- What if l say something dumb? - Like what?
- Like, ''How's your new leg?'' - He's probably expecting questions.
l don't want to say the wrong thing.
Maybe l shouldn't be there when he arrives.
When he was in hospital, he didn't answer my letters.
l'm only his stepmother. He's going through something so personal,
maybe he only wants his real family.
- You are real family. - That's right.
And you should both just relax.
Yes, Nog has lost a leg,
but nothing you say will be worse than what he's gone through.
Just be happy to see him and tell him you love him.
They've docked.
Colonel, are you sure this is the right transport?
l checked the passenger list this morning.
Here he comes.
Welcome back, Nog.
Thank you. lt's good to be back.
- My orders, Captain. - Medical leave?
- Sounds like an excuse to loaf around. - l prescribe plenty of hard work.
- Maybe he forged those orders. - l'm afraid they're genuine.
Ensign Nog has no duties until further notice.
Except to attend a welcome home party in the wardroom.
lf it's all the same to you, sir, l'm tired. l'd rather go to my quarters.
- ls that all right? - Absolutely.
We can celebrate once you've settled in.
- l can carry your bag. - l've got it.
lf you'll all excuse me.
Julian and Miles have become more obsessed with their Alamo program.
l half expect Miles to start wearing a coonskin cap to work.
Davy Crockett wore this cap made of raccoon skin...
l know the program.
We've covered just about everything
you missed while you were away.
ls there anything you want to talk about?
Not particularly.
- Here it comes. - What?
The cane problem. You're about to ask why l need to walk with the cane
since Dr Benbasset told you my biosynthetic leg works perfectly.
He also told you the problem is in my head. That l'm crazy.
- He didn't say that. - lt's what he thinks.
What do you think? Why do you need the cane?
My leg hurts. And if l put my full weight on it, it hurts more.
So l have to limp and that means l need to walk with a cane.
- That sounds reasonable to me. - Good.
Look, can l be perfectly honest with you?
l've spent the last three weeks talking about my feelings
with the counsellors on Starbase 235.
To tell you the truth, l'm a little sick of it.
- l want to be left alone for a while. - l understand.
l think we've done enough for today.
l'll see you tomorrow.
- Computer, what time is it? - The time is 932 hours.
He's been sleeping over 18 hours a day
and missed his last two physical therapy appointments.
His counselling sessions are going nowhere.
He's sick of talking about his feelings.
He's been under constant psychiatric care for two months.
- What should do we do? - l'm not sure.
- Our best bet is to watch and wait. - Not my first choice.
Sometimes a patient can guide his own treatment.
Let's see what Nog does next.
Nog, l am trying to be understanding and l want to be your friend,
but enough is enough. You've been playing that song for three days.
l can't take it any more.
Aren't you going to say anything? You've barely spoken to me.
Maybe l don't have anything to say.
l'm trying to help you, Nog, but you're not making it easy.
You want to help me? Fine. Leave me alone.
All right. OK.
But if you want to hear that song again, go rent a holosuite.
Program is running. You may enter when ready.
Hi there, pallie. lt's good to see you.
- Vic Fontaine. - l know. l'm Nog.
You're Rom's kid. He's really proud of you.
Always in here bragging about his son, the soldier boy.
- What can l do for you? - l want to hear ''l'll Be Seeing You''.
- Sure thing. Any other requests? - No.
Just ''l'll Be Seeing You''.
- Sounds like a special tune. - lt is.
lt helped me once when l was unhappy.
What more can you ask from a song?
''l'll Be Seeing You'', from the top.
- Yes? - What is that?
lt's a song l had Vic Fontaine record for me.
- Vic? - A character in a holosuite program.
l thought it might take our minds off our troubles. ls it bothering you?
lt's kind of nice.
Thank you. Take five, fellas.
l know 15 arrangements of that song. You've heard them all.
- Which one's your favourite? - The first.
Somehow l knew you were going to say that.
- Julian played it for you, right? - Right.
With him as a publicist, l'd be bigger than Elvis.
- Who? - Never mind.
So, how's the new leg?
- You know about that? - People talk.
lf you really want to know, it hurts.
- Can they give you something? - No. They say it's all in my head.
My tricorder states, ''The pain receptors in your leg aren't being stimulated.
''You must be imagining it''.
But l don't care what they say. lt hurts all the time.
- l believe you. - You're the only one.
So what else can l do for you? Sing it again?
Good. l was starting to get a little sick of it myself.
- How about something else? - No, l just want to go to bed.
- OK, kid. Catch you later, huh? - Yeah.
Something wrong?
l don't want to go back to my quarters.
Actually, l don't want to go back to my life.
Where do you live? ln the program, l mean. Do you have a house?
- l have a suite here in the hotel. - Do you have an extra room?
- You want to stay with me tonight? - Maybe more than just tonight.
Officially, l'm on medical leave. l can choose my rehabilitation facility.
You want to choose a holosuite program?
Why not?
OK, kid. From now on, you're staying with me.
- Great. - Crazy.
My son is insane. He's a one-legged crazy man!
- He is not crazy. - But he is living in a holosuite.
At first, it struck me as a little peculiar.
But l began to think that this might be a good sign.
How can hiding in one of Julian's programs be a good sign?
lt could be worse. lt could be the Alamo program.
- Or that secret agent program. - Or that stupid Viking program.
All right. Are you sure this is in Nog's best interests?
No, l'm not sure.
But Nog might be subconsciously seeking out his own form of therapy.
Sorry, but moving into a holosuite isn't my idea of therapy.
- OK, it sounds a little odd. - lt sounds ridiculous.
Not really. l agree with Ezri on this one.
The mind has a natural instinct for survival.
Nog's has chosen to take shelter in the world of Vic Fontaine.
- We should see how this plays out. - Then someone should talk to Vic.
Make him aware of Nog's emotional and physical condition.
l'll do it.
And who's going to be paying for all this holosuite time?
- l guess l am. - And it's very generous of you.
Keep me informed.
He's got some healing to do. l spotted that the moment he walked in.
- Do you have any questions? - You sure he doesn't need the cane?
l'm positive. lt's a psychological need.
Then l have some ideas on how to wean him off the stick.
- But don't push it. - Do l seem pushy to you?
No. You know how to reach me if you have any problems.
l got your number.
- Hey, kid. - Hey, Vic.
- Have you seen this movie? - Oh, yeah.
l've heard that you're a low-down Yankee liar.
Shane, look out!
From these books, l can't tell if l'm rich or poor.
- lt's not real money, Vic. - lt's real to me, kid.
The computer can put some money in your account.
No, thanks. l'll figure it out.
- l've got to be going on. - Why, Shane?
- Didn't he just get shot? - Yeah, he took one in the arm.
He's not bleeding. He's not even in pain.
Noggles, take it easy. lt's only a movie.
Shane! Come back!
- l like ''The Searchers'' better. - Who doesn't?
- l gotta get ready for the show. - l thought we were hanging in.
Hanging out. We are, except l have a gig to do.
- Cancel it. - l can't. lt would be unprofessional.
Besides, performing is my life.
l gotta get out there and swing or l'm just another clyde in a tux.
- You coming to the show? - Sure.
Then may l suggest you carry something with a little more style?
Now this is a cane.
lt's a replica of the one Errol Flynn used to have.
lt's beautiful. lt reminds me of the grand nagus' staff.
Push that button at the back of the head.
- Great! What's it for? - A lady might need a light.
Be careful, it's fragile. lt might not hold your whole weight.
Actually, l don't need to put my whole weight on it.
- Good. Now let's get dressed. - Tuxedoes?
You're catching on.
- Hi. Nog, let me introduce you to... - Sit down in front!
Nog, this is Kesha. Kesha, Nog.
- Nice to meet you. - Welcome to Las Vegas.
Thank you. You're too kind.
That's the response you get when you pack the house with relatives.
- What have you been doing? - Hanging out.
- Out of what? - lt's an expression.
There's a lot of old Earth slang in this program. Right, Daddy-O?
l'll get us some drinks. Kesha, what'll you have?
- A Makara fizz. - They don't serve that here.
- What are you having? - Martini. Two olives.
- l'll have the same. - OK. l'll be right back.
Jake says you're going to be the first Ferengi captain in Starfleet.
- He also says you're quite a hero. - l'm not a hero.
Don't be so modest. Everyone on the station...
- l said l'm not a hero. - OK.
Which one? You're wondering which leg it is.
- l wasn't wondering about that. - About what?
About your... You know...
My new leg? Can't you say it?
No. Yes. l mean, l'm not trying to say anything.
Then maybe you should just keep quiet.
- Here we go. Three martinis. - l think we should leave, Jake.
- Sounds like a good idea. - What's going on?
- l didn't mean to stare. - At what?
What do you think?
- l'm sorry if l made you uncomfortable. - Wonderful. Goodbye.
- She said she was sorry. - l heard her. Now you can go.
- Nog, what's wrong with you? - l said get out.
- Nog... - Let me put it another way.
Break it up. You all right?
- Yeah, l'm fine. - And you, take a hike.
You don't start hitting customers. Get out before l throw you out.
- You're still up? - Couldn't sleep.
Do you mind?
- What a night. - l'm sorry about what happened.
Don't apologise to me.
- l'll settle things with Jake. - And his girl.
Absolutely. Can l go back to the club tomorrow night?
- You can't hit the customers. - l promise it'll never happen again.
- What got into you, anyway? - l don't know.
She started calling me a hero and things went downhill from there.
She called you a hero? And for that you slugged your best friend?
Remind me never to give you a compliment.
l'm beat. That's never happened to me.
- What? - Being tired.
My program's never run this long.
People ask for a song, sometimes a night on the town,
but l never put in a full day.
- Maybe you should go to bed. - l got work to do.
lf l don't get these books in order,
Uncle Sam will come down on me like a ton of bricks.
Sounds like my uncle. ls there anything l can do?
- Know anything about bookkeeping? - l'm a Ferengi. lt's in our blood.
- Be my guest. - Where's your computer?
Right here. lt's 1962. What do you want from me?
- lt's all right. l can do it this way. - l'm going to hit the sack.
- Can l ask you a question, Vic? - Sure.
When you sleep, do you dream?
Goodnight, kid.
Goodnight, Vic.
He doesn't realise that Frank has printed in big, bold letters...
l'll finish the story later. Hi, doll face.
- Hi. Where's Nog? - Working on the receipts from '61.
He's a hell of an accountant. He said the government owes me money.
l need to talk to him.
- Can it wait? - l'm afraid not.
ls Jake pressing charges?
No. But l think it's time for Nog to leave the holosuite.
He likes it here.
OK, he lost his cool, but it won't happen again.
Vic, he can't hide in here forever. He has to face reality sometime.
The kid's had too much reality. He's lost a leg, watched friends die.
We shouldn't push him. He needs time to heal.
No offence, but you're a hologram. l'm his counsellor.
l outrank you and l feel it's time for him to go.
He's on medical leave.
According to regulations, he can spend it wherever he chooses.
- How do you know that? - l told him.
lf you force me to leave, l'll resign my commission.
No one's talking about forcing anyone to do anything.
Good. Because Vic and l have big plans.
We do?
This place is a latinum mine and you don't even know it.
ln my opinion, it's time to expand the business.
- Nog, this is a holosuite. - Of course it's a holosuite.
But that doesn't mean we can't build a new casino.
A new casino? How much money do l have?
lf you'll excuse us, counsellor. We have business to conduct.
Go easy on the garnishes. People don't want a fruit bowl in their glass.
We'll talk about this later.
l'll take care of them. Long time, no see.
Oh, Nog.
Right this way.
- So how are you? - Couldn't be better.
We're making money. l can hardly keep up with all the profits.
- Those are holographic profits, right? - Yeah. So, what's new with you?
- Well, Rom got a promotion. - Maintenance Engineer, First Class.
- That's great! Congratulations, Dad. - Thanks.
We should celebrate. We'll have a private party.
Actually, Chief O'Brien threw him a party last night.
lt was a spur of the moment thing. No invitations.
l probably couldn't have gotten away. Last night was really busy.
A big player just walked in. Excuse me. l need to go schmooze.
- OK. See you later. - Bye.
- Hey. l hope you're still talking to me. - Of course l am.
You've done a great job with him. He seems like a new man.
- He just needed a little time. - Heals all wounds, right?
That cane was a great idea. l haven't seen him limp in days.
Yesterday, we saw the architect who's designing the casino.
- He ran up a flight of stairs. - No kidding.
- Would l kid a kidder? - So what's next for you two?
We don't break ground on the casino for a week
so l thought we'd fly up to Tahoe.
Sammy's performing up there. l'll introduce the kid to him.
- Sammy's a friend of yours? - We're tight.
You're going to get Sammy to convince him it's time to leave the holosuite?
- Well, no... - Forget it.
l should know better than to ask you to give away your secrets.
What am l thinking? That this new casino is anything more than a ploy?
That you'd let him live out the rest of his life in a holosuite?
No, of course not.
The casino's just a ploy, like you said.
- They'll be so glad to have him back. - Yeah.
- He is better, isn't he? - He just needed a break from reality.
Now all that's left is to decide when he's ready to go back.
But l'll leave that up to you. See you around.
See ya.
- Great set tonight, Vic. - Thanks.
Lots of familiar faces.
- Did l see Rom and Leeta? - They came for a while.
How about moving the crap tables to the south wing
and expanding the slot machines out into here?
Good idea. l'll think it over.
But we're meeting the architect tomorrow morning.
Not any more. lt's time for you to go, kid.
lt's time to end the program.
But we've got work to do. We have a casino to build.
No we don't. This is just a fantasy. lt's not real.
lt's real to me and it's real to you. And don't say it isn't.
You're right. lt's very real to me.
But l'm a hologram, Nog. l'm not a person.
Until you came along, l'd never been on for more than seven hours.
Now you're running all the time. lsn't it great?
lt's incredible.
Since you've been here, l've slept in a bed every night,
had time to read the paper. l've had a life.
And l have to tell you, it's a precious thing.
l had no idea how much it means to just live.
Now l'm going to return the favour and give you your life back.
But l don't want that life any more, Vic. l'm perfectly happy here.
What ''here''? There is no ''here''. Don't you get it?
This is nowhere. lt's an illusion. And so am l.
The only thing in this program that is not an illusion is you.
OK. You're right!
But l'm not ready to go back yet. l need more time.
Let's just sleep on this and talk about it tomorrow.
l hate to do this, but you're not giving me a choice.
- Computer...end program. - No, don't!
- Hi, Nog. - Chief. Something wrong?
No. l was running a diagnostic in ops
and l noticed an anomaly in the holosuite trans-illuminator circuits.
Sorry. l'm having trouble getting the Las Vegas program to run.
Vic's matrix is a little different than your standard photokinetic hologram.
He can turn himself off. lf he doesn't want to appear, he doesn't.
- He has free will? - l'm an engineer, not a philosopher.
All l know is that when Vic turns himself off, he's off.
Ripping out the guts of the holosuite won't change that.
- Anything else l can do for you? - No.
- We all miss you in ops. - Yeah.
Now that the chief's told you l'm smarter than the average bear,
will you stop messing around?
lf you turn the program back on.
What is it l'm not making clear to you, Charlie? You gotta go.
Don't you get it? l can't go out there.
Why not?
l'm scared. OK? l'm scared.
When the war began, l wasn't happy or anything,
but l was eager.
l wanted to test myself.
l wanted to prove l had what it took to be a soldier.
l saw a lot of combat.
l saw a lot of people get hurt.
l saw a lot of people die.
But l didn't think anything was going to happen to me.
Then suddenly Dr Bashir is telling me he has to cut my leg off.
l couldn't believe it. l still can't believe it.
lf l can get shot, if l can lose my leg,
anything can happen to me, Vic.
l could die tomorrow.
l don't know if l'm ready to face that.
lf l stay here, at least l know what the future is going to be like.
You stay here, you're going to die.
Not all at once, but little by little.
Eventually you'll become as hollow as l am.
- You don't seem hollow to me. - l'm hollow as a snare drum.
l don't know what's going to happen to you out there.
All l can tell you is that you've got to play the cards life deals you.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
But at least you're in the game.
- He seemed happy. - And he's stopped limping.
He's a new man. You should go see him.
l don't think l'll need to.
- Hi. - Hi.
- Are you OK? - No. But l will be.
Computer, run program Bashir '62.
- Hi, kid. Nice threads. - Thanks.
- You back at work? - Just a couple of hours a day.
- How's it feel? - Different. l feel older.
- Happens to the best of us. - l want to thank you for all you did.
That's not necessary.
You gave me a chance to see what it's like to have a life.
You'll have that chance again. l've made arrangements
to keep your program running 26 hours a day from now on.
- lt's my gift to you. - Kid, l don't know what to say.
Just put it there and tell me you'll always save me a seat up front.
lt's a deal. And you can take that to the bank.
Gotta go. Buying Jake and Kesha dinner tonight.
- Try not to overturn the furniture. - l'll try.
26 hours a day!

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