In S03E05 of Deep Space 9, Second Skin, one of the convincing things that the master spy told Kira was about a memory from 10 years ago. She shot a mother mountain lion who was protecting her cub. This shook Kira since no one knew about it, and it was the only thing that cannot be refuted.

The master spy explained that this memory was planted when they made her a spy.

It turned out that it was all a fake: she wasn't a Cardassian spy, and no one planted any memories; it was just a superficial plastic surgery and attempts to confuse her.

So, how did he know about the mountain lion?

  • Not seen the episode in question, but something that is planted is inherently planted by someone, who is then inherently also a likely source of the information of it being planted.
    – Flater
    Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 16:07
  • 1
    That was my thought too @Flater ... but I think "it was all fake" means the "memory was planted" explanation was false. At least that would be the only source of confusion that I can see. I do think it might help if the question made that clear.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


This is brought up in the novel "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Fearful Symmetry" by Olivia Woods. (Clearly that plot hole had niggled at the author too!). Dax first speculates that this was a false memory that had been implanted at the same time they were applying the Cardassian plastic surgery to Kira. Ultimately, though, they deduce that it was a true memory, and Kira really had been a prisoner at Elemspur. Iliana had been intended to take on Kira's appearance and memories, and thus Entek knew about the memory as he was the one who copied the memory from Kira to Iliana. In the end Kira's memory of her time at Elemspur was wiped and she was set free instead, though.

Out of universe, it seems likely to me that this is a leftover of the original plot of the episode which had a more ambiguous ending about whether Kira really was a sleeper agent. According to the reference book Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, the episode was originally going to feature O'Brien finding out he was a Cardassian sleeper agent, but the writer then had trouble in explaining how O'Brien's daughter Molly could be human, so the focus character was switched to Kira. In an interview with the writer on the DVD bonus features:

he says that "In my original version of the story, Bashir could not conclusively tell her whether she was Bajoran or Cardassian at the end." Leaving dangling plot threads like the fact Entek knew about the cat could further increase the ambiguity of the ending.

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    So, the novel is constructed more carefully (or the ambiguous ending in the original version of the story), and in the tv-series they cut corners and were more careless.
    – Zohar Levi
    Commented Mar 3, 2022 at 9:17

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