16 EXT. SISKO’S HOUSE
Spring, turning to summer. Warm breeze, gently wafting trees, green grass and golden stone. Mid-afternoon.
17 INT. SISKO’S HOUSE - BEDROOM
SISKO sits cross-legged on the bed, with young REBECCA sat opposite him. Sisko is helping her to learn her ABCs. He holds up a card with a Bajoran ideogram on it...
Do you remember what this one
Nearly. It’s a tough one. Try again...
That’s it! Good girl!
With a sigh Sisko puts down the cards and looks at Rebecca. He gazes into her face with a small frown. Thinking. His formerly happy smile slowly falls, a façade dropping away. His mind drifts. Rebecca wonders what changed...
It’s coming, Rebecca. I can
feel it. I know you don’t know
what I’m talking about. But
whatever it is... it’s coming.
He reaches out for Rebecca and pulls her close. Hugs her tight while he can. Kisses her head.
Ben? Ben! Jake and Rena just
arrived! Come and say hello.
Sisko’s worry does not ease. His mind can’t let it go...
18 INT. SISKO’S HOUSE – LIVING ROOM
Sisko emerges from the bedroom with Rebecca hugged around his chest. JAKE and KASIDY are sat on the sofa, and laid out in front of them on the coffee table are some large charcoal-on-paper drawings, taken from Rena’s art bag.
Ben, come and look at these.
Rena drew them...
Sisko gently lowers Rebecca to the ground - she toddles off towards Mummy. He looks to the kitchen, just as RENA is emerging with a mug of steaming tea in each hand.
Hi, Mister Sisko...
Sisko gazes at her, his worry increasing...
FLASHBACK – 4x03 “THE VISITOR”
Older Jake introduces his wife to his father...
BACK TO SCENE
This is Korena... my wife.
Sisko blinks away the memory. But the worry stays.
Dad, look. We had the morning
off today so we went up to Yyn.
It’s always nice this time of
year, and it’s kind of... “our
place,” now. And Rena had been
looking for a new project...
By now Rena has delivered the teas, and Sisko has joined them in looking at the drawings.
So I started sketching some of
the ancient ruins there, the
statues and carvings. This is
what I came up with.
Sisko begins to slowly sift through the drawings, studying each one in turn. They depict the crumbling buildings, eroded statues and worn shapes, lovingly crafted in shades and lines of charcoal. Sisko stops at one in particular...
That was my favourite. It’s a
single tall column, looked as
if it might have been a person
before it got eroded away. But
here, at the top...
...I’m probably imagining it,
but it kinda looks like an
eye. Just one big eye, gazing
out at everyone.
Sisko studies the drawing. He looks up at Rena. She’s occupied, chatting MOS with Kasidy and Jake. But Sisko is staring at her. She worries him. He doesn’t trust her.
19 SECURITY SCREEN
The image of ETANA, still sat in her security cell. Alone, withdrawn, sad. This image is relayed on the screens in...
20 INT. DS9 – SECURITY OFFICE
RO LAREN sits in her chair, turned to look at the screens. She watches her friend in the cell. She’s not angry, not hateful, not upset. Just contemplative.
So what are you going to do
ANGLE to reveal that QUARK sits in the other seat, watching Ro watching Etana. He gives her space, doesn’t push.
Don’t know. Kira hasn’t decided.
Kira isn’t the one she betrayed.
No. But everyone’s sticking their
oar in because of the “unique”
circumstances. Kira, Vaughn,
Bashir... Richter of course...
they’re all having their say.
What do you say?
Don’t know. I’m not mad at her.
Maybe I should be. I usually
am in this kind of situation.
(pause to think)
With Taran’atar... I couldn’t
handle my feelings. I ran away
from them with the painkillers.
Etana is... kinda the same thing.
Yes, she betrayed me... hurt
me... but she didn’t mean to.
In a way, she helped. Forced me
to face up to what I was doing.
So, upshot is... I don’t know.
Quark nods solemnly. The Promenade door opens, and VAUGHN enters. Ro stands to greet him.
Quark... would you mind?
Quark gets the message – leave us alone. He gets up, but with a comforting smile to Ro.
You know where to find me.
And then he’s gone. Ro gestures for Vaughn to sit.
Thank you for coming, Commander.
I asked to see you... to tell
you that I’m afraid I won’t be
able to work with you anymore.
Vaughn translates her words - she’s talking about his anti-Section 31 group. The conversation continues on the surface but underneath they both know what they’re really saying. Vaughn composes himself, responds calmly and certainly.
Commander, I think you’d agree
that my recent actions... my
recent decisions... demonstrate
my unsuitability for the task
you assigned me.
Lieutenant, I do not agree. As
I told you at the time, we’ve
all made our mistakes, and we
all have our issues. It doesn’t
change our obligations.
Ro sees she’s not getting through to him. She tries her best to explain, enunciating every word.
Every step I take... it hurts.
Every thought I think... hurts.
Lieutenant, I know you like to
think you have it worse than
everyone else. But I feel I must
point out that I have been doing
this job for longer than you’ve
been alive. Twice as long, in
fact. And I’m still going. Your
desire to run away is exactly
that – running away. Again. You
told me your reasons for taking
this assignment. Those reasons
still apply. You are entirely
capable of completing the task
to my satisfaction, and that is
an end of it.
Carry on, Lieutenant.
He turns and walks out. Ro considers what he’s said...
21 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY
BASHIR and TARSES stand together in the Infirmary. Bashir is deferent and conciliatory. Tarses is unhappy, but civil.
I’m really sorry, Simon. I know
this must be awkward for you.
No no, it’s fine, Doctor.
I can’t really explain why, but
to be frank, my resignation was
fake. Captain Kira and Commander
Vaughn have offered me back the
CMO position... and I would like
to take it. Things that happened
while I was away made it clear
to me that this is what I want
to do. Where I feel like I ought
to be. But... I don’t know where
that leaves you.
I’ll figure something out.
I would like you to stay. Until
we know what’s going to happen
to Etana, we’ll be a hand short
Not that I’m talking about making
you a nurse. Your promotion still
stands. Nobody’s taking that away
from you. But I’d understand if
you decided to look for another
CMO position elsewhere.
I’ll figure something out.
Okay. Okay. So... what do we
have on for today?
Not a lot. I’ve made Ro promise
to come back for regular checks.
Dax and Prynn and Quark are all
healed. Unless there’s any last
minute emergencies, that’s it.
Good. Looks like you’ve got
everything under control.
Yes, I do. Oh, before I forget...
Tarses reaches off and grabs a padd, hands it to Bashir.
This came for you while you were
away. I guess whoever sent it
didn’t realise you’d resigned.
Or fake resigned, anyway.
Bashir looks at the padd – it features GARAK’s face.
Crackling and burning hot. But not chaotic – smooth and flowing against black night. Shapes begin to move across it, bodies blocking our view. OPEN OUT to...
23 EXT. ASCENDANT ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT
The Ascendant chief priest ESSK (10x12 “Heresy”) stands silently praying over the flames in an iron brazier. He
is troubled, but trying not to dwell on it too much.
Another figure approaches, joining him in prayer. Essk looks up – it is BLAS, from 10x14 “Against the Odds.”
Cardinal Essk. Blessings of the
True upon you.
And on you, Archquester Blas.
How go the preparations?
They proceed apace, Cardinal.
Archquester Raiq continues to
inspire the Knights to their
sacred duty. More children of
the True emerge from the stars
to join the Quest every turn.
Raiq... of course...
Are you troubled, Cardinal?
Do you fear for the Quest?
Essk has to be very careful how he answers. He can’t be seen to be disloyal. But still...
It is not fear, Blas. Only...
curiosity. I cannot help but
wonder why Mistress Iliana
chose Raiq to lead this Quest.
She is an honest Knight,
dedicated and devoted to the
True. But she is only a Knight.
Raiq leads the crusade against
the hated Eav’oq and Bajorans,
yes. But only that. She plays a
purely martial role. You remain
Cardinal. You still guide the
spiritual life of the Knights.
Is there a difference? Does our
doctrine not state clearly that
we fight for the glory of the
Unnameable Ones with our every
thought? That our prayers do
battle among the stars against
the prayers of infidels for the
honour of being heard by Them?
That is our custom, Cardinal. To
pray to the True is to fight for
Them, and to fight is to pray.
Exactly. And yet now, Mistress
Iliana elevates a simple Knight
to the glory of leading a great
crusade. The crusade that may
finally lead us into the True’s
light. And I... who have worked
and prayed and fought for three
hundred cycles to rise to the
role of Cardinal, leader of all
Ascendants across the stars...
I am left to pray alone by the
flames, while Raiq trains and
inspires... and leads. I find
that... curious. Nothing more.
She is the Fire, Cardinal. The
Knights trust her. We have all
been taught to do so since our
first breath. You counselled
belief in the Fire every day
you have been Cardinal. You
cannot doubt her now.
I never doubt! Never again say
such a thing, Blas. Never even
suggest it. To even entertain
such thoughts is high treason,
punishable by the stake.
But that’s fear underneath the anger. The truth is, Essk does doubt, and he also knows the potential punishment.
I beg forgiveness, Cardinal.
I grant it. My concern is for
the Knights, Blas. I wonder if
perhaps the Mistress Iliana does
not... understand the Ascendants
as well as she might. To fight is
to pray, and to pray is to fight.
These have been our ways for
thousands of cycles. She seeks
to change them, at a time when
we ought to be holding faster
to them than ever. And perhaps
that is my failing. If I had
helped her to understand...
But I also wonder if perhaps
she cannot understand us. She
is, after all... not one of us.
She has not suffered what we
have suffered. She cannot know
the real, burning heart of the
True’s chosen people.
She knows the True themselves.
She came to us from them. That
is a greater truth than any
Ascendant can possibly know.
Do not be troubled, Cardinal.
The Knights will follow the
Fire, with no doubt in their
hearts. This is also our way.
Blessings of the True upon you.
With this traditional parting, Essk bows his head, allowing Blas to leave. Essk is left alone over the flaming brazier again. His worry has not abated. If anything it increased. He mutters into the flames...
Yes... this is our way.
On Essk’s troubled features, the lights of the flickering flames reflecting off his silver skin...
END OF ACT ONE