What a waste of a morning.
That Galipotan freighter that was scheduled to be here at 0700
still hasn't arrived.
That's the price for doing business with a culture
that doesn't acknowledge the concept of time.
But they make magnificent sweaters.
- l hope l'm not boring you. - Not at all.
- l was up late last night. - Entertaining one of your lady friends?
Unfortunately not.
No, l was reading ''The Never Ending Sacrifice''.
lsn't it superb?
Without a doubt the finest Cardassian novel ever written.
- l'll take your word for it. - So you didn't enjoy it?
Well, l thought it was interesting.
Maybe a little dull in parts.
Oh, wonderful!
At this rate, we'll finish lunch just in time for dinner.
Well, there's always Quark's.
l'm not in the mood for noisy, crowded, and vulgar today.
l suppose the Klingon restaurant is out of the question.
l can't believe l'm dining with a man
who finds the ''Never Ending Sacrifice'' dull.
l just thought the story got a little redundant.
The author's supposed to chronicle seven generations of a single family,
but he tells the same story over and over again.
All the characters lead lives of duty to the state,
grow old and die.
The next generation does the same.
That's the point, Doctor.
The repetitive epic is the most elegant form in Cardassian literature
and ''The Never Ending Sacrifice'' is its greatest achievement.
His characters never come alive,
and there's more to life than duty to the state.
A Federation viewpoint if ever l heard one.
This is ridiculous. Can't you move to the front?
- Tell them it's a medical emergency. - We'll be there in a minute.
- Maybe if you lent me another book... - lt would be a waste of time.
When it comes to art, you're a prisoner
of Federation dogma and human prejudice.
l'm sorry you feel that way.
l was just trying...
- Are you all right? - l'm fine.
Your skin is clammy and your pupils have contracted.
l assure you, l'm in perfect health.
Now you were asking about other Cardassian books.
Something maybe a little more access...
Perfect health!
Cardassian standards must be a little lower than mine.
- What are you doing? - l'm taking you to the infirmary.
That won't be necessary.
- Maybe not, but humour me. - Frankly, Doctor...
l'm a little tired of humouring you.
There's nothing wrong with me that a little peace and privacy wouldn't cure.
lf you'll excuse me, l seem to have lost my appetite.
What was that all about?
l have no idea.
- What's wrong with it? - ln my expert medical opinion...
l'd say it's sick.
l know that, but why is it sick?
l'm a doctor, not a botanist.
Did you ask professor O'Brien?
Keiko's at a conference and won't be back for a week.
None of your past hosts have had any experience with plants?
Daxes have never been much on gardening.
Tobin tried it,
but had even less luck with plants than he had with women.
Do you know where it's from?
l picked it up on Ledonia lll.
- May l? - Be my guest.
That explains it.
Ledonian soil contains a benevolent fungus
that helps the plants retain water.
The fungus in this soil has almost died out.
lf we salvage what's left and cultivate a new batch
that should do the trick.
- Keiko would be proud of you. - lt's all on the screen.
l wish my humanoid patients were as easy to treat.
Did O'Brien dislocate his shoulder again?
lt's Garak.
Today he seemed as though he was having a seizure.
He had trouble breathing and appeared to be in pain.
He refused to go to the infirmary.
Maybe he doesn't like going to the doctor.
lt's that damned Cardassian evasiveness of his.
Keeping me guessing about his past is one thing
but when it comes to his health...
Why can't he tell me what's going on?
lt sounds like you're taking this personally.
Garak and l have been having lunch for a year.
- You'd think he'd trust me. - Why should he?
- lt's not like you're really friends. - Well, no, of course not.
l suppose l don't trust him either.
For all l know, he is a Cardassian spy.
lf he doesn't want help, that's his prerogative.
So we understand each other.
Garak, how long have you been living on this station?
- Too long. - And have l ever let you down?
l have never done business with you.
Which is why this deal is important to me.
l want our business relationship to get off on the right foot.
Now relax. You'll get your merchandise.
Soon, Quark. l can't wait much longer.
You and Garak going into business?
l couldn't help overhearing your conversation.
Oh, that.
l'm helping Garak get a new sizing scanner for his shop.
Not just any sizing scanner.
The best, straight from Merak ll,
calibrated to be accurate down to the micrometer
and at a very reasonable price.
Really? l thought Garak sounded a bit upset.
Upset, Garak? l hadn't noticed.
Now, is there anything l can do for you?
A little Saurian brandy to go
or maybe a late-night session in a holosuite?
No, thank you. l think l'll call it a night.
Suit yourself.
There, how does that feel?
Much better.
Try not to yell at any more admirals for a while.
l was just expressing my feelings loudly.
- Chief. - Commander.
- You wanted to see me? - Yes.
l've been trying to access Cardassian medical files, but with no luck.
The Cardassians did a general systems sweep before they pulled out.
The medical files would have been deleted.
ls there any way to recover them?
These subroutines don't look as bad as the engineering files did.
l could reconstruct the data
by microscanning the purge trace.
- How long will that take? - Two, maybe three weeks.
Well, that settles that.
- Thank you anyway. - Sorry l couldn't be of more help.
- Quark to Bashir. - This is Bashir.
Doctor, l need you in my bar right away.
Come on, Garak.
- Haven't you had enough? - On the contrary.
Anyone who talks about the numbing effects of your liquor
is severely overstating the case, huh?
What's all this?
He complained about a headache then drank up half my stock of kanar.
Doctor, what a pleasant surprise.
l apologise for my outburst at lunch but l'll make it up to you.
Please, join me.
- l think l will. May l? - By all means.
- What are you doing? - l think it's a little noisy in here.
- l'd prefer to drink somewhere quiet. - An excellent idea.
We'll go to my quarters.
Whatever you want.
But first l must make a stop at the infirmary.
The infirmary? What kind of fool do you take me for?
Give me back my bottle.
- Give me my bottle back. - l will...
- ln the infirmary. - l'm not going to the infirmary
and l refuse to play this ridiculous game.
Now give me...
Make it stop, make it stop.
Bashir to ops. Medical emergency.
Two to beam to the infirmary. Energise.
- Some kind of implant? - Apparently.
- What's it for? - l was hoping you could tell me.
After working for the Cardassians, you know them well.
- l never looked inside their skulls. - l don't suppose you did.
- ls this the cause of Garak's condition? - lt's possible.
This is connected to his entire central nervous system.
Maybe it's some kind of punishment device,
a parting gift from the Cardassian government.
l thought that, but based on the scarring,
this implant's been there for years.
- Garak's only been in pain a few days. - lnteresting.
- l wish l had an answer. - You could help me get one.
l think Quark knows what this thing is.
- What makes you say that? - l overheard them talking.
Garak was buying some merchandise from Quark.
l asked Quark what it was about but...
No need to explain, Doctor.
The direct approach seldom works with people like him.
But this could answer some of my own questions.
Quark has sent several messages to Cardassia in the past few days.
l monitor all of Quark's subspace communications.
- ls that legal? - lt's in the interest of station security.
Do you want to know what Quark knows or not?
- l see your point. - Then meet me at 0200 hours.
Quark always makes his clandestine calls after the bar closes.
l wouldn't miss it.
Quark, you parasite. lt's been too long.
ls Hartla still working for you?
The dabo tables wouldn't be the same without her.
What l wouldn't give to see her again!
l'm sure she misses you too.
l'll bet she does.
She would have bankrupted me
if the occupation had lasted longer.
But l'm sure you didn't contact me just to reminisce.
- What can l do for you? - Would you like to earn some latinum?
Enough to buy yourself a promotion.
You have my undivided attention.
l need a piece of Cardassian bio-technology
and the schematics relating to its installation.
Bio-technology, that shouldn't be too difficult.
What is it?
l never ask those questions,
but l've got the requisition code number.
- Give it to me. l'll look for it. - Here it is.
l hope you don't have a bug hidden in my quarters.
- Should l? - Transmission complete.
Hold on. This won't take long.
Take your time.
- Quark, you idiot! - ls something wrong?
ls something wrong? l'm ruined!
- My career is over! - What did l do?
You and your damned requisition code.
lt's for classified bio-technology.
Even the number is classified. Where did you get it?
No, don't tell me! l don't want to know.
lf l'm lucky, l can still get through this with my skin intact.
- Maybe they won't trace it back to me. - Who won't?
The Obsidian Order.
Nice talking to you, Boheeka.
We'll have to do it again sometime.
The Obsidian Order. That complicates things.
Who are they?
The ever-vigilant eyes and ears of the Cardassian empire.
lt is said that Cardassians cannot eat a meal
without each dish being recorded by the Order.
What happens if you meet with their disapproval?
People have been known to disappear for less.
Whether you agree with their goals or not
you can't help but admire their efficiency.
Even the Romulan Tal Shiar can't compete
with their intelligence gathering and covert operations.
- What has this to do with Garak? - l wish l knew.
Do you think the Order put that implant inside Garak's head?
lf the implant is a punishment device
then why is Garak trying to get another one?
He asked for specifications.
Maybe he's trying to find some way of removing it.
l'd like to talk with him when he wakes up.
You'll have to get in line.
Thank you, Constable.
Computer, report on the status of patient Garak.
Patient Garak is no longer in the infirmary.
- When did he leave? - At 0320 hours.
Garak, are you in there?
Computer, open the door to chamber 901, habitat level H-3.
Emergency medical override, Bashir 1-alpha.
Doctor, what a pleasant surprise.
l'm sorry. l must have missed the door chime.
What do you think you're doing?
Triptacederin? How much did you take?
A mere 30 ccs. Not nearly enough, l'm afraid.
30 ccs would anaesthetise an Algorian mammoth.
We Cardassians must be made of sterner stuff. l barely feel it.
Listen, Garak, l've had enough.
- You're going back to the infirmary. - l don't think so.
Believe me, there's nothing you can do for me.
And Quark can?
l thought l was supposed to be the spy.
- Quark's not coming, Garak. - How do you know?
His Cardassian contact couldn't get the item you requested.
That's most distressing, but l suppose not all that surprising.
Oh, well. Maybe it's for the best.
My hypospray, if you please.
Another dose of triptacederine might kill you.
Thank you for your concern, but l'd rather have the hypospray.
l'm won't let you commit suicide. l'm here to help.
l doubt you can!
l think you'll find that l'm experiencing
some slight deterioration of my cranial nerve clusters.
lt's not so slight. We've got to get you to the infirmary.
l have no intention of putting myself on display
for the amusement of the Bajorans of this station.
lt's not your pride l'm worried about, it's that head implant.
- You know about that? - lt's a punishment device, isn't it?
Punishment device?
l suppose in a way, that's what it's become.
lf it wasn't put there to punish you then what's it for?
l need to know what it's for, then maybe l could remove it.
lt's hopeless, Doctor. Believe me, it can't be removed.
- How do you know? - That's the point.
lf it could be easily removed, it would be useless.
You see, on Cardassia l was entrusted with certain information
that needed to be kept safe regardless of the situation.
My implant was given to me by Enabran Tain,
the head of the Obsidian Order.
lf l was ever tortured,
it would stimulate the pleasure centres of my brain
to trigger the production of vast amounts of natural endorphins.
l do hope you appreciate the irony.
The whole purpose of the implant was to make me immune to pain.
What caused it to malfunction?
lt was never meant for continuous use.
Continuous use? What do you mean?
Living on this station is torture for me, Doctor.
The temperature is always too cold.
The lights always too bright.
Every Bajoran on the station looks at me with loathing and contempt.
So one day, l decided l couldn't live with it any more
and l took the pain away.
You activated the implant.
l created a device which allowed me to control the implant.
At first, l only used it a few minutes a day,
but l began relying on it more
until finally l just turned it on and never shut it off.
- How long has it been on? - Two years.
- And now it's breaking down. - That's correct.
- Why don't you shut it off? - lt's too late now.
My body has become dependent
on the higher endorphin levels it generates.
So, that's it then.
- You're going let them win. - ''Them'', Doctor?
The Central Command, the Obsidians - whoever it is who exiled you here.
You're going to let them destroy you,
give up hope of seeing Cardassia again.
Has anyone told you you are infuriating?
Chief O'Brien - l don't pay any attention to him either.
Has it occurred to you that l might be getting what l deserve?
- No one deserves this. - Please!
l'm suffering enough without hearing your Federation sympathy.
Do you think because we lunch together you know me?
You couldn't even begin to fathom what l'm capable of.
l'm a doctor.
You're my patient.
- That's all l need to know. - Wrong again.
You need to know who you're trying to save.
During the occupation
l was a Gul in the Cardassian mechanised infantry
just outside the Bajoran capital.
Shortly before the withdrawal a few prisoners escaped from my custody.
My aide, a man named Elim,
tracked them to a Cardassian shuttle bound for Terok Nor.
The captain refused to let Elim search the ship
because he claimed Gul Dukat had ordered him to depart immediately.
So l had the shuttle destroyed,
killing the escapees, Elim, and 97 Cardassian civilians.
You can't be serious.
l followed my orders.
None of those prisoners escaped off of Bajor alive.
Unfortunately, one of the passengers on the shuttle was the daughter
of a prominent military official.
l was stripped of my rank and commission
and exiled from Cardassia.
So now you know, Doctor.
l hope l haven't shattered too many of your illusions.
Listen to me, Garak.
l'm not concerned with what you did in the past.
l'm not going to let you die.
We need to turn that implant off,
and whatever withdrawal symptoms or side effects you may experience,
l promise l'll help you through them.
l need to know where that triggering device is.
Where is it?
The desk, second drawer.
That will be all for now. lf you need me, l'll be here for the next 26 hours.
Computer, there's an erosion of tissue in the lymphatic system. Explain.
Unable to determine cause
due to insufficient data on Cardassian physiology.
Monitor the status of the patient's cranial implant.
lnform me if it shows signs of reactivation.
Doctor, l was hoping l could ask Garak some questions.
He's been asleep ever since l turned off his implant.
Come on, we can talk outside.
Doctor, l need to talk to him.
l have four cases left in my homicide files
which were probably committed by the Obsidian Order.
Garak may be able to shed some light on them.
- Your questions will have to wait. - How long?
l don't know yet.
Garak's body has undergone a severe shock.
l don't know when or if he'll recover.
Then l'll talk to him now. Wake him up.
These are murder cases, and Garak may be a suspect.
He's still my patient and l'll not have him disturbed.
So his quarters are off limits to everyone except medical personnel.
Excuse me, l have a patient to attend to.
- Leave me alone. - That's not a good idea.
Your blood chemistry is imbalanced.
- Don't touch me. - Just calm down.
l don't want to calm down, Doctor.
l've been calm long enough.
Look at this place. lt's pathetic.
To think that this is what my life has been reduced to.
This sterile shell, this prison.
Take it easy.
You're affected by the deactivation of the implant.
l feel more clear-headed than l have in the past two years.
Two years - what a waste these past two years have been.
There was a time, Doctor.
There was a time when l was the protegé of Enabran Tain himself.
Do you have any idea what that means?
- l'm afraid l don't. - No, you don't, do you?
You don't know much of anything.
Tain was the Obsidian Order.
Not even the Central Command dared challenge him.
l was his right hand. My future was limitless
until l threw it away.
When you had that shuttle shot down to stop those prisoners?
- l wish l had stopped them. - You didn't?
No, my disgrace is worse than that. Unimaginably worse.
What could you have possibly done worse than that?
l let them go.
lt was the eve of the Cardassian withdrawal.
Elim and l were interrogating five Bajoran children.
None of them were older than 14 years old. They knew nothing.
They lived on bombsites, scrounged for food on the streets,
they were filthy and they stank.
The room was freezing cold, the air was like ice
and suddenly the whole exercise seemed meaningless.
All l wanted was a hot bath and a good meal.
And so l let them go.
l gave them whatever latinum l had in my pockets
and opened the door and flung them back into the streets.
Elim couldn't believe his eyes.
He looked at me as if l were insane.
You took pity on those children. There's nothing wrong with that.
No! l was a fool!
l should have completed my interrogation
and turned them over for execution.
But because l was chilly and hungry,
l failed in my duty and destroyed everything l had worked for.
- And so they exiled you. - That's right.
And left me to live out my days with nothing to look forward to
but having lunch with you.
l'm sorry you feel that way. l thought you enjoyed my company.
l did, and that's the worst part.
l actually enjoyed eating mediocre food
and staring into your smug, sanctimonious face.
l hate this place, and l hate you.
OK, Garak, that's your prerogative.
- Now, you should lie down. - Get away from me!
Garak, stop this. l don't want to hurt you.
Bashir to lnfirmary. l need a medical team in Garak's quarters now.
Administer another 20 ccs of hyperzine.
- He's not responding. - Give it a second.
- Begin cardiostimulation. - His heartbeat is stabilising.
But why is his lymphatic system still critical?
l shut down the implant. lt can't be affecting his blood.
Yet toxins are still accumulating in his lymphatic tissues.
Computer, display all samples taken from the patient in the past 39 hours.
Display them by chemical composition.
lsolate and display sample number 17.
Bring up sample 23.
Sample 27.
Sample 32.
Sample 35.
Sample 40. Stop!
Bring back sample 35.
Superimpose this leukocyte
with an analogous sample taken from yesterday.
That's it. The molecular structure has been altered,
causing the accumulation of toxins in his system.
Can we synthesise Cardassian leukocytes?
That could take weeks. We have three or four days.
lf we turn the implant back on we keep him alive another week or two.
- No. - What?
l won't allow it. l never want that thing turned on again.
l understand how you feel, but what else can l do for you?
You've done enough, Doctor, more than l deserve.
- There's something you have to know. - What's that?
The truth.
l've about given up on learning the truth from you, Garak.
Don't give up on me now, Doctor.
Patience has its rewards.
Now listen carefully.
Elim wasn't my aide.
He friend.
We grew up together. We were closer than brothers.
For some reason Enabran Tain took a liking to us.
We became very powerful men in the Obsidian Order.
They called us ''The Sons of Tain''.
Even the guls feared us.
And then there was a scandal.
Someone in the order was accused
of letting some Bajoran prisoners escape.
There were rumours of who would be implicated.
Fingers were being pointed at me.
By then, Tain had retired to the Arawath colony.
He couldn't protect me, so l panicked.
l did everything in my power
to make sure that Elim was accused instead of me.
l altered records, planted evidence,
only to discover that he'd beaten me to it.
- He betrayed you first. - Elim destroyed me.
Before l knew what was going on, l was sentenced to exile.
And the irony is l deserved it.
Not for the reasons they claimed,
but because of what l had tried to do to Elim, my best friend.
Why are you telling me this, Garak?
So that you can forgive me.
Why else?
l need to know that someone forgives me.
l forgive you...
for whatever it is you did.
Thank you, Doctor. That's most kind.
See that he's comfortable. l'll be back within 52 hours.
- Where are you going? - To find the man responsible for this.
Dr Bashir. Welcome.
Please, make yourself at home.
You've come all this way to see me.
Aren't you going to say something?
- How did you know my name? - lnformation's my business.
You're Enabran Tain.
And you're Dr Julian Subatoi Bashir.
l hope you weren't greeted too rudely upon entering Cardassian space.
- Not nearly as rudely as l expected. - Good, l told them you'd be coming.
The military hates surprises. Still what you did was very brave.
l'm impressed. Can l get you something to drink?
- Tarkalean tea, perhaps? - l always drink Tarkalean tea...
A good host knows the needs of his guests.
One Tarkalean tea, extra sweet.
And a glass of kanar.
So, how's Garak? Has his condition improved at all?
That Cardassian Quark was talking to, Boheeka,
he really did have a reason to fear the Obsidian Order.
- Everyone does. - l don't understand it.
- Garak told me you were retired. - l am.
Have been for years. But l keep informed on current events.
l bet you could tell me some things l'd like to know.
l'm sure l could.
l'll tell you anything you want to know about medicine, biology, or tennis.
Do you want to hear my opinion on the latest nillimite alloy racket?
- l don't think that will be necessary. - Have it your way.
Are all the Starfleet lieutenants as brash as you are?
l couldn't say, though l doubt it.
So do l.
Tell me, Doctor, how sick is Garak?
- He's dying. - And you're trying to save him.
- That's right. - Strange. l thought you were his friend.
- l suppose l am. - Then you should let him die.
After all, for Garak, a life in exile is no life at all.
Say what you will, my job is to keep him alive, and l need your help.
My help? What can l do?
His leukocyte molecular structure has been disrupted.
l need to synthesise replacements to stabilise his condition.
Unfortunately, my knowledge of Cardassian biochemistry is limited.
And you think l have access to that information?
lnformation is your business.
You ordered him to put that implant in his head, didn't you?
l never had to order Garak to do anything. That's why he was special.
So you're saying if you don't get the information, Garak dies.
- That's it. - Well, we can't allow that, can we?
l'll transfer all the necessary data to your station's computers.
- Thank you. - No, don't thank me.
l'm not doing Garak any favours.
He doesn't deserve a quick death.
On the contrary, l want to him to live a long, miserable life.
l want him to grow old on a station surrounded by people who hate him,
knowing that he'll never come home again.
What a lovely sentiment.
And it's from the heart, l assure you.
And now, Doctor, you should be going.
- One last thing. - Make it brief.
Garak mentioned an old friend of his - a member of the Obsidian Order.
l was wondering what happened to him?
- And the name of this friend? - He said it was Elim.
- Mind letting me in on the joke? - Garak hasn't changed a bit.
Never tell the truth when a lie will do.
That man has a rare gift for obfuscation.
Elim is Garak's first name.
Now run along home. And please, tell Garak that l miss him.
l'll be sure to give him the message.
Computer, one to beam up.
- May l join you? - Garak.
Thank you.
You're supposed to be in bed.
Out of the question.
l couldn't stand being cooped up in that dreadful infirmary.
Besides, l feel perfectly fine.
How's the l'danian spice pudding today?
How's the spice pudding? ls that all you have to say for yourself?
How can you pretend the last ten days never happened?
l am perfectly satisfied with the way things turned out
and l see no need to dwell on what was a difficult time for both of us.
By the way, l just had an interesting conversation with Constable Odo.
He's under the impression that l was a member of the Obsidian Order.
What did you say?
- That he was mistaken. - And he believed you?
He said something about keeping a closer eye on me.
l said, ''Be my guest. l have nothing to hide.''
Here. l've brought you something.
What is it?
''Meditations on a Crimson Shadow'', by Preloc.
More Cardassian literature.
You'll like this one. lt's set in the future.
Cardassia and the Klingon empire are at war.
- Who wins? - Who do you think?
l don't want you to spoil the ending.
l still have a lot of questions to ask you about your past.
l've given you all the answers l'm capable of.
You've given me answers, all right. But they were all different.
Out of all the stories you've told me, which ones were true?
My dear Doctor, they're all true.
- Even the lies? - Especially the lies.

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