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For the Uniform

Production no.: 511
Written by: Peter Allan Fields
Directed by: Victor Lobl
Stardate: 50485.2 
First satellite airdate: February 1, 1997
Kenneth Marshall .....
Eric Pierpoint ...........
Aron Eisenberg ........
Captain Sanders

Sisko walks through a cavern which is being used as a refugee camp by the Maquis, looking for a man named Cing'ta. He is directed to an inner chamber, but finds Eddington there instead. The renegade Starfleet security officer aims a phaser at Sisko's head and tells him Cing'ta won't be joining them: he's been marooned on a "particularly nasty" planet in the Badlands, condemned to a slow death for betraying the Maquis.

"Tell me, Captain," asks Eddington, "what is it that bothers you more -- the fact that I left Starfleet to fight for a higher cause, or the fact that it happened on your watch?" Sisko replies that Eddington didn't simply leave Starfleet, but betrayed it. For answer, Eddington has him look out at the camp, which is full of colonists forced from their homes by the Federation treaty with Cardassia. Eddington does his best to play on Sisko's sympathy for them, but Sisko isn't buying. "You know what I see out there, Mr. Eddington? I see victims, but not of Cardassia or the Federation. Victims of you. The Maquis. You've sold these people on the dream that one day, they can go back to those farms and schools and homes, but you know they never can. And the longer you keep that hope alive, the longer these people will suffer."

He tells Eddington to go ahead and shoot him; Eddington instead lowers his aim. "Someday, I may take you up on that. For now, let me leave you with one piece of advice. Don't come after me. You'll regret it." He dematerializes. Sisko quickly has the Defiant trace his signal to a raider which warps out.

The Defiant gives chase as Eddington's ship heads for the Badlands. Sisko decides to call on the help of the starship Malinche, communicating with its captain, Sanders, via the new holo-communicator. Sanders agrees that he will attempt to intercept Eddington. "Everyone's favorite traitor," he remarks. The Malinche will cut Eddington off while the Defiant grabs him.

Suddenly, though, Eddington drops out of warp and heads toward the Defiant with weapons locked. When Sisko orders Worf to fire phasers, all hell breaks loose, and the Defiant is disabled, every system crashing. Eddington appears via holo-communicator and announces that their memory cores have been wiped, due to a cascade virus he left in the Defiant's computer. "I'll add it to the list of charges against you," Sisko says grimly; Eddington offers to let him add yet another. His ship blasts the Defiant with phasers. "You know what your problem is, Captain? You've made this personal. It didn't have to be. It wasn't with me. I have no animosity, no harsh feelings toward you." Sisko tells him, "It's not over between us." Eddington points out that he could easily destroy the Defiant right now, but he won't. Neither will he make Sisko grovel for his life. "You see, unlike you, Captain, I know when to walk away. Maybe you should think about that, on your long trip home." He disappears, leaving Sisko seething with rage and humiliation.

The Defiant is towed back to DS9 by the Malinche. There, Sisko listens to a report about how long it will take to reload and reprogram the ship's computers -- two weeks, according to O'Brien. Odo has found and removed two more cascade viruses from the station's main computer, and will check every system on the station. He asks Sisko to remind Starfleet of the fact that they assigned Eddington to DS9 because they didn't trust Odo. Worf reports that two Bolian freighters have disappeared, and the Maquis are believed responsible; the freighters were carrying selenium and rhodium nitrite, which on the surface doesn't seem like valuable cargo. Dax is analyzing the possibilities of what the Maquis would want with it.

Captain Sanders pays Sisko a visit, with some awkward news. Starfleet Command has ordered him to take over the search for Eddington, who as of now is no longer Sisko's responsibility. "You've been after him for eight months. Not to put too fine a point on it, but you haven't gotten the job done. Look, Captain, I understand how you feel. If one of my officers had fooled me the way Eddington fooled you, I'd take it personally, too." Quickly, he adds, "Bad choice of words, I didn't mean fooled." "No," says Sisko. "You're exactly right. I was fooled. But it won't happen again." Sanders tells him that's not the issue. "Starfleet also believes that, where Eddington is concerned, you're vulnerable. He just knows you too well, Captain. So maybe it's time for someone he doesn't know to go after him." All Sisko can do is wish him good hunting.

Sisko takes out his frustrations later on a punching bag, held in place by Dax. "In twenty-five years of duty, I have never been taken off an assignment, until now." Dax, however, knows that it's not about being taken off the assignment, it's about Eddington. "He worked under me for a year and a half," Sisko says, pummeling away. "I saw him almost every day, read his reports, had him to dinner. I even took him to a baseball game in a holosuite once. And I never saw it. It's my job to be a good judge of character. And what did I do? Not only did I not see it, I put him up for a promotion...And what is my excuse? Is he a Changeling? No. Is he a being with seven lifetimes of experience? No. Is he a wormhole alien? No. He's just a man. Like me. And he beat me!"

Dax tells him it's good that he's working it out on the bag. "Because you're going to have to let go of this one. Eddington is someone else's problem now. And you're going to have to live with that." Kira calls Sisko at that moment to tell him there's news about Eddington.

When Sisko and Dax come to Ops, Kira says that Eddington has just attacked a Cardassian colony on Veloz Prime using a biogenic weapon -- cobalt diselenide, spread through the atmosphere by three stratospheric torpedoes. Cobalt diselenide is harmless to most humanoids, but deadly to Cardassians. The Cardassians are evacuating; Eddington has announced that the Maquis will reclaim the planet. Dax realizes that the selenium and rhodium nitrite that the Maquis hijacked were used to synthesize the stuff.

The Malinche is headed to Veloz Prime from the other side of the Badlands. Sisko knows that Eddington will be long gone by the time it gets there -- also, that Eddington will be able to use the chemicals he has to poison every Cardassian colony in the DMZ. There are no other ships in the area, except one: the Defiant.

O'Brien tells Sisko that only half the systems are back online, and most of those aren't at full capacity, but they can go up to warp six. Dax notes that weapons are working, but targeting scanners need to be manually calibrated. Communications are fried, and combadges won't be working either due to interference from unshielded EPS conduits. "Let me introduce you to your new com system," O'Brien says, and calls Nog over. The Ferengi cadet will be relaying messages from the bridge to engineering. "I figured you'd want somebody who could hear you while the bridge is exploding all around you." "Exploding?" asks Nog, concerned, though he assures Sisko that he's ready to go into a combat situation.

In the corridor, Sisko notices a look on Dax's face. "All right, say it...That I have lost all perspective, that I am turning this into a vendetta between me and Eddington, and that I am putting the ship, the crew and my entire career at risk. And if I had any brains at all, I'd go back to my office, sit down and read Odo's crime reports." However, Dax tells him that she was only thinking that he's "becoming more like Curzon all the time." "I don't know how to take that," says Sisko. Dax smiles. "Consider it a compliment. And the next time I go off half-cocked on some wild-eyed adventure, think back to this moment and be a little more understanding."

With Nog in place, the Defiant wobbles out of dock, almost taking out a lower pylon, and Dax lays in a course for the Badlands. There, they begin searching for Eddington. Kira's scans finally pick up the signature of a Maquis raider, which sends them a transmission. "You just couldn't resist the temptation to come after me, could you, Captain?" Eddington asks, appearing on the bridge. He says Sisko won't get him, but he's sending over a gift -- a document. "It's a book. One of my favorites: Les Miserables...Pay close attention to the character of Inspector Javert, the French policeman who spends twenty years chasing a man for stealing a loaf of bread. Sound like anyone you know?"

The Defiant closes on Eddington's ship with phasers charged and locked. But Eddington isn't worried. He disappears after telling Sisko to enjoy the book. Kira reports that the signal came from an unmanned probe set to transmit a false warp signature. Sisko realizes that Eddington lured them here. As the Defiant tries to leave the area as fast as it can, Kira picks up a distress call from the Malinche, which has been ambushed by the Maquis and is dead in space.

After rendezvousing with the Malinche, Sisko speaks to a slightly singed Sanders, and has a damage control team beam over to help with repairs. Sanders explains ruefully that the Malinche was ambushed after responding to a faked distress call. "It seems I couldn't get the job done either, Captain." "It's not over," Sisko replies. Sanders gives him something he hopes will be useful: a coded message they intercepted, coming from one of Eddington's raiders. He tells Sisko to save him a seat at Eddington's court-martial. "Good hunting, Captain."

The message is sent to DS9 for decoding while the Defiant continues to search the Badlands. Finally Odo calls back to report that the message appears to be a Breen nursery rhyme, with no meaningful pattern in the words or the music. However, Odo believes that Eddington is working under the credo of hiding in plain sight. The fact that the rhyme is Breen may be a code in itself, possibly signaling a rendezvous at a Breen settlement, of which there happens to be one near the DMZ. Since the biogenic components of Eddington's weapons need to be kept in a large and sophisticated cold storage unit, it stands to reason that that's where they are. No one knows how to keep things cold like the Breen.

Starfleet intelligence drones near the Breen settlement have detected the approach of a Maquis freighter, last seen headed for the Dorvan sector of the DMZ. Sisko and his officers try to guess which Cardassian colony will be Eddington's next target. Sisko decides to try Quatal, which he thinks is a predictably unpredictable choice on Eddington's part.

His guess is correct, but the Defiant arrives too late -- the cobalt diselenide is already spreading through the planet's atmosphere. Kira picks up two Maquis raiders behind one of the moons; the Defiant moves to intercept. There is a skirmish, in which one raider is destroyed; the other, inexplicably, heads for the planet. It fires on one of the transports that is evacuating the Cardassian colonists, disabling it.

Eddington calls. "Well, Javert, let's see how deep your obsession with me is. You've got me. I can't outrun or outfight the Defiant. But if you come after me, you'll have to pay a price. You'll have to let all those helpless Cardassians spiral down to their deaths. The choice is yours." Unhappily, Sisko chooses to rescue the Cardassians. Eddington gives a mocking wave as he vanishes, and his ship escapes.

After the Defiant tows the transport out of the planet's gravitational pull, Sisko sits in the mess hall reading Les Miserables and thinking aloud to Dax about how Eddington compared him to the character of Javert, who relentlessly pursues a man named Valjean for a trivial offense, and who is eventually destroyed by his own inflexibility. Sisko remembers that Eddington said it was one of his favorites. Slowly, he begins to piece together Eddington's motivation. Eddington has cast himself as Valjean, a victim of injustice who spends his life making noble sacrifices. "That's how Eddington sees himself. He's Valjean, he's Robin Hood, he's a romantic, dashing figure, fighting the good fight against insurmountable odds...Eddington is the hero of his own story. That makes me the villain. And what is it that every hero wants to do?"

"Kill the bad guy," Dax guesses. Sisko says that's part of it. "Heroes only kill when they have to. Eddington could have killed me back in the refugee camp, or when he disabled the Defiant. But in the best melodramas, the villain creates a situation where the hero is forced to sacrifice himself for the people, for the cause -- one final grand gesture." Sisko makes a decision. "I think it's time for me to become the villain."

Sisko goes back to the bridge and has Worf prepare two quantum torpedoes, rigged with cargo pods carrying trilithium resin. The nearest Maquis colony is Solosos III; he has the helm set a course there, and sends a message on all Maquis frequencies. "To all the members of the Maquis resistance. This is Captain Sisko of the USS Defiant. In response to the Maquis's use of biogenic weapons in their recent attacks, I am about to take the following action: in exactly one hour, I will detonate two quantum torpedoes that will scatter trilithium resin into the atmosphere of Solosos Three. I thereby will make the planet uninhabitable to all human life for the next fifty years. I suggest evacuation plans begin immediately." Everyone on the bridge looks at him in shock, but Sisko is dead serious.

There is no sign of evacuation when the Defiant achieves orbit of Solosos. Sisko has Worf prepare to fire the torpedoes, and receives a message from Eddington. "What are you really up to, Javert? Do you expect me to believe that a decorated Starfleet officer, the pride of the service, is going to poison an entire planet?" "That's exactly what I'm going to do," Sisko announces. "You're bluffing," says Eddington. But Sisko responds, "Am I?" and orders Worf to launch the torpedoes. Worf hesitates, but does it.

The torpedoes hit their mark, the resin begins to spread, and the Maquis finally start scrambling to evacuate. Eddington is shocked, but Sisko tells him he's going to eliminate every Maquis colony in the DMZ. "You're talking about turning hundreds of thousands of people into homeless refugees," Eddington exclaims. But Sisko continues playing his role of ruthless villain to the hilt. He orders the helm to set course for the next Maquis colony, and two more torpedoes prepared. "Can't you see what's happening to you?" Eddington asks desperately. "You're going against everything you claim to believe in, and for what? To satisfy a personal vendetta?"

"You betrayed your uniform," Sisko reminds him. Eddington retorts, "And you're betraying yours right now. The sad part is, you don't even realize it. I feel sorry for you, Captain. This obsession with me -- look what it's cost you." When Sisko, unmoved, tells Worf to prepare to launch again, finally Eddington breaks. He'll turn over the biogenic weapons. Sisko plays to Eddington's ego by saying it's not enough. "All right, Javert," Eddington says, making the ultimate sacrifice, just as he always envisioned. "I'll give you what you want. Me."

Resettlement efforts in the DMZ are underway as the Defiant returns to DS9, and Eddington is escorted to a holding cell. He and Sisko exchange a long stare. Dax is impressed by the gamble Sisko made, planning to poison the Maquis planets without Starfleet's approval. "That's what it takes to be a good villain," Sisko tells her. Dax smiles. "You know, sometimes I like it when the bad guy wins."

  • Ron Moore came up with the holocommunicators to break away from the traditional "talking head" viewer scenes. However, the holocommunicators never caught on, and were only used a few times.