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Production no.: 567
Written by: René Echevarria
Directed by: Steve Posey
Stardate: 52576.2 
First satellite airdate: April 3, 1999
Penny Johnson .......
Jeffrey Combs .......
Marc Alaimo .........
Casey Biggs ..........
Deborah Lacey ......
Salome Jens ..........
Michelle Horn ........
Majel Barrett .........
Judi Durand ...........
Female Changeling
Federation Computer Voice
Station Computer Voice

Sisko is looking at a picture of a beautiful piece of land on Bajor, which he shows to Kasidy. The land is his: he just bought it, and plans to build a house there after the war. Sisko tells Kasidy that he never expected when he first came here that he would become so attached to Bajor. "From the moment I set foot on this station, nothing has turned out the way I imagined it." He feels now that it was his destiny. "I guess when your mother turns out to be part Prophet, or part wormhole alien, or whatever it is you want to call her, words like destiny begin to mean something," observes Kasidy. They talk a little about Sisko's mother, Sarah, and share a close moment.

Ezri, O'Brien, and Bashir are talking in the replimat. Ezri has met up with Jadzia's old lover, Captain Boday. During the conversation, Kira approaches with some bad news. The Rotarran and Koraga were ambushed near the Badlands by a Dominion patrol; Worf was commanding the Koraga. Six escape pods from that ship were recovered by the Rotarran, but Worf wasn't aboard any of them.

The search has been going on for three days, and Quark tries to make Ezri feel better as she has a drink at the bar. He tells her that Worf will be back; the reason he's so sure is that Worf bought his crew three barrels of bloodwine, and didn't pay the tab. "Do you really think he'd go to Sto'Vo'Kor owing me money?" "He doesn't even like you," says Ezri. "Exactly," Quark says. "He couldn't enjoy the afterlife knowing I had something on him." Ezri thanks him.

That night, she is in bed when Sisko calls from the Defiant to let her know they're calling off the search, because there are Jem'Hadar ships closing in on them. "Let's face it, the odds aren't good. We don't even know if he made it off the Koraga. I'm sorry."

On Cardassia, Weyoun tells Damar to divert ships from pursuing the Defiant to protect a new Ketracel-white facility. Their conversation moves to the huge casualties Cardassia has taken in the war, a fact which Damar resents; his people are not as easily replaced as the Jem'Hadar. Weyoun looks on disapprovingly as Damar takes a drink. He tells him that the Founder wants a secure subspace comlink installed in her quarters. Damar asks why the secrecy. "That doesn't concern you," Weyoun says. Damar scowls bitterly as the Vorta exits. "No, of course it doesn't."

Ezri finds herself in the quarters Jadzia used to share with Worf, lost in memories. Among them is the voice of Sirella, asking her if she swears to join with Worf and stand with him against all who would oppose them. "I swear," says Ezri aloud. A little later, when the Defiant docks, Kira tells Sisko that Ezri is gone, and there's a runabout missing. The conclusion is obvious: she went to look for Worf. "What could she be thinking?" fumes Bashir. "She's a Dax," says Sisko. "Sometimes they don't think. They just do."

Ezri is fighting spacesickness when Sisko calls to tell her to get back to the station; she imitates static in a feeble attempt to pretend she can't read him clearly. "Cut it out, old man. I'm not buying it," says Sisko. But Ezri is determined. "Don't worry, sir. I'll find him." Sisko tells Kira to let her go, and send her a copy of the Defiant's sensor logs so she won't search the same area they did. Odo asks why he's letting Ezri do this, when there's very little chance of success. "Because she needs to," says Sisko. "And because she'd never forgive me if I stopped her."

In the runabout, Ezri determines that the Koraga's six starboard escape pods were recovered, but none from the port side, and has the computer calculate the trajectory of the port escape pod closest to the bridge. The path leads to the Badlands, and Ezri follows. She cuts the engines, on a hunch that the plasma currents will take her to where they would have taken Worf.

Sisko is making a model of the house he plans to build on Bajor, to keep his mind off things, when Kasidy joins him, and they discuss the design. "It's your house," she finally says. Sisko looks at her. "I want it to be our house. Let's get married." Kasidy accepts his proposal, and the ring he gives her, which is actually a rubber gasket from his model-building supply.

The runabout is swept by the Badlands currents until finally Ezri sees an escape pod drifting. She tractors it, and beams the occupant aboard; it's a slightly groggy Worf, who has a cut on his head. Ezri admits that she took a runabout without permission. "You're a fellow officer. I would've done the same for Kira or Julian." "Of course," says Worf. As she dabs at his wound, they find their faces very close together. Worf finally grips her wrist, telling her he'll do it himself. Ezri says she'll contact the station. Both are uncomfortable with what just happened.

Weyoun is summoned to the Female Changeling's quarters; her skin is flaking and parched-looking, an indication of the progress of her disease. She finds her new communications system adequate, but wants to know how the vaccine is coming. Weyoun tells her it failed to stabilize her latest sample, and the Founder orders him to have the Vorta doctors document their efforts, then eliminate them and activate their clones. "Perhaps a fresh perspective will speed matters along." Weyoun assures her that the Cardassians know nothing of the illness. The Founder approves, considering it none of their allies' business. "We must not show weakness." Weyoun leaves after deferentially asking for and receiving another sample, which she peels from her face.

Jake is delighted to hear the news of his father's upcoming wedding, and can't resist feeling triumphant, as he was the one who set Sisko up with Kasidy in the first place. "If you're going to take credit, you are also going to have to take on responsibilities," Sisko tells him, and asks him to be his best man. Jake shakes his hand, touched. "I'm honored. Best man, huh?...That means I get to plan the bachelor party."

It's been a long, quiet trip in the runabout, as Worf makes busywork for himself to avoid talking to Ezri. She can't stand it anymore, and starts up a conversation anyway, about what he did in the escape pod (he sang Klingon opera). Ezri mentions her memory of when he first played one for Jadzia, then apologizes. Worf says there's no need. "Though I would prefer we not discuss her." "I understand," says Ezri. She asks about Alexander, who is now weapons officer on the Ya'Vang. But this only leads them back to Jadzia again. From there, they start arguing about the fact that Worf has been avoiding Ezri since she came to the station.

Then sensors detect two Jem'Hadar ships closing on them. Since they can't outrun them, Worf ducks the runabout into the Goralis system, in hopes of losing their pursuers. The Jem'Hadar fire, and hit them. The runabout dives into a planet's atmosphere. Another hit takes out their starboard thrusters. Worf and Ezri are forced to abandon ship, grabbing emergency backpacks and weapons. They beam to the planet, in time to see the runabout explode. Worf tells Ezri to set up a comlink to contact the station. But they don't have one; each thought the other one was getting it. Ezri chooses to be philosophical. "Look on the bright side -- we'll have plenty of time to talk."

Sisko and Kasidy are at the replimat, discussing their wedding. What they have in mind is a simple, small ceremony in the wardroom, officiated by Admiral Ross, with only family and friends in attendance. Then Sahgi, a little Bajoran girl, comes up to them, asking Kasidy if she can be one of the 51 dais bearers in the bridal procession. It seems the word has gotten out. "People are saying it's going to be the biggest wedding Bajor's ever seen," Sahgi says excitedly. Sisko and Kasidy look onto the Promenade, where a crowd of Bajorans are smiling at them. "Kasidy, I think this is going to be a little more complicated than we thought," Sisko says.

Damar is cuddling with a mistress when none other than Dukat comes in and orders the woman to leave. He's wearing civilian clothes. Damar observes that the last time Dukat was here, he made promises he couldn't keep. "I may have failed to reopen the wormhole, but I assure you, I have no regrets," Dukat announces. "You see, I've come to know the love of the pah-wraiths." He asks what Damar believes in, and Damar says Cardassia. Dukat says then they're still on the same side. He needs Damar's help. "I'm afraid you have an exaggerated sense of my importance," Damar says. However, he assures Dukat he'll do what he can.

It's been six days since the runabout was destroyed. Worf brings an animal he has killed to camp, proud of his hunting prowess, but Ezri is disgusted. "Jadzia would have understood," he grumbles as he prepares to skin and eat the creature. "Oh, I thought we weren't supposed to talk about her," Ezri says. She hasn't been able to boost their combadge signal enough to reach the station. "I'll bet Jadzia would've been able to do it," she snips. The two of them continue to get on each other's nerves. Worf has a bee in his bonnet about Captain Boday. He's jealous, even though that affair was over before he met Jadzia. The argument builds until she finally starts to slug him; he catches her wrist, and suddenly they're kissing. Later, they wake up in each other's arms, to find themselves facing two Breen, who stun them.

Waking up again, this time in a cell, Worf and Ezri try to puzzle out why the Breen would take them prisoner, and what they were doing on Goralis. Awkwardly, Worf asks if she regrets last night. "Jadzia explained to me that joined Trill are not supposed to become involved with anyone they were intimate with in a previous life." "I bet you've broken a few Klingon rules in your time," Ezri replies. They hear power systems firing up, and deduce they're on a Breen ship.

At a briefing with Damar, Weyoun notices the legate's pacing and asks what's wrong with him. Damar makes an excuse, and is saved from further explanation by a summons to his quarters. "If you think I don't know what you're up to, you're a bigger fool than Dukat," says Weyoun, but it turns out he's talking about the fact that both of them frequently entertain ladyfriends. "Guilty as charged," says Damar, and heads off to his quarters to meet Dukat, who has undergone a startling transformation: thanks to a surgeon Damar procured, he has been altered to look like a Bajoran.

Ezri and Worf's disappearance has not gone unnoticed at the station, but unfortunately the Defiant hasn't been able to search for them due to Dominion activity at their last known position. Sisko is working on his house model when suddenly he has a Prophet-vision. A wormhole alien speaks to him in the form of Sarah Sisko. "You must accept your destiny," she intones. "Your path is a difficult one. She cannot share it with you...She cannot walk the same path." Realizing she means Kasidy, Sisko says he loves her and they're going to get married. But the Prophet says that's not his destiny.

"My destiny is my own," argues Sisko. "I'm a man. I have the right to live my life without your interference!" "I gave you life," the Prophet counters, reminding him that she shared Sarah's existence so that he would be born. "You must walk the path alone." "You're not listening to me," Sisko exclaims. "I want to spend my life with her." The Prophet tells him, "If you do, you will know nothing but sorrow."

Sisko accuses her of not caring how he feels, but she says he is part of her. "If that's true -- if you really do care about me, if you do consider me your son, then let me have this," he pleads, anguished. But the Prophet replies, "It is not for you to have. There are still many tasks ahead of you. Accept your fate. Your greatest trial is about to begin. Don't be afraid. All will be as it should be." Tenderly, she touches Sisko's cheek, and he whispers, "Mother." "Stay on the path, Benjamin." And Sisko comes to, alone.

  • Sisko's model house was a reworking of Molly O'Brien's dollhouse, which was built for "Time's Orphan" but never shown. The dollhouse had been based on a design used in "Progress".
  • René Echevarria called the runabout Ezri uses the Ganges, which was the name of a runabout destroyed in the second season. The name Gander (after a river in Canada) had to be dubbed onto the audio track.