Call to Arms



The crew of Deep Space 9 discuss ways to protect the Alpha Quadrant against Dominion reinforcements from the Gamma Quadrant, when Rom comes up with the idea to deploy self-replicating mines at the wormhole entrance. Using the Defiant, Dax and O'Brien begin to drop the mines. Rom hurriedly marries Leeta. With no further support to be expected from Starfleet and with a Dominion fleet arriving from Cardassia to seize the station, Sisko orders Deep Space 9 to be evacuated.

The Dominion attack begins while the Defiant is still building the minefield, protected only by Martok's Rotarran. As soon as the minefield is completed, all Starfleet personnel withdraws, leaving only the Bajoran crew who "welcomes" their Dominion "guests" led by Weyoun and Dukat under the terms of the non-aggression treaty - but not before Kira has disabled most of the station's systems.

While the Dominion was distracted at Deep Space 9, Starfleet has taken the opportunity to destroy a Dominion shipyard. Sisko promises to return, joining a fleet of the Federation. He is furious, however, when he learns that Jake has chosen to stay behind and report on the ensuing war.

Errors and Explanations

Internet Movie Database


  1. During the episode, Worf states that the Defiant will be unable to raise her shields when deploying the mines. During the battle, three Jem'Hadar ships attack the Defiant, and the vessel's shields are clearly visible. Perhaps the shield was modified to leave enough of a gap for the minelaying. CdnTim 1653 EST 16Feb2021 - Perhaps the Defiant had to raise shield while under fire, suspending the mine-laying?

Revealing mistakes

  1. When the Defiant and the Rotarran join the mixed Klingon/Federation fleet, several Galaxy-class vessels, being the most notorious among others, have no registry number or identification at all. These were probably quickly assembled to provide additional firepower. CdnTim 1654 EST 16Feb2021 - Traditionally, Royal Navy junior rating (enlisted) uniforms have the ship name on the cap (HMS Nonsuch)...during the Second World War, all were reissued with cap ribbons just saying "HMS" (or "HMCS", "HMAS", etc for Canadians, Australians, etc.) Maybe Starfleet did something similar, removing registry from many ships to make it harder for spies to report what ships were where.
  2. There are three small ships that would appear to be Defiant-class, although the Defiant itself was said to be the only one in service. Starfleet must have decided to put the Defiant class into production by this point.


  1. The destruction of the ship yards may have been deemed a top priority. Yet, it is inconclusive why Starfleet couldn't spare at least one or two ships to protect the station until the minefield is up. The Defiant and the Rotarran barely manage to fend off the attack, and if they failed, the cause to seal off the Alpha Quadrant would be lost. Moreover, doesn't it make the Dominion suspicious if there are no additional ships at DS9? Not necessarily - there have been a number of occassions when there have been no additional ships at the station.
  2. It is unclear how the Dominion could have possibly agreed to a cease-fire of several minutes, long enough for all Starfleet personnel being able to leave the station and even for Sisko to hold a speech. Would Weyoun and Dukat really forego the opportunity to kill them all or to get prominent prisoners? That could have been interpreted as a violation of the non aggression pact.

Nit Central

  1. Cableface on Monday, March 01, 1999 - 2:22 pm: The Defiant in this episode has to fly around the mouth of the wormhole and drop the mines. This takes hours and near the end puts the ship in considerable danger. But , if every mine is self replicating, why can't they just drop one and let it replicate the entire field? It's like a Von Neumann machine; let's say you want to build a load of robots. You don't build them all yourself. You build one that can build another one that can build another one. And in a short time you have thousands. To be able to replicate the minefield, every mine must know where every other mine is supposed to be, so it knows where to replicate the new one.So why can't they build one mine, program it with schematics of the minefield and let it replicate a few mines, which will replicate more mines and so on. They could have it done in minutes with little or no risk. Chris George (Cgeorge) on Friday, January 29, 1999 - 8:14 pm: Didn't they say that it took several of the mines working together to replicate another? And besides, it probably saved a lot of time, energy, and matter to lay several mines than to try to let one little mine try to replicate the whole field.
  2. JD on Tuesday, February 23, 1999 - 2:05 pm: When Sisko asks about the status of his program (which will destroy any "luxuries" of the station), the computer responds that it's ready to be activated "on YOUR command," referring to Sisko. But it's Kira who activates the program. He obviously included permission for Kira to activate the program in the coding.
  3. BrianB on Thursday, April 15, 1999 - 4:06 am: Is Nog on summer vacation, or is he an Academy drop-out? Charles Cabe (Ccabe) on Thursday, April 15, 1999 - 1:38 pm: Nog actually graduated early. He is now an Ensign. Chris George, DS9 Moderator (Cgeorge) on Thursday, April 15, 1999 - 1:43 pm: Brian, it seems that Nog was assigned to Deep Space Nine on an academy training year. This has been previously established as canon - it seems Kirk was granted the rank of Ensign/Lt. J.G. while still in the academy, and Picard was assigned to Morikin VII (where he ran into the Nausicaans for the first time).Jason on Friday, April 16, 1999 - 8:15 am: I thought that Picard had just graduated when he met the Nausicaans. Wasn't he waiting for his first assignment? Chris George, DS9 Moderator (Cgeorge) on Friday, April 16, 1999 - 2:38 pm: Well - that was when he got stabbed, and that was on Starbase Earheart, I believe. He also said to Riker that he ran into a band of "surly Nausicaans" before that point.
  4. When the war broke out, Nog was given a field commision and permanently assigned to Deep Space Nine. This of course begs the question, why assign a raw cadet to what is turning out to be the front lines of a coming war? He is familiar with the station. And also - any military people out there know the current naval protocol in times of war - are naval cadets commonly given a field commision, and if so, how permanent is that field commision? CdnTim 1657 EST 16Feb2021 - This varies by military and war, but as a rule, training time goes way down in a war! See, for one example of many, the excellent book The Corvette Navy by James Lamb: the author joins the Royal Canadian Navy in WWII with no experience, is trained, serves at sea, takes command of a minor vessel all in the time that peace time training would take. As to how permanent it is...this also varies. A commission as an Ensign would probably be permanent, but wartime promotions are normally for the duration of the emergency, and the holder still has a "substantive" rank that they revert to after the war. On D-Day, I believe Eisenhower (the supreme commander) technically had the substantive rank of Major, something like 5 promotions under his wartime rank.
  5. Keith Alan Morgan on Thursday, April 29, 1999 - 8:24 am: Why do Sisko and Rom need to brush up on their Bajoran when they have the Universal Translator? Merat on Saturday, May 01, 2004 - 12:27 pm: To honor the Bajoran people and their customs. It might be considered an insult to use a UT during a religious ceremony. CdnTim 1701 EST 16Feb2021 - Same reason that I try to learn some of the local language when I travel, even if the locals will probably all speak shows respect.
  6. TWS Garrison on Saturday, June 21, 2003 - 5:37 am: Why was the Defiant acting as a minelayer? She was designed for combat, with little interior space. There shouldn't have been room for the mines/minelaying/mine-making equipment. This task could have been done more effectively by one (or more!) cargo ships, with the Defiant flying escort. They may not have been any cargo ships available, especially given the time constraints.
  7. What happened to the runabouts? DS9 was defended by only the Defiant and one Bird of Prey. At that point, even a runabout could have helped. At least the runabouts could have evacuated crew, instead of cramming all Starfleet personnel into those two (small) ships. They may have been busy transported people who left before the battle started.
  8. I was surprised when, after the wedding, Sisko said he had to leave for "business". Um, conducting the ceremony was business, for a captain---it would have sounded more gracious if he had said he had to attend to "less pleasant business". He obviously considers conducting a wedding to be more pleasure than business.
  9. David (Guardian) on Thursday, June 21, 2007 - 12:53 am: Presumably the runabouts are evacuated with the rest of Starfleet, and Starfleet reassigned the same runabouts back to the station in S6? (both the Rio Grande and the Rubicon make appearances after this episode).This may have been done to demonstrate the Federation’s commitment to Bajor, especially as the Rio Grande was used to confirm the existence of the wormhole/Celestial Temple, and the aliens/Prophets that resided within it.
  10. Whoever fires the weapons on DS9 is a bit less trigger happy than in "Way of the Warrior", but much more accurate. Christopher P. Sedtal (Clabberhead) on Friday, June 15, 2012 - 1:53 pm: That would be Mr. Worf.
  11. Why didn't the Dominion ships ram the Defiant? It’s too fast and maneuverable for that!
  12. Why didn't the Dominion ships blow up the minefield before it was activated (like in "Sacrifice of Angels", where the disabled mines blew up in a chain reaction)? Perhaps they held off due to fears that detonating the mines without first disabling them would prevent use of the wormhole, and the fears could only be laid to rest after months of study.

Deep Space Nine Season 5
Apocalypse Rising I The Ship I Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places I Nor the Battle to the Strong IThe Assignment I Trials and Tribble-ations I Let He Who Is Without Sin I Things Past I The Ascent I Rapture I The Darkness and the Light I The Begotten I For the Uniform I In Purgatory's Shadow I By Inferno's Light I Doctor Bashir, I Presume I A Simple Investigation I Business as Usual I Ties of Blood and Water I Ferengi Love Songs I Soldiers of the Empire I Children of Time I Blaze of Glory I Empok Nor I In the Cards I Call to Arms
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