figure it all out for himself. The bar is closed to honor Zek's passing, and the Ferengi group holds the funeral service there. Quark makes Rom, the only person he trusts, his bodyguard. However, Rom says he had hoped to now run the bar, which Quark thinks is absolutely absurd. During the proceedings, Nog meets secretly with Jake, and they decide to remain friends despite their parents' feelings.
Odo comes to the funeral ceremony, asking to have the body autopsied, which he learns is impossible because Krax is selling the "vacuum desiccated" remains as prized collectibles. Odo leaves, treating Quark with the same old disrespect as he departs. Suddenly, while Quark stoops down to pick up someone's loose coin, a glowing sphere whizzes by, barely missing his head, and blasting a hole in the far wall. Sisko, Odo, and O'Brien investigate, determining it was a Ferengi locator bomb -- meant for Quark. But the new Grand Nagus refuses their help. Odo, however, suspects the culprit is Maihar'du, the only one among the group who didn't attend the funeral. Meanwhile, Quark's generosity with fellow Ferengi causes his popularity to increase, and worry to rise with the real would-be assassins -- Rom and Krax!
Sisko becomes frustrated when Jake doesn't return home for dinner. On the advice of Dax, he sets out for one of the cargo bays, where the computer has located Jake. Walking in quietly, he is surprised to discover Jake with Nog, with Jake patiently teaching the young Ferengi boy how to read.
At the same time, while Quark prepares for his first trip through the wormhole, Rom unsuccessfully asks him again if he is willing to turn the bar over to him. As far as Rom is concerned, that seals his brother's fate. He and Krax escort the Grand Nagus into an airlock tunnel, where a Ferengi ship supposedly awaits. But Quark, now sealed in the tunnel alone, sees that the only thing on the other side is empty space. Just as Rom and Krax are about to eject him into the cosmos, Zek arrives with Odo and Maihar'du. While Quark is freed, Zek explains that he faked his death by going into a Hupyrian sleeping trance. The reason -- to test his son and his worthiness to be Zek's successor -- a test Krax failed miserably. Zek, resigned to the fact that he cannot yet retire, thanks Quark for his help and departs. Quark, on the other hand, deals with Rom for trying to murder him -- and congratulates his brother for such wonderful treachery! Rom is a true Ferengi, after all.

012. Vortex
While haggling with a pair of twinned Miradorns over a valuable goblet for which he had agreed to provide a buyer -- until learning that the artifact in question may have been acquired illegally -- Quark is interrupted by a newly-arrived alien from the Gamma Quadrant named Croden, who bursts in on the meeting brandishing a phaser and demanding the goblet for himself. A battle erupts, and Croden ends up killing one of the twins. Odo, who observed the exchange in disguise after becoming suspicious, morphs back into humanoid form and breaks up the fight, taking Croden into custody and ordering the others to meet with him and Sisko. The surviving twin, Ah-Kel, makes it clear that he is determined to get revenge by killing Croden. Meanwhile, Croden, in a holding cell, shows little remorse, and little interest in anything but food. However, he manages to mention during a conversation with Odo that he has encountered other "Changelings", or shape-shifters, in the Gamma Quadrant. Odo is suspicious, but intrigued.
Sisko decides the best course of action is for he and Dax to locate Croden's home planet of Rakhar and notify the authorities while increasing security to protect him from Ah-Kel. Odo, already suspecting that Croden staged the attempted "robbery" with Quark, tries to learn more about Croden's origins from the Ferengi. Later, Croden tries to appeal to Odo, offering to take him to a place where other Changelings may still live, but Odo is still distrustful. Croden then gives him a locket containing an odd stone that morphs into an intricate metallic object and back to its original shape. He tells Odo the stone is from the colony of changelings.
Dax and Sisko make contact with Rakhari officials, who call Croden a criminal and an "enemy of the people" and demand his immediate return. Meanwhile, Odo takes the stone to Bashir, who analyzes it and determines that it is an amalgam of organic material and some sort of crystal, and that the only life form bearing even a passing resemblance in structure is Odo. Unable to help being fascinated, Odo breaks down and asks Croden where he got the stone. Croden says it came from an asteroid in the Chamra Vortex, on the other side of the wormhole. Claiming that he chanced upon a changeling colony on this uncharted asteroid, Croden offers to take Odo into the dangerous, uncharted territory. But Odo still cannot trust Croden, and does not respond to his offer. Sisko, after returning from Rakhar, tells Odo to escort the prisoner home. Odo and Croden board a Runabout and set a course through the wormhole for the planet, escaping the detection of Ah-Kel, who still wants Croden for himself.
En route to what he knows will be his doom, Croden again tries to win Odo's trust, explaining that he was also an outsider on his own planet and that the Rakharis killed his family. Back on the space station, Ah-Kel threatens Quark, who directs Ah-Kel toward Odo and Croden rather than risk getting caught for his own part in the Miradorn's death. Now in pursuit, Ah-Kel attacks Odo's ship, but Odo refuses to surrender his prisoner despite the fact that he cannot outrun Ah-Kel. With no other choice, he lets Croden pilot the ship through the Vortex, where the ionized gasses will hide them from Ah-Kel's sensors. To Odo's surprise, Croden lands the Runabout on the asteroid where the shape-shifters supposedly live.
Croden anxiously rushes into a cave, almost losing Odo, who angrily demands to know what is really going on. Croden finally admits the truth -- the morphing stone is actually a key to a stasis chamber, inside of which is his peacefully-sleeping daughter, the only member of his family he could save when the Rakhari forces attacked them. He introduces Odo to the girl, Yareth, and tells her Odo will take her to a safe place while Croden will return to face the authorities on Rakhar. Suddenly, an explosion rocks the cave. Odo is knocked unconscious, but rather than using the moment to escape, Croden carries him back to the ship, saving his life. Odo regains consciousness back on the Runabout, with Ah-Kel's ship still in pursuit. He takes control and is able to trick Ah-Kel into destroying his own ship before leaving the Chamra Vortex for good. Once outside, Odo surprises Croden by having the alien and his daughter transported aboard a Vulcan ship, protecting them both from imprisonment or death on Rakhar. In exchange for his kindness, Croden gives Odo the changeling stone, a reminder that other shapeshifters may really exist out there somewhere.

013. Battle Lines
Kai Opaka, Bajor's spiritual leader, pays a surprise visit to the station -- her first journey away from her home planet. Sisko, Kira, and Bashir escort her on a tour of the station, and although the Kai seems preoccupied, she expresses her desire to go through the wormhole. Sisko accommodates her request, and she travels with the three officers in the Yangtzee Kiang, through the spectacular anomaly and into the Gamma Quadrant. However, though she acts impressed, she still seems distant. But, as they prepare to return, Kira suddenly picks up a narrow band subspace signal. Despite the unknown origin, Opaka encourages Sisko to investigate. They discover a small, meteor-pocked moon, around which orbits a network of artificial satellites, one of which fires an energy blast at the Runabout, severely disabling the vessel. The Yangtzee Kiang crashes violently on the moon's surface. Sisko, Bashir, and Kira free themselves from the wreckage, pulling out Opaka's limp body. Bashir works to revive her, but with no success. The Kai is dead. Before they can absorb the impact of this tragedy, a group of battle-scarred humanoids brandishing weapons appears, capturing the officers.
While Dax and O'Brien prepare to leave the station in search of the senior officers, Sisko, Kira, and Bashir are taken into a large cave, where the leader of the group, Golin Shel-la, explains that he and his people, the Ennis, are suspicious of strangers, because they are at war with a brutal enemy, the Nol-Ennis. He explains that both sides in this war are kept prisoner on the moon by the orbiting satellites, and that he fears his enemy will assume that Sisko's group, by their mere presence in the Ennis camp, has allied with Shel-la. They have no doctors, but many wounded, to whom Bashir gives assistance, as well as to an injured Kira, who is still suffering from the loss of the heart and soul of her home planet. Suddenly, the sound of weapons fire -- three Nol-Ennis, with their leader, Zlangco, make a surprise attack on the camp, killing Shel-la and other Ennis. Kira leaps into the fray, using a phaser to bring down part of the cave ceiling on the attackers, causing Zlangco to retreat. The officers barely have time to check the dead and wounded when a silhouette appears in the cave entrance. It is Kai Opaka -- come back to life!
Bashir examines Opaka, who is just beginning to grasp her situation. The doctor determines that her physiology has been radically altered, and that there is some kind of bio-mechanical presence on the cellular level controlling her metabolic processes. Then, amazingly, Shel-la and the other dead Ennis begin to stir. They are coming back to life. Bashir finds that their bodies have gone through the same type of alterations as Opaka's. Sisko learns from Shel-la that the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis had been fighting the war for untold generations on their home planet, and when their world's mediators could not arbitrate a cease-fire, the two sides were banished to the moon. As part of the punishment, they have been condemned to fight for eternity -- they can never truly die. Sisko suggests a resolution -- once his group is rescued, he will transport both sides away from the moon in order to end the battle, and he convinces Shel-la to attempt a truce with Zlangco.
In the Gamma Quadrant, Dax and O'Brien search for the officers in a Runabout, frustrated at the lack of clues. O'Brien then comes up with a way to detect the specific magnetic resonance patterns that Sisko's vessel emits, and tries to create a device to perform that function. Meanwhile, at the Runabout crash site, Sisko meets with Zlangco, who has agreed to listen to his proposal. But Zlangco is very distrusting, and once Shel-la states that he would never allow one Nol-Ennis to leave the moon alive, another battle between the two groups begins -- and this time, Sisko is in the middle. Just as he is about to receive a potential death blow, Bashir knocks him to the ground. The doctor has discovered from the Runabout's computer that they cannot afford to die here -- not even once.
O'Brien's plan has worked. He and Dax have located the moon. Wisely avoiding the satellites, they try to get a communication through the defense-net. On the surface, Bashir explains that artificial microbes restore a person's body after death, but that body then becomes permanently dependent on those microbes for all cellular functions. The worst part is, anyone with these microbes would die if taken away from the moon -- including Kai Opaka. Then, Dax and O'Brien make contact with Sisko, but they can't beam up anyone until they figure out how to get a transporter signal through the net. While they work on that, Sisko and Bashir return to the cave to tell Opaka and Kira the truth about the Kai's condition. But she has already decided to stay on the moon. Here, she has found the answer to all the prophecies of her life -- to teach people who know only how to die, how to now live. O'Brien then signals that he has a way to divert one of the satellites, and he can beam up the officers within minutes. Sisko tells the returning Shel-la that the Ennis cannot leave the moon, but Bashir suggests he can disable the program in the microbes, which would allow them to finally die when their time comes. But Shel-la unfortunately sees this as the ultimate opportunity to finally wipe out the Nol-Ennis for good. Stunned, realizing there is no hope, Sisko, Kira, and Bashir beam up when O'Brien signals ready, leaving Shel-la to lunge into another battle, and Kai Opaka remaining as their only hope for peace in an endless war.

014. The Storyteller 46729.1
Sisko and Kira play host on the space station to the leaders of two rival Bajoran factions -- the Paqu and the Navot. Sisko has stepped in to mediate their land dispute in an effort to avert civil war. But he and his first officer are surprised when they meet Varis Sul, Tetrarch of the Paqu, and see that she is a fifteen year old girl. Meanwhile, Bashir and O'Brien, in response to an emergency, beam down to a Bajoran village from their orbiting Runabout. Warned that the entire village is in grave danger, they meet Faren Kag, the magistrate, who takes them to a deathly-ill, bedridden older man known as the Sirah, being tended to by Hovath, a young Bajoran male. Learning that the Sirah is the only person who is ill, Bashir and O'Brien are told that if he dies, the entire village will die.
Sisko and Kira bring together Varis with Woban, the large, gruff Navot leader, for an informal discussion about their dispute before official negotiations begin, a talk that only serves to show how far apart the two sides really are, resulting in a frustrated Varis storming out. Jake and Nog see her walking through the Promenade, and the Ferengi boy becomes instantly infatuated with her, telling Jake that he must meet her. Back at the Bajoran village, the Sirah stirs from his sleep, takes O'Brien's hand, and voices satisfaction that the prophets haven't failed. Bewildered by this, O'Brien and Bashir meet with an anxious Faren, who is told that the Sirah is dying of old age. Faren tells them that the Sirah is needed to protect the village from the Dal'Rok, a terrible creature that appears every year for five nights, and that this is the fourth night this year. If the Sirah cannot even get out of bed tonight, the village is doomed.
That night, against Bashir's better judgment, the Sirah walks into the village square and onto his platform. As the Bajorans gather below, the Dal'Rok, a large, ominously rolling energy cloud, appears in the sky, bringing a harsh wind that whips at the village. Above the wind, the Sirah shouts a story about the Dal'Rok, with the crowd below responding as a unit to his words. Particles of white light rise up to the cloud, causing it to shrink slightly. But the Sirah suddenly collapses, the white lights disappear, and all havoc breaks loose as the Dal'Rok lets out a beam of destruction into the panicked village. Bashir and O'Brien run to the Sirah's aid, but the dying man pulls O'Brien close, instructing him to tell the story.
Eventually, the Dal'Rok is driven away. However, the Sirah finally dies. But as far as the villagers are concerned, O'Brien is now the new Sirah. He is at a loss for words. Back on the station, Varis shares with Jake and Nog her frustrations--she has land that the Navot faction wants, but she doesn't want to give it up. The infatuated Nog tells her she can turn this problem into an opportunity if they have something she wants. This prospect gives her thought.
The morning after the Sirah's death, O'Brien and Bashir have no idea how the Dal'Rok was stopped -- or what will happen when O'Brien is expected to lead the story again. Faren then leads a group of villagers to O'Brien, who is showered with gifts. Faren stays behind, telling a reluctant O'Brien that he must once again tell the tale tonight. The Bajoran is so secure in his faith, O'Brien knows that nothing he can say will change his mind. He and Bashir choose to uncover what the Dal'Rok really is and try to destroy it before nightfall. Their analysis of a wall destroyed by the energy cloud reveals a neutrino trace -- which is odd if the Dal'Rok has no physical substance. But villagers then approach the two, wanting the blessing of the new Sirah. Not comfortable with this, O'Brien goes into the Sirah's chamber, where he encounters Hovath, who was the apprentice of the older man. But Hovath won't answer O'Brien's questions about the Dal'Rok, and instead tries to kill him. Bashir comes in and helps disarm Hovath, who says that O'Brien isn't the true Sirah -- Hovath is.
Bashir and O'Brien learn from Hovath that the Sirah allowed him to tell the story one night, but he failed to control the Dal'Rok, and several people were injured. He shows them the Sirah's bracelet, which has mounted into it a fragment of an orb from the celestial temple -- it channels the villagers fears and creates the Dal'Rok. The first Sirah did this as a way of uniting the people, who at the time were divided by hate. Having a storyteller helps the villagers to focus their thoughts, which creates the white lights that defeat the energy force. This secret has been kept for years. O'Brien is ready to let Hovath tell the story, when Faren steps in, saying Hovath has already failed, and only O'Brien can lead the people. O'Brien can't find any way out of this.
On the station, Varis -- after talking with Nog and Jake again -- approaches Sisko with an opportunity -- one that may make both sides happy. Meanwhile, in the Bajoran village, O'Brien awkwardly tries to tell a story to the villagers. The Dal'Rok appears, but he can't control it. The villagers begin to panic, but Hovath steps in, calms everyone, and tells the story. The lights appear, and the Dal'Rok is defeated for another year. A relieved O'Brien suggests to Bashir they leave before the villagers change their minds. Back at the station, Sisko and Varis prepare to go back to the negotiating table, sure that she has devised a solution that will please both sides in the dispute. But before they go in, she thanks Nog for his suggestion -- with a kiss on the cheek.

015. Progress 46844.3
With the Federation's help, the Bajoran government is about to perform a massive energy transfer by tapping the molten core of its fifth moon, Jeraddo. In preparation, Kira and Dax make an orbital inspection of the moon in a Runabout, trying to confirm that all of the inhabitants have been evacuated. Dax's sensors detect an unknown humanoid presence on the surface, and Kira beams down to investigate. She materializes near a small cottage, only to be stopped in her tracks by a Bajoran couple in their forties, who point menacing-looking farm implements at her. Then, a tall, craggy-faced Bajoran farmer steps out of the cottage. Bewildered by his casual attitude, Kira informs him that his group needs to leave the moon -- but he'd must rather discuss that over supper in his cottage, and she reluctantly consents.
On the station, Nog and Jake, having discovered that Nog's uncle Quark has been stuck with a huge supply of Cardassian yamok sauce and no Cardassians to eat it, see an opportunity to make a quick buck -- or, in this case, five bars of gold press latinum. They try to sell it to a Lissepian freighter captain who has dealings with the Cardassians. He talks them instead into a trade -- a hundred gross of self-sealing stem bolts in exchange for their yamok sauce. They make the deal, then plot to figure out how to get the sauce from Quark.
Back on the moon, after telling Dax to return to the station, Kira talks with the farmer, who introduces himself as Mullibok, while helping him prepare supper. Learning that he and his friends, Baltrim and Keena, fled to the moon years ago to escape the Cardassians, she explains that Bajor is now once again safe and that they will have to move there. Mullibok refuses to leave -- his life is on the moon, and it is where he plans to die.
Eating dinner, Kira and Mullibok talk about how he built a life for himself on the moon. He tricks her into admitting that she and the Bajorans beat the Cardassians through sheer stubbornness, which is exactly the stand he is taking in refusing to leave. As far as he is concerned, the Bajorans can come crack open the moon whenever they are ready. He's not going anywhere.
Managing to relieve Quark of his unwanted yamok sauce, Nog and Jake are now the proud owners of a whole lot of stem bolts. Now that they have them, however, they don't know what to do with them -- or, for that matter, even know what they do. But Nog gets another idea -- find out who the Lissepian was trying to sell them to in the first place, and unload them on that individual at a discount. While the partners continue to scheme, Kira tells Sisko and Minister Toran, the Bajoran in charge of the energy project and of the problems on the moon. Toran refuses to hold up progress for three stubborn hold-outs, and forces Kira --under protest -- to remove the residents. She returns to Jeraddo with two security guards. While Kira tries to reason with Mullibok, the other two Bajorans get dragged back to the cottage. This enrages Mullibok, and he tries to kill the interlopers. Instinctively, a guard fires his phaser, wounding the farmer severely. Heartbroken and teary-eyed, Kira orders medical assistance.
Nog and Jake, having contacted the Bajoran who first backed out of the stem bolt deal, try to get gold press latinum from him in exchange. But, again, the two find themselves making a trade -- this time, for seven tessipates of land. Jake thinks they finally have something they can work with, but Nog is getting discouraged. Back on Jeraddo, Bashir tends to Mullibok's wounds, but insists on taking him back to the station for proper care. Baltrim and Keena have been evacuated to Bajor, but Mullibok stands his ground. Kira tells Bashir to leave -- she will stay with him until he gets better. Bashir returns and reports this surprising development to Sisko, who goes to the moon himself and confronts the recuperating Mullibok. Knowing the farmer can't be swayed, Sisko talks with Kira alone and reminds her that, no matter how much she is like Mullibok, that way of life is now behind her. Appealing to her now as a friend, Sisko tells her that Mullibok's fate is already decided -- hers isn't. He then leaves her -- with much to think about.
That night, Kira watches over Mullibok, and as he awakens from a nightmare, tries to make him more comfortable. He pretends to be gruff, but is glad to have her nursing him back to health, and goes back to sleep. Meanwhile on the station, Nog and Jake overhear a conversation between Quark and Odo, from which the boys learn the Bajoran government wants to buy their land. Nog approaches the surprised Quark with a proposition -- one that will cost him only five bars of gold press latinum. The crafty Ferengi catches on.
The next day, Kira wakes up to find Mullibok outside, finally finishing a kiln that he had been building. As he fires it up, Kira says it is time for her to now finish her work. He declares that as long as his cottage stands, he stays. With that, Kira takes her phaser and destroys the kiln, then takes a torch and sets the cottage on fire. He tells her to turn the phaser on him, but she refuses. Finally, sadly, he says if he leaves, he will die. Kira reassures him that he won't, and offers her hand, but he turns his back. She reaches to him one last time as she beams away...

016. If Wishes Were Horses 46853.2
While Sisko, Kira, and Dax investigate readings of unusually high thoron emissions coming from the plasma field in their area of space, O'Brien reads his daughter Molly a bedtime story about Rumpelstiltskin, after which the mystical dwarf actually appears in her bedroom. Shocked, O'Brien discovers that not only does he seem real, he doesn't disappear when his name is spoken as in the fairy tale. He calls Sisko on his combadge, but Sisko has become otherwise preoccupied when he finds himself face-to-face with Buck Bokai, a long-dead baseball player who has come to life from Jake's holosuite game. An even more shocking surprise greets Bashir, when he is awakened in his quarters by the caress of Dax's hand, then finds her trying to uncharacteristically smother him with affection. The senior officers are then summoned to Ops, where they are joined by Rumpelstiltskin and Bokai. Sisko asks Dax if this phenomenon could be connected to the thoron emissions, but she seems confused by the question. Suddenly, the officers hear a voice from behind, and turn to see ... another Dax!
Bashir's tricorder analysis confirms that the three newcomers are definitely not holograms, but quite real. Sisko surmises that all of them were born of imagination, the thought of which makes the new Dax even more flirtatious with the embarrassed Bashir. Suddenly, Odo's voice breaks through to tell them that it is snowing on the Promenade, while in Ops the three fantasy characters mysteriously disappear one by one. Dax's analysis of the plasma field reveals that its wave fronts are converging toward a single point; whatever falls in there just disappears. While Sisko orders a probe prepared to investigate, Odo finds the snow gone, but now an alien animal is running loose, and Quark is walking with his arms around two affectionate, scantily-clad women. The Ferengi is quite happy, until he sees his patrons are fulfilling their fantasies by winning big at the dabo table. In the science lab, Dax and Bashir learn the wormhole is helping to make the rupture in space larger -- and the tension between the two is increasing as well, especially after the new Dax appears to taunt the original. All this stops, however, when the computer discovers that a similar rupture formed in the Hanoli star system in the twenty-third century -- and Dax recalls that when the rupture exploded, that system was destroyed.
The probe is launched, but while the officers work to gather data, O'Brien is annoyed by Rumpelstiltskin's return, and the dwarf strikes a raw nerve by hinting at a threat toward O'Brien's daughter. The probe's analysis from the center of the anomaly reveals that it's getting larger. While they deal with this new development, Sisko finds himself cultivating a more personal rapport with Bokai. Later, the three products of the imagination meet privately, with Rumpelstiltskin and the new Dax baffled as to why they are being rejected by those who first thought of them. But Bokai reveals that he has found a soft spot in Sisko, and that because of this, they should continue to stay -- for as long as it takes.
Sisko, Kira, O'Brien, Dax, and Bashir meet and decide to prepare a pulse wave torpedo for the purpose of trying to seal the rupture, even though that tactic was unsuccessful when a Vulcan science mission attempted the same thing in the Hanoli system. O'Brien is betting the more sophisticated version they can use now might be able to contain the internal reaction. Sisko sets O'Brien to the task -- but if the plan fails, the entire Bajoran system could be destroyed. Preparing for the worst, Kira goes to coordinate evacuation of the pylons, but encounters a section on fire, from which emerges a man ablaze, who comes toward her but then disappears. Meanwhile, Odo tries vainly to control the situation on the Promenade, and finds brief satisfaction when his imagination conjures an image of Quark in jail, while Jake tries to resist Bokai's temptation to desert his homework and play ball. In Ops, Dax reveals that the rupture has expanded dramatically, and the rate of expansion is increasing. She puts an image of the rift on the viewscreen, and everyone -- including the three fantasy constructs -- watches as the phenomenon sucks in space matter all around it.
O'Brien launches his altered photon torpedoes into the rupture, and the rift swallows up the detonation. Their instruments show they aren't getting a controlled collapse; readings inside the rupture are off the scale. Suddenly, an intense flash, then a massive hit throws everyone to the floor, including the fantasy Dax, who hits her head in the fall. The sensors are knocked out, and while O'Brien attempts repairs, Bashir tends to the new Dax, who can't stay conscious. When the sensors come back on line, they reveal the torpedoes have had no effect. Then, Rumpelstiltskin pipes in with a suggestion -- he'll close the rift in exchange for O'Brien's daughter. The suggestion infuriates O'Brien, who grabs the dwarf. But Sisko has finally put together the pieces of the puzzle -- the entire rupture is a product of their imaginations, and he drills that thought into his officers. True to his belief, the rift vanishes, as well as the three fantasy beings. Later, the danger gone, Sisko sits alone in his office, when Bokai reappears, and reveals that he and his companions are beings on an extended mission exploring the galaxy. They traveled through the wormhole recently, observing, gaining understanding, and explains that only the powerful imaginations on the station placed everyone into inadvertent jeopardy. Then, Buck mysteriously disappears before he tells Sisko where they came from...

017. The Foresaken 46925.1
Bashir plays reluctant host to a delegation of Federation ambassadors, one of whom happens to be Lwaxana Troi, mother of the Enterprise's counselor, Deanna Troi. Lwaxana creates a scene in Quark's when she discovers her priceless hairbrooch has been stolen, but Odo catches the culprit and returns the heirloom to her. The Betazoid develops an instant attraction to the shape-shifter. Meanwhile, much to Sisko's chagrin, Bashir brings the other three ambassadors to Ops, where a frustrated O'Brien struggles with the station's uncooperative computer. Then, an unidentified vessel comes through the wormhole. Unoccupied, it appears to be an alien probe. Sisko has it towed to a position a few hundred meters from the docking ring, while they attempt to establish a link to download information. Elsewhere, Lwaxana, dressed to kill, makes a move on Odo, who upon realizing her intentions, nervously avoids her and makes a beeline for Ops.
Much to O'Brien's surprise, getting the station's computer to perform a data transfer from the probe is unusually easy. While he and Dax work with the data, Odo seeks Sisko's advice about Lwaxana's romantic advances, but finds Sisko amused that the shape-shifter can handle thieves and killers but not an amorous Betazoid woman. Odo returns to the Promenade, runs right into Lwaxana, then tries to escape into the turbolift, but she gets in with him. Suddenly, it stops between floors -- the power has failed. Odo signals to be beamed out, but then the transporter also mysteriously goes dead. Lwaxana finally has Odo where she wants him -- alone at last.
O'Brien is baffled to find that both the turbolift and the transporter are in working order, even though they aren't working. Told that he can't even shape-shift his way out, Odo is resigned to being stuck with Lwaxana for a while. Odo suggests that he and the Betazoid pass the time quietly, but no such luck --Lwaxana rambles on and on. Back in Ops, O'Brien informs Sisko that the computer rerouted the E-P-S power flow uncharacteristically fast, but for some reason still didn't activate the turbolift circuits. O'Brien's gut instincts tell him that, strange as the notion sounds, the computer's personality has changed -- becoming more obedient, and performing as if it wants constant attention -- much like... a child.
Sisko, Kira, O'Brien, and Dax discuss the mystery, and a theory develops that they may have actually downloaded a non-biological lifeform into the computer. O'Brien suggests that transferring all of that downloaded programming off the station might purge the lifeform, and sets to attempt the procedure, but the computer seems to be stopping him at every turn. In the turbolift, meanwhile, Odo shares some private thoughts about his background with a sympathetic Lwaxana, who notices that he isn't looking well. He reminds her that he must revert to a liquid state every sixteen hours -- and this is now hour fifteen. While time continues to tick away, O'Brien attempts a manual transfer out of the computer, but sparks suddenly fly from his console during the process, followed by a plasma explosion around the station's guest quarters. Fire breaks out in the corridor, trapping Bashir and the three ambassadors.
While Sisko, Kira, and a rescue team try to cut their way into the corridor, O'Brien acts on a hunch and begins to construct a subprogram within the computer that will attract the entity, which he feels is actually acting like a stray puppy. In the turbolift, Odo cannot hold his shape any longer, so Lwaxana lifts her dress to form an improvised basin, into which Odo dissolves safely to his liquid form. Back in Ops, O'Brien has the computer route all back-up functions through his new subprogram, after which all systems come back on line. Sisko and Kira, now able to get into the fire-scorched corridor, search through the rubble, and are surprised when Bashir and the ambassadors come out from a wall compartment, soiled but safe. Lwaxana and Odo, now back in his humanoid form, are freed from the turbolift, and she leaves him with a hint of romance to follow when they meet next, O'Brien explains to Sisko that the subprogram he built will keep their "adopted pet" lifeform happy, busy, and out of their way from now on.

018. Dramatis Personae 46922.3
Kira protests when Sisko allows a Valerian ship to dock at the station, even though she believes that the Valerians are supplying weapons-grade dolamide to the Cardassians. However, before the Valerian ship even arrives, a Klingon vessel blasts through the wormhole and explodes. One critically injured Klingon from that ship transports to the station, shrouded in a strange violet light, and dies immediately after uttering the word "victory" -- a curious declaration since his ship was supposed to be on a scientific mission. Dax and O'Brien are sent in a Runabout to search for the ship's mission recorder. While the Valerian vessel docks, despite Kira's unusual efforts to delay it without Sisko's knowledge. Odo learns from Quark that the Klingon mission involved procurement of something that would "make the enemies of the Klingon Empire tremble". Suddenly, Odo mysteriously becomes paralyzed with pain, his head splits in two, and a panicked Quark calls for Dr. Bashir.
When Odo regains consciousness in Bashir's infirmary, he is struck by the doctor's cold, calculating tone and his sudden interest in Kira, Sisko, and the Valerian situation. Meanwhile, Kira and Sisko have an uncharacteristically angry exchange over the Valerians, while aboard the Runabout, Dax and O'Brien also seem to undergo personality changes, O'Brien turning very cold and suspicious, asking Dax whether her loyalties lie with Sisko or Kira, while Dax becomes dreamy and removed. Kira, taking on a sensually manipulative tone, later tries to convince Odo to go behind Sisko's back and sneak aboard the Valerian ship -- Odo refuses.
Dax and O'Brien show a barely-legible recording made by the dead Klingon indicating mutiny aboard his ship, and the presence of some alien energy spheres, but Sisko doesn't seem to care. Soon afterward, Kira approaches Dax and tries to enlist her allegiance against Sisko, attacking Quark when she notices him eavesdropping. Quark complains to Odo and tells him of Kira's plot against Sisko. Noticing the odd behavior developing among the personnel, Odo goes to find Sisko in Ops, and is shocked to see O'Brien sitting in Sisko's chair, settled in like he owns the place, trying to piece together the mission recorder's log entries. O'Brien tells Odo he believes Sisko's life is in danger because of the mutiny Kira is planning. Odo finally locates Sisko in his quarters, telling him that he fears what happened on the Klingon ship may be occurring on the station. Sisko, however, is only concerned with designing a clock. Odo realizes at this point that he's on his own.
When Odo returns to his office, Kira surprises him with news that she has made sure the Valerian ship cannot leave until she lets it. He learns that Kira is about to go after Sisko and O'Brien. Hoping it might provide an explanation, Odo reviews the reconstructed journal of the dead Klingon and finds a mention of telepathic energy spheres, containing an archive which described a power struggle that destroyed an ancient alien race called the Saltah'na. Odo cautiously approaches Bashir for help, making the suspicious doctor believe he's working to benefit whoever seizes control of the station. They theorize that the Klingon ship was destroyed after an energy matrix from the spheres affected the crew's minds, causing them to reenact that struggle. The Klingon apparently brought the matrix to the station inadvertently, and it influenced everyone in Ops but Odo. While Bashir works to eliminate the matrix's effects, one of his allies tries to attack Sisko with a tiny device. Sisko retaliates against the young ensign, sure that Kira put him up to the mutinous action, until Kira herself arrives, pointing a phaser at Sisko.
Before Kira's guards can take Sisko and O'Brien, the pair dematerialize and beam into an airlock, from where they attempt to escape to the Valerian ship, enlisting Odo's help to eliminate the forcefields blocking their path. Odo lures all the affected individuals together, then activates Bashir's matrix interference signal. The violet-colored energy influence is successfully purged long enough for Odo to release it into space. Life returns to normal on the station, and Sisko and Kira bury their differences.

019. Duet
A Kobheerian freighter transports a passenger onto the space station who has a medical condition known as Kalla-Nohra. Kira recalls that the only cases of this were the result of a mining accident at a Bajoran forced labor camp she helped liberate years ago. She goes to the Infirmary, and is taken aback when the patient is a middle-aged Cardassian male. He flees but runs right into Odo, who places him in a holding cell based on Kira's charge that, because he is a Cardassian with Kalla-Nohra, he had to be part of the military operation at the Gallitepp camp, and therefore a war criminal. When Sisko confronts the Cardassian, Marritza, about this, he claims that he does not have that particular condition, but one with similar symptoms. However, Bashir is certain that Marritza really does have Kalla-Nohra. Then, Sisko speaks with Kaval, the Bajoran Minister of State, who makes it clear that this is becoming a matter for his people, not the Federation, and if Marritza was at Gallitepp, Sisko will turn him over to Bajor -- whether he wants to or not.
Kira pleads her case, and Sisko agrees to let her handle the investigation. Odo's background check confirms Marritza's claims about being an instructor for the past few years. Unconvinced, Kira interrogates Marritza, who eventually admits he was at Gallitepp -- as a filing clerk. He claims there were no atrocities at the labor camp -- just rumors started by the camp's leader, Gul Darhe'el, to create fear in the Bajorans. Growing tired of this, Marritza insists on being released, and hits a nerve with Kira when he tells her she doesn't care about truth -- only vengeance.
The Cardassian Gul Dukat communicates with Sisko, but he refuses to release Marritza until his identity is confirmed. Later, in Ops, the officers examine the only image found in the Bajoran archives of Marritza at Gallitepp, but the Cardassian with that name in the picture bears absolutely no resemblance. Surprisingly, though, they do find a perfect match with another -- Gul Darhe'el, the "Butcher of Gallitepp". Kira confronts Marritza, who admits to being the notorious leader and assuming Marritza's identity. With disbelief, she listens to him brag about the countless atrocities he committed, brushing aside Kira's threat of paying for his crimes, and proclaiming that he accomplished more than her resistance group ever did. Kira sees her words mean nothing to one who feels so superior.
Kira seeks solace by talking with Odo, who points out something very odd about Marritza's claims. How did he know to which resistance group Kira belonged? She confronts the Cardassian with this, and he claims that he was kept informed of everything regarding the resistance. Meanwhile, the suspicious Odo discovers Marritza was seeking information on Kira months ago; then a conversation with Gul Dukat reveals that not only is Gul Darhe'el dead, but he attended the funeral himself. Dukat allows Odo limited access to Cardassian files in order to get to the bottom of this. In the holding area, Kira and Marritza continue to debate, and he reminds her that he wasn't the only one who killed innocents -- her terrorist attacks certainly murdered their share of Cardassian civilians. The discussion reaches a fever pitch when Odo pulls her away with his news. He isn't certain why yet, but he is sure Marritza wanted to be caught.
The evidence against Marritza mounts: Odo has seen Gul Darhe'el's death certificate; the labor camp leader wasn't on Bajor when the mining accident causing the Kalla-Nohra condition occurred; Marritza resigned from his teaching position two weeks ago and put all his affairs in order, he specifically requested passage to the space station; and Bashir has found enough medical clues to deduce Marritza apparently had his face changed to look like Gul Darhe'el. Kira tells him what she now knows, and finally, reduced to a tortured, saddened man, Marritza admits the masquerade. Kira moves to release him, but he begs to keep up the ruse, hoping that forcing attention to Cardassian crimes will force Cardassia to admit its guilt -- and maybe bring about a new empire. Kira, not willing to let him sacrifice his life, prepares to return him home when a Bajoran man comes through the crowd in the Promenade and plunges a dagger into Marritza, killing him. The Bajoran, Kainon, claims that the fact Marritza is a Cardassian was reason enough to take his life. Kira, shaken and totally forlorn, whispers that it wasn't...

020. In The Hands Of The Prophets
While Keiko O'Brien is teaching her students about the scientific aspects of the wormhole, a Bajoran woman in religious garb, Vedek Winn, observes the class and calmly objects to Keiko's secular methods of instruction. According to Winn, it is not science that guides ships safely through the wormhole, but "the hands of the prophets", and Keiko's words are a blasphemy the Bajoran cannot allow to continue. In Ops, Sisko listens to Keiko's concerns, but Kira expresses her support for Winn, suggesting to the defensive teacher that informing Bajoran children only about the science of the wormhole without placing it into a spiritual context is akin to imposing a philosophy on them. Sisko talks with Winn in the station's Bajoran shrine, and although she is honored to meet the "Emissary" to the prophets, Winn refuses to step back from her stance, warning that she won't be responsible for any consequences that result if Keiko continues her teachings.
O'Brien, working with his young Bajoran apprentice, Neela, is concerned when he cannot locate one of his tools, one which can be used to access every critical system on the station. When it turns out Ensign Aquino is also missing, they make a search, finding the melted remains of the instrument in a large power conduit -- plus traces of organic material, which prove to be human remains. Apparently, Aquino went to fix an irregularity in the conduit, and accidentally got caught in the power flow and killed. Later, O'Brien and Keiko find to their dismay that some Bajorans are treating her with contempt. In front of the school, the O'Briens find Bajoran parents and the students, including Jake, listening to Winn, who asks Keiko to stop teaching about the wormhole altogether if she will not instruct the children about the spiritual aspects. When Keiko refuses, Winn leads away the Bajorans in silent protest. O'Brien comforts his saddened wife.
O'Brien is still puzzled by Aquino's death, and Sisko asks Odo to investigate further. Jake then approaches his father about the school situation, and Sisko explains to him the importance of respecting the beliefs of others. Realizing the growing uneasiness on the station, Sisko seeks help on Bajor from Vedek Bareil, a spiritual leader who is the leading candidate to become the planet's next Kai. Although his ideology is quite different than Winn's, Bareil will not risk his growing status to help Sisko get an audience with the Vedek Assembly. Frustrated, Sisko returns to the station and finds that three Bajoran crewmembers failed to report for duty due to "illness", according to Kira. Tension builds between the two as Sisko grows tired of these games, but Odo and Bashir interject with the results of their investigation -- Aquino was really killed by a phaser blast.
The officers discuss the murder, and Odo reveals that, according to turbolift records, the ensign's true destination that fateful night was Runabout pad C. While O'Brien and Neela investigate the area, Odo goes to the Promenade just as more Bajorans, members of an orthodox spiritual order, arrive on the station to support Winn. O'Brien finds Odo and reports something most unusual -- a security bypass module was placed at Runabout pad A. Odo deduces that Aquino must have interrupted someone planning to steal a Runabout from pad C. The ensign was killed, and the culprit went to pad A to escape later detection. Odo and O'Brien suddenly hear an explosion, and rush to find Keiko's school engulfed in flames.
The wreckage is examined, revealing the school was destroyed by a homemade bomb. Winn approaches the area, and an angry Sisko lets her know that, despite this terrorist act, the majority of Bajorans do not feel the contempt she does for the Federation. As he leaves, Winn is surrounded by her supporters, and silently acknowledges Neela in the crowd. Then, in the Bajoran shrine, Neela reveals privately to Winn that the officers know about the Runabout, leaving Neela with no mode of escape, but Winn insists their secret plan must be carried out -- it is "the will of the prophets". Later, Sisko is pleased as Bareil arrives at the station to survey the situation, and while they move through the huge crowd of Bajoran well-wishers with Kira, O'Brien finds an unknown file in the computer, which turns out to be a series of forcefield overrides to Runabout pad A -- an escape route from the Promenade. While Bareil and Winn together go to the remains of the school, O'Brien suspects the weapons detectors are disabled, and urgently tells Sisko only Neela -- the last person to repair that unit -- could have done it. Sisko spots Neela in the crowd, calmly pulling out a phaser, and he knocks her to the ground, making Neela miss her target -- Bareil. It is discovered Winn started the religious controversy as a ruse to have Bareil assassinated before he could be made Kai. But in the end, it only serves to strengthen the alliance between Sisko and Kira.

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