All right, folks.
Due to the positive reaction to my previous "pure-character-arc" story, "The Cleanest Food To Find", I'd decided, some weeks ago, to try my hand at a second one.
This tale, as the thread's title implies, focuses on the character of Ezri Dax. As many of you know, I have a deep fascination with this girl...so I decided to delve down a bit into her soul. Who is she? How does she view her command--and what comes with it? And...how does she view her own life...and the choices she's made?
Setting? It's "some time" after KRAD's book "A Singular Destiny", and one month after a previous fanfic of mine, "Of Power and Passion".
It's something of a sequal to that latter tale...but you don't need to have read that one--I put in this tale all you'll need to remember. It's also part of a continuing arc I have, where she recoveres from a decision she's made in her past....
BTW...this is my longest "short story" yet--and, for the most part, it's in no real hurry. Still...be prepared for a lot of fun--some laughs, some tears...some new insights and info on our girl--and a MAJOR guest star...who I think...you all know and love....
Okay, now, without further ado...
Star Trek: Aventine
A Rendezvous With Destiny
that—I will have you know that I find the hospitality of this vessel to be in terribly
She sat at the desk of her ready room, the back of her seat turned to the speaker. She extended an arm to take a small white saucer, on which rested her cup of Fanalian tea, as the man continued:
“I was led to believe that this vessel was nothing less than the finest
that Starfleet had to offer. However—I am increasingly under the impression that that notion was greatly exaggerated. My quarters are completely inadequate—the so-called cuisine of your replicators I find to be absolutely disgusting
—and, above all else, we are not proceeding at maximum warp, and are currently travelling at…at cruising
As she listened, she rested the saucer on her lap. She took the small spoon from on top of it, and calmly stirred the tea.
“I can assure you…that your superiors will hear of this, because in short, I find this ship to be run in an absolutely disgraceful
She lifted the cup to her lips as the speaker concluded:
…Captain Ezri Dax…is my sincere
The back of her seat still turned to the man, Captain Ezri Dax of the U.S.S Aventine
finished her sip and replied, “I quite believe you.”
There was silence on the other end for a moment. Finally, the man said, “You…do?”
Ezri shrugged, and cheerily replied, “Of course!” She set the cup back on the saucer, and continued, “But, Mr. Ambassador, is there any…particular reason why I
should consider your
The man all but shouted, “Captain Dax—this is my
mission—and as such, you
are to treat me with the highest of courtesies, and suit my every need—”
Ezri laughed, as she turned her seat to face him. Time to get my Curzon on
…. “Mr. Galoth…don’t
think for a moment that you can be so insolent towards me. Like it or not, this is my
ship, and I will run it as I see fit—diplomat…or no diplomat.”
Galoth, the Tellarite ambassador to the Klingon Empire, bristled with what most people took for rage.
Ezri Dax, of course, knew better—which was why she leaned back, her hands on her lap, and continued with, “My orders are to bring you to Starbase 24, two days from now—and I will bring you there…two days from now. How I choose to do it is my business. And if the time ever comes when I should decide that the best way to use your services on this vessel…is to assign you to waste extraction—well, that’s my business, too. Any questions?”
She said it all with her sweetest, most disarming smile…and in a calm, reasonable, Jadzia-like tone—both of which, she knew, increased the insult tenfold. And Ezri also knew that the good ambassador was enjoying every minute of it.
Frankly, so was she.
The Tellarite’s eyes glinted, as he said in a slightly calmer tone, “Captain…I demand—”
“My dear Galoth…” Ezri continued, still with a pleasant smile, “You’re not in a position to demand anything
Galoth nodded, again admiring her audacity. “I…request
…that you explain why we are not travelling at maximum warp.”
Ezri nodded. “That’s better. Now…two reasons. First, I have no incentive to arrive at our destination early—and neither do you…otherwise, you would have requested an earlier arrival date.”
“And the second
Ezri shrugged. “I like this speed better. Easier on the eyes…wouldn’t you say?”
the idea of approaching our destination at a speed—”
“…That implies this mission means nothing to me?” Ezri took another sip from her cup. “What if it does?”
Galoth grunted in obvious pleasure.
“Don’t worry, Ambassador. We’ll get there on time—after all…I do
have my orders.”
“Indeed you do, Captain
Ezri leaned back. “Dismissed.”
Galoth headed for the door—but then paused, and turned to her again. “If I may, Captain…I found our conversation most…refreshing. It is not every mission where I have the good fortune of meeting a Starfleet captain…who is well versed in the art of Civil Insults.”
Ezri chuckled. “Well, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to show my skill in that area for quite a while. Now…will you kindly remove yourself from my presence? You’re a large man in a small room—if you know what I mean.”
Galoth frowned. “I don’t.”
Ezri raised a finger, and tapped the side of her nose.
Galoth let out a loud, throaty guffaw as he exited the room.
Ezri grinned, shaking her head. Just one more “Civil Insult”
…. She tapped the com panel. “Dax to Bridge.”
“Bowers here, Captain.”
“Mister Bowers…prepare to decrease speed to warp three.”
It worked. She could make out the ambassador roaring at the top of his lungs, “Warp THREE?”
said Bowers—unfazed at the nearby explosion.
“And have the good ambassador escorted off the bridge.”
“Right away, Captain. Ambassador…?”
The ambassador howled, “This is an OUTRAGE! I demand—”
His voice cut off. Bowers came on again. “Captain…he’s off.”
decrease speed to warp three.”
“Dax out.” Ezri stood up, the smile still on her face. She set her cup down…and began to walk around the room.
She looked around her…at the bat’leth
hanging on the far wall, which had been Jadzia’s, a gift from Worf…at the model of the Aventine
on the table, against the same wall…at the small blue abstract sculpture on a shelf in the corner by the window, which had been given to Ezri by Julian Bashir, the day she had left Deep Space Nine….
Her smile fading…Ezri walked over to the sculpture, and traced its lines with her finger, as she often did. And then, she looked out the window…at the stars.
They seemed to call out to her…and why not? The Aventine
was supposed to be a vessel of deep-space exploration. That was what the ship was built for—right down to the quantum slipstream drive. And yet…here she was, hauling diplomats to and fro. Sometimes…it could be so irritating
Not for the first time, Ezri mused, I miss DS9. Things were so much more…
fulfilling back then.
She turned back to the sculpture…and sighed. And not nearly as…lonely
No. She couldn’t think of that. But still…she had to admit that, her amusing conversation just now notwithstanding, she was dealing with a lot of stress. And it was now manifesting itself in the form of a headache.
She turned, and walked out of the ready room, onto the bridge.
* * *