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"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.
|Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Mike Vejar|
|Story by||Bryan Fuller|
|Teleplay by||Hans Beimler|
|Featured music||Jay Chattaway|
|Original air date||May 19, 1997|
Kira, Dax, and Worf arrive at Quark's to find it strangely empty, soon discovering that the other customers have been driven away by noisy work Chief O'Brien and Nog are performing on a nearby conduit. When attempts to repair the conduit fail, O'Brien realizes it will need to be replaced, and as replication is impossible, he suggests they mount a salvage expedition to Deep Space Nine's sister station, Empok Nor, which the Cardassians abandoned a year prior. The salvage team consists of O'Brien, Garak, Nog, engineers Pechetti and Boq'ta, and security officers Stolzoff and Amaro. As Cardassians routinely booby-trap abandoned facilities against non-Cardassian intruders, Garak is brought along to help disarm the security measures.
On the abandoned station, the team discovers two empty and recently deactivated stasis tubes and a third one with a dead Cardassian soldier, whose uniform marks him as a member of an elite and ruthless battalion. Suddenly, the away team's runabout detaches from the station and explodes, stranding them inside with no means to send for help. The team splits into groups to continue the salvage and attempt to establish communications.
The recently awoken Cardassian soldiers methodically ambush and eliminate Pechetti and Stolzoff. Rather than remaining with the others, Garak decides to go on the offensive and track down the enemy soldiers himself. He returns after eliminating one of them, and relays his discovery that the soldiers had been subjected to psychotropic drugs which amplify their natural xenophobic tendencies. He then disappears to find the remaining adversary. The rest of the team continues their tasks, noting Garak's ruthlessness and unusual behavior. The second soldier ambushes Boq'ta, but Garak emerges and kills him before he can kill Amaro, only to then stab Amaro himself.
O'Brien and Nog discover Amaro, who tells them what happened, then dies from his injuries. O'Brien realizes Garak has been affected by the same drug as the soldiers, and sets out to stop him. Garak, meanwhile, sets a trap and captures Nog, using him to draw O'Brien out. O'Brien consents to lay down his weapons and face Garak in hand-to-hand combat, but disables him with his own trap, having rigged his phaser to overload and explode.
The three are rescued, having collected the parts they needed, but at a terrible price. Back on DS9, O'Brien visits Garak in the infirmary. Garak expresses his sincere regret; O'Brien informs him there will be an inquest. Garak remarks that he is lucky the phaser blast didn't kill him, which O'Brien reveals it was in fact intended to do.