Station log, stardate 48543.2.
A team of Cardassian scientists is coming to assist us
deploying a subspace relay in the Gamma Quadrant.
lt will allow communication through the wormhole for the first time.
l've assigned these quarters to the senior Cardassian scientist, Ulani.
Her colleague, Gilora, has the adjacent room.
lt's warm here. You've reset the environmental controls?
l also had O'Brien reprogramme the replicators to provide Cardassian food.
Security measures?
- We're following them at all times. - Fine, but keep a distance.
The Cardassians should feel like guests, not prisoners.
There are still elements opposed to the peace treaty
between Cardassia and Bajor. We have to be prepared for trouble.
While the Cardassians are here, l want the Bajorans to get used to seeing them
walking on the Promenade and eating from their restaurants,
getting to know them as something other than brutal overseers.
l have an update from the Cardassians on their communications transceiver.
- How does it look? - l'm not convinced it will work.
- The Cardassians seem sure it will. - l hope they're right.
Whose quarters are these? Gilora's or Ulani's?
Ulani's. And how do you know their names?
- l was just informed an hour ago. - Odo, please.
l have a bottle of kanar for each of them,
along with a personal invitation to Quark's.
- Where did you get real kanar? - l've had it since the occupation.
There hasn't been much call for it the past few years,
but that's about to change.
Only two Cardassians are coming. How much kanar can they drink?
Two for now, but there'll be more thanks to the peace treaty.
As the 34th Rule of Acquisition states, ''Peace is good for business''.
- That's the 35th Rule. - You're right. What's the 34th?
''War is good for business.'' lt's easy to get them confused.
lt won't be long before there's a permanent Cardassian presence here.
- Scientists, diplomats, spies. - And they'll all be welcome at Quark's.
As long as they can pay.
Rumour has it that the shop next door to mine is going out of business.
l want to rent it and set up a few Cardassian gaming concessions.
There'll be no live vole fights on the Promenade, Quark.
l would never be party to anything so cruel and inhumane.
But, of course, if some Cardassians happened to bring their voles along
and they happened to get into a fight, l could hardly be held responsible for...
- Oh, yes you could. - And you will be.
Forget the vole fights.
But good kanar is hard to find and l have three cases of it.
But that's just the beginning.
Soon, Quark's will be the best place for Cardassian food and drink.
l'll set up daily shipments from Cardassia.
l may even need to buy my own transport ship.
- Quark, this kanar has gone bad. - What?
l suggest you take your bottles and leave,
before l have you arrested for attempting to poison our guests.
Vedek Yarka wants to see you. He says it's urgent.
- Thank you for seeing me, Emissary. - What can l do for you?
l'm here with a warning from the Prophets.
Don't let the Cardassians board this station.
lf you do, you'll bring destruction on us all.
Are you making some sort of threat?
No, this was foretold in the ancient texts.
You mean a prophecy?
Trakor's Third, when he first encountered the Orb of Change.
- l don't know it. - You should study the texts, child.
Was the arrival of the Cardassian scientists
foretold in a Bajoran Prophecy?
Exactly. Trakor's words are clear.
''When the river wakes, stirred once more to Janir's side,
''three vipers will return to their nest in the sky.''
The river has awoken, Emissary.
The Qui'al Dam was just put back into operation to divert water to the city.
Just as Trakor prophesied over 3,000 years ago.
Even now the vipers are approaching.
You think the vipers are the Cardassian scientists?
Yes. And this station is their nest in the sky.
And how exactly will their presence here bring destruction on us all?
Trakor said, ''When the vipers try to peer through the Temple gates,
''a Sword of Stars will appear in the heavens,
''the Temple will burn
''and the gates will open.''
Don't allow the Cardassians here.
lf you let them violate the Celestial Temple, they'll destroy it.
Bajor will be cut off from the Prophets forever.
Slow down. Let me get this straight.
So the vipers - the Cardassians - are going to destroy the wormhole?
This communications relay you hope to create is part of the Prophecy.
lt will allow the vipers to peer through the Temple gates -
the wormhole, as you call it. And if they do, the Temple will be destroyed.
Even if we accept that the Cardassians are the vipers,
there are only two of them coming, not three.
Could there be mistakes in your interpretation of the Prophecy?
There will be three vipers.
Do you know what this communications relay could mean for Bajor?
We'd be able to stay in contact with ships in the Gamma Quadrant.
lt will facilitate exploration, help us monitor Dominion activity,
give us warning in case of an attack.
None of that matters.
You must listen to me.
l know it's difficult for you to accept because you are not Bajoran.
l've studied the Prophecies all my life. We are on the verge of a great disaster.
- The Bajoran Assembly knows this? - Yes, as is the Kai herself.
Yet they want us to proceed with the establishment of the relay.
They have chosen to ignore the signs.
That's why l came to you, Emissary. l have faith in you.
l know you'll do what must be done.
Vedek, l have the utmost respect for your beliefs,
but l have no intention of calling this project off.
l hope that you will reconsider, Emissary.
My followers and l will remain aboard and pray that you change your mind.
You're free to do that, of course.
Have Odo find out everything he can about Vedek Yarka and his followers.
l don't want them making any trouble while the Cardassians are here.
l'm Commander Benjamin Sisko
and on behalf of the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet Command,
l'd like to welcome you to Deep Space 9.
- Thank you. l'm Dr Ulani Belor. - Gilora Rejal.
The Cardassian Government wishes to express its gratitude
to the Federation for agreeing to work together on this project.
lt's our hope that it's the first of many such projects between our peoples.
That's a hope we share.
This is my First Officer, Major Kira.
On behalf of the Bajoran Government, l'd like to welcome you.
This project is the beginning of a new era of peace for Bajor and Cardassia.
Thank you, Major.
Well, now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way...
- How was your trip? - Exhausting.
We spent most of it rehearsing what we would say when we got here.
- We're scientists, not diplomats. - You did very well.
Feel free to let the Central Command know that.
l've recently been contacted by Guls l haven't even heard of.
They all emphasised how important this mission is.
l know. Starfleet Command called me three times this morning.
Major, l want to thank you personally for allowing us to come here.
You're the ranking Bajoran officer here.
We wouldn't be here if you had been opposed to working with us.
l'll work with anyone for peace.
l'm glad we have so much in common.
Why don't l show you to your quarters?
The signalling platform is intended to be positioned at this point,
two kilometres from the wormhole.
Our transceiver has been configured to fit inside it,
and use its existing power grid.
A similar transceiver will be put in place here on Terok Nor...
on Deep Space 9.
Ulani, l've looked over your design specifications.
l'm not clear what carrier wave you'll use to cut through the interference.
We're planning to test various types of soliton pulses.
One of them should maintain signal integrity.
We tried something similar without success.
The Bajoran Government made your data available to us.
The phase variance in your coils was the problem.
l configured those coils myself. The variance was less than 0.01 %.
Which was unacceptably high. Our design has less than half that variance.
- You don't mind if l look at the specs? - lf you think it's necessary.
We'll need to make a few adjustments to the station's signalling array
so that it can accommodate our transmissions.
Chief O'Brien can assist you with that. And when you're ready,
we'll take the Defiant to the Gamma Quadrant,
deploy the communications relay, and start running tests.
Well, it's been a long day.
We'd like to get some rest.
- We'll show you your quarters. - That won't be necessary.
Thank you.
Those were the two friendliest vipers l've ever met.
l'll explain later.
l almost forgot, a colleague of ours, Dejar, will be arriving later today.
- l'll arrange quarters. - Thank you.
So, we need to discuss what we're going to do about...
What is it, Major?
- There are going to be three of them. - Yes.
Three vipers...
just like in the Prophecy.
Yarka is no longer a Vedek. He was stripped of his title two months ago.
Officially, for teachings not in keeping with the Bajoran faith.
But according to my sources, he was defrocked
because he led a series of protests against the Vedek Assembly
when they endorsed the peace treaty with Cardassia.
So Yarka may be using this Prophecy to scuttle the peace treaty.
That seems to be his agenda.
lt colours his view of the Prophecy, just as yours colours how you see it.
l don't have an agenda, Odo.
l want this project to succeed because l want the peace treaty to succeed.
lf l thought that the communications relay could damage the wormhole,
l'd stop it right now.
That's not the agenda l was referring to.
l meant your desire to distance yourself from the title of Emissary.
lt's just an observation, of course.
But you've never seemed to be comfortable with it.
l can't deny that.
Are you suggesting that l'm dismissing this Prophecy too easily
because l don't want to be the Emissary?
l'm not suggesting anything.
But it's been my experience that all humanoids have an agenda,
and this can influence them without their even realising it.
Morn came by the lnfirmary. He had an acute case of food poisoning.
l thought nothing could make him sick.
He had a bad glass of kanar at Quark's.
- He should ask for a refund. - Apparently, it was on the house.
- Major, may l have a word with you? - l'll see you later.
What can l do for you?
Have you convinced the Emissary to reconsider his decision?
- l haven't tried and l'm not planning to. - But you must.
- lf not, the Temple will be destroyed. - l'm not convinced that will happen.
- Don't you believe in the Prophecies? - Yes.
Don't you believe that Sisko is the Emissary?
You have to understand my position.
Commander Sisko is my superior. l must deal with him on that basis first.
So you do believe he's the Emissary. You just don't want him to know that.
l understand. You want him to know that he can count on you as an officer.
You want to keep work and faith separate.
- Yes, and for three years now l have. - That's no longer possible.
The Prophets have chosen you to help the Emissary make this decision,
which has profound implications for all of Bajor.
Convince him to make the Cardassians leave before the Sword of Stars shows.
lf you're asking me to...
lt is the Prophets who are asking.
lf you turn your back on them now, you're abandoning your faith.
And without your faith, Nerys...
what do you have left?
l prefer the Serialist Poets from the First Republic.
Like lloja of Prim. He's easily my favourite Cardassian writer.
lt's so rare to meet a non-Cardassian who appreciates our literature.
- l took an interest because l met lloja. - You knew him?
One of my previous hosts, Tobin, met him when he was in exile on Vulcan.
- As l recall, he had quite a temper. - Really?
- This is the party you're looking for. - Dejar.
May l introduce Jadzia Dax and Miles O'Brien.
- Our colleague, Dejar. - We weren't expecting you so soon.
l was able to arrange special transportation.
l'm sure you were.
l took the liberty of preparing a few of our special Cardassian delicacies.
- Tojal in yamok sauce. - Regova eggs.
All fresh, not replicated.
Well, enjoy.
ls something wrong?
lt's just... l don't really care for Cardassian cuisine.
We try to avoid it whenever possible.
Fortunately, the Science Ministry is provided with various off-world foods.
Yes, we're actually quite spoiled.
Some of us even think of ourselves as better than the average Cardassian.
The main switching relays are in here.
We should hook your transceiver to the ODN interface...
- What happened to these couplings? - What?
l made some modifications.
These relays don't have enough carrying capacity.
They can't handle the signal load.
ln order to bring the system up to Starfleet Code,
l had to take out the couplings to make room for a secondary backup.
Starfleet Code requires a second backup?
ln case the first one fails.
What are the chances that both a primary system and its backup fail?
lt's very unlikely, but l wouldn't want to be caught without a second backup.
Well, what's done is done.
l'll try to figure out what we should do next.
- Our best bet would be to... - Just give me a moment to think.
l'll just sit here quietly.
Ah. ln that case, could you get me a cup of red leaf tea?
Why not?
We've loaded the relay into the Defiant's cargo bay.
How are O'Brien and Gilora doing?
The transceiver should be on line in about four hours.
- We won't be ready before that. - We've received clearance from ops.
Release docking clamps, and set a course for the wormhole.
Full scan.
No sign of Dominion activity. No other ships in the area.
Take us into position. Stand by to deploy...
- Wait a minute. - What is it?
A mass of ice and ionised gas entering sensor range bearing 21 5, mark 3.
- lt looks like a rogue comet. - Put it on screen.
lt's beautiful.
lts core contains high concentrations of silithium. That's why its tail is so bright.
The Sword of Stars.
That's a very colourful way to describe a comet, Major.
lt's just a figure of speech.
Your Sword of Stars is going to pass near the wormhole,
but not close enough to interfere with our plans.
- We're in position, Benjamin. - Begin a final check on the relay.
l want to deploy it within the hour.
Major, can l have a word with you?
The Sword of Stars?
- lt certainly looked like that to me. - That's open to debate.
But it's not debatable that this Prophecy has no place here,
especially in front of the Cardassians.
They are not aware of it and l want to keep it that way.
You're right. lt won't happen again.
l take it that you believe the Prophecy is coming true?
Yes, l do.
- Should l call this mission off? - Look at what's happened already.
The river has returned to Janir, the three vipers, now the Sword of Stars...
Each of them predicted by Trakor's Prophecy.
And then there's you...
the Emissary.
You're here. You have a decision to make just like in the Prophecy.
Do you really believe that l'm the Emissary?
l guess l always have. l...
never wanted to admit it to myself.
lt's hard to work for someone who's a religious icon.
l hope l don't offend your beliefs,
but l don't see myself as an icon, religious or otherwise.
l'm a Starfleet Officer and l have a mission to accomplish.
lf l call it off, it has to be for a concrete reason,
something solid, something Starfleet.
All right. How about this?
The Prophets, the aliens who live in the wormhole, as you call them,
exist outside of linear time. They know the past, present and future.
They could have communicated their knowledge of the future
to a Bajoran named Trakor. He wrote it down in the form of a Prophecy.
And now, 3,000 years later, we're seeing those events unfold.
To me, that reasoning sounds concrete, solid, l'd even call it Starfleet.
But that all hinges on how you interpret an ancient text
that's been translated and re-translated over the centuries.
Words that were couched in metaphor to begin with.
l'm sorry, Major. But where you see a Sword of Stars, l see a comet.
Where you see vipers, l see three scientists.
And where you see the Emissary, l see a Starfleet Officer.
- Dax to Sisko. - Go ahead.
We're ready to deploy the relay.
On my way.
Now, we shunt the ODN line through the secondary field coils.
- We can't do that. - Why not?
Those coils aren't configured to handle ODN output.
Why not? Did you modify them, too?
Actually l replaced them. They were always shorting out on us.
Frankly, l don't see how this station kept running during the occupation.
Why didn't you tell me you'd replaced the field coils?
lf you had told me what you were planning to do, l would have.
l don't have time to explain everything.
You think l won't be able to understand?
lt has been my experience that...
That humans aren't good engineers?
- No, not humans. Males. - l beg your pardon?
Men don't have a head for this.
That's why women dominate the sciences.
Maybe on Cardassia. But on this station, this man is Chief of Operations.
l know more about these systems than anyone.
l think l know what the problem is.
So if you want to get that transceiver on line,
hand me the laser torch and give me some room.
- Are we ready? - Almost.
l'm about to activate the transmission array. Dejar?
Standing by.
l'm receiving the relay's test signal.
Target the array toward the wormhole
and initiate a carrier wave in the delta band frequency.
lnitiating it.
lf the station receives it, they'll send a signal on the same frequency.
- l'm not receiving anything. - Then we assume it didn't work.
- Let's try the theta band frequency. - lnitiating carrier wave.
Something's wrong. l'm picking up a neutrino surge from the wormhole.
- Report. - The wave opened the wormhole.
lts gravity well has increased by a factor of three.
Terminate the carrier wave.
- Gravimetric fields are back to normal. - What happened?
The carrier wave shouldn't have affected the wormhole.
- ls the relay damaged? - No. l'm still receiving the test signal.
The gravitational surge altered the course of the comet.
- lt's heading toward the wormhole. - lf the comet enters the wormhole,
the silithium in its core will cause a cascade reaction...
And will collapse the wormhole permanently.
Commander's log. Supplemental.
With less than five hours before the comet reaches the wormhole,
l've convened a meeting of the entire science team.
The carrier wave created a subspace inversion in the wormhole.
That's what caused the gravity well to form.
That possibility was predicted in one of our computer models.
That wasn't in the data you sent us.
Such a probability was less than 2%. Well within safety limits.
We saw no reason to include it in the data.
Our scientific methodologies differ slightly.
We examine all possibilities before we proceed with field tests.
We would prefer to operate that way as well.
However, the Science Ministry operates under military rules.
One of them is not to make projects look dangerous.
We'll keep that in mind when we resume work on the relay.
That is an extremely unlikely possibility.
The Ministry will wish to assemble a new team before proceeding further.
That is, of course, an internal Cardassian matter.
Chief, Dax feels we can't risk using tractor beams to deflect the comet.
lt would break into pieces and we'd have a bigger mess.
The same as if you tried to destroy it with a phaser beam.
Not necessarily.
l could modify the phaser array to encompass the entire comet.
Vaporising it evenly so it won't break up.
- How long would the modifications take? - Three hours.
Get on it. We'll be cutting this one pretty close.
l've accessed the Defiant's primary phaser relay.
l'm going to try shunting it through the warp drive.
- Won't that overload the relay? - Not if we bypass the plasma emitter.
l hadn't thought of that.
The emitter coupling is over there.
What are you doing now?
l'm decoupling the servos so they don't lock up.
You have very steady hands.
Well, they get the job done, l guess.
And right now, the most important job is bypassing the plasma emitter.
l assure you l'm...quite fertile.
l could provide you with many healthy children.
But l think you're getting a little ahead of yourself.
Children? What are you talking about?
l already have a child, and a wife.
- You're married? - Yes, happily.
Then why have you been leading me to believe that you wanted me?
l haven't. All we've done since we've met is argue.
l took your overt irritability as a signal
that you wish to pursue some physical relationship.
Of course. That's how Cardassians do things.
Oh, my!
l'm afraid this is a case of cross-cultural misunderstanding.
l think so. l'm not remotely interested in you.
That's not what l meant...
You are very attractive and l'm flattered, of course...
Please, Mr O'Brien, there's no need to continue.
You've made your feelings clear.
Gilora, we have to finish this.
l'm sure you can complete the job on your own.
O'Brien said the modifications to the Defiant's phasers would be ready soon.
- Half an hour ahead of schedule. - The Chief is a born engineer.
He always gives himself a comfortable margin with his repair estimates.
You're reading up on Bajoran Prophecies concerning the Emissary.
There are hundreds of them.
Most of them are vague. Some are contradictory.
But there's just enough truth in a few of them to make me wonder.
- Have some of them come true? - Depending on your interpretion, yes.
So now you're wondering if Trakor's Prophecy is coming true as well.
l have to admit it's getting harder to ignore.
There's every reason to believe we'll destroy the comet.
l know. But l'm more and more concerned
that if l don't send the Cardassians home, something else will go wrong.
''The gates of heaven will burn and be cast open.''
lf you'd never heard Trakor's Prophecy, what would you do?
l'd continue working on the communications relay.
Then it seems to me you have a choice.
You can either make your own decisions
or you can let these Prophecies make them for you.
As soon as the Defiant is ready, have the Cardassians meet us on board.
Yes, sir.
The comet's directly ahead. Distance: 200 kilometres.
Bring us to within ten kilometres.
Chief, are your phaser modifications on line?
Phasers are locked on target.
Holding position at ten kilometres.
Shields up. Go to Red Alert. Fire!
- Chief, what the hell happened? - l don't know, sir.
The weapons' relay just blew. All defensive systems are down.
The sensors show that the phasers never came on line.
Our burst shattered the comet instead of vaporising it.
They shouldn't have misfired. l modified the systems myself.
The three fragments are still on course for the wormhole.
- When will they reach the entrance? - 26 minutes.
Without weapons, we have no way of stopping them.
The emitter coupling has been depolarised.
l must have inverted the power flow when l modified the phaser array.
l can't believe it. A first-year student wouldn't make a mistake like that.
This wasn't your fault, Mr O'Brien. And it wasn't an accident.
Dejar is in the Obsidian Order and was assigned for security reasons.
l believe she sabotaged this coupling.
The Order has always been opposed to the peace treaty with Bajor.
They sent you to sabotage the relay because if the first joint venture
between Cardassia and Bajor was a failure, it would be the last.
This is all speculation. You have no proof.
lf it was sabotage, a DNA scan should reveal who's responsible.
Take her to quarters and detain her there.
Could the tractor beams deflect the smaller pieces of the comet?
They'd just disintegrate further, releasing more silithium.
lf we can't stop the fragments
can we prevent the silithium from interacting with the wormhole?
Maybe if we could contain it somehow.
A field around the fragments might contain the silithium.
The warp drive... lt could create a subspace bubble around the ship.
The Defiant can't be manoeuvred between the fragments.
There's not enough room.
A shuttle pod could go between them, its warp drive creating a field.
- But it could overload the engines. - That's the chance l'll have to take.
Major, you have the bridge.
Take the Defiant to the Alpha Quadrant once l've cleared the shuttlebay.
l want to go with you. Not just because l'm your first officer, but...
because l believe l'm here to help the Emissary.
Dax, the bridge is yours.
We've cleared the shuttlebay. Signal the Defiant that they can leave.
They're heading for the wormhole.
l'll take us in behind the fragments. lt'll be easier to manoeuvre into position.
Hold position here. They could be in for a rough ride.
Stand by transporters in case we need to beam them off the shuttle pod.
We're in position.
- Activate the subspace field. - Field engaged.
We'll reach the entrance to the wormhole in five seconds.
The subspace field is losing integrity.
The silithium is leaking through.
Divert power to the subspace field coils.
We'll let our own inertia carry us the rest of the way.
That helped. We're still losing silithium.
l'm picking up a neutrino surge. Something's coming through.
Dax to Sisko. Are you all right, Benjamin?
There was some silithium leakage inside the wormhole, but we're fine.
- l don't believe it. - What is it, Chief?
l'm picking up the test signal from the relay.
- How is that possible? - l'm not sure.
A subspace filament leads back through the wormhole.
lt's acting like a carrier wave.
The comet fragments. They must have left a silithium trail.
lt's almost like the wormhole was wedged open just a crack.
Just enough to let subspace signals through.
The Prophecy came true... All of it...
We just misinterpreted Trakor's words.
The three vipers...
He wasn't talking about the Cardassians.
He meant the three comet fragments.
The communications relay...
ln a sense we've been trying to peer through the Temple gates.
The silithium ignited the wormhole, burning the Temple gates.
So that they'd never close again.
And it's all because the Emissary used the Sword of Stars.
And Trakor saw it all.
3,000 years ago.
l just want to say that l appreciate what you did on the Defiant.
l hope it doesn't cause you too much trouble back in Cardassia.
My superiors in the Science Ministry will protect me.
Frankly, Dejar is in much more trouble than l.
The Order doesn't reward failure.
Still, it was a brave thing to do.
l didn't want you to take the blame for something that wasn't your fault.
l know how proud you are of your work.
Too proud sometimes. lt's gotten me into trouble now and again.
- What's your wife's name? - Keiko.
A lucky woman.
Emissary, l'm sorry l doubted you.
l let my distrust of the Cardassians blind me to the Prophets' words.
The Prophets want peace between your two peoples after all.
Perhaps so.
Trakor's Fourth Prophecy will soon come to pass as well.
- That has something to do with me? - You, Commander?
lt is a Prophecy about the Emissary.
Tell me about it.
lt says that the Emissary will face a fiery trial and he will be forced to choose...

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