According to Memory Alpha's original in Universe Timeline, the story sequence is:
Phage : Destiny : The Cloud.


With the new peace treaty in place,[N 1] Cardassian scientists are going to set up a subspace relay that would enable a communication link to the Gamma Quadrant through the Wormhole. But the Bajoran Vedek Yarka warns Sisko of an old prophecy of "three vipers" that would return to their "nest". To everyone's relief only two Cardassian women arrive, but a third one is going to join them. Kira is concerned but doesn't permit her faith to interfere with her duty. When, however, a part of the prophecy, a "sword of stars" in the form of a comet near the far wormhole exit seems to come true, she urges Sisko to end the experiment. Sisko decides to carry on regardless, with the outcome that the comet is heading for the wormhole inside which it would cause the anomaly to collapse. With modified phasers the Defiant attempts to vaporize the comet, but Dejar, one of the Cardassians, has sabotaged the weapons. The comet breaks apart into three chunks - apparently the three vipers mentioned in the prophecy. Using a shuttlepod to be able to maneuver, Sisko and Kira generate a subspace field around the three fragments, thereby protecting the wormhole and, as a surprising byproduct, completing the communication channel through the wormhole.

Errors and Explanations

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. This entire episode deals with setting up a communications relay in the Gamma Quadrant. Does Starfleet also in- tend to station on armada of ships beside it to protect it from Dominion attack? If I were the Founders and the Jem'Haddar had told Starfleet to stay on their side of the galaxy - as Third Talak'TaIan did in The Jem'Haddar - would just wait until the Defiant went back to the Alpha Quadrant and then I'd blow the stuffing out of that puny communications relay. What I can't figure out is: How does Starfleet know that the Jem'Haddar aren't going to obliterate this piece of equipment? Perhaps the Federation are trying to call the Dominion’s bluff, in the hope that the Dominion will eventually accept that the Federation won’t back down. CdnTim 1157 5 Feb 2021 - The satellite will let them know what's right outside the wormhole instead of flying in blind, and allow them to potentially monitor a wider area in the Gamma Quadrant too. When the Dominion does move to invade, the destruction of the comms relay is their final warning that wolves are at the gate!
  2. This episode features a "rogue comet" near the wormhole. We know from Emissary that the nearest star to the wormhole is 5 light-years distant. Yet this comet has a tail! In deep space, comets do not have tails. The tails form only as a nearby star heats the outer shell of the comet, releasing gases and particles that then drift in the direction opposite from the star. This "rogue comet?' that approaches the wormhole should be nothing but a big ball of rock and ice. (But then we couldn't call it a "sword of stars," could we?) There maybe something in the core of the comet producing enough geothermal energy to create the tail.
  3. At least twice during this episode, Cardassian women have access to very sensitive areas of the Defiant. You may recall that the Defiant is Starfleet's experimental prototype of a warship, the same warship that - according to Gul Dukat - is the most heavily armed vessel in the sector. In one scene we see O'Brien crawling around in a Jefferies tube with Gilora, and later we learn that an Obsidian Order operative named Dejar somehow managed to depolarize an emitter coupling on the Defiant when no one was looking. What happened to all the security arrangements we saw in place at the beginning of Defiant? The Cardassian women were officially assigned to the Defiant to participate in a joint venture, which was intended to enhance co-operation between Bajor, the Federation, and Cardassia. CdnTim 1159 EST 5 Feb 2021 - Good ol' overly trusting Starfleet! Smart or not, seems to be in character for them at this point.
  4. So we've got this comet flying toward the wormhole (tail and all), and the Defiant hits it with the gonzo phasers, supposedly shattering it into three pieces. Note the visuals of the phasers hitting the center of the comet and the resulting explosion. Amazingly enough, when the dust clears, the three remaining chunks are traveling parallel to each other and still heading toward the wormhole. Hold it! Wouldn't the force of the explosion - which was strong enough to shatter the comet - change the trajectory of the three pieces? And shouldn't each fragment be moving away from the others? (I'm willing to grant that maybe the gravity of the wormhole might eventually draw them back inside, but I can't see any way that the comet could endure an explosion with the resulting fragments running perfectly parallel to each other. Of course, if the chunks behaved according to the known laws of physics, the prophecy wouldn't come true. Maybe the Prophets had something to do with keeping them on course?) Not if the three pieces were each generating sufficient gravity for each piece to draw in the other two, especially if the phasers split the comet along existing fault lines. CdnTim 1200 EST 5 Feb 2021 - The only force separating the chunks is the gas pressure from vapourized comet...over time, they comets will drift apart, but not before they reach the wormhole.

Equipment Oddities

  1. Supposedly this relay will allow communications with the Gamma Quadrant for the first time. That's odd, because in Whispers, Paradan rebéls send a message to DS9, and the Parada System is definitely in the Gamma Quadrant. Maybe they sent a ship close enough to the wormhole to open it, but far enough away to avoid getting dragged in, and then transmitted the message.
  2. Ya know, the communications relay in this episode looks a whole lot like the Amargosa observatory from Star Trek Generations. (Must be that standardized Federation design!) The observatory may have inspired the design of the relay.

Nit Central

  1. Keith Alan Morgan on Saturday, May 08, 1999 - 7:17 am: Odo had O'Brien reprogram the replicators to produce Cardassian food. First, why is Odo ordering Chief O'Brien around? Odo could be relaying a request from someone else. Second, couldn't any Starfleet Engineering flunky do this? They may not have O’Brien’s level of expertise. Third, why were replicators programmed not to produce Cardassian food? Is there some problem with having a replicator that can produce both Cardassian and Federation food? Is Cardassian food actually anti-food and can only be prepared in specialized replicators? There may be elements of Cardassian cuisine which may cause cross contamination in replicators producing both Cardassian and non-Cardassian cuisine. Four, What does Garak do when he wants a taste of home? For all we know, Garak may prefer non Cardassian food! Five, didn't we see the replicator in Ops produce a Cardassian tea during Civil Defense? The replicator weapon incident could have prompted a re-programming of the replicators, to prevent production of Cardassian food.
    If Dr. Bashir ran a test on Morn because of his food poisoning, then why didn't he discover that Morn's second stomach was filled with latinum? (As revealed in Who Mourns for Morn?.) LUIGI NOVI on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 1:27 am: Who said he didn't? He very well could have, and said nothing about it to anyone else, since doctor-patient confidentiality would prevent him from doing so.
  3. The Wormhole opens and it's gravity increases by 300%, and almost immediately the comet changes course. Shouldn't there have been a time delay between the gravitational increase and when the comet is affected? Not if the increased gravity was passed through subspace.
  4. acsenray on Friday, August 30, 2002 - 8:02 pm: Near the beginning, one of the Cardassian scientists refers to the station as "Terok Nor" and then apologises and corrects herself, saying "Deep Space Nine." Why would she use the English version? Surely the Bajorans have their own name for the station. Wouldn't that be the word that would be "correct," since it is technically a Bajoran station? Perhaps the Bajorans chose to accept the Federation name to avoid confusion. CdnTim 1203 EST 5 Feb 2021 - Renaming Terok Nor was probably a low priority when the occupation ended, and Starfleet clearly had some sort of system ready to apply to it (after all, its DS9 not DS1). Possibly the Deep Space designation is used for stations that are jointly operated with another nation, or located in foreign (as opposed to Federation or unclaimed) territory.
  5. John A. Lang on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 10:31 pm: At one point, Sisko talks about a MAN being pregnant. (Sisko DEFINATELY said, "HE is pregnant") How is that possible? Duke of Earl Grey on Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 11:57 pm: Why, through asexual reproduction, doncha know. The guy was budding. LUIGI NOVI on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 6:59 am: Obviously, John, the men of the race of the crewman in question can do so. Dan Gunther on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 11:38 pm: Also, lest we forget dear Mr. Tucker in Unexpected (ENT)? Seniram 10:02, April 17, 2018 (UTC) Maybe the crewman's race were decended from alien seahorses!


  1. Negotiations for this occured during the episode Life Support

Deep Space Nine Season 3
The Search Part 1 I The Search Part 2 I The House of Quark I Equilibrium I Second Skin I The Abandoned I Civil Defense I Meridian I Defiant I Fascination I Past Tense Part 1 I Past Tense Part 2 I Life Support I Heart of Stone I Destiny I Prophet Motive I Visionary I Distant Voices I Through the Looking Glass I Improbable Cause I The Die is Cast I Explorers I Family Business I Shakaar I Facets I The Adversary
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