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In Purgatory's Shadow

Production no.: 512
Written by: Robert Hewitt Wolfe & Ira Steven Behr
Directed by: Gabrielle Beaumont
Stardate: not given 
First satellite airdate: February 8, 1997
Andrew J. Robinson .....
Marc Alaimo ................
Melanie Smith ..............
J.G. Hertzler ................
James Horan ................
Paul Dooley .................
Carrie Stauber ..............
Jim Palladino ................
Enabran Tain
Jem'Hadar Guard

Odo is in the midst of moving all his old Changeling stuff back into his quarters and getting rid of the furniture he used while he was a humanoid. Kira is helping him. He's embarrassed when she finds a PADD about getting a perfect mate -- a book he obtained when he thought he was going to be humanoid for the rest of his life. But now, "Why waste my time? Romance is for solids." "You are a solid," says Kira. "Eighteen hours a day. I'm sure there are plenty of women on this station who would be very interested in you if you gave them a chance."

The conversation is interrupted when Dax calls them both to Ops. When they arrive, Sisko explains that a listening post in the Gamma Quadrant has picked up a message in what looks to be a Cardassian military code, but the computer doesn't recognize it. The code has everyone puzzled until Odo reluctantly suggests that they do have an expert in Cardassian codes on the station.

A little while later, Garak rejoins Bashir and Ziyal at lunch, telling them that the message turned out to be a five-year-old planetary survey report, and that the officers seemed disappointed. "I would have thought you'd be a little disappointed, too," remarks Bashir, pointing out that it could have been from a survivor of the Cardassian fleet lost two years ago in the Gamma Quadrant. Garak dismisses this. "Oh, I've given up hope of ever finding any trace of them long ago." "Really? I never saw you as the giving up type," says Ziyal. Garak replies, "There comes a time when one must face reality, my dear. Those people are gone, and they're never coming back." He takes his leave, after which Ziyal confides to Bashir that there's something about Garak she finds fascinating.

But Garak has not gone back to his shop. Instead, he steals onto a runabout. To his surprise, Bashir is there before him, aiming a phaser at his head. "Going somewhere?" He knew Ziyal was right, that Garak isn't one for giving up, and he demands to know what the message really said. Garak admits that it was a call for help from Enabran Tain. "I have to find him, Doctor. I owe it to him." "You don't owe Tain anything," Bashir says. "He had you exiled from Cardassia." "Yes, but aside from that, we were very close. He was -- my mentor. And I'm not going to turn my back on him." Garak offers to take Bashir along, but Bashir instead raises the phaser and says they're going to Sisko's office.

After Sisko has heard their story, Garak assures the captain the message is genuine; it used a code designed by Tain and himself. It consists of identification plus one word repeating over and over: "Alive". Garak plans to triangulate the source. He adds that there could be others with Tain -- troops from the Cardassian/Romulan fleet, survivors of New Bajor, perhaps even Federation crewmen from ships that have disappeared in the Gamma Quadrant. "This is a mission of mercy. You can't ignore it." Sisko agrees that there's only one way to find out if the message is genuine. He will let Garak go, but not alone. Bashir, however, will not be going; Sisko has someone else in mind.

Dax is a little ticked off that Worf didn't tell her he was going on the mission. But she borrows his collection of Klingon operas. Since she admittedly has been known to misplace things, she tells him he'd better hurry back before she loses the rod. They kiss. "Have a glorious death," she tells him. "Or don't. It's up to you."

Meanwhile, Garak and Ziyal share a farewell meal on the second level of Quark's. It's plain that Ziyal has developed deep feelings for Garak; Garak knows it, and it makes him a bit uncomfortable. He finds those feelings "misguided". "If this is what you think, why do you spend so much time with me?" she asks. "Because I'm exiled, and alone, and a long way from home," Garak tells her frankly. "And when I'm with you, it doesn't feel so bad...Ziyal, no matter what happens, no matter how bleak things may look, I promise you, I will come back. You have my word."

The moment is interrupted by Dukat, who grabs Garak and threatens to push him over the railing. "If you touch my daughter again, I'll kill you." However, between Ziyal and Quark, he is reluctantly persuaded to let Garak go. Alone with her father, Ziyal tells him he's wrong about Garak. But they greet each other with warmth. Dukat is here for repairs to his ship, and to spend time with her. "I can see we have a lot to talk about."

Sisko walks Worf to the runabout, issuing last minute orders. He is to avoid Dominion ships at all cost. As for Garak, Worf promises, "At the first sign of betrayal, I will kill him. But I promise to return the body intact." "I assume that's a joke," says Sisko. "We'll see," Worf replies.

On the runabout, Garak plays with Worf's head by pretending he wants the Klingon to sponsor him to Starfleet Academy. Worf actually finally concedes that he'll consider it, before catching on that it's a charade. "Lying is a skill like any other," claims Garak. "And if you want to maintain a level of excellence, you have to practice constantly." "Practice on someone else," growls Worf. "Mr. Worf, you're no fun at all." "Good."

Back at DS9, Dukat interrupts Kira in the replimat. He's not happy that she's let Ziyal have any kind of relationship with Garak. "She's in love with him." Kira thinks he's overreacting. Moreover, her position is that Ziyal is a grown woman, and while Kira herself may not think their friendship is a good idea, she believes it's Ziyal's prerogative. Dukat accuses her of purposely allowing it to happen, of betraying him by doing so. When Kira is not impressed by his veiled threat, he leaves.

Meanwhile, the runabout drops out of warp. Worf doesn't want to go any further, as the source of the signal has turned out to be deep inside Dominion space, and his orders are to avoid unnecessary risk. Garak, however, wants to proceed, and proposes using a nearby nebula to avoid detection; Worf says their shields would be useless, but Garak points out that so would the Jem'Hadar's sensors. "The answer is out there, Commander. We just have to have the courage to find it." He reminds Worf of the unaccounted-for Starfleet crews, and shamelessly manipulates him by mentioning the word "honor". Reluctantly, Worf finally agrees.

They enter the nebula and are carefully navigating around the toh-maire pockets (the nebula apparently being the same one entered by Odo in "Vortex") when their sensors pick up a cluster of objects headed toward them. Finally they see that they have wound up in the midst of a Jem'Hadar fleet. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all," admits Garak.

The runabout turns tail and runs, with the Jem'Hadar warships in pursuit. Worf is determined to warn the station. He believes there's only one possible reason for such a large Dominion fleet to be hiding so close to the wormhole -- invasion. They send the message, but there's no way to know if it's gotten through the interference. Finally they are caught in a tractor beam. It's over. Four Jem'Hadar soldiers board the runabout, weapons aimed.

Kira, Dax, and O'Brien are discussing the new baby when Dax catches the message from the runabout, a priority one distress signal. O'Brien enhances the garbled message, of which only three words are clear: "Jem'Hadar", "buildup", and "imminent". Also, they have just lost contact with two Gamma Quadrant listening posts. "The Dominion," says Dax. "They're coming." Sisko has her notify Starfleet Command, and orders Kira to take the Defiant into the Gamma Quadrant to see if she can locate Worf and find out what's going on. "And if an invasion fleet is on the way?" Kira asks. Sisko tells her, "Then get back here as soon as possible. And God help us all."

Garak and Worf are brought to an internment camp on an asteroid which orbits a gas giant planet, and met by First Ikat'ika, leader of the Jem'Hadar guards. After a tense moment, he tells them, "This is Internment Camp 371. You are here because you are enemies of the Dominion. There is no release, no escape, except death."

Another listening post goes dead, and something comes through the wormhole. It's the Defiant. When Sisko asks Kira what she's found, Kira answers succinctly, "Trouble."

Dukat is waiting for Ziyal when she comes out of services at the Bajoran shrine. He tells her to pack her things; he wants her on the next ship to Cardassia. "I've just learned there's a Dominion fleet headed for the wormhole. This place is not safe any longer." Ziyal starts to protest, but Dukat is insistent. As far as he's concerned, there's nothing to discuss. "I'm not going to let any harm come to you. Now, I think you'd better get ready to leave." He leaves, confident that she'll obey him, but Ziyal's face is troubled.

After Worf and Garak are processed, Ikat'ika tells them their barracks number, and that they're free to move about the compound, but they won't be able to survive outside the dome. He looks at Worf. "I've been waiting for another Klingon," he says cryptically.

Soon, Worf and Garak see what he means as they are forced to follow him. They come to a fighting ring where a Jem'Hadar is battling a Klingon; the Klingon is losing. Worf recognizes him as General Martok -- the real one, now missing an eye and looking the worse for his captivity. Martok is defeated; Ikat'ika stops the Jem'Hadar from killing him. "It's over. But for you, it's just beginning," he adds to Worf.

Worf and Garak help Martok up, as Worf introduces himself. Martok tells them he's been here for two years. "If you are Worf, then you must be Garak. He said you would come." He leads them into the prisoner barracks, where there are two Romulans, a Breen, and the sleeping form of Enabran Tain, whom Martok says is suffering from heart trouble. "He was convinced that you would come." "He knew I had no choice," says Garak, who approaches Tain and calls to him.

Tain wakes up. "My message. It got through." But he is disappointed to learn that only Garak and Worf came. "You allowed yourselves to be taken prisoner. I taught you better than that. Living on that station has dulled your wits." "That's it?" asks Garak. "After I've come all this way? After all I've been through? That's all you have to say to me?" Tain, however, tells Garak that all he's done by coming here is to doom both of them.

A conference is held on DS9 among all its officers plus Dukat, whom Sisko invited, since a Dominion invasion will affect Cardassia too. The timing is good for the Dominion, with the Cardassian and Romulan fleets in disarray, and Starfleet spread thin between conflicts with the Klingons and a recent Borg attack. Reinforcements are two days away at maximum warp. "Right now, there's no way we can beat the Dominion," Sisko says frankly. "Our only hope is to prevent their fleet from entering the Alpha Quadrant." That can mean only one thing: closing the wormhole. Sisko assures Kira that they can seal it without damaging it or harming the Prophets. "It's either that or Bajor becomes the Dominion's first target." O'Brien and Dax will start work immediately. As for Worf and Garak, they have thirty-six hours to get home or be trapped on the other side.

Martok tells Worf and Garak about how Tain was able to modify the life support system in the wall into a subspace transmitter. Now, it looks as though Tain will die within a few days at best. The female Romulan prisoner arrives to announce that "they're releasing him from isolation." Worf asks who, and Martok replies, "A friend." They head out to a nearby building, where a man is pushed out by two Jem'Hadar guards. It's none other than Dr. Julian Bashir, dressed in the Starfleet uniform that has been recently superseded by a new color scheme. Worf and Garak react in shock.

As Bashir conducts a makeshift blood screening, he explains that he has been here for over a month. He was at a burn treatment conference when he went to bed one night and woke up here. Martok notes that he was captured in a similar way, while hunting. Now, Worf states that they have to escape and warn Sisko before the Changeling imitating Bashir on DS9 can carry out whatever his plan is.

The Changeling, meanwhile, amiably brings Dax and O'Brien some sandwiches while they're working. At the airlock, Dukat waits for Ziyal, who arrives, without any bags, and tells him she's not leaving. "Ziyal, I know we haven't spent much time together, but I think you know me well enough to realize that when I give an order, I expect to be obeyed." Ziyal points out that she's not one of his soldiers, and she's half Bajoran. She won't be accepted on Cardassia. "You have to trust me," Dukat urges. "Things are going to change on Cardassia." He doesn't have time to explain, though. When she refuses again to leave, Dukat's features harden. "It's him, isn't it? That despicable tailor. You don't want to leave because you're waiting for him?" Ziyal doesn't deny it. Dukat tells her that even if Garak isn't dead by now, he'll be trapped soon on the other side of the wormhole. "He made a promise," Ziyal insists. "And so did I. I said I would wait for him, and I will." "Is a promise to an enemy of your family more important than obeying your father?" Dukat thunders. "So be it. Stay here if that's what you want. Stay here and be damned!"

In the Dominion prison, Garak vents some bitterness to Bashir, about Tain. "All my life, I've done nothing but try to please that man. I let him mold me, let him turn me into a mirror image of himself. And how did he repay me? With exile. But I forgave him. And here, in the end, I thought maybe, just maybe, he could forgive me...I've been a fool. Let this be a lesson to you, Doctor -- perhaps the most valuable one I can ever teach you. Sentiment is the greatest weakness of all." "If that's true, it's a lesson I'd rather not learn," Bashir replies. Then Martok approaches. "I thought you might want to know. If you wish to speak to Tain, do it now. Before it's too late."

They go into the barracks. Tain is fading fast, unable to see, and when Garak falsely assures him they're alone, he rambles about past enemies and intrigues that were resolved years ago. "A man shouldn't allow his enemies to outlive him." "Then you can die happy," says Garak. "Unless you still consider me your enemy." Tain doesn't even acknowledge the opening Garak has given him, but he asks Garak to promise that he will escape and make the Dominion pay. "You wouldn't deny an old man his revenge, would you?" "I'll do as you ask," Garak tells him. "On one condition. That you don't ask me this favor as a mentor, or a superior officer -- but as a father asking his son."

Bashir reacts, surprised, as he finally fathoms the real reason that Garak has always seemed to feel so connected to Tain. For his part, the old Cardassian tries to deny it, but Garak won't have that. "I should have killed your mother before you were born," Tain finally growls. "You've always been a weakness I can't afford." "So you've told me, many times," Garak says sadly. "Listen, Enabran. All I ask is that for this moment, let me be your son." Tain is silent for a long moment. At last he makes an attempt to give Garak what he's asking for. He shares a memory with his son, of a day in the country when Garak was five -- the only day they really spent together as father and son. They both remember how Garak kept falling off a riding hound, but never gave up trying. "I was very proud of you, that day," Tain says, and dies with a slight smile on his face.

As Garak expressionlessly covers Tain's face and stands up, Martok and Worf enter. "Gentlemen," Garak tells them briskly, "I don't know about you, but my business here is done."

The last listening post, right beside the Gamma Quadrant end of the wormhole, goes dead. The DS9 officers know what this means: the Dominion fleet is only minutes away. O'Brien is almost ready with the graviton emitters. "Worf -- " Dax breathes. " -- Is a Klingon warrior," the Bashir Changeling tells her, just as Julian would. "He'll understand." At last the emitters are activated. "May the Prophets forgive us," Kira prays.

The beam shoots out from the station to the wormhole. Suddenly O'Brien's panel shorts out, causing the beam to fade on and off, and finally wink out. "What happened?" demands Sisko. "Someone sabotaged the emitter array," O'Brien reports. The Changeling's face betrays nothing as the wormhole opens and the Dominion fleet comes pouring out.

Sisko faces the viewscreen grimly. "Battle stations."

To be continued...

  • This episode is prefaced by a dedication honoring Derek Garth, a grip who had died in an automobile accident during the filming of the episode.
  • The revelation that Bashir had been a Changeling for the last few episodes was a late development; Alexander Siddig had naturally been unaware of this twist until now, so he had not been playing Bashir any differently.
  • Kirayoshi O'Brien is mentioned by name for the first time.
  • There is a glancing reference to Star Trek: First Contact ("the latest Borg attack").
  • The idea of Tain being Garak's father had been discussed among the staff ever since "The Wire".