Production no.: 453
Written by: Mike Krohn
Directed by: Reza Badiyi
Stardate: not given
First satellite airdate: November 5, 1994
Andrew Robinson ....
Marc Alaimo ...........
Danny Goldring .......
O'Brien and his apprentice Jake are working in an ore processing unit, in preparation for converting it into a deuterium refinery. Jake is deleting the Cardassian files from the computer, and as soon as he's done, O'Brien will show him how to download the new operating system. Sisko comes in to remind them that it's dinnertime; Jake says they're almost done. But he runs into problems deleting one of the files. It has no name; nor is there any indication of what it is. O'Brien decides to transfer it to the central Ops database and analyze it in the morning.
"Unauthorized computer entry detected in Ore Processing Unit Five," says the computer suddenly. "Enter access code." O'Brien enters his code, but the computer rejects it. He tries to shut it down, and in response, every door in the room slams shut. "Warning," the computer announces in Ops as well as the ore processor. "Worker revolt in progress in Ore Processing Unit Five. Security countermeasures initiated." "What the hell?" says Kira.
Sisko and O'Brien are trying to open the doors when a recording of Gul Dukat appears on the monitors. "Bajoran workers, your attention please. Your attempt to seize control of this facility is going to fail. You are valuable workers and we wish you no harm. However if you do not return control of this unit to your Cardassian supervisors, we will be forced to take action." Dukat gives the workers eight minutes to decide.
The doors' magnetic seals have been activated by the computer. Kira calls Sisko to ask what's going on, and he says they seem to have tripped some kind of automated security program. Dax tries to beam them out, but the computer asks for an access code. "If this security program thinks there's been some kind of worker's revolt," Bashir guesses, "then it must also think the station is still under Cardassian rule. So it's probably waiting for us to enter an emergency code." "One that the Cardassians never bothered to give us when they left," says Kira in frustration.
Odo calls Ops to say that his Cardassian access codes are still valid; he is attempting to override the security program, but it will take time, and he's not sure his clearance is high enough. As he works, Quark enters the office, asking what this is all about. "Not now, Quark," Odo says. "I'm busy." Quark asks if he can help, and Odo says not unless he has a level 9 Cardassian security clearance. Quark believes he has everything up to level 7, which surprises Odo, who only has up to level 6. Quark offers to arrange to let him have level 7; Odo says, "Leave me alone, Quark." "Oh, no," the Ferengi says. "There's something very wrong going on, and this is the safest place on the whole station. I think I'll stay right here."
Sisko tries and fails to open the maintenance hatch on an ore chute, and O'Brien can't find a way to disable the program from where they are. Dukat's image appears again. "Bajoran workers, your time is running out. But it's not too late. You can still surrender and save your lives." Getting a bright idea, Sisko addresses the computer and surrenders. Dukat's image comes back on and says that Cardassian security will arrive to take them into custody. Sisko guesses that the program will wait for Cardassian security to enter the all-clear, which gives them a bit of time.
There is a large pipe leading from the floor to the reactor, which was where processed uridium used to flow down to a secondary facility to be purified. Jake finds that it's not locked. Since the pipe would have been filled with molten uridium, there was no need for any security measures there. As the skinniest person there, Jake volunteers to crawl up the pipe to the ore chute and open the hatch from the inside. At that moment, Dukat's image appears once more and warns them that unless they surrender to Cardassian security in four minutes, he will be forced to release neurocine gas into the ore processing facility. "I can do it," says Jake, and squeezes into the pipe.
Guided by the other two, Jake finds the access port and the handle for the hatch, and opens it just as the gas begins to filter into the room. Sisko and O'Brien hurriedly climb up the ladder and close the hatch behind them. In Ops, as Kira and Dax are working, the computer announces, "Warning. Workers have escaped from Ore Processing Unit Five. Initiating stationwide counterinsurgency program." The doors slam shut, and Dukat's image warns the Bajoran workers, "I will not allow this rebellion to succeed. If you do not surrender immediately, I will be forced to kill every Bajoran on this station."
Sisko, O'Brien, and Jake find themselves in a small room that was used to separate uridium ore from the rock and dump unprocessed ore down a chute through which they have just crawled. There is an ore cart next to the chute, and the door is sealed. They try calling out via their combadges, but something seems to be interfering with the signals.
"Time for a less subtle approach," Kira decides, and aims her phaser at the control panel next to the door leading to the corridor. She fires, taking out the control, and Bashir helps her pry the door open; but there's a forcefield blocking the way out. "The Cardassians don't miss a trick, do they?" says Bashir with grim humor. Dax says, "The ironic thing is, that field is probably there to protect Ops from the hordes of rebelling Bajorans." She works on the computer to try to regain control of it. "You know," Bashir comments, "I've been here nearly three years, and I was just finally starting to think of this place as home." "Your home was built by Cardassians, Doctor," Kira reminds him. "Don't ever forget that." "There's not much chance of that, is there?" he rejoins.
Odo and Quark are also trapped. Reading his tricorder, Odo has found that there is a forcefield surrounding his office, through the bulkheads, the deck, and the ceiling. He can't shapeshift out. Quark looks at him in dread. "You're telling me I'm stuck here -- with you?" "No," says Odo. "I'm stuck here with you. Believe me, a far worse fate. And stay away from my computer," he orders Quark, as the Ferengi starts messing with it.
Sisko, O'Brien, and Jake try using the ore cart as a battering ram against the sealed door, but they can't even dent it. Then Sisko notices some leftover uridium ore scattered around the room. Uridium is highly unstable, but O'Brien notes that in its raw form, one needs a strong electrical charge to detonate it. He and Sisko break handles off carts to use to get into a light fixture so they can yank out some electrical cable.
Dax is still working on the computer when a small forcefield flashes on, burning her hands. As Bashir is treating her, the computer voice begins speaking again. "Warning, security in the Operations Center has been compromised. Initiating counterinsurgency program level two." This is followed by another recording of Dukat. "Attention Bajoran workers. Your failure to surrender is forcing me to take stronger measures. In five minutes, we will begin pumping neurocine gas into the Habitat Ring. Think of your families as you consider your course of action. All Cardassian personnel should evacuate the area immediately." "The Habitat Ring," Kira says in horror. "There have to be hundreds of people trapped in their quarters out there."
"I believe that's the point, Major," says Garak, standing at the door that Kira and Bashir had pried open. He speaks an access code; the forcefield turns off, but reactivates as soon as he steps inside. "Ironic, isn't it? The only place in the galaxy that still recognizes my access code is a Bajoran space station." Kira suggests urgently that Garak get out to the habitat ring and start evacuating people; however, Garak tells her that his access code lets him move about the station, but the forcefields reappear as soon as he passes through a doorway. He has tried several times to shut down the security program. "But for some reason I can't begin to fathom, Gul Dukat chose not to trust me with his top level security codes during the Occupation."
The only way to stop the neurocine gas, he says, is to destroy the life support system. Kira objects at first, but Bashir says Garak is right -- the gas is released through the life support system. They can save everyone for twelve hours, in which time they hopefully will be able to regain control of the station. Kira makes the decision, and destroys the life support console. "Warning," says the computer. "Counterinsurgency program level two has been interrupted. Initiating counterinsurgency program level three."
Dukat's image appears on all monitors throughout the station. "My fellow Cardassians, I regret to inform you that Bajoran workers have gained control of this station. In all likelihood, I am dead or otherwise incapacitated. But rest assured, this station will not be allowed to remain in Bajoran hands. However, it is my duty to inform you that if you do not regain control within two hours, the station will be destroyed." In Ops, the computer announces that the self-destruct sequence has been initiated.
While Odo has been checking the rest of the security complex for a way out, Quark tries firing a phaser at the door forcefield. Odo comes back and takes it away from him. "I should have listened to my father," Quark says in defeat. "He always warned me this was going to happen." "What?" says Odo. "That you'd spend your final hours in jail? I could've told you that." "No," Quark answers. "He warned me never to leave home. He said there were plenty of business opportunities right outside my door. But no, I had to follow the seventy-fifth Rule of Acquisition: 'Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum.'" Quark goes on to lament his lot. "A lifetime of scheming and plotting, wheeling and dealing, and what has it got me? One measly little bar." He has an uncle who owns thirty, he says, and his cousin Gaila owns a moon.
"Come on, Quark," says Odo. "You've done all right for yourself...I've met a lot of Ferengis in my time, and the truth is, though some of them may have been more wealthy, I've never met one more devious." Quark looks at him in surprise. "Really?" "Would I lie?" "I guess not. Thank you, Odo. That means a lot to me. Now can I have the phaser back?" "No."
Garak is working at Dax's station. His code will activate any terminal; unfortunately, that's the extent of his access. He can find out exactly what's going on, but he can't do anything about it. Dax suggests rewriting his code to match Dukat's, to fool the computer into thinking that he's Dukat. The computer would scan his DNA pattern to confirm, Garak says; but Dax thinks of disconnecting the sensors in Ops so that the computer can't do that. Garak gets to work while Dax, her hands still injured, will direct Kira in working to disable the sensors. Garak runs into another problem: the computer keeps challenging his identity. Suddenly the computer voice comes on again. "Warning. Unauthorized use of command code. Initiating counterinsurgency program level four." One of the replicators activates, and a multifaceted lens appears, firing phaser blasts around the room. Everyone dives for cover as a crewmember is vaporized.
Sisko and O'Brien finally get the faceplate off the light fixture, and O'Brien spots a power cable. With Jake, they all begin packing the uridium around the doorframe. In Ops, the lens continues to shoot at anyone who peeks out from their cover. Bashir nearly gets his arm shot off trying to get Kira's phaser for her. Into the midst of all this, Gul Dukat himself beams into Ops and looks around at the situation; the lens ignores him. "Let me guess, someone tried to duplicate my access code." He explains that a short time ago he was patrolling the Demilitarized Zone when he received a distress signal from himself.
Dukat nonchalantly checks a console. "I see. The auto-destruct program has begun. Well, well, well. You are in trouble." He can enter his command code and end the program, he says. "Then do it!" yells Kira. "All in good time, Major Kira, all in good time," Dukat replies. "But first, there are a few things we should discuss." He orders tea from the replicator, and the lens disappears to be replaced by a cup, but it reappears when Bashir tries standing up. Kira angrily asks what Dukat wants. "You'll find I don't react well to that tone of voice, Major," Dukat says, and then laughs when he sees Garak under a console. "Ah, Garak, groveling in a corner. That alone makes the trip worthwhile."
Garak stands up, realizing that the computer is targeting only non-Cardassians. He and Dukat exchange a few bitter words about their past, until Kira interrupts. Dukat invites her into the commander's office for a private talk, and deactivates the replicator so that she can follow him.
Inside, he tells Kira that he thinks it's time to re-establish a permanent Cardassian presence on the station. "I can deploy troops from my ship immediately. And in return, I'll solve your current dilemma." Kira objects. "Dukat, you and I both know neither Bajor nor the Federation will ever honor an agreement negotiated under a death threat." "I don't expect them to be happy about it," Dukat says, "but once my troops are in place, I think you'll find it very difficult to get them to leave."
Kira puts it another way. "I will destroy this station before I ever give it back to the Cardassians." Dukat looks at her. "Yes, I'm sure you would. But would you allow two thousand people aboard this station to die, just because you don't like...us?" He notes that there are thirty minutes left until the self-destruct; he will beam back to his ship to let her think it over, and be back in 25 minutes.
Dukat calls to his ship for transport, but nothing happens. Suddenly a recording of another Cardassian, Legate Kell, appears on the monitors. "Dukat, if you are seeing this recording, it means you tried to abandon your post while the station's self-destruct sequence was engaged. That will not be permitted. You have lost control of Terok Nor, disgracing yourself and Cardassia. Your attempt to escape is no doubt a final act of cowardice. All failsafes have been eliminated. Your personal access codes have been rescinded. The destruct sequence can no longer be halted. All you can do now is contemplate the depth of your disgrace. And try to die like a Cardassian." Dukat stands there in shock. He's now trapped with everyone else.
Dukat tries aborting the self-destruct sequence, to no avail. "Even your own computer program turns against you," Garak laughs. "I always knew your shortsightedness would be your downfall." Kira cuts the ensuing exchange of insults short and asks Dukat what he can tell them about the self-destruct sequence. Dukat says that when the countdown is complete, the computer will order the main fusion reactor to disengage the reaction stabilizers, causing it to overload and destroy the station. They discuss the problem further, and realize that they need a way to deactivate all the forcefields at the same time so that they can get to a control junction for the laser fusion initiator and disengage it.
Sisko, Jake, and O'Brien finish packing the ore around the door, and take cover while O'Brien takes out the power cable and hands it to Sisko to do the honors. Sisko throws it at the packed uridium, and the resulting explosion forces the door open.
Everyone in Ops is still trying to figure out how to eliminate the forcefields. As Garak is calling Dukat out on his attempts to flirt with Kira, Dax finally gets an idea. If they overload the power supply grid, it might short out the forcefields, and possibly even eliminate the dampening field that has been keeping them from using communicators. Dukat asks if the Cardassian neutralization emitters, used for containment fields, are still in place; they are. Dax realizes what his line of thinking is: they can use the emitters to overload the power grid. Kira authorizes it.
Sisko, Jake, and O'Brien have made it out into a corridor, and encountered the forcefields. Sisko thinks of the turbolift shaft; they can climb it to Ops. They start working to pry the lift doors open. Meanwhile, Dax and Dukat finally short out the power grid, eliminating the forcefields. Kira tries her combadge and is finally able to contact Sisko. She gives him the news about the self-destruct sequence, which will take place in ten minutes, and the plan to disengage the laser fusion initiator. Sisko tells her he and O'Brien will handle that, and orders her to evacuate the station. Jake insists on going with his father.
Kira calls Odo to bring him up to date as well. The forcefields around the security office are still in operation, however. Odo realizes they're on a separate system from the others. Quark wonders why go to so much trouble to keep people out of security. "It's not to keep people out," Odo says, "it's to keep me in. I suppose during the Occupation the Cardassians considered their security chief a security risk." Quark says he knows why. "It's because they knew you were an honorable man, the kind of person who would do the right thing regardless of the circumstances. And now your integrity is going to get us both killed. I hope you're happy."
On his way down a corridor with Jake and O'Brien, Sisko thinks there may not be time to disengage the fusion reactors; what if they directed the explosion into the shields? O'Brien says that's not a bad idea. They find their way blocked by wreckage; a plasma conduit has blown out, and there's no way around it. O'Brien knows of a maintenance conduit adjacent to this corridor, which they can use to get around this and to a reactor control junction. But the conduit is full of smoke, the walls rimmed with green fire. Sisko and O'Brien tear off part of their undersleeves to protect their hands, and crawl in, after Sisko tells Jake firmly to stay put.
Sisko goes in first. As O'Brien follows, he is knocked out by another plasma explosion. Sisko reaches a hatch and finds the reactor control junction. He calls O'Brien, but gets no response. Jake hears his voice, and crawls into the conduit, dragging O'Brien out. The Chief looks at Jake. "Jake, I thought your father told you to stay out of there." "If you don't tell him, I won't," says Jake. Sisko is working at the junction when the reactors finally overload. The fusion explosion is channeled through the shields and out into space.
Odo nods in satisfaction as his office door finally opens. He turns to Quark to tell him he can leave now, but Quark is at the computer, reading his own file. "'A self-important con artist who's nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is.' That's your official security evaluation of me." "Quark, I told you to stay away from the computer," Odo reminds him.
"Two hours ago you told me I was the most devious Ferengi you ever met," Quark complains, hurt. "I thought we were going to die," Odo says. "I was trying to be nice." Quark asks him to name one Ferengi who's more devious than he is. And Odo begins reeling off names as they walk off down the Promenade.