These barstools will have to be removed.
- You know how much they cost? - l'm not interested.
Station regulation 2562, paragraph four:
''Promenade furniture must not pose a danger to public safety.''
Without a back on the stool, Morn could tumble,
shattering his upper vertebrae or puncturing three or four of his lungs.
Nonsense. His body weight is perfectly distributed across the seat.
He's also better able to enjoy the view of the lovely dabo girls.
And should he require another drink he need only spin back.
Which points out another danger: vertigo.
This isn't going to give anybody vertigo.
Your appeal has been rejected. l want the barstools removed.
lt's come to my attention that your dabo wheel is in violation
of station regulation 4721, which states...
- Odo. - Nerys!
- You busy? - Not at all.
- Can l interest you in lunch? - Where?
l was thinking of the Klingon restaurant. l have been craving broiled krada legs.
Too bad about the barstools.
Did you notice how he changed the minute she walked into the room?
- They're in love. - Love?
- lt's... - Love's a distraction.
And a distracted policeman is an opportunity.
Captain's log, stardate 51948.3.
With the safe arrival of convoy PQ-1 in the Vegan System
our escort duties are complete and l've set course for home.
My first, and hopefully last, mission report for Starfleet Command.
When l agreed to be Convoy Liaison Officer l thought, ''Sure. Why not?
''l know most of the freighter captains, it should be a piece of cake.''
l didn't know l'd make 20 log entries a day and fill out reports every night.
Looks like you did a good job.
''Do something, do it right.'' That's what my father said.
Every father says that. Even l say that.
That's why you're a good parent. You know all the clichés by heart.
Hello, stranger. Haven't seen you in days.
l've been filling out reports.
There was a reason l didn't join Starfleet, l couldn't do this paperwork.
There was a time when you couldn't get him to shut up.
- l like him better this way. - That's mean.
- l was just kidding. - No. You weren't.
- Worf to Captain Sisko. - Sisko here.
Can you come to the bridge? We've picked up a distress call.
We've been unable to establish two-way communication,
but the signal is coming from the Rutharian sector.
Let's hear it, Chief.
...and Commander Gatsby is dead, too.
l didn't see other escape pods leave before the ship was destroyed,
so l may be the only survivor.
My pod was torn open on impact and the rain is pouring in.
l'll take the radio and a survival kit.
The environmental suits were damaged in the crash.
This is an L-class world and the atmosphere is barely breathable.
Repeat: this is a general distress call.
l am a United Federation of Planets citizen and a Starfleet officer.
lf you can hear me, please respond.
My government will reward you for any assistance
and most of all, you'll be my personal heroes.
That's enough.
- How long will it take us to reach her? - At maximum warp, six days.
- Any other ships closer to that sector? - No, sir.
Mr Worf, turn us around and set a course for the Rutharian sector.
Aye, sir.
Chief, l want you to establish a two-way com link
and when you do, tell her...
tell her her ''heroes'' are on the way.
Captain's log, supplemental.
The Starfleet officer, whose name, we've learned, is Lisa,
continues to transmit her call for help.
But Chief O'Brien has been unable to establish two-way communication.
- How's it going? - Slow.
She's transmitting on a rotating subspace frequency.
We can't return her signal.
- Do you have to keep that on? - No, but she is all alone.
- The least l can do is listen. - She doesn't know you're listening.
You're not comforting her by listening.
lt doesn't bother me. Sometimes it feels like she's actually talking to me.
lt's true. Especially when she talks of her home and family.
- She reminds me of my cousin. - 'l don't believe it. lt's raining again.
How can there be so much water and so little life?
- l'll leave you two alone. - l'm starting to hate this place.
This is a general distress call. Hello? Are you paying attention?
l know you're out there. l know you can hear me. So just answer me.
Tell me you're on your way. Tell me l'm going to be rescued.
Tell me l'm not going to die alone.
l hope you're satisfied.
l'm sure nothing gives you more pleasure than stifling my creativity.
Only you would consider bar stools to be a form of artistic expression.
Let's see how creative you are.
Have you picked out the Major's gift yet?
- Gift? - For this Saturday.
You do know what Saturday is?
- Saturday? - Yes.
lt's the one-month anniversary of your first date with Major Kira.
- l suppose it is. - And you haven't picked out a gift.
Why should l?
The man's experienced unrequited love for the better part of three years.
Now he has her, he wants to know why he should celebrate their anniversary.
- Whatever you're selling won't work. - You think l'm going to get involved?
The last thing l want to deal with is a lover looking for a last-minute gift.
There's a Promenade of shopkeepers out there, if you want to buy a gift.
A one-month anniversary gift. Ever heard of anything so ridiculous?
OK. So now you...
Now you have him looking for a gift. What are you up to?
l tell you, you'll write it down. Next thing, l'm in a holding cell.
l won't write a word, l promise.
- This is character research. - Right.
Quark, listen. l'm working on a crime novel,
but l've hit a wall in my writing. lt's not truthful anymore.
Phony, artificial.
l'm having trouble creating real characters, especially nefarious ones.
lf you could just let me watch and listen as you pull off...
whatever it is you're going to pull off, it could help me.
You could give me insight.
l could even model my lead character after you.
Lesson number one. No one involved in an extra-legal activity
thinks of himself as nefarious.
- Sorry. - l'm a businessman, OK?
Now, if you're interested in learning more about my business...
- l think that can be arranged. - Great.
But nothing you see or hear turns up in print and none of it
gets back to your father, understand?
So there is a sun after all.
Now that the sun's up, l can see how truly ugly my new home is.
There's nothing out there but dirt and rocks, more dirt and more rocks.
Chief? Can l ask you a personal question?
Are you uncomfortable having me aboard the Defiant?
No. Why should l be?
l'm a civilian. lsn't it awkward having me aboard a warship?
We've had civilians aboard before. lt doesn't bother me.
- l was afraid you'd say that. - l'm sorry.
Hello! This is Lisa Cusak. l'm receiving your transmission.
Can you hear me? Hello, hello! l could hear you two talking.
- Can you hear me? - Yes! We can hear you.
Thank God. Whoever you are, l love you.
My name is Lisa Cusak. l was the commanding officer of the Olympia.
We left the Federation eight years ago for an exploration of the Beta Quadrant.
What happened to your ship, Captain?
We were heading home, but then we picked up strange energy readings
in a nearby star system and we stopped to investigate.
We found an energy barrier around the fourth planet.
Probing it with our scanners triggered a quantum reaction.
A surge of metrion radiation disabled our engines
and we spiralled toward the surface.
l gave the order to abandon ship.
The last thing l remember is a console exploding in my face.
l woke up in an escape pod and l've spent the last day and a half
sitting in this cave, trying to raise someone on subspace.
Dr Bashir, Chief Medical Officer.
Are you sure you are on a L-class planet?
Positive. To answer your next question, l've been giving myself 15cc's of triox
every four hours to compensate for the excess carbon dioxide.
- Like it says in my medical tricorder. - How much triox do you have left?
150 milliliters.
Will you reduce the dosage to 8cc's every six hours?
- We need to stretch out your supply. - What happens when she runs out?
That's a good question. What happens then?
You will experience the effects of hypoxia,
but the triox compound will strengthen your cardiopulmonary system,
allowing you to better withstand the effects.
ln other words, l'm going to be gasping for air by the time you get here.
- Yes, l'm afraid so. - Thanks for brightening my day.
- ls there anything we can do? - There is, actually.
The injections are keep me awake and l haven't talked to anyone for two days.
We'll help you with that, Captain.
l'll have one of my officers stay on the line with you at all times.
- And order them to enjoy it! - Done.
- So, who's first? - l think l'd better start.
Sounds good to me.
A lot has happened since you left, Captain.
The second fleet hit Dominion forces occupying Betazed
three times in the last month,
but they keep sending reinforcements and fortifying their positions...
OK. That's it, please. No more war news.
- You're depressing me. - Sorry.
No. l'm sorry.
l'm sorry for you and me and everyone in the Federation.
l can't believe we're at war. Let's change the subject.
How about some good news?
Things to look forward to when l get home.
Tell me people still fall in love, get married and raise families.
- They do. - Good.
- What about you? Are you married? - No.
Seeing anyone? l'd like to think there's still something positive
in the life of a starship captain these days.
- l am seeing someone. - Now we're talking.
- Tell me about her. What's her name? - Kasidy Yates.
- The same Kasidy l spoke to earlier? - That's her.
- She one of your officers? - No, civilian. Freighter captain.
Sounds like you're having problems.
- Why would you say that? - There's no joy in your voice.
The tension level went up when you said her name.
You sounded more relaxed talking about the war.
- Ben, are you still there? - Yes, l'm still here.
You just...
caught me off-guard...a little.
l can tell.
Back when l was a junior officer l dated a civilian for six years.
Want to hear about it? Sure you do. Why?
lt's a funny story and one of us needs to cheer up.
We met on Andor. l was assigned to the Federation embassy, as an attaché.
He was in the Andorian Agricultural Ministry.
At first, he kept pointing his antennae at me
whenever l walked through his office and l found that rude.
Excuse me, coming through. Excuse me.
- Odo? - Well...this is it.
Can l see it?
Very nice. The Major will love it.
How are you going to give it to her?
What sort of evening do you have planned?
- l don't have anything planned. - Fortunately for you, there's still time.
- Pick one. - A holosuite program?
lt's your anniversary. You have to do something special.
l bought her a gift.
Have it your way, but if it were me
and l had found true love after a lifetime of searching,
every month would be worth celebrating.
All right. Let me look at those programs.
Come on.
Looks like the Constable is going to be busy Saturday night.
He won't be following me around the station
or watching the airlocks for criminals
or monitoring the cargo bays for illegal transactions.
- He has deputies. - Deputies l can handle.
With Odo out of the way my biggest problem will be deciding
what to do with the money l'm going to make.
...both my sisters are teachers. l don't know how they do it.
Personally, l can't stand children.
l know everybody loves children. Not me.
- Yeah. - What about you? You like children?
Oh, yeah.
- Really? - Yeah.
Doctor, l'm starting to think that maybe you're not really paying attention to...
Wait a minute. What's that? There's something moving out there.
- lt's getting closer. - What?
Stay back.
- No! Don't hurt me. - Captain, what's going on?
Please, stay back. No, don't... No!
Captain Cusak, can you hear me? Hello?
Hello? God...
- She's gone. - Who is this? What have you done?
- l have eaten her. - What?
l've eaten her! What difference does it make to you?
You weren't even listening to her.
You have my sincere apologies. l was carried away with my work.
l'm a patient. Doesn't that make me your work?'
You're absolutely right. l don't know what l was thinking.
You now have my complete attention.
l've got news for you, Doc. l'm all talked out.
lt's time for you to take your patient's mind off her impending doom.
- You're not doomed. - l feel better already.
See how easy that was? Now keep going.
What should l talk about?
How did they let you out of medical school with this bedside manner?
- Are you sure you're a doctor? - Yes, l graduated second in my class.
And we're especially proud of that, aren't we?
l feel it will take some hours to crawl from this hole l've dug for myself.
Not at all. lt will take you days.
You have my assurance they're high-quality crystals.
You won't get them at this price anywhere else in the quadrant.
Five days, cargo bay 3. See you then.
l'll take this one.
Paris, 1928. Nice choice.
Say what you will about humans today. Their past was certainly romantic.
- Book us four hours on Sunday night. - You mean Saturday.
l mean Sunday.
Saturday is the anniversary.
Our first date ended badly. l don't want to commemorate it.
l'm celebrating the anniversary of our first kiss.
- Your first kiss? - Romantic, isn't it?
Come on. Come on.
What's going on?
My partner... l can't get him on the channel.
He's changed his com system protocols.
- You just talked to him. - He's a wanted man.
He's careful about using subspace.
The authorities might try and trace his signal.
l have no way of contacting him until he gets here Saturday night.
- Can't you explain he'll have to wait? - Haven't you been paying attention?
lf he sets foot here with Odo on duty
we'll be in a holding cell faster than you can say ''criminal conspiracy''.
- What are you going to do? - l think...
my best option is...panic.
When fighting first broke out, l thought,
''All right, O'Brien, you've done this before.
''Keep your head down...
''focus on the job and you'll get through this,
''just like you did in the last war.''
But this war is different. Maybe l'm different.
l have this growing sense of isolation.
l see people. l talk to them, l laugh with them, and...
But some part of me is always saying,
''They may not be here tomorrow. Don't get too close''.
l'm sorry. l shouldn't be laying all this on your shoulders, Captain.
No, it's all right, Miles. lt sounds like you need to talk with someone.
l'm sure it's the last thing you need to hear.
- l should be cheering you up. - Forget about me.
You're the one who needs cheering up.
There's a sad state of affairs.
You've seen a lot of combat in the last year. That's a heavy burden.
- Are you sure you're not a counsellor? - l'm sure.
l'll let you in on a secret. l dislike the concept of a ship's counsellor.
Me too. l like some of them personally, but...
- But sometimes they get in the way. - That's exactly how l feel.
But saying it out loud is almost heresy.
And there's this assumption that only someone with a diploma
can listen to your problems or give you advice.
- Sometimes all you need are friends. - Exactly.
- So where are they? - Excuse me?
Where are your friends, Miles? Why aren't they helping you?
Well, we... l haven't spoken to them about any of this.
lt's not the kind of thing you talk about.
lf you can't talk to your friends
and you can't talk to your wife, you know who that leaves?
The ship's counsellor!
- Excuse me. lt's 1800 hours. - Already?
- Afraid so. - But we're still talking.
Boys, don't fight over me. Miles, l'll talk to you in the morning.
- And think about what l said. - All right. l will.
- Good night, Captain. - Good night.
Don't let me keep you from your work, Julian. l know how busy you are.
No work tonight.
You've decided to spend your time conversing with your patient again.
Three days in a row. You must be swamped with paperwork.
l feel awful, keeping you from your duties.
l managed to catch up with all my paperwork this afternoon.
Let me guess. Thanks to your genetically engineered brain
you did the work of ten other doctors at the same time.
You've answered my next question. ''How are you feeling?''
l can hear you're in your usual acerbic good mood.
Wrong again, my superhuman friend.
- l'm not feeling well at all. - Tell me.
The last injection didn't do the trick. l feel this heavy weight on my chest.
lt's harder to breathe and every time l move my head, the cave spins.
Come in.
- What is it? - Captain Cusak has run out of triox.
She's feeling the effects of CO2 poisoning.
l thought she had at least a day's worth of injections left.
Apparently the last vial was tainted, probably in the crash.
- How long does she have? - No more than two days.
That's not good. We're still three days away.
- We need more speed. - Speed's not the problem.
l could increase the warp plasma 97 gigahertz.
That would increase our velocity to warp 9.5 and save us a full day.
The Defiant's problem is structural integrity when going above warp 9.
At those speeds the ship literally starts tearing herself apart.
Can we strengthen the integrity field?
Not without bleeding power from another source.
- Such as? - The phaser reserves.
We could be at a disadvantage should we encounter a Dominion ship.
We're a long way from the front lines.
Chances of meeting a Dominion ship are negligible.
- We should not take that risk. - She'll die if we don't get there faster.
- Use the phaser reserve, Chief. - Aye, sir. Thank you, sir.
- How's it going? - We're increasing speed.
- The Captain's condition is worsening. - l see.
- ls there anything l can do? - l don't think so.
- Well. l guess l'll see you later. - Right.
- Are you sure you want to hear this? - Trust me, Ben.
l'd rather be worrying about your love life than about my own problems.
Well...when Kasidy came to the bridge last night,
all l wanted her to do was leave and l couldn't tell you why.
She doesn't belong there, Ben. That's why.
She doesn't belong in that part of your life and you know it.
Off duty, l'm sure Kasidy is exactly what you need.
But on the Defiant, she's a random element,
a piece that doesn't fit anywhere in the puzzle.
She was the Convoy Liaison Officer on our last mission,
and a damned good one.
This isn't about her. This is about you.
You have trouble doing your job when she's on the Defiant. That's a problem.
lt's also affecting your relationship and that's another problem.
Don't take it so hard. You can't mix your personal and professional lives.
Most people can't. l certainly can't.
l once served on the same starbase as my sister.
What a nightmare that was.
l look forward to meeting you, Lisa.
l'm sure l'm not the only one around here who feels the same way.
lf you ask me, everyone on that ship could use some R and R.
- Beautiful, aren't they? - Gorgeous.
Do you know how much l was going to get for these?
- Almost 200 bars. - That's a lot.
No kidding, that's a lot. Now, they're just a crate full of junk.
There's a chance that Odo won't find out about this.
No, he'll find out.
Odo would love nothing better than to see me in jail.
- And after all l did for him. - Like what?
Like helping him find true love.
lf it wasn't for me, he and Major Kira would never have gotten together.
l was there for him during all the heartache and the lonely nights.
He was wallowing in misery because she was still seeing Shakaar.
l told him to make his move.
l told him not to give up.
l was there for him.
And what did l get out of it? Nothing.
He still spies on me. He still bothers me about minor infractions of the law.
And he still can't wait for the opportunity to send me to prison.
l should have remembered the 285th Rule of Acquisition.
''No good deed ever goes unpunished.''
- To failure. - l'm not drinking to that.
Jake, in ten minutes, my business partner's ship will dock.
ln 15 minutes, Odo will arrest him. ln 20 minutes, my name will come up.
And in 25 minutes, Odo will walk in here with a warrant.
You should humour me on this one.
l'd like that holosuite now, after all.
- You would? - That's right.
lt turns out Nerys agrees with you.
She wants to celebrate the anniversary of our first date.
So here we are. ls the holosuite still available?
lt's all yours.
The program?
- Odo, have a good time. - Thank you, Quark. l'm sure we will.
- l don't believe it. - Neither do l.
l'm going to win this one, Jake. You know what the best part is?
l beat Odo. l finally beat him.
Jake, l did it. l beat him.
- He looks happy. - He should be.
He's about to make his biggest profit of the year.
You sure you want to let him get away with smuggling Denevan crystals?
l owe him one. So he'll get this one, but just this one.
Why is it every time l think l have you figured out
you do something to surprise me? Like tonight.
Where did you get the idea to celebrate our one-month anniversary in Paris?
Some mysteries are better left unsolved.
l want a scan of that barrier but use passive sensors only.
An active scan is what triggered the destruction of the Olympia.
lt's an exogenic field generated by unstable elements in the planet's core.
Captain Cusak has lost consciousness.
We have to get her to sick bay in the next 45 minutes.
The Defiant can't penetrate the barrier.
The energy is composed of metrion radiation.
lf we get near it, the dilithium matrix in the warp core will collapse
and we'll be pulled down onto the planet's surface like the Olympia.
- Options? - Could we beam through it?
We can't get close enough to the barrier to initiate transport.
A shuttle pod impulse engine doesn't use antimatter.
lt is unlikely a shuttle could withstand the gravimetric stresses.
Unlikely, but not impossible.
l didn't come all this way to give up. l'll take the risk.
Doctor, Mr O'Brien, you're with me. Mr Worf, you have the bridge.
Sisko to Defiant. We're preparing to enter the barrier.
- Good luck, Captain. - Thank you.
- Shields down to 73%. - Primary power grid off-line.
- Switching to backups. - Shields at 50%.
Losing the navigational computer.
- Secondary nav comp on-line. - We're coming out of it.
Damage report.
Some buckling in the starboard hull plating, but otherwise fine.
- Scan the planet, Doctor. - Not showing any life sign.
Wait. l've found the crash site and the cave.
ls there somewhere we can set down?
Yes. lt will be tight for time.
We've got to get her back on the ship in 20 minutes.
Still no life readings.
This has to be the only direction she could have been headed in.
Over here.
lt was a human female. 51 years of age at time of death.
Cause of death: carbon dioxide poisoning.
lt can't be Lisa. That woman's been dead for years.
Three years and two months but all the evidence fits: age, rank,
the way she died.
lf she's been dead for three years how has she been talking to us?
lt must be the energy barrier.
When her radio signal passed through the barrier's metrion radiation
the signal time-shifted into the future.
Then when you sent the return signal?
lt went through the barrier and travelled back in time in the same way.
We've been talking to someone from the past?
So what do we do now?
We should bury her.
No. Not here. Not alone in this cave.
We'll take her back with us. Give her a proper burial among friends.
lt's called an lrish wake.
lt's a way to memorialise a death and celebrate life at the same time.
What are we supposed to do?
Drink, sing songs, laugh, cry, talk about the deceased.
lt sounds almost Klingon.
- Hey. - Hey, yourself.
When this is over, l want to talk to you about something.
- Something that's been on my mind. - OK.
- ls it about me? - lt's about me, actually.
Ah, that's a relief.
l want to try to explain about my behaviour lately.
Sounds good to me. But we'll talk about it over dinner.
- You cook. - That's a deal.
l...l just wanted to say that...
although l only talked with her for a very short time,
l really admired Lisa Cusak. l cared about her and l'm going to miss her.
And another thing.
Contrary to public opinion, l am not the arrogant, self-absorbed,
god-like doctor that l appear to be on occasion.
Why don't l hear anybody objecting to that statement?
- l will if you insist. - l insist.
- Then l object. - Thank you, Miles Edward O'Brien.
No, l have a heart and l really care about all of you,
even if sometimes it would appear that l care more about my work.
To the woman who taught me
that it is sometimes necessary to say these things.
- Lisa Cusak. - To Lisa.
l never shook her hand and l never saw her face.
But she made me laugh and she made me weep.
She was all by herself and l was surrounded by my friends.
Yet l felt more alone than she did.
We've grown apart, the lot of us.
We didn't mean for it to happen but it did.
The war changed us. lt pulled us apart.
Lisa Cusak was my friend but you are also my friends
and l want my friends in my life
because someday we're going to wake up
and we're going to find that someone is missing from this circle
and on that day, we're going to mourn, and we shouldn't have to mourn alone.
To Lisa and the sweet sound of her voice.

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