To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S03E07: “Civil Defense”

To Boldly Sew is a recap of DS9 episodes, with a specific focus on the fashions of the many aliens and other characters that make up the series. Feel free to discuss matters of plot and general Star Trek things in the comments. 

All screenshots come from, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (

O’Brien and Jake are doing some technical stuff in an Ore Processing Unit.


Nice overhead shot here, showing the whole room, including this big something in the middle of the room and Jake working at a computer off to the side.

Jake is deleting Cardassian files from a computer that ran the ore processor. O’Brien says it processed 20,000 tons a day and the temperature got to 55 degrees Celsius. He says that when Jake is done they will upload a new operating system.

He is skeptical they will convert the place into a deuterium refinery, but O’Brien says it’s totally possible and will take only 3-4 weeks.


This is Jake’s skeptical look, and also Jake’s “I’m-working-at-Starfleet” outfit. It’s boring but not ugly.

Sisko appears from the shadows, not at all menacingly, and says he hopes they plan on eating during the next 3-4 weeks. O’Brien apologizes for losing track of time. Jake says they’re almost done, but he’s having a problem deleting the last file. O’Brien suggests reformatting. Jake did that and it didn’t work.

O’Brien tries pushing some buttons and gets the same error, then notices the file is unnamed and there’s no indication of what it is, so he decides to set it aside for now. He transfers it to the central database in Ops with the plan of analyzing it in the morning.

The computer starts beeping a warning message immediately, and a voice says that there’s been an unauthorized computer entry detected and asks for an access code. O’Brien tries typing in something but it’s incorrect. The computer says he has five seconds to put in the right code. “Or what?” Jake asks. O’Brien doesn’t know but says he should stop things.


An alarm begins blaring and metal walls come down. In Ops, Kira, Dax, and Bashir hear the computer say that there’s a worker revolt in progress in Ore Processing Unit 5 and security countermeasures have been initiated. They have no idea what’s happening.


Back in the ore processing unit, Gul Dukat appears on a screen to speak to the revolting Bajoran workers. He says that their attempt to seize control will fail. He wishes them no harm, but if they don’t return control of the unit to Cardassian supervisors, they will be forced to take action, and they have 8 minutes to make their decision.




O’Brien says he can’t override the magnetic seal to get them out of the Ore Processing Unit. Kira calls Sisko and asks what’s happening. She says they got an automated message from Gul Dukat about worker rebellions.

Sisko says they saw the message also and they must have tripped some security thing and now they’re locked in. Kira says they’ll beam them out. But when she tries, the computer asks for an access code that she doesn’t have.

Bashir spells it out for us – the station thinks it’s under Cardassian rule, so it wants Cardassian access codes that the Cardassians didn’t bother to pass on when they left.

Odo calls from security. He says his access codes still work from Cardassian times, so he’s going to try to override things, but it will take some time, and he’s not sure his clearance level is high enough. Kira says to keep working at it, and they’ll also work on it in Ops.

Quark comes into the Security Office to find out what’s happening.


No exciting outfits from Quark this week; this is one of his less flamboyant jackets in a conservative color made from leftover couch fabric.

He saw the message also and now his customers are nervous. Odo tells him to go away as he’s busy. Quark asks if he can help. Not unless you have a level 9 security clearance. Quark says he has levels 1-7. Odo only has up to six. Quark says they can make an arrangement for level 7.

Odo tells him to go away. Quark wants to stay as the security office is the safest place in the station.


Back in Ore Processing Unit 5, Sisko is looking at the walls. Nope, they’re magnetically sealed; they’d need a phaser to blast it open…and I guess they don’t have one. O’Brien concludes there’s no way to disable the lockdown from inside the Unit.

Dukat comes on screen again and says that their time is running out, but it’s not too late. They can still surrender and save their lives. He gives no further details.

Sisko tells the computer that he is the leader of the Bajoran workers and they surrender.

Dukat’s recording appears again and he says he’s glad to see they’ve come to their senses. He says to stay where they are; when Cardassian security arrives they’ll be placed into custody but not harmed. The recording ends.

They conclude that the program is waiting for Cardassian security to override the security protocols, so they have gained a few minutes at least.

Sisko goes to look at this big metal chute thing and asks about it. O’Brien explains that processed uridium used to pour down the pipe to another refining facility where it was purified.

Jake realizes that there’s an opening in the pipe and he can climb into it. I’m having claustrophobia-induced panic attacks right now but that’s just me.


Oh, Jake. The full-body shot of this outfit is not any better. Sigh. At least it’s not in garish colors.

Sisko asks Chief if Jake crawls up the pipe, can he get to the ore chute and up to the machine, can he open the hatch from there? O’Brien thinks about it, and then Dukat comes onscreen again. He notes that they haven’t surrendered to Cardassian security and if they don’t do so in three minutes he’ll release gas into the facility.

Debate is over. Jake climbs into the pipe. Dukat comes on again telling them they have two minutes. He keeps talking in the background as Jake climbs through the pipe and O’Brien and Sisko guide him through.

Jake gets to an access point. Sisko realizes he hates Dukat’s voice.

Dukat says their time has run out. Gas starts to spill into the room.

Jake finally manages to open the hatch door. O’Brien and Sisko climb up the ladder to get the exit.


The gas is helpfully visible.


In Ops, Dax is messing around with some panels trying to fix things that way while Bashir and Kira look on in concern.

The computer voice says that workers have escaped from Ore Processing Unit 5 and they are initiating a station-wide counter-insurgency program. An alarm starts blaring and doors slide closed around Ops.

Dukat comes on screen again and says he won’t allow the rebellion to continue, and if they don’t surrender he’ll be forced to kill every Bajoran on the station.


Okay, they have this HUGE screen, why not have the picture take up more space? Instead there are these odd geometric shapes surrounding the frame.


Jake emerges from the pipe into a dirty, bad-smelling room. The others follow and they realize they’re in a loading bay, where the uridium ore was separated from rocks, then dumped down the chute they just came through.


There’s this cart that was partially blocking the chute, which Jake moves out of the way. It doesn’t seem to have wheels so I guess it’s got some fancy anti-gravity thing, or something.

Unfortunately, the door out is locked. There seems to be no way out.

They all try calling Ops, Security, anyone, and there’s no response. O’Brien helpfully thinks there’s something interfering with the signal. That’s why he’s the Chief.

In Ops, they discover that they are also cut off from the rest of the station. There seems to be some sort of general dampening field interfering with communications.

Kira picks up a weapon and tries shooting the door’s control panel.

yay, weapons


um, were you going to shoot me?

After which Bashir is able to push it open. However, there’s a force field beyond that.

Dax wants to regain control of the main computer, so she talks a bunch of technobabble and gets to work. Bashir fondly says he was just starting to think of DS9 as home. Kira reminds him it was built by Cardassians and he shouldn’t forget that.

In Security, Odo and Quark are similarly trapped in the office, with a force field blocking the locked door. Odo suspects the whole station is locked down.

Quark points out that Odo is a shape shifter Changeling and suggests he change into something to escape. Odo says that the forcefield is blocking the bulkheads, ceiling, and deck and so there’s nowhere to go.

They both lament about being stuck together.

In the loading bay, Sisko, Jake, and O’Brien try using the miner’s cart to ram the door, with no success. It’s heavy and they’re tired.


O’Brien checks and they have not even made a dent.

What about the ore that’s in the cart, Sisko asks. Isn’t uridium very unstable? Yes, O’Brien agrees, but in its raw form they need a strong electrical charge. There’s a panel nearby and Sisko suggests that, but O’Brien doesn’t know how to get in there without some tools.

Sisko rips off part of the cart and gives it to O’Brien, who uses it to pry open the panel.

Back in Ops, Dax is almost done doing whatever she was doing when suddenly sparks fly.


She’s burned her hands.

Bashir goes to help her and she says a force field went off and caught her hands. He examines her and says he doesn’t think there’s an neural damage, just second degree burns. He gives her something for the pain.

The computer announces that security in Ops has been compromised and counter-insurgency program level two is now initiated. Dukat’s recording tells the workers that he has to take stronger measures and he’s going to pump the gas into the Habitat Ring and advises Cardassian personnel evacuate.

Kira is incensed, as there have to be hundreds of people trapped in their quarters. “I believe that’s the point, Major,” says Garak, appearing from the hallway. He provides an access code and the force field on the door vanishes.


Ah, finally someone without a uniform and with some fashion sense. I don’t think we’ve seen this outfit from Garak before – the red stripe around the arms and down the center is interesting. The lower sleeves seem to be a light brown instead of the dark gray of the rest of the shirt. This is a rare full-body shot for this show; the overall outfit is pretty cool looking.

Garak says DS9 is the only place in the galaxy that recognizes his access code. Kira tells him he needs to go and evacuate everyone from the Habitat Ring! Garak interrupts her and says it’s not that simple, though. His code lets him move but the fields reappear after he’s passed through.

Bashir asks if he’s tried disabling the security program. Garak says yes, but for reasons unknown, Gul Dukat chose not to trust him with top-level security codes. Bashir asks if they can stop the gas. He says by destroying the life support system.

Kira is again incensed, but Bashir agrees that since the gas comes out of the life support systems, destroying them would prevent the gas’s release. Dax points out this is a good idea for 12 hours, but then they’ll run out of oxygen. Bashir says they have 12 hours to regain control.

Garak thinks it’s the only way to do it, so Kira reluctantly agrees. She powers up her weapon again and tells two heretofore unseen Bajoran workers to get down.

wait, what?

They dive out of the way immediately and she shoots the panel.

Lights go out and the computer says that counter-insurgency program level two has been interrupted and now level three is starting. They all stand in silence as Dukat comes on yet again, this time addressing his fellow Cardassians. He says that the Bajoran workers have gained control of the station and he is probably dead or incapacitated, but the station won’t be allowed to remain in Bajoran hands. They have two hours to regain control or the station will be destroyed.

The computer informs them that the self-destruct sequence has been initiated.


In Security, Quark tries blasting the door with a phaser, but it doesn’t work, and Odo takes it from him before he hurts himself. Odo says he’s checked all of Security and there’s no way out.

Quark sits down and laments that he should have listened to his father, who told him this would happen. “That you’d spend your final hours in jail?” Odo asks. No, Quark says, his dad told him to stay home and not follow the 75th rule of Acquisition: “Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of latinum.”

He laments that all he’s gotten is one bar, while his uncle has 30 and his cousin owns a moon. Odo knows the story already, and he tells Quark that he’s done fine. He says that some Ferengis he’s met have been more wealthy but he’s never met one more devious.

Quark appreciates the sentiment. He asks for the phaser again. Odo refuses.

Back in Ops, Bashir asks after Dax’s hands and apologizes that he can’t repair the damaged tissue until they’re in the infirmary. Kira paces impatiently.

Garak says that his code granted him access to look around but not to do anything. Apparently the only person who can disable the security is Dukat. Dax suggests working around this. He says that wouldn’t work as the computer would scan his DNA patterns and realize he isn’t Dukat.

Dax asks if they can disable the sensors so the computers can’t scan him. Garak agrees this is a good idea. Bashir wonders if they can do this without anyone else getting hurt. Kira thinks they have to take the chance. Dax has a bunch of ideas about switching from one system to backup systems.

Garak agrees this might work. Dax asks Kira for assistance since her hands are injured.

Bashir is grinning at Garak because most tailors can’t rewrite security protocols. Then he has a problem. Dukat left a bunch of subroutines in his access code, so the computer constantly challenges him to prove who he is.

Dax says ten minutes to disable the sensor.

The computer says there has been an unauthorized use of command code and initiates level four of the counter-insurgency program.

In the replicator, a ball appears. It begins firing blasts apparently at random, hitting a few walls, and a random heretofore unseen Starfleet officer, who disintegrates.



Meanwhile, Sisko and O’Brien have gotten the panel open and exposed a power cable. They begin to pack the rocks around the door.

In Ops, everyone is hiding behind desks and walls to avoid the shooting ball thing. Kira says her phaser is on the Ops table and asks if anyone can reach it. Bashir and Dax are under the table, so Bashir makes a go for it, but is narrowly missed by the shot and says the answer is no.

Kira thinks there has to be something they can do, but Garak says nothing is all they can do.

Suddenly, Dukat appears, beaming into Ops. He guesses that someone tried to duplicate his access code.

needless to say, no one is happy to see him

Kira demands to know what he’s doing there.

Dukat says that he was patrolling the Demilitarized Zone when he got a distressed call…from himself. Or at least a recording of himself, saying the Bajoran workers were rioting on Terok Nor. He laughs and says this piqued his curiosity.

He looks at a computer screen and realizes the self-destruct sequence was initiated. He asks about Sisko and if he was vaporized while asking for a raktajino. Dax says they last heard he was trapped in the Ore Processing Unit. Dukat says he wishes him luck.

Bashir asks if he can help or not? Dukat says sure, all he has to do is enter his code and shut down the program. Kira says to do it. He says in good time. But first he wants to discuss things.

He asks the replicator for red leaf tea, which pauses the shooting, but the ball appears again after he’s gotten his drink. Kira demands to know what he wants, but he says he doesn’t react well to her tone of voice. He then laughs at Garak, groveling in a corner, which makes his trip worthwhile.

Garak stands up, to the alarm of Bashir, and he says the computer is targeting non-Cardassians. Dukat says if he’d been on the station when he designed it, he would have made an exception. Garak says he’s shortsighted and it’s held him back. Also his dad had the same flaw.

Dukat says his father’s only flaw was trusting Garak. Garak says that at the trial, his father said his flaw was that his ambition outweighed his patriotism.

Kira wants them to settle it at some other time. Dukat reluctantly agrees. He invites Kira to join him in the Commander’s office to talk in private. He starts to walk there, and then realizes he forgot the replicator. Well, it’s the least he can do. He pushes some buttons on it and the machine stops firing.

They all get up from behind their desks, and Kira and Dukat go into the office.

Dukat sits behind the desk and says he’ll be brief. He pushes Sisko’s baseball onto the floor and says he wants to establish a permanent Cardassian presence on the station. A garrison, perhaps; he can deploy troops from his ship immediately. In return, he’ll solve the current dilemma.


Kira says she’ll never agree to that. He says she has no choice. She points out that neither the Federation nor Bajor will ever honor an agreement negotiated under a death threat. Dukat laughs and says he doesn’t expect them to be happy, but once the troops are there it’ll be hard to get them to leave. She says she’ll destroy the station before she ever gives it back to the Cardassians.

“Yes, I’m sure you would,” he said, but would she let 2,000 people on the station die because she doesn’t like Cardassians? Kira stands up slowly. He says there’s no need to decide yet; they have a little time. 30 minutes, in fact. He says he’ll return to his ship so she can think about it. Then he walks out of the office.

He says he’ll be back in 25 minutes, and calls his ship to transport him. Only nothing happens. He tries again.

A recording appears at that point of another Cardassian.


He says that if Dukat is seeing the message it’s because he tried to abandon the sequence while the self-destruct sequence was engaged and this won’t be permitted. He’s lost control of Terok Nor, disgracing himself and Cardassia. His attempt to escape is a final act of cowardice.

Fail-safes have been revoked, the access codes have been rescinded, the destruct sequence can’t be halted. All he can do is contemplate the depth of his disgrace and try to die like a Cardassian.

Despite the recording, Dukat tries to halt the sequence. The request is denied. All authorization codes are void.

Garak laughs and says that Dukat’s computer program has turned against him and mocks his shortsightedness. Kira wants gets them back on target and asks about the self-destruct sequence, so Dukat explains the process.

He says that when the countdown ends, the computer orders the main fusion reactor to disengage the reaction stabilizers, so it overloads and destroys the station. Dax asks if they can manually shut down the reactor. He says maybe they can disengage the laser fusion reactor, but they need to be in the reactor room to do that.

Dax says they can do it from one of the control junctions on level 34. Bashir points out that since the access codes were wiped out, not even the Cardassians can get out of the the room.

Kira suggests they try to eliminate the force field locking them in. Dax says they don’t have time for that – they need to deactivate all the force fields on the station at the same time.


Meanwhile, O’Brien and the Siskos are stacking rocks by the door. Having built up a large enough pile, O’Brien grabs the live electrical cord – which is helpfully glowing – and stretches it across the room. They all take cover behind the cart thing and Sisko lights a line of what I suppose is rock dust leading to the pile on fire.

It begins to spark and follow the line of dust like a line of dynamite. When it reaches the pile, there’s a large explosion and a hole is blown in the door. They crawl out through this hole.


Back in Ops, Gul Dukat tries to assure them all that since he created the program, he can defeat it, and there’s no problem that can’t be solved by a disciplined Cardassian mind.

Garak says that it’s not going to work – Kira is not impressed by Dukat’s posturing, and she has better taste than to fall for his charms. Also, Dukat is a married man!

Bashir points out that he’s not helping.

Dax suggests the power supply grid – if they overload the grid, maybe they’ll cause a power grid and short out all the force fields on the station. Kira says maybe it’d be enough to eliminate the dampening field that’s preventing communications.

Dukat wonders about some neutralization emitters – were they deactivated? Yes, Kira says, they like containment fields to be non-lethal. But are the emitters still in place, he asks. She thinks so. He is happy – they haven’t been affected by the counter-insurgency program, so they have control of them.

Dax gets it and realizes they can use the emitters to overload the power grid. Exactly! Dukat says. Kira wonders if they’ll be enough to get them back communications. Yes, though they’ll lose transporters and turbolifts – which aren’t much use anyway.

Kira says let’s do it.

In some random hallways, O’Brien and the Siskos are roaming around. They can’t get anywhere because there are so many force fields. Sisko suggests the turbolift shaft, so they start to try to open the doors.

Back in Ops, Dukat is working on connecting the emitters to the control panel and reattaching them to the power grid. There’s some explosions and what the captions describe as “electrical hissing” and then some things power down.

Kira tries calling Sisko, who answers happily. He reports that they’re on level 29, section D and asks what’s happening in Ops. She tells him the reactor is going to explode in ten minutes and the only way to stop it is to disengage the initiator on level 34 but the transporters and turbolifts are offline.

Sisko says he and O’Brien might get there on time and in the meantime she should start evacuating the station. She agrees. Then he tells Jake to head for Runabout Pad C. He says he won’t make it and wants to go with his dad. Sisko relents and they all head off together.


In Security, Odo and Quark hear an announcement about the reactor overloading in seven minutes. Then Kira calls and says they’re starting to evacuate and all the doors should work now. Odo tries and finds the force field on his door is still active.

She says she’ll send a team down immediately.

The reactor overload is in six minutes.

Quark wonders why they’re still locked in if everyone else is out. Odo says the force field here must be on a separate system. Why keep people out of the security office?

Odo says it’s to keep him in, not to keep people out. He guesses that during the Occupation, the Cardassians considered him a security risk. Quark says this is because he’s an honorable man who’d do the right thing regardless of circumstances, and now his integrity will get them all killed.

Five minutes until the explosion, O’Brien and the Siskos reach a panel thing and the Chief starts taking out stuff. Sisko asks if O’Brien finished upgrading the deflectors, and wonders if they could direct the explosion into the shields, since they might have time to stop the explosion.

O’Brien agrees it’s not a bad idea. The things he grabbed were lights; they all take them and start walking but find a corridor blocked. The power surge must have blown out a conduit; the corridor is blocked for fifty meters.

Jake asks if they can’t go around it. There’s no time. O’Brien says there’s a maintenance conduit adjacent to the corridor; maybe they can go through there. He and Sisko start moving debris.

O’Brien opens the conduit door but doesn’t crawl inside. Sisko looks and sees that there’s some green fire and gas. He tells Jake to stay behind for real.

looks fun!

He and O’Brien rip the sleeves off their undershirts and wrap them around their hands. He says he’ll go first and O’Brien should follow five meters behind. If one of them can’t go on, the other should keep going. O’Brien agrees. They both enter the conduit.

Inside, they crawl slowly. Sparks randomly fire from the walls. O’Brien is knocked on his back. Sisko yells back to him but O’Brien doesn’t answer. Sisko hesitates a moment then keeps crawling. O’Brien gets up, groaning, then falls back down.

Sisko reaches the end of the conduit and there’s a computer panel there.

Reactors will overload in 90 seconds.

Sisko calls O’Brien to ask for help. O’Brien just groans.

Outside the conduit, Jake crawls to reach O’Brien and drags him back out of the conduit.

Sisko frantically pushes buttons and moves things around.

Jake drags O’Brien from the conduit. He’s coughing and covered with dust and soot and sweat. He points out that Jake was supposed to stay out. Jake says he won’t tell his dad if O’Brien doesn’t.

Main fusion reactor overload. Sisko has been pushing buttons like crazy. The station shakes.

In the corridor, Jake and O’Brien are rocked back and forth.

Outside, bursts of power like lightning bolts emit from the center of the station and zap the shields.


Then, all is quiet.

Sisko sinks down to the floor, exhausted. O’Brien calls and they express relief they are safe.


In security, the doors finally open. Odo tells Quark he can leave, but Quark has been reading his own security file of himself. He is insulted that Odo doesn’t really think he’s the most devious Ferengi. Odo admits he thought they were going to die so he was trying to be nice.

Quark asks that he name a Ferengi more devious. Grand Nagus. Okay, another one. DaiMon Tye. One he knows personally. His brother Rom. Rom!? His uncle Frin. His cousin Gaila.


Stray Thoughts

* This was a pretty good episode, with the stakes raising just often enough to prevent the characters from becoming complacent, and to slowly raise the tension from minor inconvenience to “oh shit this is bad.”

* It was so awesome to see Dukat get his comeuppance here. He thought he was in charge, but clearly the Cardassian powers that be were also conspiring against him.

* So I remember a few episodes back, Jake was kind of apprenticing with O’Brien, but then he confessed to his dad that he wasn’t interested in joining Starfleet. So…why is he still helping O’Brien? Does he just, like, want to?

* Also, speaking of Jake, I think the writers want us to think that Jake is so much smaller than his dad and O’Brien, and that’s why he can fit through the chute and get out of the Ore Processing Unit. But…he’s really not. He’s easily as tall as Sisko if not taller, although he is a little skinnier. This would have worked a lot better if he was actually short, though.

* I know the reason that the screens are huge and the picture is small is probably due to the limitations of 90’s technology, but I feel like they could have tried to hide that a little better.

* Not a lot of interesting fashions here, unfortunately. I do what I can.