Odo was on the Promenade, overseeing the disembarkation of passengers from the recently arrived transport. Bajoran men and women of all ages enjoyed happy reunions with other Bajoran adults and children.
The security chief was only concerned with orderly traffic across the Promenade. While he found most humanoid behavior rather irrational, he understood, to some degree, emotional attachments based on familial relationships. Odo could sense elation and relief from the families of those passengers on the wayward transport as he watched a husband and wife embrace their two children. At times like these, Odo wondered if he had a family and how much they missed him.
Through all the crowds of people, one familiar face caught Odo’s attention. “Welcome back, Major,” he said to Kira, who was striding towards him with a beaming smile. “I understand you broke orders to take on a whole squad of Breen fighters.”
Kira gave a contrite nod. “It was a calculated risk,” she proudly explained though.
“One that could have turned out far more disastrously.”
Kira looked in the direction of a family reunion taking place near the airlock, one that she made possible. “At least this one paid off,” she remarked.
Odo was also distracted by a happy parent-child reunion a few feet away. “Not all of them do, I’m afraid,” he commented.
“What do you mean?” Kira inquired.
Odo nodded, in realization of what led him to that train of thought--recent events on the station. “A lot happened while you were away.”
“Not quite a happy ending I take it?”
“You could say that. Are you familiar with…?”
On the upper level of the Promenade, Bashir stared out of a viewport and watched the Wormhole open and close. He had hoped to be touched by the Prophets in the same way that many Bajorans claimed to have been enraptured by the phenomenon. His Starfleet training told him that the beings inside the Bajoran Wormhole were merely non-corporeal entities far superior to most sentient life. After recent events, he was seeking--for lack of a better term-- divine inspiration, some indication that he made the right choice to save Aron’s life.
“Wouldn’t it all be simpler if there was no god?” he asked when he saw Sisko in the corner of his eye.
“Maybe so,” Sisko replied, not exactly sure how to answer that question. He then seated himself next to Bashir on the bench. “I won’t be asking for your resignation this time
. You thought you were doing the right thing. And if you hadn’t come to me, you wouldn’t have had to disobey my order.”
“Yet, in the process, I broke up a family,” Bashir deadpanned, continuing to stare out at the stars. “How am I any different from a Cardassian overseer?”
“A Cardassian overseer wouldn’t have given a second thought to the families he destroyed,” Sisko answered. “Would the boy have survived if you had done nothing”
“And that’s what makes us human: that we care.” Benjamin then patted Julian on the shoulder, stood up and walked away.
Julian took a look at the Hadrosaur egg he had let Aron hold, that was now perched on his lap. It was a consoling reminder of the life he had saved. Through the viewport, he saw the Wormhole open again and he felt divinely inspired--that everything would be all right despite the consequences of his actions.