Station Log, Stardate 46729.1.
l am to mediate a disagreement
between two rival factions, the Paqu and the Navot.
At issue is a land dispute which could trigger a civil war.
Commander, the Paqu delegation has arrived.
Let's welcome them. Any word on the Navot?
- They'll be here in an hour. - Commander?
- Chief, you're not in Bajor? - We're due to leave now.
But, sir, l was wondering if perhaps
Ensign Boyer might replace me on this mission.
l'd be little more than a chauffeur
and Boyer can pilot a runabout.
Are you required on the station, Chief?
No, sir. Everything's fine. But you never know.
- There you are. All set to go? - Yes, sir.
Did the Magistrate mention
the nature of this medical emergency?
- His village faces extinction. - We'd better go.
l agree. Docking port six.
l'm really looking forward to this mission.
lt's a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other.
Set a meeting with both sides for later this afternoon.
This is an informal session.
l just want to get them talking.
Getting them at the same table will be an accomplishment.
Sir, about these negotiations...
You have some advice for me?
There's an old saying on Bajor.
''The land and the people are one.''
The land inhabited by the Paqu and the Navot is very harsh.
Relax, Major. This is not my first time up at the plate.
And l'll have you to help me avoid making mistakes.
What's the Paqu Tetrarch like?
l don't know. The Paqu avoid contact with outsiders.
- Commander Sisko? - Yes?
l am Varis Sul, Tetrarch of the Paqu.
May l ask you a question?
- Of course. - And l'd like an honest answer.
- You'll get one. - Do l...
annoy you?
Annoy me? What sort of a question is that?
We've spent two hours in here
and you've hardly said a word.
Really? l hadn't noticed.
l see.
l was too busy thinking.
Thinking? About what?
What were you thinking about?
Well, let's see...
When we get back to the station
l'll have to run a level-one diagnostic on the generators.
- Satisfied? - l suppose so.
Your opinion means a lot to me.
And l have a tendency to talk a lot.
lt's just a nervous habit.
- l hope you don't hold it against me. - Not at all.
- One more thing. - What's that, sir?
lt's not really necessary to call me ''sir''.
What should l call you?
How about Julian?
ls that an order?
No. l'd simply prefer it if you called me by my first name.
All right.
We've achieved stable orbit. We can beam down...
No airborne infections.
The soil's free of pollutants
and the groundwater's clear of contamination.
l am Faren Kag, the magistrate.
- Dr Bashir and Chief O'Brien. - The village is in jeopardy.
l hope you're not too late.
- Has he shown any sign of improvement? - None.
You must help him.
- How many others are sick? - You said the village was in jeopardy.
lt is. lf he dies, we all die.
The Cardassians' replicators make a fine larish pie.
- l didn't come to eat. - Then let's talk.
The negotiations begin tonight,
but l wanted to see where we all stand.
According to the treaty that has existed for 90 years,
the border separating the Paqu and the Navot is the river Glyrhond.
That's correct.
We all agree on something.
During the occupation,
the Cardassians diverted the river.
The Glyrhond now flows 20 kilometres west of its former position.
20 kilometres into Navot territory.
lt's Paqu territory now. The river is our common border.
The treaty says nothing about stealing land.
Your father would give us back what is ours.
My father would do no such thing.
And l'm Tetrarch now.
l will not betray my people.
Let's see...two Bajoran synthales.
A glass of Gamzian wine
and a Trixian bubble juice for the little lady.
l'm not a little lady.
l'm still charging her for that drink.
Nog, let's go play some ball in the holosuite.
- No! - Why not?
- Baseball is boring. - And you can't hit my curve-ball.
lt's a stupid game. Even humans stopped playing.
Maybe, but you still can't hit my curve-ball.
Mr Sisko, Nog, l thought l told you,
no dangling over the Promenade.
- We won't fall, Odo. - We can see better from here.
What is so interesting?
- Nothing. - You can see nothing
just as well from up here.
Now, on your feet.
Thank you.
Will you come to the holosuite?
Buck Bokai can hit to us.
He was the greatest hitter of all time.
You can use my glove.
l have never seen anything so beautiful.
- She's all right. - All right?
l have to meet her.
- The Dal'Rok! - Easy now.
- Try not to exert yourself. - Hovath...
l'm here. lt's before nightfall.
You should have wakened me.
- Help me dress. - You're going nowhere.
- The Prophets sent you, didn't they? - l beg your pardon?
No, there's something wrong.
lt must be your companion.
- Chief O'Brien? - Bring him to me.
You are not the one l have been waiting for.
Chief? He wants to see you.
l knew the Prophets would not fail us.
You may leave now. Both of you.
See that he stays in bed.
- What was that about? - l don't know.
The Sirah. How is he?
He's suffering from organ failure brought on by cellular decay.
- He is surrendering to old age. - Can you do anything?
l can keep him comfortable.
lt's just a matter of time.
We need him! The Dal'Rok is coming.
- What's the Dal'Rok? - A terrible creature in the woods.
Every year, it appears.
- lt's coming tonight? - lt comes for five nights.
This will be the fourth. Only the Sirah can defeat it.
The Sirah can't get out of bed.
lf what you say is true, this village will be destroyed tonight.
- You're sure this is the place? - You saw the read-out!
There's only one female her age visiting the station.
These are her quarters.
- Go ahead. - What?
- Ring the bell. - You're the one who wants to meet her.
- Are you afraid? - Of a girl?
- You ring! - You are afraid.
No, l'm not, you are.
What are you doing?
My name's Jog...l mean Jake.
He's Nog. l'm Jake Sisko.
We're the unofficial welcoming committee.
That's right.
Welcome to DS9.
- Thank you. l'm Varis Sul. - Would you like a tour?
We could watch a Klingon freighter go through the wormhole.
- Good idea. - Thanks.
How about it? You want to go?
l've never seen the wormhole.
We know the best spot on the station
for wormhole-watching.
- Unless you're busy. - Not at the moment.
Listen to me, Sirah. You must return to bed.
To be out here, in your condition...
Your concern touches me, Doctor,
but l am now in the hands of the Prophets.
- We believe in you. - Help us, Sirah.
Strange. l'm not registering any atmospheric disturbance.
The Dal'Rok wakes.
But we are ready.
ln the shadow of the night, he hungers.
With a hatred of the ancients, he rages.
From the twisted pit of chaos, he approaches.
ls it alive?
The tricorder's not picking up anything.
Could it be a holographic image?
No. l'm not picking up any power source.
The Dal'Rok's anger
is like a wave crashing down upon the village.
The weight of its fury threatens to crush us all.
The Dal'Rok thinks the village is powerless to defend itself...
But the Dal'Rok is mistaken.
The village is strong -
much stronger than the Dal'Rok can ever imagine.
We can do it! The village is strong!
The village is strong!
With our strength, our unity,
we shall drive the Dal'Rok...
Bloody hell!
Chief! Help us get him down from here!
- Where is my successor? - Sirah...
No. The one whom the Prophets sent.
Yes, you.
Wait a second. You've got the wrong guy.
Say what l say.
- The village shall not be destroyed. - What?
The village shall not be destroyed.
Louder, so they can all hear.
The village shall not be destroyed!
Despite our fears we shall stand our ground
and face the Dal'Rok.
Despite our fears we shall stand our ground
and face the Dal'Rok.
The village is strong.
More powerful than the Dal'Rok.
Together, we use that power to drive it away.
Drive it away! Drive it away!
The Dal'Rok is defeated.
The village is safe.
He's dead.
The Sirah has left us
but the Prophets have sent us his successor.
A new Sirah to tell the story.
A new Sirah to protect the village.
So l sold them a whole herd of Klingon targs.
Major, what a pleasant surprise.
l look forward to your visits.
Spare me the small talk and get me a stardrifter.
So er...
How are the negotiations coming along?
- Better make it a double. - Ah.
- You asked to see me? - Please, sit down.
l just spent five hours sitting.
Yes, five long, unproductive hours.
- Woban is a fool. - He is here to talk.
- What are you here for? - That is obvious.
- To protect my people. - By starting a war?
- l object to your tone! - lf that's why you're here,
if you want to fight, then we're wasting time.
- That land belongs to the Paqu. - The Navot don't agree.
Then they'd better be ready to die for it.
l am. Or don't you believe me?
l believe in people working together to find reasonable solutions.
- l hope you do as well. - l don't care what you hope.
Anything else you wish to say
can be said across a conference table.
Varis...are you sure your people are ready to die for that land?
Where is she?
lf she's not here, we'll try her quarters.
And let me do the talking.
She asks me questions, l answer them.
Just remember, l saw her first. She's mine.
- You can barely say two words to her! - That's a lie!
l've never seen you so nervous. You must really like her.
l never said that! All l said was...
- We were just... - Looking for you.
l've been busy.
ls something wrong? You seem a little depressed.
lt's nothing, really.
lt's just...
people want something l have and l refuse to give it to them.
How badly do they want it?
Very badly.
ls there anything they have that you want?
That l want?
Maybe this isn't a problem. Maybe...
it's an opportunity.
When l have a problem l ask my dad.
l ask my dad, too.
lt helps, doesn't it?
- Yeah. - No.
My dad's a pretty smart guy.
Mine, too...
in his own way.
My parents are dead.
They were killed by the Cardassians.
l'm sorry.
My mom was killed during an attack by the Borg.
lsn't there someone you trust?
- l don't trust many people. - My dad...
Talk about something besides your father!
You admire him very much, don't you?
- l trust him. - Mr Sisko...
- Odo. - We were just leaving.
l wonder what was controlling those energy creatures.
- lt wasn't me. - Try telling the villagers that.
- The Sirah chose you. - He made a mistake.
He greeted you as if he was expecting you.
l'm glad you came along on this mission.
l'd have done what l could and left.
- l'd have missed this! - l'm glad you're enjoying yourself.
- l have faith in you. - Oh, do you?
Maybe you were sent by the Prophets.
l was sent by Commander Sisko.
This Dal'Rok will be returning this evening
and they're counting on me to stop it.
l don't have the slightest idea how to do that.
These gifts are for you, Sirah.
- Tell them l don't want them. - Bring them in.
- Look, Julian... - We are visitors here.
lt would be impolite to refuse our hosts.
How can l help you, ladies?
They're the ones offering services, Chief.
- There's been a misunderstanding. - ls there a problem?
No! They're not...
Yes...l mean, they're quite...
l have a wife and daughter back on DS9.
Of course.
- You must send for them. - Why?
So they can live here with you.
l'm not staying.
Then who will tell the story?
You'll have to find someone else.
- But the Sirah chose you. - He made a mistake.
What about the Dal'Rok? Without you, it will kill us.
Faren, l would like to help but l don't know how.
- Tell the story. - As simple as that, is it?
May the Prophets grant you victory, Sirah.
Let's hope so.
Now what are we going to do?
The only way out of this mess
is to find out what this Dal'Rok is
and destroy it before it destroys us.
Station Log, supplemental.
After two days of talks between the Paqu and the Navot,
we're not even close to finding a solution.
- Hi. You want to do something? - Sorry, not right now.
OK, we'll stop by later.
ls there anything we can do to cheer you up?
- l don't think so. - You sure?
- Don't embarrass yourself. - Wait!
Do you remember that opportunity
we were discussing yesterday?
How do you know if an opportunity is worth the risk?
The ninth Rule of Acquisition states
that opportunity plus instinct equals profit.
- That's not going to help. - l think it does.
Thank you, Nog.
Good! Let's celebrate.
- Celebrate? - l took one of my uncle's security rods.
What are we going to do with that?
We could swipe Odo's bucket.
- Are you kidding? - A bucket?
We'll give it back. lt'll be funny.
- We can't just walk into Security. - Watch me.
Wait over there.
l still don't understand what's so funny about a bucket.
Odo lives in it. He's a shape-shifter.
Every 16 hours he has to change back to his original form.
- lnside a bucket? - He turns into some kind of liquid.
Maybe this isn't a good idea.
Watch the door. l'll be back.
Jake, are you sure this is all right?
lt's not like we're really stealing anything.
Found it.
lt's oatmeal! l filled it from the replicator.
Very funny!
You should have seen your face!
l believe that belongs to me.
What's the rush?
There's some residual neutrino in these rocks.
How can the Dal'Rok leave a neutrino trace?
lt doesn't make sense. But this rock didn't blow itself up.
Lucky you managed to stop it.
l just repeated what the Sirah told me.
- Then how did the Sirah stop it? - Good question.
Maybe there's a control mechanism.
- Excuse me. - Please, for my daughter.
- What about her? - She wants you to bless her child.
- Me? - lt would mean so much.
l'm sure she'll make you very proud.
Oh, thank you! Thank you!
- There he is! - More of your followers want an audience.
This won't do. You look around here.
l'll check the Sirah's room.
Please. The Sirah is busy at the moment.
Perhaps l could be of service.
- Sirah, just a moment! - Sirah, please come back!
Look, l could use some privacy.
There are more gifts outside for you.
All right, bring them in.
Hold on.
Didn't you work for the Sirah?
l was his apprentice.
Did he ever reveal his secrets?
How he controlled the Dal'Rok?
Why ask me? The Sirah must have taught you all you need to know.
All right! Have it your way.
Don't blame me when it rampages through your village.
- Careful. Don't hurt him. - l'll try not to.
- That's enough. - Tell him that.
l said, that's enough!
Why are you trying to kill me?
You are not the true Sirah.
l know that!
lf he isn't, who is?
l am.
For nine years, l studied with the Sirah,
learning the secrets of the storyteller...
only to have you come along and take my place.
As far as l'm concerned, the job's yours.
But how come the Sirah chose him?
- lt was his way of punishing me. - Punishing you?
Three nights ago, the Sirah allowed me to tell the story.
But l was unable to control the Dal'Rok.
- Several people were injured. - Control it, how?
With this.
The stone is a fragment of an Orb from the Celestial Temple.
We had one of those Orbs.
We're aware of how powerful they are.
Many years ago, this village was deeply divided by hate and mistrust.
The first Sirah knew that unless the people united
the village would destroy itself.
So he used the Orb fragment as a catalyst
to give their fears a physical form.
So the villagers' thoughts create the Dal'Rok?
Yes, but they don't know that.
lt's a secret which is passed from Sirah to Sirah.
Why do they need a storyteller?
The story helps to focus the villagers' thoughts.
And they can defeat the Dal'Rok
by creating the shimmering lights.
lf l had another chance, l could control the Dal'Rok.
Well, son, it looks like tonight you are going to get that chance.
- You have no right to wear those clothes. - l have every right.
You had your chance. You failed.
- lt won't happen again. - That's right.
You won't be allowed to endanger the village.
Now take off those robes!
- Hold on. - Sirah, it's time you were getting ready.
The people will be assembling soon to hear the story.
Commander, l take complete responsibility for what happened.
There's enough blame to spread around.
Jake should have known better.
He and Nog were just trying to impress me.
That's not much of an excuse.
Didn't you ever do anything foolish to impress a girl?
- l may have. - Jake's nice.
So is his own way.
l like them.
You don't often get to be with people your age.
True, but...
that's not why l wanted to be with them.
l wanted to learn about you.
Jake speaks very highly of you. He trusts you.
That's always nice to hear.
Hearing Jake speak of you...
reminded me of how much l miss my own parents.
My father was a great man. A great leader.
He'd be proud of you.
l try to be strong the way he was strong, but...
lt's difficult.
Your father wasn't afraid to compromise.
That's because the Navot feared him.
- Woban would think l was weak. - l doubt it.
But he does want that land back.
- l am not afraid of Woban or the Navot. - l never said you were.
So your answer is still no.
- You don't lose by saying no. - Maybe.
But a great leader like your father
is one who's willing to risk saying yes.
l believe l know opportunity...
that could allow both sides to say yes.
Sirah, you'll save us!
lf you want this job, why don't you fight for it?
No, Faren is right.
These people will never accept me as Sirah.
Without their support l could never control the Dal'Rok.
You think l can?
You have to.
- Good luck. - Tell us the story!
Tell us the story!
Once upon a time...
there was a Dal'Rok.
And it lives there, in the woods.
And he hated the village
and all of the villagers
and he wanted to see them destroyed.
The Dal'Rok is here!
Yes! The Dal'Rok is here. And it's hungry.
But the village is prepared to fight.
Like it has always fought -
with the lights, the shimmering lights.
Something's wrong.
What's wrong is that O'Brien is not the Sirah. You are.
The village is strong
and unafraid...and...powerful.
And ready to face the Dal'Rok.
Do you think the Sirah planned all this?
The villagers had lost confidence in you so he chose O'Brien,
knowing that you would have to rescue him.
This is your chance to prove that you are the true Sirah.
All right, now. Let's really focus and send this one out, OK?
Let's really send the Dal'Rok a message.
Where the hell are those lights?
Wait! There is no need to run!
A new voice appears to challenge the Dal'Rok!
lt's about time.
The Dal'Rok is a fearsome enemy.
The mountains tremble with its fury.
But our prosperity is its misery.
Our unity is its vulnerability.
And our strength is its doom.
Look! The Dal'Rok trembles!
lt fears our strength.
lt fears our determination.
lt knows it cannot stand against us
because the village is united.
We are as one.
You see for yourselves.
The Dal'Rok is defeated.
This village is safe for another year.
The Sirah! The Sirah!
Let's go before they change their minds.
Hail the Sirah!
- Nervous? - Not at all.
A little. Do you think Woban will accept my proposal?
lt's possible. lt would give the Navot back their land.
And free trade on the river would mean a lot to us.
lt's a reasonable compromise.
Good luck with your meeting.
Thank you...
...for all your help.
You two are going to clean the Security office until it shines.
Chief, this is going to make a fantastic story.
Not for me. l've had my fill of storytelling.
- Can l mention it? - Suit yourself...Julian.
Chief, on second thoughts...
You don't really have to call me Julian.
Right you are...sir.

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