How long does it take? l've been waiting for ever.
This isn't what l want.
- Having a bad day? - Like you care.
Fizz, froth, flip, finial, foam and flare. What's going on at that table?
l take it there's a problem with your drink replicator?
A problem? No, can't be.
l'd have submitted a maintenance request this morning.
lf l had done that, Chief O'Brien would have assured me
that Rom would fix it right away.
Then Rom would have promised me
that Nog would fix it before the end of the day.
Since it's the end of the day and there is no Nog in sight,
we can only draw one conclusion. That l don't have a problem.
- Your drink replicator's broken? - You're quick.
- Do you want me to fix it or not? - You?
That's right. Nog had a chance to go to Ferenginar and l said l would cover.
He did a favour for me last week. l owe him.
But that's work for a mechanic, a repairman, a lowly engineer.
l'll tell Chief O'Brien you said that.
A Supernova and a Silven Surprise.
- She can't do this. - Why not?
lt's not right. She's above that sort of thing.
Those hands weren't meant for poking around inside a filthy drink replicator.
They were meant for higher pursuits.
You're in love.
That's the most ridiculous thing you've said this year.
- Really? - Really.
lt must kill you that she's married to Worf.
l don't know what you're talking about.
Since you're not ordering anything,
would you step aside so l can do my job?
Of course. By the way, that's not a Silven Surprise. lt's a Silken Sunrise.
- ls that it? - That's right.
- Can l see it? - No.
- Nog! - No.
lt's a diplomatic message from the Federation Council to the grand nagus.
- lt's for his eyes only. - You know what's in it.
- Maybe. - lt's a proposal for an alliance.
The Federation sends the only Starfleet Ferengi to deliver
a diplomatic message to the grand nagus? Something big is up.
You said you wouldn't come on this trip as a reporter.
l'm not. l came to see Ferenginar. l've heard a lot about it.
l can't wait to see the rain and the muck.
Good, because while l'm delivering the message, you can play tourist.
Shenandoah, this is Starbase 257.
You're clear to leave our defence perimeter.
Remain at one-half impulse until passing the outer marker.
- Acknowledged. - l don't get to see the nagus?
Why do you want to see the grand nagus?
My father told me to say hello
and to give the nagus his best wishes.
You'll have to do better than that.
And because l told the editor of the Federation News Service
that l could get an interview with Zek.
You promised you weren't coming as a reporter.
l didn't promise. OK? l just sort of... You know?
OK, l promised, but this could be a big story, Nog.
- People have a right to know. - Forget it.
You're not getting near the nagus. l have no further comments.
What's that?
l'm not sure. l'm having trouble with our long-range scanners.
Our sensors are being jammed.
Hang on.
- Where did they come from? - l don't know.
- They're heading for the starbase. - We're not sticking around?
Not in a runabout. We're no match for Jem'Hadar fighters.
Try to open a channel to Deep Space 9.
l think they're jamming our com system. Why would they do that?
Because one of them's turned around and now he's coming after us.
You're taking us deeper into Dominion-held space.
We don't have a choice. l change course, they gain on us.
They're gaining anyway. We should head for the Federation.
lf we keep going we'll run into Cardassia Prime, and that won't be fun.
Warning. We are within range of enemy weapons.
Thanks for the warning.
When l go to impulse, raise forward shields. Transfer power to the phasers.
- We're dropping out of warp? - l'd rather fight at impulse.
- We'd have better manoeuvrability. - You're Ferengi, make a deal!
They don't seem interested in talking. Stand by.
Here they come.
- Shields down 30%. - l see it.
- We're losing power! - Keep weapons on-line.
Everything else is expendable, including life support.
There's another ship coming in, bearing 170, mark 215.
- Jem'Hadar or Cardassian? - lt's...
- lt's the Defiant. - What?
That's not the Defiant. This ship's registry number is NCC-74210.
U.S.S. Valiant.
Valiant? Great name!
l hope they tear that Jem'Hadar ship apart piece by...
Jake! Jake!
Are you all right, sir?
lt's nothing serious, Cadet... Chief.
Acting Chief Petty Officer, Dorian Collins.
The Captain asked me to escort you to the bridge. Follow me.
Main power holding. Auxiliary power on standby.
Shields holding at 84%.
Helm, bring us about to course 215, mark 310.
215, mark 310. Aye, sir.
Set quantum torpedo warheads to maximum yield, full spread.
Maximum yield, full spread. Aye, sir.
- lnitiate attack pattern Sierra four. - Sierra 4. Aye, sir.
- Shields now at 78%. - Transfer power.
- This is Red Squad. - Red Squad?
A group of elite cadets at the Academy. They were the best of the best.
Red Squad received special training, special everything.
They have their own ship?
l've heard of cadets getting command of a runabout, but not a starship.
As you were.
This is the Captain. Stand down from Red Alert.
All stations submit damage and casualty report to the first officer.
Glad to see you're in one piece.
l'm Tim Watters, commanding officer. Welcome aboard.
- Thank you...sir? - ''Sir'' is correct, Ensign.
l was given command of this vessel by the late Captain Ramirez.
Using that authority, l have promoted other Red Squad members as needed.
l see. l'm Ensign Nog and this is Jake Sisko.
- We're from Deep Space 9. - Sisko.
- You're Benjamin Sisko's son. - That's right.
l've heard a lot about your father.
- You're not following in his footsteps? - No. l'm a reporter.
You should get that looked at. Chief?
- Escort Mr Sisko to sick bay. - Aye, Captain. This way, sir.
- Preliminary damage report, sir. - Thank you.
Ensign Nog, Commander Karen Farris, our first officer.
- Commander. - Ensign.
The engine room reports that we have power spikes cropping up
all through the start-up routine.
- l thought we had that under control. - l did too.
Have you recalibrated the lateral impulse control system?
No. What does that have to do with the injectors?
The impulse system shares some of the power relays
used in the injector start-up routine.
We'll try it.
- Why don't you wait in my ready room? - Yes, sir.
The training cruise was supposed to last three months.
We had seven regular officers and a crew of 35 cadets.
The cadets would run the ship while the officers observed and critiqued us.
So this was a training ship?
- Like the other one, the Republic. - Not quite. The Republic's an old ship.
l don't think she's left the Terran System in 50 years.
The Valiant is a state-of-the-art warship.
Our mission was to circumnavigate the Federation before returning home.
The entire Federation? With a ship of cadets?
Not just cadets, Mr Sisko. Red Squad cadets.
We were transiting the Kepla Sector when war broke out.
A Dominion invasion force swept through there the first day.
- You were caught behind enemy lines. - Correct.
Going back to Federation-held space,
we encountered a Cardassian battle cruiser near El Gatark.
That was our first taste of combat.
ln the first 15 minutes, four regular officers were killed.
Three others were critically wounded, including Captain Ramirez.
- ls that when you took command? - No.
When l got to the bridge the Captain was in bad shape, but he was lucid
and he refused to go to sick bay.
We had lost main power and we were adrift
but the Cardassian cruiser was no better off.
lt was a race against the clock.
The ship that got main power on-line first would have a decisive advantage.
The Captain, he was amazing.
He directed the entire damage-control effort
with a punctured lung and massive internal injuries.
- He was a great man. - And he won the race.
We got weapons and impulse engines back on-line in three hours.
Then we destroyed that Cardie ship.
The next day, just before he died,
the Captain ordered me to take command of the Valiant.
lt's unbelievable!
You've spent eight months behind enemy lines.
l didn't do it alone. The crew deserves the real credit.
We have cadets as young as 17 doing the job of officers twice their age.
But we're also seriously undermanned.
- l could use another officer. - l'd be happy to do whatever l can, sir.
l see you're familiar with a class-7 warp drive.
Very familiar, sir. The Defiant has an identical engine.
Excellent. You are now chief engineer. Congratulations.
- Chief engineer? - With rank of Lieutenant Commander.
First task is to work out why we can't go above warp 3.2.
- Mr Parton believes... - Excuse me, sir.
l don't think l'm ready...
None of us were ready for the responsibility thrust on us, Commander,
but we rose to the occasion, did the job that had to be done.
Ready or not, you are chief engineer. You can do this, Mr Nog.
Have faith in yourself and your shipmates, and everything will be fine.
- Yes, sir. l will, sir. - Good man. That's what l want to hear.
lf you fix our warp drive problems, we can get on with our mission.
Our mission? l don't understand.
My orders are to collect technical data
on a new Dominion battleship operating in this sector.
We keep picking up their com traffic so we know they're here,
but because we can't go above warp 3.2, we can't get within sensor range.
Starfleet knows you're in command of the Valiant.
No. We've had to maintain strict radio silence ever since the war began.
Orders were addressed to Captain Ramirez.
But since he's dead, the mission's now mine.
Make no mistake, l will carry out that mission.
Or die trying.
- Coffee? - "Raktajino," please.
- Here you go. - Thanks.
- Where are you from? - Me?
- Tycho City. - A lunar schooner.
- l haven't heard that for ages. - Picked it up from my granddad.
He still calls Luna ''the moon'', like it's the only one!
Nobody who's ever lived on the moon calls it Luna.
- That's something they say on Earth. - What's it like?
You're from Earth, aren't you?
- You've never been to the moon? - Never got around to it.
Tell me about it.
People say it's so barren and harsh,'s not.
lt's beautiful. Tycho City's just a city,
but outside where the gravity is still low and there's no air...
You know, the sun only comes up once a month on the moon.
Every lunar morning my father and l would put on suits,
hike out across the sea of clouds.
We'd stop at this collection of boulders on the Western Rim...
just waiting for the sun to come up.
Dawn is so shocking on the moon.
One minute you're in the darkest night you can imagine
and the next instant the sun lifts up
and this glorious pure light just
explodes across the surface.
l felt like l met God every morning.
l'm on duty. Excuse me.
What's your solution, Commander?
l took the safeties off the plasma inter-cooler
and pressure control system. That should solve it.
You realise you're violating about 50 safety regulations?
Yes, sir, but Chief O'Brien made the same changes to the Defiant.
She never had a problem.
- Captain, this seems risky to me. - Mr Parton?
After spending seven months plodding along at warp 3.2, l'll try anything.
- Prepare for warp speed. - Aye, sir.
All right, Mr Nog, take us to warp 4.
- Can l help you, sir? - No. l've got it.
- Any problems with Sisko's arm? - No, sir.
- You got a problem, Chief? - No, sir.
Have you been crying?
- A little. - About what?
l was just thinking about home.
Come in.
- Chief, you can go now. - Thank you, sir.
Well, Mr Sisko, it sounds like you and the Chief had quite a conversation.
Home and family and the glories of dawn on the moon.
- Does that just about cover it? - That's about it. What's going on?
What's going on is that we are in the middle of a war.
We can't have cadets thinking of Mummy and Daddy
instead of concentrating on their duties.
l just asked about her home.
You plunged a member of this crew into emotional turmoil.
Jake. May l call you Jake?
You're a reporter.
Your job is to watch events, not participate in them.
You need to stand back. Take a look at what's going on around you.
You're in the middle of a great story.
Maybe one of the greatest stories in the entire Dominion War.
This ship is special, Jake. This crew is special.
And whatever fates guide this universe,
they've chosen us to achieve some purpose. l know that.
Just as surely as l know your presence here is no coincidence.
You're here to write the story.
To tell people of the Valiant and her crew.
Don't interfere with the story, Jake.
Don't become part of it. Let it unfold around you.
Observe, listen, and then write it down.
May l have your word you'll stay away from Chief Collins?
- OK. - Thank you, Jake. You're dismissed.
- l'm not sure we can trust him. - We'll watch him.
What about Mr Nog?
Mr Nog wears a uniform. He'll do his duty.
That'll be all, Commander.
- l'll see you at 1800 hours. - Yes, sir.
- Captain, are you all right? - Yes. Why?
l heard you were on the bridge during midwatch last night.
You haven't had much sleep lately.
- None of us have, Commander. - No, sir. l suppose not.
Thank you for your concern, Karen. But l'm fine, really.
Yes, sir. Sorry l even brought it up.
That's all right.
- Where have you been? - Engine room.
l solved their warp problem.
- What's that? - My Red Squad insignia.
ln case you haven't noticed, this is my new rank.
Lieutenant Commander Nog, Chief Engineer.
lt has a nice ring to it.
- You joined the crew? - Something wrong?
Watters puts you in charge of the engine room so soon?
Captain Watters is used to making quick decisions.
He felt l was the right man for the job.
Red Alert. All hands to battle stations. l repeat, all hands to battle stations.
Range: 1.32 light years. Speed: warp 4.7.
- What's going on? - We found our battleship.
Their course is 170, mark 135. Speed: warp 3.97.
Bridge to phaser control. You've got a spike in the 3-L subsystem.
Sensors show a drop in gamma radiation.
Phaser reserve is losing power.
- They've changed course. - They've detected us?
- We're still outside their sensor range. - Maintain distance.
Match their course and speed. Prepare a class-three probe for launch.
- Aye, sir. - What happens now?
We're launching a probe to scan the battleship.
The Valiant won't be picked up on their scanners.
- Won't they detect a probe? - They are designed to be undetectable.
There's almost no chance of it being spotted.
l don't remember anyone inviting you to the bridge.
Captain's log, stardate 51825.4.
We've shadowed the Dominion battleship for three hours.
The data our probe gathered so far is interesting,
and may give us a golden opportunity to strike a blow for the Federation.
Attention on deck!
Stand at ease.
lt's been a long eight months. A lot of work and sacrifice.
Now we've accomplished our mission.
We found the battleship and obtained a scan without being detected,
and we're free to go home.
But that ship out there is a direct threat
to every Federation outpost and colony within 50 light years.
That ship must be destroyed.
lt can be destroyed. Commander?
We found a flaw in the design of their antimatter storage system.
The primary support braces are made of viterium.
lt's a very strong metal alloy
which becomes extremely unstable when exposed to delta radiation.
A single torpedo rigged with a radiogenic warhead
could give the braces the consistency of wet pasta.
As a result, the entire antimatter storage system would tear itself apart.
Commander Nog. You don't seem convinced.
Sir, in order to rig a torpedo to yield a delta radiation burst,
l'll have to remove most of the guidance systems.
We'll have to target it manually.
We've trained for that possibility. lt shouldn't be a problem.
- We'll have to get close to the target. - How close?
Within 300 metres.
lt's dangerous, there's no disputing that.
No-one would think any less of us if we went home.
But that means that some other ship with some other crew
would be asked to finish the job that we started.
l think we can do it. l think we should do it.
- Can l say something? - You are not one of this crew.
Let him speak.
You all probably know who my father is. Benjamin Sisko.
He's considered to be one of the best combat officers in the fleet.
l'm telling you that even with the entire crew of the Defiant with him,
my father would never try to pull off something like this.
lf he can't do it, it can't be done.
We're Red Squad and we can do anything.
Red Squad! Red Squad! Red Squad!
This is suicide.
- No. lt's not. - Nog, listen to me.
We're in way over our heads. Someone told me that ship
is twice the size of a galaxy-class ship and three times as strong.
- That's accurate. - You think we can go up against it?
l think Captain Watters knows what he's doing.
Did you know that Watters has been taking cordafin stimulants?
- Where did you hear that? - Dorian.
You were told to stay away from her!
Watters to Shepard. Report to my ready room.
That's not how we do things in Starfleet.
You're buying everything that Watters is selling.
He's not selling anything. He's reminding us of our duty.
l feel l'm having a conversation with a bulkhead.
You don't understand because you've never put on one of these uniforms.
You don't know anything about sacrifice or honour or duty
or anything that makes up a soldier's life.
l'm part of something larger than myself.
- All you care about is you. - That's right.
l care about Jake Sisko and whether he'll be killed
by a bunch of delusional fanatics.
Get out.
l don't know who you are any more.
l'm the chief engineer of the Starship Valiant.
l'll have them put that on your tombstone.
Mr Sisko! l'm afraid you'll miss all the fun.
You'll spend the rest of this mission in the brig.
- All decks report ready, sir. - This is the Captain.
We are about to engage the enemy.
For the last eight months l've told you to stay focused on one thing.
Your duty.
Now l want you to step back from your duty
and take a look around, and l don't mean at the walls.
l want you to look at this moment in your life.
Appreciate that you are on this ship
with this group of people at this point in history.
But understand one thing above all else.
This moment will never come again.
Hold on to it. Savour it as long as you can.
You're Starfleet, you're Red Squad and you're the best.
Now, let's get that battleship and we can all go home.
Captain out.
- Take us to warp 6, Mr Nog. - Warp 6. Aye.
They've spotted us. They're dropping out of warp.
- Helm, go to impulse. - Aye, sir.
- We are in visual range. - On screen.
Lay in a strafing course along their superstructure.
Make it close so they won't get a weapons lock on us.
l want to scrape some paint off their hull, Lieutenant.
Raise shields, charge phasers, fire at targets of opportunity.
- Torpedo status? - Torpedoes ready.
- Defence system ready. - Helm ready.
All right, Mr Shepard. Take us in.
Shields holding.
- Course stable. - Fire at will!
Helm! Hard about!
Tactical! Get a target lock on those braces!
lmpulse engines at full thrust.
They're trying to jam our sensors.
- Mr Nog, initiate countermeasures. - l'm on it!
l've acquired the target.
- Torpedoes locked! - Full power to forward shields.
Helm, plot an escape course down the Z-axis.
- Ready! - Engage.
- They're turning to port. - Match them, Helm. Keep us on track.
Hull breach on deck 2. Emergency force fields are in place.
Steady our course, Helm. l can't maintain targeting lock.
Karen! lt's all yours. Fire when ready.
Understood. Just a little closer.
- We're losing our port shields. - Steady as she goes.
Torpedoes away.
Aft view on screen!
- Did we miss the target? - No, sir. lt was a direct hit.
lt just... lt didn't work.
- Orders, Captain? - Lay in a new course.
127, mark 3...
Hull breach on deck 2, deck 3, deck 4...
Evasive manoeuvres. Bring us about to course 127, mark 320.
- l've lost helm control! - Main power's off-line. l'm rerouting...
Auxiliary power is off-line.
l still have phaser control. Should l return fire?
- Sir? - No. lt's over.
- The Captain wanted... - The Captain is dead, Chief.
They're all dead.
The ship is lost. There's no need for us to die here too.
Abandon ship. Abandon ship. This is not a drill.
All hands proceed to emergency escape pods.
Help! Somebody let me out of here!
- Help! - Jake!
- What happened? - We failed.
Captain, l'm picking up a Starfleet distress signal.
Bearing 318, mark 005, range: ten light years.
That location is inside Dominion-held space.
Can you identify the ship calling?
Looks like it's coming from an escape pod.
U.S.S. Valiant.
The Valiant was reported missing over eight months ago.
lt may be a Dominion ruse to lure us into their territory.
But it may be genuine. We must find out.
- Cloak the ship and lay in a course. - Aye, sir.
We scanned the area for other escape pods,
but it doesn't look like anyone else made it.
lt was a long shot. l just thought maybe...
How is she, Doctor?
l've repaired her fractured skull. She should be fine.
And Nog?
A few bumps and bruises, but he's going to be fine as well.
- Can l talk to him? - Why not?
- Are you OK? - Yeah.
You gonna write a story about all this?
What are you going to say?
What do you think l should say?
That it was a good ship
with a good crew
that made a mistake.
We let ourselves blindly follow Captain Watters
and he led us over a cliff.
That's not true.
Captain Watters was a great man.
Dorian, he got everyone killed.
lf he failed, it's because we failed him.
Put that in your story too.
Let people read it and decide for themselves.
He may have been a hero. He may even have been a great man.
But in the end, he was a bad captain.

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