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Past Prologue

Production no.: 404
Written by: Katharyn Powers
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Stardate: not given
First satellite airdate: January 9, 1993
Jeffrey Nordling ....... 
Andrew Robinson .... 
Gwynyth Walsh ....... 
Barbara March ........ 
Susan Bay ............... 
Vaughn Armstrong ... 
Richard Ryder ......... 
Gul Danar 
Bajoran Deputy

Dr. Julian Bashir is having lunch in the replimat when, much to his surprise, he is joined by Garak, the station's only remaining Cardassian resident, who owns a tailor shop on the Promenade. Garak, believed by some to be the eyes and ears of Central Command, suavely introduces himself and invites Bashir to patronize his shop, or to simply share a bit of pleasant company now and then. The young doctor nervously stumbles his way through the conversation, then rushes to Ops and excitedly regales the other officers with a tale of his mysterious encounter.

The conversation is interrupted when sensors show a small Bajoran scout vessel trying to evade a Cardassian warship which is firing on it. The scout ship is breaking up, and O'Brien beams the pilot into Ops. It is a Bajoran who says his name is Tahna Los, and requests political asylum. Then he sees Kira, and recognizes her. As he is taken unconscious from Ops, Kira explains that they fought together in the underground.

Gul Danar, captain of the Cardassian ship, demands that Tahna be turned over to him, but Sisko informs him that Tahna has requested asylum. Danar counters that Tahna is a member of the Kohn-Ma, a group that not even the Bajorans would grant asylum to; he claims that Tahna has committed heinous crimes against the Cardassian people. Sisko invites Danar to dock at DS9 and explain why he fired on a Bajoran ship in Bajoran space, then tells O'Brien to come up with docking regulations to keep Danar at bay long enough for Sisko to figure out what's up.

On their way to the infirmary, Sisko and Kira talk. Tahna is indeed one of the Kohn-Ma, a particularly violent terrorist group which hasn't let a little thing like the end of the war stop them from fighting the Cardassians. Nor are they above assassinating Bajoran political leaders who don't agree with their goals. Sisko makes it clear that he will not let Tahna use political asylum as a cover for more acts of violence, and warns Kira that he has no room for divided loyalties in his command. Kira retorts that her loyalty is to Bajor, and if Bajor is to rebuild, it will need the repatriation of Tahna and splinter groups like the Kohn-Ma.

Tahna regains consciousness after Sisko and Kira arrive, and seems surprised to learn that Kira is now a major, and liaison officer to the Federation here, though she says she is still fighting for Bajor in her own way. After she leaves, Tahna is not exactly forthcoming to Sisko about why the Cardassians were chasing him, though he admits to acts of violence against them since the war's end, but says he is tired of the killing.

Kira talks to a Starfleet admiral, complaining about Sisko, who she says doesn't understand the issues involved here. Admiral Rollman promises to stay in close touch with the situation. When Sisko returns to Ops, the admiral calls on subspace to tell him about her talk with Kira. She says Sisko has a problem, meaning his first officer.

In the infirmary with Tahna, Kira assures him that she has not forgotten what it's like out there just because she now wears this uniform, and that Sisko will hand Tahna over to the Cardassians over her dead body. Meanwhile, Danar's ship has been finally allowed to dock, but the gul is not pleased to learn that Sisko is granting Tahna asylum "for now". If the Cardassians want to take up the matter with the Bajoran provisional government after Tahna has relocated to Bajor, they can, says Sisko.

Tahna has been released from the infirmary. In his quarters with Kira, he insinuates that she has become a puppet of the Federation. Kira takes the bait, insisting that she is not, but that Bajor needs the Federation's protection, especially now with the discovery of the wormhole. Without the Federation, the Cardassians will be back to take over again. But Tahna wants Bajor for Bajorans only, though he claims he is finished with the Kohn-Ma. He says there are other members that might follow him, if they are guaranteed amnesty.

Odo is called to deal with a situation at a Promenade airlock: two Klingon women are refusing to surrender their weapons. They are Lursa and B'Etor of the Duras family; and they finally hand over their disruptors when Odo gives them an ultimatum. Odo reports their arrival to Sisko, who recognizes their names. The two sisters had tried to grab control of the Klingon High Council a few years back, and are now trying to raise capital to rebuild their forces. Odo suggests that he simply lock them up and tell the Klingons to come get them; but Sisko orders him to just keep an eye on them instead.

Bashir joins Garak, who is eating dinner at Quark's while he observes Lursa and B'Etor, remarking that those two "outfits" are worth studying closely. The sisters are also being watched by Odo, who sees them immediately get up to leave when Tahna enters. They meet with Tahna in a cargo bay; they're impatient for payment, which Tahna assures them is on its way. After they leave, a rat which happened to be in the cargo bay morphs into Odo.

Kira tells Sisko that she's confident the Ministers' Court will vote to grant amnesty to Tahna and two other Kohn-Ma who are on their way. Sisko promises to guarantee their safety. When Kira admits that this wouldn't have been possible without Sisko's support, Sisko tells her to mention it next time she talks with Admiral Rollman. He warns Kira that if she goes over his head again, he'll have hers on a platter.

Odo reports the conversation he overheard in the cargo bay to Sisko, who suspects that the two other Kohn-Ma that will arrive soon are bringing the payment for whatever it is Tahna is buying from Lursa and B'Etor. The Klingon sisters, meanwhile, visit the tailor shop to ask Garak what Tahna is worth to the Cardassian authorities, in gold-pressed latinum. He gives them a price, which they reject; but Garak quickly offers to haggle.

When Kira gives Tahna the good news, that amnesty is now a sure thing, Tahna snidely compliments her on being an accomplished politician. From a remark he drops, Kira realizes that he and the Kohn-Ma had known she was here on DS9, and counted on her aid. She feels betrayed; but Tahna accuses her of hypocrisy, or at least naivete. He says that once Bajor is in bed with the Federation, it'll never be able to get out again. But he and his confederates are planning something to change that -- without violence, he promises. They need a small ship with warp capability. Tahna admits he gambled that Kira would help, but he won't say what the plan is, exactly. Kira asks how Tahna knows she won't just go to Sisko. Tahna replies that if she does, they'll both know where her loyalties really are.

Garak sits down again with Bashir at lunch, and indicates the two Kohn-Ma members talking to Tahna. The Cardassian tells Bashir pointedly to buy a suit at his shop, at precisely 2055 hours that night. Getting Garak's broad hints at last, Bashir feels out of his depth. He appeals to Sisko, who says thoughtfully that sometimes communications can't be conducted through official channels, and that Bashir could definitely use a new suit.

A troubled Kira pays a visit to Odo, whose opinion she respects because of his lack of pretense. She doesn't state outright the specifics of her dilemma, but Odo easily guesses at its nature, and obliquely advises her that what's important is that Kira not betray herself. When he senses she's made her decision, Odo calls Sisko and says there's someone who wants to talk to him.

Bashir arrives at Garak's shop, where the Cardassian hustles him into a fitting booth and tells him to stay quiet. There, Bashir overhears Garak telling Lursa and B'Etor that they will receive the agreed-on payment on delivery of Tahna Los. The sisters say the Cardassians can have Tahna after their business with him is concluded, in four hours. They will deliver to Tahna a cylinder of bilitrium, at the dark side of Bajor VIII's lower moon. After the sisters leave, Garak informs Bashir that bilitrium is a crystalline element that can be highly explosive, in combination with an antimatter converter. Unfortunately, that's why the Cardassians were chasing Tahna: he stole one. With the bilitrium, Tahna will have the ingredients for a super bomb.

Now the DS9 officers know most of what's going on, except the purpose of the bomb. Kira says the best way to find out is if they give Tahna the runabout, and if she goes along. Otherwise, Tahna will figure out that they're on to him. Sisko agrees. He and O'Brien will be in another runabout hiding behind the moon, while Dax will be in touch and keeping an eye on the Cardassians.

After Sisko and O'Brien are in position, Kira and Tahna head out. Kira watches Tahna charging up the antimatter converter, and pretends not to know what it is, or why a Klingon ship is decloaking dead ahead. Lursa and B'Etor beam aboard the runabout long enough to deliver the bilitrium and accept Tahna's latinum, then beam off. Sisko and O'Brien move to intercept, as does Gul Danar's warship.

Tahna is ready to run, but says they don't have to go far. When Kira lunges for a phaser, he knocks her down, realizing that she has tricked him. He threatens to destroy the colonies of Bajor VIII unless she sets course for DS9. Sisko orders them to drop out of warp, but Tahna's response is that if they fire, he will detonate the armed bilitrium device. Sisko tries to enlist Gul Danar's aid in intercepting the other runabout before it reaches DS9, but the Cardassian ship will be too late.

Tahna has Kira adjust their heading, aiming for the wormhole. His plan is to collapse the wormhole's entrance, thus eliminating the reason for any other powers to be interested in Bajor. As the runabout enters the wormhole, Kira attacks Tahna. The scuffle lasts long enough for the runabout to make it all the way through into the Gamma Quadrant. When Tahna finally launches the bomb, it explodes harmlessly clear of the wormhole.

Contacted by Sisko, Tahna attempts to use Kira as a hostage, but when Sisko warns him of the Cardassian ship, Tahna finally has an attack of common sense, and surrenders his phaser to Kira. He is taken into custody by Odo as soon as he boards DS9 again.

When Kira tells him that one day he'll understand, Tahna gives her a cold glare and calls her a traitor before he is hauled off. Hurt by the accusation, Kira can only walk away, with a silent Sisko at her side.

  • This was the second regular one-hour episode to be filmed, but the first to be aired.
  • Actress Susan Bay, who played the admiral (and reprised the role in "Whispers") is the wife of original Trek cast member Leonard Nimoy.