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The Emperor's New Cloak

Production no.: 562
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by: LeVar Burton
Stardate: not given 
First satellite airdate: January 30, 1999
Andrew J. Robinson .....
Jeffrey Combs .............
Max Grodénchik ..........
J.G. Hertzler ................
Tiny Ron .....................
Chase Masterson .........
Wallace Shawn ............
Peter C. Antoniou ........

Quark is watching Ezri and Bashir having a drink together -- a sight he calls "disgusting" -- when Rom comes up to him with the news that according to their Moogie, Grand Nagus Zek has disappeared. His note said he was going on a business safari to open new territories, and that he would be gone for five days, but that was 12 days ago. No one has heard from him. Quark thinks he'll show up eventually.

That night, Quark prays to the Blessed Exchequer to get Bashir off the station for a couple of months, and help him get somewhere with Ezri. Suddenly he gets a visit from Ezri, dressed head to toe in black leather. She grabs him in a threatening manner, which Quark welcomes as a promising sign of delightful things to come. But such possibilities are the farthest thing from her mind. For one thing, she says her name's not Dax. "If your friend Zek is depending on you, he's in a lot more trouble than he thinks," she observes.

Quark asks what Zek has to do with it, and she says she'll let Zek explain that. She uses Quark's computer to play back a message from Zek. He's in the alternate universe, which Quark realizes Ezri is from. Zek goes on to say he's being held prisoner by the Alliance, but the Regent is willing to send him home in exchange for a cloaking device, which they don't have in that universe. Quark has to bring one over in order to save his life. After the message ends, Ezri adds that the Regent wants the device in three days. If Quark doesn't find a way, Zek will die.

Quark and Rom manage to heist a cloaking device out of Martok's ship, by cloaking it and lugging it down the corridor, narrowly avoiding discovery by Sisko and Martok. They get it to the cargo bay, where Ezri is waiting, but the two of them decide to go with her to make sure the Alliance keeps their end of the bargain. Ezri beams them out just as Martok bears down on them.

When they materialize on Terok Nor in the other universe, Ezri says she has a ship waiting. Someone bursts through the door of the cargo bay. It's Vic Fontaine -- a non-holographic version -- having a phaser firefight with the alternate Bashir and a couple of other rebels. Vic is shot dead before Quark's and Rom's eyes. "No wonder they call it the alternate universe," Rom notes. In short order, they are captured by Bashir, who calls Ezri, "You worthless piece of space trash," and slaps her.

The three of them wind up in a holding cell, facing Bashir and the mirror O'Brien, who know quite well what would happen to their rebel cause if the Alliance gets hold of a cloaking device. The conversation touches on Ezri, who is apparently a mercenary and whom Bashir believes to be a traitor as well. O'Brien thinks they should send Quark and Rom back to their universe, but Quark says they can't go back without Zek. O'Brien and Bashir give the Ferengi until morning to decide whether to be sent back or to try to rescue their friend without the cloak. Once they're gone, Ezri suggests they take the way home. "It's the smart move." "Do we look smart to you?" asks Quark.

Meanwhile, on the Alliance flagship, Zek (accompanied as always by Maihar'du) is getting oo-mox from a fellow prisoner, Intendant Kira. Zek makes the mistake of expressing a hope that Quark and Rom don't screw things up, causing her to twist his ear viciously. "You told me your people could deliver the cloaking device. You guaranteed it." Zek quickly assures her that they will, and she goes back to sweetly stroking his ears again.

On Terok Nor, Quark has a conversation about Zek with Ezri, who wonders what he thinks he'll get out of this from Zek, provided he does manage to rescue him. "Knowing the Nagus, I'd say a pat on the head and a fistful of empty promises," says Quark. Ezri says she doesn't understand. "There's nothing to understand," Quark tells her. "He's my Nagus. And when your Nagus gets in trouble, you're supposed to do something about it." Ezri has a hard time believing he's only doing this out of loyalty. Suddenly someone bursts in: it's Brunt (the mirror one), with a phaser rifle in hand. He's a friend of Ezri's, and he's rescuing them. He has also been thoughtful enough to retrieve the cloaking device as well.

The four of them escape in a Ferengi ship, while Rom puzzles out the differences between this universe and their own. Quark talks a bit with Brunt after the other two go to get some rest. Brunt has no love for the Alliance, but he's helping them get the cloaking device because he's Ezri's partner and close friend, though not as close as he'd like. "I'm not her type. And I don't think you are either...Let's just say that when it comes to men, she's very particular."

On the Alliance flagship, Regent Worf talks to his right-hand man, Garak, who voices his opinion that they should eliminate the Intendant and be done with her. Worf says he'll deal with her in his own time, but first he wants the cloaking device.

The Ferengi ship rendezvouses with the flagship. Quark doubts that they can trust the Regent, but Ezri says the Regent never gets rid of anyone he finds useful. After the ship docks, they are brought, with the cloaking device, to the Regent, who tells Garak he wants it operational within the hour. Quark begins to sense trouble, a feeling confirmed when the Intendant is escorted into the room. "I knew you wouldn't disappoint me," she tells Ezri, and kisses her.

"You're not going to give us the Nagus, are you?" Quark asks the Regent, who shakes his head. Quark also realizes that Ezri knew all along. "What can I say?" she shrugs. "I'm loyal to my friends." Garak, for his part, is astounded and disappointed that the Intendant is being freed; the Regent says that getting Quark and Rom to bring the cloaking device was her idea.

Worf tells Garak to get rid of Quark and Rom, but Brunt protests that they may come in handy, so the Regent decides to have Garak lock them up instead. They end up in the cell with Zek and Maihar'du. Zek blames Rom for all this, because the last time he visited his mother, he left his engineering PADD on the table, containing the schematics for the multidimensional transporter, which O'Brien had given him to study. Zek stole it, to find new financial opportunities in the alternate universe. "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

Brunt tells Ezri he doesn't feel right about Quark and Rom being imprisoned, and asks her to talk to the Intendant, who happens to step into the room at that moment. She finds it a very novel idea to keep her word. Brunt argues that they'll gain nothing by killing the two brothers, but if they let them live, they may be useful. All she has to do is ask the Regent. "Maybe," the Intendant says thoughtfully. "But why waste a favor on those two little trolls? No, I'm afraid I don't much care for your suggestion. And as a matter of fact, I don't much like you either." With that, she stabs him with his own knife, and he falls dead. Ezri actually shows some emotion. The Intendant tells her that he was going to betray her, like so many others in her life. "Dispose of that, would you? It depresses me," she says, re: Brunt's body. Ezri gives her a hard look. "It's your mess. You clean it up."

The flagship picks up the Defiant on long-range sensors, which the Regent thinks is a good opportunity to test the cloaking device. However, it's not operational, so Worf sends Ezri to get Rom. Quark wonders why they should help the Regent, or Ezri for that matter. "I'm trying to save your lives," Ezri states, though Quark still doesn't trust her. But Rom decides that he doesn't want to die here, so he'll do it. He is taken from the cell and put to work.

Finally Rom tells the Regent the cloak is ready, and Garak activates it. Since there's no further use for the Ferengis, Worf says to get rid of them. "That settles it. I'm never helping you again," Rom declares to Ezri.

Garak brings Rom back to the holding cell, and shows the Ferengi a hypospray which he says contains ten cc's of Ulcartic virus. The virus elevates the body temperature until the internal organs boil. He was hoping to use it on the Intendant, but he'll have to settle for them. "Now, who would like to go first?" None of the prisoners are eager to volunteer. Quark starts to taunt Garak, saying he's an amateur at interrogation, compared to their Garak. Zek chimes in that they might know things that he could use to his advantage. "Our Garak would have us hanging by our toenails by now, telling him all our secrets," says Quark; Garak asks, "What secrets?" "That's for us to know and you to find out," Rom declares. Garak admits that he's a bit curious about his counterpart, and asks them to tell him more.

On the Defiant, Bashir and O'Brien wonder where the Ferengi ship is, and if perhaps the Regent already has the cloaking device. The answer is yes, as the Regent and Intendant watch the Defiant. Worf decides it's time. Meanwhile, Garak has had enough of trying to guess whether his counterpart is an assassin, a tailor, or both, and decides he has to get back to the bridge. He asks again who'll be first to be injected.

The flagship drops the cloak, and the battle is about to begin, when they suddenly experience a primary systems failure. "What was that?" Garak asks as the forcefield to the cell fritzes out. Proudly, Rom says, "Sabotage, what else?", and the prisoners rush Garak. However, Garak flings them off and threatens Quark with the hypo. But then, unexpectedly, Ezri grabs his hand and injects Garak instead. He sinks to the ground, dying. Ezri leads the prisoners away.

Bashir and O'Brien realize what's happened to the Alliance flagship. "Then what do you say we give the Regent a proper greeting?" asks O'Brien. The Defiant begins firing, and the flagship can't raise shields. O'Brien hails them. Knowing he's lost, Worf asks for their terms. "A simple unconditional surrender should do the trick," says O'Brien. The Regent grits his teeth. "Victory is yours."

In the corridor, Ezri and the prisoners run into the Intendant, who tells Ezri they have to get to one of the escape shuttles. Ezri tells her she's staying. "You shouldn't have killed Brunt." "Isn't it a little late to be developing a conscience?" the Intendant asks, to which Ezri replies, "I hope not." The Intendant rushes off. When Quark questions Ezri letting her go, Ezri says, "I owe her that much."

The Regent is taken to Terok Nor and paraded through the airlock in manacles as the rebels cheer. As for Zek, Maihar'du, Quark, and Rom, they're going home. Zek hasn't given up on the idea of making a fortune in the alternate universe, but he says next time he's taking Quark and Rom with him. "In that case, I won't bother saying goodbye," says Ezri. Quark hints that maybe he could stick around and let her show him the station. "I could help you work on that conscience of yours." "I think I can take it from here," says Ezri. Then Leeta walks up to her. Of course, it's the mirror Leeta, and she expresses extreme disbelief when Rom tells her they're married. She's here to debrief Ezri. "Must be my lucky day," says Ezri.

The Ferengis watch them go off. "This is quite a fascinating place, don't you agree?" Zek observes. Rom pouts, "I want to go home." And Quark heartily agrees with that sentiment.

  • Unfortunately, this whole episode is based on an inconsistency. A mirror-universe Klingon ship was clearly shown decloaking in "Through the Looking Glass".
  • There is a reference to the characters T'Lana and Shmun, first mentioned in Ira Steven Behr's book Legends of the Ferengi.
  • The episode was dedicated to the memory of Jerome Bixby, writer of the TOS episode "Mirror, Mirror", which had introduced the mirror universe into Star Trek.