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Dax


Production no.: 408
Teleplay by: D. C. Fontana and Peter Allan Fields
Story by: Peter Allan Fields
Directed by: David Carson
Stardate: 46910.1 
First satellite airdate: February 13, 1993
 
Gregory Itzin ...........
Anne Haney ...........
Richard Lineback ....
Fionnula Flanagan ....
Ilon Tandro
Arbiter Els Renora
Selin Peers
Enina Tandro


With O'Brien gone (having taken Keiko to Earth for her mother's birthday), the station's re-filtration processors have taken the opportunity to break down. Dax is studying the problem on a PADD as Bashir whiles away the time flirting with her, as usual, and getting no response. Neither of them notice a Trill who watches from the shadows, then identifies Dax to three newcomers.

Dax leaves to go to bed; Bashir gallantly offers to escort her, but she tells him it's not necessary. The other Trill's three friends follow her, and so does Bashir, who has decided that his services as escort may not be necessary, but they weren't forbidden either. In a corridor, Dax turns when one of her shadowers calls her by name. Then the other two grab her, just as Bashir rounds the corridor and sees her struggling. He launches himself at the attackers, but is knocked unconscious, and Dax is dragged off.

Kira is noticing a residual charge in the graviton generator, when Bashir comes to and calls Ops to let them know that three people have just taken Dax. Sisko immediately calls for a full security alert, while Odo attempts to locate the abductors, but they seem to know how to avoid the tracking grid. Sisko tells Kira to survey high-warp-capability ships in dock, and realizes that the charge in the graviton generator was due to the tractor beams being disabled. They seal off docking ring airlocks, and Odo orders a sweep. Kira finally locates the abductors at an airlock, and activates forcefields while Odo heads there, but the abductors know what they are doing, and use a device to disengage the forcefields. As the getaway ship pulls away from the station, however, Sisko manages to get the tractor beam back online, and nails them.

The ship is hauled back to the airlock, where Odo and Sisko are waiting. Unfazed, the leader of the abductors introduces himself as he steps through. He is Ilon Tandro, a special envoy from Klaestron IV, in charge of this "extradition procedure", and he hands Sisko a microdisk which, he says, contains a valid warrant for Dax's arrest. The charge: treason, and the murder of Tandro's father. On hearing this, Dax looks haunted.

Sisko and Odo go over the warrant, which says that Dax was responsible for the death of General Ardelon Tandro, thirty years ago, when Curzon was the symbiont's host. Curzon had been a Federation mediator during a civil war at the time on Klaestron. Sisko thinks it strange that Curzon never mentioned being there; Odo says it's not so strange, considering the charges. But Sisko replies that while Curzon had more faults than the usual socially acceptable Trill, he was not a murderer; and the accusation that he betrayed the Klaestron government to the rebels is nonsense. "I knew the man," Sisko insists. Odo asks pointedly, "But did you know the symbiont inside the man?"

For her part, Dax is uncommunicative as Sisko tells her he's requested confirmation of the warrant, which was the only stall he could think of. Dax doesn't expect any help, and Sisko can't understand it. Both treason and murder are death offenses on Klaestron. But Dax simply won't talk about what happened.

The confirmation arrives from Klaestron, but Sisko has come up with another tactic. He tells Tandro he has figured out why Tandro tried to kidnap Dax rather than properly present the warrant, and that is because while Klaestron has a valid extradition treaty with the Federation, it does not have one with Bajor. This being a Bajoran station, Tandro was afraid the Bajorans would refuse extradition, a charge which Tandro says is absurd. Then Kira brings up the fact that Tandro knew the station so well: knowledge which must have come from the Cardassians, who have been allies of Klaestron in the past. Therefore, Sisko says, Bajoran interests are involved, and therefore there has to be an extradition hearing.

The only place on the station suitable for the hearing is Quark's, and Odo blackmails the Ferengi into "donating" the bar for the duration. Sisko then catches up with Odo, and suggests that he go to Klaestron IV to investigate. Odo is dubious -- the case is thirty years old, and the hearing will take all of thirty minutes. Sisko hopes to make it somewhat longer than that, to which Odo says, "Good luck."

The hearing begins, presided over by a tough old Bajoran arbiter named Els Renora, who says she is one hundred years old and doesn't have time to waste on superfluous language. She asks Tandro why it took thirty years to institute the proceedings against Dax; Tandro replies that the evidence was contained in military files which have been sealed until recently. The warrant is in order, Renora tells Sisko, who says he is asking for denial of extradition on the grounds that the person who allegedly committed the crime no longer exists. He challenges Tandro to prove otherwise. Renora isn't exactly thrilled that Sisko brought up that point, but since the death penalty is rather permanent, she tells Tandro to convince her that Dax is the same person named in the warrant. Dax sits listening with seemingly complete detachment.

During a recess of the hearing, Sisko speaks to Kira and Bashir, telling Bashir to get him all the medical evidence he can to support the theory that Curzon and Jadzia Dax are entirely separate persons. Bashir is to assume the evidence exists, and find it. Kira is to check the computers for any precedents -- any legal decisions involving the question of whether a Trill is responsible for the acts of its former hosts. "What if the answer is yes?" Kira asks. "Then that answer is wrong," says Sisko firmly.

Odo calls from Klaestron IV to report what he's learned so far. For one thing, the general's murder spurred his troops to victory in the war. The general is a revered martyr, with statues of him decorating the planet. For another thing, the general and Curzon Dax were close friends, practically inseparable. Odo plans to speak to the general's widow and see if she remembers anything that's not in the records.

Enina Tandro is a regal older woman who tells Odo emphatically that Curzon Dax was not responsible for the death of her husband. She tried to persuade her son not to reopen the case, but her son is obsessed with his father's death and intends to use the evidence against Dax. The evidence consists of a secret transmission sent from military headquarters to the enemy camp, identifying the exact route the general was taking from the capitol back to the front; the general was ambushed, kidnapped, and then killed. Curzon was one of five people who knew the route, and he was the only one whose whereabouts at the time of the transmission have not been established. That is why Ilon Tandro is so certain that Curzon was the culprit. Casually, Enina asks Odo how Curzon is; Odo tells her that Curzon is dead, his symbiont now residing in the body of a twenty-eight-year-old woman. Enina manages to cover her grief at hearing this news.

At the hearing, Tandro calls on Selin Peers, the Trill who had identified Dax to him earlier. Peers was present during the extradition at the request of the government of the Trill homeworld, and now he testifies as an expert on Trills. He is the eighth host of his symbiont, and still remembers his first host, a woman; the symbiont carries memories of all previous hosts. So, Tandro says, if a Trill commits a crime, the next host will remember it, recall the details, feel the guilt? Peers replies yes. And if Sisko has his way, Tandro points out to the arbiter, then all a Trill has to do to escape punishment for a crime is to elude capture long enough to change hosts.

Sisko takes the floor, noting that Peers said he was with his first host throughout her adult life. Peers says that hosts are not joined until their early to mid twenties, to give them a chance to mature, and make an informed judgment as to whether or not they want to be joined. The host's personality is not suppressed; rather, joining is a blend of the personalities of host and symbiont. Sisko's point is that each new joined Trill is essentially a new and different person; Tandro objects that the accused can still remember crimes committed as Curzon Dax. Voices are raised, and Renora calls a recess.

After the hearing reconvenes once more, Bashir takes the stand. Renora remarks that they could send the symbiont for trial and have the host stay here, but Bashir says that they are biologically interdependent; neither can survive without the other, once 93 hours have passed after joining. From a medical standpoint, Curzon and Jadzia Dax are not the same person; not only their genders and other details are different, but so are their brainwave patterns. Tandro has Bashir explain the working of the Trill brain, or rather brains, and gets him to admit that there has been no change in the brainwaves of the symbiont since the transition from Curzon to Jadzia. Miserable, Bashir steps down.

Sisko's next witness is the only person present who knew Curzon: himself. With Kira asking the questions, he emphasizes that Curzon was not at all like Jadzia. He also says of Curzon, "He took a raw young ensign under his wing and taught me to appreciate life in ways I'd never thought about before. He taught me about art and science and diplomacy. Whatever sense of honor I may have today, he nurtured." Curzon was not capable of treason or murder.

Tandro asks if Sisko, as an honorable man, believes this crime should go unpunished. Sisko replies that he would prefer that no crime go unpunished. But how can Tandro be so sure that it was the symbiont and not Curzon who was the guilty party? Tandro says that by Sisko's own argument, they're both guilty. He uses the analogy of salt and water, which become indistinguishable from each other once combined. Sisko retorts that when the water boils off, the salt returns to its original state, and becomes something else when poured into another liquid, and by that analogy, Jadzia Dax is an entirely new entity. On that note, Renora calls another recess, after which Dax herself will testify.

Sisko takes a subspace call from Odo, who reports that he has gone through the communications logs from headquarters during the relevant time period, including Curzon's. The logs show a number of conversations between Curzon's office and the general's home, many of which took place while the general was away at the front. Curzon could have merely been providing emotional support to Enina -- or they could have been having an affair, which translates into a solid motive for murder.

Odo goes to Enina with his knowledge of not only the calls, but the gifts and the holidays spent together. Enina doesn't deny it. She tells Odo with bitter dignity that her husband may be a legend, still mourned after thirty years, but she knew the man he really was, and that man was no hero. Yet her place has been to represent his memory. Perhaps, though, it is now time for her place in history to change.

Meanwhile, Sisko confronts Dax in her quarters. "You've been protecting her reputation. That's it, isn't it?" he asks. Is she really willing to commit suicide over it? But Dax continues to hold back, even when Sisko admits that he's out of arguments and can't think of anything else to keep them from taking her. "Then allow it to happen," Dax tells him sadly. She admits to the affair, and that Curzon did love Enina, for whatever it's worth. "Enough to kill her husband?" Sisko can't help but ask. What else can he do but start to question? "Nothing at all," she says.

The hearing reconvenes again, with Dax in the witness chair. She testifies that she wanted to be joined since she was a child, and that the competition for the honor of joining is fierce. She earned the right to be a candidate by winning scholarships and passing tests, including psychological tests for character and stability. She holds several degrees, all of which she achieved before joining. How, Sisko asks the arbiter, can anyone try this brilliant and independent young woman for a crime committed by another entity before she was born?

It's Sisko's very last argument, and Tandro picks it apart by having Dax confirm that she understood the responsibilites and consequences of becoming joined. Including those of criminal acts? Before Dax can answer, Enina Tandro enters the courtroom, followed by Odo, and asks to speak. Enina tells the arbiter that she knows where Curzon was at the exact time that the transmission was made: he was in her bed. A stunned Tandro recoils from his mother's touch, and Renora adjourns the hearing. It's over.

Later, as Enina is about to leave the station, she and Dax have a talk on the Promenade. Enina appreciates Jadzia's willingness to sacrifice herself to protect a woman she had never met; Jadzia tells her that it was important to her to keep the promise Curzon made to preserve General Tandro's memory, a memory cherished by his people. "And it will continue to be," Enina says. No one will ever know that it was the general himself who was the traitor. Enina only has one last favor to ask. "Live, Jadzia Dax," she tells her. "Live a long, fresh and wonderful life."


  • This is the first episode in which Morn is named in the script (although not in dialogue). Of course, as almost any DS9 fan knows, "Morn" is an anagram of Norm, a character in Cheers who could always be found at the bar. Up until this episode, Morn had been informally called "the Grinch" or "Grandpa Grinch" by the show's crew.
  • D.C. Fontana, who co-wrote the teleplay, was a frequent writer of the original Star Trek, and an assistant of Gene Roddenberry.