Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 4 Episode 7

Starship Down

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Nov 06, 1995 on Syndicado

Episode Recap

The USS Defiant rendezvous with a Karemma Commerce Ministry vessel above a remote gas giant in the Gamma Quadrant in order to discuss trade issues. In a meeting between Trade Minister Hanok, Captain Benjamin Sisko and Quark in the Defiant's mess hall, Hanok expresses frustration in trading with the Federation, citing a series of mysterious heavy taxes and fees. Since the Ferengi are being used as middlemen between the Federation and Karemma to avoid angering the Dominion, Sisko realizes that Quark has been cooking the books. In command on the bridge, Worf gruffly reprimands a young officer, Ensign Carson, for poor results in a weapons drill, and orders a fifteen percent decrease in response times. Meanwhile, Major Kira Nerys tells Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax that she is fasting in observation of Ha'mara, the anniversary of the Emissary's arrival to Bajor. Kira suspects Captain Sisko, who dislikes ceremonies, of purposely scheduling the trade negotiations to avoid attending Ha'mara. Kira wished he had attended, as it would have meant a lot to the Bajoran people. Suddenly, sensors pick up two incoming Jem'Hadar warships. They have come to punish the Karemma for trading with the Federation. A red alert is initiated, and Sisko and Minister Hanok come to the bridge. Hanok offers to surrender himself in exchange for all their lives, but Sisko will have none of that. The Jem'Hadar begin attacking both ships. In blind panic, the Karemma ship begins moving away, fleeing into the upper atmosphere of the gaseous Class-J planet. The Jem'Hadar and the Defiant are in hot pursuit. Kira notes that she is reading wind speeds of 10,000 kph, while Hanok, overwhelmed with guilt, notes that twenty-three people are on that ship. Sisko is determined to save the trade ship, and orders the Defiant into the planet's turbulent atmosphere. Chief Miles O'Brien and his young subordinates, Crewmen Muñiz and Stevens, attempt to channel more power into the ship's structural integrity fields. Despite their efforts, the ship is violently buffeted by air currents. Inside the gas giant, the crew discover more bad news. The interference has restricted their sensor visibility to less than two kilometers, plus rendered their cloaking device and weapon targeting systems inoperable. Major Kira and Lt. Dax suggest using modulated tetryon pulses to actively scan via echolocation. During the Occupation, Kira used this method to evade Cardassian ships in the Badlands. Unfortunately, each pulse would give the Defiant's location away as well, meaning the ship would have to change speed and course after every scan. As the crew begins working on their echolocation scanner, Minister Hanok returns to the mess hall. There, Quark tries to convince Hanok that the bogus surcharges were honest mistakes by his "idiot" brother Rom. Hanok doesn't buy the explanation, and angrily tells Quark that, if they survive, he will ensure that Quark will never again conduct commerce in the Gamma Quadrant. Meanwhile on the bridge, the echolocation pulses have detected an object four hundred kilometers beneath them. The Defiant gingerly moves toward it, emitting pulses to keep its bearings. Suddenly, two more blips appear, moving fast toward them

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