- Las Vegas lounge]
(Rom is singing 'The Lady Is A Tramp', slightly off
key. Vic is out front.)
ROM: So, what do you think?
VIC: Not bad, but the lady is a tramp, not a scamp.
ROM: Tramp, right. So, do I get the gig?
VIC: Sorry, pallie.
ROM: But Doctor Bashir said you're looking for an opening act and I
love to sing.
VIC: I can tell. But two singers on the same bill, that's a one way
ticket to Deadsville. I need someone to warm up the audience for me.
You know, a comic.
ROM: A comic?
VIC: A comedian. Someone who can make people laugh.
ROM: I can do that. My brother tells me people are always laughing at
VIC: Well, that may be true, but this is a holosuite programme,
VIC: So you're not a hologram.
ROM: Life can be so unfair.
BASHIR: Vic, you got a minute?
ROM: Forget it. He's not hiring.
BASHIR: What's wrong with him?
VIC: Showbiz. It can break your heart. So what can I do for you,
BASHIR: Did you get a chance to make those audio recordings for me?
VIC: All your favourite hits.
BASHIR: That's great. Thanks, Vic.
VIC: My pleasure. These songs are four hundred years old. You sure the
troops on the front lines want to hear them?
BASHIR: The songs may be old, but when you sing them, they sound brand
VIC: Hey, when you put it that way, I wish I was going on the supply
run with you. I could make some personal appearances. Sing a few songs,
tell a few jokes. You know, put together a regular USO show.
BASHIR: I'm afraid there are no holosuites where we're going.
VIC: Rom's right. Life can be unfair. You know, pallie, sometimes being
a hologram can be a real pain in the asometric photons.
BASHIR: I'll see you when I get back.
VIC: You know where to find me.
(Sisko is staring at what looks like another
casualty list up on the wall monitor.)
ODO: I thought I might find you here. The new security protocols you
SISKO: I think that's what I'm going to remember most about this war.
Looking through casualty reports. Sometimes it feels like that's all I
do. Stare at the names of the dead. When the war started, I read every
name. I felt it was the least I could do to honour their sacrifices.
But now the names have begun to blur together.
ODO: Well, that's understandable.
KIRA [OC]: Ops to Captain Sisko.
SISKO: Go ahead.
KIRA [OC]: The Defiant is ready for departure.
SISKO: On my way.
[Defiant mess hall]
QUARK: Why me? Why did he have to send me? I'm like
a son to him.
EZRI: Quark, you're mumbling again.
QUARK: I'm sorry. It's just not fair. I have responsibilities of my
own. Customers who depend on me.
EZRI: But the Grand Nagus picked you for this assignment.
QUARK: Some assignment. A fact finding mission to the front lines.
Zek's already inundated with Starfleet intelligence reports. What can I
tell him that he doesn't know?
EZRI: Maybe he wants to hear things from a Ferengi perspective.
QUARK: Then let him ask Nog.
EZRI: The Nagus trusts you.
QUARK: What are you trying to do, cheer me up?
EZRI: It's my job. Remember the thirty fourth Rule of Acquisition. War
is good for business.
QUARK: Only from a distance. The closer you are to the front lines, the
less profitable it gets.
QUARK: What is that?
EZRI: Stay here.
QUARK: Wait. Don't leave.
(More booms. Quark bumps into Worf)
WORF: This is no time to be wandering the corridors.
QUARK: I thought the Chin'toka system was in Federation hands.
WORF: It is, but the Dominion is determined to take back their
territory. The whole system's a battleground.
QUARK: Thank you. I should probably write this down.
(Quark and Worf enter as a Jem'Hadar ship goes
SISKO: Mister O'Brien, keep an eye out for more Jem'Hadar ships.
O'BRIEN: Aye, sir.
NOG: What are you doing here, uncle?
QUARK: I'm, er, visiting.
NOG: I'm working.
SISKO: Quark, is there something we can do for you?
QUARK: Not really. I just came by to say hello to my nephew.
SISKO: All right, you've just said hello.
QUARK: Anybody here who'd like to join me in the mess hall for a
QUARK: I'm just leaving.
NOG: Sir, I assure you that won't happen again.
EZRI: Nog, your uncle's just a little nervous. He's not used to being
in a combat situation.
NOG: That's no excuse.
(Later in orbit of a small planet, Bashir enters with Quark)
BASHIR: Captain, the supplies are ready for transport.
WORF: AR five five eight has acknowledged your message. They are
SISKO: Away team, you're with me. Mister Worf, she's all yours.
WORF: Aye, sir.
[Outside Base camp]
(It's dark. Sisko, Bashir, Quark, Ezri and Nog beam
down, all armed. Mostly very big rocks, and some technical equipment.)
QUARK: Not much to look at, is it?
(Phaser fire makes them stay behind the big rocks.)
SISKO: Those are Federation phasers. Hold your fire! I'm Captain
Benjamin Sisko of the USS Defiant.
LARKIN [OC]: You heard him! Cease fire, damn it!
SISKO: We're coming out.
LARKIN: (woman) Who told you to open fire?
VARGAS: I saw movement. I thought it was the Jem'Hadar.
LARKIN: They look like Jem'Hadar to you? I gave the word to hold your
fire. That Starfleet officers were beaming down with supplies.
VARGAS: Well nobody told me.
LARKIN: Sorry, Captain. A little breakdown in communications.
SISKO: No harm was done. Where's Captain Loomis?
LARKIN: He was killed ten days ago. So was Commander Parker.
SISKO: Who's in command?
LARKIN: I am. Lieutenant Nadia Larkin.
SISKO: Ben Sisko. Where do you want your supplies?
LARKIN: Vargas can show you.
VARGAS: Supplies. That's great. Don't they know we need to get off this
REESE: Take it easy, Vargas.
VARGAS: Take it easy? I would love to take it easy. Get me out of this
vole hole and I promise you for the rest of my life all I'll do is take
it easy! According to Starfleet regulations we're suppose to be rotated
off the front lines after ninety days. Ninety days! We've been stuck on
this rock for five months, Captain. Take it easy.
(Vargas stomps off, muttering.)
LARKIN: Welcome to paradise, Captain.
(There's a two story plus piece of equipment in the
LARKIN: There it is. The only reason anyone gives a damn about this
place. It's the largest Dominion communications array in the sector.
SISKO: If we can figure out how it works, we should be able to tap into
their entire comm. system.
LARKIN: One thing's for sure, they're determined to get it back.
SISKO: We can't let that happen.
LARKIN: I know our orders, Captain. But maybe Starfleet Command isn't
aware of our situation. We've been holding this place for five months.
That's five months of fighting off repeated Jem'Hadar attempts to get
it back. When we landed here, there was a hundred and fifty of us.
We're down to forty three.
SISKO: I appreciate what you've gone through, and I will make sure that
Starfleet understands your situation. But from what I hear, our forces
are spread pretty thin in this system. Chances are, you're going to be
stuck here for a while longer.
LARKIN: Lucky us.
(On the ground floor, someone is working on the array.)
KELLIN: Someone hand me a duonetic coupler. Thanks.
(Everyone say Hi to Bill
Mumy, veteran Lost In Space sci-fi actor, here fresh from
EZRI: Your frequency discriminator seems to be drifting. You might want
to reset it.
KELLIN: You an engineer?
EZRI: No, but Tobin, one of my previous hosts, was.
KELLIN: Close enough. Grab a microdyne coupler and start recalibrating
(Nog is watching a Reese check over his phaser
QUARK: Nog, shouldn't you be helping Doctor Bashir unload the supplies?
NOG: We're pretty much finished.
QUARK: Good. The sooner we get out of here, the better.
NOG: That soldier over there. You see his necklace? Those are Ketracel
NOG: You know how he got them?
QUARK: Mail order?
NOG: He took them off the bodies of dead Jem'Hadar. Jem'Hadar that he
killed. It's his way of keeping score.
QUARK: And you find that impressive?
NOG: Isn't it?
QUARK: I don't think so. Take a look around you, Nog. This isn't the
Starfleet you know.
NOG: Sure it is. It's just that these people have been through a lot.
They've been holed up here for a long time, seen two thirds of their
unit killed, but they haven't surrendered. Do you know why? Because
QUARK: Maybe, but I still don't want you anywhere near them. Let me
tell you something about humans, nephew. They're a wonderful, friendly
people as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are
working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food,
sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended
period of time, and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people
will become as nasty and as violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon.
You don't believe me? Look at those faces. Look in their eyes. You know
I'm right, don't you? Well? Aren't you going to say something?
NOG: I feel sorry for the Jem'Hadar.
[Base camp infirmary]
BASHIR: This is twenty cc's of numinol
tetraminothen. That'll take care of the fever and the chest congestion.
And this will get rid of the dermal irritation on your back. Better?
VARGAS: Are you kidding? I haven't felt this good since the day I
landed on this rock.
BASHIR: Good. Now I'd like to take a look at this arm.
(Vargas grabs Bashir's collar and shoves his hand phaser under his
VARGAS: What the hell are you doing? You keep your hands off this
BASHIR: I need to treat your wound.
VARGAS: Nobody touches this bandage. Is that understood?
BASHIR: Why is that?
VARGAS: I asked you if you understood.
(Vargas lets him go.)
VARGAS: McGreevey put this bandage on me. He ripped up his own uniform
to make it.
BASHIR: He sounds like a good friend.
VARGAS: He was a jerk. I couldn't stand the guy. He wouldn't shut up.
Yap, yap, yap, yap. He thought he was the world's greatest authority on
everything. I know, he's dead and I should have more respect, but God I
hated him. One moment he's tying the bandage around my arm, talking his
head off, and the next minute he's lying flat on his back with a hole
in his chest. And I just sat there and I looked at him. That was so
great. He was so quiet. One time in his life he's quiet.
BASHIR: I still need to treat your wound.
(Vargas removes the bandage.)
SISKO: (to Larkin) I think you've set up a solid
defence perimeter, but you need to tighten this flank.
BASHIR: Captain, can I have a minute?
(They move aside.)
BASHIR: These people's physical and mental health is precarious at
best. They need more than a few food replicators and medical supplies.
They need to be shipped out of here.
SISKO: I understand, but right now there's nothing I can do about that.
LARKIN: Damn it!
(Someone has been killed.)
NOG: I saw it happen. He was walking along
SISKO: You must've swept the compound for anti-personnel mines.
LARKIN: A hundred times. It doesn't help, not with Houdinis.
REESE: Find one and you disappear.
LARKIN: They hide in subspace and appear at random.
VARGAS: You can walk by the same spot a hundred times and nothing
happens. And then bang.
REESE: You're wasting your breath, Vargas. It's not the Captain's
problem. He's leaving.
SISKO: I wish I could tell you that things were going to get easier for
LARKIN: Don't worry about us, Captain.
WORF [OC]: Defiant to Captain Sisko.
SISKO: Go ahead.
WORF: Sir, we're being attacked by two Jem'Hadar
ships. We have locked on your coordinates. Are you ready for transport?
SISKO: Stand by, Mister Worf.
O'BRIEN [OC]: Captain, sensors show
O'BRIEN: Jem'Hadar troops landing nine kilometres
from your position.
WORF: Sir, we must beam you aboard now. We have to break orbit.
SISKO: Take evasive action, Mister Worf. We're
WORF [OC]: Captain, I must ask you to reconsider I do not know when
we'll be able to come back for you.
SISKO: You have your orders, Commander.
WORF [OC]: Aye, sir. Good luck.
SISKO: What are you looking at? We have work to do.
LARKIN: Yes, sir. You heard the Captain. Sir, what are your orders?
SISKO: There's only one order, Lieutenant. We hold.
(Everyone is watching from behind rocks.)
SISKO: We need to find out how many Jem'Hadar troops landed and where
LARKIN: Well, you're not going to learn anything with a tricorder. We
jam their sensors, they jam ours. That's how it works. Except they have
an advantage. They know where we are.
SISKO: But that's all they know. They don't know our defence positions
or how many of us there are.
LARKIN: All things considered, I'd still rather be in their shoes.
(Sisko runs to the other end of the line.)
SISKO: Hear anything, Ensign?
NOG: Plenty. I can hear Vargas's stomach grumbling and Ezri tuning a
phase amplifier with a coil spanner in the communications bunker.
SISKO: What about the Jem'Hadar?
NOG: Not a sound. If they're out there, they're very quiet.
REESE: They're out there.
SISKO: Keep your ears open, Ensign.
(Reese is sharpening a Jem'Hadar blade.)
NOG: I will, sir.
(Sisko returns to Vargas.)
SISKO: See anything?
NOG: That knife you're working on. It's not Starfleet issue. Can I see
REESE: You're supposed to be listening for the Jem'Hadar.
NOG: I know.
REESE: Then shut up and listen.
LARKIN: Here they come.
(Six Jem'Hadar unshroud. They shoot them down easily. More appear and
REESE: There's something wrong. They're not firing.
SISKO: Hold your fire!
(The Jem'Hadar vanish.)
VARGAS: Where'd they go?
SISKO: They weren't here to begin with.
NOG: I don't understand.
SISKO: It was a way for them to see what they were up against,
determine our numbers.
REESE: And pinpoint our positions.
LARKIN: Without risking any casualties. Smart.
VARGAS: They're smart all right and we're as good as dead!
SISKO: Not yet we aren't.
QUARK: Is it over?
SISKO: For now. But next time they won't send holograms.
(BOOM - another houdini mine has gone off.)
LARKIN: Get a stretcher. Let's get him to the infirmary.
MAN: Right away.
EZRI: Does that mean we stop working on the
SISKO: They'll have to get along without you for a while. We have to
find the Houdinis and disarm them.
EZRI: I'm all for that. These mines are a nasty piece of engineering.
KELLIN: They're also impossible to detect. I'm sorry, Captain, but I'm
an engineer, not a magician.
SISKO: Larkin says you like a challenge.
KELLIN: I thought I did. But after banging my head against that
communications array for the last few of months, I'm not so sure
EZRI: He's just being modest, Captain. Chief O'Brien would be proud to
have him on his crew.
SISKO: I can't think of higher praise.
KELLIN: Now what?
EZRI: Now we get to pull a rabbit out of our hat.
(Quark brings a ration pack.)
QUARK: Here. You need to keep your strength up.
NOG: Thanks, uncle, but I can get my own food.
QUARK: What's the matter? Afraid of looking weak in front of the
NOG: I want to earn their respect, if that's what you mean.
QUARK: At the price of your soul? Look at you. You hold that phaser
rifle as if it were made of pure latinum.
NOG: We're in the middle of a war and this rifle can keep me alive. I'm
a Starfleet officer.
QUARK: You're a Ferengi and I wish you'd start acting like one.
NOG: You mean hiding under a rock every time trouble starts?
QUARK: I'll tell you one thing, nephew. If the Federation had listened
to the Ferengi Alliance there never would have been a war.
NOG: Because we would have surrendered a long time ago.
QUARK: No, we would have reached an accommodation. We would have sat
across the negotiation table and hammered out a peace treaty. One that
both sides could lived with.
NOG: You make it sound so simple.
QUARK: Rule of Acquisition one twenty five. You can't make a deal if
SISKO: Nog. I'm sending you, Larkin and Reese out on a scouting patrol.
NOG: Yes, sir.
SISKO: I need to know what I'm up against. How many Jem'Hadar are out
there, where they're camped, and what kind of weapons they have with
NOG: When do we leave?
LARKIN: Right away.
QUARK: Hold on a minute. Why Nog, when you have all these veterans to
REESE: No one asked your opinion.
SISKO: Our tricorders aren't working.
NOG: But my hearing is.
NOG: You can count on me, sir. I'll find the Jem'Hadar.
LARKIN: Let's go.
QUARK: Nog, wait a minute.
SISKO: He has his orders, Quark.
(The patrol leaves.)
QUARK: That is so easy for you to say, but I bet you wouldn't send Jake
SISKO: Jake is not a Starfleet officer.
(A tricorder comes to life.)
KELLIN: You did it.
EZRI: Actually, I'm not sure it was me. It could've been Tobin or
KELLIN: It doesn't matter. The point is you managed to cut through the
EZRI: Unfortunately, I can't extend its range past a hundred metres.
KELLIN: That's enough to scan the entire compound. Now the question is,
how do we calibrate the tricorder to locate the mines in subspace?
EZRI: Maybe we should try cross linking the optronic and isodyne
KELLIN: You sure you're not an engineer?
EZRI: In nine lives I've been a little of everything.
KELLIN: Doesn't that get confusing?
EZRI: You have no idea.
EZRI: I'll give you an example. This is my first time on the front
KELLIN: You're talking about Ezri now.
EZRI: Right. But Torias, Curzon, and Jadzia, they were in battle many
times, and I can remember what that felt like. I remember the fear, and
the anger, and the adrenaline surge.
KELLIN: Having someone else's memories of being in combat is one thing.
Living through it yourself is another.
EZRI: I suppose I'm going to find out.
KELLIN: You'll do fine.
(They've found the Jem'Hadar encampment and Larkin
is watching through binoculars.)
LARKIN: This is close enough, Nog.
NOG: What is it? What's going on?
LARKIN: It's time to go.
(A lot of Jem'Hadar are moving out.)
LARKIN: Let's go. (On the way back, Nog hears something. They start to
retreat then Larkin gets shot in the back, Nog in the leg.)
VARGAS: Someone's coming.
REESE: Don't shoot. It's me, Reese!
QUARK: Nog! What happened?
REESE: Jem'Hadar patrol.
REESE: She's dead.
REESE: The Ferengi found the encampment. It's three kilometres south of
SISKO: How many troops?
REESE: Two columns.
VARGAS: How are we going to be able to hold off two columns?
SISKO: We'll have to even out the odds.
REESE: Any ideas?
SISKO: I'm working on it.
REESE: Captain. The kid did all right.
[Base camp infirmary]
QUARK: The doctor doesn't want anybody in there.
SISKO: Well how's Nog?
QUARK: It's a little late for you to care about that, isn't it?
QUARK: He's going to lose his leg. Does that answer your question?
QUARK: Now what happens? You will be able to
replace the leg, won't you?
BASHIR: As soon as we can get him to a hospital, he can be fitted with
a biosynthetic limb. Unfortunately, there may be complications.
QUARK: What's that supposed to mean?
BASHIR: Nog suffered severe thermal damage to his femoral motor nerves.
I'm not sure they'll be able to stimulate artificial muscle tissue. In
fact, there's no way to know until after the operation has been
performed. I have to get inside.
QUARK: We've got to get Nog to a hospital.
SISKO: We will, as soon as we can.
QUARK: That's not good enough.
SISKO: I'm sorry.
QUARK: Sorry? If you really cared about Nog you would never have sent
him out on that patrol.
SISKO: Now you listen to me, Quark, because I'm only going to say this
one time. I care about Nog and every soldier under my command.
Understood? Every single one.
[Base camp infirmary]
SISKO: At ease, Ensign.
NOG: I'm sorry, sir.
SISKO: About what?
NOG: About Larkin. I led her right into a trap.
SISKO: You found the Jem'Hadar camp.
NOG: I heard them coming, but it was too late. There was all this
phaser fire and I went down, and before I could
SISKO: Nog, listen to me. You followed orders. You did what you were
trained to do. I'm proud of you.
NOG: Thank you, sir.
(Sisko looks at the one and a half legs under the blanket.)
NOG: It doesn't hurt. You'd think it would, but it doesn't.
SISKO: I'm glad.
NOG: I'm going to be fine. Captain. The communications array. It's
worth it, right?
SISKO: I hope to God it is.
EZRI: Benjamin, sorry to interrupt. We're ready.
SISKO: Remember, no one moves until I say so. Go
(Ezri and Kellin trigger the tricorders and mines appear at varying
heights, some very close to our heroes.)
KELLIN: Now all we have to do is figure out how to disarm them.
SISKO: We're not going to disarm them. We're going to use them.
(They use the sandy floor to plan the strategy.)
REESE: This is their camp. This is ours. There are mountains to the
east and west which means they have to come through this ravine to get
SISKO: Then that's where we'll relocate the mines.
KELLIN: Moving them shouldn't be too difficult. Delicate, but not
SISKO: I also want you to reprogramme them so that they're triggered by
REESE: Make sure it's lots of movement. We want that ravine full of
Jem'Hadar when those Houdinis start to go off.
KELLIN: I think we can manage that.
REESE: That should take out a third of their forces.
SISKO: What's the matter, old man? Don't you think it'll work?
EZRI: It's not that. It's just that a few hours ago, we thought of
these mines as the kind of ruthless weapon only the Dominion would use.
REESE: They've become a whole lot friendlier.
SISKO: Sooner or later, the Jem'Hadar are going to come through those
barricades and when they do, the fewer there are, the better our
chances of survival. You have your orders.
REESE: Power packs.
VARGAS: Did you hear that?
EZRI: I didn't hear anything.
REESE: Relax. When they get here, you'll know it.
(Reese moves along the line.)
REESE: Power packs.
(Next to Sisko, Kellin is flicking his rifle sight up and down.)
KELLIN: Sorry. My thumb got a little nervous.
SISKO: I know how you feel.
KELLIN: I wonder if the Jem'Hadar get jittery before a battle.
SISKO: I wouldn't count on it.
(Vic Fontaine singing 'I'll Be Seeing You' comes through the comm.
VARGAS: What the hell is that?
EZRI: Shh. Listen.
(Quark is with Nog in the infirmary.)
EZRI: Your idea?
BASHIR: Yeah. I thought we could all use some Vic Fontaine right about
EZRI: How's Nog?
BASHIR: There isn't much I can do for him until I get back to the
station. I take it you were able to move the mines?
EZRI: Put it this way, I wouldn't go for a stroll through that ravine
BASHIR: (powering a rifle) I wasn't planning on it. Then again, I
wasn't planning on being here.
VARGAS: I can see you've done that before.
BASHIR: Too many times. Funny. I joined Starfleet to save lives.
(Lots of bangs and flashes on the horizon, then just the wind as Vic
VARGAS: Maybe they're not coming. Maybe they're turning back. Maybe we
got them all.
(Roars off, and everyone lines up their sights. The Jem'Hadar charge.)
(They manage to hold the line, but the Jem'Hadar get closer and close
through sheer numbers. Starfleet take casualties. Then the Jem'Hadar
breach the line. Sisko goes hand to hand with one soldier. Reese gets
himself another white tube. Sisko is hand to hand with other soldiers
and Ezri is knocked out by one. Kellin kills the Jem'Hadar before he
shoots Ezri, then gets shot in the back himself.)
EZRI: Kellin? Kellin?
[Base camp infirmary]
(Quark is with Nog, listening to the mayhem
outside. He shoots a Jem'Hadar who comes in.)
(Sisko finally gets knocked down. He sees a
Jem'Hadar pointing his weapon at him, then it all goes black.)
REESE: You alive? Captain, are you with us?
SISKO: I think so.
(Sisko gets up. There's no shooting now, just fires and groans and
Bashir doing triage. Ezri cradles Kellin.)
SISKO: We held.
REESE: Those were our orders, sir.
(Sisko is staring at the Dominion device, the cause
of all this trouble.)
SISKO: Yes, Mister Worf.
WORF: The USS Veracruz has entered orbit. They are beaming down troop
replacements and an engineering crew.
SISKO: What about our people?
WORF: Doctor Bashir is aboard the Veracruz with Nog and the rest of the
wounded. They will be taken to a hospital on Starbase three seven one.
SISKO: Good. I'll return to the Defiant shortly.
WORF: This was a great victory. One worthy of story and song.
SISKO: It cost enough.
(The replacements are arriving, and it is still
dark on this planet.)
SISKO: Not for long. Ready?
(Reese throws his Jem'Hadar knife into the ground.)
REESE: Let's go.
SISKO: Sisko to Defiant. Three to beam up.
KIRA: Sir, the latest casualty reports have just
SISKO: How many this time?
KIRA: Including the troops lost at AR five five eight, seventeen
hundred and thirty.
SISKO: Seventeen hundred thirty.
KIRA: That's a lot of names.
SISKO: They're not just names. It's important we remember that. We have