Blaze of Glory
Production no.: 521
Written by: Robert Hewitt Wolfe & Ira Steven Behr
Directed by: Kim Friedman
Stardate: not given
First satellite airdate: May 10, 1997
Kenneth Marshall .....
J.G. Hertzler .............
Aron Eisenberg .........
Gretchen German .....
Majel Barrett ............
Jake and Nog are having dinner with Jake's dad, who reveals that the sauce is actually puree of tube grubs. Jake nearly barfs, though Sisko tells him that since Nog is willing to eat squid, it's only fair that they try tube grubs. Sisko asks how Nog likes working security (on temporary assignment); Nog says it's "very interesting", though Jake says, "That's not what you told me." Reluctant to complain to his commanding officer, Nog finally admits that he has a problem with the Klingons on the station. They're loud, rude, and what's worse, they ignore him when he tries to tell them to tone it down. Sisko suggests that Nog confront them. "If you stand up to them, you'll earn their respect." "Or get your butt kicked, one or the other," adds Jake.
Martok enters Sisko's quarters; Jake gets Nog out before the Ferengi decides to put Sisko's advice to use. The General tells Sisko that when he was patrolling the Cardassian border, his ship intercepted a disturbing message. He gives the captain a PADD with a Maquis code on it. They're both surprised, as it was thought that the Maquis had been wiped out by the Cardassians and the Dominion. Martok shows him the decoded message. A human woman appears. "Michael, I hope you get this message. We've launched the missiles. They should reach Cardassia in thirteen days. It may not bring back our dead, but at least they'll have a lot of company."
No missiles were detected, but Martok informs Sisko that a few months ago, the Klingon High Council provided the Maquis with 30 cloaking devices. The devices were to be used on ships; however, they could conceivably have been mounted on missiles instead. Both Martok and Sisko can easily picture the escalation that could happen if there are cloaked missiles on the way to Cardassia, and if they hit their target. It could end in the destruction of the entire Alpha Quadrant.
Worf and Dax come back from a search of the Badlands in the Defiant. They had no luck, because the Jem'Hadar patrols there were able to track them despite the cloak. They have to narrow the search. "I think I know someone who can help," Sisko decides.
In a starbase brig, Michael Eddington wakes up to see Sisko standing outside the forcefield. Sisko gives the renegade ex-Starfleet officer the PADD. Eddington plays the message, but says it has nothing to do with him. "If those missiles hit Cardassia, it could start a war. Billions of people will be killed," Sisko says. "If you expect me to shed a tear," Eddington retorts, "you're going to be disappointed. I used up all my tears when the Dominion slaughtered the Maquis. I sat here in this cell for three days and listened to the reports as they came in. In those three days, everyone and everything I cared about was wiped out." He doesn't give a damn what happens, he claims. Sisko, however, says he doesn't believe that. "You don't want a war between the Federation and the Dominion any more than I do."
"What you want and what I want doesn't really matter," declares Eddington. "There's nothing you can do to stop those missiles from hitting their targets." Sisko isn't ready to give up; there must be some kind of abort code. Eddington says he would have to transmit it from the launch site, which he doesn't think Sisko can find. "I'm afraid you're out of luck, Captain. Looks like everyone's out of luck." Sisko offers to arrange a pardon in exchange for Eddington's help. But Eddington doesn't even care about his freedom; it won't bring the Maquis back from the dead. "I want to lie here until the Jem'Hadar blow this place to pieces, and me along with it."
On DS9, Bashir treats Quark for a cut over his eye. Odo and Kira report that they have caught Morn, after the barfly burst into the Bajoran shrine, stark naked, and cried out to the Prophets for protection. It seems that Morn went berserk and hit Quark with a barstool after Quark had been talking to him. Quark reluctantly admits that he "may have been" theorizing about the prospects of war with the Dominion. "Some people just don't react well to stress."
Kira then gets a call from Sisko, who tells her that he plans to go to the Badlands, find the launching site, and deactivate the missiles. "I'd feel a hell of a lot better if you weren't out there alone," Kira remarks. "Don't worry, Major," Sisko says. "I'm not alone." As a matter of fact, he is in a runabout with Eddington.
It's going to be a long trip, what with Eddington complaining about the replicated food, and telling Sisko he's wasting his breath trying to get him to cooperate. "I told you when you dragged me out of my cell that I wasn't going to help you. I meant it then and I mean it now...You're the one who set the ground rules when you came after me, Ben. You're the one who made it personal. You could've looked the other way. You could've left the Maquis alone. But you didn't do it. You hunted us, hounded us, fought us every chance you got. And in the end, you set us up for the slaughter. I expected better of you than that. So did a lot of people. People like Cal Hudson." Sisko does his best to conceal his emotions as Eddington informs him that Hudson -- Sisko's Academy friend, who eventually joined the Maquis -- has been killed.
Eddington goes on to repeat all his usual accusations against Sisko and the Federation -- that it's always been about Sisko's ego and the Federation's pride. Sisko retorts that the Maquis gave Eddington a chance to play hero, and in return, he led them right into their graves. "They died because you filled their heads with false hopes. Sold them dreams of a military victory when what they needed was a negotiated peace." "We had the Cardassians on the run," Eddington insists. "And they ran right into the arms of the Dominion," Sisko concludes. "End of story." Eddington claims to be content with the idea of revenge, even if it means he'll bring about the worst war in Federation history. "Not quite the legacy I had in mind, but I can live with it." "Can you?" asks Sisko.
Nog and Jake are sitting in Quark's while two Klingons are having a head-butting contest, with Martok egging them on. Nog, sitting with his chair rocked back on two legs, is waiting for the decibel level to rise loud enough so that he can arrest them for disturbing the peace. He's sure that this will bring him the respect he wants. But when the noise level goes above the legal limit, and Nog starts to get up, he overbalances and crashes to the floor. He lies there in humiliation as the Klingons laugh at him.
The runabout reaches the Badlands, where Sisko calls Eddington's attention to a reading of two Jem'Hadar warships headed their way, and getting closer. "You said you wanted to be blown to bits by the Jem'Hadar. Well, it looks like you're going to get your wish." "I have faith in you, Captain," says Eddington. "You'll get us out of this." But Sisko says he doesn't know the Badlands well enough, while Eddington does. Sisko nonchalantly gets a raktajino as the Jem'Hadar ships get closer and closer, almost within firing range. Eddington insists he's not going to take the helm. "I'm trying to see how serious your death wish really is," Sisko tells him. "I'm betting that it doesn't even exist. Just like I'm betting that you won't be able to sit back and let your friends start a war that could destroy the Alpha Quadrant." Eddington's bluff has been called. Finally he can't stand it any more, and takes the helm, using a plasma filament to dissipate their warp signature.
"Let's get one thing straight, Captain," Eddington says at last. "I'll get you to the launch site. And I'll help you deactivate those missiles. But then you and I are going to have it out once and for all." "You want a fight, mister, I will give you one," Sisko replies. Eddington sneers. "I don't intend to fight you, Captain. I intend to kill you."
But sometime later, it seems that Eddington's trick didn't work; the Jem'Hadar ships are still searching for them. Eddington suggests that they -- Sisko, rather -- realign the impulse flow regulators, with the engines still engaged, which is an extremely risky maneuver. They can use the impulse exhaust to detonate the plasma field behind them. If the Jem'Hadar survive that, the runabout's ion trace would still be erased by the shock wave. Sisko has no choice but to get to work. He finishes just in time, as the Jem'Hadar attack. The blast loses their pursuers. Sisko orders Eddington to get them to the launch site.
Martok and another Klingon are hanging around Nog and Jake's old lookout spot on the second level of the Promenade. Nog sees them; now it's personal. He marches up to Martok and tells him firmly to move along, citing the station regulation that prohibits loitering. "Now, either move, or I'm going to have to place you under arrest." "You are either very brave or very stupid, Ferengi," Martok observes menacingly. Nog does his best to hide his nervousness. "Probably a little of both," he admits, but he doesn't back down. This brings a laugh from the General. "Indeed, courage comes in all sizes. But don't tempt fate." Martok and his companion leave. Nog smiles in triumph, unable to believe he did it. "Klingons," he tells Jake with deep satisfaction. "You just have to know how to handle them."
The runabout reaches Athos IV, the planet where the missile launch site is located. It's a good choice, since there is too much interference to detect anything. Eddington says there's a shuttle pad not far from the launch site, so they land there. They start down a manmade tunnel and crawl up through a well in the middle of a night-darkened town. As Eddington takes a minute to get his bearings, Sisko hears something. There are two Jem'Hadar soldiers only a few feet away.
Sisko and Eddington quickly take cover behind some barrels of duridium. Eddington is as surprised as Sisko is that the Jem'Hadar have found the place. They discuss strategy; Sisko decides to circle around and draw the Jem'Hadar's fire while Eddington catches them off guard. Sisko leaves their only phaser to Eddington and takes a pipe. As he struggles with the enemy, Eddington manages to shoot both the Jem'Hadar, and together they dump the bodies down the well.
Hearing another Jem'Hadar calling over a communicator, they know they have very little time to find the launch site. They both pick up the Jem'Hadar rifles and move off. On their way, they start coming across the dead bodies of Maquis members. Eddington is devastated. "We were winning. The Cardassian Empire was falling into chaos. The Maquis colonies were going to declare themselves an independent nation." Sisko tries to get him to focus on the mission, but Eddington is too anguished. He feels he failed his friends. "Maybe we all failed them," says Sisko. "Maybe we could've prevented this from happening. I don't know. It's going to take a long time, and a lot of soul-searching before I find the answer. But right now, we have a mission to complete." For answer, Eddington aims his rifle at Sisko. "I wish I knew for certain that killing you would make me feel better. But I suppose that can wait for another time."
They finally come to a bunker which Eddington says is the right place. Sisko shoots and kills two Jem'Hadar who have been hiding, using their cloaking ability. "I'm glad one of us remembered they can do that," admits Eddington. They finally get the door open, and find a dozen Maquis prisoners. One is the woman from the message. "Michael! I wondered when you'd get here." "I came as soon as I could," he tells her. "Captain Sisko, I'd like you to meet Rebecca Sullivan, my wife."
As Eddington starts to organize their escape, Sisko demands, "What about disarming the missiles?" "Look around you, Ben," Eddington replies. "Does this look like a launch site?" The truth is that there never were any missiles; it was simply a code to let Eddington know that Rebecca and the others had made it here, their fall-back position. Eddington tricked Sisko, to get him to help evacuate the Maquis. If Sisko hadn't forced Eddington to come along, Eddington would have volunteered. "You should be smiling, Ben. That Dominion counterstrike you were so worried about -- it's not going to happen." Sisko agrees that that's good news, then decks Eddington for lying to him.
Rebecca stops her husband from retaliating. They don't have time. All of them move out of the area. It seems that none of them had counted on the Jem'Hadar being here; they landed three days ago. Rebecca and the others were being held here, to be presented to the Cardassian government; now they'll be headed to a Federation prison instead. Sisko says they can worry about that later. "You're not going to put us in prison," Eddington says to Sisko. "Not this time." "You never give up, do you, Mr. Eddington?" "Never."
Then the Jem'Hadar begin shooting at them. Eddington tells the other Maquis to head for the runabout, including his wife, whom he kisses and promises that he'll be right behind them. Sisko and Eddington both stay to cover the Maquis' retreat. When Eddington is hit, he insists that Sisko go on to the runabout and get Rebecca and the others to safety. He points his rifle at Sisko and orders him to go. Sisko begins, "Mr. Eddington, you are one stubborn, headstrong -- " "I told you only one of us would be coming back from this mission," Eddington says.
Finally Sisko has no choice but to run, and joins Rebecca in the tunnel, telling her her husband isn't coming, and insisting that they have to go now. Reluctantly, she goes with him. In his last moments, Eddington tries to fool the Jem'Hadar into thinking there are more of him. He jumps up to fire at a bunch of them coming at him; he is then killed by their phasers. "Rebecca," he whispers. Sisko and the others escape.
On the Promenade, Nog returns Kira's earring clip to her, having found it where it fell off during an inspection. Martok passes by and nods, actually acknowledging Nog's presence. "What was that all about?" asks Kira. Proudly, Nog replies, "Respect."
Sisko is back on the station, and has told Dax what happened. "If you ask me," she says, "Eddington couldn't have picked a better way to go. At least from his point of view. He was a romantic. And what is more romantic than a glorious death in defense of a lost cause?" "He died fighting for what he believed in," Sisko reflects. "I called him a traitor once, but in a way, he was the most loyal man I ever met. He was a Maquis, right up to the bitter end."
Dax wonders if this really is the end of the Maquis. Sisko thinks there could still be some out there, biding their time. "You almost sound hopeful," Dax observes. Sisko confesses, "There is something attractive about a lost cause." "Maybe you have more in common with Eddington than you want to admit," she tells him. "Maybe," he acknowledges. As she leaves, Sisko looks out the window, thinking about Eddington.