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Having been reassigned, Kira tries to find a purpose at Vedek Bariel's monastery - but is kidnapped and beaten by the Circle. Meanwhile, after deputising Quark, Odo discovers the real culprits behind the arming of the xenophobic movement...
Continuing with the shifting political power on Bajor, and Sisko - like Captain's before him, and after - ignores the strict letter of the Prime Directive and decides to investigate The Circle's powers for himself. The writers have created enough here to keep this second part going, but also laying some more threads for part three to wrap up...
In his office, Sisko and Minister Jarro locks horns about Kira's reassignment. Jarro tells him that this is a promotion for Kira... after some posturing, we learn that the situation on the planet is getting worse. Shortly after Jarro leaves, Jake calls and asks his Dad to see their quarters... which has been spray painted with the Circle emblem.

In Kira's quarters as she's packing, Odo enters and asks her why she's leaving... he doesn't seem pleased that she's just lying down and taking this reassignment. This is the first inkling we get about how Odo feels about the Major in some touching pieces of dialogue.

The door chimes, and Dax enters with a bottle of lotion that she wants to return... but Kira says to keep it. The door chimes again and Doctor Bashir enters as Kira explains her new position in the foreign affairs building, with timing the Doctor gives Kira his best wishes as Dax says "that's rather dull" ( ! ) The poor Doctor is lost as Kira and Dax continue about the boring reassignment.

The door chimes again, and Chief O'Brien enters... Odo is very upset by the lack of concern the officers are showing, he wants them to fight for her to stay. Another door chime and Quark enters! He hands her a bottle of synthale... as the door chimes once again ! This time it's Vedek Bareil... and Kira stops in her tracks, smitten by the Vedek. He explains that there are more weapons on the streets now than during the Occupation and that the situation is getting worse. Bareil offers Kira a stay at his monetary, and she accepts.

In Ops, the Major takes one last walk around her office for the past year and Li arrives from the turbolift. He explains that he doesn't want the job... Kira says she didn't either but grew to like it. Sisko comes out of his office, and somberly wishes his former first officer well.

A while later, Kira is in the garden of Bareil's monetary when he approaches and they walk to his temple... where sitting on a pedestal is the Orb of Prophecy. Kira's vision sets her in the Chamber of Ministers, with a hoard of shouting ministers that she can't hear. "Dax" asks her to listen, but she can't hear. "Winn" and "Jarro" appear, also telling her to listen. Then Kira is naked with Bareil in the Chamber as they embrace.

Back on the station, Odo is on the comm with a Bajoran contact, who tells him that troops are being marched into the capital. Quark enters, and Odo tells him that he hasn't found the ones that assaulted him... but Quark is more concerned about the end of the Provisional Government. He's learnt that The Circle have enough weapons for a small army... and they are being supplied by the Kressari.

With no other option, Odo deputises Quark and tasks him to find out where the Kressari are getting the weapons. The Ferengi tries to laugh his way out of it, but Odo says that he'll arrest him for impeding an investigation, but not giving up his sources... so Quark reluctantly agrees. In Ops, Sisko tells Li he's heading to Bajor... to follow Odo's lead.

Back at the monetary, Bareil tries to ask Kira about her vision... but she doesn't tell him what really happened. Bareil explains that the last time he encountered the Orb, she was there. As they walk along a path, they hear gun fire in the distance, on a bridge they've just passed stands Vedek Winn... who (in her "special" way) expresses her dissatisfaction at Kira's use of the orb with the Vedek Assembly's permission. Winn tells Kira to stay for as long as she likes before leaving.

In the Capital, General Krim stands over a super sized map as Sisko enters. He tells him about the Kressari information and then asks a favour for Major Kira. Krim notes that he gave the information instead of trying to trade it, and that he'll remember Sisko for that.

Back in Ops, the Kressari freighter is hailing... and Li agrees to try and talk to him about a cargo manifest error while O'Brien and a team inspect the cargo hold looking for evidence. Li stalls him long enough for Miles to put a container back in place. Dax tells O'Brien to leave the ship, they can clear the problem when the ship returns. We focus on a label on the container which morphs into a Cardassian vole...

Back on Bajor, in the monetary Sisko approaches Kira and asks if she'd be interested in returning to the station, but she's still processing the Orb experience. Sisko explains the situation with The Circle's weapons, and then leaves. Suddenly three masked and hooded figures grab Kira from behind and take her away.

On the Kressari vessel, we spy a Cardassian beam in, hand over a shipment and place a thumb print on a PADD then beam out. The Kressari captain puts the PADD on a wall holder. All the while, the vole hides in the shadows...

On Bajor, in a cave Kira stirs to Minister Jarro standing over her. He explains that he is The Circle, he doesn't approve of the current government. Jarro wants to know what the Federation will do when he stages the coup... but Kira refuses to talk.

Back on the station in Ops, Sisko, Bashir, O'Brien, Dax and Li discuss the kidnapping as Quark enters and explains that Odo blackmailed him into becoming a deputy. Quark knows the location of The Circle's headquarters... and Sisko, Bashir and O'Brien head to the turbolift, but Li insists on coming too.

Back in the caves, the new weapons are being handed out as the rescue team beam in. They take cover and assess the situation as Kira's pained yells point them in the right direction. A fire fight ensues, and the two Bajoran red shirts are dispatched almost immediately. Bashir races to Kira, but cops a phaser blast to the shoulder... Kira manages to grab a spare comm badge and Bashir calls for the beam out.

In the Infirmary, Kira insists that Li needs to go to the Chamber of Ministers to present the evidence. Sisko says it's too great a risk, Li would be killed before he could speak. Odo enters with the PADD... and Sisko realises the truth, the Cardassians are hoping to drive the Federation out. Sisko calls Dax to contact Bajor, but all the frequencies are jammed... so he asks for Starfleet Command.

On the planet, Jarro and Winn discuss the events that are to come... how prestigious it would be to have the new Bajoran Leader be from Winn's order. There is a long moment where we try and work out who is playing who before we head back to the station.

Sisko enters Ops to the news that two Bajoran ships have given non-Bajoran's seven hours to evacuate. The Commander continues to his office, where he explains the situation to the Admiral. But Admiral Chekote insists the Prime Directive applies, and that the Starfleet contingent should be evacuated.

Sisko returns to Ops, and asks O'Brien how long a complete withdrawal would take, a few weeks he says... Sisko realises that some Starfleet personnel will still be here when the ships arrive.

To Be Concluded...
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
Special Guest Star:
Louise Fletcher

Guest Cast:
Richard Beymer
Stephen Macht
Bruce Gray
Philip Anglim
Written By:
Peter Allan Fields
Directed By:
Corey Allan
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