Star Trek: DS9--Of Power And Passion, A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Rush Limborg, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    And...good afternoon, Trekkers, Trekkies, Trek-Necks, and Conversationalists all across the final frontier! :techman:

    It's been a while before I've posted a tale--so here's a new one for y'all.

    It's only one scene long, set on the U.S.S Aventine shortly after the Destiny Trilogy. Ezri Dax has only recently settled into her new position as Captain.

    This is a psychological drama, a battle of whits between Ezri and an old nemesis. It's kinda dark in some areas--some might say disturbing.

    Before I begin, I should note that, though this tale has only one scene, it is still a pretty full length. Thus, I'll have to breakit into parts. Please hold your comments until the very end, when you see the words, "And the adventure continues...."

    Now, without further ado....

    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    Of Power And Passion--A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

    Captain Ezri Dax, of the U.S.S. Aventine, had rarely felt so alone.

    It had happened often, after her joining, but she had long since adjusted to the confusion—what she had gained…and what little she had lost. So…why now? Why…here?

    It didn’t matter. All was well…for now….

    She leaned back in her chair, at her desk in her quarters, and listened to the hum of the engines of her ship. This sort of thing tended to soothe her—to give her a sense of calm…at the safety of the hull which surrounded her—protected her from the dark, savage dangers of the void of space.

    At the energy of this vessel—this experiment, designed for speeds once thought unimaginable, even by the great engineers of Starfleet Command.

    At the power...

    Yes…the power. This vessel, one of the strongest in the fleet…with nothing but the latest defense technology installed within her systems…enough to provide more than a match for all but the most formidable of opponents…and it was hers….

    She drummed her fingers on the arm of her chair. Her gaze moved to the computer console, to the keypad before the screen. She couldn’t help but reflect that one press of her finger was all it would take for her to call any area of the ship, to give any order she needed to give. And it would be carried out…because she knew her crew…and they knew their captain. They would follow her unto death, she knew. They had come so close to doing so, so recently, together.

    She closed her eyes, and slowly, intently, took a deep breath. She savored the moment—and it exhilarated her. All this power…this strength…this…sense of security…. Even Deep Space Nine had never felt so safe to her. And to top it all off…it was her ship. Its crew sailed under her command. Its might was held back by her restraint…to be released only on her authority….

    How do you feel? asked the voice within her. Truth, now….

    As she slowly let out the breath, she answered in her mind. control….

    The voice gave a chuckle. Good….

    Ezri’s eyes shot open. This isn’t right…why am I feeling this?

    Ezri Dax was many things—but she knew that vain wasn’t one of them. In fact, just the opposite. It wasn’t too long ago that she had openly expressed her humility concerning this command. She needed to be convinced, over and over, by herself as well as others, that this command was what she deserved.

    So…why this…arrogance, this…conceit?

    This sense of confusion was coupled by another observation: the sense of aloneness was gone.

    There was someone else in the room.

    The voice came again—but it was more concrete this time, more real. “You’re calm…relaxed….”

    Ezri kept her composure completely, and did not turn. But inwardly, her mind was racing. I know that voice....

    Without turning her head to face him, she replied, as she had done then, when they had last spoken these words. “…Detached….”

    A chuckle. “Now…you’re getting it….”

    Ezri smiled, and steepled her fingers. She rotated her chair to face the couch—to face the man who sat down on it, as if he owned it.

    They stared at one another for a few moments, and then Ezri spoke.

    “If your theatrics are supposed to scare me…you’ve got the wrong girl, Joran.”

    Joran Dax, sixth host to the Dax symbiont…gentleman, genius, master musician…and murdering psychopath, chuckled and shook his head. “Now that’s very interesting…because I seem to recall your shuddering with terror and rage every time I pulled such…‘theatrics’…in the past.”

    Ezri kept smiling. She knew this was only a dream. This was all in her mind. But why Joran would decide to appear now…was, for the moment, beyond her. Oh well…perhaps he would explain in time.

    She returned the chuckle. “That was another time, Joran…another place.”

    “Yes…so it was.” Joran got up, and surveyed the room. “So…captain of a starship now, are we?”

    Now it was Ezri’s turn to shake her head, “Funny choice of words."

    Joran turned to her, and gave her a quizzical look. “Which?”

    “‘We’,” Ezri replied. And then, her smile slowly disappeared. “You forget yourself, Joran. The Aventine is my ship, not ‘ours’.”

    “Ah. Of course,” Joran nodded. “And it is very impressive, I must say.”

    Ezri gave him a nod. A small smile returned. “Why, thank you.”

    “You did well, Ezri,” Joran continued, as he resumed his survey. “Better than I expected, anyway. It’s funny, though…I never expected you to leave psychology. You showed such promise in that field….”

    Ezri frowned. “Not quite.”

    Joran raised an eyebrow. “Oh?”

    “Let’s just say…I found command more to my liking.”

    Joran turned to her again, and took a step forward. “And it suits you, somehow…doesn’t it, Ezri?”

    Ezri smiled, and leaned back, putting her hands in her lap. “I’d like to think so.”

    “Why just now…you were considering the might of your vessel…her strength…her dignity…her…power…were you not?”

    “Now, that’s odd…because I assumed it was you who put those thoughts in my head.”

    Joran smirked. “Really…? And you consider yourself…incapable of such pride?”

    “For the most part.”

    “And perhaps you are. But then…perhaps you don’t give yourself enough credit.”

    “What do you mean?”

    Joran scoffed. “You consider yourself so noble, don’t you? You’ve done your duty to God and Country, as the humans say, time and time again…. Why, consider the Borg, for a moment, shall we?”

    Ezri shrugged. “What about them?”

    “A power and terror like no other…and yet, you…your crew…your vessel…were so integral in their final defeat…weren’t you?”

    Ezri was beginning to get bored. “Whether we were or not, Joran…I doubt that is why you came.”


    “To discuss the Borg.”

    “Well…perhaps it was, in a way…. Tell me, Ezri, what do you think of the Borg?”

    “I don’t think of them.”

    “You don’t?”

    “And why should I? They’re no threat to anyone, anymore."

    Joran chuckled, and shook his head again. “Come now, my dear. You’re still a psychologist, in your own way. No captain can lead effectively without being one.”

    Ezri nodded. “That’s true.”

    “So…what did you think…of the Borg?”

    Ezri shifted slightly in her seat, and sighed. “Well…they struck me as…cold…heartless…relentless…the usual.”

    “Still…there was something else, wasn’t there?"

    Ezri narrowed her eyes. “What are you trying to get at, Joran?”

    “You…wondered about them…about something concerning…their origins, wasn’t it?”

    Ezri burst out laughing.

    Joran tilted his head. “What is it?”

    When she got herself under control, she replied, “So, that’s what you’re here for? To try to get me to confess the questions I had about them?”

    Joran nodded. “Among other things.”

    Still smiling, Ezri shook her head. “Well, sorry to disappoint you, Joran, but I haven’t exactly buried those questions deep down, or anything. I admit that right away. You happy?”

    “It’s a start. Tell me now…what sort of questions would they be?”

    Ezri sighed. She was getting bored again. “Well, let’s see…I wondered how they first came to be.”

    Joran sat back down, this time in a chair at the wall closest to the desk. “Did you, now?”

    Ezri spun her seat to face him. “Sure. Who doesn’t?”

    They stared at each other for a minute or two, and then Joran chuckled again.

    “You know, Ezri…you of all people should know that that was not what I was speaking of.”

    Ezri nodded. “All right. We’ll play it your way. Yes, I was disturbed…by the idea that any race—whoever started the Borg in the first place—would ever willingly sacrifice their individuality—all that they were—to become like that.”

    “Well…it’s not inconceivable, my dear. The Borg ideal has been preached in many cultures without any significant number recognizing it for what it was…am I correct?”

    Ezri frowned. “You’re referring to…?”

    Collectivism, Ezri. The ideal of man serving the collective—the State, right or wrong, working solely to better it, and society.” Joran looked off, and his tone became dreamy. “A collective…all equal, no heroes, no villains…all servicing each other for the Common Good. ‘From each according to his ability…to each according to his need.’ It has a nice…ring to it, wouldn’t you agree?”

    There’s no music for the Borg either, Joran, Ezri mused, but she replied, “Well…I see what you mean, anyway.”

    Joran leaned forward, staring her in the eye. “Do you really?”

    “Come on, Joran. What’s your point?”

    “Notice, though…that despite all the talk about a collective, with all being equal…there was still a leader…was there not?”

    Ezri nodded, frowning. “What are you getting at?”

    “Oh, I think you’ll find out before long. Anyway, this…Queen…no matter her physical…host, as it were…was always of the same mindset, wasn’t she? To perfect the Borg, so that it might dominate the galaxy…and eventually, the universe itself…bringing all into submission to her concept of perfect harmony.”

    Ezri shrugged again. “That’s nothing new, Joran. Honestly…our penal colonies are full of people who’d thought of themselves as another Kahn…or God.”

    “But the motive is always the same, Ezri. Every aggressor…every tyrant…every major villain throughout history, has committed his—or her—crime with the same motive. Power. The power to bring order to chaos…and sometimes, the other way around.”

    Ezri rolled her eyes. “If you’re trying to get me to confess how I’m just like them—or you—you’re wasting your time.”

    Joran smirked. “I don’t think so.”

    “Look. Just because I felt good about my command—that doesn’t make me a despot.”

    “Perhaps not. But…as a psychologist, you must admit, the desire to rule…is within all of us….”

    “Not me.”

    “Oh, I wouldn’t be too sure of that….”

    Ezri sighed. “What’s your point, Joran—or are you just playing games with me?”

    “My dear Ezri…I don’t believe I’ve ever told you…why I became a murderer.”

    “You didn’t have too. I already know.”

    “Oh, do you?”

    “Sur I do. You’ve always been emotionally unstable, but the Dax symbiont provided you with a sense of…order. And then, when—”

    “Yes, yes, yes…I’m aware of the whole story. I lived it, as you may recall.” Joran stood up from his chair. “But…if you could understand…what I felt throughout the process…you will know my root motives.”

    Ezri stared up at him, with an amused smile. “Power?”

    Joran nodded. “Power. It’s what I felt when I held Dax within me…and it was what they were going to take away. And of course…it’s what I felt…when I took my victims. The power over another sentient being…to know that, for a brief moment, you control him…you rule him…you alone determine what he will do…that is something to feel.”

    Ezri still smiled. “So you did it to play God?”

    “Oh, I had my more…concrete reasons, but nonetheless—that was what I felt when I first took a life…and I savored it…enjoyed it, like I had enjoyed nothing else before—with the possible exception of my music, of course.”

    “Of course.”

    “And…somehow, it taught me something. What do you think is the nature of power, Ezri? Weapons…wealth…success? Of course not—such is only a temporary substitute. But true power—to manipulate someone to do your bidding—that brings satisfaction.”

    Ezri narrowed her eyes. “For you.”

    “Yes…for me. To have supposedly intelligent beings follow your lead, without question—with no mind of their own, no free will—following you because they don’t know otherwise.”

    Ezri shook her head. “Now, see, Joran? That’s what makes me nothing like you. I have no desire to ‘rule’ anyone. My crew follows me because I’ve earned their respect—not because I’ve broken them, or anything.”

    Joran snorted, and shook his head. “‘Respect’…. My dear, respect is temporary. Power, on the other hand…is forever. It’s when you break someone down, so that they will not resist ever again. So that they…eat out of your hand. I regret I’ve never quite experienced that—but then, I suppose I’ve felt the next best thing.”

    “You know, Joran…you’re actually boring me to death. Now do you have something to say to me, or don’t you?”

    Joran stared down at her for a while, and then the corners of his mouth slowly formed a grin. “I…doubt that boredom will be what you’ll feel when all this is over.”


    Joran began to walk around the desk, slowly…and casually. “Ezri…you do understand that you…have the capability to achieve true power—and do what I could not. And the irony is…it comes naturally to the likes of you.”
  2. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Ezri scoffed. “What are you talking about?”

    “You know…you are very beautiful, Ezri.”

    Ezri blinked. “Excuse me?”

    “You heard what I said.”

    “I-I heard you, but…I don’t see what that has to do with—”

    “And you know it, apparently.” Joran stopped across the desk from her, and he placed his palms down on it, leaning forward. “Now the question is…do you ever…use it?”

    Ezri felt her smile disappear. Suddenly it seemed as if the chair wasn’t as comfortable as it used to be. “Use it…?”

    Joran nodded. “Use it.”

    Ezri waited for him to continue. Joran resumed his walk around the desk.

    “You see, Ezri…there is more than one way to acquire power over another. The effectiveness of each method depends on one’s characteristics: race… age… intellect… emotional state… and in many cases…gender.”

    Ezri narrowed her eyes. She did not like where this conversation was going. “‘Gender’…?”

    Joran left the desk, and began to tread around the room. “I am referring, of course, to the power that an…attractive young woman can possess…over an unsuspecting man.”

    I’m going to be sick…. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    “Of course not. But as you may recall…Jadzia did. In fact…she knew all too well, didn’t she?”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Well, it seemed fairly obvious to her. In fact, one might say that she reveled in it. Observe how many men seemed…to be disarmed in her presence: Worf… Captain Boday… Quark… Dr. Bashi—”

    “What’s your point?”

    Joran turned to her. “My point, Ezri, my darling…is that she knew all about the power she wielded…and used it…to control the men whom she knew took a…fancy to her.”

    “Well, that’s one way of looking at it.”

    “Indeed it is.”

    “Really, Joran, I’m disappointed in you. Jadzia wasn’t power-hungry, any more than I am.”

    “Oh, I’m aware of that. She never really took this power too seriously—with her it was purely in…good humor, shall we say? But still…she did enjoy every minute of it…didn’t she?”

    As she saw him take step after gradual step towards her, Ezri had to fight the impulse to swallow. “You…could say that.”

    Joran smiled. “You have it too, Ezri. But the difference is…you weren’t even aware of it. Nonetheless, surely you’ve noticed the…competition among many a man…to get your attention?”

    “Joran, if you don’t—”

    Joran’s eyes widened, as his smile turned to a grin. “Ah…so you have noticed.”

    “You know, Joran, I think I’ve had enough of your—”

    “But have you taken advantage of it?”


    Joran bent down, so that his face hovered over Ezri. “Have you ever savored the sight…of a man you have broken without any effort…of a man who throws himself at your feet, willing to serve as a doormat…slave…friend…lover….”

    Stop it!” Ezri shot to her feet. Joran was able to straighten in time, but Ezri barely noticed this. “This game's gone far enough, Joran—stop it now!”

    “But Ezri…I was simply providing you with an example of one of the many methods of obtaining power over others.”

    Ezri’s anger boiled at his innocent tone. “You want to know something, Joran? I don’t really care about your ‘lesson’. I—”

    “If you didn’t…you wouldn’t have reacted with such…fury, my dear….”

    “And another thing—stop calling me that! I’m not your ‘dear’, or your ‘darling’, or your anything else, so—”

    “Was it something I said?” Joran peered deep into her eyes, as if looking for something. “You reacted, I believe, when I said…‘lover’….”

    Ezri stiffened, and waited patiently, feeling as if she were in court, facing the jury…waiting for the inevitable verdict….

    Interesting…. Tell me, Ezri…you don’t still retain any feelings for the good doctor…do you?”

    Ezri began to feel as if she were dangerously close to shaking.

    Joran nodded. “Very interesting….”

    Ezri tore her gaze away from him. “Get away from me,” she whispered, as she began to walk away.

    “I’m afraid it’s not that simple, Ezri.”

    Ezri whirled to him. “Try me.”

    “Your Right of Emergence won’t work, Ezri. That’s not how I arrived here.”

    “Really? Than I guess I’ll just have to pinch myself and wake up.”

    “That won’t work either—because frankly, my little Ezri…you want me here.”

    Ezri stopped short. “What?”

    “Oh, you didn’t realize it…but when you conjured me up in your thoughts….”

    “You really expect me to believe that?”

    “Of course not. But it is the truth.”

    “Than why would I want you to torture me like that?”

    Joran shrugged. “Who said anything about torture?”

    Ezri scoffed, and turned away.

    “As for the rest…I think you’ll figure that out on your own.”

    Ezri paused for a moment, wondering what he meant. Finally, she turned back to face him.

    Joran stood at the window, staring out at the stars. “I understand that you and Bashir…terminated your relationship some time ago. Am I correct?”

    Ezri nodded. “That’s correct.”

    “Tell me the truth, now…who was it that made this decision?”

    “We both did.”

    “Really?” Joran didn’t sound convinced.

    “We had both…grown, as it were…over the course of our time together. And…we had begun to realize that we were growing farther apart, as time went on….”

    Joran chuckled, as he turned to Ezri. “A likely story.”

    “You don’t believe me?”

    “Not at all. That is the standard excuse for such matters, Ezri—and when an excuse becomes a cliché…it becomes most suspicious indeed.”

    Ezri shrugged. “Well, believe what you like. It’s what happened.”

    “Of course it is. Now…if you would kindly be more specific….”

    “In what way?”

    Joran smiled. “For instance…who’s idea was it—to break up?”

    Ezri hesitated, but finally brought herself to answer. “It was mine.”

    He nodded. “That’s better…. Now I ask…why? And don’t tell me it’s because you were growing farther apart….”

    Ezri’s gaze fell. She sighed. “Because…I had reason to believe that…his feelings for me were just an…echo of his…unresolved feelings for Jadzia.”

    Joran burst out laughing. It was not malichious, or sadistic, just…amused.

    Ezri froze at this. “What is it?” she asked, not raising her eyes to look at him.

    “You actually expected anyone would accept that line of reasoning?”

    She swallowed hard. “He did….”

    “Of course he did. He was under your…influence, remember?”

    Ezri met his gaze. “Julian is a great man, Joran—and a wonderful friend. He’s not a slave—he never has been.”

    “I never meant to suggest otherwise. But the fact of the matter, Ezri, is that he, like any other lover, desired above all to make you happy—a pathetic trait, I know, but a constant one, nonetheless. This, coupled with the fact that he did harbor feelings for Jadzia when she lived, allowed him to accept such an…idiotic line of reasoning.”

    “So you don’t think that was my reason?”

    “I don’t—and neither do you.”

    Ezri stared at him blankly. “You sound certain of that.”

    “Let me put it this way: Exactly what caused you to assume that line of reasoning? What evidence did you have?”

    Ezri opened her mouth to respond—and couldn’t. She tried to go through the discussion she had had with Julian, while they were returning to DS9 from Trill. But now…all they had said…seemed so…foolish.

    “Ah…you do understand, don’t you? In all honesty, Ezri, your subconscious searched for a possible reason—any reason—to end your relationship with him…and settled on that one, for the simple reason that it was the only one which could possibly pass as valid—without forcing you to face the truth.”

    Ezri tilted her head, raising an eyebrow at this. “And what is the truth, exactly?”

    “Let’s find out together, shall we? Now tell me: What were you two doing before it happened?”

    “Well, we were…on Trill, providing aid during a…crisis.”

    “Was it stressful, by any chance?”

    Ezri snorted. “You have no idea.”

    “Now, Ezri…think as a psychologist, for me…. Persons only just recovering from stress…do they generally tend to make…rational decisions?”

    [LEFT]“Joran, I don’t need a counselor. I made a decision—and so did Julian. Stress had nothing to do with it. We went our separate ways, but we’re still friends.”

    Joran smirked. “Are you really…?”

    Ezri frowned. “Yes…of course….”

    “Then tell me: how often do you keep in touch?”

    Ezri paused, thinking hard. “Not…as often as I’d like.”

    How often?”

    Ezri spread out her hands. “What are you saying, Joran—that I’m avoiding him?”

    “Perhaps. Perhaps not. How well did your friendship go after the…incident?”

    She frowned again. “You know…come to think of it…we didn’t really meet that much, off-duty…but I mean, that’s no mystery. After all, we were just recovering from a change, and—”

    Ezri…are we reduced to justifying our actions…in order to convince ourselves?”

    “I thought you were looking for my reasons.”

    “I am—your real reasons, anyway.”

  3. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    [LEFT]Ezri scoffed in disgust. “Joran, why do you care? Why are you, of all people, so concerned about my love life?”

    “For the simple reason, Ezri, that this ‘break-up’ of yours is a perfect illustration of my point regarding your power.”

    Excuse me?”

    “Specifically…how you do in fact use it…without even realizing it.”

    Ezri shook her head. “Joran…you’re incredible.”

    “I try to be. And while you’re searching for your true reasons, consider: You encounter a man who is smitten with you. And eventually, you find that you posses a subconscious attraction for him, as well. Now…you proceed to form a relationship with him—and for a while, it goes smoothly. Now…when did the first sign of trouble appear?”

    Ezri stood where she was, refusing to move away, refusing to break under this pressure. “I suppose…it was around the time I transferred to command track—when I started to really explore my past hosts….”

    “Yes…go on….”

    “Well, one night, when we were alone together, Julian saw Jadzia in my eyes, and—”

    “Oh, ‘Julian saw’, did he?”


    “That fact-twisting may have worked for him, Ezri, but I want what really happened.”

    Ezri rolled her eyes in frustration. “All right—I conjured her up because I was reminded of some incident involving her. I briefly became her for a few seconds—which shocked him, to say the least.”


    “He expressed…concerns about bringing…others into our relationship—”

    “You can’t really blame him.”

    “Well, I did, and it drove him away for a little while…until an accident—”

    “Ezri, what caused you two to reconcile is irrelevant to me. The important thing is…you twisted the facts until I pressed you, number one. Number two: you were, shall I say, ‘put off’ by his daring to question your decisions….”

    “Joran, I made a mistake—”

    “And what was the cause of that, my dear? The same thing that caused you to claim that the termination of your relationship was due to…your ‘growing apart’.”

    “That’s enough—”

    Smiling, Joran stepped forward, stopping a foot away from her. “What’s wrong, Ezri? Afraid to face the truth?”

    Ezri narrowed her eyes. “‘Truth’?”

    Joran began to circle her, peering at her like a hawk analyzing its prey. “You were afraid, Ezri. Afraid of your feelings towards Bashir…afraid of his feelings towards you…and afraid of the…uncertainty…that such feelings could bring.”

    Ezri felt the urge to shudder again, and mentally willed herself to keep still. “What do you mean?”

    “They say, Ezri, that familiarity breeds contempt. But I submit that that is not the issue. The issue is: whether such familiarity holds you as the servant…or the master. If you are the one in control, familiarity is a very…useful thing. But if not….”

    “Well, that may be how you view things, but…”

    Ezri…” Joan stood behind her shoulder, leaning to her ear, “Did it ever occur to you that, in the darkest corner of your heart…you could not accept him? That you felt him far too…independent for you—that you could not truly accept his love so long as his life did not ‘flow’ with yours…?”

    Ezri stared directly ahead. “That’s enough.”

    “…A clash of egos, erupting time and time again, without either of you even aware of this battle…until at long last…you won.”

    Ezri slowly turned to him. “What do you mean…‘won’?”

    “You broke him, Ezri. You broke his heart. How? Simple, really: how do you suppose a man would feel, upon hearing from the woman he believed to be the great love of his life…that that was not the case, that he was just a fraud, who deceived himself into thinking that what he felt was love, when it wasn’t? How do you think he would feel, upon ‘realizing’ that his apparent ‘misreading’ of his own feelings had hurt the woman of his life, that he was in fact just a selfish, vain individual. If that won’t break a man, than what will? My dear Ezri…do you think the Cardassians at their worst could come up with a greater torment than that?”

    Stop it!” Ezri shouted, backing away. “That’s not true—it’s not….”

    “Why so frightened, Ezri?”

    Ezri felt a dresser behind her. “Leave me alone—”

    “Or what? You can’t do anything to me. How could you? After all…” as his voice lowered to a loud whisper, “…I’m part of you!”


    Ezri reached for the first thing she could grab—and hurled it at Joran with all her might. The force of the blow knocked Joran off his feet, to the ground. The object—whatever it was—shattered to pieces nearby.

    Joran did not move. He remained on the ground, apparently unconscious.

    Ezri slowly walked over to his fallen form. “Joran…?”

    And then…Joran’s eyes shot open. Slowly, he got up into a sitting position. His hand reached for the side of his face, where the object had hit him. “Good aim.”

    Ezri stood there with her arms crossed, and shook her head in contempt. “I’d do it again, you know.”

    “I don’t doubt it. But it wouldn’t change what I said…would it?”

    Ezri stared down at him for a moment, and sighed. “No…I guess not.”

    “Still…you had to let out your anger, and you did. You acted on instinct…and I’m proud of you for that.”

    “What makes you think I want or need your approval?”

    “You don’t. But I’ll express it nonetheless. Now…” Joran turned to the wreckage nearby. “…What was it that you threw, anyway?”

    Ezri followed his gaze—and froze. No….

    It was a glass sculpture—not very big, but noble in its own way. It wasn’t recognizably anything—just an abstract design. But she had been fond of it, ever since it had been given to her.

    It had been a gift from….

    No… She knelt before the pieces, and gently began to gather them all into a pile.

    After a few seconds, Joran remarked in amusement:

    “The good doctor gave that to you…didn’t he?”

    Still staring at the wreckage of glass, Ezri swallowed hard and nodded. “Yes….”

    It…it happened so fast…. Ezri, you idiot, why didn’t you look? Why didn’t you THINK before you—?

    “Ezri…you do realize that none of this is real. Your little trinket is perfectly fine.”

    Ezri felt a tear in her eye. When she could bring herself to respond, she found that she just barely had the strength to. “But…why…?”

    “Ezri…you of all people should know that in dreams, images like that…tend to mean things.”

    “But…” Ezri whispered, “…But what does this mean? What…could this mean?”

    “For once, my dear…I don’t have the answer to that.”

    And then, it hit her. She blinked her tears away…and stood up. “Well…I do….”

    She turned to face Joran, who had also managed to get up. “You see, Joran…I really am nothing like you. Oh, I may have…slipped sometimes—and I know, I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of. But…I’m nothing like you said.”

    Joran raised an eyebrow. “You seem certain of that.”

    “I am. And…maybe it was my fault that…my time with Julian wasn’t what it could have been. Maybe I was afraid of commitment. And maybe you’re right—maybe my…pride…got the better of me. Maybe I did hurt him, out of fear of what might’ve happened…had we remained together. But the point is…I can learn from my mistakes…and pick myself back up…and move on with my life.

    “Do I…regret what I may have done to him? Of course I do. But…I’ll make it up to him, if I can. And if I can’t, well…” Ezri sighed. “I’ll move on…somehow. And that, Joran, is why I’ll never be anything like you. When something happens that you can’t control…you refuse to accept it, and in your anger, you try to destroy those who stand between you…and power, whatever the cost.”

    Joran smirked. “And you don’t?”

    Ezri smiled. “No. I don’t. I see a lot of things in this universe I can’t control. I may not like it—I may not pretend to like it—but when I know there’s nothing I can do, I move on.”

    Joran’s smile faded. But Ezri wasn’t through.

    That’s why I brought you here...wasn’t it? Somehow, I knew…that I had to face some things in my past…that I’d put off facing for…far too long.” She chuckled. “I…guess I needed someone who could…force me to confront those things. And…well, I suppose you were the only one of my previous hosts…heartless enough…to do that.”


    “None of the others would ever have been able to…push me as close to the brink as you did. I guess you could say I needed a…kick in the rear for my own good.”

    Joran stared at her for what seemed like an eternity, and finally, he replied, “Tell me…how much of that little speech was Jadzia speaking…?”

    Ezri didn’t bat an eye. “None of it.”

    “Are you certain?”

    Ezri nodded, and her smile grew. “I’m certain.”

    “What about Lela…or Curzon…or—”

    Ezri laughed. “It was all me, Joran. And yes…I’m sure of that.”

    After a moment, she said, “I…thank you should go.”

    Joran’s eyes widened in amusement. “…‘Thank’…?”

    Ezri’s smile vanished. “I think you should go….” She narrowed her eyes. “Now.”

    Joran nodded. “Until we meet again…Ezri….”

    And just like that…he was gone….

    Ezri opened her eyes, to discover that she was seated at her desk once again.

    I…must have dozed off, she thought. But…it sure felt real….

    She glanced at the dresser. The sculpture was still there—intact.

    It was as if the whole thing had never happened.

    No…it happened. And I’ve learned a lesson…which I hope I’ll never have to repeat again.

    Ezri stood up, and walked over to the sculpture. She reached over, and traced its lines with her finger.

    She remembered her vow, and whispered it again to herself, to cement it in her mind.

    “I’ll make it up to him…some way…somehow…I’ll make it up to him…I promise….”[/LEFT]

    * * *

    And the adventure continues....
  4. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    All right, folks--it's done!

    Comment away!
  5. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    I never thought I would find myself agreeing with Joran on anything--but when he described Jadzia and the way she acted towards men...I couldn't agree more. That was exactly what I couldn't stand about her, how she somehow got Worf wrapped around her little finger and (to my eye) demeaned him and his culture all the time and he kept coming back for more.

    Wish I could've heard more on the Borg/Federation comparison, though...there's definitely something to be explored there!
  6. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Yeah--that WAS pretty off-putting....

    I think the best example of Jadzia's unlikable side was in that ep where Julian saves her neck--and the conversation goes:

    "A few years ago, I'd have thought you were trying to be a hero."

    "And now...?"

    "And now that I know you better...I realize that that was just a stupid thing to do."

    Hey, Jadzia--YOU'RE WELCOME!!! :rolleyes:

    (nervous chuckle) Ah...technically, Joran was comparing the Borg to communism in general, but...okay!

    So--whacha think of the tale itself, though?
  7. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Pretty cool.

    And Federation/Communism...there's a verrrry fine line there.
  8. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    ^Thank you!
  9. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Ya welcome! :)

    BTW, I look forward to your thoughts on the latest PMs I sent. :)
  10. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Okay. Anyone else have comments?

    Questions? Concerns? Raves?

    Fire away folks!
  11. CeJay

    CeJay Commodore Commodore

    Feb 5, 2006
    I gotta say I'm not particularly crazy about the way Ezri was developed into a starship captain. I just don't quite see that character going in that direction. But that may just be a lack of imagination on my part.

    This was a very interesting story and I give you kudos for making it one continuous conversation. That's not easy to do.

    I felt parts of the conversation didn't really go anywhere like the whole Borg angle for example. But the fireworks really started to kick off once we got to the core of the matter. Ezri's decision to break up with Bashir and the reasoning behind it. It was interesting to see the former counselor get schooled even if it was all really just a deliberate way to make her face her own mistakes.

    Overall, nicely done.
  12. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Well, I'm fine with it, myself. After all, the idea of the spirited, innocent Ezri commanding such a mighty vessel as Aventine seems pretty--attractive, IMHO.

    --But each his own. :)


    Yeah...and initially, the only reason I wanted that part was to establish when the tale takes place. But, as I got into it, I quickly discovered how I could have it lead to Joran's general topic.

    Thanks a bunch, CeJay! :techman:
  13. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    This is a well written character piece with some convincing dialogue, and some interesting insights into Ezri.

    I guess I'll have to read the Destiny books now to find out how she takes command!
  14. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Thank you--very much!

    :eek: Wow--who knew I'd have that effect....

    (Looks like Mack owes me one...?

  15. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Okay--anybody else?

    Don't be shy--comment away!

    If not...thank you all for your comments!
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  16. fleetcaptain

    fleetcaptain Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 9, 2005
    Virginia Beach, VA, USA
    I have to say a very interesting short. Glad I'm in the middle of reading The Soul Key before I got on here to check on updates on various things. But I like this story so far. I think its interesting how you used Joran to come back and talk to Ezri since she did bring him out in the first place during DS9's final season.

    Would have been nice if there was a mention of this in the Destiny trilogy.
  17. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    As you asked, I've come to have a look! I found it very interesting; I like the idea of taking time for Dax to reflect on herself following the trauma of "Destiny". We didn't get to see much of her in the aftermath, so this was interesting, and a good look at how she's adapting to command, and developing an ever-increased wisdom about her status as a Joined Trill (the subconscious summoning of Joran to confront her shows a great maturity, in my eyes). Joran's own twisted take on Jadzia's actions was fascinating too. It's an interesting dynamic- but a logical one- to have former hosts essentially commenting on one another, relating to each other's actions in different ways that reflect their own biases, blurring the lines somewhat (Joran taking Jadzia's innocent behaviours and seeing them in light of a desire for simple power, his own mind's workings reinterpreting these experiences into his own worldview so to speak- but as his worldview is a part of Jadzia's and now Ezri's it makes it very complicated...) Is Joran really helping out as an integrated- if confrontational and hostile- part of Ezri, or is he just using Jadzia's memories and actions in support of his own drives and desires? Is he truly working as part of the Joined whole, or trying to usurp it? I've always assumed Joran- following his resurfacing and Jadzia's integrating him into her mind- would have had some influence. Maybe Jadzia needed the outlet- a way to have the power that wasn't harmful or base. I've always liked Jadzia, and this story actually gives me an impression of wisdom on her part, too. Overall, your story gives a sense of real complexity to the inner workings of the Joined mind. I found it very enjoyable.

    As for the continuity, as you asked, I think you've got it all fine. Obviously, this being a fan-fic you've reinterpreted some of it and what it meant for Ezri, but I don't think you've gotten anything wrong. I think this slots into the continuity as the books have established it fine enough. :)
  18. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    PHEW! What a relief! Thanks, mate!

    Yup. That's actually, in part, why I did it--I wanted to have a kind of climax for the "battle of whits" that began in "Field of Fire". I liked how Ezri struggled to keep Joran from messing with her mind--and how Joran kept trying to make Ezri "admit" that "You are me!"--so I wanted to expand the clash, sans any "outside" situation (like the murder mystery of last time) to keep the two in check.

    Yes--I'd thought about how someone like her would handle being in command of such a powerful vessel as the Aventine. While, in Destiny, she was very humble and insecure about carrying such a burden (When she arguably got it by accident), I'd think that, after she got used to the fact that she proved herself worthy of the command, she may at times find the pendulum swinging the other an overdone (albiet somewhat sexy) sense of confidence.

    Probably, after this incident, she'll keep herself in the proper balance.

    Yup. This element grew mostly out of my research on the differences between Jadzia and Ezri--how they interact with men, their respective conciousness of their attractiveness, How they handled Joran, etc.

    Thank you--thank you very much! :cool:
  19. mirandafave

    mirandafave Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 26, 2008
    A good exploration of Ezri's mind. With it being a former Trill host come to visit her, ala Ghost of Christmas Past, I wasn't too sure just how Joran was manifesting himself. To my mind that aspect of the joined Trill was never fully explained on TV and I haven't read any books on it. But I do wonder just how much a former host can inform and 'think' with the current. I like the concept that they trade ideas and memories but with the current host siphoning through whatever is conjured up to make their own decisions based on their own personality and circumstances.

    As to your own story, as CeJay commented you captured very effectively one long running piece of dialogue between two characters. Like CeJay was with the whole Borg collectivism bit and just why Ezri was thinking about that. The Borg as individuals and their sad fate and the Queen's power lust I suppose but the sideways path about collectivism jarred a little.

    But it was a fascinating little jaunt into Ezri's mind. Especially the reflections on her relationship with Julian. In a way, I am kinda glad they broke up because I do think it is a little bit of a cheat that they got together with the ghost of Jadzia looming large over the relationship.

    Likewise, the characterisation of Jadzia by Joran [and by default perhaps Ezri] is revealing too. Is that how she views Jadzia? Does she resent Jadzia for her ways and using men like that? Is it simply because it scuppered her chances with Julian?

    I myself never thought there was anything cruel about Jadzia and her treatment of men. If anything, it helped to show a strong person who wasn't won over by men impressed by her beauty. Which IMHO is why she probably went more with Worf than Julian. Plus it was humorous to see the fellas made fools of so easily by her smile alone.

    Anyway, a neat dialogue and a nice view shot of Ezri in the command chair. A position I'd not have imagined for her, especially so soon, but it did read right that she would reflect and question her posting as captain.
  20. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    I think a good example would be near the beginning of "Field of Fire", where Joran enters a dream sequence of Ezri's.

    Of course, I made sure not to make this tale nearly as "surreal", so as not to really let the audience in on the fact that it's all a dream until the very end.

    My idea with that was that Joran was trying to engage in "small talk" with Ezri, for the purpose of looking for an opening in her armor that he could exploit. That, and the fact that I'd been itching to have an arch-villian in one of my tales speak in glowing terms about collectivism, which a hero of mine once condemned as "the focus of evil in the modern world...."

    I wasn't glad, though--not at all. I felt that Mike and Andy, while awesome writers, really insulted the pair by tearing them apart. My view of the final season is that Ezri and Julian are so right for each other--like Jadzia was with Worf.

    They fit together so well, and I felt that, somehow, whatever obstacle to their relationship they might face, they should be able to overcome, no matter how long it takes. That's how real-life relationships work. The overcoming of obstacles together strenghtens the bond, and prepares the couple for greater challenges to come....

    Well...that's my $0.02 on it. Looking forward to eventually having them reconcile....

    Hmm...that may have something to do with it. After all, in her first real encounter with Julian, she said, with the intention of reasuring him, "If Worf hadn't come would've been you."

    Julian looks put off at this. So, perhaps here we see some seeds of what will lead to the break-up--Ezri tending to read too much into Julian's old feelings towards Jadzia.

    It was just Joran's interperetation, as Ezri pointed out. Still, as a man, I found Jadzia's "coyness", as it were, very off-putting at times....


    And BTW, folks...if you check out pics of the Aventine, and the specs (specifically the weapons and speed), you'll get a pretty good feeling as to what inspired Ezri's brief internal "ego-rant" at the beginning....
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009