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A TIME TO STAND (*6.1)

•written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
•directed by Allan Kroeker
•music by
•stardate unknown:

Several months into their war against the Dominion/Cardassian alliance, the Federation is fighting a losing battle .Having long ago abandoned Deep Space Nine, Sisko and his crew have been taking on the enemy from the U.S.S. Defiant. But they grow more and more demoralized as fleets of promised reinforcements are demolished. Reacting to the heavy losses, Federation Admiral Ross informs Sisko that he is no longer in command of the U.S.S. Defiant. In a desperate move, Captain Sisko is given the dangerous assignment of sneaking behind enemy lines in a captured Jem'Hadar warshipto destroy a key supply depot. Meanwhile, on Terok Nor, Kira and Odo must cope with the new reality of living under enemy rule.

 
 
 
 
 
 

ROCKS AND SHOALS (*6.1)

•written by Ronald D. Moore
•directed by Michael Vejar
•music by
•stardate 51096.2:

Traveling in a crippled Jem'Hadar warship, Sisko and his crew enter an uncharted nebula. They crash in the ocean of a desolate planet, and Dax is seriously wounded. Bashir stabilizes Dax's condition, after which the group takes shelter in a cave. Later, while Garak and Nog are searching for food and water, they are captured by Jem'Hadar soldiers who also crashed on the barren world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SONS AND DAUGHTERS (*6.2)

•written by Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
•directed by Jesus Trevino
•music by
•stardate unknown:
•note: Alexander will no longer be played by Brian Bonsall - who portrayed Worf's son on The Next Generation.
Ira Behr: "The new actor who is playing him is quite wonderful. Marc Worden is his name. I think he's going to be very popular. between him and J.G. Hertzler [Martok], I think it's obvious that there's still life in those Klingons afterall." Although Worf's son should be only about 8 or 9 years old, he will be played by an older actor.
Ron Moore: "We've always had older children playing Alexander and justified it on the notion that Klingons mature faster than humans. We have cast a new actor in the role and he should appear to be in his mid-teens on camera."

While the war between the Federation and the Dominion continues, Klingon General Martok docks his ship to take on reinforcements. Worf is shocked to see that one of the new recruits is his estranged son, Alexander. Worf reveals that he sent Alexander to live with his foster parents on Earth years before, after the boy showed no interest in becoming a warrior. Martok encourages Worf to mend fences with his son, but the attempt soon deteriorates.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

BEHIND THE LINES (*6.2)

•written by: René Echevarria
•directed by LeVar Burton.
•music by
•stardate 51145.3:
•was originally tiltled as "Life During Wartime"

While Sisko's promotion takes him away from the Defiant, Odo's loyalties are tested by the arrival of the Female Shapeshifter. He will have a romantic link with her. Divided Loyalty... One has his friendship... The other shares his blood. Whom will Odo choose? Will Odo turn his back on Kira and the Federation?

 
 
 
 
 

FAVOR THE BOLD (Part 1) (*6.3)

•written by Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler
•directed by Winrich Kolbe & Alan Kroeker.
•music by
•stardate unknown:

The Federation continues to lose the war with the Dominion/Cardassian Alliance - and morale is sinking fast. Realizing that the Federation needs a major victory, Sisko launches a plan to retake Deep Space Nine, using a task force comprised of ships throughout the Starfleet. Meanwhile, Odo continues to struggle with reconciling his thoughts for the Female Shapeshifter and remaining loyal to his friends, especially Kira. Despite his mixed feelings, he cannot resist linking - joining physically - with the fellow Changeling. Rom is sentenced to execution for interfering in Dominion efforts to destroy the minefield barricading Jem'Hadar reinforcements on the other side of the wormhole. When Quark promises his brother he will find a way to free him, Rom tells him it is more important that he destroy the beam being used to take down the minefield. Kira asks Ziyal to convince her father, Gul Dukat, to release Rom, but Dukat turns his daughter down. Meanwhile, Quark learns that the minefield will be destroyed within a week, allowing thousands of Dominion troops to come through the wormhole and flood the Alpha Quadrant. Quark and Kira realize they must warn Starfleet, so Jake smuggles out an encrypted message to his father. Sisko receives it and realizes he must begin his mission immediately, although needed reinforcements are days away from arrival. Tracking the movements of the Federation fleet, Dukat and Weyoun realize something big is being planned. However, Dukat is more concerned about reconciling with Ziyal. He sends Damar, his second-in-command, to convince her to speak with him, but Damar, who dislikes Ziyal, is rough with the girl. Kira witnesses this and angrily attacks Damar, nearly killing him. Meanwhile, Sisko returns to the Defiant to personally lead the task force for his pivotal mission. Dukat realizes the Federation troops are headed for the space station but is confident they won't have a chance once the minefield comes down. A bruised Damar asks Dukat for permission to arrest Kira, but Dukat only cares about what transpired between Damar and Ziyal. Odo has a disturbing conversation with the Female Shapeshifter, but when he later tries to talk to Kira, she refuses to accept his apology. Meanwhile, Sisko and his troops - headed for a wall of over one thousand Dominion ships face what appears to be a suicide mission.

 
 
 
 
 

THE SACRIFICE OF ANGELS (Part 2) (*6.3)

•written by Ira Steven Behr and Hans Beimler.
•directed by Winrich Kolbe & Alan Kroeker.
•music by
•stardate unknown:

With Sisko in command of the Defiant, the Federation fleet reaches the Dominion line of ships standing between it and Deep Space Nine. Sisko orders his troops to target only the Cardassian vessels, hoping to provoke them into breaking formation. On the space station, Damar - Gul Dukat's aide - is concerned that Kira, Jake, and Leeta might try to sabotage their plans again, so Dukat orders them held for questioning. The minefield that barricades the wormhole will be destroyed in hours, allowing thousands of waiting Dominion ships to invade the Alpha Quadrant and defeat the Federation. Although Dukat catches on to Sisko's plan, he lets his enemy through with hopes of toying with him later. Knowing it's a trap, Sisko insists on staying his course. Meanwhile, Odo is upset when he learns that Kira has been arrested. The battle rages on, and the defiant is the only ship to get through the Dominion line, with the help of Worf's Klingon reinforcements. On the station, Quark and Ziyal break out Rom, Kira, Jake and Leeta from prison. As Odo joins forces with his former comrades, Rom and Kira hurry to cut off power to the weapons array which will detonate the minefield, but are too late. Grimly, Sisko exercises his only remaining option and takes the Defiant into the wormhole. Inside the wormhole, the entire Dominion fleet - and certain destruction - awaits the single ship. Suddenly, the wormhole aliens communicate with Sisko -they do not want him to die. Sisko pleads with them to save the Bajorans, who created an entire religion around them. He is then abruptly returned to the Defiant, but the enormous Dominion fleet still approaches. Sisko gives the order to fire, but the ships are hit with a series of energy jolts and mysteriously disappear. Dukat is shocked when the Defiant emerges from the wormhole alone. As Sisko opens fire in the station, Damar learns two hundred more Federation ships are headed their way. The Dominion troops are all ordered to retreat to Cardassia, and Dukat asks his daughter to accompany him, but Ziyal refuses. She reveals that she helped Kira and the others escape from the holding cell, but she tells Dukat that she loves him just before Damar kills her. Devastated, Dukat remains - a shell of his former self - while the others evacuate and Sisko and the crew joyfully return home, achieving a major victory in the ongoing war.  

 
 
 
 
 

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED...  (*6.4)

•written by Ronald D. Moore
•directed by David Livingston
•music by
•stardate 51247.5:
•was originally titled as "Once Upon A Wedding"

Worf's plans for a traditional Klingon wedding are threatened when Martok's wife refuses to accept Dax into their family. With war still raging throughout the galaxy, and life returning to normal on DS9, Worf and Dax resume planning their long-awaited wedding. Since Dax will be joining Worf's surrogate family, the House of Martok, she agrees to endure the traditional evaluation by the mistress of the house, Martok's wife, Sirella. Confident that she will be liked and accepted, Dax is surprised when she learns that as a non Klingon she will almost certainly fail to gain Sirella's favor. Learning that Sirella disapproves of Dax, Worf asks Martok to intervene.
Martok refuses to get involved, but agrees to participate in Kal'Hyah, the traditional Klingon "bachelor party." Sisko, O'Brien, Bashir, and Alexander -- Worf's son -- eagerly join them, but are disappointed when they learn that the "party" is light on fun and heavy on fasting, bloodletting, and other uniquely Klingon forms of torture. Meanwhile, Dax endures her own form of Klingon torture as she
struggles to please Sirella. When she is asked to recite the history of the House of Martok, Dax gleefully reveals her discovery that Sirella has no imperial blood, and is in fact descended from a concubine. Naturally, Sirella is infuriated. Ready for a little fun, Dax throws herself a pre-wedding party. In the midst of the drinking and debauchery, Sirella demands that Dax join her for a ritual.
When Dax tells her to leave, Sirella threatens to cancel the wedding. The confrontation ends with Sirella declaring Dax an enemy. The next morning, Worf informs Dax that Sirella has forbidden her to join the House of Martok. He asks her to beg Sirella's forgiveness,but Dax refuses to endure that humiliation just so Worf can have a Klingon ceremony. Angrily, both Worf and Dax call off the wedding. Martok convinces Worf to apologize to Dax, but she refuses to change her mind. Determined to see the lovers wed, Sisko goes to see Dax himself. She describes the indignities to which she has been subjected, reminding Sisko that, as Curzon Dax, she was Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire! Sisko gently points out that Sirella only sees her as a young woman who wants to marryinto her family.He states that Dax knew what she was getting into when she agreed to marry Worf, and that she must honor the traditions of his people. Warmed by her deep love for Worf, Dax follows Sisko's advice, and she and Worf are married -- with Sirella's blessing.

 
 
 
 
 

RESSURECTION (*6.4)  mirror episode

•written by Michael Taylor.
•directed by Burton LeVar
•music by
•stardate unknown:

When a stranger beams aboard the station and takes Kira hostage, she is shocked to see that he looks exactly like her dead love, Vedek Bareil. He reveals that he is Bareil -- the alternate universe version -- and is running from the evil Alliance of his universe. Even though he attacks her, Kira refuses to press charges after he is captured. Sisko is concerned that she is letting his resemblance to her late lover influence her actions, but agrees to allow Bareil to remain on the station.

 
 
 
 
 

STATISTICAL PROBABILITIES (*6.5)

•teleplay by Rene Echevarria
•story by Pam Pietroforte
•directed by Anson Williams
•music by
•stardate unknown:

With the secret of his genetically-engineered past out in the open, Bashir is asked to work with a group of others like him. Aggressive Jack, sensual Lauren, giddy Patrick, and shy Sarina are highly intelligent -- but equally dysfunctional -- and have spent their lives in an institution. It is hoped that Bashir can help them assimilate into "normal" society, and while he is initially put off by their antisocial behavior, Bashir is excited by the prospect of helping them succeed.

 
 
 
 
 

THE MAGNIFICENT FERENGI  (*6.5)

•written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
•directed by Chip Chalmers
•music by
•stardate unknown:
•note: features the return of Keevan, the Vorta from Rocks and Shoals.

The Grand Nagus calls with news that Quark's mother, Ishka, has been captured by the Dominion. He enlists Quark to rescue her, offering a substantial reward if he succeeds. Quark persuades Rom to join the mission to save their mother, telling him that they will lie about the reward in order to keep most for themselves. The two then recruit Nog for his Starfleet expertise, while fellow Ferengis Leck, Gaila, and Brunt form the rest of the team.

 WALTZ  (*6.6)

•written by Ronald D. Moore
•directed by Rene Auberjonois
•music by
•stardate 51408.6:

En route to Gul Dukat's war crimes investigation, Sisko meets with the former Cardassian leader, now a prisoner. Dukat, who suffered a nervous breakdown over the death of his daughter, assures Sisko that he has recovered. Suddenly, the starship transporting them is destroyed by Cardassian troops. Sisko is seriously injured, but Dukat escapes with him to a nearby planet and tends to his wounds. When Sisko regains consciousness, Dukat informs him that they are stranded and he is sending out a distress signal.

 
 
 
 
 

WHO MOURNS FOR MORN? (*6.6)

•written by Mark Gehred-O'Connell
•directed by Victor Lobl
•music by
•stardate unknown:

The crew is shocked to learn that Morn has been killed in an ion storm. True to form, Quark sees an opportunity for profit and throws a memorial party at his bar. Sisko interrupts with surprising news -- Morn has left Quark his entire estate. Although Morn's financial records indicate that he was broke, Quark searches Morn's quarters for hidden assets. Instead, he finds Morn's ex-wife, Larell, who tells Quark about Morn's hidden retirement fund of a thousand bars of latinum.

 
 
 
 
 
 

FAR BEYOND THE STARS  (*6.7)

•written by Marc Scott Zicree
•teleplay by Ira Behr & Hans Beimler
•directed by Avery Brooks
•music by
•stardate unknown:

After a friend's ship is destroyed and Sisko considers leaving Starfleet, he begins having visions of his crew as 1950s Americans. Bashir's examination reveals unusual synaptic patterns, but before Sisko can discuss treatment, he finds himself in 1953 New York City as Benny Russell, a writer for a science-fiction magazine. Fellow staffers resemble O'Brien, Kira, Bashir, Dax, and Quark in human form, and their editor, Pabst, looks like a human Odo. Writing assignments are given as illustrations, and each writer creates a story to fit their drawing. Benny's illustration is a crude version of Deep Space Nine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

ONE LITTLE SHIP (*6.7)

•written by David Weddle and Bradley Thompson
•directed by Allan Kroeker
•music by
•stardate unknown:

In order to investigate a rare subspace phenomenon, Dax, O'Brien, and Bashir board a Runabout that is shrunken to four inches long. They are assured this effect will be reversed once they leave the anomaly. Suddenly, the Defiant, tethered to the tiny Runabout, is attacked and Sisko and the others are overtaken by the Jem'Hadar. The miniature Runabout and its crew survives, but they exit the anomaly through a different route -- without returning to normal size.

 
 
 
 
 
 

HONOR AMONG THIEVES  (*6.8)

•story by Philip Kim
•teleplay by Rene Echevarria
•directed by Allan Eastman
•music by
•stardate unknown:

Starfleet Intelligence recruits Chief O'Brien to infiltrate the Orion Syndicate, the Alpha Quadrant's leading organized crime ring, to find a Starfleet informant. Posing as a handyman, he makes contact with a trio from the Syndicate by repairing a piece of their equipment. After researching O'Brien's fake background, Bilby, the leader of the trio, decides to bring him into his circle of associates.

 
 
 
 
 

CHANGE OF HEART  (*6.8)

•written by Ronald D. Moore
•directed by David Livingston
•music by
•stardate unknown:
•was originally titled as "A Turn for the Worse"

When Dax and Worf are sent to the Badlands to meet with a Cardassian double-agent, they receive an encrypted subspace transmission from Lasaran, the operative. He has information about where the Founders are located in the Alpha Quadrant, but before he will reveal anything, he wants Dax and Worf to help him defect. In three days, he plans to walk into the jungle on the planet Soukara. Since Dax and Worf will be unable to beam him off the planet, they are to rendezvous with him in the jungle. Seeing no alternative, they agree to the plan.

 
 
 
 
 

WRONG'S DARKER THAN DEATH OR NIGHT  (*6.9)

•written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
•directed by Jonathan West
•music by
•stardate unknown:

On her late mother Meru's birthday, Kira receives a transmission from Gul Dukat in which he tells her that Meru, who supposedly died when Kira was three, was actually his lover for many years and left her family to be with him. When Kira's investigation fails to prove Dukat false, she asks Sisko, as the Emissary, to permit her to consult the Bajoran Orb of Time. He agrees, and Kira finds herself in the past, at a refugee center where she comes face to face with her long-lost family, who does not realize her true identity.

 
 
 
 
 

INQUISITION  (*6.9)

•written by Bradley Thompson & David Weddle
•directed by Michael (Worf) Dorn
•music by
•stardate unknown:

Internal Affairs Officer Sloan arrives on the station, announcing that there has been a possible security breach. He believes an officer may be passing information to the Dominion and promptly confines the senior staff to quarters. Later, Sloan summons Bashir for a brief interview, which appears to go well. Back in his room, however, the doctor learns that O'Brien was interrogated for two hours -- about him. Just then, Bashir is taken to a second meeting with Sloan.

 
 
 
 

IN THE PALE MOONLIGHT  (*6.10)

•teleplay by Micheal Taylor and rewrites by Ronald D Moore
•story by Peter Allan Fields
•directed by Victor Lobl
•music by
•stardate unknown:
•was originallt titled as "Patriots"

Going over casualty lists, Sisko realizes there is only one hope of winning the war -- the Romulans, who signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion, must be convinced to join the Federation/Klingon Alliance. Sure that the Dominion will eventually invade Romulus anyway, Sisko recruits Garak to discreetly obtain evidence from Cardassia that will bring the Romulans into the war.

HIS WAY  (*6.10)

•written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
•directed by Allan Kroeker
•music by
•stardate unknown:

Bashir shows off his new Holosuite program, a 1960s Vegas singer named Vic Fontaine who performs in a lounge full of martini-swilling customers. While Vic is only a hologram, he is extremely perceptive and immediately senses Odo's unrequited love for Kira. Soon afterward, Kira leaves for Bajor to visit her ex-lover Shakaar -- a move which clearly upsets Odo. He "borrows" Bashir's program and asks Vic for a little romantic advice.

 
 
 
 
 

THE RECKONING  (*6.11)

•teleplay by Bradley Thompson and David Weddle
•story by Harry Werksman & Gabrielle Stanton
•directed by Jesús Salvador Treviño
•music by
•stardate unknown:

Sisko is called to Bajor when an ancient tablet addressing the Emissary is discovered. Seeing it launches Sisko into a vision, during which the Prophets tell him "the Reckoning" must begin. Since no one knows exactly what this means, Sisko takes the tablet back to Deep Space Nine for Dax to translate. Kai Winn arrives on the station and pushes Sisko to return it, but he refuses, convinced he is doing the will of the Prophets.

 
 
 
 
 

VALIANT   (*6.11)

•written by Ronald D. Moore
•directed by Michael Laurence Vejar
•music by
•stardate unknown:
•note:Red Squad ("Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", as well as Starfleet Academy comics 1 through 3) are in command of the Valiant. Ensign Shepard is among those Red Squad members present in "Paradise Lost".

En route to Ferenginar, Jake and Nog are attacked by a Jem'Hadar vessel. When they are suddenly beamed aboard the U.S.S. Valiant, a Defiant-class warship, Nog recognizes the crew of young adults as Red Squad, an elite corps of Starfleet cadets. The 22-year-old captain, Tim Watters, explains that his crew, originally on a training mission, became trapped in Dominion space when the war broke out. All of the regular officers were killed, but before he died, the captain ordered Watters to assume command. With Starfleet unaware of the situation, Watters is trying to complete the Valiant's mission to gather data on a new Dominion battleship. Caught up in Watters's fervor, Nog agrees to join the crew as Chief Engineer.

 
 
 
 
 

PROFIT AND LACE   (*6.12)

•written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler
•directed by Alexander Siddig (Dr. Bashir)
•music by
•stardate unknown:

Grand Nagus Zek and Ishka, Quark and Rom's mother, arrive on the station to announce that, thanks to his relationship with the proudly feminist Ishka, Zek has added a new amendment to the Ferengi Bill of Opportunities giving females equal rights. Unfortunately, this has plunged the entire Ferengi society into chaos, Zek has been deposed as Grand Nagus, and Liquidator Brunt is now Acting Grand Nagus -- a position that will become permanent in three days. Sure that Ishka's amazing business sense will win them over, Zek invites the commissioners of the Ferengi Commerce Authority to the station, but cola magnate Nilva is the only one who agrees to a meeting.

 
 
 
 
 

TIME'S ORPHAN   (*6.12)

•written by by Bradley J. Thompson & David Weddle
•directed by Allan Kroeker
•music by
•stardate unknown:
•was originally titled as "Out of Time"

O'Brien is reunited with his wife, Keiko, and their two children. But during a celebratory picnic on a nearby planet, eight-year-old Molly falls into a vortex of swirling energy. When the rest of the crew arrives to help, they determine Molly slipped through a time portal that sent her back 300 years, to a time when the planet was uninhabited. They reactivate the portal and transport her out, but their calculations are off by a decade. When Molly materializes on the transporter pad, she is an eighteen-year-old woman.
Since she has been without human contact for ten years, Molly is like a wild animal, terrified of her parents and unable to speak. At Bashir's suggestion, a cargo bay is transformed with a tree, grass, and some boulders. There, the O'Briens begin the painful process of regaining their daughter's trust. When Keiko presents her with her favorite doll, Molly smiles for the first time. Molly continues to make progress and learns to follow simple commands. She soon utters her first word - "Home" -- and Keiko and O'Brien excitedly take her back to their quarters. When she shows them a photo taken at the picnic site, they realize Molly regards that planet as her home. Desperate to make his daughter happy, O'Brien recreates the spot in a holosuite. The plan works until the O'Briens must relinquish the suite to other customers. Scared by the hubbub of Quark's bar, Molly panics and stabs a customer with a broken bottle. Sisko and Odo sadly inform O'Brien that Federation officials want Molly committed to a special care center. Knowing that forcing her to stay inside a confined facility over a long period of time will kill her, O'Brien plans to steal a Runabout and take Molly to her planet. Once there, he will send her back through the time portal so no one will be able to find her. Although they will never see her again, O'Brien and Keiko know this is their only chance to save their daughter. However, they are caught before they can leave the station. Odo comes to the scene and allows the O'Briens to proceed. They return to the planet, where they tearfully send Molly back through the vortex with her favorite doll. When Molly arrives, she recognizes her eight-year-old self hiding behind a boulder. Little Molly is frightened, but her older counterpart gives her the doll and sends her through the portal to be reunited with her family.

 
 
 
 
 

THE SOUND OF HER VOICE   (*6.13)

•teleplay by Ronald D. Moore
•story by Pam Pietroforte
•directed by: Winrich Kolbe
•music by
•stardate unknown:

Onboard the Defiant, Sisko and the crew pick up a distress signal and the voice of Captain Lisa Cusak, whose escape pod has crashed on a remote planet following the destruction of her ship. Although two-way communication has not been established, Lisa transmits her voice constantly as the crew begins the six-day trip to rescue her. O'Brien listens to the sometimes-amusing monologue and is surprised when she -- having overheard a conversation between him and Kasidy Yates -- suddenly speaks to him. Both realize contact has been established, and Lisa finally knows she will be rescued. The stranded captain reveals she has been giving herself triox injections to compensate for the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but there is not enough to last until the Defiant arrives. Dr. Bashir advises lowering her dosage, hoping her body will be strengthened enough to help her survive. In the meantime, the crew members agree to take shifts talking to Lisa to keep her alert. Proving to be as good a listener as she is a talker, Lisa has a great sense of humor and a refreshingly positive attitude. She advises Sisko on his romantic problems, helps O'Brien cope with his anger over the war, and even gets Bashir to forget about his work and loosen up. When Lisa runs out of triox, Bashir realizes she cannot survive more than two days -- and the Defiant is still three days away. Determined to save his new friend, Sisko gives the risky order to deplete the phaser reserves and use the extra power to increase the ship's speed. They reach the planet's orbit just as Lisa loses consciousness, but there is more bad news -- the planet is surrounded by an energy barrier the Defiant cannot penetrate. Sisko, O'Brien, and Bashir put their lives on the line to break through the barrier in a shuttle pod. They are able to reach the planet's surface and locate the crash site, but when they enter the cave where Lisa has taken shelter, they find a skeleton -- Lisa has been dead for over three years. O'Brien surmises that the energy barrier must have time-shifted the radio signals, enabling the captain to contact the Defiant crew three years in the future and their messages to travel back to the past. Although Lisa was dead all along, the crew members feel the loss and take her back to Deep Space Nine for an Irish wake among friends.

 
 
 
 
 

TEARS OF THE PROPHETS  (*6.13)
 
•written by Ira Steven Behr & Hans Beimler 
•directed by Allan Kroeker 
•music by 
•stardate unknown: 
•was originally titled as "Tears of the Gods"
THE PRICE OF VICTORY A battle will be won. 
A life will be lost.  
And Deep Space Nine will be changed forever.

Starfleet Command decides to take the offensive in the war against the Dominion, and Sisko is chosen to lead the invasion of Cardassia. The first target is the Chin'toka System, picked for its diminished defenses. Unfortunately, the crew is unaware that the Cardassian/Dominion Alliance has secretly deployed hundreds of orbital weapon platforms to protect the system, and that Gul Dukat has returned claiming he has the key to destroying Sisko and the Federation. Sisko and Klingon General Martok meet with Romulan Senator Letant and convince his people to join the invasion force. Later, the Bajoran Prophets -- the mysterious aliens who reside in the wormhole -- appear to Sisko in a vision and advise him not to go to Cardassia. Sisko requests permission to heed the Prophets' warning, but Admiral Ross orders him to choose once and for all between his roles as the Bajoran Emissary and a Starfleet Captain. Sisko decides to proceed with leading the invasion, leaving Dax in charge of the station. Meanwhile, Dukat reveals his plan is to drive the godlike Prophets from the wormhole. Releasing an energy vortex from a Bajoran wooden figurine, his body is taken over by an evil Pah-wraith. The invasion force reaches Cardassian space just before the defensive system becomes operational. Discovering all of the platforms are using the same power source, the crew tries to locate it. Back on the station, Dukat, possessed by the Pah-wraith, materializes in the Bajoran shrine and injures Dax critically, then destroys the sacred orb. The wormhole implodes and, at that instant, Sisko staggers back with the uneasy feeling that the Prophets are reaching out to him. The power source is destroyed, disabling the weapon platforms and allowing Sisko's forces to invade Cardassian soil. However, their celebration is cut short by an urgent message from the station. They return, and although Dr. Bashir was able to save the Dax symbiont, Jadzia dies. Sisko, seeing that the wormhole has closed and all of the orbs have gone dark, fears that the Prophets have abandoned Bajor. Believing he has failed as both Emissary and Captain, Sisko decides he needs time to think about how to make things right. He takes a leave of absence from Deep Space Nine, returning with Jake to Earth.