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O'Brien becomes the voice for a Bajoran village, the voice that stops a destructive force on the horizon every year. His reluctance to accept the role may spell disaster for the village...
This would have to be the earliest indication of a friendship developing between our operations chief and Doctor... although it's still quite rocky at this stage. And it was great to see Jake and Nog get the B-plot pretty much to themselves, showing a Bajoran leader - their age - how to handle negotiations.
As we look over the station, Sisko (in a station log) explains that the Bajoran government has asked him to mediate a land dispute between two neighbouring factions, which could lead to civil war (doesn't everything?)

In Ops, Kira and Sisko head to a turbolift as O'Brien comes running towards him.. O'Brien requests to assign Ensign Boyle to "the mission" - as Bashir arrives and asks Miles if he's ready to go. The two depart, much to O'Brien's disappointment.

Arriving at the docking port in time for the Paqu delegation to disembark, where we discover that their leader is a teenage girl, Varis Sul. Aboard the runabout, it's been two hours and the two haven't spoken a word. With a huge amount of tension between them, a conversation ensues - Bashir talking about how he tends to ramble and that he thinks O'Brien should call him Julian.

They beam down to the village, where Bashir can't find anything in the air or the soil ground water. The villiage magistrate, Faren Kag, approaches them and takes them to a house where an old man is lying on the bed, apparently if he dies... so does the whole village.

Back on the station, the Navot and the Paqu meet informally... Sisko provides an overview of the situation. Apparently, the long standing agreement is that the river Glyrhond and the Cardassians diverted the rivers flow by twenty kilometers to the west, into Navot territory, which the Paqu insist is theirs. Quark enters and hands out drinks, and calls Varis a little girl... which offends her and she throws the drink in the bartenders face.

On the Promenade, Jake and Nog dangle over the edge when Odo approaches and insists they stand rather than sit. As Odo leaves they spot Varis. Back on Bajor, the Sirah awakes and insists on seeing "the other that has come." O'Brien apparently is the one the Prophets have sent.

On the station, Jake and Nog track down Varis to her quarters where they introduce themselves as the "unofficial welcoming party." After several awkward moments from a love sick Nog, the trio leave to watch a Vulcan ship leave for the Gamma Quadrant.

Back in the village, the Sirah hobbles to a podium as the wind gusts. O'Brien doesn't detect any "atmospheric disturbance." The Sirah begins to tell the story of the Dal'Rok to the gathered crowd, as the formation in the sky grows. The Sirah seems to be an amplifier for the crowd who send (what I can only describe as) positive energy towards the sky.

Unfortunatley, just as the Dal'Rock begins to weaken, the Sirah collapses and the village comes under attack. After a brief moment, the Sirah grabs O'Brien's hand and tells him what to say. The crowd, who were taking cover, gather again and drive away the Dal'Rock. Once defeated, the Sirah passes away and Faren announces O'Brien as the new Sirah.

On the station, Sisko asks Varis what she's really here for... she's very closed minded and doesn't take on board any of the advice Sisko gives her. On the Promenade, Jake and Nog walk along the lower level talking about how head over heels Nog is. They discover Varis sitting in their usual spot, and they begin to offer her advice about opportunities and negotiations.

In the village, Bashir is having a grand old time while O'Brien is panicking about how he is supposed to stop the Dal'Rock when it returns tonight. As Faren enters with what is probably half the village with offerings of food. As everyone leaves, three women enter - to offer services, as Julian explains. After O'Brien tells them he is married, Faren ushers the girls out. The magistrate then insists Miles live here and that he must tell the story because the Sirah chose him.

Jake and Nog enter Varis' quarters and she asks for their opinion on the negotiations. The trio exit to have fun, which involves oatmeal in Odo's bucket in the securityoffice... and as they fling the porridge at each the Constable enters. Nog panicks, and runs... only to be caught by Sisko who is walking along the Promenade.

Meanwhile, O'Brien is scanning the rocks that were "struck" by the Dal'Rock last night, which contains neutrino traces. Back in the Sirah's house, Hovath enters and after brief struggle where he tries to kill O'Brien the Bajoran understudy tells the truth. He was the apprentice for the Sirah until Hovath failed to control the Dal'Rock three nights ago.

Hovath shows them a ring the Sirah wears during the story telling, it has an orb fragment and this fragment materialises the villagers fears. As O'Brien dresses Hovath in the ceremonial robes Faren enters and demands he take off the robes, and a devastated Hovath agrees.

Back on the station, Varis talks with Commander Sisko about how highly Jake speaks of him... and then she tells him that she has an "opportunity" that will allow both sides to say yes.

In the village, O'Brien walks through the crowd with Hovath behind him... the under study explains that he can't fight for the position, the village have to support the Sirah. After a weak start, O'Brien loses control and the Dal'Rock begins to attack... and after some coaxing from Bashir, Hovath stands up and defeats the Dal'Rock.

Everyone hails Hovath as the true Sirah and O'Brien and Bashir leave before the villagers change their minds. On the station, Varis walks along the Promenade with Sisko, who says that her idea for a truce would be beneficial for both sides. And with a peck on Nog's cheek, she enters a turbolift.

Odo takes the two boys by the scruff and tells them they are to clean the security office until it shines, and O'Brien and Bashir arrive... where the Doctor insists that O'Brien doesn't have to call him Julian. With a smile on his face, O'Brien nods.
Starring:
Avery Brooks as Commander Sisko
Nana Visitor as Major Kira
Terry Farrell as Lieutenant Dax
Siddig El Fadil as Doctor Bashir
Colm Meaney as Chief O'Brien
René Auberjonois as Odo
Armin Shimerman as Quark
Cirroc Lofton as Jake Sisko
Guest Cast:
Aron Eisenberg
Lawrence Monoson
Kay E. Kuter
Gina Philips
Jim Jansen
Jordan Lund
Teleplay By:
Kurt Michael Bensmiller
and
Ira Steven Behr


Story By:
Kurt Michael Bensmiller
Directed By:
David Livingston
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