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By Inferno's Light

Production no.: 513
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by: Les Landau
Stardate: not given 
First satellite airdate: February 15, 1997
Andrew J. Robinson .....
Marc Alaimo ...............
Melanie Smith ..............
J.G. Hertzler ................
Ray Buktenica .............
James Horan ...............
Carrie Stauber .............
Robert O'Reilly ............
Barry Wiggins ..............
Don Fischer .................
Judi Durand .................
Jem'Hadar Officer
Jem'Hadar Guard
Station Computer Voice

Continuing from "In Purgatory's Shadow"...

The Defiant undocks from the station, with Kira in command and Dax at helm. It's joined by two runabouts and Dukat's Klingon bird-of-prey -- a pitiably small defense force against the masses of Dominion ships that have just come through the wormhole and are hanging nearby. A few more moments of tension -- and then suddenly the Dominion ships simply turn away and leave. Their heading is straight for Cardassia.

Unexpectedly, Dukat's ship breaks formation and follows them. Kira hails him to tell him not to be a hero. "Your concern is touching, Major," Dukat replies. "But I think you misunderstand me. I'm not attacking the Dominion fleet. I'm joining it." He explains that he has a confession to make: he has been negotiating with the Dominion over the last few months. "And as of last week, Cardassia has agreed to become part of the Dominion." "You can't be serious," Kira says in disbelief. But it's all too true. "Goodbye, Major," Dukat tells her with a smile. "You and I on the same side. It never seemed quite right, did it?" With that, his ship warps away.

In Internment Camp 371, the female Romulan prisoner keeps watch at the door as Martok and Bashir show Worf and Garak where Tain's transmitter is, in a crawlspace accessed by popping open a panel in the wall. Worf proposes that they change the coordinates and message to contact the runabout and have it beam them off. It will take someone with Garak's expertise. "If you can't do it, nobody can," Bashir tells Garak, who looks into the hole and tries not to let his lack of enthusiasm show. "It's nice to feel needed." Just then a com voice announces that all prisoners are to assemble immediately.

Deyos, the Vorta in charge of the camp, surveys the prisoners, and tells the Cardassians among them to step forward. "I am pleased to announce that hostilities between our peoples have ended. As of today, Cardassia has joined the Dominion. Therefore, you are all being sent home. Congratulations on your new status as Dominion citizens." Garak, surprised, makes eye contact with Bashir. This could be an opportunity. But as Garak starts to leave with the others, Deyos stops him and tells him he's staying. Garak is confused. "The last time I checked, I was a Cardassian." "But not a very popular one, I'm afraid," Deyos replies. "At least not with the head of the new Cardassian government." Garak asks who that is. "Gul Dukat," Deyos tells him.

Dukat makes a speech which is broadcast all over Cardassia and subspace. He proclaims that the Dominion recognizes them as the true leaders of the Alpha Quadrant, and that the only ones with anything to fear are the enemies of Cardassia and the Dominion. Within five days, Dukat continues, the Klingons in Cardassian territory will be dead or driven out, and the same goes for the Maquis. "Cardassia will be made whole. All that we have lost will be ours again. And anyone who stands in our way will be destroyed."

"Somebody tell me this is a bad dream," says Dax, watching with the other DS9 officers on a monitor. Kira says she has a vow to make too. "The next time I see Dukat, I'm going to kill him." Sisko brings the meeting to more immediate matters: namely, who sabotaged the graviton emitters. O'Brien notes that the beam had the opposite effect from what was intended: the wormhole's spatial matrix is more stable than ever, and there is no way they can collapse the entrance now. The Dominion can send ships through at will.

The Bashir Changeling suggests that it's time for blood screenings. "Obviously we have a Changeling infiltrator on the station." Kira mentions that Odo has told her a Bajoran maintenance engineer has been missing since the fleet arrived. Sisko orders blood screenings and phaser sweeps. The Changeling in their midst doesn't bat an eye at this.

Garak has begun work, and has been in the wall for an hour. He tells Bashir this would make a perfect interrogation chamber. Bashir and the others quickly put the panel back on the wall when the female Romulan indicates company coming. Ikat'ika and a couple of guards enter. "It's time," the First tells Worf, who replies that he's ready. He and Martok follow the Jem'Hadar out. Bashir starts to open the wall again, but is stopped by the female Romulan -- there's a Jem'Hadar standing nearby outside, too close for comfort.

Worf is led to the fighting ring, with Martok giving him a few words of advice. Whenever Worf falls, he has to touch one of the posts or forfeit the match. Ikat'ika orders his men to observe and analyze the fight. "Soon, we will face his people in combat. The lessons you learn here will ensure victory. Victory is life." The fight begins.

Finally, the Jem'Hadar outside the barracks moves away for a closer look at the fight, and the female Romulan signals that it's clear. Instantly, Bashir opens the wall back up and helps a shaky, sweating Garak out. "That was thoroughly unpleasant," the Cardassian says, but claims he's fine, just a bit lightheaded. Bashir examines him and tells him perhaps he should wait until tomorrow. However, Garak wants to get back to work so they can get off this rock. Bashir decides to simply let him rest for five minutes, and take a break every hour from now on.

Worf wins his first match. "Was that the best you have to offer?" "He was our youngest and least experienced," Ikat'ika tells him. "I promise your next opponent will provide more of a challenge."

On DS9, Ziyal is staring out one of the Promenade windows. "I keep hoping that the wormhole will open," she admits to Kira. "That Garak's runabout will come through and everything will be all right again...My father says Garak's dead." "Right now I wouldn't believe your father if he said rain was wet," Kira tells her frankly. Ziyal is in a thoughtful mood. "I used to think my father was a hero. That even when he did something bad, he had a good reason." "Everyone has their reasons," Kira says. "That's what's so frightening. People can find a way to justify any action, no matter how evil." "You think my father is evil?" Ziyal asks, having a hard time believing it. Kira looks at her with sympathy. "I think you can't judge people by what they think or say. Only by what they do." Ziyal has to accept that.

Chancellor Gowron's flagship, the Negh'Var, arrives at DS9, requesting permission to dock with their wounded. "I have a feeling the Klingons' war against the Cardassians has taken a turn for the worse," Sisko notes. He meets a somber Gowron as the Chancellor is being treated in the infirmary for a burned hand. "This is a dark day, not only for the Klingon Empire, but for the Alpha Quadrant itself," Gowron says. Sisko, never one to miss an opportunity, asks what they're going to do about it; Gowron answers that the Empire will pull out of Cardassian space, fortify their own and prepare to fight to the death. "Maybe there's a better way," Sisko tells him, holding out a PADD containing the Khitomer accords.

Gowron is dubious. "The treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire is dead." "But we can bring it back to life again," Sisko replies. If Gowron will bring his fleet here to join the Starfleet task force that will be arriving... "Then we could stand united against the Dominion," Gowron finishes, seeing the sense of it. He presses his thumb to the PADD, agreeing to the reinstatement of the treaty. "Think of it," he tells Sisko. "Five years ago, no one had ever heard of Bajor or Deep Space Nine. And now all our hopes rest here. Where the tides of fortune take us, no man can know." "They're tricky, those tides," Sisko says. The Bashir Changeling watches all this impassively. Then he goes to a runabout, opens a panel, and starts to work.

Worf defeats yet another Jem'Hadar. "Five matches, and five victories," Martok exults. "You truly have the spirit of Kahless within you." Ikat'ika promises more tomorrow. Back in the barracks, Bashir examines Worf and finds three or four broken ribs. "A body, even a Klingon body, can only take so much punishment." Worf insists that he will keep fighting, and Martok supports him, saying it is the only "honorable" thing to do.

Garak continues his work inside the wall, talking to himself as his light source flickers. "Get a hold of yourself, Garak," he scolds. "After all, you haven't had one of these attacks in years. Yes, this is a tight, enclosed space. Yes, there's not a lot of room to move. But a disciplined mind does not allow itself to be sidetracked by niggling psychological disorders like claustrophobia." He goes on in an effort to convince himself to keep working. "Focus on the job. You're the only person who can contact the runabout. People are depending on you. Ziyal is depending on you. You promised her you'd come back. And that young lady has had quite enough disappointments in her life without you adding to them. So control yourself. You're stronger than this."

The light goes out on him. Panicked, Garak starts pounding on the wall. The others hurriedly open it up, and Bashir calls to him but gets no answer. He finally crawls in to drag Garak out, where the Cardassian lies on a bed, nearly catatonic. Unfortunately, as Bashir notes to Worf and Martok, despite Garak's claustrophobia, there is simply no one else who can reconfigure the transmitter.

The Klingon fleet has arrived at DS9; the Starfleet task force is still on its way. Kira reports that Odo has found that the security blocks on the industrial replicator were overridden, but the saboteur was not caught, nor do they know what he replicated. Sisko orders security details to pull double shifts, with help from Gowron's troops. "Klingons helping to protect Deep Space Nine. What an interesting concept," Kira comments, to which Sisko replies, "These are interesting times, Major."

A message comes in from Dukat. Sisko goes into his office to converse with the new head of the Cardassian government, a government which Sisko says he doesn't recognize. Dukat tells him that he feels obliged toward Sisko for saving his life, and in return, "I'm going to return the favor and give you a chance to save your precious Federation. All you have to do is convince them to follow Cardassia's example." Sisko gives this notion the consideration it deserves. Dukat says, "I'm afraid you'll like the alternative even less...A few days ago, I swore all Cardassia lost would be regained. That space station you're so fond of was built by Cardassia...Either surrender the station, or I'll take it by force. The choice is yours." Sisko simply looks at him defiantly. "If you want to retake this station, Dukat, you are welcome to try."

Martok brings a battered and exhausted Worf back to the barracks after another round of combat. The general is very impressed with Worf, and plans aloud to have a song made about him. "Right now, the only part of the song that I wish to hear is the verse that tells of our escape," Worf grunts. Bashir notes that they'll have to come up with a new plan. "That won't be necessary," says Garak, getting up, shaky but determined. "The original one will work. I just have to finish what I started. After all, a verse about the Cardassian who panicked in the face of danger would ruin General Martok's song." He crawls back into the wall. Even the two Klingons have to admire his bravery in doing so.

Quark is more than a little glum at the prospect of the Dominion perhaps taking the station over. "The Jem'Hadar don't eat, don't drink, and they don't have sex," he tells Ziyal. "And if that wasn't bad enough, the Founders don't eat, don't drink, and they don't have sex either. Which, between you and me, makes my financial future less than promising." Ziyal tries to cheer him up. "It might not be so bad. For all we know, the Vorta could be gluttonous, alcoholic sex maniacs." Quark goes away contemplating what their favorite food might be. Meanwhile, the Starfleet task force enters Bajoran space.

Worf stands with Martok at the fighting ring, ready for another combat. Deyos remarks to Ikat'ika that the Klingon's thirst for battle is fascinating. "You fight because that is what you were designed to do. All that motivates him is some barbaric sense of honor." "And that is something you will never understand," Ikat'ika replies shortly. He tells Worf he has found him a worthy opponent: himself. The battle is joined.

Worf is getting the worst of it as Garak goes on working in the wall. The female Romulan alerts Bashir that Jem'Hadar are coming to their barracks. There's no time to get Garak out. Three Jem'Hadar enter, their leader demanding to know where Garak is. Bashir says he's outside. This earns him a rifle butt to the head. The Jem'Hadar begin searching the room. Garak hears what's going on, and stays perfectly still. Bashir asks what they want with Garak; the officer says, "He is to be put to death." One of his subordinates finds the metal tool that the prisoners have been using to open the wall. "If you wish to live, explain this," the officer tells Bashir.

The massed fleets are getting into position at DS9; Sisko orders the runabouts and the Defiant deployed as well. Kira once more takes command of the Defiant, with Dax at helm. But one of the runabouts (the Yukon) is manned only by the Bashir Changeling, its crew dead on the floor. Meanwhile, Sisko is amazed and pleased when a Romulan force arrives and asks to join the fleet. Kira calls to report Dominion and Cardassian ships entering Bajoran space, their ETA in 10 minutes.

Bashir keeps his cool. "It's either a self-sealing stem bolt or a reverse ratcheting router. I'm just not sure." The Jem'Hadar officer disintegrates the male Romulan and threatens to do the same to the female. Then one of the others takes the tool and starts to open the panel. Inside, Garak is working frantically.

Worf is still fighting, but barely able to stand. When he falls, Martok urges him to stay down; honor has been satisfied. However, Worf struggles up and touches a post, resuming the fight. Deyos tells Ikat'ika to finish it.

As the Jem'Hadar soldier opens up the panel, his fellows are distracted from the prisoners. Suddenly the Breen, who up until now has been utterly unmoving and silent, grabs the officer's sidearm and vaporizes him with it. The other prisoners make short work of the remaining Jem'Hadar, though the Breen is disintegrated. "My people have a saying," the female Romulan tells Bashir. "Never turn your back on a Breen." Bashir asks Garak how many circuits are left; the answer is three. "Well, work fast," the doctor advises. "Because pretty soon we're going to be up to our necks in Jem'Hadar."

Thrown to the ground, Worf drags himself to a post. "Enough, Klingon," says Ikat'ika. "You have proven your worth." Worf ignores him, despite Martok's urging. He touches the post, slowly gets to his feet, and swings weakly at Ikat'ika, who steps back but doesn't retaliate. Deyos asks what he's waiting for. "It's over," declares Ikat'ika, over Worf's objection, and the Vorta's. The Jem'Hadar does something entirely unexpected. "I yield," he declares, to the Vorta's astonished outrage. "I yield," Ikat'ika repeats. "I cannot defeat this Klingon. All I can do is kill him. And that no longer holds my interest." "Shoot them both," Deyos tells another Jem'Hadar, who raises his weapon.

In the wall, Garak flicks a switch. Worf and Martok dematerialize just as the Jem'Hadar fires. They arrive on the runabout, as do Bashir, Garak, and the female Romulan. Garak begins piloting; Worf is led to the back. "You did well," he tells Garak, who replies, "So did you."

At DS9, the officers look out in confusion. The Dominion fleet should be here by now, but they see nothing. O'Brien and the Defiant read their warp signatures; however, there's nothing to lock onto. As O'Brien tries to get them some targets, he receives a priority one message from the Gamma Quadrant. It's Dr. Bashir. Sisko has the computer locate the doctor; the computer says he's not on the station, and his last known location was runabout pad E. Instantly, Sisko issues new orders to the Defiant. They are to find the Yukon and destroy it. Dax reports that the Yukon is headed for the Bajoran sun.

The Defiant fires on the Yukon as the Bashir Changeling is activating a device on board. The shields hold, due to some unauthorized modifications the Changeling has made. Dax detects elements indicating that there is a bomb on the Yukon, which if it explodes in the sun, could trigger a supernova, wiping out the fleet, the station, and Bajor. Kira decides to go to warp to catch up to the runabout, even though doing so within a star system is considered dangerous.

The Bashir Changeling is surprised when the Defiant zips up to the runabout and snags it with a tractor beam, pulling it off course. At that moment, the runabout explodes. Sisko, realizing that the supernova would have wiped out the Dominion fleet as well, has O'Brien scan for the warp signatures again. They're gone. The signatures were faked, as part of an elaborate trap to destroy DS9 and Bajor and take out the Alpha Quadrant fleets without firing a shot. "Tell our friends out there to stand down. Armageddon will have to wait for another day."

Garak is happily reunited with Ziyal, who kisses him. O'Brien is thunderstruck to learn from Bashir that he's been hanging out with a Changeling for over a month, though he teases Bashir by saying he should have realized because the Changeling was much easier to get along with. And Dax welcomes Worf back, telling him his opera collection is intact, "more or less".

Gowron and Sisko finalize the details of a new agreement: there will now be a permanent Klingon military presence on DS9, though Sisko reserves the right to choose the commander. He turns to Martok, noting that Worf thinks highly of him. Martok indicates that he returns the sentiment. "Then I can't think of a better man for the job," says Sisko. "If you'll take it." "I would be honored," Martok replies.

Sisko then gets another message from Dukat and takes it in his office. The Cardassian head of state congratulates him on preventing an enormous death toll from the supernova. When Sisko points out that Ziyal would have been killed as well, Dukat says that she made her choice, and as far as he's concerned, she's no longer his daughter. "You know, Dukat, I thought you'd changed in the last five years," Sisko remarks. "I see I was wrong." "One man's villain is another man's hero, Captain," Dukat replies. "...What I did, I did to make Cardassia strong again. And mark my words, Captain. I succeeded. You may have escaped defeat this day, but tomorrow -- " "We will see about tomorrow," Sisko declares. Dukat agrees. "Yes, we will."