Production no.: 409
Teleplay by: Morgan Gendel and Robert Hewitt Wolfe & Michael Piller
Story by: Morgan Gendel
Directed by: Paul Lynch
Stardate: not given
First satellite airdate: February 20, 1993
Caitlin Brown ............
James Lashly ............
Christopher Collins .....
James Harper ............
On the way home to DS9 from a medical emergency with Bashir, Kira forces herself to admit how impressed she was by the doctor's work in reviving a woman who had died. Unfortunately, Bashir can't take a compliment without sounding like an ass: "I impressed myself on that one, actually...I just seem to have a talent, I suppose, a vision..." Kira is about ready to tell him what she really thinks, when a distress signal comes in from the Kobliad transport Reyab. The ship's central power linkage has exploded, they are losing life support, and the aft structural integrity field is failing. Quickly, Kira signals the Reyab that they're on their way.
They beam onto a burning ship, with a female Kobliad security officer unconscious on the floor. When Bashir brings her around, she says that the pilot is dead. Bashir reads another lifeform behind a door, but the woman urgently warns Bashir not to open it. The room holds a prisoner she was transporting, who started the fire to escape. But the man -- also Kobliad -- is dying, and Bashir is determined to save him. He finally gets the door open, and starts to work on the man inside, despite the woman's insistence that he is dangerous. Bashir is about to transport him to the runabout when the man's hand shoots out. Grabbing Bashir's throat, he whispers, "Make...me...live," then dies.
When the woman awakes again later in DS9's infirmary, she introduces herself as Ty Kajada, from Kobliad security. Learning that she is on DS9, she exclaims that that's where "he" was going -- her prisoner, Rao Vantika. Bashir tells her that Vantika is dead, and Kajada insists on seeing the body. When she sees it, she asks if Bashir is sure it's the same body, and if he's run a retinal imaging scan. Bashir is nonplused by her seeming obsession, but Kajada says Vantika has faked his death more times than she can say. "The last time someone thought he was dead, they didn't live to regret the mistake." The description of murderer doesn't do Vantika justice, according to Kajada. He was a scientist who killed others to prolong his own life, and she has tracked him for twenty years. Stabbing the body with a tool, Kajada tells Bashir to perform an autopsy and a DNA reference scan to confirm his identity. She also wants her ship scanned for anomalous life forms.
In Quark's, Odo is engaging in his usual verbal tug-of-war with Quark, this time about Dax, with a Starfleet officer sitting nearby. Then Odo drops in a mention of a deuridium shipment that is coming to the station. Quark is all innocence, but Odo warns him, "I'm watching you, Quark." He leaves, followed by the Starfleet officer -- Lt. George Primmin, of Security. "Interesting technique," Primmin says sarcastically, wondering if Odo always prepares for an important operation by leaking word of it to the local black market. Odo replies shortly that how he handles his job is not Primmin's concern. Security for the shipment is already in place, but Primmin says he wants to discuss it anyway. Grudgingly, Odo tells the lieutenant to meet him in his office later.
Bashir tells Dax, Kira, and Sisko that the autopsy revealed nothing out of the ordinary, and all tests matched up perfectly with the identifying records provided by Kajada. As for why Vantika was coming to DS9, it was because of the deuridium shipment. The Kobliad race is dying out, and needs deuridium to stabilize their cell structure and prolong their lifespans; the Federation has been helping out by finding new supplies of it, including deposits found in the Gamma Quadrant. But the stuff is so scarce that some Kobliad have gone underground to get it.
Sisko asks if Kajada was satisfied with the autopsy, but Bashir doesn't think anything will convince her that Vantika is dead. Sisko decides to grant Kajada the courtesy of complying with her requests, within reason, and orders a quick sweep of her ship. What has him more worried is that Vantika may have had accomplices waiting on the station to help him hijack the deuridium. Primmin then arrives for a security briefing with Sisko; Kira offers to have Odo join them, but Primmin says that's okay, he'll fill Odo in later on anything he needs to know.
In his office, Sisko asks how Primmin is getting along with Odo. It's obvious that Primmin doesn't think much of the constable. He tells Sisko about Odo having told Quark about the deuridium shipment. Sisko replies that it's hard to keep a secret on this station, and almost everyone knows about the shipment by now. Odo was simply putting Quark on notice. If Primmin is smart, he might even learn some things about security from Odo. Having made himself clear, Sisko tells Primmin of the possible hijacking plot, and suggests that Primmin and Odo talk with Kajada.
Primmin enters Odo's office with an apology, which Odo frostily accepts. He starts to show Primmin the precautions he has taken, but something is wrong with the computer. Odo calls Ops, and learns from Kira that everything in active memory has been accessed and purged. Kajada enters the office at that moment and comments ominously that Vantika did the same thing on Rigel VII.
Kajada is more convinced than ever that Vantika is still alive. It doesn't make sense to Primmin that Vantika would go after a single file by purging the entire memory of the computer, but it does make sense to Odo. The single file is protected by several lockouts; however, they can't lock out the active memory of the whole system, because then they wouldn't be able to use the computer at all. Thinking like Vantika, Kajada says that he's been known to use a subspace shunt attached to a secondary system that isn't covered by security. Sure enough, Dax finds an unauthorized tap into the computer system at a temperature control panel. Odo and Primmin figuratively bump heads ordering security to investigate.
Sisko admits to Kajada that he's having a hard time with her theory. Couldn't this have been done by an accomplice? Kajada retorts that Vantika is obsessed with his own survival; she is certain that he had a plan in place when he started the fire on her ship, and it succeeded. Sisko decides that until the results of the DNA trace come back, they will operate under the assumption that Vantika is alive.
Odo asks to speak with Sisko; once they are alone, he announces his resignation. Sisko tries to smooth the constable's ruffled feathers, but what Odo wants is clear jurisdiction, or he is out. Sisko appreciates the fact that he always knows where Odo stands, but at the same time, Odo must understand that Starfleet has to assign its own security here as well. Odo concedes this, but asks who is in charge. "You are," Sisko tells him. "I can live with that arrangement," Odo says.
Dax has found no anomalous readings on Kajada's ship, but she has determined that someone tried to break into its cargo bay, after it was docked. She tells Sisko they were probably after a chip which she found in Vantika's personal belongings. It contains a map of a humanoid brain.
Quark is cleaning up his bar after hours, having dismissed his waiters, when he is grabbed from behind, and a whispering voice asks if he has made the preparations. Quark was supposed to hire mercenaries to help hijack the deuridium. "I was told you were dead," Quark gasps. "Almost, but not quite," Vantika says.
Kajada enters the infirmary to see the DNA scan results, which Bashir thought she might want to check out. The identification is without a doubt: the body is Vantika, not a clone. Kajada promptly says they must have overlooked something. Then Bashir is called to the lab by Dax, who has a hypothesis for him, that a mind can live on after the body dies, in another brain. The closest thing Bashir knows of is synaptic pattern displacement, which has never been done by a non-Vulcan. But Dax thinks Vantika was working on a way. If another entity could share the unused portion of a humanoid brain, Vantika's consciousness could be occupying someone else's brain right now. Both Dax and Bashir immediately think of Kajada, an obvious choice since she is of the same species. "What better place to hide than in the mind of your worst enemy?" Dax says.
Sisko, however, wonders why Kajada would try to convince everyone Vantika is alive, if Vantika is controlling her; but Bashir and Dax say that Kajada is probably not aware of his presence. They could confirm it with an exam, but they would have to determine the method of transfer first. In the meantime, Odo and Primmin both think Kajada should be monitored, and Odo suggests that she be kept out of the security plans for the shipment. Odo takes the job of breaking it to Kajada, who is not happy. "What kind of fool are you?" she asks Odo, who replies, "My own special variety."
Late at night, on Quark's second level, Quark is meeting with a mercenary named Durg and his two cohorts, working out their salary. They are overheard by Kajada, who unexpectedly slips and falls from the railing of the third level. In the infirmary, she tells the DS9 officers, "Pushed...Vantika." Quark says he saw no one else, and claims he was alone in the bar, just tidying up. He leaves with Odo, who wants to see that third floor before Quark has a chance to get rid of any evidence. Bashir tells Sisko that Kajada hasn't seemed suicidal, but who knows how she might have been affected by sharing her brain?
Sisko finds Dax in the stasis room, examining some dirt she has dug out from under the corpse's fingernails, in pursuit of a theory. She has been wondering why anyone would want to induct a bio-electrical charge into a glial cell, and thinks that the answer may be to send a bio-coded message along the glial cells of someone's nervous system. Dax thinks that that was Vantika's goal, and that he delivered the message using a microscopic generator under his fingernails, with a weak electrical charge to avoid notice by the ship's sensors. His neural patterns were encoded as bio-electrical pulses, stored under his nail in case he needed an escape route in an emergency. Now that they know what to look for, they can scan Kajada.
There is an hour to go before the deuridium arrives, and Kira is overseeing last-minute security preparations when Odo comes up and asks where Primmin is. He had sent him to help Kira with the final security sweep. Meanwhile, Quark is taking the mercenaries to a runabout pad, as their employer has somehow managed to arrange access. The employer is waiting for them on board. When Quark opens the airlock, he is shocked to see Bashir there. Quark sputters that they must have made a wrong turn, but Bashir says in a strange, whispery voice, "Not at all, gentlemen. I've been expecting you." At approximately the same time, Dax goes looking for Bashir in the infirmary, and finds his combadge, but no Julian.
Odo finally finds Primmin in a corridor with an open panel. Primmin has gotten inspired to look for more sabotage by Vantika, in the form of another subspace shunt on a non-vital system. And he has found one, set to feedback the primary command and control functions. It would have shut the station down for close to an hour, Odo realizes.
The freighter Norkova arrives on schedule with the deuridium, as Odo and Primmin arrive in Ops. Odo gives Primmin his due by crediting him with the discovery of the second shunt. Then Kira asks if Odo deployed a runabout to escort the Norkova. No, Odo didn't, but the Rio Grande is going out to meet it. And Dax enters Ops with the news that Bashir is missing. Sisko asks the computer who authorized access to the Rio Grande, and the answer is Dr. Julian Bashir.
The mercenaries board the Norkova and kill the three bridge crew members before Bashir (or rather, Vantika) beams over. He orders shields up, and has two mercenaries go to secure the rest of the ship. Suddenly they are grabbed by a tractor beam from the station, which, Vantika angrily exclaims, should have been shut down by now. As the station hails them, Vantika tells Durg to engage the engines at full impulse so that they can't be pulled in, and opens a channel. Sisko wants to speak to Bashir; Vantika says, "Unfortunately, he's not available at the moment." He might consider returning the doctor if the tractor beam is released. Otherwise he'll take the vessel to warp, ripping it apart and killing everyone on board, including Bashir. Sisko has one minute to decide.
Unable to beam Bashir/Vantika back, Sisko asks for suggestions. Having another runabout come out and blast them would only spread deuridium into the system. Dax, however, has an exact model of Vantika's neural energy patterns, and can disrupt them with an electromagnetic pulse, which will hopefully free Bashir. Sisko thinks they can send it along the tractor beam at the same frequency as their shields. The minute is up; they are hailed by Vantika. Sisko talks to him, stalling while Dax goes to work. He asks what guarantee he has of Bashir's safety, and denies that he is planning a rescue attempt. Vantika doesn't buy it, and tells Durg to prepare for warp. Sisko says he doesn't think Vantika has gone to these great lengths to survive just to kill himself, and Vantika counters that he doesn't think Sisko wants to spread deuridium over the system.
Ordered to prepare to engage, Durg exclaims that he wants no part of this, and is promptly and brutally shot by Vantika, who sits at the helm and asks Sisko what's it to be. Sisko says they're prepared to release the tractor beam; Dax says she's ready, and sends the pulse.
Vantika grabs his head in agony, and suddenly Bashir is back, dazed and confused. Sisko urges him to lower the shields. As Bashir reaches for them, Vantika tries to take back control, pulling him back, but Bashir manages to finally hit the panel. Primmin beams him to DS9. Bashir materializes, telling everyone, "It's OK...it's me," but Sisko isn't taking any chances, and stuns him.
The doctor is taken to the stasis room, where he is placed under a portable transporter device that's been installed in the ceiling; on the next pad is a tech device. Dax activates the transporter, isolating the glial cells with Vantika's neural patterns and beaming them into the micro-containment field. The device begins to blink, and Dax checks Bashir, who is now clear. As he is brought to consciousness, he groans, "I have the worst headache."
Later, with Bashir recovered and Kajada about to leave, Kajada offers her sympathy. Bashir doesn't remember anything about what happened, and says he feels quite humiliated, but Sisko tells him no one blames him. Dax asks Kajada what she intends to do with the energy containment cell, which is sitting right there. Since Sisko agrees that custody of the prisoner is now back in Kajada's hands, Kajada calmly raises her phaser and shoots, disintegrating the cell and Vantika along with it. Then she simply walks away.
In Morgan Gendel's original storyline, Kajada was supposed to be the one in whom Vantika had implanted his consciousness, but in the finished script, she was made into a red herring.