Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999): Season 4, Episode 3 - Hippocratic Oath - full transcript

Bashir and O'Brien have concluded a bio-survey in the Gamma Quadrant. They pick up a subspace magneton pulse. While investigating, the shuttle crash lands and they are taken prisoner by a renegade group of Jem'Hadar. Its leader, Goran'Agar, got free of his addiction to ketracel white on this planet, the drug that makes them dependent on the Founders. He's brought a group of Jem'Hadar to be cured too, but the planet's 'magic' doesn't work on them. He asks Bashir to help before their supply of white runs out. While the doctor wants to help them, O'Brien is adamantly opposed. Meanwhile, back on the Deep Space Nine station, Worf spots a known criminal in Quark's bar. He thinks the Ferengi is plotting something and is getting increasingly agitated by the way Odo handles security on the station. Worf decides to take matters into his own hands.

May I help you?

I'm sorry to bother you.
I've just erm... been...

You're hurt.

I scraped myself on a branch.

It happens when you go tromping
around the bayou.

Come on. Warm yourself up by the fire.

I have a first aid kit around here
somewhere. Where is it?

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?
- Yes.

I can't believe I'm really here...
talking to you.

You are my favourite author of all time.

You should read more.

I mean it.
Your books, they're so... insightful.

I'm glad you like them.

- There. Good as new.
- Thank you.

I didn't realise
people still read my books.

Of course they do.
A friend recommended "Anslem" to me

and I read it twice in one night.

Twice in one night?

I wanted to read everything
you'd written

but all I could find
was your "Collected Stories".

I couldn't believe it. I'd 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 savoured those stories.

I read one each day, and then
I wished I hadn't read them at all.

So I could read them
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
at my age.

That today may be the last time
you sit in your favourite 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 favourite 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. Please.

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 you stopped writing
to conduct scientific research.

It's not quite that simple.

Just before my father died
I was working on a story.

I don't remember what it was about

but I was taking it very seriously.

I worked on it night and day for weeks.

I wasn't making any headway

and it was making me miserable.

My father saw that I needed a break.

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 realise

was that I could hide on the Defiant
as easily as I could on the station.


Jake, this happens
once every 50 years.

You'll never forgive yourself
if you miss it.

- I'll be right there.
- You said that 10 minutes ago.

I want to get this right.

You were going to put that aside.

It's all I can think about.

Well... I'm no writer, but if I were,

I'd poke my head up 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... 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. Deal?


- Sisko to bridge. What happened?
- The wormhole is surging.

- Pull us to a safe distance.
- We've got another problem.

The power output jumped off the scale.

Sisko to engineering.
Engineering, report.

I'm going to see what's going on.
Stay here.

I usually 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.

Dax to Sisko. The warp coils
are locked into feedback.

Realign them or the core will 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.

- Where's that compensator?
- It's not here!

Warning. Warp core breach
in 30 seconds.

Got it!

I'm going to shunt 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
losing somebody like that,

right in front of my eyes.

People do.

Time passes

and they realise 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.

No matter what I said about him
I'd be leaving so much 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.

I'm almost done.

- We have a holosuite.
- Great.

Bring up five kegs of Takarian mead.

Yes, Uncle.

Sorry, looks like we're going to lose
our holosuite reservation.

You know, things seem
to be slowing down a bit.

Someone else can bring up those kegs.

- Go and have some fun.
- Are you sure?

Go now, before I change my mind.

Remind me to keep clear
of whip curls next time.

I don't want to try it again.

I'm going to be gone soon.
We won't see each other for a while.

- I know.
- So what are your plans?

I was thinking of taking that deferred
admission and going to Pennington.

That would be great!
We'd both be on Earth.

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.

She 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 said it was probably
just a nightmare

and I tried to put
the entire episode out of my mind.

I puttered around the station
for 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 they took his death as a sign

that the Federation wouldn't be able
to protect them from the Klingons.

Bajor entered into a mutual
defence pact with the Cardassians,

and the Klingons
didn't like that at all.

The station's civilian population
was leaving en masse -

if war broke out against the Klingons,

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

Jake. Where are you going?

To watch the ships leave
from an upper pylon.

You should be on one of them.

- I don't have to go, do I?
- No.

It's a voluntary resettlement,
not an evacuation.

But it would be prudent
to 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.

Your grandfather told me
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.

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 said,

but Dax thought my father's temporal
signature was out of phase.

What's the last thing you remember?

I was in engineering on the Defiant.

It feels like a few minutes ago.

It's been over a year.

A year? How could that be?

The warp core discharge
pulled you into subspace.

That explains why you didn't
experience the passage of time.

Unless we can realign
your temporal signature,

you'll be pulled back into subspace
within minutes.

Maybe we can set up
a 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 I saw you in my quarters

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,

Field active.

- It's not working.
- Jake!

- Dad!
- I'm going to try 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.

- Can I get you something?
- No... nothing.

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, 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 turn you into one.

I'm not waiting.

I'm doing a lot of reading
to see how it's done.

And I'm trying to figure out
what to write about.

I see.

So what happened?

Did you ever see your father again?

For the next few months,
Dax and O'Brien tried to locate him.

They even considered
recreating the accident.

But the wormhole wouldn't
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 them.

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 say
that your father had reappeared?

No. 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
so I could be near my grandfather.

He had a restaurant
in the French Quarter.

I've been there.
It's still called Sisko's.

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 as proud
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
favourable reviews,

and I began to think
less and less about the past.

After a while, I met a woman...

fell in love, got married, and for a while
this house was a happy one.

I'm back!

Nog! I didn't realise
you were here already.

I was trying to finish a painting
and time got away from me.

- It's good to see you.
- Did you start the grill?

- What are we having?
- Redfish, fresh from the bayou.

Fish? When these woods are
crawling with perfectly good slugs?

Next you'll ask me
to chew your food for you.

I've been more popular with women
since I stopped asking them to do that.

- I told you that 20 years ago.
- I'm a slow learner.

- I'll get some champagne.
- I'm glad you're here.

You've got another pip on your collar.

You'll make Captain
by the time you're 40.

Last time we talked, you said you might
head back to the Bajoran sector.

The Klingons agreed to let Starfleet
through the wormhole

"in the spirit of scientific exchange”.

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

find out how the Dominion
would react to us.

Did you see the station?

It's looking a little run-down these days.

- You'll never guess who's still there.
- Not your father?

No. He and my uncle left.

Quark finally got that little moon

and my father is making sure
it doesn't fall out of orbit.

But Morn is still there, running the bar!

Talking customers' ears off and drinking
himself out of business, I'll bet.

Let's get to the point
of today's 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.

Do you want me to call a doctor?

No... I'll be fine.

You should rest.

You came a long way
to find out why I stopped writing

and you deserve an answer.

Later that night, after Nog had left,
I stayed up working.

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

- Coming to bed?
- I'm not tired.

Neither am.

I 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?

Starfleet Science will get
a team here as soon as they can.

This is Korena, my wife.

Your wife?

I never thought I'd have the pleasure.

The pleasure is mine.

- How long have you been married?
- Seven years.

- Do I have any grandchildren?
- Not yet.

We were married
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.
- Whoa!

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
hold out hope for this long.

I should have just tried to find you.
I just went on with my life.

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

None of it matters now that I know
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 I...
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. There isn't much time
and there's so much more to tell you.

I consulted with Dax, and we realised

that the accident created a subspace
link between my father and myself.

That's why he always appeared
somewhere near you

even if you were light years away
from where the accident happened.

We realised that there was
a pattern to his appearances.

They were governed by fluctuations
in the wormhole's subspace field.

Dax's calculations showed that the next
time he appeared I'd be an old man.

I put aside my novel
to find a way to help him.

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
I didn't notice I was losing her.

By the time I was a graduate student,
we were no longer living together.

By the time I had entered
my doctoral programme,

it was over between us.

But I pressed on with what I was doing
and 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 ages.

We always seemed
to muddle through somehow.


After we've got Captain Sisko back,
we can stop by Morn's for a drink.

For old time's sake.

I'd 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
only the replicators worked before.

Dax isn't any good to anybody
these days without a cup of coffee.

It keeps me awake while you
prattle 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.

It's going to kick out a gravimetric wave

like the one that almost
destroyed the Defiant.

I've modulated the shields
to channel the energy wave into this.

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 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, 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...
We're no longer together.

She left me.

I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have let her go
but there was so much 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'll have to help you.


- It's not going to work.
- It has to.

Let go!

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 honour my father's request
and try to rebuild my life.

Writing those stories
is the best way I knew how.

I'd like you to have a copy.
Let me get you one.

- Can I have these?
- If you'd like.

But those have notes on them.

I know.
I want to see the changes you made.

Because you want to be
a writer someday.

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

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 saying there's no more time.

You see, after the last attempt
to rescue my father failed,

I spent months trying
to figure out what went wrong.

I came to understand
what was happening to him.

He was frozen in time
at the moment of the accident,

and the link between us
was like an elastic cord.

Sometimes the cord would grow taut
enough to yank him forward into my time.

But only for a few minutes.

I realised that if my motion through time
came to a stop,

the cord would go slack
and he'd be lost 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?

- Soon.
- Yes.

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 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 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 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.

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.


You could still have
so many years left.

We have to be together
when I die.


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 OK?

How'd you know that was coming?

I guess we were just lucky this time.

You OK, Dad?

I am now, Jake.

I am now.