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The Changing Face of Evil

Production no.: 570
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by: Mike Vejar
Stardate: not given 
First satellite airdate: April 24, 1999
Jeffrey Combs .......
Penny Johnson .......
Marc Alaimo .........
Casey Biggs ..........
J.G. Hertzler .........
Aron Eisenberg ......
Barry Jenner .........
James Otis ............
John Vickery .........
Salome Jens ..........
Louise Fletcher ......
Admiral Ross
Female Changeling
Kai Winn

Ezri and Worf step through the airlock at DS9, to be greeted by Sisko, O'Brien, and Bashir. After greetings are exchanged, they tell Sisko what little they learned during their captivity. They're not sure why Damar helped them escape; Ezri can only speculate that Damar is worried that the alliance with the Breen will weaken Cardassia's status even further.

"I can't tell you how good it is to see you again," Bashir says to Ezri, then belatedly includes Worf. "Uh, both of you." Kira then calls Sisko: a priority-one transmission from Starfleet has arrived. Earth has been attacked by the Breen.

Sisko discusses it with Martok, who can't help but ruefully admire the Breen's boldness. But he tells Sisko, "Every species has its weakness. They're no exception." "Let's hope you're right," Sisko says. "But whatever the weakness is, we'd better find it soon."

Weyoun is very happy with the destruction wrought on Starfleet Headquarters, and the psychological effect it will no doubt have on the enemy. He goes off to report to the Founder. Damar addresses the Breen, Thot Gor. "By the way, in case Weyoun neglected to mention it, the Dominion once sang Cardassia's praises as well...They expected the war to be over long ago. It's not. And for that, they blame us. Now, if the war isn't ended soon, they'll shift the blame to you." He advises the Breen not to turn his back on Weyoun.

Sisko comes home to find that Kasidy has been cooking them a meal. Unfortunately, she doesn't cook; the meal is a burnt and smoking ruin. Sisko isn't happy that she even destroyed the peppers that took him months to grow. But he swallows his anger; after all, she was trying to do something nice for him. "I wouldn't want anything to ruin our last few nights together," she says. She's going on a cargo run next week. Sisko exclaims that it's too dangerous; they don't know where the Breen will strike next. Kasidy says firmly that he can't talk her out of it.

Gul Rusot, one of Damar's officers, brings him some requested information. Rusot is a bit apprehensive about being caught by Weyoun. "Doesn't seem right, all this plotting and secrecy. What are we, Romulans?" "No, we're Cardassians," Damar says. "But right now, Cardassia is an occupied territory. And to defeat an occupying army takes careful planning and secrecy." Rusot is doubtful that they can defeat the Dominion, but Damar chooses to be optimistic. The Cardassians will be fighting to win back their freedom; that will make them stronger. Wryly, Rusot recalls rejoicing when Cardassia joined the Dominion. "We were going to be rulers of the entire Alpha Quadrant. Instead, we're a conquered people, servants in our own land." They discuss a target, Rondac III, and which officers can be trusted.

Kai Winn is back on Bajor, in her office. She tells Solbor to cancel all her appointments, including an appearance before the Vedek Assembly; she will devote her time to study and meditation, she says. "I see," Solbor says, as Dukat strolls in as if he owns the place. The old Ranjen leaves to make her apologies to the vedeks. Dukat asks what's bothering her, and Winn says she can't keep pretending she follows the Prophets any longer. She asks when the pah-wraiths will "embrace" her, as Dukat puts it. "As soon as we release them from the Fire Caves," Dukat tells her.

Winn is taken aback. All the prophecies warn that the release of the pah-wraiths will mean the end of Bajor. Dukat declares that a new Bajor will arise from the ashes. Those who are worthy will survive. "It will be the dawn of paradise. And you, Adami, are destined to rule it." As for him, he will be by her side, of course. Winn asks how to release the pah-wraiths, and Dukat tells her the answer is in the Text of the Kosst Amojan. The Text is a book which no one can open except the Kai. It is said to contain great evil, but Dukat says she has nothing to fear. He'll be there with her.

At Quark's, Bashir and O'Brien study a scale model of the Alamo; Bashir wants to figure out a way for the good guys to win for once. Quark wonders how they can play games at a time like this. Worf and Ezri watch from the upper level. Worf thinks Bashir is a "child", but Ezri says he just knows how to have a good time. "Maybe I am in love with him. Do you think I should tell him how I feel?" "If that will make you happy, yes," says Worf.

In the Dominion briefing room, Damar switches the monitor screen he's been studying to something else as Weyoun comes in. After remarking on the mysterious nature of the Breen (such as why they wear refrigeration suits even though supposedly their world is not the frozen wasteland it's reputed to be), Weyoun looks closely at Damar. There's something different about him. He's not holding a bottle, for one thing. What's more, the Vorta comments that Damar has regained his confidence. "You thought you'd backed the wrong side. You thought the Dominion was going to lose this war, and drag Cardassia down with it...But now, it's as if you've groped your way through a dark tunnel and stepped back out into the light once again. You know what that light's told you? That the Dominion will prevail, that the Federation will be conquered and a new era of peace and prosperity will blanket the Alpha Quadrant." "You know me so well," says Damar, who's not about to disabuse Weyoun of that notion. He calls their alliance "just one big happy family". "I like it so much better when we agree, don't you?" comments a pleased Weyoun.

Solbor brings Winn an ancient tome: the Text of the Kosst Amojan. But the Ranjen is troubled. The book hasn't been removed from the archives in 700 years. "The knowledge it contains, about the pah-wraiths -- it is said to be very dangerous." "Knowledge is never dangerous in the right hands," declares Winn. Solbor is not reassured. "There is an old saying: 'he who studies evil is studied by evil.'" Dukat arrogantly tells Solbor that he will see to it that no harm comes to the Kai. Worried, Solbor bursts out that they don't know anything about "Anjohl", where he comes from, or what he wants. "This is his idea, isn't it? To study this hateful book." "Anjohl was sent to me by the Prophets," Winn says. "That's all I need to know, and that's all anyone needs to know." Having said his piece, Solbor can do nothing but give Winn the key to the book and leave.

Winn hesitates. "The pah-wraiths are not evil, but they are powerful," says Dukat. "And they're willing to share that power with you. The question is, do you want it?" Finally she unlocks the book. But the pages are blank. Winn takes this calmly. She says the words are here; they've just been hidden.

Sisko is in Odo's office when a ticked-off Kasidy comes up to him. The Bajoran Freight and Shipping Authority has given her a month's paid vacation. "Let me guess, the Emissary asked for a little favor." She tells him she doesn't want or need that kind of protection, and demands that he call them back and have them put her back on the active list. "My job is just as important to me as your job is to you." As the argument rages, Odo and Quark watch from outside. "Marriage," remarks Quark, amused. "It changes everything. If you're not careful, that could be you and Kira."

Bringing Winn yet more books, Solbor tells her that the archivists are concerned. Winn dismisses this, and him. She also tells Dukat to go away so she can concentrate. Reluctantly, he complies.

Sisko gets out of the doghouse with his wife by bringing her flowers, as well as getting her put back on active status. He's learned his lesson, not to interfere with her work again. They are still in the process of making up when Admiral Ross arrives at their quarters. He has news: the Breen have launched a counteroffensive at Chin'toka, and have broken through in two places. Sisko has only one question: "When do I leave?"

The crew gets the Defiant ready for departure. Bashir and O'Brien are undergoing a crisis of their own: Bashir has lost the miniature Travis figure that went with the Alamo model. Worf takes the opportunity to use this as an example of Bashir's immaturity to Ezri. Finally the ship leaves the station.

Winn has fallen asleep reading at her desk. Solbor is quietly taking the books away when Dukat returns, and they argue. Finally Dukat backhands the frail old man and says he'll put the books back himself. After shoving Solbor out, he takes the books back to the desk, and wakes Winn. She resumes her reading.

Rusot tells Damar that it looks as if the Dominion will retake Chin'toka. "A few months ago, the thought of the Federation being driven from Cardassian soil would have been a cause for celebration," says Damar. "But the Dominion's victories are no longer our victories." Rusot tells him their troops are in position; Damar says they will strike in seven hours. "We're going to lose many fine soldiers," says Rusot. Damar knows this. "At least they'll be dying for Cardassia, and not the Dominion." Meanwhile, Weyoun is on a Jem'Hadar ship, concerned that the Female Changeling has decided to accompany them. She says she wants to see this battle firsthand. At last the Defiant, together with a fleet of Federation, Klingon, and Romulan ships, arrives at Chin'toka. The battle begins.

The Defiant destroys one Breen ship, and is battling another when the enemy fires a weapon that creates a strange forcefield, surrounding the Defiant, whose engines suddenly lose power. So do the com system, weapons, and primary computer systems. Manual controls are frozen as well. O'Brien can't get anything back on line. After more hits, Kira is knocked off her chair, injured and unconscious. O'Brien warns Sisko that the ablative armor is starting to buckle. There are also hull breaches on two decks, and no way to seal them without power for emergency forcefields. Sisko makes the only decision he can. "Abandon ship."

He orders everyone to the escape pods; he and O'Brien are the last ones on the bridge. "She's a fine ship," says Sisko with regret. O'Brien agrees, but it's time to go. After the escape pods are fired away from the Defiant, the ship takes one last hit and explodes in a huge fireball.

"Poor Captain Sisko," Weyoun remarks. "I believe he was quite fond of that ship." He announces to the Founder that Chin'toka is theirs again. "A step in the right direction," she acknowledges. "Send my compliments to the Breen." She tells Weyoun to let the escape pods return to the Federation, full of frightened, demoralized troops to spread the tale of the Dominion's might.

In Winn's office, Dukat is kissing her when Solbor bursts in. "Get away from her!" He announces to Winn that the man with her is not Anjohl Tennan; the real Anjohl died in a labor camp nine years ago. Solbor has had this man's DNA sequenced, and discovered that he is not Bajoran, but Cardassian. "We were brought together for a cause, a great cause," Dukat tells the Kai. "Our destinies are linked." "Don't listen to him," Solbor blazes. "Look at him. Don't you recognize the face of your enemy? It's Gul Dukat!"

Winn is shocked. She backs away from Dukat, picking up a knife, unsure of what to do or where to turn. Dukat remains calm, saying that Solbor doesn't understand the love of the pah-wraiths. The old man's eyes widen in appalled comprehension. "The love of the pah-wraiths? You're trying to release them. That's why you wanted the Text of the Kosst Amojan." Winn pleads with him to understand, but Solbor is too disgusted and frightened. "You've betrayed the Prophets! You've betrayed us all!...You must be stopped!" Winn grabs at him; when he tries to pull away, she stabs him in the back.

Winn stares at her bloody hand as Solbor falls dead. "My life is over. The pah-wraiths sent you to destroy me." "On the contrary," says Dukat. "They sent me to save you." "Lies," she hisses. "Nothing but Cardassian lies! To think I let you touch me!" She turns toward the open Text, intending to destroy it. But as she reaches for it, Solbor's blood drips from the knife she still holds, onto a page. The book bursts into flames, which disappear, leaving the pages no longer blank. "The pah-wraiths have judged you and found you worthy," Dukat tells Winn. "Their secrets are now your secrets, to do with as you please. Take their gift and use it. Seize the power they're offering you!" Hesitant at first, Winn sits back down and starts to read. Dukat assures her he'll take care of the body.

Back at DS9, Sisko remarks to Ross, "The Defiant was the finest ship I ever commanded. There'll never be another one like her." Ross promises to get him a new ship. The problem is how to neutralize the Breen energy dissipaters. They need to buy some time, but they may not have it. Kira breaks in to tell Sisko they're monitoring a transmission from Cardassian space, one he'll find interesting.

Damar is on the viewscreen, speaking from a subterranean base. He announces that since Cardassia signed its treaty with the Dominion, seven million Cardassians have died; and Cardassia has gained nothing of what was promised to it. "And to make matters worse, we are no longer masters in our own home. Travel anywhere in Cardassia and what do you find? Jem'Hadar, Vorta, and now Breen. Instead of the invaders, we have become the invaded. Our allies have conquered us without firing a single shot. Well, no longer." Damar says that detachments of three orders attacked the Dominion outpost on Rondac III this morning. "I call upon Cardassians everywhere: resist! Resist today. Resist tomorrow. Resist until the last Dominion soldier has been driven from our soil."

Weyoun hears this speech as well, and is shocked. The Vorta cloning facilities at Rondac have indeed been destroyed. "I could be the last Weyoun. That's why he picked that target." "I want Damar and the rest of these traitors found and eliminated," orders the Female Changeling. Weyoun says he'll see to it immediately. "I don't care how many Cardassians you have to kill," he tells Thot Gor. "Find Damar. Is that clear?"

When Kira confirms the attack on Rondac to Sisko and Ross, the admiral remarks, "Damar may have just bought us some precious time, if the Dominion doesn't track him down too quickly." Sisko considers the ramifications of this turn of events. "We need to find a way to help him. Legate Damar may be the key to saving the Alpha Quadrant."