2 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE - ESTABLISHING
The usual shot, but with Dominion vessel 288 parked at an upper pylon.
3 INT. DS9 – WARD ROOM
Beginning on the view screen on the long side of the wall. It shows the high-angle security cam image of Taran’atar, sitting calmly in his cell, possibly even meditating.
Wait – are you saying you think
Taran’atar’s holding a katra?
WIDEN to see that we are in a senior staff meeting in the Ward Room. KIRA, VAUGHN, Ro, Vannis, BASHIR, MATTHIAS and CENN are present. Though Kira sits at the top of the table, this is Vaughn’s meeting.
I believe so, yes.
Hold on – what’s a katra?
It’s part of Vulcan psychology
and mysticism. When they’re near
death, they have the ability to
pass on an imprint of their psyche
as a kind of telepathic record.
The more religious among us might
describe it as their “soul.”
The ideal option is to download
the record into what’s called a
katric ark for posterity. But if
that’s not possible, they can
implant it telepathically into
another person instead.
And why would you think that’s
what’s going on here?
You gave me the idea, Lieutenant.
When you were suffering from your
amnesia, you said it felt like
somebody else’s memories forcing
their way into your head. That’s
exactly how T’Prynn described it.
Vaughn hits some keys on the table, and the view screen adds a second image - the personnel record of T’PRYNN, with an image of the Vulcan woman in a TOS-era red uniform and the caption LT. CMDR. T’PRYNN, DECEASED 2349.
She was a treasured friend and
colleague of mine for many years,
when I worked in Intelligence.
She introduced me to Ruriko...
we named our daughter after her.
What’s relevant here, however,
is that long before I met her,
she had been val’reth.
Some baffled looks around the table. Bashir explains:
Someone who holds another’s
katra against their will.
Like most Vulcans, T’Prynn had
been betrothed at a young age,
to a man named Sten. When the
time came, she had no intention
of going through with it. Had
no intention of marrying any
man. Unfortunately, Sten decided
to force the issue. He invoked
“Marriage or challenge.”
Ritual combat, usually involving
a champion to fight to the death
on behalf of the woman. T’Prynn,
however, fought for herself.
Good for her.
Quite. Sten was not so impressed.
If he was mentally unbalanced or
just at the mercy of powerful
Vulcan mating drives, I can’t say.
But even after she killed him, he
wasn't willing to concede defeat.
Sten used his last breath to
force his katra into her mind and
continue the fight from within.
Oh my God...
So she just had to live with
him in her head?
The elders of Mount Seleya were
unable to help. Sten refused to
let go. She repressed him as
much as she could, but she was
effectively suffering constant,
repeated rape for almost fifty
years... albeit of a telepathic
rather than physical nature.
On Kira, appalled...
FLASHBACK – 9x21 “FEARFUL SYMMETRY”
Dukat advances on the memory-wiped Iliana, in her cell on Letau, he with a sadistic grin, her screaming in terror...
BACK TO SCENE
Kira shudders from the memory. Vannis speaks up, snippy:
Forgive my ignorance, Commander
Vaughn, but what has been the
point of this little story?
Vaughn smiles diplomatically. He gestures to the screen, where Taran’atar still sits in his cell...
4 INT. DS9 – SECURITY CELLS AREA
The point is, if the death is
both unexpected and violent, then
the katra - this snapshot of the
psyche - can become “corrupted.”
It’s capturing an image of the
mind at its most traumatized.
Taran’atar stands peacefully in the cell, hands behind his back, face calm and composed. One might say... unemotional. Ro stands outside the cell, tense and wary.
Begin with a front-on shot of Taran’atar, then pan sideways around him, into the cell, through the force field...
So if this is what happened to
Taran’atar, then who is he...
As we pass to the inside of the cell, the FRITZ of the force field covers the changeover – it is now L’Haan standing calmly inside the cell, looking out at Ro.
L’Haan, of course. The
(she gets it now)
She mind-melded with him.
Ro taps her combadge, talks into it MOS.
Yes. According to Taran’atar’s
own account, moments before he
killed her, L’Haan had been
engaged in a meld with him, trying
to secretly gain his alliance.
The transporter signal forms over L’Haan...
...and Taran’atar disappears from the cell. Ro takes a deep breath and lets some of the tension out...
5 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY
The surgical suite. Bashir, RICHTER, TARSES and ETANA are all on duty, with ALECO standing by as security.
The transporter signal forms, delivering Taran’atar, now lying down smoothly upon the bio-bed. Bashir approaches.
And when he surprised her by
breaking out of it, she didn’t
have time to properly close
down the connection.
So when he killed her, her
katra automatically flew into him,
along the still-active connection.
It probably wasn’t intentional
on her part. And he couldn’t
have had any idea of the
consequences of his actions.
On the bio-bed, Taran’atar lifts his arm. A couple of inches up, it contacts another force field. The field buzzes at the contact, revealing that it covers his entire body, head to toe, in a tight fit around the bio-bed.
Doctor, is there any way to
test Vaughn’s theory?
A deep brain scan would show up
changes in his neuro-electric
patterns. But it’s not the kind
of scan I can do in a security
cell. We’d need to get him into
Bashir directs the medical team, and they move large brain-scanning machines into place around Taran’atar’s head.
That’s where he was heading when
he had his breakdown on the Promenade.
Perhaps that’s not a coincidence.
You think L’Haan knew we’d find
her out? And deliberately tried
to stop him from going?
Which would imply she has no
more intention of leaving than
Bashir passes across the camera, briefly blocking our sight of Taran’atar. When he’s gone, it’s L’Haan lying there instead, watching every move they make.
6 INT. DS9 – WARD ROOM
Back to the meeting:
So what do we do? How did
T’Prynn get rid of Sten? She
did get rid of him, right?
Eventually, yes. But as I say,
even the highest Vulcan adepts
were helpless. And when they
say there’s nothing they can do,
people tend to believe them. You
have to understand, there have
only been a handful of cases
like this in all of recorded
history, which for the Vulcans
is a long time. There’s simply
nobody left alive who knows
the necessary rituals.
There must be something we can do.
Only one thing that I can think
of. If we can’t force L’Haan to
leave Taran’atar, then we have
to try and persuade her.
We have Sevak.
Another Vulcan, yes. Sevak, no.
We’d need somebody L’Haan has
reason to believe and trust.
Who would that be? She doesn’t
know anybody here. She’s an
entire universe away from home.
True. So there’s only one option.
A moment... then Kira gets the answer.
Vaughn smiles approvingly. The others are confused...
I don’t understand...
The L’Haan that’s currently
inhabiting Taran’atar is the
alternate universe version.
The Intendant to our Kira. So
we need to find this universe’s
version of the same person.
It could work. Alright, I think
we’ve got a plan.
She turns and gives orders to everyone in turn...
7 INT. DS9 – SECURITY CELLS AREA
Ro stands alone in the middle of the room, having just transported Taran’atar away. She’s still shaken.
Lieutenant Ro, work on getting
Taran’atar safely out of the
cells and into the Infirmary.
She turns and walks out. Sevak joins her.
8 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY
The medical team works around Taran’atar.
9 INT. DS9 – MATTHIAS’S OFFICE
Doctor, once he’s there, you do
your scans and confirm all this.
Matthias is sat behind her desk, with Vaughn across from her. They both have computers and are scanning through file after file. Matthias takes notice of something...
Counsellor, work with Vaughn to
try and track down anything you
can find on these rituals he
She turns her computer to face Vaughn, showing him the file she found. Vaughn peers at it, but shakes his head.
10 INT. DS9 – MAIN OPS CENTRE
If nobody else can do them for
us, maybe we can figure out a
way to do them for ourselves.
The business of Ops goes on as normal. Cenn stands at the central table, working hard. SHAR is at sciences, NOG at engineering, BOWERS at tactical, extras as needed.
11 INT. DS9 – WARD ROOM
Major, I want you to comb the
Federation records and find
L’Haan. Explain the situation
to her and do your best to
convince her to help.
Alright, everyone. Get to work.
Dismissed, the meeting breaks up.
After everyone else leaves, Kira and Vannis are the last ones left. Kira approaches Vannis tactfully...
You were awfully quiet.
Frankly, Captain, this entire
situation strikes me as the kind
of pseudo-scientific nonsense
Starfleet seems to regularly
find itself mired in. And now
you’re pulling the Dominion
down along with you.
This wasn’t our fault, Vannis.
Perhaps. But it never happened
before we allied with you.
We’re trying to help him.
Another peculiarity. In the
Dominion we would simply kill
him and be done with it.
And with that she exits. Kira is left a bit disquieted...
12 INT. DS9 – SECURITY OFFICE
Ro enters from the rear cells area, with Sevak following. At Ro’s nod, Sevak heads out onto the Promenade. She goes to the door, looks out, making sure he’s gone. Then she goes to the drawers in her desk, and opens one.
She reaches in, pulls out a hypospray, and pushes it to her neck. It makes no hissing sound. She looks at it, confused. Shakes it. Tries again. Nothing. Empty.
Annoyed, she throws the hypo back into the drawer, kicks it closed, and stomps to the replicator set into the wall. One last glance over her shoulder to be sure she’s alone, she speaks quietly and conspiratorially to the replicator...
Computer. Hypospray, containing
fifty cc’s of triptacederine,
to be delivered in doses of ten
Unable to comply.
Requested material can only be
replicated by registered medical
staff in station infirmary.
Security override. Authorization
Ro gamma six two.
Security override not permitted.
Chief Medical Officer has final
authority on requested material.
Okay... how about morphenolog?
Unable to comply. Requested
material can only be –
Unable to comply. Requested
material can –
Look, just give me any kind of
painkiller, will you?!
Unable to comply. Requested –
Oh, forget it!
She THUMPS the replicator’s panel in frustration, and slumps against her desk. Not what she needed today.
13 INT. DS9 – MAIN OPS CENTRE
The turbolift rises into Ops, and Kira steps off it. She walks down the steps to the central Ops table. Cenn is a bit worried and nervous.
Major. Have you found anything?
Umm... no, Captain. That’s kind
of the problem.
What do you mean?
I’ve had the computer scanning
non-stop, across the entire
Vulcan citizen database. Didn’t
find anything. So I widened the
search to the entire Federation,
in case she was born somewhere
else, like on a colony or some-
thing. I still couldn’t find it.
Major, get to the point.
Sorry, Captain. What I’m saying
is... this woman I’m supposed to
find, this universe’s version
of L’Haan... there’s no sign of
her anywhere. As far as I can
tell, she doesn’t exist. And
she never has.
On Kira’s worried reaction...
END OF ACT ONE