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Old October 20 2011, 09:50 PM   #46
Ln X
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Location: The great gig in the sky
Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 2, part 1

Day 2, 1320 hours

Kira and Odo walked into the security office. While Kira sat down in front of Odo's desk, Odo was standing behind his desk with arms folded.

“Have you ever conducted an investigation before?” asked Odo.

“No,” said Kira frowning. “But I figured that first you find the evidence, then you question witnesses and suspects, join the dots, and finally you find the guilty party.”

Odo looked at Kira rather seriously. “It is not as simple as that.”

“I know,” said Kira.

She sighed, it felt daunting for her to be conducting such an important investigation. “Alright, this is how I've started the investigation. Firstly I asked the Bajoran central bank to provide the financial records of all the majors, colonels and admirals. Secondly Shakaar has sent me the personal records and logs of nearly every high ranking military officer. Next I've managed to arrange meetings with admiral Tamar and Vedek Talrik.”

Odo nodded approvingly. “That's good, we have a substantial body of evidence to review, and you managed to procure meetings with two people who could provide substantial insight into the abduction of the three vedeks. When will these meetings take place?”

“Both meetings will take place tomorrow. The first meeting is with admiral Tamar at 1000 hours, inside the military academy in the Bajoran capital. About three hours later, I'm meeting up with Vedek Talrik inside the Koma temple complex. When the meeting is finished, we'll board a Bajoran transport ship which is heading towards DS9.”

Odo looked at Kira in an inquisitive manner. “Have you told Ezri about the investigation?”

Kira shifted uncomfortably in the chair. “No I haven't. Shakaar specifically ordered me to keep the investigation as low profile as possible.”

Odo seemed slightly surprised by that answer. “How will we get to Bajor, if we're not going to use a runabout?”

“We'll board a transport ship to Bajor,” explained Kira.

There was a brief pause. Odo sat down on the chair by his desk, he appeared to be satisfied by Kira's explanation. Odo then leaned forwards slightly in his chair, still giving Kira that inquisitive look. “What did you say to Ezri to get permission to leave this station?”

Kira inwardly winced at the suspicious tone in Odo’s voice, it made her feel like she was a suspect in one of her husband's criminal investigations. “I told her that you and I would be meeting up with Shakaar and the security minister to review security measures for key government and religious buildings.”

“You've lied to her,” said Odo blandly and he didn't look very happy about this.

“It's for the sake of the investigation,” argued Kira. “Now I don't want to lie, but it was the only thing I could do to make sure Ezri doesn't find out about the investigation.”

Odo grunted in derision, and Kira guessed that Odo was unhappy because he didn't’t like his wife lying. Rarely did Kira lie, the same applied for Odo, which was why she and Odo respected and loved each other so much.


***


Day 3, 1000 hours

Kira and Odo waited outside admiral Tamar’s office. They were in the Bajoran capital, inside Bajor’s only military academy. The military academy churned out military officer and it was the jewel in the crown of the Bajoran military. Many of the military officers would go on to command Bajor’s warships, militia battalions and orbital defences.

The main reason for Kira coming to the military academy was to question admiral Tamar about the state of the Bajoran military. She thought it seemed the logical place to start the investigation, and she had managed to procure a meeting with admiral Tamar from one of his secretaries. Tamar was a very busy man, and because of this, the meeting would commence exactly at 1000 hours. Kira checked her chronometer, it was exactly 1000 hours, so she knocked on the wooden door to Tamar’s office.

“Enter,” came Tamar’s voice.

Kira and Odo walked inside Tamar’s office. The walls were panelled in wood and there were numerous potted plants located all around the room. A desk was placed towards the end of the office next to the window. It was a spectacular view of the Bajoran capital, the sunlight gleamed off the skyscrapers and golden surfaces of the Bajoran temples. While Kira sat down, Odo stood rigidly at one side of Tamar’s desk.

Tamar was in his 40’s and had a very plain looking face. He looked up from the padd he was using. “Colonel Kira, please make this-” Tamar noticed Odo. “I thought this was going to be a private discussion colonel?”

Kira had an excuse ready-made for Tamar. “Odo is here to record the interview and ask questions concerning the abduction of the vedeks. He is my main investigator and I assure you he is very impartial.”

Tamar gave an apprising look towards Odo. “Indeed.”

The minor resentment in Tamar’s voice made Kira frown slightly. “Admiral as you must know the Bajoran government has ordered me to investigate the Bajoran military, regarding matters of corruption and graft. You are one of the highest ranking admirals, so surely you know the inner workings of the military inside out... Have you ever detected any sort of corruption inside the military?”

Tamar’s nostrils flared in indignation. “If you are saying I've taken bribes-”

“I'm not implying that admiral,” said Kira hastily.

The anger ebbed from Tamar's face. “The answer to your question is yes. I've carried out my own internal investigations, and I have found on a small scale, bribery taking place mainly in the orbital defence section of the Bajoran military. There were even two or three colonels taking bribes to access more government funding for the orbital defence projects.”

“Why does the bribery mainly occur in the orbital defence section of the Bajoran military?” asked Kira.

“Because orbital defence posts are lucrative positions,” explained Tamar. “Bajor is developing it's orbital military industrial complex and government grants are very generous towards it's development.”

Kira decided to give Tamar a really awkward question to answer. “For how long have the vedeks been complaining about the Bajoran military?”

Suddenly Tamar seemed to tense up and his lips were pursed as if to express his hidden disapproval of her question. “For about the last two years, ever since they discovered from the government that corruption was taking place in the military.”

“So the vedeks don't want the military abolished, but they do want it changed?”

“That is correct,” said Tamar.

Odo broke his silence. “So how does the abductions fit into all of this?”

“They don't,” said Tamar, “the abduction of the three vedeks was a separate incident.”

Kira though sensed that Tamar was not being entirely honest. She glanced at Odo, and it seemed he was thinking the same thing, as he was looking at Tamar rather inquisitively. “Then explain how the government investigation found evidence suggesting that the vedeks were transported away?”

“I don't understand,” said Tamar blandly.

Tamar seemed to be playing dumb, and Kira realised that he was definitely hiding something. “Admiral, the Bajoran government have given me all of the evidence records from the Koma temple. There is surprisingly little evidence regarding the abduction of the vedeks, which makes me believe that the vedeks were beamed away over to an unknown location on Bajor. The vedeks never left the Koma temple and this points to an inside job.”

The frown on Tamar's face deepened, and he seemed deeply uncomfortable with Kira's explanation. “How so?” he asked Kira.

“I've once been to the Koma temple, and nobody except the vedeks can get inside the inner sanctum. Except maybe colonels, admirals or ministers.”

Tamar’s eyebrows rose upwards in disbelief. “Are you saying their's a corrupt admiral in the Bajoran military?”

It was Kira’s turn to feel uncomfortable and she had to choose her words very carefully here. “No, but with such an audacious operation, it can only indicate that the corruption in the Bajoran military is more widespread than-”

Tamar stood up, and he looked mightily angry. “You're out of line colonel!” he shouted. “I admit the Bajoran military isn't as clean as I would like it to be, but these are isolated cases!” Tamar placed a heavy emphasis on ‘isolated’. “If what your saying is true, then half the Bajoran military is out of the Bajoran government's control! Now is this the case?”

It was a simple but devastating question, and Kira realised that she had lost the argument. “No admiral it isn't,” she said reluctantly.

Some of the anger vanished from Tamar’s face, in fact he looked almost smug. “I'm glad you agree, now if you don't mind I have a report to finish.” Tamar sat back down behind his desk. “Good day colonel, constable.”

Recognizing the dismissal, Kira and Odo walked out of Tamar’s office. Kira felt that the meeting was something of a disaster. She had not gleaned anything of use to her investigation, and now admiral Tamar would probably never agree to a meeting with her again. As she and Odo walked back to their beam-up point, Kira could almost feel Odo’s disappointed stare on the side of her face. She should have let Odo do all the talking, wheedling information out of reluctant people was one of Odo's strongest abilities.

Fortunately, Kira did have another person to talk to in her investigation, which was of course Vedek Talrik who resided in the Koma temple. Kira hoped her meeting with Vedek Talrik would produce some tangible results for her investigation...
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

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Old October 20 2011, 09:51 PM   #47
Ln X
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 2, part 2

Day 3, 1300 hours

Inside the Koma temple, Kira waited outside of the wooden doors to the inner sanctum. The Koma temple was very spacious, with it's high ceilings, and black basalt columns that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. Splendid tapestries resided all over the walls. Like most Bajoran temples the outer parts of the Koma temple were exposed to the elements. Golden sunlight streamed in from the outside of the temple through the outer columns supporting the walls. While Long shadows were etched on the stone floor.

Kira stood next to one of the columns waiting for Vedek Talrik to arrive. Many years ago when she had given birth to Mia, Talrik was the of the few people to speak out against the three vedeks who publicly condemned Kira for conceiving with a shapeshifter. Talrik managed to persuade the Kai at the time to issue a statement in support of Kira. In a generous move, Talrik offered Kira sanctuary in the Koma temple.

So she arrived with Mia and over two weeks she took residence in the temple. Without Talrik's support, things for Kira would have been far worse. She owed Talrik a debt of gratitude, and occasionally she would visit the temple and talk to Talrik, who regularly visited the Koma temple. Now, sixteen years later, Kira needed his help again to find out further information concerning the abducted vedeks. For this meeting she didn't need Odo, as she knew Talrik would be fully cooperative.

The doors to the inner sanctum opened, and Talrik walked through the wooden doors, for a Bajoran Talrik was very tall. When he saw Kira he smiled slightly. Talrik rarely smiled, and instead he showed his gratitude through the twinkling of his eyes. “Nerys! May the Prophets guide you as you help to find the missing vedeks.”

Kira approached Talrik and she then came to a stop. “Vedek, I need to talk to you about the kidnappings. Were there any witnesses inside the temple?”

Talrik did not seem bothered by Kira’s forthrightness. “Unfortunately no, all visitors need permission to visit the Koma temple. Only the vedeks can freely enter the inner sanctum.”

“And colonels, admirals and ministers?” inquired Kira.

A slight smile appeared on Talrik's face again, he appeared amused by Kira’s question. “Of course, but they must ask permission first.”

This information disappointed Kira greatly. “So there were no unauthorized visitors?”

The expression on Talrik's face became more serious. “The prophets preach peace, enlightenment and meditation, but they also preach practicality,” he said wisely. “If you would come with me colonel, I have something to show you.”

Kira followed Talrik as he entered the inner sanctum. She was by Talrik’s side and she had to walk quite briskly, because of Talrik’s long strides. “Which is?” she asked.

“The evidence you need,” replied Talrik vaguely.

They walked through numerous corridors. There were no windows or views to the outside, the ceilings were lower and the walls were of a plain stone colour. Overhead lanterns lit the dark corridors. After a while, Talrik came to a stop next to one point of the walled corridor.

“In here,” he said, as he opened up a concealed door.

Kira walked in first. “By the Prophets!” she said in surprise.

The room was small, no bigger than Kira’s quarters, but it was packed with equipment, consoles, computer screens, wiring and electrical lighting. What looked out of place were the siltstone walls. She was astounded at what she saw. “I thought vedeks had no need for such technology?”

Talrik looked slightly smug. “Sometimes we need an extra pair of eyes. This is our surveillance room. All over the temple there are hidden cameras, to make sure visitors don't stray into restricted areas.” He walked over to a console and began inputting commands. “And here is the recording of the kidnapping.”

On a screen closest to Kira and Talrik, the recording played. The view was isometric, and it showed three vedeks praying inside a different part of the inner sanctum. The vedeks were on their knees, and their heads were bowed in prayer and meditation. At first everything was peaceful and sedate, suddenly there was the sound of doors being kicked open.

Five armed Bajorans rushed in and surrounded the vedeks, utter shock seemed to route the vedeks to the spot. The armed Bajorans had hoods to hide their faces, and they were all carrying Bajoran phaser rifles. All the rifles were pointed at the vedeks. Carefully the three vedeks slowly stood up, and looked around at the armed Bajorans.

Another Bajoran entered, it appeared to be a man and he was unarmed. Strangely his whole body was blurred and occasional static disrupted the recording. When the man spoke, his voice seemed to be mechanically altered. “You are coming with us.

What is the meaning of this?” one of the vedeks asked angrily.

Stun them all,” ordered the blurred man.

The five armed Bajorans briefly fired at the vedeks. Kira recoiled in horror as she watched the vedeks fall to the ground unconscious. Transport beams enveloped everyone in the recording and in a matter of seconds the room was deserted. At that point the recording ended.

Talrik looked at Kira sombrely, and there was a clear sadness in his eyes, no doubt having to see his fellow vedeks being kidnapped was most distressing for him.

For Kira though all she was thinking about was why this recording was not in the hands of the Bajoran government. There were other issues as well which reverberated through her mind. “How come the image of one of the kidnappers is blurred?” she asked.

Talrik looked somewhat puzzled. “As for that I'm not sure, as for the five other kidnappers they've obviously hidden their faces.”

“You never gave this evidence to the government?” asked Kira disbelievingly.

Suddenly Talrik looked very serious, and he gave Kira an intense stare. “If I had attempted to do so, this recording would never have reached the government.”

“Because of the corruption in the military?”

For the first time Talrik looked worried. “Kira the military corruption is more widespread than you can imagine. One of my friends, who is a colonel, has witnessed the military corruption firsthand. What the military are doing will destroy everything that Bajor has accomplished over the last 25 years!”

Kira felt deeply confused, she could not believe that the military would threaten to destroy Bajor. “What do you mean when you say Bajor is threatened by the military?”

“As vedeks we are being silenced by the military. We are convinced that the military is planning a coup against this government! There is a circle of colonels, majors and possibly admirals, who are pursuing their own goals of power and wealth!” Talrik sounded somewhat disdainful of this, and his eyes were staring intensely into Kira's face. “Such people are lost to their transitory desires and lack faith in the Prophets. Why else did I call you Kira?”

He looked proudly towards Kira. “Your faith is strong, and he who has true faith knows himself and is just. You must find the instigators behind this corruption, because if you do not, Bajor's very culture will be threatened!”

Talrik’s last words seemed to ring in Kira’s ears for a very long time. They made her realize just how important her investigation was. Talking to Talrik made Kira fully aware of the dangers that the military posed to Bajor's stability. It also deepened the responsibility and burden resting upon her to do a thorough job in her investigation...
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
Ln X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21 2011, 08:46 PM   #48
Ln X
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Location: The great gig in the sky
Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 3, part 1

Day 3, 1900 hours

Inside her quarters, Kira was working intensely as she reviewed a list of credit transactions of Bajoran military personnel. She sat rigidly on the chair, there were padds scattered everywhere on the desk she was using. For over two hours she had been working, and it was a big sacrifice on her part. She had decided to conduct her investigation primarily after her shifts, so as to keep a low profile on the investigation.

It also meant that Ezri had no idea about the investigation, and Kira was determined to keep it this way. If Ezri got wind of the investigation, she might remove the petition for Bajor’s request to leave the Federation. Kira really hoped that the abductions were something minor and just the actions of some small extremist group. Yet the evidence was pointing to something much larger, some sort of systemic corruption in the Bajoran military.

Having Odo going over the records was a major help for Kira. It also allowed her to be more thorough with the investigation. Kira was so focused upon the laptop she did not notice Odo walking up from behind.

“Have you found anything interesting?” asked Odo.

Kira started, she was briefly surprised by Odo's appearance. “No I haven't, but there is definitely evidence of illegal transactions of credits. Whoever was involved has covered their tracks well.”

“We will find something Kira, someone must have slipped up.”

However misplaced Odo’s optimism was, Kira appreciated it none the less. “You're being too optimistic Odo.”

“I was just trying to cheer you up,” said Odo ruefully.

While Odo left the room, Kira focused upon the records with even more concentration. Her attention was diverted by a big mail icon which had appeared on the console screen. This aroused Kira's curiosity, and she tapped upon the icon. The icon changed and the whole screen turned black. A message in red letters then appeared.

“What the?” said Kira in surprise, and she read the message.

If you want your family to live, drop the investigation! We know what you are trying to do Kira, but you cannot stop us. You have two days to comply to our demand. If you refuse to do so, in two days time you will find your daughter's dead body on board DS9!

So shocking was this death threat, that Kira became numb with fear. What if her children had already been abducted? “Odo!” she shouted as if her life depended upon it.

Odo briskly came into the room. “What is it?” he asked urgently.

“It's this,” said Kira and she showed Odo the message. “They're going to kill my children Odo! If Mia and Deru are already dead...”

There was resounding fear in her voice and she couldn't stop her hands from shaking slightly.

However, when Odo had read the message he seemed to relax. He put his hands on both of Kira's shoulders, trying to calm her. “Kira whoever sent the message could be bluffing!”

Kira though wasn't convinced. “How can you be certain?” she demanded, while blinking the tears in her eyes.

“Well...” Odo hesitated, he was trying to find the right words to say.

“Where are our children now?” she demanded.

Cautiously Odo removed his hands from Kira’s shoulders. “In one of Quark's holosuites with Max and Holo, they're doing something called 'skateboarding'.”

Confusion intermingled with Kira’s fear. “What's that?”

“Er... It's an early 21st century Earth sport, where a person rides on a piece of wood supported by metal axles with wheels.”

Relieve showed on Kira’s face, her children were safe. “Sorry I panicked Odo, I just thought that Mia and Deru may have been kidnapped.”

Odo briefly patted her on the shoulder. “We never let our children play out on their own. They're supervised by us or by our friends. But just to reassure you I will double the number of sensor sweeps I conduct and increase the station's security. I swear to you, I will not let anyone harm you or our children.”

“Thank you Odo.”

Kira gave Odo’s hand a brief squeeze and then she let go. As Odo walked out of the room, she remained in her chair breathing deeply. She felt ashamed of her sudden panic attack, though she had never felt so afraid in her life. However, she realised that she was not the aggressive, insanely brave, and risk-taking resistance fighter of 25 years ago. Back then Kira had nothing to lose and she was not afraid to take risks.

Now Kira had two children to protect, and the responsibility was immense. In that moment of fear, she realised just how much she cared for her children. More importantly she would do anything to protect them. For the first time in her life, she understood why her mother became Dukat’s mistress.

Meru was only trying to protect her children. Kira felt a tiny pang of forgiveness for her mother’s actions, though it was a very brief moment of forgiveness. Meru was a Cardassian collaborator and one of Dukat’s mistresses, and for that Kira could never fully forgive her mother.


***


Day 3, 2100 hours

Major Dolsur was the second highest ranking Bajoran officer on DS9. He was popular amongst the crew for his honesty and his kind nature. After finishing a shift, Dolsur returned to his quarters. To relax he usually read novels from a pad. Right now Dolsur was resting against his chair, and he felt very comfortable and content. When the door chimed, Dolsur placed the padd on a small stand next to his chair. “Come in,” he said, his voice was warm and welcoming.

Ensign Farak who was a Bajoran officer, walked into Dolsur's quarters, and Farak looked very preoccupied.

“Ensign Farak, is there anything I can do for for you?”

“I just want to talk to you about something.”

Farak did not elaborate, and Dolsur wondered why Farak seemed so timid. “Sit down; perhaps you want a cup of Pyrellian ginger tea?” he offered.

“No thanks,” said Farak, and he briefly hold up his hand.

The two men sat down facing each other, Dolsur returned to the chair he had vacated. Dolsur looked at Farak carefully, for some reason Farak seemed brooding and nervous.

After a brief period of silence, Farak spoke up. “I've come to you because I'm thinking of resigning from my post.” Farak lowered his head slightly; he seemed to be embarrassed by talking to Dolsur. “I was thinking of taking this matter up with Kira, but I didn't want to disturb her.”

“Why do you want to resign?” asked Dolsur gently. “Personally I think you are a suburb engineer.”

Farak clasped his hands together in a nervous gesture. “I'm resigning because of... political beliefs.”

Dolsur thought that this was a very odd reason for resigning, and he frowned slightly at Farak. “What sort of political beliefs are you talking about?”

When Farak looked directly at Dolsur, he seemed strangely different, there was now confidence in Farak's eyes. “I’m talking about Bajoran sovereignty, a Bajor that controls its own destiny.”

Dolsur thought this sounded disturbingly like the mantra of extremist groups 25 years ago. “I don't understand. The petition that captain Dax sent to the Federation means that Bajoran sovereignty becomes a real possibility!”

A look of anger contorted Farak’s face, he seemed disgusted by the very mention of the Federation. “Even if that were to happen, Bajor would still be dependent upon the Federation for its protection!”

“So what are you saying?” asked Dolsur tensely.

“Imagine a Bajor that could properly defend itself. There would be hundreds of warships, thousands of orbital defence pods above Bajor, and major shipyards orbiting around Bajor's moons! With defences like that, nobody would dare to attack Bajor!”

Dolsur was surprised by how passionate Farak sounded. “You’re probably right there,” he said reluctantly. “But with all of those armaments, the government would have to spend a considerable amount increasing the military budget. This would be to the great detriment of Bajor's culture and society!”

“Who said anything about Bajor's culture?” said Farak impatiently. “What is important is Bajor's economic and military strength. Do you really think that Bajor's culture alone is enough to stop it's enemies from attacking us?”

Now Dolsur started to feel sorry for Farak, for Farak was deluding himself if he believed Bajor would ignore it's own culture. “Are you saying that Bajor should turn into an industrious place? Where money and power, become the main elements of Bajoran society? I'm sorry, but that would never happen!”

Dolsur's stern rebuke did nothing to dampen Farak's passion. “I expected you to say that, you place great faith in the Prophets?”

“The Prophets have guided Bajor this far, and we are still in one piece. Bajor has recovered from the ravages of the Cardassian occupation and still retained its cultural identity!”

However Farak shook his head, and a rather dark expression appeared on his face. “What if I told you Bajor doesn't need the Prophets?”

Dolsur was shocked by that remark, and he was now deeply regretted talking to Farak. “But the Prophets form the bedrock of Bajor's culture!” he exclaimed. “Without our culture a crucial part of every Bajoran would be lost!”

The dark look on Farak’s face was replaced with an apprising expression. “So you firmly believe in the vedek assembly and Bajor's various religious orders?”

“Of course I do, I-.” Dolsur paused, as a terrible idea had occurred to him. “Wait, are you saying to get rid of all of that?”

Farak gazed intensely into Dolsur's eyes, it seemed as if Farak was weighing Dolsur up. “Listen Dolsur I wouldn't be having this conversation if I didn't think you were a suitable candidate for membership in the Reformation Movement!”

“What is the Reformation Movement?”

“The Reformation Movement is an organisation inside the military, that is working towards Bajoran sovereignty and the transformation of Bajoran society. The movement believes in a strong Bajor, self-sufficient and well-defended. More importantly, the fundamental believe inside the movement, is that Bajor does not the Prophets for it's survival.”

A deep sense of unease filled Dolsur, he didn't like the sound of this Reformation Movement. “Are you saying that if you believe in the Prophets you can't join the Reformation Movement?”

Farak looked slightly uncomfortable, he seemed to sense Dolsur’s hidden anger. “Not necessarily, while the movement intends to preserve Bajor's religious order, it is preferable not to believe in the Prophets.”

“Sounds to me like pious people aren't welcome in this-” Dolsur paused, now he was finally making sense of everything that Farak had told him.

“Wait!” he exclaimed in a hushed voice. “You’re trying to remove Bajor's religious order, aren't you? By the Prophets!” Dolsur felt the blood from his very face drain away, as waves of shock crashed through his mind. “Was your organisation responsible for the abduction of the three vedeks in the Koma Temple?”

The tension in the room seemed to increase tenfold, Farak’s hands were tightly gripping the armrests of the chair, and he looked absolutely on edge. “Listen very carefully Dolsur, you have a choice. You can either join-”

Anger built up inside Dolsur, he would not join a criminal organisation. “Absolutely not!” he shouted. “The Reformation Movement is responsible for the abduction of those three vedeks!”

Farak looked angrily at Dolsur. “Yes it was!” he replied heatedly. “But what does it matter?”

Rising from his chair, Dolsur's fists were clenched, he had never felt this angry in a long time. “You're coming with me to station secure-”

Dolsur paused when he saw Farak remove a small phaser from a trouser pocket.

There was a somewhat triumphant look on Farak's face, as he aimed the phaser directly at Dolsur’s chest. “Sit down, before you do something really stupid.”

For a moment, Dolsur considered rushing at Farak. But that wouldn't work, for Farak would simply fire his phaser. Reluctantly and slowly, Dolsur sat down on the chair. “Are you going to kill me?” he asked, and though he sounded calm, his very being was burning with rage.

Farak looked steadily into Dolsur’s eyes. “As I said before, you have a choice. If you join the Reformation Movement, and tell no one what transpired here, I will leave you unharmed. Immediately afterwards we will take a trip to Bajor, so that you can officially join the movement. However, if you do not join the movement, I will kill you, because you already know to much.”

The thought of dying disturbed Dolsur somewhat, but he wouldn't show any fear in front of Farak. “Then I guess you will have to kill me!” he replied defiantly. “Because I am never going to join your little Reformation Movement, for it will destroy everything that Bajor has accomplished over the last 25 years!”

Farak looked purposefully at Dolsur, and he had the look of something who had no reservations about taking another life. “Are you absolutely certain?” said Farak in a chillingly cold voice.

“You're not going to get away with this you know!” exclaimed Dolsur passionately. “You will be caught, and your movement will be exposed!”

In a sudden motion, Farak stood up, and his whole face was livid with anger. “Nothing can stop the movement, not even your death!”

Before Dolsur’s very eyes, he saw Farak’s finger pull the trigger on the phaser. He saw the bright flash of olive-green light strike his chest. The phaser beam knocked Dolsur backwards, and hit the chair, overturning it. He landed against his back on the floor with his arms splayed outwards.

Intense pain flared in Dolsur’s chest, for a moment he could almost hear the Prophets calling to him. Raising his head slightly, he looked at his chest. There was a huge crater-like dent in the centre of his chest, and he could feel the blood poring out from his chest. It was a ghastly sight to Dolsur, but that was the last thing he saw as suddenly the darkness consume him...

Farak walked over and looked at Dolsur’s body, there was surprise etched on Dolsur’s face. But there was no remorse or regret in Farak’s eyes for what he did. A moment later Farak walked over to the replicator, it was time to cover his tracks...
__________________
Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 21 2011, 08:46 PM   #49
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 3, part 2

Day 4, 0800 hours

Outside of Dolsur's quarters there was a steady coming and going of people. Inside the quarters was Dolsur's dead body, Bashir and Odo were already inside gathering evidence.

When Ezri and Kira entered the quarters, they paused briefly to look at the body. There was Dolsur in his civilian clothing, and he was spread out over a fallen chair. A single phaser wound resided on his chest, while there was a look of surprise which was frozen on his face.

Ezri looked grimly at the body, after a beat she turned to face Odo. “Well constable?”

Odo walked over to Ezri. “When major Dolsur didn't turn up for duty, one of my security officers investigated his quarters and found Dolsur's body. It was clearly murder, a single Bajoran disruptor shot to the chest. He probably died instantly.”

Ezri turned to address Kira. “Did Major Dolsur have any enemies, people he didn't like?”

“No he was a popular major, honest and loyal to Bajor. I can see why he was killed,” said Kira, who was looking sadly at Dolsur.

“By some sort of dissident movement inside the military?” inquired Ezri.

Odo briefly glanced at Dolsur, before returning his attention to Ezri. “I'm not sure, whoever killed major Dolsur didn't leave any clues behind. There was no struggle or commotion. From how the body is laid I say Dolsur was shot, and he didn't have any time to defend himself, and the force of the blow toppled him and the chair he was sitting right over.”

Now anger was replacing the sadness on Kira’s face. “It seems that Dolsur was having a conversation with a person, and then suddenly whoever Dolsur was talking to took out a disruptor and killed him in cold blood.”

Ezri took one last glance at Dolsur. “Constable I'll let you and your men search for clues.” Ezri then glanced sharply at Kira. “Colonel we need to talk, alone.”

While Odo returned to analyse Dolsur’s room, Ezri walked out of the room and was closely followed by Kira who was appeared apprehensive for some reason.


***


Day 4, 0810 hours

Inside her office Ezri came to a stop by her desk, and turned to look inquisitively at Kira. “Kira, what's going on here?”

Kira stood rigidly, she could not look at Ezri because she knew this was going to be an awkward conversation. “Well you should know, the Federation doesn't miss much when it comes to Bajor.”

“You know I thought I made the right choice sending that partition, but it seems I'm missing half the picture.” Ezri was silently fuming, and she was silent, waiting for Kira to answer. “What's the connection Kira?” she demanded. “First vedeks have been abducted, and now Bajoran majors are being murdered!”

Only after Ezri’s unpleasant words did Kira decide to look Ezri in the eye. “Dax I need your help,” she said, giving Ezri an imploring look.

Ezri remained silent, and Kira continued on slightly nervously. “I'm not sure if you know this, but I'm conducting a Bajoran government investigation into Bajor's military, and I've discovered disturbing evidence.”

“Such as?” inquired Ezri, and her eyes were narrowed in suspicion.

“Corruption, that is the root of the problem. Certain members of the military are also trying to silence the vedeks.”

“Do you mean kill them?” said Ezri who sounded astonished.

Once more Kira turned her gaze away from Ezri, she wasn't sure what to say to Ezri without awkward questions being asked. “I'm not sure about that, but I've seen a recording of the abductors, and it seems-”

“Sorry are you saying there is evidence which the Federation hasn't been informed about?”

There was an ominous tone to Ezri’s voice and Kira instantly regretted keeping Ezri in the dark. “The point is one of the kidnappers had his face hidden by an electromagnetic field, which means that he was either a colonel or possibly an admiral.”

“Where did you find this out?” demanded Ezri.

“I can't tell you,” said Kira.

She looked resolutely into Ezri’s eyes, she wouldn't implicate Vedek Talrik in this.

Recognizing Kira’s resolve, Ezri changed tack. “Kira I need to know everything. If you are holding back evidence... Just how did you acquire this recording?”

“I can't tell you, I'm sorry.”

“Damn it colonel!” shouted Ezri, and her cheeks became red with rage. “Bajor is slipping back into anarchy, and you are deliberately obstructing my attempts to remedy the situation.”

Ezri’s anger was matched only by Kira’s own, and she squared up to Ezri. “How dare you say to me that I would try to harm Bajor!” she shouted. “But I can't tell you everything because it would compromise the safety of the people who gave me the evidence!”

There was a brief pause between the two, and it was Ezri who calmed down. “Kira I know you are edgy, but I can't do anything if I'm in the dark about the real state of Bajoran affairs. I know you've received death threats...”

“How do you about know that?” asked Kira heatedly.

“Odo informed me. So anyway Kira what exactly do you want from me?”

“I want Federation involvement to clean up the Bajoran military! If the military has become over ridden with corrupt elements, perhaps insurgents, then...” Kira breathed deeply as she shelved her pride. “Then Bajor would require military assistance from the Federation to prevent a civil war.”

The look on Ezri’s face told Kira it was going to be impossible to convince Ezri.“Unfortunately,” said Ezri, “without any compelling evidence, the Federation government will not consider this situation a top priority. Which is why if you want my help, and my support, you have to fully disclose the evidence you are withholding from me!”

For a brief moment Kira walked away from Ezri. Could she give the data rod without Ezri asking to many questions? “Fine!” she said loudly.

She handed to Ezri the data rod, which had been stowed away in her trouser pocket. “It's a recording from the Koma temple.”

Momentarily Ezri looked surprised at the data rod, while she quickly analysed it. “Very well, I'll have Starfleet analyse this data rod. Hopefully this evidence will convince Starfleet to increase security measures on Bajor.”

Kira scowled as she was already regretting handing to Ezri the data rod. She turned her back on Ezri and proceeded to leave the office.

“One more thing colonel!” said Ezri from behind Kira's back.

Kira was next to the office doorway when she came to a halt. “Yes?”

“Do not hide things from me again,” warned Ezri. “I don't need to remind you that we are working together to protect Bajor. I don't want you keeping secrets from me, have you got that colonel?”

“Yes captain,” said Kira bitterly, and she then left the office.

At that moment, Kira was deeply resentful of both Ezri, and the Federation. They had to stick their big noses into every Bajoran affair. On the other hand, Ezri was only trying to protect Bajor's best interests, or what Ezri thought were Bajor's best interests. But what really bothered Kira was that she had disobeyed Shakaar's order of keeping the investigation quiet. In the process she had destroyed any chance of Bajor leaving the Federation, and self-determining it's own course in an unfettered manner.
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 22 2011, 09:41 PM   #50
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 4

Day 5, 1500 hours

It was mid afternoon in Ops, and halfway through the second shift, Kira stood rigidly by her console. She felt like smashing her fist through it as her console was acting up, the screen was flickering, and she had no idea why. This was starting to really annoy her, and she decided to ask Ensign Farak for help. “Ensign Farak could you check the power relays, my console seems to be depleting power.”

Farak was responsible for keeping all the consoles and monitors functioning in Ops, if anyone could sort this out he could. He walked over to Kira, his eyes fixed on the malfunctioning console. “It shouldn't be something to serious.”

“When did you last-” Kira stopped talking as she felt something implanted on her left arm. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Max dashing towards Farak. She looked at Farak, and he was pressing some sort of device on the palm of his right hand.

“What are you do-” Kira then dematerialized from Ops.

///

By the time Kira was gone, Max had restrained Farak and knocked him to the ground. Farak hit his head hard against a step, while Max slapped his comm badge hard. “This is lieutenant commander Max to the captain! Colonel Kira has been kidnapped with a sight-to-sight transporter! Ensign Farak planted the device on Kira, and he’s knocked out. So I think you should bring along doctor Bashir to treat Farak.”

“I’m coming at once!” replied Ezri.

Max checked on Farak who was sprawled across the floor, he was unconscious and had a nasty lump protruding from his forehead. Max was in shock, from the moment he saw Farak planting the transporter device on Kira, he feared the worst. He recognized it as a Starfleet sight-to-sight transport device. This was why he charged at Farak, to stop Farak activating the sight-to-sight transporter.

It was impossible to go into Ops carrying a sight-to-sight transporter, without the security sensors detecting the device. But if the sight-to-sight transporter was inert, there would be no energy for the sensors to detect. Of course to activate the transporter would require a signal, which would come from some minor device.

In a matter of minutes, Odo and Bashir had arrived in Ops. Bashir was huddled over Farak, treating Farak’s head injury. Odo was questioning Max to determine exactly what had transpired in Ops. A turbolift came to a stop, and Ezri walked out, she noticed Max a few metres to her left.

“Report!” said Ezri.

“Ensign Farak planted the sight-to-sight transporter onto Kira,” explained Max. “But by then it was to late, she was gone. I have no idea where she was taken to.”

“What about Farak?” inquired Ezri

Odo walked over to Ezri. “He's unconscious, but doctor Bashir is reviving him.”

“I’ve treated Farak’s concussion,” said Bashir and he took out a hypospray from his medkit. “I'll revive Farak.”

Bashir placed the hypospray to Farak’s neck, and Farak stirred.

Ezri walked over to Farak, and she crouched down. Farak opened his eyes, he looked very drowsy, and he turned his head to look at Ezri.

“Who ordered you to do this?” demanded Ezri.

Farak grinned manically. “It's to late! Your colonel is gone! Your won't get anything out of me!”

Standing up, Ezri gazed disgustedly at Farak. “Constable, I want you to take ensign Farak to a detention cell and continue to question him!”

Two security guards lifted Farak up and restrained him. The security guards, Farak and Odo, proceeded to the turbolift. After Odo had left Ops, Ezri turned around, and her eyes rested on Max.

Max looked away when he saw Ezri glancing at him, he felt so stunned by what had happened, and he didn't his captain to see this. He returned to his station and fixed his gaze on a console.

As Max heard Ezri's footsteps, he turned around on his chair to look at Ezri. “I can't believe what has happened! If I had been faster...”

Ezri placed a hand on Max’s shoulder to comfort him. “We'll find Kira, trust me Max we will.”


***


Kira materialized in a dimly-lit underground cave. The walls were damp and very close to Kira, and looking down the corridor all she saw was a shroud of blackness. She felt slightly worried, and she squinted her eyes to make out the unformed shapes inside the cave. “Who's there?” she asked.

The illumination increased via lighting on the cave’s walls, bright optical cables ran the length of the corridor. Towards the end of the corridor was an opening, and Kira could see various metal containers of differing size. She then saw someone step out of the shadows, and this person was a Bajoran man in military uniform and his insignia indicated that he was a colonel.

The man was flanked by two Bajoran guards, and the man stopped one metre away from Kira. “I am colonel Corel, welcome Kira to the Reformation movement!”

“I've never heard of it,” said Kira, pretending to be nonplussed.

Corel smiled slightly as if expecting that response. “Of course not, but both you and I believe in the same thing; making Bajor strong and independent again.”

Kira realised that the Reformation movement must have sent her the death threat she received two days ago. “And does that include kidnapping vedeks and killing your own comrades?”

“Our society needs to be purged of elements that are holding Bajor back.”

Inwardly Kira was seething, if it weren’t for the guards she would have punched Corel senseless. For Corel was a dissident going against his own government and people, and this was absolutely deplorable in Kira’s eyes.

Kira decided to cut Corel down to size, with a few well chosen words. “Well colonel the thing that held Bajor back was factional infighting! Your doing the same thing, making the same mistakes of old-”

“Is that so colonel?” said a voice coming from the darkness.

Another man stepped from the shadows, it was admiral Tamar.

Kira could not believe it, was he the leader of the Reformation movement? “Admiral?” she said disbelievingly. “But why help these insurgents?”

“Just think colonel, what is the bedrock of Bajoran culture?” asked Tamar.

The answer came to Kira’s lips immediately. “Why the Prophets of course!”

Tamar seemed to scowl at the mention of the Prophets. “And what if I said to you that the Prophets have deliberately held us back and did nothing to stop the Bajoran occupation?”

“We don't know the way of the Prophets. We shouldn't doubt their intentions, and besides we've gotten this far,” said Kira wisely.

Anger exploded onto Tamar’s face. “Far to slowly and at the cost of fifty million Bajoran lives!” he said heatedly. “That's the price Bajor has paid for blindly following the Prophets! We should have been building warships instead of wasting time making works of art and praying to the Prophets! It's this Prophet worship that has blinded us and held Bajor back terribly. I believe we should protect Bajor, not with dozens of warships but with thousands! The Cardassians wouldn't dare attack Bajor! Once more Bajor would become a mighty civilization and-”

Kira realised that Tamar was insane, and she cut straight through Tamar’s rant. “You can't remove Bajor's culture Tamar! It is the thing that defines us as Bajorans! The Prophets have given us something unique, we should be proud and glad of our identity! Yes, you could interpret from the Prophet's actions that they ignored Bajor during the Cardassian occupation. Those were 65 terrible years, but look what came afterwards! The Federation came and helped to restore our civilization! Now Bajor is once more a prosperous place, such is the path that the Prophets have laid down for us!”

“It is unbearable that we had to bow and scrape before the Federation!” replied Tamar bitterly, and his face was contorted with rage and disgust. “The Prophets have abandoned us Kira, and I'm asking you to join our movement! Otherwise, you and your family will be killed.”

“Just because I got in your way?” said Kira angrily.

“It's for the purification of Bajor. You've got a choice Kira, and I say you should pick the winning side.”

Had Kira been younger she would have defiantly said ‘no’ to Tamar, but Kira was wiser and smarter now. Being a martyr would not help anyone. She had to talk her way out of this situation, by feigning interest in Tamar’s movement. “Are you saying myself and my family will be protected if I join you?”

“Yes,” said Tamar nodding.

Kira forced her face to appear interested, and swayed, by Tamar’s words. “Whatever Bajor will become I want it to be a safe place for my family... But if I join, what do you want from me?”

Tamar came slightly closer to Kira, and gave her a rather penetrating look, as to truly determine where her loyalties were. “When the time comes Kira I'll be needing people like you to capture strategic locations, in this case DS9. You are popular amongst the Bajoran crew of that station. If you can persuade enough of them to follow you, then it would be possible to take over DS9.”

Tamar seemed to be testing Kira’s interest in his organization, and Kira realised she would need to use more than words to convince Tamar. “If you want to take over DS9, then knowing the command codes for DS9's defences would be helpful. I can give you DS9's command codes, but in exchange, I want your word that you will not harm my family!”

Briefly Tamar considered Kira's offer, and his face didn't give away anything. “By giving me DS9's command codes you will be in effect joining the Reformation Movement.”

“I know, but all I care about is my family. As long as they are safe, then you will have my full support.

Tamar nodded. “Agreed.”

“If I may?” Kira pointed to a computer terminal down the corridor.

Tamar nodded and the group went down the corridor, coming to a stop at the computer terminal. Kira was going to give Tamar the access codes to DS9’s defences, but hopefully he would not ask for the backup access codes. “My access code has enough clearance to neutralize nearly all DS9's computer defences.”

“Fine, use your access code,” said Tamar.

“This will take a few minutes,” she said, while she concentrated on one of the console's screens.

She had to create a link between the computer terminal and DS9’s computer. Complicating this task were DS9’s computer firewalls. At all cost she had to avoid their traps, or she would be blocked from accessing DS9's computer. After a few minutes, Kira managed to access DS9’s tactical specifications and the relevant command codes. Kira stood back to let Tamar view her work. “There you go; access to shields and the weapons complement. I can't access the Defiant's command controls, but DS9's tactical controls are at your disposal.”

Tamar went over to the terminal and checked the specifications. Here was the moment of truth. If Tamar knew about the backup access codes, and he discovered that Kira had not downloaded them. Then Kira's attempt at deceiving Tamar would be revealed, and she would be killed. She held her breath, praying to the Prophets that Tamar was not aware of the backup access codes.

Finally Tamar smiled in a satisfied way, and he turned to face Kira. “Very good colonel! Had these tactical control specifications been fake you would have been killed. But no these are the proper DS9 tactical control specs! Very well then! Colonel Corel transport Kira back over to DS9. Sometime tomorrow Kira I will be contacting you, to discuss how you could take over DS9 when the coup starts.”

“I look forward to talking to you again admiral,” said Kira in an expressionless voice. It seemed she had Tamar's trust, and the moment she was transported onto DS9, she would make Tamar regret ever trusting her again.

Kira proceeded to leave, while Corel looked suspiciously at Kira but he let her past.

“And Kira,” said Tamar.

Turning around Kira looked straight into Tamar's eyes, and she kept her face as mask-like as possible. “Yes?” she inquired.

“Welcome to the Reformation movement!”

Tamar was smiling at Kira and reluctantly she briefly returned his smile. She then walked back down the corridor, Corel and the guards escorted Kira to a transporter room deep inside the caves. She had just managed to talk her way to freedom...


***


Day 5, 1630 hours

Inside Tamar’s office, in the Bajoran military academy, Tamar and Corel were both arguing about Kira and the timing of the coup. The two were on opposite ends of Tamar's desk, facing each other off.

“How can we trust Kira?” asked Corel angrily.

“We can’t I suppose,” replied Tamar.

Corel turned away from Tamar and looked furious, before turning to confront Tamar. “She could be already telling the Starfleet commander of DS9 everything about our organization!”

Tamar shrugged. “It does not matter, she's given me DS9's command codes. By the time Starfleet realizes what has happened, Bajor will be under the movement’s control.”

“Are you sure the contacts in the military are reliable? We don’t want them to bottle out at the last minute just before the coup takes place.”

That was a possibility that worried Tamar, but he quickly composed himself, he didn't want Corel to see any weakness on his part. “They wouldn’t switch sides at the last minute. Not only have I bribed them, but I’ve made pretty clear to them that more money and power will be their reward should the coup succeed!”

Corel still did not look convinced. “We are rushing the preparations for the coup.”

Now Corel was beginning to really annoy Tamar, why did his right-hand man have to question every nuance of the coup when he had thought it all through? “If we delay any longer, Starfleet will start snooping around, and the Reformation movement will be discovered! No, we go ahead with the coup!”

Still Corel did not look satisfied. “And what about Kira?”

“We do nothing, not yet. More than likely Kira will try to evacuate her children from DS9 and send them to a Federation starbase. She will use a Starfleet ship, probably a runabout, to send her children to safety. I want you Corel to send out three of our fighters to covertly scan DS9. If a runabout leaves the station, and it has two Bajoran/shapeshifter life signs, then intercept the runabout and destroy it.”

“By killing her children, Kira will go after your head!” exclaimed Corel, he looked a little surprised by Tamar's order.

“Kira has served her purpose,” replied Tamar blandly, “when the coup succeeds I want her captured alive.”

Corel seemed satisfied with Tamar's decision about Kira, with a nod he walked out of the office.

Tamar walked around the desk and looked out of the window. Very soon the coup would start, and Bajor would be transformed... Shakaar would more than likely be captured as Tamar knew that Shakaar would never abandon Bajor. When the coup finally succeeded, Tamar would be the leader of this new Bajor. His first priority would be to kill Shakaar, and call for new government elections. By rigging the elections, Tamar and his Reformation members, would be part of the government. But Bajor didn't need a democracy, what it needed was an autocracy.

As for Kira, Tamar was determined to convince her to join the Reformation Movement. He needed people like Kira to control the Bajoran military. Ultimately, if she still refused to join, he was going to make an example out of Kira. Tamar knew that Kira was well known and popular on Bajor, for her bravery, heroism and honesty. Whether she realised it or not, Kira was of leadership material. Kira could rally the Bajoran people, and the common Bajoran soldier, against the Reformation movement and Tamar.

Tamar realised that if he couldn't persuade Kira, he would have to either exile or execute Kira. Tamar visualized Kira's execution, it would have to be something slow and horrific. Something that would frighten anybody thinking about revolting against the new order... On the other hand, Tamar toyed with the idea of exiling Kira from her homeworld. Yes, he thought, perhaps that was better.

Once Kira was exiled she couldn't do anything to stop Tamar from carrying out his plans. By exiling Kira, she would not become a martyr, and Bajorans would not rally around her. Kira would spend the rest of her life lamenting over Bajor's new order.
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
Ln X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23 2011, 08:43 PM   #51
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 5

Day 5, 1630 hours

Odo was by his desk inside the security office, in his left hand he held a padd, and he was studying the financial transactions between various high ranking members of the Bajoran military. It was hard to concentrate, when he knew that his wife was in all sorts of danger, and possibly dead. But he clung to the vow that he and Kira made in that the duties of one's job came first, and he forced himself to concentrate.

If there was an opportunity to rescue Kira he would take it just like that. He had vowed to his children to do this after telling them about their mother's abduction. But whatever his personal feelings, he was needed on this station now more than ever. As for Kira all he had was hope that she was still alive, and presumably well. The time for indulging in his emotions would only come when Kira was found, dead or alive.

He lowered the pad when Ezri walked into the office, and she sat down on the opposite side of the desk.

“Any luck with questioning Farak?” asked Ezri who sounded hopeful.

“Huh luck!” said Odo bitterly. “I have just wasted thirty minutes of my life questioning Farak. He didn't say anything, and he simply stared at me with wide, manic eyes. It seems Farak is fervently devoted to whatever cause he is following.”

The bitterness then vanished from his voice. “After I questioned Farak, I reexamined Dolsur's quarters, and I found evidence that someone tampered with the station's sensors logs. This explains why the sensors indicated that only Dolsur was in his room when he was murdered. It also explains why no weapon's discharge was recorded. I did some checking, and I analyzed a computer console in Dolsur's room. After a while, I found Farak's access codes, he had used them to erase various sensor records. It was Farak who murdered Major Dolsur.”

“But why? Was it premeditated murder?”

“I'm certain that Farak was working with somebody, more than likely a terrorist cell. I wondered why Farak planted a sight-to-sight transporter on Kira, the conclusion I came to was someone badly wanted to talk to Kira in private. I started thinking about the conversation Dolsur had with Farak before he was murdered.”

Understanding blossomed in Ezri’s eyes. “Let me guess, Farak was trying to persuade Dolsur to join this terrorist cell or organization. But Dolsur refused to join, so Farak had to kill Dolsur to keep the organization Farak worked with a secret.”

Odo nodded once in agreement, he was impressed by Ezri's deductive skills. “Precisely, we still have no idea what this organization may be, but we could take a reasonable guess and assume it has something to do with corrupt elements inside the Bajoran military! There could be a connection between the military corruption, and the murder of eighty majors and colonels last night on Bajor.”

Ezri got to her feet. “That does it!” she said angrily. “I'm going to talk to admiral Ross immediately and see how Starfleet can protect Bajor from these... rouge elements inside the Bajoran military!”

Ezri seemed to be taking the issue of Bajor’s security, quite personally. Odo watched Ezri leave his office, and momentarily he was intrigued by Ezri’s behaviour. He realised that Ezri deeply cared about the Bajoran people, and she would do her utmost to help them. After his brief moment of insight, Odo picked up the padd and commenced his study of the financial records, while doing his best not to think about Kira.


***


Day 5, 1700 hours

Kira materialized in Ops. The staff around her looked shocked at her sudden appearance. Kira ignored their stares and spotted Nog, he was working at the operations console. She walked over to Nog. “Nog,” she called out.

Nog looked momentarily surprised at seeing Kira. “Colonel, how did you-”

“Escape? Right now that’s not important, I need you to remove the primary access codes and replace them with the backups!”

Nog looked suspiciously at Kira while he reached for a tricorder. “How do I know that you are actually Kira?”

“This is ridiculous!” exclaimed Kira. “Whatever you are thinking I'm not some sort of duplicate!”

“Anything is possible,” said Nog.

He then carefully scanned Kira with the tricorder, and still Nog did not seem convinced of Kira’s identity. “Why did I join Starfleet?”

Kira thought carefully about Nog’s question, she remembered Nog telling her some years ago about his reasons for joining Starfleet. “Because you did not want to follow in your father’s footsteps. You were afraid that you would become just like him.”

Though it was the correct answer, Nog did not relent on his suspicions concerning Kira's identity. “Sixteen years you and me were stranded on an L-class planet in the Badlands. I was injured and trying to repair a subspace beacon. At the time what did you say to me to encourage me?”

Kira vividly remembered that time she spent with Nog alone, it was a desperate situation and Nog came close to giving up. They never discussed with anyone what happened upon that planet. “I said to you that if you fixed the subspace beacon, and we made it back to DS9. I would promote you to lieutenant commander and chief of operations.”

She then frowned slightly. “Though as I recall, I was the one who was injured.”

A smile broke across Nog’s face. “It really is you!” The happiness on Nog's face was replaced with an apologetic look. “I'm sorry for being suspicious, but I had to check.”

Kira smiled briefly. “It’s no more than I expect. Now let’s sort out these access codes!”


***


Day 5, 2000 hours

Almost immediately after Kira's return to DS9, Ezri had called a staff meeting concerning what to do about the Reformation movement. Initially Kira explained to everyone about what the Reformation movement was and what their objectives were. When Kira had finished, there was a brief silence as everyone digested Kira's information.

Ezri, who was sitting at the head of the table, did not look satisfied with Kira's account. “So colonel how exactly did you manage to escape?”

Kira felt slightly awkward. “I feigned interest and pretended I was interested in the Reformation movement. To prove my 'loyalty' I gave them some of DS9's tactical control specs.”

For a moment, Ezri looked apocalyptic with rage. “You gave them-”

“Only some of the access codes,” said Kira hastily. “I didn’t give them the backup access codes. I've ordered Nog to rewrite the programming and switch to the backup codes. So the station's security hasn't been to badly compromised.”

The rage diminished from Ezri’s eyes. “Even so...” Ezri let the matter drop and she calmed down. “Well now we know what we're up against, this will give me the evidence I need to ask the Federation for Starfleet ships to protect Bajor from this insurgency.”

While Ezri became silent, Max then fielded a question for Kira. “Colonel are you saying the Reformation movement wants to completely remove Bajor's religious order?”

“That is one of the major goals of the movement,” replied Kira wearily.

“But that's crazy, you can't just remove a planet's religion! It would mean civil war!”

“How many colonels did you recognize in that cave?” asked Ezri.

“Only one,” replied Kira. “Someone called Corel. He's new to his job; young, ambitious and now it seems corrupt.”

Ezri stopped looking thoughtful, and her composure was now one of springing into action, and taking control of the situation. “Mr Nog would it be possible to hack into the Bajoran government's financial records to look for irregular movements of credits?”

“Hacking into the Bajoran government's financial records is no problem, but finding irregular credit transactions is harder.” Nog frowned while he contemplated the problem at hand. “I mean what are we looking for? There's got to be millions of credit transactions within the military.”

Kira had some idea for what to look for. “I'd suggest looking in the orbital defence budgets. I've discovered certain sections of those budgets to have... unusual credit transactions. So that's one place to start to track down the ring leaders of the Reformation Movement.”

“Agreed,” said Ezri. “Mr Nog work with Odo to review the financial records. Hopefully we'll uncover enough dodgy financial dealings to expose many of the ring leaders of the Reformation Movement. That will be all.”

Kira was about to stand up when Ezri called her. “I want a brief talk with you about… a few issues.”

Ezri looked around making sure everyone had gone, Odo briefly stopped and looked at Kira before walking out of the room. Vacating the chair, Ezri walked over to Kira, and Kira sensed that she was about to reprimanded severely for handing to the Reformation movement DS9’s command codes.

After a tense silence, Ezri exploded. “What were you thinking when you handed DS9’s command codes to the Reformation movement?”

Kira felt briefly guilty. “I had to make a tactical gamble. Either I said no to Tamar and got killed on the spot, or I could feign interest in his movement and escape.”

“That was more than a gamble!” shouted Ezri. “Do you realize that if Tamar sends Bajoran warships against DS9, there is a chance that DS9’s shields and weapons will be compromised!”

Now Kira ceased being timid, and she stood up to confront Ezri. “I made my decision on the basis of saving lives and protecting Bajor!”

Ezri looked absolutely livid. “Well I say you made a very poor decision, I think what you did borders on collaborating with Tamar!”

Kira felt her anger flare up in full force. “I resent that term!” she shouted. “You know for someone who claims to be so clever and wise, you can’t see the big picture! If I had not escaped, then nobody would know about the Reformation movement, and Starfleet wouldn’t be sending in ships to Bajor until it is to late!”

Ezri’s cheeks went red with rage. “You have just made my job of protecting this station so much harder!”

“And you are mightily ungrateful for what I did!” retorted Kira. “Just because there is an increased risk to this station, it is a small price to pay for the safety of Bajor. You’re a coward you know; you’re to afraid to take risks and to bend the rules.”

For a moment Ezri looked taken aback, and some hurt crept onto her face before disappearing. She then lowered her voice, and it became a fierce hiss. “The Kira I remember would have the courage to admit that she was wrong, and not pretend otherwise!”

Some of the anger receded from Kira, as she know she had just been an absolute jerk towards Ezri. “I’m sorry for calling you a coward,” she said quietly. “What I did was for the protection of Bajor, you can surely appreciate that.”

Ezri looked quite glum. “I guess I’m just surprised that you double crossed Tamar to escape.”

Kira looked sadly at Ezri. “I would give my own life to protect Bajor, you know that. However, being a martyr would not help anyone. This was my only opportunity to expose the movement, and I took it. Court martial me or press charges if you want to, but I was only trying to protect Bajor.”

Ezri mulled Kira’s words over. “As the commander of this station, I would say you made the wrong decision. Though, as your friend I would give you the benefit of the doubt.”

There was silence between the two, and Kira wondered if Ezri still considered her a friend… Finally Ezri left the room, while Kira remained rooted to the spot a little shaken by that brief but passionate row.

“Ezri give you a few choice words?” said a voice.

Turning around, Kira saw Odo enter the room, to her surprise Odo was smiling a little proudly at her. “I deserved some of it,” she replied.

“I don’t care what Ezri said to you, all that matters is that your alive.” Odo paused, and his face betrayed some fear. “For a few hours I thought I would never see you again, if you had died…”

Kira moved closer to Odo and then she hugged him, in an attempt to soothe her husband’s frayed nerves. “I made it back in one piece, that’s what matters.”

She felt Odo hug her tighter, and she then realized just how worried her husband had been. They then broke off the hug, and after a brief kiss, they kept a little distance between each other.

“I swear by the Prophets Odo, I will not rest until the Reformation movement is utterly reduced and ridiculed!”

Odo stared somewhat nervously at Kira, after her passionate proclamation. “Even if it means civil war on Bajor?”

There was no answer to that, and for all her anger towards the Reformation movement, Kira did not want to see her world descend into civil war.
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 24 2011, 09:42 PM   #52
Ln X
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 6

Day 6, 1230 hours

On the Promenade, Kira walked almost aimlessly towards the Replimat. She didn’t feel like eating, and her mind constantly strayed to her fear of losing her children. Ever since receiving the death threat, Kira had constantly worried for the safety of her children. She feared that if the Reformation movement stepped up it's operations, her children would be in grave danger if they stayed on board DS9.

Her fear was heightened by the daily death threats she received, in the form of sub-space messages sent to her laptop. It seemed Tamar had realized her deception and now considered her a enemy to his movement. Kira wondered what she could do to protect her children, as she approached the Replimat she spotted Holo and Megan sitting at the same table. An idea suddenly struck Kira...

She walked over to the table where Megan and Holo were sitting. “Am I interrupting?”

Megan looked up at Kira. “Not at all, sit down,” she said in a friendly manner.

Stiffly Kira sat down, her preoccupied nature did not go amiss with Holo and Megan.

“What's the problem?” asked Holo, he sounded genuinely concerned. “You look a million light years away.”

Kira felt as if she had the weight of the universe on her shoulders. “I'm worried about my children. Major Dolsur's murder has really rattled me, and I just think with the Reformation movement increasing it's hold on Bajor, my children are in grave danger on board this station.”

“What made you come to that conclusion?” asked Holo who sounded sympathetic of Kira's concerns.

“I've been receiving death threats,” said Kira quietly.

Megan looked aghast. “No!” she said angrily.

Kira had reached a decision, and she decided to ask Holo and Megan for their help. “I've got to do something to protect my children. The Reformation could attack DS9 with the Bajoran fleet, and if that happens then it is simply to dangerous for my children to stay here. So what I'm asking of you is a favour. Take my children off DS9, and send them to the nearest Federation starbase. They should be safe there.”

Megan looked uneasy with Kira’s request. “But I'm supposed to be on duty, have you cleared this with Dax?”

“Not exactly,” said Kira.

The shiftiness on Kira's part only seemed to further increase Megan’s reluctance. “Well I'm sorry, I can't just abandon my post, so I can't help you-”

“Megan!” said Holo disapprovingly, and he glared briefly at Megan. “Sure we'll help you Kira.”

With Holo agreeing to help out Kira, Megan’s reluctance started to fade. “Well I suppose I could help you. I could break the rules for a noble reason, like protecting your children.”

Inwardly Kira was mightily relieved, all her worries about her children seemed to vanish. “Thank you for doing this, when will you be leaving?”

“2200 hours at most,” said Megan. “I've got to finish this report, and arrangements have to be made for the runabout, however that shouldn't take to long. Don't worry colonel, Holo and I will take good care of your children.”


***


Day 6, 1500 hours

Now that Ezri realised who was behind the murders, of those eighty majors and colonels, she had to inform admiral Ross about the Reformation movement. As she entered her office, Ezri hoped that admiral Ross would come up with a plan to deal with the Reformation movement. She sat down at her desk and activated her laptop. She sent a secure transmission to admiral Ross and waited for him to respond.

Two minutes later, the image on the laptop screen changed from the Federation insignia to a video-feed of admiral Ross sitting behind his desk.

“Admiral I'm calling because I've found disturbing evidence of a military coup being plotted on Bajor. I believe the murders of eighty high ranking Bajoran officers is related to this planned military coup.”

Ross nodded once somberly. “These murders appear to be a systematic attempt at destabilizing the Bajoran military. Though I wouldn't go as far to say that a military coup is about to occur.”

“Here me out admiral. I think I've find the reason behind these murders...” Ezri paused as she was carefully wording her next question. “Admiral, have you heard of a Bajoran organization called the Reformation movement?”

Ross frowned his incomprehension. “No I haven't, what exactly is the Reformation Movement?”

“It seems to be a rogue movement inside the Bajoran military, the movement's aims are for a Bajor independent of the Federation, a stronger Bajoran military and the removal of the Vedek Assembly.”

In a brief slip of his composure, Admiral Ross looked taken aback. “How willing is the Reformation Movement in using violence to accomplish its goals?”

“From what I've seen, I would say that the movement is very willing to use violence. What we need to find out is how much control the movement has over the Bajoran fleet. Should the Reformation movement attempt a military coup in the immediate future, then orbital superiority over Bajor will be vital if the coup were to succeed.”

Now Ross was taking the possibility of a military coup on Bajor very seriously. “Have you informed First Minister Shakaar about the Reformation Movement?”

“I have, and I will be contacting Shakaar again regarding a plan to break up the Reformation Movement. However, I believe it is imperative that the Bajoran fleet should be impounded. This would prevent the Reformation Movement from accessing the Bajoran fleet.”

For a brief moment Ezri held her breath. If admiral Ross did not agree with her suggestion, then Bajor would be at the mercy of the Reformation Movement.

“Agreed,” said Ross after a moment’s silence. “I will deploy fifty Starfleet ships to Bajor, they should arrive in two days time.”

There was another silence. Ezri had another matter to discuss with the admiral, and this was a rather embarrassing one. “Another issue I want to discuss with you admiral is the petition for Bajoran sovereignty, which I sent to you five days ago. I want it rescinded at once.”

Now Ross looked just a little bit sheepish. “Well actually captain I never got around to reading the petition. Ever since the abduction of the three Bajoran vedeks, most of my time has been spent dealing with the crisis on Bajor. Is there anything else you wish to discuss captain?”

“No admiral.”

“I’ll contact you again when the Starfleet ships have arrived at Bajor, Ross out.”

The Federation insignia appeared on the laptop screen once more. Ezri deactivated the laptop and leaned back into her chair. She felt so stupid about sending the partition to admiral Ross. To think five days ago she thought everything was fine on Bajor! Ezri wished she had delved deeper into the political situation on Bajor, because she had made a hasty and flawed decision. One part of Ezri's mind told her to stop punishing herself, how could she have known about the Reformation Movement? Or about the secret tensions between the Vedek Assembly and the Bajoran military?


***


Day 6, 2300 hours

Late in the night, Kira, Ezri and Odo were holed away in the security office. Odo had finally made a breakthrough in the investigation of Bajor’s military. As usual Odo was behind his desk, Ezri sat in front of Odo, while Kira stood to Odo’s right. There were a dozen or so padds on Odo’s desk. Kira sincerely hoped that the evidence Odo found would bring the whole lot of the Reformation Movement’s members to justice.

“We're in luck,” said Odo. “As I studied the financial records of 250 particular colonels and majors, I began to notice unusual transactions within the records. Many of these colonels were responsible for allocating government money into the Bajoran military. Unfortunately with these 250 officers, some of that money stuck to their fingers... And they then proceeded to transfer it into a savings fund.”

Ezri’s eyebrows rose in apparent surprise. “A savings fund?”

This was a term that Kira had frequently heard of, and she explained to Ezri what Odo meant. “Sometimes the Bajoran government accidently grants too much money to various government departments. The extra money is retained by the departments, each department has a savings fund to store this extra money. Since government departments are funded on a yearly basis, the money in the savings fund is used by a certain government department, to pay for a proportion of the funding for the next financial year. This means the government can grant less money towards that particular department.”

Kira thought she could almost hear Ezri’s brain working away, as Ezri mulled the explanation over in her mind.

“Alright,” said Ezri. “So we know there has been dodgy accounting by these corrupt officers. How does this explain the Reformation movement's funding arrangements?”

“It get's better,” said Odo with a hint of irony. “The money in the savings fund was spent by the movement, now here is the clever part. The official financial records indicates that the savings fund was left untouched.”

Ezri looked rather puzzled, and was staring at Odo as if he were pulling her leg. “So how can we prove that the Reformation Movement actually purchased weaponry and other military hardware?”

A cunning look appeared on Odo’s face. “The Reformation Movement's spending is only revealed when you analyze the financial details of Bajor's exports. One part of Bajor's exports is weapons selling, this is of course perfectly legal trading. Bajor exports 750 million litas worth of weapons, but I discovered that fifty million litas of these exports have been classified incorrectly. Since Bajor sells weapons to thirteen inter-planetary states, the correct value of Bajor's weapons exports should be 700 million litas. But this is not the case.”

“Of course!” exclaimed Ezri, she seemed to be having a moment of clarity. “The records show that Bajor sold more weapons to its trading partners than actually transpired! For instance say Bajor actually sold twenty million litas worth of weaponry to the Klingons, but the financial records said the value was 25 million litas. Those five million litas were added on, because they were actual sales, but the Klingons didn't receive the weapons, someone on Bajor received those weapons!”

Odo looked smug. “Precisely captain, it is a very clever accounting method.”

“Wait a minute!” exclaimed Kira, as she saw a clear flaw to Odo's argument. “Wouldn't the finance ministry notice these accounting discrepancies?”

The smug look faded from Odo’s face. “Not necessarily, the Reformation Movement must have government accountants under its pay roll. These accountants could make revisions to Bajor's trade balance, since these revisions total 150 million litas no one would suspect the accountants of fraud.”

Ezri looked considerably thoughtful. “Odo is right, every year the Bajoran finance ministry makes small revisions, due to accounting error, at the end of every financial year. A sum of 150 million litas is less than point one of a percent of the Bajoran government's total expenditure.”

There was silence between the three. Finally, Kira started to grasp the clever nature of the movement’s funding activities. It was no wonder that the Reformation Movement remained undetected for such a long time. “Alright,” she said after a moment's pause. “We now know how the Reformation Movement is funded. So how are we going to arrest the 250 officers who were responsible for funding the movement?”

“Let me deal with that,” said Ezri. “I'll contact Shakaar and send him the names of the 250 officers suspected of being members in the Reformation movement. After that, in a matter of hours these officers will be arrested; and in one move we will severely damage the Reformation movement.” Ezri then rose from the chair. “I want the two of you to continue analyzing these financial records. The more evidence we find of fraud and graft, then the easier it will be to prosecute our 250 suspects.”

“Understood captain,” said Kira.

Once Ezri had left the office, Kira walked around Odo’s desk and sat down. She looked grimly at Odo, they both knew that there was a huge amount of pain-staking work to be done.

Odo slid a pad over the desk to Kira. “Here... you check the military financial records, while I will check over the financial records of the 250 suspects.”


***


Day 7, 0100 hours

Megan and Holo were inside the cockpit of the runabout Turnstile. Megan was piloting the shuttle and checking the sensors, Holo was monitoring the runabout’s systems, while Mia and Deru were sleeping in another compartment. The mood inside the cockpit was tense, Megan was constantly glancing down at the sensor readings. While Holo seemed agitated, whenever possible he glanced at Megan, and this got on her nerves.

“Have we been detected yet by any renegade Bajoran ship?” asked Holo.

“Not yet,” said Megan, “we've nearly left the Bajoran star system, and we're approaching the last Oort cloud.” She paused and looked through the cockpit window. For a few moments she almost expected a ship to descend upon the runabout all of a sudden. “It's to quiet Holo.”

Her pessimistic mood only exasperated the tension, and Holo looked taken aback by her ominous remark. “But it would be so foolish for a Bajoran ship to attack a Federation runabout!”

“Depends on-”

“<i>Incoming vessel,</i>” said the computer's voice.

Megan didn't have time to track the ship down, and she had barely raised the shields when the runabout shook as the hostile ship's phaser beam pounded the Turnstile. “Damn it!” she cursed. “The shields are at seventy percent strength, we won't survive this kind of punishment for much longer! Holo, I want you to send out a distress call to DS9!”

A warning message flashed on Megan’s console. “It's a Bajoran fighter, it's coming in from a heading of 3-6-4 mark 5-2-1, they're firing!”

Holo’s fingers skimmed across the console, as he simultaneously sent the message and kept on top of the runabout's malfunctioning systems. “It's sent on all frequencies, but what-” The runabout lurched again as another phaser beam hit it again. “-will that give us?”

“A warning to DS9,” said Megan enigmatically, and she then turned around in her chair. “Holo get yourself, Deru and Mia onto a transporter pad I have a plan...”

While Holo woke up Deru and Mia, Megan turned the runabout around, so it was tailing the Bajoran fighter. When Megan was a Starfleet Intelligence agent she had learnt a lot about transporters. If she got this right, she would solve two problems with one simple action...
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 25 2011, 10:06 PM   #53
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 7

Day 7, 0800 hours

Kira and Odo had been up all night as they found further evidence of graft committed by the 250 officers they were investigating. In a matter of hours, there would be arrests all over Bajor, and many members of the Reformation movement would be captured.

When they arrived back in their quarters, all Kira felt like doing was crashing out on her bed as she was absolutely exhausted. Aside from being exhausted, she was also very angry, most of the anger was directed at Tamar and the Reformation movement. The Reformation movement had infiltrated most of the Bajoran military, and after the counter insurgency operation there would be some serious consequences for Bajor.

The Federation would impound the entire fleet of Bajoran warships, next it would conduct numerous investigations into the Bajoran military. More than likely the Federation would order the dismantling of the Bajoran fleet, and the removal of the Bajoran militia. The Federation had been very generous in allowing Bajor to develop its own ships and orbital defences. Kira felt incredibly disappointed, Bajor was so close to achieving full independence from the Federation. Now that was impossible.

She stood stock still in the centre of the living room. Her fists were clenched, and Odo seemed to be giving her a wide berth. “I can't believe this is happening,” she said angrily. “Bajor came so close to full independence, and then 250 or so Bajorans decide to destroy everything that Bajor had accomplished.”

Odo cautiously approached Kira. “Your taking it to personally Kira; this situation is going to be contained-”

Kira turned around to face Odo, and she glared at him. “Spare me your optimism, it is grotesquely misplaced!” she said bitterly. “I've worked for 25 years on this station doing my part to rebuild Bajor! I had pride Odo, pride in what Bajor had accomplished and now it is all ashes! It's a humiliation to every-”

She stopped talking when she heard the door chime.

“I'll get it,” said Odo, and he walked to the door, while Kira collapsed onto a chair.

She heard Odo talking from behind the chair. “Ezri? What's the matter?”

“Odo is Kira with you?” asked Ezri.

Something about the gentleness of Ezri’s voice made Kira worried. She rose from the chair and walked over to Odo. “What's happened?” she asked.

Ezri looked sadly at Kira. “The runabout carrying your children was ambushed and destroyed by a Bajoran fighter.”

All Kira could feel was numb disbelief. “No,” she said hollowly.

There was silence in the room. Kira wanted to ask about whether her children were dead, but she didn't have the strength to ask Ezri. Wisely Ezri decided to explain to Kira what had happened. “There was a distress call, and Nog ran a long range sensor sweep, and he detected the debris of a Federation runabout. I'm sorry Kira and Odo, but your children are dead.”

At first Kira could not feel the emotional impact of losing her children. She simply stood there gazing into space, while Odo looked horrified. Strangely all Kira felt was clarity, she had just understood something... “Ezri what's happening on Bajor?”

Ezri looked confused. “What do you mean?”

“That Bajoran fighter must have been piloted by a member of the Reformation Movement, but the movement has made a mistake!” Kira was desperate for Ezri to understand her hunch. “Ezri we've got to warn the Bajoran government immediately, the military coup has already started!”

“Kira you're upset but-”

Right now Kira was not upset, she was worried for Bajor. “It doesn't matter about my children, what matters right now is Bajor! I swear by the Prophets that the coup has already started!”

Ezri seemed surprise by Kira’s assertion, but she then gestured to Kira to follow her out of the room. “Well let's see if your hunch is true then colonel.”

Together the three headed to Ops.


***


Day 7, 0900 hours

The mood in Ops was going from bad to worse. For the past ten minutes, Max had been unsuccessfully trying to send messages to Bajor. It was apparent that Kira’s concern for Bajor was warranted. The news of the destruction of the Turnstile, and the death of Megan, Holo and Kira’s two children subdued the atmosphere in Ops. Everyone seemed tense and nervous about the situation, everyone that was except for Ezri. She had a knack for keeping a cool head, and she kept checking on Max’s progress with the messages.

“You still haven't been able to send a message to Bajor?” asked Ezri, with an edge to her voice.

“No captain,” said Max disappointedly. “It's seems a planetary wide communications dampening field has been established.”

“So the Bajoran government has no idea of what's going on?” replied Ezri somewhat ominously.

Max seemed more concerned with a sending a message to Bajor, than his captain’s darkening mood. “I've tried different frequencies to penetrate through the field, but nothing has worked.” Something else seemed to be bothering Max. “Captain, are you sure there were no survivors from the runabout Turnstile?”

Ezri’s tone of voice became gentler. “Now is not the time to dwell upon the Turnstile Mr Weatherby. Right now Bajor must be undergoing what can only be described as anarchy and chaos. Keep trying to hail the Bajoran government, I'll be in my office.”

Kira looked inquisitively at Ezri. “How many ships do you think the Federation will provide?”

Ezri turned around to face Kira. “Admiral Ross told me that he would provide fifty Starfleet ships to Bajor.”

“Captain!” exclaimed Max. “Five Bajoran warships are heading to this station, they're coming from 2-5-6 mark 1-2-4!”

Ezri was on the staircase leading to her office, when she then turned around and looked very serious. “Raise shields, arm photon torpedoes, and phaser banks!” she ordered. “Colonel I'll need you to defend DS9.”

“Understood,” said Kira nodding.

While Kira began to order people around, Ezri was already on the turbolift. “Mr Weatherby, Mr Nog, you're with me on the Defiant.”

Max and Nog entered the turbolift.

“Defiant,” said Ezri.

By the time the turbolift was gone, Ops was buzzing with activity as crew members were busy preparing DS9’s defences.


***


Day 7, 0910 hours

Onboard the Defiant’s bridge, Ezri watched from the view screen as the five renegade Bajoran ships surrounded DS9. Ezri wondered if the ships would attack DS9, because right now they were ignoring the Defiant. Deliberately she had ordered the Defiant to maintain some distance from DS9, if the Bajoran ships attacked then the Defiant would come swooping in and give those Bajoran ships absolute hell. Suddenly the Bajoran ships fired a volley of photon torpedoes at DS9.

The comm line to DS9 activated and Kira’s voice came through the hidden speakers on the bridge. “Captain the Bajoran ships have fired upon DS9! There was no warning whatsoever!

“I know,” said Ezri. She was very rapidly determining all the courses of action, each choice was unpleasant...

Are we going to defend ourselves and return fire?” came Kira’s impatient voice.

Ezri rested the tips of her fingers upon her chin. If she fired at the renegade Bajoran ships, this would mean that the Federation would get involved in what was turning out to be a Bajoran civil war. If she did nothing, many civilians and officers on board DS9 would be killed. She had to protect DS9; that was her first priority.

She could worry about the repercussions of her decision later. “Then so be it,” she said more to herself, before becoming more forthright and decisive. “Colonel use whatever means necessary to defend DS9. The Bajoran insurgents will not lay their hands upon this station! Ezri out! Mr Weatherby cloak us and tail the lead attacking ship!”

“Aye sir,” replied Max.

“Photon torpedoes at the ready captain!” reported Nog.

Right now Ezri wanted to carry out a sudden surprise attack on the enemy. “Wait for my command chief, lower the cloak on my mark.”

“We're five hundred metres away from the lead Bajoran ship captain,” reported Max, while he was carefully tailing the Bajoran ship.

Ezri leaned slightly out of her chair, her hand was raised to issue the command. “Wait, wait for it... Now!”

The Defiant decloaked and the illumination increased on the bridge. Ezri gazed at the view screen and she watched the six quantum torpedoes striking the Bajoran ship. There were massive explosions coming from where the torpedoes had struck, bits of debris were blasted from the ship. The Defiant swept past the Bajoran ship, and when the fireballs had disappeared the Bajoran ship floated limply in space.

Nog checked the sensor readings on the console screen. “Heavy damage to the Bajoran ship's engines and shields. Captain, they can't take another hit!”

Suddenly on the view screen, an enemy photon torpedo struck DS9, and a massive explosion emanated from the centre of the station. A huge fire ball enveloped most of the central core. Briefly the station's lights went out, but they activated again as the back-up generators kicked in. After the fire ball disappeared, a huge vertical gash could be seen on the central core. The gash started from above the fusion generators and finished just short of Ops.

There was a brief moment of silence in the bridge as everyone stared at the horrific sight. The silence lasted for only a few seconds, shortly after, everyone returned to their duties. Nog looked aghast. “Captain DS9 has just sustained a direct hit to the central core!”

A powerful fury consumed Ezri, she was going to stop those renegade Bajoran ships, one way or another... “Mr Weatherby head to the nearest Bajoran ship, chief fire at will!”

The Defiant made another direct assault on a second Bajoran ship, with torpedo launchers blazing...


***


Day 7, 0940 hours

In Ops, Kira was barely keeping the enemy ships at bay. While she directed everyone, Odo was monitoring DS9’s shields and controlling DS9’s defences. Kira was thankful for Odo’s presence, for he was more than just the chief of security. Over the years Odo had accumulated a lot of tactical experience and had studied DS9’s systems very carefully. There was no point in being chief of security if you did not know how to use DS9’s defence systems.

“Report Odo!” said Kira loudly, over the shaking of the station.

“Shields holding at ten percent,” said Odo as he looked at the readings on is console. “They've found the exact frequency of the shields!”

This was a serious problem for Kira, without shields the enemy ships would be taking chunks out of the station. “Have you tried modulating them?”

“I've tried that, but it's no use,” explained Odo.

The station shook again, but this time ten times more fiercely. Momentarily the lights failed in Ops, before activating again. Suddenly there was a loud cracking noise, the Ops communication screen had been blown out, and all of Ops was exposed to outer space.

The air rushed out of Ops and debris were flying around everywhere. Those crewmen nearest to the blown out communications screen were sucked out into space. It was a ghastly sight seeing the stricken crewmen’s fluids and brains burst out of every orifice, while simultaneously their bodies became frozen solid.

Back inside Ops, Kira was clinging on to a rail for dear life, Odo had extended his limbs to hold on to his console. Kira felt her grip on the rail slowly diminish. “Shields Odo!” she shouted. “Seal that tear!”

Odo finally managed to punch in the right commands onto his console. “The shields are up!”

At once the howling wind stopped, the debris came clattering to the floor with many bangs and crashes. Slowly people stood up and returned to their stations, everyone looked windswept and shaken. They were all trying to ignore the gaping hole in the communication screen.

Kira's whole body was covered in a cold sweat, she was so full of adrenaline after such a close brush with death. She wiped her sweaty hair off her forehead. “Damage report!” she demanded.

Odo looked at the readouts coming from his console. “The communications array has been completely destroyed! There is massive damage to the station core, I'm activating emergency shields through sections thirty to one! All of the power relays have overloaded, and the fusion core has automatically shut down! We're running on backup power colonel!”

Kira swore rapidly under her breath. “Damn them! What about the torpedoes and phasers, can they still be armed?” If the weapon systems were compromised, then DS9 would be at the mercy of the renegade Bajoran ships.

“I can't activate the relevant systems,” reported Odo, he frowned at something on the console’s screen. “Wait there's a communication from the lead Bajoran ship! I'm patching it through the secondary sub-space communications relay.”

Instinctively Kira turned to face the communications screen. “Put it on the view screen!” She then realised her mistake. “Audio then!” she said angrily.

This is admiral Tamar, to whom am I speaking to?” There was some mechanical interference in Tamar’s voice.

Rage flared up inside Kira, so Tamar had directly attacked DS9. “This is colonel Kira what do you want?” she said heatedly.

To cease hostilities, the Defiant has overpowered my ships, and I don't want to risk any more lives. I offer to you my surrender.

Kira could not believe what she had just heard. “If this is true, then you wouldn't object to being transported on board DS9, detained, and placed inside a detention cell?”

There was a slight pause. “I agree to your terms, all of this is my mistake and I-

“Cut the transmission Odo,” snarled Kira. She then tapped her comm badge. “This is Kira to the infirmary come in.”

Bashir here colonel,” Bashir sounded extremely busy and stressed. “Listen colonel I'm very busy at the moment-

“How many dead and wounded doctor?” Kira dreaded the answer, for it was her fault for all the casualties.

Bashir sounded irritable. “From what I've seen over a hundred injured and at least 20 dead.

“Thank you doctor, Kira out.”

Kira sat down on a step and held her hands over her head. Odo walked over to her, though she doubted anything that Odo would say could ease her guilt. “This was my fault!” she said miserably. “If I hadn't given the Reformation movement DS9's command codes...”

Odo sat down next to Kira. “No one would have realised what the Reformation Movement was doing if they hadn't released you, and then it would be to late. We've captured one of the leaders of the movement and neutralized five of their ships! This is a huge blow for the movement! Besides you did not give them the backup command codes!”

This did nothing to comfort Kira. “But it helped Tamar to penetrate DS9's computer defences,” she replied in anguished tones, “that was why the Bajoran ships knew the frequency of this station's shields! Otherwise we could have easily repelled that attack!”

Kira then got to her feet, she realised Tamar would be in a detainment cell next to Odo’s office. There was still some unfinished business left for Kira. “Anyway I've must deal with Tamar-”

Odo interrupted Kira. “I'll question Tamar as well, you don't have to do this alone you know.”

“Yes I do.” she said coldly, and she told Odo this in no uncertain terms.

She walked into the turbolift. “Promenade.”

The turbolift descended downwards, and the view of Ops vanished. Kira was tempted to kill Tamar with her own bare hands; Tamar had betrayed Bajor, attacked DS9, and had killed her children. It would be so easy for Kira to succumb to her feelings of vengeance and retribution.

Inside that detainment cell she could punch Tamar so hard, his face would become unrecognisable. Suddenly Kira was inwardly shocked with herself, such violent thoughts didn't become of her. She was angry, but she had the wisdom to recognize that seeking revenge would only make things worse. Above all else she could not descend to Tamar's level.

In the back of her mind, she could feel the pain of losing Mia and Deru, she ignored the pain. Now was not the time to grieve, she had to keep strong...
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 26 2011, 09:56 PM   #54
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 8

Day 7, 1300 hours

Kira had never felt this angry in a long time. All over Bajor there were reports of fighting in military installations, it seemed the Bajoran government was winning. Because the communication blackout had been lifted, it was clear that the military coup was failing spectacularly. Though this did little to comfort Kira, many lives had been lost in the fighting, and all of this could be blamed upon one man; admiral Tamar.

She was going to confront Tamar, this was why she was heading to the detainment area. One part of her wanted to beat Tamar senseless and to punish him for the deaths of her children. Right now pure rage overwhelmed any feelings of grief Kira had for the loss of Mia and Deru. Striding into the detainment area, she directed all of her anger at the man she saw in front of her.

Tamar was in a detainment cell, and Tamar's eyes locked with Kira's, she could see no remorse or guilt in Tamar's eyes.

“Colonel Kira may I say-”

“How sorry you are?” mused Kira, her voice was light and deadly, as she fought to keep herself from screaming and raging out loud. “Or perhaps you regret the loss of life on both sides? Or maybe you even regret starting this military coup against our government?”

“I thought it was the right thing to do Kira,” said Tamar with absolute conviction.

“Did you?” said Kira, through clenched teeth. “Bajor was progressing quite nicely until you decided otherwise.”

Tamar stood up, and for someone in his situation he appeared very calm. “Bajor wasn't developing fast enough, what made it worse was that Bajor was developing in the wrong direction.”

The anger surged inside Kira, and with every syllable, her voice became louder. “And that gives you the excuse to destroy everything that Bajor has accomplished over the past 25 years? Bajorans have given their all to rebuild Bajor! You've betrayed Bajor Tamar; the blood of thousands of dead Bajorans is on your hands!”

Now Tamar looked angry, and his eyes were bulging with rage. “This would never have happened if we hadn't blindly followed the so-called will of the Prophets!” he shouted. “What I've done is nothing compared to the Cardassian occupation of Bajor!”

Kira dropped the tone of her voice to something very low and vicious. “You dare to question other people's religious convictions? If you were in charge, you would expel or imprison the Bajoran monks and vedeks! You claim that the Reformation movement will enlighten Bajor? The movement is bereft of honour, honesty and wisdom! It fails to see the power of our people's religious convictions, what else inspired us to struggle on in the Cardassian occupation?”

“The monks were cowards!” said Tamar nastily. “They refused to fight!”

Pure hatred seemed to emanate from Kira’s face. “They were some of the bravest Bajorans of all!” she said passionately. “They did their utmost to give food to the needy and desperate, they sheltered resistance fighters, and they never wavered in their beliefs. You are a coward Tamar, you surrendered because your supporters turned against you!”

Facing Kira’s unquenchable rage, Tamar backed down. “I wanted to stop the bloodshed, but I still think we've chosen the wrong path. I think people like you Kira are holding us back, I know you are wrong about the Prophets.”

The anger slowly ebbed away from Kira, for some particular reason she felt sorry for Tamar. She could not believe how arrogant Tamar was. “That's your problem Tamar, you don't consider other people's opinions. The government would have been prepared to listen to your movement's aims, but you chose to stick a dagger into the government's back instead!”

Now Tamar looked like a defeated man, all he had left was his anger and disappointment. “You are a traitor to Bajor Kira!” he said nastily. “You refuse to renounce your backwards ways! Look at what your Prophets have given you for a lifetime of faith; they failed to stop the deaths of your children!”

The rage inside Kira exploded once more, she had to feel this angry to not feel hurt by Tamar’s words. “Leave my children out of this Tamar!” she shouted.

Tamar leered in a nasty manner. “They deserved to die you know. If I had fathered them, and realized their mother was a traitor, I would have killed them.”

Kira was so angry, her chest was heaving, and her fists were clenched. “Enough,” she said in a hollow voice.

Perversely Tamar seemed to take pleasure in Kira’s anger and pain. “Go ahead, lower the force field and kill me with your bare hands. It doesn't matter what you do because I've killed your children; those shapeshifting piece of scum!”

At this point, Kira was ready to explode. She so badly wanted to lower the force field, and pound Tamar to a bloody pulp. However, something held her back from launching herself upon Tamar. She instead turned her back to Tamar, and left the room shaking with anger.

Instantly she regretted confronting Tamar, if anything it just made things worse. Inside the security office, she saw Odo standing by his desk. Kira saw Odo's mouth move, but for some reason, she could not hear her husband, all she could think about was Tamar... Kira barely noticed Odo gently taking one of her hands and guiding her back to their quarters.


***


Day 7, 1900 hours

When Kira was back in her quarters, she numbly noticed that Odo had removed his hand from her own.

“Computer raise the light level by two marks!” said Odo, as he looked hopelessly at Kira’s back. “Listen Kira I'm-” Odo had no words to say, and instead he watched Kira as she slowly walked into their bedroom.

She was breathing heavily, and now she was beginning to feel the pain of losing Mia and Deru. Odo followed Kira as she sat down on the bed. “It's unfair Odo...” she said in a distant voice.

There was a tense silence between the two, while Odo was standing next to the doorway watching Kira. He seemed too afraid to do anything else.

Kira looked at the framed picture of her children that resided on top of a small table next to her bed. “I talked to Tamar,” she said quietly. “He said my children deserved to die for my faults!”

Odo decided it was safe to come closer to Kira, as had sat down right beside her. “Kira you shouldn't have interrogated him,” he said gently. “Let me handle that, but what did you expect? He's a defeated man and he'll do anything to drag you down as well.”

Anger seemed to be carved onto Kira’s face. “He's worse than the Cardassians,” she said fiercely. “He should have known better... and yet he ordered the killing of my children Odo!”

Miserably Kira looked at the picture of her children again. They were smiling and laughing, such happiness made Kira realize what she had just lost. Now the weight of losing her children descended upon Kira. She couldn’t manage the pain anymore; she made some sort of angry inhuman sound, which sounded more like a scream. At the same time, she lashed out with her right hand, and she smashed the picture. It fell to the floor with a crash, while the glass shattered. Kira suddenly started sobbing, and she collapsed onto the bed utterly distraught.

Odo placed his arms around Kira’s chest and supported her, he held Kira close to his chest. “Come here,” he said gravely. “I know it's unfair; it's hurts me terribly to.” Odo’s voice shook with what could only be grief, Odo couldn’t cry, but he looked just at hurt as Kira. “But they were good children; Deru was so full of life and so energetic.”

Upon hearing Odo’s words, Kira sobbed even harder, while Odo continued to talk. “And of course Mia; she was such a beautiful daughter.”

Kira started sniffling. “Don't, don't Odo,” she mumbled, turning around, she then rested her chest against Odo’s body. Her voice then became slightly more audible. “Please, don't remind me of what we have lost. You know if it weren't for you, I would have picked up a disruptor or a knife and killed that traitor Tamar. I would have ripped him apart piece by piece for his crimes. I would have done the same for every single one of those traitors who followed him.”

Odo looked at Kira nervously. “You mean you would avenge our children's deaths, just to satisfy your personal need for revenge?”

“Before I met you I would have done so and to hell with the consequences; but I can't Odo.” Her voice trembled considerably, but she was too grief-stricken to control her voice. She looked up to Odo, with her mouth was slightly open, while she felt the tear streaks etched on her cheeks. “Because I've done so so many times before, and it's only deepened my anguish and destroyed me, piece by piece, and again and again. It was my way of avoiding the pain.”

She started crying again as the grief overwhelmed her, however, Odo held onto her even more tightly. “We'll get through this,” said Odo firmly. “Life goes on, and who knows? Maybe we'll adopt or have some more children.

At that moment, Kira could not think about anything in the future; she could only feel the pain of the present. “I don't think I could manage it Odo, right now I can't think about anything.”

As she started sobbing again, Odo hugged her more firmly. “We'll take it day by day. We still have each other, and I will never leave you because I love you.”

Upon hearing that Kira wept onto Odo’s chest, and she placed her arms firmly around Odo's back, holding on as if her life depended upon it. More than anything she was glad Odo was here, through the grief Kira felt the bond between herself and Odo grow stronger.


***


Day 8, 0900 hours

In a surprise visit to the station, First Minister Shakaar had arrived. Ezri waited inside her office for Shakaar to arrive and she took Shakaar's visit as a good sign. She had spent most of her time reading report after report on the situation of Bajor. Over the last day the violence in major Bajoran cities had decreased considerably, and forces loyal to the government were close to defeating the military units belonging to the Reformation movement.

The door to the office opened, and Shakaar walked through the doorway. Ezri rose from her desk, walked around and greeted Shakaar. “First Minister...” she said, as she shook Shakaar's hand. “Is everything under control in Bajor?”

Shakaar appeared weary and tired, while there were great puffy bags below his eyes. “It is now, all the military units in the Reformation movement have either surrendered or been destroyed. At least a dozen Bajoran cities, including the capital, incurred street battles between the Bajoran military and the insurgency. Thousands of civilians were killed, and many more were injured, but it could have been so much worse.”

“What do you mean?” asked Ezri.

“The Reformation Movement has bribed many colonels, in exchange for the colonels mobilizing the Bajoran Militia and the Bajoran fleet to capture key government buildings and installations for the rapid control of Bajor. It seemed when Tamar started the coup, and when he needed the colonels to join him, many of the them decided to side with the government at the last minute.”

This was good news, unfortunately, Ezri had to give Shakaar some bad news. “Starfleet is sending over fifty star ships to Bajor to provide security. Unfortunately Starfleet will be impounding the entire Bajoran fleet, and after the coup you can see why. Only ten Bajoran ships joined Tamar's side. Had all sixty ships sided with Tamar, then the Reformation Movement would have captured Bajor and DS9!”

Shakaar seemed to take the news of the impounding of the Bajoran fleet with good grace. “What would the Federation have done if that had happened?”

“The Federation would have immediately removed Bajor's Federation membership and stationed ships at DS9 to guard the wormhole.”

There was a moment of silence, while Shakaar looked guiltily at Ezri. “My I say captain that I am truly sorry for what has happened here, I should have played closer attention to the Bajoran military. For quite some time, I was pleased with the expansion of the military...”

“If you don't mind me asking, what made you change your mind?”

“It happened two years ago, when I heard of a dispute between the Vedek Assembly and the Bajoran military. I did some checking and slowly what I found out became steadily worse.” Shakaar stopped talking, and Ezri sensed that he was holding back from something.

“Captain,” said Shakaar, after a while. “Would it be alright if I could visit Kira, and give her my condolences for the loss of her children?”

Had any other person asked Ezri that question, she would have denied their request. Ezri wanted to give Kira some privacy, so that Kira could come to terms with the loss of her children. However, Ezri knew that Kira and Shakaar were close friends. “Of course you can. Kira speaks very highly of you by the way.”

“Thank you captain,” said Shakaar, with a slight bow of his head.


***


As he approached Kira’s quarters, Shakaar dreaded what he was going to say to Kira. However, he felt responsible for Kira’s loss because he had ordered Kira to investigate the Bajoran military. This naturally made her a target for the Reformation movement. Shakaar arrived at the entrance to Kira’s quarters, and he pressed the door chime.

“Is that you Odo?” came Kira’s voice.

“It's me Shakaar!”

There was a moment's silence. “Come in!” said Kira.

Shakaar moved into the room and looked around, there he saw Kira standing next to a sofa. She looked absolutely terrible, her eyes were red and puffy. Shakaar walked towards Kira, she absolutely deserved an apology. Dropping to his knees, Shakaar gently grasped both of Kira’s hands, and he looked up into her face. “I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry!” he moaned “Please forgive me!”

Kira gave Shakaar a confused expression. “Sorry for what?”

“I shouldn't have ordered you to investigate the Bajoran military! That was why the Reformation Movement killed your children, because you sided against them!”

“I don't blame you,” said Kira in a steely voice. “Without my investigation, the Reformation Movement would have gone undetected, and they would have succeeded in their coup!” Kira was trying to sound tough, but Shakaar could see though that. “Protecting Bajor is more important than the lives of my children! I can't let sentiment get in the way of my duty to Bajor!”

Shakaar rose from his knees and he let go of Kira's hands. He was glad that Kira didn’t blame him, but he wished he hadn’t visited Kira. She never wanted to look weak in front of other people, and this occasion was no different. Shakaar realised he had intruded into Kira’s privacy. “I shouldn't have come by to see you, you were grieving in private. I shouldn't have disturbed you!”

As he turned to leave, Kira spoke up. “Wait! Don't go, please!” she pleaded, looking hurt. “If I gave you the impression that I wanted you to leave, I'm sorry for doing so. It's no way to treat a friend.”

“Don't blame yourself, your hurt and your bound to say a few nasty things. Are we still friends, despite everything that has happened?”

“Of course we are!”

Kira paused for a moment, before changing the topic. “What has happened to admiral Tamar?”

“He's been stripped of his rank, and he is in custody, in a maximum security prison on Bajor. In six months time, he will be facing a trial.”

“Six months?” exclaimed Kira, who looked absolutely furious.

“In order for a proper trial to take place, a lot of evidence must be gathered up and organized. Plus there are various legal procedures that must take place before the trial. I'm afraid the trial could take up to a year; but I assure you that Tamar will be brought to justice.”

“What about the Reformation Movement? Has it been disbanded?”

“The Reformation Movement is no more. Thousands of its members have been arrested, while there could be other members, I'm certain they will be keeping a very low profile.”

“So Bajor is safe, and the violence has ended in the cities?”

“The violence is gone, and yes Bajor is now safe.”

Kira looked mightily relieved, she then grabbed Shakaar’s hand and pulled him close. Her face was less than a foot away from Shakaar, and Kira gazed at him with an intense expression. “Listen to me, I don't want you worrying about me; I'll be fine. All I ask of you is to govern Bajor to the best of your ability.”

Shakaar was taken aback by the firmness and determination in Kira’s voice. “I promise to you that Bajor will recover from this setback, it will come out of this stronger.”

Relinquishing the grip on Shakaar's hand, Kira looked satisfied by his answer. “I expected nothing less of you.”

Some of the calmness in Kira’s face vanished, and Shakaar realised that Kira was struggling to keep her grief contained. He knew that it was time to give Kira her privacy. “When things on Bajor have settled down, I'll contact you, I promise.”

“I know,” said Kira, she gave Shakaar a small, sad smile.

Shakaar returned Kira’s smile. “I’m truly sorry for your loss, tonight your children will be at the centre of my prayers to the Prophets.”

“Thank you,” said Kira, while she blinked back tears.

With that Shakaar then left the room, he was relieved that his friendship with Kira hadn’t been damaged. Of all the people he had known, Kira was incredibly tough and resilient. He knew that Kira would find the strength to continue on with her life, her sheer determination was to Shakaar one of her most endearing qualities. It was one of the reasons why Shakaar liked Kira so much as a friend...
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 27 2011, 10:01 PM   #55
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 9

Day 12, 0800 hours

Kira felt absolutely miserable, despite the military coup on Bajor failing, and the arrest of thousands of Reformation movement members. This did nothing to decrease the burden of grief she felt from the deaths of her children. In a kind act, Ezri had given Kira a week off duty, but the five days that had passed by felt surreal to Kira.

Inside the living room, Kira was going through a photo album. There were hundreds of pictures of her family, but she mainly focused upon the ones which showed Mia and Deru.

Odo entered the room, and he immediately noticed the photo album. “What are you looking at?”

Kira looked up from the album, with very red eyes. “Just some of the holo pictures of our children, I'm just remembering all the good times we had with our children...”

Her voice sounded weak, and trembly, and she gazed at Odo in a sorrowful way. “I'm sorry if I sound weepy, I haven't really slept for five days. I can't sleep, I just end up thinking about how they died. I appreciate Ezri giving me a week off duty, it was really kind of her to do so. I feel sorry for Max, he's lost two friends...”

“They were great children.” Odo paused; he seemed to be holding back from something.

“What is it Odo?”

“I did some checking of DS9’s computer, and I managed to find the reason why Tamar’s ships knew the exact frequency of DS9’s shields.”

Kira dreaded the answer. “It’s because I gave to Tamar DS9’s command codes isn’t it?”

Odo shook his head. “Believe it or not, you’re not to blame. With the back-up access codes fully functional, there was no way that Tamar could use the computer to find the frequency of the shields.”

A great deal of guilt suddenly lifted from Kira’s mind. “So who is to blame?”

“Remember ensign Farak, the man who murdered Major Dolsur? Well last night I checked the console in Ops he once worked on, I had a hunch that Farak was Tamar’s inside man for taking over DS9. Lo and behold I found an information storage device which was still active.”

Odo took out from his pocket a small lumpy looking device which had small tendrils protruding outwards. He passed it to Kira, who examined it, while he explained to Kira about the device. “Farak had covertly hacked the computer system, and then planted this device inside his console. The device had a timer to activate it, and the device activated from the moment the coup started, which was when a communications blackout covered the whole of Bajor. When activated, the device sent sub-space signals, containing DS9’s computer data, to a sub-space receiver located somewhere on Bajor. The Reformation movement would have easily found the frequency of DS9’s shields from all of that data.”

Something didn’t quite make sense to Kira, and she frowned at the device held in her left hand. “If Tamar already had a way to extract tactical information from DS9’s computer, why did he want DS9’s command codes?”

Odo put a finger to the tip of his upper lip, before bringing it down slightly. “Because Tamar’s initial plan would only give him indirect use of DS9’s tactical controls, he could only observe the codes but do nothing to change them. The device wouldn’t be able to transfer command codes, because the command codes are to well protected by DS9's computer firewalls.”

Kira nodded slightly in understanding, and she felt slightly better now, the deaths of those twenty people didn't weigh so heavily on her mind. The door chimed, and Kira glanced at the door, she was weary of visitors these days.

Odo seemed to sense his wife’s apprehension. “I’ll answer that.”

Odo walked over to the door, while Kira placed the device on a stand next to her chair. She was barely listening to the conversation taking place by the doorway. But she then heard Megan’s voice.

“There are two people who want to see you Odo...”

“Come on now...” said another voice, which sounded like Holo.

Something registered in Kira’s brain, and she started wondering why she had heard Megan’s and Holo’s voices.

“Mia, Deru!” exclaimed Odo, in a shocked manner.

Pure hope filled Kira's heart, were her children actually alive? She then saw Deru and Mia bound through the doorway; they both hugged Odo at the same time. “Dad!” said Deru happily.

Kira looked as white as a sheet, she was totally stunned. When Odo stopped hugging his children, Kira walked over to them. “What?” she said disbelievingly. “Oh!” She tightly hugged both Deru and Mia and dissolved into tears. But those were tears of joy, she was so happy that they were alive and safe, inwardly she thanked the Prophets for her good fortune.

Mia removed herself from her mother’s grasp. “Are you okay mum?” Mia looked deeply concerned at her mother.

Kira stopped crying. “We thought you were dead!” she exclaimed, sounding half relieved and half angry. “How in the Prophets did you get here?”

Megan and Holo were watching the family scene, and they were smiling. “Holo and I will leave,” said Megan wisely. “We’ll let you catch up-”

“Oh no, stay!” said Kira, never had she so badly wanted to talk to Megan and Holo. She was desperate to know how her children had survived. “You saved my children's lives! How did-”

“We escape?” asked Holo, who then turned to look at Megan. “Oh it was Megan's idea.”

Megan looked slightly smug. “It was simple really; there we were, five days ago, being attacked by this Bajoran fighter. I knew we couldn't win this fight. So I transported ourselves onto the fighter, while with a quick bit of hacking, I got the fighter's transporters to beam the two Bajoran crew onto the runabout. However, I realised there could be more Bajoran fighters waiting to ambush us. So I destroyed the runabout to made it look like that the Bajoran fighter had completed its mission.” Megan looked suddenly apologetic. “Sorry about the grief I gave you, when I heard that DS9's communications array was destroyed, well...”

Holo looked somberly at the family. “It must have been a terrible couple of days for you.”

“It was,” said Kira. “But I don't blame you for what you did. You did your utmost to keep my children alive. How can I ever thank you?”

“It was nothing,” said Holo amicably. “Now I've got to go back on duty.”

When Holo was gone, Megan was left with the family. She looked slightly awkward, while Odo was smiling at Megan.

Kira walked up to Megan, she was in Megan’s debt. She extended her hand to Megan, who cautiously grasped Kira's hand. “I want to thank you Megan for what you did, for saving the lives of my two children.”

Gratitude shone from Megan’s eyes, she gave Kira a small smile. “They're good children, it makes me wish I had some of my own...” Megan gently broke the hand shake. “Anyway I have to shift to do as well.”

With one last smile, Megan turned around and left the quarters.

Whatever doubts or concerns Kira once had about Megan, they were all gone. Megan had proved herself to be worthy of Kira’s trust and Ezri had been right all along. Kira could now trust Megan. Turning around, Kira looked at her husband and her two children. She thought a celebration was in order now that the family were back together again.


***


Day 12, 1200 hours

The jubilation of realizing that Mia and Deru were alive faded away over the next few days for Kira. She was walking to the commander's office, inside there Ezri would probably have a few things to say to her due to what happened on Bajor. Arriving inside the office, Kira noticed numerous padds littered all over Ezri’s desk.

Ezri looked at Kira wearily. “Sit down colonel.”

In an unusual sign of weakness Ezri placed a hand to her forehead, she seemed very tired and overworked. “As you may have guessed I've got about twenty major reports to hand to the Federation and it's various institutions because of the recent Bajoran political strife.”

Kira felt sincerely sorry for Ezri. “I'm sorry, if I had known what was going on...”

Ezri though composed herself and held up her right hand. “What's done is done, I don't blame you for what has happened.” The hand lowered, and it rested upon the desk. “Clearly Bajor's government will need closer Federation observation.”

There was a sickening feeling in Kira’s stomach, she had been expecting this. “What do you mean by that?”

A serious look rested upon Ezri’s face. “Bajor's request to leave the Federation has been blocked, and for good reasons to.”

“I admit, it does look bad, but-”

Ezri easily dismissed Kira’s feeble excuse. “The Federation can't-I can't-leave Bajor to it's own devices. Without the Federation's assistance, Bajor would have descended into a full blown civil war. Furthermore, Starfleet is impounding all Bajoran warships until the political situation has been corrected.”

Anger flared up inside Kira, that was one measure to far... “Why?” she demanded.

“This measure is necessary to give Bajor more political stability. There is an old human expression; power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” Ezri looked sternly at Kira. “The Bajoran military is to powerful, and to corrupt to be given the responsibility of defending Bajor and upholding their government's requests.”

“And how will Bajor defend itself?” asked Kira, struggling to control her outrage.

For a brief moment, Ezri looked slightly confused due of Kira's strange question. “Bajor is part of the Federation. If you really think the Federation wouldn't protect one of it's own members then you must be stark-raving mad colonel!”

Kira realised she had said something really stupid to Ezri. However, she couldn’t help it, she felt so angry and frustrated by Bajor's current situation. “It's not that... it's just... I don't know...” she finished lamely. “It's just so frustrating that Bajor has taken a step backwards...”

She pulled herself together, it was about time she acted in a professional manner. “Is there anything else captain?”

There was a brief pause, while Ezri was gazing at Kira in some concern after Kira’s outburst. “No colonel, dismissed then...”

Kira raised herself from the chair, and she had barely walked a few paces when Ezri spoke up from behind her. “Oh and Kira; I'm sorry for what has happened. The Federation should have monitored the situation more carefully, it's not your fault that the coup happened.”

Not once did Kira turn to look at Ezri, she felt embarrassed to be in Ezri’s presence. Kira had nothing more to say to Ezri and she left the office and walked over to a turbolift in Ops. Inside the turbolift, Kira lamented over the fact that Bajor had taken a massive step backwards. Now Starfleet would never let Bajor leave the Federation, unless Bajor slipped into complete anarchy and chaos...

Kira had always dreamed of a free Bajor, a Bajor that once took full control of it’s destiny and had full self-determination. The worst part for her was that neither the Cardassians nor the Federation could be blamed for the military coup. This was Bajor’s fault; Bajor had progressed to quickly, and everyone failed to spot the danger of corruption inside the Bajoran military.

When she was in Ezri’s office, Kira could feel the disappointment coming from Ezri. A tiny pang of guilt sprung up inside Kira’s heart. Because of the military coup, Ezri would be under more pressure from Starfleet to monitor Bajor, and her job wasn't going to get any easier. Still Kira's guilt paled in comparison to her disappointment, something which would take a long time to go away.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Well that is the end of Bad Blood. Here are links to the rest of my stories (which are listed in chronological order in terms of my series plot):

Season 1:

Secrets and Lies

Shallow Rights


Vacation

Bad Blood

Outlier

Devolution

Gold Rush

Medical Pariah

Commitment

Ménage ŕ Trois

Tip of the Iceberg


Season 2:

Survival

High Stakes

Running the Gauntlet
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 28 2011, 08:22 PM   #56
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Next up is my fifth story, Outlier, this is a small one, and I focus on one of the secondary characters, Mia; Kira's daughter. Here is a summary of the story:

Another one of my smaller stories. This story focuses upon Kira's daughter Mia, and the stigma she faces for being a half Bajoran, half shapeshifter. After being withdrawn from school because of bullying, Mia must come to terms with who she is and confront those who hate her for it.

And here is the first chapter of Outlier:

Chapter 1

Stardate: 70705.7

Day 1, 1400 hours

Inside the classroom, Mia had her head down as she studied differential equations. Behind her was Sarin and he always liked to bullied her. Today for Mia the bullying was particularly bad. She was constantly trying to ignore the abusive messages Sarin sent from his pad onto her pad.

Another message popped on the screen, and for some reason it caught her eye, and she couldn't help but read it.

Just leave DS9 you shapeshifting bitch! Your kind isn't welcome here!

Wishing she had not read such a nasty message Mia proceeded to delete it. So far she had spent half her time in class, deleting Sarin’s petty and nasty messages.

Mia glanced up; she noticed the teacher had left the desk, and was heading to a room just behind the classroom. A sick queasy feeling built up inside Mia’s stomach, she hoped the teacher wouldn’t go into that room. When the teacher was in there she couldn’t hear or see the class; unless there was an absolute riot happening. The teacher entered the room, and Mia’s heart plummeted; Sarin would notice the teacher’s absence, and take advantage of it.

“Hey shapeshifter!” called out Sarin.

Mia ignored him, it was all she could do. Pain erupted around her back as Sarin punched her there very hard. All Mia did was remain silent, but her hands were shaking from anger.

“This must be a very stupid shapeshifter.” Sarin’s voice was loud enough to carry across the whole class. “It doesn't respond to somebody talking to it.”

Many of the classmates were staring at Mia, some of them were gleefully smiling at her humiliation.

“Just leave me alone,” said Mia quietly.

Sarin pretended to look puzzled. “Sorry? I didn't hear you.” Again he punched Mia in the back. “You're stupid you know, you just sit there while I punch you. Why not defend yourself?”

The anger built up inside Mia, though her head was bowed down. She didn’t have the courage to turn around and confront Sarin. “I'm not stupid,” she replied angrily, though she still sounded quiet and timid.

“Of course you're stupid.” Sarin raised his hand, he seemed ready to hit Mia again. “If you were smart you wouldn't let yourself get hit my me.”

When Sarin’s hand smacked into the back of Mia’s head, she emotionally cracked. All of the built up rage exploded inside her; she turned around, and raised her fist. Mia put all of her weight behind the punch and aimed straight at Sarin’s face. Sarin though dodged and Mia missed her target, the force of her punch sent her sprawling onto Sarin's desk.

Unfortunately, at that exact same moment, Mia’s teacher returned into the classroom. The teacher was a Bajoran women; she had a thin and lived in face. “What's going on over there?” she shouted.

Sarin answered the question. “It's Mia miss, she tried to punch me!” Not only did Sarin sound innocent, he looked the perfect picture of innocence.

The teacher walked over to Mia’s desk, and lowered her voice. “Why did you attack him Mia?”

Mia's eyes brimmed with tears, she felt terrible and could barely breath from nervousness. “Because he provoked me!” she said in an anguished voice. “He attacked me first!”

The teacher turned to address Sarin. “Is this true?”

“She's lying!” said Sarin heatedly, while he raised his voice to address the whole class. “I was sitting at my desk doing work the whole time. Wasn't I?”

All of Mia’s classmates nodded in agreement; with some of them, there were looks of triumph on their faces. At that moment, Mia wished she was invisible, it was horrible for her that the whole class had turned against her. Now tears started spilling from her eyes. “That's not true!”

Nobody believed Mia, not even the teacher. The women looked at Mia with some pity. “Mia I know you are upset, but it helps to tell the truth-”

Mia jumped out from her seat, the patronizing tone in the teacher’s voice was unbearable. “Nobody cares about the truth!” shouted Mia. “You're just like them! You don't want me here; you hate me because I'm not like you!”

There was absolute silence in the classroom. Unable to bare the humiliation, Mia ran out of the classroom, as the tears ran down from her eyes. On the Promenade, Mia removed her communicator and dropped it onto the floor. All she wanted to do was to find somewhere quiet; somewhere where no one would find her.

So she proceeded to cargo bay five, a place she used for solitude when things became to unbearable. She knew that in the afternoon it was a quiet place, and hardly anybody entered at that time.

Inside cargo bay five, Mia went over to a console, and after a minute of tampering with station's sensors, she had managed to mask her life signs. She didn't want anybody to find her, and looking around the cargo bay, she saw many boxes and containers, which made it perfect for hiding.


***


Day 1, 1900 hours

Megan was walking down a corridor heading towards cargo bay five. Right now the astronomy lab was shut down because of fused plasma relays. Nog was repairing the fault, while Megan was collecting spare parts needed to complete the repairs. The astronomy lab had not been used for over two years. Over that time, various components and equipment in the lab became faulty and had a tendency to break down. These problems had plagued Megan for months, the good news was the breakdowns and the down-time were decreasing.

Arriving in cargo bay 5, Megan had intended to walk straight down to the back of the storage area. However, when she heard the faint sound of somebody crying, she froze. “Who's there?”

Cautiously, Megan proceeded to the source of the sound, the crying was becoming louder. She came around an aisle, and then she spotted a young teenage Bajoran girl. The girl’s face looked familiar, and Megan realised that it was Mia who was huddled up and half-hidden behind a container. During the course of the afternoon, Megan had wondered where Mia was, since she heard of Kira and Odo roaming the station for over an hour, looking for their daughter.

Megan walked over to Mia and peered over the container. “Mia, what are you doing here?”

Mia remained silent and stopped sobbing.

Megan came around the container and crouched down next to Mia. “What's the matter?” she asked gently.

An ugly expression appeared on Mia’s face. “Why would you care about me?” said Mia nastily.

“I don't like seeing people in distress and pain.”

“So do other people,” retorted Mia. “But they don't give a damn for me because I'm a shapeshifter.”

Mia’s attitude inwardly shocked Megan. “Listen, your parents are out looking for you, they've really worried about you.” Megan held out her hand to Mia. “Come one, let's get you home.”

The anger on Mia’s face vanished; she seemed surprised by Megan’s kind action though she grasped Megan’s hand nonetheless. Standing up and still holding Mia’s hand, Megan walked out of cargo bay five. Mia looked pretty subdued, occasionally she cried for a bit. Suddenly Mia spoke. “I wish I was normal, and just a Bajoran. I just can't understand why people are so cruel to me.”

Mia continued to mutter and mumble. Megan merely listened to Mia as she escorted her back to her home.


***


After a few minutes, Megan was waiting outside the entrance to Mia’s quarters. Mia looked really miserable, and her head was bowed down as she stared at her feet. She seemed afraid to go back inside her home.

The door opened, and there was Kira looking pale and strained. “Mia where have you been?”

Megan decided to answer that question, to spare Mia’s feelings. “She was hiding in container bay five.” She pushed Mia forwards gently so that Mia would go inside. “She was very upset when I found her.”

Now Megan felt uncomfortable, she didn’t want Kira to ask her any awkward questions. “Anyway I must get back to the astronomy lab.”

When Megan was out of sight, Kira returned to the living room. She saw Mia standing there, looking very upset. Kira was half angry and half concerned for Mia. For over an hour she had been looking for Mia, while Odo was still searching.

There was silence between the two, since Kira knew she was going to have the same conversation with Mia, concerning the bullying. “I heard what happened in the school,” she said gently. “You shouldn't have lashed out though; why did you let Sarin repeatedly attack you in the first place?”

Mia was still crying, she looked defeated and forlorn. “I don't want to hurt anybody, if I did it would only make things worse,” said Mia feebly.

The timidity of her daughter surprised Kira. “But you must defend yourself! Why don't you defend yourself when someone attacks you? You're fifteen, when I was fifteen I was in the Bajoran resistance, fighting against the Cardassians. In those days if you couldn't protect yourself, you would be at the mercy of the Cardassians.”

Kira's words seemed to have no effect upon Mia, all Mia did was to look down dejectedly at the floor. “I don't want to talk about the bullying anymore.”

“Mia, this bullying will not magically disappear of it's own accord!”

Suddenly Mia raised her head, and she looked angrily at her mother. “I wish I was normal!” she complained. “You know a Bajoran, and not just some shapeshifting freak. Why couldn't you marry someone who was normal?”

A powerful rage clouded Kira's mind, of all the people to criticize her for marrying Odo, she never expected her own daughter to do so. “Don't you ever speak about your father in that manner again,” she said fiercely. “Do you understand?”

“Punish me then!” shouted Mia. “I don't care... Nobody cares about me!”

Mia turned her back upon Kira and entered her bedroom. Momentarily Kira thought about pursuing Mia, but she couldn’t do it. She had no idea of what to do to comfort her daughter; clearly Mia had reached new lows.

Dangerous lows when Kira realised that Mia was becoming emotionally unstable, Kira couldn’t even remember the last time Mia shouted at her. This reinforced her view that Mia was too timid, and it made her daughter look weak. However, if Mia was ashamed of her heritage, then Kira faced a huge parental problem to surmount.


***


Day 1, 2330 hours

Late in the night, Kira and Odo were inside the security office. Sometimes when the couple had arguments and disagreements, they would settle them inside the office, so as to not disturb their children. Odo sat on top of his desk, while Kira was sitting on a chair. Her posture was so low that she was almost resting on the desk. “I don't know what to do Odo,” said Kira quietly. “Mia she's...”

“Go on,” prompted Odo.

“She resents being a shapeshifter, she asked why I married you, someone in her own words who was 'normal'.” Kira looked deeply hurt, and she glanced at Odo. “I've heard many people criticize me for marrying you, but I never expected my daughter to hate me for marrying you!”

Odo’s reaction was muted. “She's just hurt, and frustrated. She knows she can't physically lash out, so she uses words instead.”

“Every day I constantly worry for her, I wonder weather she's being bullied, and every day I fear she may explode. She simply takes all of that abuse and torment, and she does nothing to confront it! Nothing!”

Kira’s voice became steadily louder as she vented her frustration towards Odo. “It's such a burden just seeing her suffer...”

Odo tried to lighten the mood. “At least she didn't try to kill Sarin...”

Instead of lifting Kira’s spirits, Odo’s attempt at humour did the opposite. “That's not funny,” she said sharply. “You weren't there when I had to physically restrain Mia, as she strangled that child seven years ago. I looked at her face, and there was no emotion upon it. In that moment, I knew she wasn't going to let go until she had killed him.”

She paused as the memories of that day lingered in her mind. “It's racism, pure and simple!”

“I know,” said Odo in a weary mantra. “But why doesn't Deru get bullied?”

“Because he has very limited shapeshifting abilities, whereas Mia has far more, and it spooks people. It spooks me sometimes when I see her shape shift.”

“Personally I think we should withdraw Mia from school indefinitely, we could teach her.”

However Kira felt rather skeptical about Odo's idea. “But where would we find the time to teach her? Besides sooner or later Mia is going to have to grow up and get used to the distrust of people around her.”

“We should have been harder upon her, and toughened her up... ”

“And how we do toughen her up?” asked Kira as she glared at Odo. “Do we deprive her of a childhood?”

“I didn't mean that,” said Odo hastily.

Kira jabbed her finger against the desk in anger, and she shouted at Odo. “I swore to myself that Mia and Deru would have a proper childhood and upbringing, and never have the upbringing I received!”

Now Odo sounded very angry. “But Mia has never been truly happy. She has been constantly bullied, and tormented in one way or another! She always has been to timid; she must stand up for herself!”

It always came back to that, Mia’s character flaw. Kira was not sure how to toughen Mia up, right now that didn’t matter. The top priority for Kira was easing Mia’s burden. “Let's just remove her from school, it's not doing her any good. Over the next few days, I'll work out some way of providing her an education...”

This was merely a stop-gap measure, Kira didn’t have the time to educate Mia herself. She wondered if she would have to resign from her job, and sacrifice her career to help Mia. If resigning from her post was the only option, then Kira would take it. Mia’s happiness meant everything to Kira.
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 29 2011, 06:55 PM   #57
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 2

Day 4, 1300 hours

The astronomy lab was a spacious room with a high ceiling, the room was elongated to the direction of the door. At the centre of the room, was a five metre wide circular platform, currently there was a 3D model of the Milky Way galaxy floating above the platform. The platform was raised up by about two feet, and inside it were various holographic projection technology, blue lightening emanated from the platform's perimeter.

Various consoles were laid out around the platform, to the left and right of the room were a line of monitors and screens. Next to the door was a small desk, the walls were the usual dull grey, but the lightening was noticeably brighter, the white light shone off the metallic surfaces of equipment.

The door to the astronomy lab opened, and Megan turned her head to see who had entered. “Hello Mia... What do you want?”

There was a brief pause, technically Mia shouldn’t be in the astronomy lab, but Megan waived that restriction aside.

Mia looked around at the lab, seemingly curious about it. “Oh I was just interested in what you actually do... with your work.”

This surprised Megan, and she tried to disappoint Mia. “It's pretty drab stuff, unless you consider the wormhole.”

“What kind of qualifications do you have?” asked Mia.

“Numerous ones, I've lost count. I have mathematics, physics and astronomy degrees, various doctorates. I spent half of my childhood in my bedroom studying mathematics and physics...”

An idea popped into Megan’s head, one which would keep Mia quiet and busy, while Megan could get on with her own work. Megan picked up seven padds, which were lying on the top of a wide console, and stacked them up into a pile. “I'll tell you what, you're not in school anymore, and if you want a challenge try some of these exercises; they're full of algebra, calculus and physics problems.”

Mia gathered the pads into her thin arms, she looked excited by the humongous workload. “Can I work in here? It's very quiet you see.”

“Sure, there's a seat over there and a spare desk.” Megan gestured with her hand. “But I'm quite busy at the moment, so don't ask me any questions okay?”

“I understand,” said Mia.

Mia headed towards the desk and sat down, and began to work.


***


Day 4, 1600 hours

After three hours, Megan had finished analysing the scans of the Polaris region. In all that time, Mia didn’t disturb her once, so Megan decided to check up on Mia’s work. She walked over to the desk where Mia was sitting at, Mia seemed to be concentrating hard on some sort of problem.

“I've just come to check up on you, may I?” asked Megan.

Mia nodded, and Megan checked the padd upon which Mia wrote the answers for the maths and physics problems. Megan was astounded by what she saw, Mia’s aptitude in maths and physics was very strong.

“Unbelievable,” she said.

Mia suddenly looked worried, as if she thought all her answers were wrong. “What's the matter?”

“You're fifteen right? Well your aptitude level for the mathematics is very high considering your age. You have a strong grasp of vector spaces, differential equations, and linear algebra, it's all very impressive. Additionally you are very skilled at constructing proofs from using various axioms.”

Mia seemed slightly embarrassed of Megan’s praise for her abilities. “Oh it's nothing, every night in my bedroom I just study maths, physics and I also work out how this station runs. It helps me to take my mind off... things.”

Megan suddenly realised just how long Mia had been in the astronomy lab, and Megan wondered if Mia had told her parents where she was. “Do your parents know that you are here with me?”

A cheeky grin lined Mia’s mouth. “They think I'm in my room.”

“You masked your life signs from the station's sensors haven't you?”

“It's easy, evading sensors and so forth...”

Mia looked guiltily at Megan as if expecting a reprimand, though Megan decided to ignore Mia’s tampering with the station’s sensors. The hidden talents that Mia possessed deeply surprised her... “Have you told your parents about your talent in mathematics and physics?”

“No...” Mia paused. “It's just...”

“They're not as skilled at mathematics and physics as you are?”

Mia nodded in agreement. “Well yeah, they couldn't teach me, because I teach myself. I just like doings things independently...”

With all that potential and talent, Megan seriously believed Mia’s talents were going to waste. “I'm going to talk to your parents about your abilities. Quite frankly I see great potential in you...”

“Really?” said Mia, she sounded genuinely interested.

“I'm serious, with your intelligence combined with your shapeshifting abilities... Well it's a useful combination...”

At the mention of the shapeshifting Mia frowned, and Megan realised Mia hated having the ability to shapeshift.


***


Day 4, 1655 hours

Kira was walking along the upper level of the Promenade. It had been a busy day for her as three ships that had docked at DS9 had been searched for narcotics. Indeed Odo and his security personnel had found massive quantities of narcotics onboard all three ships.

So exhausted was Kira that she considered having dinner by herself at Jake Sisko’s restaurant. The food was amazing, Jake had clearly inherited his father’s gift for cooking. Before Kira made up her mind, she observed Megan walking purposefully towards her.

“Colonel!” said Megan, who quickened her stride and then came to a stop in front of Kira. “I'd like to talk to you about your daughter.”

Inwardly Kira groaned to herself, she hated it when people thought it was necessary to give her parental advice. “What about my daughter?” she said, while sounding tense and looked haughty.

Megan seemed to realize Kira’s bad mood, as such Megan became as forthright as possible towards Kira. “She's incredibly talented at mathematics and physics! You see Mia came into the astronomy lab four hours ago. She was interested about my job, so I gave her some maths and physics exercises, and three hours later I checked her work. She's light years ahead of her peer group.”

“What was Mia doing in the astronomy lab?” asked Kira suspiciously.

Looking away slightly from Kira, Megan seemed quite sheepish. “Mia came by to visit me, she's...” There was a pause, and Megan looked slightly nervous.

“What?” demanded Kira.

“She has tampered with the station's sensors to mask her life signs.” Megan said this quickly, she seemed to be glossing over Mia’s wrongdoing. “This explains why you haven't been able to find her when she occasionally... disappears.”

Kira looked taken aback. “Mia tampered with the station's sensors?” she said disbelievingly.

“Look, Mia shouldn't have tampered with the sensors, but it's shows she's intelligent and practical. However, I seriously urge you to assess your daughter's talents!”
Megan looked almost imploringly towards Kira. “With that kind of brain power your daughter could go far in life!”

Such information about Mia totally astonished Kira, she was motionless as she contemplated what Megan had said. Kira snapped back to the real world and noticed that Megan was gone. She wished Megan had stayed, for Kira wanted to know more about Mia’s hidden talents, as in any case Mia had hid her talents well.


***


Day 4, 2350 hours

Inside her quarters, Kira was coming to terms with what she had discovered about Mia. She had confronted Mia, and upon investigating Mia’s bedroom, Kira had discovered dozens of padds stored inside a chest of draws. After briefly analysing the contents of these padds, Kira realised that Megan was absolutely right about Mia. One such padd was full of Mia’s answers to various maths and physics exercises.

At the first possible opportunity, Kira wanted to discuss with Odo what she had discovered about Mia. Unfortunately, Odo was very busy questioning suspects from the narcotics raid. Kira waited in the living room hoping that Odo would return soon as it was approaching midnight. Some hours later and the front door opened, and Odo was finally back home.

Kira rose from the sofa and walked towards Odo, a padd was firmly clenched in her right hand.

When Odo spotted Kira he looked surprised. “Nerys I didn’t realize you were still awake!”

Odo moved closer to Kira expecting a kiss to his lips, however Kira wasn’t in the mood for any intimacy. “Odo we need to talk, it’s about Mia.”

Kira passed to Odo the padd, looking slightly confused Odo looked at the contents. For a few moments, Kira wondered what Odo’s reaction would be when he saw Mia’s work. “This is the sort of work that Mia churns out on a daily basis...”

After a minute, Odo removed his gaze from the padd. “It doesn't make any sense, according to the teacher, Mia's ability at mathematics and physics is average at best.”

“It seems to me that Mia was just playing dumb all this time. Not only that she's been tampering with the station sensors to mask her life signs!”

Odo nodded once and slowly; he opened his mouth slightly, Kira recognized that expression immediately, that was Odo’s way of showing understanding. “That explains why I couldn't find her three days ago,” said Odo.

“Odo for all these years we've seriously underestimated her abilities!”

Kira’s voice was tempered with disappointment, she felt as if she had failed Mia as a parent.

It seemed Odo felt the same way as well as his eyes looked disappointed. “I know, but academically she's smarter than both of us, so how could we teach her?”

“What she needs is some sort of tutor,” said Kira slowly. “Someone who could intellectually stimulate Mia...”

“How about Megan? She's the most qualified of anyone onboard this station.”

Two months ago Kira would have plainly said ‘no’ to such a suggestion, but Kira trusted Megan now ever since she saved Deru and Mia. “That's a possibility,” she replied cautiously.

Whereas Kira was cautious about choosing Megan, Odo seemed all for the idea. “I say Megan is the best person to teach Mia, it appears that Mia has formed some kind of bond with Megan.”

Reluctantly Kira decided to trust Odo’s judgement, she couldn’t think of another suitable person to mentor Mia. A wave of tiredness crashed over Kira, all this talk about Mia’s future would have to wait until tomorrow. “We'll discuss this matter with Megan tomorrow, and we'll see whether she is interested in mentoring Mia. I’m going to bed now, to get a good night’s sleep.”
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Star Trek: The Approaching Shadow...

Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 30 2011, 09:15 PM   #58
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 3

Day 5, 1830 hours

Megan was walking towards Kira and Odo’s quarters; Kira had asked Megan to see her at 1830 hours. Kira had not specified what she wanted to discuss with Megan. Because of this lack of information, Megan was wondering if she had committed some sort of impasse towards Kira.

Upon entering the quarters, Megan noticed Kira and Odo standing in front of her. She couldn’t read the expression upon their faces, and Megan braced herself for the worst.

“Come in...” said Kira, she gave a Megan a small smile. “Don't look so nervous; I- that is to say me and Odo, have a personal request to ask of you.”

Megan’s eyebrows rose, that was the last thing she expected to hear. “A request?”

Kira looked at Odo briefly, and Odo elaborated upon this request. “We want you to educate our daughter, in your spare time.”

This was not what Megan had expected. “Why can't you educate her?”

Odo looked almost sheepish. “We don't have the time, and even if we did there wouldn't be anything to teach her.”

Kira chipped in. “You were right Megan; Mia is highly skilled, so that's why we want you to teach her.”

Megan looked at both Kira and Odo; the two seemed somewhat apprehensive, though they hid it well. Upon giving it further thought, Megan realised that Kira and Odo had placed considerable trust in her ability to teach Mia. “Mia teaches herself, but I could focus her on the finer nuances of her studies.”

Megan paused, she could tell Kira and Odo were hanging on to her every word. “Alright I’ll teach Mia. I could fit some lessons into my schedule, say mid-afternoon, and between 1800 and 2100. I'd say an average of four hours per day should be enough.”

Both Kira and Odo looked relieved; Odo walked up to Megan and shook her hand. “Thank you for doing this for us,” he said.

Megan ended the hand shake, and she gave Odo a smile reassuring smile. “This isn't some sort of chore, I'm really looking forward to teaching Mia...”


***


Day 9, 1500 hours

For the last three days, Megan had enjoyed tutoring Mia. Megan decided the best place for Mia to work would be in the astronomy lab. What amazed her was how self-sufficient Mia was when it came to education. Only twice had Mia actually asked Megan for help regarding a difficult problem. Once Megan explained to Mia the method for solving the problem, and Mia would immediately understand where she was going wrong.

Today seemed no different, Megan was doing her work inside the astronomy lab, while Mia was at her usual desk quietly working her way through various maths and physics textbook exercises. Megan was working on a console next to the platform, though there were no projections floating above the platform. For some reason, Megan paused and turned around to look at Mia, somehow she sensed that Mia’s heart wasn’t into the work.

“You look preoccupied,” she said. “Is there a tricky problem your dealing with?”

Mia looked up to face Megan. “No... it's not that.” Mia paused; her face looked very agitated. “It's just... I'm doing all this academic work which is alright. However, the outside world and other Bajorans, are still going to shun me and torment me.”

There was a slight hint of fear in Mia’s voice, and Megan realised that Mia was afraid of other people. It was one thing for Megan to tutor Mia, but would it be right of her to give to Mia advice for the daily situations of life?

Megan walked over to next to Mia’s desk, she sat down on top of it, careful to not to disturb the padds lying over the desk.

“I'm glad you realize that there is far more to this universe than maths and science. Listen, I don't see things becoming any easier for you. You are different, unique, and because your half Bajoran and half shapeshifter, some people will curse you forever for what you are. In case you haven't noticed I'm not the most popular person on this station, many of my fellow Starfleet officers falsely resentment me for of the deaths of 150 Starfleet personal.”

These facts surprised Mia, and she gave Megan a cold stare. “Did you kill those people?” she asked tersely.

“No...” responded Megan, she then paused as it was difficult for her talking about the Liberty. “But I was framed for a crime I never committed.”

The cold stare vanished from Mia’s face and she now looked understanding. “So has your name been cleared?”

“Yes, but... it's complicated. Suffice to say I can appreciate what you’re going through, and the only way to deal with it is to stand up with your head held high and endure it.”

“But how do you stand up to such injustice?” asked Mia, while looking despairingly at Megan.

“You can shape shift can't you?” inquired Megan.

At the very mention of shapeshifting, Mia avoided eye contact with Megan. “I can but I'm afraid to do so.”

Suddenly Megan realised why Mia was bullied on a daily basis. “And that's the problem; the malicious sense that fear and they use it as a way to hurt you. The next time someone bullies you, if possible try to walk away from a confrontation. However, if you can't then you have to confront them, bullies don't like being embarrassed, just tell them forcibly to leave you alone.

“If they try to assault you in anyway, then you can defend yourself with a proportionate amount of force. Another thing to do is shape shift and frighten the tormentor; but make sure you have control of your shape shifting abilities. However, don't actually injure him, but do enough to make him realize you shouldn't be messed with.”

“My brother is a bit like that,” mused Mia. “So many people respect him, and yet no one bullies him or behaves like a jerk towards him.”

“When you stop hiding from what you really are the nasty people will stay away from you, they never pick the strong as their victims.”

It looked like Mia had received a huge dose of clarity; Megan’s words seemed to transform Mia. Somehow Mia now looked more confident; she didn’t look like a victim any more. “Thanks for telling me that... It's eased some of my... worries.”

Mia briefly smiled at Megan to show her gratitude for Megan's advice, afterwards Mia returned back to her work. Megan removed herself from the desk and headed back to her work station.


***


Day 10, 1600 hours

Mia was walking along the upper level of the Promenade, she was carrying a padd and walking at a brisk pace. She wanted to return to home as quickly as possible. On one of the bridges, Sarin and two of his cronies walked over to block Mia’s path. Mia came to a halt; she almost succumbed to her fear but she then composed herself. This was going to be the last time Sarin bullied her.

“Well well if it isn't our favourite shapeshifter...” sneered Sarin, he approached Mia in a threatening way.

“Get out of my way,” said Mia nastily, she scowled at Sarin.

Sarin instead of letting Mia go by, snatched the padd clutched in her right hand.

“Not until I read this...” said Sarin in a patronizing tone.

“Give it back Sarin...” warned Mia, there was a serious hint of danger in her voice.

Sarin smirked, and he was pretending to look tough in front of his mates, but his eyes betrayed a slight hint of concern. “Or else what?” demanded Sarin. “No mummy or daddy to protect you now.”

Mia squared up to Sarin. “I know how to look after myself thank you very much. And that-” Mia extended her right hand and snatched the padd off Sarin’s hand. “-is mine.”

For a moment, Sarin looked taken aback. “You freak!” he said, raising his voice, though he sounded slightly fearful.

Now Mia realised she could torment Sarin, for Sarin could not look weak in front of his friends. “Funny you scare so easily, or are you just jealous that I have abilities you will never have?”

Sarin looked really angry. “You'll pay for that remark shapeshifter.”

Dashing forward Sarin tried to push Mia to the floor. Instead, his hands went straight through Mia’s torso, suddenly Sarin stopped in mid motion. He looked absurd, as his arms were stuck inside Mia’s body. Now Sarin looked really afraid. “What the?” he exclaimed fearfully, his eyes were wide with fear.

Sarin's cronies started to laugh at him, embarrassment mingled with the fear on Sarin’s face. Mia grabbed Sarin’s arms, and removed them from her body; she pushed Sarin away from her. Falling to the floor, Sarin was on his back; he looked at Mia in a stunned manner.

“Come on Sarin let's go,” said one of Sarin’s friends. “She isn't worth the trouble.”

Sarin got to his feet and left the scene with one of his friends. The other boy remained behind; he looked at Mia with a mixture of fear and awe. “That was impressive,” he said quietly, before dashing off to meet up with Sarin.

“Your welcome,” said Mia, who looked mildly surprised. She then smiled to herself; she had confronted Sarin and won. Mia resumed walking back to her quarters, she walked with a new confidence and superiority.

Odo was watching the whole affair from afar, at that moment he felt so proud of Mia. Finally, she was standing up to her bullies and tormentors. He had smiled with grim satisfaction as he saw the three Bajoran boys hurry away from Mia, and the look on his daughter’s face. Odo had never seen Mia look so confident and sure of herself.

What Mia had done took a lot off Odo’s mind; for so many years now he had been worried for Mia. He had worried many a time for both of his children, but that was all part of being a parent. Even when things were going right, there were always small niggling worries in the back of Odo’s mind. Mia had been a bigger worry for Odo than Deru, now Odo did not have to worry as much.


***


Day 10, 1700 hours

After the end of her shift, Kira headed to the security office. It was something of a routine for her, virtually every working day she would meet Odo at 1700 in his office. Walking inside she noticed Odo sitting behind his desk, Odo looked up and gave her big smile.

This surprised Kira, Odo rarely smiled. She sat on top of his desk and smiled back, she wondered what Odo was so happy about. “You seem in a cheerful mood today.”

Odo’s smile faded slightly. “I have a reason to be cheerful; it's about Mia. I saw her on the Promenade, Sarin along with two of his cronies tried to bully Mia; but to no avail.”

“What did she do?” inquired Kira.

“She actually stood up to them, I saw her she didn't look remotely intimidated.”

Odo looked proudly at Kira. “Sarin had snatched a padd she was holding, so she took it back by force. Sarin then tried to push her, but she shapeshifted, and Sarin hands were stuck inside her body. Sarin's cronies were deeply amused, I suspect Sarin felt really embarrassed. After a moment, Mia let Sarin go free, and then he and his friends left her alone.”

Upon hearing this Kira felt a huge burden had been removed from her; she didn’t realize how miserable and stressed she had actually felt. Mia’s action had greatly uplifted Kira, and she smiled widely towards Odo. “It seems like Mia isn't afraid to shapeshift anymore.”

Odo placed his hands together and put them underneath his chin. “I suspect that it was Megan who told Mia to stand up and confront bullies.”

“Do you really think so?” asked Kira.

Odo’s hands rested on his legs. “For some reason Mia really admires Megan, at any rate it's done Mia a lot of good, it seems Megan is serving the dual role of teacher and mentor to Mia.”

There was a brief pause between the two. Whatever Megan had told Mia, Kira was deeply grateful for Megan. Getting Megan to tutor to Mia was probably the best decision Kira had ever made.

“It's taken a lot of my mind,” said Kira at last. “I've been so worried about Mia. I'll see you in a hours time.”

Kira moved forwards and gave Odo a brief kiss on his lips. She then moved her head slightly away from Odo, and she felt Odo holding onto her hands. Kira was in such a good mood she felt like celebrating, and there was one way to do that. “You know tonight in our quarters, when the children are asleep, we could er... link, if you get my drift.”

Odo nodded in appreciation. “That would be nice.”

With a last smile at Odo, Kira stood up and walked out of the office. She felt as if the Prophets had answered her prayers and alleviated her concerns for Mia…

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Well that is the end of Outlier. Here are links to the rest of my stories (which are listed in chronological order in terms of my series plot):

Season 1:

Secrets and Lies

Shallow Rights


Vacation

Bad Blood

Outlier

Devolution

Gold Rush

Medical Pariah

Commitment

Ménage ŕ Trois

Tip of the Iceberg


Season 2:

Survival

High Stakes

Running the Gauntlet
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Caption contest: DS9
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Old October 31 2011, 11:04 PM   #59
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Re: DS9: A continuation

This is my sixth story Devolution, and it's all about the Dominion and Odo. Plus you get to see how Odo returned to Kira, after his year long stay in the Great Link.

Here is a summary:

For 18 years there has been no direct contact between the Dominion and the Federation. Now out of the blue, a Jem'Hadar battleship comes out of the wormhole and arrives at DS9. After agreeing to a meeting with Weyoun, Ezri finds out some disturbing truths about the Dominion... The Jem'Hadar are revolting and rising up against their gods, and should the Dominion collapse, the Jem'Hadar will attack the Alpha Quadrant. The Federation's only adequate line of defence to prevent a devastating war is DS9...

And here is the story:

Devolution, chapter 1

Stardate: 70842.3

Day 1, 2230hours

Inside Ops, it was late in the night, and Max was at his console. For most of the time, he was analysing results from various scientific experiments conducted in the chemistry laboratory. Being the head of science, Max coordinated all of the various departments: astronomy, chemistry and biology. Inside the console was a small compartment, Max’s modified tricorder was stored there. In his spare time, Max loved to mess around with electrical devices. His tricorder was the result of ten years of modification.

Currently Max was assigning his departments resources for the next month, every month each department sent requests to him for materials and equipment to conduct a months worth of experiments. A small flashing red light diverted Max’s attention; whenever the light flashed it meant that the station’s sensors had detected a ship coming out of the wormhole.

Max checked the sensors, it was a Jem'Hadar battleship that had come out of the wormhole. Alarm bells went off inside Max’s head; the Dominion had left the Alpha Quadrant eighteen years ago. Not one Jem'Hadar ship had returned to the Alpha Quadrant since then. There was only one thing Max could do... He had to warn his captain, so he tapped his comm badge.

“Lieutenant Max to the captain.”

“<i>Ezri here, what is it lieutenant?</i>”

“Sorry to bother you captain but I've detected a Jem'Hadar battleship approaching DS9. It came out of the wormhole, and the ship will arrive at the station in one minutes time.”

“<i>Raise the station’s shields, ready the phaser banks and photon torpedoes, I'm on my way!</i>”

Ezri sounded tired, and Max hoped that Ezri would be considerably more alert when she arrived in Ops. A sense of nervousness made Max’s stomach queasy. After reading about the Dominion war, he was somewhat frightened by the Jem'Hadar battleship which was so close to DS9. At the time of the Dominion war, Max was only eight, he lived on Earth with his parents, and was fortunate enough never to see any of the horror or devastation caused by the war.

Though at that time he had simply been lucky, living in Kansas, which escaped a Breen attack. Right now, Max really hoped the arrival of this Jem'Hadar battleship didn’t spell the beginning of another conflict...


***


The situation was very serious; Ezri had many memories of the Jem'Hadar from her former host Jadzia, and her own experiences fighting the Jem'Hadar on the planet AR-558. Those were truly terrible times, it was only after the end of the war that Ezri appreciated what tense and dangerous times those two years were.

For eighteen years, there had been no direct contact between the Dominion and the Federation since the war. Despite the Federation resuming exploration of the Gamma Quadrant, and placing colonies on unclaimed and uninhabited worlds, Starfleet vessels maintained a wide distance from Dominion territory.

Ezri could only hope the Jem'Hadar battleship was on a peaceful mission. The turbolift came to a halt, she stepped out and walked over to Max, while the turbolift descended once more. “Has the Jem'Hadar ship hailed us?” she asked Max.

“Not yet,” replied Max, “they’ve now come to a halt, and there shields are raised.”

Ezri thought that Max looked nervous, of course he had never encountered the Jem'Hadar before. “Keep monitoring them,” she ordered.

At that moment, the turbolift appeared, and Kira walked out. “What's the problem captain?”

Ezri activated the view screen. “There is our problem.”

On the view screen, the image of the menacing Jem’Hadar battleship appeared. The ship seemed to be of a similar configuration of the Jem’Hadar battleships seen in the Dominion War. Ezri hoped that Federation technology had kept up with Dominion technology in these last eighteen years.

Kira frowned at the ship; she looked tense. “There haven't been any Dominion ships coming through the wormhole for eighteen years. Why should Dominion ships arrive to meet us now?”

“We'll find out soon enough,” replied Ezri, she took the fact that the Jem’Hadar ship hadn’t raised it weapons as a good sign. Kira gave Ezri a brief questioning glance, before heading to her station.

“Captain!” exclaimed Max. “The Jem'Hadar ship is hailing us!”

“On screen!” ordered Ezri.

The image of the Jem’Hadar ship was replaced with a Vorta standing on what must have been the ship’s bridge. There were Jem’Hadar in the background and they were manning various consoles. Ezri recognized the Vorta on the view screen; it was Weyoun. She realised that this must be another Weyoun clone. Despite Weyoun’s friendly toothy smile, Ezri wasn’t fooled for a second by his charm.

“Captain Dax, so you are the new commander of DS9!”

“What is your reason for being here Weyoun?” demanded Ezri.

The smile on Weyoun’s face faded somewhat. “There are some Dominion matters, which you need to know about...” Weyoun paused and looked distinctly uncomfortable. “But I'd rather not talk about them right now, perhaps somewhere more private. Maybe onboard your station?”

Ezri briefly considered Weyoun’s request; right now he wanted to talk and Ezri wanted to keep it that way. “Agreed; do you want to transport in or dock?”

“Docking will do just nicely.”

“Lower your shields and you can dock at docking bay two.” There was a brief pause, and Ezri wondered if Weyoun would comply.

“I notice DS9’s shields are raised and its weapon active, do you really think captain that this ship will attack DS9?” Weyoun sounded hurt, as if disapproving of Ezri's cautious and suspicious stance.

“Weyoun let’s get one thing straight; I have no reason to trust you, so stop pretending to be friendly. If you want to make a gesture of good will, lower your ship’s shields and likewise I will do the same.”

The smile on Weyoun’s face faltered slightly, and he seemed to realize that sweet talking to Ezri would not work. “Very well captain, as a gesture of good will, I will lower this ship’s shields.”

Max was checking the sensor readings from his console. “The Jem'Hadar ship’s shields have lowered.”

Inwardly Ezri was relieved, Weyoun was sincere about this meeting. “Colonel lower the shields and deactivate the weapon systems.” Ezri then addressed Weyoun. “You’re cleared for docking.”

“Thank you captain,” said Weyoun graciously.

The view screen reverted to blackness.

“That went a little to smoothly...” said Ezri, though more to herself. “Kira you’re with me, it's time to greet our guest.” While Kira headed for the turbolift, Ezri tapped her comm badge. “Dax to Odo.”

“<i>Yes captain?</i>”

“Odo meet me at docking bay two; a Jem'Hadar battleship has arrived, and Weyoun is going to meet us.”

“<i>I'm on my way.</i>”


Ezri expected Odo to sound more surprised, but then again it took a lot to surprise Odo. She walked into the turbolift. “Docking bay two,” she said to the computer.

The turbolift descended, for a while there was silence between Ezri and Kira. Then Kira spoke up. “It’s funny, because the last time I saw Weyoun, was when Garak killed him.”

Kira looked vaguely amused, although Ezri thought there was nothing funny about killing. “That was Weyoun eight,” she replied. “So this must be Weyoun nine.”

In a thoughtful manner, Kira was looking at Ezri. “It must be strange... Being a clone of yourself and remembering everything...”

“Try being a Trill host...” said Ezri in a joking tone.

The tense mood vanished for a bit, and the two women briefly smiled at each other.


***


Day 1, 2310 hours

It had been thirty minutes since the Jem’Hadar battleship had docked. Ezri, Kira and Odo, were waiting outside of the doors to docking bay two. As always Ezri seemed totally calm, Odo was giving the docking bay doors a dead-pan stare.

Kira though was becoming increasingly agitated. “What is Weyoun doing on that Dominion ship? Surely it doesn't take thirty minutes to leave your ship?”

“Patience colonel,” said Ezri in a soothing voice. “I suspect Weyoun isn't the only important Dominion member on that ship...”

Scowled at Ezri’s vagueness, Kira then looked away, and kept her eyes glanced on the docking bay doors.

Finally the docking bay doors opened. Weyoun came through the doors first, followed by a Founder and two Jem’Hadar guards who were armed. For a small moment, Odo looked surprised at seeing a fellow shapeshifter. Almost immediately the shapeshifter’s eyes were upon Odo.

Weyoun looked jovial, and as he approached Ezri he clasped his hands together. “Captain! Please forgive the delay.” Weyoun sounded almost apologetic. “There were some 'security' issues that I-”

“That is enough Weyoun!” the male shapeshifter said sharply; at once Weyoun complied and he looked reverently at the shapeshifter. Not once did the shapeshifter look at Weyoun, the shapeshifter came to a stop next to Ezri. “Captain Dax I am the shapeshifter leader, I suspect you've met Weyoun before...”

“Welcome to DS9,” said Ezri courteously. “Here is my first officer; colonel Kira, and my chief of security Odo-”

“Yes I've met Odo before, in a manner of speaking...”

The shapeshifter seemed to forget that Ezri was there, and he walked towards Odo. Kira shot a suspicious look towards Odo; she was on edge and she didn't trust this shapeshifter leader one bit.

The shapeshifter held a hand for Odo to shake. “We have missed you Odo.”

Reluctantly Odo briefly shook the shape shifter's hand. “I'm sure you have,” said Odo coldly.

Turning around, the shapeshifter addressed Ezri. “Captain there are some sensitive issues to discuss... in private.”

“Arrangements have already been made, if you would follow me to the wardroom.” Briefly Ezri held out her arm, and the shapeshifter and his delegation followed.

As the group headed to the wardroom, Kira and Odo lingered at the back. They were having a whispered conversation, and Kira's voice was noticeably tense. “What did the shapeshifter mean, when he said he had met you before?”

Odo looked weary, as if he didn’t want to answer the question. “He was talking about my time in the Great Link eighteen years ago. Why do you ask-”

“Let's just say I'm uncomfortable around other shapeshifters, they all seem to know you.”

Now Odo looked angry. “I've haven't linked with another shapeshifter for eighteen years!” he angrily exclaimed. “You worry to much about shapeshifters linking, it's as natural to us as talking.”

Kira backed down; she realised how sensitive Odo was about the subject of his people. Asking insensitive questions would only make Odo more angry. “I'm sorry Odo,” said Kira quietly.

“It doesn't matter...” said Odo wearily.


***


Day 1, 2315 hours

The mood in the wardroom was tense, along one side of the room were four Starfleet and Bajoran security guards. While on the windowed side, there were the two Jem’Hadar guards, they were directly behind the shapeshifter leader. Both guards were standing rigidly and gazing resolutely at some point just above the shape shifter’s head.

At the table, Ezri was sat on one end, while to her right there was the shapeshifter and Weyoun. To Ezri’s left, Kira and Odo were sat down, and they were both looking at Ezri. Although occasionally one of them would steal a brief glance at the shapeshifter.

Ezri remained silent; she was waiting for what the shapeshifter leader had to say. Indeed the shapeshifter seemed nervous, his hands were clasped together, and they rested on the table. “Captain,” said the shapeshifter after a while. “I'm going to put this bluntly to you; the Dominion is very fragile at the moment, and the Founder's control over the Jem'Hadar has decreased considerably. It is only a matter of time before there is a Jem'Hadar revolt.”

Such an omission on the shapeshifter's part surprised Ezri, and she frowned slightly as she let this information sink in. An aggressive Dominion was bad enough. However, renegade Jem'Hadar would be an even bigger problem. “Doesn't the ketracel white control the Jem'Hadar, and prevent them from revolting against their gods?”

“That method of control has become less effective...”

The shapeshifter paused when Weyoun whispered into his ear, after listening intently to Weyoun the shape shifter continued to talk. “Ever since the Tren have come into contact with the Dominion, more and more of the Jem'Hadar became independent of the white.”

“Independent?” said Ezri sharply. “How come?”

“The Tren use a vaccine which removes the Jem'Hadar's addiction to the white. Because of this, more and more of the Jem'Hadar have renounced their allegiance to the Dominion.”

“But aren't the Jem'Hadar genetically engineered to obey the Founders?”

“Even that is not enough, many of the Jem'Hadar question the Founder's objectives...”

Weyoun spoke up and elaborated on the shapeshifter’s point. “Captain the Dominion has maintained peaceful relations with it's neighbours for eighteen years now. Unfortunately, there is less need for the Jem'Hadar; they were bred for war and...” Weyoun gave a small insincere laugh. “How shall I put it? They're unaccustomed in peacetime and frustrated at the lack of Dominion enemies.”

Ezri though suspected that Weyoun wasn’t entirely being open about the reasons for the Jem’Hadar discontent. “How have you dealt with the dissatisfaction amongst the Jem'Hadar?” she asked.

The shapeshifter looked slightly uncomfortable, he hesitated before answering Ezri's question. “Initially we confined many of the Jem'Hadar to their barracks, and then we discreetly killed off the Jem'Hadar confined in their barracks.”

“You killed your own soldiers?” asked Kira, who sounded aghast. “And you wonder why the Jem'Hadar are revolting against you?”

“We had no other choice!” said the shapeshifter, he sounded deeply defensive. “The safety and protection of the Great Link is absolutely paramount!”

Inwardly Ezri was appalled by what she had heard, the Founders deserved to be attacked for betraying the Jem’Hadar. Now she had some inkling of why the shapeshifter leader had come to this station. “You’ve come here because you want the Federation to protect the Great Link?”

The shapeshifter looked almost humiliated. “It shames me to say it, but yes we do need Federation support.”

Ezri gazed appraisingly at the shapeshifter. “Unfortunately the Federation does not give support to interplanetary states that carry out genocide upon their own people.”

“If you don't help us, you may find thousands of Jem'Hadar ships arriving at your station. You think the last Dominion war was bad?” The shape shifter stared coldly into Ezri’s eyes. “Then think again; the Jem'Hadar ships will do great damage to your Federation before you stop them.”

As much as Ezri didn’t want to help the Founders, she was forced to do so if it meant protecting the Federation. “I get the point... I'll contact my superiors and I will determine what, if any, support the Federation can provide.”

The shapeshifter looked almost gleeful, he had got his way. “Thank you captain, now I must get back to my ship...”

The shapeshifter leader and Weyoun rose from the seats and the Jem’Hadar guards walked behind to escort the pair back to the ship. The four Starfleet and Bajoran security guards walked out to escort the Dominion delegation back to the Jem’Hadar ship. When the Dominion delegation had left the room, Kira burst into speech. “He cannot be serious! For eighteen years, there's been no contact with the Dominion, and now they ask for our help!”

Ezri looked wearily at Kira. “I know it's pretentious and that the Founders don’t deserve to be helped, but it seems the Dominion could fall into civil war. Do you think the shapeshifter was telling us the truth Odo?”

Through the meeting, Odo had been mightily quiet. “I'm not sure captain...” said Odo slowly.

Ezri sensed that Odo had divided loyalties, he was torn between wanting to help his people and his obligations on this station. “Let's not readily dismiss his warnings. If the Jem'Hadar really do revolt and come through the wormhole, then DS9 will be the first line of defence against them, and we shall not be caught unprepared if the Jem'Hadar attack DS9. I'll contact admiral Ross, and find out what kind of support will be given to us should the worst happen. Dismissed!”

Kira and Odo rose from their chairs and left the room. Right now Ezri wondered why she chose to become a captain, it was one thing to run a station. It was quite another keeping everything ship-shape as she dealt with various calamities. First it was the failed Bajoran military coup, and now there was a possibility of a Jem’Hadar revolt! Heavy was the burden of command, but for Ezri it was even harder.

She didn’t have someone to talk to about these matters, in other words she had no confidant. Ezri found it interesting that all the great and famous captains: Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway all had confidants. For Kirk it was Spock, in Picard’s case it was Guinan, and Janeway had Tuvok. Ezri found it ironic that she was once, in her former host Jadzia, Sisko’s confidant.
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Caption contest: DS9
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Old November 1 2011, 10:50 PM   #60
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Re: DS9: A continuation

Chapter 2

Day 1, 2350 hours

After the meeting it was nearly midnight, and so Ezri returned to her quarters. In there she went over to her work desk, activated the console and sent a transmission to admiral Ross. Ezri explained to Ross about the Jem’Hadar battleship, and the meeting with Weyoun and the Founder. “-and so if the shapeshifter leader is telling the truth, then there is a serious danger to the wormhole, DS9 and beyond...”

When Ezri had finished, Ross looked deeply troubled by what he had heard. “Firstly, do you doubt the truth of what the shapeshifter is telling you about the Dominion?”

“Frankly this is the first Federation/Dominion contact in eighteen years, as such it is nearly impossible to substantiate the Dominion's claims. However, why would the shapeshifter lie to us, and reveal to us a potential weakness inside the Dominion?”

“I see your point,” acknowledged Ross. “Let us proceed on the assumption that the shapeshifter is telling the truth... You said he wants Federation support to protect the Great Link? What kind of support did he ask for?”

Ezri felt slightly embarrassed, as she was certain Ross wouldn’t like her answer. “He didn't exactly specify, but I would assume he wanted the Federation to send in Starfleet ships to protect the Great Link.”

“Ships which I cannot give to him!” said Ross indignantly. “After all this is the Dominion's problem not ours!”

Ezri was about to point out that a Jem’Hadar revolt would be a Federation problem, should the Jem’Hadar come through the wormhole. Ross though continued as if he sensed Ezri was going to object. “However, I will send Starfleet ships to DS9 to cover every scenario, just in case the worst happens.”

“So am I to tell the shapeshifter leader that the Federation will not help the Dominion?”

“Tell him that the Federation will 'consider' his request, though it wouldn't do any harm to find out for ourselves what is going on inside the Dominion. Tell him that the Defiant will be sent out to access the Dominion situation, this should buy us some time.”

“So this will just be a scouting mission?” Ezri had to clarify this point, for the Defiant would attract a lot of attention in Dominion territory.

“Affirmative,” said Ross. “Do not engage any Dominion or Tren ship unless they attack you. You have your orders, Ross out.”


***


Day 2, 0900 hours

The entire senior staff were gathered inside the wardroom. Never in so many years had there been a senior staff meeting as tense as this one. It was bad enough that there were rumours circulating all around DS9 concerning the Jem’Hadar battleship. It was even worse that there was a possibility that DS9 would become a major battleground between the renegade Jem’Hadar and the Federation.

Everyone’s gaze was upon Ezri, she was standing behind her chair. “Admiral Ross has decided not to send support to the Dominion, but as a precaution he has sent 1200 ships to defend the wormhole from a possible Jem'Hadar attack. However, the admiral and I have agreed to send the Defiant into Dominion space to access the situation. The mission is straightforward; the Defiant will enter Dominion territory cloaked, and monitor any Jem'Hadar or Tren ships. I've already cleared this with the shapeshifter leader.” Ezri rested her gaze upon Kira. “Colonel, you will be commanding DS9, should anything happen to the Defiant, do not send ships to rescue us, understood?”

Kira nodded once, she gazed seriously towards Ezri.

Ezri had absolute confidence in Kira following her orders. “For this mission the Defiant will have a skeleton crew. Nog, Holo and Bashir, you will also be staying on board DS9. Mr Weatherby you'll be piloting the Defiant, Ms Felpes and Odo you will be on the Defiant. Are there any questions?”

The senior staff remained silent, it was very clear what everyone had to do. Ezri decided to wrap up the staff meeting. “Right, the Defiant leaves at 1300 hours today; dismissed.”

While the senior staff rose and left the room, Ezri remained stationary, she watched the retreating backs of the senior staff. She was far more worried than she let on, she had a feeling that she would be commanding the Defiant for the last time…


***


Day 2, 1230 hours

Kira paced around her quarter’s living room, she had forsaken her lunch break just to have one last conversation with Odo. She waited for Odo to finish saying his goodbyes to Mia and Deru. Kira did not want Odo to go on this mission, she thought that the Federation should give a wide berth to the apparent infighting inside the Dominion. The whole mission was pointless, and if Odo died because of it she wasn’t sure how she would feel.

When Odo entered the room, Kira ceased pacing around and came to a stop in front of Odo. This was her last to chance to convince Odo not to go on the mission. “I know your mind is made up, and I won’t stop you, but I still think this is a pointless mission.”

Odo looked downcast, it seemed like he had wanted to avoid an disagreement with Kira. “I’m going on this mission irrespective of what you think about it, the shapeshifter needs my help!”

“I don't trust that shapeshifter, why do you feel so obliged to help him?”

“I have to do whatever I can to protect my people, I have an obligation to do so!”

Kira feared that Odo would say something like that, she gave Odo an angry glare. “You don't owe anything to your people!” she said heatedly. “You saved them, you stopped the virus that was destroying the Great Link, and you changed the Dominion!”

Odo didn’t seem convinced. “Did I?” he said heavily.

“So is that what you want? asked Kira angrily. “To go back and finish off the work you started eighteen years ago?”

Now cold anger appeared on Odo's face. “I've been away from my people for to long, I need to go back...”

“Go back?” said Kira, the anger and exasperation raised the pitch of her voice. “The Founders haven't changed one bit! The fact that they are exterminating the Jem'Hadar shows their contempt for humanoid life!”

“And that is something which I can change!” said Odo rather forcibly.

“And do you really believe that?” said Kira shrilly. “What stops them from trapping you in the Great Link and changing you into them?”

A pained expression crept into Odo’s face. “You do not understand, what it is like to be away from your home, and your birthplace, for so long!” Odo gestured forcibly with his hands, they were clenched and raised against his chest. “Maybe humanoids don't mind being away from their homeworlds, but shapeshifters do! It is something that humanoids will never understand!”

Never did Kira realise how badly Odo missed the Great Link, she felt guilty about berating Odo for his need to return home. She looked tenderly at Odo. “I don't want to lose you Odo!” she said gently. “I can admire what you are trying to do, but it seems to me a hopeless cause!”

Odo looked despondent. “Let's drop the matter... Anyway I must be on the Defiant.”

Kira didn’t want this conversation to end on such a low note, she walked towards Odo and gave him a brief passionate kiss. The two then hugged each other, Kira kept a stiff upper lip as she wondered if this was the last time she would hold Odo in her arms. “Just stay safe and promise me you will return back to me and the children.”

Odo stopped hugging Kira and held her by her shoulders, he looked directly into Kira’s eyes. “I promise.”

He smiled briefly at Kira, before turning around and walking out of the quarters. Kira watched Odo with a worried look on her face, she wasn’t so much worried for Odo’s safety but more his desire for returning to the Great Link. If Odo wanted to return to the Great Link she wouldn't stop him, but how long would Odo stay there, and what if he never left the Great Link? This issue was going to really strain her relationship with Odo and it was not going to go away.

Kira took some comfort from the fact that Odo had once left the Great Link to return to her, she knew that Odo had only come back to DS9 because he loved her. At that moment, Kira was convinced that should Odo rejoin the Great Link, he would eventually come back to her. The memories of the day when Odo came back to DS9 came flooding back to her, it was the happiest day of her life...
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Caption contest: DS9
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