No, it is not there!
Am l the only one here? ls that it? Hm? Hm? Hm?
Am l the only one who sees? Hm? Hm? Hm? Hm?
- And what is that incessant noise? - Calm down.
- Am l talking too fast? - You're upset, Jack.
- Don't leave us, Karen! - lt's only a few weeks, Patrick.
Know why they brought us here? Carted us across the quadrant?
- To experiment on us. - Stop it.
Check out our genetically engineered brains.
They're going to cut our heads open and see what comes out!
He's just trying to scare you.
l told you why l brought you here, remember? To meet Dr Bashir.
You know, the handsome one.
He was genetically enhanced as a boy, just like all of you.
No! He's not like us.
l never saw him at the lnstitute, locked away for being too smart.
He's passed himself off as normal. He's Mr Normal Starfleet man.
Mr Productive Member of Society. Maybe we can learn to be just like him.
Wear little uniforms. Yes, sir! No, sir! Thank you, sir!
- l don't like it here. - lt's going to be all right.
Dr Bashir is going to work with you, that's all.
Think of it as a vacation from the lnstitute.
- This is not happening. - lt is happening. Make the best of it.
l'm going to make the best of it. See the way he's looking at me?
- He's in love with me already. - Give me that!
l want to go home.
lt's him.
See that? That's what l'm going to do to your boyfriend.
Give me the padd.
- Sorry. - You're not sorry, we both know that.
You did it on purpose. You're upset, but there are better ways to show it.
l'll work on it.
All right, l'll see you all in a few weeks.
Patrick, it's fine. lt's fine. Go on.
Bye, Sarina.
- You all right? - lt's nothing, just Jack.
Like l said, don't turn your back on him.
- Let's get you to the lnfirmary. - l'm fine. Go on in.
They're about as ready as they'll ever be.
l just hope you have better luck getting through to them than l've had.
- He doesn't look like a mutant. - ls that you, Jack?
He knows my name. l didn't tell him.
- l just read Dr Loews' report. - l knew that.
- Hello, Sarina. - Why is he talking to her?
She won't answer you. Didn't you read the reports? Hm? Hm?
- Anyone mind if l turn on the lights? - Would anyone mind?
- Go ahead, we're not moles. - Computer, lights.
- Hello. - Lauren.
l know what you're thinking, Julian, but l'm not that kind of girl.
Bashir, was it? Rings a bell. Bashir...
Got it! 15th century poet, Singh el Bashir. Any relation?
- Yes, actually. - He was a plagiarist.
You knew that. Yet you come in here bragging about it anyway. Why?
You brought it up.
What was l supposed to do, let you get away with it? That noise!
What kind of enhancements did your parents have done to you?
Mental abilities, mostly,
but they had my hand-eye coordination, reflexes and vision improved as well.
- Can you do that? - l doubt it.
What happened? Your parents couldn't afford the full overhaul?
- He turned out all right. - You're not known as discriminating.
- l turned you down. - And you still regret it!
- The cube root of 329, what is it? - 6.903.
Very good! And you didn't even use your fingers.
He's a mutant, just like the rest of us.
No, not like us. He passed as normal.
ls that true? Did you pass as normal?
My genetic status was discovered a year ago.
- How'd you hide it for so long? - l did my best not to exploit my abilities.
So no one would suspect. Very clever. l'm impressed.
That's not right! There are reasons why DNA resequencing is illegal.
We're barred from Starfleet. Normal people can't compete, it's not fair.
Maybe l should have owned up.
There are rules. Don't talk with your mouth full.
Don't open an airlock with someone in it,
or lie about your genetic status. You lied.
When you got caught, you cut a deal with Starfleet, got yourself off the hook.
lf you'd told the truth, you could have lived with us.
He's right. They'd have put you away.
They don't put you away for being engineered.
They won't let you do anything worth doing!
They are afraid we'll take over!
lt happened before.
l knew you were going to trot out the Eugenics War.
There's a good reason why we're barred from certain professions.
We can still be full members of society.
Here it comes, the ''We Can Still Contribute'' speech.
No. l will not forget
or be part of a society that put me away for being smart!
All right, then, as you have all the answers already,
l'll spare you the speech.
- l'm having dinner with friends. - You think we don't eat?
- We're going to eat right now. - l'll go set the table.
- Don't worry about us. We'll be fine. - Thanks for scaring him off.
All l kept thinking was, ''There, but for the grace of God, go l.''
How do you mean?
My parents found a decent doctor to do the DNA resequencing.
These four weren't so lucky. They all suffered side effects.
By the time they were five,
their parents had to admit they'd broken the law so they could get treatment.
Perhaps they waited too long.
There was nothing the lnstitute could do for them.
These cases are rare, there's no treatment.
l can't imagine it was a stimulating environment.
That's what Dr Loews thought when she first came there.
She got permission to work with them separately.
Why did she bring them here?
She thought they might respond to meeting someone like them
who was leading a normal life.
She also hoped one day they could live on their own and be productive.
lf they are too productive they'll make the rest of us look bad.
lt is not a laughing matter. lf they are allowed to compete freely,
parents will feel pressure to have children enhanced just to keep up.
That's precisely what prompted the ban on DNA resequencing.
Letting them contribute doesn't mean sanctioning what was done to them.
They didn't ask to have their DNA tampered with. They were children.
Why exclude them? Their parents broke the law.
You're right. lt's not quite fair.
But it did seem a good way to discourage genetic tampering.
We're not excluding them from anything.
We're just limiting what they're allowed to do.
- Like joining Starfleet. - Exactly.
Are you saying l shouldn't be allowed to wear this uniform?
- You are an exception. - An exception.
l should be used to that, l've been one all my life.
First, the DNA resequencing,
now because l've been allowed to join Starfleet.
- l should not have said anything. - No, it's all right.
Does anyone care to speculate what Gul Damar will say in his speech?
- Nothing we'll like, l bet. - lt should be starting any minute.
lf he announces another new offensive, it's going to spoil dessert.
Can you hear me? Hello, calling Dr Bashir.
- Jack. - Anybody there?
You gave them access to the com system?
No, they must have broken in somehow.
l'd love to stay and chat about our impending doom, but...
l can't take it!
- Do something about that noise! - What noise?
What kind of sick game are you playing?
- What do you mean? - Can't you hear it?
We complained, the engineers said there was nothing wrong.
Wait. ls it a high-pitched whine?
Yes! Thank God! See? l told you we weren't crazy.
You are a mutant. You are.
Now, fix that noise or l will snap her neck.
- l called Chief O'Brien. Let her go. - l'll wait until he gets here.
lf you don't let her go l'll tell the Chief the noise went away by itself.
You think l want to be doing this? l'm just making sure things get done.
- Unbelievable. This is the thanks l get. - Are you all right?
Come in.
Miles, l wonder if you could find out what's making that noise.
l know you can't hear it, but it's there.
Probably a sympathetic vibration in the power coupling or something.
- You're right. - Why don't you fix it, before l go mad?
- He's married. - Too bad.
Sounds like the plasma flow is out of sync.
You're right.
- Better realign it. - l was just thinking that.
- lt's about to start. - Almost finished.
- There. - Finally.
Much better. Thank you, Chief.
Fellow citizens, these are great days for Cardassia.
Together with our Dominion allies,
we have given our enemies cause to fear us once more.
- Can't argue with that. - Who's he?
Damar, new head of Cardassia's government.
''Uneasy lies the head wearing the crown.''
- He's sad. - Ashamed is more like it.
Why do you say that?
We are poised for another bold step to ensure our future.
- Peace! - Looks like he doesn't sleep.
''Me thought a voice cried, 'Sleep no more! Damar does murder sleep.'''
- He's killed someone! - Someone close to him.
How could they know that?
Their sacrifice must not be in vain.
The peace we seek will honour their memory
and preserve the gains for which they died.
l challenge the Federation to answer my call for peace.
l am ready at any time to meet with its representatives
to discuss how we can put an end to hostilities. As your leader...
Pretender! You don't belong on that throne and you know it.
Someone's making him say all this. He doesn't want to.
This l vow with my life's blood
for my sons...
...for all our sons.
- Did any of you know who Damar was? - No, but it's obvious who he is.
The pretender who killed the king and seized the throne.
- Not the king. He's still alive. - The queen, maybe, or a princess.
Yes. Ziyal. Gul Dukat's daughter.
And now the pretender is in league with a dark knight he can't control.
- Weyoun? - lt's not a bad story. Epic, really.
What else can you tell us?
Amazing. They pieced together the entire story of Damar's rise to power.
Weyoun the dark prince, Gul Dukat the deposed king, Damar the pretender
and Ziyal the innocent princess he murdered.
Now the pretender is wracked with guilt.
They got all this from Damar's speech?
They were fascinated by the whole thing, they kept asking about the war.
- They were so engaged. - You want to keep them engaged.
- Yes. l'm just running out of material. - What do you mean?
They've gone through everything on Cardassia and the Dominion.
- Roll out the red carpet. - Visitors?
Starfleet has decided to listen to Damar.
He and Weyoun will be arriving in the morning
and l am the lucky one who gets to sit across the table from them.
- Great! - lt's hard to believe they want peace.
l think they may just be stalling to regroup.
Can l get a transcript of the negotiations?
You can do better than that.
The Dominion insists on recording proceedings
so everyone can see their desire for peace is sincere.
You shouldn't have agreed to that, Benjamin.
Now you'll have to be on your best behaviour.
- So they're coming to the station? - The story's not over.
Peace talks could be interesting.
l'd say so, and the best part is we'll have ringside seats.
Ah, Major!
- Welcome to DS9. - Nice to see you.
- Can l give you a word of advice? - By all means.
You're welcome to play your ''we're all friends'' game with me,
but l wouldn't try it with Captain Sisko. He's not in the mood.
We're on a mission of peace. Maybe he should get in the mood.
This was the border before hostilities broke out.
This is the border we are proposing.
This arrangement awards disputed star systems
to the side that has effective control.
On balance, we are giving up more than you.
Computer, freeze program.
Computer... Hi. Listen.
Go to native language mode and replay time code 7-6-1 through 7-6-9.
Got you! Did you hear that?
He used the passive voice transitive.
- When did you learn Dominionese? - This morning.
That phrasing is used for a request, not a statement.
They are up to something.
What is it, Patrick? Did you see something?
- You can tell us. - They want the Kabrel System.
- How do you know? - They kept avoiding it with their eyes.
- Are you sure? - They kept avoiding it.
- Told you they were up to something. - End program.
So they want the Kabrel system. Why?
l don't know, but they'll give up a lot to get it.
Mizainite deposits on Holna lV could keep their shipyards running for years.
Typical Dominion strategy - give up something valuable
to get something even more valuable in the long term. Big picture.
They don't worry about tomorrow.
They're thinking a year from now, a decade, a century.
There must be something special about Kabrel.
Nothing on the first planet but protozoids and tri-nucleic fungi.
The second has cormaline deposits but they're common.
Maybe there's another reason. Does it have any strategic value?
No. They wouldn't want a base there.
- Why not? Seems perfectly suitable. - lt's not an optimum situation.
lt's a binary system. Lots of ionic interference.
Forget it.
Does this have anything to do with what we're talking about, Sarina?
Can we take it? an ancient technology.
- There's no evidence of that. - Any idea what this might mean?
Chemistry was never my strong suit. What is it?
lt shows how to turn tri-nucleic fungus into yridium bicantizine,
used in ketracel-white.
They want the Kabrel System to make it here in the Alpha Quadrant.
We calculate that they'll be able to supply the Jem'Hadar indefinitely.
l was going to recommend we accept the proposed border.
lt could've cost us the Alpha Quadrant.
- Actually, we should give them Kabrel. - Why is that?
lf we don't, the Dominion will attack before their white runs out.
Here are the casualty projections.
An attack would mean huge casualties on both sides.
You're suggesting we stall?
lt will buy time to rebuild our defences and bring Romulans into the alliance.
According to our analyses
they'll abandon their non-aggression pact with the Dominion.
lnternal pressures between Cardassia and the Dominion will have erupted,
and after three years, six months and 27 days, we predict...
How did you come up with this?
You said these people were impossible to deal with.
These projections would take lntelligence months to come up with.
We're mutants. l know we're not qualified for this work,
and it could be said that it is beyond the limits
of what people like us should be allowed to do.
But l think if you allow me to walk you through our analyses,
you'll be impressed.
- All right, Doctor, go ahead. - Thank you, sir.
The way our statistical analysis works,
the further into the future, the more accurate it is.
lt's based on non-linear dynamics - small fluctuations factor out in time.
- The net result is... - Just a minute.
Why don't we go back to the beginning and take me through this step by step,
nice and easy?
Gladly, sir.
Captain Sisko will take our analyses to Starfleet Command at once.
- lmagine that, Starfleet Command. - All those admirals.
- lt's a party! - lt is now.
- We need music. - Computer, music. Make it grand.
A waltz.
Care to dance?
- Coward. - He tried.
l meant her.
Come in.
Chief. What a pleasant surprise.
- l need to replace that power coupling. - Don't mind us.
- Hi. No, thanks. - lt's a party.
l need to get to work.
l didn't mean to...
lt's just that l need to get this coupling replaced.
- What did you do, Chief? - Nothing!
- What's the matter, Patrick? - He doesn't like me.
Sure l do.
The Chief doesn't like any of us. Do you, Chief?
- He's jealous. - His wife's away. He misses his friend.
- l do not. - lt's all right, Julian.
- Go play with your friend. We'll be fine. - You want me to play with you, Chief?
- No! - Yes, you do.
- Come on, let's go to Quark's. - l'm going to need those.
No, you don't. There's nothing wrong with that power coupling.
lt's going to have to be replaced sometime.
- Ready? - Ready.
l'm sorry. The last thing l wanted was to upset them.
lt's all right.
The only reason Patrick gets emotional is because he likes you.
- He does? - They all do.
Because l got rid of that noise?
They feel comfortable around you. What did Jack say? ''Uncomplicated.''
Yes, they're amazingly insightful.
- They see things other people don't. - And say things other people don't.
- They are candid, aren't they? - They sure are.
Funny thing is, l'm beginning to enjoy their company.
What are you doing? Get back!
You know, l was thinking,
Starfleet Command might do all right to take them on as a team of advisers.
l can't imagine them with a bunch of admirals, except to dance with them.
- We were celebrating. - Whatever.
Once we started work, it was incredible.
We were all on the same wavelength, talking in shorthand.
l've never had that with anyone else.
l can see how the rest of us must seem a little uncomplicated.
l wouldn't say that exactly. More like...slow.
Must be very frustrating for you.
- l don't mind. Makes me feel superior. - Glad to be of service.
lt's not always easy walking among the common people.
Probably best to keep your expectations low.
That way we can surprise you every now and then.
- Another game? - Sure. But must l stand so far back?
l make one lucky shot and you're ready to come down to my level.
- l like to win, just like the next man. - Get back there. Come on.
Good news. Starfleet Command was so impressed,
they're giving us classified information on Starfleet's battle readiness.
Something wrong?
- We have new long-term projections. - You're not going to like it.
- Well? - Everything checks out.
- l was hoping you'd find a flaw. - No.
- You agree with our conclusion? - lt's inescapable.
There's no way the Federation can beat the Dominion. We have no choice.
We're going to have to surrender.
Surrender to the Dominion. Not on my watch.
Sir, l understand how you feel.
l don't like it either, but it's the best option. We've run dozens of scenarios.
Even if something unlikely tilts the scales in our favour,
like an anti-Dominion coup on Cardassia, we'll still lose.
But that doesn't mean we just give up and roll over.
But if we fight there will be over 900 billion casualties.
Surrender, no one dies. Either way, we get five generations of Dominion rule.
Eventually a rebellion will form, centring on Earth.
lt'll spread. Within another generation they'll conquer the Dominion.
The Alpha Quadrant will unite.
A new, stronger Federation will rule for thousands of years.
But since we can't win this war, why not save as many lives as we can?
l know it's difficult to accept.
l don't accept it.
Your entire argument is based on probabilities and assumptions.
They're not just assumptions. l can show you the equations.
Even if l knew with certainty what was going to happen,
l wouldn't ask an entire generation to give up their freedom.
- Not even to save 900 billion lives? - Surrender is not an option!
l'll listen to your advice on how to win this war
but l don't need advice on how to lose it!
- We can't win this war. - l don't care if the odds are against us.
lf we lose, we'll go down fighting
so when our descendants rise up against the Dominion,
they'll know what they're made of.
Aren't you letting pride get in your way?
You've made your recommendation. l'll pass it on to Starfleet Command.
- They'll dismiss it out of hand. - l'm counting on it.
So we go down fighting. How terribly courageous.
- What do you think? - lt's pretty grim.
lt's not just grim, it's hopeless. We can't beat them, Miles.
lt doesn't look like it, does it?
We have to avoid a long, drawn-out war.
- You mean surrender? - l's an ugly word.
- But facts are facts. - l don't know, Julian.
- Don't say you agree with the Captain. - l suppose l do.
ls there some part of the analysis you didn't understand?
- lf there is, l'd be happy to explain. - l understood it perfectly.
- Believe it or not. - That's not what l meant.
All l'm saying is, you have to look at the bigger picture.
l'm trying, but maybe l'm too uncomplicated to see it properly.
- l didn't say that. - You don't have to.
The way you're acting,
you'd think nobody with half a brain could disagree.
- l don't see how they can. - l can see two possible explanations.
Either l'm even more feeble-minded than you ever realised
or you're not as smart as you think you are.
- Looks like your lucky day. - Please.
You and l both know the odds are in the house's favour.
Don't say that. People are trying to have fun.
Sooner or later, no matter how perfectly l play, l'm going to lose.
Why spoil everyone's good time?
Look around. These people are enjoying themselves.
They know the odds are against them, but they want to believe they can win.
They're fools.
- Why not just take your winnings? - Because l'm trying to prove a point.
- There is no way to win. - Stop saying that.
There! You see?
- We're all as good as dead. - Doctor, take it easy. lt's just a game.
You're right. lt's not as if 900 billion lives were at stake.
l just got word. Starfleet rejected our recommendations.
lt's kind of a relief. Who wants to wave a white flag?
They don't have the courage to see the truth.
- There's nothing we can do. - We can't take this lying down.
We must take matters into our own hands.
How, Jack? What can we do?
We can't force Starfleet to surrender.
Maybe we can make the war a lot less bloody.
- How? - Look at this.
Starfleet battle plans and deployments. What if the Dominion had this?
They'd take the Alpha Quadrant in weeks.
With fewer Federation casualties.
- No more than two billion. - That's a lot better than 900 billion.
Wait a minute!
lt's one thing to try and avert a war,
it's quite another to trigger an invasion that'll get a lot of people killed.
We can't decide who lives and who dies. We're not gods.
- We're the next best thing. - Can you hear yourself?
- That makes people afraid of us. - l don't care. l'll make this decision.
lt's not ours to make. We presented our case to Starfleet.
- They rejected it. Case closed. - We're going through with this.
l won't be a party to treason.
Call it what you want, but l'll do it to save billions of lives.
- So are you with us? - No! Haven't you been listening?
So how do we contact the Dominion?
Still at it, l see.
l've been looking over Sisko's latest counter-proposal.
- We're not getting anywhere. - Not very encouraging, is it?
l don't know why you had me call for peace talks in the first place.
My, my. How quickly you've taken to your new role.
To think, a short time ago you were just Gul Dukat's adjutant.
- l appreciate your faith in me. - Then show some faith in me.
Don't be like your predecessor, second-guessing my every move.
lt should be clear that no one is irreplaceable.
l just received a very interesting message from an unidentified party
claiming to have information beneficial to us.
- What sort of information? - l don't know, but we will find out.
Computer, respond.
Sarina, where is everyone?
Did they arrange a meeting with the Dominion?
Listen, we have to stop them before it's too late.
Untie me.
Please, Sarina.
You don't want the deaths of so many people on your hands.
lt's Jack, isn't it? Are you worried what he'll think?
l've seen the way you look at him when you think no one's watching.
l know how much you care,
but if you don't help me stop them you know what's going to happen?
They're going to be arrested and charged with treason
and you'll never see any of them again. You're never going to see Jack again.
- l'm Patrick. - Patrick! Come on.
- He's not supposed to be here. - No, he's not. l don't understand.
Why don't we go back to your quarters and l will explain.
No. We've got to do this. Lives are at stake.
- Don't interfere, Julian. - You have no right.
You're in enough trouble already. Don't make it any worse.
Now, we can do this the easy way... or the hard way. lt's up to you.
- Where are they? - They'll be here.
This is ridiculous. Sneaking into a storage bay for a secret meeting.
l'm the leader of the Cardassian Empire.
Don't let it go to your head. You serve at the Dominion's pleasure.
Besides, l think it's exciting.
They're here.
- Odo? - Yes, l know.
- l honour you with my presence. - We seem to have got ourselves lost.
- Mm-hm. They're not coming. - Who's not coming?
l had a feeling you'd say that. Shall l escort you to your quarters?
Captain Sisko won't press charges. You won't go to prison.
- What will they to do to us? - You'll go back to the lnstitute.
We don't matter. Don't you realise what you've done?
- l stopped you committing treason. - Are we meant to thank you?
- 900 billion people will die. - We don't know that.
Didn't we go through the projections?
- He was here, Jack. l remember. - Maybe our projections were wrong.
How can you say that? We factored in every contingency.
The equations don't lie. You! You ruined everything.
Why didn't you anticipate that? Why didn't you factor her in?
Because you thought you knew everything.
But you didn't even know what was happening in this room.
One person derailed your plans.
One person changed the course of history.
Now, l don't know about you,
but that makes me think that maybe, just maybe
things may not turn out the way we thought.
l heard what happened. lt was a pretty close call.
- Yeah, lucky l intercepted them in time. - That's not what l meant.
l meant when you had to decide whether to meet with the Dominion.
lt can't have been easy for you. l know you wanted to save lives.
- That's what makes you a good doctor. - l'm also a Starfleet officer.
We thought we were so smart. We thought we could predict the future.
lt's my fault, not theirs. l should never have let things go so far.
lf l hadn't been so bent on proving they had something to contribute...
They did contribute.
lt seems we've become too complacent about the Dominion.
We've driven them back to Cardassian space but we haven't beaten them.
- We can only hope. - The odds are stacked against us.
All we can do is give it our best shot.
- You won't cause any trouble, will you? - Not this time.
- l'll double-down. - Risky.
Maybe there's a better bet,
but sometimes when odds are against you, you've got to take a chance.
l admire your courage.
Well, what do you know? We have a winner.
- O'Brien to Bashir. - Go ahead.
You wanted to know when the transport was leaving.
- Oh, thanks. - There is one problem, though.
Some passengers are refusing to board unless you come and see them.
l didn't think you'd want to see me again.
Believe me, l wouldn't mind if our predictions turned out wrong.
Jack's still furious, but l didn't want to leave without saying goodbye.
- Will you come visit us? - What?
Oh. Ah, yes, l'd like that.
You did the right thing, you know. One day he'll understand that.
So you ready to go?
Not so fast. There's one thing l need to know.
lf we come up with a way to beat the Dominion, will you listen?
- l can't think of anything l'd like better. - Good.
Good. All right, let's go then.
Bashir to O'Brien.
Four to beam out.

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