It's been a long week for Bashir and O'Brien. The two have been assisting former warring species, the T'Lani and Kelleruns, in destroying potent biochemical weapons called Harvesters. All tests have been inconclusive.Until test 375. Which successfully neutralizes the weapon. It's a momentous day for all gathered...they just have to purge all data regarding their creation, and destroying the numerous other Harvesters. Despite a lot of work still remaining, both species are massively thankful that a solution has been found.Deciding to stay behind for an upcoming celebration party, O'Brien offers the massively Tempting Fate phrase of "One more day here won't kill me." Which nearly proves wrong as they prepare to finish the last of the Harvesters. As they do, a group of armed Kelleruns break into the room, killing everyone there except O'Brien and Bashir. The two manage to beam to the planets surface for safety. Though a drop of Harvester from a shot shattered container lands on O'Brien's arm before they beam out...The leaders of the T'Lani and Kelleruns, Ambassador E'Tyshra and Sharat, arrive to inform of the grim news that...O'Brien and Bashir perished when O'Brien stumbled upon a heavily buried security program. Which vaporized everyone in the room. They even bring video evidence...On the planet, O'Brien and Bashir find an old bunker to hunker down in. Filled with enough food to tide them over until O'Brien can fix an old transmitter to get a distress signal out. The two shoot the breeze in the bunker(Well, Bashir does. O'Brien just wishes he'd shut up) until Bashir notices he's exhibiting odd symptoms. He's cold, he's pale, and his blood pressure is low.One scan later confirms the worst: O'Brien has indeed been infected with the Harvester.Sisko has the unenviable task of delivering the bad news to Keiko. She demands to see the video of O'Brien supposedly perishing when he trips the security program. And after viewing it, she's instantly suspicious. Of a seemingly minor thing.The timestamp. It indicates the he died late in the day. But he was drinking coffee. She insists O'Brien never drinks coffee that late in the day. It's a flimsy suspicion, but it's good enough for Sisko to investigate on the grounds of retrieving the Ganges a day early.Back on the planet, O'Brien is getting worse. His vision has gotten blurry and he can't feel his legs, leaving Bashir to repair the transmitter with his instructions. Dax and Sisko meanwhile are drawing closer to the truth. Courtesy of an erased transport request. Made 3 minutes after the two supposedly perished.Bashir has gotten the transmitter functioning when he hears something outside the bunker. It's Ambassador E'Tyshra and Sarat...and a firing squad. The truth comes out there: It wasn't enough to destroy the Harvesters and the data concerning their creation. The T'Lani and Kellerun governments wanted to make sure there was no chance they could be created again.Their solution? Kill any and all who had knowledge of the Harvesters. They ordered the slaughter of the researches above the planet. And Bashir and O'Brien are the last loose threads left. Facing seemingly certain death, O'Brien has Bashir stand him up so he can face his end on his feet...only for the two to be beamed out at the last second.And through a combination of trickery and beaming to a different runabout, Sisko and Co. make an escape back to DS9.As O'Brien recuperates in sickbay, he asks for...
- O'Brien: "You know, I wouldn't mind a cup of coffee right now."Keiko: "Miles, you never drink coffee in the afternoon."O'Brien: "Sure I do."Keiko: ..."You do!?"
- Alien Lunch: O'Brien isn't fond of T'Lani food.
- Continuity Nod: O'Brien loves combat rations. As long as they're for humans.
- Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: Keiko's insistence that Miles never drinks coffee in the afternoon is a rare in-universe example.
- Death Notification: Sisko does this for Keiko.
- Defiant to the End/Died Standing Up: Though it doesn't come to that, O'Brien is prepared to die on his feet when the firing squad find him.
- For Want of a Nail: If Keiko had known her husband just a teeny bit better, then Miles and Bashir likely would have perished.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Subverted. At the end of the episode Bashir suggests he and O'Brien have become this after facing death together, but O'Brien doesn't quite agree.
- He Knows Too Much: The T'Lani and Kellerun want to make sure no one has any possible knowledge of the Harvesters creation.
- Hyperspeed Escape: Sisko pulls this while the T'Lani are busy destroying the wrong runabout.
- It Has Been an Honor: Would've been O'Brien's Famous Last Words to Bashir if not for a Teleportation Rescue.
- Karma Houdini: The T'Lani and Kelleruns try to kill O'Brien and Bashir, and later on Sisko and Dax as well. Whether the Federation takes retributive action against them for this is never addressed.
- Pet the Dog: When the news of O'Brien and Bashir's supposed demise reaches him, Quark offers Dax and Kira a drink. On the house. High praise from him. Along with quoting the 57th Rule of Acquisition in their memory.Quark: Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: Keiko sees O'Brien drinking coffee in the surveillance recording and determines that it was fake based on that. As it turns out, the recording was fake, but O'Brien does drink coffee in the afternoon.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Erasing all traces of data on a horrible biochemical weapon that caused countless deaths? Understandable. Murdering every single scientist who worked on disposing of it, including two from outside your political jurisdiction? Not so much.
- Sisko managed to outwit them by remote piloting the second runabout while they escaped in the first one, but you can bet that the Federation was not happy once they received Sisko's report. They are fortunate that there wasn't a starship nearby when it happened, as is it probably caused a MAJOR diplomatic incident.