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Real world article
(written from a Production point of view)

When Commander William T. Riker from the Enterprise-D arrives on Deep Space 9, he takes a liking to Kira, who gives him a tour of the Defiant. But Riker is revealed to be not who he claims to be when he attacks Kira and steals the Defiant.



Kira exhausted

Major Kira exhausted

Kira enjoying herself

Bashir ordering Kira to enjoy herself

In Ops, Major Kira Nerys is having a bad day, swamped with the numerous little details of running a space station. She has problems to handle the cargo of the five Byzatium transports, gets information about the changed schedule of the Byzallian conference, and is informed about a Starfleet requested complete report about the computer calibration subroutine until tomorrow.

At the infirmary, she snaps at Doctor Bashir when he starts complaining to her about the colonization schedule on Campor III. Realizing that she is stressed from overwork, he uses his position as Chief Medical Officer and orders her to take time off; reminding her that not even Commander Sisko can overrule his judgement.

Bashir takes Kira to Quark's and tells her to enjoy herself with at least two things Quark serves her including a holosuite program, a jumja stick, Karvino juice, Lorvan crackers, and gambling token. After resisting first, Kira starts to accept this order. But she is not alone for long as Commander Riker stands nearby at the bar's entrance and asks to join her, hoping she has some room for the unexpected.

Act One[]

Tom Riker, Kira, and Dax

Riker in Ops

In Commander Sisko's office, Riker tells Sisko that he is on vacation and wanted to visit the station again before continuing his travel on to Risa. Outside the office in Ops, Lieutenant Dax notices that Kira is preoccupied by a certain Commander, though she doesn't want to admit it. When Riker comes out of Sisko's office, Dax makes a reference to their last meeting in Quark's which he does not remember until she reminds Riker that she staked three strips of latinum when his winning streak ran dry.

Kira runs into Riker

Kira running into Riker on the Promenade

Riker hangs around the Promenade waiting for Kira to get off duty so he can arrange to "accidentally" run into her. Hesitant at first, she offers him a tour of the station and then at his suggestion, she agrees to show him the USS Defiant. Kira and Riker both enter an authorization code and handprints at the identification panel to enter the Defiant. Lieutenant Jones stands guard outside the airlock.

Kira stunned

Major Kira stunned by a phaser

Aboard the Defiant, they find Chief Miles O'Brien working on the bridge trying to improve the vessel's deflector targeting arrays and Riker is none too happy to see him, implying that they have had some falling out. O'Brien is stunned by Riker's cold demeanor. He has no idea what he has done to offend his former first officer but excuses himself rather than intrude on the two of them. Kira, too, is surprised but does not press when Riker says he does not want to talk about it.

She shows him the modifications they have made to the ship's systems, especially the weapons system. Riker asks to access them at the tactical station and, obligingly, Kira uses her authorization code "Kira delta 547 alpha" to release the bridge lockout. This is what Riker wanted and he then stuns Kira with a phaser. While she is unconscious, he arranges for Tamal and Kalita to beam aboard.

Riker removing his beard

Tom Riker removing his false beard

A red alert sounds in Ops as the computer shows an imminent warp core breach aboard the Defiant. Riker contacts them from the Defiant bridge, saying there was an accident and Kira was injured and that if they release the docking clamps, he will take the helm of the Defiant and clear it away from the station. Sisko agrees and will beam them out when they are clear. O'Brien arrives, responding to the red alert. When Sisko orders him to beam Riker and Kira out, O'Brien cannot because the Defiant's shields are up. Before any of them can react, the Defiant goes to warp.

On the Defiant, Riker has Kalita set a course for the Badlands. He removes his false sideburns; he is Lieutenant Thomas Riker. Kalita congratulates Tom on his successful commandeering of the Defiant – but he says it is not over yet.

Act Two[]

Dukat briefed by Odo

Dukat briefed by Odo and Sisko

Gul Dukat is summoned to a briefing in the wardroom where Odo explains how a transporter accident created a transporter duplicate of William T. Riker on Nervala IV nine years ago. Dukat is "entertained" by this until they tell him that they suspect Thomas Riker is with the Maquis, having expressed support of them while serving on the USS Gandhi. Dukat is furious that such a dangerous weapon of the Federation may now be used to attack Cardassia. Sisko proposes a joint search mission of the Demilitarized Zone, but Dukat says Central Command would use this incident as an excuse to eradicate the Maquis instead. Starfleet would then send a fleet to protect the colonies. War seems inevitable. Sisko agrees to go with Dukat to Cardassia Prime and help them find the Defiant, and if necessary, destroy it.

Riker apologizes to Kira for the deception but he will not be deterred. The Defiant meets with other Maquis ships. They transfer over a crew and then they all head for the Federation-Cardassian border.

Act Three[]

Cardassian war room

The Cardassian War Room

Sisko and Dukat arrive on Cardassia Prime, where the search will be conducted from the Cardassian War Room, the heart of the Cardassian military where Sisko also meets the Obsidian Order observer Korinas who secures all information from intelligence reports after noticing the Human in this secured area.

She asks Sisko for the exact specifications and armament of the Defiant but Sisko stops her request. He reveals that the Defiant is equipped with a loaned Romulan cloaking device. While this is news to Dukat, Korinas says that the Order already knew about it but was hitherto unconcerned that it would be used against Cardassia. Sisko says he can provide partial specifications of an anti-proton beam that the Dominion used to penetrate the cloak.

Kira sabotaging the defiant

Kira working on sabotaging the cloak of the Defiant

Under Maquis control, the Defiant passes the security perimeter into the Almatha sector and enters Cardassian territory. After the ship attackes Cardassian Outpost 61, Dukat orders the fleet of the Sixth Order under the command of Gul Toran to chase the Defiant back into the Demilitarized Zone, but Sisko realizes that the warp signature is wrong, it is a decoy. Dukat recalls Toran's ships but it is too late. The real Defiant uncloaks and destroys Outpost 47, before cloaking again, its heading takes them into the heart of the Cardassian Union. Korinas leaves with a parting shot at Dukat.

Aboard the Defiant, Riker sets a course for Omekla III and its shipyard. Meanwhile, Kira manages to sabotage the cloak from her quarters by crossing the replicator power converter with the plasma manifold, blowing off two plasma conduits and suffering minor injuries to her shoulder.

Act Four[]

Defiant hiding in nebula

The Defiant hiding in a nebula

Kira talking to Riker

Kira trying to reach Riker

Tamal treats Kira's injuries. Riker takes her to the bridge where they can keep an eye on her. While they repair the damage she caused, they hide the Defiant in a nearby nebula.

Sisko plots strategy but Dukat is distracted. This is his son Mekor's eleventh birthday and he wanted his father to take him to an amusement center at Lakarian City. Sisko commiserates, noting that he himself had disappointed his own son from time to time, but it is part of his and Dukat's profession, and he hopes one day his son will understand. Dukat is not encouraged, instead predicting that his son will remember this day with hatred as the only thing he'll remember is a Federation officer on a Federation ship is invading his home and kept his father away from his birthday, something he finds sad.

Korinas protecting orias

Korinas threatening Dukat

Kira sees that the Maquis target is the Omekla III shipyard. Riker tells her that they had been getting reports that there were Cardassian hardliners wanting to scrap the peace treaty. They were secretly building up an invasion fleet in the Orias system according to an intelligence report. Kira tries to reach Riker, he is still acting more like a Starfleet officer than a terrorist.

Sisko suddenly tells Dukat that the actions of the Maquis follow a plan. They made no random attacks but are designed to leave one sector alone without any warships – the Orias system. Dukat is about to have Gul Ranor send a ship when Korinas threatens him if he does. The system is under the Obsidian Order's protection and they will defend it by destroying any ship which will reach this system.

Act Five[]

Dukat has checked up and no one has been able to get any answers from the Obsidian Order regarding the Orias system, not even the Detapa Council. The Kraxon under the command of Gul Ranor has found a neutrino leak. The cloaked Defiant makes a run for the Orias System but they can track them. Dukat orders all ships to pursue but they cannot catch it.

Suddenly three Keldon-class ships appear out of the Orias system. Dukat is surprised to see this and asks Korinas who the ships belong to, because if they were part of the military, he would know about them. Dukat also mentions that the Obsidian Order is forbidden to possess any military equipment. Korinas seems to be unconcerned about this violation and simply smiles deviously.

Meanwhile, Thomas Riker refuses to back down now, even though it is starting to look hopeless. Kira guesses that this is less about the Maquis cause than it is about distinguishing himself from Commander Riker.

USS Defiant firing quantum torpedoes

The Defiant engaging the Keldon-class warships

Sisko makes a deal with Dukat: if he will let them surrender and turn over the ship and crew to the Federation, Sisko will turn over the Defiant's sensor logs which by now contain full scans on the Orias system and whatever the Obsidian Order has been hiding. Dukat agrees only if they keep Riker to punish him for his actions. Sisko reluctantly agrees provided that Dukat arranges for the Ministry of Justice to take the death penalty off the table.

Keldon-class ships on the Defiant's viewscreen

The Obsidian Order's Keldon-class cruisers face off against the Defiant

The Defiant engages the Cardassian ships. They disable the first ship's port nacelle and takes the second ship's weapons off-line. Just at that moment, 3 more ships appear from the Orias system. The Defiant is out-numbered and out-gunned. Riker is about to continue any way when Sisko and Dukat contact him with their deal. He will be sentenced for life to the Lazon II labor camp. Kira pleads for him to think of his crew, only one more time like a Starfleet officer. Riker agrees and is told he must surrender to Gul Ranor on the Kraxon who will protect them from the ships of the Obsidian Order. After the Kraxon extends its shields and protects the Defiant, the Keldon-class starships of the Obsidian Order withdraw.

Riker kissing Kira

Riker "says goodbye" to Kira

True to his word, Riker transmits the sensor logs to the Kraxon and then beams over. Kira promises him that his crew will get a fair trial and they will come for him one day. Riker then moves to kiss her then taps his combadge and transports to the Kraxon leaving Kira in command of the Defiant.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Listen to me! You can't have a runabout! You cannot get your medical supplies and I don't give a damn about the colonization schedule! Those colonists can make do with a box of bandages for all I care!"
"Stop right there, Major! When was your last day off?"
"I don't know! What does that have to do with anything?"
"If you can't remember, then it's been too long. You're off duty as of this moment."

- Kira and Bashir

"Commander! I'd heard you were aboard but I – I hadn't…"
"There's nothing to say to you, O'Brien. I think you know why."

- O'Brien unknowingly encounters Thomas Riker aboard the Defiant, who tries to get him to leave the ship

"Nine years ago, a transporter accident created two William T. Rikers. One of them returned to his ship; the other was marooned on Nervala IV."
"The second Riker was finally discovered two years ago. He chose to use his middle name Thomas to distinguish himself from the other Riker."
"The two men are physically identical in all respects, right down to their DNA coding. There was no way for the security computer to know that it was Thomas, not William, who boarded the Defiant."

- Odo and Sisko, to Gul Dukat about Thomas Riker and William T. Riker

"The last time I was here, I was only able to spend a couple of hours at Quark's – but by the time I left, I had all of his latinum and a date with one of his dabo girls, so I thought I might try my luck again." (laughs)
"You be careful – Quark's dabo wheel has been a little stingy lately, and one of his dabo girls is dating my son…"

- Thomas Riker and Sisko

"I'd promised to take him to the amusement center in Lakarian City. He always wanted to go, but I never had the time. I told him, 'This year will be different, Mekor. This year I will make the time.'"
"I had the same experience with Jake. At that age, they never understand, do they? You just hope that, one day later, they'll look back and say, 'Now I understand. Now I know why he did that.'"
"When my son looks back on this day, the only thing he'll remember is that a Federation officer, on a Federation ship invaded his home, and kept his father away from him on his eleventh birthday, and he won't look back with understanding. He'll look back with hatred, and that's sad."

- Dukat and Sisko

"The Maquis have been hearing rumors about shifting loyalties in the Cardassian government. Certain hardline elements were unsatisfied with the Federation treaty and are doing whatever they can to scrap it. We had our hands on an intelligence report outlining a suspected military buildup in the Orias system. A secret buildup that even the Central Command isn't aware of."
"You're telling me you did all this to attack some secret base that may or may not exist?"
"I'm convinced that it does. They are building an invasion fleet. If we let them finish it, these renegade Cardassians are going to use it."

- Thomas Riker and Major Kira

"No, you're trying to be a hero… and terrorists don't get to be heroes."

- Kira

"Be a Starfleet officer one last time and think of your crew."

- Kira

"You are an experienced Starfleet officer, Tom. Analyze the situation. Going to Orias is suicide. Now the smart move is to make a run for it while we still can."
"Maybe that's what an experienced Starfleet officer would do. Maybe that's what Captain Picard would do. Maybe that's what Commander Will Riker would do. But it's not what I'm going to do. I'm going to continue the mission."
"It's not the mission you're thinking about, is it? Or even the colonists in the zone. This is about you, isn't it? You and that other Will Riker out there. The man with your face, your name, your career. You are looking for a way to set yourself apart. Some way to be different."
"You shouldn't go fishing today; you won't catch anything."

- Kira Nerys and Thomas Riker

"Tough little ship."

- Thomas Riker

Background information[]

Production history[]

Story and script[]


Deleted/rewritten scenes[]

  • Scene 2 – A conversation between Odo and Kira in the security office as another example of Kira's exhaustion is included in the final draft script of the episode. [1] According to the call sheet of this episode, the scene was filmed on Thursday 6 October 1994 on Paramount Stage 17 but was ultimatly cut from the final episode.
  • Scene 5 pt. – Several lines of the conversation between Sisko and Riker in Sisko's office from the final draft script were also not part of the final episode.
  • Scene 22 pt. – The dialogue between Odo, Dukat, and Sisko differs between the script and episode versions. Some minor lines from the script were also left out of the episode.
  • Scene 28 pt. – A line of dialogue of Gul Dukat from the script was not part of the episode.
  • Scene 38 pt. – Some lines of conversation between Korinas and Sisko at the beginning of the scene were not shown in the episode. In this scene, Korinas questioned the success of Sisko's involvement in this operation.
  • Scenes 45-46 – These scenes feature rewritten dialogue of Sisko, Dukat, Tamal, and Riker as the script and episode versions differ.
  • Scenes 49-52 – According to the final draft script these scenes were omitted.
  • According to the revised call sheet of Wednesday 5 October 1994, regular background performers Dan Rose and Joni German were replaced as Bajoran officers by Scott Barry and Robin Morselli for the scenes in the operations center.

Cast and characters[]

Sets, props, and costumes[]




  • According to the non-canon novel Quarantine, it was Chakotay's idea for Tom Riker to steal the Defiant from Deep Space 9 by posing as Commander Riker.

Video and DVD releases[]

Links and references[]


Also starring[]

Guest stars[]

Special Guest Star[]


Uncredited Co-Stars[]



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Deleted scenes references[]

bartender; break-in; cargo manifest; communications relay; Dameron system; dowry; Ferengi container; Ferengi transport ship; headache; inventory record; latinum; Maquis base; polaron deflector; public terminal; Rokat colony; shipyard; space station; Tholian ambassador; unit; vacation; weapons depot; wedding

Script references[]

Daria; NORAD; Orias

External links[]

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