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Old October 23 2011, 02:27 PM   #1
lvsxy808
Rear Admiral
 
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Location: London
DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

Good people, good people... it's time for episode 9.

First, the recap:

Original discussion thread, covering episodes 1 to 7:

http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=143895

Discussion thread for episode 8:

http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=148967

Direct links to the PDFs of episodes 1 to 8:

10x01 - "Emancipation"
10x02 - "Brave New World"
10x03 - "Steppin' Out"
10x04 - "Easy Come, Easy Go"
10x05 - "Deep Down"
10x06 - "The Dream Box"
10x07 - "Instinct"
10x08 - "Property Values"

Link to the DS9 Series 10 on Ad Astra, where I've just posted episode 6:

http://www.adastrafanfic.com/viewseries.php?seriesid=83

And now, direct link to download episode 9:

10x09 - "Blank Slate"

Like episode 6, some inspiration was taken from other published works, in this case Night of the Wolves (part of the Star Trek: Terok Nor trilogy) by SD Perry & Britta Dennison, and the comic book story “The Choice” by Michael Jan Friedman, appearing in Star Trek: The Next Generation, DC Comics Special #2.

Enjoy!

.
__________________
DS9-R fans! Want to know what happened after The Soul Key?

Read Deep Space Nine, Season 10
All 22 eps available to read on-screen or download and keep!

Last edited by lvsxy808; October 23 2011 at 02:55 PM.
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Old October 23 2011, 02:53 PM   #2
lvsxy808
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Location: London
Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

TEASER


FADE IN:


1 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS 1

Morning. Ro is in her yellow uniform undershirt, jacket not yet on. She makes the bed, straightens the pillows. Picks up her earring off the bedside table and clips it on. She’s cheerful, happy, looking forward to the day.

She heads into...

BATHROOM

She looks at herself in the mirror, shakes her hair out. Stretches her neck – it works fine. She grabs a hairbrush and brushes her hair a bit.

She opens the mirror cabinet on the wall, grabs toothbrush and toothpaste, brushes her teeth, spits it out. Putting the brush and paste back in the cabinet, she notices a hypospray sitting there on a shelf.

She’s surprised to find it. She grabs it, looks at it...

RO
Ah. Don’t need you anymore.

With a smile, she tosses it to the side, where it lands in a rubbish bin. Satisfied, she turns to leave.


2 INT. DS9 – HABITAT RING CORRIDOR

She walks down the corridor, now in full uniform. The corridor is middling busy with other people heading to work or just going about their business. She nods hello and smiles at the ones she recognizes.

She turns a corner, and in this section of corridor there’s an engineering crew hard at work. One figure is up on a ladder, working on the upper bulkhead with the sci-fi equivalent of an acetylene torch, wearing a spark mask. Two EXTRAS work on the lower areas of the wall with various other tools. Barriers have been set up to guide the public around the area and protect them.

Ro approaches this group, slightly bemused. This is a lot of activity for this time in the morning.

RO
You guys are up early.

The blow-torcher stops work and removes his mask, revealing himself to be NOG. He greets Ro cheerily.

NOG
Oh, hi, Ro. Yeah, sorry. It was
an emergency – this section of
bulkhead decided to spontaneously
dissolve into rust overnight.
River knows why. Between you and
me, I think it was that Yalosian
family that stayed over last week.

RO
Ah, the ones with the benzene
atmosphere. Yep, that’ll do it.

NOG
Whatever it was, we have to
remove this section and destroy
it, then run over to Empok Nor,
grab a spare, bring it back
and rebuild the whole thing.

RO
(better you than me)
Well... have fun!

Amused and happy to leave Nog to it, she moves off. Nog replaces his mask and goes back to work.

Further along the corridor, Ro spots TARAN’ATAR stepping out of his own quarters. She makes a decision with herself, and heads over towards him.

RO
(calls out)
Taran’atar!

The Jem’Hadar turns to her, stern and stony as ever. Ro walks up to him...

TARAN’ATAR
Lieutenant. How are you today?

Ro smirks a little – this friendly phrase feels absolutely foreign in Taran’atar’s mouth.

RO
I’m actually good, thank you.
In fact, that’s what I wanted
to talk to you about.

She pauses, because this is a fairly big thing to say.

RO
I guess it’s no secret that
things have been uncomfortable
between us, considering...
(what to say?)
...what happened. But things
are getting better. My back is
healing great. Nog took the
anti-grav supports off my legs
a couple of days ago. I don’t
have to keep a supply of pain
killers around all the time.

TARAN’ATAR
I am glad.

RO
And I’ve had time. To process
everything. I mean, I always
knew it wasn’t your fault.
You didn’t mean me any harm.

From immediately behind Ro, L’HAAN steps into view.

L’HAAN
She’s lying.

Taran’atar’s eyes flare and his body tenses at the sight of L’Haan. Ro doesn’t notice for now – she’s concentrating on what she wants to say.

RO
(background)
Of course, knowing something
intellectually and trying to
convince your automatic stress
response of it are two different things.

L’HAAN
Observe her. She stands outside
of your reach, placing a protective
distance between you.

L’Haan circles the two of them. Taran’atar’s gaze darts back and forth between L’Haan and Ro, trying unsuccessfully to conceal his reaction.

RO
(background)
It took me a while, but I got
there eventually. You were as
much of a victim as I was.

L’HAAN
Her eyes are aware of your
every movement. Her legs
are tense, ready to run at
any moment.

Taran’atar’s eyes shift, looking at Ro’s legs – they are tense, just like L’Haan said. He checks her hands – the fingers are fidgeting, uncomfortable.

L’HAAN
Her fingers jitter, as if
preparing to fight.

RO
(background)
I think I can genuinely say...
that I’m over it.
(beat)
Taran’atar? Are you okay?

Taran’atar jerks; he realises Ro has asked him a question.

TARAN’ATAR
I am... fine, Lieutenant.

RO
I guess what I’m trying to say
is... we’re okay. You and me.

Taran’atar looks confused, not understanding the phrase...

RO
(clarification)
I forgive you.

TARAN’ATAR
I appreciate that, Lieutenant.

RO
Okay. Good.

Ro relaxes a little, relieved. But Taran’atar’s eyes are still scanning nervously. L’Haan has disappeared for now.

RO
Taran’atar, are you sure you’re alright?

TARAN’ATAR
I am. Thank you for your concern.

RO
I’ll... see you later. Bye.

She turns and walks back down the corridor. Taran’atar watches her go... and then L’Haan is there.

L’HAAN
If she truly forgave you, she
would not be so tense in your
company. Rather, I think she
lies to comfort you.

Taran’atar replies in a low hiss, keeping his voice down.

TARAN’ATAR
I told you not to speak to me
in public.

L’HAAN
If you cannot control your own
mind, I can hardly be blamed.

Taran’atar growls under his breath...

Elsewhere in the corridor, Ro walks along. She’s reassured, pleased with herself for making up with Taran’atar. She approaches Nog’s engineering work site again...

Pedestrian traffic has been redirected to safety. Having cut it free from the bulkhead, Nog and his two assistants are now manoeuvring the large, discoloured slab of heavy metal wall away from its moorings.

NOG
Steady... steady...

RO
You need a hand there?

NOG
Oh, um, actually, yeah, if you
don’t mind, Lieutenant. If you
could grab that corner next to
Teermok there...

Ro moves quickly to grab the offending corner. It’s big enough that even with four of them, they’re struggling.

NOG
It’s slipping... watch out! Watch out!

The wall suddenly crumbles, shattering into two large pieces and a rain of fragments. The largest piece is heading straight for Ro...

RO

...tries to get out of the way, but she’s not fast enough. The falling piece of wall plummets towards her and catches her full-force. It knocks her flat to the ground, with a hard BONK of skull against deck plates. Nog panics...

NOG
Lieutenant! Lieutenant!

CLOSE on Ro, her head trapped between deck and fallen wall, knocked unconscious...


3 INT. DS9 – PROMENADE

Normal morning, as everyone goes to work and tourists peruse. QUARK is just opening the bar for the morning.
KIRA comes running down the Promenade, heading directly to the Infirmary. The doors open and she runs in...


4 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY (CONTINUOUS)

...to find BASHIR hovering nervously near the doorway, obviously having been waiting for Kira. Nog is also there, looking very worried.

In the background, we hear the CRASHing sound of a large piece of equipment being overturned and sent flying.

KIRA
What is it? What’s going on?

Now we hear Ro’s voice from the other room – a desperate shriek of terror and anger.

RO (o.s.)
Get away from me! Don’t touch me!

BASHIR
See for yourself.

He leads Kira towards the surgical suite...

SURGICAL SUITE

A bio-bed has been overturned, creating a makeshift barrier across the room. Medical consoles and trays of instruments have also been thrown. Nurse RICHTER is in the room, her hands up in a calming gesture...

Pinned into the far corner, behind all the thrown machines,
is Ro. Stripped down to undershirt again, eyes wild, her head bandaged where it was hit. She’s terrified out of her wits, sweating and panting, and holding a plasma scalpel out in front of her in defence.

RO
Any closer and I’ll kill you.

Kira steps into the room, and can instantly see that something is very wrong here...

KIRA
(delicate)
Laren? What’s going on?

Ro holds the scalpel out towards Kira and eyes her warily.

RO
Who are you?

Kira looks at Bashir, confused. He shrugs, “Yeah, I know.”

KIRA
What do you mean, who am I?

RO
I mean, I don’t know who any
of you people are. But I know
a Cardassian torture chamber
when I see it. So if one of you
people doesn’t start talking
about a way out of here right
now, I’m gonna start cutting.

Kira takes a small step forward. Ro immediately flinches, her eyes sharp and desperate.

KIRA
Laren, you’re not a prisoner.
You hit your head, and we’re
just trying to help you.

Ro looks at her a bit closer...

RO
You’re Bajoran.

KIRA
Yes. So are you.

RO
(hiss)
I know that! I’m not an idiot!

KIRA
I know you’re not. I’m sorry.

RO
What uniform is that?

KIRA
It’s Starfleet. You’re wearing one too.

Ro looks down at herself, and sees that she is. It only confuses her more. She’s really scared now.

RO
Who are you?

KIRA
I’m Kira Nerys. You know me.
You know all of us. That’s
Julian, and that Kristen,
and that’s Nog.

RO
Okay... if that’s who you are...
(beat)
...then who am I?

Kira looks to Bashir again. It’s worse than they thought.

Finishing on Ro, afraid and confused...


FADE OUT:


END OF TEASER


.
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Old October 23 2011, 03:08 PM   #3
lvsxy808
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Location: London
Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

ACT ONE


FADE IN:


5 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY

Beginning CLOSE-UP on a padd, whose screen is showing Ro’s Starfleet record, with a clear headshot.

KIRA
This is you.

WIDEN to reveal that the bio-bed has been righted, and Ro is now sitting on it, more calm than before. Kira is standing by her, close and comforting, showing Ro the padd screen. Richter is working on various panels, checking readings. Nog hovers nervously at the periphery.

KIRA (cont)
Lieutenant Ro Laren, Chief of
Security on Federation starbase
Deep Space Nine.

RO
Starfleet.

KIRA
Yes. Do you know what that is?

RO
I know what Starfleet is. I
know what a Bajoran and a
Cardassian and a human are.
(re padd)
Just... her. She’s a complete
stranger to me. You all are.

Bashir enters carefully from the main Infirmary room – Ro instinctively flinches and pulls back from him.

KIRA
It’s okay. He won’t hurt you.

BASHIR
I have the test results. It’s
a minor concussion. Thank
you for letting me do the
tests, by the way. I realise
that can’t have been easy.

Ro nods awkward acknowledgement.

KIRA
So what are we dealing with?

BASHIR
There’s no permanent injury,
thankfully. Your brain isn’t
damaged, as such. Just sort of
scrambled. Like it’s rebooting
itself. And in the meantime it’s
lost track of bits and pieces.

NOG
(trying to be helpful)
Like a computer that’s lost its
content management system.
The files are still there, it just
can’t find them.

BASHIR
Exactly. It will heal and
rebuild the neural pathways –
(off Ro’s confusion)
- find the memories again.
It’ll just take a little time.

RO
What do I do until then?

BASHIR
Well, first of all, you’re off
duty until further notice. You
get lots of rest, no strenuous
activities. We do not take
chances with head injuries.

RO
Okay.

BASHIR
I would also suggest that you
keep reading your official
records and personal logs – it
might help to jog your memory.

KIRA
Thank you, Doctor. Come on, Ro.
I’ll take you to your quarters.

Kira gently guides Ro off the bio-bed and towards the door. Ro is still unsure and wary. Nog hovers by the doorway...

NOG
Lieutenant, I want to apologise
to you.

RO
Okay. Why?

NOG
I was in charge of the work
team when you got hurt. I feel
like it’s my fault. I’m sorry.

RO
Thanks, I guess. Nog, is it?
(he nods)
I’m sorry... I don’t even know
what you are.

NOG
(not offended)
I’m a Ferengi. I don’t think
your people had met my people
yet at this point.

RO
And you’re in Starfleet?

NOG
Not all of us. Just me.

Ro nods – this is neutral information to her. Kira leads Ro on, but she makes sure to give a warm and forgiving pat on the shoulder to Nog on the way past.


6 INT. DS9 – PROMENADE

Ro and Kira emerge from the Infirmary. Ro looks around in quiet shock at all the colourful sights. Kira stays close.

Further down the corridor, walking along and minding his own business, is Taran’atar. Ro sees him, flinches again.

RO
What is that?

KIRA
His name’s Taran’atar. He’s a
Jem’Hadar soldier.

RO
Is he in Starfleet too?

KIRA
Oh no, definitely not.

RO
He looks like he’s designed
to hurt you.

KIRA
Let’s get you home.

Kira pointedly leads her away, towards a turbolift.

Quark stands in the doorway of his bar, wiping the windows. He sees Kira guiding Ro away, and stops. Something must be wrong. But then he’s distracted as Taran’atar approaches.

QUARK
Is it disembowelling time
again already?

TARAN’ATAR
Your jokes only irritate me.
One diplomat should speak to
another more diplomatically.

QUARK
Yeah... well... shut up.

Quark pouts, and turns back to his cleaning, distracted by worries about Ro. Taran’atar enters the bar.


7 INT. DS9 – QUARK’S BAR 7

Taran’atar heads towards the stairs to the upper level, and begins to climb. Everyone gives him a wide berth.

On the stairs, L’Haan climbs demurely behind him.

L’HAAN
It amuses me that you think
yourself a better diplomat
than the Ferengi.

TARAN’ATAR
Do not speak to me. I am tired
of your jabbering.

ANGLE

Now L’Haan is waiting for him at the top of the stairs.

L’HAAN
You have been grateful for my
assistance in the past.

TARAN’ATAR
You promised to help me in my
mission. Instead you have only
annoyed me at every turn.

In his frustration, Taran’atar is forgetting to keep his voice down. He walks past L’Haan, on down the corridor.

ANGLE

(In the background, we can see crewman SEVAK sat at an upper level table, eating breakfast.)

L’Haan now waits outside the door of the holosuite.

L’HAAN
I am trying to teach you to
control your emotions.

Taran’atar gets in L’Haan’s face, growling threateningly.

TARAN’ATAR
You are failing.


SEVAK

...can’t help but overhear thanks to his Vulcan hearing.

SEVAK’s POV

In the distance, Taran’atar sneers and growls at thin air outside the holosuite.

TARAN’ATAR
I warn you. Leave me alone.

TARAN’ATAR

...grits his teeth at L’Haan...

L’HAAN
How do you hope to threaten a
figment of your own imagination?

TARAN’ATAR
Be silent!

His hand shoots out to throttle L’Haan...

SEVAK’s POV

Taran’atar with his hand out, attacking nothing...

TARAN’ATAR

...realising the pointlessness of it, frustrated. L’Haan is now stood behind him...

L’HAAN
You disappoint me, Taran’atar.

Taran’atar tries to get his anger and frustration under control. He turns to the holosuite door, determined to ignore her. He taps the door to open, and enters. L’Haan calmly follows him inside, and the door closes.

SEVAK

...can’t help but cock an eyebrow in curiosity.


8 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS

Where we were barely an hour before, but now Ro enters the room as a stranger, not recognizing any of it. Kira is still with her, being the considerate guide. Ro wanders around, tentatively exploring.

RO
If it’s a Federation starbase,
why does it look Cardassian?

KIRA
It was designed by Cardassians,
during the Occupation. This
was their base of operations
in the Bajoran system.

RO
(realizes, surprised)
This is Terok Nor?

KIRA
You remember Terok Nor?

RO
I guess so.

KIRA
(turns away)
I’ll let you rest.

RO
(urgent)
Don’t go.
(bashful)
I don’t know anybody here... but
I feel like I can trust you.

Kira chuckles slightly.

RO
Is that funny?

KIRA
No... it’s just that you and I
haven’t always been the best
of friends.

RO
Why not?

KIRA
Not sure, really. I think we’re
probably just too much alike.

Ro nods, just absorbing all the information.

RO
So the Occupation’s over?

KIRA
Yes. Nearly ten years ago now.

RO
Were you in the Resistance?

KIRA
Yes.

RO
Was I?

KIRA
...I don’t think so.

Ro frowns, surprised and unhappy with that answer.

RO
Why not?

KIRA
I don’t know. You never really
seemed to want to talk about
it. And there aren’t a lot of
records from those days.

RO
But... I would have fought,
wouldn’t I? I wouldn’t just
run away.

KIRA
(awkward)
Ro... I really don’t know.

RO
(determined)
No. I was in the Resistance. I
must have been.
(beat; looks around)
And this place... Terok Nor...

Close on Ro, and she grasps for memories that are just out of reach, and we go into...


FLASHBACK


9 INT. RAIDER COCKPIT

A rickety, dead-end raider ship, held together with stem-bolts and hope. Beginning on YOUNG RO, approx 17, at helm.

YOUNG RO
There it is. Terok Nor.

Looking out of the front window with Ro, we see Terok Nor in the distance and gradually growing closer. The station is surrounded by Cardassian Galor and Hideki-class ships, connecting and disconnecting from its many docking ports.

Intense and determined, Young Ro turns to her companion, a Bajoran boy of about the same age, called BIS. He crouches in the cramped space at the back, working makeshift panels. Now he looks up and out of the window, with an excited grin of victory. This is the culmination of all their plans.

BIS
We haven’t been detected?

YOUNG RO
No. The freighter’s thorium
signature is blocking their
sensors. We’re in its shadow.

BIS
(points)
Here comes the Ferengi ship.

They look out of the window, and see a Ferengi Marauder vessel manoeuvring slowly towards the station.

BIS
You’re sure you set the device properly?

YOUNG RO
(sharp)
Of course I did. This isn’t my
first time, Bis.

BIS
And no-one saw you.

YOUNG RO
There was one ugly troll in the
cargo bay. He didn’t see me. He
was too busy whining to himself
about being the ship’s cook, and
how he’d have his own moon by now
if he’d only stuck to the rules
and stayed away from the boss’s
sister, and how he should just
quit and open a bar somewhere.

BIS
Good. So, as soon as the spoon-
heads have loaded the Ferengi
up with as much unrefined
uridium ore as they can carry,
we send the signal.
(beat; grin)
And they’ll see the explosion
all the way to Cardassia.

Bis grins with satisfaction. Ro isn’t so sure...


FADE OUT:


END OF ACT ONE


.
__________________
DS9-R fans! Want to know what happened after The Soul Key?

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All 22 eps available to read on-screen or download and keep!
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Old October 23 2011, 03:19 PM   #4
lvsxy808
Rear Admiral
 
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Location: London
Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

ACT TWO


FADE IN:


10 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE

...Except that it’s Terok Nor. Cardassian ships sit at most of the docking ports. The Ferengi vessel is at a lower pylon. Bajor itself hangs bright and blue-green nearby.

Pulling back and away from the station, we eventually find a large freighter vessel hovering at a distance. Moving under the freighter into its shadow, we can now see a small two-person raider ship, like in 2x03 “The Siege.”


11 INT. RAIDER COCKPIT

Young Ro and Bis wait tensely in their tiny, decrepit ship. They watch out of the window, waiting for the perfect time. Ro turns to Bis, worry on her face...

YOUNG RO
Bis, I’m not sure this is right. I’m
not sure we should be doing this.

BIS
I’ve been planning this for over
a year, Laren. It’s a little
late for second thoughts.

YOUNG RO
(points)
But look at that! There must be
hundreds of Ferengi on that ship.
And what about all the Bajorans
on the station? There’s more of
them than there are Cardassians.
They can’t all be collaborators.

BIS
They’re collateral damage. Come
on, Laren. Just think – we’re
going to be killing Gul Dukat!
Do you have any idea of the
significance of that?

YOUNG RO
Yes, I know. But Keeve Falor
told me –

BIS
(angry)
Forget Keeve Falor! Just wait.
Once Terok Nor is gone, once the
prefect is dead, Keeve and the
others will see I was right!

YOUNG RO
But what if the Cardassians
just send another prefect?
What if they build another
station? We’d be killing all
those Bajorans for nothing.

BIS
They’ll walk with the Prophets
soon, can’t you see that?

YOUNG RO
(derisive)
How comforting for you! To have
something to believe in, some-
thing to justify what we just
did! What I just did!

BIS
Exactly! What you just did!
You’re the one who stole the
Ferengi codes. You’re the one
who planted the bomb. You’re
in too deep to pull out now.

Ro pauses, comes to a decision. She turns to her panel, begins urgently pressing buttons.

YOUNG RO
No I’m not.

BIS
(jerks forward)
What are you doing?

YOUNG RO
I’m using those codes to warn
the Ferengi they’ve got a bomb
on their ship. Before it’s too late.

BIS
You can’t do that!

Bis pushes forward, planning on stopping Ro... but she raises a phaser in her spare hand and points it at him. Now he’s starting to get that she’s serious. Tears in her eyes, but she’s determined.

BIS
Laren... please...

It’s done. She turns back to Bis, crying openly now.

BIS
Laren, if you weren’t sure...
why did you do it?

YOUNG RO
For you! To impress you, to
make you think I was strong...

Bis hardens. He doesn’t think she’s strong anymore.

BIS
Now what?

YOUNG RO
Go home. I’ll transport you to
the freighter. Just hide. With
luck it’ll get you back to
Valo Two in a week or so.

BIS
Their shields are up.

YOUNG RO
(scoff)
Please.

She turns back to her panels and starts work again.

BIS
Where will you go?

YOUNG RO
(teary)
I don’t know. Keeve won’t want
me back after this. And Bram...
the moment he died, the rest
of them kicked me out of the
cell. I guess I’ll just go...
somewhere else.

BIS
But I thought... you and me...

YOUNG RO
I thought so too. I guess I
was wrong. Goodbye, Bis.

Ro hits a panel, and with a distraught look, knowing he’ll never see her again, Bis disappears in a transporter beam. Crying, Ro works the panels and gets the ship underway.


12 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE

Under the shadow of the freighter, Ro’s tiny raider ship pulls slowly away, and heads in the opposite direction from Terok Nor. They never even knew she was there.


13 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS

Now, adult Ro sits curled into the cushions of the sofa. Kira sits nearby, having just heard the story.

KIRA
Ro... I had no idea. I’m so sorry.

VAUGHN (comm)
Vaughn to Kira.

KIRA
(taps combadge)
Go ahead, Commander.

VAUGHN (comm)
Captain, could I speak to you
in your office, please? Mister
Sevak has brought something
interesting to my attention.

Kira glances to Ro, worried to leave her alone. But she has a job to do.

KIRA
On my way. Kira out.
(back to Ro)
You’ll be okay. Just read your
files, keep trying to remember.
I’ll send Julian to check on
you soon.

Kira gets up to leave. Ro calls after her...

RO
Nerys... thank you.

KIRA
You’re welcome.

Kira leaves. Ro sits back, and looks around, feeling lost.


14 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S OFFICE

Taran’atar stands at attention in front of Kira’s desk, nervous, as if being dressed down. Kira sits behind her desk, sympathetic and trying to understand. VAUGHN stays quiet, sitting way over in the lounge area, observing.

KIRA
It’s not my intention to pry,
Taran’atar. But... are you
feeling okay?

TARAN’ATAR
Why do you ask?

KIRA
Crewman Sevak saw you talking
to yourself in Quark’s. Arguing
with yourself, actually.

TARAN’ATAR
I thought I was the spy.

KIRA
He wasn’t spying on you. He just
happened to be there. And from
the way he described it, you
weren’t exactly trying to hide.
(beat)
If there’s something going on,
Taran’atar, we want to help.

Taran’atar looks past Kira, and tightens, because...

L’Haan is sitting sideways in the windowsill. She turns to look at him, almost daring him to say anything. Taran’atar growls under his breath. He looks back to Kira, admits it.

TARAN’ATAR
The dreams.

KIRA
I assumed you’d got them under
control. I know you followed
Commander Matthias’s advice.

He looks to L’Haan in the window – she seems quite unhappy that Taran’atar is speaking out.

TARAN’ATAR
I did. It made them worse. Now
I see the Vulcan wherever I go.
Asleep or awake.

Disquieted, Kira exchanges a worried glance with Vaughn. Looking back to Taran’atar, she sees his tense stance, his anxious, darting eyes...

KIRA
(cautious)
Do you see her right now?

ANGLE

Taran’atar, stood facing Kira’s desk, and now L’Haan is stood behind him. Taran’atar knows she’s there.

TARAN’ATAR
I do.

Kira again looks to Vaughn. Is he ill? Insane? Dangerous? What do they do? She turns back, treading on eggshells.

KIRA
Do you want to see Matthias
again? Or Bashir? Would that help?

TARAN’ATAR
I don’t know what would help.
This kind of defect would lead
to execution in the Dominion.
But that option is no longer
open to me.

KIRA
Should I contact Vannis?

TARAN’ATAR
No. She already resents this
assignment. I will not appear
weak in front of her.

L’Haan steps between Taran’atar and Kira, stares at him with Vulcan-cloaked disgust.

L’HAAN
You are weak.

Taran’atar flinches again, his anger growing. Kira tenses, worried. Is he going to snap?

KIRA
Taran’atar, answer me honestly
now. Could this... condition...
present a danger? To you or to
other residents of the station?

TARAN’ATAR
I do not know, Captain. But I
have sworn not to hurt anyone
here. And I will hold to that
promise... if I am able.

KIRA
Alright. I can’t order you to
do anything. But I “suggest”
that you go to the Infirmary
for a full medical scan.

TARAN’ATAR
Understood, Captain.

VAUGHN
I also want to make it clear,
Ambassador, that I will assign
a security detail to escort you
at all times, at least until we
know what we’re dealing with.

Taran’atar nods, not offended. Then he turns and leaves the office, walking out across Ops. Kira turns back to Vaughn.

KIRA
What do you think?

VAUGHN
No idea. His mind was clearly
altered by contact with this
Vulcan woman, the Intendant’s
servant. Perhaps it just
couldn’t handle the change.

Worried and lost for answers, Vaughn gets up and heads to the door. He exits onto Ops...


15 INT. DS9 – MAIN OPS CENTRE (CONTINUOUS)

...Poking his head out of the door, he looks to the right and sees Taran’atar just stepping aboard the turbolift. Vaughn looks to his left, where Sevak works the tactical console while also keeping an eye on the Jem’Hadar.

Vaughn nods significantly to Sevak: Follow him. Sevak nods his understanding, locks out his console, and heads off.

TURBOLIFT

Taran’atar stands silently in the lift as it takes him away... with L’Haan stood equally silently behind him.


16 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS

Ro is curled up on the couch, reading a padd. What she has read has put tears in her eyes. The door alarm CHIMES.

RO
Come in.

The door opens, and Bashir enters tentatively.

BASHIR
Ro? Can I come in? It’s me,
Doctor Bashir.

Ro nods, still downcast. He steps further in, approaches.

BASHIR
Do you mind if I scan you? Just
to see how you’re healing.

RO
(still on padd)
Go ahead.

While she continues to read the padd, he opens a tricorder and scans her head. After a few moments, he reads the results, nods approvingly, and closes the tricorder.

BASHIR
Things are progressing nicely.
Your memories should be back
by the end of the day.

Ro finally looks up at him, stricken.

RO
I don’t want them back.

BASHIR
What do you mean?

Ro gets up, tears still in her eyes, brandishing the padd.

RO
The woman in those records
and logs – she’s horrible!
I don’t want to be her!

BASHIR
Ro, don’t be silly. Of course
you’re not a horrible person.

She shoves the padd at him, beginning to cry.

RO
Really? Look at the things I’ve
done. Look at the life I’ve
lived. I’ve betrayed everyone
I’ve ever known. So much war
and death and anger... and that’s
only the official records. I’m
remembering stuff that isn’t
even in there! I don’t want
to go back to that life!

BASHIR
Ro, I’m sorry. There’s nothing
I can do.

RO
(tearful shriek)
But I don’t want to remember!
Please... you have to make it stop!

She collapses into tears. Bashir goes to her and hugs her, lets her cry it out. He has no idea what else to do.


FADE OUT:


END OF ACT TWO


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Old October 23 2011, 03:34 PM   #5
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Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

ACT THREE


FADE IN:


17 INT. DS9 – HABITAT RING CORRIDOR

Taran’atar walks down the corridor, alone. He turns a corner...

...and sees Sevak standing at attention at the far end of the corridor, watching him approach. Taran’atar tenses, a little indignant, but doesn’t comment.

He stops at the door to his quarters, opens the door...


18 INT. DS9 – TARAN’ATAR’S QUARTERS

...and walks into his quarters, alone. Once he’s inside and the door has closed, he jerks to a stop, surprised...

ANGLE

...because L’Haan is stood right in front of him.

L’HAAN
I was under the impression Jem’Hadar
were strong. You should be ashamed
of yourself.

Taran’atar turns away, trying to ignore her. She follows.

L’HAAN (cont)
Do you now run to Starfleet
for help with every problem? Is
that the new order of things?

He spins on her and aims a fatal PUNCH for her chest...

ANGLE

...except that now she’s behind him.

L’HAAN
I am curious. Jem’Hadar are not
by nature an emotional race.
They are disciplined, focused
on the mission above all else.
And yet you... your emotions
appear to be in great need
of a Vulcan’s control.

TARAN’ATAR
Because of you! You constantly
whisper in my ear and drive me
to distraction!

L’HAAN
And is that how you wish to
appear to the entire station?
Unable to control yourself?
Because that is what will happen
if you go to the Infirmary.
Everyone will know.

TARAN’ATAR
I must go. Kira told me to.

L’HAAN
You don’t have to do anything
she says. Your only loyalty is
to the Founder, isn’t that so?

ANGLE

Stood alone, panting hard with frustration... he considers her words. Is she right?


19 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS

The door slides open. Ro stands in the doorway, having got herself under control from earlier. She’s blocking the way for Vaughn, who stands out in the hall.

RO
(wary)
Who are you?

VAUGHN
Elias Vaughn. I’m the First
Officer here.

RO
Are you my “friend” too?

VAUGHN
I prefer to think of myself as
a mentor. But to be honest we
haven’t spent much time together.

RO
Well, at least you’re honest.
Come on in. Everyone else has.

She slouches back into the room, letting him enter.

VAUGHN
Do you need anything?

RO
A new brain would be nice. Or
maybe a new face. I’ve been
staring at myself in the mirror,
trying to figure out when the
teenager I remember got so old.

Vaughn laughs out loud, which only annoys Ro.

VAUGHN
Old? Please. You’re not even
forty yet.
(beat)
So things are coming back?

RO
Yeah. I wish they weren’t, but
I’ve been told there’s not much
I can do about that.

She picks up the padd, stares balefully at its screen.

RO (cont)
According to this, I’m just at
the point where I screw it all
up. Which is something I seem
to do a lot, apparently.

Vaughn takes a seat, making sure to give Ro her space.

VAUGHN
I’ve followed your career with
some interest, Lieutenant. I’m
willing to help if I can.

RO
Really. Then maybe you can
explain why I had a promising
career as a Starfleet officer
and threw it away by disobeying
orders and getting eight of my
away team killed on Garon Two.
(re padd)
Because this sure as fire
doesn’t explain it.

She slumps down. Vaughn is careful not to say too much.

VAUGHN
I know some things. But I’d be
more interested to hear your
perspective. The official
record is rather one-sided.

RO
I’m not even sure how I ended
up in Starfleet at all. How
does a runaway scrat like me
get into the academy?

VAUGHN
As I recall, that was down to LJ
Akaar. Bajor wasn’t a Federation
world at the time, you see, so
you would have needed a good word
from a command-level officer. He
was passing on the favour, after
Hikaru Sulu did the same for him.
He must have been very impressed
with you to have done that.

RO
Akaar... the name does sound familiar...

She racks her brain for memories again, and we go into...


FLASHBACK


20 INT. STARFLEET JAG OFFICE

Beginning on AKAAR, as a newly minted admiral. He’s sat at the centre of a row of three Starfleet judges, staring at the accused with loathing and very personal disappointment.

That accused being Ro, 10 years previously. She’s in a red TNG season 1 era Starfleet uniform, accessorized with the red headband she always wore and a pair of handcuffs.

AKAAR
Does the accused have anything
further to say in her defence?

Ro stares into the middle distance, a million miles away. She pulls her eyes up to meet his...

WADE (v.o.)
(ghostly, distant)
Ro! Get down!


CUT TO:


21 EXT. PLANET SURFACE

Ro is pushed sideways, out of the way of a screaming phaser shot, by a leaping Commander WADE (male human, red uniform, in his 40s). The pair of them land hard on stony ground as the phaser shot goes over their heads.

From the ground, they watch another officer in blue catch another phaser shot full in the chest. He goes down dead.

WADE
Connors!

Wade grabs his own phaser and fires back at the assailant – a SERAPHAMI, a mostly humanoid alien with grey-blue skin and a face that’s a blend of dinosaur and gorilla.

WADE
Everyone fall back! Head for
the med facility!

Wade and Ro scramble to their feet, dodging more phasers...

WIDE ANGLE

A rocky canyon, deep but narrow. A dozen Starfleet officers (early TNG uniforms, various colours) dash along the base of it as fast as they can, avoiding shots from above. Alien snipers shoot from ridges high above. Ro and Wade shoot back as they run. A security female – CAPUTO – shouts out.

CAPUTO
Where did they come from? There
were no life signs!

A second officer is unlucky – he goes down.


22 INT. STARFLEET BASECAMP

Little more than the shattered shell of an old building. Walls and roof crumbling, barely any coverage at all. The remaining Starfleet officers rush in and dive for cover.

Ro looks carefully back out at the canyon. She can see the two dead Starfleet bodies on the ground. She looks up to the ridges where the Seraphami are hiding. One of them fires – the phaser beam comes dangerously close.

WADE
(taps combadge)
Commander Wade to the Wellington.
We need a beam-up right now!

No response. The rest of the away team begin to fire from concealment. As they continue urgently exchanging fire...

WADE
Repeat – Wade to Wellington! Do
you hear me? Damn it!

RO
We’re surrounded, outnumbered
too probably. Given time, they
have the power to kill us all.

WADE
Ro’s right. So we need to do
something they won’t expect.

CAPUTO
Like what?

WADE
A flanking manoeuvre. Oldest
trick in the book, but I doubt
the Seraphami have too many
military historians.

RO
What’s to stop them taking this
position, and the colonists?

WADE
You are, Ensign. You and Caputo
stay here, and give them the
impression that we’re all still
holed up. Think you can do it?

RO
Do you have any doubt?

WADE
Good answer. Let’s go!

Wade scrambles towards a rear exit out of the camp, and all but Ro and Caputo follow him. Both women dash back and forth, keeping up a constant fire.


23 EXT. PLANET SURFACE

Some of the Seraphami are moving down into the canyon now, firing more directly at the Starfleet hiding place. Phaser shots come back from that direction, hitting a couple.


24 INT. STARFLEET BASECAMP

Suddenly the shots from the Seraphami stop. After a few more shots of their own, Ro and Caputo notice the quiet.

RO
Huh. They’re awfully quiet all
of a sudden.

Wary, Caputo pulls out a tricorder, takes readings...

CAPUTO
Unless this tricorder’s haywire,
I’d say they’ve gone into their
hibernation mode.

RO
That healing trance thing? We
didn’t hit them that bad.

CAPUTO
I guess we did better than we
thought. Pretty fragile for
terrorists, if you ask me.

Ro reacts uncomfortably to the T word...

CAPUTO (cont)
But in that state, they’re even
more vulnerable. Even just a
glancing blow from a phaser on
stun could kill them.

Ro realizes the problem. She looks out at the canyon, sees the Seraphami slumped over as if asleep...

RO
And Wade won’t hesitate to shoot
first and ask questions later.

CAPUTO
He could slaughter them all.

They turn back into the hideout, crouch against the walls.

RO
What can we do? The combadges
aren’t working.

Still racking their brains for a solution... Ro looks back out onto the canyon...


25 EXT. PLANET SURFACE

Up on an even higher ridge than the Seraphami, Wade creeps into place. He nods right and left – at other crew – and takes aim at the aliens further down.


26 INT. STARFLEET BASECAMP

Ro watches this...

RO
I can’t let him do it...

And she makes her decision. She runs out of the shelter...


27 EXT. PLANET SURFACE

...She raises her phaser... and shoots.

WADE

...takes the shot in the chest and oomphs in pain. He tumbles forward, down the ravine...

CAPUTO
No!

Instantly, the Seraphami, who had been slumped over as if asleep, jerk back awake again and shoot at Ro.

Caputo runs out of the shelter, grabs for Ro, pulls her down, saving her from the shot...

CAPUTO
Damn it, Ensign! It was a trick!

But the Seraphami have already got Wade. One grabs his broken body and lifts it over his head, roaring with satisfaction. The rest turn to where Wade had been and begin firing.

It’s a bloodbath for the Starfleet team.

Caputo grabs Ro and drags her back to the shelter...


28 INT. STARFLEET BASECAMP

Caputo throws Ro to the ground, furious.

CAPUTO
They were faking it to lure us
out of hiding! And now we’re
all dead, thanks to you!

Ro stares, dumbfounded. She knows Caputo is right.


29 INT. STARFLEET JAG OFFICE

As Akaar glares down at Ro, in the docks...

RO
(quiet, withdrawn)
No. I have nothing to say.

AKAAR
(sneer)
Very well. Since the accused has
chosen not to defend herself, I
have no hesitation in passing
sentence.

RO (v.o.)
What could I say? I was guilty.


30 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS

As Ro relates this tale to Vaughn...

RO
Akaar didn’t want to hear it
anyway. He was merciless.

VAUGHN
(quiet, gentle)
You broke his heart.

RO
He doesn’t have one.

VAUGHN
(encouraging)
But you came through it. If
not Akaar, you found other
people willing to believe in
you. Kira, Picard... me.

Ro looks up at him, grateful. But it doesn’t really help all that much.

VAUGHN
If nothing else, it’s good
that you’re getting more of
your memory back.

RO
Doesn’t even feel like my memory.

VAUGHN
(curious)
What do you mean?

RO
I mean, it’s not me. It’s like
it’s a whole different person
forcing her way into my head.
And I’m not sure I even know
who she is.

Something about that strikes Vaughn as... interesting. He stops to ponder it for a moment, frowning, an idea slowly forming in his mind...

VAUGHN
Lieutenant... excuse me, please.
I have some research to do.

And he gets up from the couch and exits without another word. Ro is left wondering what just happened...


FADE OUT:


END OF ACT THREE


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Old October 23 2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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Location: London
Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

ACT FOUR


FADE IN:


31 INT. DS9 – TARAN’ATAR’S QUARTERS

Taran’atar sits at his desk, studying alone. Then L’Haan comes and perches on the edge of the desk, musing out loud.

L’HAAN
I suppose there is something to
be said for the strength that
emotions can bring. My former
mistress indulged her emotions
as a matter of course.

Taran’atar seethes, but ignores her. Keeps studying.

L’HAAN
My life in her service required
so much self-discipline. It was
a difficult task, without doubt.
It must be difficult for you,
as well. Keeping secrets from
Kira, from your own people. I
understand the temptation to
divest yourself of the burden.

Taran’atar changes the screen, and tries to concentrate.

L’HAAN
Of course, the opportunity to
release my burden was denied
to me... thanks to you.


FLASHBACK – 9x21 “THE SOUL KEY”

Taran’atar snaps the real L’Haan’s neck.

BACK TO SCENE


Unable to take any more, Taran’atar snaps and launches a PUNCH into the screen, exploding it in a shower of sparks.


CUT TO:


32 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS

Ro LAUGHing, as she sits alone in her room. Not reading the padd, just sitting there and laughing in slight amazement as a certain memory comes back to her. She shakes her head, pleasantly surprised that she can laugh.

The doorbell CHIMES again. She gets up to answer the door, still chuckling a little to herself. The door opens, and Quark stands there. Ro reacts with shock and a little fear.

RO
Aah! You! Prophets, how did you
find me?

QUARK
(baffled)
I beg your pardon?

RO
(backs away)
Look, it wasn’t my fault, okay?
I only set the bomb because Bis
told me to, and then I changed
my mind and warned your DaiMon,
and I know it meant spacing all
your cargo, but if you think
about it, I saved your life!

QUARK
(hands up)
Whoa whoa whoa whoa! Laren, I’m
not going to hurt you. I just
overheard Bashir and the rest
of them talking. And I thought
you might like something to eat.

He reaches off screen, and comes back with a large platter of foods of all kinds.

QUARK
I realise you may not know who
I am right now. So allow me
to introduce myself. My name
is Quark, and I run the local
drinking, dining and gambling
establishment.

RO
You got your bar!

QUARK
(blank)
Umm... yeah.
(cheerful)
I should also inform you that
we are the best of friends!

RO
Hah! I know all about Ferengi
and how they treat women. You’re
just here for the chance to take
advantage of a vulnerable female.

QUARK
(hurt)
What? No! Laren, I mean it...
we’re friends. I... just wanted
to make sure you were okay.

Ro is confused, but he seems nice enough. She lets him in.

QUARK
This is actually the first time
I’ve ever been in your quarters.

RO
So we’re not that close friends.

QUARK
Hey – I may be a gentleman, but
I’m still a male. It wasn’t for
lack of trying.

Ro chuckles. She finds him quite charming really.

QUARK
Did I hear you laughing before?

RO
How could you hear that?

He points to his ear, like, “duh.” She concedes the point. She leads him back to the sofa, and they sit together.

RO
I just got back the memory of
this time on the Enterprise.
Some stupid technobabble field
turned us all into children.
The ship’s bartender convinced
me to try jumping up and down
on the bed.
(chuckle)
Me! Jumping on the bed! I never
jumped on a bed in my life!

QUARK
(grin)
I guess you just have a good
relationship with us bartenders.

RO
I guess so. It’s a nice memory.
Doesn’t feel like Ro Laren gets
to have fun all that often.

QUARK
(laughs)
You are one of the most bad-
tempered people I’ve ever met!
That’s part of what I love
about you.

Ro’s head snaps around to stare at him. He’s horrified by his slip of the tongue and desperately changes the subject.

QUARK
Umm... so I know you fought with
the Maquis against the Dominion.
Surely you were happy when the
war ended?

RO
I didn’t even know when the war
ended. I was hiding in a cave.
As usual.

And we go into...


FLASHBACK


33 INT. CAVE

The usual kind of cave set, hard and jagged, with dripping water here and there, tree roots poking through the earth.

A figure dashes into the cave through a narrow passage, huddled into heavy clothing and holding a cloth over her head, dripping with water. It’s been raining hard outside. The figure shakes off the excess water, peels off some of the layers, revealing a TRILL female called TEFF.

TEFF
Still nothing. I don’t know
what’s going on.

Ro sits huddled against the rocky wall, shivering against the damp and cold. With her are other aliens of various species - a BOSLIC male, a human female, a couple more.

RO
Nothing in three days. We’re
just sitting here waiting for
the Jem’Hadar to come and kill
us once and for all. So where
the hell are they?

BOSLIC
Do you think the rumours are
true? About the Cardassians
switching sides?

RO
I’m not sure I care anymore.

TEFF
Ro... you’re not giving up. I
won’t let you. You’re the only
one who’s kept us alive these
last two years. You’re a hero
of the Maquis!

RO
There is no more Maquis, Teff!
Everyone’s dead. Eddington...
Hudson... Kaz... Chakotay...
Macias. We’re all that’s left.
It doesn’t matter anymore.


Suddenly another figure runs in, also cloaked against the rain - a CYGNIAN male (golden skin, delicately pointed ears, catlike eyes). He shouts with glee...

CYGNIAN
It’s over!

RO
What is?

CYGNIAN
Everything! We just got the word
from our people in the Badlands...
the Dominion’s laid down arms.
They’re signing a treaty with
the Federation!

BOSLIC
When did this happen?

CYGNIAN
A few days ago. The Jem’Hadar
were in the middle of burning
Cardassia to the ground, and
then they just... stopped.
No-one knows why.

RO
Certainly wasn’t anything we did.

TEFF
Don’t talk like that, Ro. You
killed more Jem’Hadar than the
rest of us put together.

RO
And what good did it do us?
They just made more.

BOSLIC
We should celebrate!

RO
You go ahead. I’m not in the mood.

TEFF
Ro...

RO
Seriously, Teff. I can’t. I’ve
had enough. Enough fighting,
enough hiding out in caves...
I just want to go home.

The others look awkwardly between each other.

TEFF
Ro... there’s nowhere left to
go home to.

RO
Yes there is. There always has been.

A wistful smile starts to grow on her face, as she imagines going home to Bajor...


34 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS

Quark smiles warmly, having heard the story.

QUARK
Well, I’m thrilled you did come
home. Otherwise you’d never have
met me!

His good humour makes her chuckle through her gloominess. She shakes her head, dismissing such a ridiculous notion.

QUARK
I’m serious! Having you around
makes this station a brighter place.

RO
Quark... why are you being so
nice to me?

QUARK
Shouldn’t I be?

RO
In my experience, the only time
someone’s being friendly for no
reason is when they’re about to
stab you in the back.

QUARK
Exactly! See, this right here
is why we’re friends. That’s a
Ferengi Rule of Acquisition you
just said, number forty-eight.
“The bigger the smile, the
sharper the knife.”

RO
(laugh)
So you trust me because we’re
both incapable of trusting
anyone else?

QUARK
I trust you because you don’t
pretend to be anything you’re
not. The galaxy is filled with
people trying to convince you
they’re this thing or that thing.
But you have no problem telling
it like it is. That’s a very
attractive quality in a woman.

She smiles. Leans a little closer to him.

RO
It’s a long time since anyone
called me attractive.

She leans closer still... could they be maybe on their way to kiss? But then her expression changes. Horror, fear... a new memory returning to her.

RO
There’s a Jem’Hadar on the station...



CUT TO:


35 INT. DS9 – PROMENADE

Turbolift doors open, and Taran’atar and Sevak emerge onto the Promenade. Taran’atar is already on edge. His breathing is heavy with the effort of holding his temper.

ANGLE

...and of course L’Haan is right there.

L’HAAN
If you insist on taking this
path... everyone will know.

TARAN’ATAR
Be silent.

ANGLE

Just Sevak and Taran’atar. Sevak is confused...

SEVAK
Ambassador?

Taran’atar stops, his fury bubbling over...

TARAN’ATAR
Escort me to the Infirmary.

Sevak nods. They begin to walk again, but...

ANGLE

...L’Haan is right in his face.

L’HAAN
No!

TARAN’ATAR
Get out of my way!

He reaches out to shove her aside...

ANGLE

...but there’s no-one there. The other pedestrians on the Promenade are starting to look at him funny...

He turns... and she’s standing there. The background extras are very aware there’s an angry Jem’Hadar in their midst.

L’HAAN
You must not go the Infirmary.

Taran’atar turns away again...

ANGLE

...and she’s there again.

L’HAAN
I cannot allow it.

Roaring with anger, losing control, he aims a PUNCH at L’Haan’s face. Just as his fist makes contact...

ANGLE

...we see that he’s actually hit Sevak right in the face. Sevak goes down, there’s a GASP from the crowd...

Taran’atar spins back and forth... everywhere he looks, L’Haan is there... he’s losing control...

L’HAAN
You cannot silence me. I am
inside you. I am part of you.

On the ground, Sevak taps his combadge once...

Taran’atar roars and begins to swing his fists at nothing, fighting thin air. Everywhere he turns L’Haan taunts him...

Desperately fighting an invisible phantom, Taran’atar is suddenly hit by a phaser shot... he’s barely affected... he turns and growls...

...at Sevak, who has his phaser out, pointing at him. Infuriated, Taran’atar starts to loom upon him...

Sevak fires again... No effect. Adrenaline and fury are keeping Taran’atar going... Sevak is starting to worry.

Another shot hits Taran’atar from the side... he turns and sees CENN emerging from the Security office...

...and another shot from the other side, where BOWERS is striding purposefully out of Quark’s bar, weapon drawn...

...and yet still Taran’atar keeps coming, roaring with rage, ferocious, a wild animal caged and cornered...

With a nod of agreement, Sevak, Bowers and Cenn all fire simultaneously...

...Taran’atar takes all three phaser shots at once. It’s finally enough to knock him to the ground.

As he lies on the floor, with security closing in on him from every angle, he looks up...

ANGLE

...and sees L’Haan staring down at him, smug and pitying.

L’HAAN
I warned you what would happen.

...and then he falls unconscious.


BLACK OUT:


END OF ACT FOUR


.
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Old October 23 2011, 03:56 PM   #7
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Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"


ACT FIVE


FADE IN:


36 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS

Beginning close on Ro, as she SCREAMS...

She’s on the floor, having fallen off the sofa in her panic and all-consuming fear, screaming and crying at the memory going through her mind...

Quark is with her on the floor, trying his best to hold her and comfort her, but it’s a hopeless task, she’s SHRIEKing in absolute terror...

She collapses back onto the floor, where the food tray has been toppled and strewn on the floor in her thrashing... her back arches and she WAILS to the heavens...


FLASHBACK – 10x05 “DEEP DOWN”

Ro is barrelled down by an invisible force, throwing her backwards down the length of the corridor...

BACK TO SCENE


Ro shrieks in pain... Quark flutters desperately...

QUARK
Laren... Laren... Oh frinx...
What is it, what’s wrong?


FLASHBACK – 10x05 “DEEP DOWN”

Ro lands hard against the bulkhead, her back CRACKs, she slumps to the ground, her neck at an unnatural angle, her eyes look up and flare in horror...

BACK TO SCENE


And she SCREAMS louder than ever, paralytic with terror... Quark is almost as terrified for her, no idea what to do.
He jumps up and runs to the comm panel, hits it urgently.

QUARK
Computer! Call the Infirmary!
I need somebody in Lieutenant
Ro’s quarters on the double!

Scared, he looks back to Ro, still on the floor...


RO’s POV

As she imagines Taran’atar looming over her on the floor of her quarters, his face twisted in rage...


CUT TO:

37 INT. DS9 – SECURITY CELLS AREA

Taran’atar rages inside one of the cells, thrashing in incoherent fury, battering his arms against the inside of the force field, bellowing like a trapped beast...

Bowers and Cenn stand in the centre, watching warily as the Jem’Hadar turns and grabs an imaginary figure by the throat, raising the invisible form up and slamming it against a wall.

Nearby, Nurse Richter runs a dermal regenerator over Sevak’s green-bruised face...

RICHTER
You should be in the Infirmary.

SEVAK
The Ambassador is in my charge.
I must remain here.

BASHIR (comm)
(urgent)
Kristen! I need you in here!


RICHTER
(taps combadge)
On my way, Doctor!

Making sure Sevak’s face is okay, she runs off to the exit.
Sevak joins Bowers and Cenn, watching Taran’atar...

TARAN’ATAR

Holding the invisible figure up by the throat...


FLASHBACK – 9x21 “THE SOUL KEY”

Taran’atar snaps the real L’Haan’s neck.

BACK TO SCENE


He’s thrown back by the force of the memory, crashing into the force field – he’s too distracted and maddened to even notice. He spins and continues to fight nothing...


38 INT. DS9 – VAUGHN’S QUARTERS

Vaughn sits at his desk, alone in his darkened quarters. He’s concentrating hard on what he’s reading on the screen, although we don’t see what that is at first. Whatever it is, it’s worried him.

He flicks to another page...

COMPUTER
This file is restricted to level
seven security and above. Please
enter authorization code.

Vaughn taps some entries into the computer.

COMPUTER
Code confirmed. Download authorized.

Vaughn reads the classified page... everything he reads is only confirming his worst fears.

During this, we gradually PAN around until the screen and what’s upon it come into view...

It’s an official Starfleet record, showing the face of T’PRYNN, Vaughn’s old Vulcan colleague from Intelligence (8x22 “Greater Good”) in a red TOS-era uniform. The text with the headshot says LT. CMDR. T’PRYNN, DECEASED 2349.

He flicks to another page. This one’s title says KNOWN CASES OF KATRIC POSSESSION. He reads...

VAUGHN (v.o.)
Captain...


39 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S OFFICE

Vaughn stands in front of Kira’s desk, as she sits behind.

VAUGHN
...I think I know what’s wrong
with Mister Taran’atar... and
it’s definitely not good.

On Kira’s worried reaction...


40 INT. DS9 – SECURITY CELLS AREA

Having exhausted himself somewhat from all the thrashing, Taran’atar is now on the floor, slumped into a corner of his cell. He looks up...

...and L’Haan is staring down at him. He stares back...


41 INT. DS9 – INFIRMARY

Ro sits on the bio-bed again. Tears drying on her face as she stares into the middle distance. Bashir is with her...

BASHIR
(delicately)
Just an emotional reaction to
the memory of your past trauma
suddenly reasserting itself.
Physically, you’re fine. Any
pain is purely psychosomatic.


Quark pushes forward protectively to Ro’s side.

QUARK
(snide)
That’s a real comfort, Doctor.

BASHIR
All I mean is, you’ll recover.

Ro hops off the bio-bed onto tentative feet. She pulls herself together, lifts her head, looks him in the eye.

RO
You’re right. All my memories
are back. I’m fine now. Every-
thing’s fine. Thank you, Doctor.

BASHIR
You’re welcome, Lieutenant.

Ro moves to take Quark’s hands, gently and warmly...

RO
Quark... I remember you now.
You were there the first time,
and you were there when I went
through it all again. You’re
always there for me. That’s...
(sweet smile)
...a very attractive quality
in a man.

She leans down, and kisses him gently on the lips. Nothing too intense, but enough to let him know it’s for real.

Then she turns and walks out of the Infirmary. Bashir exchanges a look of sideswiped surprise with the nearby Richter. Quark is happily stunned...


42 INT. DS9 – HABITAT RING CORRIDOR

Ro walks along the corridor, alone. She smiles and nods at the passers-by she recognizes. But the moment they’re gone, the smile drops from her face. She comes to the door to her quarters, presses the control to open the door...


43 INT. DS9 – RO’S QUARTERS

...and walks into her quarters. She’s calm, under control now. Everything’s back to normal.

She looks down at the spilled food from Quark’s tray, covering the floor in front of the sofa, squashed and ground into the carpet from where she landed on it.

She turns away from it and heads to the bathroom.

BATHROOM

She walks in... stops at the sink and looks at herself in the mirror. And stares.

The smooth façade is starting to crack. Her bottom lip quivers. Her eyes wrinkle. She turns to the side...

...to the rubbish bin. She goes to it, pushes open the flap, dives her hand inside, and begins rummaging around.

After a moment of rummaging without success, she pulls out the thing she was looking for... the hypospray.

With a blank expression, she goes back to the mirror, looks at herself, looks at the hypospray...

...and then slowly and deliberately presses it to her neck. She sighs with relief as the painkiller hisses into her system. And she stares at her own reflection...


FADE OUT:


END OF SHOW


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Old October 29 2011, 04:54 PM   #8
Wally
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Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

Enjoyed this a lot. Not a big fan of the amnesia plot (feel it's been overdone in fiction, myself), but the Taran'atar A-story really hit on all cylinders. I was not looking forward to him being controlled or going crazy again, but actually it seemed to be handled better than it was in the actual DS9-R, and that is high praise. I'm actually curious now as to how this storyline is going to develop.
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Old October 29 2011, 05:37 PM   #9
lvsxy808
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Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

Finally. I was like, "99 thread views and nobody can think of a single thing to say?"


Wally wrote: View Post
Enjoyed this a lot. Not a big fan of the amnesia plot (feel it's been overdone in fiction, myself), but the Taran'atar A-story really hit on all cylinders. I was not looking forward to him being controlled or going crazy again, but actually it seemed to be handled better than it was in the actual DS9-R, and that is high praise. I'm actually curious now as to how this storyline is going to develop.
Well, thanks for that, high praise indeed, I appreciate it.

Although, really the Ro stuff was supposed to be the A-plot and Taran'atar the B-plot. But I guess what a writer intends and what a reader gets from it don't have to be the same. Both stories are going interesting places (IMO naturally) as the season progresses.

This was the last episode concept I came up with the entire season, and the bizarre thing is that the idea came simply from the fact that I had a gap in the schedule which I had temporarily filled with the word "blank." From that one word came the entire episode.

The amnesia plot is kind of a soap opera cliche, I know. But it was only a means to an end really - to get to see some of Ro's backstory, and watch the effect it has on her. I decided on three major turning points in her life. We've heard so often about Ro's legendary Garon II mission that I wanted to finally nail down exactly what it was. The same with whatever the beef is between Ro and Akaar.

Of course, the former had already been done in the comic book story “The Choice” by Michael Jan Friedman, which I stole from pretty much wholesale (although I do have some ideas for how to take it further). But I almost feel like this makes it official, because mine's a TV script and TV is more official than comic books.

And yes, I know that's completely arse-about-face, but allow me my illusions.

.
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Old November 3 2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

Anyone else have any further comments? Just hoping for some feedback, although I feel childish asking.

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Old November 7 2011, 10:29 AM   #11
Gul Re'jal
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Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

An interesting glance into Ro's past. Not just a glance, but also an opportunity to see how she reacts to all that. She definitely doesn't like herself. I wonder if in the result of that experience, she'll change and work on her personality and choices not to make so many mistake any longer. It was a chance for her to analyse her own decisions and actions.

I must say, though, that the format didn't serve well that part of the story. Not the script format, but to time limitation of such a script format (after all, it shouldn't be longer an one-hour episode). That re-discovering of her own self would work much better if it took more time than one day. It would have a stronger impact both on Ro and on the readers. It just felt too superficial and too rushed.

Taran'atar possed by L'Haan's katra is a very interesting plot twist. So it's not just hallucinations, but a serious medical and mental problem.
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Old November 7 2011, 04:30 PM   #12
lvsxy808
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Re: DS9 Season 10, ep 10x09 - "Blank Slate"

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
An interesting glance into Ro's past. Not just a glance, but also an opportunity to see how she reacts to all that. She definitely doesn't like herself. I wonder if in the result of that experience, she'll change and work on her personality and choices not to make so many mistake any longer. It was a chance for her to analyse her own decisions and actions.
That was basically the whole point of the episode, yes. Not just to get some of Ro's back story out there, but to explore the effect it has on her. At the beginning she's got it pretty much all under control. By the end, when she's been reminded just how much of a shitty life she's had, she realizes she doesn't want to be that person anymore. But I kind of get the feeling that she thinks there's nothing she can do about it... and that's what drives her back to the painkillers after she's successfully weaned herself off them. It will definitely drive her storyline for the rest of the season.


Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
I must say, though, that the format didn't serve well that part of the story. Not the script format, but to time limitation of such a script format (after all, it shouldn't be longer an one-hour episode). That re-discovering of her own self would work much better if it took more time than one day. It would have a stronger impact both on Ro and on the readers. It just felt too superficial and too rushed.
Yeah, I'm forced to agree with you there. The concept isn't really served by the format. It comes off as the kind of problem-of-the-week thing TNG and VOY often suffered from.

That's one of the reasons I wanted to make sure the reason behind it all happening isn't some random made-up technobabble (and even made fun of that by referencing "Rascals"), but a comparatively real-life thing - she just bonked her head. Doesn't really solve the problem, but I hope it makes it seem less silly-sci-fi-ish.

Really, almost none of my stories for the entire season are based on tech concepts. They're all character or continuing-arc stories.


Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
Taran'atar possessed by L'Haan's katra is a very interesting plot twist. So it's not just hallucinations, but a serious medical and mental problem.
When I was looking at possible plots for the season, that just jumped out at me as the kind thing that seemed like I had to do it. It was set up perfectly by that scene in The Soul Key, as if I couldn't not do it. Obviously we've had katra stories and possession stories before, but not stretched out over an arc in a mystery format, and not with a Jem'Hadar. And the fact that it was L'Haan gave me a delicious and irresistible opportunity, as you've already seen with the next episode...


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