And...good afternoon, Trekkers, Trekkies, Trek-Necks, and Conversationalists all across the final frontier!
It's been a while before I've posted a tale--so here's a new one for y'all.
It's only one scene long, set on the U.S.S Aventine
shortly after the Destiny
Trilogy. Ezri Dax has only recently settled into her new position as Captain.
This is a psychological drama, a battle of whits between Ezri and an old nemesis. It's kinda dark in some areas--some might say disturbing.
Before I begin, I should note that, though this tale has only one scene, it is still a pretty full length. Thus, I'll have to breakit into parts. Please hold your comments until the very end, when you see the words, "And the adventure continues...."
Now, without further ado....
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Of Power And Passion--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax
Captain Ezri Dax, of the U.S.S. Aventine
, had rarely felt so alone.
It had happened often, after her joining, but she had long since adjusted to the confusion—what she had gained…and what little she had lost. So…why now? Why…here?
It didn’t matter. All was well…for now….
She leaned back in her chair, at her desk in her quarters, and listened to the hum of the engines of her ship. This sort of thing tended to soothe her—to give her a sense of calm…at the safety of the hull which surrounded her—protected her from the dark, savage dangers of the void of space.
At the energy of this vessel—this experiment, designed for speeds once thought unimaginable, even by the great engineers of Starfleet Command.
At the power...
. This vessel, one of the strongest in the fleet…with nothing but the latest defense technology installed within her systems…enough to provide more than a match for all but the most formidable of opponents…and it was hers
She drummed her fingers on the arm of her chair. Her gaze moved to the computer console, to the keypad before the screen. She couldn’t help but reflect that one press of her finger was all it would take for her to call any area of the ship, to give any order she needed to give. And it would
be carried out…because she knew her crew…and they knew their captain. They would follow her unto death, she knew. They had come so close to doing so, so recently, together.
She closed her eyes, and slowly, intently, took a deep breath. She savored the moment—and it exhilarated her. All this power…this strength…this…sense of security
…. Even Deep Space Nine had never felt so safe to her. And to top it all off…it was her ship
. Its crew sailed under her
command. Its might was held back by her
restraint…to be released only on her
How do you feel?
asked the voice within her. Truth, now
As she slowly let out the breath, she answered in her mind. Powerful
The voice gave a chuckle. Good
Ezri’s eyes shot open. This isn’t right…why am I feeling this?
Ezri Dax was many things—but she knew that vain
wasn’t one of them. In fact, just the opposite. It wasn’t too long ago that she had openly expressed her humility
concerning this command. She needed to be convinced, over and over, by herself as well as others, that this command was what she deserved.
This sense of confusion was coupled by another observation: the sense of aloneness was gone.
There was someone else in the room.
The voice came again—but it was more concrete this time, more real
. “You’re calm…relaxed….”
Ezri kept her composure completely, and did not turn. But inwardly, her mind was racing. I know that voice
Without turning her head to face him, she replied, as she had done then, when they had last spoken these words. “…Detached
A chuckle. “Now
…you’re getting it….”
Ezri smiled, and steepled her fingers. She rotated her chair to face the couch—to face the man who sat down on it, as if he owned it.
They stared at one another for a few moments, and then Ezri spoke.
“If your theatrics are supposed to scare me…you’ve got the wrong girl, Joran.”
Joran Dax, sixth host to the Dax symbiont…gentleman, genius, master musician…and murdering psychopath, chuckled and shook his head. “Now that’s very interesting…because I seem to recall your shuddering with terror and rage every time I pulled such…‘theatrics’…in the past.”
Ezri kept smiling. She knew this was only a dream. This was all in her mind. But why Joran would decide to appear now
…was, for the moment, beyond her. Oh well…perhaps he would explain in time.
She returned the chuckle. “That was another time, Joran…another place.”
“Yes…so it was.” Joran got up, and surveyed the room. “So…captain of a starship now, are we?”
Now it was Ezri’s turn to shake her head, “Funny choice of words."
Joran turned to her, and gave her a quizzical look. “Which?”
’,” Ezri replied. And then, her smile slowly disappeared. “You forget yourself, Joran. The Aventine
ship, not ‘ours’
“Ah. Of course,” Joran nodded. “And it is very impressive, I must say.”
Ezri gave him a nod. A small smile returned. “Why, thank you.”
“You did well, Ezri,” Joran continued, as he resumed his survey. “Better than I expected, anyway. It’s funny, though…I never expected you to leave psychology. You showed such promise in that field….”
Ezri frowned. “Not quite.”
Joran raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”
“Let’s just say…I found command more to my liking.”
Joran turned to her again, and took a step forward. “And it suits
you, somehow…doesn’t it, Ezri?”
Ezri smiled, and leaned back, putting her hands in her lap. “I’d like to think so.”
“Why just now…you were considering the might of your vessel…her strength…her dignity…her…power…were you not?”
’s odd…because I assumed it was you
who put those thoughts in my head.”
Joran smirked. “Really…? And you consider yourself…incapable of such pride?”
“For the most part.”
“And perhaps you are. But then…perhaps you don’t give yourself enough credit.”
“What do you mean?”
Joran scoffed. “You consider yourself so noble, don’t you? You’ve done your duty to God and Country, as the humans say, time and time again…. Why, consider the Borg, for a moment, shall we?”
Ezri shrugged. “What about them?”
“A power and terror like no other…and yet, you…your crew…your vessel…were so integral in their final defeat…weren’t you?”
Ezri was beginning to get bored. “Whether we were or not, Joran…I doubt that is why you came.”
“To discuss the Borg.”
“Well…perhaps it was
, in a way…. Tell me, Ezri, what do you think
of the Borg?”
think of them.”
“And why should I? They’re no threat to anyone, anymore."
Joran chuckled, and shook his head again. “Come now, my dear. You’re still a psychologist, in your own way. No captain can lead effectively without being one.”
Ezri nodded. “That’s true.”
you think…of the Borg?”
Ezri shifted slightly in her seat, and sighed. “Well…they struck me as…cold…heartless…relentless…the usual.”
“Still…there was something else, wasn’t there?"
Ezri narrowed her eyes. “What are you trying to get at, Joran?”
“You…wondered about them…about something concerning…their origins, wasn’t it?”
Ezri burst out laughing.
Joran tilted his head. “What is it?”
When she got herself under control, she replied, “So, that’s
what you’re here for? To try to get me to confess the questions I had about them?”
Joran nodded. “Among other things.”
Still smiling, Ezri shook her head. “Well, sorry to disappoint you, Joran, but I haven’t exactly buried those questions deep down, or anything. I admit that right away. You happy?”
“It’s a start. Tell me now…what sort of questions would they be?”
Ezri sighed. She was getting bored again. “Well, let’s see…I wondered how they first came to be.”
Joran sat back down, this time in a chair at the wall closest to the desk. “Did you, now?”
Ezri spun her seat to face him. “Sure. Who doesn’t?”
They stared at each other for a minute or two, and then Joran chuckled again.
“You know, Ezri…you of all people should know that that was not
what I was speaking of.”
Ezri nodded. “All right. We’ll play it your way. Yes, I was
disturbed…by the idea that any race—whoever started the Borg in the first place—would ever willingly sacrifice their individuality—all that they were
—to become like that.”
“Well…it’s not inconceivable, my dear. The Borg ideal has been preached in many cultures without any significant number recognizing it for what it was…am I correct?”
Ezri frowned. “You’re referring to…?”
, Ezri. The ideal of man serving the collective—the State, right or wrong, working solely to better it, and society.” Joran looked off, and his tone became dreamy. “A collective…all equal, no heroes, no villains…all servicing each other for the Common Good. ‘From each according to his ability…to each according to his need.’ It has a nice…ring to it, wouldn’t you agree?”
There’s no music for the Borg either, Joran,
Ezri mused, but she replied, “Well…I see what you mean, anyway.”
Joran leaned forward, staring her in the eye. “Do you really?”
“Come on, Joran. What’s your point?”
“Notice, though…that despite all the talk about a collective, with all being equal…there was still a leader…was there not?”
Ezri nodded, frowning. “What are you getting at?”
“Oh, I think you’ll find out before long. Anyway, this…Queen
…no matter her physical…host, as it were…was always of the same mindset, wasn’t she? To perfect
the Borg, so that it might dominate the galaxy…and eventually, the universe itself…bringing all into submission to her concept of perfect harmony.”
Ezri shrugged again. “That’s nothing new, Joran. Honestly…our penal colonies are full of people who’d thought of themselves as another Kahn…or God.”
“But the motive
is always the same, Ezri. Every aggressor…every tyrant…every major villain throughout history, has committed his—or her—crime with the same motive. Power
. The power to bring order to chaos…and sometimes, the other way around.”
Ezri rolled her eyes. “If you’re trying to get me to confess how I’m just like them
—or you—you’re wasting your time.”
Joran smirked. “I don’t think so.”
“Look. Just because I felt good about my command—that doesn’t make me a despot.”
“Perhaps not. But…as a psychologist, you must admit, the desire to rule
…is within all of us….”
“Oh, I wouldn’t be too sure of that….”
Ezri sighed. “What’s your point
, Joran—or are you just playing games with me?”
“My dear Ezri…I don’t believe I’ve ever told you…why
I became a murderer.”
“You didn’t have too. I already know.”
“Sur I do. You’ve always been emotionally unstable, but the Dax symbiont provided you with a sense of…order. And then
“Yes, yes, yes…I’m aware of the whole story. I lived it, as you may recall.” Joran stood up from his chair. “But…if you could understand…what I felt
throughout the process…you will know my root motives.”
Ezri stared up at him, with an amused smile. “Power?”
Joran nodded. “Power
. It’s what I felt when I held Dax within me…and it was what they were going to take away. And of course…it’s what I felt…when I took my victims. The power over another sentient being…to know that, for a brief moment, you control him…you rule
him…you alone determine what he will do…that
is something to feel.”
Ezri still smiled. “So you did it to play God?”
“Oh, I had my more…concrete reasons, but nonetheless—that
was what I felt when I first took a life…and I savored it…enjoyed it, like I had enjoyed nothing else before—with the possible exception of my music, of course.”
“And…somehow, it taught me something. What do you think is the nature of power, Ezri? Weapons…wealth…success? Of course not—such is only a temporary substitute. But true
someone to do your bidding—that
Ezri narrowed her eyes. “For you
“Yes…for me. To have supposedly intelligent beings follow your lead, without question—with no mind of their own, no free will—following you because they don’t know otherwise.”
Ezri shook her head. “Now, see, Joran? That’s
what makes me nothing
like you. I have no desire to ‘rule’ anyone. My crew follows me because I’ve earned
their respect—not because I’ve broken them, or anything.”
Joran snorted, and shook his head. “‘Respect
’…. My dear, respect is temporary. Power
, on the other hand…is forever. It’s when you break someone down, so that they will not resist ever again. So that they…eat out of your hand. I regret I’ve never quite experienced that—but then, I suppose I’ve felt the next best thing.”
“You know, Joran…you’re actually boring me to death. Now do you have something to say to me, or don’t you?”
Joran stared down at her for a while, and then the corners of his mouth slowly formed a grin. “I…doubt that boredom will be what you’ll feel when all this is over.”
Joran began to walk around the desk, slowly…and casually. “Ezri…you do understand that you
…have the capability to achieve true
power—and do what I could not. And the irony is…it comes naturally to the likes of you.”