Destiny
Stardate: 48543.2
Original Airdate: 13 Feb, 1995

Station log, stardate 48543.2. A team of Cardassian scientists is coming to the station to assist us in deploying a subspace relay in the Gamma Quadrant. If successful, it will allow communication through the wormhole for the first time.

[Guest quarters]

ODO: I've assigned these quarters to the senior Cardassian scientist. Her name is Ulani. Her colleague Gilora has the adjacent room.
SISKO: It's warm in here. I take it you've reset the environmental controls.
ODO: I also had Chief O'Brien reprogramme the replicators to provide Cardassian food.
SISKO: Security measures?
ODO: I've assigned two of my people to follow the Cardassians at all times.
SISKO: Fine. Have them keep their distance. I want the Cardassians to feel like guests, not prisoners.
ODO: Commander, there are still elements opposed to the peace treaty between Cardassia and Bajor on both sides. We have to be prepared for trouble.
SISKO: I realise that. But while the Cardassians are here, I want the Bajorans to get used to seeing them walking on the Promenade, buying from their shops, eating from their restaurants, getting to know them as something other than brutal overseers.
(Dax enters)
DAX: I just received the final update from the Cardassians on the transceiver they designed for the communications relay.
SISKO: How does it look?
DAX: I'm still not convinced it's going to work.
SISKO: The Cardassians seem sure that it will.
DAX: I hope they're right.
(Enter Quark, carrying a tray with bottles of Kanar and a small vase of flowers.)
QUARK: Whose quarters are these? Gilora's or Ulani's?
ODO: Ulani's. And how do you know their names? I was just informed an hour ago.
QUARK: Odo, please. I have a bottle of Kanar for each of them, along with a personal invitation to Quark's.
DAX: Where did you get real Kanar?
QUARK: I've had three cases in my storeroom since the occupation. There hasn't been much call for it the past few years, but that's about to change.
SISKO: There are only two Cardassians coming to the station. How much Kanar do you think they can drink?
QUARK: There may only be two for now, but there'll be more, thanks to the peace treaty.
DAX: And as the thirty fourth Rule of Acquisition states, peace is good for business.
QUARK: That's the thirty fifth Rule.
DAX: Oh, you're right. What's the thirty fourth?
QUARK: War is good for business. It's easy to get them confused. The way I see it, it won't be long before there's a permanent Cardassian presence on the station. Scientists, diplomats, spies.
ODO: And they'll all be welcome at Quark's.
QUARK: As long as they can pay. Rumour has it that the shop next door to mine is going out of business. I'm thinking of renting it and setting up a few Cardassian gaming concessions.
ODO: There'll be no live vole fights on the Promenade, Quark.
QUARK: I would never be party to anything so cruel and inhumane. But, of course, if some Cardassians happened to bring their voles along and they happened to get into a fight, I could hardly be held responsible for
ODO: Oh, yes you could.
SISKO: And you will be.
QUARK: Fine. Forget the vole fights. But I'll tell you this. Good Kanar is hard to find and I have three cases of it.
(Dax uncorks a bottle and sniffs it.)
QUARK: But that's just the beginning. Soon, Quark's will become known as the best place for Cardassian food and drink in this sector. I'll probably set up daily shipments from Cardassia. I may even need to buy my own transport ship.
(Dax tastes the Kanar and pulls a face.)
DAX: Quark, this Kanar has gone bad.
QUARK: What?
(Quark tastes it too)
ODO: I suggest you take your bottles and leave, Quark, before I have you arrested for attempting to poison our guests.

[Commander's office]

KIRA: Excuse me, Commander. There's a Vedek Yarka here to see you. He says it's urgent.
YARKA: Thank you for seeing me, Emissary.
SISKO: What can I do for you?
YARKA: I am here with a warning from the Prophets. They don't want you to let the Cardassians come aboard the station. If you do, you will bring destruction on us all.
SISKO: Are you making some sort of threat, Vedek?
YARKA: Not at all. I'm simply telling you what was foretold in the ancient texts.
KIRA: Ancient texts? You mean a prophecy?
YARKA: Trakor's third, when he first encountered the Orb of Change.
KIRA: I'm afraid I don't know it.
YARKA: Perhaps you should make more time to study the texts, child.
SISKO: Are you saying that the arrival of the Cardassian scientists was foretold in a Bajoran prophecy?
YARKA: Exactly. Trakor's words are clear. When the river wakes, stirred once more to Janir's side, three vipers will return to their nest in the sky. The river has awoken, Emissary.
KIRA: The Qui'al dam was just put back into operation to divert water to the city.
YARKA: Just as Trakor prophesied over three thousand years ago. And even now, the vipers are making their way here.
SISKO: I take it you think the vipers are a reference to the Cardassian scientists.
YARKA: Yes, and this station is their nest in the sky.
SISKO: And how exactly is their presence here going to bring destruction on us all?
YARKA: Trakor said when the vipers try to peer through the temple gates, a sword of stars will appear in the heavens, the temple will burn and the gates will be cast open. You must not let the Cardassians come here. You must not let them violate the Celestial Temple or they will destroy it and Bajor will be cut off from the Prophets forever.
SISKO: Slow down. Now let me get this straight. You're saying that the vipers, the Cardassians, are going to destroy the wormhole?
YARKA: Don't you see? This communications relay you hope to create is part of the prophecy. It will allow the vipers to peer through the temple gates. The wormhole, as you call it. And if they do, the temple will be destroyed.
KIRA: Even if we accept that the Cardassians are the vipers, there are only two of them coming, not three. Isn't it possible that there are other mistakes in your interpretation of the prophecy as well?
YARKA: There will be three vipers. You will see.
SISKO: Do you understand what this communications relay could mean for Bajor? If it works, we'll be able to stay in contact with ships in the Gamma Quadrant.
KIRA: It'll facilitate exploration, help us monitor Dominion activity, give us warning in case of an attack.
YARKA: None of that matters. You must listen to me. I know it is difficult for you to accept because you are not Bajoran. I have studied the prophecies all my life. We are on the verge of a great disaster.
SISKO: Is the Bajoran Assembly aware of this prophecy?
YARKA: Yes. As is the Kai herself.
SISKO: Yet they still want us to proceed with the establishment of the communications relay.
YARKA: They have chosen to ignore the signs. That is why I came to you, Emissary. Because I have faith in you. I know that you will do what must be done.
SISKO: Vedek, I have the utmost respect for your beliefs, but I have no intention of calling this project off.
YARKA: I hope that you will reconsider, Emissary. My followers and I will remain on the station and pray that you change your mind.
SISKO: You're free to do that, of course.
(Yarka leaves)
SISKO: Major, have Odo find out everything he can about Vedek Yarka and his followers. I don't want them making any trouble while the Cardassians are here.

[Airlock]

SISKO: I'm Commander Benjamin Sisko and on behalf of the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet Command, I'd like to welcome you to Deep Space Nine.
ULANI: Thank you, Commander. I'm Doctor Ulani Belor.
GILORA: Gilora Rejal.
(Yes, that is Tracy Scoggins under the latex, before Babylon 5.)
ULANI: The Cardassian Government wishes to express its gratitude to the Federation for agreeing to work together on this project.
GILORA: It is our hope that it will be the first of many such projects between our peoples.
SISKO: That's a hope that I can assure you we share. This is my First Officer, Major Kira.
KIRA: And on behalf of the Bajoran Provisional Government, I'd like to welcome you. It's our belief that this project will mark the beginning of a new era of peace for Bajor and Cardassia.
ULANI: Thank you, Major.
SISKO: Well, now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, how was your trip?
ULANI: Exhausting. We spent most of it rehearsing what we were going to say when we got here.
GILORA: We're scientists, not diplomats.
SISKO: You did very well.
ULANI: Please feel free to let the Central Command know that. In the past few days I've been contacted by Guls I haven't even heard of, all of them wanting to emphasise how important this mission is.
SISKO: I know what you mean. I've gotten three calls from Starfleet Command just this morning.
ULANI: Major Kira, I want to thank you personally for allowing us to come here.
KIRA: Me?
ULANI: You're the ranking Bajoran officer on this station. I'm sure we wouldn't be here if you had been opposed to working with us.
KIRA: I'll work with anyone who's interested in peace.
ULANI: I'm glad we already have so much in common.
SISKO: Well, why don't I show you to your quarters.

[Wardroom]

SISKO: The signalling platform we've designed is intended to be positioned in the Gamma Quadrant at this point, two kilometres from the far mouth of the wormhole.
ULANI: Our transceiver has been configured to fit inside it, and use its existing power grid.
GILORA: A similar transceiver will be put in place here on Terok Nor, on Deep Space Nine.
DAX: Ulani, I've looked over your design specifications. I'm not clear on what sort of carrier wave you're planning on using to cut through the interference on the inside of the wormhole.
ULANI: We're planning to test various types of soliton pulses. One of them should maintain the required signal integrity.
O'BRIEN: We tried something similar about a year ago without much success.
GILORA: Yes. The Bajoran Government made your data available to us. I believe the problem had to do with a phase variance in your transceiver coils.
O'BRIEN: I configured those coils myself. The variance was less than point zero one percent.
GILORA: Which as you saw, was unacceptably high. Our new design has less than half that variance.
O'BRIEN: You don't mind if I look at the specs?
GILORA: If you think it's necessary.
ULANI: Commander, we'll need to make a few adjustments to the station's signalling array so that it can accommodate the type of transmissions we're planning to use.
SISKO: Chief O'Brien's people can assist you with that. And when you're ready, we'll take the Defiant to the Gamma Quadrant, deploy the communications relay, and start running tests.
ULANI: Excellent. Well, it's been a long day. We'd like to get some rest so we can start fresh tomorrow.
SISKO: I'll have someone show you to your quarters.
GILORA: Thank you, but that won't be necessary.
ULANI: Thank you.
(Ulani and Gilora leave.)
SISKO: Now those are about the two friendliest vipers I've ever met. I'll explain later.
(Ulani enters again.)
ULANI: Commander, I almost forgot to tell you. Another colleague of ours, Dejar, will be arriving later today.
SISKO: I'll arrange quarters.
ULANI: Thank you.
(Ulani leaves.)
SISKO: So we need to discuss what we're going to do about. (spots Kira's expression) What is it, Major?
KIRA: There are going to be three of them.
SISKO: Yes.
KIRA: Three vipers, just like in the prophecy.

[Security office]

ODO: It turns out that Vedek Yarka is no longer a Vedek at all. He was stripped of his title two months ago.
SISKO: Why?
ODO: Officially, for teachings not in keeping with the Bajoran faith. But according to my sources, he was defrocked because he led a series of protests against the Vedek Assembly when they endorsed the peace treaty with Cardassia.
SISKO: So Yarka may be using this prophecy as a way to scuttle the peace treaty.
ODO: That would seem to be his agenda. And it's probably colouring his view of the prophecy, just as your agenda colours how you see it.
SISKO: I don't have an agenda, Odo. I want this project to succeed because I want the peace treaty to succeed. If I thought for a moment there was any possibility that this communications relay could cause damage to the wormhole, I'd put a stop to it right now.
ODO: That's not the agenda I was referring to, Commander.
SISKO: Oh?
ODO: I was referring to your desire to distance yourself from the title of Emissary. It's just an observation, of course, but it's always seemed to me that you've never been comfortable with it.
SISKO: I can't deny that. Are you suggesting that I'm dismissing this prophecy too easily because I don't want to be the Emissary?
ODO: I'm not suggesting anything. But it's been my experience that all humanoids have an agenda of some sort, and that their agendas can influence them without their even realising it.

[Promenade]

BASHIR: Morn came by the Infirmary this afternoon. He had an acute case of food poisoning.
KIRA: Morn? I didn't think anything could make him sick.
BASHIR: Well he said he had a bad glass of Kanar at Quark's.
KIRA: He should ask for a refund.
BASHIR: Apparently it was on the house.
YARKA: Major, may I have a word with you?
BASHIR: I'll see you later.
KIRA: What can I do for you, Vedek?
YARKA: Have you been able to convince the Emissary to reconsider his decision?
KIRA: I haven't tried and I'm not planning to.
YARKA: But you must. If not, the Celestial Temple will be destroyed.
KIRA: I'm not convinced that's going to happen.
YARKA: Don't you believe in the Prophecies?
KIRA: Yes.
YARKA: And don't you believe that Commander Sisko is the Emissary?
KIRA: Vedek, you have to understand my position here. Commander Sisko is my superior officer. I have to deal with him on that basis first.
YARKA: So you do believe he's the Emissary. You just don't want him to know that. I understand. You want him to know that he can count on you as an officer under his command. You want to keep your work and your faith separate.
KIRA: Yes, and for three years now I have.
YARKA: I'm afraid that's no longer possible. The Prophets have chosen you to help the Emissary make this decision. A decision that has profound implications for all of Bajor. You must convince him to make the Cardassians leave before the Sword of Stars appears.
KIRA: Vedek, if you're asking me to
YARKA: It is not I who is asking, it is the Prophets. If you turn your back on them now, you're abandoning your faith. And without your faith, Nerys, what do you have left?

[Quark's]

DAX: I prefer the serialist poets from the First Republic, like Iloja of Prim. He's easily my favourite Cardassian writer.
ULANI: It is so rare to meet a non-Cardassian who appreciates our literature.
DAX: I took an interest because I had the chance to meet Iloja.
GILORA: You knew him?
DAX: One of my previous hosts, Tobin, met him when he was in exile on Vulcan. As I recall, he had quite a temper.
ULANI: Really?
QUARK: I believe this is the party you're looking for.
ULANI: Dejar.
GILORA: May I introduce Jadzia Dax and Miles O'Brien. Our colleague, Dejar.
ULANI: We weren't expecting you so soon.
(That's three female Cardassian scientists on the same project.)
DEJAR: I was able to arrange special transportation.
GILORA: I'm sure you were.
QUARK: I took the liberty of preparing a few of our special Cardassian delicacies.
ULANI: Tojal in yamok sauce.
GILORA: (unenthusiastic) Regova eggs.
QUARK: All fresh, not replicated. Well, enjoy.
DAX: Is something wrong?
ULANI: It's just, I don't really care for Cardassian cuisine.
GILORA: We try to avoid it whenever possible.
ULANI: Fortunately, those of us in the Science Ministry are provided with a wide variety of offworld foods.
DEJAR: Yes, we're actually quite spoiled. Some of us even think of ourselves as better than the average Cardassian.

[Ops]

(Down in the pit.)
O'BRIEN: The main switching relays are in here. I think we should hook your transceiver to the ODN interface through the
GILORA: What happened to these couplings?
O'BRIEN: What? Oh, I made some modifications.
GILORA: But these relays don't have nearly as much carrying capacity as before. They won't be able to handle the signal load from the transceiver.
O'BRIEN: Well, in order to bring the system up to Starfleet code, I had to take out the couplings to make room for a secondary backup.
GILORA: Starfleet code requires a second backup?
O'BRIEN: In case the first backup fails.
GILORA: What are the chances that both a primary system and its backup would fail at the same time?
O'BRIEN: It's very unlikely, but in a crunch I wouldn't like to be caught without a second backup.
GILORA: Well, what's done is done. I'll try to figure out what we should do next.
O'BRIEN: Well, I think our best bet would be to go
GILORA: Please, please. Just give me a moment to think.
O'BRIEN: Fine. I'll just sit here quietly.
GILORA: Ah. In that case, could you get me a cup of red leaf tea?
O'BRIEN: Why not.

[Bridge]

(Kira and Ulani enter.)
KIRA: We've loaded the communications relay into the Defiant's cargo bay.
SISKO: Good. How're Chief O'Brien and Gilora coming along?
KIRA: They've run into some kind of problem, but the Chief says the transceiver should be online in about four hours.
SISKO: We won't be ready much before that anyway.
DAX: We've received clearance from Ops, Commander.
SISKO: Release docking clamps, and set course a for the wormhole.
(WHOOSH! into the Gamma Quadrant.)
SISKO: Full scan.
DAX: No sign of Dominion activity. No other ships in the area.
SISKO: All right, take us into position. Stand by to deploy the relay
DAX: Wait a minute.
SISKO: What is it?
DAX: Reading a large mass of ice and ionised gas entering sensor range, bearing two one five mark three. It looks like a rogue comet.
SISKO: Let's have a look. Put it on screen.
ULANI: It's beautiful.
DAX: Its core contains unusually high concentrations of silithium. That's why its tail is so bright.
KIRA: The Sword of Stars.
ULANI: That's a very colourful way to describe a comet, Major.
KIRA: It's just a figure of speech.
ULANI: Well, your Sword of Stars is going to pass very near the wormhole, but not close enough to interfere with our plans.
DAX: We're in position, Benjamin.
SISKO: Begin a final systems check on the relay station. I want to deploy it within the hour. Major, can I have a word with you?

[Cabin]

SISKO: The Sword of Stars?
KIRA: It certainly looked like that to me.
SISKO: That's open to debate. But what is not debatable is that this prophecy has no place on the Bridge of the Defiant, especially in front of the Cardassians. At the moment they are not even aware of it, and I want to keep it that way.
KIRA: You're right. It won't happen again.
SISKO: I take it, Major, that you believe the prophecy is coming true?
KIRA: Yes, I do.
SISKO: So you think I should call this mission off?
KIRA: Look at what's happened already. The river has returned to Janir, the three vipers, now the Sword of Stars. Each of them predicted by Trakor's prophecy. And then there's you, the Emissary. You're here. You have a decision to make just like in the prophecy.
SISKO: Do you really believe that I'm the Emissary?
KIRA: I guess I always have. I never wanted to admit it to myself. It's hard to work for someone who's a religious icon.
SISKO: I hope I don't offend your beliefs, but I don't see myself as an icon, religious or otherwise. I'm a Starfleet Officer, and I have a mission to accomplish. If I call it off, it has to be for some concrete reason, something solid, something Starfleet.
KIRA: All right, how about this? The Prophets, the aliens who live in the wormhole as you call them, exist outside of linear time. They know the past, present, and the future.
SISKO: Agreed.
KIRA: It seems perfectly reasonable that they could've communicated knowledge of the future to a Bajoran named Trakor. He wrote down that knowledge in the form of a prophecy and now, three thousand years later, we are seeing those events unfold. To me, that reasoning sounds concrete, solid, I'd even call it Starfleet.
SISKO: But that all hinges on how you interpret an ancient text that's been translated and re-translated over the centuries. Words that were couched in metaphor to begin with. I'm sorry, Major, but where you see a Sword of Stars, I see a comet. Where you see vipers, I see three scientists. And where you see the Emissary, I see a Starfleet Officer.
DAX [OC]: Dax to Sisko.
SISKO: Go ahead.
DAX [OC]: We're ready to deploy the relay.
SISKO: On my way.

[Corridor]

GILORA: All right, now we just have to shunt the ODN line through the secondary field coils.
O'BRIEN: We can't do that.
GILORA: Why not?
O'BRIEN: Because those coils aren't configured to handle ODN output.
GILORA: Why not? Did you modify them too?
O'BRIEN: Actually, I replaced them. They were always shorting out on us. Frankly I don't see how this station kept running during the occupation.
GILORA: Why didn't you tell me you'd replaced the secondary field coils?
O'BRIEN: If you had told me know what you were planning to do, I would have.
GILORA: I don't have time to explain everything.
O'BRIEN: What, you think I won't be able to understand?
GILORA: It's been my experience that
O'BRIEN: What? That humans aren't good engineers?
GILORA: No, not humans. Males.
O'BRIEN: I beg your pardon?
GILORA: Men just don't seem to have a head for this sort of thing. That's why women dominate the sciences.
O'BRIEN: Maybe on Cardassia. But on this station, this man is Chief of Operations, and I know more about these systems anyone, including you. I think I know what the problem is, so if you want to get that transceiver online, hand me the laser-torch and give me some room.

[Bridge]

(The satellite is hanging in space.)
SISKO: Are we ready on this end?
DAX: Almost. I'm just about to activate the relay's transmission array. Dejar?
DEJAR: Standing by. I'm receiving the relay's test signal.
ULANI: Target the signalling array toward the wormhole and initiate a carrier wave in the delta band frequency.
DAX: Initiating carrier wave.
ULANI: If they receive it on the station, they'll send an acknowledging signal on the same frequency.
DAX: I'm not receiving anything.
ULANI: Then we have to assume it didn't work. Let's try the theta band frequency.
DAX: Initiating carrier wave. Something's wrong. I'm picking up a neutrino surge from the wormhole.
(WHOOSH and a big wind.)
SISKO: Report.
DAX: Somehow the carrier wave caused the wormhole to open.
KIRA: The wormhole's gravity well has increased by a factor of three.
SISKO: Terminate the carrier wave and maintain our position.
(The beam stops and the wormhole closes. The ship stops shaking.)
KIRA: Gravimetric fields have returned to normal.
SISKO: What happened?
ULANI: I'm not sure. The carrier wave shouldn't have affected the wormhole at all.
SISKO: Was there any damage to the relay?
DEJAR: None. I'm still receiving the test signal.
DAX: Benjamin, the gravitational surge altered the course of the comet. It's now heading directly toward the wormhole.
ULANI: If the comet enters the wormhole, the silithium in its core will cause a cascade reaction.
DAX: And collapse the wormhole permanently.

Commander's log, supplemental. With less than five hours before the comet reaches the wormhole, I've brought the Defiant back to the station and convened a meeting of the entire science team.

[Wardroom]

DAX: Apparently the carrier wave we sent created some sort of subspace inversion inside the wormhole.
O'BRIEN: That's what caused the gravity well to form.
ULANI: The possibility of subspace inversion was predicted in one of our computer models.
O'BRIEN: That wasn't included in the data you sent us.
GILORA: The probability of such an occurrence was less than two percent. Well within safety limitations. So we saw no reason to include it in the data we sent you.
SISKO: It would seem that our scientific methodologies differ slightly. It is our practice to examine all possibilities, no matter how unlikely, before we proceed with field tests.
ULANI: We would, of course, prefer to operate that way as well. However, since the Science Ministry falls under the jurisdiction of the military, we have to follow certain rules. One of them is not to make any project look unnecessarily dangerous.
SISKO: We'll have to keep that in mind when we resume work on the communications relay.
DEJAR: That is an extremely unlikely possibility, Commander. The Science Ministry will undoubtedly wish to assemble a new team before proceeding further.
SISKO: That is, of course, an internal Cardassian matter. Chief, Dax feels that we can't risk using tractor beams to deflect the comet.
DAX: It would probably into smaller pieces and we'd have a bigger mess on our hands.
GILORA: The same thing would happen if you tried to destroy it with a phaser beam.
O'BRIEN: Not necessarily. I could modify the Defiant's phaser array to generate a beam wide enough to encompass the entire comet.
ULANI: Vaporising it evenly so it won't break up.
SISKO: How long would the modifications take?
O'BRIEN: Three hours.
SISKO: Get on it. We'll be cutting this one pretty close.

[Jefferies tube]

O'BRIEN: I've accessed the Defiant's primary phaser relay. I'm going to try shunting it through the warp drive.
GILORA: Won't that overload the relay?
O'BRIEN: Not if we bypass the plasma emitter.
GILORA: I hadn't thought of that.
(She moves very close to him.)
O'BRIEN: The emitter coupling is over there.
GILORA: What are you doing now?
O'BRIEN: I'm decoupling the servos so they don't lock up.
GILORA: You have very steady hands.
O'BRIEN: Well they get the job done, I guess. And right now, the most important job is bypassing the plasma emitter.
GILORA: I assure you I'm quite fertile.
(O'Brien bumps his head.)
GILORA: I could provide you with many healthy children, if that's your concern, but quite frankly I think you're getting a little ahead of yourself.
O'BRIEN: Children? What are you talking about? I already have a child, and a wife.
GILORA: You're married?
O'BRIEN: Yes, happily.
GILORA: Then why have you been leading me to believe that you wanted me?
O'BRIEN: I haven't. All we've done since we met is argue.
GILORA: I took your overt irritability toward me as a signal that you wished to pursue some physical relationship.
O'BRIEN: Of course. That's how Cardassians, er, do things.
GILORA: Oh, my. I'm afraid this is a case of cross-cultural misunderstanding.
O'BRIEN: I think so. I'm not remotely interested in you. That's not what I meant. No, you are very attractive, and I'm flattered of course
GILORA: Please, Mister O'Brien, there's no need to continue. You've made your feelings clear.
(Gilora starts to crawl away along the tube.)
O'BRIEN: Gilora, we have to finish this.
GILORA: I'm sure you can complete the job on your own.

[Commander's office]

DAX: Chief O'Brien said the modifications to the Defiant's phasers will be ready within half an hour.
SISKO: Half an hour ahead of schedule.
DAX: The Chief's a born engineer. He always gives himself a comfortable margin with his repair estimates. Let me guess. You're reading up on Bajoran prophecies concerning the Emissary.
SISKO: There are hundreds of them. Most of them are vague, some are contradictory, but just enough truth in a few of them to make me wonder.
DAX: You mean some of them have come true?
SISKO: If you interpret them a certain way, yes.
DAX: And so now you're wondering if Trakor's prophecy is going to come true as well
SISKO: I have to admit it's getting harder to ignore.
DAX: But Benjamin, there's every reason to believe we'll be able to destroy the comet.
SISKO: I know, but I'm becoming more and more concerned that if I don't send the Cardassians home, something else will go wrong.
DAX: The gates of heaven will burn and be cast open. Let me ask you something. If you'd never heard Trakor's prophecy, what would you do?
SISKO: I'd continue working on the communications relay.
DAX: Then it seems to me you have a choice. You can either make your own decisions or you can let these prophecies make them for you.
SISKO: As soon as the Defiant is ready, have the Cardassians meet us on board.
DAX: Yes, sir.

[Bridge]

DAX: The comet is directly ahead. Distance, two hundred kilometres.
SISKO: Bring us to within ten kilometres. Chief, are your phaser modifications online?
O'BRIEN: Aye, sir. Phasers are locked on target.
DAX: Holding position at ten kilometres.
SISKO: Shields up. Go to Red Alert. Fire.
(Bang on the Bridge!)
SISKO: Chief, what the hell happened?
O'BRIEN: I don't know, sir. The entire weapons relay just blew. All defensive systems are down.
DAX: Benjamin, sensors show that the modified phasers never came online. We fired a standard burst and it shattered the comet instead of vapourising it.
O'BRIEN: There's no way they should have misfired like that. I modified the systems myself.
KIRA: Commander, the three fragments are still on course for the wormhole.
SISKO: How long until they reach the entrance?
KIRA: Twenty six minutes.
SISKO: Without weapons we have no way of stopping them.
(After the break, everyone is watching O'Brien working.)
O'BRIEN: The main emitter coupling has been depolarised. I must have accidentally inverted the power flow when I tried to modify the phaser array. I can't believe it. A first year Engineering student wouldn't make a mistake like that.
GILORA: This wasn't your fault, Mister O'Brien. And it wasn't an accident.
ULANI: Gilora.
GILORA: Dejar is a member of the Obsidian Order. She was assigned to our team for security reasons. I believe she sabotaged this coupling.
SISKO: The Order has always been opposed to the peace treaty with Bajor. They sent you here to sabotage the relay because if the first joint venture between Cardassia and Bajor was a failure, it would probably be the last.
DEJAR: This is all speculation, Commander. You have no proof.
KIRA: If it was sabotage, a DNA scan on the coupling will probably reveal who was responsible.
SISKO: Take her to quarters and detain her there.
(Security remove Dejar.)
SISKO: Now that the comet's been fractured into smaller pieces, can we use the tractor beams to deflect them?
ULANI: They'd just disintegrate further, releasing more silithium.
SISKO: If we can't stop the fragments, is there any way that we can prevent the silithium from interacting with the wormhole?
DAX: Maybe if we could contain it, somehow.
ULANI: If you can generate a subspace field around the fragments, that might contain the silithium.
O'BRIEN: The warp drive. It could create a subspace bubble around the ship.
DAX: But we'd have to maneuver the Defiant between the fragments. They're too close together. There's not enough room.
SISKO: A shuttlepod could manoeuvre between them and its warp drive should be able to create a large enough subspace field.
O'BRIEN: Maybe, but it could overload the engines.
SISKO: That's the chance I'll have to take. Major, you have the Bridge. I want you to take the Defiant back into the Alpha Quadrant as soon as I've cleared the shuttlebay.
KIRA: Commander, I want to go with you. Not just because I'm your first officer, but because I believe I'm here to help the Emissary.
SISKO: Dax, the Bridge is yours.

[Shuttlepod]

SISKO: We've cleared the shuttlebay. Signal the Defiant that they can leave.
KIRA: They're heading for the wormhole.
SISKO: I'm going to take us in behind the comet fragments. It'll be easier to manoeuvre into position.

[Bridge]

(WHOOSH! In the Alpha Quadrant.)
DAX: Hold position here. They could be in for a rough ride. Stand by transporters in case we need to beam them off the shuttlepod when they clear the wormhole.

[Shuttlepod]

SISKO: We're in position. Activate the subspace field.
KIRA: Field engaged.
SISKO: We'll reach the entrance to the wormhole in five seconds.
(WHOOSH! and in they go.)
KIRA: The subspace field is losing integrity. Some of the silithium is starting to leak through/
SISKO: Divert power from the engines to the subspace field coils. We'll let our own inertia carry us the rest of the way.
KIRA: That helped. We're still losing silithium.

[Bridge]

O'BRIEN: I'm picking up a neutrino surge. Something's coming through.
(WHOOSH! Three comet pieces and a shuttlepod.)

[Shuttlepod]

DAX [OC]: Dax to Sisko.
SISKO: Sisko here.
DAX [OC]: Are you all right, Benjamin?
SISKO: There was some silithium leakage inside the wormhole, but we're fine.

[Bridge]

O'BRIEN: I don't believe it.
DAX: What is it, Chief?
O'BRIEN: I'm picking up the test signal from the communications relay.
SISKO [OC]: How is that possible?
DAX: I'm not sure. We're reading a subspace filament leading back through the wormhole. It's acting like some kind of a carrier wave.
O'BRIEN: The comet fragments. They must left a silithium trail in the wormhole.

[Shuttlepod]

SISKO: It's almost like the wormhole was wedged open just a crack. Just enough to let subspace signals through.
KIRA: The prophecy came true. All of it. We just misinterpreted Trakor's words. The three vipers. He wasn't talking about the Cardassians. He meant the three comet fragments.
SISKO: The communications relay. In a sense we've been trying to peer through the temple gates.
KIRA: The silithium ignited the wormhole, burning the temple gates.
SISKO: So that they never close again.
KIRA: And it's all because the Emissary used the Sword of Stars.
SISKO: And Trakor saw it all three thousand years ago.

[Promenade]

O'BRIEN: I just wanted to say that I appreciate what you did on the Defiant. I hope it won't cause you too much trouble when you get back to Cardassia.
GILORA: My superiors in the Science Ministry will protect me. Frankly, I think Dejar is in much more trouble than I am. The Order doesn't reward failure.
O'BRIEN: Still, it was a very brave thing to do.
GILORA: I didn't want you to take the blame for something that wasn't your fault. I know how proud you are of your work.
O'BRIEN: Too proud, sometimes. It's gotten me into trouble now and again.
GILORA: What's your wife's name?
O'BRIEN: Keiko.
GILORA: A lucky woman.
(She gives him a peck on the cheek and goes into the airlock.)
YARKA: Emissary, I'm sorry I doubted you. I realise now I let my distrust of the Cardassians blind me to the Prophets' words.
SISKO: It seems that the Prophets want peace between your two peoples after all.
YARKA: Perhaps so. There are signs that Trakor's fourth prophecy will soon come to pass as well.
SISKO: Don't tell me that has something to do with me?
YARKA: You, Commander? Well, it is a prophecy about the Emissary.
SISKO: Tell me about it.
YARKA: The fourth prophecy says that the Emissary will face a fiery trial and he'll be forced to choose

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