Empok Nor

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"Empok Nor"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 24
Directed by Mike Vejar
Teleplay by Hans Beimler
Story by Bryan Fuller
Featured music Jay Chattaway
Production code 522
Original air date May 19, 1997 (1997-05-19)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Blaze of Glory"
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"In the Cards"
List of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes

"Empok Nor" is the 122nd episode of the television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the 24th episode of the fifth season. The episode primarily takes place on the Cardassian space station Empok Nor, which has been abandoned for about a year.


The episode begins in Quark's, which is strangely empty. No one is able to hear themselves think over the horrible noise resulting from Chief O'Brien and Nog doing some conduit repairs. The repairs are heavy and O'Brien soon realizes that he will need an entirely new plasma distribution manifold.

O'Brien reveals one of the station's plasma distribution manifolds has broken down, and a team is to be sent to Deep Space Nine's abandoned sister space station, Empok Nor, to salvage components. The team consists of O'Brien, Garak, Nog, engineers Pechetti and Boq'ta, and security officers Stolzoff and Amaro. Garak is brought along to help disarm booby traps targeted at non-Cardassians, such traps being routinely left behind when space stations are abandoned by the Cardassians.

There are no life signs, but in the infirmary they discover two recently deactivated stasis tubes and a third one with a dead Cardassian soldier: a member of the 3rd battalion, 1st order (one of the most dedicated in the Cardassian military - their motto is "Death To All"). Suddenly, the away team's runabout detaches from the station and explodes, stranding them inside.

The recently awoken Cardassian soldiers attack the away team, killing Pechetti, Boq'ta and Stolzoff. Fighting back, the remaining away team members manage to eliminate the two soldiers thanks to the direct aid of Garak. As the team continues to scavenge for station parts, they remark on Garak's ruthlessness, wondering how a tailor could be such a vicious and efficient killer. As they search for a way home, Garak begins to act oddly, as the natural Cardassian tendency for xenophobia begins to be compounded and intensified. This is confirmed when the team discovers the Cardassian soldiers had been subjected to a treatment that enhanced their natural aggression toward other races and the treatment had permeated the station.

Garak eventually loses all self-control (due to the drug) and kills Amaro, then proceeds to playing a real life game of kotra with O'Brien. Garak captures Nog and the only means of contacting Deep Space Nine for a chance of rescue. By this time his aggression has reached a fevered pitch. While waiting for O'Brien to appear, Garak comments to Nog how it's taking all his willpower to not kill him right then and there.

Eventually, O'Brien confronts Garak, and, after a quick exchange, O'Brien knocks Garak unconscious via an exploding phaser. The three are rescued with the salvaged part, but at a terrible price. The episode ends with O'Brien visiting Garak, who's being treated in the Infirmary. Garak expresses his sincere regret for his actions to the dead crew members, asking O'Brien to relay his condolences to Amaro's wife. O'Brien solemnly agrees. O'Brien says there will need to be an inquest; he assumes that the board will see that Garak was not responsible for what happened. Garak remarks that he is lucky he was not standing closer to the phaser or the explosion would have killed him, and O'Brien replies "Don't take this the wrong way, but that was the plan."

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