Production no.: 423
Written by: Michael Piller
Directed by: Winrich Kolbe
Stardate: not given
First satellite airdate: October 9, 1993
Frank Langella ......
Rosalind Chao .......
Steven Weber .......
Richard Beymer ....
Stephen Macht ......
Max Grodénchik ....
Aron Eisenberg .....
Philip Anglim ........
Louise Fletcher .....
Katrina Carlson .....
Hana Hatae ..........
Minister Jaro [uncredited]
Continued from "The Circle"...
As he briefs a group of Starfleet DS9 officers on the situation, Sisko sympathizes with how hard it is on a personal level for some of them to break ties with Bajor. It is for him too, and he is planning to stay. O'Brien and Bashir volunteer to stay as well and help with the proper supervision of the evacuation, as do others, but Sisko cautions them to understand what they're letting themselves in for. He tells them that anyone who wants to evacuate is dismissed; no one moves. Satisfied, Sisko tells them there is a lot to be done to evacuate their families and the other non-Bajorans.
Quark and Rom observe the activity on the Promenade as people rush to and fro closing up their shops, and Quark's greed goes into overdrive. "People will pay anything for a seat on those ships," he says. Rom is frightened that Quark will sell his seat, but Quark reassures him that they will both escape, with bags full of latinum. And in another part of the Promenade, Jake and Nog catch up to each other and learn they'll be on separate runabouts, going to different planets. Jake is despondent because it seems like every time he settles somewhere and makes friends, he has to leave. Nog tells him if their fathers couldn't separate them, no coup d'etat (Jake has to supply the word) will either, and they hug like brothers.
Keiko is angry at having to leave her husband behind. "We can't just let the Cardies have the wormhole," he tries to tell her, but Keiko says bitterly, "They can have the whole Gamma Quadrant for all I care." However, O'Brien is firm, and finally, Keiko lets herself and Molly be walked to the airlock.
With frequencies to Bajor still jammed, the PADD with the gul's thumbscan -- the proof of Cardassian involvement -- has to be taken physically to the Chamber of Ministers. There are no runabouts available, but Li thinks of the Lunar 5 base, where there might still be a few sub-impulse raiders stashed by his cell during the Occupation. Kira will have one of the evacuation vessels drop her off there; and in case the raider won't fly, Dax, whose past host Tobin knew subimpulse thruster configurations and phase coil inverters, will accompany her.
Odo drags Quark into Ops, having caught the Ferengi brokering seats on the evacuation ships, and Sisko demands to know where he got extra seats. "A few trades, a person here or there who changed his mind about leaving at the sight of a reasonable stipend..." Just then Bashir calls to report a panic at the airlocks: far more people than they can handle have shown up. "I might have overbooked slightly," Quark admits. Sisko and Li leave to deal with it, and Quark turns to Odo. "Hey Odo, you'll miss me. You know you will. Say it." To Quark's surprise, Odo does. "I'll miss the aggravation, the petty theft, the bad manners..." "Odo," Quark says, "take care of yourself."
Sisko tries to tell the crowd at the airlock that there aren't enough seats for them all, but it is Li who they pay attention to. "Where are you running to? This is Bajor. We are Bajorans. We fought a war to regain our homeland. How can you abandon it like frightened Cardassian vole? These ships are for our guests who must leave because it is no longer safe for them here. However, we are Bajorans, and I say that we stay and we solve our own problems, together. Are you willing to join me?" The crowd actually calms, and the evacuation proceeds in a much more orderly fashion. Sisko then sends Jake off with a final hug and a letter, to be opened after "a while".
As the runabout hatch is sealed, Quark arrives, desperately dragging a huge heavy suitcase and saying that Rom is on the Rio Grande and has his ticket. Bashir tells Sisko that ship was full, and Quark's name wasn't on the list; Rom did board, but he was with a Dabo girl. "Looks like he sold your seat," Sisko tells Quark. And on that note of poetic justice, he and Bashir go off, leaving Quark alone. No one hears the Ferengi's pleas for a seat.
Finally the Circle's assault vessels arrive, and Field Colonel Day Kannu meets no resistance as he enters the station with his men, followed by General Krim and other soldiers. "Minister Jaro's prediction was correct," Day says in triumph. "The Federation has tucked its tail between its legs." Krim isn't so sure. "The most strategic position in the entire sector, at the mouth of the wormhole. Had I been Federation commander, I would not have abandoned it so easily." Above them, Sisko, O'Brien and Li are watching from inside a wall.
Dax and Kira move through a cavern covered with webs and populated by large spiderlike creatures that Kira identifies as palukoos. They find a tiny, two-person spacecraft and climb in, Dax commenting that there must have been a lot of short pilots in the resistance. She gets to work firing up the thrusters.
Krim and Day enter a deserted Ops to find that the internal security net has been disabled. Krim has an officer initiate random scans of Ops for organic material, as he doesn't know if Odo has left. Day announces their success to Jaro over subspace, but Krim urges caution. He's not convinced that the enemy is really gone. Day says he'll organize search parties, and Jaro tells them that if they find Li Nalas, he is to be taken alive. "Dead, he's a martyr. Alive, he seals our victory." After ending his transmission, Jaro tells Winn, who is with him, that he will offer Li anything he wants to ensure his support. And as for her, after he is sworn into office, he will direct the Vedek Assembly to elect her Kai.
Dax has managed to get the raider's thrusters to fire, and breathes a thank-you to Tobin. She still isn't too comfortable or thrilled with this thing, but Kira is in her element, and boosts the thrusters to move the little ship out of the cavern.
Krim and Day argue; Day wants to find the enemy before they attack, while Krim feels their priority is to get the station working. The lights go out in Ops, due to the primary sensor array being sabotaged. Day says he's sending out search parties. Meanwhile, O'Brien brings a meal of combat rations to Sisko, Li, and the others in his group, and there is a round of jokes at the expense of the food. Odo, disguised as part of a wall, reports on the movements of Day's searchers, who are starting in the cargo deck, and Sisko has Bashir move his unit there. Bashir heads off, leaving Quark, who has been with them. And the doctor manages to capture the first prisoners.
Kira and Dax get within orbital range of Bajor; Dax is worried about the lack of navigational sensors. "You Starfleet types are too dependent on gadgets and gizmos," Kira chides. "You lose your natural instincts for survival." "My natural instincts for survival told me not to climb aboard this thing," Dax retorts. "I'd say they were functioning pretty well." Kira is looking for a landing site when the ship shakes; they're under attack by a welcome committee from Jaro. She evens the playing field by taking the ship into the atmosphere, where the others won't be able to use impulse.
O'Brien and Li are in the security office working on creating some more sabotage when they are discovered and pinned down by phaser fire. Sisko and several others come to their rescue, throwing a smoke bomb to cover O'Brien and Li's escape. Two of Day's men chase them, but they are tripped by Odo, who has morphed himself into a wire. O'Brien and Li reach safety.
In Bajor's atmosphere, Kira and Dax continue to try to evade their pursuers, and shoot back. One of the attackers goes down; the other scores a massive hit on them, rupturing a plasma conduit. Unable to put out the fire with the ancient extinguisher, there's nothing to do but crash.
Day leads a search team through Quark's, where one of his men reports that a holosuite is in use. They open it up and find Sisko, Li, and O'Brien there; but when they move to get their weapons, the prisoners vanish, and Day and his team find that they are the prisoners. Sisko's voice tells them that the Cardassians supplied the weapons for the coup, which Day rejects as a "Federation lie". Sisko says to tell Krim that proof is on the way to Bajor, and once it is presented, the coup will be over. Day is then beamed back into Ops, and reports that he was taken prisoner, and spoke with Sisko. However, he claims that Sisko said nothing of consequence, and let him go because he was promised amnesty. The Bajoran engineers finally bring the sensor net back on, but it can't detect any combadges. Since the conduits are shielded with duranium composite, Krim deduces that that's where the defenders are.
Kira and Dax have crashed in a forest. Kira is badly injured, but Dax refuses to go on alone; Kira tells her she's being a fool. "Don't talk to your elders that way," Dax reproves. Kira loses consciousness as they hide from a patrol passing close by.
Odo warns Sisko that Krim's forces are about to fill the conduits with anesthezine gas. They haven't heard from Dax and Kira, but Sisko believes they still have an ace in the hole -- Li, who may be able to sway General Krim. Li isn't sure about that. "I'd die for my people," he says, "but -- " "Sure you would," Sisko interrupts firmly. "Dying gets you off the hook. Question is, are you willing to live for your people? Live the role they want you to play. That's what they need from you right now."
Kira wakes up in the monastery, and is surprised to see Bareil with her. She and Dax were found by searchers from his order, he tells her, after the entire city saw her ship go down. Kira has just had her broken hip mended. Dax comes in, with a Bajoran nose and wearing vedek's robes -- just like in Kira's orb vision -- and gives Kira a set of monk's robes to wear as well. Members of religious orders are the only people who are safe in the streets, says Bareil, who plans to escort them.
Bashir, who has been trying to persuade Quark to leave his suitcase full of latinum behind, assures Sisko, who has gotten into position, that he and his unit will make as much noise as possible before surrendering. Krim's forces are attacked at one of the airlocks, and Day sends all security units there. With surveillance cameras disabled, Krim can't see what's going on. A soldier calls to tell him that several attackers have surrendered.
It was a diversion by Sisko to draw most of the Circle's forces away from Ops. When Krim goes into the commander's office, he finds himself facing a phaser, as O'Brien, Sisko, Odo, and others stand up. The man holding the phaser tells him, "My name is Li Nalas. Perhaps you've heard of me."
The Chamber of Ministers is in session when Kira bursts in, flanked by Bareil and Dax. She is seized by guards on Jaro's order, but announces loudly that she has come with proof that the Cardassians are behind Jaro's takeover. Jaro calmly says that her wild charges won't disrupt the transition of power, whereupon Kira produces the PADD. "This coup will deliver Bajor back into the hands of its greatest enemies. Are you willing to live under Cardassian rule again?" Winn adroitly moves away from Jaro, who claims there is nothing to these accusations. "Then you should have no objection to an inspection of this manifest, Minister," Winn says. Defeated, Jaro says of course not. He adjourns the session and says he will fully cooperate with the investigation. The Ministers begin to clamor to speak to Kira -- as in her orb vision. And the coup is over.
Day returns with his prisoners and is faced by Krim, who is furious with him for withholding the information regarding the Cardassian involvement. He has gotten word that the Chamber of Ministers is in recess while the evidence is being examined. Krim, who expects to be asked to resign, turns to Sisko and formally gives command of the station back to him. But Day isn't willing to let this be the end of it. He wildly draws a phaser, aiming at Sisko. Li lunges at him just as the phaser goes off, and catches the beam full force.
Odo disarms Day as Bashir and Sisko bend over Li. The hero of the Bajoran resistance looks up and smiles slightly. "Off the hook...after all," he says weakly, and dies.
A day afterwards, in Quark's, Kira mourns Li's death. "Somehow, you figured now that he was here, things would be better. You know, he'd find a way to make things better. Because he was a man who could do that. A great man. I wish I knew where we could find others like him." Sisko tells her with conviction, "There are heroes all over Bajor. I'm sitting with one." Kira doesn't feel like celebrating, and excuses herself.
O'Brien is puzzled over Kira's idolization of the man. But Sisko says, "Chief, Li Nalas was the hero of the Bajoran resistance. He performed extraordinary acts of courage for his people and died for their freedom. That's how the history books on Bajor will be written, and that's how I'll remember him when anybody asks."
Then the runabouts finally begin arriving back at the station, and both of them head for the airlock to welcome their families home once more.