November Challenge--"Serenity Prayer", A Tale of Captain Ezri Dax

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Rush Limborg, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Many thanks to Kaziarl, for this opportunity.

    Before I begin, a few thoughts: First, let me warn that, as this tale is a direct sequel to the recent novel, "Zero Sum Game", and therefore contains major spoilers for the book. (That includes a couple of scenes from the book, written with different POVs.) Don't say I didn't warn you. ;)

    Second, some readers may remember that after my previous tale of Ezri Dax, "A Rendezvous With Destiny", I expressed concern that Mr. Mack's book would effectively invalidate my tales, as far as "real" events of the timeline are concerned. Thankfully, that did not turn out to be the case.

    Third, I realize that not all who read this may arrive at the same interperetations that I did concerning the emotional arcs of Ezri Dax and Julian Bashir. I understand and respect the many points of view to this effect, and wish that everyone give my own thoughts the benefit of the doubt.

    Finally...this tale refers heavily to two previous tales of mine:

    The aforementioned "A Rendezvous With Destiny" (which takes place in the interim between A Singular Destiny and Zero Sum Game):

    And "The Cleanest Food To Find" (which shows Ezri's first meeting with her future CMO, Simon Tarses):

    While I have certainly put in this tale everything you need to know--nonetheless, I recommend my readers also read these tales, to gain a richer understanding of the directions in which I have taken these characters.

    Thank you all, and I hope you enjoy this tale. :)

    Not including this intro, the word count is approx. 8,750. Please hold you're comments until you see the concluding statement. ("And the adventure continues...")

    Star Trek

    "Serenity Prayer"

    Dr. Simon Tarses never cared for surprises. More often than not, they tended to turn out badly for him, to say the least.

    The first major surprise in his life was probably when he found out that his grandfather was a Romulan, not a Vulcan. A terrible surprise that was, which he had struggled for years afterward to deny—a choice which once had nearly cost him his career.

    Another was the moment when that simple denial was exposed for all too see. Captain Picard had believed in him…but as far as Simon was concerned, any chance he’d had for a good, productive life was over.

    There was a surprise that had turned out to be good—his first week on Deep Space Nine, when he had first met the two dearest friends in his entire life: Dr. Julian Bashir, his first boss in years who had looked past his disgrace, and had chosen to see him as a man…and Ezri Dax, who had been a counselor then—his mentor and, to be frank, a “second mother” to him (ironic…she was actually ten years younger than him), who had guided him back to self-awareness, self-confidence…and had given him a chance to live again.

    He’d ever since done everything he could to make it up to her—which was why he had jumped at her offer to make him Chief Medical Officer on the U.S.S. Aventine. Come to think of it…that was another “good” surprise.

    But those two were exceptions, not the rule. He hated surprises. He hated encountering something he didn’t know—especially if he felt he should have known. In short, he hated being caught unprepared.

    —Which is why he felt a pang of annoyance in the back of his mind, when he and one of his nurses entered the transporter room of the Aventine, to tend to Julian Bashir and Starfleet Intelligence agent Sarina Douglas.

    The two were locked in a warm, intimate embrace, the effect of which seemed to be broken by Simon’s admittedly abrupt entry. The two looked at him in mild shock. Bashir blinked his eyes, with what looked like a brief hint of irritation.

    Simon struggled to regain his composure, and somehow managed to stammer out, “Um, uh…sorry, Julian—I mean, Doctor. We, um, didn’t—”

    “It’s okay, Simon,” Bashir interrupted, with a small smile, as he and Miss Douglass released each other. “You’re not interrupting.”

    “Ah…well, that’s good to know,” Simon replied, forcing an uneasy smile of his own.

    He looked them up and down, forcing his feelings away. They were dressed in the standard suits of Breen troops, helmets removed, of course. They both looked all battered, bruised, and utterly filthy.

    Simon raised an eyebrow in a moment of genuine amusement. “You two have had quite a rough week, I imagine.”

    Julian nodded slowly. “It had its moments.”

    “And then some,” added Miss Douglas.

    Simon clapped his hands together. “Well, tell you what—let’s get you two down to sickbay, swap those pressure suits for new uniforms—run a few tests—”

    The woman held her hand up, with a tired look. “We know the drill.”

    Simon hesitated, and turned to his old superior, awaiting further instructions.

    Julian shrugged. “Throw in a hot shower,” he said, “And you can run all the tests you want.”

    Simon felt his smile turn genuine. “Deal.”

    He stepped aside, and extended his hand to the door. “After you.”

    As he followed the pair to sickbay, the nurse leading the way, he watched the pair intently. Miss Douglas was walking close beside Julian, and Simon was able to see her hand take the doctor’s.

    “In answer to your question,” he heard her say to Julian, “I go…where you go.”

    Simon kept his face unreadable, telling himself to show no reaction. Still…as he took in the sight, he couldn’t help let one thought enter his mind:

    Well! This is certainly a surprise, as far as I’m concerned. And all things considered…it’s going to turn out bad for someone.

    The worst part is—this time…it isn’t me.

    And with that, a pang entered the innermost part of his soul. With a feeling of said, anguished compassion, a second thought flowed from the first.

    I just hope she already knows. I’d hate to be the messenger. If I am…I sure wish she’ll take it a lot better than I could have….

    * * *​

    Two weeks later, Dr. Simon Tarses sat at his desk in sickbay, as the Aventine hovered near his old home, Deep Space Nine. His mind was elsewhere…reflecting on the events of the past two weeks, the aftermath of the entire incident with the Breen….

    Nothing. It was uneventful—too uneventful. Everything proceeded according to protocol—Bashir and Douglas were dropped off at the station, and then…shore leave for everyone.

    He had thoroughly enjoyed catching up with his old colleagues. There was a serious bent to the visit—particularly when he’d discovered that Captain Elias Vaughn was completely comatose, laying on a bio-bed…his life down to almost nothing. He remembered the shock he’d felt when he’d learned that the man’s daughter, Prynn Tenmei, had seriously been considering pulling the plug on him.

    Fortunately, Bashir had apparently convinced her to re-connect the respirator…as he had pointed out that there was something in the man…something which refused to accept his death. It was remarkable how well the man’s vital signs were faring even when he wasn’t breathing.

    “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel,” Simon mused, reflecting on the Oath he and Bashir had both taken, at the beginning of their respective careers. He’d often noted with bitterness how many doctors seemed willing to fold that clause into vague obscurity—much like the bloody clause immediately following it had once been—but Julian Bashir, he knew, was a man who took his Oath seriously—every word of it.

    The trouble was…when the man didn’t know when he was doing harm—

    Oh, stop it. You’ve been guilty of that, too. Don’t get all high-horse on him.
    And yet….

    He heard the doors to the sickbay open. He looked up…and felt a big smile come to his face. “Hi, Skip!”

    Captain Ezri Dax smiled, and took a seat across the desk. “Hi, Simon.”

    Simon nodded. He couldn’t help but remember the first time he’d seen her—outside the door of his quarters, to confront him on his not showing up for his appointment. He remembered how stunned he had been at the sight of the beautiful, charming girl in front of him—and how hard it was to believe that she was the person he’d been so terrified of facing, her personality was so warm, her smile so pleasant….

    Now, she seemed a little distant—her smile didn’t meet her eyes. She seemed…deep in thought, but somehow…almost desperate for a distraction.

    Simon spread out his hands. “So, what brings you here?”

    “Oh…I just thought I’d stop by for a minute. How are things, today?”

    “Good. Everything’s all cleaned up and working like new.”

    She nodded. “That’s good….”

    “Word from the brass?”

    “Mm-hmm—our old friend, Nechayev.”

    Simon felt his lip tightened at the name of the admiral—the woman whose name, as far as he was concerned, would live alongside Norah Satie’s in infamy. “What did she want?”

    “Oh, just a debrief…and then she told me not to be afraid of any reprisals, despite what the Pact says. The President will clear it all up for us….”

    Simon nodded again. “That’s good.”

    She returned the nod. “Mm-hmm.”

    There was silence for a moment. Finally, he spoke up, “So…what’s next?”

    “Actually…nothing. I guess we’ll go back to patrolling the border—as usual.”

    “Oh, that’s good! Looks like we won’t need you, then.” Simon leaned back with a smile. “You ready?”

    She blinked. “Ready…?”

    “Well—I think Sam would agree, we can manage just fine without you for a few weeks….”

    Another blink. “Are you…trying to get rid of me, Simon?”

    He shrugged. “Is there a reason for you to stay on board?”

    Ezri tilted her head, her eyes narrowing. “Did…did I miss something?”

    Simon stared at her blankly. “Skip…are you that tired, that’s it’s affecting your memory?”

    She shook her head. “Simon—I have no clue what you’re talking about.”

    Simon let out an exasperated scoff. “The leave, Captain. You remember—right after that trip with Spock? ‘Simon, I think I’ll take you up on that rest leave.’ ‘Well, it’s about time you listened to reason! Where to, and how long?’ ‘Oh, I think I’ll go to DS9 for, say, a month—catch up with old friends, and all that!’”

    He leaned forward. “Does any of that ring a bell?”

    Ezri looked as if something clicked in her mind. “Oh, that’s right…” she muttered, as she leaned back in her own seat. “Simon…I think we’ll have to put that off for a while.”

    Simon froze, as his brow furrowed in bewilderment. “Excuse me?”

    “I just…I don’t think I need it, right now.”

    “You don’t think you need it?”

    “No…I don’t.”

    “Ezri—I don’t believe this! I seem to remember your telling me how much you were looking forward to it all—I swear, you were like a little girl about to go on a trip to that old park in Florida—the one with the darned mouse!”

    What?” Ezri’s eyes grew wide, as she apparently struggled to suppress a laugh.

    “Oh, forget it—Ezri, what’s going on here?”

    Ezri sighed, growing serious again, and seemed to choose her words carefully. “Look…I don’t think it’s a good…impression…for the captain to leave the ship right after a crisis. It’s not…it’s not good for morale.”

    Simon had to fight to keep from giving a snort at that. That’s nonsense, Skip—and you know it. Now, is there any reason why you wouldn’t—?

    And then the answer hit him. A memory struck…two weeks before, in the transporter room, when he stumbled on…

    He nodded slowly. “Right….”

    Ezri raised her hand to her forehead, rubbing it in a clear sign of stress. “All right…is there anything you need me for, right now?”

    “No…you came here, remember?”

    “Right. Well…I guess I’d better get to the bridge.” She rose to her feet. “Thanks, Simon….”

    She began to walk off…but Simon’s mind was racing. He spoke up. “Skip, can I ask you something?”

    She turned to him. “Hmm?”

    Simon paused for a moment, gathered himself, and asked, “When your shift’s done…what’s on your schedule?”

    Ezri briefly looked off, frowning. “I…wasn’t planning on anything. Why?”

    Simon nodded. “Good. When you’re done for the day, go straight to your quarters, and stay there. Doctor’s orders. I’ll be over.”

    “Okay…but I don’t—”

    Ezri…I really feel we need to talk.”

    She stared at him, as if unsure of what to make of this. Finally, she let out a sigh, and nodded. “All right.”

    Simon gave a last nod, allowing her to go.

    As the doors closed behind Ezri, Simon rubbed his forehead, like she’d done a moment ago. Captains always make the worst patients. And they’re even worse when they used to be counselors….

    * * *​
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  2. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Simon Tarses stood outside the door to the quarters of Ezri Dax, parcel in hand. He smiled inside…as a memory hit him once again: all those years ago, on Deep Space Nine, when he had opened his door to see the ninth host of Dax for the first time. She had stopped by, because of his neglecting the appointment she had set up for him.

    He remembered…how that day, she had set him on the path which led him to this moment. He remembered marveling at the wisdom of this girl, especially for her age—eight past lives notwithstanding—how she had dug so deep into the troubles of his soul, and forced him to confront the demons within, pull himself out of the gutter…and seek the opportunities life had to offer.

    “You’ve been hit pretty hard in this life…haven’t you? You’ve been smeared…spit on…slammed into the ground, over and over…and now, you’re struggling for a reason to move on.”

    He closed his eyes…remembering.

    “You have suffered, Simon, because you made a mistake. And any true, objective standard of justice out there says that you have paid for that mistake already—a thousand times over. You didn’t deserve any of that garbage—and you have to accept that. You have to.”

    How ironic…and yet, how fitting…that now, their positions would have to be reversed, for this day. Simon had always felt that he owed a debt to Ezri Dax. And while this certainly could never pay it off…still, this was the least he could do.

    His sensitive, Vulcanoid hearing picked up a faint sound of music inside. It was an old song from twentieth-century Earth…about “sorry” being the hardest word….

    Simon raised his hand to the panel on the wall, and pressed the chime.

    He heard the music stop—and then, she called out, “Come in.”

    The doors opened—and Simon had to fight a shiver at the intense cold of the room.

    Ezri was leaning back in the seat at her desk, her eyes closed, her lips pursed. She wasn’t blue in the face yet....

    Simon shook his head, as he walked in. “Computer,” he called out as the doors closed behind him, “Restore temperature to standard levels.”

    He felt the difference right away. Apparently, so did Ezri.

    “I set it there on purpose, Simon,” she muttered.

    “I’m sure you did. Now, would you mind explaining that?”

    Ezri let out a sigh, as she opened her eyes. “I can’t tell you how much it clears the mind….”

    “Oh, really? How many times have you done this?”

    Ezri gave a small smile. “Don’t worry—this was the first time in years.”

    “Well, as far as I’m concerned, that’s one too many. Skip, I’m not just speaking as your friend, but as your doctor. You’re a Trill—how can you even experiment with putting yourself through a temperature that…that unbearable to you? Are you a masochist?”

    She looked to him. “You know, it’s funny…I’ve actually asked myself that a lot, lately….”

    Simon spread out his hands, and walked over to an armchair. Oh, sure. She’s trying to find something to distract her thoughts. Well, I am not about to let her get away with it.

    “Captain, take a seat,” he ordered, waving a hand to the nearby couch.

    Ezri got up, walk over to the couch, and obeyed.

    Satisfied, Simon opened his box, pulling out a bottle of Saurian Brandy, and two empty glasses.

    Ezri shook her head in amusement. “I didn’t know this was a special occasion.”

    “Ezri…you remember something you told me? I think it was, ‘Sometimes, a person will tell their bartender things…they’ll never tell their counselor.’”

    Ezri chuckled. “Simon, you’re a doctor, not a counselor.”

    He smirked. “True…but somehow, I doubt our counselor would break out the brandy like this.”

    “No…I guess not.”

    Simon set the two glasses on the table in front of them, and filled them both from the bottle, which he then set down as he took his glass. Ezri did the same.

    Simon looked at her, as she sipped her glass. “All right, Skip. You’re beating yourself up about something.”

    Ezri raised an eyebrow at this. “Whatever gave you that idea?”

    “Oh, shall I answer chronologically?”

    “If you like.”

    “A couple months ago, you were just ready to collapse from all the stress you were under—and I don’t blame you for that, understand.”

    “Of course not.”

    “I offer you a rest leave—and you turn it down. And then Ambassador Spock comes along—you have that little…errand to Achernar Prime. And,” he smiled, “I have to admit…when you two came back, I swear I hadn’t seen you face glow like that in years.”

    She smiled at this. “I was glowing?”

    “Oh, you have no idea. You looked as if you didn’t have a care in the world. In fact…I actually found myself thinking you didn’t need a leave, anymore.”

    She shook her head, still smiling. “Really?”

    “Absolutely. Of course, that’s when you take me up on my offer. And where do you pick? Of all places…DS9. Your reasons? To check up on old friends.”

    She nodded, her smile beginning to fade. “I’m with you so

    “Oh, I’m just getting to the best part. You tell me…you don’t want to make that big of a deal over it…so let’s wait until our journeys take us in the vicinity of the station. So…we wait—and then, the whole thing with the Breen, a couple weeks ago.”

    She nodded again, more slowly this time. “Go on….”

    “And who comes on board, to deal with the crisis? Oh, nobody but…Dr. Julian Bashir, and His Lovely Assistant, Agent Sarina Douglas of Starfleet Intelligence.”

    Her smile was gone. “Actually, I think it was the other way around,” she muttered.

    “And what happens? The two are sent off on their mission…and what do I see? You’re emotional high is over—and you are right back to where you were before Spock.”

    “What…do you mean?”

    “I mean…I look at you right now, and I see you drained, exhausted, driven to near frustration—in short, you’re in need of the leave you told me you finally want. And now…now that it’s all over, look where we are! Surprise—we’re in orbit around the exact location you picked for your leave. And now you tell me you don’t need it anymore—when you clearly do!”

    She stiffened. “I already told you, Mister—”

    “Oh, you told me the standard, clichéd response. Did you really think you were going to get away with that?”

    Ezri sighed. “No…I guess not.”

    Simon shook his head. “Come on, Skip—what’s the matter
    with you? You look like you’re attending a funeral, for goodness sake. As your doctor—”

    “Simon, I don’t want to be lectured.”

    “—as your friend…I can tell you, you are this close—” he held his thumb and forefinger half a centimeter apart, “—to breaking down on the bridge, in front of your entire crew!”

    Ezri finished her glass in one sip. “Gosh, I didn’t think it was that bad….”

    “Oh, didn’t you?” Simon downed his own glass, set it down, and rose to his feet. “Ezri…you remember what you said to me once, about how you would never compromise your integrity for anything—that your rule for yourself is to never lie?”

    “Now, wait just a minute—”

    Simon pointed a finger at her. “You, Captain…are lying to yourself. This isn’t about stress—not really—and you know it.”

    She looked up at him, tilting her head. “Really? All right, Counselor Tarses—what is it about?”

    “Ezri…I don’t have to be a professional therapist to see that something’s eating you up inside. And I think I have a pretty good idea what it is.”

    “Please…enlighten me.”

    Simon lowered his hand. “Dr. Julian Bashir…is in love with Miss Douglas.”

    Ezri’s lip tightened. “It looks that way.”

    “And you didn’t know about it until the two of them came aboard.”

    Ezri responded with a bitter chuckle. “Is that what you think my problem is? That I’m jealous?”

    “No…but I’d say we’re getting close.”

    Ezri shook her head, a look of pained exhaustion on her face. “Simon…I really don’t need—”

    “Captain, it’s my duty to determine whether or not you’re fit for command—and if I can’t answer that with a clear, firm ‘yes’—”

    Ezri froze. “It that a threat, Doctor?”

    “It’s a fact—and what’s also a fact is that I can’t clear you unless I’m absolutely certain you’re okay. And I can’t be certain you’re okay until I find out exactly what is bothering you! Now I have a theory on that—but I need to be sure.” He took a step forward. “Skip…can you look me in the eye—right now—and tell me it has nothing to do with Dr. Bashir?”

    Ezri swallowed hard, silent for too long. Simon had his answer.

    He took his seat again. “All right…now we’re getting somewhere.” He pointed to the bottle. “Want another?”

    Ezri sighed, staring at the ground. “Fine.”

    Simon refilled her glass, then his own, and set the bottle back down. “Look…why don’t you start at the beginning?”

    Ezri looked at him. “At the beginning…?”

    “Well, for starters…exactly what happened with Spock? I imagine something on that trip made you do some soul-searching…?”

    She chuckled. “That’s an understatement.”


    She straightened up in her seat, as if gathering her thoughts, and set her glass down. “I’m not getting rid of you, am I?”

    Simon shook his head. “You’re stuck with me.”

    Ezri nodded. “Yes…I am.”

    Simon leaned forward. Finally, he was beginning to get some answers.

    * * *​
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  3. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Ezri held back nothing. Simon was her friend…and she knew she could trust him with whatever she could tell him.

    She told him of how Ambassador Spock had specifically requested to be transported on the Aventine, so as to see what she, Ezri Dax, was truly like. How he, so deeply concerned about the troubles he saw around him, desired so deeply to hold an audience with “the first leader of a new generation”, as he had put it.

    She told Simon how impressed Spock had been with her—at what he saw as her humility, her reluctance to be hailed as a heroine by everyone around her….

    She talked about the mind-meld—how they had formed such a deep bond of friendship, and understanding—and how he had unintentionally…brought forth the conflict which had been simmering within her heart…ever since the day she had strained her relationship with Julian Bashir.

    She told Simon how after that, it had threatened to become more than what she could bear—how she had struggled on whether to confess it all to Spock…wondering whether he, with his Vulcan reserve, would truly understand what it all meant to her….

    But finally, Spock had challenged her—and she had broken down at last, confessing all…telling him all that had happened, between her…and the man to whom she had given her heart.

    And Spock did understand. And he had built her back up…had set her back on her feet…and reminded her of her deepest desire…to do the best she could.

    “Perhaps, Ezri,” she remembered him say, “You should learn to trust your instincts more often. After all, I have reason to believe that your…initial reluctance to speak to me of…your loss…was mainly out a desire to think, rather than do. But as I have stated, there are times for analysis…and times for instinct. And I know—that whatever the mistakes of your past…you truly possess the wisdom to know the difference.”

    “…You really think so?”

    “Yes…I do.”

    * * *​

    Ezri blinked back a tear, as she looked up, at Simon, who sat across from her, taking it all in, in silence.

    Finally, the doctor said, “He sounds like a very wise man….”

    Ezri nodded. “Yes…he is.”

    She sighed, as she took her filled glass. “But he was wrong on one thing.”

    “What’s that?”

    “That I have ‘the wisdom to know the difference’.” She stared down into the brandy…and felt an ironic smile come to her face. She looked back at Simon. “Do you know what he said to me, when I asked for advice on how to make things right with…?”

    Simon frowned. “What did he say?”

    “He said, ‘Ezri…perhaps, once again, you are trying to force excessive thinking into a scenario where it is not required.’ And then he told me to—‘Put aside logic for a moment, and ask yourself what your heart desires.’”


    Ezri leaned back into the couch, and sipped the glass. “Well—I’m just glad he didn’t see how it all turned out. I’d hate to see him disappointed in me….”

    “Look, Skip, I hardly think he’d honestly believe you’d know everything to do right away. That would be…illogical.”

    “Maybe not…but if he saw how badly I messed up…”

    “What happened?”

    Ezri finished the drink. “I just did everything wrong—starting with not preparing for the worst.”

    “What happened?”

    “Simon, look—”

    Ezri…you know darn well I am not leaving until I know everything I want to know. You’re going to have to tell me, sooner or later. I’d rather it were sooner.”

    Ezri held up her hand, as she set the empty glass aside. “All right, all right. You’re stubborn today, aren’t you?”

    “I’ve always been this stubborn. I’m sure you of all people can understand that.”

    She rolled her eyes with a slight chuckle. “Tell me about it.”

    Simon leaned forward. “Ezri…what happened?” he asked again.

    Ezri shook her head. “Okay…well, I hear from Starfleet that we’re to pick up two officers working for Starfleet Intelligence—and that one of them is the one man I wanted the most to see. ‘Great,’ I think! ‘Here’s my chance! At last, I can make everything right. I can confess to him, tell him everything I’ve wanted to say for a long time—and finally, tell him that I still hold him dearest to my heart. What could possibly go wrong?’”

    Simon nodded. “Murphy’s Law.”

    Ezri returned the nod. “He comes on board—with Sarina.”

    “Hold on a minute…is there a story, here?”

    “You have no idea.”

    “Let’s have it.”

    “All right. You heard of that small group of genetically-enhanced patients—that everyone had thought was unable to be helped?”

    Simon gave a smirk. “The ‘Jack Pack’?”

    “That’s them. She was one of them.”

    “Don’t worry; you won’t have to tell me as much as you’d think. I know all about Julian’s fixing her up, as it were.”

    Ezri raised her eyebrow at this. “Did you know they fell in love, right after that?”

    Simon stiffened, as if in shock. “Actually…no.”

    “Neither did I—until Sarina started to get catatonic again.”

    She looked off, and sighed. “I…saw Julian trying to get through to her…pleading for her to come back. I remember…”


    She shrugged, “I guess it didn’t bother me, then—it was before I learned of my own feelings, but…I remember standing there, watching him…seeing how much he cared, and—now that I think of it…I knew, right there, how alone Julian really was.” She blinked back another tear. “I…I actually found myself praying that it would turn out all right…for both of them.”

    She leaned back, folding her hands, and placing them in her lap. “Be careful what you wish for, I guess….”

    Simon’s lip seemed to tighten, his mood turning dark. “Let’s…get back to the main thing. You see him and Sarina come on board.”

    “Right. ‘Now, that doesn’t mean anything,’ I tell myself. So…I invite Julian to my quarters.” She stared at Simon intently, to emphasize her next sentence. “For dinner.”


    Ezri nodded.

    “That didn’t go well, I take it.”

    Ezri shook her head. “I planned the whole thing out—a romantic evening…candles…wine…music. And then, when I learned the truth, well—things went a bit downhill….”

    * * *​

    She had set up a small dining table in the middle of the main room of her quarters, set with a full dinner service. Two tall, red candles stood at the center, on a white lace cloth.

    She’d made it a point to have music play in the background—a soft kind of “jazz”, composed by a band from Betazed.

    She was out of uniform, dressed in civilian cloths. It was appropriate, wasn’t it? An expression to him, an indication to not see her as an officer, superior or not—just as a woman, Ezri Dax…who was ready to make things right.

    The door chime rang. A smile came to her face. “Come in!”

    The doors opened—and Julian Bashir came in, in uniform. She has just about forgotten how handsome he was…how charming. The beard he now sported suited him well…it made him look older…and a little wiser.

    Her smile grew. “Right on time—as always.”

    Julian returned the smile, as he strolled in her direction. “I do like to be punctual….” He gave a light shrug. “I hope you’ll forgive me for arriving empty-handed. Your replicators wouldn’t let me whip up a bottle of wine—or a bouquet of flowers.”

    Ezri fought hard to keep from showing her feelings of elation at his last words. He knows…doesn’t he? And he feels the same way…. It was as if fate was smiling down on them…and everything was perfect.

    She rolled her eyes at him. “That would be Sam’s doing. I never knew he was such a stick-in-the-mud until I made him my XO.”

    Julian shrugged. “Well, I guess that’s just the way it is with people. Who they are depends a lot on where they are…and whom they’re with.”

    Ezri nodded. “True….”

    Don’t go too fast, Ezri. There are some things you two need to clear up, first. Besides…you can’t be absolutely sure until he says it…right?

    Snapping back to reality, she waved a hand to one of the two chairs at the table. “Have a seat. I’ll get our food.”

    As she walked over to the replicator, and put in the order, she heard him sit down, and remark, “I feel honored. It’s not every day one is served by a captain.”

    Ezri turned to him, pretending to rebuke him with her eyes. “Julian—when I’m out of uniform, I’m just ‘Ezri’.”

    Julian nodded his surrender, as Ezri brought over two plates of coq au vin, with sautéed asparagus, setting them down for the two of them.

    “In fact,” Ezri said, “I apologize for not telling you to wear civvies.” With a smile, she added, “Now I feel underdressed!”

    He snorted. “Nonsense. You look wonderful, as always.”

    Ezri struggled not to blush at this, as her heart started to speed up its beat. “That’s…kind of you to say,” she managed to reply.

    And she turned to head back to the replicator, before he could discover how she felt. “What do you think would go best with this?”

    “Something robust,” she heard him reply…his voice showing no indication that he’d picked up on it all. “A Pinotage…or perhaps a Malbec.”

    Ezri keyed it in. “Pinotage it is.”

    An open bottle with two glasses materialized, and she took it all to the table, offering him the bottle. “Care to do the honors?”

    He took it, with a smile. “Certainly.”

    As Julian filled their glasses, Ezri sat down, focusing on tasting the food.

    Julian set the bottle down. “It’s…been a long time since we were along together like this.”

    Ezri swallowed at this, and nodded. “True.”

    She took her glass, and sipped. Finally, she mused, All right…I might as well get this over with. I can’t stand this waiting any longer…and I don’t think he can, either.

    And so, she gathered up her courage, and said, “I’m sorry if this seems weird or out of the blue, but…it just seemed like you and I had so much unfinished business, and what with…you know…”

    “Me leaving on a possible suicide mission?”

    She hadn’t thought of it exactly that way…but it was true. She gave a nervous chuckle in response. “I guess, yeah.”

    Come on, Ezri. Don’t be afraid. This is it. Just say it.

    “I just…thought it might be the right time for me to say some things I should have said a long time ago, before I left Deep Space Nine.”

    Julian stared at her, as if unsure of what to make of this. “Things such as…?”

    Ezri’s gaze fell to her plate. “Such as…‘I’m sorry, Julian’—for starters.”

    Julian said nothing, waiting for her to go on.

    She swallowed again, and went on. “I know I didn’t make things easy for you. I guess…part of it was that I didn’t understand how profound a change I was going through, until I was deep in the middle of it. And, by then…it was too late for me to undo what I’d done.”

    It was the understatement of her life, as far as she was concerned…but it was a good beginning, she thought.

    She looked up at him. Julian nodded his acceptance. “I know, Ezri…and I understand.”

    Ezri braced herself, ready to continue…ready to tell him all. But he wasn’t through.

    “It can’t be easy to adjust to such a massive change in self-image…to take eight past lives, and make them your own. To become,” he smirked, as if at a memory, “‘More than the sum of your parts’.”

    Ezri threw her head back slightly, in amusement at his odd choice of words. “‘The sum of my parts’? Where did that come from?”

    Julian gave a light shrug. “Just something…Sarina said a long time ago, after she first met you.”

    There was something in the way he said the name…something in his eyes…that made Ezri freeze. Recent memories hit her—how she saw the way the two interacted with each other, after coming on board. And then, it all came together…and with that, all her hopes, all she had felt before that moment—it all came crashing down.

    No…please, tell me it’s not true. It can’t be—not like this, please

    But it was. There was no going around that simple fact.

    “Of course…” she said quietly. “I see.”

    Julian frowned in confusion. “See what?”

    “You still have a crush on Sarina, don’t you?”

    She had blurted it out without thinking—and once it slipped out, she found herself wishing desperately that she could take it back.

    Julian stiffened, as if biting back a retort. “I remain…attracted to her—and interested in her. My feelings for her go beyond mere infatuation.”

    His words filled her with an immense frustration that she hadn’t felt in a long time. She heard herself speak in a low tone of voice, matching the darkness she felt. “So you’re in love with her…and acting as her partner on a high-risk undercover intelligence mission? Don’t you see a few potential complications with this scenario, Julian?”

    It clearly stung a lot more than she could have imagined. After he stared at her in shock, as if stunned at her sudden change of mood, Julian’s tone turned bitter, with an air of forced amusement. “You’re one to talk—or have you forgotten how you attached yourself to my mission on Sindorin? And—don’t try to tell me that was ‘different’, because we both know that’s a lie.”

    That was it. All the emotions building up inside her since the discovery about Sarina let loose inside—and Ezri threw her napkin on the table in disgust. She heard her voice start to break. “You want to know what’s the same about the Sindorin mission and this one, Julian? You are. You’ve always loved playing spy—and I think this is more of the same.”

    Julian’s own napkin fell from his hand, onto the table. “Oh, really?” he asked as he rose to his feet. “You think I’m here to play a game? To satisfy some…adolescent appetite for adventure?”

    Ezri looked up at him, her eyes narrowing, mentally willing her eyes not to moisten. “No,” she said quietly, “I think you’re here to impress Sarina. But…just because you’re genetically enhanced—that doesn’t mean you’re qualified for intelligence work.”

    Julian swallowed hard, and it looked as if he was fighting a tear of his own. “Funny,” he muttered, “That’s what some people have said about your status as a joined Trill—and your readiness for starship command. According to our critics, neither of us is qualified for our current duties.”

    And with that, he turned, and headed for the door. But as it slid open, he turned to her, and said, “You were offered a chance to expand your horizons…and you took it. I plan to do the same.” As he turned back to leave, he concluded, “With or without your approval.”

    Ezri felt frozen, unable to move. Everything in her screamed for her to cry out to him, and beg him to wait—while she would let her tears flow, and apologize to him for all the terrible things she’d just said…

    She did nothing, said nothing…as he left, the doors closing shut behind him.

    She slowly rose to her feet, and reached her glass to her lips…

    —And then, as if by its own accord, her hand flung it across the room, and she listening to the sound of the glass, shattering on the wall.

    * * *​
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  4. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    As Ezri finished recounting the events, she looked as Simon, to watch his reaction.

    He was staring at the ground…and he rubbed his forehead, as if he was overwhelmed with all she had told him.

    Finally, he said. “Wow.”

    She nodded. “I know. And Simon…before you say anything—I have no one to blame, but myself.”

    “How so?”

    “I guess…I guess I just assumed, for whatever reason, that I could make everything right. It never occurred to me…that he’d have…”

    “…Moved on?”

    “Well…to that extent.” Ezri’s gaze fell, as she wrung her hands a bit. “That’s my problem, isn’t it? I always take something for granted—and that’s invariably what goes wrong.” She looked back to him. “In short…I’m a Dax. Sometimes I don’t think. Sometimes…”

    Simon let out a sigh, and met her gaze. “Ezri…I have to be honest. I think you were setting yourself up for a fall, but…it’s not as if he were exactly pure.”

    Ezri sighed. “Simon—”

    “Come on, Skip. Other than the fact that he took what you said far too personally—Sarina was Julian’s patient, for goodness sake. What on Earth is he thinking, anyway?”

    Ezri’s lip tightened. For some reason, the thought had kept occurring to her that her leaving him, all those years ago, had created a void that he was desperate to fill—and that his memories of regret about Sarina combined with that, and…

    But no—that was just ego on her part…wasn’t it?

    She shook her head. “I wouldn’t dream of speaking for him, Simon.”

    “Well, I don’t like it at all.”

    “What, do you have something against Sarina?”

    “Not her, per se—except she’s a bit too ‘sweet’ to be authentic—something’s odd about all that, in itself. But, for now…it’s Julian I’m worried about.”

    Ezri stiffened. “What about Julian?”

    “Let me put it this way—and I can’t believe I’m saying this about him, of all people, but…doesn’t the whole situation look like—like he took advantage of her?”


    “Oh, I’m sure he didn’t do it intentionally—but whether he did or not, she was basically a child back then, wasn’t she? He introduced her into the world, and she sees him as her hero for it. She didn’t know better—and she’s too inexperienced at life to handle the idea. Of course she was going to go into overload.” He tightened his grip on the glass of brandy. “He of all people should have known better.”

    Ezri shook her head. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “Simon…I told you, he was alone. And—I think you could say that…they identify with each other, a lot, and—”

    “Oh, so that makes it better. He’s desperate for someone who’s genetically enhanced—because that’s the only way any woman could possibly be perfect for him!”


    He froze, as if realizing what he was saying…and shook his head. “I…I’m sorry. I just…look, it goes against everything I’ve been taught as a doctor…I guess.”

    Ezri smiled. “So, who needs a counselor, again?”

    Simon straightened up. “Frankly, I’d say he does.”

    “Well, this isn’t about him. It’s about me. Regardless of how…you or I feel about their relationship—none of that excuses what I said to him.”

    “What—that his feelings for Sarina’s all a crush? It’s called ‘tough love’, Skip.”

    “I said it for the wrong reasons. But—it isn’t just that. I insulted him, and his abilities—and to be honest, he was right to get mad and leave. What I said was totally uncalled for…not to mention hypocritical.”

    “Was it?”

    Ezri blinked. “O-of course it was! Do you realize how many times I’ve rushed into things—without knowing anything about what I was getting into?”

    “Well, some would say that gives authenticity to what you told him!”

    “I don’t know….” She paused for a moment…and another thought came to her. “You know something?”

    “What’s that?”

    “We were afraid this would happen. When he and I first…talked about a relationship…we were afraid that, if it didn’t work out…it would destroy our friendship. And,” she sighed, “A-and now…”

    Simon nodded slowly. “You’re afraid…that that’s exactly what happened—and that…you can never be friends again.”

    Ezri nodded, and struggled and failed to suppress a tear. As she felt trickle down her cheek, she managed to whisper, “Yes….”

    It’s my fault, Julian…and I was right, before. I don’t think you can forgive me…and I don’t blame you, really. It’s my fault…and I deserve all of this…don’t I?

    * * *​

    Simon stared at his captain, his friend, studying her…watching her. He saw the tear…and how hard she had tried to fight it. He recognized the feeling all too well—it was exactly what he himself had gone through, all those years ago.

    “…Look, Ezri…you said, a little bit ago, that honesty means a lot to you.”

    “It does.”

    “Well…it means a lot to me, too—and…look, I have to be honest with myself: I made a big mistake at the very beginning of my career. And now…I’m paying the price. I don’t deserve to be accepted anywhere—as a good doctor, anyway. And I never will be—and that’s that.”

    After a minute, he said, “Ezri…can I speak freely?”

    Ezri chuckled. “That doesn’t seem to be one of your problems.”

    “Why are you so stuck on punishing yourself?”

    She blinked. “Excuse me?”

    “You heard me. It seems to me…that whenever something unfortunate happens involving you—you feel the need to take full responsibility, and tell yourself that it’s your fault, for not doing enough. And I’m not just talking about Julian. I’ve seen this happen almost from the moment I’ve met you. It’s just become a lot more severe, lately. Ezri…you can’t carry everyone’s problems on your shoulders. So why do you keep trying?”

    He saw her eyes widen, as she managed to say, “Well—gosh, if I didn’t want to help everyone, you wouldn’t be here, talking to me!”

    Simon didn’t bat an eye. “There’s wanting to help everyone—and then there’s beating yourself up because some problems are just beyond your control.”

    “I wouldn’t call what I did to Julian ‘beyond my control’.”

    “That’s actually my point—your entire reaction to him was an example, Skip. You said it yourself—you saw your plans go up in smoke, and you broke down and snapped, because you were afraid you couldn’t set things right.”

    Ezri sighed, and looked off.

    Simon rose from his seat, and walked over to her, sitting beside her on the couch. “Ezri…talk to me. Why put yourself through all this?”

    Staring at her feet, Ezri shook her head, and whispered, “I don’t know…it does seem pathetic, doesn’t it?”


    “Maybe it’s just—look, every time I think about what happened…I remember Spock, and…how much faith he had in me. I just…”

    She turned to him…and he saw in her eyes a plea for help which she would not dare truly express in words. She was his captain…and would not, could not allow this kind of vulnerability to show in full force…even in private, even to a friend as close as him.

    Still, she managed to ask, “Simon—if I can’t solve the problems of my life…how can I become what he saw in me? How…how can I help anyone, if I can’t even help myself?”

    Simon spread out his hands. “Well, look—speaking for myself…you remember what you had me do…when our positions were reversed?”

    Ezri smiled. “I remember. But—I don’t have a padd to snap in half.”

    Simon chuckled at the memory. “No…not literally. But remember the point? I had to learn from the past—not brood over it. I had to let go of the pain it was causing me—because only then could I recover…and make things right.”

    Ezri’s smile faded. “So,” she said quietly, “are you saying I should just…let go of Julian?”

    Simon gave a quick shake of his head. “Absolutely not—just stop assuming that everything is your responsibility to fix—regardless of whether you’re capable of fixing it. You do the best you can…and once that’s done, don’t hate yourself for it.”

    “Simon, I don’t ‘hate’ myself. I just…”

    Simon reached over, and put his hand on her shoulder. He had never done anything like that before…he had always considered her “untouchable”, in a sense, from the moment he’d met her. But…right now, it felt all too appropriate.

    “Skip,” he said, “Let me tell you something. There are some things you can’t change—like the past. But once you’ve accepted what went wrong, then…you use that to prepare you for what’s next for your life…right?”

    Ezri swallowed, and nodded. “I know,” she whispered. “I should know—of all people…”
    Simon nodded, and quietly said, “It’s easy to forget, I’m sure.”

    Ezri nodded again…as she reached up, to put her hand on his.

    Simon let it rest there, watching her gather herself together. You’re stronger than you think, Skip…you wouldn’t be a captain, if you weren’t. And…you wouldn’t be sitting her, talking to me about all this, if you weren’t.

    * * *​

    As they sat there, in silence, Ezri reflected on all they had said…and all that had brought her to this moment…all that had happened before. Spock…Joran…the unrest on Trill…the civil struggle on Luthia…the Jem’Hadar attack…and all that had happened then, to her…how much her life had changed…how much had unraveled before her.

    “You know,” she finally said, her voice barely above a whisper as she removed her hand from his on her shoulder, putting in her lap, “Life was so much simpler when I was a counselor, wasn’t it? Before all this happened to me…”

    Simon tilted his head. “Before you got Dax?”

    She frowned. “No…not really, that’s fine, but—”

    “Well, you had to accept that one, didn’t you?”

    “I—yes. It’s just…I had a life, before all this—this ‘change’. My life made sense—I knew who I was, for the most part…what I was doing. I knew what I could do, and what I couldn’t. And…” she felt her lip quiver, “I didn’t—I didn’t put anyone through—”

    “Ezri…you grew up.”

    “Sure I did—too fast.”

    “Maybe…but like I said, that’s the past.”

    “I know, but…but I’m starting to think it’s getting to be too much for me.”

    “Oh, I don’t think so. Let me ask you: look at all the things you’ve been able to do—here. Would you have been able to do any of that, five years ago?”

    She shook her head. “No….”

    “No—and there’s a reason for that. As a rule…you don’t learn much when things are going good for you. You have to hit bottom so you can learn how to get back up. You want proof? Just look at me.”

    Ezri nodded, with a brief smile.

    “Ezri, I think you’re just setting standards for yourself that no one can reach. Now, do you honestly think Spock wanted you to do that?”

    “No…he didn’t.”

    “Ezri…you are not infallible, any more than I am. Perhaps…in a sense, that unfortunate train of events assisted you…in rediscovering that fact. And indeed…perhaps that experience assisted in shaping you…into what you are, today.”

    Simon rose to his feet, and gave her shoulder a squeeze. “Skip…you always face a lot of things you don’t prepare for. And when you do…you either stand up to it all, and take charge…or you start to let yourself die inside. Now…which one it’s going to be…that’s your decision, not mine.”

    Ezri looked up at him; saw him smiling down at her, like a father. She blinked back a tear, and managed to say, “I’ve…forgotten a lot, haven’t I?”

    “Oh, I don’t know. I’d say the good ambassador taught you a lot…it’s just taking a while for it to sink in.”

    Her gaze fell. “Not just that, Simon. I think for a long time…I’ve forgotten who I was—as a person. And because of that…I’ve put myself through a lot of unnecessary trouble.”

    “Well…just stop doubting yourself, Skip. You know who you are. Just don’t try to be anyone else.”

    As Ezri took this in, Spock’s words came back to her once again: “You know…that you cannot change the past. However…you can use your experience, and the lessons you have learned from it, to better prepare for the future. Perhaps…your loss has taught you to never take for granted…the things you have been given.”

    She looked back up at Simon, and whispered, “All right.”

    He nodded. “Now…you finally ready for leave?”

    Ezri sighed. “I guess…just not here,” she said, meaning DS9. “I…I still need to think it all over. Pick some place—I don’t care—just…where you think would do me the most good.”

    Simon nodded once again, and released her shoulder, giving it a pat before he gathered the bottle and glasses, and headed for the door.

    But before he took two steps, he turned to her. “You know,” he said, “Kira once told me about how long it took for your friend Odo to admit his feelings for her. In the meantime…she dealt with Vedek Bareil…Minister Shakkar….”

    Ezri smiled, and nodded. “I know all about that.”

    “Well, I guess what I’m saying is…don’t count Julian out just yet.”

    She felt her smile fade, as she looked at him in concern. “Simon…I don’t want to wish anything bad on the two of them…”

    “I’m not asking you to—but Ezri…as I said, you may have been on to something when you called it a ‘crush’. Now…I’m sure they’re nice to each other, and all—but let me tell you this: I remember the two of you, all those years ago, and I must say…I have never seen a more natural couple than you and Dr. Julian Bashir. If you two weren’t meant to be together…I don’t know who is.”

    Ezri chuckled. “And…what is that supposed to mean?”

    Simon gave her a smile. “Just…that if I know him as well as I should…he’ll remember it, soon enough.”

    Ezri tilted her head. “I thought you were starting to hate him—for Sarina.”

    Simon blinked, frowning at the thought. “What—no, of course not. I’m just concerned for him, about the whole thing. Just—something about that woman…”

    He shrugged, and his smile returned. “He’s my friend, Ezri…it’s the least I could do.”

    Ezri nodded. “I know….”

    Simon looked off for a moment, and continued, “But whether you two rekindle or not…it’s up to you to live with it, either way.”

    Ezri sighed, and nodded again.

    It’s so simple…but it’s so hard. I ruined everything he and I could have had…but I might have to just accept it, and live with it. And even now…I’m not sure if I can. But if I have to…I will, somehow. Because if there’s nothing I can do…

    But she still refused to accept that there was nothing. Something inside her, she knew, would refuse to give up to the bitter end. But if, in the end, she couldn’t change a thing—she would learn…to live with it.

    Simon turned to go. As the doors opened, Ezri rose to her feet. “Simon?”

    He turned back, with a questioning look.

    Ezri held his gaze, to emphasize this moment. “Thank you.”

    Simon gave her a smile, and said, “You’d have done the same for me.”

    Ezri felt a smile of her own. “I already did.”

    Simon chuckled, and gave her a playful salute.

    He turned to leave. The doors closed behind him….

    And Ezri Dax was alone.

    * * *​

    God, grant me the

    Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

    Courage to change the things I can,

    And the Wisdom to know the difference;

    Patience for the things that take time,

    Appreciation for all that I have, and

    Tolerance for those with different struggles;

    Freedom to live beyond the limitations of my past ways, the

    Ability to feel your love for me and our love for each other,

    And the Strength to get up and try again…even when I feel it is hopeless.

    * * *​

    And the adventure continues….​
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  5. Kaziarl

    Kaziarl Commodore Commodore

    Dec 24, 2007
    Portland, OR (Kaziarl)
    Very well done, I liked it.

    Now, I'm not to sure what happened between them as I haven't had the chance to read the books. Too poor to get them. But it certainly seems that there is a canyon between Ezri and Julian now. And I know from personal experience how hard it can be to loose a friend over that, and how you can begin to doubt yourself. I'd say you captured that feeling very nicely.
  6. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Thanks. :)

    Thank you--very much. tale "A Rendezvous With Destiny" tackles the canyon in greater detail--and Ezri gives a detailed summary of what had happened in the DS9 relaunch between her and Julian.
  7. ares93

    ares93 Commodore Commodore

    May 5, 2010
    Indeed. A splendid story! Great job, Rushbo. :techman:

    (on a sidenote, My chemical romance was playing in the background.:lol:)
    You're misery and hate will kill us all
    So paint it black and take it back
    Lets shout it loud and clear
    Defiant to the end we hear the call
    To carry on

    We'll carry on,
    And though your dead and gone believe me
    Your memory will carry on
    We'll carry on
    And though your broken and defeated
    Your weary widow marches on
    And on we carry through the fears
  8. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    ^Thanks, ares93! :)

    Interestingly, as I'd implied early on, just before Simon enters Ezri's quarters, the theme I myself picked for it is Elton John's classic (well...most of his songs are classics, anyway :lol:), "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word".
  9. ares93

    ares93 Commodore Commodore

    May 5, 2010
    ^ amen to that!

    actually it was a complete accident. merely spotify's shuffle function. but now that you point it out, i completely agree with your choice.
  10. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    All right, folks--by all means, leave your comments! The more, the merrier--and I'd love any feedback you have to give. :)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  11. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Wow! Very nice. I had a feeling the discussion the same route as Pike and Boyce in "The Cage" after that bit about "telling their bartender things they'd never tell their counselor/doctor." :vulcan:
  12. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Thanks! :) was that scene which helped provide inspiration for this. There was also the in-private scenes between McCoy and Kirk in the first two films.

    Also...Simon's affectionate nickname for Ezri is something of a nod to the classic "Bones" and "Jim". (I had been briefly toying with the idea of Ezri calling Simon "Bones"...but I ultimately decided against it.)
  13. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    You write very well, Rush; your characters actually sound like they're having genuine conversations. The dialogue is very easy to follow but also complex, and the whole thing is really smooth, natural even. It's very easy to "get into" your take on the Trek world and its characters. Even though your take on Dax and Bashir is - as you know ;) - quite different from mine, you put a lot of effort into their relationship as you see it, and the characterizations really do hold together, whatever the reader's personal angle. I like the Tarses/Dax professional friendship, too.
  14. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Thank you, Nasat...very much. :)
  15. Enterprise1981

    Enterprise1981 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 23, 2008
    Tethered to a large plant
    Agreed. I have my own, what you might call, addendums to episodes and novels and even to my own stories. I have to remind myself to just tell the story and not worry about what might get cut out in order to condense it down to a 45 minute episode. On the other hand, I don't want to get too caught up in unimportant story elements.
  16. TiberiusMaximus

    TiberiusMaximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    That was a very enjoyable read. I really like the way you characterize Simon, he's an awesome guy. And you write the friendship between him an Ezri very well, it seems natural, almost sibling but quite professional. Keep it up!
  17. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Absolutely. Thanks, mate. :)


    Yep--Simon certainly has come so far from "The Drumhead" (TNG).

    Yes, I really enjoyed writing his friendship with Ezri. Ezri-Sam, as Mack and KRAD write it, is pretty cool, but I loved the idea having a Kirk/McCoy kind of "deep" friendship, resembling family.

    Ezri-and-Sam is more of a "buddy" kind of friendship, while Ezri-and-Simon I felt should be a bit closer than that. I feel that Sam, the tough "straight-man", couldn't really provide the comfort and support that Simon--himself a tortured soul--could.

    And, as I said, the story behind this friendship is in a previous tale of mine. I gave some hints of it in this one, but I strongly recommend "The Cleanest Food To Find" for anyone wanting to understand their friendship more. :)
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  18. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 11, 2008
    Im in ur Tardis, violating ur canon.
    Another well written tale, with great characterisation and dialogue. I really must get around to reading the novels sometime. ;)
  19. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Thank you, Badger! :)
  20. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 13, 2008
    The EIB Network
    Okay...I guess I'd better bump this a bit, so it'll stay on radar as the challenge comes to a close....

    Any more comments, folks? Write away! :)