The Assignment
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 28 Oct, 1996

[Quark's]

QUARK: You know, Morn, there's nothing more invigorating than breakfast in a bar. Where else can you get raw slug liver first thing in the morning?
(Rom comes in, sits at the bar, and Quark puts a bowl in front of him.)
ROM: What's this?
QUARK: What do you mean, what's this? It's puree of beetle.
ROM: I didn't order it.
QUARK: Of course you didn't order it. You don't need to order it. You have it after work every morning.
ROM: Well, I'm not having it this morning. I'd like two eggs over easy, three strips of bacon and a side of corned beef hash.
QUARK: What kind of breakfast is that?
ROM: It's Chief O'Brien's breakfast of choice.
QUARK: That's the problem with working alongside humans, you pick up their disgusting habits. Bacon. Corned beef hash. What's next, Rom? Orange juice and coffee?
ROM: That might be nice.
QUARK: I don't understand. You gave up a perfectly good job with me to work on the station's waste extraction system?
ROM: A good waste extraction system is important. Imagine where we'd be without one.
QUARK: Of course it's important, but my point is, you're not getting the choice assignments. O'Brien's got you on the night shift, doing all the work nobody else wants to do.
ROM: I like my work.
QUARK: You like standing all night long, knee-deep in waste, fixing some broken flow regulator, when you could be here staring at half-naked dabo girls?
ROM: I have a good job. I'm proud of the work I do. And I know that one day Chief O'Brien will recognise my efforts and reward me with a position of respect and responsibility. And why? Because that's just the way things are in Engineering.
QUARK: I'm sorry I brought it up.

[O'Brien's quarters]

(The bonsai have died.)
BASHIR: They don't look so fine now.
O'BRIEN: I can't understand it. I been followed Keiko's instructions to the letter.
BASHIR: They were dry as a bone when I came by for you yesterday. I mean, I gave them water, I just don't think it wasn't enough.
O'BRIEN: You watered them? These are Idran hybrids. Too much water rots their roots.
BASHIR: Oh.
(Molly comes in and sees the devastation.)
MOLLY: Mommy's going to be mad.
O'BRIEN: I can't believe it. Keiko's gone for five days and we killed her plants.
BASHIR: She'll understand, won't she? After all, they're just plants.
O'BRIEN: They're not just plants. These are her bonsai trees. She's cared for them and nurtured them, and carefully sculpted their growth for months, years.
MOLLY: You're in trouble.
O'BRIEN: Listen, Molly, I think you and I should both go to the airlock and welcome Mummy back. And then after we've hugged and kissed, you can tell her what happened.
MOLLY: Not me.
BASHIR: Well don't look at me.
O'BRIEN: Well you killed her plants.
BASHIR: We killed them. But I think you're overreacting to the situation. I mean, Keiko will forgive you. It's your birthday today, isn't it?
O'BRIEN: So far it's one I'd like to forget.
BASHIR: Well, she's been away on Bajor. She's missed you. Bring her a gift. What kind of chocolates does she like?
O'BRIEN: Tellurian mint truffles. But I still think you should be with me.
BASHIR: You don't need me there. I've seen you handle your wife thousands of times. Just say you're sorry and that you take full responsibility. You'll be fine. Besides, I have to be in surgery, operating.
O'BRIEN: On who?
BASHIR: I'll find someone.

[Upper pylon]

(Keiko is eating chocolates as the wormhole opens and closes again.)
O'BRIEN: It was Julian. He was trying to be helpful. He over-watered them. It's not his fault, but you know how he is. Sometimes he doesn't even know what he's doing. I'm sorry, sweetheart. We'll buy some new ones.
KEIKO: Forget it, Miles. They're just plants.
O'BRIEN: Exactly.
KEIKO: It's not as if something happened to Molly or the baby.
O'BRIEN: Right, right, right. Everybody's fine. No problems.
KEIKO: Good. What about Kira? Is she back yet?
O'BRIEN: No, she's still with Shaakar travelling around Dahkur Province. I thought you were going to visit them.
KEIKO: I didn't get a chance.
O'BRIEN: So, how were the Fire Caves?
KEIKO: Fine. And now it's time for me to tell you some news. I'm not Keiko.
O'BRIEN: No? Who are you?
KEIKO: Listen carefully, Miles. I have taken possession of your wife's body. I will hold it hostage until you do everything I tell you do accurately, and without question.
O'BRIEN: Everything?
KEIKO: If you don't do precisely what I ask, I'll kill your wife.
O'BRIEN: Are you all right? Maybe there's been an outbreak of Rudellian brain fever on Bajor. We should go see Julian
KEIKO: I see I'm going to have to give you a demonstration of my sincerity.
(Keiko convulses and collapses.)
O'BRIEN: Keiko! Keiko! (no pulse) No!
(Keiko grabs his hand before he can hit the comm. badge.)
KEIKO: No, Miles, you're not telling anyone. If you do, I'll stop her heart forever.
O'BRIEN: If you're really in control of my wife's body, let me speak to her.
KEIKO: She can hear whatever you have to say.
(Keiko has a nosebleed)
O'BRIEN: Not good enough. I want to talk to her. I want her to talk to me.
KEIKO: You're in no position to bargain, Miles. Strange, these corporeal bodies of yours. So fragile. Burst even a tiny blood vessel in the brain and every memory, every passionate emotion, gone forever. You shouldn't let me eat all of these by myself, Miles.
O'BRIEN: I'm not hungry. Look, why don't you just tell me what you want me to do so we can get this over with.
KEIKO: Very well.
O'BRIEN: But let me make one thing clear I will not do anything to jeopardise this station or the people on it.
KEIKO: Don't worry, Miles. All I want you to do is reconfigure some of the communication and sensor relays on the station.
O'BRIEN: Why?
KEIKO: I can't tell you.

[Turbolift]

O'BRIEN: You'll have to be patient. The communications and sensor relays are distributed throughout the entire station.
KEIKO: You know your wife well, Miles, but she knows you even better. I know you're just playing for time until you can get to your friends. Julian, Dax, Captain Sisko, I know they'll all want to help you. The Captain may even allow you to do what I'm asking. At least until someone figures out a way to trap me in some sort of stasis field or some other clever device you're already dreaming up. And you know what? It might work. You might be able to stop me. But I promise you one thing. If you do, Keiko will die. All I need is a split second to cause a massive brain haemorrhage and she's gone. I know this is a difficult adjustment for you to make, but we don't have a lot of time.
O'BRIEN: What do you want me to do?

[O'Brien's quarters]

(Looking at station schematic 4747 on a PADD)
KEIKO: How long is this going to take?
O'BRIEN: In order to keep the polarity shift invisible to security checks, I'll have to tap into the optronic integrator on level five.
KEIKO: You're the engineer. What is it, Miles? What do you want to ask me? You always tighten your brow just a tiny bit whenever you're about to ask a question. It's something only a wife would notice.
O'BRIEN: Why Keiko? Why take control of her? Why not me? I'm the one who can do the work. It'd be more efficient.
(Doorbell.)
KEIKO: Come in.
(Bashir bearing a plant.)
BASHIR: Hope I'm not interrupting anything.
O'BRIEN: Yes, you are. We're busy.
KEIKO: Miles! Don't be so rude. Ah, Bajoran spiny basil. How thoughtful.
BASHIR: It's the least I can do after er
KEIKO: It's all right, Julian. I forgive you. Now, you are coming to the party tonight, aren't you?
BASHIR: I'll be here. I guess it's not a surprise anymore.
KEIKO: I can't believe I did that. I arranged a birthday dinner for you tonight, but I wanted it to be a surprise.
O'BRIEN: That's okay. I don't like surprises.
BASHIR: Well, I'd better going. I left a patient on the operating table. I'll see you later.
KEIKO: Thanks, Julian. This was so sweet.
BASHIR: No problem.
(Bashir leaves)
O'BRIEN: A party? Tonight?
KEIKO: It is your birthday.
O'BRIEN: We can't have all those people here. We'll have to cancel.
KEIKO: And raise suspicions? It's better if the dinner goes on as planned. Besides, Keiko went to a lot of trouble to arrange it for you. Now, you'd better get back to work. You don't want to be late for your shift briefing. And I've got a lot of cooking to do.

[Wardroom]

(Two humans, an alien and a Bajoran woman.)
ROM: Diagnostic and repair technician junior grade Rom reporting.
WHATLEY: Right. You're Duarte's replacement. Have a seat.
ROM: I'm on the swing shift?
WHATLEY: For a day or two.
TEKOA: (Bajoran woman) What's the matter with Duarte?
WHATLEY: Sick as a vole.
ROM: Is this where Duarte sits? So, what are you drinking?
WHATLEY: Raktajino.
ROM: Great. Is that what we drink on the swing shift?
WHATLEY: You can drink anything you want.
ROM: I'll have a raktajino. It's not like this on the night shift. We don't drink raktajino. We really don't drink anything.
WHATLEY: Fascinating.
O'BRIEN [on monitor]: Change of plans today, people. I need to recalibrate the optronic integrator on level five. What is it, Rom?
ROM: I volunteer. I like phase-shifting reconfigurations.
O'BRIEN: Thank you, but I'll take care of that myself. I want the rest of you to concentrate on the new inertial couplings. I want all sixty four couplings done today. Whatley, you and Tekoa cover the docking ring. Abdon and Nori, the cargo bays. Rom the upper pylons. Any questions? Good. Now, since I'll be working alone today, I'm going to be very busy. So I don't want to be interrupted by anything unimportant. Is that clear?
WHATLEY: Yes, sir.

[Level five crawlway]

O'BRIEN: Computer, locate Keiko O'Brien.
COMPUTER: Keiko O'Brien is in her quarters.
O'BRIEN: Computer, initiate full identity scan of Keiko O'Brien and note inconsistencies with any existing medical records.
COMPUTER: Scan complete. No inconsistencies found. Identity confirmed.
O'BRIEN: How long would it take for a level three stasis field to render Keiko O'Brien unconscious?
COMPUTER: All cognitive reflexes would cease in two point one seconds.
O'BRIEN: Too long. Calculate the time if anesthetine gas were used.
COMPUTER: One point four seconds.
O'BRIEN: What about a phaser set to stun?
COMPUTER: Zero point nine seconds.
O'BRIEN: God help me.
(He opens a panel and gets to work)

[O'Brien's quarters]

(The party is on and the buffet table is loaded.)
JAKE: There you are, Chief. I was beginning to think you were going to miss your own party.
O'BRIEN: I'm sorry I'm late. Had a few odds and ends to tie up. Have you seen Keiko?
BASHIR: Oh, she's in the bedroom, helping Molly put on different shoes. A little fashion crisis. But as usual, your wife has handled everything. You're a lucky man, Miles.
SISKO: Keiko has really outdone herself this time. Take it from an old cook, q'parol is a very time-consuming dish.
(Molly and Keiko come in with the cake)
MOLLY: Happy birthday, daddy.
KEIKO: For
ALL: (sing) He's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny.
KEIKO: Happy birthday, sweetheart.
JAKE: Make a wish.
(O'Brien blows out the candle.)
KEIKO: Single malt Irish whiskey. Neat. Molly wanted to wear her new purple shoes for you. Doesn't she look pretty?
O'BRIEN: Very pretty.
KEIKO: Now, all the food's set out on the table, so just relax with your friends and I'll pass these around.
O'BRIEN: I want to talk to you.
KEIKO: Not right now, Miles. We have guests.
DAX: Sorry I'm late.
KEIKO: Dax! I was afraid you weren't coming.
DAX: I heard you were serving q'parol and how could I miss it?
SISKO: What's the matter, Chief? You look a little preoccupied. Everything all right?
O'BRIEN: There's something I forgot to tell Keiko. Would you excuse me for a moment?
SISKO: Of course.
JAKE: Did you see any Pah-wraiths?
KEIKO: Pah-wraiths?
JAKE: In the Fire Caves. Odo was telling me the caves were haunted by some sort of weird supernatural beings.
KEIKO: Don't tell me you believe in wraiths?
ODO: Well, I may have mentioned the Bajoran legends about creatures living in the caves, but I never said I believe in them.
KEIKO: Well, the only thing I saw in the caves were some beautiful and botanically fascinating fungi.
JAKE: Well, maybe next time you go to the Fire Caves, I could come along. I've always wanted to meet a Pah-wraith.
KEIKO: Maybe you will. You never know.
O'BRIEN: I've done what you asked.
KEIKO: That's terrific, Miles. We'll talk later.
(O'Brien breaks the glass he's holding.)
KEIKO: Miles, are you bleeding?
O'BRIEN: No, it's nothing.
BASHIR: Let me take a look.
O'BRIEN: I said I'm all right! I'm sorry. Sorry, everybody. Excuse me.

[O'Brien's bedroom]

KEIKO: Get a hold of yourself.
O'BRIEN: Look, I've done everything you asked me to do. Just give me back my wife.
KEIKO: You've done well, Miles.
(She stops the bleeding)
KEIKO: But recalibrating the optronic integrator was only a test. I had to be sure I could trust you. Tomorrow the real work begins. Now it's time to get back to our guests. We don't want to raise suspicions, do we?

[O'Brien's quarters]

(The party is over and there's half the cake left, but it gets disposed of anyway.)
KEIKO: Is Molly asleep?
O'BRIEN: Yes.
KEIKO: The q'parol was a big success.
O'BRIEN: Look, no more tests, no more games. Just tell me what you want done.
KEIKO: We'll talk about it in the morning. It's late and you're working a double shift tomorrow.
O'BRIEN: I want to talk about it now!
KEIKO: Miles, I make the rules. Now relax. Everything's going to be fine as long as you do what I ask.
O'BRIEN: I'll sleep on the couch.
KEIKO: Don't be childish. What if Molly has one of her nightmares and comes running in? You'll sleep in bed with me, just like you always do.
O'BRIEN: I'll be there in a minute.
KEIKO: Don't be too late. You've got a busy day tomorrow.
(Keiko goes into the bedroom.)
O'BRIEN: Computer, give me the record of all Bajoran legends concerning the Pah-wraiths.
COMPUTER: There are six thousand, four hundred twenty-seven entries in the data banks that reference that subject. Please specify.
KEIKO [OC]: Miles.

[O'Brien's bedroom]

KEIKO: Sleep well.
(And by next morning he has slept so well he has his hand on her waist.)
KEIKO: Another weakness of you corporeal lifeforms. Your need for physical intimacy. It's especially irritating in your young.
O'BRIEN: I have to get Molly ready for school.
KEIKO: I'll do it. You have a big day ahead of you.
O'BRIEN: Molly's going to sleep at the Davis' tonight and she's staying there until this is over.
KEIKO: Do you really think that's wise? A little girl needs her mother. Molly would be lost without hers.
O'BRIEN: You stay away from her.
KEIKO: Miles, I'd never do anything to hurt your daughter, unless you forced me to. These are your instructions. Follow them precisely.

[Corridor]

O'BRIEN: Computer, locate Captain Sisko.
COMPUTER: Captain Sisko is in Security.

[Promenade]

(O'Brien steps out of the turbolift and heads toward Sisko and Odo coming out of Security.)
KEIKO: Miles!
(Keiko falls from the upper level.)
O'BRIEN: No!

[Infirmary]

ODO: And you didn't see anyone near her before she fell?
O'BRIEN: Nobody. But I was passing underneath the walkway and I had my back toward her.
SISKO: What were you doing on the Promenade?
O'BRIEN: What?
ODO: Weren't you supposed to be working on optronic circuitry on level five?
O'BRIEN: I was going to the Replimat for lunch.
BASHIR: Keiko's going to be all right. She's lucky that she landed the way that she did. It distributed the impact. Otherwise a fall from that height could easily have killed her or left her paralysed.
O'BRIEN: Is she conscious?
BASHIR: Yes, but she's still in shock. She has a broken femur and a hairline fracture of the right parietal bone.
O'BRIEN: Can I see her?
BASHIR: Maybe in a couple of hours. Right now she needs to rest.
O'BRIEN: Julian, I really need to see her now.
SISKO: Doctor.
BASHIR: All right. But only for a few minutes. Don't excite her.

[Surgery]

O'BRIEN: Keiko.
KEIKO: You were going to tell them about me.
O'BRIEN: How did you know?
KEIKO: I know everything your wife knows and she knows you. I told you we have to trust one another. You violated that trust. Now look where it's led us.
O'BRIEN: I want my wife back, do you hear me? I want her back.
KEIKO: Then stop trying to fool me. How much more damage do you think this body can take? Now, no more tricks, agreed? Say it.
O'BRIEN: Agreed.
KEIKO: Good. You know what you need to do. You should get back to work.
O'BRIEN: I'll have everything completed in thirty six hours.
KEIKO: You have thirteen and not a minute more.
O'BRIEN: I can't do it that fast.
KEIKO: You're a very resourceful man. I'm sure you can find a way, for Keiko's sake.
O'BRIEN: You bloody
BASHIR: She does need to rest, Chief.
KEIKO: Tell Molly I'll be home soon. Tell her Mommy's fine. Don't scare her. Miles? Give me a kiss.
(She pulls his head down.)
KEIKO: I'm counting on you.
BASHIR: She'll be back on her feet soon, I promise.

[Promenade]

O'BRIEN: Computer, begin a thirteen hour countdown starting now.
COMPUTER: Clock activated.
WORF: Chief. I heard about Keiko's accident. How is she?
O'BRIEN: Julian said she'll be home soon.
WORF: That is good. If there is anything I can do.
O'BRIEN: I wish there was. I really do. I'd better get going. I'm falling behind schedule.

[Conduit junction]

O'BRIEN: Computer, time remaining?
COMPUTER: Eight hours, twenty two minutes, three seconds.
ROM: Chief! Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you.
O'BRIEN: Rom, what are you doing here?
ROM: Reporting for my next assignment. I've completed calibration tests on the inertial coupling ports on all three upper pylons.
O'BRIEN: Already?
(Rom hands over a rod. The display says he's done it.)
O'BRIEN: How did you finish so quickly?
ROM: I just did the work. I didn't allow myself to get caught up in any of the distracting discussions the other workers engage in. Ferengi can be very focused, especially when no one bothers to talk to them.
O'BRIEN: I see.
ROM: Not that I mind. I'm used to being ignored. Is something wrong, Chief? I can work slower if you want me to.
O'BRIEN: Rom, I need your help, and I need you to keep your mouth shut. Can I count on you?
ROM: Is that a trick question?
O'BRIEN: Rom, this is serious.
ROM: You can depend on me, Chief.
O'BRIEN: We're going to make some modifications to several of the station's systems. I don't want you to breathe a word of this to anyone. That includes Dax, Odo, Captain Sisko, Worf.
ROM: They don't know?
O'BRIEN: Of course they know. At least, some of them do. But they have to pretend that they don't. This is a top secret Starfleet operation.
ROM: Culpable deniability. I understand. Don't worry about me, Chief. My lips are sealed. Nobody will get anything out of me. Not even my name.
O'BRIEN: Rom, everybody on the station knows your name.
ROM: Right. But I won't confirm it. Where do we start?

[Cargo bay]

O'BRIEN: Computer, time remaining?
COMPUTER: Six hours, forty one minutes, twenty six seconds.

[Ops]

(O'Brien is working in the pit.)
DAX: Chief.
O'BRIEN: Commander, what are you doing up at this hour?
DAX: I want you to have a look at something. I couldn't sleep so I got up and decided to scan the wormhole for radiometric anomalies.
O'BRIEN: At three in the morning?
DAX: I've always found anomalies to be very relaxing. It's a curse. I was using the wideband filter protocols and when I ran the primary calibrations check I found this.
O'BRIEN: Oh, they're slightly off spec.
DAX: Yes. I thought it might be a fused matrix inverter until I ran a level three diagnostic. Have a look. We'd better wake the Captain. We have a saboteur on the station.

[Wardroom]

SISKO: All right, what have you got?
DAX: Computer, display diagnostic. Chief?
O'BRIEN: We've identified nine hundred and forty three tiny fluctuations in the primary communication relays and several power distribution junctions.
DAX: Fluctuations that can't be attributed to anything except external intervention.
SISKO: Someone's gained access to our systems and is altering them. For what purpose?
O'BRIEN: We're working on that. At this point, it's hard to even call it sabotage. There's been no real damage. The systems are just a little off spec. So far, these alterations don't seem to pose any threat to the station.
SISKO: So far. But this might be just the tip of a very large and dangerous iceberg. Is there any way to trace how this was done, and by whom?
ODO: It has to be someone familiar with the station's systems.
DAX: Maybe someone who worked on the station under the Cardassians.
ODO: I'm running extensive security checks on all recent visitors, but so far, I haven't found anything.
DAX: It could be someone who's been on the station a long time. Someone with a lot of access. Maybe even someone on the maintenance crew.
SISKO: Chief?
O'BRIEN: Yes.
SISKO: Yes, what? Do you think it's someone on your staff?
CREWMAN [OC]: Chief O'Brien, I have a call from your daughter.
SISKO: Go ahead.
O'BRIEN: Molly, honey, what is it?
MOLLY [on monitor]: Hi, Daddy. Mommy told me I could call you.
KEIKO [on monitor]: (brushing Molly's hair) I hope we didn't interrupt anything important.
O'BRIEN: It's all right, Molly. I'm glad you called. What are you doing home?
KEIKO [on monitor]: She missed her mommy. Isn't that sweet?
MOLLY [on monitor]: When are you going to come
(The hairbrush tugs.)
MOLLY [on monitor]: Ow! Mommy, that hurt.
KEIKO [on monitor]: Oh, I'm sorry, sweetie.
O'BRIEN: Are you all right, Molly?
KEIKO [on monitor]: She's fine, Miles. She wants to know when you'll be finished. I told her you had to work another two hours, twenty two minutes and thirteen seconds.
MOLLY [on monitor]: How long is that, Daddy?
O'BRIEN: Soon. I'll be home very soon.
KEIKO [on monitor]: Good. We both miss you.
(Transmission ends and O'Brien goes back to the main group.)
SISKO: Everything all right?
O'BRIEN: Fine. I'm sorry about the interruption.
SISKO: You were saying you thought you knew who the saboteur might be.
O'BRIEN: I think I have an idea.

[Corridor]

Rom has a big wall panel open.)
ROM: Hello, Constable. Hello, Chief.
ODO: What are you doing, Rom?
ROM: I can't talk about it.
ODO: Oh, yes you can. And you will.
(O'Brien winks at Rom as he is led away by security.)
ODO: Coming, Chief?
O'BRIEN: I'd better see what he's been up to here. I'll take care of those.

[Holding cell]

SISKO: Has he said anything?
ODO: Not much. For the first forty minutes, it was like pulling teeth even getting him to admit his name.
SISKO: You think he's working alone?
ODO: I don't know. Rom admits to nothing. Now he's asking to see Chief O'Brien. He won't talk to anybody else.
SISKO: Then get the Chief down here. I want to know what's going on.
ODO: Security to Chief O'Brien.
O'BRIEN [OC]: Go ahead, Constable.
ODO: We need you in Security right away.

[Corridor]

O'BRIEN: I'm still trying to figure out what Rom did to these systems.
ODO [OC]: That'll have to wait. I have Captain's orders to get you down here immediately.
O'BRIEN: On my way. Computer, time remaining?
COMPUTER: Thirty six minutes, nine seconds.
O'BRIEN: Computer, locate maintenance technician Rom.
COMPUTER: Maintenance technician Rom is in Security holding cell number four.
O'BRIEN: Initiate security override and scramble surveillance channels four A, B, C and D. Authorisation O'Brien seven one two.
COMPUTER: Specified security channels scrambled.
O'BRIEN: Now, begin recalibration of gravitic sensors at access panel three seven nine as indicated. I'll be back in ten minutes.

[Holding cell]

ODO: The Chief is here, Rom. Now what do you want to say?
ROM: Alone. I'll only talk if we're alone.
(Odo leaves.)
O'BRIEN: What is it, Rom? It's okay. I've disconnected Odo's eavesdropping devices.
ROM: I haven't told anyone anything, just like you said.
O'BRIEN: You're a good man. Now why did you call me? I told you we're under very tight time constraints.
ROM: Captain Sisko is really angry. If I didn't know he was pretending
O'BRIEN: Rom.
ROM: Don't worry, I can hold out until you say otherwise, but there is one thing I have to know.
O'BRIEN: Go ahead.
ROM: Why are we focusing a chroniton beam at the wormhole?
O'BRIEN: What?
ROM: The new frequency of the deflector grid is set to turn the station into a massive chroniton array aimed directly at the wormhole. So I just wanted to know. Why are we trying to kill the wormhole aliens?
O'BRIEN: What are you talking about? A chroniton beam is harmless.
ROM: To us, but its temporal disruption would kill a wormhole alien instantly.
O'BRIEN: Of course. Why didn't I think of that. She has me so on edge I haven't been able to see the forest for the trees.
ROM: Who's she?
O'BRIEN: I don't have time to explain now. The question is, why would anyone want to kill the wormhole aliens?
ROM: Everyone has enemies, even the Prophets.
O'BRIEN: That's right. They're not just wormhole aliens, they're Prophets, part of Bajoran mythology just like the Pah-wraiths of the Fire Caves. So, what have those wraiths have to do with the wormhole aliens?
ROM: Koss'moran.
O'BRIEN: What?
ROM: It's a Bajoran legend. From the verb kosst, meaning 'to be' and amoran 'banished'. Leeta's been telling me all about Bajoran legends. She can go on for hours. She says I'm a good listener.
O'BRIEN: I'm sure you are. Now's the time to be a good talker. Go on.
ROM: Well, according to Leeta, the Pah-wraiths used to live in the wormhole. They were part of the Celestial Temple.
O'BRIEN: They were Prophets?
ROM: False Prophets. They were cast out of the Temple, exiled to the caves where they were imprisoned in crystal fire cages and forbidden to ever return lest they face the wrath of the true Prophets.
O'BRIEN: So if these false Prophets were to return to the Celestial Temple?
ROM: I don't think they'd be welcomed.
O'BRIEN: Unless she kills all the wormhole aliens first. Rom, I'm going to have to leave you in a tough spot.
ROM: Captain Sisko, Odo, they don't know about any of this, do they?
O'BRIEN: No. No, they don't. And I want you to help me keep it that way for a little while longer.
ROM: I have to stay here and play the idiot?
O'BRIEN: I'm afraid so. No matter what Odo asks you
ROM: I'm Quark's brother. I know the role.

[Promenade]

O'BRIEN: Computer, time remaining?
COMPUTER: Twelve minutes, twenty two seconds.

[Corridor]

(Back to work on the big panels, but )
ODO: Ahem. Sorry to disturb you, Chief. A couple of things are still bothering me. Rom couldn't have done all this sabotage alone. There were too many changes for any one person to make.
O'BRIEN: Maybe so. Right now I've got a frequency problem in the cascade feeder.
ODO: I checked with the repair logs. I was hoping to match someone's movements to the locations where the alterations were made, but I couldn't do that.
O'BRIEN: We had a matrix system failure yesterday. Those files were lost. Sorry.
ODO: We've had a lot of system failures recently, haven't we, Chief?
O'BRIEN: Really? I hadn't noticed. I've been too busy repairing things.
ODO: Like the surveillance channels in the holding cells? You authorised a security override. What was wrong with them?
O'BRIEN: The fibre optic relay was out of sync. The isolinear chip junction was
ODO: Enough, Chief. You didn't cover your tracks very well. Why?
O'BRIEN: I didn't have time. I still don't.
(O'Brien punches Odo's lights out and takes his badge.)
O'BRIEN: Sorry, Odo. Chief O'Brien to Keiko O'Brien.
KEIKO [OC]: This is Keiko.
O'BRIEN: I'm finished, but we have to move quickly. This place is going to be swarming with security. Meet me at runabout pad C now.
KEIKO [OC]: How did you know I'd want a runabout?
O'BRIEN: Because I know what you're planning to do. But don't worry, I don't give a damn about the Celestial Temple, or your non-corporeal feuds. I just want my wife back. Now you still need me to pilot you to the wormhole, so let's stop wasting time. Agreed?
KEIKO [OC]: I'll meet you there.

[Runabout]

O'BRIEN: That's correct, Commander. I want to test some new magnetic constrictors on the runabout's impulse thrusters.
DAX [OC]: Very well, Chief. You're cleared for departure. But before you go, there's one thing I'd like to ask you.
O'BRIEN: What's that?
DAX [OC]: Did you enjoy your birthday?
O'BRIEN: It was full of surprises.
DAX [OC]: Good. Those are always my favourites.
(And the runabout takes off for the wormhole.)
KEIKO: Hold position here.
O'BRIEN: Computer. Initiate modifications O'Brien seven three one and enable remote comm. link.
COMPUTER: Comm. link enabled.
(Electricity is crackling around the station.)

[Ops]

(Red alert sounds.)
DAX: What the hell?

[Runabout]

KEIKO: Target the centre of the wormhole.
O'BRIEN: Target coordinates set.
KEIKO: Have us face the Temple. The blast'll last only a fraction of a second. They'll all be dead before they even see it.
(WHOOSH)
KEIKO: Oh, you have no idea how many centuries I've waited for this.
O'BRIEN: Let's get on with it.
KEIKO: Miles, you have a lot to learn about patience. Proceed.
SISKO [OC]: Chief, what's going on out there? I'm ordering you to return to the station. Now!
KEIKO: Activate.
(The beam from DS9 hits the runabout.)

[Runabout]

(The beam zaps straight into Keiko instead of going on to the wormhole. She screams and finally collapses.)
O'BRIEN: Keiko? Keiko.
KEIKO: Miles?

[Airlock]

SISKO: Chief. You have some explaining to do.

[O'Brien's quarters]

KEIKO: It was more like having something coiled around inside my head. I could see and hear through it, but any time I tried to do anything, it was like being stuck in sand and squeezed.
O'BRIEN: Yeah. Could you sense any of its thoughts?
KEIKO: Just feelings sometimes. Kind of a cold rage. I don't think it had any intention of leaving either one of us alive.
O'BRIEN: You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to.
KEIKO: It feels better to talk about it. Besides, I don't want to forget how hard you fought for me.

[Quark's]

(Breakfast time and Rom is exhausted.)
ROM: Hello, brother.
QUARK: You look horrible. I'm telling you, Rom, working the night shift is driving you to an early grave.
ROM: I wasn't working.
QUARK: What do you mean you weren't working?
ROM: I'm not on the night shift anymore.
QUARK: I knew it. O'Brien fired you.
ROM: No, brother. In appreciation of my work the chief has promoted me to the day shift. He says I have a promising future in Engineering.
QUARK: Then why do you look so tired?
ROM: I was out celebrating.
QUARK: With who?
ROM: My crewmates. I think they like me.
QUARK: Do they.
ROM: Especially Litana. She's always finding excuses to talk to me.
QUARK: Well, Rom, I'm glad things are going so well for you.
ROM: No, you're not. But thanks anyway, brother.
QUARK: I guess you'll be wanting the Chief's Special again?
ROM: Actually, no. I've discovered that bacon doesn't agree with me.
QUARK: What a surprise.
ROM: Instead, I'll have a short stack of pancakes, dripping with butter, side of sausage and pineapple.
QUARK: Pineapple?
ROM: That's the breakfast of choice on the day shift.
QUARK: Pineapple.

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