The runabout Ganges returns to the station with hardly any power and its crew and passenger in danger from lack of life support. Jadzia Dax and another crewman have returned with Vash after finding her in the Gamma Quadrant. With her is Q, who has been hounding Vash as a traveling companion for two years. Vash brings several artifacts to the station that she has acquired in the Gamma Quadrant, among them a remarkable crystal. She makes fast friends with Quark and agrees with the Ferengi profiteer to auction them off. Unbeknownst to the crew, however, the crystal draws energy from the station's power systems, leading to a massive build-up of gravitons that pushes the station towards the wormhole. Using ionized tritium, Dax is able to pinpoint the origin of the gravitons, and Sisko has the artifact beamed into space. There an embryonic lifeform frees itself from the crystal and vanishes into the wormhole. After the incident, Bashir finally awakens from his (Q induced) slumber. Unaware of what has just transpired, he yawns and tells Dax that he feels like he has been asleep for days. A bemused Dax gives him a strange look to which Bashir replies "What--did I miss something?"

Errors and Explanations

Internet Movie Database

Character error

  1. When encountering Vash, Miles O'Brien immediately recognizes her, even though he was not present at either of her appearances on The Next Generation, either on Risa or Sherwood Forest. They may have met briefly after the Sherwood Forest incident, before Q took her to the Gamma Quadrant.


  1. When O'Brien is escorting Vash to her quarters on the station, he is carrying her bag with the thick strap visible on his right shoulder. At the entrance to the cabin, the camera angle shifts to Vash, as she turns to face O'Brien. When the angle shifts again to O'Brien, the strap is gone, yet we have not seen him put the bag down (we know he did, however, as Vash is seen picking it up from the deck at the end of the scene). It may have slipped when the camera angle changed.

Factual errors

  1. The operations crew tries to track the power drain by releasing tritium gas into the station's atmosphere. It is frequently mentioned that tritium is extremely toxic. However, tritium is simply a heavy form of hydrogen, which is not toxic even in fairly strong concentrations, provided there is oxygen present for people to breathe. Despite it being mildly radioactive, the principal danger in a case like this is from igniting the oxygen-hydrogen (i.e. tritium) mixture, not from poisoning the station inhabitants. The toxicity could result from the tritium interacting with the graviton emmisions.

The Nitpickers Guide for Deep Space Nine Trekkers

Plot Oversights

  1. Sisko asking Dax instead of O'Brien to find out how Vash ended up in the Gamma Quadrant He probably thinks Vash may be more forthcoming to Dax. CdnTim 1409 EST 3 Feb 2021 - At this early point in the series, Dax is also the crewmember he most trusts for this sort of discreet snooping.
  2. No call for an evacuation. There may not be enough time and/or available vessel space to get everybody out in time.
  3. The container with the crystal only being beamed 500 metres away. It may not be possible to beam it further away in the time.

Equipment Oddities

  1. The runabout's occupants not being beamed out. This may require a remote link to the runabout's systems, which weren't working due to the power loss, in order to avoid it crashing into the station.
  2. The Assay office using a Cardassian retinal scanner. A Federation scanner may not have been sufficiently compatible. CdnTim 1410 EST 3 Feb 2021 - Or, since the assay office seems to be privately owned, the owner may simply not have bothered to upgrade yet.

Nit Central

  1. Keith Alan Morgan (Kmorgan) on Tuesday, September 05, 2000 - 12:39 am: Vash says that she might write a book about the Gamma quadrant and Bashir says that it would be a "bestseller." During In the Cards Jake revealed that humans don't use money, so how could the book be a bestseller? Even if it could be a "bestseller" in other societies, wouldn't the term "bestseller" have faded from human speech as a common expression, replaced with terms like 'most popular', 'number one' or 'most downloaded'? Joel Croteau (Jcroteau) on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 8:07 pm: In another episode, I forget which one, Jake tells Quark he just sold a story, then he explains that he didn't actually sell it for money, it was just a figure of speech. If selling a story could remain a figure of speech, calling a story a bestseller could probably as well. dotter31 on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 9:12 am: Perhaps the term 'bestseller' in the 24th Century simply means a book(or other work) that is extremely popular, and has nothing to do with money. Who knows how language will change in the future?
  2. When putting the objects into the safe, why describe the artifacts to the computer instead of letting the computer record their images? This was probably done to ensure the items were listed correctly. CdnTim 1434 EST 3 Feb 2021 - Who's to say that both aren't done? The verbal record confirms and supplements an automatic recording.
  3. In the episode Who Mourns for Morn? it is revealed that latinum is a liquid at room temperature, but in this episode Quark offers Odo a "latinum-plated bucket." To the best of my knowledge, you can't plate an object with a liquid.Brian Fitzgerald on Wednesday, October 02, 2002 - 12:09 am: Presumably you could bond the latinum to whatever the bucket was made of, like they bond it to gold to make gold-pressed-latinum. Joel Croteau (Jcroteau) on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 8:07 pm: The latinum could always be alloyed with another metal to make it a solid. Like mercury is with silver in dental filling alloy.
  4. Sparrow47 on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 10:47 am: So, Vash has this scene at the assay (sp?) office, where she makes absolutely sure that no one is going to be able to get at her things. Seems reasonable. And the guy in charge of the office seems to be just as concerned with security as she is. Good. Except... when placing objects in Vash's cubicle, the guy has to describe them aloud to the computer. Can't they take pictures of these things? Scan them somehow? A voice description seems a little lacking. Additionally (and this might be a little picayune, but...), Vash's bag o' riches is simply labeled as "assorted gems," which to me would seem to leave some leeway as to what, exactly is in the bag. If Vash goes back and gets her things and finds only a few gems left in the bag, that technically still fits the description given in the inventory, even though it started out as a full bag. Shouldn't these things be a little more precise? LUIGI NOVI on Monday, January 05, 2004 - 1:49 pm: Perhaps the verbal description is just that: a label, but scans are also conducted automatically when they're placed inside their containers.

Ex Astris Scientia

  1. Dax reports a "massive build-up of gravitons" inside the Gamma Quadrant crystal that endangers the station. Why does Sisko order to beam it just "500 meters off the docking ring"? Why not 500 kilometers? They could safely observe the artifact with sensors instead of the naked eye. That could risk permanent damage to the transporter system.

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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