DS9 12x17 – "Army of Me"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by DS9Continuing, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  2. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    TNG 17x17 – “SHATTERING SEA”

    Approaching the Azure Nebula, Enterprise is set upon by three Borg cubes at once, and is almost overwhelmed with many casualties, but is saved by the unexpected arrival of Aventine. Crusher and her team fight to save survivors. Dax reports that she returned to the Alpha Quadrant via a subspace tunnel – perhaps that is how the Borg have been getting here as well. While chief engineers LaForge and Leishman work on repairs to both ships, Enterprise’s science officer Elfiki and ops manager Kadohata work together on detecting another tunnel at the nebula – only to find dozens, each leading somewhere different in the galaxy. Dax suggests mining the nebula like they did the wormhole (DS9 5x26 “A Call to Arms”), but simulations say the region is too unstable for mines to work. Picard orders the crew to find a way to destroy all the tunnels, no matter their potential for exploration – an order which pleases no-one.

    TTN 1x17 – “POWERLESS”

    2381: Titan is trapped in orbit of the shelled planet, unable to move or communicate. The Caeliar will not let the Starfleet ship go in case they tell others what they found. On Axion, Hernandez explains her backstory to Troi, who continues to suffer from her deteriorating pregnancy. 1519: The city-ship Axion drifts through space, on a years-long journey to find a new homeworld. The gestalt – the Caeliar’s shared consciousness – is weakened after so many died in the Cataclysm. The humans are not to blame, as readings suggest the feedback pulse was caused by one of the other lost city-ships, Kintana, making the whole thing a predestination loop. The four remaining human women are given every comfort but are unable to leave, and the lack of purpose wears. To fill the time, Hernandez begins helping Inyx in the search for a new homeworld. 2381: Vale, Keru and the away team start planning their escape.

    VOY 10x17 – “RATTLESNAKE FLATS”

    Dr Kaz proposes fooling the Borg into destroying themselves via a ‘critical failure’ bug. Counsellor Cambridge objects – isn’t this genocide? Chakotay won’t lose any sleep, which only worries Cambridge more. Kaz and Vorik work on the technical aspects while Kim hunts for a target. Voyager sets course for a small tactical probe, and Paris pilots the Delta Flyer as distraction – enough to drop the Borg’s shields, beam five drones off, then destroy the probe. Kaz injects the captured drones with modified nanoprobes, then they lure another cube into a Badlands-like region where mines and plasma storms disable the cube enough to beam the captured Borg back aboard. As Voyager runs and the cube pursues, it looks like the plan hasn’t worked – but Drone Five reaches the central plexus, injects the nanoprobes, and the cube explodes. Chakotay is disappointed that it didn’t spread to the entire collective, while Cambridge is quietly relieved – for Chakotay’s sake.
     
  3. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TEASER


    FADE IN:


    1 DAX


    Seated in her command chair, looking calm and steady, hands resting relaxed on her armrests. But unquestionably focused on the main viewscreen before her.


    2 VIEWSCREEN


    ...shows weapons fire being exchanged in the distance, too far at this range to identify who the combatants are.


    DAX (o.s.)
    Magnify.​


    The image shifts, zooming in on the battle scene...


    ...revealing a BORG CUBE chasing the USS Enterprise at warp and firing on it repeatedly, while the Federation starship desperately tries to evade at this high speed.


    3 INT. AVENTINE - BRIDGE


    The entire bridge is on edge, RED ALERT lights flashing silently. They are all trying their best to control their anxiety - the last time they faced the Borg, a third of their crew were killed.

    MAVROIDIS (Ullian female) at helm. MIRREN (human female) at Ops. HELKARA (Zakdorn male) at science. KEDAIR (Takaran female) at security, and first officer BOWERS.


    DAX
    Time to intercept?

    MAVROIDIS
    Two minutes, Captain.

    BOWERS
    I feel like a dog chasing a
    shuttle. Even if we catch up
    to them, what do we do then?

    DAX
    Sink our teeth in, Sam. As deep
    as we can.

    KEDAIR
    We’ve just been scanned by a
    Borg sensor beam.

    BOWERS
    So much for a surprise attack.

    DAX
    Mirren, signal Enterprise. We
    need to coordinate our attack.

    MIRREN
    Aye sir. Hailing them now.

    MAVROIDIS
    Sixty seconds to firing range.

    MIRREN
    Incoming signal from Enterprise.

    DAX
    On screen.​


    The daunting image of the Borg cube on the viewscreen is replaced by a HASH of static and a WAIL of feedback noise.


    DAX
    Can we clean that up?

    MIRREN
    I’m trying, Captain. The Borg are
    jamming us.​


    Mirren works her panels again, and after a few seconds, the hash of static on screen resolves into a view of Captain PICARD looking rather harried as the Enterprise’s bridge shakes and judders around him. He is surprised to see her.


    PICARD (screen)
    Captain Dax? I thought your ship
    was in the Gamma Quadrant.

    DAX
    Long story. We’re coming up fast
    on the Borg. How can we help?

    PICARD (screen)
    Our targeting sensors are damaged,
    we need you to be our eyes.
    (nods off-screen)
    We’re sending you our targeting
    protocols. After we fire, you’ll
    have to arm and target the
    transphasic torpedoes for us.

    MIRREN
    Data received. Decrypting now.

    HELKARA
    I’ll have to recalibrate the sensors.

    DAX
    How long?

    HELKARA
    Three minutes.

    DAX
    (back to Picard)
    Hang on, Captain. We’re on our
    way. Aventine out.​


    The signal drops, returning the screen to the ongoing battle scene between Enterprise and the Borg.


    DAX
    Sam, let’s give the Borg something
    new to think about for the next
    three minutes.

    BOWERS
    Aye, sir. Tactical - arm phaser
    cannons one and two, stand ready
    on quantum torpedoes. Helm, set
    attack pattern Alpha Tango...
    and engage.​


    The Borg cube looms ever closer... closer... and then it FIRES. A spinning green light shoots out and hits Aventine, making the ship LURCH and the impact RING through the ship.


    DAX
    (deadpan)
    I think they’re in range now, Sam.

    BOWERS
    We’ll only get one shot, Captain.
    I plan on making it count.
    (to Kedair)
    Fire at will.​


    4 EXT. SPACE


    Enterprise twists and turns, trying to escape the Borg.

    The Borg relentlessly pursue the Enterprise...

    ...and the Aventine pursues the Borg.

    Aventine FIRES its two forward-mounted phaser CANNONS with their new advanced super-powerful phaser beams.

    The Borg’s shield bubble FLARES under their assault, and quickly COLLAPSES. In split-second timing, four quantum torpedoes follow through the hole, punching through the Borg cube’s hull with EXPLOSIONS.


    5 INT. AVENTINE - BRIDGE


    Dax hisses a victorious “Yes!” under her breath, too quiet for her officers to hear. Bowers turns to Kedair...


    BOWERS
    More! Keep firing!​


    Kedair does, and on screen, we see two more torpedoes shoot out from Aventine towards the Borg cube...

    ...and FLARE harmlessly against the instantly regenerated shields. Two more phaser cannon blasts suffer the same pointless fate. Dax’s victory is diminished.


    HELKARA
    Sensors ready!

    BOWERS
    Signal Enterprise.

    MIRREN
    (works panels)
    Enterprise confirms. Torpedoes
    away in ten.

    DAX
    Helm, all ahead. We need to get in
    close and arm the warheads before
    the Borg realise what we’re doing.​


    Mavroidis complies, bringing the ship ever closer to the Borg. Bowers looks grim. He doesn’t like this, but he knows not to question Dax’s orders. He just gets on with the job.


    BOWERS
    Helm, show the Borg our port side.
    Ops, reinforce the port shields
    for the fly-by. Tactical, arm the
    Enterprise’s torpedoes as soon as
    they’re away, and lock them onto
    the Borg cube as fast as you can.

    KEDAIR
    Incoming!​


    More Borg weapons impact on Aventine, making panels EXPLODE and screens SCRAMBLE and engines WHINE.


    MIRREN
    Six torpedoes away!​


    On screen, six twinkling lights shoot out from Enterprise.


    KEDAIR
    Acquiring control... Armed...
    Target acquired!

    BOWERS
    Hard to port, full evasive!​


    6 EXT. SPACE


    As Aventine twists out of the way, the twinkling lights of the transphasic torpedoes suddenly become bright shining blue balls of fire. They turn and head towards the Borg...

    The Borg try to shoot them down, but the torpedoes twist and turn, corkscrewing past the Borg’s defensive fire...

    ...until all six hit, and a blinding pulse of light WHITES OUT in a massive explosion.


    7 INT. AVENTINE - BRIDGE


    The SHOCKWAVE hits the ship, LIFTing everyone off their seats for a moment before being dumped unceremoniously back onto the deck in a tumble. The viewscreen shorts out from the overload, and lights FLICKER as power is interrupted.


    DAX
    Stations!​


    They all scramble to get back into their seats...


    DAX
    Mirren, get the viewer back on.
    Mavroidis, new evasive pattern.
    Kedair, report!

    KEDAIR
    Target successfully destroyed.​


    The screen sputters back to life, offering the image of a Borg cube blown into chunks and tumbling debris.


    KEDAIR
    Permission to finish the job, Captain?

    DAX
    (grin)
    Permission very much granted.​


    Kedair works her panels...


    8 EXT. SPACE


    Aventine swoops around, firing more of its own torpedoes and phasers, blasting all the remaining bits of Borg ship until there is only dust.


    9 INT. AVENTINE - BRIDGE


    As everyone recovers, Mirren’s console chimes...


    MIRREN
    Enterprise is hailing, Captain.​


    Off Dax’s nod, the viewscreen changes to show Picard again.


    PICARD (screen)
    My thanks and compliments on a
    fine rescue, Captain Dax.

    DAX
    The pleasure was all ours, Captain
    Picard. I have medics and damage-
    control teams standing by...

    PICARD (screen)
    I’m not too proud to say we’re in
    need. Any help you can offer will
    be gratefully received.

    DAX
    Understood. I’ll have my chief
    engineer handle the details.

    PICARD (screen)
    Thank you. Meanwhile, I’d like to
    invite you and your first officer to
    meet with me aboard Enterprise.
    We came to the Azure Nebula on a
    mission, and I’m afraid I need to
    ask for your help completing it.

    DAX
    Of course, Captain. Commander
    Bowers and I will beam over as
    soon as you’re ready.

    PICARD (screen)
    An hour, then. Enterprise out.​


    The signal drops, returning us the starfield.


    DAX
    Enterprise took some heavy damage
    in that fight. Make sure Mikaela
    knows to prioritise their repairs.

    BOWERS
    Will do.
    (turns away,
    then turns back)
    I suppose it would be awkward
    to ask them to loan us a few of
    those transphasic torpedoes?

    DAX
    Not as awkward as it’ll be for me,
    seeing Worf again. Last time we
    spoke, I was congratulating him
    on being made first officer of the
    Enterprise. Now I outrank him.

    BOWERS
    Maybe he’ll just be happy for
    you, as a friend.

    DAX
    Maybe. But you know what they
    say. Rank is like sex - it changes
    everything.​


    BLACK OUT


    END OF TEASER
     
  4. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ACT ONE


    FADE IN:


    10 INT. VEDEK ASSEMBLY CHAMBER


    The chamber is in chaos as the vedeks all SHOUT over each other, clamouring and arguing and gesturing wildly. Present among them are BELLIS, SOLIS, YEVIR and PRALON.


    SOLIS
    You tried to get Starfleet to
    leave?! Are you insane?

    YEVIR
    You could have at least told us
    what you were planning, Bellis.

    BELLIS
    Would you have allowed me to
    continue if I had?

    PRALON
    Of course not.

    BELLIS
    Well then. But as it happens, that
    heathen Starfleet commander Ro
    Laren refused to take my advice.

    SOLIS
    Good. That you could imagine -

    BELLIS
    At least I was doing something to
    help Bajor! No-one else here has
    made any suggestions at all.

    KIRA (o.s.)
    I have a suggestion. ​


    The new voice cuts through the clamouring, and everyone turns to see KIRA, standing a little bashful. She is very much the junior in this august company, and she knows it.


    BELLIS
    Kira Nerys. Of course you run to
    your old crewmates’ defence. Sadly
    for them, as a mere prylar you are
    here to listen and to learn, not to
    imagine you have the right to
    tell us what to do.

    SOLIS
    I have never known Kira Nerys to
    keep silent when something needs
    to be said.

    YEVIR
    You should listen to her, Bellis
    - you might learn something.

    PRALON
    The prylar may speak...
    (sly smile)
    ...this once. ​


    Bellis sits back down with a grumble. Kira takes a deep breath, nervous now that everyone is looking at her.


    KIRA
    Thank you, Kai Pralon. And thank
    you to the entire Assembly.
    (beat)
    Vedek Bellis is correct. Something
    needs to be done to help Bajor get
    through this difficult time. But
    sending Starfleet away is not it.
    They have stood with us through
    everything the galaxy has thrown
    at us. We cannot abandon them now.
    But... I have been speaking with
    many of our citizens the last few
    weeks. And they are terrified.
    Bajor has never had to face the
    Borg directly, thank the Prophets.
    But everyone has heard stories.
    Everyone knows there is little
    chance of stopping them if they
    decide to come for you. And that
    knowledge is tearing us apart.

    YEVIR
    I have heard much the same. I try
    to minister as best I can, to help
    them keep calm and trust in the
    Prophets... but fear too often
    drowns out the words.

    SOLIS
    It’s true. Family members, life-
    long friends and neighbours...
    fighting over inconsequential
    bits of nothing, just out of
    the sheer emotional strain.

    BELLIS
    Clearly, this Assembly has set a
    bad example, then. This is what
    happens when Ohalavaru,
    Oralians and...
    (sneer at Kira)
    ...you are allowed to enter it.

    YEVIR
    Opaka Sulan herself studies with
    the Eav’oq in the Gamma Quadrant,
    Bellis. Do you know the will of the
    Prophets better than her?

    PRALON
    This squabbling ends, now.
    (to Kira)
    If you have a suggestion, Prylar
    Kira, we are willing to hear it.

    KIRA
    When the Cardassians came, we
    fought. When the Klingons came, we
    fought. When the Ascendants came,
    we fought. Now that the Borg are
    coming, are we really just going
    to sit here and wait for them to
    kill us all? We need to fight.

    BELLIS
    Are you suggesting we send
    Bajoran citizens out against the
    Borg? I hardly think that will
    make them less terrified.

    KIRA
    No, I’m not suggesting that. But
    we do need an army. That’s what
    has always held us together before
    - that and faith. And I can only
    think of one army that even has a
    chance of standing up to the Borg.

    PRALON
    And who is that? ​


    Kira takes another deep breath. This is the crux of it.


    KIRA
    The Dominion.​


    The room explodes into more clamouring and arguing. Onala has to bang her GONG repeatedly to bring it to order again. As the shouting dies down, Pralon chooses her words...


    PRALON
    Prylar Kira... I would think you
    of all people can understand why
    that idea would cause a little...
    consternation.

    KIRA
    Of course I can. But we’ve worked
    with them before, against the
    Ascendants. We can do it again.

    BELLIS
    They have banned anyone from the
    Alpha Quadrant from even speaking
    to them! How exactly do you expect
    to persuade them to go to war
    against the Borg on our behalf?

    KIRA
    I’ll speak to Odo.

    BELLIS
    Ah, we come to the truth of it.
    The prylar thinks her changeling
    lover will ride to her rescue.

    PRALON
    About this at least, Vedek Bellis
    is correct. The Dominion wants
    nothing to do with us.

    KIRA
    So I’ll change their minds. The
    Jem’Hadar are strong, sure. But
    sooner or later the Borg will come
    for them too. Helping us now would
    be helping themselves later.

    BELLIS
    And you believe that telling the
    Bajoran people that we can save
    them from one murderous enemy by
    calling in another murderous enemy
    will help to keep them calm?

    YEVIR
    Knowing they have an army willing
    to fight to the death for them
    might just do that, Vedek Bellis.

    BELLIS
    It’s insanity!

    SOLIS
    The entire Alpha Quadrant may
    be at death’s door, Bellis. What
    harm can it cause to try? ​


    Kira looks towards Pralon, who has the final say. The whole room does. Yevir, Solis, Bellis and Kira all looking to Pralon for guidance. What will she do?


    11 EST. DEEP SPACE NINE


    Returning us back to the familiar environs of the space station, with Defiant and several other vessels docked.


    12 INT. DS9 - COMMANDER’S OFFICE


    Commander RO looks up from her work as the door CHIMES. Major CENN is there. She beckons him on in.


    RO
    Afternoon, Major. What disasters
    have befallen us all now?

    CENN
    Funny you should put it that
    way. I thought you should
    knowthat another shuttle is
    on its way up from Bajor.​


    Ro gestures for Cenn to sit, and sighs resignedly.


    RO
    I should have known Bellis would
    never let me get away with it.

    CENN
    You were kind of brutal with him.

    RO
    You heard that, huh?

    CENN
    Most of Ops heard it. Your voice
    tends to carry.

    RO
    Yeah, well, he got me mad.

    CENN
    You got him mad too, believe me.
    I think I managed to talk him down
    on the walk back to the shuttle,
    though. Get him to take a deep
    breath before calling for your
    public execution.

    RO
    Well, you’ve got more patience
    than I do.

    CENN
    Which is why I’m going to try to
    do the same for you.

    RO
    (tensing)
    You think I was wrong?

    CENN
    I think you made some excellent
    points... that you could have
    phrased more delicately.

    RO
    Come on, Major. He tried to blame
    me for millions of deaths.

    CENN
    And I told him he was wrong about
    that. But you said some pretty
    unfair things too, Commander.

    RO
    I guess. He just wound me up so
    much and it all came out.

    CENN
    I understand. But being in charge,
    from what little I know on the
    subject, sometimes means you
    have to suck it up even when
    you’d rather spit it all out.

    RO
    You think I should apologise?

    CENN
    I wouldn’t go that far. At least
    not right now. Bellis probably
    wouldn’t hear it anyway. But it
    might do you some good to figure
    out a way to work better with the
    recognised religious authorities.
    (stops, ponders
    a moment)
    And the political authorities, for
    that matter. Not to mention the
    military authorities. We may be
    detecting a theme here.​


    Ro sighs again. She knows he’s right, and she just has to suck it up. Might as well just get on with it.


    RO
    Alright, fine. Whose ass am I
    kissing today? The First Minister,
    the Kai or the Over-General?
    Who’s on that shuttle?

    CENN
    (smile)
    None of them. It’s just Kira.

    RO
    (jaw drops, annoyed)
    Why didn’t you just tell me that
    when you walked in the door?

    CENN
    Because it made for an easier
    way into this conversation.

    RO
    It’s not too late to throw you off
    the station as well, you know. ​


    With a smirk, Cenn gets up and leaves.


    BLACK OUT


    END OF ACT ONE
     
  5. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    ACT TWO


    FADE IN:


    13 INT. DS9 - NOG’S QUARTERS


    Lieutenant NOG moves around his quarters, quickly throwing bits and pieces into a travel bag - including his Marauder Mo figurine. TENMEI and CANDLEWOOD are there with him.


    TENMEI
    So just all of a sudden you’re
    going into the Gamma Quadrant?

    NOG
    Kira wants to go and talk to Odo.
    And Ro can’t just hand over a
    runabout to a lowly prylar, even
    if she used to be our captain.

    TENMEI
    Yeah, but... you’re not the pilot
    here. I am.

    NOG
    But Odo doesn’t really know you. He
    knows me. And Ro suggested that
    maybe I might be able to persuade
    Meera to help us out as well.

    CANDLEWOOD
    Ooo-ooo-oooh!​


    Nog stops what he’s doing and looks confused at Candlewood.


    NOG
    What does that noise mean?

    TENMEI
    John is trying to suggest in his
    typically subtle way that this
    might be more about you seeing
    Meera than about helping Kira.

    NOG
    What are you, twelve?

    CANDLEWOOD
    Emotionally speaking, yes. You
    did tell us you liked her. ​


    On Nog as he remembers...


    14 FLASHBACK - DS9 11x04 “SEPARATION MANOEUVRES COMPLETE”


    Nog and Meera, the teenage changeling girl, say goodbye on board the Even Odds. As they part, they touch hands briefly but affectionately.


    15 BACK TO SCENE


    Nog pushes the memory aside. He goes back to packing.


    NOG
    I also told you all the reasons
    why it’s a bad idea. And after the
    debacle with Leishman, I’m really
    not looking for love right now.
    Besides, Meera has experience with
    the Borg, so she knows what we’re
    up against. Remember on Defiant,
    when we found Prynn’s moogie? ​


    16 FLASHBACK - DS9 8x22 “GREATER GOOD”


    Assimilation tubules LEAP out of a Borg corpse as it lies on a bio-bed in Defiant’s sickbay. They sink into Meera’s changeling flesh and inject Borg nanoprobes.

    Meera SCREAMS, her form losing control, thrashing all over the room. She pulls her flailing appendages under control, pulling tighter and tighter until she forms a ball, a black mass visible at its centre, vibrating on the deck.

    The changeling-ball stops vibrating and grows back to its humanoid shape. Meera extends a third arm out of her chest and opens the hand to reveal a black pebble – nanoprobes.


    17 BACK TO SCENE


    Nog shudders with revulsion at this memory. Then he looks across at Prynn and sees that she is similarly haunted.


    NOG
    Frinx it, Prynn, I’m sorry. I
    didn’t mean to -

    CANDLEWOOD
    Hey, look at that. I wasn’t the
    one who made a massive social
    faux pas for once. Yay me.

    TENMEI
    (pats him on back)
    The day is young. Don’t worry
    about it, Nog. When do you leave?

    NOG
    Whenever I’m ready. Kira wants to
    get out there and contact Odo as
    soon as possible.

    CANDLEWOOD
    No time to lose, I suppose. I
    just don’t like the idea of you
    being out there in the Gamma
    Quadrant on your own.

    TENMEI
    We’re all in danger these days,
    aren’t we? Leishman’s gone,
    Shar’s gone, Bowers is gone...
    (shrug)
    Well... good luck, Nog. On
    both counts. ​


    She goes and gives him a hug. Candlewood does likewise. Then they turn and leave the room together. Nog sighs.


    NOG
    Thanks, guys. I’ll need it. ​


    18 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE


    A runabout lifts off from its padd on a crossover bridge of the station and heads out towards the wormhole. It curves around, the wormhole BURSTS open, the runabout dives in, and the wormhole closes up again.


    19 EST. AZURE NEBULA


    Against the rich blue swirls of gas and particles that make up the Azure Nebula, the Sovereign-class Enterprise and the Vesta-class Aventine hold position side by side.


    20 INT. AVENTINE - READY ROOM


    Captain Dax sits behind her desk. Captain Picard paces the room in front of her. Both are tired and frayed from the long days of tension and little sleep. Tempers are short, but Dax must defer to the vastly more experienced captain.


    DAX
    I think you’re making a mistake,
    Captain. It’s like using a photon
    torpedo to swat a fly.

    PICARD
    I would hardly call the threat of
    a massive genocidal Borg invasion
    a ‘fly’, Captain.

    DAX
    But your people found dozens of
    subspace tunnels intersecting the
    Azure Nebula. Think of where some
    of those tunnels might lead. Their
    value to science is immeasurable.

    PICARD
    (frustrated)
    As is their threat to our very
    survival. If there was some way
    to know which one the Borg are
    using to enter Federation space,
    I might consider a surgical strike.
    But there’s no way to be certain.
    We have to destroy them all.

    DAX
    We could open them up, go through,
    and scout ahead. If we could save
    even a few of the passages...

    PICARD
    We don’t have that luxury. Your
    science officer said it could take
    hours to calculate the frequency
    to open just one aperture, and
    they all resonate at different
    frequencies. It could take days to
    scout them all, and I have reason
    to suspect the Borg won’t give us
    that much time. Collapsing every
    tunnel is the swiftest and safest
    means of ending this invasion. ​


    Dax turns away, looking out of the window to the nebula outside. She considers his argument, finally turns back.


    DAX
    Alright. I see your point. All the
    research opportunities in the
    galaxy don’t mean much if we’re
    not here to enjoy them. Do you
    have a plan for how to proceed?

    PICARD
    I’d like our science, engineering
    and operations teams to continue
    working together. This is a new
    phenomenon, and we need to figure
    out how it works before we can
    figure out how to dismantle it.

    DAX
    That’ll still take time.

    PICARD
    Yes. So in the meantime, we take
    advantage of the fact that all the
    apertures surround a central point
    within the nebula. If we mine that
    area heavily enough, we can
    prevent any further incursions
    while we do our research.

    DAX
    A minefield? Inside a nebula
    filled with sirillium gas?

    PICARD
    Exactly. Make the environment
    work for us, and use it to amplify
    the impact of the mines.

    DAX
    At this range, the blast effects
    of a full scale detonation would
    probably cripple both our ships.

    PICARD
    I’ve already made it clear to my
    crew that the Enterprise is to be
    considered expendable if that’s
    what it takes to seal this breach
    in our defences. I need to know
    that you and your crew share
    this commitment. ​


    A suicide mission? Dax doesn’t like the sound of that. But she has little choice. She stands from her seat, a little intimidated and cowed by this powerful and driven Picard.


    DAX
    Aye, Captain.

    PICARD
    Good. Make it so. ​


    Picard gives a curt nod and turns to leave.


    21 EXT. SPACE


    The runabout holds position in open space, quiet and tiny against the vast backdrop of stars.


    22 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Nog and Kira sit in the two forward seats. Kira checks something on the panels in front of her, seems frustrated.


    KIRA
    The signal’s still transmitting. It’s
    been three hours. Somebody
    should have responded by now.

    NOG
    Maybe they’re trying to figure
    out what to do about it.

    KIRA
    And maybe they’re putting together
    an army to blow us to pieces.

    NOG
    Do you want to go back?

    KIRA
    (ponders)
    No. This was my idea, I’m going
    to see it through.

    NOG
    What did you put in the message?

    KIRA
    I said who I was, explained the
    situation, and that we need help.
    No point lying about it.

    NOG
    Is it a good idea to put your own
    name on it? You said the other
    changeling held you personally
    responsible for ruining his life.

    KIRA
    (sad chuckle)
    Yeah. Laas never was my biggest
    fan. But it’s also the quickest
    way to get Odo’s attention. We
    don’t have time to mess around.​


    Nog pauses, seems to gather his courage.


    NOG
    Can I ask you something? I mean...
    something personal? You can say
    no if you want. I still think of you
    as the captain, really, so if it’s too
    awkward...

    KIRA
    Nog. What do you want to know?

    NOG
    Okay. Just... are you looking
    forward to seeing Odo again?

    KIRA
    (smile)
    Of course. Why wouldn’t I?

    NOG
    I just mean... you haven’t really
    been a couple for four, nearly
    five years. Do you still care about
    him that much, even though
    you barely ever see him?

    KIRA
    (as if just
    realising)
    Yes. I do. I suppose I always
    will. I think you do, when you
    find the right person, no matter
    how long you spend apart.

    NOG
    And what if, when you do finally
    see them again, you find out
    they don’t feel the same way?

    KIRA
    I guess there’s nothing else to do
    but move on. Carrying a torch can
    burn you if you’re not careful.
    (beat)
    Nog, I’ve known you since you were
    a child. You’ve never spoken like
    this, to me or anyone. Why now?

    NOG
    (big admission)
    I’m twenty-eight years old. And
    I’ve never been in love.

    KIRA
    (gently)
    I didn’t think Ferengi cared much
    about love. Relationships are just
    a business transaction, same as
    any other.

    NOG
    I guess that’s the Ferengi ideal.
    But my dad loves Leeta. He loved
    my mom. Even uncle Quark loves
    Commander Ro, in his way. But I
    never loved anybody. And the way
    things are going... I’m not gonna
    get the chance. ​


    Kira can’t really say anything to that. It’s too sad.

    An ALERT sounds. They both jerk to attention. Nog checks...


    NOG
    Proximity alert. A ship’s coming
    out of warp. ​


    They both look forwards out of the front windows...


    23 EXT. SPACE


    A ship drops out of warp and slows to a stop not far from the runabout - a JEM’HADAR CRUISER. The giant warship looms threateningly over the tiny Starfleet ship.


    24 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Nog and Kira both GULP with nervousness. Are they both about to be blown to bits?


    BLACK OUT


    END OF ACT TWO
     
  6. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT THREE


    FADE IN:


    25 EXT. SPACE


    The giant Jem’Hadar cruiser continues to loom threateningly over the much smaller runabout...


    26 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Kira and Nog both stand nervously in the as-yet-otherwise-unoccupied runabout cockpit. Kira looks to Nog, daunted...


    KIRA
    You ready for this? ​


    Nog nods uncertainly. Kira works the controls...

    ...and the transporter alcove powers up, depositing the two changelings ODO and MEERA onto the platform.

    Kira beams wide and rushes to hug Odo. Meanwhile, Nog and Meera’s reactions are more like shy flirty smiles.


    KIRA
    Odo!

    NOG
    Hi, Meera.

    MEERA
    Hello, Nog.​


    Odo allows Kira’s hug, revels in it for a moment, but then pushes her away again.


    KIRA
    Odo...? What’s wrong?

    ODO
    You shouldn’t be here, Nerys. ​


    Odo seems worryingly stern. Kira looks back and forth between Odo and Nog, worried about what this means...


    27 EST. AZURE NEBULA


    Re-establishing the Enterprise and the Aventine against the backdrop of the rich blue swirls of the Azure Nebula...


    28 INT. AVENTINE - CREW GYM


    The door opens, and Sam Bowers steps into the doorway. Across the room, on her own and not noticing his arrival at first, is Dax. She is wearing a white gi and going through a basic pattern of exercises with a bat’leth.

    Although the weapon is the standard size, it looks far too big for Dax’s diminutive frame, and she is having trouble swinging it about and keeping her balance. The failure is frustrating and annoying her.

    Finally as she slashes towards him, she notices Bowers.


    DAX
    Sam.

    BOWERS
    Captain. Looks a bit on the heavy
    side for you, don’t you think?

    DAX
    It was a gift from Worf. One of
    these years I’ll get the hang of
    it, like Jadzia did.

    BOWERS
    I may never have met her, but from
    everything I’ve been told, she was
    several inches taller than you. And
    she began her martial arts training
    at a much younger age.

    DAX
    So I should accept my limitations
    and not try to punch above my
    weight, is that it? I thought I
    left Julian behind on DS-Nine.​


    It’s clear that Dax is stressed and in a bad mood, so Bowers lets that go with patience.


    BOWERS
    No. What I’m saying is - perhaps
    you should fight with your own
    weapon, not with someone else’s.​


    Dax smiles and relaxes - she shouldn’t judge others by her insecurities. She moves over to a bench, rests the bat’leth against the wall, and wipes her face of sweat with a cloth.


    BOWERS
    I just wanted to let you know that
    Helkara is aboard the Enterprise,
    working with their Lieutenant
    Elfiki on a way to collapse
    the subspace tunnels.

    DAX
    (bites tongue)
    Understood.​


    Bowers comes over, strokes the edge of the bat’leth. It is a magnificent weapon. Dax sees this, smirks.


    DAX
    Want to spar? We can replicate
    one for you, go a few rounds...

    BOWERS
    No, I don’t think so. Not really
    my weapon either.

    DAX
    What’s your preference? I’m
    flexible.​


    Dax seems oddly eager to fight, to get her aggression out. It worries Bowers.


    BOWERS
    Are you feeling okay, Captain?

    DAX
    We’re alone, Sam. You can drop
    the formality in here.

    BOWERS
    I just seems a bit weird, this
    sudden need to spar. Have
    you tried the holodeck?​


    She picks up the bat’leth, returns to the centre of the floor, begins going through the exercises with it again. Her arms quake with the effort of handling the heavy blade.


    DAX
    What’s the point of the holodeck?
    There’s no satisfaction in it.

    BOWERS
    You mean a holodeck character
    can’t hang out in the lounge
    and tell the crew he got his
    ass kicked by the captain. ​


    Dax’s concentration is broken. She drops the bat’leth in anger and frustration - at herself as much as at him.


    DAX
    Gods dammit it, Sam. I’m just
    trying... I just want to get my
    focus back so I can feel like
    I’m in control.
    (sigh)
    Maybe you won’t understand this.
    But I feel like I’m faking my way
    through every minute of the day,
    and that everyone around me knows
    it. Five weeks ago, I was the second
    officer of this ship. Third in command.
    Then one direct hit by the Borg, and
    it was like I was back on the Defiant
    watching Tiris Jast die all over again.

    BOWERS
    If your moment on this ship was
    anything like the one you had on
    the Defiant, you deserve to be
    in the centre seat.

    DAX
    It’s not just that one incident.
    It feels like my whole career’s
    been like that. Just one lucky
    coincidence after another. What if
    Brinner had taken the Dax symbiont
    on the Destiny? Then I’d just be
    Ezri Tigan now, counsellor un-
    extraordinaire. If Jast hadn’t
    been killed, I’d still be wearing
    medical blue instead of command
    red. Or what if Dexar or Tovak
    hadn’t been killed at Acamar?

    BOWERS
    Bullshit.​


    The blunt curse gets Dax’s attention - as Bowers intended.


    BOWERS
    Who cares how or why you ended up
    in those situations? What matters is
    what you chose to do each time
    you faced a challenge. ​


    He steps close, bends down to pick up the dropped bat’leth, and offers it back to Dax grip-first.


    BOWERS
    You’re in command because you’re a
    natural leader. When others shrink
    back, you step up. And you’ve got
    the advantage of eight lifetimes
    of experience. That’s seven-and-
    a-half more than most captains.
    You’re a hell of a good CO, Ezri.
    And I bet the man who gave
    you that sword would tell you
    the same - if you let him.

    DAX
    Thanks Sam. And you’re a damn
    good XO too. ​


    She smiles gratefully, and takes the bat’leth back off him.


    29 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Kira pleads with Odo. Nog and Meera stay out of the way.


    KIRA
    Odo, we need you. Bajor - the
    entire Federation - needs you.

    ODO
    Nerys, you’re lucky to be alive
    right now. Laas was already
    furious enough from the Vorta
    detecting a Starfleet ship around
    a nearby world a few days ago.

    NOG
    That’d be Dax in the Aventine.

    ODO
    He wanted to send the Jem’Hadar
    the moment we got your message.

    NOG
    What stopped him?

    MEERA
    Odo promised that we would come to
    meet you where you are - outside
    the Dominion’s borders. That your
    ship would never enter our space.

    KIRA
    I can’t worry about how much Laas
    hates me right now. This is bigger
    than that. It’s not just one Borg
    cube this time. There have been
    more than a dozen attacks in the
    last month alone. Entire planets’
    worth of people have died already.
    We will not survive without help.

    ODO
    Nerys, it’s not that simple... ​


    Kira has to bite her tongue. She turns to Nog and Meera.


    KIRA
    Nog, could you and Meera give Odo
    and I a moment alone please?

    NOG
    Umm... yeah, I guess. Meera, would
    you like to see my rear cabin?​


    As Meera’s eyes widen in surprise, Nog blushes furiously. She smothers a smirk and gets up to leave the cockpit with him. He turns to lead the way, covering his embarrassment.


    NOG
    (mutter to self)
    Must be hanging out with John too
    much. Picking up his bad habits.​


    Nog and Meera EXIT, leaving Kira and Odo alone. She sighs and takes a seat, trying to keep control of her emotions. Sadly, Odo joins her.


    ODO
    Nerys...

    KIRA
    Don’t you love me anymore?

    ODO
    (appalled)
    How can you ask me that? I’ve
    always loved you. Everything
    I’ve done has been for you.

    KIRA
    Then why won’t you help me? The
    Borg are coming for everyone.
    They’re going to exterminate the
    entire Federation, and they won’t
    stop there. Don’t you care?

    ODO
    That’s not fair. I sent the
    Dominion to war against the
    Ascendants for you. You’re the
    only reason I agreed to that.

    KIRA
    So, what - it was a one-time
    thing? Ascendants trump Borg?

    ODO
    You know I love you, Nerys. But
    the Jem’Hadar are not my personal
    army to do with as I please.

    KIRA
    You’re a Founder!

    ODO
    I’m not the only Founder. Laas has
    as many Vorta and Jem’Hadar to
    follow him as I do, more perhaps.
    If I try to order them into war to
    help the ‘monoforms’ again, it’ll
    split the Dominion even worse than
    before. The Gamma Quadrant would
    be just as war-torn as the Alpha
    Quadrant. And that helps no-one,
    least of all the Federation.
    (beat)
    I’m sorry, Nerys. As much I want
    to give you everything you want
    and more... I can’t.

    KIRA
    So what am I supposed to do?

    ODO
    You could always stay with me. ​


    Kira is stunned. She had never even thought of that. But is she thinking about it now?


    BLACK OUT


    END OF ACT THREE
     
  7. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT FOUR


    FADE IN:


    30 EST. AZURE NEBULA


    Back to the blue swirls and wisps of the nebula, but this time focusing on the Enterprise rather than the Aventine...


    31 INT. ENTERPRISE - MAIN ENGINEERING


    Dax weaves between various engineers and crewmen working hard to repair the ship. WORF is standing near the warp core, conferring with deputy chief engineer TAURIK. Dax waits until they’re finished.

    Taurik finally nods acknowledgement of Worf’s orders and leaves. Worf turns, and his eyes flare in surprise at seeing Dax there. But he continues out of engineering and towards the turbolift. Dax falls into step beside him.


    WORF
    Are you returning my chief engineer?

    DAX
    He’ll be back any minute. But I’m
    actually here to talk to you.

    WORF
    Is there something you need,
    Captain? ​


    They exit engineering, cross the corridor to the turbolift, and step directly into it. Worf has kept himself fully professional the whole way.


    32 INT. ENTERPRISE - TURBOLIFT (CONTINUOUS)


    The doors close and the turbolift begins to move.


    DAX
    Worf... can we drop the ranks and
    just go back to being friends for
    a minute?

    WORF
    Computer, hold turbolift. ​


    The computer bleeps affirmatively, and the turbolift glides to a halt. Worf turns to Dax, warmer.


    WORF
    I apologise. Tracking repairs is
    time consuming. Are you alright?

    DAX
    I’m fine. It’s just that you and I
    haven’t talked since you became
    a first officer. And suddenly I’m
    a captain. Must be weird for you.

    WORF
    How so? ​


    Dax doesn’t know how to respond. Worf has just perfectly punctured her pretensions in a second without even planning to. She chuckles and gathers herself.


    DAX
    Let me start over. The truth is, I
    have no idea how you feel about
    my promotion. I was projecting
    my own feelings onto you. Again.
    I should have known better.

    WORF
    You do not need to apologise.

    DAX
    No, I do, Worf. I’m sorry. I was
    just afraid you’d resent me for
    making captain ahead of you.

    WORF
    Because of my reprimand after
    saving Jadzia on Soukara.

    DAX
    Well, yes.

    WORF
    I regret nothing that I did for
    Jadzia. You earned your command
    by leading in battle. Jadzia would
    be proud of you... as am I. Your
    success honours her.

    DAX
    Thank you, Worf. That means a
    lot to me. And for what it’s worth,
    I’ve never seen you more relaxed
    and content than you are now.

    WORF
    (ponders)
    The Enterprise is where I belong.
    I consider it a great honour to
    be Captain Picard’s first officer.
    (out loud)
    Computer, deck five. ​


    The lift begins to move again. Dax and Worf both return to professionalism, just in case any ensigns should enter.


    DAX
    It’s funny, isn’t it? Just at the
    point you and I are both finally
    living up to our potential, the Borg
    are trying to exterminate us. What
    would you call that - irony?

    WORF
    Bad timing.​


    33 EXT. SPACE


    The giant Jem’Hadar cruiser continues to loom threateningly over the much smaller runabout against a backdrop of stars.


    34 INT. RUNABOUT - REAR CABIN


    The lights are low, all the better to make the stars stand out. Nog and Meera both perch side by side on the edge of the conference table, legs dangling, staring companionably out at the view beyond the rear windows.


    MEERA
    I love looking at the stars. Most
    of my people hate it. They’d much
    rather stay in the Link where it’s
    safe. But to me, the stars are...
    excitement. Adventure.

    NOG
    There’s definitely adventure. But
    there’s danger too.

    MEERA
    I know. But it has to be better
    than just sitting in a puddle
    for aeons on end.
    (turns to him)
    It’s good to see you again, Nog.

    NOG
    We do seem to keep running into
    each other, somehow.

    MEERA
    What is the solid word for it -
    Fate? Destiny?

    NOG
    Either works. I have to admit...
    I was looking forward to seeing
    you again too.

    MEERA
    (intrigued)
    Really? Why?

    NOG
    ...I like you. Which is weird, I
    know, because you’re a change-
    ling and I’m a Ferengi...

    MEERA
    Would this make it less weird? ​


    Meera MORPHS, her changeling form suddenly growing giant Ferengi ears and head bulges, a wrinkly forehead and buck teeth, though still Meera beneath. Nog laughs in delight.


    NOG
    Actually no. That just makes it
    even more weird. ​


    Meera MORPHS back to her previous changeling appearance.


    NOG
    You don’t need to change for me.
    I like you the way you are.
    (nervous)
    Not that you can’t change if you
    want to. I mean, I wouldn’t want
    to stop you from -

    MEERA
    Nog. ​


    He rambles when he gets nervous. She smiles shyly. It’s flattering to have someone so interested in her.


    MEERA
    I like you too.

    NOG
    Really? Well... great. ​


    Nog turns back to look out at the stars, relieved and happy. Reality sets in soon enough.


    NOG
    Of course, it won’t matter much
    if the Borg wipe out all life in the
    Alpha Quadrant. Are you sure
    there’s nothing you can do?

    MEERA
    I’m sorry, Nog. I wish I could.
    But Odo’s right - it wouldn’t
    work. Unleashing the Jem’Hadar
    would only make things worse, not
    better. The Dominion is balancing
    on a knife’s edge. One slip either
    side - we’d all be cut to pieces. ​


    Nog nods sadly. It’s what he expected.


    35 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Kira gazes in shock and amazement at Odo.


    KIRA
    Stay with you? But the Link -

    ODO
    If it means keeping you safe, I’d
    leave the Link in an instant. You
    and I can go somewhere, on our own
    where no-one from the Dominion
    would ever find us. You’d be safe
    from the Borg, the Jem’Hadar...

    KIRA
    But what about Bajor?

    ODO
    Nerys, you said yourself the Borg
    can’t be stopped. If they’re coming
    anyway, you should save yourself
    while you can...

    KIRA
    Odo... I can’t do that. I can’t
    leave Bajor now, not when they
    need me most.
    (accepting)
    Any more than you can leave
    the Dominion.

    ODO
    And I can’t just send you back
    to your death...

    KIRA
    It’s okay. The Prophets have
    always protected us before. I’m
    sure they’ll protect us again.

    ODO
    (sigh)
    Sometimes I really envy you
    your faith, Nerys. ​


    36 INT. RUNABOUT - REAR CABIN


    Nog and Meera still sit where they were. The comm chimes...


    KIRA (comm)
    Kira to Nog. Odo’s ready to leave.
    And we should really be getting
    back to the Alpha Quadrant. ​


    Nog jumps down off the table to the deck, helping Meera to do the same. He looks at her, then taps his combadge.


    NOG
    I’ll be there in a moment, Captain...
    prylar... sir. ​


    Rolling his eyes at his Candlewood-esque ineptitude, Nog taps to close the channel. He goes back to gazing at Meera.


    MEERA
    So... here we are saying goodbye
    all over again.

    NOG
    I know. Thank you.

    MEERA
    For what? I didn’t give you anything.

    NOG
    You did. In fact, you gave me
    something I’ve never had before.​


    Meera smiles, understanding his meaning.


    MEERA
    Well then... perhaps there’s one
    more thing I can give you before
    you go. ​


    She gently takes hold of his face, brings their lips slowly together... and they KISS against the backdrop of stars. Hold as they indulge the long-awaited moment. Then they reluctantly separate. It’s time to go.


    MEERA
    Do you mind if I stay a moment?
    I’d like to look at the stars some
    more, while I can. I promise I
    won’t touch anything.

    NOG
    It’s okay. I locked everything out
    before you came onboard.
    (shrug)
    I’m still a Starfleet officer. ​


    After another extended hand-holding, Nog turns and walks towards the front of the ship, exiting to the cockpit.

    Meera turns back to the stars and takes a deep breath. After a moment of silence...


    MEERA
    You were awfully quiet. Thank you.
    I was afraid Nog would hear. ​


    Beside her at the window, TARAN’ATAR suddenly unshrouds into view. The Jem’Hadar soldier stands tall, but relaxed. Meera obviously knew he was there.


    TARAN’ATAR
    I believe he was... distracted.
    (looks towards cockpit)
    The humanoid preoccupation with...
    affection... has always perplexed
    me. Such things are of no concern
    to Jem’Hadar.

    MEERA
    Most changelings would say the
    same. It’s not true.

    TARAN’ATAR
    These Borg seem to be a formidable
    enemy. Victory against them would
    be most satisfying.

    MEERA
    There’s nothing you can offer them,
    Taran’atar. You’re an army of one,
    without weapons, or ships, or troops.

    TARAN’ATAR
    Even so, I would gladly join Kira
    Nerys’s army.

    MEERA
    I know you would. And that does
    you credit. But she thinks you’re
    already dead. You should return
    to the Even Odds. They’re doing
    good work, and they need you.

    TARAN’ATAR
    As you wish, Founder.

    NOG (comm)
    Beginning transport. ​


    Taran’atar steps close to Meera, disappearing into his SHROUD as he does so. Then he and Meera are captured in a transporter beam. Part-way through transport...


    CUT TO:


    37 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT


    Odo is also mid-transport, on the runabout’s transporter platform. As he fades, his eyes never leave Kira. She waves him a small goodbye... and then he is gone.

    Kira turns to Nog, who was operating the controls from a polite distance. She steels herself, returns to her seat, and they get the ship moving.


    BLACK OUT


    END OF ACT FOUR
     
  8. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT FIVE


    FADE IN:


    38 EST. AZURE NEBULA


    Back to the blue swirls and wisps of the nebula, but this time focusing on the Aventine rather than the Enterprise...


    39 INT. AVENTINE - READY ROOM


    The door whooshes open, and Picard strides in again. Dax is there to greet him. After her pep talks by Bowers and Worf, she is feeling more confident in herself, and that informs how she relates to Picard - no longer cowed, now an equal.


    PICARD
    You requested to see me, Captain?

    DAX
    Yes, thank you for coming, sir.
    Please, take a seat. I’ll get you
    something from the replicator.

    PICARD
    No, thank you. ​


    Dax picks up a padd from her desk, and then they sit on the couches together, rather than with a desk separating them.


    PICARD
    I’ve apprised Admiral Nechayev
    of our tactical options. Teams at
    Starfleet R and D, the Daystrom
    Institute, and the Vulcan Science
    Academy are studying our readings
    and working to find a means of
    destroying the subspace tunnels,
    while our two crews continue to
    construct the minefield.

    DAX
    Well, that’s why I asked to see
    you. We need to stop trying to
    collapse the tunnels.

    PICARD
    (stern)
    Captain, I’ve made my decision.

    DAX
    Based on incomplete information.
    Lieutenants Helkara and Elfiki have
    been continuing their analysis, and
    as a former science officer myself,
    I have too.

    PICARD
    And what have you found?

    DAX
    All the passages resonate at
    different sub-harmonics of the
    same interphasic frequency. So,
    any attempt to collapse one of
    them will have a domino effect
    that will collapse all of them.

    PICARD
    Perfect. Exactly what we need.

    DAX
    Except that since the tunnels only
    exist in subspace, the shockwave
    from it would propagate through-
    out subspace, having disastrous
    effects on galactic space-time.

    PICARD
    Such as?

    DAX
    Stars could explode. Whole systems
    could vanish. Spiral arms could
    disperse into the void. Pluck the
    wrong string on this instrument,
    Captain, and you could wipe out
    an entire quadrant in one note. ​


    Picard grits his teeth. He wants to destroy these things. Plus it feels like Dax has gone behind his back. But he knows she has not lied to him.


    PICARD
    Merde.
    (beat)
    Why didn’t Elkifi tell me this?

    DAX
    I asked her and Helkara to let me.
    I felt it would be better coming
    from a fellow captain. ​


    Again subtly emphasising their equal rank. It does not go unnoticed. But having made her case, Dax now steps back.


    DAX
    What are your orders, sir?

    PICARD
    (grinds teeth)
    Suspend production on the mines.
    I’ll tell LaForge to do the same.
    But I want both crews to continue
    looking for safe ways to collapse
    the tunnels. I’m not willing to
    entirely abandon that option yet.

    DAX
    Understood.

    PICARD
    So then we return to your first
    suggestion - explore the tunnels
    instead. At the least, we can
    shift the front line in this war
    away from Federation space.

    DAX
    A counter-attack?

    PICARD
    (thinking it through,
    step by step)
    A holding action. We identify the
    tunnel the Borg have been using to
    enter our space. We advance to the
    other side of it. We hold the line
    there until we have a means to
    collapse the tunnels safely. Then
    we fall back and implode the
    tunnel behind us.

    DAX
    It’ll still take time to scout the
    tunnels and be sure we’ve got
    the right one. Just calculating the
    frequency to open the apertures
    takes time and processing power.

    PICARD
    We have Enterprise and Aventine.
    Two computers are better than one.

    DAX
    We can’t both go at the same time.
    One of us will have to stay at the
    nebula in case more Borg come
    through, while the other explores
    the tunnels. And you’re the only
    one with transphasic torpedoes.

    PICARD
    The Enterprise is several hours
    away from completing its repairs.

    DAX
    (deep breath)
    Then I guess it’s down to me. ​


    Dax gets up and moves to her personal computer terminal. She looks up reports, peruses them. Picard stands.


    DAX
    My engineering teams will be done
    helping yours in two hours. But it
    might take longer than that to pick
    the lock.

    PICARD
    Then we’d best get started. We
    have a long road ahead. And
    heaven help us all if the Borg strike
    the next blow before we do. ​


    Off Dax’s trepidation...


    40 EST. IDRAN


    In orbit of the Eav’oq planet, the world at the Gamma end of the wormhole. The runabout sits in orbit.


    41 EXT. EAV’OQ CITADEL - DAY


    Kira now sits downcast, upon one of the low stone walls that weave along the paths of this bucolic paradise.


    KIRA
    I failed. The Borg are going to
    kill us all.

    OPAKA
    You mustn’t think that way, Nerys.​


    OPAKA sits beside her on the wall. Behind them is the gleaming marble of the Eav’oq citadel, and a handful of EAV’OQ themselves moving around in the background in their strange lolloping multi-limbed gait.


    KIRA
    How can I not? I made such a big
    deal about bringing back an army
    to take on the Borg. I get every-
    one’s hopes up and I come back
    with nothing. And I tried to guilt
    Odo into helping by accusing
    him of not loving me anymore.
    I’m no better than Bellis.

    OPAKA
    (patient)
    Well, first, you shouldn’t compare
    yourselves to others. You can only
    do what you can do. And second -
    if it was meant to be, then it would
    be. Seemingly the Prophets do not
    want the Dominion involved in this
    dreadful business, and we must
    trust that They know best.

    KIRA
    But Bajor will be destroyed! I
    refuse to believe the Prophets
    would protect us all through
    the Occupation, the war and the
    Ascendants, would send us the
    Emissary to guide us into the
    Federation, only to let us all
    be annihilated by the Borg.

    OPAKA
    Exactly - They wouldn’t. Which
    only means the solution has yet
    to be found. Not that there is
    no solution.

    KIRA
    You haven’t seen it, Sulan. The
    Borg haven’t even reached us yet,
    and the whole world is eating
    itself up with fear. The vedeks are
    too busy bickering among them-
    selves to do anything to help.

    OPAKA
    Perhaps they need a sign from the
    Prophets. Something to prove to
    them that there is hope, a way
    forward. To bring them together.

    KIRA
    (shakes head)
    Sisko’s gone. He went back to
    Starfleet. And Kai Pralon - she’s
    fine, I guess. But she’s no you.​


    While Opaka smiles demurely at the compliment, Kira’s jaw drops. Just like that, the answer has come to her. She turns to look at Opaka, thunderstruck. Opaka wonders what just happened...


    42 EST. BAJOR - DAY


    Returning us to the safety of the Bajoran capital city...


    43 INT. VEDEK ASSEMBLY CHAMBER


    Voices continue to clamour over each other. Crowd WALLA as no-one has anything substantive to say - it’s all pointless noise. Bellis, Solis, Yevir and Pralon present as before.

    The doors at the far end of the chamber BURST open suddenly and Prylar HAIM, the kai’s regular messenger, rushes in. She runs straight to Kai Pralon and whispers into her ear.

    Astonished at what she has been told, Pralon nods for Haim to continue. The messenger returns to the door and beckons. Kira enters, to the general consternation of the room.


    PRALON
    Prylar Kira. You have returned.

    KIRA
    I hope you’ll forgive the intrusion,
    Eminence. But I have brought
    what Bajor needs.

    BELLIS
    Have you? Then show us, prylar.
    Where is this army of Jem’Hadar
    you boasted of? The ones who will
    lay down their lives to save us?

    KIRA
    I have no army.​


    The crowd talks over each other again, drowned out by Bellis’s smug gloating.


    BELLIS
    As I told you all! This woman has
    repeatedly placed herself above
    this Assembly, considered herself
    better than us. Now we see her
    arrogance for the empty bluster
    it is.

    KIRA
    (calm, but firm)
    I have no army, Bellis, because I
    realised that’s not what we need.

    BELLIS
    You said it was the only way to
    hold Bajor together.

    KIRA
    I said it had worked in the past,
    yes. But I also said we had faith.
    That’s what we need now. And
    that’s what I’ve brought. ​


    Kira turns back towards the door to the chamber. At her summons, Opaka strides through the double doors.

    A GASP goes up around the room. All the vedeks step aside, making a path for Opaka to walk slowly through the chamber and towards the Apex Chair. She is bashful and a little embarrassed at all the attention and adoration.

    Even Kai Pralon steps down from her podium and up to Opaka. The current kai takes her predecessor’s hands in her own...

    ...and then KNEELS down before her. Taking her cue, the rest of the vedeks do the same. Throughout the chamber, vedeks kneel in worship of their legendary leader.

    Standing behind Opaka in the wake she has left, Kira looks around at all the vedeks around them. All behaving the same, all having faith in the same thing. Her plan worked.

    Kira finally kneels as well, smiling beatifically...


    BLACK OUT


    END OF SHOW