This is my sixth story Devolution
, and it's all about the Dominion and Odo. Plus you get to see how Odo returned to Kira, after his year long stay in the Great Link.
Here is a summary:
For 18 years there has been no direct contact between the Dominion and the Federation. Now out of the blue, a Jem'Hadar battleship comes out of the wormhole and arrives at DS9. After agreeing to a meeting with Weyoun, Ezri finds out some disturbing truths about the Dominion... The Jem'Hadar are revolting and rising up against their gods, and should the Dominion collapse, the Jem'Hadar will attack the Alpha Quadrant. The Federation's only adequate line of defence to prevent a devastating war is DS9...
And here is the story:
Devolution, chapter 1
Day 1, 2230hours
Inside Ops, it was late in the night, and Max was at his console. For most of the time, he was analysing results from various scientific experiments conducted in the chemistry laboratory. Being the head of science, Max coordinated all of the various departments: astronomy, chemistry and biology. Inside the console was a small compartment, Max’s modified tricorder was stored there. In his spare time, Max loved to mess around with electrical devices. His tricorder was the result of ten years of modification.
Currently Max was assigning his departments resources for the next month, every month each department sent requests to him for materials and equipment to conduct a months worth of experiments. A small flashing red light diverted Max’s attention; whenever the light flashed it meant that the station’s sensors had detected a ship coming out of the wormhole.
Max checked the sensors, it was a Jem'Hadar battleship that had come out of the wormhole. Alarm bells went off inside Max’s head; the Dominion had left the Alpha Quadrant eighteen years ago. Not one Jem'Hadar ship had returned to the Alpha Quadrant since then. There was only one thing Max could do... He had to warn his captain, so he tapped his comm badge.
“Lieutenant Max to the captain.”
“<i>Ezri here, what is it lieutenant?</i>”
“Sorry to bother you captain but I've detected a Jem'Hadar battleship approaching DS9. It came out of the wormhole, and the ship will arrive at the station in one minutes time.”
“<i>Raise the station’s shields, ready the phaser banks and photon torpedoes, I'm on my way!</i>”
Ezri sounded tired, and Max hoped that Ezri would be considerably more alert when she arrived in Ops. A sense of nervousness made Max’s stomach queasy. After reading about the Dominion war, he was somewhat frightened by the Jem'Hadar battleship which was so close to DS9. At the time of the Dominion war, Max was only eight, he lived on Earth with his parents, and was fortunate enough never to see any of the horror or devastation caused by the war.
Though at that time he had simply been lucky, living in Kansas, which escaped a Breen attack. Right now, Max really hoped the arrival of this Jem'Hadar battleship didn’t spell the beginning of another conflict...
The situation was very serious; Ezri had many memories of the Jem'Hadar from her former host Jadzia, and her own experiences fighting the Jem'Hadar on the planet AR-558. Those were truly terrible times, it was only after the end of the war that Ezri appreciated what tense and dangerous times those two years were.
For eighteen years, there had been no direct contact between the Dominion and the Federation since the war. Despite the Federation resuming exploration of the Gamma Quadrant, and placing colonies on unclaimed and uninhabited worlds, Starfleet vessels maintained a wide distance from Dominion territory.
Ezri could only hope the Jem'Hadar battleship was on a peaceful mission. The turbolift came to a halt, she stepped out and walked over to Max, while the turbolift descended once more. “Has the Jem'Hadar ship hailed us?” she asked Max.
“Not yet,” replied Max, “they’ve now come to a halt, and there shields are raised.”
Ezri thought that Max looked nervous, of course he had never encountered the Jem'Hadar before. “Keep monitoring them,” she ordered.
At that moment, the turbolift appeared, and Kira walked out. “What's the problem captain?”
Ezri activated the view screen. “There is our problem.”
On the view screen, the image of the menacing Jem’Hadar battleship appeared. The ship seemed to be of a similar configuration of the Jem’Hadar battleships seen in the Dominion War. Ezri hoped that Federation technology had kept up with Dominion technology in these last eighteen years.
Kira frowned at the ship; she looked tense. “There haven't been any Dominion ships coming through the wormhole for eighteen years. Why should Dominion ships arrive to meet us now?”
“We'll find out soon enough,” replied Ezri, she took the fact that the Jem’Hadar ship hadn’t raised it weapons as a good sign. Kira gave Ezri a brief questioning glance, before heading to her station.
“Captain!” exclaimed Max. “The Jem'Hadar ship is hailing us!”
“On screen!” ordered Ezri.
The image of the Jem’Hadar ship was replaced with a Vorta standing on what must have been the ship’s bridge. There were Jem’Hadar in the background and they were manning various consoles. Ezri recognized the Vorta on the view screen; it was Weyoun. She realised that this must be another Weyoun clone. Despite Weyoun’s friendly toothy smile, Ezri wasn’t fooled for a second by his charm.
“Captain Dax, so you are the new commander of DS9!”
“What is your reason for being here Weyoun?” demanded Ezri.
The smile on Weyoun’s face faded somewhat. “There are some Dominion matters, which you need to know about...” Weyoun paused and looked distinctly uncomfortable. “But I'd rather not talk about them right now, perhaps somewhere more private. Maybe onboard your station?”
Ezri briefly considered Weyoun’s request; right now he wanted to talk and Ezri wanted to keep it that way. “Agreed; do you want to transport in or dock?”
“Docking will do just nicely.”
“Lower your shields and you can dock at docking bay two.” There was a brief pause, and Ezri wondered if Weyoun would comply.
“I notice DS9’s shields are raised and its weapon active, do you really think captain that this ship will attack DS9?” Weyoun sounded hurt, as if disapproving of Ezri's cautious and suspicious stance.
“Weyoun let’s get one thing straight; I have no reason to trust you, so stop pretending to be friendly. If you want to make a gesture of good will, lower your ship’s shields and likewise I will do the same.”
The smile on Weyoun’s face faltered slightly, and he seemed to realize that sweet talking to Ezri would not work. “Very well captain, as a gesture of good will, I will lower this ship’s shields.”
Max was checking the sensor readings from his console. “The Jem'Hadar ship’s shields have lowered.”
Inwardly Ezri was relieved, Weyoun was sincere about this meeting. “Colonel lower the shields and deactivate the weapon systems.” Ezri then addressed Weyoun. “You’re cleared for docking.”
“Thank you captain,” said Weyoun graciously.
The view screen reverted to blackness.
“That went a little to smoothly...” said Ezri, though more to herself. “Kira you’re with me, it's time to greet our guest.” While Kira headed for the turbolift, Ezri tapped her comm badge. “Dax to Odo.”
“Odo meet me at docking bay two; a Jem'Hadar battleship has arrived, and Weyoun is going to meet us.”
“<i>I'm on my way.</i>”
Ezri expected Odo to sound more surprised, but then again it took a lot to surprise Odo. She walked into the turbolift. “Docking bay two,” she said to the computer.
The turbolift descended, for a while there was silence between Ezri and Kira. Then Kira spoke up. “It’s funny, because the last time I saw Weyoun, was when Garak killed him.”
Kira looked vaguely amused, although Ezri thought there was nothing funny about killing. “That was Weyoun eight,” she replied. “So this must be Weyoun nine.”
In a thoughtful manner, Kira was looking at Ezri. “It must be strange... Being a clone of yourself and remembering everything...”
“Try being a Trill host...” said Ezri in a joking tone.
The tense mood vanished for a bit, and the two women briefly smiled at each other.
Day 1, 2310 hours
It had been thirty minutes since the Jem’Hadar battleship had docked. Ezri, Kira and Odo, were waiting outside of the doors to docking bay two. As always Ezri seemed totally calm, Odo was giving the docking bay doors a dead-pan stare.
Kira though was becoming increasingly agitated. “What is Weyoun doing on that Dominion ship? Surely it doesn't take thirty minutes to leave your ship?”
“Patience colonel,” said Ezri in a soothing voice. “I suspect Weyoun isn't the only important Dominion member on that ship...”
Scowled at Ezri’s vagueness, Kira then looked away, and kept her eyes glanced on the docking bay doors.
Finally the docking bay doors opened. Weyoun came through the doors first, followed by a Founder and two Jem’Hadar guards who were armed. For a small moment, Odo looked surprised at seeing a fellow shapeshifter. Almost immediately the shapeshifter’s eyes were upon Odo.
Weyoun looked jovial, and as he approached Ezri he clasped his hands together. “Captain! Please forgive the delay.” Weyoun sounded almost apologetic. “There were some 'security' issues that I-”
“That is enough Weyoun!” the male shapeshifter said sharply; at once Weyoun complied and he looked reverently at the shapeshifter. Not once did the shapeshifter look at Weyoun, the shapeshifter came to a stop next to Ezri. “Captain Dax I am the shapeshifter leader, I suspect you've met Weyoun before...”
“Welcome to DS9,” said Ezri courteously. “Here is my first officer; colonel Kira, and my chief of security Odo-”
“Yes I've met Odo before, in a manner of speaking...”
The shapeshifter seemed to forget that Ezri was there, and he walked towards Odo. Kira shot a suspicious look towards Odo; she was on edge and she didn't trust this shapeshifter leader one bit.
The shapeshifter held a hand for Odo to shake. “We have missed you Odo.”
Reluctantly Odo briefly shook the shape shifter's hand. “I'm sure you have,” said Odo coldly.
Turning around, the shapeshifter addressed Ezri. “Captain there are some sensitive issues to discuss... in private.”
“Arrangements have already been made, if you would follow me to the wardroom.” Briefly Ezri held out her arm, and the shapeshifter and his delegation followed.
As the group headed to the wardroom, Kira and Odo lingered at the back. They were having a whispered conversation, and Kira's voice was noticeably tense. “What did the shapeshifter mean, when he said he had met you before?”
Odo looked weary, as if he didn’t want to answer the question. “He was talking about my time in the Great Link eighteen years ago. Why do you ask-”
“Let's just say I'm uncomfortable around other shapeshifters, they all seem to know you.”
Now Odo looked angry. “I've haven't linked with another shapeshifter for eighteen years!” he angrily exclaimed. “You worry to much about shapeshifters linking, it's as natural to us as talking.”
Kira backed down; she realised how sensitive Odo was about the subject of his people. Asking insensitive questions would only make Odo more angry. “I'm sorry Odo,” said Kira quietly.
“It doesn't matter...” said Odo wearily.
Day 1, 2315 hours
The mood in the wardroom was tense, along one side of the room were four Starfleet and Bajoran security guards. While on the windowed side, there were the two Jem’Hadar guards, they were directly behind the shapeshifter leader. Both guards were standing rigidly and gazing resolutely at some point just above the shape shifter’s head.
At the table, Ezri was sat on one end, while to her right there was the shapeshifter and Weyoun. To Ezri’s left, Kira and Odo were sat down, and they were both looking at Ezri. Although occasionally one of them would steal a brief glance at the shapeshifter.
Ezri remained silent; she was waiting for what the shapeshifter leader had to say. Indeed the shapeshifter seemed nervous, his hands were clasped together, and they rested on the table. “Captain,” said the shapeshifter after a while. “I'm going to put this bluntly to you; the Dominion is very fragile at the moment, and the Founder's control over the Jem'Hadar has decreased considerably. It is only a matter of time before there is a Jem'Hadar revolt.”
Such an omission on the shapeshifter's part surprised Ezri, and she frowned slightly as she let this information sink in. An aggressive Dominion was bad enough. However, renegade Jem'Hadar would be an even bigger problem. “Doesn't the ketracel white control the Jem'Hadar, and prevent them from revolting against their gods?”
“That method of control has become less effective...”
The shapeshifter paused when Weyoun whispered into his ear, after listening intently to Weyoun the shape shifter continued to talk. “Ever since the Tren have come into contact with the Dominion, more and more of the Jem'Hadar became independent of the white.”
“Independent?” said Ezri sharply. “How come?”
“The Tren use a vaccine which removes the Jem'Hadar's addiction to the white. Because of this, more and more of the Jem'Hadar have renounced their allegiance to the Dominion.”
“But aren't the Jem'Hadar genetically engineered to obey the Founders?”
“Even that is not enough, many of the Jem'Hadar question the Founder's objectives...”
Weyoun spoke up and elaborated on the shapeshifter’s point. “Captain the Dominion has maintained peaceful relations with it's neighbours for eighteen years now. Unfortunately, there is less need for the Jem'Hadar; they were bred for war and...” Weyoun gave a small insincere laugh. “How shall I put it? They're unaccustomed in peacetime and frustrated at the lack of Dominion enemies.”
Ezri though suspected that Weyoun wasn’t entirely being open about the reasons for the Jem’Hadar discontent. “How have you dealt with the dissatisfaction amongst the Jem'Hadar?” she asked.
The shapeshifter looked slightly uncomfortable, he hesitated before answering Ezri's question. “Initially we confined many of the Jem'Hadar to their barracks, and then we discreetly killed off the Jem'Hadar confined in their barracks.”
“You killed your own soldiers?” asked Kira, who sounded aghast. “And you wonder why the Jem'Hadar are revolting against you?”
“We had no other choice!” said the shapeshifter, he sounded deeply defensive. “The safety and protection of the Great Link is absolutely paramount!”
Inwardly Ezri was appalled by what she had heard, the Founders deserved to be attacked for betraying the Jem’Hadar. Now she had some inkling of why the shapeshifter leader had come to this station. “You’ve come here because you want the Federation to protect the Great Link?”
The shapeshifter looked almost humiliated. “It shames me to say it, but yes we do need Federation support.”
Ezri gazed appraisingly at the shapeshifter. “Unfortunately the Federation does not give support to interplanetary states that carry out genocide upon their own people.”
“If you don't help us, you may find thousands of Jem'Hadar ships arriving at your station. You think the last Dominion war was bad?” The shape shifter stared coldly into Ezri’s eyes. “Then think again; the Jem'Hadar ships will do great damage to your Federation before you stop them.”
As much as Ezri didn’t want to help the Founders, she was forced to do so if it meant protecting the Federation. “I get the point... I'll contact my superiors and I will determine what, if any, support the Federation can provide.”
The shapeshifter looked almost gleeful, he had got his way. “Thank you captain, now I must get back to my ship...”
The shapeshifter leader and Weyoun rose from the seats and the Jem’Hadar guards walked behind to escort the pair back to the ship. The four Starfleet and Bajoran security guards walked out to escort the Dominion delegation back to the Jem’Hadar ship. When the Dominion delegation had left the room, Kira burst into speech. “He cannot be serious! For eighteen years, there's been no contact with the Dominion, and now they ask for our help!”
Ezri looked wearily at Kira. “I know it's pretentious and that the Founders don’t deserve to be helped, but it seems the Dominion could fall into civil war. Do you think the shapeshifter was telling us the truth Odo?”
Through the meeting, Odo had been mightily quiet. “I'm not sure captain...” said Odo slowly.
Ezri sensed that Odo had divided loyalties, he was torn between wanting to help his people and his obligations on this station. “Let's not readily dismiss his warnings. If the Jem'Hadar really do revolt and come through the wormhole, then DS9 will be the first line of defence against them, and we shall not be caught unprepared if the Jem'Hadar attack DS9. I'll contact admiral Ross, and find out what kind of support will be given to us should the worst happen. Dismissed!”
Kira and Odo rose from their chairs and left the room. Right now Ezri wondered why she chose to become a captain, it was one thing to run a station. It was quite another keeping everything ship-shape as she dealt with various calamities. First it was the failed Bajoran military coup, and now there was a possibility of a Jem’Hadar revolt! Heavy was the burden of command, but for Ezri it was even harder.
She didn’t have someone to talk to about these matters, in other words she had no confidant. Ezri found it interesting that all the great and famous captains: Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway all had confidants. For Kirk it was Spock, in Picard’s case it was Guinan, and Janeway had Tuvok. Ezri found it ironic that she was once, in her former host Jadzia, Sisko’s confidant.