So we're onto the fourth story Bad Blood
and here is a brief summary:
When First Minister Shakaar orders Kira to discreetly investigate the Bajoran military, after the abduction of three Bajoran vedeks. Kira discovers a web of corruption and graft inside the Bajoran military. Soon Kira discovers the real perpetrators of the corruption, and her life and the lives of her family members become gravely endangered. Worse still the corruption in the Bajoran military threatens to destroy the very fabric of Bajor's society.
So that's the summary, here's the story:
Bad Blood, chapter 1
Day 1, 1000 hours
Ezri looked outside the window of her office, she had just made a major decision. Only ten minutes ago, she had sent to the Federation a partition calling for Bajor's removal from the Federation. In some ways, this was both a good and bad thing. When the Federation first arrived on Bajor 25 years ago, Bajor was in shambles.
It had no organized government, millions of Bajorans were starving, and most of the planet's resources were gone. Since then Bajor had recovered remarkably, it had a stable government, most of Bajor's farmland had been revitalized, and Bajor had its own fleet of ships to protect itself.
Ezri had always thought allowing the Bajorans to build their own fleet of ships was a generous move on the Federation's part. Yet, it showed that the Bajorans wanted to do things their own way. Being the commander of DS9 also meant that Ezri was a Starfleet liaison to the Bajoran government.
This gave her unprecedented access to the Bajoran government records on trade, farming, defence and so forth. For the last two months, Ezri had in her spare time written up her professional view on the suitability of Bajor leaving the Federation. For over five years, the Bajoran government had asked independence from the Federation.
The problem was the Federation refused that request, primarily because the former commanders of DS9 did not believe that Bajor should leave the Federation. It was a bureaucratic/legal issue, but Ezri decided that it was time for the Federation to let Bajor independently determine its future...
Ezri continued to look out of the window until Kira arrived.
Kira stood rigidly in front of Ezri’s desk, and it seemed Kira somewhat surprised at what she was doing here. “You wanted to see me captain?”
Tearing her glance from the window, Ezri turned to face Kira. “Sit down please,” she said gesturing to Kira. Sitting down in her own chair, Ezri paused as she carefully considered what she was going to tell Kira. “Over the last two months I've been secretly carrying out an assessment of Bajor. Having gone through the Bajoran and Federation records concerning Bajor's current culture, economy, military and government, I believe it warrants a change in Federation policy.”
Kira looked dubiously at Ezri. “What sort of Federation policy change?” she asked suspiciously.
A brief smile crossed Ezri’s face. “I'm talking about the Bajoran government's request for sovereignty. It's been a long time, but I believe that after 25 years, Bajor is no longer dependent upon the Federation.”
Kira looked deeply surprised. “Meaning?” she said in a hushed voice.
“Meaning that if the Bajoran government wants to leave the Federation let it do so. As a people, you have made remarkable progress over 25 years. I believe it is the right time for you to take your own destiny fully into your own hands. I've sent a partition calling for the Federation to remove Bajor as a member, relinquish control over the wormhole and to hand over DS9 to the Bajorans. Congratulations colonel, in a week's time you will be running the show and managing the wormhole.”
Something like triumph lit up Kira’s eyes. “Thank you Dax.”
The joyful look on Kira’s face soon vanished. “But what about you? What will you do after commanding DS9?”
Ezri appreciated her friend’s concern for her own well-being. “I may still be on this station,” she said while smiling. “Bajor will have full political sovereignty, but there will still be a defensive pact. The Defiant will be stationed here primarily because of the Cardassians, and for the defence of the wormhole. Nevertheless, the Federation presence on DS9 will be greatly reduced. Nog, Bashir, Max, Holo and Megan they will all be reassigned.”
Kira looked downcast since many of the senior staff were her friends. “A pity, they've done so much for this station, for Bajor and even for me.”
“I know...” said Ezri gently. If the partition went through, she would probably never see Bashir again. What really depressed Ezri was that her last chance to make amends with Bashir would soon be gone.
Day 1; 2300 hours
Late in the night Kira was fast asleep in her quarters. She rested on one side of the bed tucked up inside the duvet, while Odo was in a liquid state. He oozed all over the bed sheets, his liquid form was piled up one side of Kira's naked body. Kira did not mind Odo oozing all over the bed as his liquid form was quite pleasant against her skin.
The computer's voice rang out in her bedroom. “Communication from minister Shakaar, code 1.”
Kira stirred, slowly she got out of bed, walked over to the wardrobe, and put on a dressing gown. She left the bedroom and headed to the living room, where she had her own personal command console. At this time in the night, she felt super drowsy, and she slumped herself onto the chair by the console. “Computer replay message.”
“Communication from minister Shakaar, code 1.”
“Code 1?” she said drowsily and she activated the console. “Computer, relay the transmission through to this console.”
“Code 1 password please,” came the computer’s soulless voice.
Kira typed in the password.
A blank screen on the console changed to show First Minister Shakaar inside his office by his desk. Shakaar had a rather lived in face, and the stress of being First Minister had prematurely aged Shakaar. His hair was turning gray, and there were deep wrinkles around his eyes, and forehead. For some reason, Shakaar looked particularly grim.
Upon seeing Shakaar, Kira snapped out of her drowsy state. “First Minister how can I help you?”
“There's been a kidnapping of three vedeks in the Koma temple and-”
Kira could not believe what she had just heard. “What?” she exclaimed, interrupting Shakaar. “How is that possible?”
Shakaar did not look too pleased at being interrupted. “If you would allow me to finish. This was a coordinated operation and the evidence points to Bajoran political hardliners.”
Kira found this hard to believe. “We haven't had that sort of problem for more than twenty years, so why this sudden change?”
Unease crept into Shakaar’s face. “There has been a quiet dispute between the Bajoran vedeks and the military. The vedeks are uneasy by how powerful our military has become, and being spiritual folk, they're worried that it could threaten Bajor's culture.
This did not make much sense to Kira. “But I thought everything was working fine on Bajor!”
Somehow, Shakaar looked even grimmer; clearly he was under some serious pressure. “The political picture is not as rosy as you make it out to be.” Shakaar then sighed. “There's corruption in the military Kira. It appears that bribes and sleaze are rife amongst certain colonels and majors these days. These individuals have power and they like it, they will do anything to keep their newfound positions. If that means silencing a few monks or even vedeks then... Well they've already taken that step.”
Suddenly Kira felt queasy and lightheaded, the very notion that the military was possibly killing a few Bajoran monks shocked her immensely. “You mean to say that our own military is trying to kill the vedeks and silence our religious organizations?”
“I don't think the military wants to kill the vedeks, but silencing them definitely. Which is why I want you Kira to investigate the military, I believe they are plotting something... I’ll send you the personnel records and logs for the entire upper echelons of the Bajoran military. I want you to go over these records and logs, to look for any illegal activity.
“However, make this investigation is a quiet affair, I trust you will do that, well you are one of the few people I can trust. What I'm not sure is what kind of threat the military pose to the government. I am convinced that certain high-ups in the Bajoran military have got together and are coordinating a discreet operation to discredit the vedeks.”
“And who takes the blame for the kidnappings?” asked Kira and she wondered if Shakaar was actually going to blame the Bajoran military.
Shakaar looked shiftily at Kira. “Don't tell anyone what I'm about to say here. What I will do is put out the story that members of an old terrorist cell got together, and decided to pull off one last operation in some desperate attempt to further their political goals.”
“And you think people will fall for that?” said Kira disbelievingly. “That the Federation will fall for that?”
Shakaar looked annoyed by Kira’s question. “Bajor has come remarkably close to achieving full political sovereignty I will not let anyone prevent it!” There was a passion in Shakaar’s voice, and he looked implacable on the matter. “If I have to sack half of the senior military staff then so be it. Bajor must become a fully sovereign state, and you more than anyone can appreciate that Kira. Shakaar out.”
The transmission ended, and the console screen reverted to the Bajoran government insignia. Kira was deeply troubled by what she heard. “And what kind of sovereign state will we become minister?”
It was inconceivable to her that the Bajoran military would dare to intimidate the Bajoran religious order. She realized that living on this station had clouded her perception of what life was like on Bajor. Her thinking was interrupted when the console lit up. Lists of names, personnel records and logs flashed before her very eyes. Kira sincerely hoped the Bajoran military was not as corrupt as Shakaar had portrayed it to be. Wearily she turned off the console, stood up and returned to bed.
Day 2, 1300 hours
Kira was taking her lunch break in the Replimat and sitting right next to her was Odo. Although Odo could not eat or drink, he usually came to the Replimat at lunch break to talk with Kira. Today though the two were silent, Kira was eating, and her head was bowed down.
While Odo sat there looking awkward and maintaining an uncomfortable silence. The news of the abduction of the three Bajoran vedeks had rapidly spread around the station. Everyone was talking about it, and this served only to further depress Kira. Finally, Odo broke the silence. “Are you alright Kira?”
Kira barely heard Odo. “Hmm?” She jerked out of her trance. “No Odo, I'm not.”
She accidently made eye contact with Odo before quickly looking away. Right now she found it hard to look at Odo, without succumbing to her anxiety.
“And something is really worrying you?” inquired Odo.
Trust Odo to notice every little feature on her face, she must have been looking glum for Odo to notice. She wasn't sure how to answer Odo's questions, but if there was anyone she could talk to about her task it was Odo. So she finally looked at Odo and decided to open up. “I've been assigned to investigate the Bajoran military, but don't tell anyone else about this.”
Odo looked surprised. “So the military were involved in the abduction of the vedeks?”
“I never said that Odo,” said Kira irritably.
“It's what you implied,” said Odo shrewdly. “Listen you don't have to do this alone, I can help you. You know what I'm good at.”
“Finding the truth and dispensing justice,” said Kira finishing Odo’s sentence. “I know Odo, I know.”
She grimaced in frustration. “What really upsets me is that Bajor could be slipping back to the bad old days of infighting! I've never understood it Odo, never!” Her voice became very heated. “We should have been bonded closer together because of the Cardassian occupation and its aftermath! So what did the Bajorans do instead? Pursue their own political agendas, and for what? Land and power?”
Kira disregarded the remains of her lunch and sat back against her chair. She was barely containing her anger and frustration.
“Do you want my help or not?” asked Odo, as always he was smart enough to look through Kira’s anger and to see what his wife desperately wanted.
It was a relief to Kira that her husband had made such an offer, now she wasn't alone in this investigation. She looked directly into Odo’s eyes. “Yes I do Odo, now more than ever.”