Medical log, stardate 47229.1.
Chief O'Brien and l are prepared for the arrival of a cartographer.
Ensign Melora Pazlar is the first Elaysian to join Starfleet
and requires special accommodations.
l haven't seen one of these in 300 years.
l'm surprised it was even on file.
lt isn't. Ensign Pazlar sent me the specifications.
Her normal anti-grav unit isn't going to work here.
Cardassian construction isn't compatible.
The Yellowstone has just docked at airlock 14, Doctor.
We're on our way.
Just think what it must be like to adjust to our gravity
after living on a planet with low gravity.
We've done the best we can with the ramps.
l've modified the vertical clearance of the chair three centimetres.
lt still leaves places she can't access.
Can't we use the transporter?
She sent word that it wasn't acceptable to her.
- l wonder why. - l know exactly why.
Once her basic needs are met,
she refuses any special assistance. She's extraordinary.
Sounds like you've known her for years.
l feel as though l have. l've pulled all her personnel and medical files.
- Are her quarters ready? - l've got the bumps to prove it.
- Thanks, Chief. - Let me know if there's anything else.
lt'll be something to see when we switch off the gravity.
Ensign Pazlar reporting for duty.
l'm Chief Science Officer Jadzia Dax and this is...
Dr Bashir. We spoke on subspace.
- Good to meet you. - You have my trolley car ready.
- Can l help? - l'm fine, thank you.
That's better. You've modified it.
l wanted to give you as much mobility as l could.
l've been practising on the model l requested.
- We can replicate the other design. - No, l'll just have to adapt.
l'll be accompanying you on your mission.
l'm perfectly capable of piloting a runabout.
- Commander Sisko thought... - What every officer has thought:
l need help to get the job done. Tell him l don't.
He wouldn't allow any ensign to take a runabout a day after arriving.
You must have more important things to do
than chart the Gamma Quadrant.
Here we are.
You didn't modify the specifications for my quarters, did you?
No, you control the gravity unit with this.
Thank you. lt was a pleasure meeting both of you.
Paltriss only created 80 of them,
each a work of art.
l've come into the possession of 42.
My world will honour your name
for returning the rings of Paltriss to his birthplace.
As long as your honour is accompanied by 1 99 bars
of gold-pressed latinum.
l heard you drive a hard bargain.
Shall we celebrate our closing the deal
with another drink?
Excuse me.
l'm sorry. We're not open yet. lf you'll come back...
Have another drink on me.
Fallit Kot, is it really you?
- How long has it been? - Eight years.
- Eight long years. - lt can't be!
l must say, you look terrific.
Tanned, toned up. That baby fat has disappeared from your face.
You don't keep extra weight on where l've been.
Just passing through?
l bet you have business in the Gamma Quadrant.
l'm not going to the Gamma Quadrant. My business is here with you.
- With me? - That's right.
l've come to kill you, Quark.
l've gone through her profile. She knows what she's doing.
This is her first deep space assignment. lt doesn't make sense to...
Here she is.
Welcome, Ensign. l'm Commander Benjamin Sisko.
Am l late? lt looked as though the meeting had already begun.
Dax and Bashir were telling me about your request to pilot a runabout.
Wouldn't it be more appropriate to include me in that conversation?
l was being briefed by my senior officers.
We discuss personnel matters all the time.
l'm sorry if l seem overly sensitive.
l'm used to being shut out of the Melora problem.
The truth is there is no Melora problem...
...until people create one.
This may sound ungrateful
because Dr Bashir has been very helpful preparing for my arrival,
but l wonder why a medical opinion is necessary in this discussion.
Julian knows your capabilities better than any of us.
l don't need a medical opinion to tell me my capabilities.
l won't be treated like l'm ill.
- Nobody is doing that. - Try sitting in the chair.
No one can understand until they sit in the chair.
l've been in one chair or another since l left my home world.
My family gave me this cane, made from the wood of a garlanic tree.
They had no idea what it would be like to live
in what you call normal gravity.
Only a few Elaysians have left home,
but l always knew that l had to be one of them.
l dreamt about exploring the stars as a child
and l wasn't going to allow any...
not a chair, not a Cardassian station,
to stop me from chasing that dream.
You must feel proud of everything you've achieved.
l've achieved that, Commander, without being dependent on anybody.
To be honest, l prefer to work alone.
lt's simply easier for me.
l am not comfortable sending you alone into the Gamma Quadrant.
l can focus on the job better,
work at my own pace without being a bother to anyone.
Lieutenant Dax will be going with you.
Yes, sir.
When do you wish to leave, Lieutenant?
- Your schedule is fine with me. - Then tomorrow at 07:30.
ls it working? The low-grav field actuator.
- l heard it go off. - lt's working fine.
So you were just...
For me, it's like slipping into a hot tub at the end of a long day.
l'm a shower man myself.
Look at this.
ls this your husband? Boyfriend?
Doctor, if you came for an apology...
- l apologise. - Apology?
My speech wasn't intended to attack you personally.
l'm sure you never set out to attack anyone personally,
but you seem to attack a lot.
- That's insensitive of you, Doctor. - Julian.
- l'm no longer your doctor. - l see.
- You've decided l need a friend. - Was that an attack?
You do it so well, with such charm, it's hard to tell.
- l really don't mean to... - Sure you do.
- l beg your pardon? - Of course you mean to.
The shots you fire are your way of keeping the universe on the defensive.
Has to be. You're too good at it.
lt always seemed to work pretty well.
Until now.
That is the nicest thing you've said to me.
Or anybody else.
Are you hungry? l came here thinking about asking you to dinner.
- Then afterwards we'll go dancing? - Red alert.
There's a new Klingon restaurant on the Promenade,
if you like that sort of thing.
All right.
- Dinner is served! - l didn't order dinner.
What better way to mollify...
...satisfy a hungry traveller than with a delicious home-cooked meal
starting with a delicate Vak clover soup?
Why spoil your appetite with soup? Here's the real treat.
Jumbo Vulcan molluscs sautéed in rhombolian butter.
A taste so exquisite, it's to die for.
Or to live for.
Do you know dabo, Fallit?
lt's a wonderful game and easy to learn.
l took the liberty of lining up a couple of excellent tutors.
Be sure to ask them about their double-down betting strategy.
lf l haven't made it clear, l intend your stay here
to be as pleasurable as you could ever imagine.
Allow me to propose a toast...
- ...old friends. - Old debts.
Shall l order for us both? We'll have some "racht" , of course.
And a double order of "gladst" . No sauce, please.
And a side order of "zilm'kach" . ls that too much for two?
- May l? - Don't be alarmed.
- l can't eat this. - l know how it looks...
l like a customer who knows what she wants.
There's nothing worse than half-dead "racht" .
When l was ten,
my father was a Federation diplomat on lnvernia ll.
One day, on a remote part of the planet,
we were hit by a massive storm.
While we waited it out,
we found an lnvernian girl about my age who was sick.
After the storm cleared, my father went for help. lt was too late.
l sat there and watched her die.
The next day, when he returned,
his guide told us we could have treated her with a simple herb.
l could have saved her life.
So you started to study medicine.
- Actually, first l started to study tennis. - Tennis?
l thought l could make a career out of it.
- You must be very good. - l used to think so.
Then l went to my first competition.
My opponent served and the ball bounced past me.
The computer said it was good and l was in trouble.
Turned out l had more talent at medicine than tennis.
l have an early mission tomorrow. l'd better get some rest.
Of course.
Dax to Pazlar.
Computer, level one security access.
Ensign Pazlar?
Computer, locate Ensign Melora Pazlar.
- Docking level 22, section 14. - Section 14?
- We need to get you to the infirmary. - lt's my own fault.
l decided l could use an extra astrometric array
after going through the mission profile. l came to storage to get one.
l wasn't paying enough attention to what l was doing.
My boot didn't make the lip of the door. l fell on my controls.
Dax to Bashir. Ensign Pazlar's had a minor accident.
- We need you in the infirmary. - Acknowledged.
What kind of architect would design a raised rim
at the entrance to every door?
So much for the Gamma Quadrant. l didn't even make it there.
There's no concussion. You can reschedule your mission for tomorrow.
lt was so...
Flopping back and forth like a broken toy.
l didn't want anyone to find me like that, but l couldn't get up.
Why didn't you wait for Dax before going in?
l didn't need Dax. lf l'd just paid attention.
Melora, no one on this station is completely independent.
ln space, we all depend on one another.
l just want you to know that you can depend on me.
You've proven that. What do the rest of us have to do to convince you?
- Of what? - That you can depend on us.
Have you heard of Nathaniel Teros' work with low gravity species?
Neuromuscular adaptation. lt had no practical success.
A lot of progress has been made in neurochemistry since then.
You think some day l could throw away the chair?
Theoretically, perhaps.
Would you like to come in?
No, l know how you look forward to turning down the gravity.
Don't let that stop you.
You may want to brace yourself until you get used to it.
Come on, Julian.
- What do l do? - Give a gentle push. lt's easy.
This is astonishing! l can't tell you how curious l was about this.
Most people are.
They make me feel like a carnival attraction.
- l prefer to keep everyone out. - Thank you for letting me in.
- He's my brother. - Who?
- Setting course 28, mark 142. - Confirmed.
Computer, any Vulcan études on file?
lf you have no objections. Computer, play something by Delvok.
Delvok never seems a Vulcan to me.
There's too much emotion in his music.
lt's pretty.
Tell me something, Lieutenant.
You think there's room for romance in Starfleet?
- l think so. - You've made it work?
- Now and then. - l mean really work.
Really work?
For that l'd have to go back 150 years.
That's a long time.
Could it be that Dr Bashir's bedside manner has won you over?
Our species are just so...different.
When did that stop anyone?
l knew a hydrogen-breathing Lothra who fell in love with an Oxygene.
How could they even be in the same room?
40 minutes a day without their breathing apparatus.
57 years they were together.
What about career conflicts?
Two friends of mine got engaged but were assigned to different starships.
Subspace relationships? That's a tough one.
They may not be together for a year and then for only a few weeks.
Love across light years. lt's just so...
- lt lacks intimacy. - You could say that.
l finish my mission here, l move on to the next one.
What kind of future is that for a romance?
Look at the alternative.
l guess.
Oh, it's you.
- Don't be so happy to see me. - All right, l won't.
Odo, there's a desperate criminal on board the station.
You're not talking about Fallit Kot,
who got eight years at a labour camp for hijacking Romulan ale
and whose name appears next to yours on the indictment?
l had nothing to do with the hijacking. l was only the middleman.
Trafficking in stolen goods should have got you your own cell at the camp.
Unless, of course, you sold out your partner.
l can honestly say justice was served.
l imagine that Fallit Kot is looking for his own kind of justice now.
He threatened to kill me.
- What? - Nothing.
- Just a passing thought. - Odo, he means it.
Nothing l do seems to change his mind. You've got to do something.
l'll do my job, Quark.
- "Racht" , anyone? - l've got something to show you.
What is it?
An elevated neural output from the brain's gross motor cortex.
lt's stimulating acetylcholine absorption.
- Neuromuscular adaptation? - lt was a theory
until the development of neo-analeptic transmitters.
No one has re-examined the ideas of Nathaniel Teros. Until now.
This...could actually work?
No more servo controls, no more chair...
- Have l done something wrong? - Not that l'm aware of.
- We have something in common. - We do?
l don't like Quark, either, but l can't let you kill him.
Did he tell you l was going to do that?
l know of your history together.
Let bygones be bygones, l always say.
And l always say you can tell a man's intentions by the way he walks.
How do l walk?
Like someone carrying a lot of weight on his shoulders.
Must be the memory of those Romulan bricks l carried.
Must be.
But you can't lock a man up for the way he walks, can you?
l'd say he's a man with nothing to lose.
l have no reason to hold him for now and he knows it.
l'll watch him the best l can,
but carry a combadge. Call me at the first sign of trouble.
What if the first sign is the last sign?
You people sell pieces of yourself after you die, don't you?
l'll buy one.
- My heart is pounding. - l hope that has to do with me.
Would that also explain why my backside is getting warm?
That's neuromuscular tissue stimulation
due to increased motor cortex activity.
l'd say that's enough first time out.
lt's good to use your muscles in this gravity environment.
- Feel any different? - No.
- Nothing at all? - l'm sorry, Julian.
The acetylcholine absorption is at 1 4% above normal.
lncreased tensile strength would be the result.
l can lift my leg.
Your neural pathway's beginning to adapt.
Endurance and coordination might take a while,
but you should be walking within the hour.
- How's the upgrade coming? - We've got it to about 70%,
but it looks like that's...
l'll be damned.
l wanted to give you our mission summary myself.
- A pleasure, Ensign. - Julian, how did you...?
l increased output on the brain's motor cortex.
Someone else's research, actually.
You'll get your name in the medical journals.
l don't know how to tell you this, but l'm not sure...
lt's just the first treatment wearing off. Nothing to be concerned about.
l'd better get you back to your quarters.
Habitat ring, level 14.
With each treatment, you should get stronger
and the effects should last longer.
What about this?
A low-grav environment now would confuse your motor cortex.
l understand.
You let me fly for the first time.
l let you walk.
We're even.
l'll see you in the morning.
Computer, turn on...
No one can hear you, Quark. lt's just you and me.
l wasn't prepared to entertain this evening,
but make yourself at home.
- l already have. - What's mine is yours.
l'm tired of your gifts, Quark. All l want is your miserable life.
Wait! Everything's negotiable.
Believe me, l'm worth much more to you alive.
How does 199 bars of gold-pressed latinum sound to you?
lt's a start.
The mattress felt like rocks. My muscles ached all night long.
You'll adjust to that.
This time the effect should last for several hours.
Exactly when does this become irreversible?
Melora, if you're not certain...
lt's just some strange form of buyer's remorse. l'll be fine.
Tell me exactly what you're feeling.
Last night, l just missed...
l didn't feel like me.
lf you want to end your dependence on the chair and the servo controls,
you'll have to give up the low-grav environment.
lt seemed like a good trade, until l realised l couldn't do it any more.
l'm concerned that going back and forth
could lead to a loss of fine motor control.
Your ability to perform complex tasks could be affected.
The effects are reversible for the next few days.
We can pull the plug at any time before then. But after that,
your motor cortex impulses will kick in on their own. Permanently.
lt's starting to wear off again.
l don't understand myself.
How could l possibly have second thoughts?
This would mean real independence. lt's everything l ever wished for.
Then l start to think about home and how l won't be able to go back.
Maybe just for a short visit, but never really go back.
''The Little Mermaid.''
- Mermaid? - lt's an Earth fable by HC Andersen.
She trades her magical life under the sea
for a pair of legs to walk on land.
Didn't she live happily ever after?
Ashrok. Right on time.
May l present my long-time business partner, Fallit Kot?
For your inspection.
- Then our transaction is complete. - Not quite.
- l'll take them, too. - They warned me about you.
A deal is a deal. Rule of Acquisition number 1 6.
You got what you came for. Be reasonable.
Pick it up. Hurry up!
Let's go!
Security to level 22, section 5.
Julian will understand.
He can publish the results of the first treatments.
Both of you, back in the ship.
Move it!
Come on, move it!
- Get us out of here. - Do as he says.
- l'll wait in the back. - The front, where l can see you.
She needs motor support in our gravity.
They're in the Orinoco. Docking clamps have been released.
Ready a tractor beam, open a channel.
This is Commander Benjamin Sisko. Return at once.
- No reply. - Engage the tractor beam.
They've locked onto us with a tractor beam.
Release the ship or l'll kill a hostage.
l'm willing to negotiate, but first...
Didn't you hear what l said?
No, l have something special in mind for you.
Do l make myself clear? Release the ship now.
Doctor, Chief, with me. Beam us to the Rio Grande.
On ten seconds, disengage the tractor beam.
- They've released us. - Through the wormhole.
- What was that? - l'm not sure.
Another ship coming through the wormhole.
- Take us to warp. - We haven't set a course yet.
lf we don't set a course, we could warp ourselves into oblivion.
Set a course. Just get us out of here.
- They're powering up their warp drive. - Stay with them.
Engaging warp engines.
- Can we beam them aboard at warp? - l wouldn't recommend it.
- Get the phasers ready. - l'm not going to fire at them.
You'll do it or you'll die. lt's your choice.
Fine. Then l hope you can fly this ship.
Just sit down and do what l told you. Now.
Quark, how well do you know this man?
We've been friends for years.
Then explain to him that Starfleet isn't going to stop chasing us.
You don't know these Starfleet types.
Then we'll all die.
Great! We escape and he's got something special planned for me.
We don't escape and l die. Am l missing a choice here?
- They've dropped out of warp. - Go to impulse.
- Their gravity generators are off. - Melora's alive.
Gravity has been reinstated. All engines are down.
Come on, Doctor.
We have the situation in hand, Commander.
Sisko to Rio Grande. Everything's under control.
Setting course for the wormhole.
- Why didn't the phaser kill me? - l don't know.
- Maybe all the neuro-stimulants. - That's what l was wondering.
lt might make an interesting side effect of the treatment.
l'm not going ahead with the treatments.
You can always try again some day.
l don't think l will.
l like being independent.
But to give up everything l am to walk on land...
l might be more independent, but l wouldn't be Elaysian any more.
l'm not sure what l'd be.
Maybe independence isn't all it's cracked up to be.
l like being dependent on someone for a change.
l'm glad you got me to unlock the doors to my quarters
so l could finally let someone into my life.
So am l.
You must be exhausted. lf you don't want to stay...
Let's just sit a while and listen.
l want to remember all of this.

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