35 EXT. ASCENDANT ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT
WIDE SHOT of the Ascendant encampment in the black ossified natural amphitheatre formation under a permanent night sky. The impromptu town of tents and pavilions has grown as more Ascendants come to join the crusade. It now fills the entire bowl shape to the brim, even overflows at points.
There are bunks for sleeping, canteens for food, workshops for armour and weaponry. The Knights themselves train or pray in groups wherever they find space. Iron braziers glowing with flames serve for both lighting and prayer.
Around the very edge of the black bowl, we see the shining silver darts of their ships Ė thousands of them packed in tightly. And in the very centre, grander and more secure than any other, is Ilianaís pavilion.
CLOSE on Cardinal Essk, as he dashes between the various structures and milling Ascendants. He is worried, urgent. He dodges past flames and practise-dueling Knights, frantic to get where heís going. That being...
...an Ascendant ship, on the outskirts of the encampment. Its canopy is open and Iliana sits in the pilotís seat. RAIQ stands by her side, guiding and teaching Iliana how to use the controls. Essk runs up to them, tries his best to compose himself. He shouts up to the two women.
Mistress! I heard rumours that
you were training to fly our
vessels. Are you leaving us?
Of course not, Cardinal. I just
thought I would like to get out
there and see the stars. Look
at them! Arenít they beautiful?
She smiles up at the night sky. Essk sputters to respond...
Of course, Mistress. But they
are also fraught with dangers.
Do you not wish an escort?
You have no idea of the things
Iíve faced in my time, Essk. Of
the things Iíve done. Iím quite
sure I can take care of myself.
Nevertheless, Mistress, I must
protest. The Final Ascension
approaches, by your own words.
You should be here, with us.
Have some dignity, Cardinal. I
will do whatever I please, and
the supposed High Priest of the
Ascendants will not whine in my
ear like a baby about it. Now
get out of my way.
Shocked and insulted but covering it, Essk bows and backs away a few steps. Iliana nods to Raiq beside her...
Thank you, Raiq. Iím sure this
will be fine.
Raiq also bows her head and manoeuvres down the side of the vessel to the ground. Iliana works the controls, the canopy closes, and the ship rises smoothly off the ground. Thereís no whoosh of engines or visible exhaust Ė it just lifts as if my magic, turns gracefully and zooms off into the dark.
Raiq begins to turn away, but Essk calls after her angrily.
Archquester Raiq. I am your
Cardinal and you will show
me the respect I am due.
Raiq turns languidly back to Essk. She bows her head, acts deferent and proper on the surface. But the snide attitude underneath it is unmistakable.
I beg forgiveness, Cardinal.
Essk does not grant it.
Explain to me, Archquester, why
Mistress Iliana has taken you Ė
a mere Knight - to her bosom, as
if you deserve the honour, while
I am belittled and abandoned.
I would not presume to speak the
Mistressís mind, Cardinal. I only
know she came to us from the True,
and it is our duty to follow her.
I lead the Ascendants, Raiq. Not
her. And not you. Remember that.
She is the Fire... is she not?
A challenge to his authority. Essk tenses, incensed.
You are dismissed, child.
Raiq bows her head and backs away. Essk is left fuming.
36 EXT. SPACE
Ilianaís borrowed ship gracefully slips through open space. Even at such high warp it seems practically effortless.
After a few moments, the ship drops out of warp and glides to a halt. There is nothing else around, no other ships or planets. Just the tiny silver dart on its own.
37 INT. ASCENDANT VESSEL
No larger than a standard shuttlecraft, with barely room for two occupants, one behind the other. The panels inside are seamless silver, like the outside. Iliana waves a hand over one area, an amorphous black smudge on the shiny surface Ė a smaller version of what weíve seen in the Wa.
The vessel reacts with a ripple effect across its internal surfaces. The piloting panels become less pronounced, less important. The rear bulkhead slowly grows in brightness, the white light of the Wa shining through. But the mirror surface is as yet uncertain, undefined. And unoccupied.
Iliana waits in her seat, gazing out of the window at the stars. Sheís content, unhurried. After a while, the rear bulkhead ripples again, the light becoming brighter, the mirror becoming clearer. A message is coming through.
Iliana stands. She dives her fingers into the black smudge on the panel, and the mirror completes it transformation. There on its other side, is Kira. Iliana smiles warmly.
Kiraís face falls as she realises who sheís dealing with.
38 THE WA
Iliana... where are you?
Kira stands in the Wa, talking to Iliana across the mirror.
Iím in an Ascendant ship...
...somewhere. I have to hand you
this one, Nerys. Finding an old
abandoned ship, disguised as a
freighter... using it to listen
in on us? Very clever. Kudos, I
believe is the human word.
Iíll make sure to pass on your
appreciation. If any of them
are still alive, that is.
Oh, that wasnít me. The Knights
tracked down an echo in the...
something. I donít really know,
I wasnít paying attention. I
only heard about the attack
after the fact. Guess it was
lucky your new Dominion friends
came along when they did.
What are you talking about?
Seriously, Nerys. You think I
donít know all about it? But it
doesnít bother me. Make your
alliances, it doesnít change
anything. Besides, Iím thrilled
the freighter survived. I was
worried I wouldnít have chance
to talk to you before the end.
You seem awfully confident this
is going to be the end.
Well of course I am. My mission
was ordained by the Prophets,
donít you remember? You were
there. You heard them say it
yourself. ďI am the Fire.Ē
And Iím supposed to believe that
means youíre destined to win?
Ilianaís cheerful demeanour shifts to cold and taunting.
I will complete my mission,
Nerys. Thereís simply nothing
you can do about that.
Yes, there is. Iíll stop you.
How? No, really Ė how?
Iím the Hand of the Prophets.
Iliana breaks into raucous laughter. It worries Kira.
FLASHBACK Ė 9x20 ďSLAVEĒ
Donít you know what that means?
You donít, do you? Well, I hope
you havenít been placing all
your hopes on that, Nerys. Sisko
told the Prophets that you were
his ďright hand.Ē Thatís all.
Thatís why they call you that.
Kira has just woken up in the Infirmary, after her heart replacement. Sisko sits by her bed, holding her hand.
What good would I be without
my right hand?
The phrase reminds Kira of what the Prophets called her...
BACK TO SCENE
Kira tries to remain defiant. But what Iliana is saying has shaken her Ė she did believe it was something special.
It doesnít matter why They call
me Their Hand. It means They
have a role for me to play.
Oh, they do. Itís called ďblunt
instrument.Ē Youíre not my equal,
Nerys. Youíre literally half of
what I am. Sisko Ė heís my equal.
Heís the Emissary... Iím the
Emissary. You... youíre just
Kira is being shaken, much as she might not want to be...
39 EXT. BAJOR - FIELDS
Moving towards dusk now, but still warm, a pleasant summer evening. Fields of corn and vegetables, farms and pastures.
Sisko treads along a winding country road between these fields. He looks out at the scenery, utterly untouched by it.
A motorised truck rumbles past him along the road, the back filled with happy, raucous Bajoran teenagers drinking and partying. Sisko watches them go. Their happiness means nothing to him. He has been cast out. He keeps walking.
40 EXT. SPACE
A small Bajoran personal shuttle zooms up into orbit, leaving the glittering green seas of Bajor behind.
41 INT. BAJORAN SHUTTLE - COCKPIT
Like the ones Jake and Taraníatar both flew into the Gamma Quadrant. Jake sits in the pilot seat, Rena beside him. Jake is clearly still angry with his father.
I get it, heís the Emissary. He
gets visions, or whatever. Iíve
grown up with it for the last ten
years, I know he gets carried away
sometimes. But this is too far.
He turns to Rena, expecting her to agree. But sheís quiet, thoughtful.
Why arenít you angrier?
Because I know he must have had
a reason. Heís the Emissary.
He grabbed you. He hurt you. He
called you a thing.
Jake, thereís something you have
to understand about Bajorans.
From the first story our parents
read to us as a little baby, we
learn about the Emissary. Heís
part of our culture, our shared
consciousness as a people. We
trust him, because we know he is
our direct link to the Prophets.
I know all of that.
No, I donít think you do. At
least not like I know it. Jake,
my generation is the first for
who the Emissary is more than
just a story. Heís real. He
walks among us, and he has done
for almost my whole life. I can
see him and hear him, even touch
him. Do you have any idea what
thatís like for us... for me?
Rena makes good points, forcing Jake to think about them.
So I forgive him. And I would
think that being your father
would entitle him to the same
understanding from you.
It doesnít. It makes it worse.
Jake drives the shuttle onwards...
42 EXT. SPACE
Jakeís shuttle continues on its way. In the far distance, slowly growing closer, is the distinctive shape of DS9.
A slight shift sideways in space, and now we see another ship coming towards us, away from the station - a Starfleet runabout. It crosses paths at a safe distance from Jakeís shuttle and we turn, to watch it zoom towards the planet.
43 EXT. BAJOR - MONASTERY
Establishing the large monastery in Bajorís capital...
44 INT. ASHALLA MONASTERY GARDEN - EVENING
The internal garden area where we have seen vedeks and kais meet before. Vedek YEVIR and Kai SOLIS are already there, strolling gently around the paths, inspecting the plantings and sculptures. They turn together at the sound...
...of Opaka entering the garden. She bows her head at the high company Ė Yevir and Solis both do likewise to her.
Vedek... Your Eminence.
Please, Sulan, do not bow your
head to me. You are far more
eminent than I will ever be.
Eminences, then. Thank you
both for agreeing to meet with
me. I hope it was no trouble?
(smirk to self)
Once Commander Vaughn heard how
important it was, he insisted
on assigning a pilot and one of
their runabouts to bring me.
Kai Solis, do you have the book?
The original book of Ohalu, yes.
Solis holds up an ancient bound tome Ė the book of Ohalu.
Yevir brings two more items out from his robes.
Thank you. I have brought two
equally important artefacts...
the jevonite figurine, found at
BíHala, as the book was. And
this Ė a letter from Elim Garak.
Vedek... what is this about?
We three have worshipped the
Prophets all our lives. Yet in
recent years, we have all three
walked different paths. You,
Opaka Sulan, have lived among
the Eavíoq. Solis follows the
path of Ohalu. And I... I went
to Cardassia and learned the
Oralian Way. I asked you here
today to explain what I have
finally come to understand.
That they are all the same.
Ending on Yevirís beatific smile...
END OF ACT THREE