32 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE
With Deep Space Nine itself in the foreground, we look off towards the wormhole in the distance. It blooms open...
...and one of the Defiant
’s tiny shuttlecraft emerges. But instead of coming towards the station, it turns and heads off the other way – towards Bajor.
33 INT. ASHALLA MONASTERY GARDEN - DAY
Vaughn strides into the garden area – Kai SOLIS is waiting for him. He turns at Vaughn’s approach...
Your Eminence. Thank you for
agreeing to see me.
I am happy to help, Commander.
Sulan thinks well of you. And
I think well of her.
Vaughn doesn’t like the intrusion, but at least Solis had the decency to ask first. Vaughn nods his approval. Solis gently grasps Vaughn’s earlobe. He closes his eyes, takes steady breaths, concentrates. After a moment, he lets go.
As a very wise woman once said,
“Look for solutions from within,
Commander.” Please follow me.
The Orb of Souls awaits you.
Solis sweeps out of the garden, back into the main body of the monastery. Vaughn follows.
34 EXT. SPACE
Dominion Vessel 288 and the Defiant
drop out of warp and coast to sub-light speeds. As they do, we PAN around...
...and see dozens of Jem’Hadar ships (of various models) holding position. Vannis’ ship leads the Defiant
through the lines of enemy vessels, as if creeping past a sleeping giant, where one step on a twig could awaken the monster.
As the Defiant
proceeds, we turn with it to see... the Founders’ homeworld in the distance, approaching.
35 EXT. FOUNDERS WORLD
A Starfleet transporter delivers Kira, Nog, Aleco (armed but holstered) and Taran’atar. A Dominion transporter deposits WEYOUN, plus Vannis and First Rekan’ganar.
Once there, they look around at the view – no Great Link, no sign of any Founders, just the vast unending expanse of empty rock. It seems like the entire planet is deserted.
Aleco directs Kira’s attention to the horizon on the left - a golden missile, piercing the air on its way towards them. Kira looks to the right - another shape, the undulating space-fish from 7x14 “Chimera.” They’re converging on us...
Finally both shapes get here, and both MORPH, “landing” on the islet as humanoid forms – MEERA and LAAS, respectively. Nog and Meera smile, happy to see each other again. Kira takes a deep breath and directs a diplomatic nod at Laas.
Kira looks out over the empty rock. Somewhere out there, a shape is moving. A massive, flattened carpet of golden liquid, an entire continent of changeling matter, is slowly pulling itself together, retracting and coalescing. It crawls and flows over the rock, getting closer...
...until ODO stands before them all. For the first time, he is wearing the shapeless changeling smock they all wear. The image is clear – he’s a Founder now. The two Vorta and the two Jem’Hadar bow their heads politely to their gods.
Odo and Kira look at each other. So many feelings trying to burst to the top. But this is business, they’re in public, in front of their subordinates. It would be inappropriate.
You know what? Screw it.
Kira and Odo throw themselves on each other, a powerful hug and kiss that says everything all at once. Nog and Aleco look mildly uncomfortable. Meera smiles. Laas rolls his eyes. It goes completely over the others’ heads.
Finally they pull themselves apart, get down to business.
What do you need?
The Jem’Hadar. All of them.
Or as many as you can spare.
You’ve got them.
Odo... a little discussion
might not go amiss?
There’s nothing to discuss,
Laas. Everything I have is
hers. Nothing you will ever
say to me can change that.
You insisted they stay where
they were. Keeping us safe.
None of us are safe, Laas. Not
while the Ascendants remain.
Meera’s right. We’ve seen the
Ascendants in action.
Founders... may I speak?
(at Odo’s nod)
The Jem’Hadar are in anarchy.
They need guidance, a purpose.
I... understand how they feel.
They need this as much as any
of us. If fighting beside the
Bajorans brings them together
again... they will welcome it.
Weyoun, I want to speak to
the Jem’Hadar. All of them.
At once, Founder.
Weyoun disappears in a transporter beam. Odo goes to Kira, takes her hands affectionately.
Thank you, Odo.
Don’t mention it. Anytime you
want to start an interstellar
war... just say the word.
She grins, taking the joke how it was intended.
Now what? Off to lead the fight
from the bridge of the Defiant,
Actually... I’d been thinking I
should lead it from the bridge
of a Jem’Hadar ship. They might
be more willing to fight for us
if they see a Bajoran there in
the trenches with them.
Well... I don’t like you being
in the line of fire... but I
know it’s pointless to try to
Taran’atar... I’ve heard from
Weyoun and Vannis about every-
thing you’ve been through. I’m
sorry. I know myself just how
far Section 31 is willing to go.
If it helps, think of it as one
more thing we have in common.
Taran’atar bows his head politely.
What will you do now?
Whatever I want.
And what do you want?
To stand beside Captain Kira,
as her First.
Thank you, Taran’atar.
I know of a ship that recently
lost its Vorta, and its First.
It shall be so. At least, for
the duration of this mission.
After that... we will see.
Off Kira’s uncertain reaction to that...
36 INT. ASHALLA MONASTERY PRAYER ROOM
The room where Kira first encountered an Orb in 2x02 “The Circle,” and where Vaughn last did in 8x25 “Unity, pt 2.” Now Vaughn stands again in front of an Orb on its plinth. Kai Solis closes the door behind him as he leaves.
Steeling himself, Vaughn reaches out, grasps the doors of the Orb’s ark... and opens it. The rush of green energy swirls out of the box, and we WHITE OUT
37 WHITE SPACE
We are in the Prophets’ realm. The fog parts to reveal Vaughn, looking around in mixed wonder, fear, apprehension.
A HEARTBEAT sounds, breaths deep and regular. Vaughn walks forward through the fog... he seems to be alone for now.
38 EXT. EAV’OQ CITY - DAY
Sisko stands leaning against one of the gleaming white walls of the Eav’oq citadel. Brow furrowed, eyes closed, trying not to show how heartbroken he is. He feels a shadow... it’s Opaka, looking at him sympathetically.
Benjamin... I wondered if you
might like to pray with me. I
know I could use a little...
They both know she’s offering for his benefit, not her own. But it gives him the wiggle room to admit to his weakness. He smiles gratefully, and takes her hands.
39 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #1
Odo stands in the centre of the bridge. The Jem’Hadar crew go about their business, a little awed to have a Founder among them. Kira stands to one side, nervous but hopeful. Laas stands to the other side, arms folded, unimpressed.
Weyoun reverently approaches Odo, holding a comm headset. He hands it to Odo, and then backs away. With a last glance to Kira, Odo dons the headset and prepares himself.
I am speaking now to all Vorta
and all Jem’Hadar... everywhere.
This is the Founder.
Kira can’t help but notice Odo’s use of that word.
I know you’ve all wondered why
the Dominion has fallen into
chaos. You might have wondered
if your gods had abandoned you.
I will never abandon you. But...
I have kept things from you. The
reason behind recent events...
the real reason. That reason is
called... the Ascendants.
The other Jem’Hadar on the bridge look between themselves, surprised... they’d heard the rumours. Laas hangs his head and sighs – he still thinks this is a bad idea. Kira is on edge, waiting for trouble...
40 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #2
A different Jem’Hadar ship – Vannis and Rekan’ganar’s crew. Odo’s voice pipes through the ship-wide comm system...
The Ascendants destroyed some-
thing very important to the
Founders... important to us.
Rekan’ganar looks to Vannis in shock – what is this? He’d heard nothing. The other Jem’Hadar are likewise confused.
41 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #3
A third ship. Taran’atar stands in the centre, listening. Odo’s words are personal to him...
42 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #1
That is what led to the chaos
and confusion you have felt.
Odo, Kira and Weyoun.
43 EXT. EAV’OQ CITY
But now we have a chance to
strike back at them.
(looks to Kira)
...thanks to Bajor.
Sisko and Opaka stand facing each other, hands held between them, heads down and eyes closed. Praying.
44 WHITE SPACE
Prophets, we humbly ask for
Your guidance and Your love
in the difficult times ahead...
Vaughn walks around the white space, still alone, still only hearing one heartbeat, one set of breaths. He’s a little confused, annoyed. Where are the others?
45 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #1
Odo and Kira...
Our former enemies offer us
the chance to set right what
the Ascendants set wrong, by
fighting our common enemy –
46 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #2
Vannis and Rekan’ganar and their crew...
I ask all Jem’Hadar, all Vorta,
all soldiers of the Dominion...
to follow two people.
The Jem’Hadar crew exchange confused glances...
47 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #3
Keep your place...
On Taran’atar as he listens to Odo’s voice...
First Taran’atar, the oldest...
and the wisest Jem’Hadar I have
Pride surges in Taran’atar’s chest. His god accepts him.
48 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #1
Odo gazes with love at Kira...
And Captain Kira Nerys of Bajor.
The bravest woman I have ever
known. Follow them, and they
will lead you to victory.
We are the Dominion. We fight
together. And we will prevail.
He takes off the headset. It’s done. He looks to Kira.
Weyoun, coordinate with all the
other Vorta as to how many we
can actually spare. Anyone who
is not vital to the Dominion’s
security right this minute, I
want out there with Kira.
Of course, Founder.
Weyoun sets to work. Odo approaches Kira, talks sotto.
Nerys... are you alright?
You let him call you Founder.
You called yourself a Founder.
I also sent all those loyal
soldiers to their deaths.
That’s what they want.
49 EXT. EAV’OQ CITY - DAY
That doesn’t make it any easier
for me, Nerys.
Opaka concludes her prayers...
We walk Your path, in certain
knowledge that with Your wisdom
and light to guide us... we
Opaka raises her eyes to Sisko, and sees that unbeknownst to her, she has only been making it worse on him. He looks more heartbroken than ever.
Ben... what is it?
How much, Sulan? How much more
are they going to ask of me?
Opaka gathers him to her breast and comforts him.
50 WHITE SPACE
Vaughn is in the white space... alone.
Hello? Are you there?
Sisko said my alternate selves
would help me, tell me what to
do. So where are you?
But there’s no-one. He frowns, confused. He stares at a point directly in front of him, and a FLASH comes...
Vaughn as a younger man, in his 60s, dressed in the uniform of an Andorian Guard. In a physical fight with an actual Andorian, he is STABBED in the heart and falls down dead.
52 BACK TO SCENE
Vaughn flinches at the “memory” of one alternate self. One that is now dead. He looks to the right side...
The Starfleet shuttle shared by Vaughn, Ruriko and T’Prynn. The transporter “accident” caused by Section 31... except that it’s Vaughn being burned to a crisp.
54 BACK TO SCENE
Vaughn turns away in revulsion and desperation. He doesn’t want to see this. He looks to his left...
A much younger Vaughn, barely in his 30s, strong and proud, wearing the golden tunic or tabard of the Mirror Universe. He struts along a starship corridor, turns a corner... and is STABBED again by a sneering junior officer.
56 BACK TO SCENE
Vaughn screws up his eyes, not wanting to see any more. But he can’t not look. Another “memory” flash...
A boy of about 12, CLOSE UP as he is rocked violently back and forth by some large angry shape, all claws and feathers and SQUAWKS of fury. The boy tries to protect himself with his hands. But one of the claws sinks deep into the back of his neck, right into his brain... and the boy is dead.
58 FLASHBACK - EARLIER
Vaughn’s conversation with Sisko in the Defiant corridor...
There were nine of us. Well,
nine places. One was empty.
59 BACK TO SCENE
Because he was already dead.
Vaughn looks around himself... all the places are empty. All the Vaughns are dead.
One final sad, comprehending look directly to his right...
60 FLASHBACK – 9x24 “HA’MARA”
The Vaughn of the Intendant’s universe is an ancient, blind and crippled old man, thin as paper on the bed. Our Vaughn tearfully holds a phaser to his head... and FIRES.
61 BACK TO SCENE
Vaughn finally understands. All the Vaughns are dead. He killed the last one himself. That’s why there’s no-one to tell him what to do.
He’s the last Elias Vaughn left in creation. As the truth comes crashing down on him...
END OF ACT FOUR