DS9 12x12 - "Life of a Statesman"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by DS9Continuing, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
  2. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    Meanwhile...

    TNG 17x12 – “THE LIBERATED”

    Enterprise explores the sentient star cluster looking for Einstein. Communing with the Noh-Angel entities, T’Ryssa Chen understands that they sent the Borg ship away, separating it and Rhea without taking sides. Suddenly a Borg ship appears, but it is not Einstein – it is the Liberated Borg ship commanded by Hugh (TNG 7x01 “Descent, pt 2”). Einstein is coming right behind him to assimilate the Noh-Angels’ natural slipstream. But when Enterprise engages, the Noh-Angels interfere again, refusing to allow them to fight. It sees both sides as squabbling children, amusing to watch but no real threat. Chen cannot seem to get the entity to understand that the Borg are dangerous and must be stopped. Meanwhile, Hugh asks Crusher for help in making his Liberated Borg fertile so they can solidify their new community – an awkward request since she and Picard are currently in conflict over whether to bring a child into such a dangerous world.

    TTN 1x12 – “FEAR IN A HANDFUL OF DUST”

    After their shuttle crash, Jaza and Y’Lira find what appears to be the wreckage of Titan. They have moved through time, thanks to the energy tesseract in orbit. Elsewhere, the rest of the away team bickers – Vale is sure Titan is destroyed, Troi tries to maintain hope, Ra-Havreii blames himself. They find the same wreckage, but a thousand years old. Devastated, Troi admits that she suffered a miscarriage, and her emotional turmoil has been transmitting to the crew, hence all the arguing. In the past, Jaza explains his faith in the Prophets’ plan. As a child of the Occupation, he did not always believe, but now he does – this is where he is meant to be. In the present, Orishans attack and kidnap Ra-Havreii and drag him back to their base, deep underground. The others give chase, and are captured too. But luckily, Ra-Havreii has worked out that the crashed ship out there... is not Titan at all.

    VOY 10x12 – “REVENANT”

    Disgraced former Starfleet cadet Nick Locarno (TNG 5x19 “The First Duty”) helps the privateer crew of Celtic access a crippled Starfleet ship. When he realises it is Reston, assimilated by the super-cube (VOY 10x09 “Hungry”), he wants to run, but Celtic’s captain Walsh insists this is a unique opportunity. Boarding the abandoned ship, they find dead drones everywhere, looming and haunting. Locarno tries to restart the Reston’s computers, but the Borg tech identifies Celtic as a threat and destroys it, Walsh included. The surviving crew turn on each other, imagining monsters round every corner. When one of them is assimilated, he reveals that they have a traitor – Walsh brought them here deliberately, and they have been slowly assimilating since they stepped on board. Starfleet has standing orders to destroy Reston if found, and they cannot operate the ship to escape because they are not Borg. Locarno realises that the only way to survive... is to become Borg.
     
  3. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    TEASER


    FADE IN:


    1 INT. PALAIS - MONET ROOM


    A portrait of former president THELIAN hangs on the wall - a middle-aged Andorian thaan with receding white hair.

    Move sideways to the next portrait in line - AMITRA, a female Pandrilite, a bulky blue-skinned species with a monkey-like nose and flopping pointed ears.

    On to the next portrait - JARESH-INYO, the male Grazerite seen in DS9 4x11 “Homefront” / DS9 4x12 “Paradise Lost”.

    Then to MIN ZIFE, the male Bolian seen in several earlier episodes. Next to the hefty Jaresh-Inyo, he looks tiny.

    And finally to the face gazing solemnly at all four of these portraits - NAN BACCO. She is the latest in their line, and today she feels that weight more than ever.

    Behind her, the door opens and PIÑIERO enters. The two old friends are alone. They are both wearing traditional formal Cestus dress - a tunic that reaches down to mid-thigh and up to the throat, forcing the chin up, plus black leggings.


    PIÑIERO
    We’re almost ready ma’am. Agent
    Wexler is giving the shuttle a last
    check, our course is set for Mars,
    and Fred’s working on your
    speech as we speak.​


    Bacco smiles a bit at the word play, but doesn’t otherwise respond. She just keeps gazing at the portraits.


    PIÑIERO
    Everything alright, ma’am?

    BACCO
    It’s a hell of a responsibility,
    Esperanza. One person responsible
    for the lives of billions. I know -
    I’m stating the obvious.

    PIÑIERO
    You carry it well, ma’am.

    BACCO
    Do I? Well, I guess that’s up to
    history to decide. But look at
    these people. Look at what
    they all had to deal with.​


    She sweeps her arm around the room, revealing the other Federation presidents who preceded Thelian - a line that goes back 200 years and among whom we can recognise the Efrosian male RA-GHORATREII (“The Undiscovered Country”), the human male HIRAM ROTH (“The Voyage Home”) and right at the beginning, the human male JONATHAN ARCHER (Enterprise).


    BACCO (cont)
    Ra-Ghoratreii signed the Khitomer
    Accords, balancing an entire
    Federation’s century-long distrust
    of the Klingons with the one-in-a-
    million chance for lasting peace.
    (beat)
    Roth had an alien probe visit his
    homeworld and nearly boil it to
    death just to talk to some whales.
    (beat)
    Thelian was in office at first
    contact with the Cardassians...
    and we all know how that went.
    (beat)
    Jaresh-Inyo signed the peace
    treaty with Cardassia, thereby
    inadvertently creating the Maquis.
    And then he let paranoia about
    changeling infiltration trick him
    into a Starfleet coup.
    (beat)
    And Zife. The second Borg attack.
    The Dominion War. The Gateways.
    The Trill symbiont crisis. The
    Ontailians... and Tezwa.​


    Piñiero stiffens at the mention of that world.


    BACCO (cont)
    Kind of a shame that history tends
    to be broken up by conflict, don’t
    you think? Everybody talks about
    remembering this war or that fight
    or the other invasion, but nobody
    mentions the periods of peace in
    between. But I think those are the
    more interesting bits. And a lot
    harder to pull off if you ask me.
    (re portraits)
    History records every one of these
    people... but it doesn’t record
    everything. It doesn’t know about
    the kind of decisions that have to
    be made. It just sees the results.

    PIÑIERO
    Ma’am... none of us has any
    control over what history will
    think of us. All you can do is
    the best you can do at the time.
    I believe Zephram Cochrane said
    something along those lines.

    BACCO
    Who we now know was a raging
    alcoholic.

    PIÑIERO
    Yes, but that’s kind of the point,
    isn’t it? Personal failings don’t
    detract from genuine achievements.
    Conversely, they say Dukat loved
    his daughter. Doesn’t mean he
    wasn’t a war-mongering despot.

    BACCO
    I feel like we’ve got off topic.

    PIÑIERO
    I’m just trying to say... buck up,
    I guess. You’ve got a job to do.​


    Bacco straightens her tunic and turns to face Esperanza.


    BACCO
    Well! After such an inspired bit
    of motivation, how can I refuse?​


    The door opens again, and Admiral ROSS enters.


    ROSS
    Sorry to interrupt, Madam President.
    But the shuttle is ready to take you
    to Mars.

    BACCO
    Thank you, Admiral. Please tell
    Agent Wexler I’ll be right there.

    ROSS
    Yes, ma’am.​


    Ross leaves the room again. Bacco purses.


    PIÑIERO
    I already told him I would fetch
    you. He’s the Starfleet liaison to
    the President, not your keeper.

    BACCO
    I seem to recall it was your
    idea to give him the job.

    PIÑIERO
    Well, you know what they say,
    ma’am. Keep your friends close...
    but keep your enemies closer.​


    Bacco and Piñiero exchange a look. That wasn’t a joke. Then they draw themselves up and exit the room together.


    FADE OUT


    END OF TEASER
     
  4. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT ONE


    FADE IN


    2 EXT. MARS - SQUIRES AMPHITHEATRE - DAY


    A WIDE SHOT of a large public space, a gigantic stadium or auditorium laid out in a semi-circle, with a stage along the diameter. The place is standing-room-only with family, friends, dignitaries and other well-wishers.

    PIÑIERO and one of her deputies, PHIRI, stand at the back, looking out across the giant crowd towards the stage, where Jaresh-Inyo’s entire extended Grazerite family stand around a marble plinth which carries the former president’s body.

    Also visible on the stage are Bacco, former president Amitra (seen in one of the portraits), and a Starfleet honour guard of four, in their dress whites.


    PHIRI
    Standing room only. Which means
    a lot more to a Grazerite than it
    does to a human.

    PIÑIERO
    He was a good man. He deserves the
    accolades - and to have a thousand
    people at his funeral.

    PHIRI
    Isn’t it de rigueur for all living
    presidents to attend this kind of
    thing? I see Bacco and Amitra.
    But I don’t see Thelian or Zife.

    PIÑIERO
    Thelian’s too old and frail. His
    advisors told me if they put him
    on a flight from Andor to Mars,
    there’d be a second state funeral
    by the time he got here.

    PHIRI
    What about Zife?

    PIÑIERO
    Haven’t a clue. And it’s not for
    lack of trying. I got in contact
    with several of his staff members,
    who weren’t overly happy about
    talking to one of the people who
    took their jobs. But no-one seems
    to know where he is. If we can’t
    find ‘em, we can’t get ‘em here.​


    On the stage, the Starfleet honour guard steps forward, carrying a triangular piece of cloth. Between them, they fold it out, until it reveals a large FEDERATION FLAG. They drape the flag over Jaresh-Inyo’s body, covering it head to toe, hanging off the edges of the plinth, then step back. A moment later, the flag-draped body disappears in a TRANSPORTER BEAM. A SIGH passes through the gathered crowd.


    PHIRI
    (whisper)
    Well, the tradition does call for
    complete destruction of the body.
    That’s one way of doing it.​


    BEEP BEEP. Piñiero’s comm is beeping. As the people nearby look around at her, she grits her teeth in annoyance at the faux pas and instantly turns to exit through a nearby door.


    3 INT. SQUIRES AMPHITHEATRE - CORRIDOR


    A grey concrete corridor where concert-goers might exit, currently deserted. She pulls out her comm, taps to answer.


    PIÑIERO
    What is it, Ziff?

    Z4 BLUE (comm)
    I asked you not to call me that.

    PIÑIERO
    When you contact me in the middle
    of a state funeral, you’d better be
    glad that’s all I call you.

    Z4 BLUE (comm)
    Jorel just contacted me. He says
    he has a journalist in the press
    room who’s demanding to speak
    to the president immediately.

    PIÑIERO
    The president’s busy.

    Z4 BLUE (comm)
    I know, but Jorel said this woman
    was so insistent, he felt he ought
    to at least pass on the message.
    And Jorel was so insistent, that
    I felt I ought to do the same.

    PIÑIERO
    (sigh)
    Did she at least say what it was
    about? What was so urgent?

    Z4 BLUE (comm)
    She said that she knows the real
    reason Zife resigned.​


    Piñiero blanches, struck dumb. This is very, very bad.


    Z4 BLUE (comm)
    Esperanza?

    PIÑIERO
    Yeah, I’m here, Zee. The president
    is about to give a speech at Jaresh-
    Inyo’s funeral. But tell this woman
    that as soon as we get back to
    Earth, I’ll meet with her.

    Z4 BLUE (comm)
    Are you sure? If it’s just some
    crazy conspiracy theorist...

    PIÑIERO
    I’ll speak to her, Zee-Four. Just
    tell this woman, whoever she is,
    that she’ll have to be patient.

    Z4 BLUE (comm)
    Understood. Palais out.​


    The line drops. Piñiero puts her head in her hands, takes a moment to absorb the sheer badness of this. Then she rallies and returns to the amphitheatre.


    4 EXT. MARS - SQUIRES AMPHITHEATRE - DAY


    Piñiero returns to stand next to Phiri.


    PHIRI
    Everything alright?

    PIÑIERO
    (covering)
    Fine. What did I miss?

    PHIRI
    The president’s about to speak.​


    Phiri gestures towards the stage, where we can see Bacco taking the central position next to the now-empty plinth. There is an auto-prompter before her, and she is presumably wearing a microphone because Piñiero and Phiri can hear her perfectly clearly, even at the back of the amphitheatre.


    BACCO
    About a hundred-and-fifty years
    ago, the people of the Federation
    elected a wonderful Trill woman
    by the name of Madza Bral to the
    office of president. She was the
    first person not from one of the
    five founding worlds to serve in
    that office. “The Presidency,” she
    said, “is perhaps the worst job in
    the Federation. The hours are
    long, the work is difficult, your
    successes are unappreciated, your
    failures blown out of proportion.
    Having said all that, I would never,
    under any circumstances, trade
    these years for anything.”
    (beat)
    I only met Jaresh-Inyo a handful
    of times, but I found him to be a
    good man. It’s easy to criticise
    him now as the leader who failed
    to foresee the Dominion threat, or
    who let Earth be put under martial
    law. It’s just as easy to ignore his
    achievements - expanding the
    rights of sentient beings. Opening
    new relations with the Children of
    Tama. Normalising relations with
    the Cardassian Union. None of this
    was the stuff of salacious news
    reports. But it cannot be ignored.
    (beat)
    This Federation is remarkable. We
    now have one-hundred-and-fifty-
    four members, many with more
    than one world under their purview.
    That’s hundreds of planets. The
    president’s job is to keep those
    worlds, populated as they are by
    the most diverse and cantankerous
    collection of species you’re likely
    to find in this universe, from
    flying apart. Any president who
    comes to the end of their term
    with the Federation still intact,
    has done the job. I’ve only been
    in office for a few months, but
    I’ve already learned that that’s
    the only true test for success.
    (beat)
    Jaresh-Inyo passed that test. For
    that, and for so much else, we
    honour him today. I am proud to
    be part of the same family as him.
    As President Amitra. As Presidents
    Thelian and Zife, who couldn’t be
    with us. And as President Bral.
    (beat)
    I close, as I began, with her
    words. “What matters, in the end,
    is that the Federation endures.”
    Because of Jaresh-Inyo, we’ve
    endured. Thank you.​


    Bacco steps back. The crowd erupts in thunderous APPLAUSE. At the back of the room, Phiri joins in enthusiastically.


    PHIRI
    Damn, that was a hell of a speech.​


    Piñiero nods, applauding somewhat more demurely. Everything that should have just sounded encouraging and uplifting, now sounds ominous as hell, given what she might face next.


    5 EST. PALAIS DE LA CONCORDE - DAY


    The lower levels of the central government building...


    6 INT. PALAIS – PRESS ROOM


    Esperanza Piñiero enters, finding the room deserted - the empty podium on the stage, the empty rows of seats tidily filling the room. All except for one, which is occupied by OZLA GRANIV. The young Trill journalist looks up as Piñiero enters, and stands. She looks tired, but still determined.


    PIÑIERO
    Ms Graniv. I’m Esperanza Piñiero,
    President Bacco’s chief of staff.
    My apologies for the delay. The
    president and I were off planet,
    at Jaresh-Inyo’s funeral on Mars.

    OZLA
    I suppose I can’t argue with that.
    But if you’re back, then she is
    too. And I didn’t ask to speak to
    you, I asked to speak to her.

    PIÑIERO
    One thing you need to understand
    before this goes any further, Ms
    Graniv. Nobody gets access to the
    president without going through
    me. Not the councillors, not the
    admirals, and not journalists who
    are threatening to tear down her
    administration. What you have
    to say, you will say to me. I will
    then decide whether to bring it
    to her attention. Is that clear?

    OZLA
    It’s clear. But I’m not making a
    threat, Ms Piñiero. I’m simply
    doing my job. Through good old-
    fashioned journalism, I uncovered
    the truth about why Zife resigned,
    clearing the way for Nan Bacco to
    take that office. I want to give
    her the chance to tell me her side
    of the story, and maybe even to
    convince me why I shouldn’t run
    with it. If she either can’t do
    that or is unwilling to try, then
    I will have no choice but to do
    what my conscience requires of
    me - and print what I know.​


    Piñiero pauses to consider this. If there is even a chance that Ozla could make good on this threat...


    PIÑIERO
    I’m afraid the president isn’t
    available right now.

    OZLA
    Don’t you dare fob me off -

    PIÑIERO
    I’m not. Today alone so far, she
    has overseen the resignation of
    one of her councillors and spoken
    at the funeral of her predecessor,
    and is now attending a summit with
    her counterparts from the Klingon
    and Romulan empires. The first two
    were emergencies that could not be
    ignored, the last has been planned
    for months. I hope you see that
    maintaining peaceful relations with
    the Klingons trumps whatever you
    believe you have discovered.

    OZLA
    Peace with the Klingons, eh?
    That’s ironic.​


    Piñiero covers her reaction again. Maybe Ozla does know.


    PIÑIERO
    Please understand that I am not
    minimising your concerns. I am
    merely asking you to be patient.

    OZLA
    I’ve already waited for hours -

    PIÑIERO
    And if you want to speak to the
    president, you’ll have to wait a
    few more. I advise you to cool
    your engines, Ms Graniv, if you
    want to reach your destination.
    Rash decisions help none of us.​


    A moment’s consideration, and Ozla gives in. Her story is worth a little more patience. Piñiero sees this reaction.


    PIÑIERO
    Thank you. Do you have somewhere
    to wait? The Palais is not equipped
    with personal quarters.

    VAUGHN (o.s.)
    I can help with that, Ms Piñiero.​


    Piñiero turns, shocked and worried that someone has been overhearing them. VAUGHN stands there, in uniform, having entered the room silently.


    PIÑIERO
    Who the hell are you?

    VAUGHN
    Forgive the intrusion. Captain
    Elias Vaughn of the James T Kirk
    at your service.

    PIÑIERO
    Hmmm... The president’s ride to
    Cestus and back. She mentioned
    she’d had a very interesting
    conversation with you.

    VAUGHN
    I’m flattered. In fact, I’m here
    with Ms Graniv. I came to her aid
    recently regarding a situation
    with the Orion Syndicate, and I
    brought her to Earth to speak with
    the president. She’s welcome to
    stay with me aboard the Kirk.

    OZLA
    Where I’ll be safe from anyone who
    wants to stop me from talking.

    PIÑIERO
    (stunned)
    What the hell kind of people do
    you think we are?

    OZLA
    I guess I’ll find that out when I
    speak to the president. Won’t I?

    VAUGHN
    The Kirk will remain in orbit, Ms
    Piñiero. We’ll be expecting your
    call. Have a nice day.​


    Vaughn opens the door for Ozla, who joins him in leaving the room. Piñiero stands there, rubbing her forehead, stunned at how badly this is going...


    FADE OUT


    END OF ACT ONE
     
  5. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT TWO


    FADE IN


    7 EST. DEEP SPACE NINE


    Bringing us home to the station...


    8 SCREEN


    The SCREEN shows a view of Jaresh-Inyo’s funeral, with Bajoran ideograms along the bottom of the screen. The image then changes to our regular Bajoran newsreader TIANA FEEN.


    TIANA (screen)
    After that stirring speech from
    President Nan Bacco, the gathering
    went on to hear from Jaresh-Inyo’s
    close family. Bacco, meanwhile,
    has returned to Earth to prepare
    for her summit with Chancellor
    Martok and Praetor Tal’Aura.​


    9 INT. DS9 - QUARK’S BAR


    QUARK stabs the channel closed in disgust.


    QUARK
    The speech wasn’t that great. Mine
    was better. But do we get half the
    coverage? Do we frinx. No-one
    gives the Ferengi any respect.​


    ROM sits opposite him, in everyday clothes rather than his Nagal regalia, a glass of snail juice on the bar.


    ROM
    Don’t worry about it, brother.
    I thought you did a great job.

    QUARK
    You’d be impressed with any old
    half-plagiarised garbage.​


    Rom looks sadly into his drink. Quark takes pity.


    QUARK
    I’m sorry, Rom. When do you leave?

    ROM
    Soon. I just wanted one last look
    at the old place. I don’t get to
    just sit and enjoy a snail juice.

    QUARK
    No, you get a hundred servants
    bringing you any drink you want
    the moment you say the word.

    ROM
    I think I preferred it the old way.
    I dream about it sometimes.

    QUARK
    Don’t you dare. You’ve got the
    greatest job in the Alliance. So
    what if a Cardassian vole could
    do it better than you? You’re the
    Nagus, dammit. Now act like it.

    ISHKA (o.s.)
    Quark! Be nice to your brother.​


    The brothers turn to see ISHKA entering the bar, PRINADORA and NOG (carrying a travelling bag) trailing behind her.


    QUARK
    That’s what I’m trying to do. He
    doesn’t make it easy.

    ISHKA
    Rom, sweetie, we’re ready to head
    back to Risa. I thought you might
    want to say goodbye...?​


    She unsubtly hints towards Prinadora, his ex-wife and Nog’s mother. She is hovering back, still not sure of herself.


    ROM
    You’re right, moogie. Prinadora,
    it’s been good seeing you again.

    PRINADORA
    You too, Rom. You seem nice. I
    think I probably must have liked
    being married to you. Leeta does.
    You should stay married to her.​


    The younger Ferengi woman is completely naive, too innocent to lie or have any ulterior motive. It’s endearing, really.


    ISHKA
    Nog, would you help your mother
    to the docking port?

    NOG
    Sure. Come on, moogie.​


    Nog guides Prinadora back towards the door. The others watch them go, Ishka and Quark shaking their heads.


    ISHKA
    Poor woman. Had the brains all but
    bred out of her by her father. But
    she’s learning, slowly.
    (beat)
    Rom, sweetie? Are you okay?

    ROM
    I guess. Just sad to leave.​


    Rom looks around the now almost-empty bar...


    FLASHBACK - THE FUNERAL


    The bar is packed to the rafters with shrieking, wailing, clothes-rending Ferengi, all worshipping the dead Zek.


    FLASH - BACK TO SCENE


    He looks around himself now. No-one is worshipping him.


    ROM
    Moogie... do you think they’ll ever
    love me like they loved Zek?

    ISHKA
    Rom... they love you now.​


    Quark SNORTS with derision. Ishka glares his way - Quark rolls his eyes and moves away further down the bar.


    ISHKA
    Rom... you’re right that Zekkie
    was very popular as the Grand
    Nagus. But think of it this way.
    Now that he’s dead... he can’t
    overshadow you anymore. You’re
    the one and only Nagus now.​


    Rom shrugs - that’s vaguely uplifting, he supposes. She gives him a hug, looks over to Quark who was watching with a small smile, waves, and then turns to leave.


    10 INT. DS9 - PROMENADE


    Nog walks along the Promenade, Prinadora at his side.


    NOG
    Have a nice trip back to Risa.
    Once you get back... I thought
    maybe we could stay in touch?
    We could write each other letters.

    PRINADORA
    I’m not very good with writing.
    But I could ask Ishka to help
    me. I think I’d like that.

    NOG
    Me too.​


    Nog passes the bag to Prinadora. She suddenly shouts...


    PRINADORA
    Oh! I almost forgot! Ishka says
    I’d forget my lobes if they
    weren’t attached to me...​


    She opens the bag and rummages in it - and pulls out a toy, a MARAUDER MO FIGURINE. She holds it out to Nog...


    PRINADORA
    I brought this for you.

    NOG
    I don’t understand.

    PRINADORA
    Honestly, neither do I. When my
    father went to prison and Ishka
    took me in, she paid for all his
    assets to be packed up and brought
    to Risa with us. She said they
    belonged to me now, but I didn’t
    really understand what she meant,
    so I didn’t look at it for a long
    time. But Ishka was having a clean
    out recently, and she found this.
    I think it must have been yours
    from when you were little.​


    Astonished, Nog gently takes the figurine from his mother. It means more to him than he could have ever expected. She kept something from his childhood. She does love him. Just as he might be about to burst from the emotion of it, Ishka catches up with them, all large and flouncy.


    ISHKA
    Right! Let’s get on that ship and
    back to the beach.

    PRINADORA
    Zek’s probably waiting for us.​


    Prinadora turns to enter the airlock. Still stunned, Nog turns to his grandmother in confusion.


    ISHKA
    Poor thing. She hasn’t accepted
    it yet. I’m not entirely sure she
    understands what happened.​


    With a sad nod, Nog hugs his grandmother and they part at the airlock. Nog watches the door cycle closed, waving with one hand while the other holds the figurine...


    NOG
    Bye, moogie.​


    15 EST. PALAIS DE LA CONCORDE - AFTERNOON


    The upper levels of the central government building...


    16 INT. PALAIS - MONET ROOM


    Bacco sits with the array of portraits behind her. Klingon Chancellor MARTOK sits to one side, his boisterous armour and medals filling the space. Romulan Praetor TAL’AURA sits on the other, economical and precise, in an elegant dress.


    BACCO
    So it is agreed. The Klingon Empire
    will cease its current expansionist
    policies... And in return, the
    Federation will renew several trade
    agreements and open up a few
    new ones, including more
    extensive technology sharing.

    MARTOK
    Agreed. Regarding the Remans...
    (insincere smile
    towards Tal’Aura)
    Since the move to Klorgat Four is
    complete, the Empire will withdraw
    from its role as protector.

    BACCO
    Thank you, Chancellor. Now, there
    is one more thing I’d like to bring
    up. It wasn’t on the agenda, so
    we don’t have to, but I do think
    it’s important.

    MARTOK
    The agenda was due to the labours
    of the High Council and Ambassador
    K’mtok. I feel no need to adhere to
    their demands, Madam President.​


    They grin at each other. Tal’Aura remains stony.


    BACCO
    Are you familiar at all with a
    scientific organisation called the
    Matter of Everything? I believe
    the Klingons call it HapHoch.

    MARTOK
    The HapHoch was condemned
    by the Science Institute for -

    BACCO
    For violating every tenet of known
    scientific enquiry, I know. The
    problem is, the Science Institute
    used to sponsor the HapHoch.
    They only withdrew their support
    when the group brought in one
    scientist in particular - a Mizarian.

    MARTOK
    Mizarians are the vermin of the
    galaxy. You cannot ask me to
    reverse centuries of -

    TAL’AURA
    - of Klingon bigotry?​


    Martok must stop himself from stabbing her where she sits.


    BACCO
    There’s a human cliché, Praetor,
    that people who live in glass
    houses shouldn’t throw stones.
    Or shall we go into Romulan
    treatment of the Remans,
    the Miridians -

    TAL’AURA
    Point noted, Madam President.

    BACCO
    Fine, then shut the hell up.
    (back to Martok)
    Just a couple of weeks ago, I met
    Benjamin Sisko. He told me a story
    from the war, about how your ship
    rendezvoused with the Defiant
    because you wanted to see the
    Starfleet doctor instead of the
    one in your own sickbay.

    MARTOK
    What does that have to do with -

    BACCO
    I am fully aware of the Klingon
    prejudice against good medical
    practise, and also that that has
    changed in recent years, in part
    thanks to your own initiatives.
    That sounds to me like reversing
    centuries of tradition for the sake
    of something better - longer-
    lived, healthier Klingons who have
    the opportunity to extend their
    record of battle and have a better
    chance of entering Sto-Vo-Kor.​


    Martok pauses, eventually growling his way into a grin.


    MARTOK
    K’mtok told me to be wary of you.
    Very well, Madam President. It is
    a long time since I have been able
    to convince the High Council of
    anything. But I will tell them I
    wish the Empire to support the
    HapHoch. Despite the Mizarian.

    BACCO
    Thank you, Chancellor. The galaxy
    is too small for us to keep hiding
    behind neutral zones. And I think,
    my friends, that that’s it.

    TAL’AURA
    I’m afraid there is one more thing
    I must discuss with you both.​


    Tal’Aura has said so little this whole time that this comes as a surprise. Bacco checks with Martok.


    BACCO
    Well, I already went off playbook,
    so I’m in no position to argue.
    Chancellor?

    MARTOK
    Given how hard her people worked
    to get her here, at a summit that
    was only supposed to be between
    the Empire and the Federation, I
    confess I am morbidly curious.

    TAL’AURA
    (icy look)
    Since the slaughter by the madman
    Shinzon, I have fought to hold the
    Star Empire together. Donatra has
    opposed me every step of the way.
    Now... she has seceded altogether.

    BACCO
    Intriguing. Do you know her plans?

    TAL’AURA
    She will announce herself “Empress
    Donatra”, and declare Achernar
    Prime, plus all the worlds in that
    system and several more besides,
    to be the Imperial Romulan State.

    MARTOK
    And what do you want from us?

    TAL’AURA
    To not recognise the Imperial
    State. To refuse to trade with
    them, to impose sanctions upon
    them, and to aid me in retaking
    their worlds for the Star Empire.

    MARTOK
    You expect me to commit Klingon
    warriors to fight for a united
    Romulan Empire?

    TAL’AURA
    If you don’t, my people will
    starve. Donatra has stolen all
    our most fertile farming worlds.

    BACCO
    There, we’ll be happy to help you.
    If your people need food, we’ll
    provide it. But we’re not gonna
    take sides in your own conflict.

    TAL’AURA
    Then you condemn the Romulan
    people to a miserable death.​


    Bacco speaks with more iron than Martok would have guessed.


    BACCO
    No, Praetor. You did that, when
    you put a thalaron bomb in the
    senate on Shinzon’s behalf. That
    is what set you on this path, and
    if you now find that you can’t
    turn around, I’ll sympathise, and
    I’ll help wherever I can. But I’ll
    be damned if I will let you foist
    the blame on me. If the Imperial
    State does indeed declare itself a
    sovereign entity, the Federation
    will carefully consider whether
    or not to recognise it. But I can
    tell you this for damn sure - what
    makes your life easier will be
    extremely low on that list.

    TAL’AURA
    I assume that the Klingon Empire
    trails behind the Federation like
    a pet eager for approval?

    MARTOK
    No. The Federation may require
    time to make that decision, but
    the Empire’s is already made. We
    recognise any political entity that
    breaks the Romulans further.​


    After a long and icy pause, Tal’Aura stands and walks to the door. Outside we see a Romulan guard, a Klingon guard and Agent WEXLER. Tal’Aura sweeps out, the Romulan guard following her. Wexler quietly closes the door behind them.


    BACCO
    I’d say this summit is concluded,
    Chancellor. I think we’ve done
    some good work here. I hope
    it isn’t the last time.

    MARTOK
    My only hope is to die in battle
    and cross the river of blood to
    Sto-Vo-Kor. Whatever happens
    on that journey, happens.

    BACCO
    I’m a little more concerned with
    getting the most of out this life.
    But I think we’ve done a pretty
    good job on both ends.​


    She stands and holds out her hand to shake - he takes it.


    BACCO
    Qapla’, Martok, son of Urthog.

    MARTOK
    Qapla’, Nan Bacco.​


    FADE OUT


    END OF ACT TWO
     
  6. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT THREE


    FADE IN


    17 EST. PALAIS DE LA CONCORDE - EARLY EVENING


    The sun is beginning to set across the Paris cityscape...


    18 INT. PALAIS - RECEPTION AREA


    The ante-room to President Bacco’s office. Her personal bodyguard, Agent Wexler, stands at the ornate double doors. Her ancient Vulcan male secretary SIVAK sits at his own desk nearby. The doors to the turbolifts open...

    ...revealing Ozla Graniv, with Esperanza Piñiero and Elias Vaughn just behind her. They step out together into the foyer. Ozla gulps with nervousness. Sivak looks up from his desk, unimpressed, and stabs a comm control.


    SIVAK
    Madam President, Ms Piñiero is
    here with her... guests.

    BACCO (comm)
    Send them in, Sivak.​


    Sivak looks back down at his work, not bothering to pass on the message they obviously overheard. Instead Wexler opens the double doors and we see...


    19 INT. PALAIS - PRESIDENT’S OFFICE (CONTINUOUS)


    ...President Bacco sat at her desk, calmly waiting for them, the grand picture window making a dramatic backdrop.

    As Piñiero, Vaughn and Ozla pass through the doors, Wexler joins them. Ozla can’t help but feel wary of the black-clad and armed agent, who is clearly very capable and dangerous. He shuts the door, closing them all into the office.


    PIÑIERO
    Madam President - may I present
    Ozla Graniv, Palais correspondent
    for the Seeker.

    OZLA
    Thank you for agreeing to see me,
    Madam President.

    BACCO
    You didn’t give me much choice in
    the matter, did you? Take a seat.​


    Hesitantly, Ozla does so. Vaughn joins her.


    BACCO
    Thank you, Esperanza, I’ll take it
    from here. You too, Steven, we’ll
    be fine. While you’re at it, tell
    Sivak to take a break too.

    PIÑIERO
    As you wish, Madam President.
    But you know he’ll protest.

    BACCO
    He can protest all he likes as long
    as he does it somewhere else.​


    Piñiero covers a smirk, and then she and Wexler leave.


    BACCO
    Now then, young lady. Esperanza
    tells me you seem to think you’re
    in some kind of danger. Is that
    why you’ve brought the captain?

    OZLA
    Partially. He’s come to my aid
    several times in the past.

    BACCO
    It might interest you to know that
    Captain Vaughn swore himself to
    my side only a couple of weeks ago.

    VAUGHN
    Not to correct you, ma’am, but it
    was my understanding that we
    were all on the same side.

    BACCO
    I’m in no mood for word games,
    Captain. From what I’ve been told,
    this young woman is threatening to
    topple my administration. I’d like
    to hear her story straight before
    I decide what to do about it.
    (back to Ozla)
    Start at the beginning. Both of you.
    And you’d damn well better make
    it worth my time.

    VAUGHN
    I’ve already told you some of it -
    that I noted some anomalies about
    your election. Zife’s resignation,
    sudden and in odd circumstances.
    The sheer speed of your campaign.
    Your lack of experience on the
    galactic scene. There was even a
    suggestion that you conspired with
    First Minister Asarem of Bajor in
    return for including her closest
    advisors in your cabinet, while
    she fomented a planetary crisis
    of her own to distract attention.

    BACCO
    You can’t be serious.

    VAUGHN
    Extreme, perhaps. But not without
    precedent. But over-riding it all
    was an undeniable sense that the
    situation on Tezwa was connected
    to everything. That’s when I
    became aware of Ms Graniv.

    OZLA
    I was already planning on going
    there anyway. Captain Vaughn
    tried to warn me off, but I talked
    him into helping me instead.

    VAUGHN
    We helped each other.

    OZLA
    I suppose. He helped me get to
    Tezwa even though somebody
    didn’t want me there. I helped
    him by telling him what I found.

    BACCO
    Very well. What did you find?

    OZLA
    That Tezwa is a defeated planet.
    I’d been interviewing Starfleet,
    survivors, locals. My latest was a
    woman called Zelemka, who I heard
    was doing a lot for the orphans.​


    20 INT. TEZWA ORPHANAGE


    A clutter of found items and half-repaired machines. Ozla sits at a kitchen table, opposite ZELEMKA, a Tezwan female - bird-like features with feathers instead of hair.


    OZLA (v.o.)
    We talked about how she got the
    house - apparently she was having
    an affair with one of the minor
    ministers and he bought it for
    their secret liaisons. We talked
    about how Starfleet was helping
    out with the recovery.

    ZELEMKA
    They’ve been so good. I always
    knew they’d be here to help.

    OZLA
    What do you mean, ‘always’?

    ZELEMKA
    Well, the Federation’s always been
    here to protect us. It became more
    overt after Kinchawn went crazy,
    but Olorun told me about how they
    gave us those cannons years ago.

    OZLA
    He... I’m sorry, say that again.

    ZELEMKA
    Say what again?

    OZLA
    Minister Olorun told you that the
    Federation supplied Kinchawn with
    the weapons he used to destroy
    the Klingon fleet? You’re sure?

    ZELEMKA
    I don’t see what the big deal is.
    The news said they were Starfleet
    weapons originally. I kind of wish
    they hadn’t given them to us to be
    honest, considering what happened.
    But they’ve been making up for it.​


    21 INT. PALAIS - PRESIDENT’S OFFICE


    Bacco and Vaughn sit listening to Ozla’s story.


    BACCO
    If that’s all you’ve got, Ms
    Graniv, I’m not impressed. We all
    know the cannons were Starfleet
    technology, prototypes stolen
    by the Orion Syndicate.

    OZLA
    Zelemka specifically said she was
    told that the Federation provided
    them to the Tezwans.

    BACCO
    Told third-hand, by a low-ranking
    minister trying to impress his
    illicit mistress.

    OZLA
    I did actually consider these
    points, ma’am. That’s why I didn’t
    stop my investigation there.​


    22 INT. STORAGE ROOM


    Ozla is huddled in a pile, her hands tied behind her back and her face bruised and beaten. She looks around herself at the nondescript storage space, filled with crates and boxes, stone walls with no windows, no identifying marks.

    As a figure enters, she jerks backwards in terror, pushing herself back into the corner. The figure is IHASZ, a suave but threatening TAKARAN male (as seen in TNG 6x22 “Suspicions”).


    OZLA
    Ihasz.

    IHASZ
    The infamous Ozla Graniv. It’s a
    pleasure to meet you at last. I’ve
    been wanting to thank you for your
    lovely exposé on the Syndicate.

    OZLA
    You wanted to thank me?

    IHASZ
    Absolutely. You pointed us towards
    several breaches in our hull, so to
    speak. Besides, it was a really
    excellent piece of reporting. And
    now... you’re looking into some
    merchandise we moved to Tezwa.

    OZLA
    (evasive)
    What makes you think that?

    IHASZ
    Don’t play stupid, Ms Graniv. It
    makes me angry, and when I get
    angry, I shoot things. You spoke
    with Intral, you spoke with Fiske,
    you spoke with Tanaa... and brava
    on being able to hold your breath
    while in the same room as him,
    by the way. But I’m afraid you
    wasted your time. You should
    have just come straight to me.

    OZLA
    I beg your pardon?

    IHASZ
    Your presence on Deneva can result
    in only one of three things. The first
    is that you keep on asking questions,
    inevitably turning up more information
    on the Syndicate, and I’d rather that
    didn’t happen. The second is that I
    kill you, but that causes more problems,
    as you are quite high-profile, and high-
    profile deaths tend to bring down law
    enforcement. The third is that I tell
    you what you want to know, and you
    go on your merry way. Yes, the
    Syndicate provided the nadion-
    pulse cannons to Tezwa.

    OZLA
    That’s public record.

    IHASZ
    But where we got them from isn’t.

    OZLA
    You’re criminals. You stole them.

    IHASZ
    Exactly the cover story they were
    hoping for. Whereas in fact, the
    person who commissioned me to
    deliver those cannons to Tezwa,
    six years ago, was an Antedian
    gentleman named Nelino Quafina,
    who had just been made secretary
    of military intelligence by one
    Federation President Min Zife.​


    Ozla blanches at the implications of this news. It is a moment before she can find her croaky, quavering voice.


    OZLA
    Why are you telling me this?

    IHASZ
    When Zife resigned, I lost one of
    my best customers - before the
    final payment, I might add. When
    that happened, I took steps to
    discover who was responsible for
    Zife’s removal from power.

    OZLA
    Nobody removed him, he resigned.

    IHASZ
    (chuckling)
    Oh no no no, it’s not that simple.
    You see, there was no reason for
    him to resign. No reason for the
    truth of our little arrangement to
    ever come out. If Zife talked, it
    would mean war with the Klingons.
    And if anyone in my organisation
    talked, well, I believe I already
    outlined the consequences of that.

    OZLA
    So who did find out?

    IHASZ
    The only other party who had no
    hidden agenda - Starfleet. One of
    their admirals, a human named
    William Ross, forced Zife out of
    power... at phaser-point.

    OZLA
    That’s ridiculous!

    IHASZ
    Of course it is! As ridiculous as
    the Federation President secretly
    arming an independent world and
    sending his own troops, and the
    troops of an allied nation, to that
    world without revealing the
    weapons were there, then covering
    it all up afterwards. Ridiculous!​


    Job done, Ihasz stands. Ozla flinches back again.


    IHASZ
    That’s everything. My guards will
    escort you back to your hotel. My
    only conditions are that you leave
    Deneva immediately, and that you
    do not print this story unless you
    are able to corroborate it from at
    least one other source. Follow
    those terms, and I have no doubt
    you’ll be winning your next Gavlin
    Award before you know it. Violate
    them, and you’ll be dead less than
    twenty-four hours later. Have a
    nice trip home, Ms Graniv.​


    Ihasz walks out of the room, leaving Ozla wondering what the hell she just got into...


    23 INT. PALAIS - PRESIDENT’S OFFICE


    Bacco sits absorbing the tale, expressionless.


    VAUGHN
    So that’s it, Madam President.
    That’s what our investigations
    turned up - that your predecessor
    was a craven idiot whose actions
    led to the deaths of millions of
    Klingons, Tezwans and Starfleet
    officers, and rather than face what
    he’d done, he fought to cover it
    up, at the cost of more lives, until
    a Starfleet admiral had no choice
    but to remove him by force.

    BACCO
    And you think that I am complicit
    in this, Captain, because I
    happened to benefit from it?

    VAUGHN
    Madam President, that’s not -

    BACCO
    (turns on Ozla)
    And you - you come to me for
    corroboration. So that you can
    print your story and start a war
    with the Klingons without getting
    killed by the Orion Syndicate?

    OZLA
    I don’t want to start a war, damn
    it! I want you to tell me it’s not
    true. I want this all to be some
    insane fever dream that I’ll wake
    up from any minute and go back to
    reporting about water reclamation.
    But I need to know the truth!

    BACCO
    Are you sure? No going back.

    OZLA
    I’m sure. Tell me.

    BACCO
    Very well, then. Here’s your
    corroboration - it’s true.

    VAUGHN
    Madam President, you can’t -

    BACCO
    That’s the truth. Damn us all
    because every word of it is true.
    And I’ve known all along.​


    Off Bacco’s resolve, and Vaughn and Ozla’s amazement...


    FADE OUT


    END OF ACT THREE
     
  7. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT FOUR


    FADE IN


    24 EST. PALAIS DE LA CONCORDE - EVENING


    The backdrop of Paris is darker now. As Bacco sits firm and stern, Vaughn gets to his feet in horror...


    VAUGHN
    You knew about this all along?

    BACCO
    Take a seat, Captain.​


    At that undeniable steel in her voice, the same steel she showed to Tal’Aura, Vaughn sits back down as ordered.


    BACCO
    And you can wipe that look of
    disgust and betrayal off your face
    as well. All that tells me is that
    you have no idea what it’s like to
    be the one who sits in this chair.

    VAUGHN
    Ma’am... if you knew, why didn’t -

    BACCO
    Haven’t you been paying attention?
    If Martok knew the Federation was
    responsible for the deaths of
    thousands of his best warriors,
    we’d be back at war before I could
    finish the sentence. Are you that
    eager for more bloodshed?

    VAUGHN
    Of course not, but -

    BACCO
    I have spent every moment since
    I took this office just fighting to
    keep my head above water. Three
    days after I was sworn in - three
    days
    - Tal’Aura slaughters the
    entire Romulan senate and sends a
    madman with a doomsday weapon
    in our direction. Then there’s Remans
    pleading for help, a lost Earth colony
    from a different galaxy, a dead
    Tzenkethi baby and another damned
    Borg attack. I spent this morning
    eulogising the man who let the
    Klingon alliance fall apart, spent
    this afternoon making sure that
    never happens again, and I am
    sure as hell not going to let you
    try and guilt me into throwing
    it all away in the evening.

    OZLA
    Sounds to me like you’re just
    trying to avoid a scandal.

    BACCO
    If I was worried about scandal, I
    wouldn’t have just sold out one of
    my own cabinet to make a point.
    I don’t care what people think of
    me. I care about the Federation,
    and I will do whatever it takes to
    make sure that Federation does
    not fall on my watch. Is that clear?

    OZLA
    Does that mean letting a Starfleet
    admiral stage a literal coup?
    Because that’s what happened
    here. Ross removed a legitimately
    elected chief executive from
    office at phaser-point.

    VAUGHN
    (grudging defence)
    It wasn’t a coup. Ross didn’t take
    over the government. He stopped a
    war, removed a criminal from this
    office and let the constitutional
    process play out. President Bacco
    was elected, not appointed.

    OZLA
    You’re nitpicking, Captain.

    VAUGHN
    I don’t think so. What Ross did
    may have been unthinkable, but
    what else was he supposed to do?

    OZLA
    He didn’t have to do anything!

    BACCO
    So he should have just let Zife,
    Azernal and Quafina carry on as
    if they weren’t responsible for
    the deaths of millions?

    OZLA
    Are you telling me you actually
    agree with what Admiral Ross did?

    BACCO
    Of course I don’t agree with him!
    But the deed was done long before
    I ever sat my wrinkled old ass in
    this chair, so what the hell do
    you expect me to do about it?​


    Ozla goes quiet as she tries to figure out her answer.


    BACCO
    Alright, let me ask you this, Ms
    Graniv. Now that you’ve got your
    second source, do you still plan
    on publishing your story? Even
    knowing what will happen?

    OZLA
    I don’t know.

    BACCO
    What will it take to convince you?
    What will you exchange... to let
    this nightmare die with us?​


    Once again, Ozla considers the question...


    25 EST. PALAIS DE LA CONCORDE - NIGHT


    Full dark now, the glittering skyline an ominous backdrop.


    26 INT. PALAIS - PRESIDENT’S OFFICE


    The room seems quiet. The double doors open, and Admiral Ross gingerly pokes his head in.


    ROSS
    Madam President?​


    He finds Bacco over at the replicator, where she is just picking up a glass of something strong.


    BACCO
    It’s finally late enough to let
    these things give me a decent
    drink. Take a seat, Admiral.​


    He closes the door behind him. He sits, a little confused. Bacco sips her drink, looks out of the window.


    ROSS
    Was there an emergency, ma’am? Ms
    Piñiero said you needed to see me
    at once. Are the others coming?

    BACCO
    There are no others, Admiral. It’s
    just you and me. We need to talk.

    ROSS
    About what, ma’am?

    BACCO
    My predecessor in this office.

    ROSS
    President Zife? What about -

    BACCO
    (spins on him)
    Cut the crap, Admiral. You and
    I both know what he did.

    ROSS
    (jaw drops)
    ...how long...

    BACCO
    Long enough. At first, I was more
    worried about what Zife did than
    what you did. But what you did...
    (pause, shakes head)
    For the past six months, I have
    watched you come into this office
    every day, and I’ve wondered...
    what happens when I piss you off?
    Will you do the same to me?

    ROSS
    Ma’am, there are many reasons I
    am proud to serve in your cabinet,
    but the greatest is that I have
    faith in your inability to ever
    put me in the position Zife did.

    BACCO
    Maybe I should have said something
    when I found out. But I thought it
    was best to let it lie. We needed to
    move past what Zife did, and we
    couldn’t do that if we rehashed
    Tezwa all over again.

    ROSS
    I take the fact that we’re having
    this conversation to indicate
    that something has changed.

    BACCO
    There’s a reporter in Jorel’s press
    room right now, and she knows
    it all. She knows that Zife was
    responsible for the cannons. She
    knows that Quafina used the
    Orion Syndicate to get them to
    Tezwa. She knows that Starfleet
    found out, and they - or rather
    you - forced Zife to resign.

    ROSS
    (panicked)
    You’re not going to let her run
    the story, are you? I mean, there
    must be some way to stop her -

    BACCO
    What do you suggest, Admiral? That
    we make this person disappear?
    That’s not how we do things.​


    The stricken look on Ross’s face - that he tries to cover up, but too late - provides Bacco a horrible realisation.

    SMASH - the glass has slipped from Bacco’s hand and crashed to the floor. Stunned, she collapses against her desk.


    BACCO
    ...Is it how we do things?

    ROSS
    Ma’am?​


    Ross pretends not to know what they now both know. Bacco stares at him in horror, barely able to articulate it.


    BACCO
    Jaresh-Inyo’s funeral. Esperanza
    couldn’t find Zife. Couldn’t find any
    sign of him. Nobody on Earth, on
    Bolarus, anywhere knew where to
    find the most prominent person in
    the Federation for the last seven
    years. It shouldn’t be that hard,
    if all he did was retire.​


    Ross looks back at Bacco, unable to admit it out loud.


    BACCO
    You know, when I started this
    conversation, I was upset about
    what I had to do. But the more
    I talk to you, Admiral, the less
    problem I have with it.

    ROSS
    I don’t understand...?

    BACCO
    That reporter gave me an ultimatum
    - a much nicer one than you gave
    Zife. There is one condition upon
    which this story will in fact be
    buried where no-one can find it.

    ROSS
    (stands)
    My resignation?

    BACCO
    The terms weren’t that specific.
    Just as long as you go away. As
    long as you become an ordinary
    Federation citizen who has no
    influence at all over the running
    of the Federation or Starfleet.

    ROSS
    Then I’ll resign immediately.

    BACCO
    No... not resignation. Resigning
    sends up red flags. People resign
    in protest or to avoid a scandal.
    Retirement though - that’s normal,
    particularly for someone like you.

    ROSS
    Then I’ll announce my retirement
    first thing in the morning.​


    She nods once, and turns away. He turns to leave.


    ROSS
    Thank you, Madam President.

    BACCO
    (one more thing)
    Bill... why? I can understand why
    you had to remove him from power,
    but... why take the next step?

    ROSS
    Because they killed millions of
    people, directly or indirectly. Worse,
    they killed more just to cover up
    the crime, and they did it from a
    distance, so they could keep their
    hands clean. And so for five minutes
    last year, I became them. That
    reporter downstairs is absolutely
    right that there should be
    consequences for that. I’m only
    sorry I didn’t take this action before
    it endangered you, ma’am.​


    After a long pause, during which Bacco tries to decide if she can believe that or not, she nods once again. Ross turns to leave. Bacco returns to looking out the window.


    27 INT. PALAIS - RECEPTION AREA


    Ross quietly pulls the double doors closed, resting his forehead against them for a moment as he absorbs the enormity of recent events. Then he turns and STARTS...

    ...because Vaughn is there, in the otherwise empty room.


    ROSS
    Captain...?

    VAUGHN
    I had a feeling all along. Even
    when I became convinced she
    was innocent, I knew they were
    in it somewhere. I could smell it.

    ROSS
    I have no idea -

    VAUGHN
    Section Thirty-One, Admiral.

    ROSS
    (furious whisper)
    Keep your voice down!​


    Vaughn smiles sadly - he just tricked Ross into admitting it. Ross sees that too. Damn it.


    VAUGHN
    You used them... to assassinate a
    sitting Federation President, his
    chief of staff, and his secretary
    of military intelligence.

    ROSS
    They know how to keep secrets.

    VAUGHN
    Do you see the kind of people
    you’re in bed with, Admiral? The
    kind of people you can ask to do
    such a thing... and they do it?

    ROSS
    You cannot ever let her know. Do
    you understand? She cannot know.
    If they even suspect she knows
    they exist, they’ll kill her... some-
    how. And that cannot happen.

    VAUGHN
    Why not?

    ROSS
    Because she’s the only one who
    might have the tiniest chance of
    standing up to them... and maybe
    even of stopping them one day.​


    Vaughn considers Ross for a moment... then nods and steps aside. Ross proceeds to the turbolift, enters, and holds Vaughn’s gaze as the doors close.


    FADE OUT


    END OF ACT FOUR
     
  8. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT FIVE


    FADE IN


    28 INT. PALAIS – PRESS ROOM


    Admiral Ross stands at the podium before a room packed with reporters. JOREL stands to the side. A reporter asks...


    MARIA
    So when can we expect your memoirs,
    Admiral?

    ROSS
    Oh no - no memoirs. My entire
    career is on record as it is.

    EDMUND
    Then what will you do now?

    ROSS
    I’m going to find somewhere very
    quiet and peaceful, and enjoy a
    well-earned rest.​


    Ozla sits silently towards the back of the room, lost among the other reporters who are clamouring for attention. She watches Ross from afar, hiding in plain sight.


    T’NIRA
    Is it not strange, Admiral, for two
    members of President Bacco’s
    cabinet to resign in such close
    proximity? Does that speak to a
    fragility in her administration?

    ROSS
    Absolutely not. First, this is not
    a resignation, it’s a retirement -
    and a long-awaited one. Second,
    President Bacco’s administration
    is rock solid, and I have no doubt
    she already has a line of admirals
    eager to take my place. Third, as
    much as I admire the president, it
    was not her decision. It was mine.​


    From her place in the crowd, Ozla watches Ross lie.


    ROSS
    Thank you, that’ll be all.​


    Ross steps back. Jorel steps up to take his place.


    JOREL
    Right, you heard the man. That’s
    all for now, I’ll have more for
    you this afternoon.​


    Jorel presses his favourite button, and the reporters’ holographic projections all wink out one by one. One of the last to go is Ozla... Jorel holds her gaze, as they both know that something else just happened here. Then she too is gone. Regretfully, Jorel turns back to Ross...


    JOREL
    Admiral.​


    ...and walks out of the room. Ross is the last one left. He gazes out across the empty room, at the results of his actions. Then he too turns and leaves the room.


    29 INT. PALAIS - MONET ROOM


    The portrait of ZIFE sits on the wall, the middle-aged Bolian man looking ordinary and unimpressive. President Bacco is back in the room, staring at him. Behind her, Esperanza Piñiero quietly enters the room.


    PIÑIERO
    Ma’am...? It’s done. Ross handed
    in his notice to the Starfleet
    C-in-C, and he’s just finished
    his announcement to Jorel’s
    press room. It’s over.

    BACCO
    Been a hell of a day, Esperanza.
    A hell of a day.

    PIÑIERO
    I know, ma’am.

    BACCO
    And it’s not over, not by a long
    shot. It’ll never be over until
    I’m up on that wall next to Zife
    and this all becomes the next
    poor sucker’s headache.

    PIÑIERO
    It’s worth that headache, ma’am.
    The Federation needs you in that
    office. Specifically you.

    BACCO
    Maybe I should just become a
    dictator like Kinchawn or Dukat,
    then. Bossing people around all
    day. I’d probably enjoy that.

    PIÑIERO
    How would we tell the difference?​


    Bacco gives her a withering look. They both know it’s all in fun. Esperanza comes and stands beside her, looking up at the portraits, trying to be the old friend she is.


    PIÑIERO
    You have more right to be on that
    wall than half these people. Look
    at them. Ra-Ghoratreii almost
    didn’t sign the peace treaty with
    the Klingons because he couldn’t
    get past his own distrust. Jaresh-
    Inyo let the Dominion tear that
    treaty apart. Zife almost started
    a war with them. But because
    of you, that alliance is stronger,
    deeper, and more meaningful
    today than it has ever been.
    (turns to her)
    Look at me. Ma’am, please.​


    Bacco strains to tear herself away from the portraits.


    PIÑIERO
    Those people on that wall, they’re
    the past. You’re here now. And in
    the end, what matters is that the
    Federation endures. Because of
    you... we’ve endured.​


    Bacco smiles gratefully at her old friend, and pulls her in for a hug. As they separate and head towards the door...


    PIÑIERO
    Oh by the way, I bumped into
    Captain Vaughn on my way up here.
    He asked me to give you a message.

    BACCO
    Really. And what did he have to
    say for himself?

    PIÑIERO
    He said I should tell you, that
    look on his face wasn’t betrayal.
    It was just disappointment...
    (Bacco frowns
    in confusion)
    ...that you really are only
    human, after all.

    BACCO
    Well that’s just rude.​


    They leave the room together.


    30 EXT. SPACE - PLANETARY ORBIT


    A beautiful blue-green world, gently swaddled in wispy white cloud. This is RISA.


    31 EXT. RISA - SURFACE


    A remote bluff overlooking the sparkling blue sea. With golden sand below, palm trees dotted about, and one solitary house clinging precariously to the cliff.


    32 INT. BEACH HOUSE - LIVING ROOM / BEDROOM


    Ishka, still extravagant and flouncy, bustles through the doors, carrying her luggage. Prinadora trails behind her, still struggling to keep up with everyday life.


    ISHKA
    Maihar’du!​


    As she calls this into the otherwise deserted apartment, she directs Prinadora to start putting her things away.


    ISHKA
    Maihar’du!​


    Finally the enormous silent Hupyrian manservant MAIHAR’DU appears from another room. She is glad to see him.


    ISHKA
    Oh good, there you are. How is
    everything here? Okay?​


    Maihar’du nods enthusiastically. Ishka ushers him back the way he came - into the bedroom - and follows along.


    ISHKA
    Good. Everything went perfectly on
    Deep Space Nine. The funeral was
    lovely, we made a lot of money,
    and Quark played the dutiful host
    perfectly. I knew he would.​


    She begins flinging clothes off in a rush to strip naked. Maihar’du follows her around, catching whatever she flings.


    ISHKA
    He’s a sweet boy, really. When
    he’s not being a raging gumprat.
    I’m glad to be back though. I’ve
    been thinking about this mud
    bath since I left. It’s so dry on
    that station. It’s unnatural.​


    Now completely naked, the wrinkled old Ferengi female throws open the French doors, and emerges onto...


    33 EXT. BEACH HOUSE - BALCONY


    ... the open air balcony. She walks up to the railing, looks out across the gorgeous view across the water. Then she turns, sees what she’s looking for, and grins...


    ISHKA
    There you are!​


    She rushes over to the big round mud bath, eagerly clambers into it, sinks down to her shoulders, and sidles up to... ZEK, the former Grand Nagus, alive and well and sitting up to his shoulders in the muck.


    ZEK
    Ishka, my sweet! You’re home!​


    They nuzzle their big rubbery noses together romantically and relax into the warm, soothing mud bath.


    ISHKA
    That’s right, Zekkie. I’m home,
    and the plan worked perfectly.
    That clone fooled everybody -

    ZEK
    I hope so, I paid for the best.

    ISHKA
    And now everybody thinks you’re
    dead. I feel a little bad lying to
    Quark and Rom - they’re such
    good boys, in their own way.

    ZEK
    Ah, they’re better off not knowing.
    And now Rom can run things
    however he wants.

    ISHKA
    And everyone can remember you
    as the greatest Nagus there ever
    was. And we have a huge auction
    payout to enjoy.

    ZEK
    But didn’t you say that money was
    going to...
    (swallows vomit)
    ...charity?

    ISHKA
    Most of it. But the rest is going
    into enough secret funds for us
    to live out the rest of our lives in
    peace and privacy in our personal
    paradise, on the best vacation
    planet in the entire galaxy.​


    Zek cackles with glee at that prospect.


    ZEK
    Oh, Ishka, my sweet. You’re so
    devious. What would I ever do
    without you?

    ISHKA
    You’ll never have to find out.​


    They nuzzle noses again, giggling all the way. We pan across to the gorgeous scenery, and...


    FADE OUT


    END OF SHOW