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Memory Alpha
Series: DS9
Season: 4
Original Airdate: 1995.10.02
Production Number: 473
Year: 2372
Stardate: 49011.4
Story by: Ira Steven Behr & Robert Wolfe
Directed by: James L. Conway

When a Klingon fleet arrives at the station to protect the Alpha Quadrant from the Dominion, Sisko recruits Lt. Commander Worf to discover the Klingons' real intentions.


The story begins with the DS9 crew hunting a changeling through the station. Using wide-angle phaser sweeps, the crew chase the changeling to the Promenade, where the changeling suddenly resumes humanoid shape, and grabs hold of Doctor Julian Bashir. It's Odo, and the chase was really a surprise drill.

Sisko gives Kasidy Yates rare Tholian silk.

That night, when Kasidy Yates joins Captain Benjamin Sisko for a romantic dinner, she remarks that there has been some changes on DS9. First, Sisko has shaved his head and grown a goatee, which she approves of. Second, there has been a lot of "maintenance" being done on the station lately. Sisko is secretive, but hints that the crew are preparing a few "surprises" in case the Dominion decide to attack. The couple present each other with gifts - Sisko gives Kasidy a garment made from rare Tholian silk, while Kasidy returns the gesture by handing Sisko a Pike City Pioneers baseball cap.

Their dinner is interrupted when the new Klingon flagship, the Negh'Var, decloaks at the station. Its commander, General Martok, requests shore leave at Deep Space 9. When Sisko agrees, the DS9 crew is amazed as an entire battalion of Klingon ships decloak around the station.

In Quark's bar, the Ferengi bartender nervously opines that the Klingons who have arrived are awfully quiet. When Martok meets with Sisko and Major Kira Nerys, he immediately wishes them to use his d'k tahg to cut their palms, proving that they bleed and therefore are not changelings. When the Klingon is satisfied that Sisko and Kira are really who they appear to be, Martok proclaims that the Klingon fleet will remain in Bajoran space to counter the inevitable Dominion attack.


The crew continue their duties, despite the fact they are surrounded by countless Klingons. Kira and Jadzia Dax later go to the holosuite, which recreates the Hoobishan Baths on Trill. Kira is distracted and unimpressed with the holograms, admitting she never had much of an imagination. Odo and Garak have a quiet breakfast at the Replimat, where a worried Garak reveals that since the destruction of the Obsidian Order, he has heard rumours of civil uprisings on Cardassia. Their meal is interrupted when a group of Klingons accost Morn on the Promenade. Odo breaks up the altercation, but the lead Klingon, Drex, levels threats at both Garak and Odo.

Drex and his thugs later ambush and beat Garak in his tailor shop. As Bashir repairs the Cardassian's broken bones, Garak wonders why Klingons have become so hostile to Cardassians.

Commander Kaybok

When Kasidy Yates' freighter, the SS Xhosa, sends out a distress call, Sisko and the crew of DS9 board the USS Defiant. On the prototype starship, they discover that Commander Kaybok of the Klingon Bird-of-Prey IKS M'Char is searching all vessels exiting Bajoran space, including the Xhosa. When Sisko threatens Kaybok that the Defiant will open fire on the M'Char, the Klingon commander allows the Xhosa to break free of the M'Char's tractor beam.

Once the senior officers return to DS9, Martok comes to meet Sisko again, handing him Kaybok's dagger. Kaybok has been executed as punishment for disobeying his orders. Sisko realizes that something must be done before the situation escalates out of control.

Sisko notifies Starfleet Command, which dispatches Lieutenant Commander Worf to the station. When they meet, Sisko offers condolescences for the loss of the Enterprise-D. Worf responds that its destruction has affected him deeply and he plans to resign his Starfleet commission. Sisko cautions Worf that he too once considered resigning, and now knows that would have been the wrong choice. He gives Worf an assignment - find out what the Klingons are up to.

Worf and Martok meet.

Worf's first attempt at diplomacy is decidedly Klingon in nature. He picks a fight with Drex and takes the warrior's dagger. Drex's father, who happens to be General Martok, comes to Worf's quarters to demand the return of his son's "honour". There, Worf voices his disappointment in Martok for the general's dishonourable tactics of harassing personnel and ships, but Martok vows that it is all in the Alpha Quadrant's best interests.

Afterwards, Worf vents his frustration on a tactical holosuite program. When Dax arrives, she challenges him to a battle with bat'leths. After a furious fight, Worf gains the upper hand and sweeps Dax off her feet. Dax rhetorically asks whether the simulation made Worf feel better.


Worf's second attempt is more subversive. Worf invites an old family friend, Klingon officer Huraga, for a drink. When they consume a large quantity of bloodwine and become drunk, Worf presses Huraga for information. Owing Worf's father, Mogh, a favour, Huraga tells Worf all about the "glorious battle" that awaits them ahead.

What Worf learns disturbs him, so much that he hesitates to tell Sisko. Odo argues with Worf on the Promenade, and tells the Klingon that it is his duty to inform Sisko.

File:Martok in DS9's wardroom.jpg

Martok in DS9's wardroom.

Worf decides to tell Sisko the ominous truth - the Klingons are about to attack Cardassia. The rumours are true; the Central Command has been overthrown by civilian resistance. The Klingons are convinced that changeling infiltrators are responsible. Sisko confronts Martok and demands that the Klingons call off their attack. Martok hints that Chancellor Gowron will be told of Worf's involvement in uncovering news of the planned attack. Worf himself feels guilty that he has essentially betrayed the Klingon Empire. When Sisko points out that the attack will place the Federation-Klingon alliance in jeopardy, Martok claims he will return to his ship and consult with Gowron.

However, once Martok beams aboard his ship, he sends a message to the Klingon fleet, ordering them to begin their attack. The fleet cloaks and warps away from the station, heading straight for Cardassia Prime.

The crew of DS9 meet in the wardroom. They are in a particularly nasty predicament: warning the Cardassians of the Klingon invasion is tantamount to betrayal. Besides, the Klingons may be correct that the Dominion was involved in the coup. Worf points out that this is irrelevant - if the Klingons have returned to "the old ways" of conquest, Bajor and the Federation are at risk.

Sisko tries an unorthodox tact - he invites Garak into the wardroom to measure the Starfleet captain for a new suit. As Garak works, the crew "accidentally" reveal that one-third of the Klingon military is currently heading into Cardassian space. Garak excuses himself, and warns Gul Dukat. Busy fighting the civilian insurgency, the Cardassian Empire is unprepared for a possible Klingon invasion.

When the Federation officially condemns the invasion, the Klingon Empire withdraws from the Khitomer Accords. The Federation-Klingon alliance is dissolved.

Gowron attempts to recruit Worf.

However, Gowron still wants Worf to join the Klingons. Arranging a personal meeting with Worf, Gowron asks him to leave Starfleet and join the Klingons in the battle. Despite wanting to return to his people, Worf refuses. Enraged, Gowron strips Worf and his House of their titles.

Once again exiled from his people, a torn Worf is all the more convinced he should resign. He asks Sisko to accept his resignation, but Sisko refuses - Starfleet needs Worf more than ever before. Indeed, word soon arrives that the Klingons have broken through the Cardassian fleet.

Sisko contacts the new Cardassian government, the Detapa Council, only to see the face of Dukat. Apparently, Dukat switched sides when it was clear that the coup would succeed. Sisko devises a plan. If Dukat can get the Council on a ship and rendezvous with the Defiant, they can seek refuge on Deep Space Nine. Since the Klingons will execute all government officials in their invasion of Cardassia, Dukat agrees.

Sisko, Dax, Bashir and Worf take the cloaked Defiant toward the rendezvous point. Unfortunately, three Klingon Bird-of-Preys are in the vicinity and are attacking the Cardassian cruiser Prakesh.

When the Klingons ignore the Defiant''s hails, the starship targets the lead Bird-of-Prey and seriously damages its engines. With the Prakesh's shields, weapons and engines obliterated, Sisko is left with no choice but to drop the Defiant's shields and transport Dukat and the Council off their impaired vessel. Sisko gambles that the Defiant's ablative armor will be sufficient against the Bird-of-Preys' attacks. The Defiant begins firing at will and destroys the second Klingon vessel in the process.

The damaged Prakesh begins to explode.

When a larger Vor'cha class battlecruiser joins the melee, Worf suggests the use of a modulated tractor beam to deflect some of the Klingon disruptor fire. The Defiant crew are successful in rescuing all the Detapa Council members, although the Defiant's cloaking device has been damaged. The Defiant flies to maximum warp as the Prakesh explodes, and two Klingon vessels follow the starship.

The Defiant successfully reaches Deep Space Nine, where O'Brien detects the pursuing Klingon ships. As the starship approaches the station, the crew detect several dozen Klingon ships. O'Brien had requested reinforcements from Starfleet Command, but the starships have not yet reached the station.

The crew man battle stations, preparing for the Klingons to attack, while civilians are evacuated off the Promenade (includng a reluctant Quark). The Detapa Council are sequestered away by Dukat and - unexpectedly - Garak, who raises a Cardassian disruptor to fight alongside Dukat.

Martok and Gowron hail the station and offer an ultimatum - surrender the Cardassian officials, or the Klingons will take the Council members by force. Even when Sisko tells the two Klingons that the councillors have been given blood screenings, Martok and Gowron remain determined to conquer Cardassia. Gowron urges Sisko to surrender, claiming the old station is as defenceless as an old Grishnar cat, to which Sisko confidently replies, "I assure you, this old cat isn't as toothless as you think." Due to the Dominion threat, DS9 has been given some major tactical upgrades - the station is now equipped with more than 5,000 photon torpedoes ready to fire.

DS9 fires its new armaments

Nevertheless, the Klingon Defence Force attacks DS9, which unleashes several volleys of the station's new armaments. With multiple phaserbanks and telescoping photon launchers, the station destroys ship after ship. Furious, Gowron orders the Negh'Var to fire its cannons directly at DS9's shield generators. The station's defensive systems fail and Klingon boarding parties beam into Ops, the Promenade, and the Cardassians' quarters. After a series of firefights and hand-to-hand combat, the DS9 crew regain control of the situation. An injured O'Brien restores the shields and Dax announces the arrival of the Starfleet reinforcements, lead by the USS Venture. Gowron has little choice but to retreat. He parts with one final threat; "You have sided against us in battle. And this we cannot forgive... or forget."

As the Klingons retreat and the Venture arrives, life on the station returns to normal. Quark reopens the bar, much to the delight of Morn, and Garak returns to his tailor shop. Sisko reveals that he considered leaving Starfleet after the death of his wife, but realized he could not escape what he was - a Starfleet officer.

File:Worf in red Starfleet uniform.jpg

Worf wears a red Starfleet uniform.

Learning from Sisko's lesson, Worf decides to stay aboard the space station. He joins the crew of Deep Space Nine as Commander Worf, Strategic Operations Officer, donning a red Starfleet uniform.

However, the Klingons are continuing to remain near DS9. They have refused to abandon several Cardassian colonies and have started fortifying their positions. Sisko tells his crew that Starfleet are also staying right where they are - aboard Deep Space Nine.

Memorable Quotes

"There are many Klingons who say we have been at peace too long. That the Empire must expand to survive. Fear of the Dominion only gives my people an excuse to do what they were born to do. To fight. And to conquer."

- Worf

"We were like warriors from the ancient sagas. There was nothing we couldn't do."

"Except keep the holodecks working right."

- Worf, O'Brien; reminiscing about their adventures on the Enterprise-D

"Nice hat."

- Worf meets Kira Nerys; who is dressed as a damsel from medieval times.

"Dukat? I was trying to reach someone in the civilian government.

"And you succeeded. You're speaking to the new Chief Military Advisor to the Detepa Council."

"Does this mean you've turned your back on the Central Command?"

"It means that as a loyal officer of the Cardassian Military, I'm pledged to serve the legitimate ruling body of the Empire. Whoever that may be."

"In other words, you saw which way the wind was blowing and switched sides."

"It seemed like a good idea at the time."

- Dukat explaining his career change to Sisko

"I must compliment you, Captain. You're nearly Cardassian in your punctuality."

- Dukat; to Sisko

"I'm not going to any emergency shelter. This is my bar. And I'm going to defend it."

"Really? And how do you plan to do that?"

"With this."

"You're going to hit them with a box?"

"No, this is my disruptor pistol. The one I used to carry in the old days, when I was serving on that Ferengi freighter."

"I thought you were the ship's cook."

"That's right, and every member of that crew thought he was a food critic. If the Klingons try to get through these doors, I'll be ready for them."

(reads note in the empty box) "Dear Quark. Used parts from your disruptor to fix the replicators. Will return them soon. Rom."

"What?! I'll kill him!"

"With what?"

- Quark, Odo

"The Klingons? First it was the Cardassians, then it was the Dominion, now its the Klingons. How's a Ferengi supposed to make an honest living in a place like this?"

- Quark; as DS9 prepares for battle

Background Information

New opening

DS9 received a new opening sequence that was first shown in this episode. The DS9 theme song was given a faster tempo and the visual shots of the station were revised to show many ships docked and orbiting the station, including the Defiant. A workbee and two repairmen in EV suits can also be seen. The Defiant is shown departing the station and entering the wormhole. Michael Dorn's name is also added to the opening credits.

Personnel changes

Naturally, this was the first episode Michael Dorn appears as a regular castmember on DS9. The character Worf transfers to the command division, and becomes the new Strategic Operations Officer.

Julian Bashir now has the rank of full Lieutenant and Jadzia Dax is now a Lieutenant Commander - both having presumably been promoted in the interim.

Martok Changeling

It is later revealed in "Apocalypse Rising" that Martok was a changeling during the time that this episode is set.

Episode cuts

This season premiere was initially aired as a single two-hour long episode, the second example of its kind in the series; the first being "Emissary". In syndication, however, the episode was edited into two one-hour parts. The following scenes were cut for time:

  • Dax and Kira in the baths holoprogram

Klingon translations

  • Drex's insult to Odo: "Does your mother let you talk to adult men?"
  • Dax's quip to Worf: "Yeah, but I'm a lot better looking than he was."
  • Huraga's drinking song: "And the blood was ankle deep/And the River Skral ran crimson red/On the day above all days/When Kahless slew evil Molor dead."
  • Martok and Gowron, in battle: "They fight like Klingons!" "Then they can die like Klingons. Destroy their shields. Prepare boarding parties!" "As you recommend. All ships, concentrate fire on their shield generators."

Links and References

Guest Stars


Betreka Nebula; Betreka Nebula Incident; blood screening; bloodwine; Boreth; Cardassians; Cestus III; d'blok; darts; Detapa Council; duranium shadow; evasive maneuvers; Federation Council; Gaila; Gramilian sand pea; Grishnar cat; Hastur; Hoobishan Baths; Kahless the Unforgettable; Kahless (clone); Khitomer Accords; Klingons; Klingon-Cardassian War; Lurians; M'Char, IKS; Molor; Negh'Var, IKS; Nyberrite Alliance; Pike City Pioneers; Prakesh; prune juice; "Quark's Place"; root beer; Rozhenko, Alexander; Sanders; standard maneuvers; task force; Tholian silk; thoron field; tractor beam; Treaty of Alliance; Trial, USS; Venture, USS; Vitarian wool; Xhosa; yamok sauce.

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Episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
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