In the episode, Sisko and Bashir want to enter a building to take a look at the area from the top of the roof. The inhabitants of the building deny their request at first. But then they say "they could make a deal". In the next scene, we see Sisko and Bashir in a corridor of the building, wearing contemporary clothes instead of their uniforms. As far as I get it, there is no explanation given of what "deal" they made. Is it implied, that the "deal" was, to trade their uniforms for a complete set of clothes, with jackets and so on AND access to the roof top? That seems to make no sense. Their uniforms were seen as "pyjamas" and "looking like clowns" by the others, and I can't think of any reason why anybody would trade them with a full set of clothes and even more.

So what was the deal? If it was a trade of their uniforms, why do the inhabitants of the building want the uniforms and give full sets of clothes AND roof top access in exchange?

1 Answer 1


That was the deal. One or two of the guards liked the uniforms sufficiently that they were willing to swap their clothes and give them the access they required.

You might want to note that with the meta-materials involved in making Starfleet uniforms, the guard/s very definitely got the better end of the trade.

STAIRWAY GUARD: I don't know. What do you have to offer?

There's a beat as Sisko and Bashir realize they don't really have anything.

STAIRWAY GUARD: (continuing) That's what I thought. Maybe you should try another building.

Bashir and Sisko start to leave, but one of his companions whispers something to the Stairway Guard, who calls after them.

STAIRWAY GUARD: Hey, wait a minute. (they turn back) Maybe we can make a deal after all.

Sisko and Bashir picking their way through an ill-lit hallway inside the tenement building. Neither one of them is wearing their uniform anymore. They've exchanged clothing with the stairway guards outside.

SISKO: (re: the clothes) Well at least now we look like we belong here.

DS9: Present Tense, Part I - Original Screenplay

  • While the screenplay answers the question, I'm still wondering, while the guards wanted to swap their clothes for what they think are pyjamas. They didn't know about the meta-materials. And if they finally found out, that could be another problem for the timeline. But that would be another question. :-)
    – Hothie
    Jan 25, 2021 at 10:06
  • @Hothie - Maybe the guards liked them as pyjamas and swapped them for a spare set of clothes.
    – Valorum
    Jan 25, 2021 at 10:28

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