Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Season 5 Episode 6

Trials and Tribble-ations

Aired Weekdays 11:00 AM Nov 04, 1996 on Syndicado

Episode Recap

Lucsly and Dulmur from Temporal Investigations arrive on Deep Space 9 and are welcomed into Ops by Major Kira and Lieutenant Commander Dax. The investigators ask for Captain Sisko, and Kira directs them to his office. Before they go in, Dax cracks a joke about how temporal investigators are always on time, which elicits absolutely no response from the investigators, who go into the Captain's office. Sisko asks if they want anything to drink; they say they only want the truth. Dulmur asks Sisko why he took the USS Defiant back in time. Sisko says it was accidental and he confirms that he is not contending their trip back was a predestination paradox, a statement which relieves the investigators, as they hate predestination paradoxes. When they ask him to start at the beginning, Sisko tells them this may take some time and then assures them that he's not cracking a joke, something the investigators say they hate as well. Sisko tells them that the Cardassian government had expressed a desire to return one of the Bajoran Orbs that they had procured during the Occupation, so the Defiant traveled to Cardassia Prime – under cloak to avoid detection by the Klingons – to collect it, without knowing which orb it was or even if it were genuine, as many fakes had cropped up over the years. Though they didn't know it at the time they recovered it, they had indeed gained possession of the Orb of Time. Sisko had security lock the Orb in crew quarters so it could be authenticated on Bajor. Before leaving Cardassia Prime, they took on a passenger. Commander Worf brings a man into the Defiant's mess hall who, upon seeing Chief O'Brien and Dr. Bashir, expresses his relief to finally see Humans again. Worf introduces the man as Barry Waddle, a Human merchant who had been trapped on Cardassia when the Klingons attacked. He is an elderly, seemingly harmless man. Waddle says he deals in gemstones, mostly kevas and trillium. While he orders a raktajino from the replicator, he tells O'Brien and Bashir about how Cardassians drink hot fish juice in the morning and that after being on Cardassia for a time, he was hoping for a Klingon invasion as they can make good coffee, even if they are foul-smelling barbarians. He then notices Worf is right there, apologizes to him, and steps away. O'Brien and Bashir gently tease Worf about his aroma, telling him he has a rather earthy, peaty aroma with a touch of lilac (which only serves to annoy Worf further). On the bridge, as Defiant is halfway back to DS9 and Sisko tells the investigators that he was finally beginning to relax, O'Brien relays the story of the incident in the mess hall to Dax and suggests that she mention lilac the next time she sees Worf, but she refuses, saying she has her own ways of torturing him. At that moment, O'Brien announces a massive surge in chroniton radiation around the ship as the entire bridge glows brightly. The viewscreen shows nothing but white noise. The ship drops out of warp and decloaks as someone activates the transporter. Sisko orders Dax to get the ship back under cloak and deactivate the transporter but it's too late as the person has already left the ship. Just then, as the ship gets back under cloak, Dax tells Sisko that they're over 200 light years from their previous position. Sisko orders the viewscreen activated and the sight they see on the screen shocks them all as they see the USS Enterprise. In Sisko's office Dulmur asks him to specify which Federation starship Enterprise as there have been five, but Lucsly corrects him, saying there are now six. Sisko clarifies that it was the first Enterprise, the Constitution-class, NCC-1701. The investigators sit back in their seats at the realization it's "his" ship, James Tiberius Kirk's, which Sisko proudly confirms. The investigators call Kirk a menace, saying that Kirk's file, containing seventeen separate temporal violations, is the biggest on record. They ask what the Enterprise was doing and Sisko says it was orbiting one of the old deep space stations, K-7, exactly one hundred and five years, one month, and twelve days previous, on Stardate 4523.7, a Friday. Sisko's story continues. Back on the Defiant, a briefing is occurring with the senior staff. Worf and Odo have discovered that Waddle's "real" name is Arne Darvin, a Klingon surgically altered to appear Human. Worf tells Sisko that the younger Darvin is at that moment on board K-7 posing as a Federation official. Odo picks up and tells Sisko that the younger Darvin's mission was to derail Federation colonization efforts in the area by poisoning a load of grain which was – or rather, is – stored on K-7. However, in eighteen hours, Captain Kirk will expose Darvin and he will be arrested. Worf tells them that Darvin's arrest ended his career, as Klingon Intelligence turned their back on Darvin and he became an outcast, apparently spending the next hundred years posing as a human merchant and then in what Odo calls a "final indignity," he was trapped on Cardassia by the Klingon invasion. Sisko then is able to pick the story up from there. Apparently Darvin then heard rumors about an Orb capable of taking him back in time. Bashir wonders if Darvin may be going to warn his younger self about Kirk, but Dax thinks Darvin may be planning to kill Kirk. And not knowing how or where or when, Sisko decides that they will have to search both K-7 and the Enterprise without raising suspicions or altering the timeline themselves, as the last thing he wants is a visit from Temporal Investigations when they get home. So the crew starts to blend in. Odo and Worf change into civilian traders' clothing, and Sisko, Dax, O'Brien and Bashir all change into old-style Starfleet uniforms. Dax takes the extra precaution of applying makeup to cover her spots. Stepping out into the corridor, Sisko, who is now wearing a gold command uniform with lieutenant's stripes, sees O'Brien in a red support uniform, with ensign's insignia. He congratulates O'Brien on the latter's temporary promotion and tells him that he went with lieutenant's rank because he didn't want to arouse suspicion. Just then, Bashir steps out, still in Medical blue, albeit with an appropriately altered hairstyle, and asks if Sisko and O'Brien are wearing the wrong colors. O'Brien asks if Bashir knows anything about this time period, and he says that he doesn't, as he's a doctor, not an historian. Dax then appears in the miniskirt uniform of the day, saying that "women wore less," and the doctor, unsurprisingly, declares that he's going to like this time period. In the transporter room, O'Brien reports that the old-style sensors the Enterprise used allow for tiny interruptions in the scan cycle enabling the Defiant to decloak for three seconds and beam everyone to where they need to go. Worf and Odo are going to K-7. Worf reports that most of K-7 consists of storage areas and industrial fabrication facilities and, since security on a space station such as K-7 isn't as tight as it would be on a starship, they don't expect to have to take too long to search the station. The others are going to the Enterprise, O'Brien and Bashir together and Dax and Sisko together. After reminding everyone to do their best not to interact with people from this time period, Sisko and Dax go first, beam into a turbolift and step out into a corridor on the Enterprise. Bashir and O'Brien beam into another turbolift and try to proceed to Deck 21. O'Brien's vocal command goes unheeded and, not knowing what could be wrong with the turbolift, they try to take a panel off to see what's happening when they're interrupted by the lift's doors opening. A woman steps in, nods to O'Brien and Bashir, takes one of the handles on the side of the turbolift and orders it to Deck 15. Sheepishly, O'Brien and Bashir take hold of the handles near them and Bashir whispers to O'Brien "I won't tell anyone if you won't." Dax marvels as to how many people are packed into the ship. Finding an auxiliary communications juncture, Sisko pretends to do repairs and Dax admires the "classic" 23rd century design of the tricorder she's carrying, but Sisko quiets her before she attracts anyone's attention. On K-7, Odo steps into the station's bar and sits down at a table. As he does, the door opens again, admitting Ensign Chekov and Lieutenant Uhura into the bar. As they walk up to the bar, a waitress asks Odo what he'd like to drink; he tries to order raktajino. When the waitress tells him he's the second person who ordered that today, he asks who the other one was; she says that it was an elderly Human male. She tells Odo that he said he'd probably be back later. Then, after being informed that raktajino is Klingon coffee, she tells Odo they don't have any Klingon beverages, and so he settles for Tarkalean tea. As he sits at the bar and watches, he sees Uhura obtain a tribble from Cyrano Jones. Back on Enterprise, Bashir continues to scan for Darvin. O'Brien is supposed to be conducting repairs so as to blend in, but unfortunately he can't tell what's what as everything's all cross-circuited and rewired. Bashir jokes that it sounds like one of O'Brien's repair jobs. They're then interrupted by a young engineer who wonders why they're working at that panel because Scotty told him to do it. He then wonders why they need a doctor to repair a power relay. Bashir makes up a story about checking O'Brien for stress and, after O'Brien accidentally pulls out a circuit that darkens the whole deck (and quickly replaces it) tells O'Brien he's seen enough and that they need to go to sickbay. O'Brien tells the engineer that he'd appreciate it if he didn't mention this to anyone; the engineer says he won't, and that he hopes O'Brien feels better soon. On K-7, Worf enters the bar and sees Odo sitting at a table. Worf tells Odo he's finished searching the primary habitat levels. Before he can get any further, he notices a trilling sound and demands to know what it is. Odo says the sound is very soothing; he holds the tribble up as it squeals at Worf, who disgustedly recognizes it. Odo has Worf sit down before he attracts any further attention. Sitting down, Worf asks where Odo got it; he tells Worf that he got it from one Cyrano Jones, who said that tribbles like everyone – but apparently not Worf, a feeling which Worf shares. He calls the tribble a "detestable creature," noting that feeding a tribble more than the smallest morsel will cause prolific reproduction. Worf tells Odo how tribbles were considered mortal enemies of the Klingon Empire, which Odo is amazed to hear, finding it hard to believe that a simple tribble could be someone's "mortal enemy." Worf further explains that the Empire considered tribbles to be an ecological menace and that many warriors were sent out to kill any and all tribbles that they could find. Once the tribble homeworld was located, a Klingon armada obliterated it. According to Worf, tribbles were considered extinct by the end of the 23rd century. Before Worf can say anything else, the station goes to red alert. The same has happened on the Enterprise. Seeing everyone rush to battle stations, Dax asks Sisko what they should do; he says they should do the same. They find an empty turbolift and Sisko contacts the Defiant – or at tries to, at first, as he slaps the insignia on his uniform out of habit, expecting it to be the working combadge it is not. After a moment of realization, he pulls out the old-style communicator and this time successfully contacts the Defiant. Kira reports that a Klingon D7 class battle cruiser has dropped out of warp and is approaching the station. Recognizing something familiar, Dax asks Kira to identify the Klingon vessel; she identifies it as the IKS Gr'oth. Dax immediately recognizes it as Koloth's ship and she tells Sisko that Koloth is not here to attack. She remembers Koloth telling her about how he once traded insults with Kirk on a space station near the Federation border and how he regretted never getting to face Kirk in battle. Kira then reports that the Klingons just beamed two people to the station manager's office. Dax remembers one of them being Koloth, and asks Sisko if they could beam over to K-7, as they know that Darvin was there a short time ago. However, Sisko refuses and tells Kira to contact O'Brien and have him and Bashir prepare to transport to the station. Dax wants to see Koloth and points out that it is not as if he would recognize her, but Sisko stands firm. After closing the channel with Kira, Dax says it would have been fun, but Sisko corrects her: it would have been too much fun. Sisko's voiceover tells the investigators that Dax was indeed correct. The Klingons only wanted shore leave, and Captain Kirk allowed the Klingons to beam over in small groups. Once the red alert ceased, everyone resumed their search for Darvin. Kira contacts O'Brien and Bashir on the Enterprise, telling them the next band shift in the Enterprise's scan cycle is coming up. O'Brien tells her they'll be ready. He and Bashir duck into a turbolift, but Lieutenant Watley is there with them again. She notices that Bashir has left the flap open on his tricorder, thereby draining power. He closes it and thanks her for the tip. Watley asks Bashir if he's a doctor; he replies in the affirmative. She says that she just transferred over from the USS Lexington and O'Brien, acting as a regular member of the crew, welcomes her aboard. Watley tells Bashir that she'll be in sickbay the next day at 15:00 for her physical, and tells him her name as she walks out of the turbolift. Bashir recognizes her name as his great-grandmother's last name and wonders if it could be her, which O'Brien scoffs at, as the odds of that happening are astronomically small. Since no one ever met his great-grandfather, he then begins wondering if he's supposed to meet with her later in a predestination paradox and become his own great-grandfather. O'Brien accuses Bashir of being ridiculous, but he begins to convince himself that if he doesn't meet with Watley, he might not ever be born. Just then, Kira calls and asks O'Brien if they're ready for transport; the Chief's reply: "Are we ever!" Bashir says he can't wait to get back to Deep Space 9 and watch O'Brien's reaction when he finds out Bashir was never born, a comment which causes a smirk from O'Brien as they beam out. Elsewhere on the Enterprise, Sisko and Dax are near another panel, pretending to work on it, when Dax looks up, sees Captain Kirk and Commander Spock walking toward an intercom close to them, and gets Sisko's attention. They look for a moment, but then Sisko reminds her they're just a maintenance crew doing their jobs, but Dax can't help but look as Kirk deals with the intercom transmission. She notes how he's so much more handsome in person; Sisko tells Dax how Kirk had a reputation for being a ladies' man, but she reveals she's referring to Spock instead. At that, Sisko closes the panel, takes Dax by the hand, and they walk away from Kirk and Spock. Dax is amazed that Sisko doesn't want to meet Kirk. Sisko says that's the farthest thing from his mind, as they have a job to do. Dax then reminds Sisko about how Kirk is the most famous captain in Starfleet history. Sisko then admits that indeed he would like to meet Kirk. He'd like to shake Kirk's hand and ask him about fighting the Gorn on Cestus III, but that's not why they're here. Dax concedes Sisko's point, but laments that as she remembers this time period, it's hard for her to not to want to be part of it again. At that point the turbolift opens and they enter. Bashir and O'Brien enter the bar on K-7, whereupon they good-naturedly tease Odo and Worf for sitting at the bar while they were crawling through conduits on the Enterprise and the station. Odo says they believe that Darvin will return and Bashir picks up on the raktajino hint, a clue that others might have missed. Before they can say anything else, Chekov, Scotty and Freeman enter. O'Brien is amazed, having mistaken Freeman for Kirk. Worf agrees that it would be an honor to meet Kirk. O'Brien suggests buying Kirk a drink, but Odo reminds them they can't, and O'Brien agrees, as they can't risk altering the time line. The waitress comes up and asks them what they want, including a warning not to dare ask her for a raktajino. She then points out the Klingons when Odo asks who else had ordered a raktajino, but they don't recognize the Klingons as such, since they look nothing like Worf or any other Klingons that the crew had met. When they act confused, the waitress decides they've had enough and walks away. Everyone at the table then looks over at Worf, wondering what's going on. Worf tells them that those are Klingons, and that it is a long story that Klingons do not discuss with outsiders. Meanwhile, a Klingon named Korax has spent his time loudly insulting Kirk, trying to get a rise out of the Enterprise officers. Chekov stands up to fight, but Scotty restrains him, saying they can take a few insults. O'Brien is impressed at how "Kirk" (Freeman) is ignoring Korax. At that moment, a confused Bashir asks if that's really Kirk, and O'Brien says it is, but then Bashir points out that the man is only wearing lieutenant's stripes. Odo says they've got more problems at the moment than a case of mistaken identity. Just then Korax begins insulting the Enterprise herself, which quickly gets under Scotty's skin – he is the engineer, after all. When Korax claims the Enterprise should be hauled off as garbage, Scotty slowly stands up and punches him. Every Klingon and Starfleet officer stand up immediately and then, despite Odo's efforts to stop them, Bashir, O'Brien, and Worf all stand up. Everyone ends up in the huge brawl in the bar. When the door opens to admit more Enterprise security, Odo notices Darvin in the background and knocks a Klingon off of Worf so they can both give chase to Darvin. Meanwhile, caught up in the fight, Bashir and O'Brien do not notice Worf and Odo's departure and are shortly thereafter arrested by the security officers and taken into custody along with the other crewmembers who were involved. In Sisko's office, the investigators are not happy, as regulations clearly state that Starfleet officers must take all precautions in taking minimal part in historical events. Sisko admits that they made a mistake, but it didn't alter the timeline. Dulmur isn't so convinced, and goes so far as to point out that this could be an alternate timeline as far as they know, but Sisko says that if they had altered history, they would have known immediately upon their return. After exasperatedly wondering out loud why everyone he interviews always has to mention that particular fact, Lucsly bids Sisko continue. Sisko tells them that instead of going to the brig, the arrested officers were taken in for questioning. Bashir and O'Brien find themselves in a line in front of Kirk, who wants to know who started the fight. Kirk asks O'Brien who started the fight; O'Brien tells Kirk he doesn't know. Likewise, Chekov tells Kirk he doesn't know who started it. When no one confesses, Kirk confines everyone to quarters until he finds out who started it. After they're dismissed, O'Brien and Bashir walk away as quickly as possible. O'Brien is astounded that, of all the people in the lineup, Kirk asked him about the fight and that, even more astonishingly, he ended up lying to him. O'Brien says he wishes Keiko could have seen it. Accidentally stepping on a tribble, Bashir wonders who left it out in the corridor alone. But rounding the corner, O'Brien realizes that the tribble isn't alone. Meanwhile, Odo and Worf have captured Darvin in the midst of the fight on K-7 and have beamed him back to the Defiant. Odo tells Darvin that he'll be facing some very serious charges when they return, but Darvin says they won't dare put one of the greatest heroes of the Klingon Empire in the brig, to which Worf angrily tells Darvin he's no hero to the Empire. But Darvin says he will be soon and wants his statue in the Hall of Warriors to have him standing with Kirk's head in one hand and a dead tribble in the other. Worf grabs Darvin and demands to know what Darvin did. He asks if Darvin hired someone to kill Kirk or if he sabotaged the Enterprise. But Darvin says he did nothing like that but that Kirk's death will have a certain poetic justice to it. Shortly thereafter, Sisko, who is still on the Enterprise with Dax, is amazed to hear from Odo that Darvin planted a bomb in a tribble. Odo describes it as revenge from Darvin, as it was Kirk who first noticed the tribble's reaction to a Klingon and realized that Darvin was a Klingon. While Darvin wouldn't reveal the bomb's location, he did say it would go off within the hour. Dax suggests they risk going to the bridge and using the internal sensors to scan the ship within minutes. Sisko agrees and orders everyone else to K-7 to search for the bomb. However, Odo suggests that Worf remain on the Defiant, as it seems Worf is allergic to tribbles, to which Sisko agrees. However, O'Brien is concerned they might not be able to reach the station's internal sensors. Sisko tells him that then he will have to manually scan every tribble on the station. O'Brien, in disbelief, says there must be thousands. Bashir notes it could be hundreds of thousands, but Dax has already worked out the number as 1,771,561, starting with one tribble, producing an average litter of ten every twelve hours over a period of three days. Sisko tells everyone they have their orders and closes the channel. Later on the bridge, Sisko is sitting at a station and Dax is standing over by the engineering station when Kirk comes onto the bridge. He tries to sit in his chair, but ends up accidentally sitting on a tribble. Removing the tribble Kirk looks over at Dax who smiles and shrugs at him. He then calls Dr. McCoy to the bridge. Dax steps over and tells Sisko that she's reworked the sensor interface. Sisko scans the bridge. No explosives, which relieves Dax as she almost expected the tribble Kirk sat on to explode. Nothing on the first six decks either. Just then McCoy comes up to the bridge and begins talking to Kirk. Dax seems to recognize him and Sisko identifies him as McCoy, the ship's doctor. Just then, Dax recognizes him, having met him when he was a medical student at "Ole Miss." Sisko asks if it was Curzon who met him; she says it was actually Emony, when she was on Earth judging a gymnastics competition. Dax tells Sisko that McCoy had the hands of a surgeon and that she knew he'd be a doctor. Her smile suggests their acquaintance may have been more than purely social. Just then, Sisko finishes scanning the ship – there's no explosive aboard. Dax, stating the obvious, says that the bomb must be on K-7. In the bar on K-7, Odo, Bashir and O'Brien are searching through tribbles frantically when Odo gets a call from Sisko telling them the bomb is not on the Enterprise - thus, it must be over there. Unfortunately, Odo reports they've been able to scan only two decks so far. When Sisko offers to send more people over from the Defiant, Odo tells him it's not a manpower shortage, but rather that the tribbles are multiplying so fast that they can't keep up with them. Dax suggests that she and Sisko stick close to Kirk, as Darvin likely will have put the bomb someplace he knows Kirk will be in the next half hour and as a result Kirk may lead them right to it. Odo says they'll keep scanning the tribbles for now. Sisko and Dax get set up in the recreation room when Kirk and Spock come in. Kirk, upon ordering his chicken sandwich and coffee, sees that the tribbles are in all the food slots. Kirk tells Spock "I want these things off the ship. I don't care if it takes every man we've got; I want them off the ship!" Scotty comes in with an armful of tribbles and tells them the tribbles are in the machinery and probably in all the other food dispensers as well, probably having gotten there through one of the air vents. Spock realizes there are similar vents on the station and in the storage compartments. Sisko is given a clue then, and he and Dax beam to K-7 and climb down into one of the storage compartments to begin scanning tribbles. Sisko notes that most of the tribbles are dead, as the grain has been poisoned. Dax detects a faint tricobalt signature, indicating the bomb is in the compartment somewhere. They begin scanning through the tribbles when they hear a strange sound. As it turns out, that's Kirk outside trying to open the hatch leading into the storage compartment. He finally does get it open, and ends up being buried in tribbles. Sisko and Dax see the door open, and as it turns out, Kirk's opening the door all but exposes the bomb in the storage compartment. Dax realizes it's right in front of them. Sisko begins searching frantically for the bomb, tossing tribbles away as he scans them, some of them falling through the doorway and landing on Kirk. Down on the floor, Nilz Baris threatens to hold an inquiry against Kirk, stating there must be thousands of tribbles. Kirk laments it must be hundreds of thousands. Spock comes up with an exact figure of 1,771,561, using the exact formula that Dax had used earlier. In the hold, Sisko and Dax hear this, look at each other and simply shrug. Just then, Sisko finds the bomb. He places the tribble bomb on his tricorder, contacts Kira, and has the Defiant beam the bomb into space, where it explodes harmlessly. As they start to get up, Dax tosses the last tribble in her hand down, where it falls through the doorway and onto Kirk, causing him to ask that the door be closed. Sisko's voiceover resumes telling the investigators that after the bomb exploded history continued uninterrupted and Kirk discovered Darvin as a Klingon agent just as he had done before. And by the time they returned to the Defiant, Kira had figured out how to use the Orb to return the ship back to its rightful time. Back in Sisko's office, the investigators ask if that's when they returned to the future, but Sisko is forced to admit that it wasn't, as he realized that there was one more thing he had to do - something he'd thought of since he first saw the Enterprise on the Defiant's viewscreen. Sisko goes to the Enterprise's bridge and brings a duty roster to Kirk for the latter's approval. As Kirk looks it over, he looks over at Sisko, and asks his name. Sisko tells Kirk his real name, and that he's been on temporary assignment on the Enterprise. Before Sisko left, he just wanted to tell Kirk it was an honor serving with him. Kirk smiles, nods at him and then tells Sisko "All right, Lieutenant, carry on." Sisko thanks the legendary captain and leaves the bridge. Back in his office, Sisko tells Dulmur and Lucsly that if they want to put a reprimand in his file for that, then they are welcome to do so. They both stand up and tell Sisko they'll have to review everything before making a final recommendation, but it doesn't seem as if any harm was done. Dulmur says he probably would have done the same thing himself, given the chance. Sisko walks them out of the office; Lucsly tells them he'll have their full report in about a month, but that he shouldn't have anything to worry about. Sisko admits he's happy to hear it, and the investigators then quietly leave the station, heading directly for their ship at Docking Port Seven. Dax asks Sisko if it went well; he says it did. Kira tells Sisko that Odo wants to see them on the Promenade. Odo asks Sisko if he told the investigators; Sisko says they didn't ask, and that he's open to suggestions. Dax quips that they could build a new station. It turns out that Odo brought his tribble back with him, and it has reproduced all over Quark's bar (with one even sitting on Quark's head) and all over the Promenade.