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Old July 21 2009, 07:29 PM   #2
Rush Limborg
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Re: Star Trek: DS9--Of Power And Passion, A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Ezri scoffed. “What are you talking about?”

“You know…you are very beautiful, Ezri.”

Ezri blinked. “Excuse me?”

“You heard what I said.”

“I-I heard you, but…I don’t see what that has to do with—”

“And you know it, apparently.” Joran stopped across the desk from her, and he placed his palms down on it, leaning forward. “Now the question is…do you ever…use it?”

Ezri felt her smile disappear. Suddenly it seemed as if the chair wasn’t as comfortable as it used to be. “Use it…?”

Joran nodded. “Use it.”

Ezri waited for him to continue. Joran resumed his walk around the desk.

“You see, Ezri…there is more than one way to acquire power over another. The effectiveness of each method depends on one’s characteristics: race… age… intellect… emotional state… and in many cases…gender.”

Ezri narrowed her eyes. She did not like where this conversation was going. “‘Gender’…?”

Joran left the desk, and began to tread around the room. “I am referring, of course, to the power that an…attractive young woman can possess…over an unsuspecting man.”

I’m going to be sick…. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Of course not. But as you may recall…Jadzia did. In fact…she knew all too well, didn’t she?”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, it seemed fairly obvious to her. In fact, one might say that she reveled in it. Observe how many men seemed…to be disarmed in her presence: Worf… Captain Boday… Quark… Dr. Bashi—”

“What’s your point?”

Joran turned to her. “My point, Ezri, my darling…is that she knew all about the power she wielded…and used it…to control the men whom she knew took a…fancy to her.”

“Well, that’s one way of looking at it.”

“Indeed it is.”

“Really, Joran, I’m disappointed in you. Jadzia wasn’t power-hungry, any more than I am.”

“Oh, I’m aware of that. She never really took this power too seriously—with her it was purely in…good humor, shall we say? But still…she did enjoy every minute of it…didn’t she?”

As she saw him take step after gradual step towards her, Ezri had to fight the impulse to swallow. “You…could say that.”

Joran smiled. “You have it too, Ezri. But the difference is…you weren’t even aware of it. Nonetheless, surely you’ve noticed the…competition among many a man…to get your attention?”

“Joran, if you don’t—”

Joran’s eyes widened, as his smile turned to a grin. “Ah…so you have noticed.”

“You know, Joran, I think I’ve had enough of your—”

“But have you taken advantage of it?”

Joran—”

Joran bent down, so that his face hovered over Ezri. “Have you ever savored the sight…of a man you have broken without any effort…of a man who throws himself at your feet, willing to serve as a doormat…slave…friend…lover….”

Stop it!” Ezri shot to her feet. Joran was able to straighten in time, but Ezri barely noticed this. “This game's gone far enough, Joran—stop it now!”

“But Ezri…I was simply providing you with an example of one of the many methods of obtaining power over others.”

Ezri’s anger boiled at his innocent tone. “You want to know something, Joran? I don’t really care about your ‘lesson’. I—”

“If you didn’t…you wouldn’t have reacted with such…fury, my dear….”

“And another thing—stop calling me that! I’m not your ‘dear’, or your ‘darling’, or your anything else, so—”

“Was it something I said?” Joran peered deep into her eyes, as if looking for something. “You reacted, I believe, when I said…‘lover’….”

Ezri stiffened, and waited patiently, feeling as if she were in court, facing the jury…waiting for the inevitable verdict….

Interesting…. Tell me, Ezri…you don’t still retain any feelings for the good doctor…do you?”

Ezri began to feel as if she were dangerously close to shaking.

Joran nodded. “Very interesting….”

Ezri tore her gaze away from him. “Get away from me,” she whispered, as she began to walk away.

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple, Ezri.”

Ezri whirled to him. “Try me.”

“Your Right of Emergence won’t work, Ezri. That’s not how I arrived here.”

“Really? Than I guess I’ll just have to pinch myself and wake up.”

“That won’t work either—because frankly, my little Ezri…you want me here.”

Ezri stopped short. “What?”

“Oh, you didn’t realize it…but when you conjured me up in your thoughts….”

“You really expect me to believe that?”

“Of course not. But it is the truth.”

“Than why would I want you to torture me like that?”

Joran shrugged. “Who said anything about torture?”

Ezri scoffed, and turned away.

“As for the rest…I think you’ll figure that out on your own.”

Ezri paused for a moment, wondering what he meant. Finally, she turned back to face him.

Joran stood at the window, staring out at the stars. “I understand that you and Bashir…terminated your relationship some time ago. Am I correct?”

Ezri nodded. “That’s correct.”

“Tell me the truth, now…who was it that made this decision?”

“We both did.”

“Really?” Joran didn’t sound convinced.

“We had both…grown, as it were…over the course of our time together. And…we had begun to realize that we were growing farther apart, as time went on….”

Joran chuckled, as he turned to Ezri. “A likely story.”

“You don’t believe me?”

“Not at all. That is the standard excuse for such matters, Ezri—and when an excuse becomes a cliché…it becomes most suspicious indeed.”

Ezri shrugged. “Well, believe what you like. It’s what happened.”

“Of course it is. Now…if you would kindly be more specific….”

“In what way?”

Joran smiled. “For instance…who’s idea was it—to break up?”

Ezri hesitated, but finally brought herself to answer. “It was mine.”

He nodded. “That’s better…. Now I ask…why? And don’t tell me it’s because you were growing farther apart….”

Ezri’s gaze fell. She sighed. “Because…I had reason to believe that…his feelings for me were just an…echo of his…unresolved feelings for Jadzia.”

Joran burst out laughing. It was not malichious, or sadistic, just…amused.

Ezri froze at this. “What is it?” she asked, not raising her eyes to look at him.

“You actually expected anyone would accept that line of reasoning?”

She swallowed hard. “He did….”

“Of course he did. He was under your…influence, remember?”

Ezri met his gaze. “Julian is a great man, Joran—and a wonderful friend. He’s not a slave—he never has been.”

“I never meant to suggest otherwise. But the fact of the matter, Ezri, is that he, like any other lover, desired above all to make you happy—a pathetic trait, I know, but a constant one, nonetheless. This, coupled with the fact that he did harbor feelings for Jadzia when she lived, allowed him to accept such an…idiotic line of reasoning.”

“So you don’t think that was my reason?”

“I don’t—and neither do you.”

Ezri stared at him blankly. “You sound certain of that.”

“Let me put it this way: Exactly what caused you to assume that line of reasoning? What evidence did you have?”

Ezri opened her mouth to respond—and couldn’t. She tried to go through the discussion she had had with Julian, while they were returning to DS9 from Trill. But now…all they had said…seemed so…foolish.

“Ah…you do understand, don’t you? In all honesty, Ezri, your subconscious searched for a possible reason—any reason—to end your relationship with him…and settled on that one, for the simple reason that it was the only one which could possibly pass as valid—without forcing you to face the truth.”

Ezri tilted her head, raising an eyebrow at this. “And what is the truth, exactly?”

“Let’s find out together, shall we? Now tell me: What were you two doing before it happened?”

“Well, we were…on Trill, providing aid during a…crisis.”

“Was it stressful, by any chance?”

Ezri snorted. “You have no idea.”

“Now, Ezri…think as a psychologist, for me…. Persons only just recovering from stress…do they generally tend to make…rational decisions?”

“Joran, I don’t need a counselor. I made a decision—and so did Julian. Stress had nothing to do with it. We went our separate ways, but we’re still friends.”

Joran smirked. “Are you really…?”

Ezri frowned. “Yes…of course….”

“Then tell me: how often do you keep in touch?”

Ezri paused, thinking hard. “Not…as often as I’d like.”

How often?”

Ezri spread out her hands. “What are you saying, Joran—that I’m avoiding him?”

“Perhaps. Perhaps not. How well did your friendship go after the…incident?”

She frowned again. “You know…come to think of it…we didn’t really meet that much, off-duty…but I mean, that’s no mystery. After all, we were just recovering from a change, and—”

Ezri…are we reduced to justifying our actions…in order to convince ourselves?”

“I thought you were looking for my reasons.”

“I am—your real reasons, anyway.”

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