Chapter 8, part 1
Day 35, 1900 hours
After nearly two weeks of travel, the Defiant had finally arrived back at DS9. Ezri realised she had left the station for over a month, though it was good to be back. Even after a few months, Ezri felt an attraction to this station, despite she and Bashir still avoiding each other, she still liked living on board this station.
The moment Ezri walked out of the docking bay doors, from where the Defiant was stationed, she was greeted by admiral Ross. She suddenly remembered that Ross was reviewing the shapeshifter leader’s request for Federation protection.
Ezri, Ross and the shapeshifter leader proceeded to Ops. The Jem’Hadar guards were walking behind the shapeshifter, Ezri was looking forward to the day when she didn’t have to see those two Jem’Hadar, for they reminded her of everything that was bad and evil in the Dominion.
When the party entered the commander's office, there were two Starfleet guards accompanying Ross. The shapeshifter leader, who seemed to have a far more retentive memory than Ezri’s confronted Ross over the decision. “Well then has the Federation come to a decision concerning the Dominion's request for assistance?”
Ross was standing stiffly next to Ezri’s desk, while his poker-like face was impeccable. “The Federation has decided not to help the Dominion.”
“And why not?” the shapeshifter inquired, every syllable of his voice was rife with anger.
Ross stared coldly back at the shapeshifter. “It goes against Federation principles to help or endorse an interplanetary state that commits genocide against it's own people or other races. Your attempts at exterminating the Jem'Hadar are deplorable in the eyes of the Federation. The fact is even if the Founders hadn't tried to exterminate the Jem'Hadar, the Dominion's regular abuse of humanitarian rights would greatly hinder it from receiving Federation support should the Dominion ask for it!”
For a moment it looked like the shapeshifter was going to explode with anger, in his rage the shapeshifter looked very menacing. “I'm asking for the Federation to protect my people, because the Dominion is now to weak to properly defend itself! Are you going to casually sit by and watch as our enemies wipe out my people?”
“The Federation's decision is final.” Ross’s tone was absolutely serious, he then removed his comm badge and placed it on Ezri’s desk. “This is off the record, but I need to say this. If you want Federation support then give your subjects proper humanitarian rights and freedom! Free the Vorta and the remaining Jem'Hadar!”
The shapeshifter goggled at Ross, it seemed to go completely against his principles. “Are you insane?”
Ezri who was standing by her desk, added her voice to Ross’s argument. “It is your only option, don't you get it? Your old methods of control have failed, ultimately the Jem'Hadar revolted because they wanted freedom and that is something that you have never given them!”
The shapeshifter took a step backwards from Ezri and Ross, he seemed almost afraid of what they’re were saying. “Then my people would be at the mercy of our subjects! We are shapeshifters and we don't listen to the concerns of solids!”
“Have it your way,” said Ross silkily. “Though the concerns of solids should be your concern.” He picked up his comm badge and put it back onto his tunic. “It was a pleasure talking to you, but I must go now...”
The shapeshifter simply stared at Ross as the admiral and the two security guards left the room.
Ezri became acutely aware that she was alone with a shapeshifter and two Jem’Hadar guards, armed to the teeth, in her office. She felt slightly nervous, though she trusted the shapeshifter not to do anything crazy and attack her.
When Ross was gone, the shapeshifter turned to look at Ezri. “Does he really mean it when he says to democratise the Dominion?”
Ezri ignored the shapeshifter’s question, she had a question of her own that she had wanted to ask for a long time. “Why do you consider the solids to be so inferior?”
Some of the disbelieve was removed from the shapeshifter’s face, it was quickly replaced with arrogance and contempt. “Because they are nothing compared to shapeshifters, they are limited and stunted little creatures!”
“Those 'stunted little creatures' are sentient beings like you and me!” Ezri retorted back. “We have an equal right to exist!”
“Do you?” said the shapeshifter, he was almost leering. “The fact that shapeshifters were once persecuted tells me that solids realised shapeshifters were a superior form of life, and the solids did everything they could to stop us from becoming the dominant race!”
‘The dominant race’; Ezri began to realise exactly why shapeshifters were racist towards solids. It was time she gave the shapeshifter a small warning. “History has shown that alien races who consider themselves the 'master race' and 'superior' are warlike and genocidal. In the end their race suffers from the ravages of the wars they continually fight, and all they do is to limit themselves and ultimately get conquered by their enemies. If I were you see that the same thing does not happen to your race!”
Ezri thought the shapeshifter would readily dismiss her argument, but he didn’t. There was no angry outburst, and he instead looked very thoughtful. He left the room without speaking to Ezri, along with his two Jem’Hadar guards. Ezri breathed out a sigh of relief, the shapeshifter would be finally leaving the station. Unless of course he had some further business with Odo…
Day 35, 2300 hours
Odo rested back into the sofa in his living room, it was good to be home. Seeing his children and there big smiles as they greeted him. Having Mia and Deru was one of the most amazing experiences of Odo's life, for they defined him and always they were at the centre of his thoughts.
He wanted Mia and Deru to grow up and to become productive members of society. Sixteen years ago he would have never believed it possible to have children with Kira, and it brought unbelievable happiness for him. Of course there were concerns and some niggling worries about his children, but he could live with that...
And of course there was Kira, she probably didn't quite realise it, but Odo loved and admired her far more than she realised. Having Kira had completely changed Odo's life, she gave him happiness that he could not have imagined living with humanoids far away from his own people. Through his friendship and then relationship with Kira, she taught him the meaning of living, and how to value the things in life other than justice and his job.
He glanced around when he heard Kira leaving the children’s bedrooms. Kira approached Odo, staring at him rather passionately, she was still wearing her Bajoran uniform. “The children are fast asleep you know.”
Odo recognised the hidden suggestion, he looked at Kira's slim and attractive figure, for all these years it hadn't changed one bit. Eventually his gaze rested upon Kira’s beautiful face. She sat down on the sofa, the two held hands and stared at each other. For some reason Odo thought that Kira looked more prettier than usual. “I’ve missed you so much, at times on board the Defiant it became quite lonely.”
Kira smiled. “I’m here now.”
Odo felt a powerful attraction as he looked into Kira’s brown eyes, the warmth they displayed was intoxicating to him, and he moved steadily closer to her face. They were inches from each other, and Odo could see every detail of Kira’s face. The two kissed, Kira moved over and rested her whole body against Odo’s torso, she placed her hands on Odo’s cheeks, while Odo wrapped his arms around Kira’s back. Odo felt a raw animal like pleasure, as he let go off all restraint and inhibitions...
Just when Odo felt totally content and lost in Kira’s body, the door chimed. Odo moved his head away slightly to talk. “I wonder who that is?”
Kira though was still trying to kiss every square inch of Odo’s mouth. “Ignore them, maybe they’ll go away.”
For a moment, Odo returned to kissing Kira, but then the door chimed again. He broke away from his embrace with Kira, and his intimate mood was gone. “I’m sorry, but I have to answer it.”
Gently he placed his hands on Kira’s shoulders and pushed her away slightly so that he get up off the sofa.
Kira looked mightily disappointed, it was so obvious that she had been looking forward to having sex with Odo. “Who would call at this time in the night?”
Odo made a mental note to make it up to Kira the next day. “We’ll find some time for ourselves tomorrow.”
In a glum way, Kira nodded, and slumped herself back onto the sofa.
Odo walked over to the door and tapped a control on the pad to open the door. Whoever it was had better had a good reason for interrupting, otherwise he would be giving them an absolute mouthful.
The door opened revealing the shapeshifter leader and the two Jem’Hadar guards, Odo had never seen the shapeshifter look so troubled. “What do you want?”
There was a moment’s hesitation from the shapeshifter, he seemed to find it difficult to look into Odo’s eyes. “I want to talk you in private, I need your help.”
Odo turned his head to look briefly at Kira, she looked very annoyed at the shapeshifter’s intrusion. Odo figured that it would probably be wiser to have a private conversation somewhere out of his quarters, for Kira would never allow the shapeshifter and his two Jem’Hadar into her home.
“This won’t take long,” said Odo, he then addressed the shapeshifter. “Would this station's wardroom be private enough for you?”
“That would be satisfactory.”
Odo turned around to face Kira, he rolled his eyes to show his exasperation and annoyance that the shapeshifter had just ruined an intimate moment.
Kira though looked suspiciously at Odo, it was as if she expected Odo to simply run off with the shapeshifter and head back to the Great Link. “I’ll be right here, when you get back.”
When Odo left his quarters, he and the shapeshifter proceeded to the wardroom. There was complete silence between the two changelings, and when they had reached the entrance to the wardroom, the shapeshifter addressed his Jem’Hadar guards. “Wait outside.”
At once the Jem’Hadar flanked the doorway, there eyes were careful not to look at their gods. Once inside the room, Odo and the shapeshifter stopped and turned to face each other. Odo remained silent, waiting for the shapeshifter to speak.
“Odo... I need you to return to the Great Link.”
Odo felt very annoyed, if the shapeshifter had called him here just to say that… “The answer is still no.”
Now the shapeshifter looked truly desperate. “Odo I beg of you...” He then rested on his knees, and prostrated himself before Odo. “You have to help me...”
“Are you talking about your conversation with captain Dax?”
The shapeshifter held his hands out, he seemed to be pleading with his whole soul towards Odo. “The Federation refuses to help our people, Odo!”
Immense anger filled Odo’s mind, the shapeshifter seemed to have no regard for other life forms other than his own race. “We should be ashamed of ourselves!” raged Odo. “When I heard that the Founders had killed off all those Jem'Hadar, I was absolutely disgusted! All the things that I taught you about the solids you have utterly forgotten and thrown out of the airlock!”
“Forgive me Odo!” lamented the shapeshifter, he looked imploringly at Odo as if asking for forgiveness. “But I had to protect our people, I couldn't have the Great Link destroyed just to uphold some noble cause!”
“If you had given the Vorta and the Jem'Hadar proper freedom the Great Link would never have been threatened in the first place!” said Odo harshly.
“Then help me Odo! Help me to democratise the Dominion. Teach our people, teach me, about the reason why we should consider solids our equals!”
Odo felt torn between two obligations: family and the Great Link, but was it worth it returning to the Great Link? “You haven't learnt anything have you? I can't teach you if you refuse to learn and secretly disagree with what I believe in!”
The shapeshifter looked absolutely desperate, it was as if he was depending on Odo with his very life and soul. “I can't do this alone. Please give me, give our people a second chance, this time we will learn. You have to help us.”
“Why not help yourself first?” retorted Odo. “You know what to do, so why do you resist the changes you must make?”
The shapeshifter stopped prostrating himself, and got to his feet. “So you are not rejoining the Great Link?”
“I will think about it...” said Odo, he tried to make his intentions as vague as possible.
“The Dominion flagship leaves at 0900 tomorrow as will I.” The shapeshifter looked sadly at Odo. “Good day to you Odo.”
Turning around, the shapeshifter left the room, leaving Odo with a serious dilemma. Never in eighteen years had he so badly wanted to return to the Great Link. It was like someone had a lit a fire in his head, he couldn’t get the Great Link out of his mind. He wanted to return to be with his people again, but that was the only reason he could think off. Odo wasn’t sure if he could help his people, if they had rejected his precepts once, what would stop them from rejecting them again? With these depressing thoughts still swirling around in his mind, Odo miserably walked back to his quarters.