In the Star Trek:DS9 episode "Captive Pursuit" the Hunter species does the following:

O'BRIEN: They're bombarding us with some kind of radiation I've never see before. Very rapid magnetic flux variations. (Whumph as the shields go down)

O'BRIEN: What the? They've reversed the polarity of our shields.

DAX: I'm picking up transporter locks. They're beaming on board.

They had no problem taking down DS9's shields quickly and beaming aboard the station. They also apparently had no problem finding Tosk almost immediately as they transported to the promenade and then went directly to the cell where he was being held.

They also had no problem scanning through any part of the station

O'BRIEN: The Cardies made these conduits from two metre thick duranium composite. I've never seen a scanning device that could penetrate it. (Flash of light)

O'BRIEN: Until now. (bang behind them so they get to an exit panel above a corridor)

My question is being that within a very short period of time and little resistance, the Hunters had no problem taking the shields down, beaming onto the station, finding Tosk, scanning through any part of the station, and finding Tosk a second time, why didn't they simply beam Tosk off the station.

After they found Tosk in the cell, they did not need to wait for Commander Sisko to release him. The hunters completely ignored every rule of the space station and practically attacked it, so I don't think it could be some respect for the rule of authority. The cell he was being held in was a cell of metal and a force field. It would appear that could they transport Tosk through the forcefield if they could take down the entire stations shield. It also appears that could they transport him through the solid walls since they had no problem going through duranium. It's hard to imagine that the force field in the cell is stronger then the shields around the station, but I'm not sure about that. The material that Tosks cell was made out of wouldn't be stronger than duranium, which I think is the strongest material the federation uses/knows of at the time.

Why didn't the hunters simply transport Tosk out after they had captured Tosk in the cell instead of waiting to see if they commander was going to release him?

For clarification I'm not asking why didn't they transport him after he was released as O'Brien tricked the hunter into walking Tosk into a force field, thereby giving Tosk a chance. The time frame I am speaking of is when the hunters first cornered him in the cell and Tosk was trapped behind the force field, before the hunter went to speak to Sisko.

  • 1
    @Lexible I changed them to statements instead of questions. They were really rhetorical questions to explain my question, but I changed them. Is it ok now?
    – JMFB
    May 14, 2015 at 16:33
  • Maybe the station's brig was designed with some sort of measures against spacecraft using transporters for a jailbreak?
    – Nu'Daq
    Jul 31, 2015 at 14:52

2 Answers 2


Up until the moment the chief hunter realized that Tosk was trapped in a cell the hunters were expecting a fight from Tosk, a sporting challenge. Just transporting Tosk out would be poor sport, like hunting big game with automatic weapons. Once they realized Tosk was captured, they had no interest in the hunt and just wanted to take their disreputable trophy and depart. Unfortunately for them, breaking down the security shield and transporting Tosk out would have meant essentially declaring war against Bajor and maybe the Federation, so they opted to negotiate with Sisko for Tosk's release. Sisko made it clear that he would fire on the hunters ship if they continued hostilities.

This is not a new idea; human hunters are usually restricted by law as to what weapons they can use, and some hunters further restrict themselves to bows or spears to increase the challenge and risk.

  • There was also clear disapproval of Tosk from the hunters' leader - for allowing himself to be captured, because his - and other hunters - impression was that humans were fighting for Tosk, if I remember correctly (even though this was forbidden by the rules of the hunt - again, IIRC). I believe hunters stopped all hostilities at that moment (of discovering Tosk in a cell), I think leader declared hunt to be over? This immediately changed situation completely to diplomatic incident.
    – AcePL
    Feb 23, 2022 at 12:52

There is most likely a tradition against capturing Tosk with a transporter.

The Tosk hunt seems to be an allegory of British fox hunting and like fox hunting there are probably many traditions governing what is acceptable on a Tosk hunt.

So using a transporter to capture a Tosk would probably be like shooting a fox with a rifle on a traditional fox hunt.

It just would not be "fair".

  • British fox hunting? What's that? lol They were going to transport him out later once he was let out of his cell. The only reason they didn't was that O'Brien insisted on escorting them out claiming Federation tradition, thereby creating a situation where Tosk could get free. So transporting Tosk out was not against the rules as they had already caught him, even worse, alive in a cell. The issue was they wanted Cisco to free him from the cell first. I don't know why they didn't just transport him out, throw a collar on him, & leave. On a side note, what do you shoot a fox with if not a rifle?
    – JMFB
    May 15, 2015 at 2:45
  • 2
    @JMFB: Nothing. In fox hunts, trained bloodhounds mercilessly rip the fox to shreds with tooth and claw. A quick Google search would answer your questions about this disgusting tradition. Jun 13, 2015 at 23:13

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