65 EXT. TALUNO MEMORIAL PARK - NIGHT
Ro is staring at Vaughn with disbelief and something like betrayal. Did he really drug her? How could he do that?
You... drugged me?
Completely harmless. No side
effects past a mild headache.
Heís infuriatingly calm and assured about this. Sheís still amazed he would actually do that to her. Then she gets a new idea, and she smiles wryly.
I get it. I get it. This is one
of those spy test things, isnít
it? You knew all along you could
get me to say yes. And once I
do, youíll admit you never really
drugged me in the first place.
Vaughn gazes back at her, calm.
I donít play that kind of game,
Lieutenant. I canít afford to.
The stakes are too high. Iíve
told you nothing but the truth
all night. Why would I stop now?
Ro looks down at her hand Ė the one Vaughn shook earlier. Looks at the skin of her palm, rubs it. It feels normal, no signs of drugs. She shows it to Vaughn, victorious, as if
it proves her case.
Thereís nothing there.
66 FLASHBACK Ė EARLIER
Thatís because I didnít put it
on your hand.
Before Ro arrived. With only two of the four transport inhibitor modules set up, Vaughn walks around the area, spraying the contents of a small aerosol can into the air.
67 EXT. TALUNO MEMORIAL PARK - NIGHT
Itís in the air.
Odourless. Dissipates naturally
within a couple of hours. Never
shows up on any standard medical
scan. But one hundred per cent
effective. I took the antidote
myself before you arrived. I
have more for you if thatís what
you decide you want. But if
youíd rather forget all about it,
then walk away now, and live
I could tell the whole station
before I go to bed.
Well, letís see. First of all,
you gave me your word that this
would remain between us, and
I intend to hold you to that.
Second, youíd be putting Doctor
Bashir, me, the entire mission,
and every person on the station
Itís a three-hour ride back to
the station from here. Plenty
of time to type it all up into
Vaughn gives her a look of mild derision and pity, as if to say, ďCome on, donít be so naÔve.Ē
But of course youíd just delete
it. I bet thereís no trace of any
message on my comm system
either, is there?
This isnít my first time, Laren.
I have to protect my interests
just as much as Section 31 do.
But, as Iíve been attempting to
make clear to you all night,
in all the important ways I am
nothing like them. They killed
TíPrynn. They killed Wade. Iím
prepared to let you walk away
and live the rest of your life
in blissful ignorance. I donít
lie or threaten. You have the
choice of whether you want to
join this life or not. If you
want out, Iíll let you out and
Iíll go it alone. But if youíre
in, itís for good. This is the
night you decide the course of
the rest of your life. So take
your time and understand what
Iím asking you to do.
Vaughn has been quite eloquent. Ro does think it over.
Iím asking you to dedicate your
life to fighting an insidious
cancer within the very heart
of the Federation. To protect
the citizens of the Federation
and beyond from the immoral
actions of that disease. By my
side for as long as I am able,
and alone if need be once Iím
gone. Which likely wonít be
much longer now. And to do so
in such secrecy that no-one but
no-one can ever know the good
youíve done for them.
Ro doesnít respond yet. Sheís doing just what he told her Ė thinking about every word.
Iím sorry to be burdening you
with the kind of life Iíve had
to live, Lieutenant. I donít do
it lightly. But itís precisely
because of everything youíve
already lived through, and come
out the other side, that I know
youíre strong enough to handle
it. And Iím sorry to be blunt,
but the fact that you have no
family, no significant romantic
Ro reacts to that thought...
68 FLASHBACK Ė 10x09 ďBLANK SLATEĒ
In the Infirmary, after Ro has recovered all her memories. She steps up to Quark, thanks him, and places a tender but definitely meaningful kiss on his lips.
69 EXT. TALUNO MEMORIAL PARK - NIGHT
Vaughn finishes the thought...
...no long-term ties anywhere,
well, that just makes you the
ideal candidate for the job.
Good for me.
I suppose I canít say that you
and I have ever been friends,
exactly. And maybe weíll never
be friends. My impression is that
you deliberately keep people at
armís length to avoid getting
hurt any more than necessary.
Thatís certainly understandable,
given your history. But whether
weíre friends or not, I respect
you. A great deal. I believe in
you, even if you donít believe
in yourself. Iím proud of what
youíve achieved in your life.
Iím honoured to think youíd be
the one to carry on my legacy.
But I donít want you to do
anything you donít want to do.
So it has to be your choice.
He finally goes quiet. Heís said everything he can say to try to convince her. Itís up to her now.
She takes a deep breath. Slowly stands, steps onto the path. She looks up at the memorial, the broken girder in its stone base. She orders her thoughts.
Finally she turns back to Vaughn. Entirely calm and sober.
Why? Tell me your reasons.
Thereís a bit of retribution in
there, I wonít deny that. You
already told me you felt the
same. If itís good enough for
you, itís good enough for me.
Vaughn nods simply, accepting that.
And Iíve seen first hand what
Section 31 are prepared to do.
Even if I agreed with their
reasons, which I freely admit
I occasionally have done, Iím
never going to agree with their
methods. Iíve made my mistakes,
and Iíve paid for them every
time. They never pay for any-
thing. They have no oversight.
They answer to no-one. Thatís
a recipe for dictatorship.
The road to hell...
...is paved with good intentions.
But it doesnít matter what their
intentions are. It matters what
they do about them. And what
they do deserves to be punished.
I always was.
Ro pauses, considering it. Yes, thereís something else.
70 FLASHBACK Ė TNG 7x24 ďPRE-EMPTIVE STRIKEĒ
The moment when Ro first decides to join the Maquis. The old paternal figure Macias is on the ground, dying from phaser wounds after a Cardassian raid. Ro holds his hand, urging him to hold on...
When an old fighter like me
dies... someone always steps
forward to take his place...
Macias looks into her eyes for a last time, and dies.
71 EXT. TALUNO MEMORIAL PARK - NIGHT
Ro stands, Vaughn sits...
You were right before. It is an
honourable cause. Itís right for
someone to carry it on after you.
Iím flattered that you think Iím
capable of it. And Iíll try not
to let you down, sir.
Vaughn takes a moment. Heís profoundly relieved, a little flattered himself, and proud to boot. He gets up, stretches his own aged bones. He stands beside Ro on the path.
Thank you, Laren. And I think
you can call me Elias now.
She stretches out her own hand, grasps his, and they shake. Itís a handshake that will change Roís life forever. That done, she takes another breath and steadies her nerves.
Now we go into action. When you
return to your office, youíll
find an invitation to join the
advanced tactical training course
on Kel-Artis Station. Once at
Kel-Artis, youíll come down with
an aggressive strain of Ankaran
flu and remain in your quarters
for the entire duration.
What about you?
Julian already resigned, so heís
covered. Even so, having three
senior officers away from the
station all at once would send
up a red flag. So Iím not going
anywhere, at least not officially.
Kira will submit regular status
reports in my name, fake the
replicator activity in my
quarters, and so on. To any
outside observers, should there
be any, Iíll appear to be at my
post as usual.
But what about the rest of the
Ops crew? What about Prynn?
Someoneís bound to notice youíre
not actually there. Somebodyís
going to realise the truth.
Doesnít matter what the truth
actually is. Only matters what
enough people think the truth is.
If we play this right, Section 31
should have no idea weíre coming
for them until itís too late.
And once weíre away from the
station, what then?
Vaughn pauses to emphasise the gravity of this.
I want you to understand the
kind of mission weíre about to
embark on. Iím used to battling
the intelligence agencies of
enemy states. Thatís old news.
But this is the first time Iíll
be directly confronting an
agency of our own government.
I donít think they even know
my little group exists. Up to
now, Iíve managed to keep their
worst excesses in check without
revealing myself. That wonít be
possible this time. If weíre
going to find LíHaan, then it
means infiltrating 31 directly,
dealing with them face to face.
Vaughn gazes up at the memorial. Ro lets him.
I suppose Iíve always known this
day would come, ever since I
first took up the fight. And if
they find out about me... that
means theyíll find out about you
too. I canít help that. Just the
nature of the mission. And if
they know youíre working against
them, theyíll take that into
account. And that means youíll
have to work all that harder.
Weíll have to work harder. Weíre
in this together, Elias.
I hope so, Laren. I truly do.
But I canít shake the feeling
that your first mission against
Section 31... could very well
turn out to be my last.
As Vaughn and Ro stand together in the dark...
END OF SHOW