DS9 Season 10, ep 10x21 - "Into the Fire" (part 2 of 3)

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  1. lvsxy808

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  2. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TEASER


    FADE IN:


    1 EXT. BAJOR – SISKO’S HOUSE - MORNING


    Early, as the sun is rising over the distant hills and the local birds are fluttering and tweeting in reply. The Sisko homestead looks peaceful in the morning light.


    2 INT. SISKO’S HOUSE – LIVING ROOM


    OPAKA sits in the rocking chair in the corner of the room, slowly rocking back and forth with baby REBECCA in her lap. She’s keeping the girl occupied with some simple toy.

    KIRA emerges from the kitchen, in casual clothes. She’s carrying three mugs of morning coffee. She drops one off at the side-table next to Opaka’s rocking chair...

    OPAKA
    Oh, thank you, Nerys. ​

    ...and takes the other two to the couch. KASIDY gratefully receives, and Kira sits beside her. Kasidy is obviously filled with worry, clinging to the coffee cup for comfort.

    KIRA
    So he never came home? ​

    KASIDY
    No. Haven’t seen or heard from
    him since I threw him out of
    the house.
    (sags)
    Oh God, why did I do that? Any-
    thing could have happened to
    him when he’s in that state. ​

    KIRA
    Don’t beat yourself up, Kas.
    You were scared, angry...​

    KASIDY
    How’s Rena? ​

    KIRA
    She’s fine. Handling it better
    than Jake is. I don’t think
    I’ve ever seen him so angry. ​

    Kasidy puts her mug down on the coffee table, gets up and begins to pace. Kira and Opaka can only sympathise.

    KASIDY
    Damn it, Ben! At least call me
    and let me know you’re okay. ​

    OPAKA
    (gently)
    Perhaps he worried he would not
    be welcome after what happened.
    Perhaps he did not wish to
    burden you any further. ​

    KASIDY
    I’m his wife! He’s supposed to
    burden me! I just hate when
    he gets like this. All this
    Prophets business screaming
    around in his head...​

    Kasidy slumps back down into an armchair.

    KASIDY
    I’m sorry Nerys, Sulan. I don’t
    mean to be insensitive to your
    beliefs... I just wish those
    Prophets of yours would leave
    Ben out of it once in a while. ​

    KIRA
    I know what you mean. And I know
    this probably isn’t what you
    want to hear... but I believe
    it’s all for a purpose. ​

    Kira looks subtly over to Opaka. Opaka gets the message. She stands and hefts Rebecca onto her hip.

    OPAKA
    I’ll go and tidy Rebecca’s
    things. I’m sure she can show
    me where everything goes. ​

    Opaka carries Rebecca into the bedroom, leaving Kira and Kasidy alone. Kira smiles gratefully, then turns back to her friend.

    KIRA
    Kasidy, please... try and hear
    me. I know that the Prophets
    wouldn’t ask him to do anything
    unless it was absolutely vital
    for the safety of Bajor. They
    take care of us. Ben is Their
    way of doing that. ​

    KASIDY
    But does it have to be so hard
    for him? And for me? ​

    KIRA
    I can only tell you that in the
    end, it’ll all be for the best. ​

    Kasidy wishes she could be as confident. And really, Kira is trying to convince herself just as much.

    KASIDY
    I know he lies to me.
    (beat)
    Alright, maybe not lie, that’s
    too strong a word. But he keeps
    things from me. He hides and
    pretends. It’s just because he
    wants to protect me. But I hear
    him mumbling in his sleep. I
    know he’s scared. And I want
    to protect him too. ​

    KIRA
    Perhaps you could talk to Jake
    about it? Or encourage Ben to
    talk to Jake if he can’t talk
    to you. ​

    KASIDY
    (shakes head
    firmly)
    No. I don’t want to put Jake
    in the middle of it. He has
    his own life to lead now. ​

    KIRA
    Then maybe you could persuade
    Ben to step back a bit. Take
    more of a back seat. Vaughn
    and Taran’atar and I can
    handle what we need to do...​

    KASIDY
    I can’t do that either. I could
    never ask him not to go with
    you. It’s all he’s thought about
    and worried about since he came
    back from the wormhole. Besides,
    if I try to make him choose...
    I’m afraid I’ll lose. ​

    KIRA
    You don’t seriously think he’d
    choose the Prophets over you...? ​

    Kasidy looks Kira in the eye, sad and resigned.

    KASIDY
    He already did once. ​

    Kira doesn’t really have any answer for that. It’s a tough situation all round, and she has her own doubts about it.

    There’s a BANG out on the veranda, at the back of the house. Kira and Kasidy look to each other, confused. They get up from the sofa and look to the back door...

    ...just in time to see SISKO half-collapsing against it.

    Kira quickly rushes to the door, opens it and catches Sisko as he slumps into her arms. It’s not unlike when he lurched into the ward room at the end of 5x10 “Rapture.” He’s wracked with the same kind of shivers and sweats, like his head is too full of comprehension, trying to burst out.

    Kasidy stays back, her hand to her mouth, almost in tears at the state her husband is in. Opaka has emerged from the bedroom at the commotion. Sisko looks up into Kira’s face, as if barely realizing where he is.

    SISKO
    Nerys...​

    KIRA
    Ben... what is it? ​

    SISKO
    I understand now. You have to
    gather everyone. Gather them
    all, before it’s too late.​

    On Opaka, as she remembers...


    FLASHBACK – 10x11 “HARMONY”


    Itu has received revelation from their Orbs, during the last Ascendant attack. He stops another passing Eav’oq...

    ITU
    I understand now. You have to
    gather everyone. Gather them
    all, before it’s too late.​


    BACK TO SCENE


    The same words. Opaka realizes – this is it.


    FADE OUT:


    END OF TEASER


    .
     
  3. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ACT ONE


    FADE IN:


    3 INT. SISKO’S HOUSE - BATHROOM


    Sisko stands over the sink, splashing his face with cold water. He’s bringing himself around, forcing the knowledge that’s rushing round his brain into calm, rational patterns by sheer force of will.

    He looks up at his reflection, stares into his own eyes. We go into lightning-fast FLASHES of memory, barely enough to register...

    -- Three comet fragments approach the Gamma end of the wormhole (3x15 “Destiny”)

    -- In engineering, Sisko is caught in a warp core discharge and phases out of existence (4x03 “The Visitor”)

    -- Sisko weeps bitterly in Prylar Eivos’s arms at the base of the bantaca spire (10x20 “In the Stars”)

    Sisko tenses his jaw at the memories, but doesn’t run away. He accepts what he has to do.


    4 INT. SISKO’S HOUSE – LIVING ROOM


    Sisko emerges from the bedroom into the living room. He has changed his clothes, freshened up, but still urgent and grim with determination.

    Kasidy stands, holding Rebecca. She looks to her husband, knows exactly what he’s thinking.

    KASIDY
    So this is it. It’s finally arrived. ​

    Sisko goes to her, and as gently as he can, gathers them both into his arms, pulls them tight.

    SISKO
    Kasidy... I love you. You know
    that. You and Rebecca and Jake
    are the most important things
    in the universe to me. ​

    Kasidy nods silently against his shoulder. Refuses to cry.

    SISKO
    I do what I do... what I’ve
    always done... to keep you safe.
    Whether it’s for Starfleet or
    the Prophets... doesn’t matter.
    You – you are what matters. ​

    Sisko pulls back, looks Kasidy in the eye.

    SISKO
    Do you believe me? ​

    KASIDY
    (sad nod)
    I do, Ben. I do. ​

    SISKO
    I am so, so sorry for whatever
    I’ve put you through. I have
    never wanted to hurt you. And
    I would never leave you if I
    didn’t have to. But this...
    this I have to do. And I have
    to do it now. ​

    He reaches in and kisses her deeply – as much for his own comfort as for hers. Then he kisses Rebecca’s head.

    SISKO
    You should call somebody...
    to come and sit with you. I
    don’t want you to be alone. ​

    KASIDY
    (no accusation)
    Who would I call, Ben? Every-
    one I know is going with you. ​

    SISKO
    How about Prylar Eivos? He
    took good care of me, gave me
    a place to sleep last night.
    And you said you liked him. ​

    KASIDY
    (small nod)
    Maybe. ​

    Kira re-enters the house from the front door. Sisko pulls back from Kasidy, takes a deep breath and steels himself.

    SISKO
    Everything ready, Nerys? ​

    KIRA
    I called the station. Vaughn’s
    pulling everyone together. ​

    SISKO
    Good. There’s no time to waste. ​

    Sisko gives one last kiss to Kasidy and Rebecca. Then he heads for the door. He doesn’t look back. If he did, he might not be able to go. He walks out, and is gone. Kira tries her most reassuring smile for Kasidy...

    KIRA
    Don’t worry, Kas. I’ll bring
    him home safe and sound. ​

    KASIDY
    Thank you, Nerys. ​

    But Kasidy doesn’t believe it any more than Kira does. Then Kira turns and leaves as well. Kasidy follows her out onto the front porch...


    5 EXT. SISKO’S HOUSE – FRONT PORCH - DAY


    Kira walks to join Sisko a few yards away from the house. Kasidy stays on the porch, watching them. We see Kira tap her combadge, and after a few moments, a transporter beam takes them. Baby Rebecca waves her daddy goodbye.


    6 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE - ESTABLISHING


    Much as we left it last time – Defiant, Vannis’s Dominion ship, and the damaged Even Odds all sit in a line around the docking ring. A single RUNABOUT approaches and slowly lands on its pad, sinking into the body of the station.


    7 INT. DS9 – SECURITY CELLS


    ETANA and RICHTER sit together inside one of the cells. The force field is up, and security Ensign ALECO stands guard, but far enough away to give the women their privacy.

    ETANA
    So what’s going on out there? ​

    RICHTER
    (faux cheerful)
    Nothing special. Aylam’s still
    flirting with Simon. Simon’s
    still oblivious. Bashir’s on
    egg-shells around him. ​

    ETANA
    (gently)
    Kris – come on. Tell me. ​

    RICHTER
    (sigh)
    They still haven’t decided. ​

    ETANA
    What’s taking them so long? It’s
    not legal to hold someone this
    long without charges, you know. ​

    RICHTER
    It’s... complicated, Kol. You
    know it is. ​

    ETANA
    And what about the rest?
    (Richter doesn’t
    answer)
    I know something’s going on.
    I can feel it in the air. ​

    RICHTER
    I don’t know what. I’m just
    a nurse, they don’t tell me
    anything. But I do know Kira
    just got back from Bajor. ​

    Richter watches as Etana ponders what that means...


    8 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S QUARTERS


    The door is open, and Kira stands at the threshold. Sisko is elsewhere in the room.

    KIRA
    Come on in, everyone. ​

    Opaka enters, followed by VAUGHN, DAX, RO, PRYNN, NOG, BASHIR, SHAR, CENN, TARAN’ATAR and VANNIS. They spread out, taking seats (except for Taran’atar, who stands).

    Last in the room are JAKE and RENA. Jake looks back over his shoulder for one more person to enter – DEZ, supporting himself with a crutch, and not quite sure what he’s doing here. Sisko steps towards them, quiet and gentle.

    DEZ
    You must be Jake’s father. ​

    SISKO
    I am. I’m very glad to meet you,
    Captain. I wanted to say... how
    grateful I am to you for looking
    after Jake while I was... away.
    Please, take a seat. ​

    This is the man Dez has measured himself against in Jake’s eyes. He nods uncertainly and hobbles away to a spare seat. Jake and Rena are about to follow, but Sisko stops them.

    SISKO
    Wait, Jake, Rena... please. ​

    They pause, giving nothing away, but allow him to speak.

    SISKO
    I hope you’ll let me apologise
    to you both. My behaviour was
    inexcusable. Especially towards
    you, Rena. I would never hurt
    either of you. I was just so... ​

    RENA
    It’s alright, Mister Sisko...
    Emissary. It’s a stressful
    situation for everyone. ​

    SISKO
    Stressful. That’s a reason. But
    not an excuse. I am so sorry. ​

    RENA
    Apology accepted. ​

    Sisko turns towards Jake, who has yet to speak. He nods, almost reluctantly. But he knows his father is sincere.

    JAKE
    Apology accepted. Rena helped
    me understand some things... and
    so did Dez. But I was serious.
    Don’t ever say anything like
    that again, Dad. Ever. ​

    SISKO
    I won’t. There won’t be a need.
    Because I understand now...
    (to Rena)
    ...why you’re here. I’ll explain
    everything. Go on – take a seat. ​

    Jake and Rena do as they’re told. Sisko goes and stands by the window, next to Kira, and they look back at the rest.

    SISKO
    Thank you all for coming. I’m
    doing this in Captain Kira’s
    quarters because I wanted this
    to be informal. This is not an
    official Starfleet briefing, or
    an official Starfleet mission
    for that matter. This is just
    us – the people in this room.
    So you all get an input, and
    no question or suggestion is
    out of bounds, so long as it’s
    respectful. With that said...​

    He nods to Kira, who takes over the meeting.

    KIRA
    Alright. You all know what
    we’re up against. The Ascendants
    are coming. They believe that
    if they can reach the wormhole,
    and enter it, they’ll become
    gods themselves. And they’re
    willing to destroy anyone who
    gets in their way. ​

    NOG
    This is something I’ve been
    wondering, actually. We’ve had
    whole fleets going through the
    wormhole for years now. If the
    Ascendants have been searching
    for it, how did they miss that? ​

    OPAKA
    When the Eav’oq used the Orbs
    to hide, the Ascendants were...
    “cast out.” Scattered across
    the quadrant in an instant. ​

    VAUGHN
    And this all happened thousands
    of years ago. To them, the
    Dominion are the “new kids on
    the block.” It’s taken them
    this long to even get close. ​

    SHAR
    Plus, we know that the wormhole
    is a localized phenomenon. Even
    as close as we are right now,
    there are no measurable readings
    until one hits the event horizon. ​

    NOG
    Alright, yeah, I get all that.
    But the thing is, Iliana Ghemor
    is in charge of them now, right?
    And she knows everything. About
    us, about the Dominion, about
    the wormhole... What she didn’t
    get from the Obsidian Order or
    from your memories, Captain...
    Taran’atar gave her. ​

    Nog looks to Taran’atar warily, expecting trouble. But the Jem’Hadar has no reaction. Nog is right, after all.

    NOG (cont)
    So if she knows all that... then
    what’s she waiting for? ​

    KIRA
    I’ve asked that question myself.
    And the only answer I can come
    up with... is that she’s been
    deliberately biding her time,
    maybe to gather up as many of
    the Knights as she can... to
    make sure they can’t lose. ​

    RO
    That’s a pleasant thought. ​

    KIRA
    And she’s convinced she won’t
    lose. She honestly believes
    she’s following the will of the
    Prophets. That they’re destined
    to destroy the Eav’oq. ​

    VAUGHN
    Captain... what do you believe? ​

    Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? Kira pauses, and then lies as confidently as she can.

    KIRA
    We’re going to stop them. ​

    They are relieved to hear it. But Vaughn sees something in Kira’s face the rest of them don’t. Prynn speaks up first.

    PRYNN
    How? I mean, I don’t mean to
    be negative, Captain, but I’ve
    seen what one of these guys can
    do. How can we possibly stop the
    entire race, if it really is
    just the people in this room? ​

    SISKO
    Luckily for us, Lieutenant, the
    people in this room are a pretty
    remarkable bunch. We can do it.
    (to Dez)
    And it all starts with you. ​

    Dez looks back confused. Everyone has turned to look at him, and he’s feeling a bit put on the spot.

    DEZ
    Me? ​

    SISKO
    Your ship can listen in on the
    Ascendants... and it turns out,
    that’s the key to everything. ​

    NOG
    But they know about that now.
    We’ve lost the advantage. ​

    KIRA
    No we haven’t. What we’ve got...
    is a trap. ​

    DAX
    (realising)
    We listen in on them, they try
    to track the Even Odds down
    again, and they find it right
    where we want them to be. ​

    CENN
    And where’s that? ​

    KIRA
    In orbit of the Eav’oq homeworld. ​

    Everyone seems shocked at that.

    OPAKA
    Nerys... I thought the plan was
    to protect the Eav’oq. Now you
    tell us you intend to deliver
    the Ascendants right to them? ​

    KIRA
    They won’t get anywhere near
    the Eav’oq. Because waiting for
    them in orbit will be a massive
    Jem’Hadar fleet, courtesy of
    Taran’atar, Vannis... and Odo. ​

    DEZ
    Hold on. The Even is my ship,
    and I haven’t agreed to this. ​

    KIRA
    You won’t be doing any fighting,
    Dez. Your whole job is to run
    as fast as you can, and then
    get the hell out of the way. ​

    DEZ
    Out of the way of a running
    firefight between two insanely
    violent armies out for blood.
    We’ll never make it.​

    VAUGHN
    You will if you have Lieutenant
    Tenmei at the helm. ​

    SISKO
    (gently)
    Elias, that’s not necessary...​

    VAUGHN
    Is there a better pilot in this
    room? Is there a better pilot
    in this sector?
    (no-one answers)
    Then it’s Lieutenant Tenmei’s
    job. Let’s move on. ​

    Prynn is a little taken aback by this, but she trusts her dad, and she appreciates his faith in her. She’ll do it.

    BASHIR
    What makes you so sure the
    Ascendants will ignore the
    Eav’oq to fight the Jem’Hadar? ​

    KIRA
    Something Iliana said. “They’re
    easily distracted.” They’ve
    already attacked the Dominion
    once. Put the Jem’Hadar in their
    path again, and they won’t be
    able to resist taking the bait. ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    And then we will destroy them all. ​

    SISKO
    (sad smile)
    I appreciate your determination,
    Taran’atar. But no, you won’t. ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    I don’t understand. ​

    SISKO
    I don’t doubt your abilities.
    But it’s not your job to kill
    the Ascendants. It’s mine. ​

    JAKE
    Dad... what are you saying? ​

    SISKO
    That’s the other reason we need
    them in the Idran system. They
    want the wormhole... I’m going
    to give it to them. ​

    As they all look at him in shock and surprise...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT ONE


    .
     
  4. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ACT TWO


    FADE IN:


    9 INT. DS9 – HABITAT RING CORRIDOR


    The meeting is over. Everyone emerges from Kira’s quarters looking a little shell-shocked. They’ve heard the whole plan, and it’s a biggie. There are awkward glances as they go their ways, off to prepare for their respective roles.

    Last to the door is Vaughn. He makes sure everyone else has left, and at the threshold, turns back to Kira.


    10 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S QUARTERS


    Kira stands gazing into her prayer mandala. Vaughn hovers in the doorway...

    VAUGHN
    Captain... could I ask you
    something? ​

    KIRA
    Of course, Commander. ​

    Vaughn steps closer into the room, lets the door close.

    VAUGHN
    I just wanted to know... why
    did you lie to us? ​

    Kira looks at him, unsure whether to be offended, scared, caught out...

    VAUGHN
    Please understand, I’m not
    accusing you of anything. But I
    saw the look on your face when
    you said you believed we’d stop
    the Ascendants. Don’t worry, I
    don’t think anyone else caught
    it. But I’ve had reason to be
    an expert at spotting lies. ​

    Kira turns back to her mandala, full of confusion.

    VAUGHN
    Do you think Iliana will win? ​

    KIRA
    I don’t know, Elias. There are
    just so many signs...​

    VAUGHN
    Signs of what?
    (Kira hesitates)
    Captain... Nerys... Just talk
    to me. Let me help. ​

    KIRA
    (sigh)
    She was right... about Cardassia.
    They attacked, killed billions
    of Bajorans... and that was one
    Prophet race against another.
    Why wouldn’t it be the same for
    the Ascendants and the Eav’oq? ​

    VAUGHN
    But look at Cardassia now. It’s
    falling apart, while Bajor has
    never been better. ​

    KIRA
    But Cardassia is a world of the
    Prophets, just like Bajor. If
    that happened to them, it could
    happen to the Eav’oq too. ​

    VAUGHN
    It could. Maybe it already has. ​

    KIRA
    What do you mean? ​

    VAUGHN
    The Ascendants first attacked
    the Eav’oq thousands of years
    ago, yes? And it didn’t work. ​

    KIRA
    And now they’re back. ​

    VAUGHN
    Just like Cardassia tried to
    come back to Bajor during the
    war. And it didn’t work. Their
    second attempt to control you
    ended with them being razed to
    the ground. Who’s to say the
    Ascendants’ second attempt
    won’t end up the same way? ​

    KIRA
    But is that any better? What
    right do I have to stop the
    Ascendants from achieving what
    their faith says is the entire
    point of their lives? Who am I
    to say that my interpretation
    of the Prophets is better, or
    more correct than theirs? If
    I do that, I’m no better than
    Yevir, when he tried to ban
    the Ohalu religion on Bajor. ​

    VAUGHN
    Captain, if protecting Bajor
    and the Eav’oq means stopping
    the Ascendants... then that’s
    just what you’ll have to do.
    What other option is there?
    Sit back and do nothing? ​

    KIRA
    Maybe the Prophets have some
    other plan... ​

    VAUGHN
    Captain, you are the Prophets’
    plan. I may not believe in a god,
    but I do believe that if there
    is a god, and if that god is
    going to save us... then he’s
    going to do it by giving us the
    intelligence and imagination
    and strength to save ourselves. ​

    Kira tries her best to take his advice...


    11 INT. DS9 – HABITAT RING CORRIDOR


    Sisko strides down the corridor. Dax chases behind him...

    DAX
    Ben – hold up! ​

    He turns to her – she jogs up to him.

    SISKO
    What do you need, old man? ​

    DAX
    Ben, come on. Are you really
    sure this is the way to go? ​

    He looks around, makes sure there’s no-one to listen in.

    SISKO
    It’s the best of a bad set of
    options, Dax. But I do need to
    ask for your help. ​

    DAX
    Anything. You know that. ​

    SISKO
    I need you to be Jadzia for me
    one last time. I need you to
    be the one to press the button. ​

    DAX
    I’m not the science officer,
    Ben. I’m not even assigned to
    DS-Nine or the Defiant anymore.
    Shouldn’t Shar be the one – ​

    SISKO
    Shar doesn’t know me. Not like
    you do. I can’t ask him to do
    this. He can stay here on the
    station, with Ro. She’ll need
    good officers to rely on.
    (beat)
    Please, Dax. I need you with me. ​

    Dax sighs. How can she say no to her oldest friend?


    12 INT. DS9 – QUARK’S BAR


    By the bar, QUARK holds court, relating a ribald tale MOS while the Even Odds Ferengi – FEG and TRIV – gaze with rapt attention, sucking up as much as their lobes will allow.

    But we are focusing on a table on the main floor, at which FACITY, BRAD and GLESSIN sit together, all looking a little battered and bruised. Glessin especially is quiet and insular. They look up at a stomp-shuffle sound...

    ...and see Dez limping towards them with his crutch. Facity pulls out a chair, and he gently lowers himself into it.

    FACITY
    Well? What did they say? ​

    DEZ
    These people are insane. There’s
    no other word for it. Must be an
    Alpha Quadrant thing.
    (beat)
    No offence, Glessin. ​

    Dez is about to spill it all, but there’s the sound of more people approaching – Jake and Nog. Dez sighs and rubs his face, as if to say, “Oh, will you just leave me alone.”

    JAKE
    Hi, everyone. Dez... can we
    talk to you for a second? ​

    Dez looks down at the table, doesn’t respond. The others are not sure what’s up. Jake deflates, getting the message.

    JAKE
    Fine. I guess I’ll tell my dad
    he needs to find another plan. ​

    Jake turns to leave. Reverse psychology. It works.

    DEZ
    Wait...​

    Jake turns back. He sees that Dez is struggling with this. The freighter captain wants to be involved, but wishes he didn’t. Taking pity, Jake crouches down to Dez’s level.

    JAKE
    Dez... I’m not asking you to
    change who you are. We just
    need your help. ​

    NOG
    Maybe there’s something we can
    offer you in return. A deal. ​

    Dez is half-way to being convinced. But he’s scared. He doesn’t know which way to jump. Facity speaks up...

    FACITY
    Tell me what you need, Jake. ​

    JAKE
    We need the Even Odds to act
    as a lure for the Ascendants.
    Use the Wa to get them where
    we want them. That’s all. ​

    DEZ
    You’re putting us in the middle
    of a war zone, Jake. I have to
    think of the safety of my crew. ​

    NOG
    Your crew will be safe. ​

    GLESSIN
    I’d do it. ​

    The others look to Glessin for an explanation...

    GLESSIN
    The battle’s coming anyway. Just
    once I’d like to get through one
    with my head high, knowing I did
    something to help. I don’t want
    to cower and cry all my life. ​

    Dez reluctantly considers all the options...

    DEZ
    You’re sure Prynn can get us
    through the battle safely? ​

    NOG
    I guarantee it. Run, and then
    hide till it’s over. ​

    DEZ
    (deep breath)
    Alright. But this is the last
    time, Jake. The moment it’s
    over, you leave my ship and
    we go our separate ways. ​

    NOG
    Deal. ​

    Nog looks to Jake for his confirmation...

    JAKE
    Deal. Thank you, Dez. We’ll
    call you when we’re ready. ​

    They turn to leave. As they walk together out of the bar...

    NOG
    Jake, can I ask you something? ​

    JAKE
    Sure, Nog. ​

    NOG
    What is with us and crazy plans?
    (beat)
    I mean, we try to fly a runabout
    without the autopilot. We steal
    a stuffed bear to help out a mad
    scientist with his experiments.
    We pit a crew of cadets against
    the biggest, baddest ship in the
    Dominion fleet. And now this...​

    JAKE
    (sad sigh)
    I don’t think this is the same
    thing. This plan isn’t crazy...
    it’s just wrong. ​

    They exit the bar...


    13 INT. DS9 – PRYNN’S QUARTERS


    Prynn is moving swiftly around the room, packing a small travelling bag. She’s taking out her frustration and confusion on the clothes and drawers and closet doors...

    PRYNN
    It’s wrong, Dad. I can’t do it. ​

    VAUGHN
    I’m just saying, give it a chance. ​

    PRYNN
    No! I won’t. Do you think I
    haven’t gone over this with
    myself a hundred times? Shar
    and I cannot happen. It never
    has happened. The most we’ve
    ever done is kiss, and...​

    She drifts off, as if sadly remembering the kiss and how wonderful it was...

    PRYNN
    Is that really all we’ve done?
    In two years?
    (plaintive)
    He’s so pretty... he makes me
    want to sit in a dark room,
    eat ice cream and cry.
    (resolved)
    But it’s better for everyone if
    we stay colleagues and nothing
    more. So whatever I may or may
    not be feeling, I’m just going
    to ignore it till it goes away. ​

    She goes back to stuffing clothes haphazardly into her bag.

    VAUGHN
    But what if something were to
    happen... to either of you... ​

    PRYNN
    Then it wouldn’t matter anyway. ​

    Vaughn takes Prynn’s hands, forces her to pay attention.

    VAUGHN
    Prynn, listen to me. I haven’t
    had a lot of love in my life.
    Your mother, you, a couple of
    minor flirtations when I was
    even younger than you are now,
    and that’s it. In more than a
    century of breathing.
    (emphasising)
    Do not follow my example. ​

    Prynn is grateful for her father’s advice. She smiles.

    PRYNN
    Don’t sell yourself short, Dad.
    I can think of at least one
    person who’s shown a definite
    interest. And it’s more than
    a minor flirtation. ​

    Opaka. Vaughn chuckles, pulls Prynn in close for a hug. They breath together, glad to have each other.

    VAUGHN
    Just promise me you’ll think
    about it. You’re my daughter...
    and I want you to be happy. ​

    PRYNN
    I love you too, Dad. ​

    They separate, steel themselves, and get back to work.


    14 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S OFFICE


    The door from Ops opens, and Nurse Richter enters. Kira is likewise buzzing around the room, putting things in order. She stops to greet Richter, directs her to the guest seat.

    KIRA
    Thank you for coming, Ensign. ​

    RICHTER
    What can I do for you, Captain? ​

    KIRA
    I wanted to tell you in person
    that we’ve come to a decision
    regarding Sergeant Etana. ​

    RICHTER
    (nervous)
    Okay. Go on...​

    KIRA
    She’s free to go. Legally, the
    only thing we can charge her
    with is medical malpractice.
    And as the only one affected
    by that, Lieutenant Ro has
    chosen not to press charges. ​

    RICHTER
    (deep breath)
    I see. Thank you, Captain. But
    if you don’t mind... I don’t
    want Kol to be released. ​

    KIRA
    (pause for WTF)
    I’m sorry? ​

    RICHTER
    I want her to stay where she
    is, in jail. And I want her to
    stay there, behind that force
    field, for a long, long time. ​

    Off Richter’s determination, and Kira’s confusion...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT TWO


    .
     
  5. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .


    ACT THREE


    FADE IN:


    15 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S OFFICE


    Where we left it. Richter has just delivered her decision.

    KIRA
    Ensign... I’m not sure I under-
    stand. I thought you’d be happy.
    She didn’t do anything wrong.
    Or even if she did... I know if
    I loved a person...​

    RICHTER
    That’s precisely why I want her
    to stay there. I know something’s
    going on. I may not get all the
    details, and I don’t expect to.
    But I know you’re putting some
    kind of big mission together. ​

    KIRA
    I can’t talk about that. ​

    RICHTER
    I know. And I also know my girl-
    friend, and whether Ro presses
    charges or not, Kol will feel
    like she has to make amends. If
    you let her out of that cell,
    she’ll see your big mission as
    her chance to make up for what
    she did. So she’ll join up, I
    won’t be able to stop her...
    and then she’s going to die. ​

    Kira finds herself unable to deny the possibility...

    RICHTER
    So I’m asking you, Captain...
    Please. Keep her safe. At least
    until all this is over. ​

    Kira considers Richter’s request...


    16 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE


    The Defiant, Dominion Vessel 288, and the Even Odds all in a row around the station’s docking ring. Repairs to the Even Odds are pretty much complete now.


    17 INT. DS9 – DOCKING RING CORRIDOR


    A massive logistical operation - dozens of crewpersons and security bodies lifting and carrying and anti-grav-ing and preparing the three ships for the mission ahead.


    FIRST AIRLOCK


    Kira stands watching the crewmen do their thing. Nervous, worried, but burying it under professionalism. As they near finishing, she turns to Ro and Shar, who stand nearby. Ro knows this is it. And she doesn’t envy Kira.

    RO
    Good luck, Captain. I don’t
    wish I was going with you. ​

    Kira chuckles with gallows humour, then reaches out and shakes Ro’s hand. It feels like a curiously final gesture.

    KIRA
    Good luck to you too, Ro. And
    Shar. I know the station’s in
    safe hands. ​

    Kira turns and walks into the airlock towards the Defiant. With Ro’s leave, Shar turns and walks along the corridor. He passes Vaughn on his way. Vaughn approaches Ro...

    VAUGHN
    Lieutenant. Everything ready? ​

    RO
    Yes, sir. Major Cenn’s talking
    with General Lenaris right now.
    We’ll be there. ​

    VAUGHN
    Good. Carry on, Lieutenant. ​

    Vaughn enters the airlock too, and is gone.


    SECOND AIRLOCK


    A squad of Jem’Hadar soldiers stand at attention as more Starfleet crew load supplies. Vannis and Opaka approach. Taran’atar snaps to attention.

    TARAN’ATAR
    The white has been administered.
    The soldiers are prepared. First
    Rekan’ganar is an able commander. ​

    VANNIS
    I agree. Thank you for your
    help, Ambassador. ​

    OPAKA
    You’re not coming with us? ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    I have decided to travel on
    board the Defiant. ​

    VANNIS
    And the ranjen travels with
    us. What greater symbol of
    our alliance could there be? ​

    Opaka smiles in pleasant surprise at the comment. Vannis turns and leads Opaka onto the ship, followed by the Jem’Hadar soldiers. Taran’atar turns to leave.


    INSIDE THE AIRLOCK


    OPAKA
    You seem much happier, more
    at peace than you did. ​

    VANNIS
    I died. That tends to change
    a person’s perspective. ​

    OPAKA
    I know precisely what you mean.
    They enter the ship. ​


    THIRD AIRLOCK


    More crew loading up the Even Odds with final supplies. Sisko, Jake and Rena stand by, watching with bitten lip.

    SISKO
    I am so proud of you both. And
    I love you both. And I’m so
    sorry this has to happen...​

    JAKE
    Dad, it’s okay. We chose to be
    involved. Don’t worry about us. ​

    Jake and Rena turn to board, but Sisko calls them back...

    SISKO
    Rena... thank you. ​

    RENA
    For what? ​

    SISKO
    For reminding me... of what
    I needed to know. ​

    Sisko grabs Rena for a big bear hug, pulls Jake into it too. Finally he lets them go and turns towards the Defiant.

    Jake and Rena enter the airlock, passing Prynn on her way out. She looks out into the corridor, mildly disappointed, until she finds what she was looking for - Shar.

    SHAR
    Prynn... I wanted to wish you
    luck. But you do not need it.
    You will be magnificent. ​

    Prynn’s breath catches – what a wonderful thing to say.

    PRYNN
    I’ll see you when I get back,
    Shar. That’s a promise. ​

    They share a moment. Then Shar turns to walk away.


    FIRST AIRLOCK


    Back at the Defiant. Ro presides over the last few supplies being loaded, as Taran’atar approaches. She takes a breath.

    RO
    Taran’atar... Don’t die. ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    I am already dead, Lieutenant.
    I go into battle to reclaim my
    life. A battle of blood or of
    words... the distinction no
    longer matters. ​

    RO
    Then go reclaim your life. And
    Taran’atar... kick their ass. ​

    And she really means it. They’re good now, back as friends again. He sees it, shares it. He turns and enters the ship, passing Commander Vaughn on the way.

    Ro walks along, just as Sisko is approaching. They nod their acknowledgements. Sisko steps into the airlock, and passes Vaughn. Vaughn watches him pass with a curious look, then presses the control to roll the airlock door closed.


    18 INT. DS9 – MAIN OPS CENTRE


    The turbolift rises into Ops, carrying Ro. She steps off and addresses Cenn. Shar is back at his station, with SEVAK running tactical, LEISHMAN at engineering, Cenn at the central Ops table, and TARSES elsewhere. All the new faces.

    RO
    Status, Major. ​

    CENN
    All three indicate ready. And
    General Lenaris is sending
    everything he’s got. ​

    RO
    Let’s hope it’s enough. ​


    19 INT. DEFIANT – MAIN BRIDGE


    The doors open, and Kira strides onto the bridge.

    DAX
    Captain on the bridge. ​

    Kira starts slightly – she is, isn’t she? And it might be the last time. She takes the centre seat, looks around at her crew. Dax, Bashir, BOWERS and Nog, plus Ensign Aleco at the helm. Behind her, Vaughn enters the bridge.

    VAUGHN
    All departments report ready,
    Captain. On your command. ​

    KIRA
    Alright then. Signal the others
    to coordinate departure. Ensign
    Aleco – feel free. ​

    ALECO
    Aye, Captain. ​


    20 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP - BRIDGE


    Vannis stands in the centre, headset comm unit on. First REKAN’GANAR has the other comm. Opaka stays out of the way.

    VANNIS
    First – disengage and prepare
    to follow the Defiant into
    the anomaly. ​

    REKAN’GANAR
    Acknowledged. ​

    Rekan’ganar moves to direct his soldiers to follow the orders. Vannis takes off her headset and offers it to Opaka, who accepts with delighted surprise.


    21 INT. EVEN ODDS - BRIDGE


    Prynn is settling in to the helm station, familiarizing herself. Dez is in the command chair, plus Facity, Brad and Glessin elsewhere. Jake and Rena hold hands as they stand out of the way on the upper deck.

    PRYNN
    Docking clamps disengaged. ​

    GLESSIN
    All power into the Wa is at its
    lowest level for the journey. ​


    22 INT. DS9 – MAIN OPS CENTRE


    In Ops, all the crew are turned to watch the screen as the three ships disconnect from the docking ring and manoeuvre away. Behind them, unnoticed, the turbolift rises again.

    Shar sees something out of the corner of his eye and turns – to his surprise, the lift carries PIF. Ro and Cenn turn too, a little baffled to see a green-furred talking dog.

    SHAR
    Pif! What are you doing here? ​

    PIF
    Jake arranged temporary security
    clearance for me. He said it was
    only fair, considering. ​

    SHAR
    No... I mean, why aren’t you
    on the Even Odds? ​

    Pif stretches his neck to look at the screen...


    23 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE


    The three ships are now heading in turn to the wormhole. The Defiant, Dominion Vessel 288, then the Even Odds. They reach the event horizon, the wormhole BURSTS open in its great display of power and colour, and the ships dive in.


    24 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP - BRIDGE


    Opaka is now wearing the headset, and she gazes in awe and amazement at what she sees through it.

    OPAKA
    No matter how many times, it
    never loses its power. ​


    25 EXT. WORMHOLE INTERIOR


    The three ships slip smoothly through the sparkling blue-and-gold internal currents.


    26 INT. DEFIANT – CORRIDOR


    A rarely seen part of the ship – a corridor in the depths, with a rare porthole to the outside. Sisko stands leaning against the bulkhead, peering out of this porthole. As he watches, there are tears of sadness and loss in his eyes.


    27 INT. DEFIANT – CORRIDOR


    Elsewhere on the ship. Vaughn walks along another corridor. No specific destination, just walking. Things on his mind. He turns a corner, and sees Sisko standing at his porthole. He hesitates a moment, but then continues.

    Sisko looks up as he feels Vaughn approaching, and pulls himself together. The men are still far from best friends, but there’s a certain grudging respect between them now.

    VAUGHN
    Captain. ​

    SISKO
    Commander. ​

    VAUGHN
    It’s all coming together just
    as you wanted. Are you happy? ​

    SISKO
    (quietly pointed)
    Do I look like a man who’s happy,
    Commander? Have I ever looked
    happy about any aspect of this? ​

    VAUGHN
    (slightly chastised)
    No, I suppose not. ​

    SISKO
    What I am is determined. It’s
    what has to happen. So I’m
    going to go through with it. ​

    This is getting close to Vaughn’s own worries. He takes a chance, quietly opens up to Sisko.

    VAUGHN
    Why? I mean... how can you be
    certain this is what’s right?
    (beat)
    When you... “recruited” me last
    year... how did you know that
    was the right thing to do? ​

    SISKO
    You’re not going to like the answer. ​

    VAUGHN
    I’ll take it anyway. ​

    SISKO
    The Orbs. Specifically the Orb
    of Souls. It called out to me. ​

    Vaughn tries not to roll his eyes. Sisko sees it anyway.

    VAUGHN
    What did you see? ​

    SISKO
    Myself. Or... lots of myselves.
    The Orb of Souls shows you
    different versions of yourself,
    different ways your life might
    have gone. ​

    VAUGHN
    You mean alternate universes? ​

    SISKO
    Yes, exactly. There were nine
    of us. Well, nine places. One
    was empty – the pirate, from
    the Intendant’s universe. ​

    VAUGHN
    Because he was already dead. ​

    SISKO
    (nods)
    I... felt it happen. I could
    see all their lives, laid out
    before me, as clearly as I see
    you now. Dead or alive. ​

    VAUGHN
    And they told you what to do?
    (Sisko nods again)
    And you did it... even though
    you knew it would mean lying
    to me... forcing me to do what
    I did... you went ahead anyway. ​

    There’s no accusation in this anymore. In fact, Vaughn seems to be empathising with Sisko, albeit secretly. Vaughn has nothing more to say. He is coming to understand Sisko a bit more. They have a quiet moment of unspoken companionship. Sisko turns back to the porthole...


    28 EXT. SPACE


    The Gamma entrance to the wormhole bursts open, and the three ships fly out of it.


    29 INT. DEFIANT – MAIN BRIDGE


    Kira presses a control on the panel at her side...

    KIRA
    Defiant to Even Odds. You know
    what to do. Good luck. ​

    PRYNN (comm)
    You too, Captain. We’ll see you
    there. Even Odds out. ​


    30 EXT. SPACE


    The Even Odds peels away from the other two ships, takes another heading, and jumps to warp. They’re gone.

    The Defiant and Dominion Vessel 288 turn together towards the planet in the distance... the Eav’oq homeworld.


    31 EXT. EAV’OQ CITY - DAY


    The gleaming marble temple rests in its bucolic setting of trees and ponds and paths. Vaughn sits on a low stone wall, watching several EAV’OQ bounce peacefully on their way.

    After a few moments, a mildly surprised voice calls out...

    OPAKA (o.s.)
    Elias...? ​

    Vaughn turns and sees Opaka strolling away from the Temple towards him. He stands in the presence of a lady.

    VAUGHN
    How’s it going in there? ​

    OPAKA
    Nerys is... apologizing. To the
    Eav’oq, for having been overly
    forceful with them last time. ​

    VAUGHN
    (smirk)
    That’s something I would have
    paid to see. ​

    OPAKA
    But I thought you were staying
    up on the ship. ​

    VAUGHN
    Dax can handle that. I wanted
    to ask you something. ​

    OPAKA
    Of course, Elias. Anything. ​

    VAUGHN
    Once, when I needed... help...
    you took me to see an Orb. I’d
    like to do that again. ​

    OPAKA
    Any particular one? ​

    VAUGHN
    The Orb of Souls. ​

    Opaka’s face falls. She knows the Orb of Souls is one of the toughest ones. Vaughn must be in a bad way.

    VAUGHN
    Please... don’t ask. And don’t
    tell anyone else, either. ​

    OPAKA
    I would never. Orb experiences
    are rare and precious, not for
    prying eyes. But are you sure? ​

    VAUGHN
    No. I want to be sure. That’s
    why I need to ask... and what-
    ever the answer, I’ll do it. ​

    OPAKA
    I’ll speak to Tendren at once. ​

    VAUGHN
    Thank you, Sulan. And there was
    one other thing... something
    Prynn helped me to understand.
    And as I’m afraid I may never
    get another chance to say it...​

    OPAKA
    Say what? ​

    In answer, Vaughn reaches his hand out caress Opaka’s face, slowly and gently, as if barely daring. When she doesn’t pull away in horror, he leans further forwards. Gradually, tentatively, with small hopeful smiles... they kiss.


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT THREE


    .
     
  6. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .


    ACT FOUR


    FADE IN:


    32 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE


    With Deep Space Nine itself in the foreground, we look off towards the wormhole in the distance. It blooms open...

    ...and one of the Defiant’s tiny shuttlecraft emerges. But instead of coming towards the station, it turns and heads off the other way – towards Bajor.


    33 INT. ASHALLA MONASTERY GARDEN - DAY


    Vaughn strides into the garden area – Kai SOLIS is waiting for him. He turns at Vaughn’s approach...

    SOLIS
    Commander Vaughn. ​

    VAUGHN
    (bows head)
    Your Eminence. Thank you for
    agreeing to see me. ​

    SOLIS
    I am happy to help, Commander.
    Sulan thinks well of you. And
    I think well of her.
    (beat)
    May I? ​

    Vaughn doesn’t like the intrusion, but at least Solis had the decency to ask first. Vaughn nods his approval. Solis gently grasps Vaughn’s earlobe. He closes his eyes, takes steady breaths, concentrates. After a moment, he lets go.

    SOLIS
    As a very wise woman once said,
    “Look for solutions from within,
    Commander.” Please follow me.
    The Orb of Souls awaits you. ​

    Solis sweeps out of the garden, back into the main body of the monastery. Vaughn follows.


    34 EXT. SPACE


    Dominion Vessel 288 and the Defiant drop out of warp and coast to sub-light speeds. As they do, we PAN around...

    ...and see dozens of Jem’Hadar ships (of various models) holding position. Vannis’ ship leads the Defiant through the lines of enemy vessels, as if creeping past a sleeping giant, where one step on a twig could awaken the monster.

    As the Defiant proceeds, we turn with it to see... the Founders’ homeworld in the distance, approaching.


    35 EXT. FOUNDERS WORLD


    A Starfleet transporter delivers Kira, Nog, Aleco (armed but holstered) and Taran’atar. A Dominion transporter deposits WEYOUN, plus Vannis and First Rekan’ganar.

    Once there, they look around at the view – no Great Link, no sign of any Founders, just the vast unending expanse of empty rock. It seems like the entire planet is deserted.

    ALECO
    Captain...​

    Aleco directs Kira’s attention to the horizon on the left - a golden missile, piercing the air on its way towards them. Kira looks to the right - another shape, the undulating space-fish from 7x14 “Chimera.” They’re converging on us...

    Finally both shapes get here, and both MORPH, “landing” on the islet as humanoid forms – MEERA and LAAS, respectively. Nog and Meera smile, happy to see each other again. Kira takes a deep breath and directs a diplomatic nod at Laas.

    KIRA
    Laas. ​

    LAAS
    Kira. ​

    KIRA
    Where’s Odo? ​

    LAAS
    He’s coming. ​

    Kira looks out over the empty rock. Somewhere out there, a shape is moving. A massive, flattened carpet of golden liquid, an entire continent of changeling matter, is slowly pulling itself together, retracting and coalescing. It crawls and flows over the rock, getting closer...

    ...until ODO stands before them all. For the first time, he is wearing the shapeless changeling smock they all wear. The image is clear – he’s a Founder now. The two Vorta and the two Jem’Hadar bow their heads politely to their gods.

    Odo and Kira look at each other. So many feelings trying to burst to the top. But this is business, they’re in public, in front of their subordinates. It would be inappropriate.

    You know what? Screw it.

    Kira and Odo throw themselves on each other, a powerful hug and kiss that says everything all at once. Nog and Aleco look mildly uncomfortable. Meera smiles. Laas rolls his eyes. It goes completely over the others’ heads.

    Finally they pull themselves apart, get down to business.

    ODO
    What do you need? ​

    KIRA
    The Jem’Hadar. All of them.
    Or as many as you can spare. ​

    ODO
    (no hesitation)
    You’ve got them. ​

    LAAS
    (exasperated)
    Odo... a little discussion
    might not go amiss? ​

    ODO
    There’s nothing to discuss,
    Laas. Everything I have is
    hers. Nothing you will ever
    say to me can change that. ​

    LAAS
    You insisted they stay where
    they were. Keeping us safe. ​

    MEERA
    None of us are safe, Laas. Not
    while the Ascendants remain. ​

    NOG
    Meera’s right. We’ve seen the
    Ascendants in action. ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    Founders... may I speak?
    (at Odo’s nod)
    The Jem’Hadar are in anarchy.
    They need guidance, a purpose.
    I... understand how they feel.
    They need this as much as any
    of us. If fighting beside the
    Bajorans brings them together
    again... they will welcome it. ​

    LAAS
    (reluctant)
    Very well. ​

    ODO
    Weyoun, I want to speak to
    the Jem’Hadar. All of them. ​

    WEYOUN
    At once, Founder. ​

    Weyoun disappears in a transporter beam. Odo goes to Kira, takes her hands affectionately.

    KIRA
    Thank you, Odo. ​

    ODO
    Don’t mention it. Anytime you
    want to start an interstellar
    war... just say the word. ​

    She grins, taking the joke how it was intended.

    ODO
    Now what? Off to lead the fight
    from the bridge of the Defiant,
    I suppose? ​

    KIRA
    Actually... I’d been thinking I
    should lead it from the bridge
    of a Jem’Hadar ship. They might
    be more willing to fight for us
    if they see a Bajoran there in
    the trenches with them. ​

    ODO
    Well... I don’t like you being
    in the line of fire... but I
    know it’s pointless to try to
    dissuade you.
    (turns to
    Taran’atar)
    Taran’atar... I’ve heard from
    Weyoun and Vannis about every-
    thing you’ve been through. I’m
    sorry. I know myself just how
    far Section 31 is willing to go.
    If it helps, think of it as one
    more thing we have in common. ​

    Taran’atar bows his head politely.

    ODO
    What will you do now? ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    Whatever I want. ​

    ODO
    And what do you want? ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    To stand beside Captain Kira,
    as her First. ​

    KIRA
    (touched)
    Thank you, Taran’atar. ​

    VANNIS
    I know of a ship that recently
    lost its Vorta, and its First. ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    It shall be so. At least, for
    the duration of this mission.
    After that... we will see. ​

    Off Kira’s uncertain reaction to that...


    36 INT. ASHALLA MONASTERY PRAYER ROOM


    The room where Kira first encountered an Orb in 2x02 “The Circle,” and where Vaughn last did in 8x25 “Unity, pt 2.” Now Vaughn stands again in front of an Orb on its plinth. Kai Solis closes the door behind him as he leaves.

    Steeling himself, Vaughn reaches out, grasps the doors of the Orb’s ark... and opens it. The rush of green energy swirls out of the box, and we WHITE OUT.


    37 WHITE SPACE


    We are in the Prophets’ realm. The fog parts to reveal Vaughn, looking around in mixed wonder, fear, apprehension.

    A HEARTBEAT sounds, breaths deep and regular. Vaughn walks forward through the fog... he seems to be alone for now.


    38 EXT. EAV’OQ CITY - DAY


    Sisko stands leaning against one of the gleaming white walls of the Eav’oq citadel. Brow furrowed, eyes closed, trying not to show how heartbroken he is. He feels a shadow... it’s Opaka, looking at him sympathetically.

    OPAKA
    Benjamin... I wondered if you
    might like to pray with me. I
    know I could use a little...
    tranquillity. ​

    They both know she’s offering for his benefit, not her own. But it gives him the wiggle room to admit to his weakness. He smiles gratefully, and takes her hands.


    39 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #1


    Odo stands in the centre of the bridge. The Jem’Hadar crew go about their business, a little awed to have a Founder among them. Kira stands to one side, nervous but hopeful. Laas stands to the other side, arms folded, unimpressed.

    Weyoun reverently approaches Odo, holding a comm headset. He hands it to Odo, and then backs away. With a last glance to Kira, Odo dons the headset and prepares himself.

    ODO
    I am speaking now to all Vorta
    and all Jem’Hadar... everywhere.
    This is the Founder. ​

    Kira can’t help but notice Odo’s use of that word.

    ODO
    I know you’ve all wondered why
    the Dominion has fallen into
    chaos. You might have wondered
    if your gods had abandoned you.
    (beat)
    I will never abandon you. But...
    I have kept things from you. The
    reason behind recent events...
    the real reason. That reason is
    called... the Ascendants. ​

    The other Jem’Hadar on the bridge look between themselves, surprised... they’d heard the rumours. Laas hangs his head and sighs – he still thinks this is a bad idea. Kira is on edge, waiting for trouble...


    40 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #2


    A different Jem’Hadar ship – Vannis and Rekan’ganar’s crew. Odo’s voice pipes through the ship-wide comm system...

    ODO (comm)
    The Ascendants destroyed some-
    thing very important to the
    Founders... important to us. ​

    Rekan’ganar looks to Vannis in shock – what is this? He’d heard nothing. The other Jem’Hadar are likewise confused.


    41 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #3


    A third ship. Taran’atar stands in the centre, listening. Odo’s words are personal to him...

    ODO (comm)
    That is what led to the chaos
    and confusion you have felt. ​


    42 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #1


    Odo, Kira and Weyoun.

    ODO
    But now we have a chance to
    strike back at them.
    (looks to Kira)
    ...thanks to Bajor. ​


    43 EXT. EAV’OQ CITY


    Sisko and Opaka stand facing each other, hands held between them, heads down and eyes closed. Praying.

    OPAKA
    Prophets, we humbly ask for
    Your guidance and Your love
    in the difficult times ahead...​


    44 WHITE SPACE


    Vaughn walks around the white space, still alone, still only hearing one heartbeat, one set of breaths. He’s a little confused, annoyed. Where are the others?


    45 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #1


    Odo and Kira...

    ODO
    Our former enemies offer us
    the chance to set right what
    the Ascendants set wrong, by
    fighting our common enemy –
    together. ​

    Kira smiles...


    46 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #2


    Vannis and Rekan’ganar and their crew...

    ODO (comm)
    I ask all Jem’Hadar, all Vorta,
    all soldiers of the Dominion...
    to follow two people. ​

    The Jem’Hadar crew exchange confused glances...

    REKAN’GANAR
    Keep your place...​


    47 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #3


    On Taran’atar as he listens to Odo’s voice...

    ODO
    First Taran’atar, the oldest...
    and the wisest Jem’Hadar I have
    ever known. ​

    Pride surges in Taran’atar’s chest. His god accepts him.


    48 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #1


    Odo gazes with love at Kira...

    ODO
    And Captain Kira Nerys of Bajor.
    The bravest woman I have ever
    known. Follow them, and they
    will lead you to victory.
    (beat)
    We are the Dominion. We fight
    together. And we will prevail. ​

    He takes off the headset. It’s done. He looks to Kira.

    ODO
    Weyoun, coordinate with all the
    other Vorta as to how many we
    can actually spare. Anyone who
    is not vital to the Dominion’s
    security right this minute, I
    want out there with Kira. ​

    WEYOUN
    Of course, Founder. ​

    Weyoun sets to work. Odo approaches Kira, talks sotto.

    ODO
    Nerys... are you alright? ​

    KIRA
    (quiet)
    You let him call you Founder.
    You called yourself a Founder. ​

    ODO
    I also sent all those loyal
    soldiers to their deaths. ​

    KIRA
    That’s what they want. ​

    ODO
    That doesn’t make it any easier
    for me, Nerys. ​


    49 EXT. EAV’OQ CITY - DAY


    Opaka concludes her prayers...

    OPAKA
    We walk Your path, in certain
    knowledge that with Your wisdom
    and light to guide us... we
    will prevail. ​

    Opaka raises her eyes to Sisko, and sees that unbeknownst to her, she has only been making it worse on him. He looks more heartbroken than ever.

    OPAKA
    Ben... what is it? ​

    SISKO
    How much, Sulan? How much more
    are they going to ask of me? ​

    Opaka gathers him to her breast and comforts him.


    50 WHITE SPACE


    Vaughn is in the white space... alone.

    VAUGHN
    Hello? Are you there?
    (no answer)
    Sisko said my alternate selves
    would help me, tell me what to
    do. So where are you? ​

    But there’s no-one. He frowns, confused. He stares at a point directly in front of him, and a FLASH comes...


    51 FLASH


    Vaughn as a younger man, in his 60s, dressed in the uniform of an Andorian Guard. In a physical fight with an actual Andorian, he is STABBED in the heart and falls down dead.


    52 BACK TO SCENE


    Vaughn flinches at the “memory” of one alternate self. One that is now dead. He looks to the right side...


    53 FLASH


    The Starfleet shuttle shared by Vaughn, Ruriko and T’Prynn. The transporter “accident” caused by Section 31... except that it’s Vaughn being burned to a crisp.


    54 BACK TO SCENE


    Vaughn turns away in revulsion and desperation. He doesn’t want to see this. He looks to his left...


    55 FLASH


    A much younger Vaughn, barely in his 30s, strong and proud, wearing the golden tunic or tabard of the Mirror Universe. He struts along a starship corridor, turns a corner... and is STABBED again by a sneering junior officer.


    56 BACK TO SCENE


    Vaughn screws up his eyes, not wanting to see any more. But he can’t not look. Another “memory” flash...


    57 FLASH


    A boy of about 12, CLOSE UP as he is rocked violently back and forth by some large angry shape, all claws and feathers and SQUAWKS of fury. The boy tries to protect himself with his hands. But one of the claws sinks deep into the back of his neck, right into his brain... and the boy is dead.


    58 FLASHBACK - EARLIER


    Vaughn’s conversation with Sisko in the Defiant corridor...

    SISKO
    There were nine of us. Well,
    nine places. One was empty. ​

    VAUGHN
    Because he was already dead. ​


    59 BACK TO SCENE


    Vaughn looks around himself... all the places are empty. All the Vaughns are dead.

    One final sad, comprehending look directly to his right...


    60 FLASHBACK – 9x24 “HA’MARA”


    The Vaughn of the Intendant’s universe is an ancient, blind and crippled old man, thin as paper on the bed. Our Vaughn tearfully holds a phaser to his head... and FIRES.


    61 BACK TO SCENE


    Vaughn finally understands. All the Vaughns are dead. He killed the last one himself. That’s why there’s no-one to tell him what to do.

    He’s the last Elias Vaughn left in creation. As the truth comes crashing down on him...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT FOUR


    .
     
  7. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .


    ACT FIVE


    FADE IN:


    62 EXT. SPACE


    The Alpha end of the wormhole bursts open, and the tiny Defiant shuttle dives in. We see a fleet of Bajoran Militia ships (like Kira’s fleet from 7x02 “Shadows and Symbols”), blockading the area. They do not follow the shuttle in.


    63 EXT. WORMHOLE INTERIOR (CONTINUOUS)


    We travel with the shuttle, following it on its own through the inside of the wormhole.

    The Gamma end bursts open, revealing normal space beyond, and the Defiant holding position right at its mouth. We keep following the shuttle...


    64 EXT. SPACE (CONTINUOUS)


    ...into normal space. The shuttle approaches the Defiant’s underbelly. The circular hatch in the larger ship opens up, and we go with the shuttle as it glides to a halt...


    65 INT. DEFIANT – LAUNCH BAY (CONTINUOUS)


    ...and slips up the z-axis into the ship’s small launch bay (as seen in 8x15 “Haunted”). It locks into place with a satisfying ker-thunk of machinery...


    66 INT. DEFIANT – MAIN BRIDGE


    The door opens and Vaughn strides onto the bridge, firm and emotionally closed-off. Dax stands from the command chair.

    DAX
    Welcome back, Commander.
    Everything okay? ​

    VAUGHN
    Fine. ​

    Dax knows him well enough to see that he’s lying. But she knows not to ask, and he has no intention of telling.

    VAUGHN
    Where’s Sisko? ​

    DAX
    In his cabin. ​

    VAUGHN
    And where’s Kira? ​

    DAX
    (pointing)
    There. ​

    Dax points to the main viewscreen. Vaughn looks, and we can see the Idran planet in the distance, and a massive fleet of Dominion ships hanging in space in front of it.


    68 EXT. SPACE


    The Dominion fleet fills the entire sky of the Eav’oq home world. All types of vessels – the small fighters, mid-sized cruisers, and the humongous behemoth battleships.

    We close in slowly on one of the small fighters...


    69 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #3


    Kira stands in the centre, her headset on and transmitting. She looks out through her tiny eye-screen at the fleet. Thank the Prophets they’re on her side this time.

    KIRA
    First... ​

    She looks to the side, and there is Taran’atar.

    TARAN’ATAR
    Yes, Captain? ​

    KIRA
    Everyone’s clear on what’s
    going to happen? ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    Yes, Captain. All the Vorta have
    been briefed on the battle plan. ​

    KIRA
    (sad chuckle)
    I don’t have a plan. Just make
    sure they understand that no-
    one gets past them. No-one gets
    anywhere near the Eav’oq. ​

    TARAN’ATAR
    They understand, Captain. ​

    That’s his way of saying, “Calm down, it’ll all be fine.” She’s not so sure.


    70 EXT. EAV’OQ CITY - DAY


    Opaka stands outside the Eav’oq citadel, gazing up into the bright, sunny sky. She can’t see the ships from here, but she knows they’re there. She hopes everything goes to plan.

    She turns and walks back towards the citadel...

    OPAKA (v.o.)
    Emissary... I don’t understand. ​


    CUT TO:


    71 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S QUARTERS


    Back to the big meeting in Kira’s quarters. Everyone is gathered around, staring at Sisko. Opaka looks especially disturbed by what he just said...

    OPAKA (cont)
    You’re going to... “give” the
    Ascendants their Fortress? ​

    Sisko nods. He doesn’t seem especially happy about it.

    SISKO
    That’s right. Because that’s
    how we’re going to stop them –
    by giving them what they want. ​

    Everyone looks back at him, a bit confused, a bit unnerved. He knows they don’t understand what he’s saying. He wishes he didn’t understand it either.


    72 INT. EVEN ODDS - BRIDGE


    PAN around the bridge of the Even Odds, seeing its crew on edge, waiting for the signal. Dez, Facity, Prynn, Glessin, Brad, Jake...

    SISKO (v.o.)
    And it’s all thanks to you. ​

    ...ending on Rena.


    73 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S QUARTERS


    On Rena...

    RENA
    Me? What did I do? ​

    SISKO
    Jake told me it was your idea
    to take your road trip into
    the Gamma Quadrant. ​

    Moving to Dez...

    SISKO (cont)
    Without that, you would have
    never met the Even Odds again...​

    Moving to Shar...

    SISKO (cont)
    And Lieutenant ch’Thane would
    have never figured out the Wa
    and its link to the Ascendants.​

    And back to Rena...

    RENA
    (timid)
    Is that the “reason” I’m here?
    Why the Prophets led me to you
    and Jake? Is that enough? ​

    SISKO
    There’s more to it, but that’s
    not important right now. ​


    74 FLASHBACK – 10x14 “AGAINST THE ODDS”


    Shar and Rena stand inside the Wa. Shar touches the orange splotch, and the Wa shifts into communications mode...

    SISKO (v.o.)
    We know the Wa is Ascendant
    technology. ​


    75 FLASHBACK – 10x21 “IN THE STARS”


    Prees is in the Wa during the Ascendants’ attack, and the strange environment is going haywire.

    SISKO (v.o.)
    It responds to them, knows when
    another of its kind is near. ​


    76 FLASHBACK – 10x21 “IN THE STARS”


    Iliana standing in her Ascendant ship, talking to Kira across the mirrored wall...

    SISKO (v.o.)
    It even connects across massive
    interstellar distances. ​


    77 FLASHBACK – 8x23 “RISING SON”


    The bridge of the Even Odds, caught in the massive wash of energy as the Eav’oq are revealed and space is realigned. The Wa leaks onto the bridge, the coloured splotches morph into wide singing mouths...

    DEZ (v.o.)
    Prees said it went crazy when
    the whole Idran system moved
    in space. ​


    78 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S QUARTERS


    On Sisko...

    SISKO
    Exactly. Because it’s connected
    to the wormhole itself. It’s
    their equivalent of the Orbs. ​

    VAUGHN
    So what are you saying? That
    we bring them just close enough
    to the wormhole to force their
    ships’ systems to react and
    blow themselves to pieces? ​

    DEZ
    It won’t work. The Wa may have
    gone crazy but it never came
    close to destroying the ship. ​

    NOG
    (realising)
    Because it’s only a small part
    of your ship anyway. ​

    SHAR
    Ascendant vessels are composed
    entirely of the Wa material, in
    various forms. It would create
    a much stronger reaction. ​

    DEZ
    I’m telling you it won’t work.
    We even came right through the
    Anomaly to get here and the Wa
    never twitched. ​

    NOG
    Because you were powered down. ​

    SISKO
    Even so, you’re right, Dez. The
    Wa’s reaction as is isn’t strong
    enough to destroy anything. So
    we need to... turn the wormhole
    itself up a notch. Make it more
    reactive. ​

    VAUGHN
    How do we do that? ​

    DAX
    (gasp of inspiration)
    A subspace inversion. ​


    79 FLASHBACK – 4x03 “THE VISITOR”


    The bridge of the Defiant, with the wormhole on the screen. The blue flower is reacting stronger than usual, making the whole ship shake and vibrate. Jadzia is at the helm...

    SISKO (v.o.)
    Exactly. It’s a natural pheno-
    menon, makes the wormhole’s
    gravimetric field and neutrino
    levels increase a hundred fold. ​


    80 INT. DS9 – KIRA’S QUARTERS


    On Major Cenn...

    CENN
    But that only happens once every
    fifty years. The last time was
    just seven years ago. ​

    BASHIR
    We can hardly wait another forty-
    three years for our next chance. ​

    SISKO
    We make our own chance. Remember,
    Dax? Nerys? When the Cardassians
    came, to set up the relay...​

    KIRA
    (gasp)
    The sword of stars. ​

    SISKO
    We tried to peer through the
    Temple gates, using the relay...​

    DAX
    And it accidentally set off a
    subspace inversion. ​

    So that’s it. It’s all out. The room goes quiet, as they all absorb what this means.

    VAUGHN
    So that’s the plan. ​


    81 EXT. SPACE


    The Defiant, holding position on its own...

    TIANA (v.o.)
    While B-N-N has not been given
    any specific information for
    security reasons...​


    82 INT. DEFIANT – MAIN BRIDGE


    Vaughn in the command chair. He looks around at his crew – Dax, Bashir, Nog, Bowers, Aleco (and extras). Dax sits at her panel, staring at the control she’s going to press...

    TIANA (v.o.)
    ...we do know that a combined
    Starfleet...​


    83 EXT. SPACE


    The massive sprawling Jem’Hadar fleet in orbit of the Eav’oq homeworld.

    TIANA (v.o.)
    ...and Dominion task force has
    been brought together in the
    Gamma Quadrant...​


    84 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #3


    Kira and Taran’atar in charge of their Jem’Hadar ship...

    TIANA (v.o.)
    ... to address the Ascendant threat. ​


    85 EXT. SPACE


    The Bajoran Militia fleet, holding position...

    TIANA (v.o.)
    Meanwhile, a Bajoran Militia
    fleet, led by General Lenaris
    Holem, has formed a blockade
    at the Alpha Quadrant entrance
    to the Celestial Temple. ​


    86 INT. DS9 – MAIN OPS CENTRE


    Ro, Shar, Cenn and the others watch the fleet on the main view screen, tense and waiting for the moment...

    TIANA (v.o.)
    The Militia press office has
    assured B-N-N that this is a
    precautionary measure only...​


    87 INT. DS9 – SECURITY CELLS


    Etana and Richter sit together in one of the cells.

    TIANA (v.o.)
    ...and they do not anticipate
    either Ascendant or Dominion
    forces entering Bajoran space. ​


    88 EXT. BAJOR – SISKO’S HOUSE - DAY


    Things are peaceful and sunny as always...

    TIANA (v.o.)
    In a joint statement released
    exclusively to B-N-N...​


    89 INT. SISKO’S HOUSE – LIVING ROOM


    Kasidy sits on the couch, Rebecca in her lap. The big screen is out on the mantelpiece, and Kasidy is watching the Bajoran News Network, featuring newsreader TIANA FEEN (from 10x02 “Brave New World”).

    TIANA (screen)
    ...First Minister Asarem, Kai
    Solis, Vedek Yevir and Ranjen
    Opaka have called all Bajorans,
    whatever religious affiliation,
    to pray for the safety of the
    Eav’oq, and our fleet.
    (beat)
    Stay tuned, as we bring you
    more breaking news. ​

    Kasidy looks down to Rebecca, bouncing happily in her lap, no idea of the danger her daddy is in.


    90 INT. DEFIANT – MAIN BRIDGE


    The door opens and Sisko steps onto the bridge, looking straight to the viewscreen and its view of the fleet...

    SISKO (v.o.)
    Yes, that’s the plan. ​


    91 THE WA


    The turbolift doors open onto the white fog of the resting Wa environment. Jake and Rena step out, holding hands. Daunted but ready to do what they have to.

    SISKO (v.o.)
    Even Odds gets the Ascendants
    into the Idran system. ​


    92 INT. JEM’HADAR SHIP #3


    Kira and Taran’atar...

    SISKO (v.o.)
    The Jem’Hadar keep them away from
    the Eav’oq once they arrive...​


    93 INT. DEFIANT – MAIN BRIDGE


    Sisko looks at the screen...

    SISKO (v.o.)
    And then I...
    (beat)
    ...I kill them all. ​

    Sisko hangs his head in shame...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF SHOW


    .
     
  8. Wally

    Wally Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Vaughn and Opaka? .... perfect. :)

    The hints have been there forever. It's rare that these relationships develop organically in ST. Usually it's some forced plot point that forces characters together, and then the attempt is to rationalize it after the fact. (Troi and Worf, Seven and Chakotay etc.) So this is just great.

    And with Sisko and the plan against the Ascendants. I've been watching all the prophecies and flashbacks, and never put it together. Amazing how Destiny, The Visitor, and Sacrifice of Angels could be so weaved together to create a believable plan of action. Magnificent. Once again, it may be somewhat technobabble, but it believable using already established phenomenon rather than just making up some magical radiation or force or new use for a deflector dish like Star Trek likes to do far too often for my taste.

    Add this to Sisko doing what he knows what must be done, but just like lying to Vaughn before, he is not really happy with what the Prophets are having him do.

    Can't wait for part 3.
     
  9. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    They flirted some in Fragments and Omens, but never had time to build on that afterwards. So I gently threaded in a couple of moments through my season, knowing that I was coming to this moment. I think two older people growing together like that would take it slowly and respectfully, just because they don't have that youthful urgency. I like that Vaughn stands in the presence of a lady.


    I loved that bit in Fearful Symmetry where all the alternate Siskos explain to our Sisko that all of the DS9 stories about the Mirror Universe were actually part of the Prophets' plan in a way we hadn't previously considered. I thought that was just a brilliant idea. So... what other episodes might have also been a part of the bigger whole? What might be understandable in a whole new way when looking from a larger perspective such as that of the Prophets?

    Part 3 coming at the weekend. :devil:

    .