18 INT. DS9 – HABITAT RING CORRIDOR
A stretcher is carried out of Taran’atar’s quarters into the corridor by two Starfleet extras. On it lies Vannis’s obviously dead body. The eyes are closed in rest, but there’s obvious bruising and torn flesh around the neck.
Overseeing the removal are Tarses and Etana. Tarses is concentrating on the job. Etana sends angry, scared glares back into the room, at Taran’atar. Major Cenn holds back a half dozen civilians who have gathered at the commotion.
Taran’atar watches all of this, outwardly defiant and uncaring. But inside, he’s worried. Why did he do that? He knows he shouldn’t have. He knows something is wrong with him. But what? And why can’t he say anything about it?
Dax is out in the corridor, watching the procession with a clenched jaw. Gard stands beside her. They both watch as Vannis’s dead body is carried past them to a turbolift.
Did you know her?
Only in passing. I never really
took the time. I should have.
Tarses, Etana and the extras disappear into the turbolift with the body. Taran’atar lets the door to his quarters close. Cenn shoos the civilians away – nothing to see here.
19 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S OFFICE
The door opens and Dax strides in. And she is pissed.
Nerys, what the hell is going
on on this station?
Kira looks up from the desk. She knows what’s happened, and she hates it. But she’s in a bind too.
What do you mean?
I mean Taran’atar. Do you know
what he just did?
And what are you going to do
There’s nothing I can do, Dax.
Diplomatic immunity. Internal
Oh, that’s bull and you know it.
If Quark killed one of his own
waiters, you’d be on him like
the very dogs of hell. So what
is different about this?
It’s not his fault.
How many does it take before
it is his fault, Nerys? He beat
the snot out of Vaughn and
Tenmei. He nearly killed you
and Ro. Half the security on
this station have been in the
infirmary because of him. And
now he kills his own assistant?
What does it take to make him
responsible for his own actions?
Or is this all because he’s
your own little piece of Odo?
You stop right there.
Dax realises she went too far. She slumps into the seat.
Is there something going on,
Nerys? I guess I can’t say I
know Taran’atar particularly
well. But his reactions lately,
even with all the crazy stuff
that’s happened to him, they
just don’t make sense.
Kira bites her lip. She’s going to have to do it. She opens a hidden flap on her desk, and presses a button inside it. In the very corners of the room, where the bulkheads meet the ceiling, lights burst into life. Blue lights, like those at the top of Vaughn’s special transporter inhibitor modules. They bath the office in a dim blue glow. At the same time, all the office doors audibly lock down.
Dax watches this happening with shock and confusion. What the hell? She looks back to Kira, more confused than ever. Kira looks back sadly, the weight of the world on her.
It does make sense... if you
know what I know.
Kira gets ready to spill it all...
20 EXT. SPACE – VULCAN ORBIT
Appropriately golden and sandy, even from space. The grungy freighter is in orbit, along with a few other ships and one of the giant mushroom-shaped Starfleet space stations.
21 INT. VULCAN CAVES
Dark and shadowy, but not cold. In fact it’s quite warm, and Vaughn and Ro are suffering slightly from all the dust and sweat. They lurk silently in an alcove, waiting.
Finally there’s the sound of boots on the rocky surface. They tense, wary. The footsteps get closer, and closer,
and then stop. A calm, measured voice speaks...
These passages are more complex
than the brain of a human.
Vaughn relaxes, almost smiles. It’s code. He steps out of the shadows into the cave passage proper, and Ro follows. Standing there inspecting the stone walls is a Vulcan male, SAKEEL. Middle-aged, uniformed, as exact and unemotional as any other Vulcan. Vaughn replies with a mischievous grin...
But nowhere near as much fun.
Sakeel turns to look at Vaughn, makes note of Ro.
Sakeel. This is Ro Laren, a new
associate of mine. Ro, this is
Sakeel. A useful man to know.
Ro gets the subtext – one of them. She notes the uniform.
Having a man inside Vulcan
Homeworld Security has been
very handy. Not least now.
I am motivated to help. However
I must inform you my search has
been unsuccessful. No woman such
as you described works for the
regional government in Shi’al
Province, nor has one ever done
so. Neither is there any record
of such a woman existing at all.
She obviously exists. We met
her. I saw the records.
I believe you. Consequently, I
must conclude that Section 31
were more successful in their
mission to purge those records
than I was in retrieving them.
There has to be something! A
birth record, a school report –
Ro, if Sakeel says he’s checked,
then believe me, he’s checked.
It was a long shot anyway.
I concur. On the second matter
– I have spoken with a contact
among the junior adepts to the
Elders of Gol. They confirm that
no-one has come to them for the
removal of a katra in some years.
She’s still got it? Why would
she do that?
Who knows? Maybe she thinks
she can use it for information
on the alternate universe. I
wouldn’t put it past them.
I regret I could not be of more
service on this occasion, Elias.
That’s alright, Sakeel. I’m
grateful that you tried. Come
on Ro – we should be going.
With a nod of thanks, Vaughn turns to walk away into the caves. Ro follows, but turns as Sakeel calls after them.
It has been agreeable to make
your acquaintance, Miss Ro. I
anticipate further mutually
Back at ya.
Vaughn and Ro leave in one direction, Sakeel in the other.
22 INT. DS9 – MAIN OPS CENTRE
Nog is at the Engineering console as usual. In the absence of anyone else, Shar is working the central Ops table. Kira’s office door opens, and Dax emerges. She’s reeling from everything Kira has told her. Totally shell-shocked. Nog sees the stunned look on her face, and approaches.
Ezri...? Are you okay?
She blinks, realizing she’s being too obvious. She schools her features to hide the shock she’s feeling.
Oh hey Nog. Sorry, yeah, I’m
fine. Just the... uh... the
Vannis thing. Kinda hard to
get my head around it.
Sorry to say, I’m not shocked
at all. It was just a matter
of time if you ask me.
I didn’t ask you.
Nog blinks in surprise at the harsh tone. Dax winces again.
Sorry, Nog. Just... bad day.
As you were.
Nog nods and returns to his station. Dax walks around the upper level of Ops to the turbolift, and climbs aboard. We go aboard with her, and the lift carries her away...
23 INT. DS9 – TURBOLIFT (CONTINUOUS)
Alone now, Dax looks up to the turbolift’s ceiling, filled with fear and concern. She mutters to herself.
Oh, Julian... what kind of mess
have you got yourself into now?
She continues to worry for his safety...
24 INT. STARFLEET BANQUET HALL
The loud POP of a champagne cork as it bursts from its bottle. The frothy drink bubbles over, to the great amuse-ment and celebration of the gathered crowd of high-level Starfleet officers, all in pristine white dress uniforms.
Among them, laughing and celebrating with the rest, is BASHIR. Welcome to the annual Admirals Dinner Party.
Or at least the cocktails portion of the evening. The server pours the champagne over a pyramid of glasses, the liquid tumbling down in a waterfall. Bashir turns away and wanders into the party. Pockets of people of various species, all small-talking and getting along.
Bashir turns towards the buffet table, overflowing with delicacies from across the Federation. He browses up and down, trying to decide what to eat. Just as he chooses a simple bread roll, a friendly voice comes from beside him.
You shouldn’t fill up on bread,
you know. There’s a whole six
course meal to come yet.
Bashir turns to see Admiral BATANIDES browsing the table alongside him. He smiles warmly to see a familiar face.
Admiral Batanides. Good to see
you again. Enjoying the party?
I am, thank you. And you? I
hope you’re feeling suitably
honoured. It’s very rare for
anyone lower than a captain
to be invited to this thing.
I guess that’s what friends
in high places does for you.
To friends in high places.
She clinks her own glass of red wine to his of champagne. Together, they grab plates and begin to pick bits of food from the table, chatting as they do.
Did I hear you have an eidetic
As a matter of fact, yes I do.
Oh, I would love to have that.
To remember every little thing
– like, oh what’s his name,
the captain of the Musashi. I
should know, I put him there...
Meanwhile, Batanides is struggling to manage her plate and her glass and pick up food as well. Bashir watches her...
You alright there, Admiral?
Need a spare hand?
I know! Where’s a Triexian
when you need one, right?
Bashir chuckles, just as Batanides’ valiant struggle fails. The plate slips from her grasp, the glass tips over and red wine pours all down the front of her clean white uniform.
Bashir immediately moves to help her – puts down his own glass, takes hers, grabs napkins, passes them to her. She dabs away at her uniform – it’s only making it worse. With an exasperated sigh at her own clumsiness, she grabs her own combadge off her uniform and hands it to Bashir.
Hold this for me, will you?
She proceeds to strip off the uniform jacket to the grey undershirt – the stain has already started to seep through.
Oh, hell. The quartermaster’s
mad enough at me already after
the commemorative plate fiasco.
I’m gonna have to go and change...
She turns and walks away through the crowd, leaving Bashir with her combadge. He tries to call her back...
Admiral, your combadge...
But she’s gone. Amused and befuddled, he slips the combadge into his pocket and turns back to the buffet table. After another moment, another voice comes from the other side, rich and authoritative.
Ah, Marta. She’s a delightful
woman, but I wouldn’t be at all
surprised if she manages to set
off a photon torpedo in her own
living room someday.
Bashir turns to find Ross gazing off after Batanides from the table. He nods his acknowledgements to Bashir.
She seems harmless enough to me.
Perhaps. I’m glad I ran into
you, Doctor. Our mutual friend
sends his regards.
Bashir pauses, and looks plainly at Ross. This is it.
I don’t know that I’d use the
word “friend,” exactly. For one
thing, I’ve been waiting for
him to get in touch for weeks.
As it happens, I’m meeting him
for drinks later tonight, after
dinner. You’re welcome to tag
along, if you like.
Thank you, Admiral, I’d like
that a great deal.
Ross turns and mingles back into the party. Bashir watches him go, and takes a deep breath. Steadies his nerves. This is where it all starts.
END OF ACT THREE