DS9 Season 10, ep 10x14 - "Against the Odds"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by lvsxy808, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
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    Okay, so apparently that last one didn't get a lot of love. Sorry to hear that, as I had a lot of fun writing it. Ah well, on to the next one...

    First the recap as usual:

    Previous threads

    Episodes 1 to 7
    Episode 8
    Episode 9
    Episode 10
    Episode 11
    Episode 12
    Episode 13

    Direct links to the PDFs of episodes 1 to 12:

    10x01 - "Emancipation"
    10x02 - "Brave New World"
    10x03 - "Steppin' Out"
    10x04 - "Easy Come, Easy Go"
    10x05 - "Deep Down"
    10x06 - "The Dream Box"
    10x07 - "Instinct"
    10x08 - "Property Values"
    10x09 - "Blank Slate"
    10x10 - "In Two Minds"
    10x11 - "Harmony" (part 1 of 2)
    10x12 - "Heresy" (part 2 of 2)
    10x13 - "The Case of the Flamping Flurble"

    All episodes are also available at the Ad Astra fan-fic archives, link here.

    Episode 14 carries on directly from the end of ep 13, although I wouldn't call them a two-parter necessarily.

    It also incorporates a scene from the DS9-R novel Rising Son by SD Perry, something I found necessary to do because it was a scene I'd cut out of my much abbreviated adaptation of Rising Son for my own season 8 screenplays, but which turned out to be necessary for the story of this ep. If that makes any sense.

    Okay then - on to episode 10x14 - "Against the Odds."

    Enjoy!

    .
     
  2. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    TEASER


    FADE IN:


    1 EXT. WADI STREETS – EARLY EVENING

    We pick up exactly where we left it last time. JAKE, NOG and RENA have run into crew from the Even Odds – captain DEZ, first officer FACITY, and a human-looking teenage girl of about 14, named MEERA (who we haven’t seen before).

    All are very surprised to see each other. But before they can explain, they are all surrounded by Wadi police, armed and ready to use it. Inspector MUNAD is in charge, pointing his weapon right at Dez.

    MUNAD
    Zin Dezovrim, Facity Sleedow...
    You’re under arrest. ​

    Dez and Facity grit their teeth – caught.

    JAKE
    Wait – Inspector, this must be
    a mistake. Dez isn’t – ​

    MUNAD
    Do you know each other? ​

    JAKE
    Yes.

    DEZ
    No.​

    They stare at each other. Jake is offended – why would Dez deny knowing him? Dez’s eyes are pleading with Jake to stay out of it.

    MUNAD
    Do you want to try that again? ​

    No-one knows what to say. Nog and Rena are on edge, not sure what’s going on. Dez and Facity are tense, ready to move at a moment’s notice.

    MUNAD
    I find this very interesting.
    You kids say you’re from the
    Federation, a supposedly good
    and just society. You fight so
    hard to get your ship back. You
    act so innocent and righteous.
    And then it turns out you’re
    such close friends with the
    most notorious criminal gang
    in the sector that you’ll
    try to defend them to me. ​

    FACITY
    “Notorious”? I like the sound
    of that. ​

    Dez shoots her a look. But Jake has figured this out now.

    JAKE
    It was you? You’re the ones
    who were going to buy our ship
    from Lebikow? ​

    FACITY
    Your ship? ​

    MUNAD
    Don’t bother acting surprised,
    Mz Sleedow. You provided your
    old friend and colleague Mister
    Lebikow with the codes to break
    into the ship, after all. ​

    DEZ
    Jake, you have to believe me,
    I had no idea you had anything
    to do with this. What are you
    even doing here? ​

    NOG
    (breaking in)
    We were on a road trip. ​

    FACITY
    A road trip? ​

    RENA
    What does it matter what we’re
    doing here? We’re not the ones
    being arrested. ​

    MUNAD
    That’s still to be determined,
    young lady. ​

    Under all of this, the young girl Meera is gazing at Nog, curiously, as if trying to place his face. Meanwhile, all the Wadi police keep their eyes peeled, their weapons drawn. It’s a very tense situation.

    DEZ
    Leave them out of it. They’re
    innocent. ​

    MUNAD
    A heart, Dez? Maybe you’re not
    as tough as the stories would
    paint you. ​

    DEZ
    You don’t know anything about
    me, Munad. ​

    MUNAD
    Well, now I’ll have plenty of
    time to learn. Boys...?​

    Dez and Jake both tense. Dez looks to the girl at his side.

    DEZ
    Meera...​

    The girl smiles smugly, and MORPHS. Her entire shape shifts into a ball of golden goo, shooting out arms of protoplasm lightning fast. She whips the guns from the police’s hands and knocks them all in the heads. In seconds, they’re all unconscious on the ground. Then she reforms into the girl.
    Jake, Nog and Rena all gasp in surprise.

    NOG
    A changeling...​

    Dez looks at Jake, a bit embarrassed and guilty about all this. But Jake is only glaring at him accusingly. Dez speaks into a wrist-comm...

    DEZ
    Dez to Even Odds. Get us out
    of here, now. ​

    FACITY
    Good to see you again, Jake.
    Take care of yourself. ​

    And then the transporter signal takes them. They’re gone. Jake slaps his own combadge.

    JAKE
    Sisko to Rio Grande. Prynn, beam
    us up, and get ready to leave. ​

    PRYNN (comm)
    What’s going on? ​

    JAKE
    Look for a freighter breaking
    orbit – we’re following them. ​

    Jake is pissed. Nog and Rena are mostly just confused. And then the transporter takes them too.

    Ending on the unconscious bodies of Munad and his men...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF TEASER

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  3. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    .

    ACT ONE


    FADE IN:


    2 EXT. SPACE – WADI HOMEWORLD


    In orbit of the Wadi homeworld, with all its freighters and tourist ships waiting in queues.

    One ship zooms out of the melee at right angles – the patch work freighter Even Odds, last seen 10x01 “Emancipation.” As it breaks through the lines and bolts out of the area, we see another ship chasing after it – the Rio Grande.


    3 INT. EVEN ODDS - BRIDGE 3


    The turbolift doors open and Dez strides onto the bridge, Facity close behind. PREES, the Karemma chief engineer, is running the bridge, with the Dosi security chief BRAD and the Cardassian medic GLESSIN covering other stations. They’re all tense, confused as to the change of plans.

    PREES
    What’s going on? ​

    FACITY
    The usual. The job’s dead.
    Just get us out of here. ​

    BRAD
    (off panels)
    Dez... there’s another ship
    following us. ​

    DEZ
    (small, tight)
    Ignore it. ​

    GLESSIN
    (off panels;
    amazed)
    Is that... Starfleet? ​

    BRAD
    They’re hailing. ​

    DEZ
    I said ignore it! ​

    FACITY
    (sotto)
    Dez... come on. This is Jake. ​

    BRAD
    (gasp)
    Jake? ​

    Dez grits his teeth. He doesn’t want to deal with this. But under pressure from everyone else, he eventually caves. He nods to Brad, who works her panels. The main viewscreen changes to show the cockpit of the Rio Grande. PRYNN is piloting, with Jake hovering over her shoulder, grim and determined. Nog and Rena stay back.

    JAKE (screen)
    Don’t run away from me, Dez. ​

    DEZ
    Leave me alone, Jake. ​

    JAKE (screen)
    Dez, I swear if you don’t pull
    over now, I will open fire. ​

    On screen, the others look at him askance. What is going on here? On the Even Odds bridge, the crew is looking at Dez likewise confused. After more grinding of teeth...

    DEZ
    Fine. Rendezvous at the tenth
    planet in the system. ​

    And then he stabs a panel at his side, cutting the signal. He nods reluctantly at Prees, who speaks out loud...

    PREES
    Srral, you heard the man. ​

    At the otherwise unoccupied helm console, a silver liquid flows out of an open panel and across the surface, seeming to manipulate the controls. We feel the ship change course.


    4 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    SHAR emerges from the rear cabin, holding onto the wall against the runabout’s movements. He spots Nog and Rena...

    SHAR
    What has happened? ​

    NOG
    All those stories Jake told
    us about his adventures with
    a pirate ship in the Gamma
    Quadrant – apparently they
    were true.
    (unsure)
    And now we’re chasing them. ​

    Shar looks forward to Prynn, wanting to speak to her... but she’s busy piloting the ship.


    5 EXT. SPACE


    A small and rocky dwarf planet on the far edges of the Wadi system. The Even Odds sits in orbit, its large rear shuttle hatch open to space, revealing the hangar deck inside. The Rio Grande is carefully manoeuvring to slip inside.


    6 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    The view from inside the ship as we move into the Even Odds cargo bay. Prynn is at the helm, Shar by her side.

    SHAR
    Prynn... I’m not sure what the
    protocol is after nearly being
    sick on a person.​

    PRYNN
    No no, that’s fine. What girl
    doesn’t dream of making a man
    vomit just by kissing him? ​

    Shar looks at her, confused – was that a joke?

    PRYNN
    That was a joke, Shar.
    Seriously, it’s fine. Don’t
    worry about it. In fact, up
    to that point I’d say things
    were going pretty well. ​

    She glances at him with a mischievous grin. He smiles back, relieved. Then she returns her attention to her helm, and gently settles the ship to the deck.

    Jake, Nog and Rena emerge from the rear cabin, having taken the chance to freshen up.

    NOG
    Alright then, let’s meet these
    legendary soldiers of fortune. ​

    Jake is not looking especially friendly; Rena has noticed. Prynn locks out the ship, gets up and joins them. Nog presses the control to open the hatch...


    7 INT. EVEN ODDS – HANGAR


    The runabout’s passenger hatch opens... and Jake, Nog, Shar, Prynn and Rena step out, a little nervously. Dez is there waiting for them, still a bit tense. But with him are PIF the green dog-like Aarruri alien, Brad the Dosi female, and two Ferengi males, FEG and TRIV. (Meanwhile in the background, Even Odds’ cargo hatch closes.)

    The moment Jake appears, Pif launches upon him, a big ball of furry excitement and joy. Pif’s tail wags furiously, as he hugs him with his front paws. Jake laughs in surprise.

    PIF
    Jake! ​

    NOG
    (flinch back)
    Eeeee! Another flurble thing! ​

    JAKE
    Don’t worry, Nog. This one’s
    perfectly safe. This is Pif.
    And he’s the fastest Aarruri
    in the Gamma Quadrant! ​

    Pif steps back, a little saddened. He indicates his front paw, which Jake now notices is slightly thinner and weaker.

    PIF
    Not anymore. My leg got broken
    about half a cycle ago. Glessin
    did his best, but it never
    really healed right. So I’m out
    of the running, as they say. ​

    JAKE
    Oh Pif, I’m so sorry. I know
    how much it meant to you. ​

    Jake recovers, and tenses a bit for the introductions.

    JAKE
    Everyone, this is Dez, the
    captain of the Even Odds. ​

    DEZ
    A pleasure to meet you all.
    Jake told me quite a bit about
    you. Some of you, anyway. ​

    Brad, the hulking Dosi, grabs Jake in an enormous bear hug. Everyone gives the situation the side-eye...

    JAKE
    (trouble breathing)
    Hi... Brad...​

    BRAD
    Oh Jake, it’s so good to see
    you, I’ve been so worried...​

    Brad lets go, and Jake recovers with a deep breath.

    JAKE
    This is Bradahk’la - Brad for
    short – the ship’s jewel expert
    and part-time security chief.
    And that’s Feg and Triv, the
    accountants, not surprisingly.
    Guys, these are my friends. ​

    Everyone crowds round, eager to meet Jake’s friends... except for Dez, who is still a bit standoffish.

    JAKE
    Prynn, pilot extraordinaire.
    Shar, chief science officer.
    This is my best friend Nog,
    son of Rom...​

    Feg and Triv instantly launch towards Nog, cower before him, simpering obsequiously and chattering over each other.

    FEG
    You’re the Grand Nagus’s son?​

    TRIV
    Oh, welcome, sir, welcome
    welcome welcome...​

    FEG
    If there’s anything we can do
    for you, anything at all...​

    TRIV
    I’m a big fan of your father,
    big big fan...​

    DEZ
    Alright, guys, that’s enough.
    Give the man some air. ​

    FEG
    (backing away)
    Of course, of course, whatever
    you need...​

    Jake is amused at his friend’s expense. Then with a love-struck smile he reaches for Rena...

    JAKE
    And last, but not least, this
    is Azeni Korena... my wife. ​

    BRAD
    Your... wife? ​

    Cheers and congratulations all around. Pif trots up to Rena, gives her a playful sniff, and nods wryly.

    PIF
    She’ll do. ​

    The others chuckle. Brad smiles – a tense smile that hides her true feelings.

    BRAD
    Well, I hope you’re very happy
    together. Congratulations. ​

    Prynn sees the look on Brad’s face, and knows what it means – Brad is sweet on Jake. Prynn glances over to Shar, and then quickly looks away again, concealing her own feelings.

    PIF
    Can you stay? There’s so many
    things to catch you up on...​

    Jake looks at Dez, his gaze challenging him. There’s still tension between them, despite the friendly cover.

    DEZ
    Fine. Just don’t get in the way.
    We have a schedule to keep to. ​

    PIF
    Yes! Come on, there’s someone
    I want you to meet. ​

    And Pif is off, his tail wagging. Jake follows with a grin, and the others trail behind, a little bemused. But as Jake passes Dez in the doorway, there’s still a bit of a glare.


    8 INT. EVEN ODDS – CORRIDOR


    Pif trots happily along the corridor. Jake follows, and Rena catches up to him, whispers sotto to him.

    RENA
    What’s going on with you?
    (no response)
    You told me these guys were
    your friends. So why are you
    treating Dez that way? Prynn
    said you actually threatened
    to fire on him? ​

    Jake doesn’t want to answer. He glances behind him, where all the others are following. Dez hangs to the back. The walls are as patchwork as everywhere else on this ship, with different designs and materials. Nog observes...

    NOG
    Why does everything look so
    mismatched? ​

    PIF
    That’s the Even Odds for you.
    It’s a really old ship, maybe
    hundreds of years old. And it’s
    been rebuilt and patched over
    constantly with whatever the
    owners could find at the time. ​

    There’s an open panel of circuits in one wall. As the group passes it, there’s a flash of activity inside the panel. A streak of silver liquid shoots past across the circuits. A second streak of golden liquid chases it. There’s even the oddly disembodied sound of girlish giggling somewhere.

    PRYNN
    What was that? ​

    PIF
    Oh, that’s just Srral and Meera.
    They like to chase each other
    through the ship. It’s the first
    time Srral’s had anyone to play
    with since he left home. ​

    JAKE
    Yeah, about that – how in the
    hell do you have a changeling
    on board? ​

    DEZ
    She’s part of my crew. ​

    NOG
    I thought all the changelings
    had vanished into the galaxy. ​

    PIF
    Dez has a thing for taking in
    strays. Like Jake! And that
    Jem’Hadar, whatever his name
    was... Tarana-something. ​

    NOG
    What?! ​

    PRYNN
    Taran’atar was on this ship?
    When was this? ​

    PIF
    About half a cycle ago. Saved
    us from some other Jem’Hadar.
    He was actually kind of a good
    guy. For a Jem’Hadar anyway. I
    wonder what happened to him? ​

    PRYNN
    He’s back on the station. ​

    NOG
    (scoff)
    He’s an “ambassador” now. ​

    PIF
    Here we are! ​

    They stop at a door. Pif stretches up to tap the control.


    9 INT. EVEN ODDS – QUARTERS


    Inside is Pif’s room, with cushions and toys and things to climb on. And another Aarruri alien, a female, a slightly different shade of green. Her spines shoot up to see Pif, and she trots over to him with a grin. Her name is SETT, and she greets Pif with an intimate nuzzling of snouts.

    PIF
    Sett, this is Jake Sisko, the
    human I told you about. These
    are his friends, and his wife,
    Korena. Jake, this is Settka
    Ganni... my wife. ​

    JAKE
    Pif, that’s wonderful! I’m very
    pleased to meet you, Sett. ​

    SETT
    You too, Jake. Pif talks about
    you all the time. ​

    PIF
    You wanna meet the rest of the family? ​

    NOG
    (cringe)
    There’s more? ​

    Our gang files closer into the room. Pif leads them over to a padded basket in the corner. Prynn and Rena peek in... and it’s filled with half a dozen tiny, wriggling green baby Aarruri. Prynn and Rena explode from the cuteness.

    RENA
    Oh, Prophets, they’re adorable! ​

    PRYNN
    Look at the tiny little noses!
    Can I take one home with me? ​

    JAKE
    Pif, I can’t believe you’re a father! ​

    PIF
    Well, after I hurt my leg, I
    realised it was time to stop
    gallivanting around, and settle
    down and raise a family. I am
    almost eight, you know!
    (beat)
    But it’s good to see you, Jake.
    And it’s perfect timing that
    you’re here. It’s an exciting
    time to be on the Even Odds. ​

    JAKE
    How so? ​

    SETT
    Because of the Wa. ​

    PRYNN
    What’s the Wa? ​

    PIF
    When I said the ship’s really
    old? Well, nobody really knows
    exactly how old it is. But the
    Wa is the only original part
    of the ship left. ​

    SETT
    It’s what helps all the new
    patches and repairs take hold.​

    JAKE
    It also reacts to changes in
    the local space-time. Pif - has
    something changed in the Wa? ​

    PIF
    Kinda-sorta. You remember how
    I told you to never ever touch
    anything in there? ‘Cause we
    didn’t know what would happen? ​

    JAKE
    Yeah...​

    PIF
    ...Somebody touched something. ​

    On Jake’s intrigued reaction...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT ONE

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  4. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
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    .

    ACT TWO


    FADE IN:


    10 INT. EVEN ODDS – TURBOLIFT


    The five Alphies, plus Prees and Pif are in the turbolift. It’s a bit uncomfortable with so many crammed in tightly, but Pif is chattering away oblivious.

    PIF
    So he said that since the
    Jem’Hadar worked out so well,
    why not give a changeling a
    chance. Facity had plenty to
    say about that, believe me.
    Glessin wasn’t best thrilled
    either. But it’s Dez’s ship,
    after all. And she seems nice
    enough. A-ha! Here we are. ​

    The lift stops and the door opens...


    11 THE WA


    ...onto a wide open white space, seemingly dimensionless. The turbolift door appears to open out of nowhere, into nowhere. Fascinated, our gang takes tentative steps into the fuzzy whiteness. Jake, of course, has seen it before.

    PRYNN
    What the... I... what? ​

    JAKE
    I know, right? ​

    Prynn has noticed the irregular coloured smudges that seem to hang in mid-air at points. She reaches to touch one...

    PRYNN
    What are these? ​

    PREES
    Those are what you’re not
    supposed to touch. ​

    Prynn yanks her hand away.

    SHAR
    But you said someone did touch them. ​

    PREES
    Yes, me. Completely by accident.
    I... tripped and fell into one. ​

    PRYNN
    So what happened? ​

    PIF
    Try it and find out. ​

    Prynn exchanges worried looks with Jake, Shar... do you trust them? Jake nods to go ahead. She reaches slowly out towards one of the splotches, a warm purplish colour. Her fingers swim into the colour, and there’s a big WASH of energy, taking us into...


    12 INT. WA ENVIRONMENT ROOM


    The gang suddenly find themselves in another room, dark and small. The Alphies gasp a bit with surprise, looking around. Floating in the air in front of them is a small fist-sized black ball, doing nothing, just hanging there.

    PIF
    Oh good, I like this one. ​

    PRYNN
    What is it? ​

    PIF
    No idea. Step closer. ​

    Tentatively, she does. In response the ball expands, starts humming, vibrating. It swells more, begins to spin. Picking up pace, it spins faster and faster, humming louder and louder. Then it suddenly stops, and bursts into a ball of spikes, a tiny black symbolic sun. Prynn yelps and steps back, and the ball returns to its dormant state.

    Meanwhile, Shar is looking around, his antennae reaching and sensing.

    SHAR
    This is fascinating. It seems to
    function like a holodeck, but I
    can’t detect any transmitters
    or the usual energy signatures.
    Perhaps some kind of telepathic
    imprint? I wonder if we all
    even perceive the same thing. ​

    PIF
    Every colour takes you to a
    different place. Not always
    the same place. Some don’t
    take you anywhere – they make
    other things happen. ​

    RENA
    Like what? ​

    PIF
    (spooky)
    Press orange... and you hear voices. ​

    PRYNN
    (uncomfortable)
    How do you get out? ​

    PREES
    You’re the one who got us in.
    So you focus on the central
    object in the room – the ball
    in this case – and just back
    away from it. ​

    Prynn concentrates on the ball... and takes three steps back. There’s a big WASH of energy...


    13 THE WA


    And we’re back in the white space of the Wa. Pif grins with pride at showing off his new toy.

    SHAR
    I would like to investigate
    more, if that’s acceptable. ​

    PREES
    Fine with me. But I don’t know
    what you’ll find. I spend all
    my free time down here and I
    haven’t figured it out yet. ​

    SHAR
    Thank you. I’ll just get some
    equipment from the runabout,
    and begin immediately. ​

    Pif leads them back to the still-open turbolift door, hanging in the air. Jake: enjoying showing his friends around. Rena: looking around, curious and intrigued. Shar: ready to start analysing and investigating. Prynn: oddly weirded out and uncomfortable. Nog: sniffs his armpits.

    NOG
    I’m gonna freshen up. I smell
    like my uncle’s store room. ​

    They pile into the turbolift, and the door closes.


    14 INT. EVEN ODDS – QUARTERS


    One of the Even Odds’ small and functional guest quarters. Nog emerges from the off-screen bathroom area into the main room, shirt off, patting his big bald head with a towel. He jumps a bit as, in a lower corner of the room, Srral and Meera (in liquid form) chase each other out of one air vent and into another, the girlish giggling following them.

    Then the golden liquid creeps back out of the vent into the room again, as if curious about Nog. Slowly, the blob of liquid MORPHS and reforms into the humanoid form of Meera – the usual unformed changeling features and dress, but as a teenage girl. She peers at Nog, intrigued with him.

    MEERA
    I know you. Starfleet Ferengi. ​

    NOG
    I thought I recognized you down
    on the planet. We rescued you
    from the crashed ship, right? ​


    FLASHBACK – 8x22 “GREATER GOOD”


    The teenaged Founder sits among the long-dead bodies of her Jem’Hadar crew in the canted, crashed Dominion ship. Nog and Bowers stand nearby, wary.

    MEERA
    I was taught to believe that
    solids can never be trusted.
    But I trusted my own kind to
    come for me, and here I have
    been for two years. ​


    BACK TO SCENE


    Meera talks to Nog...

    MEERA
    I was grateful to you for that. ​

    NOG
    But how did you end up here?
    Working on a pirate ship and
    taking orders from a “solid”
    isn’t very Founderish of you. ​

    MEERA
    I haven’t felt very Founderish
    for some time. I had barely had
    time to reconnect with my people
    in the Link before they began
    chattering about the Progenitor,
    some almighty being they said
    would save them from extinction.
    The older changelings, they took
    it as given. As you can see, I
    am still newly formed. I didn’t
    understand. When they left, I
    went with them, just out of
    companionship. But they wanted
    isolation. I wanted experience. ​

    NOG
    (small smile)
    So you found some new friends. ​

    MEERA
    (bitter)
    The other changelings are hypo-
    crites. They talk about wanting
    to learn, and then they hide
    away, refusing to risk anything
    for that knowledge. I will never
    go back to them. ​

    NOG
    (gently)
    Not all the Founders left, you
    know. Odo stayed behind. ​

    MEERA
    (curious)
    Odo...?​

    NOG
    He’s been trying to hold the
    Dominion together all by him-
    self. From what I’ve heard,
    he could use some help. ​

    Meera almost considers it for a moment...

    MEERA
    No. This is my home now. I have
    seen and done more in these few
    months than half my people have
    in aeons. Let the Dominion fall.
    I don’t care anymore. ​

    With that, she MORPHS into a liquid and slips back inside the vent, leaving Nog alone.


    15 INT. EVEN ODDS - BRIDGE


    Dez is in the command chair, with Facity and Glessin (plus a couple of others unnamed) running other stations. The lift door opens and Jake steps in.

    FACITY
    Jake! ​

    Facity gets up and gives him a welcoming hug. Glessin too, although it’s a polite and reserved handshake for him.

    GLESSIN
    Mister Sisko. Welcome back. ​

    JAKE
    Thanks Facity, Glessin. ​

    He glances towards Dez, who has not even looked at him. Facity shrugs in apology – she has no idea what’s going on between the two of them. She gestures for Jake to go over.

    Jake approaches. Dez glances up, and straight back to his work, teeth gritted. Doesn’t want to talk to him.

    JAKE
    Hey Dez... why did you run? ​

    DEZ
    Did you miss the part where we
    nearly got arrested? I realise
    this may be outside your realm
    of expertise, but in those
    circumstances it’s generally
    accepted practise to run. ​

    JAKE
    I meant, run from me. Is it
    just because you were about
    to steal my ship? ​

    DEZ
    (defensive)
    That was a misunderstanding.
    Look, there was no harm done. ​

    He gets up and heads to the work stations at the back of the bridge, turning away from Jake.

    DEZ (cont)
    If you’ll excuse me, I have to
    get ready for the next job.
    We’re due at Drang tomorrow. ​

    JAKE
    Drang? Didn’t we do that already? ​

    DEZ
    You think we only go anywhere
    once? We go where the work is. ​

    And Dez buries his head in the work again, ignoring Jake. Facity can only silently apologise again. Clearly Jake isn’t going to get anywhere with him. Jake turns to leave.


    16 THE WA


    Shar stands in the Wa, surrounded by pieces of Starfleet technology, all beeping and chirruping. He holds out a tricorder, taking readings, and compares the readings to the larger machines. He’s quite content just working away.

    In the middle of the flat white space, a hole opens up and reveals the turbolift, carrying Rena. She exits into the Wa and heads slowly towards Shar. He looks up, surprised.

    SHAR
    Mrs Sisko. Do you need anything? ​

    RENA
    Rena, Shar – it’s Rena. Prynn’s
    playing with the puppies again.
    Nog went to wash up. Jake went
    to talk to the captain... he’s
    certainly not talking to me.
    So I just thought I’d come
    and see what you’re up to. ​

    SHAR
    I am analysing the readings my
    equipment is taking of this
    environment. Prees gave me
    access to all her records –
    it makes for absorbing work. ​

    Shar walks towards a coloured splotch of a fiery orange colour, points his tricorder at it.

    RENA
    Isn’t that the one Pif said
    made you hear voices? ​

    SHAR
    It is. I thought perhaps to
    run it through our linguistic
    database. The work we did on
    the Cathedral artefact might
    help us translate the voices
    where Prees could not. ​

    Tentatively, Shar reaches out and touches the splotch. His blue fingers swim into the amorphous orange colour...

    The white formlessness around them dims slightly, subtly changing to a gentle orangey-yellow colour. And they can also hear distant VOICES, numerous different people talking over each other. The effect is of being in a large room with lots of other people, all talking over each other. Rena is enchanted, listening to the voices. Shar is just concentrating on his readings.

    SHAR
    It will take a few minutes for
    the translation to take effect. ​

    RENA
    Actually, there was something I
    wanted to ask you. Shar... have
    I done something to offend you? ​

    SHAR
    Of course not. Why would you
    think that? ​

    RENA
    Well, for one thing, you won’t
    even use my name. And this,
    right now - these are the first
    words you’ve said to me since
    we left Deep Space Nine. Do
    you just not like me? ​

    Shar finally pulls himself away from his machines. He tries to figure out how to be honest with his feelings – it still doesn’t come naturally to him.

    SHAR
    Forgive me, Rena. I meant no
    offense. I am simply not sure
    of my place in this company.
    You and Jake are married. Nog
    is Jake’s best friend from
    childhood. Their relationship
    takes precedence over Nog’s
    and mine. And Prynn and I...​

    He drifts off, not sure what more to say about that...

    RENA
    Shar, I’m more of an outsider
    here than you are. The rest of
    you all have so much in common
    already. I’m a baker’s daughter
    from a small fishing village.
    But you never get anywhere if
    you don’t try. As for Prynn...
    I can see it’s complicated. I
    think I heard you’re married...?​

    SHAR
    (quibble)
    Andorian bonding rituals do
    not correlate directly to
    those of other races...​

    RENA
    I’ve been where you are. I’ve
    felt attracted to one person
    while I’d made a promise to
    another. I took a chance, and
    it worked out. But I wouldn’t
    go so far as to say that you
    should always take the chance.
    There’s more to worry about
    than just your feelings. ​

    SHAR
    (sadly)
    I know. ​

    He’s grateful for Rena’s support, but it doesn’t really make things any better. Rena forcibly changes the subject.

    RENA
    So! Any theories on this place? ​

    SHAR
    Hundreds. None of them provable.
    Elements of organic technology
    help the ship’s many divergent
    systems to work together. There
    must be sub-spatial sensitivity,
    as it responded to the folding of
    space that concealed the Eav’oq.
    And there is the question of its
    indeterminate age. ​

    RENA
    It reminds me of how the vedeks
    describe the Celestial Temple.
    Warm white light, no dimensions,
    whispering voices...​

    SHAR
    With respect, Rena, I do not
    believe the Even Odds turbolift
    system opens onto the Bajoran
    afterlife. ​

    She pouts, wryly amused at the joke. Then, amongst the many voices, one word comes through loud and clear in English.

    VOICE
    ...proof...​

    Shar and Rena stop, listening closer...

    RENA
    Did you hear that? ​

    SHAR
    I did. It seems the translator
    has found enough repetition to
    begin its work. ​

    Shar works his tricorder... Rena listens closely as more words begin to emerge out of the mass of sounds...

    VOICES
    ...dare... do they?... must...
    fools... destroy...​

    Shar and Rena look to each other, alarmed. More words...

    VOICES
    ...assignment... signs...​

    Words are becoming clearer still, forming into phrases. With every one, Rena and Shar become more worried...

    VOICES
    ..signs are clear... there can
    be no question... what are they
    called?... does it matter?...
    ...they are called the Drang.
    They worship falsely... they
    must be destroyed... ​

    The clear words go silent for a moment, as if thinking or checking. The formless whispering voices swirling around them, the orangey light giving it all a fiery glow...

    VOICES
    ...we are in agreement... you
    must remember your vow, your
    promise to her... interrogate
    them, follow the signs... they
    are sinners, abhorrent... you
    are a soldier of the True, a
    Knight of the Ascendants...
    (beat)
    ...destroy the Drang. ​

    On Rena and Shar’s shocked, horrified reactions...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT TWO

    .
     
  5. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .

    ACT THREE


    FADE IN:


    17 INT. EVEN ODDS – MESS HALL


    The large room where the Even Odds crew meet to eat, plan and hang out. Beginning on Dez, looking sceptical...

    DEZ
    The Ascendants. ​

    WIDEN to see that all five Alphies are at the table, plus Dez, Facity and Prees. Shar is holding a padd.

    NOG
    Yes. They’re – ​

    JAKE
    He’s heard of them, Nog. ​

    FACITY
    They’re just a legend though,
    aren’t they? ​

    JAKE
    Tell that to the crew of the
    Gryphon. ​

    SHAR
    The voices clearly said that
    they were going to destroy a
    people called the Drang. Have
    you heard of them? ​

    DEZ
    (small, tight)
    They’re our next job. ​

    NOG
    You can’t go, Captain. You have
    to get as far away as possible. ​

    DEZ
    It’s too late for that. We’re
    already there. We entered orbit
    ten minutes ago. ​

    PRYNN
    And is anything happening? ​

    DEZ
    No. Everything’s fine. ​

    FACITY
    Dez...​

    DEZ
    Shut up. ​

    JAKE
    Fac? Please... what is it? ​

    FACITY
    We haven’t been able to get in
    touch with our contacts. All
    the comm lines are scrambled. ​

    NOG
    They’re here. ​

    DEZ
    There could be any number of
    reasons. We don’t give up on
    a job just because of a bad
    comm line. ​

    JAKE
    (sarcastic)
    Of course. Money comes first. ​

    PRYNN
    Captain, please. We’re trying to
    help. We’ve seen first-hand what
    the Ascendants are capable of. ​

    DEZ
    There’s nobody else here but us
    and a few Drang ships. There
    are no Ascendants. ​

    SHAR
    Their ships are very small. They
    could be hiding. ​

    DEZ
    Why should I believe you? Because
    the voices in the Wa told you? ​

    SHAR
    Yes. I believe the voices are
    a comm system we inadvertently
    intercepted. During our first
    encounter with the Ascendants,
    all the Starfleet crews took
    extensive sensor readings.
    (re padd)
    Given my suspicions, I went
    back over Prees’s readings of
    the Wa, compared them to ours
    with a fresh eye. ​

    FACITY
    And what did you find? ​

    SHAR
    I concluded that the Even Odds
    – or more specifically the Wa –
    is in fact Ascendant technology. ​

    A moment for everyone to absorb. That’s a pretty big claim.

    DEZ
    That’s ridiculous. ​

    JAKE
    No, it’s not. It makes perfect
    sense. You’ve told me from the
    beginning you’ve no idea how old
    this ship is, or where it came
    from. And that the Wa always
    helped the ship to repair itself
    after any damage or upgrades. ​

    FACITY
    Yes, it did. But so what? ​

    JAKE
    Opaka told me about meeting
    that Ascendant woman, Raiq,
    when she crashed her ship. She
    said the woman was wearing
    some kind of armour, separate
    from her skin or her clothes.
    The armour was damaged, but it
    gradually healed itself. Like
    it was alive. The same with her
    ship – it landed after a fight
    in orbit, but by the time the
    woman left, it was repaired. ​

    PREES
    Sounds like the Wa to me. ​

    SHAR
    Those coloured patches are the
    interface to activate various
    functions – communications,
    entertainment. Ascendants
    generally live and work alone
    – they would need amusement. ​

    JAKE
    Prees – you said the Wa reacted
    to the Iconians’ gateways, and
    to the Eav’oq’s space-folding
    trick. Maybe it’s designed to
    be sensitive to things like that
    as a connection to the wormhole. ​

    NOG
    It might be what powers that
    space-jump thing they do too. ​

    DEZ
    This is all very fascinating,
    but I still don’t see why I
    should care. ​

    Rena has been quiet till now, but she finally speaks up.

    RENA
    Because this was all meant to happen. ​

    They all look at her, curious – even the other Alphies.

    JAKE
    Rena...? What do you mean? ​

    RENA
    It all adds up – everything. I
    didn’t realise it till now, but
    it does. Do you think it’s a
    coincidence that all of this
    is happening now? That Jake was
    rescued by you, of all people,
    two years ago? A ship based on
    Ascendant technology? And that
    you’d discover the lost kai of
    Bajor, who had been rescued by
    an Ascendant, and that together
    you’d reawaken the Eav’oq? ​

    DEZ
    (deliberately
    contrary)
    Yes. All a coincidence. ​

    RENA
    How about you making friends
    with Deep Space Nine’s resident
    Jem’Hadar? Or that the first
    time Jake is back in the Gamma
    Quadrant again, you just happen
    to try to steal our ship? At
    the same time somebody finally
    figures out how the Wa works?
    Or that you’d have a date with
    the Drang at the exact moment
    the Ascendants are here? Still
    a coincidence? ​

    DEZ
    Yes! ​

    FACITY
    (gently)
    Dez, come on...​

    DEZ
    Facity, no! You can’t possibly
    think this is all some great
    plan of the Bajoran gods. ​

    RENA
    How can you not? Look, I’m no
    crazy religious fundamentalist.
    But I believe in the Prophets.
    I believe they have a plan for
    everyone. And this is too many
    coincidences to deny. We’re
    meant to be here. We’re meant
    to save the Drang from the
    Ascendants... somehow. ​

    DEZ
    There are no Ascendants! ​

    The comm system suddenly interrupts – SRRAL’s metallic, artificial voice.

    SRRAL (comm)
    Dez, this is bridge. ​

    DEZ
    Go ahead, Srral. ​

    SRRAL (comm)
    Sensors have detected a large
    explosion on the surface of
    the Drang homeworld. ​

    Quiet, worried looks around the room.

    JAKE
    It’s starting. ​


    18 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    The door opens and everyone enters – Dez, Facity, Prees, and the five Alphies. Brad and Glessin have been running the bridge in their absence. Meera and Pif are there too.

    They all stop as they see the view on the main screen – the surface of the Drang planet, with the signs of a large explosion, big enough to have destroyed an entire city. Dez is starting to believe there’s a problem, despite himself.

    FACITY
    What happened? ​

    BRAD
    It’s the government centre. As
    much as the Drang can be said
    to have a government, anyway.
    No idea how or why. ​

    SHAR
    You should scan again for ships,
    using these parameters. ​

    Shar lifts his padd, pulls a chip out of it and holds it out to Facity. She nods, and plugs the chip into a console.

    FACITY
    Srral... do it. ​

    SRRAL (comm)
    Scanning, Facity. ​

    A pause of a few moments...

    SRRAL (comm)
    Contact is confirmed. A small
    ship matching those parameters
    is holding position over the
    planet’s northern magnetic pole. ​

    DEZ
    Alright, I believe you. Srral,
    get us out of here. ​

    JAKE
    (shocked)
    No! We have to do something to
    stop it. ​

    NOG
    Jake...​

    DEZ
    I’m not putting us in the middle
    of this. Srral – ​

    SRRAL (comm)
    (interrupting)
    The vessel is scanning us. ​

    Uh-oh. They’ve been detected. Jake is almost smug.

    JAKE
    You’re already in the middle
    of it, Dez. ​

    Nog suddenly takes firm command. Dez basically lets him, because he still doesn’t really get what’s going on.

    NOG
    Jake – get out of here, now. ​

    JAKE
    (confused)
    What? ​

    NOG
    Prynn – take them. All four of
    you. Get back to the runabout
    and power it down, completely
    dead. And then hide inside. ​

    PRYNN
    Why? ​

    SHAR
    (realizes)
    He’s right. The Ascendants have
    as many sensor records of us as
    we do of them. If they detect
    Starfleet technology on board...​

    PRYNN
    (gets it)
    Oh, hell. Alright, let’s go. ​

    JAKE
    What about Rena? They know
    Bajorans now. If they detect
    her... they’ll kill us all. ​

    BRAD
    (doubtful)
    They’d kill a whole ship over
    one person? ​

    NOG
    They’d kill a whole planet over
    one person. Okay, Shar... find
    some way to mask your life signs.
    All of you, not just Rena - Raiq
    saw you and Prynn on the Defiant
    bridge. We can’t take the chance
    she won’t have told the rest of
    them to look out for you. ​

    SHAR
    I’m not sure how to do that
    without the runabout’s power...​

    MEERA
    (speaks up)
    I can do it. I can cover the
    ship and block the readings. ​

    JAKE
    Nog... what about you? ​

    NOG
    I wasn’t on the bridge. Maybe
    they won’t recognise me. So
    I’m going to talk to them...
    and try and get all of us out
    of this alive. Stop talking
    and go! We’ve got seconds
    until they’re on top of us. ​

    MEERA
    Come on – follow me. ​

    Meera leads Jake, Rena, Prynn and Shar back into the turbolift. As they go, Jake spares a worried look for his friend. And then the door closes and they’re gone.

    Nog stands on the Even Odds bridge – a tiny little Ferengi amongst these huge events. He strips off his uniform jacket and hides it under a console. He removes his rank pips, puts them with it. But he keeps his combadge hidden in his hand. He’s terrified... but determined.

    NOG
    Oh... this was a bad idea. ​


    19 INT. EVEN ODDS – CORRIDOR


    Jake, Rena, Prynn, Shar and Meera run down the corridor at top speed. No time for screams or jokes – this is for real.


    20 INT. EVEN ODDS – HANGAR


    They run into the hangar deck, where the Rio Grande sits. The runabout’s hatch opens at their approach...


    21 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    The four Alphies run into the cockpit – Prynn immediately heads to the consoles, begins hitting buttons.

    PRYNN
    Computer, initiate full systems
    shutdown. Power, drive systems,
    sensors – kill it all. Now. ​

    COMPUTER
    Acknowledged. ​

    PRYNN
    Shar – help me! ​

    Shar runs to the rear consoles and starts working them too. Jake and Rena stay out of the way, nervous and hugging each other. One by one, all the systems go dark and silent.


    22 INT. EVEN ODDS – HANGAR


    As the runabout dies, Meera leaps gracefully into the air, MORPHing as she goes. She becomes a wide, flat sheet of changeling protoplasm, covering every square inch of the ship. It creeps from the cockpit backwards, past the hatch just as it closes, until it swallows the runabout whole.


    23 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Silent now – all the machines are dead, and the lights are dark. The only light comes from the front window, filtered through Meera’s golden body. Jake and Rena hug each other. Prynn turns to Shar, stands, approaches him slowly, and reaches out to hug him too. He clings on to her with mixed relief and fear.


    24 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    They’re waiting... waiting...

    DEZ
    (quiet)
    I hope to hell you know what
    you’re doing. ​

    NOG
    So do I. ​

    Back to waiting. It makes the tension worse. Eventually...

    SRRAL (comm)
    Incoming - ​

    Before the synthetic voice can finish, a ball of FLAME bursts into life at the front of the bridge. Everyone flinches back from the force of it. After a second, the fire burns out and reveals an Ascendant male.

    His name is BLAS. He stands calmly on the deck, peering imperiously at the crew, the image of the burning Drang homeworld behind him. He spots Nog, and seems to intuit that he’s the one in charge, at least for the moment. And Nog looks back at him, trying not to shudder or shake with fear. As the two of them stare each other down...


    BLACK OUT:


    END OF ACT THREE

    .
     
  6. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .

    ACT FOUR


    FADE IN:


    25 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    Where we left it. Nog and Blas measure each other up, while the Even Odds crew – Dez, Facity, Brad, Pif – wait on tenterhooks. Pif’s hackles are raised, a low growl in his throat. Nog is extremely nervous, but he put himself in this position, and now he’s going to see it through.

    BLAS
    I am Blas, Archquester of the
    Ascendancy. ​

    NOG
    Hi. My name’s Nog. ​

    BLAS
    You are not Drang. ​

    NOG
    No...​

    BLAS
    Fortunate for you. If you are
    not Drang, why are you here? ​

    NOG
    We’re... couriers. Salesmen.
    We were here to meet a client. ​

    BLAS
    Your client is dead. If not
    now, then soon. ​

    NOG
    Why? I mean, it’s not like I
    can do anything about it, but
    I was just wondering... why
    are you killing the Drang? ​

    BLAS
    They worship... falsely. They
    tell stories of gods who will
    reward them for prosperity. ​

    NOG
    Is that so bad? ​

    BLAS
    There are no gods but the True
    Gods. And only the Ascendants
    may worship the True.
    (beat)
    Tell me, Nog... do you worship? ​


    26 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Jake and Rena cling to each other. He strokes her hair, tries to calm her fearful shaking. Shar and Prynn sit in the front seats, holding hands. All they can do is wait.

    MEERA (o.s.)
    Starfleet. Can you hear me? ​

    PRYNN
    Meera? ​

    MEERA (o.s.)
    Yes. There is a communications
    signal coming from the bridge.
    Shall I open a hole for it? ​

    PRYNN
    Will you still be able to block
    our life signs? ​

    MEERA (o.s.)
    I believe so. ​

    PRYNN
    Then do it. Thank you. ​

    A moment, and then all four of their combadges come to life with processed voices – Nog and Blas. They listen, scared for their friend, for their lives.

    NOG (comm)
    My people believe in profit.
    In making money. We believe
    the more money you have, the
    better person you are. ​


    27 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    Beginning on Nog’s hand, gripping tight to his combadge...

    BLAS
    Material wealth. Pitiful. And
    not so very different from the
    Drang. But you have no gods? ​

    NOG
    That’s right. ​

    Blas holds his silver hand out flat. A ball of FLAME bursts into life in his palm – he doesn’t flinch. The fire blows away and reveals an image standing in Blas’s palm. The image is of a DRANG – a reptiloid creature on its hind legs, as seen in 8x23 “Rising Son.” Think of the Spider-Man villain the Lizard. The image of the Drang cowers back from some unseen threat, hands up to protect itself. Blas gazes down at the moving image in his palm, serenely.

    BLAS
    The Drang Imperator. He had
    gods. I questioned him – as
    deluded as he was, he may have
    held clues to the location of
    the Fortress of the True. ​

    NOG
    And did he tell you anything? ​

    BLAS
    In fact, he did. He mentioned
    something of great interest to
    me, about a people called...
    Bajoran.​


    28 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Rena jerks at Blas’s words. She’s shaking with fear. Jake holds her as tight as he can.

    BLAS (comm)
    He said they used to have a
    colony near here, although it
    was destroyed some years ago. ​


    29 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    Continuing the conversation...

    BLAS
    You wouldn’t know anything
    about that, would you? Perhaps
    you did business with them? ​

    Nog lies with all the skill he can muster.

    NOG
    Never heard of them. We’re not
    from around here. So... what
    happened to the Imperator? ​

    BLAS
    He told me what we needed to
    know. And then...​

    Blas pointedly closes his fist, crushing the image of the Drang, flames licking up between the fingers. Nog and everyone else get the message loud and clear.

    BLAS
    He was first. His city followed. ​

    Blas opens the hand again, and he’s now holding a ball of throbbing, pulsating energy. He looks back at Nog, a small smug smile on his face.

    BLAS
    A device precisely this size
    was all I needed to destroy
    the Drang’s main city. A much
    smaller device would do the
    same to this ship. ​

    NOG
    Now, hold on – there’s no need
    for that. If you got what you
    needed out of the boss, why
    kill anybody else? ​

    BLAS
    They shame the True. The Drang,
    the Eav’oq, the Bajorans... It
    is my sacred duty as a Knight
    of the Ascendants to cleanse the
    stars of heresy. So says the Fire. ​

    NOG
    The “fire”? Is that a person? ​

    BLAS
    The Fire was sent to us by the
    True. She is their emissary to
    the Ascendants. ​


    30 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Everyone reacts to the familiar word. Jake and Rena are especially curious...

    BLAS (comm)
    With our path illuminated by
    the Fire, we will find the
    Bajorans, and all heretics...
    and they will burn. ​

    Rena tenses again...


    31 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    Blas lowers his hand. The conversation is over.

    BLAS
    I suggest you leave now, if you
    do not wish to share their fate. ​

    The Ascendant seems to burst into flames... and then he’s gone. Nog still daren’t breathe – it might all fall apart.

    FACITY
    (quiet)
    Srral, keep your sensors on
    that ship. ​

    After a second, Nog lifts his combadge and speaks into it.

    NOG
    Jake? Did you all hear that? ​


    32 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Jake speaks into the air...

    JAKE
    We heard it. ​

    NOG (comm)
    Get up here. Fast. ​

    Curious now, the four get ready to leave. The golden film of changeling matter retracts itself away from the windows.


    33 EXT. SPACE – DRANG HOMEWORLD


    The planet as seen from space. The Even Odds sits in orbit, and we see the city-sized fire blazing on the surface...


    34 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    The turbolift door opens and Jake, Rena, Prynn, Shar and Meera all re-enter the bridge. Nog sags with relief to have his friends back – that was pretty scary.

    PRYNN
    Alright - what do we do? ​

    DEZ
    We get out of here. ​

    JAKE
    Dez, don’t you dare. We have
    to do something. We have to
    help the Drang! ​

    DEZ
    Why, exactly? In what way is
    any of this my problem? ​

    JAKE
    You know, I just can’t believe
    you, Dez. I can’t believe I
    ever admired you or wanted to
    stay with you. ​

    Dez throws his arms up in exasperation and annoyance.

    DEZ
    Oh, here it is! You want to know
    why I ran away from you, Jake?
    Because of this. This smug, self-
    righteous attitude I knew you’d
    throw at me. You think you’re so
    morally superior to all of us. ​

    JAKE
    If you mean I won’t stand by and
    let an entire race be massacred,
    then hell yeah, call me superior
    all you want. You? You only care
    about finding your next job. ​

    DEZ
    That’s what we do! When are you
    going to get that through your
    skull? And when are you going
    to stop trying to make me the
    bad guy just because I like to
    get paid for the work I do? ​

    JAKE
    You can do business without
    being so cold and heartless. ​

    DEZ
    I don’t live in your fabled
    moneyless economy, Jake. I don’t
    have the luxury of doing good
    deeds just so I can feel good
    about myself. I have a crew to
    feed and clothe, and a ship to
    keep running. And you know
    what? I do feel good about it.
    (re Nog)
    I bet your friend Nog agrees
    with me. ​

    Jake turns to Nog, clearly assuming his friend’s support. But Nog hesitates.

    NOG
    Oh no. You’re not putting me
    in the middle of this. ​

    JAKE
    (astonished)
    Nog...! ​

    RENA
    Both of you shut up, right now.
    Every word you yell at each
    other is another Drang being
    killed. And we have been sent
    here to save them. So forget
    your petty little squabbles
    for a minute and think about
    what we’re going to do. ​

    DEZ
    Fine! Let’s have some practical
    suggestions, then. If you’re so
    determined to save the Drang,
    tell me how. Go on. ​

    Rena takes a breath, and tries to rise to the challenge.

    RENA
    Alright. It’s only one guy in
    one ship, right? It’ll take him
    a long time to kill a whole
    planet’s worth of people all
    on his own. That gives us time
    to just attack his ship and
    destroy it, and save as many
    people as possible. ​

    SHAR
    (tentative)
    Rena... I admire your desire to
    help, but even one Ascendant
    ship is a major threat. A single
    vessel just like that destroyed
    a runabout in seconds and almost
    killed Captain Kira. ​

    JAKE
    We have the runabout and the
    Even Odds. And you have all
    your sensor readings. We can
    find a way. We have to. ​

    DEZ
    This is a freighter ship. We
    barely have enough weapons to
    fend off the average asteroid,
    never mind apocalyptic aliens. ​

    RENA
    (pointed)
    You have Ascendant technology. ​

    They stop, considering that. They’d forgotten.

    NOG
    Maybe she’s right. Maybe there’s
    some way we can turn their own
    technology against them. Shar,
    go over those readings again,
    look for – ​

    SRRAL (comm)
    The vessel is breaking orbit.
    It is powering weapons. ​

    Oh crap. Is it coming for us?


    35 EXT. SPACE – DRANG HOMEWORLD


    The northern pole of the planet. A tiny, silver Ascendant ship rises up from the surface, out of the orbital plane...

    CLOSE-UP

    on the Ascendant ship as a new device extrudes from its external hull – a kind of smooth, sleek missile launcher.

    And fires.

    The missile goes nowhere near the planet or the Even Odds – instead it shoots straight off towards the Drang sun.


    36 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    Everyone watches the screen, confused by this turn.

    FACITY
    What is he doing? ​

    SRRAL (comm)
    The missile is aiming directly
    for the system’s sun. ​

    BRAD
    What? Why? ​

    NOG
    (realizing)
    Oh no...​

    BRAD
    What? ​

    SRRAL (comm)
    Sensors detect fluctuations in
    the star’s gravitational and
    magnetic fields. ​

    SHAR
    Let me see. ​

    Shar goes to the panels at the rear of the bridge, begins working them... After a few moments, he turns back to his friends, a stricken look on his face.

    SHAR
    Readings are consistent with
    an isolytic subspace burst. ​

    Nog and Prynn know what that means. Nog closes his eyes, hangs his head. Prynn covers her mouth in horror...

    PRYNN
    Oh, God...​

    RENA
    (confused)
    What does that mean? ​

    Nobody really wants to say. Rena wants answers.

    RENA
    Guys! Come on, tell me! ​

    Shar manages to explain in halting, horror-stricken tones.

    SHAR
    An isolytic weapon creates a
    subspace tear – a hole in the
    fabric of local space-time. If
    the weapon is detonated inside
    a star, it would destabilise
    the nuclear reactions, forcing
    the star to artificially nova.
    This means the star will eject
    a massive and catastrophic burst
    of radiation, which will scour
    the life from every world in
    the system. Every Drang, every
    life form, down to the smallest
    bacteria. All burning.
    (beat)
    And there is nothing we can do
    to stop it. ​

    Rena is dumbfounded. She looks at Jake, Prynn, Shar, Nog... nothing any of them can do. She looks to the screen...


    37 EXT. SPACE – DRANG HOMEWORLD


    Its work done, the Ascendant ship JUMPS away in a flash.
    The next second, the star EXPLODES. It bursts in blindingly bright light, a massive wave of radiation expanding out in a spherical shell, growing slowly but steadily...


    38 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    On everyone’s sad, beaten, defeated expressions, as they watch these events on the main viewscreen...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT FOUR

    .
     
  7. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .

    ACT FIVE


    FADE IN:


    39 EXT. SPACE – DRANG SYSTEM


    The nova continues to grow, a shell of cast-off matter preceded by the wave of energy and power. It’s moving at light speed, but at interstellar distances that still looks agonizingly slow. But it’s coming inexorably, nevertheless.


    40 INT. EVEN ODDS – BRIDGE


    This sight is also relayed via the Even Odds’ screen.

    SRRAL (comm)
    Contact in four minutes at
    current rate and distance. ​

    DEZ
    (quiet but pointed)
    Do I have your permission to
    leave now, Jake? ​

    RENA
    (tearful)
    No! We can’t just give up! Nog,
    Shar, there has to be something...​

    But they just sadly shake their heads. Jake reaches out to her, tries to comfort her. She won’t have it.

    SRRAL (comm)
    Communications have cleared up.
    The Ascendant must have been
    blocking the signals before. ​

    PRYNN
    Put it on speakers. ​

    FACITY
    Why? ​

    PRYNN
    Because these are the last words
    they’ll ever say. They deserve
    to have somebody hear them. ​

    Facity nods to Shar, who is still at the rear console. He works the panels, and the speakers come to life with the sounds of chaos. Voices talking over each other, shouting and screaming, clearly in panic. The Even Odds and Alphie crews stand and listen, solemnly.

    SRRAL (comm)
    Escape vessels are launching
    from the surface. ​

    PRYNN
    They can’t all escape in four
    minutes. But at least some is
    better than none. ​

    DEZ
    (new idea)
    Srral – move us to behind the
    planet, away from the sun.
    Then drop shields and begin
    transporting Drang on board.
    As many as you can get. ​

    SRRAL (comm)
    Who shall I choose? ​

    DEZ
    Random. Totally random. Facity,
    get on that helm and be ready. ​

    FACITY
    Hell yeah. ​

    Newly energised, the crew get to work moving the ship. Cradling the distraught Rena, Jake mouths silently to Dez.

    JAKE
    Thank you. ​

    PRYNN
    Two transporters are better
    than one. Shar, come on! ​

    And she strides quickly to the turbolift, Shar behind her.


    41 EXT. SPACE – DRANG SYSTEM


    A pitiful few escape shuttles launch from the surface of the Drang planet, while in the background, the wave of nova energy approaches. The Even Odds meanwhile manoeuvres into the shadow. At the same time, its rear cargo hatch opens and the Rio Grande emerges, quickly moving to a different position in orbit.


    42 INT. EVEN ODDS – TRANSPORTER ROOM


    Prees works the transporter console; Feg and Triv hover by the platform. The two Ferengi guide confused and terrified handfuls of Drang off the platform, just in time for the coils to power up again and save the next half-dozen. Among the panicked chattering and grunting of the Drang, Feg and Triv try their best to explain what’s going on, all MOS, and guide them out of the room into the corridor, where Pif is waiting to take them to other rooms.


    43 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT

    More Drang appear in twos on the tiny runabout transporter stage. Shar receives them while Prynn works the helm.

    SHAR
    Please move to the rear cabin.
    I’ll explain everything soon,
    but first priority is to beam
    as many aboard as possible.
    (next pair)
    Please move to the rear cabin...​

    PRYNN
    Shar...!​

    Shar turns at Prynn’s worried tone, and sees the view out of the front window...

    ...the wave of energy is almost at the planet, silhouetting against the growing light, making the whole area eclipse.

    PRYNN
    We need to go, now! I can’t risk
    taking any more. Get them secure. ​


    44 EXT. SPACE – DRANG SYSTEM


    And the wave HITS.

    The radiation scours the world, just as Shar said it would. Progressing from the sun-ward side to the opposite, the concussive force of it kicks up the very surface. Ground is pulverized, buildings are vaporized, oceans are boiled.

    At the last split second, the Even Odds and the Rio Grande jump to warp, escaping into space. The energy wave chases them, continuing on its way, until it HITS CAMERA, and we


    WHITE OUT


    Then FADE IN to:


    45 EXT. SPACE


    Some time later, the two small ships sit in the orbit of another planet, green and habitable. The few Drang shuttles that managed to escape are also in orbit.


    46 INT. EVEN ODDS – HANGAR


    The crew stand in the hangar, looking out at the surface of the world through the open cargo bay hatch (force field in place). From the Even Odds there’s Dez, Facity, Pif, Meera, and Feg and Triv. All five from the Rio Grande are here.

    FACITY
    That’s the last of them. All
    the refugee ships, everyone
    we were able to save... ​

    PRYNN
    The last of them. Literally.​

    PIF
    I can’t stop thinking about
    everyone we left behind. All
    those people who lost their
    families, their children...
    if I ever lost my family...​

    He doesn’t need to finish the sentence. Prynn looks at him, thinking about something...

    NOG
    You think they’ll be safe? The
    Ascendants won’t come for them? ​

    JAKE
    We’ll just have to hope, Nog. ​

    NOG
    But they’ve got nothing. No
    homes, no technology... how
    are they going to live? ​

    MEERA
    The Dominion will take care
    of them. ​

    PRYNN
    (amazed)
    I beg your pardon? ​

    MEERA
    You said the Dominion was in
    chaos. And these Ascendants –
    from what you said, from what
    I heard in the Link, from what
    I’ve seen today... it was them
    who sent the Dominion into
    that chaos. ​

    NOG
    Yes... yes it was. ​

    MEERA
    The other changelings abandoned
    the Dominion. I will not do the
    same. I will return to the Link,
    even if it only consists of
    Odo... and I will command the
    Jem’Hadar to help the Drang. ​

    DEZ
    Meera... are you sure? ​

    MEERA
    I am. Thank you for everything,
    Dez. I have cherished my time
    here. But now it is time to go. ​

    Meera begins to stride towards the open hatch...

    NOG
    Meera, wait. ​

    She turns back to him, curious...

    NOG (cont)
    Tell Odo... tell him that Kira
    wants the Dominion’s help with
    the Ascendants. That she asked
    for an alliance. But Taran’atar
    said no. Will you do that? ​

    MEERA
    Happily, Nog. Goodbye. ​

    Meera turns back to the hatch, leaps into the air, MORPHing as she goes. She becomes a missile of changeling matter, passes through the forcefield out into space, and is gone.

    The rest of them turn, as if to go. Jake calls after them.

    JAKE
    Dez, hold on. There’s something
    else I want to talk about. ​

    DEZ
    Oh for crying out loud, Jake. If
    you’re going to complain about
    me stealing your ship again – ​

    JAKE
    That’s not it. I accept that you
    did everything you could to save
    as many Drang as possible. I’m
    grateful. I’d even say I’m proud,
    although I know that’ll only piss
    you off. But there’s something
    else I want to ask you. Something
    else you could do to help. ​

    DEZ
    And again I ask – why is it my
    job to help? ​

    JAKE
    This won’t cost you anything.
    It could stop more things like
    what happened to the Drang. And
    if you have the ability to do
    that, do you honestly not feel
    any obligation to use it? ​

    In fact he does, but it hurts to have to admit it to Jake.

    DEZ
    What’s your idea? ​

    JAKE
    That you listen. That’s all.
    Just listen. Nog and Rena were
    right – there is a way to use
    the Ascendant technology in
    this ship to our advantage, and
    we can do it by listening. ​

    NOG
    (gets it now)
    To the Wa. ​

    JAKE
    Exactly. Shar, you could give
    them your translation program.
    Nog, you could give them a code
    to access the wormhole relay.
    And Dez... you could have one
    of your crew listen to whatever
    the Ascendants say through the
    Wa, and pass it on to us. And
    we can use it to stop them.
    (beat)
    So what do you say? ​

    Nog, Shar, Rena and Prynn look on hopefully, happy with Jake’s idea. Dez stands silently considering it, very aware that everyone’s waiting for a decision.


    47 EXT. SPACE


    Focusing on the Rio Grande, sitting in orbit of the Drang’s nameless new colony world...


    48 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Prynn and Shar are moving around the cabin, getting ready to go. Shar is more relaxed and relieved, happy with the deal they’ve struck. Prynn still has something on her mind.

    SHAR
    I am glad we could convince Dez
    to help. The extinction of a
    species, for whatever reason,
    is an issue that’s rather close
    to my heart, you understand. ​

    Prynn nods absently. Shar comes up close to her, reaches out for her hand. She lets him take it, although awkwardly.

    SHAR
    I am also looking forward to
    returning to the station. And
    “picking up where we left off.” ​

    He leans in for a kiss... she pulls away from him.

    PRYNN
    Shar... don’t. ​

    SHAR
    What’s wrong? Did I upset you? ​

    PRYNN
    No. Well, yes, sort of. But no.
    (sags)
    Oh God... I can’t do this.​

    SHAR
    I don’t understand. You said – ​

    PRYNN
    I know I did. And I meant it.
    But then I came here. I saw
    Brad... it’s plain as day she
    had a thing for Jake. But when
    she heard he got married... she
    backed off in a second. Didn’t
    say a word about it. Another
    woman’s husband is off limits,
    end of discussion. ​

    SHAR
    But Prynn, you know Andorians –​

    PRYNN
    And Pif, and his wife and his
    babies. If anything ever came
    between them, stopped him from
    watching his children grow up...
    he as near as said it would
    kill him. How can I do that to
    another family? ​

    SHAR
    Prynn, what are you saying? ​

    PRYNN
    That I can’t do this. Us. I
    want to. I want to so much.
    You’re beautiful and sensitive,
    and I know I’m hurting you.
    And it probably doesn’t help
    to tell you I’m hurting myself
    too. But better that than get
    involved with a married man
    and break up a family. I let
    myself think I could do it for
    a minute, I wanted to think I
    could do it... but I can’t.
    I’m sorry, Shar... I can’t. ​

    She turns and walks away, crying, leaving Shar confused.


    49 THE WA


    Shar stands inside the white nothingness of the Wa, guiding Prees through his translation program using a padd. Prees reaches out and touches the orange splotch in front of her. The Wa dims, and the formless, whispering VOICES return.

    After a moment, the turbolift opens in the middle of the space, again carrying Rena. She wanders out slowly, looking around. It no longer looks as enchanting to her as it did. She tentatively approaches Shar and Prees.

    SHAR
    Hello, Rena. Can I help you? ​

    RENA
    Prynn told me what happened. I
    wanted to see if you were okay. ​

    PREES
    (realizes)
    I’ll leave you two alone. ​

    Prees pulls away and heads to the turbolift. She enters, and the door closes behind her, leaving empty space.

    RENA
    How are you feeling? ​

    SHAR
    Confused. Continually pulled
    back and forth. I had thought
    Andorian relationships were
    among the most complex in the
    Federation. But I am learning
    that human relationships are
    just as perplexing. ​

    RENA
    Yep. That they are. But if you
    need somebody to talk to...
    (smirk)
    Somebody who has no romantic
    interest in you whatsoever...
    I’m willing. ​

    SHAR
    I appreciate that. Thank you. ​

    RENA
    (change subject)
    So Prees is going to listen in
    to the Ascendants for us? ​

    SHAR
    She is. She will submit weekly
    reports through the relay... Rena? ​

    He trails off, because Rena is looking very worried all of a sudden. She’s heard something, something in the voices.

    RENA
    Shar, have you been recording
    this? Can you run it back? ​

    SHAR
    Uhh... yes, if you wish. ​

    He works the padd. The sound of the voices rewinds by a few seconds, and plays over again. We can’t make any of it out any clearer, but Rena apparently can, and it worries her.

    RENA
    Jake said there’s a Cardassian
    on board, right? ​

    SHAR
    The ship’s medic, I believe. ​

    RENA
    Get him. Get him down here
    right now. And everyone else. ​


    CUT TO:


    50 THE WA


    The five Alphies, plus Dez and Glessin, are now gathered around Shar’s padd in the orange-hued Wa.

    RENA
    Shar – play it back again. ​

    Shar taps buttons, and the voices replay. Glessin listens intently... and recognizes the words with fascination.

    DEZ
    What does it say? ​

    GLESSIN
    It says... “I am the Fire.” ​

    PRYNN
    “The Fire”... that’s what the
    Ascendant guy said was their
    version of the Emissary, right?
    Sent to them from their gods? ​

    JAKE
    Right. So... why is that a
    surprise? They would talk
    about that, wouldn’t they? ​

    RENA
    That’s not the problem. ​

    DEZ
    Then what is? ​

    RENA
    She didn’t just say, “I am the
    Fire.” She said it...
    (beat)
    ...in Cardassian. ​

    Dez looks to Glessin, who nods in agreement. Nog’s face slowly falls, dumbstruck, as the answer comes to him.

    NOG
    Blessed Exchequer...​

    PRYNN
    What? What is it? ​

    NOG
    “I am the Fire.” A Cardassian
    female, the Emissary to the
    Ascendants.
    (w/ gravity)
    This road trip is over. We
    need to get home. Now. ​

    On Nog’s determination...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF SHOW

    .
     
  8. fleetcaptain

    fleetcaptain Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA, USA
    Can I say, wow there. What a ending and I now can't wait for the next one. The build up is getting suspenseful here.
     
  9. Wally

    Wally Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    From an "In the Cards" to a "Tears of the Prophets". This two-parter really has an interesting structure. I liked it. Don't entirely understand Dez being so off-putting, but once again, all the other characterizations where pretty much spot on.

    The use of the Wa. It makes so much sense, I never even thought about it. I do wonder if that's what the original Re-Launch others had meant for it or not.

    I do wonder with Shar's relationship with Prynn being resolved, how long he will sticking around now.

    And again. I am pleased that although there is clearly going to be a conflict/war of some sort with the Ascendants that it is being handled much different than other conflicts. War with the Cardassians, the Klingons, the Dominion, the Borg, and (possibly) the Typhon Pact- Star Trek is more than just constant warfare.
    Doesn't mean though that I don't find these Ascendant guys terrifying, though. Hope the individual characters get well developed. DS9 always had the best re-curring villains. And I actually liked Illian Ghemor, so I look forward to her return.

    Keep up the good work. :)
     
  10. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    Cool - thanks! :techman:


    Thankee-sai. *bows*

    As I said last ep, I liked to idea of seeing what the "teenagers" get up to when the grown-ups aren't around. And I like the idea that what starts off as wacky hijinks turns on a dime into something deadly serious. And that the gang go off with no greater plans than a night of fun at the casino, and come back with something vital to defeating the Big Bad of the season.


    I think Dez was kind of expecting the worst from Jake - they didn't part on the best of terms in Rising Son - and was reacting premptively to that. Which in turn made things worse than they needed to be, especially since Jake was really only reacting to Dez's reaction to him.

    I regret that I didn't have enough time to get into the other characters on the Even Odds as much as I'd have liked, but there simply wasn't room in a single episode, not when there was so much plot and exposition to squeeze in as well.

    For example, I'd wanted to get into Glessin and Rena's reactions to each other as a Cardassian and a Bajoran. Nothing too big, just an acknowledgement. And how Glessin felt about Meera's presence, given his previous reaction to Taran'atar. And Feg and Triv fawning over Nog some more, and being confused when Nog doesn't automatically side with profit over all else. And an explanation of why Nog was so scared of the flurble and so uncomfortable around Pif and his family - because Ferengi animals aren't furry, thus furry things are just unnatural to a Ferengi. And Prynn talking to Brad about the latter's crush on Jake, thus informing her decision regarding Shar later on. And so on. I think between this and the previous episode, there's definitely enough material to have filled a novel.

    I may have mentioned before - I have a tendency to waffle. :borg:


    I think it definitely might have been. I looked at all the clues dribbled out across Rising Son and other books and really, it does add up remarkably smoothly if you keep a close eye.

    I'm glad you think it makes sense - I was going for a reaction of "OMG I never thought of that, but you're right!" I think that reaction is something DS9 the show excelled at - like when Dukat joined the Dominion for example - and I wanted to follow it through. And I have more coming of that sort of thing too. :devil:


    I'm going for a kind of on-again-off-again thing with these two. They both want to, but there's just too many reasons for them not to.


    I've always had the feeling that the Ascendant conflict was not going to be yet another interstellar war, but confined to just the people directly involved - the Ascendants, the Bajorans and Eavoq. I don't think it really affects much beyond them, but those who it does affect, it does so profoundly.


    I hope you continue to think I am doing so. :techman:

    .
     
  11. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    FYI, one of my stories has now passed the 1000 views point over at Ad Astra.

    For some reason, it's episode 3 "Steppin' Out" - the musical episode where Vic Fontaine steps out of the holosuite.

    I wonder why that one in particular seems to be so popular? Especially since episode 4 has barely more than half that number. :confused:

    .
     
  12. Ln X

    Ln X Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Location:
    The great gig in the sky
    Because you've probably transformed Vic into the Doctor with respect to being able to go beyond the confines of the holosuite. What happens when you combine Vic with the Doctor's holographic emitter? Fricking gold man! I think that is a very cool idea, Vic (this relic of the 20th century) exploring late 24th century life.