Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999): Season 5, Episode 21 - Soldiers of the Empire - full transcript

Dax and Worf accompany Martok on his first command since being held by the Dominion. But the ship they are given hasn't seen victory in months and the crew is near mutinous.

Another three centimeters
to the right

and you would have severed
your brachial artery.

Autosuture, please.

And if that had happened,

you would have bled to death
right there in the holosuite.

The human fascination
with "what might have been"

is tiresome, Doctor.

The artery is not severed
and I am not dead.

Oh, well, forgive me
for boring you.

Let me get straight
to the point.

You're acting like a fool.

Your observation is noted.

But spending two years
in a Dominion prison camp

has dulled my reflexes.

This only proves that
I need further training.

Turning off the holosuite
safety protocols

during a battle simulation
is, at best, dubious.

For a man with only one eye,
it's positively idiotic.

Now, if you would consider
ocular replacement...

I do not want
an artificial eye!

Then you must accept the fact
that you have a disability

and stop acting like...

There are limits as to how far
I will indulge you, Doctor.

General Martok, there is

a priority message for you
from the Klingon High Council.

We're done here.

Route the message
to my quarters.


Doctor... thank you.

If you really
want to thank me

don't walk in here
dripping blood anymore.

It takes days to get it
out of the carpet.

Check it now.

Still no increase in phaser
relay efficiency, sir.

The through-put reading
is steady at 148.7.

Have you initialized
the interface program?

Yes, and then I charged
the prefire chamber

and recalibrated
the emitter stage.

This thing just doesn't work!


Very well.

We'll start over.

Go to the Engine Room

and download
the operating system

into the computer core

but, this time,
do it one file at a time.

Aye, sir.

Good evening, General.



I did not expect you
until 2200 hours.

I must cancel our appointment.

I've received new orders
from the High Council...

a mission of some importance.

I must prepare.

Of course.

May glory and honor
follow you on your journey.

Ah... excuse me, sirs?

Could I just slip by?

How is the shoulder?

Oh, Dr. Bashir made
the necessary repairs.

I told him it was
a holosuite accident.

He would not understand
the need to draw blood

in a warrior's
training exercise.

Few humans would.

However, I do apologize again
for the inconvenience.

I did not intend
to cause so much damage.

I was the one who did not
parry the blow in time.

A simple, foolish mistake

one that I would not have made
two years ago.

Can you discuss the mission?

Three days ago,
the Battle Cruiser B'Moth

began a patrol
along the Cardassian border.

They have not been
heard from since.

They are now reported
as missing.

It is possible she was
destroyed by the Dominion.

The Jem'Hadar attacked
a Federation starship

near the border
less than a week ago.

That is our assumption
as well, but we must be sure.

So I have been given command

of a bird-of-prey...
the Rotarran...

to conduct a search
for the B'Moth.

This is the first time

I will have led troops
in the field since...

my confinement by the Dominion.

It must be an exciting prospect.

I tell you, Worf...
without shame...

there were days
in that prison camp

when the thought that
I would never again

set foot in a Klingon vessel
made me weep like an old woman.

I envy you the days ahead.

It will be a glorious adventure.

An adventure that we
could share, my friend.

I need someone I can
trust at my side

someone whose loyalty
I can count on.

Worf, son of Mogh

I ask you to join me
on this mission

as my friend...

and as my First Officer.

I've told the General
that I'm inclined

to grant his request
for your services, Commander.

I can certainly understand
why he wants you along.

You're a fine officer.

But I'm not sure

why you want to go
on this mission.

It is a great honor

to be asked to serve
under General Martok.

And he saved my life
in the Dominion prison camp.

Oh? You didn't put that
in your mission report.

It was a personal matter.

Not something that belongs
in an official report.

Go on.

You know that I was
forced to fight

the Jem'Hadar guards
in the camp.

Each day they would
call me to the ring

and each day I would fight

but then there came a day
when I... wavered.

You mean you didn't want
to go back into the ring?

No. I mean I considered
letting them kill me.

It seemed like the only way out.

Just before I went into the ring

Martok turned to wish me success

and then he saw
what I was planning...

he saw it in my eyes.

It was a moment of tova'dok.

Of what?

There is no human word for it.

It is a moment of... clarity

between two warriors
on a field of battle.

Much is said
without the need for words.

In that moment,
he knew what was in my mind.

Once I realized that he saw
my intention to give up

I could no longer
go through with it.

I went back into the ring
and fought once more.

He had given me
his warrior's heart.

Perhaps it is something
a human cannot understand.

As of this moment

you are relieved
of all Starfleet obligations

and placed on detached service

to the Imperial Klingon
Defense Forces.

Thank you, sir.

Mr. Worf.



The revised duty roster.

Read it and weep.

Small arms recalibration?

Does that mean all
the small arms on the station?

Afraid so.

And I need an experienced
combat officer to do it.

Worf has already set up
the parameters.

All you need to do
is just make sure it gets done.

I'm the new
Intelligence Officer?

It has to be a Starfleet officer

with a level-4
security clearance.

That means either you or Dax

and I need Dax to take over
as Fleet Liaison Officer.

Beats retuning phaser rifles.

Well, I certainly hope
Worf's enjoying himself

while we're stuck here
taking over his duties.

Julian, have you ever been
on a Klingon ship?

If you think the Defiant
is cramped and uncomfortable

try spending a week
on a bird-of-prey.

Worf isn't exactly
taking a luxury cruise.

Serving on a Klingon ship

is like being with a gang
of ancient sea pirates.

You advance in rank by
killing the people above you.

So everywhere you turn

you're surrounded
by potential assassins.

Well, that's crazy.

How can a ship
function like that?

It's not quite that chaotic.

The social and military
hierarchy of a Klingon vessel

is very strictly enforced.

A subordinate can only
challenge a direct superior

and only under
certain conditions.

What sort of "conditions"?

Dereliction of duty

dishonorable conduct,

Cowardice? A Klingon?

It's been known to happen.

The Klingons are
as diverse a people as any.

Some of them are strong,
and some of them are weak.

I'd say those two

definitely fall
into the strong category.


Not yet.

I can see why they
caught your attention.

Are they off Martok's new ship?

Just docked.

They seem quiet enough.

For the moment, maybe

but you see the one on the left
wearing the necklace?


Those are neck bones...

Cardassian neck bones.

Decided not to wear
the sash after all?

Officially, there is no
House of Mogh in the Empire

so I saw little point

in wearing its emblem
on a Klingon ship.

How do you think
the crew's going to feel

about serving under a man
without a House?

How they feel is unimportant.

All I require from them
is obedience.

Spoken like an uncaring,
hard-nosed autocrat...

the quintessential
First Officer.

L-I do not wish
to have a lengthy good-bye.

I wasn't planning
on having one.




I think it would be better

to part company
here on the station.

Oh, I'm coming with you.


The Rotarran is shorthanded

and I still have
four months leave coming.

And I've already cleared it
with Martok and Benjamin.

I'm your new Science Officer.

Why did you not tell me?

It's more fun this way.

And after getting a good look

at a couple members
of the Rotarran's crew

I don't think we're going
to be having a lot of fun

on this mission.


Ros-te-ka cha'Domak
ootha Trill?

I am Tavana,
Engineering Officer.

I'm Jadzia Dax, Science Officer.


Are you related
to the great Curzon Dax?

Curzon was the last host
for my symbiont.

I carry his memories.


My mother met the great Curzon
on the Homeworld once.

She said he was
very taken with her.

Curzon was very "taken"
with many people.

So was my mother.

I am Worf, son of Mogh.

I now take my place
as First Officer.

I serve the Captain,
but I stand for the crew.

Who brings the record of battle
for this ship?

I, Kornan, son of Shovak

Weapon's Officer
of the ship of Rotarran

present the glorious record
of our honor

and hope that you may find us
worthy of your leadership.

If you're looking for victories,
you won't find any.

Not for the last seven months.

I do not need help recognizing
a list of failures.

It is clear to me

that none of you are worthy
of my blood or my life.

But I will stand for you

and together, we will restore
honor to this ship

and bring glory to the Empire.


I have accepted
the crew's battle records

and on their behalf,
I pledge you our lives

and ask that you lead us
as Commander of this ship.

I accept your lives
into my hands.

De-lak DoH!

Clear all moorings.

Release docking clamps.

Docking clamps released.

Bow thrusters ahead
one half.

We have cleared
the docking ring.

Ahead one-quarter impulse.

Helmsman, plot a direct course

to the last known position
of the B'Moth, maximum warp.

No. That would take us
through the Tong Beak Nebula.

I want to go around the nebula.

General, that will add
a full day to our journey.

I'm aware of that.

There are reports
of the Dominion

operating ships in the nebula.

I would like to avoid
a fight with the Jem'Hadar.

You wish to... avoid a fight?

Your tone does not sit well
with me, Helmsman.

Our mission
is to find the B'Moth

not to satisfy
your warrior's pride.

My apologies, sir.

I meant no disrespect.

Then follow your orders
and lay in a course.

Maximum warp.

Yes, Commander.

Maximum warp, around...

the nebula.

Helm ready.


Kol KeH less pooK loaD

Kol pooK beH poo

Yoch bow math bow je
Shuv weee

Say moach chu may ew

mah Shoov, maH nong,
ej ma choch chew

nee beH yln maHj
ach wov, coo!

Bath ma cheth bejj,
ej yo'

Keej DaHk,
vav poo ma Dee muv

pa-rech ma Shoov tach Koo

ma mev Ko'ma Shoov
tach ma ov...

Kol KeH less...

Maybe you didn't read

the crew roster,
but my name is Dax

and I'm the new Science Officer
on this garbage scow

and you were in my seat.

I'm glad we understand
each other.

Now get... down
to the other end

where you belong.

Stewed bok-rat liver?

It's not very fresh.

With a little bloodwine,
it might be acceptable.

Ha. There's been no bloodwine
on this ship for six months.


Then I'm glad
I brought three barrels aboard

before we left Deep Space 9.

Three barrels?

"Dishonorable conduct.

"Dereliction of duty.

"Inattention to orders.


Insufficiently aggressive."

These personnel reports
read like prison records.

We should remember

that the Rotarran
has been defeated

again and again
by the Jem'Hadar.

It is not surprising
the crew morale has suffered.

It's more than a case
of low morale, Worf.

This crew has been defeated
so many times

they expect defeat,
and that is dangerous.

They need a victory.

One decisive battle
against the Jem'Hadar

would do much
to lift their spirits.

And mine.

No one hungers
for a victory over the Jem'Hadar

more than I do... no one...

but we must be cautious.

We cannot risk
taking this crew into combat

before they're ready.

They will be ready.

I will see to that.

I know you will, my friend.

we will make the Rotarran

an honorable ship again,
a ship worthy of the Empire.

You may return
to your station.

The Cardassians were trapped

between us
and the asteroid field.

It was perfect.

Their power was failing.

They had no other ships nearby

and our weapons
were fully charged.

And we were still denied
a victory.

Three Jem'Hadar ships appeared
from out of the asteroid field.

Three to one are long odds.

I'd say you did well just...

getting away
with your ship in one piece.

Getting away is something
we've become very good at.

The Rotarran
can run away from battle

faster than any ship
in the Quadrant.

You never could handle
your bloodwine, Leskit.

You sound
like a sniveling Ferengi

crying about lost profit.

That's supposed
to wound my pride

but Tavana has forgotten

that no one serving
on the Rotarran

has any pride left.

Does that include me?

I do not wish to insult someone
who brought me wine

but one does wonder

why the successor
to the great Curzon Dax

would consent to serve
upon a ship like this.

It's no mystery.

She's the parmach'kai
of our new First Officer.

I heard it on the space station
before we left.

Worf is only part
of the reason I'm here.

I think it is an honor
to serve under General Martok.

You mean the one-eyed giant?

I wouldn't let him
hear you say that.

He won't.

Unless Worf is not the only one

you're sharing a bed with
this trip.

On this trip

my bed is as empty as yours,

except mine is empty by choice.

Now, that is a sound
I haven't heard

on this ship for a long time.

It won't last.

This ship is made for tears,
not laughter.

You're really not much fun
at parties, are you, Kornan?

Make your jokes.

Hold off fate for another day
if you can

but this ship and all the souls
within its hull are cursed.

Death and dishonor

walk these corridors
like members of the crew.

Aw, you talk too much, Kornan.

Tell me you
don't believe it, too.

We've cloaked.

Alert Status One.

A Jem'Hadar patrol ship
is directly ahead.

Prepare for combat operations.

Now you will see.

Either death or dishonor
will visit us this day

and there will be nothing
that you or I

or any of us can do about it.

What are they doing here

this far
from the Cardassian border?

They're conducting

active polaron scans
of this sector.

It's likely they're on some kind
of reconnaissance mission.

Can their scans penetrate
our cloak?

I'd say there's less

than a three percent
chance of detection.

What's our weapons status?

Torpedo bays are loaded.
Warheads are armed.

Disruptors are locked on target.

They've increased speed.

They're beginning to pull away.

Shall I match velocity?


Take us back
to our original course.

Forgive this unworthy officer's
poor hearing

but what was your order?

Take us back
to our original course!

Our priority
is to find the B'Moth.

Sir, we have them in our sights.

They cannot escape if...

No, Worf.

But letting the ship go...

Do not question me!

Is the course laid in?

Yes, Captain.

I await your next command.


Stand down from Alert Status.

You have the Bridge.


That was a mistake.

We shouldn't have let them go.

Our orders are to find
the B'Moth, not seek combat.

It was a prudent decision.

To hell with prudence.

This isn't
a Federation starship.

This is a Klingon bird-of-prey.

We could've had an easy victory

and in case you haven't noticed,
this crew could use a victory.


You may be my parmach'kai

but that does not
give you the right...

I'm an officer on this ship

and I am trying
to warn my superior

that a dangerous situation
is developing

and that he'd better
do something about it.

What do you mean "dangerous"?

Take a good look
around you, Commander.

Maybe it's just me

but I think we're in trouble.

I brought you here to support me

not to undermine my authority.

I am simply trying to point out
that we had an opportunity

to destroy an enemy ship
with little risk to ourselves.

Little risk?

What if they'd have gotten off
a distress call

before we could destroy them?

They could have given away
our position

called in reinforcements.

We would have spent
the next three days

avoiding Jem'Hadar ships

instead of carrying
out our mission.

No, my friend.


This was not the right time
for battle.

You question my judgment
in this matter?



Without your support,
I cannot command this ship.

Tell me...

that I have not made a mistake

in making you my First Officer.

You have my full support,

I knew you would not fail me,

and you can rest assured,
I will not fail you.

Two years, I spent
on the Cardassian border.

Two years fighting Guls
and Legates and Glinns.

They were cunning enemies.

Always had us chasing

and sensor ghosts.

Everything was a game with them.

Always had a plan
within a plan within a plan

leading to a trap.

It was an honor to kill them.

The Cardassians.


But you can respect a Cardassian

because he fights for his people

and he follows a code
just like we do

but not the soldiers
of the Dominion

not the Jem'Hadar.

No. They don't fight
for anything.

They fight because they're
designed that way

because they're programmed
to fight.

They have no honor.

You're right.

That's why they're
better than us.

That's enough.

You're on duty in an hour,
and you...

Ah, the Trill doesn't want you
to know the truth

my young friend

but you deserve to know...
the Jem'Hadar are smarter

they're faster

and they're stronger
than we are.

How can you say these things?!

He's drunk.

Ignore him.

No! You listen!

and maybe learn something!

The Jem'Hadar are the future!

Shut up, Leskit.

You know why?

Because they can break us.

Just like they broke Martok.

That's enough!

She doesn't want you
to know the truth.

Martok fears them.

That's why
we didn't attack them.

Martok fears them!

Dax. Dax?

What happened?

Are you all right?

I had to take Ortakin
to surgery.

Kornan almost killed him.


Because Leskit was drunk.

I do not understand.

No, you don't understand

because you're
too busy worrying

about Martok
while the crew is falling apart.

Kornan needed to attack someone
and he lost control

but this is only the beginning.

This crew has lost half
a dozen separate actions

to the Jem'Hadar.

The casualty list
is as long as my arm

and now they're
serving under a man

who seems to have
left more behind

than just an eye
in that prison camp.

Do not speak of the Captain
in that manner.

Not while I am First Officer.

Look, I like Martok

but this crew needs a leader

someone who'll remind
them of their duty

as soldiers of the Empire

and they need that leader
right now

or I promise you,
they will explode.

It will not come to that!

I know Martok.

He is a great man.

He will not fail us,
but we must give him time.

Time may be the one thing
we don't have, Worf.

What happened in that mess hall
could happen all over this ship

and if you think the blood
looks bad on my uniform

wait until the decks
are dripping with it.

Commander, I'm picking up
a Klingon distress call.

It's very faint,
but I might be able to...

It's the B'Moth.

They were attacked...

by the Jem'Hadar
and lost main power.

Heavy casualties.

At least 30 survivors.

In need of assistance.

Emergency power's failing.

The message repeats.


The signal is coming
from 055 mark 342.


at least seven light years.

Helm, alter course
to 055 mark 342.


I will inform the General.

Engineer, you have the Bridge.

I want to thank you
for what you did

in the mess hall.

Is Ortakin your parmach'kai?

Things are coming
to a head on this ship.

When the fighting breaks
out, stay with me.

I'll protect you.

I was still hoping there wasn't
going to be any fighting.



Something is wrong here, Worf.

I can feel it.

If the B'Moth was attacked
by the Jem'Hadar

why would there be survivors?

Since we do not know
any details of the battles

it is difficult to speculate.

We both know the Jem'Hadar do
not leave a task half-finished.

If they left the ship intact
and part of the crew still alive

they did it for a reason.

There could be
many explanations.

The B'Moth could have
inflicted heavy damage

on the Jem'Hadar ships,
forcing them to withdraw.

The Jem'Hadar could
have been recalled...

How is it
that I have only one eye

but I can see more clearly
than anyone around me?

They deliberately left survivors
on that ship.


Because they want someone
to try to rescue them.

Oh, do not take this personally,
my friend.

I spent two years
with the Jem'Hadar.

I do not expect you to have
the same insight into them

that I do.

They're soulless creatures,

Fighting for no goal, no purpose
except to serve the Founders.

They take no pleasure
in what they do.

Nothing is glorified,
nothing affirmed.

To the Jem'Hadar

we are nothing more than...
than targets to be destroyed.

I must not let them
destroy us, Worf...

With all due respect, General

we do not know the tactical
situation of the B'Moth yet.

We should guard against making
any premature judgments.

Of course.


Rotarran Combat Log

the 53rd day in the year
of Kahless 999.

We have reached
the Cardassian border

and begun our search
for the B'Moth.

Helm... keep us at least

five million kellicams
from the border.


I think I've got something.

It's hard to make out
through all the interference

but the thermal signature
looks like a ship.

It's bearing direct
to starboard

at an elevation of 25 degrees.

It's coming into visual range.

On screen.

The B'Moth.


Helm, lay in a course
to bring us alongside.

Bridge to Medical Ward.
Prepare to receive casualties.

Assemble an armed boarding party
in Transporter Room 1.

Make a complete search
of all the habitable areas...


Commander Dax

what side of the border
are they on?

They're 500,000 kellicams inside
Cardassian territory, sir.

They must have drifted across
a couple of days ago.

There are probably
five Jem'Hadar warships

out there right now

just waiting for us
to cross the border.

General, if they are nearby

they do not care what side
of the border we are on.

They will simply attack.

I have explicit orders
from the High Council

not to enter
Cardassian territory.

I am certain the High Council

will not object
under these circumstances.

There are still survivors
aboard the B'Moth.

We do not know that.

All that we know is there is
an automated distress call.

They could all be dead by now.

And if they are not?

Then there is nothing
we can do for them.

General, you don't intend
to just leave them there?

I will not throw away
the lives of this crew

in a futile rescue attempt.

They are Klingon warriors.

We just cannot sit...

I have made my decision!

We will not cross the border!

From this moment, anyone
who questions that... - anyone...

will be charged
with treasonable disobedience.


you have the Bridge.



We can't just leave those
men out there to die.


So what are you going to do?

The only thing I can do...

challenge Martok
for command of the ship.

I agree.

But you realize, he may
not step aside willingly.

I know.

But if the General
will not step aside...

I will have to kill him.

Martok must die.

That is not your decision.

He is a coward.

While he commands,
he dishonors us all.

I shed no tears
for your dishonor, Leskit.

Today would be a bad day to die

son of Mogh.

Take your Trill and go.


I was hoping you would say
something like that.

Alert Status One.

All hands to battle stations.

We are going to rescue
the survivors of the B'Moth.

Who gave the order...?

What's going on here?

As First Officer

I say that you are unfit
to serve as Captain.

You what?

You are a coward

and I challenge you
for command of this ship.

I never would have expected
this from you, Worf.

Martok, Martok,
Martok, Martok...

Tactical alert!
Tactical alert!

There is a Jem'Hadar warship
bearing 180 mark 215.

They will be within weapons
range in nine minutes.

The Jem'Hadar will soon learn
to regret this day.

Who is with me?!


Sometimes... I think
I know why I love you.

Let's go to the Medical Ward.

Shields and weapons ready.


Intercept course laid in.

Kol KeH less pooK loaD

Kol pooK beH poo

Yoch bow math bow je,
Shuv weee

Say moach chu may ew...


Mah Shoov, maH nong,
ej ma choch chew

nee beH yln maHj,
ach wov, coo!

Bath ma cheth bejj,
ej yo'

Keej DaHk,
vav poo ma Dee muv

pa-rech ma Shoov tach Koo

ma mev Ko'ma Shoov tach
ma ov...

Now, we go below.

Kol pooK beH poo

Yoch bow math bow je,
Shuv weee

Say moach chu may ew

mah Shoov, maH nong,
ej ma choch chew

nee beH yln maHj,
ach wov, coo!

Bath ma cheth bejj,
ej yo'

Keej DaHk,
vav poo ma Dee muv

pa-rech ma Shoov tach Koo

ma mev Ko'ma Shoov tach
ma ov.

How's the intelligence

Oh, I can't talk about it.

All I can do is read
these fascinating reports

and analyses,
and analyses of analyses

and then
keep it all to myself

because no one else
has "a need to know."

So I have to walk
around this station

feeling like I, uh...

You don't really care,
do you?


A vessel's de-cloaking 15
kilometers off the station.

It's the Rotarran.

Martok's ship.

Yes, sir, and there's
an incoming transmission.

On screen.

Major, we've rescued
35 survivors

of a disabled
Klingon battle cruiser.

Request permission to beam them
directly to your Infirmary.

Permission granted, General.

You're also cleared
to dock at Bay 4.

We'll need an engineering team

to repair our battle damage,
and one other thing.

Arrange to have
15 barrels of bloodwine

waiting for us at the airlock

so that we can celebrate
the first victory

of the Rotarran
over the Jem'Hadar!



The High Council
has issued a commendation

for the entire crew
of the Rotarran.

It would seem
that you were right.

They view the destruction
of a Jem'Hadar ship

and the rescue of 35 warriors
as ample justification

for crossing
the Cardassian border.

Your... actions
on the Rotarran...

at the time,
I thought they were disloyal

but I have come to realize

that your intention
was to remind me of my duty

as a soldier of the Empire
and as a warrior.

For that, I am grateful.

You did the same for me once.


on the Bridge, during the fight
when you dropped your guard

how did you know
I would not kill you?

I did not know.

I see you're still wearing

the crest
of the House of Mogh.


Jadzia calls it
a... sentimental gesture.


Perhaps you would consider
replacing sentiment with...

the symbol of a new beginning.

The House of Martok
would be honored

to welcome the son of Mogh
into our family

as a warrior...

and as a brother.

- Qapla'!
- Qapla'!