99 INT. ASCENDANT PAVILION
Where we left it – Iliana getting her bearings after the dream. She looks around at the large pavilion tent – plush and opulent, with both military and religious overtones. There’s really no difference where the Ascendants are concerned.
The flaps serving as a doorway open, and an Ascendant male enters, looking rather worried and urgent. This is ESSK – the priest who held the great gathering in 9x24 “Ha’mara.” He immediately averts his eyes when he sees Iliana.
Forgive my intrusion, Mistress...
I heard a noise, I was worried
for your safety...
Iliana pulls herself together, wraps the bedclothes around herself in protection. Essk keeps a respectful distance.
It was me, Cardinal. A dream.
If I may be so bold, Mistress... you
seem to suffer from dreams often.
I do not consider it suffering.
My dreams are visions from the
Essk looks up at her in wonder...
You... speak with the True, Mistress?
That surprises you?
Simply that... They have never
chosen to speak to me directly.
Not even you, Cardinal? But you
are the spiritual leader of all
the Ascendants. Surely they
would speak to you if anyone.
This is all very embarrassing for Essk. He agrees with her that they should speak to him... and it galls him that they speak to her instead. But he could never dare say so.
The True have not spoken to any
Ascendant for millennia. Not
since the Eav’oq crusade. It is
a matter of some theological
debate among us as to why.
This all intrigues Iliana. She’s learning about how the Ascendants work, and she’s noticing every tiny detail. She indicates the bed rolls beside her, cajoling...
Sit with me, Cardinal.
Mistress... it is improper...
Essk daren’t disobey. Averting his eyes again, he carefully sits beside her, making sure to still keep a distance.
Tell me the story of the great
crusade against the Eav’oq. I
want to hear it again.
As you wish, Mistress.
Essk settles in to regurgitate the official doctrine.
It is the Ascendants’ sacred
duty, bestowed upon us by the
True, the Unnameable Ones, to
burn out all heresy against
Them, wherever we find it. We
had found signs and omens on
many worlds... but none so much
as we found among the Eav’oq.
They possessed miraculous
objects – the Eyes of Fire. The
True’s attempt to gaze directly
upon their children... and the
Eav’oq had dared to steal what
was meant for us.
Iliana nods along, silently translating all this and comparing it to what she knows from Bajoran religion...
The Eyes gave you vision, let
you see as the True see...
We were able to retrieve one of
the Eyes from the clutches of
the Eav’oq... and it reaffirmed
our conviction that we would one
day find the Fortress, and burn
with Them. It also foretold...
...the coming of the Fire.
Essk glances to Iliana, nervous to be sitting with this legendary figure from his religion. She smiles back at him beneficently, granting him permission to continue.
100 EXT. SPACE – IDRAN ORBIT (STOCK 10x11)
But the Eav’oq were covetous and
spiteful. They hid the remaining
Eyes away. We battled for many
years to reclaim them... until
at last, the final day came.
The Idran planet hangs in space. All around it we can see a gathered fleet of thousands of Ascendant ships – small and silver and deadly.
In their treachery, the Eav’oq
possessed weapons we had not
anticipated. On the eve of our
victory we were cast aside...
The great swirling energy wave blooms up from the surface of the planet, growing in power and force, sweeping all
the Ascendant ships away, filling the screen until we...
After a moment, FADE IN
101 INT. ASCENDANT PAVILION
...Essk still telling the tale to Iliana.
..and banished across the stars.
Even the last remaining Eye went
dark, and the True spoke to us
no more. But we did not give up
our duty... we vowed to continue
our crusade in Their name, and
vanquish those who dared speak
it aloud, while we searched for
their Fortress among the stars.
That’s the end. Essk bows his head in silent prayer.
Shall I tell you what my dreams
have told me, Essk?
I would be honoured, Mistress.
You will find the Fortress.
How can you be so certain?
Because I know the pattern of
the universe, Cardinal.
But it has been so long...
Essk... do you not believe that
I am the Fire?
Of course I do, Mistress. I
would never –
Did I not appear to you from
the last remaining Eye? And
is that not exactly what your
doctrine foretold would happen?
That the Fire would burst forth
from the Eye of the True, and
enlighten the faithful?
Does your doctrine not also say
that the Fire will illuminate
the path to the Fortress?
It does, Mistress...
Perhaps you imagine that, since
I am so far from home, I do not
wish to be among you?
I would never presume –
Believe me, Cardinal, this is
exactly where I am meant to be.
I know with every fibre of my
being that this is the task the
True have set for me – to lead
the Ascendants to their great
Fortress. The time of Final
Ascension is at hand, Essk.
Do not lose your faith now.
Essk swallows, only made more nervous by Iliana’s vehemence instead of reassured. He bows his head submissively...
102 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE – ESTABLISHING
The station is surrounded by the remains of the Starfleet armada. Defiant
is docked in the usual place. The Cerberus
has recombined, but still shows a dead nacelle and scorch marks along the hull. The Gorkon
has a hole in its saucer. T’Kumbra
are nearby, also visibly wounded.
Shuttles and workbees move back and forth between them and the station, as they work together to mend their damage...
103 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY
Kira sits propped up on her bio-bed. Bashir runs tests and takes readings, while Dax, Sisko, Vaughn and Ro gather around her, worried about her.
I understand now. I’ve been
going about this all wrong.
So you’ve come to your senses
Yes. The Ascendants can’t be
negotiated with. We’re going
to have to fight them.
Oh, for God’s sake.
Figure of speech. Look, Captain,
all due respect, but this is
madness. Don’t you think we’ve
kicked that hornet’s nest enough?
Half the Gryphon’s crew is dead.
I know. And it’s my fault. The
Ascendants were going to leave
us alone until they recognized
me as a Bajoran. So I’m the
one who has to fix it.
Then we go back to Starfleet.
Ask for more ships.
No, you heard Admiral Ross. He
won’t give us any more. Not
after what happened to Gryphon.
Then what do we do?
The Prophets told me what to
do. They told me two years ago.
Vaughn bites his tongue. He just doesn’t get this Prophets business, but this is not the time to argue.
Nerys, what do you mean?
I mean... the Dominion. If
Starfleet won’t help us stop
the Ascendants, then we go to
the Dominion. I’m going to
extend the alliance, and ask
for military aid.
Alright, just hold on a minute.
This has gone far enough.
Your impulse control seems to be
having problems today, Doctor.
Perhaps you should look at that.
I’m just tired of people talking
about throwing our lives away in
yet another war over something
that’s none of our business.
This has to stop. How can you
possibly talk about working with
the Dominion after everything
they did to us?
Doctor, I know you don’t believe
in the Prophets. But let me try
to explain why I know this is
the right thing to do.
Bashir is not impressed, but relents and lets her explain.
Two years ago, when we were
dealing with the Iconian gate-
ways, I got sent back in time...
something like thirty-thousand
years into Bajor’s past. The
Prophets and Iconians worked
together to teach me a lesson...
that despite everything that
had happened, I couldn’t give
up. I had to keep fighting.
But that’s not all they tried to
teach me. I didn’t understand it
then... but now I think I do.
They’re all looking at her, a bit confused and wary...
104 EXT. OPEN FIELD (STOCK 8x13)
The Ancient Bajoran battle scene from “Horn and Ivory,” as Kira battles alongside the Perikian freedom fighter Torrna.
105 EXT. MEETING ROOM (STOCK 8x13)
At the time, Bajor hadn’t yet
come together as one united
world. The various provinces
were still fighting each other
for dominance. The one that
was winning... was the Bajora.
The first council of the new Perikian Republic, as the Bajora envoy tries to persuade them to join up.
106 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY
They saw themselves as trying
to bring everyone together, so
that there wouldn’t be any more
fighting. Some of the other
provinces didn’t agree. They
thought the Bajora were just
theocratic conquerors trying
to control everyone.
Back to scene. The others stand around, a bit baffled, waiting for the point.
Don’t you see it? The Bajora
were the Dominion of Ancient
Bajor. A conquering nation,
bringing belief in their gods
Yes, and killing everyone who
At first, yes. But look what came
out of it. The Bajora succeeded
in bringing everyone together.
We became stronger, united
against anyone who tried to
control us. Now we're friends
with everyone. That’s what the
Prophets were trying to show me.
That if the Bajora can evolve to
become peaceful and cooperative,
so can the Dominion.
Oh, Captain... I don’t know...
You don’t have to trust the
Prophets, Elias. You just have
to trust me. I believe this is
the way forward. For everyone.
Do you really think the
Federation will go for this?
Ro’s right, Nerys. You heard
them in the Council chambers.
They don’t like Bajor’s current
relationship with the Dominion.
They certainly won’t go for
taking it even further.
You’re right, they won’t. So
I’m leaving the Federation out
of it altogether. I did this
for Bajor, not the Federation.
So Bajor is the one that will
make the deal with the devil,
not the Federation. Elias...
call Taran’atar. Let’s get
this thing started, before
it’s too late.
On Kira’s determined expression...
107 INT. DS9 – WARD ROOM
Begin on Taran’atar, sat at the far end of the table...
I wish to be certain of what you are
proposing, Captain. Please clarify.
Kira sits opposite him, Vaughn and Sisko on either side.
I’m proposing that Bajor and
the Dominion go beyond simple
diplomatic relations. The
alliance has been good for both
of us, I think you’d agree. Now
I want to take the next step.
I’m asking for your help. If
you commit Jem’Hadar forces to
help Bajor fight the Ascendants,
I will do everything I can to
help you control the chaos in
the Dominion, and to persuade
the Federation to enter into
diplomatic relations with you.
Taran’atar nods to himself, considering all this for a moment... and then looks back up at Kira, decision made.
A moment of confusion...
Ambassador... what do you mean?
I mean no. There will be no
alliance with Bajor.
I don’t understand. Why not?
Because I said no.
Taran’atar... this is a good
deal. It’s exactly what Odo
wanted – closer relationships
with the Alpha Quadrant. And
it’s good for the Jem’Hadar
too – a common enemy to rally
against will help you stop
And I’m not ashamed to admit
it – we need you. You said
yourself, the Ascendants are
your enemies. So fight them
with us. Bajor can’t stand
against them alone.
Then Bajor will not stand.
Ambassador, perhaps we haven’t
been clear about the stakes...
Taran’atar slowly gets to his feet, looms over them.
You have, Commander. Now I wish
to be equally clear. I would
rather destroy this station,
and everyone on it, including
myself, than commit any Jem’
Hadar lives to protect Bajor.
Am I understood?
Kira is quite stunned. Nobody can say anything. Taran’atar takes silence as consent. He stands straight, walks stiffly to the exit. Kira, Sisko and Vaughn are left sitting there.
END OF ACT FOUR