February 8, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Weekend Trek “Call To Arms”

Sisko sets up a defense of the station as war begins against the Dominion.

So, I started the Deep Space Nine write-ups to cover the days when Jimmy and I didn’t get a Next Generation chat finished.  I even started a couple weeks after the Next Generation posts started.  And yet, here I am at the fifth season finale for DS9, and I am a couple episodes ahead of TNG.

Well, I guess I’ll be starting Voyager before Jimmy and I finish TNG.  I’m more or less fine with that.

However, after a lot of teasing that war was coming between the Federation and the Dominion…war comes between the Federation and the Dominion.  Oddly enough, it doesn’t take a lot of this episode’s screentime.  In point of fact, the better part of this episode is more about the preparation for war.  It’s not like the Dominion is even hiding what it’s up to.  Gul Dukat, upon assuming power in Cardassia, said that they would be reacquiring all the Empire’s lost territories.  That included Bajor and Deep Space Nine.  Likewise, there are regular Jem’Hadar warships routinely coming through the wormhole.  There’s only one reason for such a build-up of forces, and it doesn’t help that not only did the Romulans and other major powers sign non-aggression pacts with the Dominion, but Sisko had to learn about it from Nog who heard it as a rumor.

Also, Starfleet can’t send reinforcements.  Neither can the Klingons.  It’s basically the station on its own with only the Defiant and Martok’s single Bird of Prey to hold things down in the event of an attack everyone knows is coming.  They know it even moreso when Sisko gets an idea to cloak some self-replicating mines at the entrance to the wormhole to choke off reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant.

By the by, the self-replicating idea came from Rom between his blasts of panic over his upcoming wedding to Leeta, a wedding that is actually moved forward so Sisko can perform the ceremony before the Dominion arrives.  That’s just one more example of basically how this show prepares for the inevitable war, one that even features Weyoun stopping by to negotiate with Sisko, both more or less promising to try to de-escalate only for Sisko to say afterwards that everything they both did was just for show and both parties knew it.  O’Brien will mention that his family was sent safely away somewhere off-screen, and Dax and Worf, about to be separated by the fact she’ll be deploying the mines while he mans the station’s defenses before joining Martok’s crew, promise to marry if they both manage to reunite alive.  And Quark, well, he’s stockpiling Cardassian foodstuffs.

Heck, Ziyal even stops to share a kiss with Garek, a moment that seems weird since Garek never really struck me as the romantic type.  You know, unless it’s with Bashir.

Meanwhile, Jake got a job with the Federation News Service, writing stories about things he’s seeing.  All this is just set-up for the war, of course.  If Sisko can delay long enough to deploy the mines, then at the least, it’ll be a while before Dukat and this Weyoun can get reinforcements.  No back-up, and Bajor likewise signs a non-aggression pact, though this one Sisko approves of since it should protect the planet from Cardassian greed to get the planet back.

That actually proves smart:  Weyoun won’t allow Dukat to try to recapture Bajor.

In the end, all Sisko can do is what he needs to do.  He can’t hold off a Dominion fleet forever, but he can hold them off long enough for Dax to finish what she has to do with the only assist coming from Martok.  Kira will formally object because she has to, but then she’ll informally jump right into the fight and man a station.  And, when Dax finishes her job, Sisko will sabotage the computers on the way out to make it much harder for Dukat to do much of anything, leaving on the Defiant with most of the Starfleet personnel, plus Garek who knows full well he would be killed by Dukat if he stayed behind.

Oh, and without Jake, who figured as the son of the Emissary and a journalist, he can stay on the station and report on what’s happening.  Granted, he didn’t talk to his father beforehand, but if even Rom of all people thinks that’s a bad idea, it must be a bad idea.

So, Dukat gets the station back.  The mines are there, the computer was sabotaged, and Kira is there to represent the Bajoran government, Odo as head of security, and Quark as a representative of the merchants guild (because of course he would be the one to represent the others)…and so is Sisko’s prized baseball, and even Dukat knows it’s a message that Ben Sisko will be back to get it.

Oh, and it turns out there was a good reason Starfleet wasn’t sending reinforcements:  they were working with the Klingons to destroy a Dominion shipyard.  So, it would seem the Federation, high-minded ideals and all, knew war was inevitable and did something about it, teaming with their most aggressive sometime enemies to do so.  Klingons being ready for war is one thing.  Starfleet?  That’s something else.

But yeah, seeing the Defiant and Martok’s ship joining a massive fleet of ships, both Federation and Klingon, well, war was coming for a while now, and finally, war is here.

And given the reputation of this show, I am anticipating a lot of hard moral choices the likes of which this franchise rarely deals with.

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