Rules of Engagement
Stardate: 49665.3
Original Airdate: 8 Apr, 1996

[Defiant]

(The scene is 'unreal' with slanted camera angle and slightly out of focus. It is Red alert and Worf is running with his bat'leth. A badly injured crewman reaches out for help. The bridge crew are dead. A group of Klingons are celebrating their victory. Worf enters the bridge to see dead Klingon children at the stations instead of Federation personnel.)

[Holding cell]

(Worf wakes from his nightmare.)
ODO: Are you all right?
WORF: What time is it?
ODO: Oh four hundred. Your hearing starts in four hours. I suggest trying to get some sleep. You've got a big day ahead of you.

[Wardroom]

(Admiral T'Lara (a Vulcan female) strikes the ship's bell six times.)
T'LARA: This hearing will come to order. We are here to consider the request of the Klingon Empire that Lieutenant Commander Worf be extradited for trial on charges of murder. Advocate Ch'Pok, you may present your charges.
CH'POK: The Klingon Empire makes the following allegations against Lieutenant Commander Worf. That on Stardate 49648, while commanding the Starship Defiant, he knowingly fired upon and destroyed a Klingon civilian transport ship near the Pentath system. That as a result of that action, four hundred forty one Klingon civilians were killed. It is my intention to prove that Mister Worf was grossly negligent in his command of the Defiant. That his lust for combat overrode his good judgement. I ask only that he be returned to us to face the judgment of his own people. Thank you.
SISKO: The Advocate neglected to mention in his opening statement that at the time in question, the Defiant was under attack by two Klingon warships. This was a combat situation with hundreds of lives at stake. It was at that moment, when suddenly the transport ship decloaked in front of the Defiant. Worf gave the order to fire, not because he was reckless or negligent, but because he believed he was firing on a warship. We intend to show that the destruction of the transport was a tragic, but unavoidable, accident.
T'LARA: I will hear formal evidence beginning tomorrow afternoon at fifteen hundred hours.

[Promenade]

SISKO: I want to know everything there is to know about the Klingon who was commanding that transport ship.
ODO: You suspect that he wasn't just on an innocent passenger run.
SISKO: I'm going to argue that he saw the battle and then decided to join it. That he decloaked in order to attack the Defiant.
ODO: Not the smartest decision he ever made.
SISKO: That's where you come in. Use your contacts in the Empire and find out something about this captain I can use. Was he reckless, did he have a reputation for drinking, did he have a death wish? Something.
ODO: I'll see what I can do.
(Odo gets onto the turbolift.)
CH'POK: Captain. (hands over a PADD) The witnesses I intend to call.
SISKO: Thank you.
CH'POK: A remarkable station, Captain.
SISKO: Thank you. We don't get many Klingon visitors anymore.
CH'POK: After this case is over, you might be seeing a lot more of us.
SISKO: Oh?
CH'POK: When Worf is extradited, the Federation will be forced to admit that one of its officers committed a massacre. That will put you on the defensive throughout the quadrant. And while you're busy trying to repair a badly damaged reputation, we'll find ourselves with certain opportunities.
SISKO: An opportunity to annex more Cardassian space and set up additional military bases in this sector?
CH'POK: Possibly. But in any case, Worf is about to present us with something we never could have won in battle. Sympathy. Any move we make against you will be seen as a legitimate response to an outrageous slaughter.
SISKO: You're presuming an awful lot. Worf maintains his innocence.
CH'POK: And you are about to remind me that the burden of proof is mine. It's an interesting system of justice you have, Captain. It does have its flaws, however. It emphasises procedure over substance, form over fact.
SISKO: I'm sorry if you feel it puts you at a disadvantage.
CH'POK: On the contrary. I look forward to fighting on your terms.
SISKO: This is not a fight. It's the search for the truth.
CH'POK: The truth must be won. I'll see you on the battlefield.

[Wardroom]

CH'POK: I have studied Commander Worf's report, the Defiant's sensor logs, and the reports of the other officers on the Bridge. And I believe every word of it. It's a point of pride for the Federation that Starfleet officers never lie or commit fraud, so I will accept the facts of the case as they have been submitted.
SISKO: Admiral, if there are no facts in dispute, then this hearing would appear to be at an end.
CH'POK: We Klingons are not concerned with matters of fact and circumstance. What matters to us is what was in Worf's heart when he gave the order to fire. Was he just a Starfleet officer doing his duty or was he a Klingon warrior revelling in the battle? That is why I am here. Because if he was a Klingon lost in the bloodlust of combat, only we can judge him, not you.
SISKO: We can't put a man's heart on trial. It's a subjective issue that cannot be reasoned in a court of law. I ask that the advocate be limited to arguing the evidence in this case.
CH'POK: Someone told me this was a search for the truth. Should we not follow that search wherever it takes us?
T'LARA: The question of Commander Worf's motive is relevant. I will allow you to explore this issue, but only as far as logic permits.
CH'POK: I bow to your judgement.
T'LARA: You may call your first witness.
(The first witness is Dax.)
CH'POK: You're something of an expert on Klingon society, aren't you, Commander?
DAX: My previous host, Curzon, would have called himself an expert. I tend to think of myself as having a passing familiarity with your culture.
CH'POK: In your opinion, as someone with a passing familiarity with our culture, wouldn't you say the Klingons are a violent, warrior race?
DAX: Yes, there is that aspect to your people.
CH'POK: Would you agree that one of the things that makes a Klingon warrior so formidable is his predatory instinct, his bloodlust, if you will?
DAX: I'd agree with that.
CH'POK: Now, when Worf was on the Defiant, engaged in combat, don't you think his predatory instinct took over?
DAX: I think that instinct was present, but I've seen Mister Worf restrain it before.
CH'POK: How do you know so much about how he behaves in battle?
DAX: In the holosuite. We've fought many times.
CH'POK: You mean you practiced with Mister Worf. You played with him.
DAX: Oh, no. When we fight, we fight.

[Holosuite caves]

(As she remembers a workout similar to that from Sons of Mogh)
DAX [OC]: I've made it very clear to Mister Worf that I never want him to take it easy on me because I'm a woman or a Trill.

[Wardroom]

CH'POK: Have you ever been injured?
DAX: A few bruises here and there. A broken finger once. Nothing serious. And I've given him a few lumps of his own.

[Holosuite caves]

CH'POK [OC]: So you're not afraid of Mister Worf?
(Worf gets his blade against her neck.)
DAX: I'm no fool. I can see the killer instinct in his eyes, and I know he could kill me if he wants to. But that look always goes away. He knows when to stop. Ja'cht.

[Wardroom]

CH'POK: Admiral, at this time I would like to enter into evidence files I obtained from the defendant's private database this morning.
SISKO: Objection. There's been no search order issued for those files. This is a violation of Mister Worf's privacy.
T'LARA: The captain is correct. Without a properly executed search order, or the permission of the defendant, any information you have accessed from his private database may not be admitted into evidence.
CH'POK: Ah. I see. Well, I obviously have no search order, so I'll ask you, Worf. May I enter this files into evidence? Or do you have something to hide?
SISKO: Don't play his game.
WORF: I have nothing to hide. Use whatever you wish.
CH'POK: Commander Dax, are you familiar with a holosuite programme known as The Battle of Tong Vey?
DAX: Yes. It's one of the programmes Mister Worf brought with him from the Enterprise.
CH'POK: Describe it for us.
DAX: It's an historical re-enactment of one of the epic Klingon battles. Ten thousand warriors under the command of the Emperor Sompek conquered the city of Tong Vey after a long siege.
CH'POK: A glorious battle. When Worf recreates it in the holosuite, what role does he play?
DAX: Sompek.
CH'POK: Of course. The conqueror's role. One of our greatest heroes. Tell me, Commander, what was the final order Sompek gave to his men once they had conquered the city of Tong Vey?
(Dax doesn't want to answer.)
CH'POK: Commander?
DAX: He told them to burn the city to the ground and to kill everyone in it.
CH'POK: Everyone? Not just the soldiers, but the people of the town too? Civilians? Women? Children?
DAX: Yes.
CH'POK: Now, Commander, when Mister Worf runs this programme, does he give the final order to destroy the city and kill all of the inhabitants?
DAX: It's not the same thing. It's a simulation.
CH'POK: Answer the question.
DAX: That's the way the programme is supposed to end. You have to give that command
CH'POK: Admiral, I ask that the witness be instructed to answer the question yes or no.
T'LARA: Yes or no, Commander?
DAX: Yes.
CH'POK: Of course he does. Because he is a Klingon warrior. He doesn't have the same moral code as a Starfleet officer. He is one of us. A killer, a predator among sheep.
SISKO: Objection!
T'LARA: Restrain yourself, Advocate.
CH'POK: I only have one more question for this witness, Admiral. Commander Dax, when was the last time Worf used that programme?
DAX: (reading the diary PADD) The day before he left on the convoy mission.
CH'POK: The day before. The day before. I have nothing further.
(Sisko's turn to be questioned)
CH'POK: Captain, you ordered Worf to command the Defiant on the mission in question, did you not?
SISKO: That's right.
CH'POK: How did you describe the mission to Worf?

[Captain's office]

SISKO: An outbreak of Rudellian plague has struck the Cardassian colony on Pentath Three. The Cardassians are preparing several convoys of medical supplies and relief workers, but the Pentath system borders Klingon territory and the Cardassians are worried about raids.
WORF: Well, Pentath is a strategically important system. The Klingons will try to stop them.
SISKO: Now the problem is the Cardassians don't have enough warships available to protect the relief convoy. They've asked for Starfleet protection, and because of the humanitarian nature of the request, we've agreed. There will be seven convoys headed for Pentath Three in the next week, each of them protected by a Federation starship. The Defiant has been assigned to escort convoy six, and I've chosen you to be in command.
CH'POK [OC]: Why did you select Worf for this mission?
SISKO: (to camera) I felt he was an experienced officer who was ready to take on greater responsibilities. He had a distinguished record and obviously understood the Klingons.

[Wardroom]

CH'POK: Weren't you a little worried, Captain, that Worf, a famed Klingon Warrior, might jump at the chance for battle and forget about the plague victims?
SISKO: If I were, I wouldn't have given him the assignment.
CH'POK: And you're sure you made your instructions perfectly clear? That Commander Worf knew he was on a humanitarian relief mission. That he was not being sent out to seek combat?
SISKO: Yes.
CH'POK: Thank you, Captain. I have nothing further for you.
T'LARA: Captain, since you are also acting as defence counsel, if you wish to add anything to the record, you are free to do so.
SISKO: Not at this time, Admiral.
T'LARA: Call your next witness.

[Quark's]

QUARK (to camera): It was about seventeen hundred hours. I was doing some cleanup work. Doctor Bashir was at the bar talking to Etheria, one of the dabo girls.
BASHIR: Have you ever seen the wormhole open?
QUARK: No, wait. It wasn't Etheria. It was Glidia.
BASHIR: Have you ever seen the wormhole open?
QUARK: Or was it Midia?
CH'POK [OC]: Mister Quark, is this necessary?
QUARK: No, no, no. It was Ralidia and she was with Morn. And he was the one who turned to her and said

[Wardroom]

CH'POK: Can we return to the matter at hand, please?
QUARK: Oh, right. Well, as I said, I was cleaning up and I saw Mister Worf come in.

[Quark's]

CH'POK [OC]: Was there anything unusual about that?
QUARK: No, he comes in here all the time. But he was in a good mood.
CH'POK [OC]: And that's unusual?

[Wardroom]

QUARK: Well, he's a Klingon, and you people are rarely in what I would call good moods. Not that you're anything but a pleasant, charming race.
CH'POK: Let's get back to Mister Worf. Describe what happened next
QUARK: He came in, he ordered a drink, prune juice, I believe, and we started to talk. I'd heard about the convoy mission so I asked him about it and he said he was going to be commanding the Defiant.
CH'POK: What was his attitude?
QUARK: Hard to say. He's a very private man. He doesn't share a lot with his bartender.
CH'POK: Did he seem afraid of the mission?
QUARK: No.
CH'POK: Did he seem excited by the mission?
QUARK: Not excited, exactly.
CH'POK: Then what, exactly?

[Quark's]

QUARK: I just remember asking him. What happens if the Klingons go after the convoy? And then he got this funny look on his face. He put down his prune juice, looked me right in the eyes, and then he said.
WORF: I hope they do.

[Wardroom]

CH'POK: I hope they do. Well, it would appear Commander Worf's hopes were answered. I have nothing further.

[Security office]

SISKO: What do you have for me, Constable?
ODO: Background on the Klingon transport captain. He'd never been in the military and he was known to his family and friends as a quiet, efficient man who was content in his position.
SISKO: Doesn't sound like a man who'd suddenly decide to take on the Defiant.
ODO: No.
SISKO: What about this story of theirs that the transport ship just wandered off course into a combat area?
ODO: I checked the flight plan the captain filed and the projected course was near the border. It would've taken only a very slight error in navigation for the ship to stray into the fight.
SISKO: But why did he drop his cloak right in front of the Defiant?
ODO: Ah, that's the question no one seems able to answer.
SISKO: No one seems able, or no one seems willing?
ODO: They're too willing to answer questions. That's the problem. I'm always suspicious of people who are eager to help a police officer.
SISKO: Start looking into the passengers on that ship. Maybe someone with a grudge against Worf or the Federation was aboard. Someone who could have seized control of the ship and taken it into the battle. I'm reaching, I know. But at the moment it's all we have.
ODO: I'll keep looking.

[Bridge]

O'BRIEN: (to camera) There were two Klingon ships. A bird of prey and an old battle cruiser. One would engage us while the other went after the convoy, then they'd switch, the first ship going after the Cardassians while the second ship came after us.
(BOOM)
KIRA: We've lost the number three starboard shield.
WORF: Come about. The cruiser is taking us too far away from the convoy. Try to keep our portside to the Klingons.
O'BRIEN: Aye, sir. This went on for, I don't know, maybe five minutes. They'd come at us, try to draw us away from the Cardassians, we'd head back. Then the bird of prey came toward us off the port bow.
(BOOM)
KIRA: I have phaser lock.
WORF: Fire!
(They hit the ship and it cloaks.)
KIRA: We damaged them, but not much.
O'BRIEN: We'd seen them do this cloak and run manoeuvre a few times, and Commander Worf thought he saw a pattern.
WORF: We have them now. Come to course one eight five mark two seven eight. Stand by quantum torpedoes, full spread.
KIRA: Aye, sir.
O'BRIEN: I ran a quick sensor sweep and then I reported. I'm picking up a tachyon surge directly ahead.
WORF: Fire!
(The ship is still decloaking when it goes KaBOOM)
SISKO [OC]: When did you realise it wasn't a bird of prey?
O'BRIEN: As soon as it exploded.
KIRA: Oh my God.
O'BRIEN [OC]: We were all stunned.

[Wardroom]

O'BRIEN: I scanned for survivors, but there were none.
SISKO: Chief, do you believe Worf was correct in giving the order to fire?
O'BRIEN: I stand by his decision.
SISKO: Is there any question in your mind about his motives?
O'BRIEN: No, sir. I've known Commander Worf for nine years. He's an honourable man. He would never intentionally fire on an unarmed ship.
SISKO: Thank you, Chief.
CH'POK: I'm curious, Chief. You said you stand by Commander Worf's decision. Do you agree with it?
O'BRIEN: I completely support him.
CH'POK: That's not my question. Do you agree with his decision?
O'BRIEN: I wasn't in command. It's not my place to question his judgment.
CH'POK: What if you were in command? What would you have done?
O'BRIEN: I don't know.
CH'POK: Chief, how many years have you been in Starfleet?
O'BRIEN: Twenty two.
CH'POK: And how many combat situations have you been in?
O'BRIEN: I couldn't even guess.
CH'POK: Try.
O'BRIEN: A hundred, hundred and fifty?
CH'POK: For the record, Chief O'Brien has been in two hundred and thirty five separate engagements and Starfleet has decorated him fifteen times. I would like to have him declared an expert in the area of starship combat.
T'LARA: Any objection?
SISKO: None.
CH'POK: Chief O'Brien, if Mister Worf had been injured could you have taken over command of that ship?
O'BRIEN: I would have.
CH'POK: Let's say that happened. You're in command.

[Bridge]

(O'Brien in the chair, a crewman at the helm.)
CH'POK [OC]: You're chasing the bird of prey, it cloaks. You anticipate your opponent's manoeuvre, so you give the order.
O'BRIEN: Come about to one eight five mark two seven eight. Stand by quantum torpedoes, full spread.
CH'POK [OC]: The crew obeys. The ship comes about, and then your helm officer tells you.
HELM: I'm picking up a tachyon surge, directly ahead.
CH'POK [OC]: Now stop right there.

[Wardroom]

CH'POK: Freeze that moment in time. Everything rides on your next decision.

[Bridge]

CH'POK [OC]: Do you give the order to fire?
O'BRIEN: This isn't a fair question. It didn't really happen this way. I wasn't in command.
CH'POK [OC]: I'm not interested in whether you think it's a fair question or not. You're in command. There's a ship out there decloaking. You don't know what it is.

[Wardroom]

CH'POK: Do you fire?
O'BRIEN: No. But that's just my opinion now, after the fact. I wasn't in command that day. Things look a lot different when you're sitting in that chair.
CH'POK: I'm sure they do.

[Replimat]

CH'POK: Captain Sisko. Mind if I sit down? (sits) I understand you're going to put Worf on the stand this afternoon.
SISKO: That's right.
CH'POK: May I make a suggestion? Concede. Let me take him back to the Empire and I'll make sure he's not put to death. In fact, I'll defend him myself.
SISKO: You?
CH'POK: What matters to me is the thrill of the fight, not which side I'm on. And I think we both know the extradition fight is over.
SISKO: You're not making this offer out of kindness. You want the Federation to concede so the convoys will stop and the Klingons can move in on the Pentath system.
CH'POK: As humans would say, that would be icing on the cake.
SISKO: I wouldn't try eating that cake just yet, if I were you. But you have told me one thing I needed to know. You're worried about what Worf might say on the stand.
CH'POK: I'm not worried, but you should be.

[Corridor]

ODO: Captain.
(Worf goes into the wardroom.)
SISKO: Good news or bad?
ODO: Bad. I checked the backgrounds of every passenger on that transport. None had any connection with Worf, or grudge against the Federation, or any motive for seizing control of the ship and attacking the Defiant. But I'm still not giving up.
SISKO: I appreciate that. But I get the feeling that at this point the only one who can help Worf is Worf.

[Bridge]

WORF: (to camera) The escort mission had proceeded smoothly for two days. We detected several subspace distortions which might have been cloaked ships, but nothing definite.
SISKO [OC]: So what was the first sign of trouble, Mister Worf?
(Boom, Red alert!)
WORF: There was no warning.
KIRA: A bird of prey just decloaked off the port quarter.
WORF: Raise shields, arm phasers.
O'BRIEN: Commander, another ship's decloaking. It's an older battle cruiser. She's going after the convoy.
WORF: Bring us about.

[Wardroom]

SISKO: How did you feel when the Klingons attacked? Were you excited?
WORF: Of course. I am a Klingon. We live for battle.
SISKO: So that's all that mattered to you? The chance to fight?
WORF: No, sir. Whatever my personal feelings may be, I do not allow them to interfere with my duty or my professional judgement.
SISKO: Chief O'Brien says that he disagrees with your decision to fire. How do you respond to that?
WORF: I respect the Chief's opinion. He and I have served together for many years, and I consider him a friend. However, he was not in command that day.
SISKO: What difference does that make?
WORF: It makes all the difference. He is looking back at a decision, analysing it weeks later. As the commanding officer of the Defiant, it was my duty to look forward, to anticipate every possible situation.
SISKO: Did you anticipate encountering a civilian ship on this mission?
WORF: I knew that our convoy would be passing through civilian shipping lanes, but, in my judgement, the chances of a civilian vessel decloaking in the middle of a battle were remote. I decided that if I were engaged in combat I would not hesitate to fire at a decloaking ship.
SISKO: Mister Worf, I want you to think about the civilians who died on that transport ship and answer one question. Under the same set of circumstances, would you do it again?
WORF: Yes, sir. If I had hesitated, I would have been negligent. I would have been risking my ship, my crew and the entire convoy.
SISKO: Thank you.
CH'POK: Worf, why are you considered an outcast among Klingons?
WORF: I sided with the Federation during the invasion of Cardassia. For that, Chancellor Gowron stripped me of my name and my family honour.
CH'POK: So, you acted out of conscience and you were punished for it. How do you feel about that? Angry? Bitter?
WORF: I am angry about the treatment I have received. I felt it was unjust.
CH'POK: Of course you are. Who wouldn't be? What happened affected your entire family. The House of Mogh was brought down. Your brother was ejected from the High Council in disgrace, your lands seized, and now your son Alexander has to bear the stigma of being the son of a traitor. Did I miss anything?
WORF: No.
CH'POK: In your opinion, what do they think of you in the Empire, Worf?
WORF: I am hated.
CH'POK: Why? Because of what you did?
WORF: Yes.
CH'POK: Are you sure it's not something more basic?
WORF: What is that supposed to mean?
CH'POK: Isn't it obvious? You were raised by humans, on Earth. And now you wear their uniform. Haven't you really always been a traitor in your heart?
WORF: No.
CH'POK: Are you telling us that you live with humans but your heart is Klingon?
WORF: Yes.
CH'POK: But if your heart is Klingon, how could you fire upon your own people?
WORF: They fired the first shot. And when that happened, they became my enemies.
CH'POK: Then why aren't you glad you destroyed that transport? It was filled with your enemies and their children.
WORF: There is nothing honourable about killing those who cannot defend themselves.
CH'POK: Are you telling me that you would never attack a defenceless opponent?
WORF: No, I would not.
CH'POK: Maybe I've been wrong about you. Maybe you aren't really Klingon in your heart. A true Klingon rejoices at the death of his enemies. Old, young, armed, unarmed. All that matters is the victory. Tell me, Worf, did you weep for those children?
WORF: I grieve for them.
CH'POK: Grieve for them? A Klingon doesn't grieve. They died in a glorious battle! They are with the honoured dead in Sto-Vo-Kor! They do not want your grief. You dishonour their memories!
SISKO: Objection!
T'LARA: Advocate.
WORF: You will say anything. You have no honour!
CH'POK: I say this. You live with humans because you're afraid to live with Klingons.
WORF: I fear nothing. And if you would like to pick up a bat'leth and face me with weapons instead of words, I will prove it to you.
CH'POK: You'd like that, wouldn't you, Worf? You'd love to prove that you are as strong and courageous as any Klingon warrior.
WORF: I am a Klingon warrior.
T'LARA: Advocate, you are stepping well beyond the bounds of protocol.
CH'POK: And that is why you told the Ferengi you hoped the Klingons do come for you. You wanted to prove yourself in the eyes of the only people that matter to you. Other Klingons.
T'LARA: This will stop or I will hold both of you in contempt.
CH'POK: I apologise, Worf. Actually, I pity you. But the person I pity most is Alexander. Because one day he will come to you and ask, Father who am I? And you will have to tell him that he is the son of a small, frightened man who destroyed a ship full of children just to prove his own courage.
(Worf hits Ch'Pok several times, knocking him down.)
SISKO: Worf, no!
CH'POK: I thought you said you'd never attack an unarmed man. Perhaps you should have said, not unless I get angry, not unless I have something to prove. I rest my case.

Captain's log, stardate 49665.3. The hearing is in recess and Admiral T'Lara has retired to her quarters to begin deliberations. I wish I could be more optimistic about her decision.

[Captain's office]

SISKO: Constable?
ODO: Good news.
(Odo gives Sisko a PADD)

[Wardroom]

SISKO: If he objects, I know what to do.
(T'Lara enters.)
T'LARA: Captain Sisko?
SISKO: Admiral, I apologise for interrupting your deliberations, but I have some new evidence I'd like to present.
T'LARA: Very well.
SISKO: I'd like Advocate Ch'Pok to evaluate the evidence as an expert witness on the Klingon Empire.
T'LARA: I will not compel you to testify, Advocate.
SISKO: Care to step onto my battlefield?
(Ch'Pok takes the stand.)
SISKO: Advocate, how would you describe the current relationship between the Federation and the Klingon Empire?
CH'POK: There is no formal relationship between our two governments.
SISKO: What would you call us? Informal friends? Informal enemies?
CH'POK: I would say there is potential for either label, but at the moment neither is entirely accurate.
SISKO: Hmm. Interesting. Would you agree that at the moment, it is difficult for us to trust each other?
CH'POK: Difficult, but not impossible. There are things that transcend our differences. For example, we trust that this case can be decided fairly. We have faith in Admiral T'Lara's judgement.
SISKO: I'm glad to hear you have such a profound respect for the Admiral. But would it be fair to say that outside this hearing you do not entirely trust us?
CH'POK: Well, it is only prudent that we question your motives now that we are no longer allies.
SISKO: Of course. And it is only prudent of us to question your motives. After all, aren't there times when you feel it's in your best interest to deceive us?
CH'POK: I object to the question. It is vague and hypothetical.
SISKO: Well, can you imagine any circumstance in which the Empire would deceive the Federation?
CH'POK: I have a poor imagination.
SISKO: Let's see what we can do to spark it.
(Sisko gives Ch'Pok a PADD)
SISKO: Do you recognise these names?
CH'POK: These are the people who were killed on board the transport.
SISKO: You're positive? There are four hundred and forty one of them.
CH'POK: The names and faces of these people are seared into my heart. This is a list of heroes who died at the hands of a coward. It is a list I can never forget.
SISKO: They are an interesting group of people aren't they? From every walk of life. Merchants, soldiers, artists, shopkeepers.
CH'POK: Children.
SISKO: Children. We've done some checking in their backgrounds, and in our opinion they all appear to be a random group of people who shared only one thing in common. They travelled on the same ship. Is that your conclusion as well?
CH'POK: Yes.
SISKO: And it was just fate that led these particular people to board a doomed ship?
CH'POK: Fate is a human concept. They simply boarded the wrong ship at the wrong time.
SISKO: And then they did it again.
CH'POK: I don't think I understand your line of
SISKO: Three months ago a Klingon transport ship crashed in the mountains of Galorda Prime. Of course, everyone assumed the worst, that the passengers and crew had all been killed. But then, miraculously, everyone survived. Do you know anyone who was on that ship?
CH'POK: No.
SISKO: Are you sure? You have the names of the survivors right there. I can understand your confusion. The names in front of you are identical to the names on this list. The people who were killed in the Defiant incident. So, what does this mean? Four hundred and forty one people somehow survived a crash on Galorda Prime and then a few weeks later they all decide to take another trip, on the same day, on the same transport ship, under the same captain and crew, and then that ship is destroyed, too. This is a very unlucky group of people, wouldn't you say?
CH'POK: I am not an expert on luck.
SISKO: No. You are an expert on the Klingon Empire. So, tell me, Advocate. Isn't it possible that there were no civilians on the transport Worf destroyed? Isn't it possible that the ship he saw was sending out false sensor images and that this whole affair was staged so that the only Klingon officer in Starfleet would be accused of a massacre and the Federation would be forced to stop escorting the convoys? Tell me, Advocate, isn't it possible?
CH'POK: Yes.

[Worf's cabin]

WORF: Captain.
SISKO: I thought you should know O'Brien and Bashir are throwing a party for you at Quark's. It looks like quite a bash.
WORF: I am aware of it, but I have much on my mind. Ch'Pok was right. I did have something to prove when I took command of the convoy and I did not realise it until I stood there looking down at him, blood trickling from his mouth. In that moment I remember thinking finally he had given me what I really wanted. A reason to attack him. And I had that same feeling when the Klingon ships first attacked. Finally, a chance for vengeance. I should not have accepted the mission.
SISKO: I'm glad you realise that. That was your first mistake. What was your second?
WORF: When the ship decloaked, I should have checked the target before I fired.
SISKO: You're damned right you should've checked. You knew there were civilian ships in the area. You fired at something you hadn't identified. You made a military decision to protect your ship and crew, but you're a Starfleet officer, Worf. We don't put civilians at risk or even potentially at risk to save ourselves. Sometimes that means we lose the battle and sometimes our lives. But if you can't make that choice, then you can't wear that uniform.
WORF: Yes, sir.
SISKO: At ease, Commander. Now, all that being true, the reality is no harm has been done. There are no dead children on your conscience. You got lucky.
WORF: I do not feel lucky.
SISKO: And that's why despite everything that's happened you're going to make a hell of a captain some day. Now, let's go. They'll all be waiting. Look, this party isn't for you as much as it is for them. Things got a little tense there for a while. They need a release, a chance to celebrate.
WORF: But I do not feel like celebrating.
SISKO: Part of being a captain is knowing when to smile, make the troops happy even when it's the last thing in the world you want to do. Because they're your troops and you have to take care of them.
WORF: Life is a great deal more complicated in this red uniform.
SISKO: Wait till you get four pips on that collar. You'll wish you had gone into botany.

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