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Sacrifice of Angels

Production no.: 530
Written by: Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
Directed by: Allan Kroeker
Stardate: not given 
First satellite airdate: November 1, 1997
Andrew J. Robinson .....
Jeffrey Combs .............
Marc Alaimo ...............
Max Grodénchik ..........
Aron Eisenberg ............
J.G. Hertzler ................
Melanie Smith ..............
Casey Biggs ................
Chase Masterson .........
Salome Jens .................
Darin Cooper ...............
Female Changeling
Cardassian Officer

Continuing from "Favor the Bold"...

The Federation fleet faces a huge Dominion armada that outnumbers them nearly two to one. "I feel sorry for the Klingons," comments Garak. "They're going to miss a very interesting fight." "I have a feeling we're going to miss them," O'Brien says. Sisko tells the attack fighters to concentrate their fire on the Cardassian ships, in hopes that the Cardassians will break formation to go after them, thus opening a hole to punch through. As the fleet prepares to engage, O'Brien quotes, "Cannon to the right of them/Cannon to the left of them/Cannon in front of them/Volley'd and thunder'd." Bashir picks it up. "Storm'd at with shot and shell/Boldly they rode and well/Into the Jaws of Death/Into the mouth of hell/...Rode the six hundred." The poem makes Nog nervous, but O'Brien reminds him to focus on the job. Sisko orders the fighters to fire at will, and the battle begins.

The Cardassian ships don't take the bait immediately, but the Federation fighters keep hammering at them. At Terok Nor, Dukat, Weyoun, Damar, and the Female Changeling observe the battle. Dukat recognizes Sisko's strategy, and explains it to the Founder. He plans to give Sisko the opening he wants, and then close it on him. The Founder says to proceed, and leaves after Dukat tells her and Weyoun that they should be able to detonate the minefield in eight hours.

Alone with Dukat, Damar voices his concern about further sabotage attempts by Rom's associates. He doubts that the Ferengi was working alone, and proposes that Leeta, Jake, and Kira be placed in custody at least until the wormhole is reopened. "It's a wise precaution," agrees Dukat. "But our Bajoran 'allies' might object to an arrest without cause. If anyone asks, we are merely holding them for questioning." He tells Damar to make sure they're not harmed, as Major Kira is important to his daughter, and to him.

Delicately (for him), Damar suggests that Ziyal be confined to quarters for her own sake. "To be perfectly honest, sir, I don't completely trust her. And neither should you." His reason is that Ziyal is friends with Kira. "She doesn't appreciate what it means to be Cardassian, or to be your daughter." "But she is my daughter," Dukat growls dangerously. "That may mean nothing to you, but it means everything to me." There's nothing Damar can say to that.

At Quark's, Kira, Jake, Leeta, and Quark are discussing the battle in hushed tones. There are now only seven hours before the minefield comes down. Kira has a plan, to cut the power supply to the whole station and thus prevent it from detonating the mines. Her thought is to use a bomb. Quark declares that the main computer is too heavily guarded, and walks away. Kira, undaunted, is beginning to outline her strategy when Damar comes in with two armed soldiers. He wants all three of them to come with him for "questioning". Seeing more Cardassians posted at the other door, Kira realizes there's no chance of escape. She tries to reassure Jake and Leeta that it'll be all right, as the three of them go quietly. Quark watches, helpless. Everything is now up to him.

After Sisko has sent nine waves of fighters to attack the Cardassians, Dukat finally decides to let his ships go after them, giving Sisko his opening. But Dax spots the Galor-class destroyers lying in wait. Sisko knows it's a trap, but it's also an opportunity, one they may not get again. He orders two wings of Galaxy-class ships to engage the destroyers, while all other ships head for the opening. "Anyone who gets through doesn't stop until they reach Deep Space Nine." The Defiant is hit several times as it plunges for the hole, with communications jammed.

Dukat is quite pleased with himself, and has a drink while he waits out the battle in his office with Weyoun. As far as the gul is concerned, he's already won, though Weyoun reminds him that a lot can happen in the five hours before the wormhole will be open. The Vorta starts to think ahead, to how they're going to hold on to the Federation once they've conquered it. His opinion is that, since Earth will undoubtedly be the nucleus of resistance, they should eradicate its population. Dukat objects. "A true victory is to make your enemy see they were wrong to oppose you in the first place. To force them to acknowledge your greatness." "Then you kill them?" Weyoun asks.

"Only if necessary," replies Dukat. He goes off on one of his speeches about how disappointed he is in the Bajorans' lack of appreciation of how he used to "protect" and "care for" them. Why, there's not one single statue of him on Bajor. Even Sisko doesn't respect him. Weyoun chuckles, finding Dukat's ego trip fascinating. "Laugh all you want," Dukat declares. "History will prove me right."

Odo is growing more and more disturbed by the news of the battle that the Female Changeling brings him. "There are people out there, fighting, dying. People who used to be my friends." She reminds him that they're solids, but he admits that they still mean something to him, even though he tries to tell himself that the Link means more. "It's Major Kira, isn't it?" the Founder guesses. "You still have strong feelings for her. She doesn't deserve your loyalty, Odo. You cannot allow a solid to deny you your rightful place in the Great Link. I couldn't permit it." She tells him that Kira has been arrested, and will be sentenced to death.

Perhaps more than anything else, those words start to bring Odo out from under the Founder's spell. "No!" "Her death is your salvation," the Founder insists. "Link with me, Odo. Embrace the clarity. It is the only thing that will give you peace...You cannot help her, Odo. You cannot help any of the solids. No matter how much you may want to. It's too late for them."

The Defiant tries to fight its way through Dominion lines, losing two of its companion ships. They're on their own, and four enemy ships are ahead. Sisko orders evasive maneuvers. "We're going through." The Defiant destroys one Jem'Hadar ship, but the other three are still on its tail; aft shields are gone, and the cloaking device is fried. Suddenly all three of the Defiant's attackers are space dust. The Klingons have arrived, and opened a hole in the Dominion lines. Dax takes the ship through. However, no other ships make it. With three hours until the minefield is detonated, Sisko has Dax set a course for DS9.

Seeing this back at the station, Weyoun tells Damar to order a pursuit, but Dukat countermands that. "The Defiant's no match for this station. If Sisko wants to commit suicide, I say we let him."

Quark enlists an ally: Ziyal, whom he grabs in her quarters, covering her mouth and telling her not to scream. He has a question to ask her. "Do you know how to make hasperat soufflé?" A short time later, the two of them walk into the security office with the soufflé, which Quark tells a suspicious Cardassian soldier is lunch for Major Kira. The Cardassian finally decides to examine it. "Stop poking it -- it's very delicate," Quark warns. Then Ziyal quickly jabs the soldier with a hypospray; he falls face down into the soufflé. "Now you've ruined it," Quark scolds him.

The prisoners' mood is gloomy, particularly Rom's. "My time grows short...The only reason they haven't killed me yet is that I'm part of their victory celebration. Seven o'clock, Dukat makes a speech. Eight thirty, cake and raktajino. Eight forty-five, execute the Ferengi." Just then, Quark bursts in with Ziyal, a disruptor in each hand. Clearly scared out of his wits, he orders the two Jem'Hadar guards not to move, and to open the holding cells. When they go for their own weapons, Quark instinctively fires, killing them, and stands there frozen in astonishment while Ziyal plucks one of the disruptors from his hand and destroys the forcefield controls. The prisoners are free. Kira quickly picks up the Jem'Hadar's rifles. She and Rom will try to shut down the main computer, provided they can make it there without being killed. The others go to find a hiding place, Quark having to be dragged out by Jake.

Knowing that Odo is wavering, the Female Changeling is keeping up the persuasive talk when Weyoun comes in to tell them that Kira and the others have escaped. He suggests that the two Changelings come with him to Ops, where they'll be safer. "I'll be fine here," Odo says. The Founder gives him a long look, almost as if she knows what he's thinking, but finally turns and goes with Weyoun.

Kira and Rom are chased by Cardassian troops into a cargo bay, and trapped there by Jem'Hadar. Pinned down, Rom suddenly hears Bajoran phaser fire. Then the firing stops. Cautiously, they emerge, to see Odo at the head of a unit of his deputies, standing over the bodies of the Cardassians and Jem'Hadar. "Never underestimate the element of surprise," Odo announces. Telling them there are less than forty minutes to go, he escorts them to a conduit access hatch; he will keep the enemy occupied with false alarms. Kira has to ask Odo why he did this. "I don't think there's time to explain it," Odo tells her. "Besides, I think you know the answer." "What about the Link?" she asks. Odo looks at her. "The Link was paradise. But it appears I'm not ready for paradise." They wish each other luck before Kira follows Rom down the conduit.

The minutes count down as the Defiant races towards the station, and Rom works feverishly at a panel. He realizes he's not going to make it. Kira tells him to concentrate on cutting off power to the station's weapons array, which will at least delay the detonation of the minefield. At the space battle, the Dominion lines have started to crumble under the Klingons' offensive, but Dukat doesn't think there's anything to worry about. "In exactly four minutes, thousands of Dominion ships will come pouring through that wormhole. I just hope the Defiant gets here in time for Sisko to see it."

Rom is almost done. The last mines are neutralized; Damar is ready to detonate the minefield. "Fire," Dukat orders. "Done," Rom announces. And the phaser beam streaks out from the station, sweeping the minefield, which blows apart in a massive wave of explosions. "We were too late," Rom realizes with horror.

The Defiant has arrived in time to see the mines destroyed. Sisko has only one choice. "Take us into the wormhole." His crew exchange looks of grim surprise. "Chief, how does that poem end?" Garak asks. "You don't want to know," O'Brien replies.

Jubilantly, the Female Changeling orders a message sent to their reinforcements, that the Alpha Quadrant awaits them. Damar spots the Defiant headed for the wormhole; Weyoun orders it destroyed, which is when Damar discovers that the weapons are offline. "Major Kira," Dukat breathes, angrily. The Defiant passes the station and goes into the wormhole.

Inside, they face the Dominion fleet, one lone ship against 2800. Finally Sisko orders phasers locked and quantum torpedoes launched. He doesn't see his crew respond. Instead, he abruptly finds himself in the white void of the Prophets, who appear in the forms of Odo, Jake, Kira, Dukat, Weyoun, and Damar. "You desire to end the game." "You seek to shed your corporeal existence." "That cannot be allowed." "The game must not end."

"The game?" Sisko echoes. "You mean my life? Is that what this is about? You don't want me to die?" He doesn't want to die either, he tells them, but if he has to sacrifice his life and those of his crew to stop the Dominion, he will. The Prophets reply coolly that they find his reasoning flawed and insufficient, but Sisko insists that they return him to his reality so he can finish what he started.

After the aliens comment that he is belligerent and adversarial and all that good stuff, Sisko explodes, saying they have no right to interfere with his life, but they retort that they have every right. "Fine," he challenges. "You want to interfere, then interfere! Do something about those Dominion reinforcements." He doesn't buy their insistence that corporeal matters don't concern them. "What about Bajor? You can't tell me Bajor doesn't concern you. You've sent the Bajorans orbs and Emissaries. You've even encouraged them to create an entire religion around you. You even told me once that you were 'of Bajor'. So don't you tell me you're not concerned with corporeal matters. I don't want to see Bajor destroyed. Neither do you. But we all know that's exactly what's going to happen if the Dominion takes over the Alpha Quadrant. You say you don't want me to sacrifice my life. Fine, neither do I. You want to be gods? Then be gods. I need a miracle. Bajor needs a miracle. Stop those ships!"

The Prophets confer enigmatically. They agree that they are "of Bajor". As for "the Sisko", however, for trying to control "the game", they will exact a penance. "The Sisko is of Bajor," they tell him. "But he will find no rest there." "His pagh will follow another path." "What path is that?" Sisko asks. No reply. He is back on the bridge of the Defiant, still facing the Dominion ships. Sisko orders Dax to fire on his command.

Just as he is about to give that command, something happens. The Dominion fleet suddenly vanishes as if it was never there. Sisko realizes what has happened. "Wherever they went, I don't think they're coming back."

The Cardassian and Dominion leaders on the station are eagerly awaiting the Dominion fleet when the wormhole finally opens again, but only the Defiant comes out. To their shock, there's no sign of the fleet, or of their listening posts in the Gamma Quadrant. The Defiant begins attacking; the station's weapons are still offline, so it can't fire back. To top it all off, two hundred Federation and Klingon ships have broken through the lines and are headed here. "Time to start packing," Weyoun announces. The Female Changeling tells Damar to have their forces fall back to Cardassian territory. "It appears this war is going to take longer than expected."

Dukat is stunned, unable to believe that his dreams of conquest are collapsing around him even as he clutches Sisko's baseball in one hand. "Victory was within our grasp...Bajor, the Federation, the Alpha Quadrant, all lost..." Damar urges him to leave now. Distracted, Dukat is determined to find his daughter. He leaves Ops, ignoring Damar as his adjutant desperately tells him, "You're wasting your time...She won't go with you!"

As the Dominion forces start to leave the station for Cardassia, Sisko decides to let them go. With the Dominion ships in retreat from the battle, the allied fleet will rendezvous at DS9.

Dukat wanders the Promenade, bewildered, wondering what went wrong, and able only to think of finding Ziyal. Meanwhile, as Weyoun and the Female Changeling board a ship, the Vorta asks if Odo is coming. "No," she replies. "But he will join us one day. It's only a matter of time."

Finally Dukat meets up with Ziyal in the habitat ring, and they embrace joyfully. "No matter how much I try to hate you, I can't," she tells him softly. "I couldn't live with myself if you hated me," her father says. But then she says she's not coming with him to Cardassia. Dukat is stunned. "These people are our enemies." "They're not my enemies," Ziyal says. "I'm one of them." And she confesses to having helped Kira and the others escape. "Do you know what you're saying?" he whispers, incredulous. Bravely, Ziyal replies, "Yes, I do. I belong here. Goodbye, Father. I love you."

Dukat is about to embrace her one last time when suddenly, shockingly, a phaser beam strikes her in the chest. He turns to see Damar standing there, phaser in hand. "You heard her. She's a traitor." Dukat kneels to cradle the dying Ziyal in his arms, telling her over and over that he forgives her, that it's all right. When Damar tries again to get him to follow him to an evacuation ship, Dukat snarls at him, and Damar finally gives up and runs off. "I love you, Ziyal," Dukat tells his daughter. "No, noooo..." Ziyal dies in his arms.

The Defiant crewmembers step through the airlock onto the Promenade, where the return of Starfleet is being celebrated. Sisko finds and hugs his son, and shakes Odo's hand. Martok good-naturedly concedes that he owes Sisko a barrel of blood wine, as Worf and Dax are also reunited. O'Brien and Bashir make holosuite plans. Nog happily tells his father and step-Moogie that now Rom will be working for him.

Not all is joyful, however. Hearing that Kira is in the infirmary with Ziyal, Garak goes there to find Ziyal's body on a biobed. A grieving Kira tells him, "She loved you." "I could never figure out why," Garak admits sorrowfully, gazing down at the girl's face. "I guess I never will."

Dukat sits murmuring brokenly in his holding cell, watched by Sisko and Odo. His mind's eye sees only Ziyal, as he tells her they'll go back to Cardassia and everything will be fine. "I know you forgive me. After all, I am your father, and I forgive you." Gently, Odo starts to lead him away, but Dukat stops, looking into Sisko's eyes with sudden lucidity. "I forgive you, too," he says. With that, he holds out the baseball. Sisko takes it without a word. It's over.

  • Odo's redemption from "the dark side" was not originally going to take place in this episode. The initial plan had been to have Odo be alienated from the crew for a number of episodes.