Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999): Season 4, Episode 2 - The Visitor - full transcript

Jake Sisko, now an old man, is living alone in a house in a bayou. He gets an unexpected visit from Melanie. She's an aspiring writer and considers Jake as her favorite author. She was surprised he published only two works. At the age of 40, Jake simply stopped writing and Melanie wants to know why. Jake starts telling her the story of how his father died in an accident on the Defiant. Benjamin and Jake went to see the wormhole undergo a subspace inversion, that only happens once in several decades. Something was wrong however and the warp core was about to breach. After repairing it, Sisko was hit by a beam and disappeared. Few months later things were returning to normal for Jake, but suddenly he saw his father in his bedroom, only to disappear a moment later. But this wasn't the only time his father reappeared.

May I help you?

I'm sorry to bother you.

I just, um... been...

You're hurt.

Yeah, I must have
scraped myself on a branch.

Ah, that's what happens
when you go tromping

around the bayou
in the middle of the night.

Come on, warm yourself up
by the fire.

Now, I have a first aid kit
around here somewhere.

Where is it?

So, what are you
doing out here anyway?

I'm a writer.

At least I want to be.

And the truth is...

I was looking for you.


You are Jake Sisko, the writer?


I can't believe
I'm really here...

talking to you.

You are my favorite author
of all time.

You should read more.

I mean it.

Your books, they're so...

I'm glad you like them.


Good as new.

Thank you.

I didn't realize people
still read my books.

Of course they do.

A friend recommended
Anslem to me

and I read it straight through
twice in one night.

Twice in one night?

It made me want to read
everything you'd ever written

but when I looked

all I could find
was your Collected Stories.

I couldn't believe it.

I'd finally found someone
whose writing I really admired

and he'd only published
two books.

Not much to show
for a life's work, is it?

I'm going to go get us some tea.

I savored those stories.

I read them slowly,
one each day

and when I was done

I wished I hadn't
read them at all.

So I could read them again
like it was the first time.

There's only one first time
for everything, isn't there?

And only one last time, too.

You think about such things
when you get to be my age.

That today may be the last time
you sit in your favorite chair

or watch the rain fall

or enjoy
a cup of tea by a warm fire.

Can I ask you something?

Of course.

Why did you stop writing?

I lost my favorite pen

and I couldn't get
any work done without it.

You're joking.

You weren't even 40
when you stopped writing.

I never understood
why you gave it up.

It's a long story.

I have time.

Tell me.


If you had shown up yesterday

or the day before or a week ago

I would have said no
and sent you on your way

but here you are,
today of all days

and somehow it seems like

the right time for me
to finally tell this story.

It begins many years ago.

I was 18

and the worst thing
that could happen to a young man

happened to me.

My father died.

We were very close,
my father and I

partly because
we'd lost my mother

several years earlier.

I know.

I read a biography about you.

It said that you stopped writing

so you could conduct
scientific research.

Ah, it's not quite that simple.

You see, just before
my father died

I was working on a short story.

I don't remember
what it was about

but I do know that I was
taking it very seriously.

I worked on it night
and day for weeks

and I wasn't making any headway.

It was making me miserable.

I suppose my father saw
that I needed a break

because he insisted

I come with him
to the Gamma Quadrant

to watch the wormhole undergo

what they call
"a subspace inversion."

Jake-o, let's go.

Of course,
what he didn't realize

was that I could hide away
on the Defiant

just as easily
as I could on the station.


Jake, this only happens
once every 50 years.

You will never forgive
yourself if you miss it.

Yeah, I'll be right there.

Well, that's what you said
ten minutes ago.

I just want to get this
last paragraph right.

I thought you were going
to put that aside for a while.

I tried, but it's all
I can think about.

Well... I'm no writer

but if I were

it seems to me I'd want
to poke my head up

every once in a while
and take a look around

see what's going on.

It's life, Jake.

You can miss it
if you don't open your eyes.

Now... what do you say

you come up
to the Bridge with me

and we'll watch
the wormhole do its thing.

And then I'll read
what you've got

and we'll talk about it.



Sisko to Bridge.

what happened?

The wormhole's gravimetric field
is surging.

Pull us to a safe distance.

I'm on it, Benjamin,
but we've got another problem.

The power output
from the warp core

just jumped off the scale.

Sisko to Engineering.

Engineering, report.

Dax, I'm going to see
what's going on down there.

Stay here, Jake.

Most of the time, I knew enough
to do what my father told me

but that day, for some reason,
I didn't.

Sisko to Sick Bay.

I need a medical team
down here right away.

Dax to Sisko.

The warp coils are locked
into a feedback loop.

You've got to realign them
or the core is going to blow.

I'm on it!

Jake, I need
an interphasic compensator.

Warning. Warp core breach
in 40 seconds.

Dax, better stand by
to eject the core.

We can't.

The ejection system's off line.

Jake, where's that compensator?

It's not here!

Warning. Warp core breach
in 30 seconds.

Got it.

I'm going to try shunting
the excess power out through

the deflector array.

Warning. Warp core breach
in 20 seconds.

Just a little more.



He was gone.

I'm not sure I could
ever get over

Iosing somebody like that
right in front of my eyes.

People do.

Time passes

and they realize
that the person they lost

is really gone...

and they heal.

Is that what happened
to you?


I suppose not.

There was a memorial service
aboard the station.

People came forward
and talked about my father--

what they remembered
most about him

and why they would miss him.

Benjamin Sisko

was more
than my commanding officer.

He was the Emissary
to my people

sent by the Prophets

but most importantly,
he was my friend.

I didn't step forward.

I couldn't.

I felt that no matter
what I said about him

I'd be leaving
so much more out

and that didn't seem right.

I'd never felt more alone
in all my life.

Everyone went out of their way
to look after me

especially Dax.

She was my father's
closest friend

and I guess she felt
responsible for me.

After a few months, things
started returning to normal...

for everyone else, that is.

Jake, I'm almost done.

We have Holosuite 3
for half an hour.


Nog, get down to the storeroom

and bring up five kegs
of Takarian mead.

Yes, Uncle.

Sorry, looks like

we're going to lose
our holosuite reservation.

Uh, you know, Nog, things seem
to be slowing down a bit.

I'll get someone else
to bring up those kegs.

You and Jake
go and have some fun.

Are you sure?

Go now, before I change my mind.

Next time we go ion surfing

remind me to keep clear
of those whip curls.

I don't know if I really
want to try it again.

You know, Jake,
I'm going to be gone soon.

We probably won't
see each other for a while.

I know.

So, what are your plans?

Well, I was thinking of taking
that deferred admission

and going to Pennington
in the fall.

Ah, that would be great!

We'd both be on Earth together.

But maybe I'll just
stick around here.

I don't know.
I haven't decided yet.

It's late.

I think I'll turn in.




What happened?

I told Dax
about what had happened--

how it felt so real

not like a dream at all.

And she very kindly
obliged me and did

a very thorough scan of my room.

I felt vaguely ridiculous,
like a child insisting

his parents check under
the bed for monsters.

She tried to tell me it was
probably just a nightmare

and I did my best

to put the entire episode
out of my mind.

I puttered around the station

for the next eight
or nine months.

Nog was off at Starfleet.

My stories stubbornly refused
to write themselves.

I filled my time playing dom-jot

and tried not to think
about how alone I really felt.

Dax and the others
were worried about me

but before long, they had
bigger things to worry about.

Tensions with the Klingons
were continuing to rise.

My father was
a kind of religious figure

to the Bajoran people,
and when he died

they took it as a sign
from the Prophets

that the Federation
wouldn't be able

to protect them
from the Klingons.

Eventually, Bajor entered
into a mutual defense pact

with the Cardassians

and the Klingons
didn't like that at all.

The station's
civilian population

was leaving en masse.

They knew that if war broke out
against the Klingons

Deep Space 9 was going
to be on the front line.


Where are you going?

I, uh, I thought I'd watch
the ships leave

from one of the Upper Pylons.

You should be on
one of those ships.

I don't have to go, do l?


It's a voluntary

not an evacuation.

But it would be prudent
that you leave at this time.

I suppose I wasn't feeling
very prudent that day

because I ignored their advice.


I wanted to talk
to you about something.

I spoke with your grandfather

and he told me that he asked you
to go live with him.

Even if this sector
weren't on the brink of war

I would like to see you
leave this station.

I'm not going anywhere.

Oh, Jake...

I could order you to go
if I wanted to.

Please don't make me leave.

Not yet.

This is my home.

When my dad and I came here

this place was just
an abandoned shell.

He turned it into something.

Everywhere I look,
it's like I see a part of him.

If I leave...

I won't have
anything left of him.


all right.

You stay a while longer
if you want to

but you have to promise me

when the time comes
and I tell you to go

you'll do it.


It wasn't
until I actually touched him

that I knew
this wasn't a dream.

But something was wrong.

I didn't understand
everything they were saying

but Dax and the others seemed
to think that the accident

had somehow knocked
my father's temporal signature

out of phase.

Benjamin, what's the last
thing you remember?

I was in Engineering,
on the Defiant.

It feels like a few minutes ago.

Dad, it's been over a year
since the accident.

A year?

How could that be?

We think the warp core discharge
pulled you into subspace.

If we're right,
that would explain

why you didn't experience
the passage of time.

According to these readings

unless we can realign
your temporal signature

you'll be pulled

back into subspace again
within the next few minutes.

Maybe we can set up
some sort of containment field.

Jake, they'll have me
fixed up in no time.

How are you doing?

It's all right.

Everything's going
to be all right.

I thought it was a dream.

What was?

When l, uh, when I saw you
in my quarters

I, uh... I should have
felt you were alive.

I should have known it.

It's not your fault, Jake.

I'm here now.

That's what matters.

We're losing him.

Look at me.

I need to know
you're going to be all right.

His temporal signature
is fluctuating.

I need that containment
field now, Chief.

Right away.

Field active.

It's not working.



Going to try

Iocking on to him
with the transporter beam.

Don't leave me!

Don't leave me.

I didn't think
anything could be worse

than losing him that first time
on the Defiant

until I was standing there

staring down at his empty bed,
knowing he was alive

yet trapped somewhere
that existed outside of time.

I can't imagine what that
must have been like for you.

Can I get you something?

No... nothing.

Telling me all this
is hard for you.

Maybe I should come back
some other time.

No. There won't be
any other time.

You see...

I'm dying.

You must understand

that when a person
my age says he's dying

he's only admitting
to the inevitable.

Besides, we old people
need to remind everyone

to pay special attention to us.

If that's what you're up to,
you shouldn't have bothered.

You have my attention already.

You're a good listener.

That's important in a writer.

I'm not a writer yet.

Sounds like you're waiting
for something to happen

that's going
to turn you into one.

I'm not waiting.

I'm doing a lot of reading

you know, to see how it's done

and I'm still trying
to figure out

what it is
I want to write about.

I see.

So what happened?

With your father, I mean.

Did you ever see him again?

For the next few months

Dax and O'Brien tried
to find a way to locate him.

They even considered
recreating the accident

but that was impossible
since the wormhole

wasn't going to undergo
an inversion for decades.

Eventually the situation with
the Klingons came to a head

and the Federation
decided to turn over

control of the station
to the Klingon Empire.

There was nothing I could do.

I had to leave my home
of five years

and give up
whatever hope there was

of seeing my father again.

Did the Klingons
ever contact Starfleet

to say that your father
had reappeared?


I was left with no choice

but to try
and get on with my life.

I went to Earth, drifted around,
and eventually ended up

studying writing
at the Pennington School.

After graduation,
I settled here in Louisiana

so I could be near
my grandfather.

He had a restaurant
in the French Quarter, you know.

I've been there.

It's still called Sisko's.

And on the wall, there's a copy

of the letter
your publisher sent you

when he accepted
your first novel.

Grandpa was always showing off
his famous grandson.

He was just as proud of me
as my father would have been.

You wrote Anslem in this house,
didn't you?

At that desk, right over there.

It came out to generally
favorable reviews

and little by little

I began to think
less and less about the past.

After a while, I met a woman...

fell in love

we got married, and for a while,
this house was a happy one.

I'm back!


I didn't realize
you were here already.

I was trying
to finish a painting

before the light changed

and I guess the time
got away from me.

It's good to see you.

You, too.

Did you start the grill?


Oh, what are we having?

Blackened redfish,
fresh from the bayou.


When these woods are crawling
with perfectly good slugs?

I suppose you're going to ask me
to chew your food for you.

I have to admit I've been
more popular with women

since I stopped
asking them to do that.

I tried to tell you
that 20 years ago.

I'm a slow learner.

I'm going to get some champagne.

I'm glad you're here, Nog.

I see you've got another
pip on your collar.

You keep that up,
you're going to make Captain

by the time you're 40.

The last time we talked,
you mentioned

you might be heading back
to the Bajoran sector.

The Klingons agreed
to let Starfleet

send an expedition
through the wormhole.

They said it was in the spirit
of scientific exchange.

But I think they were happy
to have us test the waters

in the Gamma Quadrant
after all these years.

Find out how
the Dominion would react

to ships coming through.

Did you see the station?

I'm sorry to say it's looking
a little run-down these days.

But you'll never guess
who's still there.

Not your father?

No, no. He and my uncle
left years ago.

Quark finally
got that little moon

he was always talking about

and my father, as usual,
is making sure

it doesn't fall out of orbit

but Morn is still there,
running the bar.

Talking his customers' ears off

and drinking himself
out of business, I'll bet.

Well, why don't we
get to the point

of today's little celebration?

To my dear friend Jake Sisko--

winner of this year's
Betar Prize

for his Collected Stories.

May the years continue
to be good to you

may your muse continue
to inspire you

and may someone
make a holoprogram

out of one of your stories

so you can start
raking in the latinum.

Are you all right?

Do you want me to call a doctor?


I'll be fine.

You should rest.

No, you came a long way

to find out why I
had stopped writing

and you deserve an answer.

Later that night,
after Nog had left

I stayed up working.

My new novel was going well

and when it's going well,
you don't want to stop.

Coming to bed?

Um...l'm not tired.

Neither am l.

You know, l-l wanted
to ask you something.

How would you feel
about designing the cover

of my new book?

Do you mean it?

What was that?


Did you get through?

I talked to someone
at Starfleet Science.

They're going to get a team
here as soon as they can.

This is Korena, my wife.

Your wife?

I never thought I'd have
the pleasure of meeting you.

The pleasure is mine.

How long have you two
been married?

Seven years.

Do I have any grandchildren?

Not yet.

We were married

in New Orleans
in your father's restaurant.

He insisted.

Just about everybody came.

Dax, Kira, O'Brien.

That must have been something.

I got to go call Starfleet.


They'll get here
as soon as they can.

Talk to me.

I've missed so much.

Let's not waste
what little time we have.

I have a feeling
you might want to see these.

They're Jake's.

You did it.

I always knew you would.

Oh, Jake.

I'm sorry.

For what?

For giving up on you.

No one could be expected
to hold out hope for this long.

No, l-l-l should have
just kept trying

to find you,
and I just went on with my life.

And I'm proud
of what you've accomplished.

None of it matters

now that I know that you're
out there lost somewhere.

Of course it matters.

You have a wife

a career.

And don't think
because I'm not around much

that l...
don't want grandchildren.

Within a few seconds,
he was gone again.

I don't know what to say.

You don't have to say anything.

Just listen,
because there isn't much time

and there's so much more
for me to tell you.

I consulted with Dax,
and we realized

that the accident
must have created

some sort of subspace link
between my father and myself.

That's why he always appeared
somewhere near you

even if you were hundreds
of light years away

from where
the accident happened.

We also realized that there was
a pattern to his appearances.

They were governed
by fluctuations

in the wormhole subspace field.

Dax's calculations also showed
that the next time he appeared

I'd be an old man.

So, I decided
to put aside my novel

and try to find a way
to help him.

And at the age of 37

I went back to school
and started studying

subspace mechanics.

At first,
Korena was very patient.

She supported
what I was trying to do

but I got so caught up
in my work

I didn't notice
I was losing her.

By the time I became
a graduate student

we were no longer
living together

and by the time I had entered
my doctoral program

it was over between us.

But I pressed on
with what I was doing

and one day years later,
it hit me.

I figured out a way
to recreate the accident.

It had been almost 50 years

and the wormhole would soon
be undergoing another inversion.

There was only one other thing
I needed.

The Defiant.

Nog was a Captain by then

and he helped me round up
the old crew

and get the ship pulled out
of mothballs.

Worf threw his weight around
with the Klingon High Council

and they gave us permission
to enter the Bajoran system.

Take us out of warp.

I think I remember
how to do that.

I haven't worked
a two-dimensional control panel

in a long time.

How did we manage?

We always seemed
to muddle through somehow.


Maybe after we've got
Captain Sisko back

we can all stop by Morn's
for a drink.

For old time's sake.

I designed
a subspace flux isolator

and we set it up in Engineering.

Are you ready over there, Dax?

As ready as I'll ever be

considering the replicators
were just about the only things

still working
when we came aboard.

It's a lucky thing, too.

Dax isn't any good
to anybody these days

without a cup of coffee
in her hands.

It's the only thing
that's kept me awake

while you've prattled on
about your latest paper

or your new backhand

or your kids' science projects.

We're picking up
temporal distortions

in the subspace field.

The wormhole's
beginning to invert.

According to our readings

it's going to kick out
a gravimetric wave

Iike the one that almost
destroyed the Defiant last time.

Don't worry,
I've modulated the shields

to channel the energy wave
into this apparatus.

Once subspace begins to fragment

we'll try to locate the Captain.

Since the accident

created a subspace link
between him and Jake

there'll be a path
of bread crumbs to follow.

I'd better get back
to the Bridge.

Good luck.

The wormhole wouldn't undergo

another inversion for decades,
so this was my only chance.

Subspace field fragmentation
is beginning.

It's working.

I think I've got
the Captain's signature.

Something's happening.

I'm losing him.

We're losing them both.

They're being pulled
into subspace.

Jake... how long has it been?

14 years.

What is this place?

I don't know.

We could be inside some sort
of subspace fragment.

Sisko to Dax.

Can you read me?

I brought the Defiant back
to the wormhole.

We're trying to rescue you.

Dax, if you can read me,
try to lock onto my signal.

Look at you.

You're older than I am.

Damn it.

Why can't they lock onto us?

Jake, they're doing
the best they can.

There's nothing
we can do from here.

It's been so long.

I need to know what I've missed.

What about those grandchildren
we talked about?

Korena and I are...
We're no longer together.

She left me.

I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have let her go

but there was
so much I had to do.

This has taken years
of planning.

What about your writing?

Dax, try boosting
the carrier amplitude.

Maybe you can...

Jake, what's happened to you?

This is the last chance
I'm ever going to have

to help you.


Jake, it's over.

It's not going to work.

It has to.

Let go, Jake.

If not for yourself,
then for me.

You still have time to make
a better life for yourself.

Promise me you'll do that.

Promise me!

I want you to see something.

Go over to my desk.

Go ahead.

It's a collection
of new stories.

I decided
to honor my father's request

and try to rebuild my life.

Writing those stories

is the best way
I knew to do that.

I'd like you to have a copy.

Let me get you one.


can I have these instead?

Well, if you'd like

but those have handwritten notes
all over them.

I know.

I want to study them

so I can see
the changes you made.

Because you want to be
a writer someday.

Can I ask you why you
haven't published these?

Well, l...

I was tinkering with the last
story just this morning.

Besides, if you
publish posthumously

nobody can ask you
for rewrites.

I was hoping to finish
another two stories

but there isn't enough time.

You keep on saying
there's no more time.

You see, Melanie

after the last attempt
to rescue my father failed

I spent months trying
to figure out what went wrong.

Eventually, I came
to understand the nature

of what was happening to him.

It was as if he
was frozen in time

at the moment of the accident

and the link between us
was like an elastic cord.

Every so often, the cord
would grow taut enough

to yank him forward
into my time

but only for a few minutes.

I realized that

if my motion through time
came to a stop

the cord would go slack

and he'd be lost
in subspace forever

but if I could cut the cord

when the link
was at its strongest--

while we were together--

he'd return to the moment
of the accident.

Your father's coming here,
isn't he?



You're going to cut the cord,
aren't you?

I want you
to promise me something.


While you're studying my stories

poke your head up
every once in a while.

Take a look around.

See what's going on.

It's life, Melanie.

And you can miss it
if you don't open your eyes.

Thank you...

for everything.

It was a pleasure meeting you,
young lady.



I've been expecting you.

I'm glad to see
you're still in this house.

You seemed happy here.

And this...

I-l can't tell you how good

it makes me feel
you got back to writing.

Jake, what is it?

Read the dedication.

"To my father...

who's coming home."

Thank you, but l...

I don't understand.

It was me.

It was me all along.

I've been dragging you
through time like an anchor

and now it's time
to cut you loose.

Jake, what are you saying?

It won't be long now.

Jake, no!

When I die, you'll go back
to where this all began.

Just remember
to dodge the energy discharge

from the warp core.

Jake, you could still have
so many years left.


We have to be together
when I die.

Jake, you didn't have
to do this...

not for me.

For you and for the boy
that I was.

He needs you...

more than you know.

Don't you see?

We're going to get a second...



my sweet boy.

You okay?

H-How'd you know
that was coming?

I guess we were just
lucky this time.

You okay, Dad?

I am now, Jake.

I am now.