Next up is chapter 5 to Secrets and Lies:
Chapter 5, part 1
Day 5, 1700 hours
Ezri headed to the sickbay as Bashir had requested her there due to discovering something 'unusual' concerning Megan. As she walked, Ezri thought about the operation and how it was a general success, with nearly all the prisoners rescued, except for forty prisoners who were missing. Those prisoners were presumed dead, and the Gul Bordak had somehow escaped. It felt almost embarrassing to Ezri considering how Bordak was totally cornered and yet eluded capture.
On a different matter, the Defiant was carrying twenty rescued prisoners, including the Liberty's first officer Megan Felpes. Ezri entered the sickbay and this room a little smaller than the bridge. It had five bio-beds, a replicator, a computer console and various storage compartments. Just like the rest of the ship, the sickbay's walls were that same dull grey while they were illuminated by the white overhead lightening.
Ezri put on her best professional face she could muster, so as to deal with Bashir. “You called for me doctor?”
Bashir moved over towards Ezri, and clutched in his hand was some sort of small cylindrical device. “I found something very... unusual in Megan Felpes brain.”
“The Liberty's first officer Megan Felpes?” Ezri asked, looking briefly at Megan.
“The same,” replied Bashir, he showed Ezri the device. “I removed this device from her brain.”
Ezri continued to look at it, and then the expression on her face slackened. “But that's... no...” she said disbelievingly, “surely not! That is a Federation neural depolarizor! But there's only one Federation organization that uses such a device...”
“Section 31,” finished Bashir, there was a slight glint in his eye.
“So have we found a Section 31 agent or have the Cardassians planted it in her brain?” Ezri asked Bashir who knew a lot more about Section 31 than she did.
“I'm certain it was Section 31 who planted it in Megan,” said Bashir. “Besides the Cardassians have something similar, take Garak for instance when I treated that faulty endorphin device embedded in his brain.”
Ezri decided she needed some more answers, answers which only Megan could provide. “Can you revive her?” she asked Bashir.
“I wouldn't recommend it,” he said stiffly, “she's recovering from twenty five knife wounds, and it's only been an hour after her surgery, but if you insist...”
Bashir walked over to the bio bed where Megan was resting, she still was still wearing the tattered, filthy and bloodied Starfleet uniform. The sickbay was not supplied with medical gowns, primarily because the sickbay's purpose was for patching up people's injuries and not for providing the injured with luxurious medical provisions.
Bashir bent over slightly and placed a hypo spray to Megan's neck, there were fresh scars clearly visible on her neck and lower face.
Megan stirred. “Where am I?” she said, sounding quite confused.
“You're aboard the starship Defiant, I'm captain Ezri Dax,” Ezri explained, “I have a few questions for you. The first question is about this.”
Ezri held up the neural depolarizor studying the expression on Megan's face carefully.
“What is it?” asked Megan, she sounded genuinely curious, and she had lifted herself into a sitting position on the bed while her long hair drifted down her back.
“The neural depolarizor I pulled out of your brain,” answered Bashir, his expression carefully blank. “It's of Federation design.”
“The only organization in Starfleet which uses this device is Section 31,” explained Ezri.
“What is Section 31?” asked Megan, she looked very tired and she was squinting because of the brightness of the sickbay's lights.
Ezri couldn't tell whether Megan was lying or not. “Then why was a Federation neural depolarizor found inside your brain?” she asked slightly impatiently.
Megan frowned. “I don't know, perhaps the Cardassians planted the neural depolarizor. Besides if you’re implying that I'm a Section 31 agent, whatever this Section 31 is, why didn't Section 31 activate the neural depolarizor when I was captured by the Cardassians?” Megan looked at Ezri in a perplexed manner. “It doesn't make any sense.”
Bashir though interrupted Ezri, and gave her a rather angry glare. “That's enough questions, Megan really needs to rest.”
Megan lay back on the bed, her face expressionless, even her eyes seemed dead, while Bashir checked her medical readouts.
Ezri left the sickbay feeling that Megan had only given her more questions than answers. What shocked her was how composed Megan seemed, Megan had been brutally tortured for two years. Beaten, electrocuted, raped, and God knows how many other abominations and cruelties she suffered, and yet
, she thought, Megan doesn't show any outward sign of distress or trauma. Clearly Megan is hiding something, but what?
On the Defiant's bridge, Ezri was deep in thought, as she sat there on the commander's chair, staring out at the view screen. The Defiant and the other ships were only minutes away from leaving Tau Primia. Most of the damaged ships managed to repair their warp drives, while the ships that had not were going to be towed back to DS9.
Thankfully, the Defiant was not going to be towed. Because of Nog's and Holo's speedy repair work they had sealed up the left warp nacelle, which meant that the Defiant's warp drive would be operational.
With the operation over, Ezri expected the journey back to DS9 to proceed without incident...
“Captain there's an unidentified ship decloaking directly ahead of us!” said Max, looking somewhat unnerved by the sudden appearance of this ship.
“On screen!” said Ezri, she looked briefly at the sleek ship. The ship had a brown/dark grey colouring, and it loosely resembled a Breen warship in shape, except it was twice as big. “Colonel scan for weapons, defences and such...” ordered Ezri.
Kira frowned at the readouts she was getting. “Scanning... That's odd; the sensor beams are just bouncing off that ship, I'm sorry captain, all I can tell you is that that ship appears to be heavily armed. There are all sorts of weaponry that looks like phaser banks, torpedo launchers, cannons and possibly disruptors.”
, thought Ezri, such a ship could probably destroy the entire fleet of Bajoran and Federation ships
“They're hailing us captain!” said Max.
“Patch them through,” she replied.
Ezri looked at the screen; there sitting in a chair, presumably on the ship's bridge, was a male humanoid. His skin looked almost human like while ridge bones ran along his forehead and his jaw. He had black hair, which came to the length of his shoulders and his forehead was visible. Along his nose were ridges, very pronounced V-shape ridges, they were about an inch long running up the length of his nose. His eyes were the feature that caught Ezri's attention the most, they were a fiery blue colour and they seemed to shine.
The humanoid finally spoke. “This is captain Abarzjid of the Tren Empire, captain of the ship Retribution.” His voice sounded harsh and cold. “You are trespassing in Tren territory, and you are to maintain position where you will wait for Tren reinforcements to arrive. When they come all of the transgressing ships will be impounded, and their crew repatriated. Failure to comply will result in your destruction.”
So much for a friendly first contact
, Ezri thought. She stood up and approached the view screen, standing next to Max. “Captain Abarzjid, this is Captain Dax of the United Federation of Planets speaking. I did not realize this area of space belonged to the Tren. Forgive my unintentional mistake but if you would let me explain why-”
Abarzjid cut straight through Ezri's excuse. “Talking your way out of this changes nothing captain! In two hours time, Tren reinforcements will come, and you will surrender yourselves, or face... consequences. ”
Abarzjid's face looked smug, and Ezri did not like his attitude at all. “Captain I don't take nicely to-”
The screen went blank. “They've cut the transmission,” commented Max, “and the Cardassians have left this sector.”
Trust the Cardassians to slip away from danger, Ezri thought. “Right! I want the senior staff to report to the Mess Hall right now, to discuss this situation with the Tren.”
One Tren ship was not going to stop her from returning to DS9.