What would Jim Kirk do? Limis asked herself that question over and over again while repairing weapons for Revok and his troops. Kirk had been well known for thinking his way out of no-win situations. Booby-trapping the phaser rifles was a possibility, but once sabotage was suspected, the hostages would be killed. The guards were watching her every move.
Had Revok not been forcing her hand, Limis would not, in good conscience, supply these people with weapons. That went against everything the Federation and Starfleet stood for. Not that she cared. Those butchers already murdered two of her crew, and she was helping them? As long as that preserved the lives of her shipmates, Limis would. All she could do was bide her time until an opportunity to derail Revok’s plans presented itself.
What were Revok’s plans, though? He wouldn’t take hostages just to get a Starfleet officer to fix their weapons. His own troops could do that. Revok specifically wanted Limis’s help. But for what reason?
Revok and Hadar entered to check Limis’s work. She handed Revok a phaser rifle. “This is the last of them,” she said. “Now, explain to me what this is all about.”
“Since you will not be able to stop us, why not tell you,” Revok proclaimed. “We intend to assassinate Castellan Ghemor.”
Suddenly everything made sense. If a former Maquis now wearing a Starfleet uniform had a role in assassinating Ghemor, the people would be outraged. They would demand that the Federation put an end to the convoys. “And you wanted my DNA on the murder weapon,” said Limis.
“Revok, a word in private,” Hadar whispered.
“Wait for me outside,” Revok answered.
Hadar left the armory, and Revok tapped his wrist communicator. “Bring in the prisoner.”
A guard entered with a phaser pointed at Morrison’s head. “Captain,” he gasped.
“Good to see you, too, Morrison,” Limis replied.
“What a heartwarming reunion,” Revok quipped. “Now, Captain. Contact the Defiant
or he dies.”
“Don’t do it, Vircona,” Morrison implored. “They’re luring the Defiant
into an ambush…. ” The guard punched him in the stomach.
Commander’s Log, stardate 53482.3: The
Defiant has taken refuge inside a nebula with the cloak offline. We are rushing repairs to the engines and shields, so we can mount a rescue of the missing officers.
sickbay was overflowing with patients. Two were in critical, but stable, condition, so Bashir was able to focus on patients with superficial injuries. He had two nurses by his side while treating Ezri, so he could attend to the more critical patients at a moment’s notice.
“I wouldn’t worry too much about it, Julian,” Ezri said, while Julian trained a dermal regenerator on a burn on her left forearm. “We’re all trying to make sense of how the True Way knew exactly where to find us. If only I hadn’t found that picture of Assad.”
“You had no way of knowing,” said Julian.
Speak of the devil; Fitzpatrick came through the sickbay entrance with another security officer’s arm around his shoulder. The other officer was half unconscious. Fitzpatrick helped him onto a biobed. “Something happened in phaser control,” Fitzpatrick shouted. “Some kind of toxic fumes.”
The injured officer began coughing and wheezing. Bashir rolled his triage cart across the sickbay. “Get me an oxygen mask, stat,” he called to one of his nurses.
A nurse placed a mask on the officer’s nose and mouth to fill his lungs with oxygen. Bashir then applied a hypo-spray to ease the burning in his lungs. “That should help him for now,” he said.
“Uh, Julian,” Fitzpatrick began to say, “Sorry about my outburst on the bridge.”
“I was just as surprised, really,” Bashir replied. “It’s perfectly all right.”
“I still feel foolish for taking it out on you and Ezri.”
Neeley happened to be speaking to a MACO on the next biobed when she overheard the discussion. “You accused Bashir of being an enemy spy because of his ancestry?” she asked. “I thought humanity overcame such prejudices.”
“Could you just let it go, Lisa?” Fitzpatrick replied.
“You can say I was afraid of commitment,” Neeley retorted, “but you don’t know how to trust people.”
“Look, you two,” Bashir interrupted, “please keep this out of my sickbay. I’m a doctor, not a marriage counselor.”
Ezri observed Prynn at the communication’s station to find any connection between Limis and known terrorists on Cardassia. Limis’s personnel profile was on the left side of the display screen. On the right side was the profile of an at-large terrorist. When Prynn found no connection, she moved to the next record. Next was the record of a Gul Enic Hadar. Prynn was about to move to the next, when Ezri saw something. “Sir,” she called to Vaughn, seated in the captain’s chair, “we may have something.”
Vaughn stood up and walked towards the communications station. “Two years ago,” Dax stated, “the Lambda Paz
apprehended Enic Hadar’s brother, a civilian engineer working at a ketracel white facility. Apparently, Limis used extreme measures to learn the facility’s location.”
“I think I remember that facility,” said Vaughn. “The Defiant
’s crew was sent to destroy that facility in a stolen Jem’Hadar fighter.”
“Jadzia was on that mission,” Ezri affirmed, “and on Torga Four where that ship was found.”
“Limis decompressed an airlock with him inside,” Prynn explained of the incident. “He eventually died.”
“That’s what this was all about,” Vaughn mused. “The hostage situation was a setup to lure Limis, so Hadar could exact revenge.”
The comm station chimed indicating an incoming transmission. “Incoming hail,” said Dax. “It’s from Captain Limis.”
“On screen,” Vaughn commanded.
The emblem of the Cardassian Union replaced the star field on the viewscreen. The face of Limis then filled the screen. “Starship Defiant
,” she began. “Code seven emergency. I have willingly surrendered myself in return for my crew’s freedom.”
From behind Limis, Revok grabbed her and threw her to the floor, and then he cut the transmission. “What is Code Seven?” he demanded. Pointing a rifle at her, he said, “Tell me, or you and the hostages will be put to death.”
“You need us alive in case something goes wrong,” Limis replied, calling his bluff.
“No matter. The word will be the Defiant
was destroyed trying to extract the Starfleet assassin.”
Revok walked out of the armory to see Hadar waiting in the corridor. “Assassinate the Castellan?” Hadar asked. “Are you mad? I thought this would be a simple prisoner exchange. Once we had the Bajoran terrorist, we’d use her to bargain with the government.”
“She is yours to do with as you please, Hadar,” Revok replied. “Your motives for supporting me have been satisfied.”
“I believe we can use the principles of democratic government to our advantage,” Hadar explained. “With our influence within the government to bring glory back to Cardassia.”
“One of Ghemor’s personal guards will carry out the assassination. Any interference on your part will be meaningless.”
Would his interference be meaningless? Hadar got Limis in his custody to use as a hostage. But he could not allow the assassination of Ghemor. Continued Federation assistance was necessary to get Cardassia’s economy back on its feet. Revok was allowing misplaced patriotic pride blind him to the long-term goals of his faction.
Hadar headed for the communal cell the Lambda Paz
crew was held in and asked for Morrison to step forward. “You will need this schematic in order to escape,” Hadar said handing Morrison a PADD. “You are all free to go.”
“The captain gave herself up for our freedom,” said Morrison. “Is that what this is about?”
“Mostly. One of my colleagues is planning to assassinate First Castellan Ghemor with the help of one of the Castellan’s personal guards. I cannot allow that to happen.”
“Why should we trust you?” Lieutenant Carson asked the jailor.
“Your chances of survival are much greater out there than in here,” Hadar replied.
The escaped hostages made their way to a shuttle hangar. Morrison locked the door to make sure no one walked in on them. He then followed his shipmates onto the shuttle. He entered a code provided on the PADD into the main pilot console bringing main power on.
“This has information on how to circumvent the security systems in this building,” he said, handing Carson the PADD. “I have something else to take care of.”
“You’re not coming with us?” Carson asked before Morrison walked out the door.
“I have to find the captain,” Morrison explained. “For her to be their prisoner is an unacceptable security risk. Our intelligence would be set back at least a decade. Get the rest of the crew out of here and try to get a message to the Castellan. Now that is an order, Sara.”
“Okay, everyone,” Carson announced, ignoring the stuttering in Morrison’s voice, "prepare to depart.” She had a sneaking suspicion Morrison’s motives were personal. He had some kind of special relationship with the captain, but she wasn’t sure of its nature.
Following instructions from the PADD, Carson hacked into the computer system to make the shuttle’s departure appear authorized. The shuttle ascended from the landing pad and sailed off into space.