Sunday, March 20, 2011
Benny is carried on a stretcher into an old, ill-equipped ambulance. But when he comes to, he is lying there in the Starfleet uniform of Ben Sisko. He sees this, and he sees the preacher. “Who am I?” he asks.
“Don’t you know?” the preacher says. “You are the dreamer, and the dream.”
Back on DS9, Sisko awakens. Like Picard’s vision, his lasted only a few minutes of real time. The story ends where it began: in his office, talking to his father who is preparing to return to Earth, where (ironically enough) he is the owner of a restaurant--the occupation Benny rejected. Captain Sisko has decided to remain with DS9, presumably as a result of his "dream." He told his father his vision, and now speculates on the possibility that it wasn’t a dream. “What if this life we’re leading—you and me—everything—what if all of this is the illusion?.. Maybe we’re nothing more than figments of his imagination. For all we know, at this very moment somewhere far beyond all those distant stars, Benny Russell is dreaming us.”