Station log, stardate 47182.1.
DS9 has been temporarily evacuated due to a plasma disruption.
Until the disturbance ends, the station has a skeleton crew.
- How are we holding up? - So far, so good.
The Cardassians built this place to last.
l've got the Orinoco ready at pad C.
Any word from Chief O'Brien?
He and Odo sealed off the airlocks
and were moving on to the docking ring.
- Sisko to O'Brien. - O'Brien here.
- What's your status? - Almost done.
We've sealed the airlocks in levels 21 to 23.
We have to check the bulkheads for crystallisation
from the plasma discharges. lt shouldn't take too long.
- Did you hear that? - Hear what?
l could have sworn l heard something.
What are you doing here? You're under orders to stay in the bar.
l'm not a prisoner.
l volunteered to stay and protect the station.
You volunteered because there wasn't room on the shuttles
for 600 bars of gold-pressed latinum.
Which still doesn't explain why you're in the docking ring.
l was saying goodbye to my brother.
Your brother? His shuttle left three hours ago.
Funny. lt's only been three hours
and l'm already lost without him.
Please! Don't tell me you've been here all this time pining for Rom.
l know. l know.
He couldn't find a cup of water if you dropped him in a lake.
But he's still my brother.
You'd betray him in a second if it suited your interests.
That doesn't mean l don't love him.
- Chief, do you have any brothers? - As a matter of fact, l have two.
Did you ever say goodbye to them?
- When l joined Starfleet. - Did it bring a tear to your eye?
- l suppose so. - Try explaining that to him.
The storm's intensity is up 37%.
How long will it last?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Plasma storms are rare.
But this is a great opportunity to study one.
The view from the Promenade is amazing.
ls the Promenade secure?
l've battened the hatches, so to speak.
You'd better take a look at this.
l'm detecting a small vessel headed this way.
- They're hailing us. - On, screen.
- l can't get a visual. - This is the cargo ship Ekina.
We've been caught by the storm.
Our engines are severely damaged.
We need emergency assistance.
This is the cargo ship Ekina...
l've lost it.
- Can we get a lock on the crew? - There's too much interference.
Engage their tractor beam. Bring them into a docking bay.
l'll get down to the infirmary.
- Sisko to O'Brien. - O'Brien here.
We've got storm victims coming in to docking bay 5.
l'll have to release the emergency seal in the airlock.
Stand clear.
- ls anyone hurt? - Not yet.
- What are you doing? - No questions.
We just saved your lives.
You see? The ever-helpful Federation.
So predictable.
ln case you haven't heard,
the Federation and the Klingon empire are allies.
The empire is governed by doddering fools and frightened old women
who aren't worthy of the name Klingon.
Mareel! The combadge.
- This must be the shape-shifter. - What are you waiting for?
You're a Trill.
You! Shifter! lnside.
And what if l refuse?
Please, do as he says and no one will get hurt.
Now. Or this one dies.
- Were there any casualties? - That depends on you.
- What's this all about? - Yeto, get the Ferengi.
- Any more questions? - Don't hurt him.
Mareel, the box.
Put it in your stasis chamber. Now or l will destroy it.
- ls that some kind of threat? - They've got Odo in there.
l see.
ln that case...
Still no response from O'Brien or Odo.
- Run a security scan. - Don't bother!
Please, take your hands away from the controls.
Now! Get to the centre of the room.
Do as he says.
lt's going to be all right, Verad.
Get with the others. Move!
Your turn, little man.
Disable the back-ups as well as the primary systems.
lt's my fault, Commander. They caught us by surprise.
Somehow they neutralised the security systems on the docking ring.
How did they manage that?
l've got a pretty good idea. We ran across Quark in an airlock.
When this is over, Quark and l are going to have a talk.
Do you know him?
Yeto. lt's such a pleasure doing business with Klingons.
You're so...punctual.
l see your ship was rescued according to plan.
l've got your merchandise right here,
but l don't see any latinum.
You Ferengi! You think you're so clever, but you're stupid.
There's no need for name-calling.
lf you don't want these data chains,
l can line up other buyers.
Go right ahead.
You expect me to believe that you've come all this way
just to tell me that the deal is off?
Stupid Ferengi!
- l said no one moves. - What is your business here?
You'll have to ask my employer.
l'm... l'm sorry about all this.
lf everyone would just co-operate, it will all be over soon.
- What will be over soon? - Release me at once!
- Enough of your whining! - What do these people want?
- l was about to ask you that. - That's enough.
Tell me what you want here.
l want Dax.
She's not going anywhere with you.
l don't want the girl. l only want what is rightfully mine,
what should have been mine years ago.
l want Dax.
The symbiont, Benjamin. He's come to steal my symbiont.
You can't remove Jadzia's symbiont. lf you do, she'll die.
- He knows that, Doctor. - l'm...
l'm sorry about all this.
Please, believe me. l wish l didn't have to do this.
- Then don't. - l don't have a choice.
l spent my whole life trying to qualify for the joining.
l studied constantly every day, every waking hour.
l sacrificed everything
and then l went before the symbiosis evaluation board and...
they reduced my entire life to one word:
That's nothing to be ashamed of.
Neither of my parents or my sister underwent symbiosis
and they live happy lives. Only one Trill in ten is chosen to be joined.
That's easy for you to say. They chose you.
- l was one of the lucky ones. - Now it's Verad's time to be lucky.
Why Dax? There are thousands of symbionts on Trill.
l did research. The Dax symbiont is the best match for me.
We have mutual interests: science, diplomacy...
There is another reason, isn't there? The wormhole.
After you steal the symbiont, you'll escape to the Gamma Quadrant.
Can you think of a better place to start a new life?
There could be dozens of reasons
why the board didn't select you for symbiosis.
They have to be very careful.
An improper joining can cause permanent psychological damage
to the symbiont and the host.
They were looking after your best interests.
Your best interests, not mine.
All they've done is condemn me to a life of...of...
...mediocrity. l refuse to accept that.
l'm not going to spend the rest of my life dreaming about...
what l could have been.
What l should have been.
l deserve more...
and l'm going to get it.
Yeto, T'Kar, it's time.
- l'll have no part in this. - l understand.
Keep away from him, Doctor.
There. You see? l've taken the first step.
Even if l don't get what l want, my life is over.
Either you help me or you and your friends will die.
lt's your choice.
He'll help. l don't want anyone else hurt because of me.
But you have to give me your word that no one else will be harmed.
l promise. Doctor.
Do as he says, Julian. Please.
Let me treat the phaser wound first. lt won't take long.
There's a medical kit in the console.
Get it!
Hold still, Chief.
There. There should be no permanent damage.
Apply this every 20 minutes. lt should help the wound regenerate.
Enough stalling!
Do as he says. This is no time to be a hero.
Take them to the infirmary.
This isn't over, Dax. l promise you.
l know, Benjamin. You'll do everything you can.
Just in case it isn't enough,
l want you to know it's been fun.
Let's go.
- Good luck. - lt won't be long now.
Then you'll see. Everything will be just as l promised.
l know.
What's that?
A delta wave inducer to keep you asleep.
lt increases endorphin production to help the healing process.
- l don't want it. - l recommend you use it.
- The surgery will be easier... - l don't want your advice.
l want to be awake. Use a neuroelectrical suppresser
and set up a monitor so that l can watch the procedure.
lf you run into any trouble, l can assist you.
Let's get started.
l'm sorry, Jadzia.
Don't blame yourself, Julian.
You did everything you could.
- This will help you sleep. - Thank you.
Forgive me.
How long can Dax survive without the symbiont?
Once the symbiont is removed, the host usually dies within hours.
But Jadzia is young and healthy.
Bashir will do what he can.
She'll make it through the night.
- lt doesn't give us much time. - No talking!
l don't want to kill you, Commander, but l will.
This is ridiculous.
Don't you realise they're going to kill us?
- Do something. - Do you have any suggestions?
Why should l have suggestions? l'm not the military mastermind.
l'm just a victim of circumstances.
Then tell me how four armed terrorists got by our security grid?
- l don't know anything... - Save it. You crossed the line.
You sold us out and now Dax may die.
Whatever happens, one thing's certain: you are through here.
- Are you all right? - l'll live.
l don't want to hurt anyone.
- Tell that to Jadzia. - That's different.
- Do you really believe that? - Verad had no choice.
- That's his reason. What's yours? - l owe him.
l grew up on Khefka lV. l wouldn't have got out without Verad.
What was he doing on Khefka lV?
He worked at the Federation consulate.
He visited the accommodation house where l worked.
l used to help him relax.
When he returned to Trill, l went with him.
- We've been together ever since. - And that's it?
He got you out of a bad situation and now you'll kill for him?
l owe him my life. l'll do anything l can do for him.
- Even if it means losing him? - Losing him?
After the surgery, Verad won't be just Verad any more.
He'll be a blending of Verad, Dax and all the previous hosts.
Their memories, their knowledge, their personalities.
Verad told me that you'd say things like that.
l know he'll change. He'll be smarter, more confident,
but he'll be the same.
lf he told you that, he's lying.
Once a Trill is joined, it's like a rebirth.
He'll be a different person.
l'm not going to betray Verad.
lt doesn't matter what you say.
l love him and l'm going to stand by him no matter what.
l never doubted it.
No, not just Verad.
l'm Verad Dax.
Take this.
Come on. Move it back and forth over the wound.
Why bother? She'll be dead in a few hours.
- Help me. - Why should l?
She let herself be slaughtered.
She should have fought back.
She did it to save us.
Then she is a fool and she deserves her fate.
l don't give a damn about Klingon philosophy.
l need your help. Take this instrument!
So the little human has some spark after all.
Come on. Come on.
Thank God. l thought l'd lost you.
The symbiont.
- lt's gone. - Everything went perfectly.
The operation was a complete success.
l feel so alone.
l've got you stabilised.
lf only we could get the symbiont back in time.
- l'm scared, Julian. - You're not going to die.
Do you hear me? l'm not going to let you die.
l've never felt so empty.
Just rest.
That's right, Benjamin. lt's me.
Curzon, Tobin, Jadzia...
All the others. They're all a part of you now.
So many ideas. So many memories.
Eight lifetimes of memories. lt must be incredible.
- lt's better than l ever imagined. - The station must look different now.
l know this place.
- And l know you, Benjamin. - Of course you do.
- Remember when we met? - Pelios Station.
That trip to the cliffs of Bole?
The months we served aboard the Livingston.
And science officer Kustanovich. Eight helpings of Andorian redbat?
l've never seen someone eat so much. Remember my wedding?
l remember your bachelor party. Some of it, anyway.
And the time we discovered the wormhole. My, my, my.
- One of Jadzia's proudest moments. - And now she's bleeding to death.
- l'd rather not discuss that. - You have to discuss it, Dax.
We can't let her die.
She'll live on in me.
Jadzia's memories will live on,
but Jadzia herself will die. You'll have killed her.
You think l don't know that? l'll never be able to forget it.
But l'll do all l can to make up for it.
l'm not going to the Gamma Quadrant to hide.
Entire worlds can benefit from my knowledge and experience.
- l can help them and l will. - l have a better idea.
Help Jadzia. Come with me to the infirmary.
Put the symbiont back where it belongs.
l can't do that, even if l wanted to.
lt's too late. The integration is under way.
There's time to stop it. Jadzia's life can be saved.
- He's just trying to confuse you. - lt's all right, Mareel.
The symbiont is weak from the operation.
lf we attempt another joining so soon, it might not survive.
- Are you willing to risk that? - l am.
The question is: are you?
- Why waste your time with him? - He's my friend!
Go watch the others.
- We are still friends, aren't we? - l hope so.
Come with me to the infirmary and prove it.
l can't do that.
Then you're not the Dax that l know.
Our friendship is over.
- Drink this. - What is it?
Senarian egg broth. lt'll keep your strength up.
- lt makes no difference to me. - Hold on.
Thank you.
He even looks different, doesn't he?
The way he stands, the way he moves, talks.
- He's better than he was. - l'm glad you think so.
l do.
Really? The way he dismissed you?
- Verad never did that. - He's under a lot of stress.
Verad was under stress when he arrived.
- He never turned on you. - What's your point?
You're trying to turn me against Verad.
Verad no longer exists. You know that.
All right, Verad Dax. But it won't work.
- Nothing has changed between us. - You really believe that?
All right.
Then make me believe it.
Go in there and talk to him.
- Talk to him about what? - Whatever you want.
l'm sure the two of you have a lot to say to one another.
- l don't want to disturb him. - Why not?
l don't want to.
Look at him, sitting there all alone. He needs you.
Why are you being so reluctant? This is the perfect time...
- l said that's enough! - Mareel?
- ls anything wrong? - No, everything's fine.
Be careful. l wouldn't want anything to happen to you.
l got him!
Stay back.
Maybe we should talk about this?
My ear.
Mareel, take him to the infirmary.
What is it now?
- Please. lt hurts. - All right. Hold on.
The damage appears to be superficial.
But Ferengi ears are incredibly sensitive.
l'd better run some further tests.
The storm's intensity's dropped another 20%.
l know this has been hard for both of us, but it's almost over.
Good. l'm getting tired of waiting here.
- How are you feeling? - Better than ever, thanks to you.
l couldn't have done this without you.
l would have spent my life a mediocre man,
only dreaming about what might have been. You know what to do.
Worry about the wormhole. We'll make sure no one stops you.
l don't want you staying here any longer than you have to.
Give me an hour, then head for the wormhole.
The sooner you leave, the sooner we'll be together.
lt's going to be all right, isn't it?
Wait for me at the rendezvous point.
Stop whining or l'll put you out of your misery.
He's got a contusion of the lobe
and a possible dislocated malleus.
Either condition could be fatal.
lf you want him to stop, give me a hand.
l'm not your nurse!
Let's not go through that again. Hold this against his ear.
Not too hard.
Just another second.
Thank you, Doctor. l feel better already.
- How is she? - She's stable,
but l don't know how much time she has.
We must get the symbiont back.
- What are you doing? - Odo's in here.
And we've got to get him out.
- Are you sure? - Quark.
lf only we knew the access code.
Allow me.
Standard Delgorian locking mechanism. Sophisticated...
...but vulnerable if you know its weaknesses.
lt's a gift.
The storm's decreased another 15%.
That should allow safe passage to the wormhole.
Verad to Yeto.
- Verad to Yeto. - Yeto, report.
The doctor must have overpowered him.
He must have freed the shape-shifter. Get me to the ship.
- You'd better take a hostage. - l'll go with you.
l'd love your company, but you don't have my best interests at heart.
Kira, l hate to inconvenience you.
lf Odo's free, you're not getting off this station.
- Mareel. - Good luck.
Benjamin, l guess this is goodbye.
Not many friendships last over two lifetimes.
l wish we could have made it three.
You'll see me again, Verad.
So, where's this rendezvous going to be?
You don't expect me to tell you?
No, but l hope you like it there. You'll be waiting a long time.
- How would you know? - You told me yourself.
l saw your face when he asked you to wait.
The plan was he was supposed to get there first.
He would wait for me.
Maybe it was an honest mistake,
a slip of the tongue.
He lied to me.
He's never lied to me before.
He's not coming.
- He doesn't need me any more. - No, you're wrong.
He needs you now more than ever.
You never give up, do you?
- l'm not going to betray him. - l'm not asking you to.
l'm asking you to help us save him.
- All you care about is Jadzia. - You care about Verad.
We can save them both.
Don't you see? Dax and Verad were never meant to be joined.
We've got to remove the symbiont while there's still time.
lf you hurt him...
l'll kill you.
l don't doubt it.
- The ship. lt's gone. - l released the docking clamps.
That goodbye was premature.
- You're not going to shoot me. - What makes you so sure?
This is Dax you're talking to.
We both know that if you shoot me,
you risk killing the symbiont.
lf l let you go, Jadzia dies.
But Dax will live.
What's one girl's life compared to eight lifetimes of knowledge?
You're not going to shoot me. You know that and so do l.
Goodbye, Benjamin.
Don't call me Benjamin.
l feel strange. So empty.
lt's over now, Verad. The symbiont is back where it belongs.
So close.
l had it.
l had it and...
now l'm alone.
You're not alone, Verad. l'm here.
l'll always be here.
l can't remember any of it.
The knowledge...
the confidence.
lt's all gone.
- Are you...? - l'm fine.
l remember it all, Benjamin.
Everything he thought, everything he did.
And it's so sad.
l guess...he'll always be with me.

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