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Old July 14 2011, 02:38 AM   #46
Rush Limborg
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

Now...the battle may be over. But now, it is time for some intrigue.


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"From Risa With Love"
Chapter 7



Julian Bashir sat in his suite in the Resort of the Vulcan Stone. His mind was racing, reflecting on the events of the past few days…and especially, on Cynthia Mirabelle Holland.

This mysterious woman…so alluring…so fascinating—but the events of tonight had brought to the forefront questions—questions which had been simmering in the back of his mind from the moment he had met her.

It was so convenient, wasn’t it…that she would be on assignment here, for Starfleet Intelligence…and would at first dismiss it as “work I brought along, which needs finishing”. And then she would reveal herself that night, over dinner, and the mission she was on…and recruit him to assist her, without trouble.

The two devices to cloak them against the scanners of the Palais…as if either she or her superiors had expected there to be two people on this assignment. And yet…she had arrived alone.

It was almost as if her superiors had arranged for her to meet him there, on the beach…and perhaps, arranged that he would go to Risa in the first place—or at least, they were aware that he was there, and took advantage of their good fortune without his knowledge….

And now…after what had happened…how her actions in the end had not been in keeping with the mission as she had described it…

Whatever her reasons…it seems most curious that S.I. wouldn’t simply tell me about this mission. At the very least…why would they deceive me about the nature of it all? Why wouldn’t she tell me about…whatever it was she took from the reactor?

A thought occurred to him—and it disturbed him.

There was something Ezri had once said…what she’d described as one of humanity’s greatest axioms:

“Contradictions don’t exist, Julian—not in reality. If you see something that looks like one…you have to check your premises. At least one of them is wrong.”

But the most probable faulty premise…was one he was almost afraid to check.

Are you…are you hiding something from me, Cynthia? Do you have an agenda far different from what you’ve told me? And if so…why would S.I. tell you to keep it from me?

On the other hand…why would you lie to me, about who you are? Who are you…Cynthia Holland?

A possibility entered his mind—an answer that, as far as he was concerned, would explain the whole thing. But he found himself driving it away.

No. No, it’s not possible. Not her. If it were anyone else…but not Cynthia. The sort of woman she is…this gentle, kind, innocent woman…could never work for—

And yet…it was so simple. And he had no other explanation. Was he deliberately blinding himself to the truth about her, for the sake of a romantic fantasy?

Well…there’s only one way to find out—without fear of being lied to.

He turned to his console, setting it for Code 47—the most secret and secure channel in Starfleet, which no computer would keep a record of. He entered his personal security code…and sent a request to open a channel with Commander Clark Boehner, of the Agency Records department of Starfleet Intelligence.


* * *


Cynthia Holland stepped into her bedroom, sitting down at her desk.

Her mind was filled with the events of the night. She could not help but notice how Julian had…how he’d been so silent as they returned to their apartments. He was so deep in thought. Was it possible…that he suspected something?

It doesn’t matter. The mission’s done. You just need to finish it all…and then you can put his mind at ease. That’s all….

First…there was something she had to do.

She turned to her console, setting it for Code 47. It was time to report her success.

The computer worked for a minute or so…and then, the curt voice of Mr. Burns came on. “We copy.”

“Holland. Mission accomplished. Repeat: mission accomplished. The item is now in my custody. Repeat: item now in custody.”

“Acknowledged. Well done. Anything else?”

“Negative. How long until transfer of item?”

“You will meet your contact tomorrow at 1800, at Andorian Blues Café. Begin conversation: ‘It’s quite warm today, even for Risa.’ Contact’s response: ‘On Vulcan, this is winter’s weather.’”

The last line identified her contact, without saying it outright. She nodded. “Acknowledged.”

“Well done. You will report to base three days following the delivery.”

She swallowed. Four days. She could only hope that that would give her time to reconcile with Julian…and whatever problems he had. He deserved that much—to return home without a care in the universe.

“Acknowledged.”

“Out.”

Holland leaned back in her seat, sighing. It was so simple. So…why this feeling of regret inside her? Was it…could it be over her keeping Julian in the dark?

What does it matter? It’s better that he cannot know everything. Intellectually, she knew that was true. And yet…

Cynthia…be careful. He’s such a charming man. Don’t let that charm affect you more than it should.

I know…but—it’s so very frustrating not to be open with him!

It’s how it has to be. He would not have helped you otherwise.

But that didn’t make it any easier.

She rubbed her forehead with her hands, closing her eyes. Then, she moved them both down her neck…the sides of her dress…down her legs.

I…I feel so…dirty. Filthy…all over.

Do not get ideas like that into your head. You only need a shower. That’s it…that’s all it is.

Holland opened her eyes, and rose from her seat with a sigh, smoothing out the wrinkles in the dress. And then she turned, and headed straight to the shower.


* * *


The screen came to life, showing the face of a dark-haired American gentleman with a bushy yet well-trimmed moustache. “Doc, it’s been a long time!”

Julian Bashir smiled at his old Academy friend. “Clarkie! Too long.”

Commander Clark Boehner, Records & Analysis, S.I., gave a nod…and leaned forward, clasping his hands in front of him on his desk. “Yeah…but I’m guessing you didn’t pull a 47 just to catch up on old times.”

“No…unfortunately. I need you to do me a favor.”

Clarkie spread out his hands. “I owe you a dozen!”

Bashir chuckled. “Of course…. Look, I want you to do some checking of your personnel files.”

“Oh—you met one of ours, and want to check’em out, to see if they’re for real.”

“That’s right.”

Clarkie frowned. “Well…look, that depends, Doc. As a rule, we don’t like to have official records of our agents ‘til they rest in peace. Their protection—you understand.”

“Don’t worry. She’s not an agent, per se—not primarily.”

“Oh, she doubles in field work?”

“That’s what she said….”

“That could be a problem, too—for the same reasons.

“Oh, I’m sure there are records of her day job.”

“Well, sure…but there are provisions for their safety, too. Still…I’m sure I can pull up something. If it’s that important…”

“Considerably.”

“Great…then I’ll also see if I can’t crack into the locked files, too—the ones on the agents.”

“Thank you, my friend.”

“Ah, think nothing of it. So…who am I looking for?”

“Her name is Cynthia Mirabelle Holland. She works in Communications.”

Okay. Describe her, just in case?”

“Approximately…five-foot-seven—mid-20’s age range—long, airy blond hair—full-lipped—dark green eyes.”

His friend smirked. “I don’t suppose you’ve got her measurements, too?”

Bashir stiffened. “Now, wait—”

“I’m just saying…” Clarkie turned to a nearby computer console, entering in the information. He turned back to Bashir. “All right. I’ll call back when I get something—still on 47.”

“Thank you, Clarkie—this means a lot, you know.”

“Hey…what are friends for?”

Bashir smiled, and nodded.

“Boehner out.”

Bashir leaned back in his seat, staring up at the ceiling. He wasn’t generally a praying man…but he found himself hoping, begging in his mind…that the amazing, beautiful woman whom he’d been so eager to trust with his heart…was who she said she was. If not…

He fought down a shudder. Please…don’t make my fears well-founded.


* * *
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Old July 15 2011, 06:27 PM   #47
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

No. No, it’s not possible. Not her. If it were anyone else…but not Cynthia. The sort of woman she is…this gentle, kind, innocent woman…could never work for—

And yet…it was so simple. And he had no other explanation. Was he deliberately blinding himself to the truth about her, for the sake of a romantic fantasy?
I almost started laughing when I read that part. It would make the ending of ZSG a case of "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
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Old July 15 2011, 10:22 PM   #48
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

Tell you the truth, julian in bed with section 31 isnt so far fetched after reading this story.
Keep em coming.
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Old July 15 2011, 10:46 PM   #49
Rush Limborg
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

Well, again, this chapter was written last year--before ZSG came out. I must admit, I was pretty disturbed when I discovered how eerily Mack's book paralleled my tale's concept--a mysterious, beautiful, innocent female S.I. agent who recruits Bashir on a mission--he gets in over his head--and it turns out she could well have her own mysterious agenda...and Bashir initially blinds himself to the clues right in front of him.

It's as if Mack and I were on a telepathic wavelength!

(BTW: A couple years ago, I was toying with the story idea of an epic "final defeat" of the Borg....)


After recovering from being wierded out...as I said, I kinda molded FRWL into a ZSG prequel. Keep your eye out for some easter eggs to come. I'll inform you all of which chapters have the intentional ones.
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Old July 16 2011, 02:54 AM   #50
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

Okay...as we close out the week, here's a little moment of...interesting interaction.

The way it begins is actually a bit of an homage to a scene in one of my favorite Bond films, Thunderball.

BTW--just to warn you all in advance, Julian Bashir can at times be quite...audacious....


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"From Risa With Love"
Chapter 8



She ran the water so hot that the steam filled the entire bathroom. She felt like she needed it. Anything to wash it all off…this feeling of being soiled.

Was this how Lady Macbeth felt? Cynthia Holland caught herself wondering.

She drove the thought away, with all that it implied.

Well, it was of no matter. She pushed her hair back, closing her eyes…and stepped forward into the barrage, covered in body wash. She lost her awareness of time and space…letting the hot water run down her face…mixing with the wash in her hair…the soap on her skin. As it ran down…she could feel it refresh her spirit…and, yes…cleanse it.

She sighed, more in relief than in anything else, as she extended her arms in delight, accepting it all, grateful for this absolution.

Finally, when she was completely rinsed and satisfied, she pressed the panel on the wall, turning off the water completely….

The feeling of a soft towel on her back was a pleasant addition, and she took the corners, wrapping it around her—

But in a split second, the fact fully registered in her mind: There had to have been someone behind her, to give her that towel.

She yelped—whirling to see the beaming face of Doctor Julian Bashir.

He lowered his arms, and shrugged. “I was beginning to wonder when you’d notice I was here.”

Holland stiffened. “Doctor!”

“Yes—I’d have waited in the hall a bit longer, had I not been doing exactly that for the past…twelve-point-seven-three minutes.” He leaned against the wall, crossing his arms. “Frankly, it was becoming quite embarrassing.”

She swallowed hard, staring at him, feeling her eyes widen more than she’d thought possible. After a moment…she relaxed, huffed, and shook her head in amusement as she walked over to the sink, snatching a hand towel to dry her hair. “Well!” she remarked, “I suppose I’ll have something to say to the manager tomorrow morning about the locks….”

“Oh, I wouldn’t bother. It’s of good enough quality, but I’d consider myself one of the few who know how to…overcome it.”

Holland tossed her mostly-dried hair about her with her hands. “Well, it was certainly very bold of you, Mister Bashir.”

“It was, wasn’t it? I don’t suppose you’re impressed.”

She stared at him, aghast. “Impressed? I ought to throw you out right this moment!”

Not moving, he deadpanned, “You’d certainly be within your rights to do so.”

She felt a mischievous smile appear on her face, as she shook her head, narrowing her eyes. “No…no, that would be too easy. But, since you’re here—I’d ask you to stay right there, and let me finish dressing in relative privacy….”

He smiled, and spread out his hands, “As you wish, Miss Holland.”

Thank you…” she said, as she exited the bathroom, head held high in feminine pride.

She headed straight for her dresser, taking a linen robe. But then, she noticed a Starfleet-issue carry-on bag, by the door leading to the hallway.

She narrowed her eyes again, as her smile grew.

“Anyway,” she said to the doctor—who, a gentleman to the last, still heeded her wish to remain in the other room, not looking, “I was not expecting you tonight, Julian. You seemed rather…distant when we came back here.”

“Yes, well…I suppose I wanted to make amends for that. I didn’t hold anything against you, really.”

After clearing the covers from her desired spot on the bed, Holland sat down, still in the towel, setting the robe beside her. “Well…thank you, I suppose.”

“You could say I was deep in thought. You see…I admit I was a little intrigued by your going a bit out of your way for that souvenir of yours….”

She raised an eyebrow, turning her head behind her, to the bathroom. “Oh?”

“Well, to me it seemed a bit out of place. After all…time was of the essence.”

As he spoke, Holland felt her hands move the covers defensively up to her neck. It was out of pure instinct…she didn’t need to, even if he did come in.

Do not show any sign of concern. You can handle this properly…be careful.

She laughed. “Was that what it was all about?”

“Well…basically.”

She shook her head, still chuckling, as she turned completely around, so she faced the bathroom doorway. She tucked her feet under her, as she called out, “Oh, it’s all right, Doctor. You may come out, if you wish.”

He did so—and stopped short, smiling and shaking his own head as he observed her, sitting there, still in the towel. “So…is that your idea of ‘finishing’?”

Holland shrugged. “I suppose it depends on the circumstances. Now…to answer your question, yes, it was a little foolish of me, I admit….”

“I’d say so…which is why I assume you haven’t told me everything about this assignment of yours.”

Holland shrugged. “Perhaps I haven’t!”

Julian leaned against the wall again, chuckling. “You know…if I were a cynical man, I would say you enjoy keeping things from me.”

Holland looked off. “Well…standard procedure for me, I suppose.”

“Indeed. Much as I delight in the mystery of women…still, in that case, it seemed uncalled for. One would think a complete understanding between the two of us would be…essential for effective teamwork.”

Sighing, she met his gaze. “I don’t expect you to understand, Julian—but some things must be ‘need-to-know’ in this line of work. You are not a professional agent—regardless of,” she smiled at him, “your abilities.”

“Really?” He looked hurt. “You don’t trust me enough for that?”

“Not particularly, no.”

He shook his head yet again. “You amaze me, Cynthia. You’re certainly one of the most self-reliant women I’ve ever known.”

Holland raised her eyebrow at him. “One of the most…?”

“Well…there were at least two others in particular—not counting any Klingons, naturally—who could compete for that title. One is the good Colonel Kira Nerys.”

“Ah, the commander of Deep Space Nine?”

“Exactly.”

“And the other one?”

Julian sighed. “A dear friend of mine,” he said in a near whisper, “who…died some years ago.”

“I’m sorry….”

“Oh, it’s fine, now. But my point is,” as his gaze intensified, “If you aren’t careful, my dear…your independence will get you into a great deal of trouble, someday….”

Holland stared at him. “Trouble…?”

He shrugged, and looked off. “Well, in this case…I’d wager that the delay caused by your little unannounced antic allowed at least some of those Syndicate operatives to escape their death. At the very least, I’d wager Crolin’s still alive.”

“Oh, I shouldn’t be so certain….”

He stared at her again, his tone growing serious. “Don’t underestimate your adversaries, Cynthia. If you do…I fear you may pay a heavy price for it.”

Holland felt her smile return. “Doctor, are…are you worried for my safety?”

“You could say that.”

She chuckled again. “Well! Was that why you came in so abruptly?”

He smiled.

She shook her head. “You are a gentleman, aren’t you!”

“I try to be.”

Holland couldn’t resist gesturing to the bag by the main door. “So…am I to assume you’re to be my ‘bodyguard’ for the night?”

Julian shrugged. “Call it that.”

Holland burst out laughing, as she fell back, her head caught by the pillows. The idea filled her with such a feeling of…of triumph, for lack of a better term. It was so…releasing for her.

She finished with a sigh, and looked up to see him staring intently at her…watching her, as if analyzing her mannerisms once again.

She felt her lips part in a wide smile. “I’m flattered, Mister Bashir!”

He tilted his head. “Indeed?”

Holland nodded. “You’re very chivalrous, Doctor. Thank you.”

Bashir walked over to the bed, sitting on the side, looking down at her. “Oh, I’d like to think of that as my specialty.”

“It certainly is….”

Julian looked beside him, and took the linen robe in his hands. He shrugged, handing it to Cynthia. She took it—and tossed it to the wall with a grin.

Julian smiled. “So, it seems I’m your…protector for the night—and for at least until we can be sure of your safety.”

Cynthia nodded. “You are.”

“Now, what…are we going to do about it?”

“Yes…what?”

He said nothing, as he started to lean forward a bit.

Cynthia raised her voice enough to say, “Computer: Lights off—slowly.”

The lights throughout the suite began to dim. And Cynthia Holland closed her eyes…and let herself lie limp, as his arms encircled her, bringing her close to him. His lips met hers…and her awareness of her surroundings dimmed with the lights…and so, driving any reason for reluctance out of her heart, she allowed herself to give in, this once, to the will and spirit of Julian Bashir….


* * *
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Old July 16 2011, 09:39 AM   #51
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

He's got some nerve, that's for bloody sure. Nonetheless, it was a great scene. It was...uhm...hot. As for the sequel chapter, i don't suppose she sleeps with a pillow underneath her phaser, does she?
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Old July 16 2011, 06:51 PM   #52
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

Julian, you perv! I guess the entry code only had six digits.

It's as if Mack and I were on a telepathic wavelength!
You could say that was the case when I had a "doppelganger" of Sarina caught up in the affairs of 31 in my fanon. I also had plans to establish that Augments were created by Section 31 to serve as their operatives, and Sarina was one of their creations gone horribly wrong-- also before ZSG came out.
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Old July 16 2011, 08:37 PM   #53
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

^
Julian, you perv! I guess the entry code only had six digits.
Well, I'd imagine he's sharpened his "spy" skills over the past few years, as far as locks are concerned--enough to impress Miss Holland during their mission.

As for his...audacity--well, in time...
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Old July 19 2011, 02:09 AM   #54
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

And now, the continuation:


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"From Risa With Love"
Chapter 9



“Cynthia?”

“Hmm…?”

“I was wondering…what was it you salvaged, anyway?”

A chuckle. “Julian…I told you, it’s need-to-know!”

“Well…as I said, we’d better be as safe as possible. Now…perhaps if you were to tell me what it is?”

“Oh, Julian.”

A chuckle of his own. “I’m serious! What is it?”

“Doctor…you don’t have to worry. I have it safe.”

“You’re certain?”

A smiling sigh. “Certainly.”

“If you say so. Still…if I knew exactly why it’s so important…?”

“Oh, Julian—do you really need to ask me all these questions?”

A moment’s pause, and a sigh. “No…I suppose not. Forget it.”

Another pause, longer this time.

“Julian…? Are you all right?”

“Hmm—oh, yes, of course. I guess I’m just…a little tired. That’s all.”

“Oh…you’re tired, are you?”

“Well…not quite that tired.”

Her chuckle, once again…and no more words for that night.


* * *


Crolin looked around at what remained of his men. Only nine of them had survived—not counting Mr. Crant, who was watching Bashir’s rooms. They were in what remained of the ground floor. The Risan officials had arrived immediately. Crolin had “explained” to them that there had been an accident in the maintenance level—that the power systems had overloaded. Of course, there was little to be called a Risan police force—this world prided itself on not needing such security measures. As such, an investigation would not be conducted for quite some time, as the authorities gathered the necessary number.

Not that it mattered. Thanks to Dr. Julian Bashir, the plan had failed completely. All that remained was to leave the planet, and disappear.

After revenge, of course.

Once again…I suppose it was our own fault. No locking down of the turbolifts—but then, we hadn’t thought it necessary to install such technical measures, as we wouldn’t be here that long.

His comm unit chirped. He held it up, and opened the line. “Well?” he said.

The whispering voice of Mr. Crant came on. “Bashir entered the Resort with the girl after the explosion. After some hours, I concluded that the girl either resides in the resort, or that she was conducting further plans with the doctor.”

“Go on.”

“I went to the hall outside Bashir’s suite. There was only one life sign inside.”

Crolin nodded. So…they gave a false name. Now…why would they do that? What is it about “Miss Gabrielle” worth hiding…?

“Go on,” he said again.

“Bashir left his suite about an hour ago. He still hasn’t come back.”

“Did you follow him?”

“No, he took the lift. You…informed me not to draw unnecessary attention to myself. I was waiting outside the door of a vacant room, to give others the impression that I was waiting outside it for the occupant to let me in. His suspicions may have been aroused, had I followed him.”

Crolin nodded. “Of course.”

“The lift descended two levels before it first stopped. One life sign exited the lift at that time. However, there was another man in the lift when he had first entered. After that stop, two more life signs entered the lift.”

Yes…an interesting lead—but it wasn’t much to go on….

Crolin concluded, “Very good. Inform me when he returns to his rooms.”

“Yes, Mr. Crolin.”


* * *
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Old July 19 2011, 02:19 AM   #55
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Well, again, this chapter was written last year--before ZSG came out. I must admit, I was pretty disturbed when I discovered how eerily Mack's book paralleled my tale's concept--a mysterious, beautiful, innocent female S.I. agent who recruits Bashir on a mission--he gets in over his head--and it turns out she could well have her own mysterious agenda...and Bashir initially blinds himself to the clues right in front of him.

It's as if Mack and I were on a telepathic wavelength!
I suppose the fact that you were both on that wavelength is strong support for the "correctness" of the idea when it comes to interpreting Bashir's character. You both saw the possibility for something like this in how the character has been presented and portrayed so far.

It's interesting to see you write with a mind towards action, which isn't something you do very often (you're much more a conversation writer). So far, it's working well. I'm enjoying both the departures from your norm and the usual character work.

Of course Crolin's still alive, Cynthia! You need to watch more movies! Bashir, of course, knows better.
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Old July 19 2011, 02:49 AM   #56
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

^Thank you, Nasat--very much. I'm glad you're still enjoying it.
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Old July 20 2011, 02:21 AM   #57
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

All right. This sequence should help explain Julian's behavior (partly, anyway). Be prepared.

BTW--this chapter and the next were written in the "last fall" period. Thus, any similarities between Julian's inner conflict in this sequence and Sarina's in one of Enterprise1981's tales is purely an eerie case of Great Minds Thinking Alike. I'd actually based it off of a moment near the end of Section 31: Abyss, when Bashir seems to hear in his mind the voice of Luther Sloan, though apparently it's just a dark part of his soul....


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"From Risa With Love"
Chapter 10


Julian Bashir made sure to awake early the next morning. He turned to see Cynthia there, asleep…relaxed, carefree, peaceful…so childlike, so disarming.

It made what he had to do feel all the worse. But…he had to do it. He’d searched the room before “walking in” on her…and had found nothing. His probing of her had yielded little else than a confirmation which he didn’t really need—he had gone as far as he could without arousing suspicion. There was nothing more he could get out of her, that way.

He stood up, walking to his bag, and pulled out a hypospray, containing a sedative. He went back to the bed, and lay beside her once again.

She stirred a bit. He reached over with his empty hand…and gently stroked her cheek. A low noise, like a soft groan, escaped her…and a smile appeared on her lips.

Without a second thought, he pressed the end of the hypo into the soft, silky skin of her arm. A hiss…and then she was still, unconscious for as long as he needed.

He sighed, and shook his head. He knew it would be a long time before he could completely absolve himself of the guilt over what he was doing.

Funny…two years ago, he had stunned his old nemesis, Luther Sloan, with a phaser, and had secured him to a cot in the DS9 Infirmary. And…considering what had happened afterwards—the mind probes, the entering the agent’s mind—by all logical accounts, that was far more difficult than this.

Except this girl was not Luther Sloan. And…there was also the night which had only just passed.

As he stared at her, breathing faintly, evenly…so helpless, so innocently unaware of his intent—his heart spoke. Cruelly enough, it spoke with the voice of none other than his lost love, Ezri:

This is wrong. She doesn’t deserve what you’re going to do—regardless of her guilt. She doesn’t! She trusted you last night, Julian—with the greatest statement of trust a woman can possibly give. You…you can’t just—

But before his thoughts could go too far down that path…the other, more cynical voice—the voice of his mind—spoke up. Maybe it was just a feeling of self-loathing on his part…but to him it sounded rather like the gruff, firm voice of the late, unlamented Luther Sloan himself:

Get a hold of yourself, Doctor. It’s no time to be a hopeless romantic. You have a job to do. Do not let your feelings get in the way of this. You need answers. And this is how you get them. She didn’t respond to the carrot…now it’s time for the stick.

His heart, so vehemently intent on fighting to the last, shot back with the cruelest of all possible thoughts:

What if it were Ezri, Julian? Could you have done this to HER?!?

Julian froze in pure shock, feeling a simmer of rage building up inside him, that he would dare ask himself that. Ezri would never have done what this woman has—do you hear me? She would never have betrayed me like that—she would never betray herself!

Are the two really so different, Julian? Wasn’t that what attracted you to Cynthia in the first place—?

ENOUGH!

Ironically, the horror and trauma of those dreadful thoughts drove all hesitations away. And so…he hardened his heart, and went back to his bag. He pulled out four long, thick strips of linen, not easily worn out. For all the advances in technology over the centuries…the simplest way was usually the best. A force field would not have worked—she might have cried out for help.

He brought it all to the bed, laying it all beside her unconscious form. Gently, he took her arm, forcing himself not to think of how soft and fragile it felt. He took one of the linen strips…and tied an end to her wrist.


* * *
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Old July 20 2011, 09:47 PM   #58
Enterprise1981
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

^ Funny you should mention that story of mine, Rush. I may be planning on expanding on what was just a one scene vignette. For example, the scene from ZSG also seen on the first page of the book about Sarina having made arrangements to getting rid of residual evidence to their having been someplace. Ever since seeing Mirror Archer getting advice from his inner self, I thought that was a good way explore a character's inner conflict without necessarily implying that character is hallucinating, as was the case with Dukat in "Waltz".
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Old July 20 2011, 10:28 PM   #59
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

^Yep. That's actually also a reason why I have Cynthia basically mentally debate with herself--in a manner reminiscent of someone lecturing her ("You" vs. "I").

She's not schizophrenic--but she's very conflicted.

Same goes for Julian, I suppose....
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Old July 22 2011, 10:53 PM   #60
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Re: Star Trek: From Risa With Love--An Adventure Of Dr. Julian Bashir

Okay. I'll close out this week with a big confrontation--where the truth at last will be revealed....


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
"From Risa With Love"
Chapter 11



An hour or so later, fully dressed, Julian Bashir lay beside her once again, a different hypo at the ready. Her beautiful, helpless face was turned to him, as it had to be.

He swallowed, forcing down the last pangs of his conscience…and pressed it to her neck. A hiss came…and he dropped the device behind him, so it toppled onto the floor.

She made another soft groan, and blinked, looking at him. A warm, pleasant smile came to her face. “Good morning….”

He forced a smile of his own, and nodded. “Good morning, Cynthia.”

“I should get dress—” She frowned, and squirmed a bit. “Julian, why can’t…”

“What’s wrong?”

She shook her head in concern. “I…I can’t move my arms…or my legs.”

He felt his smile disappear, as he raised a bitterly amused eyebrow. “Indeed.”

She began to try and jerk her arms—and then, the answer clearly hit her. She turned her head, to look up, following her left arm…up to the wrist. A long linen strip connected her hand to the nearest bedpost. Her other wrist, and her ankles, were secured in the same way, so that she couldn’t move.

She looked at him in wide-eyed shock. “Ju…Julian—?”

Bashir reached over, clasping his left hand over her mouth. “Now,” he whispered, “If you even think about screaming, or doing anything of the sort, I swear you will regret it. Do you understand?”

She nodded, trembling in clear horror.

“Good. Now, you can relax, for the most part. I just have some questions—and this time, I want straight answers from you. This seems to me to be the only way I can possibly get them. Am I clear?”

Another nod.

Thank you….” He removed his hand, and rose to a sitting posture, looking down at her helpless form.

She narrowed her eyes, her mood changing from fear to righteous fury. “Julian…what’s the meaning of this?”

“Oh, I think you know. And kindly spare me the ‘innocent’ charade—I’m frankly tired of it.” He leaned forward, so his face hovered over hers. “One of my good friends is a former member of the Obsidian Order. You may have heard of him—Mr. Elim Garak?”

She said nothing.

“One of the things he’s taught me…is that in order for a lie to be at its most effective…it must also be, in some sense, true.”

“Julian—what do you mean? I’ve never lied to you—”

“Oh, every word you’ve told me was true, my dear…to the letter. It’s what you didn’t tell me that lead to a great deal of…misconceptions.”

She said nothing.

“Unfortunately for you, it just so happens…that one of my old friends from the Academy is a high-ranking member of the Records department of Starfleet Intelligence. I had him look over your file last night…shortly after we arrived back here, last evening. It turns out…that there are no records of your career there—official or secured.”

She shook her head. “Julian—”

“However…he did find your complete profile from the Academy. There were…two curious things about it. Are you curious to hear them?”

“My…Academy profile?”

“That’s the first problem, Cynthia. Your profile had also been removed from the general records. The vast majority of people would never have discovered it…it requires a very high-level security clearance. Which, unfortunately for you…my friend just happens to possess. Now…why would S.I. go to such trouble to cover up your existence like that…if your field work isn’t your primary duty?”

She swallowed. He saw her tremble a bit more. “It’s not, Julian—”

“I know…but let’s put that aside for a moment—it could be easily justified, if it were by itself—perhaps some mission you were part of was very sensitive, and they didn’t want to take any questions. However, the second problem…is that said profile ends almost immediately after your graduation. That’s it. After that…it’s all a blank. It’s as if you don’t even exist.”

Cynthia stared at him, silent, still, as if intending to retain what dignity he had not already taken from her. Bashir went on.

“You told me that S.I. has been the whole of your Starfleet career. Now…as far as I’m concerned, that was technically true. And you did become a communications officer—but there was one…minor detail you left out.”

She said nothing, but her eyes began to widen. She knew exactly where he was going.

“Miss Holland…there is more than one branch of Starfleet Intelligence. Some of them are more secret than others. The existence of one in particular…explains everything.”

As he said this, he allowed a memory from long ago to fill his mind: “You don’t expect me to believe you’re with Internal Affairs, do you?” “No, of course not. Internal Affairs is a competent department, but…limited.” “So, which department are you with?” “Let’s just say, I work for another branch of Starfleet Intelligence….

Cynthia’s lip quivered as she shook her head, as if begging him not to go on.

Julian Bashir narrowed his eyes, and his tone lowered to a near growl. “You’re a member of Section 31…aren’t you?”

She looked off, still shaking her head—not in denial…but in a refusal to accept what was happening.

“Don’t bother trying to convince me otherwise. I know you are.”

She swallowed, closed her eyes, and nodded. “All right. I…I am.”

“Well—now, we seem to be making progress.”

Cynthia said nothing.

“All right…now, you’re going to tell me exactly what is going on, here. What was it you salvaged from the console?”

Her eyes still shut, she spoke through clenched teeth. “It is…it’s what they were using to tap into the weather system. It channeled the energy of the reactor, conducting it along the path we saw on the screen…and with that, it would have allowed them to—to control everything.”

“I see…. So the Bureau wanted to study the technology, then? Perhaps…use it for its own purposes—oh, forgive me…for ‘the defense of the Federation’?”

She nodded. “Yes….” She opened her eyes, and turned back to him. “Now, what are you going to do to me?”

“Me? Absolutely nothing. I have no direct evidence, only a theory which suits all the facts. Besides…much as I despise letting your “Bureau” get their hands on that ‘conductor’, the idea of the Syndicate getting it back is far worse. So, much as it pains me to not be able to stop you people this time…you, my dear, are going to bring it to your superiors, and as far as everyone is concerned…everything will be as it should be.”

Cynthia shook her head, looking at him with what looked like regret. “Not…everything….”

Bashir stiffened at this. “No, of course not. But again—regardless of my…personal feelings about, oh—your using me, manipulating me with your admittedly considerable charms…”

She stiffened. “If…if I told you—”

“Oh, please. If you’re going to tell me that it started out as just a mission for you, but then you found yourself falling in love—don’t. That’s so very…trite.”

She sighed, her gaze falling. “I suppose it is,” she whispered.

“Well, regardless…I am not the one you should be concerned about.”

She looked at him blankly. “Enlighten me, then.”

“Like you, Miss Holland, I told the truth to the letter—just not all of it. I do feel that your life is in danger, so long as you remain on Risa. I do believe that the delay allowed Crolin, and some of his operatives, to escape—and it’s only a matter of time before they track us down, take back what you salvaged, and then…they will kill you.”

He shrugged. “The lie was in my allowing you to think that was my primary reason for my coming here, last night.”

Holland laid her head back on the pillow, looking up at the ceiling. She chuckled, shaking her head again. “You…you’re even more impressive than I thought, Doctor! You certainly deceived me, last night—”

“Spare the flattery, Holland. I just knew where to look, and how to respond. I’ve been ‘deceived’ by you people before—I’ll give you that much. In fact,” he smirked, “I’d say your late, lamented Director Sloan was probably the one enemy of mine who ever truly outsmarted me—twice. If it pleases you to hear this, he made a proper idiot out of me the second time. Not an easy thing to do.”

At the mention of Sloan’s name, Holland turned to him, raising an amused eyebrow—as what looked like a “knowing” smile played at the corners of her mouth. “I suppose not….”

Bashir pushed the curiosity of her reaction to the back of his mind. “Well, I’ve long since trained myself to…put myself in the minds of The Bureau, as it were—so it wouldn’t happen again. It would seem I still need some practice. But then…you people haven’t tried to appeal to my heart before now.”

“Well, if you want to ‘protect’ me, Doctor…you are wasting your time. It’s not necessary.”

He fought to keep from rolling his eyes. “Of course not. To be honest, Cynthia…arrogance seems to be something of a common weakness of you people. I suppose that comes naturally with autonomy. Now, whether you like it or not…you need my protection. And whether I like it or not, I’m going to give it. That’s final.”

“Oh, is it? Now, who is being ‘arrogant’, again?”

“This is not a joke, Miss Holland.”

“I suppose not—” she jerked her arms forward once, trying to free herself again. She sighed in frustration, and lay back. “But frankly…your interfering is only going to make it worse, Doctor—for both of us.”

“You know, I don’t believe that for a moment.”

Her lip tightened, her eyes becoming like daggers. “Whether you believe it or notthis…show of yours…makes it clear to me that you’ll stop at nothing to regain control of a situation. I can’t and won’t allow that to…‘inconvenience’ me…more than it already has.”

Bashir held her gaze, unflinching. “Is that you’re answer, then?”

“Of course.”

He felt a smile. “You know… I’d wager you’re supposed to deliver that device to a contact at some point in the future…. Is that right?”

She said nothing.

“Of course it is—to protect it as much as possible. They couldn’t risk having only one agent in possession of it for every stage of its delivery to…wherever it’s going. Otherwise, said agent could be found, caught…and robbed.”

“If that’s true, what of it all?”

“My dear Cynthia…you realize I could have you lie there, bound as you are, so that you won’t deliver it…unless and until you agree to my terms.”

Holland nodded. “You could.”

Bashir deliberately sat there in silence for a moment, to give her the impression he was seriously considering it. “Yes…but unfortunately, I’m far too—chivalrous for that.”

She shook her head in disgust. “You astonish me, Doctor.”

“I often have that effect.”

Bashir got off the bed, rising to his feet, and picked up the hypo, placing it back in his bag. He then took out another one, walking back to her.

Holland stiffened. “What’s that?”

“Something to prevent any aches from those bonds of mine. It’s the least I could do.”

Again, only part of the truth.

He applied it to her shoulder, as she scoffed and muttered, “You’re despicable.”

Bashir raised an eyebrow at this. “Looks that way.”

He walked over to the wall opposite the bed, where there hung a miniature ceremonial lirpa. He lifted it from its rack, twisting off the semicircular blade—

—which he hurled directly at the center of the linen band tied to her right arm, careful to aim so as not to harm her. It sliced the fabric perfectly, freeing her hand from its bondage.

“I suppose you can handle the rest,” Bashir muttered, as he gathered his possessions.

Before he exited her rooms, he turned to her. She still lay there unmoving, staring at him in contempt.

“Consider what I said, Miss Holland,” Bashir announced. “My offer still stands.”

He pressed the control on the wall. The door opened to the floor’s hallway. He smiled, and inclined his head. “Let me know if you change your mind.”

And with that, he turned, and left…knowing full well she wouldn’t accept, out of sheer pride.

When he returned to his rooms, he went straight to his dresser, opening a drawer to pull out his tricorder. He opened it…and smiled, as the signal—from the implant he’d injected into Cynthia with the last hypo—came strong and clear.


* * *
__________________
"I have been wounded but not yet slain. I shall lie here and bleed awhile. Then I shall rise and fight again."

"Forget it, Jake...it's Chinatown."

Last edited by Rush Limborg; July 23 2011 at 07:34 PM.
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