- lf there's anything l can do... - You've already helped.
Just hearing about Dax makes me less nervous.
Don't be nervous. Jadzia will be a wonderful host.
That is, she is a wonderful host in a Trill manner of speaking.
She sounds very different from the other Daxes l've heard about.
When l was told that Jadzia Dax had been designated my field docent,
- l asked for reassignment. - You're joking! Why?
Because Dax is famous for breaking initiates.
- Breaking them? - l looked up the records.
Over the past 200 years
Dax has personally eliminated 57 host candidates from the programme.
- ls it too late to introduce myself? - No. She's a night owl.
Computer, locate Lieutenant Dax.
Lieutenant Dax is on level 7, section 5.
Of course. Then take us to level 7, section 5.
That's the computer's way of saying she's in Quark's.
Over 5,000 candidates qualify for the training programme each year.
Only 300 symbionts are available on the average.
lt doesn't take much for one to get knocked out.
The administrators only want hosts who are...
- Acquire! - Confront!
...the best and the brightest.
lt's the ears!
When he goes to acquire he scratches behind his left ear like this.
Don't play with my ears... unless you're serious.
- you have a guest. - You're a day early.
Yes, ma'am. l caught a transport a day early.
We sat next to each other.
l've told Arjin all about you.
Well, not quite all about you.
- Do you play tongo, Arjin? - Tongo? No, sir.
Then you'll have to leave, Arjin.
- The risk's to you, Lieutenant. - Shame on you.
This is a Trill initiate.
Of course he doesn't play tongo.
- l beg your pardon. - We'll have to teach him.
lt is easy. How much money did you bring?
Give the young fellow a seat. You, out!
lt was a very long trip. l think l should...
You're tired? l'll show you your quarters.
- Roll me away. - We can't.
- They're sore losers. - You can't quit now! You just won...
- Yes? - Oh. l'm sorry.
l thought this was Lieutenant Dax's quarters.
She's in the shower.
Oh. Well, in that case...
ls she expecting you?
Yes. l'm Arjin. She told me l should be here at...
ls that Arjin? You're early again.
We'll have to work on that.
- l can come back. - l'll only be a minute.
lt takes me longer as a female.
l have to go.
When is my rematch?
Next week.
lt was fun... Brutal, but fun. Safe trip!
The replicator makes a decent citrus blend.
Thanks, but l've already eaten.
- Get me a Black Hole? - A what?
A Black Hole. lt's a Ferengi drink.
A bartender l've known for a hundred years introduced it to Curzon.
Or was it Lela? lt was ages ago. Try one. You'll like it.
Computer, Black Hole.
Oh, my muscles are so sore.
Did you ever wrestle Galeo-Manada style, Arjin?
- Wrestle? - lt's a great way to start the day.
lt makes you alert. l'll set you up with Trajok, my coach.
So, you don't play tongo... you don't wrestle.
What are we going to do while you're here?
- l thought field training... - l know.
Jadzia did it a few years ago.
Yes, ma'am.
lf you want to become a Trill host, you'll never call me ma'am again.
Why don't you try ''Jadzia''?
lf you think that's appropriate.
l'm sure it isn't appropriate at all.
But then, l hate to be appropriate.
Over here, Chief.
All right, come to Papa.
- Voles, sir. - Voles?
A Cardassian legacy.
They weren't bothering us until recently.
Now they're spreading out all over the place.
They seem to be attracted to electromagnetic fields.
Give me a hand, Major, will you?
Phasers on stun, Mr O'Brien. l want those voles taken alive.
l'd like you to meet Arjin, the host candidate.
- Commander Benjamin Sisko. - Sir.
And that's our first officer, Major Kira,
and chief engineer O'Brien. Conducting repairs?
- Chasing Cardassian voles. - Really? l've never seen one.
Be my guest.
- So, you picked the black marble. - Sir?
Field training with Dax was the nightmare of the initiates.
That was Curzon Dax.
Gotcha! Arjin, here.
Spectacular, isn't it?
lt's amazing.
Computer, play something by Frenchotte.
- Frenchotte? - A self-exiled Romulan.
l collect forgotten composers.
- Will you take the controls? - l've never flown a runabout.
These fly themselves. You have third-level flight experience.
Actually, l just finished my fifth level.
- Fifth! l didn't finish third until... - Your last year of training.
You've been studying up on me.
l did the same when l heard who my field docent would be.
How did you feel when you heard it was Curzon Dax?
''Nauseous'' might be the best description.
Could you give me a few tips?
- Tips? - On how you impressed him.
Look, let's get one thing straight.
l'm not Curzon or Lela or the others. l'm Jadzia Dax.
Jadzia is only a bit older than you. You're her first initiate.
To be honest, in a lot of ways, l still feel like an initiate myself.
l remember the competition when Jadzia was going through it.
l won't make this difficult for you.
You don't have to impress me, OK?
So how did you?
- lmpress him? - l didn't.
Curzon recommended that my initiate period be terminated.
Engaging manual stabilisers. Shutting down all engines.
Computer, analyse stability loss.
Stability loss was due to an impact by a subspace interphase pocket.
- Nature of interphase pocket? - Unknown.
- Damage report. - Starboard nacelle non-functional.
Maximum available power 50%.
You'd better take a look at this.
Looks like we snagged something.
Computer, identify mass on the starboard nacelle.
We could create a pathway along the inner hull
and lure them into a trap.
Can you, without losing the other systems?
l can't. And it would take days.
We'd have to evacuate the station.
The only other thing l can come up with is a directional sonic generator.
l can adjust it to a frequency uncomfortable to them, drive them out.
But that's too slow.
lt ran right across a dabo table!
How did it die? Your food?
As landlords, you're responsible.
- l expect vermin control, or l'll... - Leave? Oh, please say ''leave''.
l'd take a Cardassian vole over you any day.
She insists on fighting her latent attraction to me.
- What are you going to do? - Relax.
This will make the voles beg for mercy.
- What is it? - A sonic...
Stop! Stop!
You all right?
- Are you all right? - What?
Chief, the Mekong just came back. They're showing damage.
Put them on screen, Major.
- Are you OK, Dax? - Our power's gone. We need a tow.
We picked up subspace seaweed on our starboard nacelle.
We couldn't get rid of it.
You can shut down your engines, Lieutenant.
Would you set up a containment chamber in the lab?
l'd like to study this thing under controlled conditions.
We'll need a few hours.
Morning is fine. We need time to recoup.
- Acknowledged. - Fill me in later.
Mekong out.
Come on, l'll take you to dinner.
She taught that to me.
A Klingon song l'd never heard.
She collects lost composers.
Don't get any ideas.
She's mine.
You haven't touched your "racht."
No, l have. lt's interesting.
You've moved it around so it looks like you've touched it.
l didn't have to. lt moved itself.
lf this didn't appeal to you why didn't you say something?
No, it's all right. l wasn't really very hungry anyway.
Speak up for yourself while you're here, OK?
l'll make a concerted effort.
So...who sponsored you for the programme?
- My father. - Was he joined?
No, but he had great ambitions for his children.
He was a pilot instructor at the Gedana post. He died last year.
l see where you got your flight skills.
My sister was always his choice for joining
but after she got accepted she got married.
My father never spoke to her again.
The day he died, he said,
''l'm counting on you.''
His last words to me.
Did he want you to enter Starfleet? To use your flight training?
He couldn't care less what l did, as long as l became joined.
That was his only goal.
And what about your goals?
There are so many possibilities when you're joined.
l'm not sure what l'd do.
l figured l'd get a lot of guidance from the symbiont.
A symbiont's influence is very strong, Arjin, but you're the host.
You've got to balance that influence with your own instincts.
lf you can't, the symbiont will overwhelm your personality.
- Aren't they a nuisance? - Do you have a way to deal with them?
Federation technology isn't up to it?
Look, in the interests of good relations...
You've got the station, you've got the voles.
By the way, their mating season begins in six weeks.
Thanks for your help.
The Federation could always withdraw from...
- What's this? - lt's from Julian.
He called it the solution you've been looking for.
''lt worked in Hamlin.''
Very funny.
Your move.
Your seaweed's safe in the science lab.
- You saw it? - What is it?
We did some analysis but none of the matter would scan.
We'll do more tests tomorrow.
How did your initiate come through the experience?
- Fine. He's a good pilot. - Uh-oh.
- What? - l know that look.
- What look? - That look, old man.
lt says, ''This one isn't going to make it.''
- Not because of me. - But you have your doubts?
- Yes. - What's wrong?
l'm not sure what he brings as a host, how he'll advance the symbiont.
- He's more than a little arrogant. - ls he?
OK, for a Trill, that's to be expected. Check.
But he doesn't have any idea what he'd do with a symbiont.
- Have you confronted him? - lt's not my job to.
lsn't it?
My job is to show him what it's like to function as a joined Trill.
l can show you the guidelines. They're very clear.
Who am l to confront him?
You're Dax.
Yes, but l'm not Curzon Dax
and l won't do to him what Curzon did to me.
what are you going to do?
This kid has to measure up soon or he'll never be chosen.
So you're not helping him by avoiding a confrontation.
Curzon was tough,
maybe even abusive in his own charming way,
but he always demanded the highest standards of excellence
from these host candidates.
You don't know what he did.
You made it through the programme.
- No thanks to him. - Are you sure?
Voles ate through the security field's energy lines.
- Can't say how long it will take to fix. - So nothing is secure.
Do you believe there's an imminent threat?
No, but l'm not sure yet.
l want to know soon. l'll schedule a briefing for 14:00 hours.
And take those phasers off stun, Chief! No more Mr Nice-guy.
Arjin, how's your astrophysics profile?
lt's one of my better subjects. Maybe that's why l'm working with you.
Set me up a gravimetric microprobe.
l need to calibrate the energy profile.
l felt that last night l didn't express myself well about my own goals.
l think you expressed yourself very clearly.
Don't think l hadn't set any goals for post-joining.
l have thought about Starfleet. With my flight training...
Starfleet is a career. A pilot is a job. They're not about being joined.
- l'm not sure l understand. - No, l don't think you do.
l'm sorry?
- You're telling me what l want to hear. - That's not true.
You tossed and turned in bed last night
because you knew the things you said concerned me.
- Now you're trying to fix it. - l'm just trying to clarify...
l know what it's like. l've tossed and turned.
Please don't insult me by denying it.
l'm finished.
Let's run a phase variant analysis.
l'm worried about you, Arjin.
l'm worried you're not preparing yourself for being joined.
A day and a half and you've made up your mind.
You've gotten this far by anticipating every demand of the programme
and performing above everyone's expectations, am l right?
l'd like to think that's true.
From this point on, that's not going to be good enough.
Highly structured, but it doesn't conform to our physical laws.
Computer, run a spectral line profile analysis.
Spectral analysis will take approximately seven minutes.
Just to...speak up for myself,
l'm feeling a little betrayed here.
After your impassioned, ''l am Jadzia, fellow initiate'' speech...
l understand why you feel that way but this isn't about me.
This is about the standards for hosts.
The opportunity is too important to waste on the wrong candidate.
And in your mind, l'm a wrong candidate.
l don't know that yet.
But it's only fair to tell you l am worried about you.
l see.
l should have known this.
l should have realised this.
You're Dax.
''Standards for Trill hosts''?
That is really incredible coming from you.
l have never seen a host
who is so far below those standards as you, ma'am.
No wonder Curzon Dax tried to terminate your training.
The EM flux shows there are high plasma concentrations
in a rapidly expanding mass.
The energy build-up is straining the containment chamber.
The mass periodically undergoes expansions and grows in spurts.
lt's a specific growth pattern that the computer recognised.
As what?
The expansion patterns of a universe.
- What? - A universe?
What we have, Benjamin, is a proto-universe
in its earliest stages of formation.
Unfortunately, as it grows it's displacing our own universe.
Can we take it back?
The energy mass has properties that don't conform to our laws of nature.
l don't know what might happen if we move it or take it into the wormhole.
Even if we get it there the wormhole's verteron nodes
could interact with the energy fluctuations of the proto-universe,
causing a devastating reaction. lt could threaten this system.
lf we don't do anything it will eventually obliterate us.
- Can't we contain it? - Not without destroying it.
That sounds like a pretty good option.
lf we can suppress it in a forcefield long enough
the pressure should create an implosive wave.
- lt would self-destruct. - How long before the next expansion?
About three hours.
The collateral shock waves will probably destroy the lab.
Can we prepare a containment field by then?
- Yes, sir. - Have Odo evacuate section 14.
Just keep pouring until l drown.
- Sounds pretty serious. - Serious? No.
l threw my life out a porthole. Nothing serious.
Any problem can be fixed by the right holosuite programme.
Never trust a Trill, Quark.
Why not?
- All Trills or just ones with the worm? - Any worm named Dax.
Did she break your heart, son?
Mine too. And Bashir is always in here crying over her.
- The Promenade is... - lt wasn't my heart she broke.
lt was me. My career, my life...
Wait a minute. ls this about all that ''initiate'' stuff?
She told me l wasn't preparing myself to join.
With the worm? That's her opinion. What's that worth, anyhow?
A bad recommendation from her and l can forget it.
When l was no older than you
l had an apprentice position with the district sub-nagus.
l licked his boots like you couldn't believe. He loved me.
l was on the way to the top of the Ferengi business world.
- Then it all fell apart. - How?
Rule of acquisition 112: ''Never have sex with the boss's sister.''
l was fired. Broke. lt was quite a setback to my ambitions.
- How did you recover? - Never did.
Look at me. Tending bar here
while the big boys fly by me at warp speed.
You only get one shot at the latinum stairway.
lf you miss it, you miss it.
Welcome to the club, son.
Glad l could help.
Computer, confirm the localised entropy decrease in the energy mass.
How much have the readings decreased?
Entropy readings have decreased 12% during the last 58 minutes.
This can't be right. The whole structure would have to be changing.
Activate a quantometer probe. Verify filter calibration.
Filter calibration verified.
Set energy flux resolution to .1 microdyne.
Begin high-resolution energy scans.
There must be a sensor malfunction.
Computer, run a self-diagnostic and check quantometer calibration.
Calibration is locked and normal. Diagnostic under way.
Are there any feedback anomalies in the dynametric array?
- Negative. - What's the feedback reading?
Feedback reading is zero. Diagnostic complete.
Sensors are functioning normally.
- Odo to Sisko. - Yes?
- Section 14 has been evacuated. - Acknowledged.
- Mr O'Brien? - Just finishing, Commander.
Sisko to Dax. We're establishing the containment field.
Get out of the lab.
- l'm out. l'm not sure you want to do it. - Why not?
l found indications of life in the proto-universe.
Non-random thermodynamics.
lrregular power consumption.
The computers confirm these are life signs.
Single cell microbes are life-forms too,
but Dr Bashir has a hypospray to kill them.
We could be dealing with intelligent life.
How is that possible if this proto-universe was just formed?
We may have only experienced hours since this universe was formed,
but time may move faster for them.
Billions of years may have passed.
An evolution of a species might have already taken place?
- Yes. - O'Brien to Sisko.
Go ahead, Chief.
We'd better implement that containment field now.
This thing's about to expand.
We're not going to put up the containment field.
This will only delay the inevitable.
Go to yellow alert. Move the repair crews into position.
Warning, hull breach, level 22, section 14.
Sisko to O'Brien. Seal off section 14. Move your repair crews in.
Aye, sir.
- When's the next expansion? - Five hours.
How much will it expand?
About 300%. By tomorrow, the station will be gone.
Let's beam them into space and look for a solution.
We have a solution but it's getting harder.
lt's us or them. We have to destroy it.
You can't just wipe out a civilization. We'd be committing mass murder.
lt's like stepping on ants, Odo.
l don't step on ants, Major.
Not understanding a life-form doesn't mean we can destroy it.
Do you have a better idea? Does anyone?
l'll give you my decision in an hour.
Personal log, supplemental.
One hour to make a decision that could mean the life or death of a civilization
or the end to our own.
My mind keeps going back to the Borg.
How l despised their indifference
as they tried to exterminate us.
l have to ask myself: would l be any different
if l destroyed another universe to preserve my own?
Hi, Dad. What are you doing back?
l just wanted to see you.
- He told you, didn't he? - What?
Chief O'Brien. Darn it, he promised.
lf there's something you want to tell me l want to hear it.
l love her, Dad.
- OK. - She's everything l ever wanted.
- l'm sure she's a wonderful girl. - She's a woman.
She doesn't like to be called a ''girl''. She hates it.
- She wants to be better. - Than what?
Than a dabo girl.
You're in love with a dabo girl?
You said Chief O'Brien told you that...
No, l didn't. Who is she, and how old is she, Jake?
Oh, geez...
- l was sure you wouldn't understand. - You're hiding things?
- You would have understood? - Of course not.
lt's Mardah, isn't it?
The one you've been tutoring in entomology.
l really want you to meet her.
Can l invite her to dinner tonight?
Not tonight.
- But soon. - Thanks, Dad.
You'll love her.
What's so interesting in there?
l can see my future.
l wouldn't trust a glass of synthale to tell you the future.
Let's just get this over with.
Just use a sharp blade so l won't feel it.
You don't know me very well.
l'm sure you looked at all the training profiles
but that doesn't tell you who Jadzia really was before she was joined.
She was the quietest, shyest,
most withdrawn young woman you've ever known.
Brilliant. Top grades and not a clue to what life was about.
She had never lived outside the programme
and it was OK because she was sailing through it.
Until she met Curzon Dax.
Curzon sized her up in about 20 seconds
and made the next two weeks the most miserable of her life.
She cried herself to sleep every night. She hated him for it.
But when she learned about Curzon's recommendation
to terminate her from the programme, she went back different.
She found her voice and reapplied.
She tore through the programme with a passion, a vengeance.
And in the end the administrators chose her for joining.
How did you get the Dax symbiont?
When l found out Curzon was dying, l requested the Dax symbiont.
- And Curzon didn't object? - No.
l've never been sure quite why,
except, as l've come to know Curzon's dark sense of humour,
l think the irony might have appealed.
Jadzia Dax is not Curzon Dax,
but l am Dax
and l am coming to terms with what that means.
Sometimes it means gambling or wrestling.
Sometimes it means waking up an initiate
before he gets overlooked.
You're giving me another chance?
Only you can give yourself another chance.
You can't do this to meet other people's expectations -
not your father's, not your teacher's, not mine.
Discover what Arjin wants out of life, out of joining.
We'll take it back through the wormhole. When can you be ready?
l want to be sure the containment field can block out radiation.
- About two hours? - Better get started.
Wouldn't hurt to have a level-five pilot along.
The containment field is in place.
But l'd like to test the verteron integrity.
That thing expands again in less than an hour.
This is the strongest forcefield l know.
A test would give us the odds of success.
l'm not playing the odds. Rio Grande. Your status?
Systems check complete. Auxiliary power to shields. We're ready to go.
- Ready transporter. - Locking onto the containment field.
Chief, we're getting a phase variation.
Stand by. The energy fluctuations are driving the transporter crazy.
- We've got it now. - Switching transporter to secure mode.
- Readings are stable. - When you're ready, Dax.
- Take us out gently, Arjin. - Firing thrusters.
'Energy readings from the containment field are holding.'
- Take us to 50 kph. - Confirmed. 17 seconds to wormhole.
- Hold at 50 kph. - Ten seconds.
Reading higher levels of neutrino activity.
We're almost home free.
Com links will terminate in five seconds.
- See you later. - Acknowledged, Rio Grande.
May the prophets guide you.
Containment-field stability is down to 85%.
Whenever we pass through a verteron node there's resonance leakage.
- We'll be out of here soon. - No.
Field stability is 65% and falling. Kill our forward acceleration now!
All engines stop.
38% stability, still falling...
Computer, thrusters on reverse, two second burst.
All stop.
lt's stabilising. The containment field is at 27%.
26% and holding.
- Now what? - We can't stay here.
Soon that energy mass expands.
Once it intersects with a verteron node Cardassia will feel it.
The containment field will fail when we move.
- Then we'll have to let it fail. - Let it fail?
lf we pass through even one of those verteron nodes without it,
- the energy mass will explode. - Avoid them.
You're talking about precision-flying through a wormhole.
- lt's never been done. - Yet.
- Jadzia... - You're a level-five pilot.
l'll do it but l don't have time to argue.
Watch the conn read-outs. l'll stay 50 metres away from any node.
Understood. Computer, calibrate internal scanners
to detect radiation in the cabin.
Activate sonic indicators.
Verteron levels are within safe limits.
We'll start with one thruster blast and coast through
to protect the containment field.
- Thrusters ready. - lnertial dampers off line.
lt will be rougher but l'll have more response time.
Firing thrusters.
- Velocity is at 40 metres per second. - Warning, containment field at 10%.
60 seconds to Gamma. Node to starboard bearing 037 mark 7.
Firing starboard thruster.
Warning, containment field has collapsed.
- No more margin for error. - 45 seconds to Gamma.
Node to port, bearing 030 mark 51.
l've got it.
35 seconds to Gamma. Verteron levels are still OK.
Jadzia, look at this.
We're never going to get through it.
Reading a passage. Adjust heading to 130, mark 47.
The sensors say it's directly ahead.
- l don't see it. - Hold your course.
l don't see it!
l see it! lt's less than 17 metres across.
The ship is 14 metres wide. You have three metres to work with.
Verteron levels are redlining.
Five seconds to Gamma.
This will look very good on your initiate record, Arjin.
Let's get this thing back where it belongs.
Before l go, l want to apologise for the things l said to you.
That was the first time you were honest.
l always expected that joining would make any Trill
complete, serene, wise beyond her years.
And l'm none of those things?
What l mean is, you're nothing like l expected.
l'm nothing like l expected.
Life after life, with each new personality stampeding around in your head,
you get desires that scare you,
dreams that used to belong to someone else.
l wouldn't recommend it for everyone, l might recommend it for you -
- when you're ready. - l know what l have to do.
- Good luck. - Thank you.
l'm not Curzon.

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