151. Image in the SandThree months after a possessed Gul Dukat killed Jadzia Dax and sealed the wormhole, life on Deep Space Nine has changed. Kira, the acting commander, is upset when Admiral Ross informs her that the Romulans will set up a station office, while Sisko has retreated to Earth to contemplate a way of contacting the Bajoran Prophets -- the aliens who reside within the wormhole. When the vision of a woman's face, buried in the sand, appears to Sisko, he sketches her, and Jake recognizes her from one of his grandfather's photos.
Meanwhile, at the station, Kira meets Cretak, the Romulan Senator, and agrees to let her set up a hospital on an uninhabited Bajoran moon to care for wounded Romulan soldiers. Back on Earth, Sisko asks his father about the woman in the photo, but Joseph, upset, refuses to identify her. Sisko persists and Joseph acquiesces: the woman was his wife, and Sisko's mother.
Joseph explains that the woman, Sarah, left him when Sisko was a baby and later died. Because Sisko's stepmother raised him as her own, Joseph never revealed the truth. He gives Sisko a locket that once belonged to Sarah, and Sisko finds upon it an ancient Bajoran inscription that reads "The Orb of the Emissary." This causes him to wonder if another Bajoran orb exists, which would allow access to the Prophets.
Sisko realizes he must go to the planet Tyree, the setting of his original vision. But while preparing, he is stabbed by a Bajoran who is determined to stop Sisko's quest. Back on Deep Space Nine, Odo shows Kira data indicating that the Romulans are arming the Bajoran moon with plasma torpedoes. Kira demands that Cretak remove the torpedoes -- or she will.
Meanwhile, a healed Sisko explains to Jake and Joseph that his attacker was a member of a cult that worships the Pah-wraiths -- the enemies of Bajor's Prophets. Joseph realizes that if the attacker knew of Sisko's discovery, the Pah-wraiths must know as well, and Sisko could be in grave danger. He and Jake decide to accompany Sisko to Tyree. But just as the three generations of Siskos are about to leave, a young female Trill arrives at the restaurant. She is Ezri -- the new host of the Dax symbiont.
152. Shadows and SymbolsSisko meets Ezri, the new host of the Dax symbiont, before departing Earth for the planet Tyree with his father, Joseph, and son Jake. Ezri wishes to accompany them on their search for Bajor's mythical Orb of the Emissary, which Sisko has been led to believe exists. Back at the station, Kira prepares a blockade to stop the Romulans, who have placed weapons on a Bajoran moon. On a Klingon ship, Worf, O'Brien, Bashir, and Quark embark on a mission of their own: to destroy a Dominion shipyard, thus securing a place for the spirit of Worf's dead wife Jadzia in the sacred Klingon afterlife of Sto-vo-kor.
Sisko and his crew arrive on Tyree. Guided by his visions, they begin a long trek across the vast desert terrain. Eventually, Sisko stops and digs on a seeming whim, while his father, son, and Ezri can only watch.
Kira sets her blockade with old Bajoran ships, and four Romulan Warbirds approach, just hours away; while Worf and his companions prepare to face their own danger in Jadzia's name. On Tyree, Sisko's digging uncovers an Orb ark, but dangerous visions cause him to hesitate from exposing the Orb within.
Back on the Klingon ship, Worf, having reached the star system where the shipyard is located, masterminds a plan in which his vessel will fly toward the sun and trigger a plasma ejection that will destroy the Dominion facility and illuminate the gates of Sto-vo-kor for Jadzia. Meanwhile, Sisko's visions force him to inexplicably and hastily bury the ark containing the Orb without opening it.
Worf and his comrades manage to execute their plan and demolish the shipyard -- a victory that finally allows for Jadzia's entrance into Sto-vo-kor. At the same time, Kira successfully causes the Romulans to back down. On Tyree, Ezri forces Sisko to open the ark. But when he does, an energy vortex is unleashed which opens the wormhole and expels from it the Pah-wraiths -- the enemies of the Prophets -- who sealed the anomaly. His mission successful, Sisko encounters what appears to be his dead mother Sarah. After commending him, she reveals that she is one of the wormhole aliens, who took over the real Sarah's body years ago to ensure Sisko's birth and the fulfillment of his destiny.
153. AfterimageIn addition to coping with the memories of her "past lives," Ezri Dax must deal with the range of reactions her presence generates. Kira awkwardly tries to make conversation; Sisko is happy to have his old friend back; Quark flirts with her; and Worf, pained by the memory of his dead wife Jadzia, which Ezri's presence provokes, makes it clear he wants nothing to do with her. Elsewhere, Garak inexplicably collapses and is rushed to Bashir's care.
Worf's obvious discomfort around Ezri is one of the reasons she tells Sisko she plans to leave the station and resume her duties as a starship's assistant counselor. Seizing the opportunity, Sisko implores her to counsel Garak, who is incapacitated by a series of claustrophobic attacks. Knowing Starfleet needs Garak's expertise at decoding Cardassian military transmissions, Ezri agrees to help.
While Ezri works to get to the root of Garak's problems, Worf becomes irritated with Bashir when he sees the doctor socializing with her. Sisko offers Ezri a position as Deep Space Nine's counselor. She'd like to accept, but thinks her continued presence would make Worf too uncomfortable.
Ezri's fears are realized when a jealous Worf warns Bashir and Quark to stay away from her. Meanwhile, Garak's emotional troubles come to a head when he insults Ezri's professional skills, and argues that she's too confused about her own identity to help anyone else. Ezri is devastated by Garak's tirade, which confirms all her worst fears about herself.
Shaken by her confrontation with Garak, Ezri resolves to resign from Starfleet. But on the eve of her departure, she helps Garak realize that his decoding work has made him feel like a traitor to the Cardassian people, and he subconsciously "escaped" the task by bringing on the debilitating attacks. Garak accepts that the Dominion must be stopped, and agrees to resume the decoding. After O'Brien helps Worf see that treating Ezri badly is a dishonor to Jadzia's memory, Worf urges Ezri not to leave the station on his account. She agrees to stay, and is rewarded with a promotion to Lieutenant.
154. Take Me Out To The HolosuiteVulcan Captain Solok brings his starship to Deep Space Nine for repairs made necessary from combat skirmishes. Convinced his all-Vulcan crew is the finest in the fleet, he challenges former classmate and longtime rival Sisko to a baseball game in the Holosuite. With only two weeks to whip his team into shape, Sisko vows he's going to beat Solok -- even though Jake is the only other person residing on the station who has ever played baseball.
The training sessions are grueling. Sisko's team is plagued by injuries and inexperience. When one such injury sidelines O'Brien, Sisko makes him a coach, then pulls some strings to enlist his traveling girlfriend Kasidy Yates -- who knows how to play -- as a replacement. Unfortunately, Sisko has neither the time nor the patience to train his weaker players, and in a fit of frustration, he throws a well-meaning but inept Rom off the team.
Rom's abrupt dismissal nearly causes Sisko's squad to quit in protest, but Rom insists they continue on without him. Privately, Sisko confides in Kasidy the real reason why he's taking Solok's challenge so seriously. He recounts how Solok once humiliated him publicly when they were both in Starfleet Academy. Ever since, Solok has always gloated about Vulcan superiority in all things, and now Sisko can't bear the thought of Solok beating him at his own game.
Game day arrives. The teams gather in the Holosuite. The first Vulcan who steps up to bat slams a home run -- and the game goes downhill from there. By the top of the fifth inning, Sisko's team is losing to Solok's, 7-0. Just when things couldn't get any worse, Sisko gets thrown out by Odo, who's umpiring the game.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Rom's son Nog manages to make it to third base. The crew is down 10-0 and they'd desperately like to score a run. Realizing that Rom's feelings are more important than winning, Sisko arranges to put the Ferengi into the game. Rom accidentally hits a perfect bunt, which brings Nog home and unleashes a joyous celebration -- so joyous it stops the game and disturbs Solok. Later, celebrating at Quark's, Sisko and his ebullient crew toast the triumph of team spirit over Vulcan "superiority."
155. Treachery, Faith, and the Great RiverOdo is lured to a secret meeting site, where he finds himself face to face with Weyoun, the Vorta leader of the enemy Dominion. Weyoun announces that he's decided to defect and, in exchange for asylum, he promises to provide valuable information that could help the Federation win the war. After the two board Odo's Runabout, the ship is hailed by the Cardassians. Odo is shocked when the monitor displays Weyoun standing beside Damar.
The Weyoun Odo has taken aboard the Runabout is actually a clone known as WV-Six, while the "real" Weyoun -- the seventh clone -- is still loyal to the Dominion cause. When WV-Six defies Weyoun's order to activate his termination implant, and Odo refuses to turn him over, Damar and Weyoun vow to destroy the Federation ship. But WV-Six doubts the verity of Weyoun's threat -- for Odo is a Founder, the race worshipped by the Vorta. Nonetheless, Damar summons the Jem'Hadar, and they besiege the Federation craft with gunfire.
WV-Six informs Odo of the attacking ship's weakness, and Odo destroys it. While awaiting the enemy's next move, WV-Six explains why his people worship Odo's race: the Founders transformed WV-Six's ape-like ancestors into powerful beings. Odo responds by pointing out that the Founders are also responsible for a war that has killed millions. WV-Six reveals a stunning fact: the Founders are dying from a sickness that is spreading rapidly through their ranks.
Weyoun explains that because Odo left his people long ago, he is the only Changeling not infected by the virulent disease. WV-Six expresses his hope that Odo will use the opportunity to build a new, more peaceful Dominion. After Odo hides the Runabout inside a frozen comet, four more Jem'Hadar ships attack and blast their way through the icy field.
Odo tries to outrace the ships, but the Runabout is subjected to constant pounding. To call off the attackers and save Odo, WV-Six contacts Weyoun and Damar, then activates the termination implant. Before WV-Six dies, he asks for, and receives, Odo's reluctant blessing. Back at the space station, Odo worries about the future: though his people are dying, they are still the enemy. Regardless of the war's winner, Odo is destined to lose.
156. CrysalisA group of genetically enhanced humans, once under Bashir's care, escape from their medical facility home in the hopes that the doctor -- who himself was genetically engineered as a child -- can cure their friend Sarina. Her enhancements left her in a catatonic state, and Bashir attempts an untried procedure on her brain that initially appears to have no effect. However, a few days later, Sarina speaks for the first time.
Now cured, Sarina delights in all that she sees and hears. She's deeply grateful to Bashir for helping her, and he's moved by the sight of Sarina blossoming before his eyes. Overnight, she has gone from a state of silence to one of bliss. In some ways, it's overwhelming to Sarina, who confides that she's afraid to sleep out of fear that she could wake up the way she once was.
Hoping to expand Sarina's social circle beyond the dysfunctional friends who brought her to the station, Bashir takes her out to Quark's, where she charms the doctor and everyone around her. Later, Bashir acknowledges that Sarina no longer belongs in the medical facility to which her friends must soon return, and smitten with her, he kisses Sarina tenderly.
Bashir tells O'Brien that Sarina is the woman of his dreams. For years, he has longed to meet a genetically engineered person, like himself, who is able to live a normal life. O'Brien is concerned that things are moving too quickly, but Bashir won't hear of it. He asks Sarina to go away with him for a week. Becoming more and more overwhelmed by the sudden changes in her life, she nevertheless agrees. Yet when she stands him up for dinner, Bashir is stunned to find Sarina in her quarters, reverted to her original unresponsive state.
When he can't determine why Sarina has relapsed, Bashir asks her genetically enhanced friends for help. They inform him that Sarina can still talk -- but for some reason she's afraid. Eventually, Sarina confesses the truth behind her fear -- she cannot be the woman Bashir wants. He realizes that in his loneliness, he pushed her into something for which she wasn't ready. Knowing he must let her discover life on her own, Bashir bids Sarina a reluctant farewell.
157. Once More Into The BreachTo Worf's surprise, he is paid a visit by Kor, an aging Klingon war hero. Kor admits that his ambition has earned him countless enemies, and that consequently he has been unable to secure the command of a ship. Worf promises to find him a military command, and approaches General Martok with the request -- which is angrily refused. Martok explains that years earlier Kor had denied Martok officer status because he was descended from a common house. Undaunted, Worf appoints Kor as a third officer on the Ch'Tang, Martok's flagship, where he is treated with awe by the crew -- much to Martok's chagrin.
Back at the space station, Quark overhears Ezri talking to Kira, and mistakenly believes Ezri wants to reunite with Worf. Meanwhile, the animosity between Martok and Kor intensifies as the crew of the Ch'Tang leads a group of Klingon ships on an attack of Trelka Five.
In the heat of the battle, both Martok and Worf are knocked unconscious. Kor immediately takes command of the ship. Unfortunately, the aging Klingon becomes delusional, believing he's fighting a battle from the past, and nearly destroys the Ch'Tang. Martok regains consciousness in time to save his ships, and orders Kor off the Bridge.
At the station, Jake urges Quark to tell Ezri that Worf is not the man for her, while Worf, on the ship, confronts Kor over his erratic behavior. He informs Kor that he's no longer up to the challenge of active duty, and removes him from the personnel roster. Although Martok and his officers taunt Kor, Martok admits that he finds no joy in Kor's downfall -- however, there's no time to contemplate the sad turn of events when ten Jem'Hadar warships begin pursuing the Klingon vessels.
Knowing that their only hope for escape is to engage the warships in battle using a single Klingon ship as a decoy, Worf prepares to lead an attack that will mean certain death for him. Martok's aide Darok overhears the plan, and relays it to Kor, who intercepts Worf on his way to battle, then tranquilizes him with a hypospray. Kor beams himself aboard the designated ship, where he dies a warrior's death in a fierce battle which inspires the respect of Martok and his crew. For his part, Quark is delighted when he learns that Ezri has no interest in reuniting with Worf after all.
158. Siege at AR-588While making a supply run to the front lines, on the barren planet AR-558, Sisko encounters Starfleet troops that have been decimated during their five-month occupation of the largest Dominion communications array in the sector. If they can figure out how it works, Starfleet will be able to tap into Dominion transmissions. In addition to daily skirmishes with the enemy, the shell-shocked forces are constantly threatened by "Houdinis" -- anti-personnel mines that "hide" in subspace, then explode without warning. Determined to help commanding officer Nadia Larkin and her troops, Sisko stuns his crew by announcing that they're staying at the site indefinitely.
The situation is grim. Jem'Hadar forces send in holographic soldiers, which draw Starfleet fire, to determine troop strength without risking casualties. Sisko decides to take action. He orders Ezri and Larkin's chief engineer Kellin to devise a way of exposing the invisible Houdinis, and against Quark's wishes, sends Nog, Larkin and a battle-hardened soldier named Reese on a scouting patrol to pinpoint the enemy's location.
Nog is instrumental in discovering the Jem'Hadar camp, where troops outnumber Sisko's forces by three to one. But while heading back to report their findings, Larkin is killed by an enemy phaser bolt and Nog is struck down. Reese rushes the injured Ferengi back to base camp, where Quark later angrily informs Sisko that Nog will lose his leg.
While Nog recuperates at a makeshift infirmary, Ezri and Kellin are able to materialize the Houdinis. Rather than disarm the mines, Sisko has them relocated to the ravine through which the enemy must pass to reach the outpost. The first wave of Jem'Hadar soldiers is destroyed when they try to attack, but soon, a swarm of enemy warriors invades the site.
As the Jem'Hadar charge continues, Starfleet troops engage in hand-to-hand combat to defend their position: Kellin dies while saving Ezri's life; Quark kills a soldier who bursts into Nog's room; and Sisko rescues Bashir from a nearly fatal attack. Later, when the battle is over and fresh reinforcements arrive, allowing Reese and the other survivors to leave, Sisko reflects on the human toll that's been paid to retain control of the outpost, and on the importance of never forgetting the soldiers who have died.
159. CovenantVedek Fala, a Bajoran monk and Kira's former teacher, pays her an unexpected visit. He gives Kira a crystal which transports her to Empok Nor, where, to her horror, she is met by her old enemy Dukat -- a Cardassian who oversaw the occupation of Bajor. He is now the leader of a Bajoran religious faction which worships the Pah-wraiths -- the corporeal enemies of Bajor's prophets. Dukat wants Kira to join his followers on the abandoned Cardassian space station.
Although Kira is suspicious of Dukat's motives, Pah-wraith convert Fala tries to convince her that the Cardassian has changed. While being held against her will, Kira meets Dukat followers Mika and Benyan, a Bajoran couple who were granted his permission to have the first baby on Empok Nor. The community's devotion to Dukat becomes clear when Kira takes aim at him with a stolen phaser, and residents shield him with their bodies, then knock her unconscious.
When Kira regains consciousness, she confronts Dukat about his long affair with her mother during the Bajoran occupation, and is stunned when he expresses regret. Their conversation is cut short by word that Mika is in labor. To everyone's surprise, Mika's baby is half-Bajoran and half-Cardassian. Dukat proclaims that the infant is a miraculous, living symbol of his covenant with the Bajoran people, though Kira is certain Dukat fathered the child.
While Kira questions Fala and Benyan about the baby's paternity, Dukat meets with Mika, who fears she won't be able to keep the explosive secret that they slept together. Desperate to cover his tracks, Dukat sets up an "accident" which nearly claims Mika's life. Kira saves her, and in front of Dukat's followers, accuses him of impregnating Mika. In response, Dukat announces that the Pah-wraiths want the group to join them -- by committing mass suicide.
Kira is locked in a room while Dukat proceeds to the temple, where his followers are ready to ingest poisonous capsules. Kira escapes, interrupts the deadly ceremony and exposes Dukat as a fraud who never intended to kill himself. After Dukat flees, a disillusioned Fala takes a fatal capsule, and the Defiant arrives to rescue Kira and the other remaining followers.
160. It's Only A Paper MoonAfter losing his leg in battle, a somber Nog returns to the space station to recuperate. The crew try their best to cheer him up, but the young ensign is struggling, both emotionally and physically, to cope with his disability, even though his new biosynthetic leg works perfectly. After pushing away those who try the most diligently to help, Nog decides to take his medical leave in the Holosuite world of 1962 Las Vegas lounge singer Vic Fontaine.
Although Rom is skeptical of his son's decision, Ezri supports Nog's desire to escape for a period. Ezri briefs the holographic Vic on Nog's condition, and explains that although Nog seems to depend on a cane, the problem is purely psychological. That evening, Nog is upset to find Jake and his date Kesha in Vic's lounge. Nog's sensitivity about his handicap erupts in an angry outburst, and he punches Jake. In response, Vic throws Nog out of his club.
A chastened Nog apologizes to Vic and offers to straighten out the singer's tangled financial affairs. Later, Ezri comes looking for Nog to discuss the incident, and to persuade him to leave the illusory world of the Holosuite. Nog refuses, and threatens to resign his commission if Ezri tries to force him out. What's more, Nog announces his plan to expand Vic's "business" by building a new casino.
While observing Nog from a discreet distance, Ezri notices that he's no longer limping, nor does he need to use a cane. He's even upbeat when Rom and Leeta visit him at the club. Ezri congratulates Vic on Nog's progress, but intimates that it's time for Nog to come back to reality. Vic picks up Ezri's cue and tells Nog to leave. When he protests, Vic abruptly ends the program.
At first, Nog tries to reactivate the Holosuite, but O'Brien informs him that Vic controls the program. Vic reappears, and despite Nog's reluctance to leave the safety of Vic's virtual world, the singer convinces Nog that he must. Later, Nog visits Vic to thank him for his help, and to surprise Fontaine with the news that his uncle Quark has agreed to keep Vic and his Holosuite club running around the clock -- in essence, giving the lounge singer a "real" life.
161. Prodigal DaughterSisko is furious when he learns O'Brien has vanished while on a secret trip to New Sydney, where he was searching for the widow of a criminal named Bilby, whom he befriended while undercover. Because Ezri's family owns a mining operation in the system, Sisko asks her to help find O'Brien. Ezri returns home, where she's reunited with her domineering mother, Yanas Tigan -- a shrewd businesswoman -- and her brothers Norvo and Janel, who work for the business.
Ezri's visit allows her to catch up with Norvo, a sensitive artist unsuited for the mines and ruled by his mother's iron hand. Ezri's heated criticism of Yanas' tyrannical treatment of Norvo is cut short by the arrival of O'Brien, who's been rescued by the local police from a run-in with the Orion Syndicate, of which Bilby was an operative. He announces that he found Morica Bilby -- dead.
O'Brien contends that Bilby's wife was killed by the Syndicate, a theory dismissed by a police lieutenant who insists that the criminals would never murder the widow of one of their own. Later, a self-described "commodities broker" named Bokar sees O'Brien in the mines and warns Janel that O'Brien's life will be in danger if he doesn't leave immediately.
Sensing Bokar may be a member of the Syndicate, O'Brien acquires Ezri's permission to check the mining company's financial records. He's stunned to learn that Morica Bilby was on the Tigan payroll at the time of her death -- a fact which links the Syndicate to Ezri's family. O'Brien informs a disbelieving Ezri that someone close to her may be involved in Morica's murder.
Ezri orders O'Brien to withhold his findings from the police until she speaks with her family. Confronted with the truth, Janel admits that Morica was on the payroll as a favor to Bokar and the Syndicate, which bailed the mining company out of a financial crisis, but he denies killing Morica. Angered that her son struck such a corrupt deal behind her back, Yanas doubts his innocence. To everyone's surprise, Norvo confesses, saying he took action after Morica tried to extort more money from the family. As a result, Norvo is sentenced to 30 years in prison, while Yanas is left wondering what role she played in his downfall.
162. The Emperor`s New Cloak
Grand Negus Zek, the ruler of the Ferengi empire and paramour to Quark and Rom's mother, disappears while on a business trip to the Alternate Universe. Ezri's counterpart from that universe delivers word that Zek is a prisoner of the evil Alliance and will be killed unless Quark can secure a cloaking device, which renders a ship invisible. Quark and Rom steal one from a Klingon vessel, then accompany Ezri back to the Alternate Universe to retrieve Zek
Once there, Rom, Ezri and Quark are held captive by Bashir and O'Brien's Alternate Universe doubles, who are rebels in the resistance movement against the Alliance. The two intercept the cloaking device before it falls into the hands of the enemy, but later, an Alternate Universe Ferengi named Brunt retrieves the device and frees Quark and his fellow captives.
Quark, Ezri, Rom and Brunt bring the cloaking device to the Alliance leader -- Worf's counterpart -- who rules from his Klingon flagship. With possession of the device, the Alliance will soon be able to crush the rebellion. Unfortunately, Worf, known in this universe by the title of Regent, not only refuses to turn Zek over in exchange for the coveted mechanism, he throws Quark and Rom into Zek's prison cell. The mercenary Ezri has betrayed them.
Brunt tries to convince Ezri to lobby the Intendent, Kira's mirror universe double, for Quark and Rom's release. The Intendent then kills Brunt, branding him a traitor. Rom is called in to activate the cloaking device, and Ezri hints that compliance is the key to Quark and Rom's survival. Yet as soon as the device is operational, the Regent orders his enforcer Garak to kill the prisoners.
Meanwhile, with Bashir and O'Brien in pursuit of Rom and Quark, the Regent orders an attack on the rebels' ship, which the cloaked Klingon vessel has been trailing. But once the assault begins, Worf's ship loses power: Rom sabotaged its primary systems when he activated the cloaking device. Following her conscience, Ezri prevents Garak from killing Quark and Rom, while O'Brien and Bashir force the Regent to surrender. Although Ezri allows the Intendent to escape, Quark and Rom are assured a safe return home with Zek.
163. Field of FireA young lieutenant named Ilario is found dead in his quarters. An investigation reveals he was shot by a TR-116 rifle, a weapon developed but never mass-produced by Starfleet. Meanwhile, Ezri confronts one of Dax's previous incarnations in a dream: Joran, a self-professed murderer, urges Ezri to channel his disturbing memories and enable him to assist her in apprehending Ilario's killer. When Ezri awakens, she learns that a second murder has occurred.
The latest victim is a science officer who was also fatally shot by a bullet from a TR-116. Sisko enlists Ezri's aid in tracking the sniper, who seems to be targeting officers. Desperate to end the killing spree, Ezri summons Joran in the hope that he can help her understand the murderer's mind and thereby stop him.
Ezri finds it disturbing to work with Joran, a remorseless predator who exhorts her to tap into her killer instincts. Joran directs Ezri to the slain officers' quarters to search for clues which could provide insight into the killer's psychology, but she finds nothing suspicious. Later, in Quark's, Ezri sees an officer being pursued by Security. Assuming he's the murderer, the angry Ezri knocks him to the ground and raises a knife to stab him, but Odo disarms her.
Shaken by the realization that she almost killed a man -- who turns out to be unrelated to the slayings -- Ezri is then rocked by the news that a third officer has been murdered. Ezri and Joran investigate the latest victim's room, and Ezri uncovers the link between them all: each is laughing in photos displayed in their own respective quarters. She surmises that the killer is probably a Vulcan who was traumatized by an extreme personal loss which exacerbated his or her natural distaste for those who show such emotions as laughter. Later, Joran spots a Vulcan science officer and coolly informs Ezri that he is the killer.
Ezri identifies the Vulcan as Chu'lak, and learns he recently survived a devastating massacre by the Jem'Hadar. Spurred on by Joran, Ezri shoots Chu'lak after he takes aim at her with a TR-116. The wounded Vulcan confesses to the murders, but rather than finish him off as Joran urges, Ezri summons medical aid. With the case closed, Ezri reburies Joran's memories within her, knowing she must remain vigilant about her submerged violent instincts.
164. ChimeraOdo returns from a conference with an unexpected guest: a Changeling who tracked and boarded his Runabout. Odo recognizes him as one of "the hundred" shapeshifters who were, like himself, sent out as infants into the galaxy to learn about other species. Back at the station, Sisko warily releases the visitor to Odo's custody. The Changeling, known as Laas, queries Odo about their unique species -- with which Laas has made no contact since his infancy -- and "the Link," a Changeling ritual that allows shapeshifters to meld with one another and thereby form a single, sentient collective entity.
After Odo informs Kira that he has linked with Laas, Kira, worried that Laas may be a Founder intending to lure Odo back to the Dominion ranks, asks to meet him. Odo introduces Laas to Kira, Bashir, Ezri and O'Brien. Unfortunately, Laas mistrusts humanoids, insisting to Odo that, in all of his prior encounters, they have been intolerant of shapeshifters, and he consequently treats the four with blatant hostility. Privately, Laas urges Odo to join him in seeking out "the hundred" to form a new Link that will allow them to live freely as Changelings.
When Odo recounts the conversation with Kira, she's troubled by the fact that Odo didn't refuse Laas' offer outright, though Odo assures her he's happy, and decides he will stay. Later, after being harassed for changing form in public, Laas argues heatedly with a pair of Klingons who brutally attack him. Angered and defensive, Laas fatally stabs one of them.
Odo learns that the Klingons plan to prosecute Laas for the murder. He suspects the case is driven by anti-Changeling prejudice, and protests that Laas will never get a fair trial. When Odo visits Laas in his holding cell, the Changeling taunts Odo by claiming that he is accepted by his friends only because he has assumed their form. Talking with Kira, Odo admits that he sometimes wonders what it might be like to live among his own people. Wanting Odo to be happy, Kira allows Laas to escape from his cell.
While Sisko orders a massive search for the fugitive, Kira tells Odo where he can find Laas. Odo goes to Laas' hiding place, but to the Changeling's dismay, Odo explains that he's not going with him because he loves Kira. Laas departs alone to continue his search, and Odo returns to Kira's waiting arms.
165. Badda-Bing Badda-BangWhile relaxing in Vic's Las Vegas holosuite lounge, O'Brien and Bashir are surprised by the arrival of mobster Frankie Eyes, who announces that he's bought Vic's hotel. After Frankie fires Vic, the crew learns that Frankie was written into the holosuite program by Vic's designer. Upset by Frankie's treatment of Vic, and by the knowledge that the lounge's atmosphere will now change, the crew decides it must rid the program of Frankie. But to accomplish this task, they realize, he must be eliminated in a way that is period-specific to Fontaine's era: 1962. The task takes on greater urgency when Vic is beaten up.
Vic reveals that he was assaulted by Frankie's bodyguard Cicci. Eager to discover Frankie's weak spot, Odo and Kira go undercover in the casino to do some research. Frankie takes a liking to Kira, and while the two flirt, Odo learns that Frankie works for crime boss Carl Zeemo, who expects to receive from Frankie a large skim of the hotel's huge daily profits. The crew hatches a plan to rob the casino, hoping it will cause Zeemo to "bump off" Frankie in retaliation.
The plot is set in motion when the crew infiltrates the casino staff, and Vic convinces Frankie to let him bring his high rolling contacts into the casino -- who, unbeknownst to Frankie, are Starfleet officers! Meanwhile, Sisko resents Kasidy's participation in the plan, admitting he hasn't visited Vic's because of how blacks were treated in Las Vegas in the 1960s. She urges him to reconsider, citing as reason the comfort she and Jake have both felt in the lounge, and soon Sisko agrees to play a pivotal role as a big-money gambler.
Vic walks the crew through their complex plan, to be executed the following night while Zeemo is in town, and which allows them only six minutes to pull off the heist. Though all crew members are well-prepared for their roles, the actual evening presents several glitches to the plan -- most notably when Nog discovers that the lock on the safe is of a different make than expected. While he struggles to crack the lock, Zeemo arrives early to pick up his cash.
Noticing Zeemo's premature entrance, Vic does his best to stall him, while the other crew members fabricate enough stories and distractions to allow a successful Nog and Odo to slip away with the cash. After Zeemo discovers an empty safe, his thugs lead Frankie and Cicci out of the casino -- leaving Vic to his cherished role as lounge owner and the crew to theirs as satisfied patrons.
166. Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges On the eve of Dr. Bashir's departure for a conference on the Romulan homeworld, he's visited by Sloan, the director of Section Thirty-one, a secret and unsanctioned extremist entity within Starfleet Intelligence. Sloan asks a reluctant Bashir to gather information on the Romulan leadership. Bashir reports the request to Sisko, who worries that although Starfleet Command has officially condemned Section Thirty-one, someone in its membership may actually be protecting the group. After consulting with Admiral Ross, Sisko advises Bashir to play along with Sloan in order to determine Sloan's motivations.
En route to the conference, Bashir and Ross run into Sloan, who is posing under an assumed identity. Later, Sloan gives Bashir the job of diagnosing whether or not Koval, a key Romulan who opposes the Federation Alliance, is suffering from a degenerative disorder. Sloan hopes to use that knowledge to block Koval's assignment to the Romulans' powerful Continuing Committee.
Shortly after arriving on Romulus, Bashir meets Koval. When Sloan queries Bashir about Koval's health, it becomes clear to Bashir and Ross that Sloan plans to assassinate Koval by accelerating his illness. Ross vows to arrest Sloan to prevent the deadly plot from moving forward, but to Bashir's dismay, Ross is apparently felled by an aneurysm before detaining Sloan.
With Ross incapacitated, Bashir shares his suspicions about Sloan's intent to assassinate Koval with Senator Cretak, and presses her to access top secret documents from Koval's database to help thwart the murder. Meanwhile, a wary Koval turns the tables on Bashir by luring him into an interrogation, where he uses painful, but ineffective, tactics to ascertain for whom the doctor is working.
Bashir is brought before the Continuing Committee, where he learns that Cretak was arrested for trying to tap into Koval's database. What's more, Bashir is led to believe that Section Thirty-one is nothing more than an elaborate cover for Sloan's personal desire to avenge the death of his mentor. But after Sloan is vaporized by Koval while trying to escape, Bashir confronts Ross. The admiral admits that Koval is a Romulan "mole" working for the Federation and that Sloan is still alive -- and still running Section Thirty-one, which "officially" doesn't exist.
167. PenumbraAs Sisko revels in the purchase of Bajoran land, where he hopes to finally build his dream house, word reaches the station that Worf is missing in action after a fierce battle with the Dominion. Due to strategic concerns, Sisko calls off the search party before Worf can be found. Overcome by memories of Jadzia's life with Worf, Ezri steals a runabout and goes in search of Worf herself.
Sisko orders Ezri to return, but she refuses -- and instead traces a possible route Worf may have taken in his escape pod. That evening, Sisko shows Kasidy a model of his dream home and asks her to marry him. She joyously accepts. Meanwhile, Ezri locates Worf's pod and beams him aboard.
At Dominion headquarters, the rapidly deteriorating Female Shapeshifter makes it clear to Weyoun that she expects him to find a cure for the disease plaguing her people. Aboard the station, Jake is honored when Sisko asks him to be his best man. Traveling in the runabout, Ezri's strained attempts to converse with Worf are interrupted by an attack from the Jem'Hadar. Forced to abandon ship, they beam safely down to a planet in the Goralis system, but neglect to pack the equipment necessary for alerting the station to their location.
Sisko and Kasidy discover that their plans for a simple wedding may go awry because the Bajorans expect the captain, whom they consider their Emissary, to hold a lavish ceremony. Meanwhile, Dukat unexpectedly appears in Damar's quarters on Cardassia to request a favor. After several days stranded alone on Goralis, Worf and Ezri's conflicting emotions culminate in a passionate encounter. Later, they're confronted by two Breen soldiers, who open fire with their phaser rifles, blasting the two -- who fall to the ground unconscious.
Worf and Ezri awake in a cell aboard a Breen ship, unsure of why they've been taken prisoner. In the meantime, Dukat, now surgically altered to look like a Bajoran, plots his next move. Back at the station, Sisko is summoned by the Sarah Prophet, who warns him that he must not marry Kasidy. After Sisko protests, she ominously announces that his greatest trial is about to begin.
168. Til Death Do Us PartKai Winn arrives at the station to "assist" Sisko with his wedding, and he admits the Prophets warned he would face a great trial in his future. Later, Winn has a long-awaited vision from the Prophets, who reveal that a "Guide" will soon visit her; the Prophets hope that, together, the two will lead Bajor's Restoration. Shortly before Sisko tells Kasidy that they must call off their wedding, Dukat, surgically altered to look like a Bajoran, appears on the Promenade.
Devastated by the break-up, Kasidy prepares to leave the station. Winn offers her regrets to Sisko, but happily reveals that the Prophets spoke to her in a vision. Meanwhile, Ezri and Worf are still being held captive by Breen soldiers, who drag Worf out of his cell. Posing as a simple farmer named Anjohl, Dukat calls on Winn, and convinces her that he is the Guide the Prophets promised.
Sisko confides in Kira about why he can't marry Kasidy, and she supports his decision to follow the will of the Prophets. Meanwhile, Weyoun and the Female Shapeshifter, who still suffers from the disease that is killing her people, travel on a Jem'Hadar battleship to a rendezvous point. Worf is returned to his cell after being tortured by Breen interrogators, who take away Ezri.
Kai Winn dines with Dukat, and is pleased when Dukat makes it clear that he doesn't understand why Sisko has been chosen as their Emissary. She's also astonished when Anjohl "reveals" that she had a hand in saving his life during the Cardassian occupation of Bajor; this news only further validates Winn's belief that the two are part of the Prophets' greater plan. Later, Dukat goes to Winn's quarters to report a sign from the Prophets, then they kiss.
Unwilling to lose the woman he loves, Sisko defies the Prophets and again proposes to Kasidy -- who makes him promise he won't change his mind this time. The Sarah Prophet warns Sisko that, should he proceed with the marriage, he will know only sorrow -- but he marries Kasidy in a hasty ceremony anyway. As the Jem'Hadar ship speeds toward its destination, Breen soldiers are transported with Worf and Ezri to the Jem'Hadar bridge. They are shocked when Weyoun announces the birth of an alliance between the Dominion and the Breen.
169. Strange BedfellowsWorf and Ezri are beamed aboard a Jem'Hadar ship, where the Female Shapeshifter and Thot Gor, the respective leaders of the new Dominion-Breen alliance, prepare to sign a treaty designed to destroy the Federation and end the war. However, Damar objects to signing it because of concessions, made to Thot Gor, which could harm Cardassia. Meanwhile, Kai Winn and Dukat seal their bond by pledging to restore Bajor -- even if the Emissary stands in their way.
Kasidy has difficulty adjusting to her new role as the Emissary's wife, and is frustrated when Sisko asks her to preside over a special blessing ceremony. On Cardassia, Ezri and Worf learn that Weyoun and Damar plan to put them to death. Enraged, after being taunted with the possibility that Ezri may harbor feelings for Bashir, Worf kills Weyoun. Back at the station, Winn has a disturbing vision of the evil Pah-wraiths -- the enemies of her people's Prophets.
Already skeptical of the new alliance, Damar is uncomfortable when the new Weyoun clone allows Thot Gor classified access, while elsewhere, Worf and Ezri break out of their cell, but are quickly apprehended. On Deep Space Nine, Kasidy discusses her situation with Kira, and Bashir leads O'Brien to believe he's attracted to Ezri. In Winn's quarters, she angrily orders Dukat to leave after he urges her to turn away from the Prophets and worship the Pah-wraiths.
Eager to prove her loyalty to the Prophets, Winn summons Kira, who advises her to step down. Back on Cardassia, a devastating battle for Cardassian troops leaves Damar feeling betrayed by the alliance. Later, on the eve of their execution, Ezri asks Worf if he loves her, but he evades the question.
To Sisko's delight, Kasidy agrees to preside over the special ceremony. O'Brien gets Bashir to admit he cares for Ezri, while Worf confesses he doesn't love Ezri as he loved Jadzia. Ezri, however, realizes she has feelings for Bashir. But as they're led to the execution chamber, Damar shocks them by arranging an escape route and imploring the two to tell the Federation they have an ally on Cardassia. On the station, the balance of power shifts yet again when Kai Winn, convinced she's been abandoned by the Prophets, tells Dukat she's ready to walk the path of the Pah-wraiths -- and the two villains vow to overcome all foes.
170. The Changing Face of EvilThe crew's relief at Worf and Ezri's safe return is tempered by reports that the Breen have attacked Starfleet Headquarters on Earth. While Dominion and Breen commanders exult in their sneak attack, their supposed ally -- Cardassian leader Damar -- secretly plots to free his homeland from Dominion occupation. Meanwhile, on Bajor, Dukat tells Kai Winn she must release the Pah-wraiths -- the non-corporeal enemies of her people's gods -- from the planet's fire caves by reading the ancient forbidden text of the Kosst Amojan.
Ezri and Worf discuss Ezri's attraction to Bashir, and she wrestles with telling Bashir how she feels. Ignoring the warnings of her assistant Solbor, Winn opens the Kosst Amojan, and is surprised to find blank pages inside. Dukat thinks it's a trick, but Winn believes the words are just hidden and she must determine how to reveal them.
At Quark's, Bashir asks Ezri why she's been avoiding him since her return, but he's called away before Ezri can confess her feelings. A short time later, Sisko receives word that the Breen have launched a counteroffensive against the Federation's lone foothold in Dominion territory: the Chin'toka System.
Sisko and his crew depart on the Defiant to rendezvous with Federation ships in the Chin'toka System. Winn is upset that she still hasn't found the answers she needs in the sacred texts, while in Damar's quarters, he makes final preparations for the Cardassian offensive. The Female Shapeshifter and Weyoun head to the Chin'toka System to observe the Breen-Federation showdown.
During a fierce battle with the Breen, the crew is forced to abandon ship. Although they escape unharmed, the Federation loses its Cardassian foothold -- and the Defiant is destroyed. Back on Bajor, Winn murders Solbor after he exposes Dukat's true identity and their devotion to the Pah-wraiths. When drops of Solbor's blood fall on the pages of the Kosst Amojan and reveal Bajoran writing, Dukat urges Winn to seize the power the Pah-wraiths are offering her. The crew monitors a transmission by Damar, who announces that Cardassian rebels have attacked Dominion outposts. Sisko knows that the Federation must help Damar, who could be the key to saving the Alpha Quadrant.
171. When It Rains...Eager to aid Damar's rebel movement on his homeworld against the Dominion, Sisko orders Kira to put her antipathy for the Cardassian aside and train his staff in resistance tactics. Bashir asks Odo to assist in his medical project by donating the Changeling-equivalent of a skin sample. On Bajor, Kai Winn studies the forbidden text of the Kosst Amojan to learn how to release the evil Pah-wraiths. Hoping to ease Cardassian sentiment against the Bajoran Kira, Sisko gives her a Starfleet commission and uniform.
Damar and his Cardassian assistant Gul Rusot await Kira's arrival, realizing she has the skills they need to prevail. General Martok prepares to be inducted into the Klingon Order of Kahless by Chancellor Gowron. Bashir and Ezri meet, but he incorrectly assumes she loves Worf. Studying Odo's sample leads Bashir to conclude that Odo is infected with the deadly Founders' disease.
Although shaken by Bashir's findings, Odo insists he and Kira proceed with the Cardassian mission. In Kai Winn's office, Dukat is blinded when he sneaks a look at the Kosst Amojan. Hoping to find a cure, Bashir unsuccessfully tries to get Odo's medical records from Starfleet Medical. Following Martok's induction, Gowron betrays him by overtaking his command of the Klingon forces.
At the rebel outpost, Damar's staff bristles at some of Odo and Kira's strategic advice. With Sisko's help, Bashir secures Odo's medical file, only to realize it's fake. To their horror, O'Brien and Bashir theorize Odo's records were altered by Section Thirty-one, an insurrectionary group within Starfleet, which doesn't want Bashir to cure the disease. Later, one of Damar's officers tries to provoke Kira by reminding her of Odo's past "collaboration" with the enemy, while privately, Odo notes the first signs of the deadly disease taking hold.
Kai Winn puts the blind Dukat on the streets as punishment for defying the Pah-wraiths. Martok is shocked when Gowron, hoping to restore the glory of the Klingon Empire, selfishly proposes sending far-outnumbered Klingon troops into Domionion territory. Bashir suspects Section Thirty-one created the virus and infected Odo as a carrier in a genocidal plot. With O'Brien's help, Bashir vows to discover the cure he feels certain Section Thirty-one has in its possession.
172. Tacking Into the Wind While Kira reviews tactical plans with the Cardassian Resistance leaders, Odo returns from a mission, weakened by the disease that's ravaging his race. At the station, Bashir works through the night, trying to find a cure for Odo, while Sisko reproves Chancellor Gowron for reckless attacks which left General Martok injured. Back at rebel headquarters, Kira, eager to discover why the Federation's Klingon ships aren't damaged by Breen-Dominion technology, proposes stealing the enemy's weaponry so that the Federation can engineer a countermeasure.
Meanwhile, as Martok undergoes surgery, Worf tells Sisko of a plan for dealing with Gowron's self-serving offensives. At rebel headquarters, Rusot tries to provoke leader Kira, who was once an enemy, by claiming that her tactics are motivated by a desire to kill Cardassians rather than to conquer the Dominion. Later, the Cardassian Garak advises Kira to kill Rusot before he kills her.
Back at the station, Worf urges the recovering General Martok to challenge Gowron before he ruins the Klingon Empire -- but Martok refuses to defy the ruler of his people. En route to secure the Breen weapon, the Cardassian Resistance leader Damar learns that his family was killed by the Dominion.
At Quark's, Worf confesses to Ezri that he was wrong for asking Martok to revolt against Gowron; but Ezri disagrees, contending that corruption among the Klingon leadership could prove fatal to the Empire. Damar, Rusot, and Garak escort Kira, posing as a prisoner, onto a Jem'Hadar ship which contains the Breen technology. Morphing into the Female Shapeshifter, Odo helps them overtake the vessel, but their plans for a quick getaway are slowed when they learn that the energy-dampening weapon is still being installed.
Kira refuses to leave without the weapon. At the station, O'Brien and Bashir hatch a plot against Section Thirty-one, which might lure an operative who holds Odo's cure. Back on the Jem'Hadar bridge, Damar kills a defiant Rusot. Fully united, Kira, Garak and Damar depart with the Breen weapon. In the Klingon war room, Worf denounces Gowron's corrupt leadership and, in a fierce battle, kills Gowron and declares Martok the rightful leader of the Empire. At Quark's, Ezri and Worf toast the truly honorable Chancellor Martok.
173. Extreme MeasuresWhen Kira brings a terminally ill Odo back to the station for medical treatment, he orders her to leave him and return to help the Cardassian Resistance. Later, O'Brien and Bashir inform Sisko of their plan to lure a Section Thirty-one operative, who may hold the cure to Odo's disease, to the station. The scheme works when Sloan, the director of the unsanctioned Starfleet extremist organization that infected Odo -- as part of a genocidal plot against his people -- arrives. But when Bashir places a Romulan mind probe on the agent, who refuses to give information regarding a cure, Sloan attempts suicide in the science lab by activating a neuro-depolarizing device in his brain.
Although Bashir manages to stabilize Sloan, he has suffered severe brain damage and the doctor expects him to die within an hour. Refusing to give up, Bashir masterminds a device that will allow him to link his mind to Sloan's and discern the cure. O'Brien, worried that Bashir will be incapable of returning from the mind-link, insists on joining him.
Inside Sloan's brain, O'Brien and Bashir meet Sloan's wife, who hands Sloan a recorded file which supposedly contains the cure. But when Sloan offers it to Bashir, a phaser bolt hits him in the back; the shot has been fired by a second Sloan, who vanishes with the file, leaving O'Brien and Bashir alone in Sloan's mind.
In the science lab, Sisko and Ezri discover the unconscious bodies of O'Brien, Bashir and Sloan, while, inside Sloan's brain, O'Brien and Bashir seek a way out -- but before they can escape, the two men are confronted by another Section Thirty-one operative, who injures them with phaser fire. Intent on escaping death, the two men appear to regain consciousness. Back at the science lab, Bashir insists they must reenter Sloan's brain -- but the agent dies.
Soon, Bashir and O'Brien realize that Sloan's mind is playing tricks on them: they're not in the science lab after all; they're still inside his brain. Knowing the clock is running out, they search Sloan's mind for clues and, finally, find the information they desperately want. The two escape just before Sloan really dies -- and deliver to a grateful Odo the hypospray which saves his life.
174. The Dogs of WarWhile Sisko takes command of a new ship named in honor of the Defiant, Kira, Garak and Damar barely escape a Dominion ambush on Cardassia and are forced into hiding. Quark receives a static-filled message from Grand Nagus Zek, the Ferengi leader, that he's being named Zek's successor. Now cured of the deadly Changeling virus, Odo is outraged to learn that he was infected by Section Thirty-one -- an unsanctioned extremist organization within the Federation -- but promises Sisko he won't take matters into his own hands.
Over lunch, Bashir and Ezri confess their mutual attraction, but decide to remain friends. On Cardassia, Weyoun publicly announces that Damar and his collaborators were killed shortly after arriving on the planet. Although Damar is still very much alive, he, Kira, and Garak are stunned by the news that Dominion forces have eliminated all eighteen rebel bases of the Resistance.
To Quark's horror, he learns that Ferenginar has instituted democratic changes -- which he's determined to reverse. Back on Cardassia, Kira realizes that Damar's "death" has catapulted him to legendary status, and urges him to openly rally the Cardassian people against the Dominion. Meanwhile, the Female Shapeshifter devises a strategic retreat of Dominion forces to Cardassian space.
At the station, Quark agrees to sell his bar to Rom, and vows he'll reject his new position unless Zek lets Quark rule in the traditional Ferengi way. In the meantime, Garak slips into enemy Jem'Hadar barracks; on his way out, he's detained by guards. Kira and Damar watch from a distance, alarmed, because a bomb which Garak planted inside is set to detonate at any moment.
The trio overpowers the guards moments before the bomb explodes, and Damar galvanizes a crowd gathered near the scene. At the station, Bashir and Ezri share a passionate kiss; to everyone's surprise, Zek taps Rom as the new Grand Nagus. Sisko, Admiral Ross, and Chancellor Martok discuss the Dominion withdrawal and agree to attack the enemy at its new defense perimeter within Cardassian territory. Later, Kasidy tells Sisko that she's pregnant, and he silently shares her concern that the Prophets may react negatively to the blessed event.
175/176. What You Leave BehindOn the eve of battle, Bashir and Ezri spend the night together. Later, with Sisko in command, the Defiant joins the Federation-Klingon-Romulan fleet as the invasion of Cardassia is launched. On Cardassia Prime, Kira, Damar and Garak discuss Resistance plans to sabotage the Dominion's power and communication centers. On Bajor, Kai Winn asks Dukat to join her when she releases the Pah-wraiths from the Fire Caves, and Dukat vows to destroy Sisko.
While Dukat and Winn enter the Fire Caves, the first power outage strikes on Cardassia. The Female Shapeshifter realizes that the Cardassian people are rising up against the Dominion -- and she promises severe retaliation.
Monitoring events from their basement hideout, Kira, Damar and Garak are horrified when Weyoun announces that, as punishment for every act of sabotage committed by rebel forces, one Cardassian city will be leveled. Reacting to the decree, Kira decides they must attack Dominion headquarters. Entering Cardassian space aboard the Defiant, Sisko prepares his crew to engage the Dominion-Cardassian-Breen fleet in battle.
As the Federation forces strike, the Defiant is rocked by enemy fire. Back on Cardassia, Jem'Hadar soldiers burst into Damar's hideout. Suffering heavy losses in space, Sisko, Admiral Ross and Chancellor Martok strategically realign their attack. Meanwhile, word of Damar's capture reaches the Female Shapeshifter, who orders Weyoun to have Damar, Kira and Garak executed.
Before the order can be carried out, Cardassian soldiers revolt and rescue the rebel trio. Meanwhile, in the heat of battle, the Defiant crew is elated when Cardassian ships switch sides and attack the Dominion fleet. In retaliation, the Female Shapeshifter orders the complete extermination of the Cardassian race -- and a Dominion retreat to Cardassia Prime. Emboldened by the Cardassian about-face, Sisko, Ross and Martok decide to press forward in an attempt to end the war once and for all. On Bajor, Winn chants from the Kosst Amojan, brings the Fire Caves to life, and attempts to release the Pah-wraiths.