Battle Lines

Sisko with Ennis and Nol-Ennis.jpg


The station receives an unannounced visit from Kai Opaka, the spiritual leader of Bajor, whom Sisko offered a tour of the station. Knowing that no ship would pass the wormhole on this day for Opaka to watch, he invites the Kai to travel through the wormhole on a runabout, together with him, Kira and Bashir. In the Gamma Quadrant they follow the trace of a subspace signal to a moon with a satellite network, where the runabout is shot down and Opaka dies in the crash. But some time later she is alive again, because of artificially created microbes that have restored her body functions. The moon is a prison, to which the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis were exiled and where they can carry on with their conflict forever, thanks to the microbes. Sisko gathers representatives of the two factions to start peace talks, with the hope of getting all of them off that moon, but it ends in another bloody skirmish. In the meantime Bashir has discovered that the microbes only work in the special environment on the moon, which means that also Opaka has to stay behind. But Opaka has already decided for herself that it is her destiny to stay. After Jadzia and O'Brien have managed to create a gap in the satellite network, just Sisko, Kira and Bashir are beamed up.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Sisko managing to land the runabout close to the only inhabitants. He probably aimed for that location after the satellite system attack.
  2. Apparent use of directed energy weapons by both sides, despite Golin Shel-La claiming the Ennis stopped using them centuries earlier. The two sides could be using projectile weapons firing miniature tracer rounds.[N 1]
  3. The combatants on both sides not resorting to methods such as decapitation or cremation to kill their opponents, which would prevent the nanites from resurrecting the deceased. The nanites could be programmed to induce temporary paralysis, to prevent use of these methods.

Equipment Oddities

  1. Apparent lack of restraints on the runabout. Any restraint system could have been disabled by the attack from the satellite system.

Nit Central

  1. BrianB on Wednesday, April 14, 1999 - 1:06 am: Why doesn't Star Fleet send scientists to learn this secret of Immortality? It may not be possible to duplicate the effects.
  2. Julian really seems to give up quickly when he finds that these people won't survive if they leave the moon. (In The Quickening, he stayed on the planet until he found a cure.) He doesn't consider, for example, keeping them in a simulation of the moon's environment (like the suits the Breen wear when they're not on their ships) until he can find a way to cure them. Any attempt to remove them from the moon, in order to either transfer them to a simulation of the moon, or place them into stasis chambers, would kill them outright.
  3. Finally, when Sisko holds his feeble attempt at a peace conference, the factions agree not to bring any "firearms". Apparently it didn't occur to him to ask them not to bring swords either. This would have led to a boycott, due to their precived need to bring some form of weapons to defend themselves.
  4. The runabout is going to crash onto the moon and Sisko ejects the anti-matter pod. Presumably he does this so it won't rupture on impact and explode on contact with matter, but where does the ejected pod go? Does the ejection send the pod into space (where it becomes a navigational hazard) or does it just crash down onto the surface of the moon (where it may burst and explode on contact with matter)? Maybe it self destructs after travelling a set distance.
  5. Josh M on Sunday, September 10, 2000 - 4:22 pm: Why exactly did that guy say that energy weapons aren't damaging enough? Don't they have a vaporize setting? Wouldn't that put those tiny machines out of work really fast? Or are they that good? There may be something in the enviroment that prevents energy weapons from working at full effectiveness.
  6. Jesse on Thursday, July 21, 2005 - 4:19 pm: When the runabout is about to crash, Sisko ejects the antimatter pod. A good precaution (though as KAM pointed out earlier, it creates a few questions). My question is, why didn't he dump the matter too? As I understand it, Starfleet vessels use an isotope of hydrogen as their fuel supply. Hydrogen is extremely flammable. It's like a fighter plane crashing with a full load of fuel: even if you survive the crash, you won't survive the resulting explosion and fire. Cybermortis on Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - 9:40 am: Hydrogen is used in the warp core of ships, but its also used to fuel the impulse engines and power generators. If Sisko dumped the hydrogen as well as the anti matter he'd have had no power and no engines/thrusters, and therefore no control at all while attempting to land. Hydrogen is only explosive when mixed with an oxidiser (Oxygen for example). On its own its quite safe, unlike jet fuel today.


  1. Mark Wells submitted this query to the Nit Central board for the episode on Wednesday, June 30, 1999 - 2:56 am:
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
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