Children of Time
Stardate: 50814.2
Original Airdate: 5 May, 1997

Captain's log, stardate 50814.2. The Defiant is returning to Deep Space Nine after a weeklong reconnaissance mission in the Gamma Quadrant.

[Mess hall]

DAX: I can't wait to get home and sleep in my own bed. The bunks on this ship are so uncomfortable.
KIRA: You know what I could use? A weekend at the Golian Spa.
DAX: Maybe you and Shakaar can slip away when we get back.
KIRA: We're not seeing each other anymore.
ODO: When did this happen?
KIRA: Last week.
DAX: No wonder you've been so down lately.
KIRA: I miss him. But last time we were on Bajor, we went to the Kenda Shrine and we asked the Prophets if we were meant to walk the same path.
DAX: And?
KIRA: We're not.
DAX: You make it sound so cut and dry.
KIRA: The way I see it, people are either meant to be together or they're not.
DAX: I guess I'd rather believe that any relationship can work as long as both people really want it to.
ODO: I'm not sure I have an opinion on the subject. Excuse me. I need to regenerate.
(Odo leaves.)
KIRA: Is he all right?
DAX: You know Odo. This sort of talk makes him uncomfortable.

[Bridge]

(Coffee is being offered around by a crewman.)
SISKO: No, thanks. I'm trying to cut down.
O'BRIEN: I'm making Molly a dollhouse for her birthday. Thank you. The house itself was easy, but the furniture? Even with a microlathe, I'm not sure I'm going to get it all finished in time.
KIRA: I guess her dolls are going to have to rough it for a while.
DAX: Interesting. I'm getting some unusual readings from a nearby solar system.
WORF: What kind of readings?
DAX: There's some sort of energy barrier surrounding the fourth planet.
KIRA: It's hard to tell from the interference, but there could be lifeforms on the surface.
DAX: If there are, I'd be interested to see how they've adapted to the quantum fluctuations in the barrier.
O'BRIEN: Can't we check it out the next time we come this way?
DAX: It'll be too late. At the rate the interference is intensifying, in few weeks we won't even be able to send a probe through it.
SISKO: Dax.
DAX: I know everyone wants to go home, but if we're going to take a look at this planet, it'll be our only chance.
SISKO: Are you sure it's safe to pass through the interference?
DAX: A few shield modifications and it should be smooth sailing.
SISKO: All right, we'll make a quick survey. But if all we detect is some fungus, we're not beaming down.
DAX: What if it's smart fungus?
(At the planet.)
KIRA: We're approaching the barrier.
SISKO: All right, old man, take us in.
(It's bumpy.)
DAX: Adjusting shield harmonics to compensate.
O'BRIEN: Quantum fluctuations are intensifying.
(Bang! Red Alert. Energy runs over all the consoles and enters Kira. For a moment there are two of her.)
DAX: We're through.
SISKO: Are you all right?
KIRA: I think so.
SISKO: Doctor Bashir to the Bridge.
KIRA: Oh, no, I'm fine.
O'BRIEN: The inertial dampers are offline, and the gyromagnetic stabilisers are depolarised. We're going to be here for a few days.
SISKO: Smooth sailing.
WORF: Sir, we are being hailed from the surface. There are several scattered settlements across the southern peninsula. I am reading approximately eight thousand inhabitants. They appear to be human.
SISKO: On screen.
MIRANDA: (a red-headed woman) Welcome to Gaia, Captain Sisko.
SISKO: You know my name.
MIRANDA: We've been expecting you.
YEDRIN: It's a long story, Benjamin. Why don't you come down and we'll talk about it over some raktajino. Oh, I forgot. You're trying to cut down.

[Town square]

(In a lush green valley with a wind farm on one side and a ploughed field nearby is a small town. O'Brien, Worf, Dax and Sisko beam down.)
MIRANDA: Miranda O'Brien.
YEDRIN: Yedrin. Yedrin Dax.
(He is clearly a Trill.)
DAX: What a coincidence.
SISKO: Would one of you mind telling us what's going on?
MIRANDA: This settlement was founded by the crew of a Starfleet vessel that crashed on this planet two centuries ago. I realise this is going to be hard for you to accept but that ship was the Defiant. Two days from now, when you leave here and try to pass through the energy barrier, you'll be thrown back in time two hundred years. You'll be stranded here and become the founders of this settlement. We are your descendents.
(After the opening credits.)
YEDRIN: Go ahead, Jadzia, scan me. You'll find the Dax symbiont right here.
DAX: It's true.
YEDRIN: The symbiont has been passed down to Jadzia's descendents for three generations. I remember all of you like it was yesterday. If you scan Miranda, you'll find that her DNA is substantially similar to that of the Chief's.
DAX: She's an O'Brien, all right.
MIRANDA: And a Tannenbaum, too.
O'BRIEN: You mean Ensign Tannenbaum? From Engineering?
YEDRIN: You and Rita were married ten years after the Defiant crashed. You were trapped here, Miles, two hundred years in the past. There was no going home. There was no chance of ever seeing your family again. You were the last to give up hope, but eventually you had to make a new life for yourself here. I know that face, Benjamin. You're still not convinced that we're telling you the truth. All right. If you want, I could tell you something that only Curzon would know. Do you remember that dancer that you met on Pelios station? The one who
SISKO: The one? That'll do. Thank you.
GABRIEL: (a boy) Are you the son of Mogh?
WORF: I am.
GABRIEL: Is it true you can kill someone just by looking at them?
WORF: Only when I am angry.
MIRANDA: Why don't we go inside? You can meet some of the others later. We still have a lot to talk about.

[Meeting hall]

(A ships viewscreen and a fireplace. A virtual Quark is giving maths lesson 916 on the viewscreen to two young girls.)
QUARK: Ready for the next problem? Say you have twenty seven tessipates of land you want to plant with nice juicy yelg melons.
MIRANDA: This is our meeting hall, which as you can see, we sometimes use as a schoolroom.
QUARK [on viewscreen]: If each melon needs one square kerripate to grow in, what is the total number of melons you can plant? Let me know as soon as you have an answer.
YEDRIN: Jadzia designed it as an educational programme. She took Quark's image from the security logs of the Defiant. I've always thought that Quark would make a great math teacher. He's so good with numbers.
DAX: I like your spots.
LISA: (dark skinned) Most people don't have them because our ancestors were mostly human. My mom says they make me special.
MOLLY: (another red-head) It's just genetics, Lisa. Like Torvin's ridges.
LISA: You're just jealous, Molly.
O'BRIEN: Molly?
YEDRIN: Oh yes. You'll find a lot of them here. The name has been passed down through the O'Brien line.
MIRANDA: Molly, this is your grandfather's great great great grandfather.
MOLLY: Hello.
O'BRIEN: Hi. How much were we, were you able to salvage from the Defiant?
YEDRIN: A portable generator, a replicator, a few phasers, tricorders. Things of that sort.
WORF: Did anybody ever try to send out a distress signal?
YEDRIN: To who? It was two hundred years ago. The wormhole hadn't even been discovered yet. There was no way back to the Alpha Quadrant.
LISA: Our ancestors decided to make this their new home.
MOLLY: And they needed a shelter quickly before the winter came.
LISA: This is it. This is the oldest building there is. At first, everyone had to sleep here. All forty eight of them.
SISKO: Forty eight?
YEDRIN: Um. Kira died a few weeks after the crash. The energy discharge that struck her on the Bridge damaged her neural pathways. The Defiant didn't have the medical equipment that Julian needed to treat her.
LISA: You want to see where she was buried?
DAX: Maybe later.
MIRANDA: Girls, why don't you run along and help your parents? It's almost time for planting and there's a lot of work to be done.
LISA: Bye.
MOLLY: Bye.
(The girls leave.)
SISKO: Obviously we need to get Kira back to the station for treatment as soon as we can repair the Defiant.
YEDRIN: Of course.
SISKO: I don't quite know how to say this, but now that we know about the accident that sent the ship back in time, we should be able to avoid it.
WORF: But if we do that, your timeline will collapse and everything here will cease to exist.
YEDRIN: Not necessarily. I have a plan, and the key is what happened to Kira on the Bridge. This energy discharge caused a subspace doubling effect. For an instant, every molecule in her body had a corresponding quantum duplicate. There were literally two Kiras.
SISKO: Go on.
(Temporal amplification simulation 73205 on a wall monitor.)
YEDRIN: If we make certain modifications to the Defiant's systems, we should be able to amplify this doubling effect and create a quantum duplicate of the entire ship. When you encounter the temporal anomaly, the duplicate will be thrown back into the past, and the original, you, will pass through the barrier unaffected.
O'BRIEN: So you're saying we go home, and your timeline is preserved.
YEDRIN: Exactly.
SISKO: What do you think?
DAX: It might work.
YEDRIN: According to the logs I retrieved from the wreckage, the Defiant encountered the anomaly thirty nine hours after it arrived in orbit.
WORF: If your plan is to work, we must do the same.
YEDRIN: There are almost eight thousand people living on this planet. This is the only chance they have.
SISKO: Dax, I want a full evaluation as soon as possible. If the plan is sound, start making the modifications immediately.
YEDRIN: Thank you, Benjamin.
SISKO: Anything for you, old man.

[Sickbay]

(Kira is on a bed and Odo is in a perspex bucket.)
BASHIR: Apparently the planet is crawling with Bashirs.
KIRA: Maybe I'll stay up here. How's Odo?
BASHIR: He's resting comfortably. He can't hold his shape because of the quantum fluctuations inside the barrier.
(Bashir puts Odo into a stasis container.)
BASHIR: Sweet dreams, Odo. But he'll be as right as rain as soon as we leave orbit. You, on the other hand, are going to have to undergo a complete neural pathway induction as soon as we get back to the station.
KIRA: If you say so. I feel fine.
BASHIR: That's because your neural tissue hasn't begun to deteriorate yet. But rest assured, you'll be on my operating table eventually.
KIRA: Hey. Where are you off to?
BASHIR: I have to get down there, meet some of those Bashirs.
(Bashir leaves and an Odo enters, but with better defined human features.)
ODO: Hello, Nerys.
KIRA: Odo?
ODO: I came up from the surface as soon as I heard you were here.
KIRA: How are you holding your shape? I thought
ODO: I learned to counter the barrier's effects a long time ago. It's good to see you.
KIRA: You look different.
ODO: I've gotten better at shape-shifting over the years. You're as beautiful as I remember. You can't know how I've longed to hear your voice, see your smile.
KIRA: Odo, what's gotten into you?
ODO: There's something I want you to know. Something I've wanted to tell you for two hundred years. I love you, Nerys. I've always loved you.
KIRA: What do you mean, you love me?
ODO: Is it so hard to believe?
KIRA: I never knew you felt that way about me.
ODO: I did everything I could to make sure you wouldn't find out.
KIRA: It worked. Why didn't you ever say anything?
ODO: I didn't think you could possibly care for me the way I care for you. I suppose I was afraid of ruining what we had. Our friendship meant everything to me. It still does. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything.
KIRA: It's not that. I was just thinking about all the times I came to you for advice about Shakaar and Bareil. It must have been very hard for you to listen to me go on about another man.
ODO: No, I can't say I enjoyed it, but I wanted to be a good friend to you.
KIRA: You were.
ODO: Nerys, I didn't come here expecting you to throw yourself in my arms. But you're leaving here in two days. I'm never going to see you again. All I'm asking is that you spend some time with me. Gaia is a very beautiful place. I'd love to show it to you.
KIRA: I'd like that.

[Meeting hall]

(Sisko is being introduced to his latest descendant, a baby sucking his thumb.)
MIRANDA: He has your eyes.
SISKO: You think so? You think so?
DAX [OC]: Dax to Sisko.
SISKO: Go ahead.
DAX [OC]: Good news, Benjamin.

[Engine room]

DAX: I've gone over the sensor logs from the crash. It looks like Yedrin's plan to create a duplicate Defiant is going to work.

[Meeting hall]

SISKO: Did you hear that? Yes. Everything's going to be all right.

[Engine room]

(They can hear the baby's happy gurgles.)
YEDRIN: Sounds like you have your hands full down there, Benjamin.

[Meeting hall]

SISKO: Oh, yes, you could say that.
DAX [OC]: We'll keep you posted.

[Town square]

(Worf is examining the pumps at the well.)
BASHIR: Thirsty?
WORF: The captain asked me to make a survey of the settlement's infrastructure so we can leave behind the appropriate supplies.
BASHIR: I've just been doing the same thing at the clinic. I met one of my descendents there. My great great great great granddaughter, the doctor. She made quite a fuss over me. Apparently my healing touch is something of a legend around here.
GABRIEL: They're here! They're here!
WORF: Who?
GABRIEL: The Klingons!
(A group of people with varying amounts of ridges, including none.)
BROTA: Q'apla.
WORF: Q'apla.
BROTA: We are the Sons of Mogh.
WORF: You are my descendents.
BROTA: Some by blood, some by choice. Our hearts are Klingon. We live as warriors, just as you taught our ancestors long ago.
GABRIEL: I'm going to be one of them someday. I'll ride a wild torga and go hunting, and only come to the settlement to trade furs for the things I need.
PARELL: (a human woman) When you're older, you'll have the chance to prove yourself. If you are worthy, you can take a Klingon name and live among us.
BROTA: The Sons of Mogh are gathering to celebrate your return. It would honour us greatly if you would feast with us tonight.
WORF: I look forward to it.
BROTA: We'll come for you at nightfall.
BASHIR: Well, it would appear I'm not the only legend around here.

[Engine room]

DAX: Once the emitter array is recalibrated, we can start synchronising the shield generators.
YEDRIN: Oh, good. We're ahead of schedule.
DAX: What? Tell me.
YEDRIN: You just reminded me of something. The summer after the crash, it was so hot Jadzia cut her hair short. Worf hated it. I remember promising to grow it back in time for the wedding.
DAX: We got married?
YEDRIN: The next fall. Benjamin performed the ceremony. I'll never forget Worf's voice as he said the vows. It was shaking.
DAX: Were we happy together?
YEDRIN: He's a good man, Jadzia.
DAX: I know. It's just, sometimes, he's so hard to get along with.
YEDRIN: Don't worry. You'll learn to handle him.

[Town square]

(O'Brien is working on the well pump.)
BASHIR: Did I mention she was a doctor?
O'BRIEN: Twice.
BASHIR: She showed me pictures of the family going all the way back to me. You know who I ended up with after the crash? Angie Kirby.
O'BRIEN: Who's that?
BASHIR: Yes, that's what I said. Apparently she transferred aboard last week, but she's gorgeous.
O'BRIEN: Congratulations.
BASHIR: I think I'm going to ask her out when we get back. We obviously got along well here. So, you and Rita Tannenbaum.
O'BRIEN: I don't want to hear about it, Julian. I have a wife and kids back home.
BASHIR: Sorry. I didn't mean anything. You know, I'm going to let you get back on with your work.
(Molly and Lisa are watching O'Brien.)

[Kira's gravesite]

(On the top of a hill, under a tree. Kira is praying.)
KIRA: Praying over your own grave. That's got to be a new one.
ODO: If the Prophets were listening, they're probably very confused.
KIRA: Well, I wouldn't blame them. I've got to tell you that this whole quantum duplicate two Defiants thing has me feeling a little strange.
ODO: Why? Thanks to Yedrin's plan our timeline is being preserved. You're going back to the station for the treatment you need.
KIRA: I know. It's just that I've always believed that we're all given one destiny, one path, and now we're using technology to get around that. I'm not sure how it makes me feel.
ODO: I know exactly how it makes me feel. You can't know how much it means to me to know you're going home, Nerys. It won't change anything for me. I lost you two hundred years ago. But for the other Odo, up on the ship, it changes everything. He doesn't have to lose you. And somehow, knowing that makes me feel better. Does that make any sense?
KIRA: You've changed so much, Odo. I don't just mean the way you look. You used to be so closed off.
ODO: I have changed. And the Odo you know will change too, if you're patient with him.
KIRA: Why don't we head back?

[Town square]

(Baseball practice with Gabriel and another boy.)
SISKO: Nice catch. Dax.
DAX: We need to talk. I was going over the sensor logs from the crash and I came across something odd. The quantum fluctuations in the barrier factored out to zero. The chances of that must be a billion to one.
SISKO: What are you getting at?
DAX: That Yedrin faked the logs.
SISKO: Why would he do that?
DAX: So we'd think his plan was going to work. It's not. There was never going to be a duplicate Defiant. Just one. And Yedrin wanted to make sure it went back in time.
SISKO: So that history would repeat itself.
DAX: If I hadn't realised what he had done, we would have ended up stranded here and Kira would have died.

[Meeting hall]

DAX: You betrayed us. You betrayed me! You call yourself Yedrin Dax, but I don't recognise you.
YEDRIN: Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?
SISKO: What do you think?
YEDRIN: Damn it, Ben. If you don't take the Defiant back in time, the eight thousand people on this planet will cease to exist.
SISKO: You think I don't care? Oh, come on, you know me better than that. What am I supposed to do, recreate the accident and deliberately maroon my crew?
YEDRIN: It's what would have happened. Who's to say it's not what's supposed to happen?
SISKO: I'm not going to stand here and argue philosophy with you. I have a duty to protect my people.
YEDRIN: Look around you, Benjamin. Think of the things that you've seen since you got here. This is what your crew and their descendents will build if you let history play itself out. I'm not saying that it won't be hard at first, but they will have good lives here. Happy lives.
DAX: What about Kira? If we don't get her back to the station, she'll die.
YEDRIN: Is one life too much to ask if it saves eight thousand?
SISKO: Who are you to decide who lives or dies? Who are you to make that call?
YEDRIN: I have to make that call because I'm responsible for what happened here! Jadzia knows what I'm talking about. She's the one who insisted that the Defiant investigate this planet. You know as well as I do that you should have been more careful. You should have seen that the barrier was unstable when you scanned it.
DAX: But I didn't. I was so bent on making some great discovery that I missed it.
YEDRIN: And because of you, because of me, Kira died and forty eight people were stranded here. You don't know what it was like to live with that. For years, Benjamin, every time I looked at you all I could think of was Jake and how because of me, he would never see his father again. Eventually I had to accept the fact there was nothing I could do to change things. I couldn't bring Kira back. All I could do was look to the future, Benjamin, and make sure that we survived here no matter what. This community is my responsibility. For two centuries, I have watched it grow into something to be proud of. For generations these people have worked to make a life for themselves here. They deserve a chance to hang on to it.
SISKO: I'm not denying that. I wish there was a way we could help you, but my people have the right to go home to their families. And I will not ask Kira to sacrifice her life for eight thousand people, for eight million. No one has the right to ask that. I'm sorry, old man, but there is nothing I can do.

[Town square]

(Evening, and children are playing catch nearby.)
KIRA: Look at them. They have no idea what's going to happen.
WORF: It is for the best. They are children. They would not understand.
KIRA: I'm not sure I understand. Eight thousand people, Worf. They have to die because I have to go back to the station to be treated for some condition I can't even tell I have.
WORF: That is not the only reason we are going back. Do not blame yourself, Major.
KIRA: I'm going up to the ship.
MIRANDA: It would've been a good crop this year. Spring came so early.
GABRIEL: Miranda, is something wrong? Everyone's so quiet.
MIRANDA: It's nothing you need to worry about.
(Worf is by a fire.)
PARELL: We came to tell you. There will be no feast tonight.
WORF: I understand. This is not a time for celebration.
BROTA: Tomorrow we will see the sun rise again, but no one here will see it set.
WORF: Join me. There is something I wish to say. It is a great honour to know that my legacy has thrived on your world for so long. I can see the Klingon heart beats strong here.
BROTA: You honour us with your words. We have tried to live as you taught us to.
PARELL: We've never plowed fields or milked chattel. We've lived as warriors, hunters.
BROTA: Last year, I slew a yarbear three metres tall. Your mek'leth was my only weapon. The beast maimed me, and for a time it seemed I would die from my wounds. Now I wish I had. It would have been a warrior's death.
PARELL: He could have taken his place among the honoured dead in Sto'Vo'Kor.
WORF: Perhaps he will yet.
BROTA: No. Ceasing to exist because my parents were never born? That is not a death worthy of Sto'Vo'Kor. Kill me, Worf. I have no enemies to fight, no glory to be won. Give me an honourable death.
PARELL: Don't make us wait for the end like farm animals waiting for slaughter.
WORF: I will come to you tomorrow and do what you ask.

[Kira's gravesite]

ODO: Why did you want to come back here?
KIRA: I had to see it again so I could be sure.
ODO: Sure about what?
KIRA: That this is where I belong. The path the Prophets laid out for me ends here.
ODO: But not this time, Nerys. The Captain's taking you back to DS Nine.
KIRA: I can't let him do that. Not if it's going to cost eight thousand lives. No, we have to let history take its course, even if it means I have to die here.

[Mess hall]

O'BRIEN: What? Have you lost your mind?
BASHIR: Kira, if we don't go back to the station you'll die within a few weeks. There's nothing I can do for you here.
KIRA: I know that, Julian. I've accepted it. We've got to take the Defiant back in time, otherwise we're cheating fate.
O'BRIEN: Yeah, well, I wouldn't mind cheating fate all the way home to the station.
DAX: Neither would I. But if we go home, eight thousand people are going to cease to exist.
O'BRIEN: I don't know those people. But I have a wife and kids back home who need me.
KIRA: Your family will be fine, Miles. The Prophets will take care of them.
O'BRIEN: No offence, but I don't believe in your Prophets.
WORF: All Major Kira is saying is our families will survive no matter what we do. The colonists will not. If she is willing to sacrifice her life to save them, I am willing to remain here.
O'BRIEN: That's easy for you to say. You hardly see your son.
WORF: And you are afraid to face your destiny.
O'BRIEN: We can sit here arguing destiny until we're blue in the face, but the bottom line is, nobody has the right to tell me I can't go home to my family.
SISKO: I want to go home as much as you do, Chief. I'm just listening to what everyone has to say.
O'BRIEN: So we're not actually considering this?
SISKO: No, we're not.
KIRA: Captain.
SISKO: Major, you've made your position clear. All right, people. Dismissed.

[Town square]

(Sunrise on the final day.)
WORF: By sunset this will all be gone.
DAX: Taking a last look around?
(Gabriel runs through the group. Sisko grabs him.)
SISKO: Whoa. Gabriel, where are you going in such a hurry?
GABRIEL: To the fields. It's time for planting.
(They walk on to where everyone is getting the young plants ready for the ground.)
MIRANDA: Come on, Gabriel, there isn't much time. Put some of this on your face. The sun's strong today.
YEDRIN: Planting day has always been important here. It brings everyone together. Somehow it feels right to see it through.

[Field]

(Most of our people help with the planting. Pushing a motorised hand-plough, making planting holes. Compost goes in the bottom and the plant on top. Kira is scattering seed. Miranda is handing out the rooted plants.)
MIRANDA: Here's one for you. Molly, take that from the bottom.
MOLLY: Thank you.
(Molly takes it to Bashir.)
BASHIR: Thank you.
(Then the plants are watered in.)
O'BRIEN: The status report you asked for, sir. The repairs are finished. The Defiant's ready to leave orbit.
(Sisko reads the PADD.)
MOLLY: Aren't you going to help?
O'BRIEN: I'm busy.
MOLLY: You don't look busy.
SISKO: She's an O'Brien, all right. Better get to it, Chief.
(Sisko hands over his trowel. Worf and the Sons of Mogh arrived.)
BROTA: You said there was an enemy for us to fight.
WORF: They are attempting to plant their fields before the sun sets. Time is their enemy. We should help them defeat it.
BROTA: Bring the others.
(And the sun sweeps on in its course. Molly brings O'Brien a plant.)
O'BRIEN: Ah, great. You know, I have a little girl named Molly, too.
MOLLY: Really? Can I meet her?
O'BRIEN: We'll see.
MOLLY: By summer, this plant will be taller than you. After the harvested, I'll help my mother make gelm bread with it.
WOMAN: Molly?
(Molly runs off, O'Brien goes over to Sisko and Kira.)
SISKO: Is something wrong?
O'BRIEN: We can't do it.
SISKO: What?
O'BRIEN: We can't let these people die.

[Town square]

(Evening, and the tired workers return.)
YEDRIN: The navigational logs from the original crash. Download them into the ship's autopilot and it'll match the original trajectory. That should send the Defiant back to the right point in time.
MIRANDA: I don't know how to thank you for what you're doing.
DAX: We'd better go, Benjamin. There isn't much time.
(Silent farewells.)

[Defiant Corridor]

ODO: You can't do this.
KIRA: Please don't make it any harder than it already is.
ODO: You have to go home, Nerys. You have to.
KIRA: This isn't about me. This is about the eight thousand people down on that planet, and their children and grandchildren.
ODO: What about the children who'll never be born because the Defiant doesn't return to DS Nine?
KIRA: They don't exist yet. These people do.
ODO: Nerys, just tell me one thing. If you'd known how I felt about you, if I'd said something years ago, do you think things might have been different?
KIRA: Maybe.
(They kiss, and she leaves Odo crying.)

[Bridge]

SISKO: Has everyone had a chance to record a message to their families?
O'BRIEN: I've downloaded the recordings into a class four probe. It'll start transmitting a location signal as soon as it clears the barrier.
SISKO: Launch the probe, Chief.
KIRA: It's time.
SISKO: Transfer helm control to autopilot.
DAX: Autopilot engaged.
SISKO: Raise shields.
DAX: Aye, sir.
WORF: We are breaking orbit.
DAX: Coming around to four two mark seven.
O'BRIEN: I'm picking up an unusual temporal signature.
KIRA: It's the anomaly. We're headed straight for it.
DAX: Ten seconds to impact. Eight, seven, six, five, four
KIRA: We're veering away from the anomaly!
SISKO: Try to override the autopilot.
DAX: I can't.
O'BRIEN: We're clearing the barrier.
SISKO: What happened?
O'BRIEN: Someone changed our flight plan. It wasn't me.
SISKO: Scan the surface.
KIRA: No sign of the settlement or the inhabitants. Everything's gone.

[Defiant corridor]

SISKO: Whoever changed our flight plan knew their way around the computer system. They bypassed our security protocols without leaving a trace.
DAX: It must have been someone from the crew.
SISKO: Or someone who used to be.
DAX: Yedrin? But all he cared about was the settlement. What could have changed his mind?
SISKO: Seeing us again. Perhaps he decided he couldn't let us go through with it.
DAX: Everyone we met, they never existed.
SISKO: They existed. As long as we remember them, they always will.

[Kira's cabin]

(Kira is lying on her bunk when the doorbell rings.)
KIRA: Come in. Odo.
ODO: There's something you should know. The other Odo, the one from the planet, came to Sickbay before he left the ship.
KIRA: Oh?
ODO: He linked with me. Now I know everything that happened.
KIRA: The other day, when I told you about Shakaar and me not seeing each other anymore, you seemed so uncomfortable.
ODO: I'd come to accept the fact that you were involved with someone else, then suddenly everything changed.
KIRA: I don't know what to say. I'm still trying to sort everything out.
ODO: So am I. I think we both need time. There's something else the other Odo wanted you to know. He was responsible for changing the Defiant's flight plan.
KIRA: Why?
ODO: So that you wouldn't have to die.
KIRA: I can't believe it. Eight thousand people!
ODO: He did it for you, Nerys. He loved you.
KIRA: That makes it right?
ODO: I don't know. He thought so. I'll see you in the morning.

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