Production no.: 429
Teleplay by: Mark Gehred-O'Connell and Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Story by: Mark Gehred-O'Connell
Directed by: Alexander Singer
First satellite airdate: November 20, 1993
Salli Elise Richardson ...
Richard Kiley ..............
Mark Erickson .............
It's the day after the fourth anniversary of the death of Sisko's wife. Disturbed by the fact that it almost passed by unnoticed, Sisko comforts his son, who has woken up from a nightmare, and then goes down to the darkened Promenade to wander around and look through the viewports. There, he unexpectedly meets a lovely alien woman, who comments on the beauty of the stars. Sisko replies, and before long they are having a conversation. Her name, she says, is Fenna. Something about her piques Sisko's interest. "That's one of the great things about this station," he comments. "You never know what's going to happen next, or who you're going to meet."
Fenna wishes she could stay longer, though she admits she's not sure where she's going. As Sisko offers to show her the station, he turns around, and she's gone.
Though he's puzzled by this occurrence, Sisko is in a chipper mood the next morning. Dax calls from the science lab to tell him that Professor Seyetik is there. When Sisko arrives, Dax tells him that Seyetik is inside the flux generator. Sisko is startled: the man could be killed in there. But then, Seyetik is a terraformer, as Dax reminds him. "You can't tell a terraformer anything. It's an amazing talent, bringing dead worlds to life. But humility and common sense aren't part of the job description." However, Seyetik emerges unscathed to greet Sisko warmly; the professor has an ego the size of Bajor, but is energetic and genial. He is here because of his next project, which is reigniting a dead star called Epsilon 119. "This will be my crowning achievement. Giving birth to a star -- even I'll have a hard time topping that one."
Later, as Sisko has lunch with Dax, she notices that he seems preoccupied, but leaves without prying. He goes to the viewport, and is startled to see Fenna again. Sisko asks where she disappeared to last night, and she says she had to go. But now she wants to take up Sisko's offer of a tour of the station. He obliges, shows her the view from one of the upper pylons, and invites her back tomorrow; she accepts.
He asks her to tell him about herself. "There's not much to tell," she says, and when he says he wants to hear whatever there is, she is evasive. "I can't." Suddenly nervous, she hurries out of the airlock and into a turbolift, and is gone before he can follow.
Sisko barely picks at his breakfast with Jake the next morning, and Jake, out of the blue, asks, "Dad, are you in love?" He notes that his dad is showing all three of the signs Nog told him about -- daydreaming, loss of appetite, smiling all the time. "I just want you to know," Jake adds seriously, "that if you are in love, it's all right with me." He asks what she's like, and all Sisko has to say is that she's "really interesting." Jake then asks when he'll get to meet her; Sisko says it's a bit early for that. He thinks she likes him too, but the problem, he admits, is that she keeps disappearing.
Sisko goes to the security office to ask Odo a personal favor: he's looking for someone, a woman. However, when Odo asks for details, there is very little Sisko can give him -- just her name, and a description; no surname, no species, no ship that she arrived on. The Constable looks at him askance; Sisko's not being very helpful. Sisko says he thinks she may be in trouble of some sort. "What kind of trouble?" Odo asks, and then answers his own question. "Let me guess -- you don't know." It's not much, but he'll do what he can. Later, apparently unable to stand the suspense any more, Dax corners Sisko in his office. She saw him with a woman last night on the Promenade, she tells him, and wants to know all about it. But Sisko says there's nothing to tell.
The senior staff accept an invitation from Seyetik to dinner aboard the Prometheus, the ship on which he arrived and which will take him to Epsilon 119. Seyetik is expansive as usual: "A great terraformer needs the green thumb of a gardener, the eye of a painter, and the soul of a poet -- and of course, it doesn't hurt to be a raging egomaniac." "Which makes you eminently qualified," says Kira; Seyetik cheerfully agrees. He steps out to fetch his wife Nidell, and when he returns with her, Sisko is startled to see that she is the spitting image of Fenna. "Now we have something to talk about," Dax whispers.
They talk quietly later after dinner, while Seyetik gives the other officers his recipe for the dish they had. Sisko notes that Nidell doesn't seem to recognize him. When he manages to get a moment alone with her, and tells her it would have been easier if she had told him she was married, Nidell says she doesn't understand. She's never met him before tonight. "I suppose you never told me that your name was Fenna?" he asks. Nidell reacts subtly, but covers up. "Commander, obviously you have mistaken me for someone else." "Seems that way, doesn't it?" he says.
In Ops a bit later, Sisko admits to Dax that this is the first time since Jennifer that he's felt drawn to someone. Odo arrives to tell him that he hasn't been able to find any record of anyone matching the description Sisko gave; Sisko says he's found the woman, and Odo, curious, asks where. Sisko says on the Prometheus. But Odo tells him that's impossible. He's checked the de-embarkation logs, and no one except Seyetik has left the Prometheus during the entire time it's been docked.
When Sisko goes home to his quarters, Fenna appears in the corridor, and greets him happily. He tells her he just had dinner with someone that looked exactly like her; she seems honestly confused. "I don't suppose you have a twin sister, do you?" he asks, and she replies, "Not that I know of." She continues to be evasive about where she came from and what she's doing here, but one thing is certain: she does seem to return Sisko's feelings. "When I came here, I thought I was looking for a place, somewhere I belonged, but I was wrong. I wasn't looking for a place. I was looking for a person. I was looking for you." Fenna kisses him, and he allows himself to kiss her back. Then, with a look of terror, she fades away before his eyes.
Sisko decides to go along on the Prometheus when she starts for Epsilon 119. Dax asks him if this is a good idea, and Sisko says he needs answers. "The key to Fenna's disappearance may be on that ship." The Prometheus gets underway; Seyetik is a bit melancholy. "Commander, my entire life has been a series of escalating triumphs. It's what I live for, knowing that no matter what I achieve, there's always another triumph waiting for me." But now he's reminded of a famous Klingon poem: "So honor the valiant who die 'neath your sword/But pity the warrior who slays all his foes." Seyetik goes on to tell Sisko about when he terraformed New Halana, and met Nidell, the daughter of a local dignitary. It's plain that he loves his wife, and Sisko observes that she must love him. "She does, Commander," Seyetik says, somberly. "Don't ask me why. But she does."
When Sisko finds Fenna in his guest quarters, he calls Dax, who scans her and says she doesn't read any cellular structure or DNA patterns, just pure energy. Fenna doesn't know what she's talking about. Sisko leads her to Seyetik's quarters, where they find that Nidell has collapsed, in shock. Nidell is dying, and Seyetik stares at Fenna. "Fenna," he says. "I should have known."
Nidell had promised him Fenna would never come back, Seyetik says angrily. Fenna is stunned when she sees Nidell. "She looks like me." "Of course she looks like you," Seyetik says. "She is you. The real you." He explains to Sisko that Fenna is an illusion, created by Nidell's subconscious. Nidell is a psychoprojective telepath. Sisko has Dax take Fenna away so he can talk to Seyetik, who deflates in sorrow.
"Nidell doesn't even know this is happening," he says. "In times of deep emotional distress, Halanans sometimes lose control of these abilities. And my wife is very emotionally distraught." Fenna appeared once before, three years ago, and Nidell almost died. "You may have noticed, Commander, that I tend to invoke strong emotions from people, particularly my wives. Oh, they all start out loving me, but a few years of togetherness soon cures them of that. The others all had the good sense to leave me." Sisko asks what keeps Nidell with him, and Seyetik says sadly that Halanans mate for life. "She can never leave me, no matter how much she might want to."
After Sisko tells Fenna this, she protests that she has never seen Seyetik or Nidell before; she's as real as Sisko is. But she has no answer when Sisko asks where she came from, how she got to DS9. She doesn't have a single memory of her life before they met. Fenna wonders if Nidell dies, what will happen to her. "You'll no longer exist without her," Sisko says. "But you can save her. Give her back the life she gave to you." "I don't know how," Fenna says, but Sisko tells her he's seen her go back to Nidell three times.
Fenna is scared. "But even if she lives, then I die. And everything that you and I have dies with me." "Fenna," Sisko tells her sadly, "what we have is a dream. I wouldn't trade it for anything, but it's still just a dream. Nidell's dream." Fenna kisses him one last time, saying she loves him and she always will.
Dax calls Sisko to the bridge. Seyetik has launched a shuttlepod full of protomatter toward the star, with himself aboard. Sisko tells him he doesn't have to do this; they know how to save Nidell. But Seyetik is determined. "This is the only way I can really set her free. I owe her that." He enters the gravity well of the star, and they can't bring him back with a tractor beam, since Seyetik disabled it. Seyetik tells them where to find his self-written obituary. "Let there be light!" he shouts, as his transmission breaks up, and the sun flares into life again. And Fenna disappears.
Nidell recovers, with no memory of Fenna's experiences, and approaches Sisko on the Promenade, to tell him goodbye and thank you. She is going home to New Halana, for good. "I wish that I could remember Fenna, what she did, how she felt, but I can't. I'm sorry." "That's all right," Sisko tells her. "I can remember for both of us."
Then Nidell asks him what Fenna was like. Sisko looks into her eyes for the last time. "Fenna? She was just like you."
This episode was originally going to focus on Bashir. The Kang referred to in the poem "The Fall of Kang" was supposed to be the same Kang who had appeared in TOS; the writers didn't know at the time that they would be bringing Kang back later in the season.