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Old November 14 2009, 02:54 AM   #1
St. William Of Levittown
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Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

All right, folks.

Due to the positive reaction to my previous "pure-character-arc" story, "The Cleanest Food To Find", I'd decided, some weeks ago, to try my hand at a second one.

This tale, as the thread's title implies, focuses on the character of Ezri Dax. As many of you know, I have a deep fascination with this girl...so I decided to delve down a bit into her soul. Who is she? How does she view her command--and what comes with it? And...how does she view her own life...and the choices she's made?

Setting? It's "some time" after KRAD's book "A Singular Destiny", and one month after a previous fanfic of mine, "Of Power and Passion".

It's something of a sequal to that latter tale...but you don't need to have read that one--I put in this tale all you'll need to remember. It's also part of a continuing arc I have, where she recoveres from a decision she's made in her past....

BTW...this is my longest "short story" yet--and, for the most part, it's in no real hurry. Still...be prepared for a lot of fun--some laughs, some tears...some new insights and info on our girl--and a MAJOR guest star...who I think...you all know and love....


Okay, now, without further ado...


Star Trek: Aventine
A Rendezvous With Destiny
Scene 1


“…And beyond that—I will have you know that I find the hospitality of this vessel to be in terribly short supply!”

She sat at the desk of her ready room, the back of her seat turned to the speaker. She extended an arm to take a small white saucer, on which rested her cup of Fanalian tea, as the man continued:

“I was led to believe that this vessel was nothing less than the finest that Starfleet had to offer. However—I am increasingly under the impression that that notion was greatly exaggerated. My quarters are completely inadequate—the so-called cuisine of your replicators I find to be absolutely disgusting—and, above all else, we are not proceeding at maximum warp, and are currently travelling at…at cruising velocity!”

As she listened, she rested the saucer on her lap. She took the small spoon from on top of it, and calmly stirred the tea.

“I can assure you…that your superiors will hear of this, because in short, I find this ship to be run in an absolutely disgraceful manner.”

She lifted the cup to her lips as the speaker concluded:

“And that…Captain Ezri Dax…is my sincere opinion!”

The back of her seat still turned to the man, Captain Ezri Dax of the U.S.S Aventine finished her sip and replied, “I quite believe you.”

There was silence on the other end for a moment. Finally, the man said, “You…do?”

Ezri shrugged, and cheerily replied, “Of course!” She set the cup back on the saucer, and continued, “But, Mr. Ambassador, is there any…particular reason why I should consider your opinion?”

The man all but shouted, “Captain Dax—this is my mission—and as such, you are to treat me with the highest of courtesies, and suit my every need—”

Ezri laughed, as she turned her seat to face him. Time to get my Curzon on…. “Mr. Galoth…don’t think for a moment that you can be so insolent towards me. Like it or not, this is my ship, and I will run it as I see fit—diplomat…or no diplomat.”

Galoth, the Tellarite ambassador to the Klingon Empire, bristled with what most people took for rage.

Ezri Dax, of course, knew better—which was why she leaned back, her hands on her lap, and continued with, “My orders are to bring you to Starbase 24, two days from now—and I will bring you there…two days from now. How I choose to do it is my business. And if the time ever comes when I should decide that the best way to use your services on this vessel…is to assign you to waste extraction—well, that’s my business, too. Any questions?”

She said it all with her sweetest, most disarming smile…and in a calm, reasonable, Jadzia-like tone—both of which, she knew, increased the insult tenfold. And Ezri also knew that the good ambassador was enjoying every minute of it.

Frankly, so was she.

The Tellarite’s eyes glinted, as he said in a slightly calmer tone, “Captain…I demand—”

“My dear Galoth…” Ezri continued, still with a pleasant smile, “You’re not in a position to demand anything of me….”

Galoth nodded, again admiring her audacity. “I…request…that you explain why we are not travelling at maximum warp.”

Ezri nodded. “That’s better. Now…two reasons. First, I have no incentive to arrive at our destination early—and neither do you…otherwise, you would have requested an earlier arrival date.”

“And the second reason…?”

Ezri shrugged. “I like this speed better. Easier on the eyes…wouldn’t you say?”

“I detest the idea of approaching our destination at a speed—”

“…That implies this mission means nothing to me?” Ezri took another sip from her cup. “What if it does?”

Galoth grunted in obvious pleasure.

“Don’t worry, Ambassador. We’ll get there on time—after all…I do have my orders.”

“Indeed you do, Captain.”

Ezri leaned back. “Dismissed.”

Galoth headed for the door—but then paused, and turned to her again. “If I may, Captain…I found our conversation most…refreshing. It is not every mission where I have the good fortune of meeting a Starfleet captain…who is well versed in the art of Civil Insults.”

Ezri chuckled. “Well, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to show my skill in that area for quite a while. Now…will you kindly remove yourself from my presence? You’re a large man in a small room—if you know what I mean.”

Galoth frowned. “I don’t.”

Ezri raised a finger, and tapped the side of her nose.

Galoth let out a loud, throaty guffaw as he exited the room.

Ezri grinned, shaking her head. Just one more “Civil Insult”…. She tapped the com panel. “Dax to Bridge.”

“Bowers here, Captain.”

“Mister Bowers…prepare to decrease speed to warp three.”

It worked. She could make out the ambassador roaring at the top of his lungs, “Warp THREE?”

“Aye, Captain,” said Bowers—unfazed at the nearby explosion.

“And have the good ambassador escorted off the bridge.”

“Right away, Captain. Ambassador…?”

The ambassador howled, “This is an OUTRAGE! I demand—”

His voice cut off. Bowers came on again. “Captain…he’s off.”

“Good. Now—Commander?”

“Sir?”

Don’t decrease speed to warp three.”

“Understood, Captain.”

“Dax out.” Ezri stood up, the smile still on her face. She set her cup down…and began to walk around the room.

She looked around her…at the bat’leth hanging on the far wall, which had been Jadzia’s, a gift from Worf…at the model of the Aventine on the table, against the same wall…at the small blue abstract sculpture on a shelf in the corner by the window, which had been given to Ezri by Julian Bashir, the day she had left Deep Space Nine….

Her smile fading…Ezri walked over to the sculpture, and traced its lines with her finger, as she often did. And then, she looked out the window…at the stars.

They seemed to call out to her…and why not? The Aventine was supposed to be a vessel of deep-space exploration. That was what the ship was built for—right down to the quantum slipstream drive. And yet…here she was, hauling diplomats to and fro. Sometimes…it could be so irritating.

Not for the first time, Ezri mused, I miss DS9. Things were so much more…fulfilling back then.

She turned back to the sculpture…and sighed. And not nearly as…lonely….

No. She couldn’t think of that. But still…she had to admit that, her amusing conversation just now notwithstanding, she was dealing with a lot of stress. And it was now manifesting itself in the form of a headache.

She turned, and walked out of the ready room, onto the bridge.


* * *
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Old November 14 2009, 04:12 AM   #2
kes7
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

I don't share your total fascination with Ezri, but I liked her here, and the interaction with the Tellarite was really amusing. I'm in for this one, I think. Good start!
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Old November 14 2009, 05:07 AM   #3
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Well, that WAS amusing--I enjoyed it! Now, my question is, was the tradition of "Civil Insults" established in ENT? Or is that a protocol you've come up with to explain Tellarite culture? (And I wonder, what do you see as its social function?)
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Old November 14 2009, 03:00 PM   #4
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Having enjoyed 'The Cleanest Food...' I'm looking forward to this. Scene 1 was well written and amusing.

Nerys Ghemor, although I can't recall the term 'Civil Insults' being used, ENT certainly established that Tellarites enjoy a good argument. Complaints are a good way to start an argument. If there's nothing to complain about, they would start throwing insults about.

The proper course of action when being insulted by a Tellarite is to respond in kind. When a Tellarite first came on board the NX-01, he pointed out that he found the ship 'small and unimpressive'. Archer's response was 'That's funny, I was thinking the same about you.'

Last edited by The Badger; November 15 2009 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Spelling mistake cleared up.
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Old November 14 2009, 10:52 PM   #5
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Heh heh. I second- well, fourth, technically- the opinion that the Dax-Tellarite interactions were very amusing. Good job, Rush. I'm interested to see what you'll do with Dax this time.

Oh, to answer the question Nerys asked, the term "Civil" is used in some of the novels- including the Corps of Engineers series- to describe insults given as part of "proper" social interaction, and the arguments and blustering that entails, as opposed to those insults which are used to express genuine displeasure. Quite what the distinction is hasn't been explained, but it's hinted to be complicated. Certainly Tellarites have been shown using curses and insults outside of "respectful" argument, so only some insults count as "Civil" or only in certain situations.
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Last edited by Deranged Nasat; November 15 2009 at 06:57 PM.
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Old November 15 2009, 12:11 PM   #6
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Interesting so far. I just love how your continuing on with Captain Ezri Dax and the Aventine crew.
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Old November 18 2009, 02:02 AM   #7
St. William Of Levittown
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Well, that WAS amusing--I enjoyed it! Now, my question is, was the tradition of "Civil Insults" established in ENT? Or is that a protocol you've come up with to explain Tellarite culture? (And I wonder, what do you see as its social function?)
Actually, I first saw the term in Prime Directive, by Judy and Gar. In that book, a Tellarite basically seems to view what we call "courtesy" as rudeness, and vice versa.

Which might explain why Tellarites and Klingons would get along....


To everyone: thanks for your positive response! Yes, ever since I saw a pic of the Aventine, my reaction was, "There's something immensely attractive about sweet, innocent, lovable Ezri being in command of the most powerful ship in the fleet!"

So...I decided to dramatize this, showing our girl in a position of power--owning an ambassador, something even Kirk would rarely do....

I will put up the next section momentarily....
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Old November 18 2009, 02:19 AM   #8
St. William Of Levittown
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Okay. This scene has a couple little homages to TOS. I hope you all like it!



Star Trek: Aventine
A Rendezvous With Destiny
Scene 2

As Ezri headed for the turbolift, she announced, “Commander…walk with me.”

“Aye, sir.” Commander Sam Bowers turned to the science station. “Mr. Helkara, you have the bridge.”

Lieutenant Commander Gruhn Helkara acknowledged with a curt, “Aye, sir,” and headed for the center seat.

Ezri stepped into the turbolift, but Sam stopped at the door, and turned. “And Mr. Helkara?”

“Sir!”

“I noticed a recent slight drop in crew efficiency. I want it back up. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir. I will have a series of drills scheduled immediately.”

“Good. Carry on.”

Sam entered the lift. Ezri announced, “Sickbay.”

As the lift descended, she turned to her first officer. “‘A recent slight drop’?”

Sam nodded. “The crew’s…running a little slow.”

“Sam, this is a diplomatic mission—to the Klingons, for pity’s sake. We won’t be anywhere near anything exciting. Unless…” Ezri frowned, and narrowed her eyes slightly, “…Unless you’re anticipating something I’m not….”

“Oh, not at all—just want the best crew at all times. You understand, Captain.”

Ezri sighed, and turned to face the doors. “Look…it’s been quite a while. Don’t you think your idea of…strict formality is getting a little tiresome?”

“Ezri, without discipline—”

Sam—too much ‘discipline’ is too much discipline. And I don’t want this crew to break down on me with all the pressure you’re putting on them. For goodness sake—I’ve had to watch people bark out ‘Captain on deck!’ and—snap to attention in my presence—when they’re off duty!”

“Sir, we need efficiency….”

Ezri turned to him. “And we have it—they’re a good crew, Sam. And, in case you haven’t noticed, they’re not machines.” She took a deep breath, and slowly let it out. “You’ve trained them well, Commander, but…I think it’s high time you eased up a bit. Not too much, don’t misunderstand—just…so they won’t feel like there’s always someone—looking over their shoulder unless they’re in their quarters.”

Sam smirked. “Captain, aren’t you the one who once told me that ‘a little suffering is good for the soul’?”

Ezri shook her head. “I don’t remember ever saying that.”

Sam frowned. “I could have sworn I heard you say…”

“And if I did, it wasn’t meant quite that way.”

Sam cleared his throat. “Well…as I recall…as a direct result of the relatively lax discipline on DS9…Ensign Shar—”

Ezri stiffened, and turned back to face the doors. “Please don’t remind me.”

Sam grinned, and reminded her anyway. “…He disobeyed orders, on Luthia, and took matters into his own hands. And you, as his superior, had to chew him out on it—and you did.”

Ezri rubbed her forehead. The darned headache was getting worse. “Sam…I just gave you an order….”

“Orders don’t have ‘please’ in the beginning, Captain.”

“Right…” Ezri put her hand down, and sighed. “Well, that’s not something I’m too proud of having done.”

“It was the right thing to do.”

No, it wasn’t…I lashed out at the poor kid—I snapped at him. Honestly…I don’t know what I was thinking….”

“Captain, you’re a Dax. Sometimes, you don’t—”

Ezri’s hand shot up in desperation. “Sam—don’t say it! And that’s an order.”

“Of course, Captain.”

Ezri squinted, and rubbed her forehead again. Great I’norawhy did you curse me with an XO that insists on torturing the whole crew—and me? Oh, right—I wanted him on, because I wanted someone I knew. Just another example of that maddening line he almost recited ….

Finally, the doors opened. Ezri clasped her hands behind her back, and went straight down the corridor to Sickbay, with Bowers in tow.

Inside, Dr. Simon Tarses looked up from his desk. “Hi, Skip!” He nodded in Bowers’s direction. “Commander.”

Ezri smiled, as Sam flinched at the doctor’s recently invented nickname for her. I wonder if Simon did that just to irk him….

She turned to the desk, and sat down. “Simon…what do you have for a headache?”

Simon frowned. “The ambassador?”

Ezri shook her head. “Not exactly.”

Ah…the tedious work of diplomatic shipping and handling.”

“Exactly.”

Simon nodded. “I’ll get something.”

As the doctor went off, Bowers raised an eyebrow. “Captain…are you ready to break down?”

No…but this is getting on my nerves….”

Simon came back with a hypo, which he applied to Ezri’s neck. The ache vanished. She nodded her thanks, and continued.

“I mean…of all the ships out there…all the captains who are more used to this kind of thing…they have us on diplomatic duty.”

Tarses shook his head. “A waste of resources, eh?”

Yes! I mean—Simon, you don’t have any Saurian Brandy, by any chance?”

“You’re off duty?”

“I am now.”

“I’ll go check.” Tarses left the room again.

Sam’s eyes widened. “He has a bottle of brandy—in Sickbay?”

Tarses came back, a bottle and three glasses in hand. “Only for medicinal purposes….”

Ezri smiled at her first officer. “What is this crew coming down to?”

Bowers sighed, and took a glass, as did Ezri.

As Simon filled the glasses, and set the bottle down, he asked, “Now…what were you saying, Skip?”

She sighed, and stared at her glass. “Just that I’m tired of being on this ship, with all this new technology on hand—and not being able to make it all useful.”

Ironic. Just a short time ago, she had sworn to herself—and Sam—that this monotony wouldn’t bother her…but…“Just once…I would like a nice little exploration mission—a survey, a charting mission, anything—but no….”

She leaned back, and raised her glass. “To the Typhon Pact.”

The two men stared at her. Ezri set her glass down on the desk.

“If it hadn’t been for them, forming at the worst possible time…that’s what we would be doing, right now.”

Bowers shook his head, and shrugged. “Well…we have to wave the flag for a while, I guess. And…there are all those relief missions, to consider.”

“I know…I know.” Ezri took her glass again. “Here’s to the Pact, anyway.”

And she drank, before either man could respond.

Tarses sighed. “Look, Skip…we’re doing our job. Eventually…it’ll get more exciting.”

“You sound certain of that.”

“Well, hey—something’ll turn up. It always does!”

Bowers shrugged, as he took a sip. “Let’s just hope it won’t be a break-out of war….”

Ezri nodded. “Right.”

And then, the com line chirped. “Bridge to Captain Dax.”

Ezri tapped a control on Simon’s desk. “Dax here.”

“Captain—a message from Starfleet, Captain’s-Eyes-Only. New orders to take effect after we deliver the ambassador to Starbase 24.”

Ezri turned to Bowers and Tarses. The men just stared back, showing no reaction. Dax knew, however, that they were hiding the pained exhaustion that they all felt.

Still, the fact that the message was For Her Eyes Only… well, it was appealing, at the very least….

She nodded. “Send the orders to the console in my quarters.”

“Aye, Captain.”

“Dax out.” Ezri rose from her seat. “If you’ll excuse me, gentlemen….”

Tarses spoke up. “Uh—Captain?”

What—not “Skip”? This must be serious…. “Yes, Doctor?”

He hesitated for a moment, and spoke in a low, gentle tone, “If you like…I can put in a doctor’s order for a rest leave on your part—so you can refresh, and….”

Ezri sighed, and gave him a warm smile. That’s so sweet….

She briefly considered taking him up on the offer. But…after a moment’s thought, she shook her head slowly. “Thanks, Simon, but…I think I can handle a bit more. However…when I’ve had all I can stand…I’ll let you know.”

“You…do know that captains always push themselves too hard.”

“Maybe…” Ezri’s gaze fell, as she remembered another time—when she had had to confront one Commander Elias Vaughn, to that effect, at the end of the Gamma Quadrant expedition….

She looked up, “…But, in this case…I’m pretty sure I’ll take your advice, sooner rather than later.”

Simon nodded. “Fair enough.”

But he still held his gaze, his eyes full of compassion for an old friend—and indeed, they were very dear friends…ever since Ezri had counseled him out of a deep emotional crisis, when he had first been assigned to DS9….

Ever since then, she knew, Simon had made it a point to find ways to make it up to her—any way he could. And she appreciated it, a lot. Still…this time, it wasn’t necessary. Not yet, anyway.

“I’ll be in my quarters.” Ezri began to walk out, but stopped at the door, and turned. “Sam…get back on the bridge.”

Bowers frowned at his now-empty glass. “Captain…I just had a drink.”

Ezri nodded, and let a grin slowly appear on her face. “Exactly.”

Simon looked from her, to Bowers, and back to her.

Sam shook his head. “You…dragged me down here…and gave me that lecture on ‘easing up’….”

Ezri nodded again. “And when you seemed to refuse…I thought up a Plan B.”

Simon’s eyes widened.

Ezri continued, still smiling. “This should be a golden opportunity to put those motivation techniques to work—on yourself. I feel confident you’ll still be shipshape…but you’ll also be giddy enough to cut back on your nitpicking, without any problems. Am I clear?”

Sam nodded, a look of resignation on his face, as he stood up—perfectly straight, no stumbling whatsoever. “I’ll be on the bridge.”

“Very good.” Ezri left Sickbay, hands clasped behind her back, and headed for her quarters, with a new spring in her step. Any release I can get, I’ll accept. Now…I wonder what Starfleet has in mind for us, now….


* * *
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"The saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia.... 'Needs and abilities' are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to 'the State shall take, the State shall give'."
--David Mamet
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Old November 18 2009, 02:27 AM   #9
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Wow, that is VERY against regulations--but I sure laughed when I saw how wily Ezri was, to pull off a stunt like that!

Something tells me, though, that Sam could survive being an exchange officer on a Cardassian warship...
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Old November 18 2009, 02:37 AM   #10
St. William Of Levittown
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

^Yup--a little payback for the big "Captain on deck!!!" moment in A Singular Destiny--off duty, during the "jam session". As many of you may recall, Ezri had noted, then, that she was going to have a talk with Sam about all that "formality" madness.

Honestly, Sam's so "by-the-book" that he needed to get drunk on duty....
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Old November 19 2009, 02:58 AM   #11
St. William Of Levittown
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Alright, folks. The exposition is over. Now, the plot begins. Quick scene--as the special guest star is revealed....


Star Trek: Aventine
A Rendezvous With Destiny
Scene 3

“Dax to Bridge.”

“Bowers here, Captain.”

“Commander—call a senior staff meeting immediately.”

“Right away, Captain.”

“Dax out.”


* * *

Ezri Dax sat down at her usual seat in the observation lounge. She surveyed the faces of her senior staff. All faces were turned on her, waiting for her announcement.

She leaned forward, and spoke. “We’ve just received new orders from Starfleet Command. This was classified top-secret, and as such, only the top brass have seen the information involved. I trust you will understand why.

“Immediately after we deliver Ambassador Galoth, we will be taking on board another diplomat from Starbase 24. We will be bringing him to Achernar Prime for an audience with Empress Donatra.”

Ezri paused for effect before she dropped the bombshell.

“I believe you are all familiar with this man. We will be transporting… Ambassador Spock.”


* * *
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Old November 19 2009, 02:59 AM   #12
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Hmmmm...this oughta be interesting! "Guest star" indeed--you had me thinking we'd be getting someone we've just seen a few times, but this? NICE!
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Old November 19 2009, 11:49 AM   #13
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Sweet. What a great way to bring the attention of Spock into the fold.
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Old November 19 2009, 06:24 PM   #14
The Badger
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Fascinating.

Well, someone had to say it!

At the risk of sounding like the proverbial stuck record I'll just echo my earlier comments. Well written, great characterization, and well thought out.
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Old November 20 2009, 12:08 AM   #15
Deranged Nasat
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Re: Star Trek: A Rendezvous With Destiny--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Spock and Dax. This'll be good. I'm eager to see how you'll handle their interactions, Rush. Two very old souls like these will have some fascinating conversations, I'm sure...
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