I knew that my paper was controversial
but I had no idea that it would turn
the entire conference upside-down.
Believe me, Jake, panel discussions between doctors
are usually a lot more civilized than that.
I don't know.
They seemed polite enough to me.
Oh, that was just a veneer.
That paper stepped on quite a few toes, I can tell you.
It's heresy to even consider the possibility
that a prion replication could be inhibited
by quantum resonance effects.
Aren't you going to take any notes?
Oh, good idea.
According to the so-called experts
it's all a matter of amino acid re-sequencing
and disulfide shuffling.
Quantum dynamics has nothing to do with it.
But how can that be?
I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about.
...on a quantum level.
Ah, get this.
This is very good.
A few months ago...
If I don't find a way to get out of doing this article
my first writing assignment is going to be my last.
Maybe if I write to the Journal and explain.
"Dear Editors, thank you
"for the confidence you expressed in me
"by accepting my proposed profile of Dr. Bashir.
Do you follow?
Sort of.
Good, because that's the key.
The protein anomalies...
Who cares about anomalies?
People want stories about things they can relate to:
Life and death, good and evil.
An outbreak of Cartalian fever would be just the thing.
"The brave doctor battles the deadly virus."
Listen to me... I'm actually rooting for a plague.
...quantum-scanning each and every peptide bond
I thought I'd begin to make some kind of...
It's a distress call
from the Federation colony on Ajilon Prime.
They're under attack.
The Klingons have landed troops.
So much for the cease-fire.
The main hospital's been damaged.
They're short on doctors and running low on supplies.
What are we waiting for? Let's go.
It's too risky.
The hospital's only 50 kilometers away
from the front line.
You put yourself into dangerous situations
all the time.
Maybe, but that's not the same as putting you into one.
Don't worry about me.
You're too young to die, Jake.
I'm 18.
You know what I mean.
I've been on the station
when it was under attack plenty of times.
I can handle myself. I'm a Sisko.
There are lives at stake.
These people need you.
I hope I don't regret this.
We'll be there in just under an hour.
I can only imagine what your father's going to say.
He'll understand.
I'll get you out of there
as soon as reinforcements arrive.
Besides, I wouldn't want you
to miss the deadline on your story.
Do you think they'd want a picture of me?
Anyway, about those quantum scans
I was telling you about...
"Surgery under Fire."
Now we're talking.
What is it, Quark?
The Chief asked me to come up
with a decaffeinated raktajino for Kira.
I'm thinking of marketing it.
Ugh! Ugh!
Oh, that's awful.
Give it a chance.
Let me taste it.
I did the best I could.
The removal of caffeine from beverages
has plagued bartenders and restaurateurs for centuries.
You can't expect me to solve it overnight.
Well, I'm not paying for that.
So much for "Quark-tajino."
I wanted to get her off caffeine
not poison her.
You make me sound
like some kind of addict.
She has maybe two raktajinos a day.
Look, I just don't want my son to be born
with a caffeine habit, that's all.
You're being ridiculous.
Why does pregnancy always make men hysterical?
Excuse me. This is not the first baby I've had.
Excuse me. Keiko had Molly.
It's not up to you to tell Kira
what she can and cannot do.
She is carrying his child.
He should have some say.
As the lessee, he does have certain rights.
Back home, pregnancy is considered a rental.
- Rental? - Rental?
Something wrong, Captain?
I just talked to Dr. Bashir.
He's on his way to Ajilon Prime
to answer a request for medical assistance.
Jake's with him.
According to the latest reports
Klingon ground troops have captured two settlements
in the northern hemisphere.
Half the colonists are still trapped on the planet
and there are no ships in the area to evacuate them.
We're three days away at best.
The Farragut will get there the day after tomorrow.
Bashir says that he and Jake will leave
as soon as the relief teams are in place.
That means they'll be home by Thursday.
Doesn't give you much time to snoop through Jake's things.
Ready to beam down?
No, we can't leave the runabout in orbit.
Not with the Klingons around.
Besides, the colonists moved what was left
of the medical equipment underground
when the hospital was destroyed.
And there's magnesite in the rock face.
There's no way to transport through it.
I guess we'll have to find a place to set down.
Looks like there's a clearing
about a kilometer away from the main settlement.
Jake... things could get a little rough down there.
They've got a lot of wounded.
I'll be all right.
We've got more wounded coming in!
I need that plasma!
Are you Bashir?
We got a distress call.
Resource said you were on your way.
Watch it. Watch it!
This is the last IP.
His pulse is thready.
He must be bleeding somewhere.
We are losing him!
Dr. Kalandra!
Bashir, drop in, standard triage.
Give him 15 milligrams inaprovaline.
What should I do?
Just keep out of the way, please.
Get this man into surgery!
The artery's severed.
Her BP's bottoming out!
O2, three liters. One full saline.
Somebody, this man needs some help!
Help me! Somebody, help me!
I've been hit.
Took a disruptor blast, real close.
I need that blood plasma!
Let's get you up on the table.
There's nothing we can do.
He's too far gone.
It doesn't look that bad.
I was stepping over a Klingon.
I thought he was dead.
He caught me right in the foot... ah!
You people better get out of here
while you still can.
The Klingons...
there's no stopping them.
This is a phaser burn.
What are you talking about?!
Just sit tight.
We'II... get to you as soon as we can.
It's not a phaser burn!
It was a Klingon.
You weren't there.
You don't know what it's like.
The Klingons had us pinned down.
We were done for.
We all knew it.
Hendriks and Pajal, they got scared. They ran.
They ran.
Then Sully got hit in the leg...
and the medics pulled him off the line
and all I could think was...
"I wish I were him."
And I took my phaser...
Oh, God!
What did I do to myself?
What did I do?
Find someplace else to stand.
No problem.
"Triage... the sorting of the wounded...
forces decisions that..."
I got to get a grip... focus.
"...decisions that test what it means to be a doctor."
Hey, you!
Give me a hand.
Come on! Come on!
I've got to get some plasma for this guy.
Keep an eye on him for me.
I'll be right back.
Wait, wait, wait.
This way. Over there.
Watch it. Watch it!
Nice catch.
Here you are, sir, a nice private room with a view.
One, two, three.
Well, you can count.
You're hired.
Let's get you dressed.
I'd like to try an aortal graft.
All right, there's an extra surgical table in the back.
He's dead.
Come on.
Let's get him out of here.
One, two, three...
Party's over.
So soon?
And we were just starting to have fun.
Since you two aren't busy
would you mind carrying me to the nearest replicator
so that I can get something to eat?
You wanted to see me, Captain?
Yes. I, uh, hear you, uh...
took a little trip to the Infirmary.
I'll be fine.
The only permanent damage was to my pride.
What happened?
Quark wanted me to keep an eye on two Yridians
who he suspected were cheating at dabo.
Turns out he was right.
I could see from the second level
that one of them was using
a miniature gravimetric scanner
to predict where the ball would land on the wheel
and signaling the information to his partner.
Ingenious. Go on.
Well, I started down the stairs
to make the arrest.
One of them spotted me.
They bolted.
I pursued.
I'm afraid I got a bit carried away...
And jumped off the stairs.
I was planning to change form in midair
and become a Tarkalean condor.
Ah... that would have been impressive.
I thought so.
It's an understandable mistake.
You've been a changeling longer than you've been a solid.
Solid... I wonder why my people use that term.
Humanoid bodies are so fragile.
Yes, they are.
And there are a lot of ways you can get hurt.
You're worried about Jake.
I'm... sure
that Dr. Bashir is looking after him.
It seems... just yesterday he was five years old...
clinging to me, because he'd just scraped his knee
and I was the only one in the world
who could make it better.
I remember, sometimes
getting up in the middle of the night
and slipping into his room
just to make sure he was all right...
and I'd sit there and watch him sleep
and I'd think to myself that no matter what
I wasn't going to let anything bad happen to this child.
Now he's a sector away in a war zone
and there's nothing I can do to protect him.
Try not to worry, Captain.
It won't do you or Jake any good.
Can't help it.
It comes with the territory.
But Jake is 18 years old.
Does your father still worry about you?
Oh, all the time.
Ah... I never realized
how stressful it is to be a parent.
I have to say, I don't think it's for me.
That's your choice, but you don't know what you're missing.
We just got word... the Klingons have destroyed
the Farragut near the Lembatta cluster.
What about Ajilon Prime?
Without reinforcements...
Dax, you're with me.
We'll leave as soon as the Defiant is ready.
Here you go.
How you holding up?
Well, you handled yourself well today.
I'm impressed.
I'm starved.
Think I'll start by making a lateral incision
across the thigh joint.
Uh-oh. Hang on.
Out we go.
His first day?
Pass the salt.
How do you feel?
Fresh air did me good.
You remember that Ensign, the one who shot himself?
How could I forget?
What's going to happen to him?
Oh, he'll probably be court-martialed.
He said that some of the people in his squad
got scared and ran.
It happens.
But they're Starfleet.
They've passed psych-tests.
They've spent hundreds of hours in battle simulations.
Simulations can't prepare you for the real thing.
Nothing can.
Some people say that you don't know
what you're really made of until you've been in battle.
Well, let me tell you, Jake.
There are many situations in life
which test a person's character.
Thankfully, most of them
don't involve death and destruction.
Dr. Kalandra is looking for you.
Something about that aortal graft you did.
Oh, thanks.
Um... I'll see you later.
I put your tray back in the replicator.
I didn't know how long you'd be gone.
Me neither.
I think I could handle some soup.
How is he?
The graft's holding.
Blood throughput is almost 100 percent.
Nice job.
You have a good team.
My O.R. Nurse was as sharp as they come.
We do the best we can, considering...
the circumstances.
So, are things any better for us?
Last I heard, Starfleet had pulled out
of the Archanis sector.
Well, the fleet's regrouping for a counterattack.
Do you have any idea what ships are involved?
We don't get much news here.
The Klingons have been jamming the subspace traffic.
I think, um, the Rutledge and the Tecumseh
are heading things up.
The Tecumseh.
My husband's the Science Officer.
Well, believe me
Captain Raymond is one of the best there is.
He saw the Tecumseh through the Cardassian wars.
I don't think he's planning on losing her now.
I don't suppose he is.
They've prepped the spinal trauma.
We're ready for you in surgery.
I'll be right there.
They're keeping you busy.
It helps keep my mind... off things.
It's good to see you got your appetite back.
I have a pretty strong stomach...
most of the time.
Don't worry about it.
Same thing happened to me my first day.
You know what I heard?
That ship Starfleet sent... - the Farragut...
the Klingons intercepted it.
Starfleet will send another one, won't they?
Won't be here for days
and in the meantime, we're looking at a ground war
which is just what the Klingons want
and according to a Lieutenant I talked to
they've got so many transport scramblers on line
that we can't beam troops anywhere.
What about using hoppers?
He says the Klingons
have been shooting them out of the sky left and right.
Unless something changes, he figures the Klingons
will take the settlement the day after tomorrow.
Did you see all the bat'leth wounds today?
Klingons get mad
they forget about their disruptors, go hand to hand.
If you ask me, they're looking to get even
for what happened on Ganalda IV.
What happened?
They had to retreat.
Klingons hate that.
At least we don't have to worry about them in here.
Oh, don't be so sure.
Medical personnel are fair game
as far as Klingons are concerned.
They'll even kill wounded right in their beds.
Think they're giving them an honorable death.
So, how'd you wind up here?
I, uh... I'm writing an article about Dr. Bashir.
You're a journalist?
No, not exactly.
What does that mean?
I write stories, mostly... you know, fiction.
I wonder if Kirby knew
that the whole time we were talking
all I could think about was how close the Klingons were.
He didn't seem that worried.
No one else seems to be losing sleep over it
so why is it the only thing I can think about?
I've been on the station when it was under attack
plenty of times, but somehow the danger
never seemed as real as it does here.
Maybe it's because I spent all day
seeing first-hand what the Klingons are capable of
or maybe it's because, for the first time in my life
my father's not here to protect me.
What was that?
The Klingons.
They must have taken out the reactor.
Come on, come on!
She's fibrillating.
If we don't get power back soon, we'll lose half the ward.
Kidney failure, he's going into renal shock.
I just talked to Resource.
It's going to be at least three hours
before we have power.
There must be some portable generators we could use.
They're using them to keep the shields up
around the settlement.
The runabout.
There's a portable generator on the runabout.
Where is it?
About a kilometer south of here.
I'll need help carrying it though.
Well, you won't be able to beam through the shields.
You'll have to take the east tunnel.
That lets out beyond the perimeter.
I'll show you.
We set down just over that ridge.
Yeah. It looks familiar.
Get down!
Stay close.
And keep your head low.
Whatever happens, one of us has to get that generator.
Stick with me.
Come on, Jake!
over there.
Sit me up.
Do it!
I'm not going to die with my face in the dirt.
How's your head?
You're lucky I didn't kill you.
I thought you were a Klingon.
Have you seen any?
Are there any patrols around?
What about Starfleet?
It's just you and me then.
What are you doing
out here anyway?
Why'd you leave the settlement?
I, uh... I was outside when the shelling started.
I... I guess I got lost looking for cover.
Lucky me.
I could use the company.
Here... water.
What about you?
Go ahead.
Probably would have leaked out of me anyway.
Don't let me fall over.
I want to go out looking up at the sky
not at the ground.
Don't worry.
You didn't see a crashed hopper around here
did you?
They made it.
My platoon.
The Klingon's had us pinned down.
We couldn't beam out
'cause they had a transport scrambler running.
We called for a hopper.
As soon as it set down
the Klingons came after us.
CO ordered me and Brice to lay down cover
so the squad could get up the ramp.
By the time Brice got in
the Klingons were practically on top of us.
Hopper was taking such a pounding
I didn't think it'd make it off the ground.
You stayed behind on purpose so they could get away.
The hypo... where is it?
It's empty.
I'll get you out of here.
I'll make a stretcher.
With what?
Then I'll carry you.
Kid, you try carrying me, my guts
are going to spill all over your shoes.
But I have to do something.
I've got to try.
Forget it.
But I have to.
That way, this will all make sense.
Maybe I ran for a reason...
so I could find you and... and save your life.
From the explosions.
We had to get to the runabout, for the generator.
And... the shelling started, and I couldn't see Dr. Bashir
and the explosions, they kept getting closer.
I had to get out of there.
So I ran.
I ran and I kept running until I found you.
The doctor... you left him.
It was a mistake.
That's what you call it.
I didn't mean for it to happen.
And now you think bringing me back
is going to make everything all right.
Sorry, kid...
life doesn't work like that.
I'll be right out.
What have you been doing in there for three hours?
I was tweaking the pattern buffers
in the replicator systems.
I always thought the coffee could be a little hotter.
I'm just trying to keep busy.
Is it helping?
No, not really.
I wish there was something I could do.
Some way I could promise you
that everything is going to be okay.
But you can't. No one can.
I know what it's like to worry about a child.
Raifi put Tobin through hell.
When Neema was six
she came down with Rugalan fever.
Audrid spent two weeks in the hospital with her
and never left her side.
It was hundreds of years ago
and I can still remember how...
helpless I felt.
I read her all 17 volumes of Caster's Down the River Light
even though I knew she couldn't hear me.
It made me feel like I was doing something...
that we were still connected.
It wasn't...
until much...
much after that
that I realized that I was doing it as much for me
as I was doing it for her.
Just to keep busy.
So, how did it turn out with Neema?
She pulled through.
Whew. I was hoping you were going to say that.
Because if this story had an unhappy ending
I would have never forgiven you.
Of course, by the time she was 21
she wouldn't even speak to me.
For how long?
About eight years.
Do me a favor.
Tell me about it some other time.
Right now, all I care about is seeing Jake.
You will, tomorrow, when we get to Ajilon Prime.
You know, Ben, coffee can never be too hot.
Are you sure you got
the replicator buffers synchronized?
You want to check it for yourself?
I think I will.
Can I borrow your decoupler?
Get your own.
I have to check the sonic shower relays.
Good idea.
How are you feeling?
Jake, we thought you were...
I'm okay.
This is great.
What happened?
I got knocked out when we were trying to get to the runabout.
Did Dr. Bashir make it back all right?
He's in IC for the night.
He's got plasma burns on his arm and shoulder.
I don't know how he managed
but he carried the generator back here by himself.
We went looking for you
right after the shelling stopped.
I mean, there was
hardly anything left of the runabout.
The whole place was nothing but bomb craters and-and smoke.
We had pretty much given up hope.
I must have wandered off in the wrong direction when I came to.
You are lucky you didn't get picked up by the Klingons.
Word is, they're massing to attack the compound.
You want to see him?
No, I should let him rest.
He's awake. I was just in there.
Go ahead.
He'll be glad to see you're okay.
Thank God!
I thought you'd been killed.
Once the shelling had stopped, and I couldn't find you
I assumed the worst.
I am so sorry.
It's all right.
no, it isn't.
I should never have brought you here in the first place.
Now we're stuck here, the Klingons massing to attack...
What was I thinking?!
Forget it, okay!
What's done is... is done.
I couldn't stand hearing him apologize to me like that
not after what I'd done to him.
All right, you two.
Visiting hours are over.
Let me have a look at that.
I keep turning it over in my head...
the shelling, losing sight of Bashir, running...
and I keep trying to make sense of it all
to justify what I did.
But when it comes down to it, there's only one explanation.
I'm a coward.
Part of me wishes Bashir had seen me run away
and told everyone the truth.
They deserve to know what I am.
They should know they can't count on me.
That, if the Klingons attack, I'll run and hide
just like I did before.
Dr. Kalandra asked me to give this to you.
Oh, thanks, Jake.
Would you take this to the patient in G-4?
Here you go.
Maybe I'll get a job as a cutter.
Could be interesting work.
What's a cutter?
You know, on a mining team.
They're the ones who split asteroids up with phasers
so the excavators can get at what's inside.
You got to have good aim, and no matter what else
you can say about me
you can't say that I don't have good aim.
Because if I hadn't hit my foot just right
I would have taken my whole leg off.
It's funny.
One minute, your life's moving along
just like you always thought it would
and the next, you do something that changes everything
and that makes you realize
you're not who you thought you were.
At the Academy, I did really well
in the battle simulations.
I never had any problems.
But when you're out there
and the live shells are detonating all around you
it's a whole different thing.
All you can think about
is getting away from the explosions.
Yeah, that's pretty much it.
You know something?
You're the first person I've met
since I've been here that hasn't made me feel
like I'm taking up valuable bed space.
The way everyone looks at me...
I can't stand it.
After the court-martial's over, I'm definitely signing up
for the next mining expedition to the Gamma Quadrant.
Maybe there won't be a court-martial.
You're right.
None of us may get out of here alive.
No, I mean Starfleet could decide
to send you to counseling instead.
I won't go.
I don't deserve to be in Starfleet.
Therapy won't change what I did.
Nothing will.
I just wish I had aimed that phaser a little higher.
I saw the report on Dr. Kalandra's desk.
According to Resource, it's just a matter of time
before the Klingons reach the compound.
I guess that means I have to decide.
Decide what?
Whether I'd rather get hacked to bits
or blasted by a disrupter.
A disrupter, no doubt about it.
Every molecule in your body... vaporized in a flash.
No time to feel pain.
Don't be so sure about that.
Some people think it's like being boiled alive.
Decapitation has its virtues.
Nice clean blow with a sharp bat'leth.
The brain lives on for five, ten seconds at least.
In theory, your headless corpse could be the last thing you see.
You're so negative.
I'm just telling you what I heard.
What do you think, Jake?
I think it's not funny.
Well, of course not.
There's nothing funny about having
your throat slit...
Cut it out!
I was just kidding.
You think this is some joke.
It's not. People are dying.
And it's all so stupid.
This whole stupid war is such a waste.
In ten years, nobody's going to remember
what anybody did here.
Maybe you saved a hopper full of people.
Maybe you shot yourself in the foot.
No one's going to remember!
Let's take a walk.
I'm sorry.
Look, I know you're scared, we all are.
No... it's not that.
What, Jake? What is it?
I just didn't think what they were saying was funny.
Come on, that's not what set you off.
Something's eating at you.
I can see it.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Ever since you came back here
you've been walking around looking miserable.
Leave me alone.
Leave me alone.
All right, if that's what you want.
But if you want to talk, you know where to find me.
What's going on?
Are they inside the compound?
Everybody, listen!
What's going on?
We're evacuating.
We're taking the patients
out through the north tunnel to the surface.
A hopper will take us down the peninsula
to the base at Tanandra Bay.
That tunnel is almost two kilometers long.
We have over 70 patients to move.
Do you know how long that's going to take?
Resource is sending a security detail
to defend the hospital and give us
time to evacuate.
We can do this.
We have to keep calm, focus on our jobs.
Those people out there need us.
Yes. Let's move.
Come on.
Give me a hand!
Keep moving!
Two guards?! Is that it?!
The others are out defending the perimeter.
Great. One's leaving.
We're going someplace safe, all right.
Come on.
They're coming! Let's go!
Move! Move!
Come on, let's go!
Anyone left back there?!
Go! Go!
Get down!
Jake... look who's here.
Don't move.
Let Dr. Bashir check you for injuries.
What happened?
I came back for you
when I realized you weren't on the hopper.
The cease-fire has been reinstated.
The Klingons are pulling out.
It's over.
The timing could have been a little bit better
but... uh, he seems to be all right.
Sealing the entranceway was a risky thing to do.
You nearly brought the whole ceiling down on yourself.
We never would have got those patients out alive
if you hadn't done it.
You're a hero.
More than anything
I wanted to believe what he was saying
but the truth is
I was just as scared in the hospital
as I'd been when we went for the generator
so scared that all I could think about
was doing whatever it took to stay alive.
Once that meant running away
and once it meant picking up a phaser.
The battle of Ajilon Prime
will probably be remembered as a pointless skirmish
but I'll always remember it as something more...
as the place I learned
that the line between courage and cowardice
is a lot thinner than most people believe.
I wasn't sure whether to show it to you or not.
Anyone who's been in battle would recognize himself in this
but most of us wouldn't care to admit it.
It takes courage to look inside yourself
and even more courage
to write it for other people to see.
I'm proud of you, son.

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