In which DS9 weighs in on the Oxford Comma, Nog proselytizes, and Odo fills Sisko’s shoes.
Kira’s getting a back massage as only a shapeshifter can provide. She hurt her back playing springball. Odo breaks the news gently that he’s got to go help out one of his informants, who was suspected executed under the new regieme. Odo has to go, and has to go himself. Meanwhile, the promenade outside Quark’s is undergoing maintenance, as is the Defiant‘s gravity netting. O’Brien is very much under siege and behind schedule, and Sisko is demanding a needed part come in three days, not three weeks. Nog, hearing this, starts trying to figure out how to help O’Brien Ferengi-ize his relationship with the sector quartermaster. O’Brien doesn’t have time, so Nog offers to do it himself.
Odo’s made it to the rendezvous with Gul Rissol, his informant. And instead of Rissol meeting him, it’s Weyoun, honored as ever to see Odo. In fact, he’s defecting from the Dominion. Odo finds this… dubious, but Weyoun is totally willing to explain – he wants to be near Odo. Also, he’s afraid that everyone on Cardassia wants to kill him. Also, he really wants them to get out of there, such that Odo can’t help but test him. Weyoun’s first offer is the exact coordinates of a new Ketracel White facility. They head back to the Federation.
Nog’s off to a good start with Quartermaster Edgar Willaby, who is out of the needed gravitic stabilizers, but has pointed Nog to a ship with a spare. Starting to look familiar? Anyway, Nog goads O’Brien into pre-authorize some shipping orders.
Ten hours of travel later, Odo’s sick of Weyoun staring at him. It must be getting time for him to regenerate soon, but they get a communication from a Cardassian transport. It’s Weyoun. They are clones, after all. Dominion Loyalist Weyoun and Federation Defector Weyoun are somewhat at odds, and more creepily, neither of them are the Weyoun that Odo’s ever actually met. That was Weyoun5, who was killed a month ago. The defector is Weyoun6, and is terrified of how his predecessor died in a transporter ‘accident,’ and then Weyoun7 was activated when 6 flew the coop. Also, Damar’s there to be really fed up with all of this clone nonsense. But as it turns out, all Vorta have cranial bombs they can use to prevent capture or deactivate themselves, which gives a little extra insight into the Kivan clone line. The Dominion loyalists have a simple offer – if Weyoun6 kills himself, they won’t have to blow up the shuttle and kill Odo too.
Once Damar and Weyoun7 hang up, Weyoun6 explains that he woke up from his activation believing that the war is wrong and that the Founders should stop being so gosh-darned genocidal against solids. Odo, of course, reassures him that this doesn’t make him defective, this make shim the best Weyoun so far. Meanwhile, Weyoun7 is getting complimented by Damar, who’s still drinking. Of course, that doesn’t absolve Damar from the suspicion of being involved in that transporter ‘accident.’
Also, Weyoun7 refuses to allow Damar to kill Odo, even accidentally. Although he’s open to convincing. The Jem’Hadar wouldn’t open fire if they knew, and the Founders would freak out if they knew Weyoun let a changeling die, but… Weyoun7 is weak, and willing to betray a god, even a fallen one, at Damar’s behest. And Damar remains really insistent on getting Weyoun to try that Kanar.
Kira is pissed at Miles, for some reason having to do with Sisko’s desk being missing. Sisko will be back from Bajor in two days. Nog loaned it out to Al Lorenzo so he can get a picture of himself behind it for his collection. Lorenzo will be giving DS9 an induction stabilizer to give to the USS Musashi in exchange for a phaser emitter for the USS Sentinel, who will be giving them the extra stabilizer. This is Nog’s faith in the Great Material Continuum, which O’Brien thinks is a collective of godline energy beings. He can be forgiven. The GMC is like the Force, if the Force bound things together via economics instead of telekenesis. It is a river that flows from every planet to every other planet along the ebbs of supply and demand.
Weyoun6 is having nightmares of being on Earth, lost in Starfleet HQ and all alone and being chased by his many multitudinous enemies. Odo can’t help feeling a bit bad for him. He wants Odo to be the one to interrogate him. About now, the Jem’Hadar start firing on the shuttle. Weyounf6 figures out pretty quickly that they don’t know Odo’s on board, and that they’ve been ordered not to communicate. To escape, Weyoun shows Odo a deep tactical weakness in the Jem’hadar ships, and helps murder a bunch of loyal soldiers for the Founders.
Nog has left the station, on O’Brien’s authorization code. Apparently, with several cases of Martok’s bloodwine. In other status updates, Weyoun7 and Damar order more ships deployed to take out the runabout, but who should walk in and demand to know what’s so important but the Female Changeling. She’s not looking great – her face is all craggy, but she blanks it out. She explains it as being irritated by the Cardassian preference for heat. Damar navigates Weyoun7 through the moment with a convenient lie, but something is definitely wrong with the Founder and Weyoun7 desperately tries to convince himself it’s not true.
Meanwhile, it looks like Weyoun6 is trying out pepperoni in the daintiest way possible. In fact, he sampled the entire replicator menu, enjoying the textures on offer. Vorta didn’t get good taste buds either, in addition to their lacking eyesight. This is a nod to the Vorta’s past, as a forest-dwelling prey species that, once upon a time, helped out a wounded changeling. In exchange for the help, the Vorta were given Uplift and pride of place in the Dominion. Odo likes the idea that the Changelings are, in fact, capable of things like gratitude. And once Odo lets this mask drop a little, Weyoun6 tells Odo that there’s a sickness spreading throught the Link, affecting all the changelings, and slowly killing them off. All of them.
In fact, Odo is the only changeling without the plague, and he is in very real danger of being the only one of his kind again. This is the real reason Weyoun tried to get in touch with Odo – to put him at the helm of the Dominion, to fix it, to remake it into his ideals. These concerns will have to wait until they outmaneuver four Jem’Hadar ships, however. Odo flees for a Kuiper belt and they go to silent running in an ice chunk.
O’Brien is desperately trying to replace Sisko’s desk when Martok comes in to demand his bloodwine back from O’Brien, all 16 cases of it. The runabout has three hours of oxygen left, and considerably less heat, and the Jem’Hadar are tired of waiting and starting to blow the ice apart. They have no choice but to flee, banking on maneuverability against how fast the Jem’Hadar can blow the ice apart. After putting out the fire they suddenly caught, Weyoun has an epiphany – in defiance of Odo’s orders, Weyoun6 calls up Weyoun7 and kills himself on-camera, to save Odo’s life. With that, the risk of what Weyoun6 could have told Odo is now outweighed by the importance of Odo’s life, even to the defective Weyoun7. Weyoun6 only wants one thing befor ehe dies a painful death from self-termination – Odo’s blessing. This is a lesson Sisko had to learn a while ago – that giving a blessing to someone who believes in you can be okay, even if you don’t think you’re in a position to give it. Hell, keeping Kai Winn in mind, especially if you don’t think you’re in a position to give it.
And speaking of religious epiphanies, it’s time for O’Brien to face the music, only to find Nog polishing Sisko’s normal desk, and with the stabilizer incoming. In fact, Martok is pleased too, as his bloodwine has been upgraded. O’Brien is now a strong believer in the Great Material Continuum, and Kira helps talk Odo into an acceptance of his position as deity of a people who are soon to be sorely lacking.