Star Trek: The Fall - Year One
Set in April 2374, at the end of the DS9 episode Statistical Probabilities
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”
Cargo Bay Four
Deep Space Nine
It starts like this.
A man wakes up in a cargo bay. He is tied to a chair, his head lolling down against his chest. He is handsome, his dark hair cropped close on the top of his head, his cheeks clean shaven and still a little boyish. The green sweater he wears beneath the black and grey uniform jacket shows he is a doctor.
He comes to and looks around. It takes him a moment to get his bearings, to remember what happened - the argument, the blow to the head. And now he is here. Tied up. Helpless.
This is how it starts.
Doctor Julian Bashir groaned. Unable to reach his comm badge, he tried to activate the internal communication’s system.
“Computer!” Nothing happened. Shaking his head to clear the last traces of his headache, he tried again. “Computer, respond!”
He waited another beat, but there was still no answer. He lifted his head fully, glancing around the room again. For a moment, he imagined he saw Sarina sat in a chair opposite him, staring at him silently. An echo of a whisper of a dream. Then it was gone and he was alone.
Bashir groaned again. Pulling on his bonds, he tried to detach himself. Normally, his genetically enhanced strength should have allowed him to find some way of breaking them, but he had forgotten who he was dealing with. Jack knew exactly what to do to keep him in place. Allowing his head to fall back, he spoke to the Gods, to the Prophets, to the Fates.
“Jack, what have you done?”
No one answered.
Standing next to Weyoun in the storage bay, hiding amongst the crates and containers, he wondered how his life had led him here. Two years before, he had been Glinn Damar, serving as Gul Dukat’s right hand man aboard a Klingon Bird-of-Prey. Now he was the leader of the Cardassian Union, the man who had to play a game with the devil and try not to get burned. He shook his head. He never wanted this. Not any of it.
The sound of footsteps approaching along the corridor outside caused both of them to freeze, almost holding their breath as they waited to see if it was their contact. Or Starfleet Security. Slowly, the noise faded, and Damar began to fidget again.
After a few more moments, he couldn’t take it anymore. “Where are they?”
Weyoun glanced at him with those disconcerting violet eyes. “Calm down, Damar. They’ll be here.”
Damar glowered at him, but he stopped talking, stewing silently. For about a minute.
“This is ridiculous!” he burst out finally. “Sneaking into a storage bay for a secret meeting - - I’m not some agent of the Obsidian Order, I’m the leader of the Cardassian Empire!”
The damned Vorta sneered. He actually sneered. “Don’t let it got to your head.” He looked away, that self-satisfied smile back on his face. “You serve at the Dominion’s pleasure.”
I certainly don’t serve at mine, he thought, bristling, but not daring to say it aloud. At the end of the day, Weyoun was right. The Vorta and his shape-shifting mistress had cast Dukat aside faster than a Cardassian vole cast aside her young. He had no illusions that they would do the same to him if he gave them reason. At least while he remained in the position, he could do some good for the Cardassian people.
He turned back to see Weyoun was smiling. “Besides, I think it’s exciting.”
Damar rolled his eyes safely behind the Vorta’s back. The man was a fool. If it hadn’t been for Weyoun, Dukat would have kept his grip on Terok Nor, Damar was sure of it. Instead, the Dominion was on the back foot for the first time since the war began, and they were tightening their grip around Cardassia. If things didn’t change soon…
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a door opening nearby. Footsteps approached their position. Damar couldn’t help tensing slightly, though whether in fear or anticipation, even he didn’t know.
Both men stepped out from their hiding place. Damar saw who was there and he almost laughed.
Four humans stood in the walkway between piles of containers. A male stood out in front, grinning wildly, his moustache the only distinguishing feature on his face. He waved a PADD around, brandishing it like a martial stick. Behind him stood another man, rotund but nervous, wringing his hands and glancing every which way as if he expected an attack to come at any moment. Two women stood on either side of him - one a frail blond with a vacant expression, the other a dark-haired, voluptuous siren who gazed at Damar with barely disguised interest.
“Interesting,” Weyoun said.
The moustached man stopped smiling. He glanced downwards, biting his nail. “Interesting? Interesting he said. Why does he think it’s interesting? Its not interesting, it’s an opportunity. An opportunity!”
Damar held back a sigh. Wonderful. They had been contacted by a group of insane humans. “Who are they?”
Weyoun’s eyes remained fixed on the group. “I have no idea.”
The dark-haired female pushed past the two men, approaching Damar with a slinky, sensuous swivel of her hips. One finger tapped her lower lip, her breasts thrust out. “I’ll be whoever you want me to be, handsome.”
Damar snorted and turned to Weyoun. “This is a waste of…”
“No!” The moustached man shouted. He pushed the woman back, putting himself back in the prominent position. “Not a waste. A waste would be all of those lives lost. That’s what we have to stop. Yes, yes, that’s it.”
“You are the one who contacted us?”
Again, he looked down to the side. “Call themselves genetically engineered? Not smart enough, no no, not smart enough.” He looked back at Weyoun as if the Vorta hadn’t heard him. “Of course I am! Who were you expecting? Constable Odo, hm, hm?” He laughed, a shrill sound that set Damar’s teeth on edge.
He’d had enough of this. “I’m leaving.”
Weyoun held up a hand, striking Damar lightly on the chest. As much as he hated doing it, he stopped.
“You said you had information that could be very beneficial to us.”
The moustached man waved the PADD at the Vorta.
“Yes, yes. Information, hm, hm? Information to help you stop the war.”
Damar felt an uneasy feeling settle in the pit of his stomach. “It’s a trap,” he hissed, turning to Weyoun. “It has to be. Sisko, setting us up.”
“Perhaps,” the Vorta drawled. “Still. It can’t hurt to take a look.”
He took a step forward, putting his hand out. The moustached man hesitated for a moment, then he lay the PADD in the Vorta’s hand. Weyoun lifted it, glancing at the scrolling text. Damar saw his eyes thin, then he looked at the moustached man. Back at the PADD. Back at the human. Finally, he looked back at the PADD, his eyes widening.
The Vorta ignored him, his pupils darting rapidly across the screen. He began to push buttons on the PADD, scrolling from a set of schematics to a series of numbers to what appeared to be a memorandum. Damar saw a rare smile appear on Weyoun’s face.
“Damar, I think this man has just handed us the Alpha Quadrant.”
Damar frowned. The Vorta’s smile widened and he handed the PADD over. Damar began to read, his heart beating faster as he realised what he held in his hand. Minutes later, he looked up at the Vorta.
“Battle plans. Ships schematics. Fleet deployments. Shield frequency codes and classified weapon schematics. Everything we need to see the Dominion victorious.”
Damar stared at the Vorta for a long moment. With this… With this information, the Alpha Quadrant would be in their hands in a matter of years. Months even.
He looked at the moustached man to see him nodding along manically. And, slowly, Damar began to laugh.
Captain Benjamin Sisko strode out of his office and out into the Cardassian monstrosity that was Ops.
“What is it old man?” he asked, replying to the hail that had pulled him from behind his desk. Jadzia Dax looked up at him, a frown on her face.
“Captain, Weyoun and Damar have just beamed aboard their vessel. It is pulling away from the station.”
Sisko surveyed Ops with an experienced eye. Commander Worf stood behind the tactical station, Kira at his elbow probably studying the readouts from the departing Dominion ship. All the other stations were manned, everyone calmly carrying out their tasks. Odo stood down in the lower portion of the command centre. Sisko walked over to Jadzia’s science station.
“What is going on?”
“I don’t know but…” She turned to look up at him, confusion and a little fear wavering in her eyes. “I’m picking up four human lifesigns aboard.” She looked back at her console, hesitating for a moment. “I think… I think it’s Jack and his friends.”
Sisko didn’t hesitate, reaching up to tap his combadge. “Sisko to Bashir.”
He waited a moment, but there was no response. He tapped the badge again.
“Sisko to Cargo Bay Four.”
There was still no response. Sisko turned and nodded to Odo. The constable inclined his head slightly and headed for the turbolift.
“On my way,” he called over his shoulder.
As Odo vanished down the turbolift tube, Sisko glanced at his old friend. “What the hell is going on?”
Cargo Bay Four
Julian stopped struggling against his bonds as the doors to the cargo bay opened. When he saw Odo rush in, he felt a surge of relief. They must have found Jack. He must have told them where…
His hopes vanished as four Bajoran militia officers rushed in behind the constable, fanning out around the room. Their phasers were at the ready, covering every angle of the cargo bay. They were obviously looking for Jack and the others.
“Tell me you caught Jack,” Bashir asked, hoping against hope, as Odo moved over behind him and began to untie the ropes that held him in place.
Odo finished untying his bonds and stepped round in front of him, shaking his head. “Sorry Doctor. But don’t worry, I’m sure the Dominion won’t hurt them.”
Bashir surged to his feet, rubbing at his wrists. “No, you don’t understand. Jack… He stole the PADD with the classified information Starfleet Intelligence provided us. He has battle plans, fleet deployments, planetary defence codes… He has everything the Dominion need to win the war.”
Even Odo’s normally expressionless face took on a fearful cast. “If that ship reaches Dominion space…”
Bashir nodded. “We’re done for.”
This is how it ends. Two men stood in an empty cargo bay, picturing the years that are yet to come. The blood and the death. The pain and the screams. The fire and the fall.
This is how it ends.
This is how it starts.
This is how we fell.
Re: Star Trek: The Fall - Year One
It's a nice enough piece of work, although I despise Jack and the rest of his "special" friends.
Re: Star Trek: The Fall - Year One
This sort of reminds me of a Star Trek version of Mark Waid's excellent JLA: Tower of Babel arc.
Re: Star Trek: The Fall - Year One
Acting Station Commander’s Log, Stardate 51471.3. Things on Deep Space Nine have settled back into a semblance of normality after the dramatic events of the past few months. While Captain Sisko remains in a comatose state, Doctor Laurence claims that his life signs remain strong. His brainwaves seem to match those found when he received a vision from the Prophets a year ago, though this time they do not seem to be putting his life at risk. I hope that if the Emissary is receiving a vision from the Prophets, they are giving him guidance through these dark times.
In his continued absence, Starfleet have assigned us a new commanding officer who should be arriving aboard the Crazy Horse in the next few hours. I am not looking forward to greeting her. Receiving a new commander seems too much like a betrayal of Captain Sisko.
The latest reports from the front seem to show a slight lull in the fighting, despite the fall of Suliban two days ago. Federation space remains split in two, with the only communication between the two coming from the MIDAS Array. I wonder how long this can last before the Dominion cut off even that route…
Major Kira Nerys stood to attention as the door cycled open.
The starship Crazy Horse had arrived right on schedule, entering Bajoran space fifteen minutes before. As acting station commander, she had had no choice but to come up and greet the new commanding officer personally, despite the fact that it was the last thing she wanted to do. Worf had offered to accompany her, but she had refused, preferring to handle the introductions personally.
The door finished opening, revealing a tall Bajoran woman in a purple, black and grey Starfleet uniform. Her long black hair wrapped around her neck and tumbled down over her shoulder in one tight ponytail. Although she didn’t want to, Kira couldn’t help but notice the lack of an earring on her right ear. Keeping her eyes fixed forward, she stepped forward, forcing a smile.
“Captain Naral. Welcome to Deep Space Nine. I’m - -“
“Yes, I know who you are Major Kira,” Naral said coldly, stepping down from the airlock.
Kira was taken aback but she forced the smile to remain on her face as Naral looked her over. Finally, the Bajoran captain spoke.
Frowning, Kira shook her head. “Well, what? Sir?”
“Aren’t you going to ask about the earring?”
Kira was shocked. Every Bajoran’s earring was a personal item, as individualised as their genetic code, or their fingerprint. A symbol of their faith in the Prophets. Kira would never dare ask another Bajoran about the presence or absence of their earring �“ it would be like asking a Klingon whether they believed in Kahless.
Kira didn’t know what to say. So she just stood there and waited. Finally, Naral nodded.
“Good. Now. Take me to Ops.”
The woman stepped past her, took a few steps down the corridor, then turned back, one eyebrow raised questioningly. Kira snapped into motion, reducing the space between them in a few short strides, then took the lead. As she led Captain Naral down the corridor to the nearest turbolift, Kira wondered what Starfleet had saddled them with now. And more importantly, why the woman seemed to hate her.
The bar formerly known as Quark’s now bore the name Tristan’s Entertainment Palace. Little inside had changed - a few extra pieces of décor, a human casino table for poker and blackjack instead of one of the dabo tables, and of course a mostly human and Orion work staff instead of Ferengi. Despite everything that changed, most things stayed the same.
For the most part.
Doctor Julian Bashir downed the glass of Saurian brandy, then slammed the glass down on the bar.
The attractive human woman behind the bar winced. Bashir wondered whether she needed medical attention. He studied her, then leered. He’d give her a check-up. A very rigorous one. As he thought that, a flicker of memory tickled the back of his mind. Actually, maybe he already had.
He focused on her again long enough to realise she was shaking her head. It took him a moment to make sense of the gesture. He frowned.
“Another!” he repeated. She winced again.
"I'm sorry doctor. I'm not allowed. Mister Tristan's orders."
Again, Bashir took a moment to make sense of what the girl was saying. When he did, though, he roared.
"What? What do you mean you're not allowed? I'm a paying customer, aren't I? Of course I am. You know that, I know that, we all know that. So get me a drink, fine woman, fine woman, get me a drink before I go mad."
He giggled. He'd heard that before, though he couldn't remember where. Funny how that worked.
A hand fell on his shoulder. He turned round and squinted up at another beautiful woman. He smiled.
“Jadzia! How are you?”
“What are you doing, Julian?”
He frowned. He didn’t like her tone of voice. He was about to tell her so when she sat down and spun his chair to face her.
“You were supposed to be in Ops this morning. The new commander arrived. She asked after you. I explained that you were busy with some research, but you are going to have to meet with her eventually. If you do so in this state...”
Through the fog that hung in his mind, he vaguely remembered what she was talking about. Somehow, though, he couldn’t quite bring himself to care.
“I was busy,” he said. He didn’t feel much like laughing anymore. He tried to turn the chair back around and get another drink, but Jadzia kept a firm hold.
“What is wrong with you, Julian? This isn’t like you. At least it didn’t used to be.”
“Leave me alone,” he said, waving her away. His hand hit the glass, sending it crashing to the floor. “Oops.”
He laughed again, then stopped as a firm hand settled on his shoulder. He looked up to see a huge Orion, his chest visible beneath a leather waistcoat, glaring down at him.
“I hope you’re going to pay for that, doctor.”
Jadzia stood up and walked over. “He will, Tristan. Don’t worry. I’ll just take him home.”
“I don’t want to go home,” Julian said. “I want another drink.”
“You’ve had your lot, doctor. Why don’t you let the nice lady take you back to your quarters?”
There was just enough menace in Tristan’s voice to get through to Julian. The doctor hesitated for a moment, then he stood up. “Fine. See if I care.”
Turning, he flounced off towards the door, Jadzia hurrying to keep up.
Captain Lin Naral followed Commander Worf through the doors and into her quarters. She took a quick look around and set down her carry bag.
"This will be fine. Thank you, Commander."
"You are welcome, Captain."
The gruff Klingon nodded and then headed back to the door. It hissed open, revealing the drab corridor outside. Drab like everything onboard this station. Why couldn't the Cardassians have just burned it before they left like they did everything-
She realised that the Commander was still stood in the doorway. She cleared her throat.
"Is there anything the matter, Commander?"
Worf seemed to hesitate and then he turned back around to face her. "I could not help but notice a... tension between you and Major Kira during the briefing earlier, Captain. I wondered if perhaps there had been some kind of misunderstanding."
"No misunderstanding, Commander. I prefer to keep my distance from the natives while I am here on station."
Worf's eyes widened. "The... natives, Captain?"
Naral sighed. "I know that my personnel file may say Bajoran under nationality, Commander, but my parents fled Bajor the moment the Cardassians started to turn their eyes in our direction. I was brought up on Alpha Centauri. I do not consider myself Bajoran, and I certainly do not subscribe to their superstitions."
"Captain, I assure you-"
Naral waved her hand, cutting the commander off. "I do not want to hear it, Commander. I know that Captain Sisko ran things slightly differently and I know that he not only subscribed to the general psychosis the Bajorans seem to have regarding the Prophets but that he actually engaged with it. I have no intention of doing the same thing. I am here as a Starfleet officer, to run this station in the way that Starfleet would want me to under the rules and regulations of the service. I will of course work with Major Kira, or any other representative the Bajoran government sees fit to appoint, but that does not mean I have any intention of having some kind of homecoming. I am here to do a job, end of story."
Naral realised that she had said a little more than she had intended to, but it was important that her officers understand why she was here. She had been shocked when she read the duty reports of the last few years - kidnapped officers, aiding and abetting the presence of a hostile amongst the security staff, and the debacle with the augments were just at the top of a long list of cock-ups she had seen. As far as she was concerned, though, all of that stopped the moment she set foot on the station.
Worf seemed taken aback, but she knew from his file that he was a good officer. As she had expected, after a while he nodded.
"Very well, captain. I hope the quarters will meet your standards."
With that, he turned and left.
Naral waited a few minutes until she was sure he was gone before turning back to the quarters that had been assigned to her. Captain Sisko's son still lived in the main cabin that had been set aside for the station commander and she had no intention of demanding he vacate them. Yet.
Leaving her bag where it was, Naral walked over to the nearest comm unit. Bringing up the menu, she keyed in a long code she had memorised before leaving Earth. Minutes later, the screen went blank, activating an old Cardassian program that Starfleet Intelligence had located when the Federation first took control of DS9. Once she was in, it took only a moment to key in the correct transponder code.
The screen flashed white once, twice, and then cleared to reveal a thin faced man with sallow cheeks and short graying hair. He did not smile when he saw Naral, but there was a flash of recognition and acknowledgment in his blue eyes.
"I assume you are on station?"
Naral nodded. "Yes."
"Have you seen him?"
"Not yet. He failed to show for the introductory briefing."
"To be expected." Director Luther Sloan allowed himself a rare smile. "From everything we have heard, the good doctor may need some prepping before he is ready to join us."
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