Day 5, 1630 hours
Odo was by his desk inside the security office, in his left hand he held a padd, and he was studying the financial transactions between various high ranking members of the Bajoran military. It was hard to concentrate, when he knew that his wife was in all sorts of danger, and possibly dead. But he clung to the vow that he and Kira made in that the duties of one's job came first, and he forced himself to concentrate.
If there was an opportunity to rescue Kira he would take it just like that. He had vowed to his children to do this after telling them about their mother's abduction. But whatever his personal feelings, he was needed on this station now more than ever. As for Kira all he had was hope that she was still alive, and presumably well. The time for indulging in his emotions would only come when Kira was found, dead or alive.
He lowered the pad when Ezri walked into the office, and she sat down on the opposite side of the desk.
“Any luck with questioning Farak?” asked Ezri who sounded hopeful.
“Huh luck!” said Odo bitterly. “I have just wasted thirty minutes of my life questioning Farak. He didn't say anything, and he simply stared at me with wide, manic eyes. It seems Farak is fervently devoted to whatever cause he is following.”
The bitterness then vanished from his voice. “After I questioned Farak, I reexamined Dolsur's quarters, and I found evidence that someone tampered with the station's sensors logs. This explains why the sensors indicated that only Dolsur was in his room when he was murdered. It also explains why no weapon's discharge was recorded. I did some checking, and I analyzed a computer console in Dolsur's room. After a while, I found Farak's access codes, he had used them to erase various sensor records. It was Farak who murdered Major Dolsur.”
“But why? Was it premeditated murder?”
“I'm certain that Farak was working with somebody, more than likely a terrorist cell. I wondered why Farak planted a sight-to-sight transporter on Kira, the conclusion I came to was someone badly wanted to talk to Kira in private. I started thinking about the conversation Dolsur had with Farak before he was murdered.”
Understanding blossomed in Ezri’s eyes. “Let me guess, Farak was trying to persuade Dolsur to join this terrorist cell or organization. But Dolsur refused to join, so Farak had to kill Dolsur to keep the organization Farak worked with a secret.”
Odo nodded once in agreement, he was impressed by Ezri's deductive skills. “Precisely, we still have no idea what this organization may be, but we could take a reasonable guess and assume it has something to do with corrupt elements inside the Bajoran military! There could be a connection between the military corruption, and the murder of eighty majors and colonels last night on Bajor.”
Ezri got to her feet. “That does it!” she said angrily. “I'm going to talk to admiral Ross immediately and see how Starfleet can protect Bajor from these... rouge elements inside the Bajoran military!”
Ezri seemed to be taking the issue of Bajor’s security, quite personally. Odo watched Ezri leave his office, and momentarily he was intrigued by Ezri’s behaviour. He realised that Ezri deeply cared about the Bajoran people, and she would do her utmost to help them. After his brief moment of insight, Odo picked up the padd and commenced his study of the financial records, while doing his best not to think about Kira.
Day 5, 1700 hours
Kira materialized in Ops. The staff around her looked shocked at her sudden appearance. Kira ignored their stares and spotted Nog, he was working at the operations console. She walked over to Nog. “Nog,” she called out.
Nog looked momentarily surprised at seeing Kira. “Colonel, how did you-”
“Escape? Right now that’s not important, I need you to remove the primary access codes and replace them with the backups!”
Nog looked suspiciously at Kira while he reached for a tricorder. “How do I know that you are actually Kira?”
“This is ridiculous!” exclaimed Kira. “Whatever you are thinking I'm not some sort of duplicate!”
“Anything is possible,” said Nog.
He then carefully scanned Kira with the tricorder, and still Nog did not seem convinced of Kira’s identity. “Why did I join Starfleet?”
Kira thought carefully about Nog’s question, she remembered Nog telling her some years ago about his reasons for joining Starfleet. “Because you did not want to follow in your father’s footsteps. You were afraid that you would become just like him.”
Though it was the correct answer, Nog did not relent on his suspicions concerning Kira's identity. “Sixteen years you and me were stranded on an L-class planet in the Badlands. I was injured and trying to repair a subspace beacon. At the time what did you say to me to encourage me?”
Kira vividly remembered that time she spent with Nog alone, it was a desperate situation and Nog came close to giving up. They never discussed with anyone what happened upon that planet. “I said to you that if you fixed the subspace beacon, and we made it back to DS9. I would promote you to lieutenant commander and chief of operations.”
She then frowned slightly. “Though as I recall, I was the one who was injured.”
A smile broke across Nog’s face. “It really is you!” The happiness on Nog's face was replaced with an apologetic look. “I'm sorry for being suspicious, but I had to check.”
Kira smiled briefly. “It’s no more than I expect. Now let’s sort out these access codes!”
Day 5, 2000 hours
Almost immediately after Kira's return to DS9, Ezri had called a staff meeting concerning what to do about the Reformation movement. Initially Kira explained to everyone about what the Reformation movement was and what their objectives were. When Kira had finished, there was a brief silence as everyone digested Kira's information.
Ezri, who was sitting at the head of the table, did not look satisfied with Kira's account. “So colonel how exactly did you manage to escape?”
Kira felt slightly awkward. “I feigned interest and pretended I was interested in the Reformation movement. To prove my 'loyalty' I gave them some of DS9's tactical control specs.”
For a moment, Ezri looked apocalyptic with rage. “You gave them-”
“Only some of the access codes,” said Kira hastily. “I didn’t give them the backup access codes. I've ordered Nog to rewrite the programming and switch to the backup codes. So the station's security hasn't been to badly compromised.”
The rage diminished from Ezri’s eyes. “Even so...” Ezri let the matter drop and she calmed down. “Well now we know what we're up against, this will give me the evidence I need to ask the Federation for Starfleet ships to protect Bajor from this insurgency.”
While Ezri became silent, Max then fielded a question for Kira. “Colonel are you saying the Reformation movement wants to completely remove Bajor's religious order?”
“That is one of the major goals of the movement,” replied Kira wearily.
“But that's crazy, you can't just remove a planet's religion! It would mean civil war!”
“How many colonels did you recognize in that cave?” asked Ezri.
“Only one,” replied Kira. “Someone called Corel. He's new to his job; young, ambitious and now it seems corrupt.”
Ezri stopped looking thoughtful, and her composure was now one of springing into action, and taking control of the situation. “Mr Nog would it be possible to hack into the Bajoran government's financial records to look for irregular movements of credits?”
“Hacking into the Bajoran government's financial records is no problem, but finding irregular credit transactions is harder.” Nog frowned while he contemplated the problem at hand. “I mean what are we looking for? There's got to be millions of credit transactions within the military.”
Kira had some idea for what to look for. “I'd suggest looking in the orbital defence budgets. I've discovered certain sections of those budgets to have... unusual credit transactions. So that's one place to start to track down the ring leaders of the Reformation Movement.”
“Agreed,” said Ezri. “Mr Nog work with Odo to review the financial records. Hopefully we'll uncover enough dodgy financial dealings to expose many of the ring leaders of the Reformation Movement. That will be all.”
Kira was about to stand up when Ezri called her. “I want a brief talk with you about… a few issues.”
Ezri looked around making sure everyone had gone, Odo briefly stopped and looked at Kira before walking out of the room. Vacating the chair, Ezri walked over to Kira, and Kira sensed that she was about to reprimanded severely for handing to the Reformation movement DS9’s command codes.
After a tense silence, Ezri exploded. “What were you thinking when you handed DS9’s command codes to the Reformation movement?”
Kira felt briefly guilty. “I had to make a tactical gamble. Either I said no to Tamar and got killed on the spot, or I could feign interest in his movement and escape.”
“That was more than a gamble!” shouted Ezri. “Do you realize that if Tamar sends Bajoran warships against DS9, there is a chance that DS9’s shields and weapons will be compromised!”
Now Kira ceased being timid, and she stood up to confront Ezri. “I made my decision on the basis of saving lives and protecting Bajor!”
Ezri looked absolutely livid. “Well I say you made a very poor decision, I think what you did borders on collaborating with Tamar!”
Kira felt her anger flare up in full force. “I resent that term!” she shouted. “You know for someone who claims to be so clever and wise, you can’t see the big picture! If I had not escaped, then nobody would know about the Reformation movement, and Starfleet wouldn’t be sending in ships to Bajor until it is to late!”
Ezri’s cheeks went red with rage. “You have just made my job of protecting this station so much harder!”
“And you are mightily ungrateful for what I did!” retorted Kira. “Just because there is an increased risk to this station, it is a small price to pay for the safety of Bajor. You’re a coward you know; you’re to afraid to take risks and to bend the rules.”
For a moment Ezri looked taken aback, and some hurt crept onto her face before disappearing. She then lowered her voice, and it became a fierce hiss. “The Kira I remember would have the courage to admit that she was wrong, and not pretend otherwise!”
Some of the anger receded from Kira, as she know she had just been an absolute jerk towards Ezri. “I’m sorry for calling you a coward,” she said quietly. “What I did was for the protection of Bajor, you can surely appreciate that.”
Ezri looked quite glum. “I guess I’m just surprised that you double crossed Tamar to escape.”
Kira looked sadly at Ezri. “I would give my own life to protect Bajor, you know that. However, being a martyr would not help anyone. This was my only opportunity to expose the movement, and I took it. Court martial me or press charges if you want to, but I was only trying to protect Bajor.”
Ezri mulled Kira’s words over. “As the commander of this station, I would say you made the wrong decision. Though, as your friend I would give you the benefit of the doubt.”
There was silence between the two, and Kira wondered if Ezri still considered her a friend… Finally Ezri left the room, while Kira remained rooted to the spot a little shaken by that brief but passionate row.
“Ezri give you a few choice words?” said a voice.
Turning around, Kira saw Odo enter the room, to her surprise Odo was smiling a little proudly at her. “I deserved some of it,” she replied.
“I don’t care what Ezri said to you, all that matters is that your alive.” Odo paused, and his face betrayed some fear. “For a few hours I thought I would never see you again, if you had died…”
Kira moved closer to Odo and then she hugged him, in an attempt to soothe her husband’s frayed nerves. “I made it back in one piece, that’s what matters.”
She felt Odo hug her tighter, and she then realized just how worried her husband had been. They then broke off the hug, and after a brief kiss, they kept a little distance between each other.
“I swear by the Prophets Odo, I will not rest until the Reformation movement is utterly reduced and ridiculed!”
Odo stared somewhat nervously at Kira, after her passionate proclamation. “Even if it means civil war on Bajor?”
There was no answer to that, and for all her anger towards the Reformation movement, Kira did not want to see her world descend into civil war.