- "So you're the commander of Deep Space 9... and the Emissary of the Prophets. Decorated combat officer, widower, father, mentor and... oh, yes, the man who started the war with the Dominion. Somehow I thought you'd be taller..."
Benjamin Lafayette Sisko was a famous Starfleet officer best remembered for his seven-year assignment commanding station Deep Space 9 in the Bajor sector. After discovering the Bajoran wormhole, he became known to the Bajoran people as the Emissary of the Prophets. He fought the Borg at the Battle of Wolf 359 and played a critical role as a Starfleet strategist and front line commander in the Dominion War.
Sisko was born in 2332 in New Orleans, Earth. His mother had been possessed by a Prophet – a non-linear alien species which lived in the then-undiscovered Bajoran wormhole. The Prophet had used Sarah Sisko to ensure the birth of Benjamin, who would later become the Emissary of the Prophets.
A year later, the Prophet returned control of Sarah's body, and she left her son and husband. Joseph Sisko soon remarried, and his new wife posed as Benjamin's biological mother all the rest of her life. (DS9: "Image in the Sand") She gave birth to his sister, Judith, (DS9: "Homefront") and at least two brothers. (DS9: "Paradise")
During his childhood years, Sisko and his siblings were taught to cook by their father, who believed that eating replicated food was wrong. Joseph owned his own restaurant, Sisko's, where he made his children work in the summers. (DS9: "Homefront") Joseph called his children his "taste-testers", and insisted that they all eat dinner together. (DS9: "A Man Alone")
Sisko joined Starfleet Academy in 2350. During the first few weeks, he beamed back to New Orleans every night for a family dinner. Sisko studied to be an engineer. (DS9: "Homefront") During his sophomore year, he performed his field study at Starbase 137. He later considered it to be one of the best experiences of his life. (DS9: "The Ascent")
During his years at the Academy, Ben became friends with Calvin Hudson and Laporin. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I", "Apocalypse Rising") He also met his future mentor, Curzon Dax, at Pelios Station. (DS9: "Invasive Procedures")
Sisko also became the captain of his Academy wrestling team. (DS9: "Q-Less", "Apocalypse Rising") He once challenged a Vulcan, Solok, to a match after a few drinks. He lost, was humiliated, and resented Solok for decades. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")
After graduation in 2354, while waiting for his first assignment, Benjamin met a woman named Jennifer at Gilgo Beach. Still in 2354, the two fell in love, were married and moved to Benjamin's new posting at New Berlin. Together with Cal and Gretchen Hudson they attended the local Mazurka Festival where Benjamin was remembered for dancing in German lederhosen. (DS9: "Emissary", "The Maquis, Part I") Their son, Jake, was born a year later in 2355. (DS9: "Move Along Home", "The Abandoned")
Sisko was reunited with Curzon Dax when the two served together for a few months aboard the USS Livingston. Dax became Sisko's mentor, and the two were friends for over a decade. (DS9: "Invasive Procedures")
Benjamin later served on the USS Okinawa during the Tzenkethi War. (DS9: "The Adversary") At the time, he was more interested in engineering and ship design than command. However, Captain Leyton noticed potential in young Sisko, and promoted him to lieutenant commander, making him the ship's executive officer. (DS9: "Homefront")
Sisko transferred to the USS Saratoga, and also served as the first officer. Both Jennifer and Jake lived with him aboard the vessel. In late 2366, the ship was operating close to Earth, and was called to join a fleet at Wolf 359 to defend the Sol system from a Borg attack. The Battle of Wolf 359 was a massacre. Thirty-nine of the forty starships assembled there were destroyed. The Borg damaged the Saratoga, forcing the crew to abandon ship. Sisko found his son and wife, but his wife had been killed in the attack. He was forced to leave her as the ship suffered a warp core breach. As late as 2369 Sisko blamed Jennifer's death on Jean-Luc Picard, who had been assimilated by the Borg as Locutus of Borg and had carried out the massacre at Wolf 359. (DS9: "Emissary")
Sisko was faced with the loss of his wife and raising his son alone. He found an outlet for his pain in his new posting at Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards on Mars. (DS9: "Emissary") There, Sisko worked on the prototype USS Defiant – the first in what was to be a fleet of warships to defend the Federation from the Borg. After work on the project slowed, and design flaws became apparent, the project was mothballed. (DS9: "The Search, Part I", "Defiant")
This left Sisko on the verge of resigning his commission. He intended to work on Earth, constructing orbital habitats, but struggled with the decision to leave. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior") As he was contemplating his next move, his former captain, Leyton, nominated Sisko for a command position. It seemed that fate had intervened, as Starfleet promoted him to commander and assigned him to Bajor, home to the Prophets who had caused his birth. There Sisko was to command an old ore processing station, built by the Cardassians during their occupation of Bajor, then abandoned as part of their recent withdrawal from the system. Under Federation control, the station was newly christened Deep Space 9. It was to be Sisko's responsibility to help prepare the Bajorans for entry into the Federation.
Arriving on DS9 in early 2369, Sisko was briefed by Jean-Luc Picard, whom he still blamed for his wife's death. At this point, Sisko told Picard he intended to resign. However, he continued his work, and assumed command of the station. Sisko's crew slowly arrived, and it was then that he met his future friends, Bajoran liaison Kira Nerys, security chief Odo, Doctor Julian Bashir, and Chief of Operations Miles O'Brien. He was also reunited with his old friend Dax, living in a new host, Jadzia.
The situation on Bajor was hostile, as factions vied for control in the new Bajoran Provisional Government. Sisko learned that the only way to unite them all was to call on the Bajoran spiritual leader, Kai Opaka. Sisko met with her in a secluded area of Bajor, and she told him that he was to be the Emissary of the Prophets and was destined to discover the Celestial Temple, home of the Prophets.
Sisko returned to the station and with the help of Dax, began studying everything known about the Celestial Temple. Eventually they discovered an unusual area in the Denorios belt. Traveling there, they were surprised to discover a stable wormhole. Dax was sent home by the Prophets, but they met Sisko, who explained linear existence to them.
While talking with the Prophets, Sisko was forced to come to terms with his wife's death, and he returned to Deep Space 9. Sisko forgave Picard for his actions as a Borg, and informed him that he would stay in Starfleet. Sisko now had the strange task of commanding a station of Bajoran officers, many of whom revered him as a religious figure – their prophesied Emissary. (DS9: "Emissary")
Deep Space 9
Life on the frontier
Deep Space 9's position at the mouth of the Bajoran wormhole made it a key location. Exploration and business opportunities were opened to the distant Gamma Quadrant, and DS9 became a wayport for ships and people from all over the quadrant. Sisko began encouraging Bajorans and merchants on the Promenade to stay on the station, in order to shape DS9 into a thriving community. (DS9: "Emissary") He even approved the formation of a school on the station. (DS9: "A Man Alone")
Sisko had to put all his training and skills to use, as he was forced to balance command, diplomacy, his home life, and his new position as a Bajoran religious icon. Sisko made first contact with the first species to come through the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant, the Tosk, in 2369. (DS9: "Captive Pursuit") He acted as defense in the extradition trial of Dax to the Klaestron government, and proved her innocent. (DS9: "Dax") He fought in the war between the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis on the planet where Kai Opaka was stranded. (DS9: "Battle Lines") Constantly dealing with Jake's friendship with a Ferengi boy, Nog, proved to be a challenge. (DS9: "A Man Alone", "The Nagus") But his most difficult tasks were preparing Bajor for life in the Federation, and dealing with his title as the Emissary.
During late 2369, tensions on the station rose between Bajoran and Starfleet personnel. Scientific teachings about the nature of the Bajoran wormhole conflicted with the religious beliefs of much of the Bajoran population. Sisko struggled to keep the peace, and in the process had his first meeting with Vedek Winn Adami. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")
Months later, internal pressures on Bajor exploded. A terrorist group called the Alliance for Global Unity – also known as the "Circle" – came to power, under disguised support from the Cardassian Union, and sought to break off relations with the Federation. Starfleet was forced to abandon the station, but Sisko stayed behind, eventually proving the Cardassians' involvement with the Circle, which allowed power to quickly return to the Bajoran Provisional Government. (DS9: "The Homecoming", "The Circle", "The Siege")
Sisko was also forced to deal with internal pressures within the Federation as well. When the Federation-Cardassian Treaty of 2370 caused several colonies in Federation space to come under Cardassian rule, many colonists felt the Federation had abandoned them. They formed the Maquis, a terrorist group operating out of the Badlands. Sisko's old friend, Calvin Hudson was assigned as the Starfleet attaché to the colonists in the Demilitarized Zone but became a Maquis leader. Several other Starfleet officers resigned to take up the Maquis cause. Sisko felt angered by the actions of these officers, and felt the pain of personal betrayal by Cal Hudson. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I", "The Maquis, Part II")
The Maquis continued their private war for the next three years, and gained more support among Federation citizens. Deep Space 9's chief of Starfleet security, Lieutenant Commander Michael Eddington, and a woman with whom Sisko had become involved, Kasidy Yates, began to aid the Maquis in their activities. When Sisko discovered this, he felt betrayed by both people. He was forced to arrest Yates, but Eddington escaped. Sisko felt that Eddington had betrayed his oath to Starfleet the same way Cal Hudson had and vowed to capture him. (DS9: "For the Cause")
After eight months of tracking Eddington unsuccessfully, Starfleet took Sisko off the mission. However, he had become obsessed with finding his former officer, and continued his work to bring Eddington to justice. Sisko managed to force Eddington to surrender after he poisoned Solosos III, and threatening to wage a campaign to poison every Maquis colony in the Demilitarized Zone. (DS9: "For the Uniform")
Several months later, Sisko and Eddington were involved in attempting to prevent a force of cloaked missiles from reaching Cardassia, launched by the Maquis as retaliation for their losses to the Dominion. The missiles were a ruse, however, propagated by Rebecca Sullivan in order to let Eddington know that the Maquis survivors had reached Athos IV for evacuation. Sisko was able to get the Maquis off the planet in a runabout despite coming under fire from the Jem'Hadar. (DS9: "Blaze of Glory")
Contact with the Dominion
In late 2370, Sisko made first contact with the Dominion in an encounter with the Jem'Hadar. This launched Sisko on a path that would define his career. The Dominion declared the Gamma Quadrant off-limits to Alpha Quadrant species, and destroyed several Starfleet ships, along with the colony on New Bajor. Sisko returned to DS9 with the realization that he had discovered a powerful and dangerous new enemy. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")
Sisko returned to Earth to brief Starfleet on the Dominion situation. Realizing that Deep Space 9 was to be the first line of defense from a Dominion attack, Sisko convinced Starfleet Command to finish work on the mothballed USS Defiant. Sisko returned to DS9 with the new warship, and entered the Gamma Quadrant on a mission to find the Founders. (DS9: "The Search, Part I") During the mission, the Defiant and crew were captured by the Jem'Hadar and placed in a simulation, testing their reaction to a Dominion incursion in the Alpha Quadrant. It was discovered that the Founders were in fact Changelings, the same species as Sisko's security chief, Odo. Odo forced the Founders to release the Defiant crew, and they returned to the station. (DS9: "The Search, Part II") Based on his experiences with the Dominion, Sisko's psychological evaluation became required knowledge for Vorta operatives in the Dominion. (DS9: "To the Death")
Following three years of commanding Deep Space 9, Sisko was given a promotion, finally attaining the rank of captain in late 2371. Soon afterward, Sisko discovered that the Founders had begun infiltrating the Federation, posing as high-ranking officers. One Founder, disguised as an ambassador, ordered Sisko on a mission to the Tzenkethi border, and then tried to provoke a new Tzenkethi war. Sisko and crew were successful in stopping the Founder's attempt, but it became apparent that there were now Changeling infiltrators in the Alpha Quadrant. (DS9: "The Adversary")
Fears of Dominion infiltration swept the quadrant, and when the Cardassian government was overthrown by the civilian Detapa Council in 2372, the Klingon Empire feared Changeling intervention. A large Klingon task force docked at Deep Space 9, bound for Cardassian space. Klingon Chancellor Gowron asked Sisko for Starfleet's help in invading Cardassia Prime. Sisko rejected their call for help, and the Klingons withdrew from the Khitomer Accords, ending decades of peace. Ben now had to ally himself against the Klingons and help the new Cardassian government survive the Klingon attack. He contacted his long-time adversary, Gul Dukat, and arranged to rescue him and the new Council. He made sure, however, to test the ministers for possible Changeling impostors. Faced with a war on two sides, the Klingons backed down. However, the balance of power in the Alpha Quadrant was changing, and this played right into the Dominion's hands. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")
On Earth, video footage linked the bombing of the Antwerp Conference to Changeling infiltration. Sisko's knowledge of the Founders led to his brief promotion to Chief of Starfleet Security on Earth. Using Odo as a test subject, Sisko implemented many new security measures on Earth such as automated low-level phaser sweeps throughout Starfleet Headquarters. Unfortunately, his promotion was part of Sisko's former captain, Admiral Leyton's, plan to overthrow Earth's government. Leyton misjudged Sisko's loyalties, and the coup d'état failed when Sisko and Odo exposed the plan. (DS9: "Homefront", "Paradise Lost")
Changelings also infiltrated a high position within the Klingon Empire. In 2373, Sisko and crew were ordered to expose the impostor. Undergoing cosmetic alterations to appear Klingon and taking the Klingon name Jud'mos, son of Kobar, Sisko took three crewmembers to the Klingon outpost Ty'Gokor to expose Chancellor Gowron (whom the Founders had led Odo to believe was a Founder). It was later discovered that General Martok was the Changeling. The mission was a success, and it brought the two powers close to reconciliation. (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")
During a trip to the Gamma Quadrant that same year, Sisko took possession of a Jem'Hadar attack ship and returned the ship to Starfleet Intelligence. (DS9: "The Ship") Soon afterward, the Dominion formed an alliance with the Cardassian Union, gaining a foothold in the Alpha Quadrant. They attempted to destroy Deep Space 9 and Bajor and cripple the Klingon and Federation fleets in one action, but Sisko discovered their plan and thwarted it. This new turn of events convinced the Klingon government to reinstate the Khitomer Accords, and Sisko allowed a permanent Klingon presence on the station. However, with the new Dominion presence in the Alpha Quadrant, war was inevitable. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")
The Dominion War
As Dominion fleets began coming through the wormhole on a weekly basis, Starfleet made the decision to mine the entrance to the wormhole. Sisko commanded the station during the resulting Battle of Deep Space 9, the opening strike of the Dominion War. During the final moments of the battle, Sisko gave a speech to the station residents, telling them of his fondness for commanding the station, promising to return. The Dominion took control of the station, but Sisko implemented a computer program which completely destroyed DS9's main computer core. Sisko retreated aboard the Defiant, leaving his prized antique baseball behind; the station's new commander, Gul Dukat, knew this was a sign from Sisko that he would eventually return. (DS9: "Call to Arms")
Sisko commanded the Defiant for the next three months, engaging in numerous battles with Jem'Hadar and Cardassian forces. Ordered to fall back to Starbase 375, Sisko was placed in command of a mission behind enemy lines to destroy a ketracel-white storage facility. Sisko and crew traveled aboard the stolen Jem'Hadar attack ship he had acquired a year before, and completed the mission. (DS9: "A Time to Stand") However, their ship was destroyed and they were stranded on a planet in Dominion space along with Jem'Hadar forces. Knowing he was beaten, the commanding Vorta, Keevan, gave Sisko his force's attack plans. Sisko was forced to massacre the Jem'Hadar troops, despite his personal objections. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals") Sisko's crew was soon rescued by General Martok and Worf aboard the IKS Rotarran. (DS9: "Sons and Daughters")
Having completed his mission, Sisko was promoted to adjutant for Vice Admiral William Ross at Starbase 375. He was forced to give command of the Defiant to Lieutenant Commander Dax. (DS9: "Behind the Lines") Using his new influence in Starfleet, Sisko created a plan to retake Deep Space 9, Operation Return, and convinced Starfleet to commit its forces. After learning that the minefield around the wormhole was about to be neutralized, Sisko ordered the operation to commence immediately. (DS9: "Favor the Bold") He commanded the Starfleet forces during the battle from the Defiant, and made his way to DS9. Faced with an armada of Dominion ships as the minefield fell, Sisko ordered the Defiant to go down with guns blazing. In a vision from the Prophets, Sisko convinced them to destroy the invading fleet, and he returned to retake the station. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")
Following his defeat during Operation Return, Gul Dukat descended into madness and was captured. He was forced to stand trial for his crimes. Captain Sisko was to testify at his trial, but their transport, the USS Honshu, was destroyed by Cardassian forces. They escaped in a shuttlecraft and crashed on a nearby planet. There, Dukat's madness intensified, and he attempted to kill Sisko. Vowing to kill every Bajoran, Dukat escaped as the Defiant rescued Sisko. Following the ordeal, Sisko vowed that from then on, "it's him or me." (DS9: "Waltz")
Soon afterward, Sisko hired Elim Garak to fabricate a recording designed to bring the Romulan Star Empire into the war. This plan was approved by Starfleet. Sisko struggled with the ethical implications of his actions, but in the end decided it was worth it. With the help of a few of Garak's sources, he was able to fabricate a holo-recording of the Dominion and Cardassians planning on invading Romulan space once the war was over. He secretly invited Senator Vreenak over to DS9 to "show" him the evidence. However, Vreenak later found it was a fake and was prepared to expose this "vile deception" to the entire quadrant. But a few days later, it was reported that the Senator's shuttle was destroyed. Sisko confronted Garak on what he had done, but the former Obsidian Order agent pointed out that it was the only way to make the Empire think that the Dominion was responsible, with the acceptable losses of one convict, a senator and the self-respect of one Starfleet captain. As a result, the Romulans entered the war, attacking several Cardassian outposts along the Neutral Zone, and turned the odds in the Federation's favor. Sisko later recorded what happened into his personal log before deleting it. (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")
Sisko was chosen to command the first offensive into Dominion space in late-2374. The First Battle of Chin'toka was a success, but while Sisko was away, Gul Dukat managed to close the Bajoran wormhole, cutting off Bajor from the Prophets. He also killed Jadzia Dax. Sisko felt responsible, and decided to take a leave of absence to find a way to restore the wormhole. Ben and Jake returned to New Orleans, not knowing if they would ever return to DS9. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
After three months on Earth, Sisko was given a vision of a woman's face in the sands of Tyree. He reconstructed her face on a PADD, and Jake recognized her from a photo in which she appeared with his grandfather, Joseph, who reluctantly identified her as Sarah Sisko, Ben's birth-mother. Joseph finally told his son about his true mother, prompting Benjamin to travel to Tyree to find the meaning of his vision. He departed along with his father, Jake, and Ezri Dax, the new Dax host. (DS9: "Image in the Sand") While on Tyree, Sisko discovered the Orb of the Emissary, which restored the Bajoran wormhole. He also communicated with the Prophet who had possessed his mother, and learned of her true identity. Following the reopening of the wormhole, the tide of the war turned back to the Federation's favor, and Sisko returned to the station. (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols")
Later that year, Sisko commanded the Defiant in the Second Battle of Chin'toka. The ship was destroyed by the Dominion's new allies, the Breen Confederacy. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil") Sisko was then given command of the USS São Paulo, in late 2375, which was renamed to USS Defiant. (DS9: "The Dogs of War") He then helped command the final assault into Dominion territory. The Battle of Cardassia was a success, with the help of the Cardassian Rebellion. Afterward, Sisko, Admiral Ross, and Chancellor Martok gathered in the ruins of Cardassia to celebrate. Faced with the destruction the Dominion had wrought in retaliation for the Cardassian uprising, Sisko did not feel like celebrating. He returned to the station to bid farewell to his crew before their reassignment. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
When Sisko first met with Kai Opaka in 2369, she surprised him by proclaiming that he would be the long prophesied Emissary to the Prophets. He was at first skeptical of her assessment, and immediately tried to dismiss her, stating that he was simply a Starfleet officer. Any religious role in another culture would directly clash with his oath to uphold the principles of Starfleet. However, when he discovered the Bajoran wormhole and made first contact with the non-linear lifeforms the Bajorans knew as the Prophets, he became slightly less skeptical. He still rejected the role, but realized that the Prophets' ability to see outside of time must have allowed them to communicate certain information to the Bajorans. Sisko taught the Prophets about linear existence, and became very important to them. They began referring to him as "The Sisko." (DS9: "Emissary") The Bajorans began celebrating the arrival of the Emissary each year during their Ha'mara festival. (DS9: "Starship Down")
Later that year Sisko met Vedek Winn Adami for the first time during a Bajoran-Federation ideological conflict on the station. The Vedek, an ultra-conservative, was not sure that she believed Sisko was the Emissary. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")
In 2371, Sisko was confronted by Vedek Yarka, who told him that he had discovered a prophecy in which the Emissary was involved in the destruction of the Celestial Temple. After reviewing Trakor's Third Prophecy, Sisko ignored the Vedek's warnings. He continued work on a subspace communications relay through the wormhole into the Gamma Quadrant. However, Major Kira Nerys was slowly convinced that Yarka was correct. She interpreted the prophecy as referring to three Cardassian scientists aboard the station, and a comet which was discovered near the wormhole. The comet was on a course leading it into the wormhole, causing it to collapse. Sisko stopped the comet, but inadvertently released trace amounts of silithium, which caused the wormhole to constantly remain slightly open. In the end, this chain of events actually fulfilled Trakor's prophecy, without the destruction of the wormhole as the final outcome. Sisko began to take an interest in other Bajoran prophecies, but continued his skepticism about his role as the Emissary. (DS9: "Destiny")
Following destiny's path
Sisko continued walking the fine line between acknowledging the Bajoran beliefs and rejecting their admiration for him. In 2372, an ancient Bajoran lightship emerged from the wormhole carrying famed poet Akorem Laan. Akorem had apparently discovered the wormhole centuries before, and had been inside it ever since. Finally able to relinquish his title, Sisko jumped at the chance to allow the poet to become the Emissary. However, when Akorem began guiding Bajor down a road incompatible with joining the Federation, Sisko decided to challenge his title. He began studying the ancient texts, and realized that many of the prophecies applied to him, and not to Akorem. The two men traveled back into the wormhole and met with the Prophets, who confirmed that Sisko was in fact intended to be the Emissary. They returned Akorem to his own time, altering the timeline, but somehow preserving everyone's memory of the previous events. Following this, Ben slowly began to embrace his role as the Emissary. (DS9: "Accession")
In mid-2373, Sisko experienced a series of pagh'tem'fars in which the location of the lost city of B'hala was revealed to him. He was also shown the destruction of Bajor after its entrance into the Federation. Following his visions, he recommended that Bajor not join the Federation at that time, which angered Starfleet Command. Sisko was forced to undergo surgery to stop the visions when they became life-threatening. (DS9: "Rapture")
When Sisko entered the wormhole facing a Dominion fleet following Operation Return, the Prophets communicated with him once again. They refused to allow Sisko to die, and granted the destruction of the Dominion fleet. Referring to his life as "the game", they enacted a penance and told him that though he was "of Bajor" he would find no rest there. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")
Sisko's morale slowly fell, and by a few months later, he was thinking of resigning his post. Knowing he had much work left on Bajor, the Prophets sent him another series of pagh'tem'far, in which he was shown the life of Benny Russell, a black writer on Earth in the 20th century. The trials endured by Russell allowed Sisko to reevaluate his problems, and he decided to stay on the station. (DS9: "Far Beyond the Stars")
Later that year, Sisko inadvertently instigated the prophesied Reckoning, the battle between the Prophets and the Pah-wraiths. His son was possessed by a Kosst Amojan and Major Kira was taken over by a Prophet. The outcome of the battle was indefinite due to interference by Kai Winn. (DS9: "The Reckoning")
Following the release of a Pah-wraith by Dukat into the Orb of Contemplation in 2374, Sisko was confronted with visions of his birth-mother. He traveled to Tyree and discovered the Orb of the Emissary, which reopened the wormhole and the Orbs. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols")
Sisko was led to the Bajoran Fire Caves following the victory at the Battle of Cardassia, where he engaged in a final showdown with the Pah-wraiths, in the form of Dukat. Sisko destroyed the evil Book of the Kosst Amojan and trapped Dukat, along with the Pah-wraiths, in the Fire Caves forever. He was taken to the Celestial Temple, where his work had only begun. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Sisko enjoyed cooking, thanks to his father (a renowned chef whose specialty was Creole food). (DS9: "A Man Alone") He also played the piano and had an excellent singing voice. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang") He played Jokarian chess and poker, but wasn't a good bluffer.
Sisko was a fan of baseball, and owned several holosuite recreations of the game, as well as a real antique baseball. (DS9: "Emissary") He was a fan of the New York Yankees. He was also on the Academy wrestling team. (DS9: "Q-Less", "Apocalypse Rising")
Sisko's most ambitious pastime was the construction of an ancient Bajoran lightship replica. Sisko built the ship from scratch, using only materials available to the ancient Bajorans, with the exception of artificial gravity. The ship proved spaceworthy, and even helped prove that Bajorans had achieved spaceflight centuries before the Cardassians. (DS9: "Explorers")
Another of Sisko's interests was history. He collected models of old Starfleet starships, and ancient African art. (DS9: "The Search, Part I") He was very knowledgeable about 21st century history, which came in handy when he was once accidentally stranded in 2024 San Francisco. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part I") One of his heroes was Captain James T. Kirk, whom Sisko got to meet during another accidental time trip to 2268; he even managed to acquire Kirk's autograph (Kirk thought he was signing a crew complement list) and told Kirk it had been an honor to serve with him. (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")
Soon after graduating the Academy in 2354, Ben met his future wife Jennifer on Gilgo Beach on Earth. Sisko was carrying lemonades through the hot sand and stopped on Jennifer's towel to cool his feet. When Jennifer learned that Sisko was a young ensign, she was reluctant to go out with him, because her mother had warned her about dating young ensigns. However, she relented, and her mother turned out to love Sisko. The two were married, and their son Jake was born a year later. Jennifer and Jake accompanied Sisko on his assignment to the USS Saratoga. When the ship was destroyed in a battle with the Borg, Jennifer was killed. (DS9: "Emissary")
A woman named Fenna was Sisko's first attraction after his wife's death. In 2370, Sisko met her on the Promenade and was instantly taken with her. Unfortunately, he later discovered that Fenna was only a mental projection of Nidell, a telepathic woman married to Professor Gideon Seyetik. (DS9: "Second Sight")
In two trips to the mirror universe, Sisko met the alternate version of his wife, Jennifer. He also had a brief romantic encounter with the alternate version of Jadzia. (DS9: "Through the Looking Glass", "Shattered Mirror")
Sisko was introduced to Kasidy Yates in 2371 by his son. The two began dating after they discovered a shared interest in baseball. (DS9: "Family Business") Yates later began smuggling supplies to the Maquis, and Sisko was forced to arrest her in 2372. (DS9: "For the Cause") After Yates served her sentence, she returned to Deep Space 9 a year later, and the two resumed their relationship. (DS9: "Rapture")
The two were engaged in 2375. (DS9: "Penumbra") The Prophets warned Sisko that the two were not destined to walk the same path, causing Ben to call off the wedding; however he soon relented and the couple was married in a small ceremony conducted by Admiral William Ross. (DS9: "'Til Death Do Us Part") Shortly thereafter, Kasidy became pregnant. (DS9: "The Dogs of War") After being taken by the Prophets to the Celestial Temple, Sisko appeared to Kasidy in a vision, telling her that he would someday return, and that he loved her. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Sisko's son Jake was born in 2355 to his first wife Jennifer. Sisko remembered taking care of Jake as a baby, and looked back on the time fondly. (DS9: "The Abandoned") By the time Jake became a teenager, Benjamin had already imparted his love of baseball to his son. The two watched holo-recreations of famous games, and played the game themselves. (DS9: "Emissary")
On Deep Space 9, Jake's friendship with Nog bothered Sisko at first, since Nog seemed to always get Jake into trouble. However, when Jake began to teach Nog to read, Sisko began to see their friendship was beneficial, and allowed them to remain friends. (DS9: "The Nagus") In 2370, Jake told his father that he did not wish to follow in his father's footsteps in Starfleet; Sisko took the news well and gave Jake his blessing, provided that Jake pursue his chosen vocation with all his ambition. (DS9: "Shadowplay")
Sisko became very concerned in 2370 when Jake's first girlfriend turned out to be a dabo girl named Mardah. (DS9: "Playing God") When Sisko finally met the girl, however, his fears were assuaged, as Mardah turned out to be very nice and began to reveal sides of Jake that Sisko had never known. (DS9: "The Abandoned")
As Jake began to concentrate on his future career in writing, Sisko felt his son slipping away. He occasionally forced Jake to come with him on various outings: on a trip to the Gamma Quadrant, the test flight of Sisko's Bajoran lightship, and to see the Bajoran wormhole undergo a subspace inversion. (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar", "Explorers", "The Visitor") But Sisko finally had to allow his son to become an adult, and in 2373, Jake moved out and became roommates with Nog, who had by then become a Starfleet cadet. (DS9: "The Ascent")
In 2372, during an accident on the Defiant, Sisko was caught in subspace for more than thirty years. During this time, Jake became obsessed with finding a way to bring his father back, and eventually sacrificed his own life to return Sisko back to the moment of the accident. (DS9: "The Visitor") Later that year, when Jake was slowly being killed by Onaya, Sisko discovered her true nature, and saved his son. (DS9: "The Muse")
When the Dominion temporarily took control of DS9 in 2374, Jake decided to remain behind; Sisko was reluctant to leave him behind, but knew that Jake was a grown man capable of making his own decisions, however dangerous. (DS9: "Call to Arms") Sisko did, however, have to explain leaving Jake behind to his very angered father. (DS9: "A Time to Stand")
After Sisko's disappearance, Jake felt troubled by the loss of his father. He was comforted by Kasidy Yates and Colonel Kira Nerys, who believed that Sisko would return. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
Sisko's closest friend during his early career was Calvin Hudson. Sisko and Hudson attended the Academy together, and stayed friends afterward. The Siskos and Hudsons often took family vacations together. They once attended the Mazurka Festival at New Berlin. They also went camping on Itamish III, which they considered to be their best vacation. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part I") When Hudson abandoned Starfleet and joined the Maquis, Sisko felt Hudson was personally betraying him. In 2370, he allowed Hudson to escape Starfleet custody, but ended their twenty-year friendship. (DS9: "The Maquis, Part II") After the Cardassian Union joined the Dominion in 2373, the Maquis was swiftly destroyed and most of its members were killed, among them Cal Hudson. (DS9: "Blaze of Glory")
Benjamin's mentor during his younger days was Trill Ambassador Curzon Dax. After meeting Dax on Pelios Station in the 2350s, Dax and Sisko were close for almost twenty years. While defending Dax against charges of murder in 2369, Sisko described the Trill's influence on him: "[He] taught me to appreciate life in ways I'd never thought about before. He taught me about art, and science and diplomacy. Whatever sense of honor I have today, he nurtured." (DS9: "Dax")
Dax attended Sisko's bachelor party in 2354, and the two often visited Risa together. (DS9: "Invasive Procedures") When Curzon died in 2367, his symbiont was passed on to a woman named Jadzia. Despite the new appearance of Dax, Sisko insisted on calling her "old man." (DS9: "Emissary") Though it was initially difficult for him to adjust to Dax's new appearance, Jadzia and Sisko became friends again quickly. (DS9: "A Man Alone")
Sisko soon considered Jadzia one of his closest friends. On at least two separate occasions, when faced with the possibility of her death, Sisko did whatever it took to save her. (DS9: "Invasive Procedures", "Equilibrium") When Jadzia called off her wedding to Worf in 2374, it was Sisko who told her that she was being unreasonable, finally convincing her to proceed with the nuptials. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited")
Jadzia was killed by Gul Dukat later that year, and Sisko was forced to say goodbye to her. Taking a moment before her funeral, Sisko told her that he needed her most now, and painfully regretted that she was gone. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
However, the Dax symbiont lived on, having been joined with Ezri Tigan. The new Ezri Dax tracked down Sisko on Earth and helped him discover the Orb of the Emissary. (DS9: "Shadows and Symbols") Dax eventually decided to return to Deep Space 9, and continued her friendship with Sisko for a third lifetime. Unfortunately Ezri was unprepared for the Dax symbiont and struggled to adjust to the new memories, in the process of helping her Sisko becomes both her commanding officer and mentor. (DS9: "Afterimage")
The relationship between Sisko and his Bajoran first officer, Kira Nerys, began with a rocky start, since Kira openly stated that she was opposed to the Federation's presence for fear that that it would become an occupying power. (DS9: "Emissary") Kira's views on the Federation shifted once the wormhole was discovered, and she begrudgingly accepted the need for the Federation's presence to keep the Cardassians away. However, the early relationship between Sisko and Kira was still often defined by arguments regarding different approaches to station policy. At times, Kira was not only argumentative but also insubordinate. (DS9: "Past Prologue") However, Sisko stated that despite these arguments he and Kira always came away with new appreciation for the other's views. Kira joked at the end of their first year that she didn't believe Sisko was the devil, despite Winn Adami's attempt to portray the Federation as evil. (DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets")
Kira's religious beliefs further complicated the relationship with Sisko. Like other religious Bajorans, Kira viewed Sisko as the Emissary of the Prophets, which left Sisko feeling uncomfortable and conflicted at times. Kira attempted to keep her religious beliefs to herself; however, when Sisko was injured by a Jem'Hadar attack, she prayed for his recovery. After the incident, Sisko invited her to attend a baseball game with him. (DS9: "Starship Down") As Sisko grew to accept his position as the Emissary, the tension between the two softened.
When the Federation was forced to abandon Deep Space 9, Sisko, speaking as both the Emissary and the commanding officer, ordered Kira and the other Bajorans to avoid interfering in the conflict with the Dominion. (DS9: "Call to Arms") However, as it became clear that the Federation was losing the war, Kira disregarded Sisko's orders and formed a new resistance against the Dominion. (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals")
Kira also shared her reservations with Sisko regarding his intentions to mary Kasidy Yates, despite the warnings from the Prophets that Sisko's marriage would cause him pain. (DS9: "'Til Death Do Us Part")
Sisko and Miles O'Brien's relationship could be described as a classic example of a crewman's loyalty and devotion to a commander. And this relationship developed quickly. O'Brien respected Sisko from the first, and Sisko came to rely on Miles to keep Deep Space Nine running in the earliest days of his command.
Aside from this incident, Sisko seemed to have developed a very casual friendship with O'Brien, despite the difference in their ranks and the fact that Miles was an enlisted crewman and Sisko an officer. And O'Brien was unswervingly loyal to his commander. They both would talk about their respective roles as fathers. (DS9: "Call to Arms")
Sisko verbally threatened the Cardassians should any harm come to O'Brien, who was held under false charges. Upon concluding the Cardassians' plot regarding the Maquis, he pulled a few strings and extended O'Brien's vacation time.(DS9: "Tribunal")
O'Brien volunteered to remain behind on Deep Space Nine to help Sisko, Li Nalas, and a handful of others retain control of the station after Starfleet was ordered off by the Provisional Government, under the influence of The Circle. He did this even though it could have meant the end of his Starfleet career and over the strenuous objections of his wife.(DS9: "The Siege")
Sisko was sympathetic to O'Brien after his daughter Molly was thrown in a time portal. Once the incident ended, he volunteered to represent his engineer at a Starfleet hearing, and defended his actions at a hearing.(DS9: "Time's Orphan")
The crew and residents of Deep Space 9
Sisko grew very close to his command crew on Deep Space 9. Besides Dax, Miles O'Brien, and Kira Nerys, he formed close relationships with Worf, Odo, and Julian Bashir. He occasionally invited his staff to a home-cooked dinner. (DS9: "Equilibrium") However, he often had to draw the line between friend and commanding officer. On more than one occasion when a member of his senior staff bent (or broke) the rules, Sisko was forced to come down on them without regard for their off-duty relationship.
Sisko was not quite fond of Quark, but over time, he began to tolerate the Ferengi. He has blackmailed Quark on a number of occasions when it suited him, such as convincing him to stay on DS9, and helping the Federation make First Contact with the Founders of the Dominion. He was grateful when Quark helped uncover the first Dominion spy, and when he saved his life from a Jem'Hadar.
Though initially unsupportive of Jake's friendship with Nog, Sisko eventually grew to like the young Ferengi. Nog asked Ben to help him apply to Starfleet Academy; initially wary of the idea, Sisko soon recognized Nog's genuine desire to become a cadet, and he approved. (DS9: "Heart of Stone") When Nog returned to DS9 for field study, Sisko actually encouraged his friendship with Jake, hoping that Nog's new Starfleet discipline would rub off on his son. (DS9: "The Ascent") Nog later served under Sisko on the USS Defiant, and Sisko began to rely on Nog's presence among his crew. (DS9: "Call to Arms")
The only other Ferengi Sisko got along with on DS9 was Rom, Nog's father. At one point, both Sisko and Rom conspired to get Jake and Nog talking in the same room. (DS9: "The Ascent") He once intimidated Rom by kicking him off his baseball team against Solok and the Logicians due to his poor batting skills. He later apologized [sincerely] to Rom for his attitude.
Sisko assembled his senior staff in 2375 for a baseball game on the holosuite against a team of Vulcans. Sisko's team, the Niners, lost against the Vulcan Logicians, but the game brought the crew together, and they enjoyed the experience. (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite") Later that year, Sisko also took part in a jack-in-the-box program involving Vic Fontaine with his crew. Sisko helped regain Vic's lounge after it had been taken over by the mob. (DS9: "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang") Sisko assembled his crew together one last time, at Vic's, following the end of the Dominion War. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")
After the Dominion War started, it was apparent that Sisko and Vice Admiral William Ross had a good working relationship. In early-2374, Ross made Sisko his adjunct. Later that year, when the Federation Alliance was ready to go on the offensive against the Dominion, Ross gave Sisko the news that Starfleet had chosen him to plan the invasion of Cardassia. (DS9: "Behind the Lines", "Tears of the Prophets")
Despite their fairly solid working relationship, Ross expressed some frustration with Sisko's status as the Emissary of the Prophets. This frustration came to a head in late-2374 on the eve of the First Battle of Chin'toka, when Sisko told Ross that the Prophets told him not to go to Cardassia. Ross told Sisko that he could no longer be both a Starfleet captain and the Emissary of the Prophets, and that he would have to choose one or the other. Sisko opted to go to Cardassia. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
"You value your ignorance of what is to come?"
"That may be the most important thing to understand about humans. It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives, day by day. And we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why I am here. Not to conquer you with weapons or ideas, but to co-exist and learn."
"You exist here."
"I exist here. I don't know if you can understand; I see her like this every time I close my eyes, in the darkness, in the blink of an eye, I see her like this."
"None of your past experiences helped prepare you for this consequence."
And I have never figured out how to live without her."
So you choose to exist here. It is not linear."
No, it's not linear.
- - Prophet (as Jennifer Sisko) and Sisko discuss the death of Sisko's wife in a vision induced by the Prophets DS9: "Emissary"
"You hit me! Picard never hit me!"
"I'm not Picard!"
"Better luck next time."
"You better hope there isn't a next time, mister! I have cut you a lot of slack in the past; I even decided to look away once or twice when I could have come down hard on you, but those days are over! Now we may not be able to get you for selling weapons but you so much as LITTER on the Promenade, and I will nail you to the wall!!"
"The Bajorans who have lived with us on the station, who have worked with us for months, who helped us move this station to protect the wormhole, who joined us to explore the Gamma Quadrant, who have begun to build the future of Bajor with us, these people know that we are neither the enemy nor the devil. We don't always agree. We have some damned good fights in fact, but we always come away from them with a little better understanding and appreciation of each other."
"On Earth, there is no poverty, no crime, no war. You look out the window of Starfleet Headquarters and you see paradise. Well, it's easy to be a saint in paradise, but the Maquis do not live in paradise. Out there in the Demilitarized Zone, all the problems haven't been solved yet. Out there, there are no saints — just people. Angry, scared, determined people who are going to do whatever it takes to survive, whether it meets with Federation approval or not!"
- - Sisko, on Nechayev's suggestion that he "establish a dialogue" with the Maquis in DS9: "The Maquis, Part II"
"My father used to say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I laid the first stone right there. I'd committed myself. I'd pay any price; go to any lengths because my cause was righteous. My...intentions were good. In the beginning, that seemed like enough."
"So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would. Garak was right about one thing, a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant. So I will learn to live with it. Because I can live with it. I can live with it... Computer, erase that entire personal log."
Ben Sisko has been holographically duplicated on a number of occasions.
- A recreation was created by the personnel of Deep Space 9 in order to lure Bajoran soldiers into a holosuite during the coup d'état attempt by The Circle. (DS9: "The Siege")
- A transporter accident in 2372 aboard Deep Space 9 resulted in transporter patterns that would normally be stored in the pattern buffer to overwrite some of the characters in the Julian Bashir, Secret Agent 1960s holoprogram. The character of Hippocrates Noah was overwritten with the appearance of Sisko. (DS9: "Our Man Bashir")
- Luther Sloan recreated the entire station and staff of Deep Space 9 in 2374 as part of his investigation into Julian Bashir. This program had a recreation of Sisko. (DS9: "Inquisition")
- 2332: Born in New Orleans, Earth
- 2333: Mother, Sarah Sisko leaves
- 2350: Joins Starfleet Academy
- 2351: Spends sophomore year on Starbase 137
- 2354: Graduates Starfleet Academy; marries Jennifer Sisko, moves to new posting on New Berlin colony
- 2355: Son, Jake Sisko, born
- Late 2350s: Serves aboard USS Livingston; promoted to lieutenant
- Early 2360s: Serves aboard USS Okinawa; promoted to lieutenant commander
- Mid 2360s: Serves aboard USS Saratoga
- 2366: Battle of Wolf 359; wife dies; transfers to Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards; works on Defiant-class design project
- 2369: Promoted to commander; commands station Deep Space 9; discovers the Bajoran wormhole, becoming the Emissary of the Prophets
- 2371: Meets Kasidy Yates; given command of starship USS Defiant along side DS9; promoted to captain
- 2373: Start of the Dominion War
- 2374: Recipient of the Christopher Pike Medal of Valor
- 2375: Discovers truth about mother, Prophets; marries Kasidy Yates; Dominion War ends; joins the Prophets in the Celestial Temple
- When Avery Brooks' agent first rang him to tell him that there was role going in a new Star Trek show, Brooks laughed because he instinctively felt he was going to be offered a role requiring heavy prosthetics, which he wasn't interested in doing. After finding out the role was that of a Human, Brooks was still unconvinced, and of his pursuit of the role he said "This will never work." Indeed, on his way to the audition, the transmission in his car began to slip, so he called the producers and nonchalantly told them he couldn't make it, and was surprised when they rearranged his audition. It was ultimately the quality of the script for "Emissary" which convinced Brooks of the value of the show. ("Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features)
- Ronald D. Moore mentioned the story of Moses as an inspiration for the developments in Sisko's life. (AOL chat, 1997)
- The original, 1992 Writer's Bible for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine gave this biography for the character:
- Benjamin Sisko, human Starfleet commander with a twelve year-old son, whose gentle, strong, soft spoken demeanor belies the temper that he is constantly trying to control. And when he loses it, he gets furious with himself. He's a man of action who gets impatient with too much talk, but as he has become more mature, he's learned to stop and think twice about losing control. He has a weakness for baseball, a sport that died out in the 22nd century and he frequently goes to a holo-suite to have a chat and a catch with one [of] his legendary ballplayer heroes. Sisko was on a starship with his wife and son at the famous encounter with the Borg led by the Borgified Picard, and his wife was killed. That leads to bitterness toward Picard. Picard: Have we met before? Sisko: Yes, we met in battle. Since that tragedy, he has been assigned to shore duty on Mars where he was on the team reconstructing the fleet at Utopia Planitia Yards. Sisko objected to being assigned to DS9. He told Starfleet he had a son to raise and had been asking for an Earth assignment, not this. His important work on DS9 gives him a new direction, but his is still very much a life framed by tragedy.
- Speaking in 1992, shortly after filming had begun on "Emissary", Avery Brooks said of Sisko, "He is very, very human. He shows what he feels, wears what he feels. He is a quick thinker, but yet a deep thinker. He is a single parent, and thus is worried about raising his son. In this case of course, he is a widower, so that part of his history is there, especially every time he looks at his son, he is seeing that part of his life, indeed, seeing his wife, and we have to assume that he loved her very deeply. So there are indeed conflicts, human conflicts, which make it a wonderful experience because you can play everything." (Hidden File 01, DS9 Season 1 DVD special features)
- According to Michael Piller, "It was harder to define Sisko as a character than perhaps any of the others, and ultimately it took us probably a season and a half to reach the conclusion that Sisko was a builder, a man who built things, stayed with projects, as opposed to the driver, the captain of a starship who went off and moved from place to place." (New Frontiers: The Story of Deep Space Nine, DS9 Season 2 DVD special features) Piller also talks about this aspect of Sisko's character, the builder in contrast to Picard's explorer, numerous times in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion.
- Speaking in 1999, just after filming on "What You Leave Behind" had finished, Ira Steven Behr said, "Sisko's arc is pretty clear. He came to the station, it was an assignment he did not want, he was not happy to be there, and he became a man who talks about living on Bajor for the rest of his life. So I think it was a healing process for Sisko. I think he's a wonderful leader, and he's a great family man. And he came to the show a wounded man, who had just lost his wife, was somewhat bitter, and he became a religious icon." ("Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features)
- Avery Brooks has stated of Sisko, "The relationship with his son was critically important, aside from the fact that I have children, but knowing how tenuous, how fragile, how fleeting, ultimately, the moment, or moments that you have with your children, how important and critical the time that you spend early on in sowing these seeds that you hope will help your child survive and then pray that you've done the right thing." ("Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features) Cirroc Lofton also says, "With Jake's character, he brought out the human-ness in the captain because otherwise you would just see the captain as an authoritative figure, you'd see him as just being someone who just gives orders, and someone who's really firm and aggressive, with Jake he can be playful, and you see the father side and the human side of this icon, this character, this person who you respect, but there's another side to him, the loving caring side, the playful side." ("Crew Dossier: Jake Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features)
- Brooks has also commented, "The investigation of self, or the discovery of self, is an internal journey. The investigation of the unknown is not outer ultimately, but inner. So the idea of this man reluctantly wrestling with this idea of being the chosen one, to make this journey, this internal journey, towards the discovery of self, something that human-kind does, until they leave the planet I'm sure, certainly that's what I'm doing." ("Crew Dossier: Benjamin Sisko", DS9 Season 7 DVD special features)
- One of the plans for the six-episode arc at the start of season six was to promote Sisko to admiral, even if only temporarily. This was vetoed after extensive discussion by Ira Steven Behr, who "felt it took the lead character out of the Star Trek pantheon". (Star Trek Monthly issue 38)
In the DS9 relaunch novels, Sisko returns from the Celestial Temple on the day of his daughter's (Rebecca Jae Sisko) birth in Unity, and lives on Bajor with Kasidy. As of the Star Trek: Typhon Pact novel Rough Beasts of Empire, Sisko has returned to Starfleet and is in command of the Galaxy-class starship Robinson. While in Rough Beasts of Empire Sisko requested a divorce from Kasidy on the basis of the Prophets warning to him several years earlier that he would face great sorrow, in Plagues of Night he withdrew the request.
- Benjamin Sisko at StarTrek.com, the official Star Trek website
- Benjamin Sisko at Wikipedia
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