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Old November 18 2009, 02:19 AM   #8
Rush Limborg
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Okay. This scene has a couple little homages to TOS. I hope you all like it!



Star Trek: Aventine
A Rendezvous With Destiny
Scene 2

As Ezri headed for the turbolift, she announced, “Commander…walk with me.”

“Aye, sir.” Commander Sam Bowers turned to the science station. “Mr. Helkara, you have the bridge.”

Lieutenant Commander Gruhn Helkara acknowledged with a curt, “Aye, sir,” and headed for the center seat.

Ezri stepped into the turbolift, but Sam stopped at the door, and turned. “And Mr. Helkara?”

“Sir!”

“I noticed a recent slight drop in crew efficiency. I want it back up. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir. I will have a series of drills scheduled immediately.”

“Good. Carry on.”

Sam entered the lift. Ezri announced, “Sickbay.”

As the lift descended, she turned to her first officer. “‘A recent slight drop’?”

Sam nodded. “The crew’s…running a little slow.”

“Sam, this is a diplomatic mission—to the Klingons, for pity’s sake. We won’t be anywhere near anything exciting. Unless…” Ezri frowned, and narrowed her eyes slightly, “…Unless you’re anticipating something I’m not….”

“Oh, not at all—just want the best crew at all times. You understand, Captain.”

Ezri sighed, and turned to face the doors. “Look…it’s been quite a while. Don’t you think your idea of…strict formality is getting a little tiresome?”

“Ezri, without discipline—”

Sam—too much ‘discipline’ is too much discipline. And I don’t want this crew to break down on me with all the pressure you’re putting on them. For goodness sake—I’ve had to watch people bark out ‘Captain on deck!’ and—snap to attention in my presence—when they’re off duty!”

“Sir, we need efficiency….”

Ezri turned to him. “And we have it—they’re a good crew, Sam. And, in case you haven’t noticed, they’re not machines.” She took a deep breath, and slowly let it out. “You’ve trained them well, Commander, but…I think it’s high time you eased up a bit. Not too much, don’t misunderstand—just…so they won’t feel like there’s always someone—looking over their shoulder unless they’re in their quarters.”

Sam smirked. “Captain, aren’t you the one who once told me that ‘a little suffering is good for the soul’?”

Ezri shook her head. “I don’t remember ever saying that.”

Sam frowned. “I could have sworn I heard you say…”

“And if I did, it wasn’t meant quite that way.”

Sam cleared his throat. “Well…as I recall…as a direct result of the relatively lax discipline on DS9…Ensign Shar—”

Ezri stiffened, and turned back to face the doors. “Please don’t remind me.”

Sam grinned, and reminded her anyway. “…He disobeyed orders, on Luthia, and took matters into his own hands. And you, as his superior, had to chew him out on it—and you did.”

Ezri rubbed her forehead. The darned headache was getting worse. “Sam…I just gave you an order….”

“Orders don’t have ‘please’ in the beginning, Captain.”

“Right…” Ezri put her hand down, and sighed. “Well, that’s not something I’m too proud of having done.”

“It was the right thing to do.”

No, it wasn’t…I lashed out at the poor kid—I snapped at him. Honestly…I don’t know what I was thinking….”

“Captain, you’re a Dax. Sometimes, you don’t—”

Ezri’s hand shot up in desperation. “Sam—don’t say it! And that’s an order.”

“Of course, Captain.”

Ezri squinted, and rubbed her forehead again. Great I’norawhy did you curse me with an XO that insists on torturing the whole crew—and me? Oh, right—I wanted him on, because I wanted someone I knew. Just another example of that maddening line he almost recited ….

Finally, the doors opened. Ezri clasped her hands behind her back, and went straight down the corridor to Sickbay, with Bowers in tow.

Inside, Dr. Simon Tarses looked up from his desk. “Hi, Skip!” He nodded in Bowers’s direction. “Commander.”

Ezri smiled, as Sam flinched at the doctor’s recently invented nickname for her. I wonder if Simon did that just to irk him….

She turned to the desk, and sat down. “Simon…what do you have for a headache?”

Simon frowned. “The ambassador?”

Ezri shook her head. “Not exactly.”

Ah…the tedious work of diplomatic shipping and handling.”

“Exactly.”

Simon nodded. “I’ll get something.”

As the doctor went off, Bowers raised an eyebrow. “Captain…are you ready to break down?”

No…but this is getting on my nerves….”

Simon came back with a hypo, which he applied to Ezri’s neck. The ache vanished. She nodded her thanks, and continued.

“I mean…of all the ships out there…all the captains who are more used to this kind of thing…they have us on diplomatic duty.”

Tarses shook his head. “A waste of resources, eh?”

Yes! I mean—Simon, you don’t have any Saurian Brandy, by any chance?”

“You’re off duty?”

“I am now.”

“I’ll go check.” Tarses left the room again.

Sam’s eyes widened. “He has a bottle of brandy—in Sickbay?”

Tarses came back, a bottle and three glasses in hand. “Only for medicinal purposes….”

Ezri smiled at her first officer. “What is this crew coming down to?”

Bowers sighed, and took a glass, as did Ezri.

As Simon filled the glasses, and set the bottle down, he asked, “Now…what were you saying, Skip?”

She sighed, and stared at her glass. “Just that I’m tired of being on this ship, with all this new technology on hand—and not being able to make it all useful.”

Ironic. Just a short time ago, she had sworn to herself—and Sam—that this monotony wouldn’t bother her…but…“Just once…I would like a nice little exploration mission—a survey, a charting mission, anything—but no….”

She leaned back, and raised her glass. “To the Typhon Pact.”

The two men stared at her. Ezri set her glass down on the desk.

“If it hadn’t been for them, forming at the worst possible time…that’s what we would be doing, right now.”

Bowers shook his head, and shrugged. “Well…we have to wave the flag for a while, I guess. And…there are all those relief missions, to consider.”

“I know…I know.” Ezri took her glass again. “Here’s to the Pact, anyway.”

And she drank, before either man could respond.

Tarses sighed. “Look, Skip…we’re doing our job. Eventually…it’ll get more exciting.”

“You sound certain of that.”

“Well, hey—something’ll turn up. It always does!”

Bowers shrugged, as he took a sip. “Let’s just hope it won’t be a break-out of war….”

Ezri nodded. “Right.”

And then, the com line chirped. “Bridge to Captain Dax.”

Ezri tapped a control on Simon’s desk. “Dax here.”

“Captain—a message from Starfleet, Captain’s-Eyes-Only. New orders to take effect after we deliver the ambassador to Starbase 24.”

Ezri turned to Bowers and Tarses. The men just stared back, showing no reaction. Dax knew, however, that they were hiding the pained exhaustion that they all felt.

Still, the fact that the message was For Her Eyes Only… well, it was appealing, at the very least….

She nodded. “Send the orders to the console in my quarters.”

“Aye, Captain.”

“Dax out.” Ezri rose from her seat. “If you’ll excuse me, gentlemen….”

Tarses spoke up. “Uh—Captain?”

What—not “Skip”? This must be serious…. “Yes, Doctor?”

He hesitated for a moment, and spoke in a low, gentle tone, “If you like…I can put in a doctor’s order for a rest leave on your part—so you can refresh, and….”

Ezri sighed, and gave him a warm smile. That’s so sweet….

She briefly considered taking him up on the offer. But…after a moment’s thought, she shook her head slowly. “Thanks, Simon, but…I think I can handle a bit more. However…when I’ve had all I can stand…I’ll let you know.”

“You…do know that captains always push themselves too hard.”

“Maybe…” Ezri’s gaze fell, as she remembered another time—when she had had to confront one Commander Elias Vaughn, to that effect, at the end of the Gamma Quadrant expedition….

She looked up, “…But, in this case…I’m pretty sure I’ll take your advice, sooner rather than later.”

Simon nodded. “Fair enough.”

But he still held his gaze, his eyes full of compassion for an old friend—and indeed, they were very dear friends…ever since Ezri had counseled him out of a deep emotional crisis, when he had first been assigned to DS9….

Ever since then, she knew, Simon had made it a point to find ways to make it up to her—any way he could. And she appreciated it, a lot. Still…this time, it wasn’t necessary. Not yet, anyway.

“I’ll be in my quarters.” Ezri began to walk out, but stopped at the door, and turned. “Sam…get back on the bridge.”

Bowers frowned at his now-empty glass. “Captain…I just had a drink.”

Ezri nodded, and let a grin slowly appear on her face. “Exactly.”

Simon looked from her, to Bowers, and back to her.

Sam shook his head. “You…dragged me down here…and gave me that lecture on ‘easing up’….”

Ezri nodded again. “And when you seemed to refuse…I thought up a Plan B.”

Simon’s eyes widened.

Ezri continued, still smiling. “This should be a golden opportunity to put those motivation techniques to work—on yourself. I feel confident you’ll still be shipshape…but you’ll also be giddy enough to cut back on your nitpicking, without any problems. Am I clear?”

Sam nodded, a look of resignation on his face, as he stood up—perfectly straight, no stumbling whatsoever. “I’ll be on the bridge.”

“Very good.” Ezri left Sickbay, hands clasped behind her back, and headed for her quarters, with a new spring in her step. Any release I can get, I’ll accept. Now…I wonder what Starfleet has in mind for us, now….


* * *
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