(Nog is alone, at the helm.)
COMPUTER: The Cardassians are still closing. They have powered their
weapons systems. (swerve) They have established weapons lock.
COMPUTER: Weapons lock broken.
NOG: Going to warp.
(Jake is knocking on the runabout window.)
NOG: Get out of here, Jake. I'm in the middle of a simulation.
JAKE: (mouths) What?
NOG: I said, get out of here. Computer, end programme.
(Nog falls backwards.)
JAKE: Oh, you okay?
NOG: Look what you made me do.
JAKE: Well you should know not to end a programme sitting down.
NOG: Why did you come in here?
JAKE: You were supposed to meet me half an hour ago.
NOG: I didn't realise it'd gotten so late. Sorry.
JAKE: Don't worry about it. How's it going, anyway?
NOG: Pretty good. I've improved my reaction time by almost twenty
percent, but I've got to get it up another five.
JAKE: Is that the cutoff point for getting into the Academy preparatory
JAKE: Don't worry about it, Nog. You'll get there.
NOG: I'd better.
NOG: If I don't get into the programme, I'll never
be admitted to the Academy next year.
JAKE: You think six weeks of summer classes'll make the difference?
NOG: If I do well. I have to show the admissions committee how
determined I am to become a cadet.
JAKE: Don't worry so much, Nog. You'll be a great cadet.
QUARK: In the meantime, you make a lousy stock boy. Why can't you take
after your friend here? He knows enough to stay out of Starfleet. Even
a human can see that there are a lot more profitable opportunities out
there for a young man with ambition.
NOG: Uncle, he wants to be a writer. There's no profit in that.
QUARK: On the contrary. Writing holosuite programmes, especially the
more intimate variety, is very profitable.
JAKE: I'll bet.
QUARK: I'll tell you what. The two of you come up with a proposal, and
I'll put up the latinum for your first programme.
NOG: I don't think so, Uncle.
QUARK: All right, fine. Join Starfleet. I don't know why I bother
trying to help you, anyway. Go down to the storeroom and get your
father. Tell him to get behind the bar. Lieutenant Dax has asked me to
join the senior staff for a very important meeting in the wardroom.
BASHIR: Do you have any idea what Dax wants to talk
to us about?
BASHIR: Apparently she asked Leeta to come as well.
ODO: I've noticed they've been spending quite a bit of time together.
BASHIR: Do you keep tabs on everybody, Constable?
ODO: Not everyone. But really, Doctor, two Delvin fluff pastries for
breakfast this morning? You of all people should know better than to
start your day like that.
(General small talk going on.)
BASHIR: Major. Chief. Hello, Leeta.
LEETA: Oh, hello.
BASHIR: How are you doing?
ODO: And what does that mean, exactly?
DAX: Thank you all for coming.
BASHIR: No problem.
DAX: I'll get right to the point. You are the seven people on this
station that I feel closest to, and I want you all to be a part of my
QUARK: Zhian'tara? What's that?
LEETA: It's the Trill Rite of Closure. I've read about it.
DAX: The zhian'tara is a ritual where joined Trills get a chance to
actually meet their previous hosts.
KIRA: Meet them? How?
DAX: That's where you come in. If you don't mind, I'd like to borrow
your bodies for a few hours.
O'BRIEN: What do you mean borrow our bodies?
DAX: If you agree to participate, the memories of one of my previous
hosts will be temporarily removed from the symbiont and imprinted onto
you. You essentially become one of my hosts for the duration of the
BASHIR: And how is this accomplished?
DAX: The memories are transferred telepathically by a Guardian.
ODO: A Guardian?
LEETA: They take care of the symbionts. Usually they're unjoined Trill.
BASHIR: Leeta is sort of an amateur sociologist.
LEETA: It comes in handy in my line of work. You never know who you'll
meet at the dabo table.
QUARK: You're asking me to hand my body over to some dead person?
DAX: Oh, only for a few hours.
QUARK: What happens to me in the meantime?
DAX: You'll remain conscious of everything that's going on around you,
and at any time you can reassert yourself and regain control of your
SISKO: But it's best to you relax and let the host's memories emerge.
The point is to give Jadzia the chance to interact with her previous
hosts. Curzon spoke very fondly of his zhian'tara. He said it was one
of the most powerful experiences of his life.
BASHIR: I do have one question. What about Joran?
QUARK: Joran? Was he the crazy host of yours? The musician who killed
DAX: Commander Sisko has volunteered to embody Joran.
SISKO: We've already discussed taking certain precautions during the
BASHIR: Well, count me in.
LEETA: Me, too.
O'BRIEN: Oh. Yes. Yeah, I'm in.
QUARK: Why is everybody looking at me?
ODO: Because you're the only one who hasn't agreed to participate.
QUARK: I'm sorry, Lieutenant. You're going to have to find someone
(Dax resorts to lobe stroking.)
DAX: I really want you to be a part of this, Quark. I was hoping that
you'd embody Audrid for me.
DAX: I think it'll make us closer.
QUARK: When you put it that way.
DAX: I knew I could count on you. Kira, I would like you to embody
Lela, my first host. We'll start tomorrow, after the Guardian arrives.
It means a lot to me that all of you all willing to do this. Thank you.
(Everyone leaves except Dax and Sisko.)
SISKO: Correct me if I'm wrong, but did Quark just agree to embody one
of your female hosts?
DAX: Yes, he did.
O'BRIEN: After that comes the deductive reasoning
portion of the exam, and then the spatial orientation test. The whole
thing should take about four days. Now I know it must sound
overwhelming to you. Just try to take it one day at a time.
NOG: One day at a time. Right.
O'BRIEN: And today, all you have to worry about is the stress reaction
test. Computer, run programme delta five nine.
NOG: I thought this was going to be a runabout
NOG: But that's what I practised.
O'BRIEN: If we tested you where you practised it wouldn't exactly be
stressful, now would it? Man your post. You're the Operations Officer
(Nog sits at a console and shudder! An alarm sounds.)
NOG: What was that?
O'BRIEN: You tell me.
GUARDIAN: We've been trying to get Dax back to the
homeworld to perform the zhian'tara for some time now. She kept putting
us off, so the Symbiosis Commission decided to force the issue and send
DAX: I just haven't had time to get away.
SISKO: You could've made the time.
GUARDIAN: Where is the zhian'tara to take place? I have preparations to
DAX: This way.
(There's a flame burning in a cauldron.)
GUARDIAN: I'nora, ja'kala Dax. Ahian'shee Lela tanus rem. Gon'dar
Jadzia tor. Jadzia, zhian'tara vok. Tu Dax, zhian'tani ress. Zhian'par,
(He places his hands behind Kira and Dax's heads, and something flows
from Dax through him to Kira.)
(Kira sounds more middle-aged, and carries her head forward.)
LELA: No, Lela. You must be Dax's new host.
DAX: I'm Jadzia.
LELA: What a beautiful name.
GUARDIAN: I have a few questions for both of you. I need to make sure
the memory transference is complete.
LELA: Go ahead
GUARDIAN: What is the last thing you remember?
LELA: Talking to Curzon at his zhian'tara.
GUARDIAN: Can you tell me the name of the person who supervised Lela
when she was an Initiate?
DAX: No. I can't remember.
GUARDIAN: That's perfectly all right. It just means Lela's memories
have been temporarily removed from your mind.
DAX: It's a little disorienting, like part of me is suddenly missing.
LELA: Not missing, right here. (her head) And the name of my Initiate
supervisor was Jobel.
GUARDIAN: Excellent. The transference seems to be complete. Unless
either of you has any questions, I'll leave you alone for a few hours.
LELA: Thank you.
LELA: Such odd fellows, these Guardians, huh?
DAX: I know.
LELA: Well, it's understandable, I suppose. They spend most of their
time underground tending symbiont pools full of this stuff. I love the
smell of it, don't you? It looks like you've ended up a long way from
home, Jadzia. What is it?
DAX: It's just, I hold my hands behind my back the same way you do.
LELA: It's a habit I picked up when I was a Legislator. I was one of
the first women to serve as a council member. When I started out, I
talked with my hands a lot. Lots of emphatic gesturing. I discovered
some of my male colleagues were imitating of me, so I started to do
DAX: I thought it was just an unconscious habit. I never realised why I
LELA: That's the point of the zhian'tara, to discover these kinds of
things about yourself.
DAX: It's so strange. It's like you really are Lela.
LELA: Well in a sense, I am. After all, what is a person but a sum of
their memories? I have a feeling that these next few days are going to
be extraordinary for you.
DAX: Tobin, I don't think Chief O'Brien is going to appreciate you
biting his nails.
TOBIN: (nasal voice, American twang) Sorry. I guess I'm a little
DAX: That's all right. I get that way sometimes myself.
TOBIN: Now you know who you have to thank for it. Sorry.
DAX: Will you please stop saying you're sorry?
DAX: I've been working on finishing your proof of Fermat's last
TOBIN: You have?
DAX: It's the most original approach to the proof since Wiles
over three hundred years ago.
DAX: I guess I tend to look for original approaches myself. I guess I
have you to thank for that, as well.
(We switch to Leeta doing acrobatics.)
DAX: Very nice.
EMONY: This is an excellent body you've managed to get for me.
DAX: I'll be sure to pass that on.
EMONY: I remember when I first got the Dax symbiont, I was worried that
it might affect my coordination in some way.
DAX: And hurt your gymnastics career?
EMONY: As it turned out, being joined improved my concentration.
DAX: Really? I found that as well.
EMONY: You're a gymnast?
DAX: No, but I'm an expert in Klingon martial arts.
EMONY: Ah. Did you take it up before or after you were joined?
EMONY: Why am I not surprised?
AUDRID: Sit right here and I'll tell you all about it.
(Quark starts brushing Dax's hair)
AUDRID: The day I was named head of the Symbiosis Commission was one of
the happiest of my life. Right behind the day I gave birth to my first
child. Are you a mother, Jadzia?
AUDRID: Oh, I hope you will be someday. There's nothing quite like
holding a baby to your breast, nursing it. The entity that lent me this
body wishes to speak.
QUARK: How much longer am I going to have to do this?
DAX: Another hour at most. And the sooner we get back to it, the sooner
it'll be over.
QUARK: Just remember, not a word about this to anyone.
DAX: I promise.
(Dax reaches for another treat and someone takes a handful.)
DAX: Maybe you should go easy on those, Torias. Julian was just telling
me the other day he's started to watch what he eats.
(Brash, loud, sort of mid-west accent but not quite.)
TORIAS: Well, you should tell your friend to live a little. Life's too
short to deprive yourself of the simple pleasures. I should know.
DAX: You didn't exactly deprive yourself.
TORIAS: No, but my life was too short.
DAX: The accident.
TORIAS: Still, I'm lucky. I continue to exist as part of you. Just as
Jadzia will go on existing when the symbiont is passed on to a new
host. We're part of something bigger than any one of us. I just feel
lucky to have been chosen.
DAX: So do I.
TORIAS: Come in.
GUARDIAN: It's late. I think it's time we returned Doctor Bashir's body
DAX: It was nice meeting you.
SISKO: I'm ready.
ODO: Are you sure about this, Commander?
SISKO: Don't worry, Odo. Joran isn't going to be able to hurt anyone
from inside a holding cell.
ODO: There's just one problem. You're going to be in there with him.
(The guardian and Dax creep out of the cell while
Sisko has his head lowered.)
GUARDIAN: Activate the forcefield.
JORAN: Hello, Jadzia.
(Creepy Hannibal Lector character.)
ODO: If you need me, I'll be right outside.
GUARDIAN: As will I.
JORAN: It's good to see you again, Jadzia. Tell me, have you been
practising your music?
DAX: Yes, when I have the time.
JORAN: Good. Do you think of me when you play?
JORAN: I'm glad. You're a very pretty girl, Jadzia. Very pretty. But
unfortunately that's all you are. You're nothing compared to Lela,
Torias or myself. A pretender. You must realise that by now.
DAX: You don't know anything about me.
JORAN: Only what I can see. A little girl not worthy of the noble
creature nestled inside her. You're overwhelmed by it. You're in over
your head. And they said it was a mistake choosing me for joining. But
there is one hope for you, Jadzia, and that's me. My strength is within
you. You don't have to be afraid of it.
DAX: I'm not.
JORAN: Then use it let me show you how to use it. Lower the forcefield,
Jadzia. Lower it, and you will never be afraid of anything ever again.
(Joran pushes against the forcefield with his hands, then starts
thumping his head against it.)
DAX: Joran! Stop it, you're hurting him. Benjamin, take control!
SISKO: I think that's enough of Joran for now.
(Dax lowers the forcefield.)
DAX: Are you all right?
(Sisko grabs her throat.)
(Dax fights him off, twice.)
SISKO: It's all right, old man, it's me. Thanks.
DAX: For what?
SISKO: For not breaking any bones.
(Rom keeps looking up at the holosuites.)
QUARK: Will you stop that. It's very distracting. I'm trying to do the
ROM: I can't help it. My son's future is being decided at this very
QUARK: Well, pacing around like some Alvanian cave sloth isn't going to
(Rom takes a box from under the bar and checks the contents.)
QUARK: What's that?
ROM: A cadet's uniform. I got it for Nog. I had Garak make it to order.
It cost five strips of latinum.
QUARK: Well you wasted your money. He's not going to need it.
ROM: Why not?
QUARK: Because he'll be issued a uniform if and when he gets to the
ROM: Well, now he'll have two.
[Promenade, upper level]
DAX: I keep thinking about Joran.
SISKO: I heard what he told you.
DAX: I can't seem to get it out of my head.
SISKO: Jadzia, did you put off having your zhian'tara because you were
afraid you wouldn't measure up to the other hosts?
DAX: I don't know. Maybe I did.
SISKO: Now that it's almost over, I hope you realise you were wrong.
DAX: I'm not so sure I was.
SISKO: I don't understand how you could say that. You were chosen for
joining because you deserved it, just as much as any of the others.
DAX: If that's true, then why did Curzon wash me out of the Initiate
SISKO: You tell me.
DAX: I've always believed it was because he wanted to challenge me so
that I would reapply and try harder, but now I'm not so sure.
SISKO: Why not? That's exactly what you did.
DAX: Maybe Curzon just didn't think I was good enough.
SISKO: I find that hard to believe. But if that's what you're afraid
of, why don't you ask him when you see him?
DAX: I will. But what happens if he tells me something I don't want to
hear? I have to go.
GUARDIAN: Jadzia, zhian'tara vok. Tu Dax,
zhian'tani ress. Zhian'par, Odo garu'koj.
(The energy crosses and Odo's face and hair transform into a Trill.)
SISKO: I'm going to my office for a while.
(The door opens.)
CURZON: Benjamin! You do recognise me, don't you?
CURZON: Don't tell me. The nose gave me away. What's the matter? Aren't
you happy to see me?
SISKO: Of course, of course. So where's Jadzia?
CURZON: It's all right. I told her I wanted to come see you, that we'd
meet up later at Quark's. I'm going to give that little toad the scare
of his life.
SISKO: You sound like Odo.
CURZON: I am Odo.
SISKO: I don't understand. I thought you were Curzon.
CURZON: I'm both. The Guardian thinks it has something to do with my
shape-shifting nature. It's as if Odo and Curzon have been joined. It's
proving to be quite interesting experience for both of us. In any case,
the Guardian says it's nothing to worry about. I like the beard, by the
(And 'Curzon' pours himself a drink.)
CURZON: Absolutely. So, when is Kasidy Yates coming back?
SISKO: Not you, too.
CURZON: She's a fine looking woman, Ben. Kind of reminds me of the girl
you took up with on Pelios Station.
SISKO: Why don't we go join Jadzia in Quark's and let Jake finish his
CURZON: I'll tell you all about it later.
SISKO: Curzon, remember?
QUARK: Odo? What happened to your face?
CURZON: Never mind my face.
(And kisses Quark on the forehead)
CURZON: Did I ever mention you're a magnificent scoundrel. Two Tranyas please, very
QUARK: Right away.
SISKO: It's going to take Quark a little while to get over that.
DAX: Looks like the two of you are having a good time.
CURZON: Well, as good a time as two gentlemen can have without the
company of a lady. Please, join us. Excuse me while I slip into
something more appropriate.
(And morphs into a colourful new outfit.)
CURZON: I love being a changeling.
SISKO: Well, if you two don't mind, I think I'll be pushing off
CURZON: Benjamin, don't go.
SISKO: I need to finish evaluating Nog's test results. He's waiting to
hear how he did. Thanks for stopping by, old man. It was good to see
CURZON: Well, there goes the best friend I ever had. Well?
(Curzon takes the drinks off stunned Quark.)
CURZON: So, are you been enjoying your zhian'tara?
DAX: For the most part.
CURZON: What about that Tobin, eh? Did he tell you that I got him drunk
for the first time during my zhian'tara?
DAX: No, but I can see why you did. Curzon, there's something I want to
talk to you about.
DAX: Do you remember when I was an Initiate?
CURZON: Do you see that Ferengi over there? A bulletin came in on him
last week. He's a tongo hustler. I'd love to clean him out. We should
get a game going.
(It's now late, and the tongo game is still going)
NOG: I just don't understand how I could have failed, Father.
ROM: You've always been so good with spatial orientation. Remember the
time we redid the floors, and you managed to stack all the chairs so
they fit behind the bar?
NOG: Now I won't qualify to take the Academy entrance exam. My
Starfleet career is over before it even started.
QUARK: He's right, you know. And it's not fair. Starfleet has no idea
who it's passing up. Nog, you would have made a good officer. I want
you to know something. There will always be a place for you here, at
CURZON: Sorry, Lonzo.
QUARK: Excuse me, folks, but the bar has been closed for over an hour
now. I asked you nicely before, but if you don't leave, I'm going to
have to call security.
CURZON: I am security.
DAX: Don't worry, Quark. We're going.
(Curzon picks up a tall slim bottle.)
CURZON: I confiscated this from a Yridian smuggler.
DAX: Don't you need it for evidence?
DAX: I still want to talk to you about what happened when I was an
CURZON: I know you do. So, what is it you want to ask me?
DAX: Why didn't you object when you heard I was reinstated into the
CURZON: I don't know, Jadzia. Maybe I decided I'd been too hard on you.
DAX: It was your job to be hard on Initiates.
CURZON: Yes, but the truth is, I felt sorry for you. Well, you wanted
to be joined so badly. You were so young, so lovely.
DAX: I guess I've always had this nagging feeling I didn't have your
complete confidence. I tried to push it aside, but now it turns out I
was right. You never thought I was good enough to be a host.
CURZON: Whatever I may have thought doesn't matter. You are a host.
Isn't that enough?
DAX: No. I feel like I don't have your respect. And I'm afraid when
your memories are restored to me, I'm going to feel like I don't
CURZON: In that case, you'll be happy to know that I've come to a
decision that's going to benefit both of us.
DAX: What do you mean?
CURZON: I've decided to stay where I am, in this body. And I'm not just
speaking as Curzon. This is Odo's decision as well. We like what we've
become and neither of us wants to go back to the way things were.
GUARDIAN: There's no way to remove Curzon's
memories from Odo without his cooperation. He has to give them up
SISKO: What'll happen to Jadzia if we can't persuade him?
GUARDIAN: It'll take some time for her to adjust to the new balance,
but she'll be fine.
SISKO: Do you want me to talk to Curzon? I know him better than anyone.
I might be able to get him to cooperate.
DAX: I don't think so. I don't think I want to do anything.
SISKO: What do you mean?
DAX: I mean I'm fine, and obviously Odo and Curzon are well suited to
each other. Maybe it's better this way.
SISKO: I'd like to speak to Jadzia alone for a moment.
(The Guardian leaves.)
SISKO: Do you really want to leave things as they are? Or are you just
trying to avoid a confrontation with Curzon? You once told me that
Curzon intimidated you when you were an Initiate.
DAX: I looked up to him. I still do. Maybe that's why I find it hard to
challenge his decisions.
SISKO: Let me tell you something about Curzon. He was my friend, he was
my confidant. In a way, he was my teacher as well. But he was also be
manipulative, selfish and arrogant. Most people let him get away with
it because he was so charming. Sometimes I let him get away with it
too. But from time to time he'd push me too far and I'd have to stand
up to him, tell him he'd crossed the line.
DAX: And how would he react?
SISKO: Sometimes he'd just laugh and admit it, sometimes he'd get
furious. But either way he'd back off, because he knew he was wrong.
And he is wrong now. He's being selfish and he's manipulated you to get
you to go along with what he wants. Now, are you can confront him or
let him get away with it? It's up to you.
(Rom grabs Quark.)
ROM: I know what you did.
QUARK: Take it easy. What's wrong with you?
ROM: You know what's wrong. You reconfigured the holosuite so that Nog
would fail the spatial orientation test.
QUARK: I did it for his own good, Rom. I couldn't just stand by and
watch my nephew throw his life away.
ROM: You had no right to interfere. I've already told Commander Sisko
what you did and he's going to let Nog retake the test.
QUARK: You what?
ROM: You heard me. And if you ever do anything to hurt Nog again, I'll
burn the bar to the ground.
QUARK: You wouldn't dare.
ROM: Oh yes I would. My son's happiness is more important to me than
anything, even latinum. Remember that, brother.
CURZON: Jadzia, come in, come in. I was just oozing
around the room. You have no idea what a liberating experience it is to
be in a liquid state.
DAX: We need to talk.
CURZON: All right. What is it you want to talk about?
DAX: I want my memories back.
CURZON: I'm sorry. I realise this is difficult for you, but you'll get
over it. Trust me, it's better this way.
DAX: For you, maybe. You're both living out a life you never could have
had otherwise. But it's my life you're living. Those should be my
CURZON: Not anymore. Maybe they never should've been.
DAX: That's where you're wrong. I earned the right to be joined. I am
the only person in our planet's history who was ever readmitted to the
Initiate programme after being washed out.
CURZON: The only reason you got back in was because I felt sorry for
DAX: Curzon Dax famous for rejecting Initiates. Why feel sorry for me?
CURZON: Now don't you use that tone of voice with me, little girl.
DAX: You can't intimidate me, Curzon. And I'm not a little girl
CURZON: No, I suppose you're not. The truth is, you weren't a little
girl back when you were an Initiate. You were a brilliant and beautiful
young woman. Very beautiful.
DAX: You were in love with me?
CURZON: At first I thought it was just an old man's passing
infatuation. After all, I'd always had an eye for the ladies. But as we
spent more time together, I started to realise it was something deeper.
DAX: Then why were you so hard on me?
CURZON: I couldn't let you know the truth. You were an Initiate, I was
DAX: So you washed me out of the programme.
CURZON: Later I realised that I'd robbed you of something you'd wanted
all your life. I felt so guilty I nearly retired from the Symbiosis
DAX: So when I reapplied, you didn't object.
CURZON: On the contrary. I was grateful when you'd reapplied. It let me
off the hook. So now that you know, you can see that it's best for both
of us that I stay here, in this body.
DAX: Why? Because you loved me?
CURZON: Because I still love you.
DAX: There's no shame in that, Curzon.
CURZON: Yes, there is, and if we rejoined, you'll feel it too.
DAX: No, I won't, because I love you. You're a part of me and I want
you back. That way, Jadzia and Curzon can be together the way they
should be, through Dax.
ROM: He's coming! He's coming.
(Rom brings in Nog, wearing the Starfleet uniform.)
ROM: Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce Starfleet's future. My
SISKO: Congratulations, Nog.
NOG: Thank you, sir.
JAKE: Yeah, way to go.
SISKO: I'm afraid you jumped the gun putting on that uniform.
NOG: I know I haven't earned the right to wear it yet, but my father
got it for me.
SISKO: Hopefully, you'll get to put on the real one next year.
JAKE: When you ace the Academy entrance exam.
BASHIR: What's the matter, Chief?
O'BRIEN: It just occurred to me. As soon as that kid graduates from the
Academy, I'm going to have to call him sir.
QUARK: What can I get you, Nog?
NOG: A root beer. It's an Earth drink. Something they serve at the
QUARK: A root beer. This is the end of Ferengi civilization.
ODO: May I join you, Lieutenant?
DAX: Of course.
ODO: I'd just like to apologise for my behaviour while I was joined
DAX: There's no need to apologise. In a way I'm glad it happened. It
forced me to deal with some things about myself I've never really
faced. Besides, you've given me a special gift.
DAX: You see, now I have Curzon's memories of what it felt like to be a
changeling. I never realised how much joy it gives you.
ODO: And I never understood how much joy you humanoids experience in
things like eating, drinking, staying up all night playing tongo.
Frankly, I don't see how Curzon ever managed to get any work done.
DAX: He always seemed to, somehow.
ODO: Well, he must have been a remarkable man.
DAX: Yes, he is.