Extreme Measures
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 17 May, 1999

Chief Medical Officer's log, stardate 52645.7. Colonel Kira, Garak and Odo have returned to the station for treatment. Despite my best efforts, I have yet to make any progress toward finding a cure for Odo's disease.

[Infirmary private ward]

(Odo's 'bed' has high sides and covers his lower half. He is very desiccated now.)
ODO: How long do I have?
BASHIR: I can't be sure.
ODO: You can make an educated guess.
BASHIR: I could, but first I'd like to talk about slowing down the progress of the disease with a series of nadion bursts.
ODO: I want a time frame, Doctor.
BASHIR: A week. Maybe two with the nadion therapy.
ODO: Thank you. Now I want to see Kira.
BASHIR: Let me emphasise, Odo, that I haven't given up hope and it's very important that you don't give up either.
ODO: Understood. Now please, let me see Kira.
(Bashir leaves, Kira enters.)
KIRA: How do you feel?
ODO: Better. This contraption of Julian's seems to alleviate the pain.
KIRA: Good.
ODO: You should be going soon.
KIRA: I'm not going anywhere. Damar and Garak can lead the rebellion without me.
ODO: Damar needs someone who's actually fought with a resistance movement. That's you, not Garak.
KIRA: I'm not leaving until I know that you
ODO: I want you to leave.
KIRA: Why?
ODO: You watched Bariel die in this very room and I know how that's haunted you. I don't want your last memory of me to be witnessing my death.
KIRA: Isn't that my choice?
ODO: Maybe it is. And maybe I'm being selfish telling you all the things I want, but I don't want the last thing I see to be pain in your eyes.
KIRA: You'd be surprised how well I can hide my feelings when I need to.
ODO: Not from me. You have to go, Nerys.
KIRA: All right.
ODO: I can't be a very pleasant sight.
KIRA: I don't care how you look.
(She kisses him.)
KIRA: I've got so much to say. I don't know where to begin.
ODO: Just say you love me. That's all I've ever cared about.
KIRA: I love you, Odo.
ODO: I love you, Nerys.

[Infirmary]

O'BRIEN: After I finished the tests I forwarded the schematics of the Breen weapon to Starfleet Engineering. They should have a preliminary report
(Kira enters.)
KIRA: Garak and I should be getting underway.
GARAK: The Commander is correct. We have to evade several Jem'Hadar patrols in order to reach Damar's base. If we wait too long, they may alter their patrol routes.
SISKO: Chief, is there anything else before they go?
O'BRIEN: No, sir. I think we have all the data we need.
SISKO: Well, then. Good hunting to you both.
(Garak nods and leaves.)
KIRA: Thank you, sir. Julian.
BASHIR: I'll do everything I can.
(Kira leaves.)
SISKO: Doctor, is there anything I can do to help? Any additional resources you might want from Starfleet Medical?
BASHIR: No, thank you. sir. I have everything I need.
O'BRIEN: Sir, we should inform you that research is not the only avenue we've been pursuing.
BASHIR: Miles.
O'BRIEN: He needs to know.
SISKO: Whatever's going on, I want to know it right now.
BASHIR: We're trying to lure someone from Section Thirty One here to the station.
SISKO: Section Thirty One? What do they have to do with this?
O'BRIEN: We believe that they are responsible for infecting Odo in the first place.
SISKO: What?
BASHIR: We believe that he became infected three years ago when he underwent medical examination at Starfleet Headquarters.
O'BRIEN: Evidently, Section Thirty One hoped that Odo would transmit the disease to the other Founders when he linked with them.
SISKO: Genocide. Committed by people who call themselves Federation citizens. Why didn't you come to me earlier with this?
O'BRIEN: Sir, we felt that
BASHIR: Miles wanted to tell you, sir, but I ordered him not to. It's my fault.
SISKO: I'm still waiting for an answer to my question.
BASHIR: We have no proof. Besides I knew that if we told you what we suspected, you'd feel obliged to inform Starfleet Command. And once you did that, Section Thirty One would realise that we were onto them and go even deeper into hiding.
SISKO: What difference did that make?
BASHIR: There came a point when I had to admit that my research was going nowhere. I couldn't find a cure here in the lab. So Miles and I decided to look for one within Section Thirty One itself. So a few days ago I sent a false message to Starfleet Medical informing them that I had indeed found a cure.
O'BRIEN: The idea is that when Thirty One hears about it, they'll want to destroy Julian's research in order to prevent it falling into the hands of the Dominion.
SISKO: So you're trying to lure one of their operatives to the station. Okay, let's say it works. What then?
BASHIR: We capture him or her, find out everything they know about the disease, who's involved, and maybe even where to find the cure.
SISKO: How do you propose to do that? They're not going to be very cooperative.
BASHIR: I managed to get my hands on a Romulan memory scanner, sir.
SISKO: Oh. Since they're illegal in the Federation, I'll assume that's another reason you didn't come to me.
BASHIR: Yes, sir.
SISKO: Well, setting aside all the legal and ethical issues involved, I still think this is a pretty long shot.
BASHIR: I do too. But I'm afraid it's the only shot Odo has.

[Quark's]

(O'Brien walks past a closed Quarks and notices Bashir is throwing darts inside. He enters.)
O'BRIEN: Can't sleep?
BASHIR: No.
O'BRIEN: How'd you get in?
BASHIR: The lock isn't that complex. What are you doing up?
O'BRIEN: Oh, I was running another power test on the Breen weapon.
BASHIR: I was trying to read, but I kept reading the same page over and over again.
O'BRIEN: What were you reading?
(O'Brien starts a game.)
BASHIR: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
O'BRIEN: Tale of Two Cities. My mother's favourite book.
BASHIR: I was enjoying it too, except tonight my mind was elsewhere.
O'BRIEN: Odo?
BASHIR: Section Thirty One I kept thinking just how many people had to be involved in the conspiracy to infect him with the disease. Computer experts, doctors, security officers, admirals, clerks. In the end, I came up with at least seventy three people.
O'BRIEN: For a minute there I thought you were going to say seventy thousand.
BASHIR: This organisation, this thing that's slithered its way into the heart of the Federation, has to be destroyed.
(Bashir throws his darts so hard the board surrenders.)
O'BRIEN: You won't get any argument from me on that. But for now, the focus has to be Odo. Finding him a cure, that has to be our priority.
BASHIR: All right.
O'BRIEN: I've had enough. Have you?
BASHIR: Sure. Let's sleep lightly tonight. Section Thirty One may still fall for the trap and show up.
O'BRIEN: I'll be ready.

[Bashir's bedroom]

(Bashir is lying on the bed when he realises there is someone else there.)
BASHIR: Lights.
SLOAN: Hello, Doctor.
BASHIR: I didn't think I'd ever see you again.
SLOAN: I have another assignment for you.
BASHIR: Really? What a coincidence, because I have an assignment for you.
(He hits a control by the bedhead and a forcefield comes on around Sloan.)
SLOAN: I take it I'm supposed to feel shocked and humbled by your ingenuity.
BASHIR: Frankly, I don't care how you feel. Bashir to O'Brien.
O'BRIEN [OC]: Yeah?
BASHIR: Mister Sloan is here. I have him in the containment field.
O'BRIEN [OC]: I'm on my way.
BASHIR: Good. Bashir out.
SLOAN: What do you want, Doctor?
BASHIR: Why, the same thing you want. The cure to Odo's disease.
SLOAN: What are you talking about? You already have the cure. No. No, you don't. Your message to Starfleet Medical was just bait.
BASHIR: Which I'm happy to see you swallowed.
SLOAN: Well, you've got me. What good do you think is going to come of this? Turning me over to Starfleet Security will be a waste of time. You don't have a shred of evidence.
BASHIR: Oh, I'm not interested in turning you over to anyone.
SLOAN: What?
(Bashir turns off the forcefield and shoots Sloan.)

[Science lab]

(Sloan is held on a bed by another forcefield.)
BASHIR: Hello again.
SLOAN: Shooting an unarmed man? That's a little ungallant, isn't it?
BASHIR: Somehow I didn't expect you to come here of your own volition.
SLOAN: You're probably right. Hello, Chief. How's the family? Everyone okay at home?
O'BRIEN: What's that supposed to mean?
SLOAN: Nothing. I'd just hate to see anything happen to them.
BASHIR: Don't listen to him, Chief. He's just playing games with you.
SLOAN: That's easy for him to say. He doesn't have a wife and children to worry about. Trust me, Chief, if something were to happen to me
BASHIR: What? They'll be killed? I'm disappointed in you, Sloan. You don't usually wield such a blunt instrument.
SLOAN: So, am I supposed to guess what's going on or do I have to lay here in terror waiting for you to tell me?
BASHIR: I told you what's going on. I'm going to find a cure for Odo's disease and you're going to help me.
SLOAN: What makes you think I know anything about it?
BASHIR: You came here because you thought I'd discovered a cure and you wanted to destroy it. But first you'd have to find it in my lab. And in order to do that you'd have to know exactly what it was you were looking for.
SLOAN: You call that reasoning? If I wanted to eliminate your work, all I'd have to do is destroy your lab.
BASHIR: Oh, no, no, no, Sloan. That would be too sloppy. You like surgical precision. You came here to destroy the cure, so somewhere in that brain of yours is the information that I want.
SLOAN: You really expect me to tell you?
BASHIR: No. I expect you to resist to the bitter end.
O'BRIEN: We're ready.
BASHIR: Remember these? Romulan mind probes. They're not the most pleasant of devices, but they're very efficient.
SLOAN: They're also illegal in the Federation.
BASHIR: Oh, I hope you can appreciate the irony of that statement.
(Bashir puts the blinkies on Sloan's forehead.)
SLOAN: I'm telling you I don't know anything about the cure.
BASHIR: Then I won't find anything, will I?
SLOAN: If Sisko finds out what you're doing
O'BRIEN: The Captain already knows what we're doing. And he's given us his full support.
SLOAN: Julian, I'm sorry about Odo, but I can't let you have the cure. I can't take a chance it'll fall into the hands of the Founders.
BASHIR: I'm afraid the choice is no longer yours.
SLOAN: I misread you. I thought you were just a misguided idealist. But you're a dangerous man. People like you would destroy the Federation if given a chance. Fortunately there are people like me who will die to protect it.
(Sloan clenches his jaw, he convulses and an alarm goes off.)
BASHIR: Damn!
O'BRIEN: What's going on?
BASHIR: He's trying to kill himself. He's activated a neuro-depolarising device in his brain. I have to stabilise him before he does irreversible damage.
O'BRIEN: If he dies
BASHIR: The cure for Odo dies with him.
(After the break.)
O'BRIEN: What's the verdict?
BASHIR: Well, he's stable for now. But the neuro-depolariser did damage his brain. Even on full life support, his higher cortical functions will fail within the next hour.
O'BRIEN: He committed suicide just to prevent us finding the cure.
BASHIR: We had him cornered and he knew it. He just couldn't let one of Section Thirty One's darkest secrets get away from him. The frustrating thing is the cure's still in there somewhere.
O'BRIEN: Julian, this might sound a bit morbid, but what if you were to use your Romulan mental probes now?
BASHIR: His memory pathways have been scrambled, probably to prevent someone from doing just that. There must be some way to retrieve that data.
O'BRIEN: Maybe we should just let him die in peace.
BASHIR: Miles, I need a multitronic engrammatic interpreter.
O'BRIEN: Or maybe I'll find you a multitronic engrammatic interpreter.
(Later)
O'BRIEN: This is crazy.
BASHIR: Oh, it'll work.
(Later again.)
O'BRIEN: You have me re-routing so many power relays and transfer coils I can't guarantee any of this will work without running a series of diagnostics.
BASHIR: I've already done the diagnostics, Miles, in my head.
(Sloan is now hooked up to the gizmo by a band around the forehead.)
BASHIR: The neural interface will then provide a basic pattern to my hippocampal nuclei.
O'BRIEN: I give up. You've explained it to me three times and I still don't get it.
BASHIR: You just have to trust me, Chief. I know what I'm doing.
O'BRIEN: But even if you can link minds with Sloan, how are you going to find the cure?
BASHIR: The entire experience will be processed into images and sounds that my conscious mind can comprehend. In essence, I will see the neuronal pathways in Sloan's brain as literal pathways or streets or corridors or something.
O'BRIEN: Oh, so you're just going to wander around these streets looking for a little box labelled The Cure?
BASHIR: As strange as it sounds, it may be just that simple. Or it may be a good deal more surrealistic. I may wind up in memories of Sloan's childhood.
O'BRIEN: Will he be, you know, aware of what you're doing?
BASHIR: I won't know that till I'm in there. We don't know what the conscious mind can perceive this close to brain death.
(O'Brien hands Bashir a second headband.)
O'BRIEN: How will you get out?
BASHIR: One of the advantages to being genetically enhanced is the ability to control my own vital signs. When I find a cure and I want to get out, I'll send my hypothalamus a signal to raise my blood pressure forty percent, and the equipment will automatically break the link.
O'BRIEN: What if you get disoriented or lost in some nightmare of Sloan's and he dies while you're still in there?
BASHIR: Worst case scenario, I die with him I suppose. But I think that's a manageable risk.
O'BRIEN: I'm going with you.
BASHIR: What?
O'BRIEN: You heard me. And it's not open to debate. If you're determined to go on this lunatic mission inside Sloan's head, then somebody with an ounce of sanity has to be with you.
BASHIR: You just want to come because you don't want Captain Sisko to find out what we're doing.
O'BRIEN: There's that too.
BASHIR: I'd better get another bed.
(And so he does.)
O'BRIEN: How long have we got?
BASHIR: Sloan's brain's going to die in about forty three minutes. We have that long to get in, find the cure and get out. The analyser's online. Are you ready?
O'BRIEN: No. But let's do it anyway.
(They put on the head bands and off we go into Sloan's head.)

[Turbolift]

(Going down.)
O'BRIEN: Julian?
BASHIR: Miles.
O'BRIEN: Why are we in a turbolift?
BASHIR: I'm not sure.
O'BRIEN: I don't remember getting in here.
BASHIR: We're in Sloan's mind. Remember?
O'BRIEN: Sloan. But we're really still in the lab.
BASHIR: Yes. This turbolift is just an abstraction.
O'BRIEN: Then where are we going?
BASHIR: I don't know, but we're not wasting any time getting there.
(The turbolift speeds up and starts shaking.)
BASHIR: Aren't you glad you came along?
O'BRIEN: I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
(And it stops.)
BASHIR: So what do you think?
O'BRIEN: I think we've stopped.
BASHIR: Are you sure?
O'BRIEN: Either that or we're falling very, very slowly.
BASHIR: You mean we can let go?
O'BRIEN: I don't see why not. Well?
BASHIR: Well what? You first.
O'BRIEN: Oh, no. This little trip wasn't my idea.
BASHIR: All right, we'll let go together.
O'BRIEN: On the count of three.
BASHIR + O'BRIEN: One, two, three.
BASHIR: See? Nothing to worry about.
O'BRIEN: I wasn't worried.
(And the turbolift drops again then stops suddenly.)
O'BRIEN: What how?
BASHIR: Good question.
(The doors open to reveal Sloan in casual clothes.)
SLOAN: Doctor. Chief O'Brien. Welcome. I can't tell you how happy I am to see you.

[Corridor]

BASHIR: Well, we're glad you're happy, Sloan. Now tell us how to cure Odo and we can all be happy.
SLOAN: Believe me, Doctor, nothing would give me greater pleasure. But first, there are a few people I'd like you to meet.
O'BRIEN: Look, Sloan, we're a little pressed for time.
SLOAN: But you just arrived. Ah, I see. You're afraid that if I die while you're still in here you'll die, too. Yes, well we can't let that happen, can we. We'd better hurry.
BASHIR: We're not going anywhere till you give us the cure.
SLOAN: All right. If you insist. It's a simple nucleotide marking sequence. Radodine, lide-what's-anine, ninoranphew, tardanine.
O'BRIEN: Would you mind repeating that?
SLOAN: (distorted) Lide-what's-anine, ninoranphew, tardanine.
BASHIR: We're not playing games, Sloan.
SLOAN: Believe me, I want to tell you everything you need to know.
BASHIR: Then tell us.
SLOAN: I can't. Lide-what's-anine, ninoranphew, tardanine. You see? I suppose there's some part of me that doesn't want you to know. Well not until you come to the wardroom.
O'BRIEN: Maybe we should do as he says.
SLOAN: I don't blame you for being suspicious, but if you want the cure, you're going to have to trust me. And the clock is ticking.
O'BRIEN: He's right about that.
SLOAN: Follow me.
(Further on)
SLOAN: Relax, Doctor. I'm the one dying, not you.
O'BRIEN: Why Deep Space Nine?
SLOAN: Excuse me?
O'BRIEN: I'm just wondering why the inside of your head looks like our space station?
SLOAN: I wanted you to feel at home. Comfortable.
BASHIR: Why?
SLOAN: I thought it was the decent thing to do.

[Wardroom]

(It's party time.)
SLOAN: Everyone, if I could have your attention, please. Now that we're all here I hope you'll forgive me if I take a moment and say a few words. As I stand here, reunited with my friends and my family for one last time, I want you, the people I love, to know just how sorry I am for all the pain that I've caused you. I dedicated my life to the preservation and the protection of the Federation. This duty, which I carried out to the best of my ability, took precedence over everything else. My parents, my wife, my children. I lived in a world of secrets, of sabotage and deceit. I spent so much time erasing my movements, covering my tracks, that now that I look back at my life, I find nothing. It's as if I never really existed. I cheated you all out of being in my life. And what's more, I cheated myself as well. Now I know a simple apology won't change that. Still, I feel the need to apologise anyway. No tears, please. My death isn't a tragedy, it's a celebration. In death, I can finally step out of the shadows and prove to myself that I existed. That I lived.
(Applause.)
JESSICA: That was beautiful, Luther.
(She kisses Sloan.)
SLOAN: Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet my wife, Jessica. This is Doctor Bashir and Chief O'Brien. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here.
JESSICA: I'd like to thank you for all you've done for Luther, and me. Frankly, being married to him was a living hell. But thanks to you, that's all changed.
O'BRIEN: Congratulations.
SLOAN: Doctor, you've been a beacon of light to me. You're living proof that ideology is a poor substitute for kindness and decency, and that at the end of the day, it's our actions, not our beliefs, that define who we are. What we are.
BASHIR: Yes. And thank you. I'm very glad to have been helpful. But if you don't mind?
SLOAN: You want me to tell you how to cure Odo. Gladly, Doctor. My dear, I need that PADD I gave you for safekeeping.
JESSICA: (digging around in her handbag) Oh, yes. I think I have it here.
SLOAN: Thanks, muffin. Here you go, Doctor.
(The door opens and Sloan gets shot. It's the old leather-clad version of Sloan.)
SLOAN: I'm sorry, Doctor, but I can't let you have that.
(The room is empty.)
O'BRIEN: Julian.
BASHIR: Don't look at me for explanations.

[Corridor]

(Outside the 'wardroom' it's no longer a station corridor.)
O'BRIEN: I knew it.
BASHIR: Knew what?
O'BRIEN: That this wasn't going to be easy.

[Science lab]

SISKO: Do you mind telling me what going on here?
EZRI: I have no idea. The Chief was supposed to come fix my sonic shower this morning, but he never showed up. I asked the computer where he was, and when I came in, this is what I found. Have any idea who this is?
SISKO: Sloan. He works for Section Thirty One.
EZRI: Then I'd guess this isn't some kind of obscure meditation therapy.
SISKO: Definitely not. Sisko to Infirmary.
MAN [OC]: Infirmary.
SISKO: Send a medical team to Science Lab four right away.
MAN [OC]: Aye, sir.

[Corridor]

O'BRIEN: I wish I knew how long we've been in here.
BASHIR: Twenty three minutes and eleven seconds.
O'BRIEN: Show off.
BASHIR: That leaves us less than twenty minutes to find a cure and get out.
O'BRIEN: (trying yet another door) Locked. All locked. Sloan could be hiding in any one of these rooms. Or he could've taken that turn off we passed.
BASHIR: What's your point, Miles?
O'BRIEN: We're not going to find him unless he wants to be found. It's his playing field.
(A leather-clad man with a weapon is in their way.)
AGENT: You two, stop right there.
BASHIR: Now what?
AGENT: You're in a restricted area.
O'BRIEN: I thought we were in the cerebellum.
BASHIR: We're looking for Sloan.
AGENT: Mister Sloan's not available at the moment.
BASHIR: Damn it. We don't have time for this. We need to speak to Sloan!
(The agent shoots Bashir in the shoulder.)
O'BRIEN: You shot him!
BASHIR: That really hurt.
AGENT: He was a threat to the Federation.
(O'Brien tackles the agent, but gets shot in the ribs before punching him out. The agent vanishes.)
O'BRIEN: You all right?
BASHIR: Do I look all right?
O'BRIEN: It doesn't make sense. I mean, if none of this is real, why does it hurt so much?
BASHIR: Sloan's mind must be sending sensory stimuli into ours, causing us to experience pain, just as we would had we really been shot. Of course, that's just a theory.
O'BRIEN: Oh. That makes sense. Maybe this is a good time for you to get us out of here.
BASHIR: I can't.
O'BRIEN: What do you mean, you can't?
BASHIR: I just tried the hypothalamic feedback loop. I must be too weak.
O'BRIEN: What do you mean you're too weak? Julian, we have to get out of here!
BASHIR: I know that. But I've been shot. At least my body thinks I have.
O'BRIEN: Ha. I don't believe this.
BASHIR: I'm sorry.
O'BRIEN: So, this is it?
BASHIR: It does look that way.
O'BRIEN: I should've left a note for Keiko to let her what we were planning.
BASHIR: Why worry her?
O'BRIEN: No, I want her and the kids to understand why I had to do this.
BASHIR: She'll understand. She'll know you did it for me.
O'BRIEN: That's what'll upset her the most. She always said I liked you more than I liked her.
BASHIR: That's ridiculous.
O'BRIEN: Right. Yeah.
BASHIR: Well maybe you do, a bit more.
O'BRIEN: What? Are you crazy? She's my wife. I love her.
BASHIR: Of course you love her. She's your wife.
O'BRIEN: Yeah.
BASHIR: I'm just saying maybe you like me a bit more, that's all.
O'BRIEN: I do not.
BASHIR: You spend more time with me.
O'BRIEN: We work together.
BASHIR: We have more in common.
O'BRIEN: Julian, you are starting to annoy me.
BASHIR: Darts, racquetball, Vic's lounge, the Alamo. Need I go on?
O'BRIEN: I love my wife.
BASHIR: And I love Ezri. Passionately.
O'BRIEN: You do?
BASHIR: Yes.
O'BRIEN: Have you told her?
BASHIR: Not yet. But I will.
O'BRIEN: Oh, yeah? When?
BASHIR: When I'm ready. It's just that I like you a bit more. See? There, I've admitted it.
O'BRIEN: Yeah, well, I love my wife.
BASHIR: What's that?
(There's a very bright light at the end of the corridor.)
O'BRIEN: It's the tunnel!
BASHIR: What tunnel?
O'BRIEN: You know, the tunnel to the Great Beyond!
BASHIR: It is. I must say I'm a bit disappointed. I expected it to be more elaborate.
O'BRIEN: No. No, no, no. Come on, we can't just sit here waiting for death. Come on. On your feet, man. Come on, come on. Let's check one more door.
BASHIR: What's the point?
O'BRIEN: The point is to do our duty right up until the end.
BASHIR: Like Travis and Crockett.
O'BRIEN: One more door.
(And with a tap of button 47)

[Science lab]

WORF: Doctor Bashir is regaining consciousness, Captain.
BASHIR: How's Miles?
O'BRIEN: I'm fine.
SISKO: Did you find the information you were looking for?
BASHIR: No, I'm afraid not. I'm going to have to go back in.
SISKO: Sloan is dying. We can't risk losing you as well.
BASHIR: He can't die. Not yet! Get me cordrazine. Ten milligrams.
NURSE: (Starfleet) His alpha waves are attenuating.
BASHIR: Cortical stimulator. You're not getting away from me that easily, Sloan. Increase the resonance frequency, ten percent.
NURSE: His neurosynaptic activity is failing.
BASHIR: I can see that. Fifteen milligrams neurotropan. Come on, Sloan. Come on back.
NURSE: Complete neural failure.
BASHIR: No!
WORF: Doctor, he is dead. Doctor.
O'BRIEN: It's over, Julian. He's gone.
BASHIR: And so's any hope of curing Odo.

[Infirmary private ward]

BASHIR: I'm sorry, Odo. I wish I had better news.
ODO: I understand, Doctor. You've done everything you could, more than I would've thought possible and I appreciate it.
BASHIR: Is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable?
ODO: Thank you, but right now I'd simply like to be alone.
BASHIR: Of course.

[Infirmary]

O'BRIEN: How'd he take it?
BASHIR: You know. Better than I would've.
O'BRIEN: I need some sleep. So do you. Look, Julian
BASHIR: No. I know, I know. I did all I could. But it's small comfort, isn't it.

[Bashir's bedroom]

(On the bed, he opens A Tale of Two Cities at the bookmark, and is puzzled.)
BASHIR: It was the best of times.

[O'Brien's quarters]

O'BRIEN: It was the worst of times. It's the first line of the book.
BASHIR: That's right. So why is it there on page two hundred and ninety four?
O'BRIEN: Must be a misprint. The book starts over again.
BASHIR: It can't be. Ezri loaned it to me. And before that it was Jadzia's and I know for a fact that she read it.
O'BRIEN: You and Ezri are exchanging books?
BASHIR: Oh, forget about that. Don't you see what's going on?
O'BRIEN: Yes, she's playing a practical joke on you.
BASHIR: No, she isn't. It's Sloan. We're still inside his mind.
O'BRIEN: What are you talking about? These are my quarters. Keiko's asleep in that room.
BASHIR: No, she isn't. Sloan is drawing on our memories, making us think we're back on the station. That's why the book's incomplete, because I haven't finished reading it.
O'BRIEN: And because you don't know what happens after page two ninety four?
BASHIR: He couldn't fill in the rest of the story.
O'BRIEN: He's trying to stop us finding the cure.
BASHIR: We must have been close to finding it.
O'BRIEN: That door we were about to open when we woke up. The cure must be in there.
(Rumble)
O'BRIEN: What's going on?
BASHIR: Sloan's dying. His mind's shutting down. We haven't got much time.

[Corridor]

(Big rumbles throw them against the bulkheads, but on they go.)
BASHIR: This is it!
O'BRIEN: Are you sure?
BASHIR: I can tell.

[Sloan's office]

(Button 48 opens the door to reveal a room with pieces of paper all over the floor. Sloan is reclining in his desk chair.)
BASHIR: Sloan?
SLOAN: Welcome to Section Thirty One, gentlemen.
BASHIR: You know exactly why we're here.
SLOAN: You don't really expect me to help you.
(Bashir starts going through a pile of PADDs.)
SLOAN: You sure you want to throw that one away?
BASHIR: I'm collecting medical information, not surveillance reports.
SLOAN: It's not just any report. That's on Jaresh-Inyo.
BASHIR: Former President Inyo?
SLOAN: The one and only.
BASHIR: My God. Thirty One had a man in his cabinet.
O'BRIEN: Don't let him distract you.
SLOAN: Just one of the little nuggets lying around in this once tidy room. You'd be amazed at what you could find.
BASHIR: Current operations on Kronos. Chancellor Martok would love to get his hands on this.
O'BRIEN: Julian, look at this.
BASHIR: Radodine, lidestolinine, asporanine, adenine. That's it.
(Big rumble and sparks.)
O'BRIEN: I think it's time we got out of here.
BASHIR: Hold on a moment.
O'BRIEN: What for?
BASHIR: These files, they contain all of Sloan's memories on Section Thirty One. With this information we can destroy the entire organisation.
O'BRIEN: That'll have to wait.
SLOAN: It's not that simple, Chief. There is no building, no room like this in the real world. Section Thirty One has no headquarters. These files, they exist only in the minds of a very select group of people, and I happen to be one of them. If you really want to destroy Section Thirty One, it's now or never.
BASHIR: He's right. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We can't pass it up.
O'BRIEN: Julian!
BASHIR: What?
O'BRIEN: Listen to me. He wants us to die with him. If we die, Odo dies too!
SLOAN: All my secrets are yours for the taking, Doctor. If you want them badly enough.
O'BRIEN: Odo needs you, Julian. He's counting on you.
SLOAN: You're making a terrible mistake, Doctor.
BASHIR: I don't think so.

[Science lab]

EZRI: Julian, are you with us?
BASHIR: Ezri, you look beautiful.
SISKO: Did you locate the cure?
BASHIR: I think so, but there's only one way to know for sure. Sloan?
SISKO: He died about two minutes ago. He almost took you with him.
O'BRIEN: Hey, Julian, next time you take a trip inside someone's mind, you're going on your own.
BASHIR: Right.

[Infirmary private ward]

(Bashir loads a hypo.)
BASHIR: I should warn you, you may feel some discomfort.
ODO: If you mean it's going to be painful, just say so.
BASHIR: It's going to be painful.
ODO: All right then. Go ahead.
(Bashir injects him. Odo writhes in pain and ripples, then settles down to his proper smooth self.)

[Quark's]

(Bashir is throwing darts in the closed bar.)
O'BRIEN: So when will Odo be up and around again?
BASHIR: His morphogenic matrix needs a little time to heal, but he should be his old self again in a couple of days.
O'BRIEN: Ah-ha. Here we go.
(O'Brien gets a bottle out from under the bar.)
O'BRIEN: I knew Quark was hoarding a bottle of the good stuff.
BASHIR: This is older than I am.
O'BRIEN: What? I'm drinking with a child.
(O'Brien pours.)
BASHIR: To aging, gracefully.
O'BRIEN: Very funny. To Odo.
BASHIR: Wow.
O'BRIEN: Wow is right. Tell me something. If you'd had more time to read the data in Sloan's mind, do you think we would have brought down Section Thirty One?
BASHIR: We'll never know now, will we. But one thing's for sure. Sloan knew he had the perfect bait, that I wouldn't be able to resist it. There was one thing he failed to consider.
O'BRIEN: What's that?
BASHIR: You. To Miles Edward O'Brien.
O'BRIEN: To friendship. I'd better get home. Keiko's holding dinner for me.
BASHIR: This late?
O'BRIEN: Yeah, well, she's a hell of a woman.
BASHIR: That's why you love her.
O'BRIEN: That's right. That's why I love her. You want to come?
BASHIR: Sure.
(Bashir casually throws his last dart from the doorway. Bullseye.)

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