In which Kira doinks a dead guy.
Jadzia and Kira are talking about setting Kira up with someone. Jadzia’s still fixated on Captain Boday and his transparent skull. Kira is not up for anyone who differs from the basic humanoid body plan even so far as a third eye. She and Odo still aren’t on great terms. However, once Kira insists she’ll be alone, who should pop in unexpectedly through the transporter but Vedek Berial, evidently alternate-universe and slightly-crosseyed Berial. Kira is surprised to see him, because she’s momentarily forgotten that the Mirror universe is a thing. In that time, Berial grabbed her and now Sisko plays the hostage game. This Berial doesn’t seem to quite know the power dynamics, or wasn’t sure he’d successfully made it to the prime universe.
Eventually, they make it to Landing Pad A, Kira tries to talk him down, points out that his disruptor has a cracked power cell, and take shim down. He’s even pretty stoked to be in a brig run by the Federation – Cardassian bench-bed aside, nobody’s torturing him. Berial Antos asks about his alternate self, and how he died. He also asks he be stranded on this side of the divide. Kira doesn’t want to press charges, or send him back, and Sisko mentions feeling a ‘connection’ with the Other Jennifer Sisko, which I will immediately read too much into because the fact that these characters exist in both universes despite radically different lifepaths and histories still needs an explanation, and I choose ‘total lack of free will.’
Beriel is free, and all the Bajorans on-station still recognize him, since he was once contender for space-pope. Alternate Berial doesn’t really see himself as the type, based on his own life, so Kira takes him to the Bajoran temple to conduct services. he declines, sadly, but since they had the set built anyway he sneaks in once the service starts. Today’s a day when they’re exhibiting the Orb of Prophecy and Change. Berial doesn’t even have the Prophets in his timeline, which suggests that either the point of divergence goes much farther back than just humanity being an evil empire, or else the Terran Empire was way better at conquering an cultural eradication than the Cardassians were. He’s exactly as uncomfortable in church as one might expect. Once they’re done talking about it, Kira invites him to dinner.
Worf seems unamused by Berial’s tales of his daring escape from dim-witted and clumsy Klingon guards, and is made to eat his words. Afterwards, Kira and Berial rebound from some awkwardness by her inviting him in for coffee, and he tells the stories of one of his old flames. He met his old flame by trying to steal from her, then teaching her to be a thief, then watching her get vaporized in a barfight. He says he beamed out just to get out of his universe, not to get anywhere in particular, and then they bang.Afterwards, he’s eating snackfood in the bed. He did enough research on Berial to know one of the man’s catchphrases.
Bashir walked up his medical requisitions to Ops in order to get in on the good gossip, or just to score conversational points against Jadzia. Once the menfolk have left, Kira goes into more detail, including that Berial’s going to have his first Orb experience – his own idea. Keen viewers will notice that he made reference to being a thief and we’re only halfway through the episode, so it’s probably not going to go great. Berial also has a ‘strong’ Pah, as far as such things are quantified. And when he opens the box… nothing unexpected happens. He’s still puzzling it out later, when they’re eating. Trying to figure out what it meant. Bajorans Do Not Share Orb Experiences, which would seem to indicate that there’s no standard interpretation net for them. And when he goes back to his quarters for some rest, the Intendent of Bajor, otherwise known as Leather and Latex Kira, is waiting for him. Berial and the Intendent are good friends, apparently. They have a plan together and it’s going swimmingly.
Possibly due to his Orb experience, or possibly because this universe is a good place, with a less Evil Nerys, he doesn’t want to bang immediately. The two of them are planning on stealing the Orb, of course, and bringing it back to Alt-Bajor, to set themselves up as holy leaders to unite Bajor, since things aren’t going well with the Alliance.
Next day, Berial is getting utterly hammered while all the Bajorans stare at him. Quark offers him the chance to cash in on his fame, but he’s too full of self-loathing brought on by the Orb and the Intendent to seize the opportunity. Next, Quark goes to give some friendly People advice to Kira, and warn her about his spot-on suspicions. And when Berial goes back to his quarters to find the Intendent slinking around in Kira’s Bajoran Military uniform, we can pretty much immediately see how this is going to go sour.
Berial breaks into the Orb vault and The Intendent, once challenged for her authorization code, sexes her way past a guard and into a cargo bay, for the transporter. Berial gets caught by Nerys, and doesn’t catch on quite immediately. But his backup is there too. the two Kiras have a showdown with Berial. In the end, Berial stuns the Intendent and leaves empty-handed. He’s been improved, but I guess he’s not quite willing to put in the effort to really fix himself.