Playing God
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 28 Feb, 1994

[Airlock]

BASHIR: You know, if there's anything I can do for you while you're here
ARJIN: Oh, you've already been helpful. Just hearing about Dax makes me feel a little less nervous about the whole thing.
BASHIR: Really? There's no reason to be nervous. Jadzia will be a wonderful host, Well, that is, she is a wonderful host in a Trill manner of speaking. I'm sure you'll learn a lot from her.

[Corridor]

ARJIN: She sounds very different from the other Dax's I've heard about.
BASHIR: In what fashion?
ARJIN: Let me put it this way. When I was told that Jadzia Dax had been designated my field docent, I asked for reassignment.
BASHIR: You're joking. Why?
ARJIN: Because Dax is known for breaking initiates.
BASHIR: Breaking them?
ARJIN: I looked up the records. Over the past two hundred years, Dax has personally eliminated fifty seven host candidates from the programme.

[Turbolift]

ARJIN: I suppose it's too late to introduce myself to her.
BASHIR: Too late? I doubt it. Jadzia's a night owl. Computer, locate Lieutenant Dax.
COMPUTER: Lieutenant Dax is on level seven, section five.
BASHIR: Ah. Of course. Then take us to level seven, section five. That's the computer's way of saying she's in Quark's.

[Promenade]

ARJIN: Over five thousand candidates qualify for the training programme each year. Only three hundred symbionts are available on the average. It doesn't take much for one of us to get knocked out of consideration. The administrators only want hosts who are

[Quark's]

DAX: Confront.
(It's the after-hours tongo game, and Dax has won)
ARJIN: The best and the brightest
DAX: It's the ears every time he goes to acquire he scratches behind his left ear like this.
(And she scratches behind Quark's ear.)
QUARK: Don't play with my ears, unless you're serious about it.
BASHIR: Jadzia, you have a guest.
DAX: Oh. You're not supposed to be here till tomorrow.
ARJIN: Yes, ma'am. I caught a transport from Starbase forty one a day early.
BASHIR: We found ourselves sitting next to each other on the way here. I've been telling Arjin all about you.
DAX: Really.
BASHIR: Well, not quite all about you.
(Bashir leaves)
QUARK: Do you play tongo, Arjin?
ARJIN: Tongo? No, sir.
QUARK: Then, you'll have to leave, Arjin. The risk's to you, Lieutenant.
DAX: Shame on you, Quark. Where are your manners. This is a Trill initiate you're speaking to. Of course he doesn't play Tongo.
QUARK: I beg your pardon.
DAX: So, we'll have to teach him.
QUARK: Actually, it is very easy to learn. How much money did you bring with you? Give the young fellow a seat. You, out!
ARJIN: It was a very long trip. I think perhaps I should
DAX: Oh, of course, you're tired. I'll take you to your quarters. Roll me away, fellas.
QUARK: We can't roll you away.
DAX: They're just sore losers.
QUARK: You can't quit now. You just won! Female!

[Corridor]

(Arjin rings a doorbell. The door is opened by a well muscled very male alien.)
TRAJOK: Yes?
ARJIN: Oh. I'm sorry. I thought this was Lieutenant Dax's quarters.
TRAJOK: She's in the shower.
ARJIN: Oh. Well. In that case.
TRAJOK: Is she expecting you?
ARJIN: Yes. My name is Arjin. She told me I should be here at
DAX [OC]: Is that Arjin?
(Dax is dressed in a towel, combing her hair)
DAX: You're early again, Arjin. We're going to have to work on that.
ARJIN: I can come back.
DAX: Don't be silly. Come in. I'll only be a minute. It always takes me longer to get ready as a female.
TRAJOK: I have to go. I have to be at Calondia Four by tomorrow
DAX: When's my rematch?
TRAJOK: I'll be back next week.
(He kisses her hand and heads off down the corridor)
DAX: It was fun. Brutal, but fun. Safe trip.

[Dax's quarters]

DAX: The replicator makes a decent citrus blend.
ARJIN: Thanks, but I've already had something to eat.
DAX: Would you get me a Black Hole?
(Dax goes into her bedroom)
ARJIN: A what?
DAX [OC]: A Black Hole. It's a Ferengi drink. A bartender I've known for a hundred years introduced it to Curzon. Or was it Lela? Well, it was ages ago. Try one. You might like it.
ARJIN: Computer, Black Hole.
DAX [OC]: Oh, my muscles are so sore. Did you ever wrestle Galeo-Manada style, Arjin?
(Arjin gives the drink a tentative sniff)
ARJIN: Wrestle?
DAX [OC]: You should. It's a great way to start the day. It makes you more alert. I'll set you up with Trajok. He's a great coach.
ARJIN: Okay.
(Dax comes back in fully dressed and takes the drink)
DAX: Better. So, you don't play Tongo, you don't wrestle. What are we going to do while you're here?
ARJIN: Well, I was under the impression that field training consisted of
DAX: I know all about field training. Jadzia just went through it a few years ago.
ARJIN: Yes, ma'am.
DAX: Arjin, if you truly want to become a Trill host someday, you'll never call me ma'am again
ARJIN: Yes, Lieutenant.
DAX: Why don't you try Jadzia.
ARJIN: If you think that's appropriate.
DAX: Oh, I'm sure it isn't appropriate at all. But then, I hate to be appropriate.

[Ops]

(O'Brien is down in a conduit, and bumping his head.)
O'BRIEN: Ow! Nothing!
(Kira finds another ops location with her tricorder.)
KIRA: Over here, Chief.
(O'Brien takes off a panel where the lights are flickering.)
O'BRIEN: No. All right, come to papa.
SISKO: Major?
KIRA: Voles, sir.
SISKO: Voles?
KIRA: A Cardassian legacy.
O'BRIEN: They weren't bothering us until we started moving into areas of the station that they've been hiding in. Now they're spreading out all over the place.
(He pulls out a piece of gnawed cable)
O'BRIEN: They seem to be attracted to electromagnetic fields. Give me a hand, Major, will you?
SISKO: Phasers on stun, Mister O'Brien. I want those voles taken alive.
DAX: Benjamin, I'd like you to meet Arjin, the host candidate I told you about. Commander Benjamin Sisko.
ARJIN: Sir.
(Now she points at a pair of bottoms sticking out from under a console)
DAX: And that's our first officer Major Kira, and Chief Engineer O'Brien. Conducting repairs?
SISKO: Chasing Cardassian voles.
DAX: Really? I've never seen a Cardassian vole.
KIRA: Be my guest.
(Kira and Dax swap places.)
SISKO: So, you're the one who picked the black marble.
ARJIN: Sir?
SISKO: Field training with Dax was the nightmare of the initiate corps.
DAX [OC]: That was Curzon Dax.
(Zap! Eeek.)
DAX: Gotcha! Arjin, here.
(Voles are big, half a metre excluding tail, with gargoyle faces and tufts of hair)

[Runabout Mekong]

(WHOOSH)
(Flying through the wormhole)
DAX: Spectacular, isn't it?
ARJIN: It's amazing.
(WHOOSH into the Gamma quadrant)
DAX: Computer, play something by Frenchotte.
ARJIN: Frenchotte?
DAX: A self-exiled Romulan. I collect forgotten composers. Feel like taking the controls?
ARJIN: I've never flown a Federation runabout before.
DAX: These things practically fly themselves. You have third level flight experience, don't you?
ARJIN: Actually, I just finished fifth level last month.
DAX: Fifth! I didn't finish third level until
ARJIN: Your last year of training.
DAX: You've been studying up on me, Arjin. I can't say that I blame you. I did the same thing when I found who my field docent was going to be.
ARJIN: And how did you feel when you found out it was going to be Curzon Dax?
DAX: Nauseous might be the best description.
ARJIN: I suppose it wouldn't be fair for you to give me a few tips.
DAX: Tips?
ARJIN: On how you managed to impress him.
DAX: Look, let's get one thing straight. I'm not Curzon or Lela or any of the others. I'm Jadzia Dax, and Jadzia's only a few years older than you are. You're her first initiate. To be honest, in a lot of ways, I still feel like an initiate myself. I still can remember the pressure of the competition when Jadzia was going through it and I'm not going to make this difficult for you. You don't have to impress me, okay?
ARJIN: Okay.
DAX: Okay.
ARJIN: So how did you? Impress him.
DAX: I didn't. Curzon recommended that my initiate period be terminated.
(Whump!)
DAX: I got it! Engaging manual stabilisers. Shutting down all engines. Computer, analyse stability loss.
COMPUTER: Stability loss was due to an impact by a subspace interphase pocket.
DAX: Nature of interphase pocket.
COMPUTER: Unknown.
DAX: Damage report.
COMPUTER: Starboard nacelle nonfunctional. Maximum available power fifty percent.
ARJIN: Jadzia, you'd better take a look at this.
(The monitor shows something glowing on the nacelle.)
DAX: Looks like we snagged something from the subspace pocket. Computer, identify mass on the starboard nacelle.
COMPUTER: Unknown.

[Ops]

O'BRIEN: Maybe we could create some kind of EM pathway along the inner hull and try to lure them into a trap.
KIRA: But how can you do that without shutting down all the other power systems?
O'BRIEN: I can't, and it would take days to round them all up. We'd have to evacuate the station. The only other thing I can come up with is a directional sonic generator. Now I can adjust it to a frequency that'll be uncomfortable to their ears, drive them out of hiding one at a time. But at that rate, I'll be doing this for the rest of my tour of duty.
(Quark has arrived on the turbolift, holding something at arm's length.)
QUARK: It ran right across a Dabo table.
KIRA: How'd it die? Get into your food?
QUARK: As landlords, you're responsible for this. I expect vermin control or I'm going to have to
KIRA: Leave? Oh, please say leave. I'd take a Cardassian vole over you any day.
(Kira walks away)
QUARK: The girl insists on fighting her latent attraction to me. What are you going to do about these pests, O'Brien?
O'BRIEN: Relax, Quark. We're working on something new that ought to make the voles beg for mercy.
QUARK: What is it?
O'BRIEN: A sonic
(O'Brien turns the device on as it is pointing at Quark.)
QUARK: ARGH! Stop! Stop!
O'BRIEN: You all right? Are you all right?
QUARK: What?
KIRA: Chief, the Mekong just came back through the wormhole. They're showing damage.
(Quark leaves as Sisko comes out of his office)
SISKO: Open a channel, Major. Put them on screen. Are you all right, Dax?
DAX [on viewscreen]: Our power reserves are gone we could use a tow.
SISKO: What happened?
DAX [on viewscreen]: Not exactly sure. We picked up some kind of subspace seaweed on our starboard nacelle. We couldn't get rid of it without causing further damage.
O'BRIEN: You can shut down your engines, Lieutenant. We'll bring you in to pad D.
DAX [on viewscreen]: Set up a containment chamber in the science lab for me, would you, Chief? When we get this thing untangled, I'd like to study it under controlled conditions.
O'BRIEN: We'll need a couple of hours.
DAX [on viewscreen]: Morning'll be fine. That'll give Arjin and me a little time to recoup.
O'BRIEN: Acknowledged.
SISKO: Stop by and fill me in later.
DAX [on viewscreen]: Mekong out.

[Runabout Mekong]

DAX: Come on. I'll take you to dinner.

[Klingon restaurant]

(The Chef is singing very nicely and accompanying himself on a small hand accordion.)
CHEF: Ak'la bella doo. Bella ak'la doo. La suhm, La suhm, L'kahtra la suhm.
CHEF + DAX: Ak'la bella doo!
CHEF: She taught that to me. Can you believe it? A Klingon song I'd never heard.
ARJIN: She collects lost composers.
CHEF: Ak un lach'tel?
DAX: Doko doko. Un koliay Trill
CHEF: Don't get any ideas. She's mine.
(He goes off to see to other customer.)
DAX: You haven't touched your racht.
ARJIN: No, I have. It's interesting.
DAX: No, you've been moved it around your plate to make it look like you've touched it.
ARJIN: I didn't have to move it. It moved itself.
DAX: Arjin, if this didn't appeal to you, why didn't you say something?
ARJIN: No, it's all right. I wasn't really very hungry anyway.
DAX: Speak up for yourself while you're here, okay?
ARJIN: I'll make a concerted effort.
DAX: So, who sponsored you for the programme?
ARJIN: My father.
DAX: Was he Joined?
ARJIN: No, but he had great ambitions for his children. He was a pilot instructor at the Gedana post for forty years. He died last year.
DAX: I see where you got your flight skills.
ARJIN: My sister was always his choice for Joining but after she got accepted to the programme, she ran off and got married. My father never spoke to her again. On the day that he died, he turned to me and he said, 'I'm counting on you.' His last words to me.
DAX: Did he want you to enter Starfleet after Joining? To put your flight training to good use?
ARJIN: Honestly, he couldn't care less what I did afterwards, as long as I became Joined. That was his only goal.
DAX: And what about your goals?
ARJIN: There are so many possibilities when you're Joined. I'm not sure what I'd do yet. I figure I'd get a lot of guidance from the symbiont, wouldn't you say?
DAX: The symbiont's influence is very strong, Arjin, but you're the host. You've got to be strong enough to balance that influence with your own instincts. If you can't, the symbiont will overwhelm your personality.

[Ops]

CARDASSIAN [on viewscreen]: Oh, they are a nuisance, aren't they?
O'BRIEN: I was just hoping you'd found a way to deal with them.
CARDASSIAN [on viewscreen]: Federation technology isn't up to the task, eh?
O'BRIEN: Look, I just thought in the interests of good relations, you might
CARDASSIAN [on viewscreen]: You've got the station, you've got the voles. By the way, their mating season begins in about six weeks.
O'BRIEN: Thanks for your help.
CARDASSIAN [on viewscreen]: The Federation could always withdraw from Bajor.
(O'Brien ends transmission and Dax gives him a box)
O'BRIEN: What's this?
DAX: Got me. It's from Julian. He called it the solution you've been looking for.
O'BRIEN: (reads the note) It worked in Hamlin. (It's a flute) Very funny.

[Commander's office]

(Sisko is sitting at a 2D chess board)
SISKO: Your move. Your seaweed's been safely transported to the science lab.
DAX: Did you take a look at it?
SISKO: What do you think?
DAX: We did as much analysis on the runabout as we could. None of the matter would scan. We'll do more tests tomorrow.
SISKO: How'd your initiate come through the experience?
DAX: Fine. He's a good pilot.
SISKO: Uh oh.
DAX: What?
SISKO: I know that look.
DAX: What look?
SISKO: That look, old man. The one that says this one isn't going to make it.
DAX: Not because of me.
SISKO: But you have your doubts.
DAX: I have my doubts.
SISKO: What's his problem?
DAX: I'm not sure what he brings as a host, how he'll advance the symbiont to the next level. Frankly, he's more than a little arrogant, Benjamin.
SISKO: Is he?
DAX: Okay, for a Trill, that's to be expected. Check. But he's riding his father's ambitions and he doesn't have any idea what he'd do with a symbiont if he got one.
SISKO: Have you confronted him?
DAX: It's not my job to confront him.
SISKO: Isn't it?
DAX: My job is to show him what it's like to function as a Joined Trill. That's all. I can show you the guidelines. They're very clear. Who am I to confront him?
SISKO: You're Dax.
DAX: Yes, but I'm not Curzon Dax. And I won't do to him what Curzon did to me
SISKO: So, what are you going to do? This kid has to measure up soon or he'll never be chosen. True? So you're not doing him any favours by avoiding a confrontation, are you? Curzon was tough. Maybe even abusive in his own charming way. But he always demanded the highest standards of excellence from these host candidates.
DAX: You don't know what he did to me.
SISKO: I know that you made it through the programme.
DAX: No thanks to him.
SISKO: Are you sure?

[Science lab]

(A vole breaches the forcefield and the blue thingy escapes in bright light. Later...)
O'BRIEN: Voles have eaten through the security field energy lines. No telling how long it'll take me to set up another field.
SISKO: So, nothing is secure on this station any more. Is there any reason to believe there's an imminent threat from this?
DAX: Not as far as I can tell, but I can't tell you a lot yet.
SISKO: I want to know what we're dealing with as soon as possible. I'll schedule a briefing for fourteen hundred hours. And take those phasers off stun, Chief. No more Mister Nice Guy.
(Sisko and O'Brien leave)
DAX: Arjin, how's your astrophysics profile.
ARJIN: It's one of my better subjects. Maybe that's why I was sent here to work with you.
DAX: Set me up a gravimetric microprobe. I need to calibrate the energy profile.
ARJIN: Jadzia, I felt that last night maybe I didn't express myself well about my own goals.
DAX: I think you expressed yourself very clearly.
ARJIN: I just didn't want you to think that I hadn't set any goals for post-Joining. I have thought about Starfleet. With my flight training it would be a perfect
DAX: Starfleet's a career. A pilot's a job. What does that have to do with being Joined.
ARJIN: I'm not sure I understand.
DAX: No, I don't think you do.
ARJIN: I'm sorry?
DAX: I think you're telling me what I want to hear.
ARJIN: That's not true.
DAX: I think you went to your quarters last night and you tossed and turned in bed because you knew some of the things you said to me concerned me. And now you're trying to fix it.
ARJIN: I'm, I'm just trying to, to clarify
DAX: I know what it's like. I've tossed and turned myself. Please don't insult me by denying it.
ARJIN: I'm finished.
DAX: Let's run a phase variant analysis. I'm worried about you, Arjin.
ARJIN: Worried?
DAX: I'm worried you're not preparing yourself for being Joined.
ARJIN: That's it? A day and a half and you've made up your mind.
DAX: I didn't say that. Look, you've gotten this far by anticipating every demand of the programme and performing above everyone's expectations, am I right?
ARJIN: I'd like to think that's true.
DAX: And I'm telling you from this point on that's not going to be good enough. (analysis results) Highly structured, but it doesn't seem to conform to any of our physical laws. Computer, run a spectral line profile analysis.
COMPUTER: Spectral analysis will take approximately seven minutes.
ARJIN: Just to speak up for myself. I'm feeling a little betrayed here. I mean, after your impassioned 'I am Jadzia, fellow initiate' speech in the runabout
DAX: I understand why you feel that way. But this isn't about me. This is about the standards for Trill hosts. The opportunity is too rare and too important to waste on the wrong candidate.
ARJIN: And in your mind, I'm a wrong candidate.
DAX: I don't know that yet. But I felt it only fair to let you know I am worried about you.
ARJIN: I see. I should have known this. I should have realised this. You're Dax. Standards for Trill hosts? That is really incredible coming from you. I have never seen any host in my life who is so far below those standards as you are, ma'am. No wonder Curzon Dax tried to terminate your training.

[Ops]

DAX: I was finally able to read the EM flux. There are high plasma concentrations and a rapidly expanding mass.
SISKO: How rapidly?
DAX: The energy buildup is already straining the containment chamber. On top of that, the mass periodically undergoes phased expansions, and grows in spurts. It's a very specific growth pattern that the computer recognised.
KIRA: Recognised as what?
DAX: The expansion patterns of a universe.
KIRA: What?
O'BRIEN: A universe?
DAX: What we have here, Benjamin, is a proto-universe in its earliest stages of formation. Unfortunately, as it grows, it's displacing our own universe.
SISKO: Can we get it back where it came from?
DAX: This has turned into an energy mass with properties that don't conform to our own laws of nature. I have no idea what might happen if we tried to move it, let alone take it back into the wormhole. Even if we get there, the wormhole's verteron nodes would probably interact with the energy fluctuations of the proto-universe, causing a devastating reaction. It could threaten this whole system.
BASHIR: And if we don't do anything, it'll eventually obliterate this system and beyond.
O'BRIEN: Can't we contain it somehow?
DAX: Not without destroying it.
KIRA: Under these circumstances, that sounds like a pretty good option to me.
DAX: We can create a forcefield that will contain it. If we can suppress it long enough, the feedback pressure should create an implosive wave. It would self-destruct.
SISKO: How long before the next phase of expansion?
DAX: About three hours. The collateral shock waves will probably destroy the lab.
SISKO: Can we get this containment field ready by then?
O'BRIEN: Yes, sir.
SISKO: Have Odo evacuate section fourteen. Dismissed.

[Quark's]

(Arjin finishes his blue drink.)
QUARK: Another?
ARJIN: Just keep pouring until I drown.
QUARK: Sounds pretty serious.
ARJIN: Serious? No. I just threw my whole life out a porthole. Nothing serious.
QUARK: There isn't a problem in the world that can't be fixed by the right holosuite programme.
ARJIN: Never trust a Trill, Quark.
QUARK: Why not?
ARJIN: They're two-faced.
QUARK: That go for all Trills or just for the ones with the worm?
ARJIN: Any worm named Dax.
QUARK: Did she break your heart, son?
ARJIN: What?
QUARK: Mine too. And Bashir is in here every other day crying in his synthale over her. The Promenade is littered with the bodies of
ARJIN: It wasn't my heart she broke. It was me. My career, my life.
QUARK: Wait a minute. Is this about all that initiate stuff?
ARJIN: She told me I wasn't preparing myself to Join.
QUARK: With the worm? So, that's her opinion. What's that worth, anyhow?
ARJIN: A bad recommendation from your field docent and you can forget it.
QUARK: Listen, son. When I was a young man, no older than you, I had an apprentice position with the District Sub-Nagus. I licked his boots like you couldn't believe. He loved me. I was his golden boy. I was on the high road to the top of the Ferengi business world, and then it all fell apart.
ARJIN: How?
QUARK: Rule of Acquisition one twelve. Never have sex with the boss's sister. I was fired, broke. It was quite a setback to my ambitions.
ARJIN: How'd you recover?
QUARK: Never did. Look at me. Tending bar out here in Wormhole Junction while the big boys fly past me at warp speed. You only get one shot at the latinum stairway. If you miss it, you miss it. Welcome to the club, son.
ARJIN: Thanks.
QUARK: Glad I could help.

[Science lab]

DAX: Computer, confirm the localised entropy decrease in the energy mass.
COMPUTER: Confirmed.
DAX: How much have the readings decreased in the last hour?
COMPUTER: Localised entropy readings have decreased twelve percent during the last fifty eight minutes.
DAX: This can't be right. The whole thermodynamic structure would have to be changing. Activate a quantometer probe. Verify filter calibration.
COMPUTER: Filter calibration verified.
DAX: Set energy flux resolution to point one microdyne. Begin high resolution energy scans. There must be a malfunction in the sensors. Computer, run a self-diagnostic and check quantometer calibration.
COMPUTER: Calibration is locked and normal. Diagnostic underway.
DAX: Are there any feedback anomalies in the dynametric array?
COMPUTER: Negative.
DAX: What's the feedback reading?
COMPUTER: Feedback reading is zero. Diagnostic complete. Sensors are functioning normally.

[Ops]

ODO [OC]: Odo to Sisko.
SISKO: Yes, Odo.
ODO [OC]: Section fourteen has been evacuated.
SISKO: Acknowledged. Mister O'Brien?
O'BRIEN: Just finishing, Commander.
SISKO: Sisko to Dax. We're preparing to establish the containment field. I want you out of the lab during this.
DAX: I'm already out, Benjamin, but I'm not sure you're going to want to do this now.
SISKO: Why not?
DAX: I've found indications of life in the proto-universe.
(After the break)
DAX: Non-random thermodynamics. Irregular power consumption. The computer's confirmed that these are lifesigns.
KIRA: Now wait a minute. Single cell microbes are lifeforms too, but Doctor Bashir has a hypospray that will kill them, to say nothing of the voles.
DAX: Kira, we could very well be dealing with intelligent life here.
KIRA: How is that possible? You told us that this proto-universe was just formed.
BASHIR: It's quite possible. We may have only experienced hours since this universe was formed but there's no way of knowing how fast time is moving for them. Theoretically, billions of years may have passed.
ODO: An entire evolution of a species might have taken place in the last few hours.
BASHIR: It's possible.
O'BRIEN [OC]: O'Brien to Sisko.
SISKO: Go ahead, Chief.

[Science lab]

O'BRIEN: Commander, if we're going to implement that containment field, we'd better do it now. In two minutes, this thing's going to expand.
SISKO [OC]: Get your people out of there, Chief.

[Ops]

SISKO: We're not going to put up the containment field.
O'BRIEN [OC]: Aye, sir.
KIRA: Commander, this is only going to delay the inevitable.
SISKO: Take us to yellow alert, Major. Move the repair crews into position.

[Science lab]

(Whoomph, bang, and a bright light shines out of two holes.)

[Ops]

COMPUTER: Warning. Hull breach, level twenty two section fourteen.
SISKO: Sisko to O'Brien. Seal off section fourteen. Move your repair crews in.
O'BRIEN [OC]: Aye, sir.
SISKO: How long before the next expansion?
DAX: Roughly five hours.
SISKO: How much will it expand?
DAX: About three hundred percent. We'll lose a whole section of the station. By tomorrow, the station will be gone.
BASHIR: We could beam them into space, give us some more time to come up with a solution.
KIRA: We already have a solution and the longer we wait the harder it's going be to implement it. I'm sorry, but it's is us or them. We have to destroy it.
ODO: You can't just wipe out a civilisation. We would be committing mass murder.
KIRA: It's like stepping on ants, Odo.
ODO: I don't step on ants, Major. Just because we don't understand a lifeform doesn't mean we can destroy it.
KIRA: Do you have a better idea? Does anyone?
SISKO: I'll give you my decision in an hour.

Personal log, supplemental. One hour. One hour to make a decision that could mean the life or death of a civilisation or the end to our own. My mind keeps going back to the Borg. How I despised their indifference as they tried to exterminate us, and I have to ask myself, would I be any different if I destroyed another universe to preserve my own?

[Sisko's quarters]

SISKO: Hey.
JAKE: Hi, Dad. What're you doing back so early?
SISKO: I just wanted to see you.
JAKE: He told you, didn't he.
SISKO: Told me what?
JAKE: Chief O'Brien. Darn it, he promised.
SISKO: If there's something you want to tell me, I want to hear it.
JAKE: I love her, Dad.
SISKO: Okay.
JAKE: She's everything I ever wanted in a woman.
SISKO: I'm sure she's a wonderful girl.
JAKE: Oh, she's not a girl, she's a woman. She doesn't like to be called a girl. Everybody calls her that and she hates it. She wants to be something better than that.
SISKO: Than what?
JAKE: Than a dabo girl.
SISKO: You're in love with a dabo girl?
JAKE: Wait a minute, you said Chief O'Brien told you that
SISKO: No, I didn't. Who is she and how old is she, Jake?
JAKE: Oh, jeez. I wanted to tell you, but I was sure you wouldn't understand.
SISKO: So now you're hiding things from me?
JAKE: You mean you would have understood?
SISKO: Of course not! It's Mardah, isn't it? The one you've been tutoring in entomology.
JAKE: I really want you to meet her, Dad.
SISKO: I really want to meet her.
JAKE: Can I invite her to dinner tonight?
SISKO: No. Not tonight. But soon.
JAKE: Thanks, Dad. You'll love her.

[Quark's]

(Arjin is gazing into another glass of blue liquid.)
DAX: What's so interesting in there?
ARJIN: I can see my future.
DAX: I wouldn't trust a glass of synthale to tell you the future.
ARJIN: Let's get this over with, okay? Just use a sharp blade so I won't feel it.
DAX: You don't know me as well as you think you do. I'm sure you looked at all the training profiles, but that doesn't tell you who Jadzia really was before she was Joined. She was the quietest, shyest, most withdrawn young woman you've ever known. Brilliant, top grades, and not a clue to what life was about. She'd never lived outside the programme and it didn't matter because she was sailing through it, until she met Curzon Dax. Curzon sized her up in about twenty seconds and made the next two weeks the most miserable of her life. She cried herself to sleep every night. She hated him for it. But when the field training was over and she learned about Curzon's recommendation to terminate her from the programme, she went back a different woman. She found her voice and reapplied. She tore through the programme with a passion, a vengeance. And in the end the administrators chose her for Joining.
ARJIN: How did you wind up with the Dax symbiont?
DAX: When I found out Curzon was dying, I requested the Dax symbiont.
ARJIN: And Curzon didn't object?
DAX: No. And I've never been sure quite why, except as I've come to know Curzon's dark sense of humour, I have a feeling the irony might have appealed to him. Jadzia Dax is not Curzon Dax, but I am Dax and I'm slowly coming to terms with what that means to me. Sometimes it means gambling or wrestling. Sometimes it means waking up an initiate before he slides into the middle of the pack and gets overlooked.
ARJIN: You're giving me another chance?
DAX: You are the only one who can give yourself another chance. You can't simply do this anymore to meet other people's expectations. Not your father's, not your teachers', not mine. You've got to discover what Arjin wants out of life, out of Joining.
SISKO: Lieutenant, we'll try to take it back through the wormhole. How soon can you be ready?
DAX: I want to be sure the containment field can block out any verteron node radiation as we pass through it. About two hours?
SISKO: Better get started.
(Sisko leaves)
DAX: Wouldn't hurt to have a level five pilot along.

[Ops]

(The runabout is hovering by the hull breaches)
SISKO: Chief?
O'BRIEN: The containment field is in place and holding, sir, but I'd like to run a practical test on the verteron integrity.
SISKO: Like to or need to that thing expands again in less than an hour.
O'BRIEN: This is the strongest forcefield I know how to construct, sir, but a test would at least give us the odds of getting it through the wormhole intact.
SISKO: I'm not playing the odds today. Sisko to Rio Grande. Your status?
DAX [on viewscreen]: Systems check complete. Auxiliary power to shields. I'd say we're packed and ready to go, Benjamin.
SISKO: Ready transporter.
O'BRIEN: Locking on to the containment field.
SISKO: Energise.

[Runabout Rio Grande]

DAX: Chief, we're getting a phase variation here.

[Ops]

O'BRIEN: Stand by. The energy fluctuations are driving the transporter crazy.

[Runabout Rio Grande]

DAX: We've got it now.

[Ops]

O'BRIEN: Switching your transporter to secure mode. Readings are stable.
SISKO: When you're ready, Dax.
DAX [on viewscreen]: Take us out gently, Arjin.
ARJIN [on viewscreen]: Firing thrusters.
O'BRIEN [OC]: Energy readings from the containment field are holding.
DAX: Take us to fifty kph.
ARJIN: Confirmed. Seventeen seconds to the wormhole.
DAX: Hold at fifty kph.

[Ops]

O'BRIEN: Ten seconds to the wormhole.
KIRA: Reading higher levels of neutrino activity.

[Runabout Rio Grande]

DAX: A short cross to the other side and we're home free. Rio Grande to Ops. Comm. links will terminate in five seconds.

[Ops]

DAX [OC]: See you later.
(WHOOSH)
KIRA: Acknowledged, Rio Grande. May the prophets guide you.

[Runabout Rio Grande]

(In the wormhole, the containment field is flashing.)
DAX: Containment field stability is down to eighty five percent. Every time we pass through a verteron node, there's resonance leakage from the energy mass.
ARJIN: In twenty seconds, we'll be out of here.
DAX: We'll never make it. Field stability is down to sixty five percent and falling. We've got to kill our forward acceleration now.
ARJIN: All engines stop.
DAX: Thirty eight percent stability. Still falling. Twenty six percent.
ARJIN: Computer, thrusters on reverse, two second burst. All stop.
DAX: It's stabilising. The containment field is at twenty seven percent, twenty six percent and holding.
(There are big round objects all around them.)
ARJIN: Now what?
DAX: Well, we can't stay here. In forty two minutes, that energy mass expands and once it intersects with one of those verteron nodes, they'll feel the result on the Cardassian homeworld
ARJIN: But the containment field is so weak now, it'll fail as soon as we start to move again.
DAX: I guess we'll just have to let it fail.
ARJIN: Let it fail? But you said it yourself. If we pass through even one of those verteron nodes without the containment field, the energy mass will explode.
DAX: Then we'll have to avoid them.
ARJIN: You're talking about precision flying through a wormhole. It's never been done.
DAX: Until now.
ARJIN: Jadzia
DAX: I'm a level three pilot, You're level five. I'll do it if I have to but I don't have time to argue.
ARJIN: Watch the conn readouts. I'll try to keep at least fifty metres away from any node.
DAX: Understood. Computer, calibrate internal scanners to detect verteron radiation in the cabin. Activate sonic indicators. Verteron levels are well within safe limits.
ARJIN: We'll start with one short thruster blast and we'll coast through. That'll protect the containment field for a few extra seconds.
DAX: Thrusters ready.
ARJIN: I'm taking the inertial dampers offline. It'll be a rougher ride but I'll have a little more response time. Firing thrusters.
DAX: Velocity is forty metres per second.
COMPUTER: Warning. Containment field at ten percent.
DAX: Sixty seconds to Gamma. Node to starboard bearing zero three seven mark seven.
ARJIN: Firing starboard thruster.
COMPUTER: Warning. Containment field has collapsed.
ARJIN: No more margin for error.
DAX: Forty five seconds to Gamma. Node to port, bearing zero three zero mark five one.
ARJIN: I've got it.
DAX: Thirty five seconds to Gamma. Verteron levels are still okay.
ARJIN: Jadzia, look at this. (lots of nodes blocking their path) We're never going to get through it.
DAX: Reading a passage. Adjust heading to one three one mark four seven.
ARJIN: Confirmed.
DAX: Sensors say it's directly ahead.
ARJIN: I don't see it
DAX: Hold your course.
ARJIN: I don't see it. I see it! It's less than seventeen metres across.
DAX: This ship is only fourteen metres wide. That gives you over two metres to work with. Verteron levels are red-lining. Five seconds to Gamma.
(Swoop around the nodes and WHOOSH)
DAX: This is going to look very good on your initiate record, Arjin. Now, lets get this thing back where it belongs.

[Promenade]

(Coming out of the airlock)
ARJIN: There's one thing I want to do before I go, and that is to apologise for the things I said to you in the lab.
DAX: That was the first time you were being honest with me.
ARJIN: Somehow I always expected that Joining would make any Trill complete, serene, wise beyond her years.
DAX: And I'm none of those things.
ARJIN: What I mean is, you're nothing like I expected.
DAX: I'm nothing like I expected. Life after life, with each new personality stampeding around in your head, you get desires that scare you, dreams that used to belong to someone else. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone but in time I might recommend it for you. When you're ready.
ARJIN: I know what I have to do.
DAX: Good luck.
(Arjin leaves through another airlock.)
DAX: I'm not Curzon.

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