In the midst of being inundated by a spate of maintenance requests, O'Brien inadvertently triggers a device that releases a virus, causing an advanced form of aphasia in his brain that makes him unable to communicate with anyone. As the virus keeps spreading through the food replicators and then mutates into an airborne strain, the station's officers gradually become incapacitated. Even worse, the virus turns out to be lethal. Bashir still finds out that not the Cardassians but the Bajorans created the virus before he is affected too. Kira travels to Bajor and kidnaps the co-creator of the virus, Surmak Ren, by beaming him into her runabout and infecting him as well. When Captain Jaheel tries to escape from the quarantined station and overloads his ship's engines, Odo and Quark have to work together to remove his ship from the docking ring. Surmak Ren soon manages to develop a cure based on Bashir's research.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Quark not getting punished for releasing the virus by abusing the command replicators. This may be due to the engineering staff not fixing Quark's replicators quickly enough.

Nit Central

  1. Hans Thielman on Thursday, February 25, 1999 - 2:08 pm: How would anyone be able to tell whether Morn was suffering from the aphasia virus? Mike Konczewski on Thursday, February 25, 1999 - 3:18 pm: The other characters on the station have mentioned many times that they have had interesting conversations with Morn (specifically, at the beginning of Who Mourns for Morn?). Of course, the gag is all these conversation happen off camera. I believe Quark has described Morn as a "chatterbox." S. Wong on Thursday, February 25, 1999 - 4:37 pm: I think Morn can speak, too, how else could he have asked Dax for a date. Chris Thomas on Friday, February 26, 1999 - 12:07 am: He does actually laugh in one episode, you can hear him. Phillip Culley on Friday, February 26, 1999 - 3:50 am: In Looking For Par'Mach...., when Worf pulls off his 'act of superiority' (Pushing Morn off his stool). we hear Morn give a little yell.
  2. Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Wednesday, August 30, 2000 - 11:53 pm: How does the virus override the Universal Translator? In the Classic episode Metamorphosis, Spock says that the UT analyzes thoughts, not words, and translates into English. If the virus simply scrambles the part of their minds that deal with word choice, then the UT should be able to translate the speaker's meaning. Perhaps the virus disrupted the thought patterns of the victims.
  3. Kira says, "Chasing after ghosts.", but in the NextGen episode The Next Phase, Ro Laren uses the Bajoran word for ghost, so why didn't Kira? (Or was this the first instance of the aphasia virus affecting Kira?) Perhaps she consciously decided to use a term familiar to her Non-Bajoran colleagues.
  4. So why couldn't the mooring clamps be exploded by remote control? Uncle Dick on Wednesday, August 01, 2001 - 2:11 am: I believe Odo said something about "manual controls". Presumably, computer control to the area has been damaged and a manual release is required.
  5. goog on Thursday, August 30, 2001 - 6:06 pm: What gives Quark's lie away is when he says Rom fixed the replicators. Odo knows Rom is incapable of this. This became a changed premise later on when it was shown that Rom had a hidden talent for engineering and was quite good at it, surprising O'Brien with his speed and efficiency in "The Assignment."Mike Nuss on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 9:56 am: Rom's engineering skill isn't necessarily a nit, as it was a hidden talent that neither Odo and Quark knew about.Seniram Besides, this incident may have inspired Rom to develop his engineering skills in secret.
  6. John A. Lang on Wednesday, September 17, 2003 - 9:27 pm: WHY WHY WHY is O'Brien the one & only guy responsible for keeping things running on DS9. At least LaForge had an Engineering staff! Poor O'Brien has to go it alone! Not very smart! Josh M on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 1:39 pm: I'm sure he's got people. Just because we don't see them now doesn't mean they're not there. He has some in The Forsaken, In the Hands of the Prophets, and The Assignment among other episodes. Heck, Rom eventually joins the staff led by O'Brien. Darth Sarcasm on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 2:01 pm: Why is he responsible? He's the friggin CHIEF of Operations. And he doesn't go it alone... we may not have seen them in this episode, but he has a staff, which we've seen repeatedly (as Josh M pointed out). But people turn to him for assistance because he's the person in charge. Rodney Hrvatin on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 4:51 pm: My feeling is that his full compliment of staff haven't arrived yet and he has only a skeleton crew. It's still fairly early on since he started and obviously it's a HUGE station so he's going to need to be on his feet the whole time. CdnTim 1311 EST 3 Feb 2021 - Being, well, O'Brien, he may have assigned all his (limited) staff to a set schedule, and is pushing himself to take the pop-up issues, instead of overworking his team. O'Brien is experienced as an engineer, but new to being a department head, so this approach would actually be pretty common for someone newly in authority.
  7. John A. Lang on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 2:07 pm: HMM..... Cardassian Replicators can manufacture coffee from Earth (?) I guess all those U.F.O. sightings were true after all...we were visited by the Cardassians! Josh M on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 2:29 pm: I would assume that they would modify them to give human food, knowing the number of humans that work and live on the station. Mike Nuss on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 9:56 am: It's been established that Federation replicators can be programmed with molecular "recipes" for new dishes. One would assume that Cardassian replicators have similar functionality. John-Boy on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - 5:50 pm: I think the replicators having a programing capablity makes more sense than the thought of the Cardassians visting Earth years ago just to get the recipe for coffee! :)
  8. Cybermortis on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 12:52 pm: How can one type a message into a PADD, as O'Brian attempts to do, when there is no keyboard? Touchscreen?
  9. Right, so you manage to engineer a complex virus that can infect any and every species on the station...Why wouldn't you go that extra mile and make sure that it would only affect Cardassians, instead of something that could wipe out your own species? If it affects everyone then all it would take is one infected person landing on Bajor to infect the entire population - and DS9 was originally in orbit of Bajor so that is very likely to have happened. If this virus had effected only Cardassians then you'd have a chance of wiping out the occupying force AND having the station intact at the end of it to defend your newly liberated world. (Of course, if it affected only Cardassions Garak would have been the only one infected). Chris Booton (Cbooton) on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 8:05 pm: Viruses mutate. Even if they made it only infect the Cardies, there's a good chance it would have mutated and killed everyone (like what happened with that one species).

Deep Space Nine Season 1
Emissary I Past Prologue I A Man Alone I Babel I Captive Pursuit I Q-Less I Dax I The Passenger I Move Along Home I The Nagus I Vortex I Battle Lines I The Storyteller I Progress I If Wishes Were Horses I The Forsaken I Dramatis Personae I Duet I In the Hands of the Prophets
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.