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Past Tense, Part II

Production no.: 458
Teleplay by: Ira Steven Behr & René Echevarria
Story by: Ira Steven Behr & Robert Hewitt Wolfe
Directed by: Jonathan Frakes
Stardate: not given 
First satellite airdate: January 7, 1995
Jim Metzler ...........................
Frank Military .......................
Dick Miller ...........................
Deborah Van Valkenburgh ....
Al Rodrigo ............................
Clint Howard ........................
Richard Lee Jackson .............
Tina Lifford ..........................
Bill Smitrovich .......................
Mitch David Carter ...............
Daniel Zacapa ......................
Chris Brynner
Swat Leader
Henry Garcia

Continued from "Past Tense, Part II":

When B.C. tells one of his ghost cohorts to shoot the hostages if they try anything, Sisko declares that no one is shooting anyone. "We need them alive. They're the only thing we have to bargain with." They barricade the windows and close the blinds; then Vin steps out of a cubicle and attempts to arrest the hostage-takers. Sisko tackles him to prevent him from being shot by B.C.; Vin then is forced to become a hostage himself. B.C. wants to use Vin's access number to see what the media is saying about them on the net. When Vin refuses, Bernardo lets them use his instead.

Bashir and Sisko are able to have a quick private talk. Bashir is worried, not just about the hostages, but about Sisko. "Didn't you say Gabriel Bell died when the police stormed the building?" "Right," Sisko acknowledges. "But I'm not Bell." "No, but we're the only ones who know that."

As they're watching a newscast, Webb makes his way into the center, and Sisko vouches for him. "So much for our peaceful demonstration," says Webb wryly. "I know it's not what we talked about," Sisko says, "but it's what happened, and now we have to deal with it." He tells Webb to go out and find gimmies who can be trusted to help guard the hostages, and Webb agrees.

Dax is watching the newscast with Chris in his office. She says she has to get down to the Sanctuary district, because her friends are there. Chris argues that it's too dangerous, and she should wait until things settle down; but she insists. "I can't wait that long. By the time things settle down, my friends could be hurt, or even killed. They don't belong in there. None of those people do."

Going by the number of chroniton particles that interacted with the transporter beam that sent Sisko and the others back in time, O'Brien narrows the possible time periods to ten. Kira has a bandage over her nose to hide her Bajoran ridges; O'Brien tells her to say she broke her nose. She and O'Brien beam down into 1930's San Francisco, and he scans for transporter traces while she tries calling on her combadge. No response and no traces. As they stand there, a man and woman come out from a speakeasy and stare at them. "I broke my nose," Kira blurts out.

B.C. is a bit aggravated that Webb has brought in more gimmies, but finally sees the point that they need people to keep an eye on the building and the hostages. B.C. is thinking of trading them for amnesty, credit chips, and a flight to Tasmania. "We just can't think about ourselves," Sisko says. "There are ten thousand people living in here." He and Webb plan to demand that the Sanctuaries be closed, and the Federal Employment Act be reinstated. "Jobs?" says B.C. "You guys want jobs? When are you going to get it? There are no jobs. Not for us, anyway." But he agrees to do things their way.

To present the demands, Webb is chosen. Before he can get far, however, their access to the Interface is terminated. B.C. says angrily that this was a waste of time. "They don't care. No one cares about us." "Why should they?" says Vin, trying to exploit the moment. "You're all a bunch of losers...I just want these guys to know what they're in for. I bet the National Guard already has this place surrounded. Sooner or later, they're going to come rolling right in here, and you people aren't even gonna slow them down." "I really think we should kill this guy," B.C. says to Sisko.

A woman named Detective Preston comes on the terminal screen, obviously trying to defuse the situation. She cut off their access because it's department policy, and now she wants to see the hostages to make sure they're all right. B.C. drags Lee over and threatens her unless they get what they want. "Your friend has quite a temper," says Preston. "That's because he's angry," Webb tells her. "We all are."

As Webb talks to the detective, Sisko has a little chat with B.C., who admits he is tempted to relieve his stress by hurting a hostage. "I think you'd better find a way to deal with that stress," Sisko tells him, a veiled threat. Webb tells Sisko that Preston wants to meet with him by the main gate; Sisko goes with him, leaving Bashir in charge.

Preston negotiates with them, suggesting that giving up a hostage would show good faith on their parts. "Those hostages aren't going anywhere until we get what we want," says Sisko, and gives their demands. Preston says it's asking a lot. "I don't think so. What we want is to get out from behind these walls, to stop having to depend on handouts." "All we're asking for," adds Webb, "is a chance to get back on our feet again. We don't deserve to be locked up in here." Preston says she can't promise anything, but she'll make sure the governor hears their demands.

Bashir notices that Lee is looking ill, and asks gently if she's hypoglycemic. She admits she was afraid to say anything. Bashir promises to see about getting her some medicine. They talk a bit, and Lee says she just does her job and tries not to let it get to her. "It's not your fault that things are the way they are," Bashir tries to reassure her. "Everybody tells themselves that," Lee says sadly. "And nothing ever changes."

Late at night, with most of the captors asleep, and Sisko lost in thought, Vin tries making a break for it, but is caught. Sisko has to threaten B.C. to keep him from killing Vin. Finally the moment passes, and B.C. backs off. Sisko whirls on Vin and drags him into a cubicle. "I'm trying to save your life, and the lives of every hostage in that room. And mister, you are not making it easy." Vin asks, "If you're so concerned about our welfare, why don't you let us go?" "You don't know what any of this is about, do you?" Sisko says furiously. "You work here, you see these people every day, how they live, and you just don't get it!" "What do you want me to say?" Vin shoots back. "That I feel for them, that they got a bad break? What good would it do?" "It would be a start!" Sisko tells him.

Kira and O'Brien try again, beaming down onto the same street corner 30 years later, in the 1960's. They find no sign of their missing crewmates here, either. And the music is very loud. Then a hippie couple come out of a nearby bus, smile trippily, and hand them flowers, flashing peace signs. Kira and O'Brien uncertainly return the gesture, then are beamed out. "Wow," says the man as they vanish.

There is a quiet moment at breakfast during which Danny joins his father in the processing center, and Bashir, after giving Lee some medicine he found, looks at a picture Bernardo has of his family. "I realize this won't make what you're going through any easier," says Bashir, "but something good will come from all this." He's sure that in the future there won't be any need for places like this. "I hope you're right," says Lee. "Even though it'll mean I'll be out of a job." "I just want to get home, you know?" Bernardo says. Bashir can sympathize with that sentiment.

Sisko and Webb have another talk with Preston, who relays a message from the governor. If they let the hostages go, he will reduce the charges to incitement to riot. As to their demands, he will form a committee to look into the problems of the Sanctuary District residents. "So what you're telling us is that nothing is going to change," interprets Sisko. Preston temporizes that it will take time, and adds that the governor will not let this situation continue forever. "You tell him if he wants to see those hostages again, he's going to have to do better," says Webb, who privately tells Sisko as they walk away that he was bluffing.

Dax climbs up into the Sanctuary district through a manhole, and as she starts down the street, is followed by a dim named Grady. Meanwhile, Sisko and Bashir are trying to get online, but they are locked out. Sisko is certain that they will get on, however, because according to history, the residents did get onto the net and were able to tell their stories. Then B.C. appears with a "present" brought by a couple of dims. It's Dax, her combadge missing. Bashir clues her in to the fact that Sisko is going by the name Gabriel Bell, and she plays along. She tells them that she got in by recoding her ID card to get past the sanitation department checkpoint. "You crawled in through the sewers?" B.C. asks, incredulous. "You must really like these guys." He's obviously disappointed.

Dax goes into a cubicle with Sisko and Bashir to talk privately, and they bring her up to speed. She tells them that her combadge, set to emit a subspace distress signal, was taken by one of the men who brought her here. Sisko sends Bashir to help Dax get the combadge, and tells them to get away from this place. He will try to get back to the beam-in site, and if he can't make it, they'll have to leave without him. Bashir insists that he will stay and help Sisko with the hostages, and Sisko gives in. Dax says she can help with getting them access to the net again.

Dax brings Bashir to a building where she says the dims took her before taking her to the processing center. They call out, and a voice says, "There's nobody here." It's Grady, who has the combadge. Since the poor man is obviously delusional, Bashir and Dax play along with him as he makes himself "invisible" to hide from the "aliens". "They'll suck your brains out, right through your ears!" But when Dax says she's an alien, he decides she must be a good one. "Right," she says. "I'm here to protect Earth from its enemies. But I need that piece of jewelry you're holding to do it." Grady gives her the combadge, and Dax and Bashir go back to the manhole from which she emerged. She crawls back down.

Chris balks a little at what Dax asks him to do -- to let the Sanctuary residents log onto the Interface. "You are asking me to break the law," he argues. "I'm asking you to give those people a voice," she says. "Chris, sooner or later, the government is going to retake the Sanctuary District. When they do, a lot of people are going to die. And unless the public learns why the Sanctuary residents did what they did, all those deaths will be for nothing." Finally, Chris makes his choice. "You know, I'll lose my license -- but I'll get great ratings."

And he is as good as his word. Before long, one by one, gimmies are able to tell their stories on the net. But at the same time, Preston is talking to the governor, trying to convince him not to send in troops. She's heard the rumors too, but they're just rumors. However, the governor's mind is made up. They will be moving in soon.

O'Brien and Kira beam up to the Defiant again after a particularly rough visit to 2048. O'Brien figures that Sisko and the others must have gone to some point before then, due to the changes in the timeline that he saw in that year. There are three possibilities, but only enough chroniton particles for one more try. O'Brien makes his best guess, and he and Kira beam down one more time. And this time they're in the right time period; O'Brien picks up Dax's combadge distress signal. Kira contacts Dax, waking her up in Chris' office. She says she'll meet them where they are, and explain what's happening.

It's late, and Sisko is talking baseball with Vin and Bernardo when B.C. reports that another National Guard unit has arrived. "There's something going on out there." Sisko puts the hostages in Lee's cubicle, and Webb sends his son home, after B.C. gives Danny his hat. "What the hell. It's probably raining in Tasmania anyway."

The waiting ends, and the troops burst in. In a matter of moments, most of the hostage takers are dead, including Webb and B.C. Vin yells at the troops that they're OK, but a soldier puts him in his sights until Sisko jumps in front of him and is shot in the arm.

As quickly as it began, it's over. Vin berates the SWAT leader, and makes them let Bashir see to Sisko, before the SWAT team heads off to another area. Sisko will live, though he is saddened by Webb's death. They go out into the street, which is littered with bodies. Vin looks around in shock. "How could we have let this happen?" "The question is, how do we stop it from happening again?" says Bashir. Vin decides to let the two of them go, and switch their cards with two of the casualties. He asks if there's anything else he can do. Sisko tells him there is one thing. "Tell people the truth about what happened here." "I would've done that anyway," says Vin.

Sisko, Bashir, Dax, Kira, and O'Brien return to the Defiant and find, to their relief, that the timeline has been restored. Sisko is recovering from his wound when Bashir comes in with a PADD. "I thought you might like to see this. I found it in the historical database." The PADD contains a biography of someone named as Gabriel Bell, but the picture is Sisko's. "I'm not looking forward to explaining this to Starfleet Command," comments Sisko.

Bashir has one thing to ask. "You know, Commander, having seen a little of the twenty-first century, there is one thing I don't understand. How could they have let things get so bad?" Sisko looks somber. "That's a good question. I wish I had an answer."

  • When Kira and O'Brien beam down into the 1930's, there is a poster on a nearby wall advertising a boxing match. This poster is a recreation of the one seen when Kirk and Spock first time-travel to the 1930's in "City on the Edge of Forever" (TOS). (Another poster, seen during the '60's sequence, advertised a rock concert by Berman's Rainbow Dreamers at the Behr Theatre.)
  • The uncredited actors playing the couple who see O'Brien and Kira in the 1930's also play the hippies who see them in the 1960's.
  • Ira Steven Behr had hoped to get rock star Iggy Pop to play Grady, the delusional homeless man, but Pop wasn't available. However, three years later, Pop did play Yelgrun in "The Magnificent Ferengi".