One, two, three, four...
- So? What do you think? - Not bad.
But the lady is a tramp, not a scamp.
- Tramp, right. So do l get the gig? - Sorry, pallie.
But Dr Bashir said you're looking for an opening act and l love to sing.
l can tell. But two singers on the same bill is a one-way ticket to Deadsville.
l need someone to warm up the audience. A comic.
- A comic? - Someone who makes people laugh.
l can do that. People are always laughing at me.
That may be true. But this is a holosuite program.
- So? - So you're not a hologram.
- Life can be so unfair. - Vic. You got a minute?
Forget it. He's not hiring.
- What's wrong with him? - Showbiz. lt breaks your heart.
- So what can l do for you? - Did you make those recordings?
- All your favourite hits. - That's great. Thanks.
These songs are 400 years old. You sure the troops want to hear them?
When you sing them, they sound brand new.
l wish l was going on the supply run with you.
l could make some appearances. Sing songs, tell jokes.
Put on a regular USO show.
There are no holosuites where we're going.
Rom's right. Life can be unfair.
You know, pallie, sometimes being a hologram
can be a real pain in the asometric photons.
- l'll see you when l get back. - You know where to find me.
l thought l might find you here.
The new security protocols you requested.
l think that's what l'm going to remember most about this war -
looking through casualty reports.
Sometimes it feels like that's all l do - stare at the names of the dead.
When the war started, l read every name.
l felt it was the least l could do to honour their sacrifices.
But now, the names have begun to blur together.
- That's understandable. - Maybe.
- Ops to Captain Sisko. - Go ahead.
The Defiant is ready for departure.
On my way.
Why me? Why did he have to send me?
l'm like a son to him.
- Quark, you're mumbling again. - l'm sorry. lt's just not fair.
l have responsibilities of my own. Customers who depend on me.
But the Grand Nagus picked you for this assignment.
Some assignment. A fact-finding mission to the front lines.
Zek's inundated with intelligence reports.
What can l tell him that he doesn't know?
Maybe he wants to hear things from a Ferengi perspective.
Then let him ask Nog.
The Nagus trusts you.
What are you trying to do? Cheer me up?
lt's my job.
Remember the 34th Rule. ''War is good for business.''
From a distance. lt's less profitable closer to the front lines.
What is that?
- Stay here. - Wait. Don't leave.
This is no time to be wandering the corridors.
lsn't this system in Federation hands?
Yes, but the Dominion is determined to take back their territory.
Thank you. l should probably write this down.
Mr O'Brien, keep an eye out for more Jem'Hadar ships.
Aye, sir.
- What are you doing here, uncle? - l'm...visiting.
- l'm working. - Quark, can we help you?
Not really. l just came by to say hello to my nephew.
All right, you've just said hello.
Anybody like to join me for a "raktajino?"
- Quark! - l'm just leaving.
Sir, l assure you that won't happen again.
He's just nervous. He's not used to being in combat situations.
That's no excuse.
The supplies are ready for transport.
AR-558 are expecting you.
Away team, you're with me. Mr Worf, she's all yours.
Not much to look at, is it?
Those are Federation phasers!
Hold your fire! l'm Captain Sisko of the U.S.S. Defiant.
You heard him. Cease fire, damn it!
We're coming out!
Who told you to open fire?
l thought it was the Jem'Hadar.
They look like Jem'Hadar?
l gave the word that Starfleet officers were beaming down.
Nobody told me.
Sorry. A breakdown in communications.
No harm was done. Where's Captain Loomis?
He was killed ten days ago. So was Commander Parker.
- Who's in command? - l am. Lieutenant Nadia Larkin.
Ben Sisko. Where do you want your supplies?
- Vargas can show you. - Supplies. That's great.
We need to get off this rock!
Take it easy, Vargas.
l'd love to take it easy.
Get me out of this vole-hole and all l'll do is take it easy!
According to Starfleet regulations,
we're supposed to be rotated off the front lines after 90 days.
We've been stuck on this rock for five months, Captain.
''Take it easy''!
Welcome to paradise, Captain.
The only reason anyone gives a damn about this place -
this huge Dominion communications array.
We should be able to tap into their entire com system.
- They're determined to get it back. - We can't let them.
l know our orders. But maybe Starfleet Command isn't aware of our situation.
We've been holding this place for five months,
fighting off Jem'Hadar attempts to get it back.
When we landed here, there were 150 of us. We're down to 43.
l appreciate what you've gone through. l'll make sure Starfleet understands.
But our forces are spread pretty thin in this system.
You might be stuck here for a while longer.
Lucky us.
Can someone hand me a duonetic coupler?
Your frequency discriminator's drifting. You should reset it.
- You an engineer? - No but one of my previous hosts was.
Close enough. Grab a microdyne coupler and recalibrate that transtator.
Nog, shouldn't you be helping Dr Bashir unload the supplies?
We're pretty much finished.
Good. The sooner we get out of here, the better.
That soldier over there. You see his necklace?
- Those are Ketracel white tubes. - So?
- You know how he got them? - Mail order?
He took them off the bodies of dead Jem'Hadar. Jem'Hadar he killed.
- lt's his way of keeping score. - And you find that impressive?
- lsn't it? - l don't think so.
Take a look around you, Nog.
- This isn't the Starfleet you know. - Sure it is.
lt's just that these people have been through a lot.
They've been holed up here a long time,
seen two thirds of their unit killed.
But they haven't surrendered.
Do you know why?
- Because they're heroes. - Maybe.
But l still don't want you anywhere near them.
Let me tell you something about humans, nephew.
They're a wonderful, friendly people
as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working.
But take away their creature comforts,
deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers,
put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period,
and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people...
will become as nasty and as violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon.
You don't believe me?
Look at those faces. Look in their eyes.
You know l'm right, don't you?
Well? Aren't you going to say something?
l feel sorry for the Jem'Hadar.
This is 20 cc's of numinol tetraminothen.
That will take care of the fever and chest congestion.
And this will get rid of the dermal irritation on your back.
l haven't felt this good since the day l landed on this rock.
Good. Now l'd like to take a look at this arm.
What the hell are you doing? Keep your hands off this bandage.
- l need to treat your wound. - Nobody touches this bandage.
- ls that understood? - Why?
- l asked you if you understood? - Yes.
McGreevey put this bandage on me.
- Ripped up his own uniform to make it. - He sounds like a good friend.
He was a jerk. l couldn't stand the guy. He wouldn't shut up.
Yap, yap, yap.
He thought he was the world's greatest authority on everything.
l know. He's dead and l should have more respect.
But God, l hated him.
One minute he's tying this bandage around my arm, talking,
the next he's lying flat on his back with a hole in his chest.
l just sat there and l looked at him. That was so great.
He was so quiet.
One time in his life he's quiet.
l still need to treat your wound.
You've set up a solid defence perimeter, but tighten this flank.
Can l have a minute?
These people's health is precarious at best.
They need more than food and medicine. They need to be shipped out.
Right now there's nothing l can do about that.
Damn it!
He was walking along...
You must've swept for anti-personnel mines.
lt doesn't help. Not with Houdinis.
- ''Houdinis''? - Find one and you disappear.
They hide in subspace and appear at random.
You can walk by the same place 100 times and nothing happens.
- And then bang. - You're wasting your breath.
lt's not the Captain's problem. He's leaving.
l wish l could say things would get easier.
- Don't worry about us, Captain. - Defiant to Captain Sisko.
- Go ahead. - Sir, we're being attacked.
Are you ready for transport?
Stand by, Mr Worf.
Jem'Hadar troops are landing near your position.
Sir, we must beam you aboard now.
Take evasive action, Mr Worf. We're staying here.
Sir, l do not know when we will be able to come back.
You have your orders, Commander.
Aye, sir. Good luck.
What are you looking at? We have work to do.
Yes, sir. You heard the Captain.
Sir, what are your orders?
There's only one order, Lieutenant.
We hold.
We need to find out how many Jem'Hadar troops there are.
You won't learn anything with that. We jam their sensors, they jam ours.
But they have an advantage. They know where we are.
But they don't know our defence position or how many of us are here.
l'd still rather be in their shoes.
- Hear anything, Ensign? - Plenty.
l can hear Vargas's stomach rumbling and Ezri tuning a phase amplifier.
- What about the Jem'Hadar? - Not a sound.
- lf they're out there, they're quiet. - They're out there.
Keep your ears open, Ensign.
l will, sir.
- See anything? - Uh-uh.
That knife you're working on. lt's not Starfleet issue. Can l see it?
You're supposed to be listening.
- l know. - Then shut up and listen.
Here they come!
There's something wrong.
They're not firing.
Hold your fire!
- Where did they go? - They weren't here to begin with.
- Holograms. - l don't understand.
lt was a way to see what they were up against, determine our numbers.
And pinpoint our positions.
Without risking any casualties. Smart.
They're smart and we're as good as dead.
- Not yet we aren't. - ls it over?
For now. But next time they won't send holograms.
Let's get him to the lnfirmary.
So we stop working on the communications array?
They'll have to get along without you.
We have to disarm the Houdinis.
l'm all for that. These mines are nasty.
They're also impossible to detect.
l'm sorry, but l'm an engineer, not a magician.
- Larkin says you like a challenge. - l thought l did.
But after banging my head against the communications array for months,
l'm not so sure anymore.
He's just modest. Chief O'Brien would be proud to have him on his crew.
l can't think of higher praise.
Now what?
Now we get to pull a rabbit out of our hat.
Here. You need to keep your strength up.
Thanks, uncle, but l can get my own food.
Afraid of looking weak in front of the humans?
l want to earn their respect, if that's what you mean.
At the price of your soul?
Look at you. You hold that phaser rifle as if it were made of pure latinum.
We're in the middle of a war and this rifle can keep me alive.
- l'm a Starfleet officer. - You're a Ferengi.
- l wish you'd start acting like one. - You mean hiding when trouble starts?
l'll tell you one thing, nephew.
lf the Federation had listened to the Ferengi Alliance
there wouldn't have been a war.
Because we would've surrendered.
No. We would've reached an accommodation.
We would've sat across the negotiation table and hammered out a peace treaty.
One that both sides could live with.
You make it sound so simple.
Rule of Acquisition 125. ''You can't make a deal if you're dead.''
Nog. l'm sending you, Larkin and Reese out on a scouting patrol.
l need to know how many Jem'Hadar are out there,
where they're camped, what weapons they have.
- When do we leave? - Right away.
Why Nog when you have all these veterans to choose from?
No one asked your opinion.
- Our tricorders aren't working. - But my hearing is.
You can count on me, sir. l'll find the Jem'Hadar.
- Nog, wait! - He has his orders, Quark.
That is so easy for you to say.
But l bet you wouldn't send Jake out there.
Jake is not a Starfleet officer.
You did it!
l'm not sure it was me. lt could've been Tobin or Jadzia.
lt doesn't matter. The point is you've cut through the jamming signals.
l can't extend its range past 100 metres.
That's enough to scan the entire compound.
Now how do we calibrate the tricorder to locate the mines in subspace?
We could cross-link the optronic and isodyne relays.
You sure you're not an engineer?
ln nine lives l've been a little of everything.
Doesn't that... Doesn't that get confusing?
- You have no idea. - Really.
l'll give you an example. This is my first time on the front lines.
- You're talking about Ezri now. - Right.
But Torias, Curzon and Jadzia... they were in battle many times.
l can remember what that felt like.
l remember the fear and the anger and the adrenaline surge.
Having someone else's memories of being in combat is one thing,
living through it yourself is another.
l suppose l'm going to find out.
You'll do fine.
This is close enough, Nog.
- What is it? What's going on? - lt's time to go.
- Right. - Let's go.
- Someone's coming. - Don't shoot. lt's me! Reese!
- Stretcher! - Nog!
- What happened? - Jem'Hadar patrol.
- Larkin? - She's dead.
- Damn! - The Ferengi found the encampment.
- lt's three kilometres south. - How many troops?
- Two columns. - How can we hold off two columns?
We'll have to even out the odds. l'm working on ideas.
The kid did all right.
The doctor doesn't want anybody in there.
- How's Nog? - lt's a little late for you to care.
- Quark... - He's going to lose his leg.
Does that answer your question?
Now what happens? You will be able to replace the leg, won't you?
He can be fitted with a biosynthetic limb.
Unfortunately, there may be complications.
Nog's damaged motor nerves may not be able to stimulate artificial muscle.
There's no way of knowing until after the operation has been performed.
l have to get inside.
- We must get Nog to a hospital! - We will. Soon.
- That's not good enough. - l'm sorry.
Sorry? lf you really cared about Nog
you would never have sent him out on that patrol.
Listen to me, Quark, because l'm only going to say this once.
l care about Nog and every soldier under my command.
Every single one.
- Captain. - At ease, Ensign.
- l'm sorry, sir. - About what?
- About Larkin. l led her right into a trap. - You found the Jem'Hadar camp.
l heard them coming, but it was too late.
There was all this phaser fire... and l went down...
Nog, listen to me. You followed orders.
You did what you were trained to do. l'm proud of you.
Thank you, sir.
lt doesn't hurt. You'd think it would, but it doesn't.
l'm glad.
l'm going to be fine.
Captain. The communications array. lt's worth it, right?
l hope to God it is.
Benjamin, sorry to interrupt. We're ready.
Remember, no one moves until l say so.
Go ahead, Lieutenant.
Now we have to figure out how to disarm them.
We're not going to disarm them. We're going to use them.
This is their camp. This is ours. These are mountains.
They have to come through this ravine to get to us.
That's where we'll relocate the mines.
Moving them shouldn't be too difficult. Delicate, but not difficult.
Reprogram them so that they're triggered by movement.
Lots of movement. We want that ravine full of Jem'Hadar when they go off.
l think we can manage that.
That should take out a third of their forces.
What's the matter, old man? Don't you think it'll work?
lt's not that.
A few hours ago, these mines were a ruthless weapon
only the Dominion would use.
- But now... - They've become a whole lot friendlier.
When the Jem'Hadar come through those barricades,
the fewer there are, the better our chances of survival.
You have your orders.
Power packs.
- Did you hear that? - l didn't hear anything.
Relax. When they get here, you'll know it.
Power packs.
Sorry. My thumb got a little nervous.
l know how you feel.
l wonder if the Jem'Hadar get jittery before a battle.
l wouldn't count on it.
- What the hell is that? - Shh. Listen.
- Your idea? - We could all use some Vic Fontaine.
- How's Nog? - There's not much l can do here.
You were able to move the mines?
l wouldn't go for a stroll through that ravine.
l wasn't planning on it. Then again, l wasn't planning on being here.
- l can see you've done that before. - Too many times.
Funny. l joined Starfleet to save lives.
Maybe they're not coming.
Maybe they're turning back. Maybe we got them all.
Kellin! Kellin!
You alive?
Captain. Are you with us?
l think so.
- We held. - Those were our orders, sir.
- Captain. - Yes, Mr Worf.
The U.S.S. Veracruz has entered orbit.
They're sending troop replacements and an engineering crew.
- What about our people? - The wounded are on the Veracruz.
They will be taken to a hospital on Starbase 371.
Good. l'll return to the Defiant shortly.
This was a great victory. One worthy of story and song.
lt cost enough.
Not for long.
Let's go.
Sisko to Defiant. Three to beam up.
Sir, the latest casualty reports have just been posted.
How many this time?
lncluding the troops lost at AR-558, 1,730.
That's a lot of names.
They're not just names. lt's important we remember that.
We have to remember.

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