Emitting distress signals on all frequencies, sir.
- Chief? - We're still venting plasma.
Any ship around will know we're here and we're not going anywhere.
We have company. Two Dominion ships, bearing 197, mark 135.
We'll be in range in 22 seconds.
- Shields? - Shields at 30%.
- Phaser banks? - The weapons array is off-line.
Now we find something to hold onto.
Shields are down to 20%.
- Now? - Now.
Shields up, engines at full impulse. Power to main phasers.
- Target locked. - Fire!
Are there any other Dominion ships?
- None that l can see. - This is the captain speaking.
All hands, stand down.
Good job, people.
We're being hailed by the Rotarran. lt's Commander Worf.
On screen.
Well done, Captain. You were a very effective decoy.
- How about next time l rescue you? - You may have to wait.
We've received orders from Starfleet Command.
All ships in this sector to pull back to Starbase 375.
Fall back again.
Engage, retreat. That's our favourite tune.
Soon the only song we'll be singing is ''Hail the Conquering Dominion''.
Don't learn those lyrics just yet.
- Worf, we'll see you at Starbase 375. - l will be waiting.
Set a course for these coordinates. Warp seven.
l don't know what you brass hats are thinking,
but take it from a simple field officer -
we won't win this war by running from the enemy.
- l know that. - Morale is at an all-time low.
Even the Klingons are starting to wonder if we can defeat the Dominion.
We need a victory, a big victory, and we need it soon.
l couldn't agree more.
- Then do something about it. - l already have.
ln fact, l'm presenting a plan to Starfleet Command at 0800 tomorrow.
What plan?
We're going to retake Deep Space 9.
Everything appears to be perfectly normal. l'm sorry.
Keep looking! Whatever Starfleet put in there is very well-hidden.
- Ridiculous. - That's easy for you to say.
You don't know them. They're desperate.
You won't get any of us to believe that Starfleet lntelligence
has implanted a neural transponder to monitor your thoughts.
l would have if l were them.
When l conducted interrogations for the Obsidian Order, l did a lot worse.
l'm sure.
They are not interrogating you, but debriefing. There is a difference.
Not from here.
- l'll have a "raktajino." - And a "raktajino."
We are at war with the Dominion. Cardassia is part of that.
You are a Cardassian, once an important one.
Of course Starfleet will press you for specifics.
- They must know what you do. - Small details could be important.
lt's a lot more fun asking questions than answering them.
All things considered, l'd rather be on the Defiant with all of you.
- You haven't missed much. - That's about to change.
Do you think Starfleet will approve Sisko's plan?
We'll find out soon enough.
- He's presenting it right now. - Here's to retaking the castle.
And planting our flag on its battlements once again.
You've spent too much time in the holosuites.
By combining the Second, Fifth and Ninth Fleets,
we can retake Deep Space 9, the quadrant's most important real estate.
Your plan is not without merit. However, l remain sceptical.
The Dominion will send a large fleet to stop you.
lt will slow their advance into Federation territory.
- And leave their flank vulnerable. - So we'll be on the offensive.
- One thing still concerns me. - What's that, Admiral?
Earth. You've left it a very tempting target.
Earth will be defended by the Third Fleet.
What if the Dominion doesn't commit its forces to protect Deep Space 9?
What if they launch an assault on Earth?
lf we follow the plan you're proposing,
we'll never get reinforcements there in time.
- The Dominion won't attack Earth. - How can you be sure?
Earth isn't the key to the Alpha Quadrant. The wormhole is.
And whoever controls Deep Space 9, controls the wormhole.
Unbelievable. Amazing.
What nerve.
Morn, you do have a problem, but the solution is simple.
You're a grown man. lf you don't want to attend your mother's birthday party,
you don't have to.
And if she keeps whining about it,
just remind her there's a war on and you have things to do.
Another ale?
Here. lt's on the house.
- Major? You ready? - Now?
- Right now. - OK, but it won't do any good.
l keep telling myself that Odo never meant to have Rom arrested.
lt was all a mistake. Bad timing, bad luck.
l thought that too, at first.
l have known Odo a long time. He's not a collaborator.
Then why is your brother still in a holding cell?
- We're here to see Odo. - The Founders are not to be disturbed.
- Odo will make an exception for us. - There are no exceptions.
l'd like to hear that from Odo.
You're wasting your time. He doesn't want to see anyone.
- Not until his guest has left. - How long has his guest been here?
The female changeling has not left his quarters for three days.
- Step away from the door, Ferengi! - Perhaps it would be best if you left.
My colleague takes his duties very seriously.
l promise to tell Odo you were here.
Let's go, Quark.
So that is how the solids experience intimacy.
Not all solids.
- l really must thank you, Odo. - For what?
For giving me new insight into the solids.
And what have you learned?
That what they consider intimacy
is only a shadow of what we experience in the Great Link.
- You don't agree? - l didn't say that.
- You have done this before? - Not often.
But when you have, you enjoyed it?
And you regret not having experienced it with Major Kira?
- l'd rather not discuss Major Kira. - l don't see why not.
When we link, your feelings for her are made very clear.
Then why do you insist that we talk about it?
Because talking is still very important to you.
But one day, it won't be.
One day, the Link will be all that you need.
- And that day is coming soon. - ls it?
lt's amazing that you have survived this long without it.
lt's only now, after l have been away from the Great Link myself,
that l understand how painful it must have been for you.
- lt hasn't always been easy. - You never have to be alone again.
l'd better be going.
There's a meeting of the Ruling Council. They're expecting me.
- That meeting was three days ago. - Three days?
Three days.
How could l have lost track of that much time?
Does that bother you?
- Yes, it does. - Well, don't let it.
You've been living with the solids' concept of time for too long.
Let them worry about their meetings, their schedules, their obligations.
None of that has anything to do with you.
You are a changeling. You are timeless.
As am l.
- You asked to see me? - l...
First, tell me something. What do you think of this?
- lt's one of Ziyal's paintings. - l know that.
Her father claims it won a prize on Cardassia.
Gul Dukat must be very proud. Now...
ls it...any good?
- l think so. Don't you? - l don't know how to judge it.
You see, my people lack a sense of aesthetics.
- That's too bad. - l sometimes think so as well.
But if aesthetics were important,
the Founders would have included it in our make-up.
Or...they made a mistake.
Gods don't make mistakes.
l think it would be nice to be able to carry a tune.
- So what can l do for you, Major? - lt's about Rom.
Oh, yes.
- The Ferengi saboteur. - He has been held for a week.
Has it really been that long?
l hoped that you would consider releasing him.
lmpossible. You can't release a man and then execute him.
Execute Rom?
He committed an act of terrorism against the Dominion.
Not only did he try to interfere with our efforts to take down the minefield,
but, as l understand it, he's also the diabolical genius
who came up with the idea of self-replicating mines in the first place.
He must be made an example so others think before acting against us.
He is married to a Bajoran citizen.
l know. l'm willing to believe, for now, his wife is not a co-conspirator.
Otherwise she would share her husband's fate.
l'm sorry, Major. The Dominion takes a dim view of terrorism.
Your friend must pay the price for his crime.
We'll see what the Bajoran government says.
l'm afraid their pleas will fall on deaf ears.
Would this be more pleasing if it were blue?
l'm going to die.
- Stop saying that. - He said it.
What l said is, ''They're planning to execute you.''
- lt's not the same thing. - lt is to me.
We are not going to let them hurt you.
Kira is asking the Bajoran Council of Ministers to lodge an official protest.
l doubt it'll do any good.
And l've talked to Grand Nagus Zek himself
and he has offered to buy your freedom.
l don't think Weyoun cares much for latinum.
l'm a dead man.
Will you stop upsetting Leeta?
Besides...you think your big brother will let anything happen to you?
What can you do?
l'm not sure. But l will think of something.
No matter what it takes...
no matter what l have to do, l'm going to get you out of here.
You do that and... l'll work your dabo tables for free.
- For how long? - An entire year.
- Make it two. - Brother!
lsn't your life worth two years?
Now, sit tight and trust your older brother.
But l don't want you to try to save me.
What? They must have done something to his mind.
- What mind? - l'm serious.
You have more important things to worry about.
- The bar is doing fine but thanks. - Not the bar!
What could be more important than your life?
- Destroying the anti-graviton beam... - Shh!
...to prevent the Dominion from taking down the minefield.
You've got to finish what l started. Our fate rests in your hands.
Billions of people are counting on you.
Boy, will they be disappointed.
you can do this.
You have to do this. You will do this.
What happens if l get caught?
Then we'll die side by side, heads held high. Knowing we did our best.
Oh, Rom.
But l don't want to die.
lf that's what's written... then that's what's written.
Now get going, brother. You have a lot of work to do.
So...tell me, Leeta, what else is new?
Have they fixed the sonic shower in our quarters yet?
- Ziyal. - Nerys!
- l haven't seen you in weeks. - Do you have a minute?
Sit down.
l need you to talk to your father for me.
- About what? - Rom.
- Father? - Ah!
l need to talk to you.
- ls something wrong, my dear? - Nothing that you can't fix.
Name it.
l want you to free Rom.
- You're joking. - Not at all.
l can't free Rom. He's been sentenced to death by the Dominion.
You can pardon him. Don't you see, Father?
This is a chance to show the Bajorans, to show Major Kira,
who you really are - a forgiving, compassionate man.
A great man.
Tell me something, Ziyal.
Were you involved, in any way, with the plans to sabotage this station?
- No, l wasn't. - You're sure about that?
l need you to tell me the truth.
l am telling you the truth.
- Have you been telling me the truth? - About what?
That the Bajorans are wrong about you.
That you regret the horrible things you did during the occupation.
l do regret them, Ziyal... Deeply.
Then this is your chance to prove it to everyone, including me.
Show us that you're capable of mercy.
Rom is an enemy of the state
and enemies of the state do not deserve mercy.
- Spoken like a true Cardassian. - l am a Cardassian.
- And so are you. - No, l'm not!
- l could never be like you. - Ziyal!
- You can't trust them. - l trust latinum and so do they.
Five bars will buy me five Nausicaans, a fast ship and very few questions.
Breaking Rom out will be child's play for them.
Freeing your brother's going to take precise planning.
lt's not the Nausicaan way.
They'll strut in, look at a Jem'Hadar the wrong way
and before you know it, there's blood on the Promenade.
Think l can get my money back?
Major. A freighter loaded with Tammeron grain is due within the hour.
Make sure cargo bay 5 is ready to receive it.
- l'll take care of it. l'll have a... - Yes, you will.
That attitude of yours, Major...
it won't be tolerated forever.
You don't like my attitude? You're welcome to try to change it.
l don't know what Dukat sees in her.
Then you need to have your eyes examined.
One "kanar." Want me to leave the bottle?
l should have you taste it first. Make sure it isn't poisoned.
Poisoning customers is bad for business.
True. But some people may place a brother's revenge above business.
Not this Ferengi.
You're a credit to your race, Quark.
Unlike your brother, you've chosen to back the winning side.
You going to tell me or do you want me to guess?
- Tell you what? - Don't be coy with me.
Someone you don't like has died or your promotion came through.
lt's better than that.
- lt's the minefield. - What about it?
- lt's coming down. - l've heard that before.
Remember those field tests?
They were successful. We've begun to deactivate the mines.
Well. You've got your work cut out. What's it going to take? A year?
- One week. - A week?
That's right.
One week... and the Alpha Quadrant is ours.
This mission cannot succeed without the Klingons.
We agree. Chancellor Gowron does not.
Then change his mind.
He is reluctant to commit a large fleet to a single engagement.
He thinks the Empire would be vulnerable.
Starfleet had the same concerns about Earth
but they decided it was worth the risk.
Perhaps you should return to Kronos and make your plea in person.
The Chancellor respects you. lf you cannot persuade him, no one can.
l will go to see Gowron and you will come with me.
No. The Chancellor no longer considers me a friend.
l know. But what could be better?
An ally and an enemy both telling him the same thing.
He'll have no other choice, but to agree.
l need those ships.
And you shall have them.
A week?
- Are you sure about that? - That's what he said.
Believe me, this was no idle boast.
- We have to stop them. - And end up in a holding cell?
No, thanks.
lf we could only get to Odo, make him see what's going on.
- Then maybe he could help us. - Forget about Odo.
First, we can't get to him. Second, he wouldn't help us.
Then what we have to do is warn Starfleet.
How do we get a message to them?
You're asking me? You're the terrorist. l'm just a bartender.
l can see you haven't had much luck getting Rom out of jail.
- And the news keeps getting worse. - lt's not all bad.
- Trust us, Jake. lt is. - Not for me.
l'm getting a message out to my dad.
- How? - l'm a reporter. l have my ways.
Come on, Jake, this is no time for games.
He's going home for his mother's birthday.
He has an encrypted message for my dad in one of her presents.
Are you sure this is reliable?
l've known the courier for five years. l trust him.
Then we have a problem.
The minefield's coming down in three days.
The Ninth Fleet won't be here for at least four.
Then l suggest we go without them.
- The Klingons? - We go without them, too.
We've run out of time.
lf the reinforcements come through we'll lose everything.
We take the ships we have, fight our way to Deep Space 9
and destroy the anti-graviton emitter. lt's our only hope.
Do it.
- There. - Where?
Over there. That flash of light was the anti-graviton beam hitting a mine.
And disabling its replication unit.
- Exactly. Didn't you see it? - l'm afraid not.
For months, you've been demanding that l take down those mines
and now that it's finally happening you can't even see it.
- Weak eyes. - Excuse me?
My people have poor eyesight. We've learned to live with it.
Jem'Hadar, though...excellent vision.
l suppose they need it more than we do.
There's another one.
l'll take your word for it.
Once we disable the replication units in all the mines,
we can detonate the entire minefield.
And l guarantee you...
weak eyes or not...
that explosion you will see.
- When will you be ready to proceed? - Approximately 78 hours.
Then we can bring the Jem'Hadar reinforcements through the wormhole.
Excellent! l knew you could do it.
Did you?
l never doubted you for a moment.
l have new information on enemy fleet movements.
The Second Fleet has fallen back past the Kotanka System,
while the Fifth Fleet has pulled out of fighting.
Both fleets have converged here - Starbase 375.
That's where Captain Sisko is stationed.
- He's now adjutant to Admiral Ross. - Good for him.
Why have those fleets gathered there?
- l'm not sure. - You're not sure?
Two large enemy fleets rendezvous at a starbase and you don't know why?
We'll just have to find out, won't we?
See that you do.
He should speak to you with greater respect.
Someday l'll let you teach him that lesson.
But right now, there's something more pressing l need you to do.
lt's of a personal nature, a matter of some...delicacy.
- lt's about my daughter. - Ziyal?
We've had a misunderstanding.
l want you to go and convince her to... speak with me.
l feel l would be more valuable tracking the enemy fleet.
l've given you an order, Damar.
We're on the verge of a great victory,
and when it comes, l want my daughter at my side.
ls that understood?
l really believed my father had changed. That he wanted to be a man of peace.
l think he believes that, too, when it suits his purpose.
Everything he's said to me has been a lie.
Not everything. He really does care about you.
l don't care. l am not going back to him.
You don't believe me, do you?
Right now, you're angry and hurt but that's going to pass.
And then you'll have to decide what to do.
- l need to speak to you. - We have nothing to talk about.
Maybe not but you and your father do. He wants to see you.
l don't want to see him.
- You heard her. - Stay out of this, Major.
Ziyal, listen.
Your father is a man of destiny. But he also carries great burdens.
Our alliance with the Dominion is dangerous.
lf we show any sign of weakness, our allies will turn on us.
That is why we must all help him remain strong.
Be a true daughter of Cardassia and stand beside him.
lt should be obvious, even to you,
that l am not ''a true daughter of Cardassia''!
What is obvious to me is that your father should have left you to rot.
But he didn't. He took pity on you.
- And it's your duty to repay him. - Let her go.
- And if l don't, what happens then? - l was hoping you'd ask.
- Did you kill him? - No, but l thought about it.
- What will you do when he wakes up? - That's up to him.
- l just came to wish you luck. - Thank you.
My father says, ''You can never have too much good luck''.
- He sounds like a wise man. - And he makes a fierce jambalaya.
- What's this? - Ancient Bajoran texts.
The Emissary looks for guidance on the eve of battle.
Guidance, insights, loopholes... l'll take anything l can get.
And what do the Prophets tell you?
That l have a long way to go before l can make sense of their prophecies.
Maybe when this war is over, you can look at them closer.
That would be a change. Spend a week or two down on Bajor.
Visit the Dakeen Monastery.
l've never been on Bajor. l hear it's quite nice.
That hardly describes it at all.
There are parts of the Eastern Province that are like Eden.
Lush green valleys covered in wildflowers that spring up overnight.
Hundreds of ponds interconnected by waterfalls...
l'm convinced. l'm already planning my next R&R down there.
lt sounds like when your assignment on DS9 is over
and Bajor is welcomed into the Federation,
you'll find it tough saying goodbye.
l won't say goodbye.
l plan to build a house on Bajor.
What if Starfleet assigns you to a different sector?
l will go wherever they send me.
But when l go home
it will be to Bajor.
Chief, l was just coming to see you.
They made me an Ensign.
- Things are that bad? - Scary, isn't it?
lf my classmates could see me now.
- They'd be surprised? - Amazed.
l just want to say thanks for all your help.
l've learned about more than engineering.
You showed me how to be a good soldier.
Don't let the uniform go to your head. You've a lot to learn.
And you will. Congratulations, Ensign.
- Wear it with pride. - l intend to, Chief.
Captain on the bridge.
l've kept it warm for you, Ben.
Ensign, alert all ships. We're moving out.
Aye, sir.
Our initial intelligence reports have been verified.
The Federation fleet is on the move.
- Do we know their destination? - They're headed here.
He knows we're taking down the minefield.
- Someone got a message out. - So it would seem.
No matter. We'll crush them.
Yes, we will. But in order to do that,
l'll have to pull a lot of our ships off the front lines.
- Do it. - Come in.
Once the minefield is down we'll have more than enough ships.
l understand.
One moment, please.
l want to arrest Major Kira.
Kira? What about Ziyal? Did you talk to her?
She doesn't want to see you. When l insisted, the Major objected.
- What did you do to Ziyal? - Nothing!
Then why did the Major attack you?
You must have threatened my daughter.
- l told you to be tactful. - Excuse me.
Can't resolving family squabbles wait until after we've won this war?
- Weak eyes, good ears. - Yes, of course. You're quite right.
You're clear on what must be done?
l'll call back enough ships to destroy the Federation fleet
and hold this station.
The Federation is moving against us?
Yes. l want to know exactly what went on between you and Ziyal.
lt's odd. l've stood here countless times and yet it all looks different.
lt's the solids. They look small, don't they?
- lt's not their fault. - l'm not placing blame.
- They're trapped. - Confined to a single shape.
- A single perspective. - lt's so limiting.
l feel sorry for them.
They need our guidance, Odo, not our pity.
- They cherish their freedom. - We'll have to break them of that.
- Break them? - ln a manner of speaking.
Oh! This language of the solids. lt's so imprecise.
What exactly do you plan to do?
The solids are no longer your concern, Odo.
What must be done will be done. lt's as simple as that.
Forgive me for intruding but l have important news about the war.
Why don't you return to your quarters? l'll join you there shortly.
Don't worry, everything will be fine. l promise.
l must say, you're doing a wonderful job with Odo.
Meaning what?
He's always posed a potential threat to our plans but you seem to have...
neutralised him quite nicely.
Neutralise Odo? ls that why you think l'm here?
Odo is a changeling.
Returning him to the Great Link
means more to us than the Alpha Quadrant itself.
- ls that clear? - l meant no disrespect.
Of course you didn't. You are what you are -
a loyal subject of the Dominion.
Walk with me. You said you had important news.
- Wait! - l have nothing to say to you.
- l understand that you're angry. - You bet l am.
- Do you know what's going on? - Yes. Somewhat.
l've been occupied.
Dukat is bringing down the minefield,
the Federation is about to be overrun,
Rom's being executed and you have been ''occupied''.
- This is difficult to explain. - Don't mention the Link.
l'm a solid, remember? l won't understand.
- l'm sorry. - Sorry?
That's what you wanted to tell me?
- You're sorry? - Yes.
Let me tell you something. We are way, way past ''sorry''.
Message from the Cortéz.
They still can't stabilise their guidance thrusters.
Tell them to drop back and make repairs. Bring up the Sarek.
That's the 11th ship to fall out of formation.
- Nice of you to keep track. - lt's in his nature to be negative.
On the contrary. l always hope for the best.
Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.
l'm picking up a large Dominion fleet bearing 004, mark 009.
- How large? - 1,254 ships.
- They outnumber us two to one. - Now who's being negative?
Ensign, on screen. Maximum magnification.
Aye, sir.
To all ships. This is Captain Sisko. Assume attack formation delta-two.
There's an old saying... ''Fortune favours the bold.''
l guess we're about to find out.

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