51 EXT. FOUNDERS’ WORLD
The rolling, golden sea of changelings, the gently swelling waves of protoplasm lapping peacefully at the stony shore of the small rocky islet in the centre of it...
Then we glide slowly out a small way into the “sea”... and find Taran’atar, submerged under the surface. He’s fighting to get free of the gooey mass. His hand bursts out, his face following it, wordlessly gasping for air. But the changeling waves fold over him, and pull him back down. He’s drowning in it.
Looking out from inside the Great Link, through the golden flowing liquid to the air beyond it... and there’s a figure there, standing on the shore. Its hand outstretched to him.
Taran’atar struggles forward, desperate to escape... he breaches the surface... and it’s MU-L’Haan, holding out her hand, offering to help. He has only to reach for it. The changeling mass is reluctant to let go, grasping for his unyielding body...
...but he pulls himself through it, grasps MU-L’Haan’s hand. She helps him the last bit of the way. The Great Link recedes to the edge of the islet... and Taran’atar stands.
You saved me.
No. Ignore her.
They turn, and see that RU-L’Haan is also on the island...
52 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY
Taran’atar is strapped to his chair. RU-L’Haan is crouched down in front of him, her fingers on his craggy face. Their eyes are open, staring unblinkingly into each other’s...
Everyone else is silent and on edge as the meld continues. Bashir is checking readings on his instruments, uneasily glancing back and forth between them and the two melders.
Is there any way to know how
His neural readings are all over
the shop. Something’s definitely
happening in there... but I
couldn’t tell you what.
Bashir exchanges an intense glance with Vaughn...
Vannis watches the proceedings, tense and unhappy...
INSERT - VANNIS'S HAND
Held in her hand, half hidden up her sleeve, Vannis is gripping a sharp and deadly looking knife.
BACK TO SCENE
She sneers, trying to decide if she should intervene...
53 EXT. FOUNDERS’ WORLD
MU-L’Haan and RU-L’Haan face off, both cold and logical, across the small rocky islet. Taran’atar stands between, as if caught between them. But they mostly ignore him.
Ah. The world of the Founders.
Understandable, if predictable.
He is a Jem’Hadar. One would
not expect much in the way of
RU-L’Haan looks curiously at her counterpart – this is a mental contact, so she knows the other’s mind.
Strange. You have lived a very
different life to mine. Quiet
service to a despotic tyrant, in
the name of a greater ideal...
...you know of the great Spock.
It is Spock’s great vision that
inspires all Vulcans. You are
more strange to me... there
are barriers. Why do you keep
yourself hidden from me?
Perhaps you are simply not as
skilled a telepath as you would
like to believe.
Or perhaps I am not the only
one who lives a life of secrets.
My life is not the issue here.
Neither is yours. It is his.
She gestures to Taran’atar, who stands to the side, a little bewildered, watching the exchange, uncertain and unable to interfere...
My people need his strength and
power. The good of the many
outweighs the good of the one.
An aphorism I would agree with,
but one which you misuse out of
self-service. You simply do not
wish your existence to end.
Can you name one who does?
Come with me, L’Haan. Leave
Taran’atar and let me take you
home. To a Vulcan where your
people are already free.
Perhaps I should take control
of your body instead. It would
certainly be a more suitable
fit. I could return to my role
as a spy in the Alliance, and
no-one would be the wiser.
To cling so desperately to life
when it is so clearly over is
illogical. Even your people
must know the ways of Surak.
We do. They teach us that what
is necessary is logical. For
example, I found it logical to
use our dialogue to provide the
time and distraction required
to find the weaknesses in your
psychic barriers. And now I
know for certain I will never
join with one such as you.
MU-L’Haan suddenly pushes forward and grabs RU-L’Haan’s face in a double mind-meld hold, like she did Taran’atar.
54 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY
RU-L’Haan jerks, still deep in the mind-meld but reacting instinctively to the psychic attack. She’s vibrating, trembling with the effort of the meld, breathing troubled and irregular.
Kira looks to Bashir, worried...
His neural readings are going
haywire. This can’t be healthy
Should we try and break them up?
I very strongly advise against
that, Captain. Interrupting a
mind meld can cause serious
damage to both participants.
It’s also what got us in this
mess in the first place.
So that’s a no, then.
Vannis is more tense than ever now, as they watch RU-L’Haan and Taran’atar tremble and jerk and struggle. She glances to each side, trying to see if anyone is watching her...
INSERT – VANNIS'S HAND
Slowly and smoothly, she starts to draw the knife out from inside her sleeve and take a stronger grip on it, getting ready to use it...
BACK TO SCENE
Kira steps forward a bit to speak. Vannis flinches, worried that she’s about to be caught. But Kira talks to Matthias.
If I talk to him, can he hear me?
Subconsciously, yes. He won’t
be able to respond, though.
Vannis curses herself and returns the knife to concealment. She watches nervously as Kira approaches Taran’atar and crouches down by him, speaking to him directly.
Taran’atar... it’s Kira. You
have to fight. Don’t give in.
It’s your mind, your body. Don’t
let her control you. Go into
battle, and reclaim your life.
Kira looks up to Ro...
55 EXT. FOUNDERS’ WORLD
On Taran’atar, as he stands half-collapsed against a rock wall, watching the two L’Haans locked in some weird mind-meld wrestling match, struggling for control of him...
Marshalling his will, he forces himself to stand upright...
56 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY
Taking Kira’s cue, Ro approaches and crouches down on the other side of Taran’atar. He continues to shudder and stare unblinkingly into RU-L’Haan’s eyes...
It’s Ro. I’m here. You can
beat this, Taran’atar. You’re
stronger than this!
Taran’atar and L’Haan don’t react, still locked in their meld, staring at each other...
57 EXT. FOUNDERS’ WORLD
MU-L’Haan and RU-L’Haan struggle against each other, so much so that they don’t notice Taran’atar standing, and approaching them with a furious growl...
Get out of my head!
He grabs both L’Haans’ heads, one in each hand, and forces them towards each other. They are caught by surprise, eyes flaring in shock, but he is too strong for them... He crushes their heads into one another. The two images of MU-L’Haan and RU-L’Haan cross over like two photographs overlaid on top of each other.
Both L’Haans scream as their images are blended together, becoming one multiplied L’Haan... Taran’atar roars as his hands force the two of them further into each other...
Until finally they fade from view, their screams echoing, and Taran’atar is left alone on the Founders’ island. He brings himself under control, straightens himself with pride
58 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY
...RU-L’Haan gasps a deep breath and comes back to herself. She slowly, methodically releases her hand from its grip on Taran’atar’s face, breaking their eye contact.
Taran’atar slumps in his straps, unconscious. RU-L’Haan staggers back on her haunches, on the verge of toppling until Ro catches her and steadies her.
It is over. He broke the meld
himself. He has a remarkable will.
Ro helps RU-L’Haan to her feet. Bashir moves in to begin scanning Taran’atar’s brain...
What about L’Haan? The other
L’Haan, I mean.
She is within me. I feel her,
beating against my mind...
Vannis relaxes, lets out a long breath of relief. Closes her eyes and clenches her jaw, silently berating herself.
Too soon to tell. I’ll need to do
the full scan again to be sure.
I’ll stay with him.
Kira nods her assent. She gently moves to lead RU-L’Haan and Ro out of the surgical suite...
Sevak and Cenn are both sat on bio-beds, and Tarses and Richter are working on them. Sevak has a greenish bruise on his head, and Cenn’s broken arm is in a futuristic sling. Kira and Ro enter, leading RU-L’Haan.
You two okay?
I wish to apologise, Captain. I
am responsible for Taran’atar’s
escape, and for Major Cenn’s injury.
Could have happened to any
of us, crewman. Don’t beat
yourself up about it.
(re broken arm)
I guess you and I finally have
something in common, eh,
If you think a broken arm’s even
remotely comparable to what he
did to me, Major, then we really
don’t have a thing in common.
Cenn gulps at the icy brush off. And then Ro, Kira and L’Haan are gone.
Bashir and Etana move the heavy brain-scanning equipment into place around Taran’atar again. Vaughn stands to one side, observing. Vannis is on the other side, likewise.
59 INT. DS9 – DOCKING RING CORRIDOR
Kira and Ro escort RU-L’Haan back to the docking port.
What will you do now?
Return to Vulcan, and seek the
help of the Elders of Gol to
remove the katra from my mind
and place it into an ark, to be
stored in the Hall of Ancient
Thought beneath Mount Seleya.
Will you be able to control her?
It will take heavy meditation
and a great deal of emotional
control... but I will do so.
Nevertheless, it would be best
to be home as soon as possible.
We understand. Thank you again
for everything you’ve done. If
you need anything from us,
don’t hesitate to ask.
I have everything I need. Live
long and prosper, Captain.
With a nod of acknowledgement to both, RU-L’Haan steps into the airlock and heads back to her shuttle.
Kira turns to Ro...
You alright, Lieutenant?
Great. Excuse me, Captain.
Ro turns and walks away. Kira watches her go...
60 INT. DS9 – TARAN’ATAR’S QUARTERS
Vannis stands alone in the room. She’s battling silently with herself, furious over nearly having disobeyed the Founders, relieved she didn’t have to, indignant that she was ever placed in such a position... she’s a whirlwind of confused and conflicting emotions.
She slams her hand down on Taran’atar’s computer console in frustration. This mission is not going how she planned.
61 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS
Ro enters the bathroom of her quarters, goes to the mirror cabinet, grabs the hypospray...
She stops, stares at her reflection, remembering...
Outside RU-L’Haan’s quarters, Ro is barrelled down by an invisible force. Then Taran’atar unshrouds and hisses down at her on the floor...
BACK TO SCENE
She pants and grits her teeth against the memory...
Ro crouches with Taran’atar, deep in the mind meld...
BACK TO SCENE
You can beat this, Taran’atar.
You’re stronger than this!
Ro looks at herself, looks at the hypospray... then subtly shakes her head. No. She’s not stronger than this.
She pushes the hypospray to her neck, injects the drugs. Breathes in relief as they flood into her bloodstream...
62 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S OFFICE
The main door opens, and Bashir pokes his head in.
Captain? You wanted to see me?
Kira and Vaughn are both there. By the looks on their faces, something is obviously wrong. There’s bad news.
Yes, thank you, Doctor.
Take a seat.
I’ve finished the scans. The
double brain wave patterns are
gone. What’s left matches with
the readings I took last year.
There’s just him in there now.
That’s good to know, but that’s
not the reason I asked you here.
Bashir is slightly confused and starting to worry.
What’s going on, Captain?
Julian... I just thought you
should know... we received a
report from Admiral Ross. He
said... that there’s been an
accident on the USS Luna.
Bashir tries not to jump to any conclusions. It might be nothing. Kira continues...
We don’t have all the details
yet. What we do know is that
there was some kind of overload
in the engine room. There
On Bashir’s quietly stunned face, as he wonders whether to believe the worst...
END OF SHOW