In which Worf makes an offering, Kira makes a stand, and Dax marks the spot.
Reminder: Worf, bashir, and O’Brien have to go with Martok to win a great battle to get Jadzia into Valhalla, and Sisko, after getting minorly stabbed, has to go into the desert to dig up the face of his mom in the sand with the help of New Dax, whose name we odn’t even know yet. Also, Kira and the Romulans are butting heads over weapons emplacements in orbit over Bajor.
The new Dax is Ezri, explains the whole thing again, and is very talkative when she’s nervous, and still getting used to the new body. She was also never intended to be Joined, but she was aboard the Destiny which was transporting the symbiote back to Trill. It got sick and needed a host. One hopes Ezri volunteered. In fact, we can be pretty sure, since Picard was faced with a similar dilemma and didn’t order Worf to donate blood. It’s a good thing we established that the Trill are a lot more receptive to transplantation than was previously believed. She got a crash course in being eight people and then a symbiote. The Evaluation Board was only able to give her some reading, so she took a leave of absence to go find Sisko, so they can be lost in themselves together.
Worf has to officially dedicate the battle to Jadzia beforehand, or it doesn’t count. Quark shows up at the last minute to pledge himself. While they all cut each other, Ezri has suddenly found out that being Joined makes her space-sick. If you were ever wondering why Starfleet has picked touchscreens over press-buttons, this is why. She keeps remembering that Torias Dax died in a shuttle accident. She’s very self-deprecating, but Jake reassures her that her presence seems to have been good for Sisko. Also, she’s a ship’s counselor, despite being completely overwhelmed by her past lives’ taste for Klingon coffee. Turns out the Symbiote Evaluation Board has a purpose beyond being a shadowy conspiracy after all.
Ross explains some Realpolitik to Kira regarding the Romulan kerfuffle. He’s really pissed about the whole situation, not least because the Federation won’t help the Bajorans kick the Romulans off their moon because the Romulans are more important to the war effort. So Kira will order a blockade to make sure the weapons are never completed.
Ezri and the Siskos are pulling into the atmosphere of their desert planet. They’ll have to land, but as Sisko takes them down, he hears a hospital intercom system paging Dr. Wykoff to isolation ward 4. Nobody else heard it, so they beam down and head in whatever direction Ben points for no adequarely explained reason.
Martok’s ship cloaks on the way to the Dominion shipyard. They’re headed into the star of that system to EMP it, causing a solar plasma ejection which will incinerate the shipyard. Quark keeps getting the stinkeye from Worf, and decides to antagonize him at literally the worst possible time. Worf tells them all how he really feels.
Back on Cardassia, Damar is showing off his brilliant military strategy to a woman who doesn’t look like she belongs there, for two reasons. One, she’s not wearing a military uniform, and two, she has the attitude of a military base barfly trying to bag someone with a pension. They met at a dinner last night. Weyoun comes in and kicks her out so they can talk state secrets. Specifically about increasing production at the shipyard. Hopefully, the one that Martok is about to blow up.
Kira’s blockade consists of twelve impulse-only ships that don’t have a hope in hell of stopping a Romulan warbird. Kira will be commanding and Odo will be going with, but she’s got a backup plan. That plan is to trade on Bajor’s status as a Federation ally the Romulans can’t afford to piss off and alienate, now that they’ve declared against the Dominion. No matter what the reasons.
The Siskos are faltering on their long climb through the desert. Sisko makes it to the top of a ledge and pulls out his baseball for moral support, leaving everything else behind him. Jake and Joseph are far behind. Ben is far ahead when he hears the intercom again, but he presses onwards. When Ezri takes his ball and throws it away, he remembers that in his vision he was digging near the baseball, so that’s where he starts digging now.
Kira’s blockade is waiting to see action, and Odo’s giving Kira a book to help her pass the time. As expected, things heat up as soon as the scene starts. Creetak is sending 14 warbirds to deliver ‘medical supplies’ and they set up the showdown.
Ben is still digging, more and more frantically, and keeps hearing the voices. And Martok confronts Worf about his outburst and showing him what a jackhole he’s being. Quark has terrible timing. However, this does not blunt Worf’s resolve to make amends, despite Quark’s best efforts to balls it up. However, before too long, they arrive at the shipyard, a sprawling skeletal construct that’s clearly way too close to the home star. I assume it’s either drawing power from the sun or attempting to hide there, because I can’t think of a good reason for it to apparently be inside the chromosphere.
Sisko’s finally hit something in the sand – instead of his mother’s face, it’s an Orb box. He’s about to open it when he hears the same echoing voice calling him Mr. Russell and telling him to put down the pencil. Suddenly he’s in an asylum, and Doctor Damar is telling him that he can’t finish scrawling his story on the walls. He insists he’s fine, but Doctor Damar insists that writing the stories of Deep Space Nine aot healthy for Sisko. Out in what is probably the real world, Ben Sisko is frozen while Benny Russel tries to write the ending, and the orb box shocks anyone who tries to interfere.
See, we can tell it’s the real world because Kira and Worf’s combat plots proceed without him. Buffy might have done this better, if only because they had the ‘random appearance of a sister’ thing to drawn on as evidence for Buffy going crazy. Kira issues her ultimatum. Ross cuts in with one final plea for sanity, and Creetak has been authorized to negotiate, but Kira won’t negotiate while there are still weapons there. Seems like a really simple solution to me. Neither Creetak nor Kira seem like they’re going to back down. The question, then, is how Admiral Ross is going to back down for both of them.
The mission to the surface of the sun is in progress. Looks like I was wrong, though – Benny Russel is still writing, he was just cutting away from the Sisko scene, when Doctor Damar hands him a bucket of paint to wash away the story to prove he’s better. This is represented by Sisko trying (very ineffectually) to rebury the orb box.
The Romulan warbirds move ever closer, and nobody’s blinking in this game of chicken. Ross begs someone to blink, to an unreceptive Creetak. Martok’s ship heads into the star and triggers the blast, but it doesn’t go off. They have to rejigger the kajigger before the Jem’hadar ships in pursuit take them out. And Ben Sisko is almost ready to smash the box, but Russel can’t do it. He beats up Doctor Damar and the orderly, and writes taht Sisko opens the orb box. Something ejects from it and hits the wormhole, which opens again in a blaze of light that steels Kira’s resolve in the showdown over Bajor as the Kosst Amojan are ejected from it and destroyed. And speaking of fire being spit out of a celestial body, O’Brien has finished the modifications, and they scarper out of the star as the ejection destroys the shipyard utterly. Seriously, they better have had a really, really good reason for building it there.
The Romulans turn away, because Ross finally stepped into Kira’s corner on an official level and said that Starfleet would remove the weapons if need be. And Sisko is alone in the familiar white void of the Prophets. They tell him that his job is done. Well, this job, at least. They have his destiny all laid out for him. One of the prophets, the one that rode to the rescue of all the other ones, possessed Sarah Sisko, rode around in her body long enough to make sure Ben Sisko was born, then left, all with the knowledge that he would eventually become the kind of person who could be counted on to open the Orb of the Emissary. When you remember that in order to get here he had to become a broken, bitter widower thanks to the battle with the Borg, one starts to wonder just how much of time the Prophets orchestrate, or whether this particular one also inhabited a dozen or a hundred other back-up plans. How many Chosen Ones are there? Well no, apparently. It could only be Sisko.
On his return to the staiton, all the Bajorans know he’s the one who reopened the wormhole, and everyone’s happy to see him. Ezri’s happy to see everyone, but Worf isn’t happy to see her. He’s going to have trouble with this whole Jadzia’s in Sto’Vo’Kor, Dax is in some short nervous woman thing.