Chapter 7, part 2
Ezri was sat at her desk completing reports, and she looked up when Odo entered her office. “What do you have Constable?”
“With some help from Nog and Max, I've managed to detect secret transmissions being received from inside the station; and even transmissions being sent out from the station. Jack received them in his quarters and sent one transmission to someone... More than likely Section 31. Unfortunately Nog and Max couldn't access the contents of these transmissions, so there is no valid evidence that the transmissions were from Section 31.”
Ezri looked mildly disappointed. “Even so,” she said, “Julian didn't find any evidence of a neural depolarizor in Jack's brain, as far as I know no one in Starfleet or any Federation organization, except Section 31, uses neural depolarizors.”
At that moment, Bashir entered the office, his left hand was holding a vial. Bashir's eyes were bright with excitement, and his face looked flushed. It seemed that Bashir had run all the way from the Infirmary.
“Sorry to disturb you captain,” said Bashir slightly out of breath. “But after re-examining the scans of Jack's brain, I discovered that he does have a neural depolarizor.”
“How could you overlook a neural depolarizor which was lodged inside Jack's brain?” asked Ezri a little harshly.
Bashir looked slightly embarrassed. “Initially I looked for an electrical device, but Jack has something remarkably different. He has an organic neural depolarizor; it's a very tiny gland inside his brain, which contains a neural agent. This gland can only open with small amounts of sodium methanocide.”
Bashir opened the vial, placed two small organic components upon the desk, and he then picked up one of them. “Just inside his neck, embedded in his left common carotid artery there was a tiny container of organic material. I couldn't explain it at first, and it seemed like a small thing as sodium methanocide is an inert chemical. When I found the hidden gland all of these mysteries made sense.”
“How does Jack trigger the release of the sodium methanocide?” Odo asked.
“The triggering mechanism is a DNA key,” explained Bashir, “I didn't find one on Jack. Though all he would have to do is to insert the one centimetre long needle to his lower neck, next to the left common carotid artery. That would release the sodium methanocide and activate the organic neural depolarizor. He would lose consciousness in less than a minute, death would follow after twenty minutes.”
The excitement faded from Bashir's eyes when he realised who he was standing next to.
The tension levels in the room shot up, and while Ezri looked awkward, and Odo rolled his eyes out of exasperation.
“I see,” said Ezri, after a while. “You're dismissed doctor.”
Even after Bashir left Ezri was still staring at the door which he had walked out of. She felt not only embarrassed but very uncomfortable next to Bashir's presence, worse still she found it distracting and her mind tended to wonder to other things. Like it is doing right now
she sternly told herself.
Odo broke the silence. “Jack has received secret transmissions, and he has a neural depolarizor. The evidence is mounting that he is a Section 31 agent.”
Ezri came out of her reverie and nodded slightly in agreement. “Which is a strong enough motive for the attempted assassination of Gul Bordak,” she said carefully. “That was Jack's mission and the reason why he was on Tau Primia. So Jack is our suspect, and not Megan.”
“I'm certain of it,” said Odo.
Ezri stood up and walked over to Odo. “I think it's time we questioned Jack again,” she said, very seriously.
Odo nodded his agreement, and the two walked out of the office. This time they were armed with the information to really put Jack under some pressure.
Ezri and Odo didn't even bother to wait for Jack to invite them to his quarters. They walked through the door and there was Jack standing on the other side looking mildly surprised. “Have you arrested Megan yet?” he asked.
Ezri's eyes flashed with anger. “You are the one who is under arrest,” she said.
“For what reason?” demanded Jack, looking bewildered by this.
“You received two sub-space transmissions,” explained Odo, “and you sent out a disguised sub-space transmission.”
Odo paused. “Why the need for such secrecy?” he added, his voice deceptively calm.
Ezri piled the pressure upon Jack. “Further more doctor Bashir found evidence that you do have a neural depolarizor, albeit an organic one. Only Section 31 agents have neural depolarizers, but you should know that.”
Jack's face was blank, devoid of emotion. “I have no idea what Section 31 is,” he said.
Ezri momentarily scowled, she had had it with Jack's lies, and she then proceeded to remove her comm badge. “What I'm about to say is off the record,” she said coldly.
Her voice then became warmer and more persuasive. “Jack, there's no point lying to us, we both know there's no way to prove who tried to assassinate Bordak. It was either you or Megan. However, actions speak louder than words, only you have received secret transmissions. You've framed Megan to maintain your subterfuge.”
“You have no proof of that,” said Jack, he stood there rigidly.
Ezri dropped the warmth from her voice. “Megan told me that she and you were in a relationship, is this true?”
Jack's eyes narrowed as if he didn't approve of that question. “Yes, what has that got to do with anything?”
“You loved her right?” asked Ezri.
“I once did,” said Jack coldly.
Ezri looked seriously into Jack's eyes, not breaking contact. “Well Megan is in her quarters, she’s probably sobbing and reeling in shock from what has happened. It seems she is convinced that you have framed her, and she must be thinking that she will be punished for your supposed crimes.”
Jack's eyes momentarily looked guilty, while Ezri continued on in a heartless voice. “Of course what does it matter to you if she gets charged with the attempted assassination of Gul Bordak? She will lose everything, spend a lifetime in-”
“Enough!” said Jack. He was breathing out deeply as if to calm himself and for the first time, Jack looked troubled.
Now that Jack had dropped his lies, Ezri pressed forward her advantage, and she dropped her heartless voice. “If you still care for Megan, if you actually love her, then you will proclaim your guilt. Don't make her suffer because of your mistakes and crimes...”
These words deeply impacted Jack, his face saddened and his eyes were fill of guilt. “I love Megan,” he told Ezri, “but it's been an unusual relationship, until now we've both kept it a secret. I never told my commanders in Section 31 that I was in love with her. I was thinking of leaving Section 31 just to be with her but now that's impossible. I betrayed her trust in me from the moment I fired that phaser rifle at Bordak.”
There was self-disgust in Jack’s voice, and his mouth contorted with self-anger. “Section 31 gave me orders to frame her for the assassination of Bordak. I had no choice...” Jack looked at Ezri imploringly, as if asking for forgiveness.
“You had a choice,” said Ezri coldly, “and you chose to betray Megan instead.”
She paused and looked grimly at Jack. “I'm placing you under arrest for breaking orders, attempted murder and conspiracy against the Federation. Take him away constable,” she ordered.
“This way, please,” said Odo.
Jack complied without resistance and the look of sorrow still lingered in his eyes.
When Odo and Jack had left the room, Ezri stood there contemplating what Jack had done. It was unthinkable for her to betray her friends, the people she cared about, just to save her own skin. She could not imagine what Megan was going through, but Ezri could do one thing to lighten Megan's burden...