In which Prophecies have ways of coming true, except when they would have been good news.
Sisko’s going over some strategic updates – the Dominion are trying to reinforce their hold over Betazed. If they succeed, they’ll be able to push on to Vulcan, a founding Federation member. It’s bad news. Starfleet will try to cut them off with the 7th fleet, which is at half-strength. Sisko has good news, however. The Romulans have joined the war in force, and have occupied a Dominion system that used to be Federation. Odo’s ready to remind everyone that the Romulans don’t like giving up territory, but that’s a problem for a later date. Sisko, meanwhile, will be taking Jake and Kira to Bahala, where an excavation has dug something up. Just before the meeting breaks up, we do find out that somehow Odo and Kira have kept their sweetheartedness down to that one very public kiss.
Jake’s not a big fan of Ben’s continued playing-along with the Emmissary thing. Possibly because every time it comes up, Sisko has a stroke. The excavation lead tells us that the ruins they’re exploring were abandoned 25,000 years ago, and the city B’hala was built on top ten thousand years after that. Your reminder that Bajoran civilization is ancient, and was relatively stable and non-technology-driven before the Cardassians showed up. In part, because of their caste system, lest we get too moony over ancient wisdom. The lead shows them the really cool seal on a door, derived in ancient Bajoran, the best they can make out is that it’s a welcome message… for the Emissary.
Sisko touches it and is taken to a vision of the Prophets. The say that now he has come, the circle is complete and the Reckoning must begin. They tell him that his Task-with-a-capital-T-and-that-rhymes-with-P-and-that-stands-for-Prophets is at hand, and then throw him across the room. He wakes up quickly enough, but the monk doesn’t know anything about this ‘reckoning.’ Sisko has the tablet brought back to DS9, where Dax finds no scientific reason why it should have been able to throw him like that. Sisko refocuses her onto pure translation.
Sisko’s about to go to meditation services when he’s called away to go deal with Kai Winn’s arrival. She’s there to slap him on the wrist for looting an archaeological site without consulting the Assembly, and compares him to the Cardassian looters. She plays her regular games of asking questions she already knows the answers to, and then lodges a formal protest with Starfleet. It highlights Sisko’s changing opinions of the Prophets, so much so that he forgets that their relationship with Bajor is a few orders of magnitude older than he says. He sees this as partial repayment for their assistance with the whole Dominion Fleet thing, but the translation comes in and it’s bad news. “The prophets will weep. Their sorrow will consume the gateway to the temple.” That is commonly understood to be Deep Space Nine.
This word gets around very, very quickly, and Odo is once again quick to take the pessimistic view. Quark too – prophecies of doom tend to depress foot traffic. Bashir is determined to keep a stiff upper lip, only for the station to be rocked by some terrible emanation from the wormhole sputtering open and closed.
Odo and Kira discuss their faith over food, and Odo’s lack of faith in a Higher Power in favor of Kira. And it seems like the station has stopped shaking… for now. These disasters are also causing natural disasters on Bajor, and Kai Winn, of course, has something to say about it. As well as a formal request for Sisko to give back the tablet. To be honest I’m not sure why he’s not – they must have a full scan of it by this time and will be able to finish the translation, at least. Plus if the Emissary drops by again and asks to see it, who’s going to say no? In fact, he does acquiesce, but asks Dax to rush.
She’s stuck on an ideogram that could mean that the Bajoran people will either ‘suffer horribly’ or ‘eat fruit.’ Since these prophecies have a way of coming true, they really ought to try to organize some sort of street food springtime festival just to be sure. Also, the only possible way I can imagine those two meanings coming from similar ideograms is if the root word has something to do with gastrointestinal distress. There’s another bit, but the inscription is damaged right before it tells what Sisko will do during the Reckoning, leaving him without preordained guidance.
Kira’s finally gotten a measure of sympathy for Winn Adami, even if it doesn’t stop her from agreeing that she’s the worst. Kira’s also jealous of Sisko’s relationship with her gods, but not resentful the way Winn is.
The wormhole quakes get bigger and worse. Jake drops by to worry at his dad, referencing the ways the Prophets have threatened him with the death of his father. That night, he can’t sleep, and heads down to the lab to yell at the artifact, and the Prophets. And break the artifact. When he does, blue and red energies rise from the shards. Energies that the scans couldn’t detect beforehand, but which are plainly visible to the naked eye, and which fly away into the walls. This is going to be way more than a superglue job.
There’s also no residual energy readings, nor did the station register anything at the time. But DS9 is now being hit by brownouts, and Sisko asserts that his uncontrollable urge to shatter the tablet was an impulse directly from the Prophets. Winn is not amused, and severely questions the Bajoran Space-Jesus.
He’s rescued from that conversation, although it’s definitely not an improvement. Kira is standing in the entrance to the Bajoran temple, conducting lightning through it and draining power from the station. When sisko shows up, she takes notice and starts blowing up glassware and electronics in a Heroic Windstorm. Sisko recognizes her as a Prophet, who has inhabited Kira’s body because she was willing to be a conduit. Poor Winn, passed over once again for direct communion with her gods. I bet Kai Berial would have gotten the job. Kira/Prophet states that it is awaiting Kosst Amojen, a name that sounds similar to a legend Leeta once told Rom. Kosst Amojen is a Pah-Wraith, one of the Banished, who will battle the prophet according to the Fifth Prophecy. If evil is defeated, it will bring on a thousand years of peace. The prophet also says that Sisko has completed his task, and Winn begs to be the one to be posessed by the prophet.
Sisko orders the station evacuated, lest the station be destroyed. Dax and Bashir offer an alternative – slowly flood the Promenade with chroniton radiation to poison the prophets and make them leave. Winn clearly does not quite know how to react to Sisko siding with Bajoran Mysticism. Sisko managed to convince Starfleet that the alliance with the Prophets was more important than the station, and Winn is just determined to make herself useful to the prophets, by leading a group of Bajorans in prayer at ground zero. What’s beautiful here is that without realizing it, this is the worst thing Sisko could do to Winn. Adversaries she can deal with, but being relegated to a non-entity may actually kill her.
Kosst Amojen winds up choosing Jake Sisko, and Suddenly Sisko’s probably a lot less cool with the idea of the station blowing up. Kosst Amojen is pretty smug about Sisko offering himself, and blows him across the hall. The energy fight is begin! Both host bodies are taking a beating channeling all this energy. The prophet appears to be winning… from one camera angle. Sisko won’t trigger the Chroniton burst and Dax obeys, but it looks like Winn isn’t leaving with the rest of the evacuation. The prophet is definitely winning, but just before it does, Winn triggers the chroniton flood, and both combatants vacate their hosts, with the battle undecided.
Jake takes longer to recover than Kira, but a full recovery is expected. Jake assures Sisko that he did the right thing, even if it meant risking the station and his life. Strictly speaking, it’s true, but it’s nice that Jake is able to reassure his dad after making such a terrible choice. Also, Kira feels supported by Odo in the hobbies they don’t share. Winn is back to her old tricks – taking credit for the receeding natural disasters despite the fact that she chickened out of the battle when the Emissary was willing to risk his life, his son’s life, and his entire cosmopolitical entity. With the Reckoning stopped, they’re all off the map, now.