As people abandon their seats to stare between the two versions of Toddman, Ramsey seals the main door. The Betazoid woman retreats with most obvious alarm, pointing at the doubled Admiral and shouting to the room that neither is what he appears to be. The newly arrived Toddman shows contempt for Ramsey and Thorus’ questions while A’Tora sinks down in his seat and appears utterly consumed by embarrassment. When Thorus says the other Toddman could prove his identify by offering his clearance code, Toddman scoffs and declares that this entire shenanigan is beneath him. Never one to miss an opportunity, Thorus produces a short sword and misconstrues Toddman’s statement as a challenge to a duel which he accepts.
While this is happening, a Commander Jenkens has arrived on the other side of the closed door and demands to be granted entry. Ramsey offers some excuse while the duel begins (Toddman having accepted a hand phaser from Thorus). Thorus quickly makes three strikes with the sword, each passing through Toddman as if into water. At the third, Toddman turns part of himself in a shimmering liquid mass and tries to grab Thorus, but fails. Behind him, A’Tora shifts into a type of rodent and scurries toward the nearest wall. Ramsey opens the door to permit Jenkens while the conference attendees scatter toward the furthest exit. The Toddman-changeling runs to disappear with the crowd while Jenkens orders another security guard to arrest Ramsey and Thorus. Thorus counters this order with one of his own – for the guard to retrieve the security footage recorded by a device he’d planted earlier. The guard hesitates only briefly before accepting that order, leaving Ramsey and Thorus free to pursue A’Tora who has darted out the now-open main door.
They catch up with A’Tora, now dressed as a janitor and wearing Lawrence Davis’ face again, and he confesses that he had planned to help them a final time and then disappear into the crowds on Regulus IV. He had read a communique of Boqin’s that suggested the erstwhile Section 31 agent planned to use A’Tora for testing in pursuit of a biological weapon against the – to Boqin’s perception – seemingly unkillable changelings. After they promise A’Tora that he can hide as an inanimate object and remain with them until they’re rid of Boqin, he agrees to return to the ship with them. No sooner said, and A’Tora shifts into a jacket and drapes himself over Ramsey’s arm. Back aboard the Tarsus they claim A’Tora was lost in the excitement and that they can’t afford to track him down. Leaving Regulus IV, they head for Earth but are forced to stop for repairs when the trans-warp coil become faulty. Boqin shows a decided lack of faith in Ramsey’s skills and Les panics that they’ll be stranded. Les puts on the A’Tora-jacket and replicates a week’s worth of food to stash in the pockets.
Once repairs are done they proceed to Earth and arrive without further delay. They beam Boqin to the lobby of the hotel Ivers is staying at and turn Les and A’Tora loose to explore San Francisco. Then, after moving the ship to a new docking yard (the better to throw Boqin off the track), they beam to the hotel as well. They find Ivers in the lobby and he says he’s already sent Boqin to share his intel with Myrun. Ivers then tells them he has a time-sensitive task for them – to deliver Lt. Cmdr. Eddington to Deep Space Nine because Starfleet needs another security officer there to look into the rather maverick behavior of the senior officers. Their cover story will be that they are test-piloting a new engine design on behalf of Ambassador Corrik, trusting that the duty-oriented Eddington won’t be problematically curious about the experimental nature of the Tarsus’ propulsion.