STAR TREK: DAUNTLESS

 

“Shadow Wars”

 

 

 

 

An original screenplay set in the Star Trekä Universe

 

 

 

 

by James DiBenedetto

 

May, 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

fade in

 

int common room – day

 

We open in a large, sparsely furnished common room.  There is a large (10-12 or so) group of Romulan children seated on the floor, looking up at a tall, hooded man standing over them (but with his back to us).  The man is clearly lecturing them…we come in as he’s in mid-lesson, and his voice sounds very familiar to us…

 

teacher

…S’task could not accept that, and he told Surak so.  And from there, their argument began.  They debated back and forth for three days without stopping, not even to eat or to sleep.  And as they argued, their followers came to hear the words of their masters, and by the third day, almost the whole city of Shi’Kahr was watching…

 

The teacher pauses for a moment, and one of the children pipes up

 

romulan child

So who won the argument?  Surak or S’task?

 

Before the hooded figure can answer, we hear the sound of door chimes.

 

teacher

I will continue the lesson in a moment.  Please excuse me.

 

The hooded figure turns and heads to the door – and as he does, we can now see his face, and he is revealed to be none other than Spock!

 

Spock goes to the door and taps a control on the wall to open it.  Standing outside is an older Romulan woman, a woman we – and Spock - have met once before, many years ago.  She’s quite short, with long black hair.  Spock is unable to completely conceal his surprise.

 

spock

You! 

(beat; calmer)

I did not think I would ever see you again.

(turning back to the children)

I apologize, but I will not be able to continue the lesson today.  We will begin again tomorrow morning.  You may return to your homes.

 

The children all get up and make their way out as Spock ushers the woman – Elyandra – inside.

 

elyandra

I’m flattered that you remember me.  It has been…how long?  A hundred and twenty years?

 

spock

One hundred twenty two point five three.  When I arrived on Romulus, I spent some time searching for information about you.  I was unsuccessful.

 

elyandra

I’ve kept a low profile, in hopes that my disgrace would not extend to my family.  But I wonder why you looked?  Curiosity?

 

Spock

Concern.  And…regret.  Perhaps my logic is uncertain, since regret is an emotional response, and a most unproductive one.  Both duty and logic required us…me…to do what I did, to obtain the cloaking device.  But neither duty nor logic required you to be hurt in the process.  And I regret that now, as I did then.

 

elyandra

Duty, always duty.  All things return to duty…and to honor.  They cause so much difficulty, do they not?  I have…learned, let us say…learned to understand what you did, and why.  I did not come to bring up old wounds, or to seek vengeance.  A hundred and twenty two point three five years serves well to erase old grudges.

 

spock

Point five three, not point three five.

 

elyandra

(laughing)

You have not changed at all, Spock!  I wager that even in a thousand years you would never change.

 

spock

I must disagree…Elyandra.

 

elyandra

Of course you must, but you are wrong, and the Universe is a better place for your constancy…and even for you being wrong every once in a great while.

 

spock

I would not presume to debate you on that. 

(beat)

Welcome though your visit is, if I may ask, why have you come?

 

elyandra

I need your help.  I suppose it is ironic, because it is a matter of duty and honor as well. 

 

spock

Indeed.  Many things are.

 

elyandra

And this one most of all.  As you may know, or not, I still have contacts in the military despite my disgrace.  Only a few, but they are highly placed…they have a significant amount of seniority.  I imagine you are quite familiar with that.

 

Spock only raises an eyebrow, and Elyandra continues.

 

elyandra

There is a project…very secret, very important.  Weapons research…they are creating a weapon that cannot…must not be completed.  The Senate intends to use it to destroy the Federation…and if it is completed, you can be sure that it would accomplish that.  Entire populations would be simply wiped out.  In itself, that is dishonorable.  We are a warrior people, but the wholesale slaughter of civilians is not the act of a warrior. 

(beat)

But that would not be the end of it.  Each Senator would try to use it for their own ends, they would see an easy way to destroy their enemies within the Empire…we would destroy ourselves as surely as we destroyed the Federation, the Klingons, everyone. 

 

spock

And your…contacts…do they agree with your view of the situation?

 

elyandra

A few.  But mostly, they see only their duty to the Empire, and not, as I do, their duty to maintain the honor of the Empire – even if the Empire has forgotten that honor itself.  I had hoped…as I said, my family mostly escaped the stain of my disgrace.  My grandson commands a Warbird, and I believe that I might have convinced him to help.  But his ship was dispatched on a mission, and I have not been able to communicate with him. 

 

spock

And so you have come to me.

 

elyandra

Exactly.  My friends and my family cannot help me, and so I must place my fate, and my Empire’s fate, into the hands of an enemy…my oldest enemy.  Truly the Universe has a sense of humor…the only man I have left to trust is the man who once betrayed my trust.  And yet I do trust you.  Will you help me?

 

spock

I was an ambassador once.  I could have done much for you then.  Now I am only a teacher of children, an exile from my own people and still regarded as an enemy by most of yours.

(beat)

Nonetheless, you have risked much to ask this of me, and such courage demands a response.  I believe that there is one avenue I can pursue.  I will not promise you results.  But I will do all that I can.  Logic dictates that I must.

 

elyandra

(smiling)

Only logic?

 

spock

No.  Not only logic.  And if you believed that it was only a matter of logic, you would not have come to ask this of me.

 

Elyandra slowly runs her hand down Spock’s arm, finally taking his hand, staring into his eyes as she does.

 

elyandra

As I said, you have not changed.  And I hope that you never do, Spock.  For all our sakes…

 

And on Elyandra’s words, we FADE OUT…

 

ext  tundra planet – day

 

And we FADE IN to a frozen snowscape.  There is a large building complex in the foreground, but other than that, it’s nothing but trackless white wasteland in all directions as far as the eye can see.

 

We close in on the complex, and just as we can begin to see individual details, like various transmitters, weapon emplacements, etc, we also see a tiny figure standing outside the complex.

 

Now we focus closer, and we can see that the figure is a humanoid, hooded and wearing cold-weather gear.  We also notice a phaser on her belt, along with a couple of other, unidentified devices.  The figure is fiddling with a yet another small, hemispherical device; after a few seconds, the device is attached to a wall.  The figure holds a small remote control in its hand; we see three green lights on the control.

 

And then the figure shimmers out in a sparkle of transporter effect…

 

int complex

 

…and now the figure shimmers back into existence.  Hands reach up, pull the hood off, to reveal a bright-eyed, brown-haired human woman.  This is ALEXA DAVIES. 

 

Alexa holds a hand out, and just above her outstretched palm there’s another transporter shimmer, and the hemispherical device falls into her hand.  She smiles, drops the device into a pocket, and then looks thoughtfully down the corridors to her left and right.  After a second or two of consideration, she reaches a decision, and heads off to her left.

 

As Alexa makes her way down the corridors, we see that there are symbols on the walls in two different languages; neither of which we can understand, but which Alexa appears to, based on the way she’s nodding her head as she glances at the alien messages.

 

She finally arrives at a door.  Alexa stands right next to the wall, waiting.  She taps her foot…once, twice, three times…and the door slides open, revealing a Romulan soldier.

 

The Romulan barely has time to register his surprise at Alexa’s presence before she reaches out and does a Vulcan neck pinch on him, dropping him to the floor as the door slides closed behind him.  Alexa then kneels down and takes a small ID tag from somewhere in the Romulan’s uniform.  Then, with a little grunt of effort, props the Romulan up into a standing position.  She reaches out, grabs his hand and presses it to a small scanning panel on the wall near the door.  There’s a beep as the wall scanner accepts the Romulan’s palm print, and the door slides open again.  Leaving the Romulan to flop back onto the floor, Alexa heads through the door. 

 

Alexa proceeds down another corridor for a few seconds until she reaches an elevator.  She takes the ID tag she acquired from the Romulan and sticks it into a slot on the wall.  A control panel lights up.

 

After a couple of seconds, we hear the sound of the elevator arriving, and the door opens – to reveal three Romulan soldiers inside.

 

Almost too fast for us to see, Alexa’s got the phaser off her belt and she’s firing – two of the Romulans go down, whether they’re stunned or dead we can’t tell. 

 

The third Romulan avoids Alexa’s first shots, and reaches out to tap the control panel of the elevator to call for help.  Alexa’s on him before he can do that, though – she grabs his arm and twists hard, and we can hear the sound of bones breaking.  Just as she releases his arm, she does a leaping kick, right in the Romulan’s face, and he collapses in a heap. 

 

Now Alexa taps the elevator controls, and it zooms down deep into the Romulan complex.  Alexa takes one of the devices from her belt, and sticks it to the wall of the elevator.  When the elevator stops and the door opens, she touches a button on the device immediately before she exits.

 

She heads down another corridor, and just as she turns a corner, there’s a loud explosion behind us, and the corridor shakes.  Alexa doesn’t break stride, but she does have a satisfied smile on her face.

 

We hear sirens, and red alert lights flash in the corridor, and we hear an alien language, presumably Romulan, shouting on an intercom.

 

She finally reaches a heavy door with various warnings – even with the Romulan script, the accompanying graphics tell that these are “Biohazard” and “Danger” messages. 

 

Alexa pulls the hemispherical device and the remote control out again.  We see that instead of three green lights on the remote, there are two yellow lights.  She attaches the device to the door, touches the remote, and vanishes in a transporter sparkle…

 

int high security research lab

 

…and she reappears inside a high-tech biological research lab.  The lab is very large, maybe 20 meters to a side, but it’s currently unoccupied.  We can see that there are several bio-beds, two stasis chambers, and a plethora of other equipment that isn’t immediately identifiable.

 

As she takes stock of her surroundings, Alexa puts the remote away and we see there’s now just one red light on it.

 

Alexa pulls yet another device off her belt, a scanner.  She waves it all around her, examines it, and heads towards a particular piece of equipment. 

 

It’s a storage unit of some kind.  She reaches into a pocket and fishes out a cable, which she uses to connect her scanner to the control panel of the storage unit.  After ten seconds or so, the scanner beeps, the control panel lights up, and the storage unit slides open, to reveal several vials, each containing a different colored substance.  Alexa pulls out one more thing from her pockets, a cylinder slightly larger than the vials, with a tiny control panel on the side.  She consults her scanner, and selects one particular vial, with a dark violet liquid in it.  She puts the vial in the cylinder, seals it, taps a control, and sticks the cylinder back into her pocket.  Finally, she attaches another device to the storage unit before she closes it up again.

 

Now Alexa heads for a door on the opposite side of the lab, pulls out her remote control, taps it, waits for the hemispherical device to reappear in her hand, and opens the door.

 

Slowly, carefully, she makes her way out into another corridor.  About 10 meters ahead of her there’s a T-junction, and from the left side, a Romulan pokes his head around the corner, spots Alexa, and drops in mid-shout as Alexa hits him with a shot from her phaser.  She continues down, and when she hears sounds behind her, she begins to run. 

 

Two Romulans burst out of the lab behind Alexa just as she turns a corner to the left.  Stopping for a moment, she consults her scanner, nods her head, and then waits for the Romulans to catch up to her.

 

The first Romulan has his disruptor pistol out as he begins to round the corner.  Alexa grapples him and shoves him into the second Romulan.  The two soldiers both fall over, and Alexa shoots them both before heading off down the right-side junction of the corridor.     

 

She finally comes to a small access hatch, and pulls it open to reveal an emergency ladder.  Alexa enters the hatch and begins to climb…

 

ext tundra planet

 

…and she emerges outside via a small hatch on one wall of the complex.  As she does, we see that someone’s waiting for her: a balding, middle-aged man wearing a dark brown/black jacket, scowling at her as she comes out.  This is WILLIAM COLE.

 

She smiles brightly at Cole. 

 

cole

You didn’t follow instructions.

 

Alexa sighs, counts on her fingers…three…two…one…

 

And there’s a muffled explosion somewhere in the complex, and the ground shakes.  Cole shakes his head and begins to walk away from the complex, Alexa following.

 

cole

This isn’t a game, Miss Davies.

 

Alexa jogs to catch up with Cole, as the complex begins to collapse from the center outwards.

 

alexa

You know how long I’ve been involved with the organization, Cole…

(louder)

Program off!

(softer again)

…do you really think I don’t take my job seriously?

 

As Alexa speaks, the Tundra Planet fades away to be replaced by the bright yellow gridlines of a holosuite.

 

cole

(grudgingly)

I can’t argue with your record, no.

 

alexa

I wouldn’t think so.  Besides, the last agent we had here, your old friend Luther Sloan, he was as grim and stone faced as they come, and look what happened to him…

 

Cole looks pained for a moment at the memory.

 

cole

Don’t joke about him.

 

alexa

I’m not.  You should have looked at my file more carefully.  He was an old family friend, you have no idea.  I mean, I used to call him “Uncle Luther”.  We were like two pods in a pea…peas in a pod…you know what I mean.  And I know just how good he was at his job.  Just like I am.

 

As she talks, she and Cole head for the exit.

 

cole

Point taken.  

 

The door opens, and Alexa and Cole emerge onto the upper level of Quark’s Bar on Deep Space Nine.

 

int deep space nine – quaRK’s bar

 

alexa

Great!  So do I pass or not?

 

cole

You know the answer to that, or you wouldn’t be asking the question.

 

alexa

(imitating Cole’s voice)

Point taken.

(in her normal voice)

If that’s all cleared up, I have just one more question, right? 

What’s the word, sir?

 

cole

The word is go.

 

alexa

Perfect!  If you wouldn’t mind escorting me to my quarters, I have to get ready before my starship arrives.  It’s supposed to be here in…

 

They head down to the main level of the Bar, and towards the exit.

 

cole

…six hours, I believe.  I suppose I don’t have much else to tell you.  Just keep in mind, that…

(pointing back to indicate the holosuite)

…will be the easy part of the mission.  Don’t get cocky.

 

alexa

Overconfidence leads to carelessness.  Carelessness leads to death.  Luther taught me that when I was two years old, Will.  I’ll get the job done and I won’t let a swollen ego foul it up. 

 

cole

Make sure you don’t, Alexa.  We can’t afford to lose any more people, not even…

(Cole grins, just slightly)

…a brat like you.

 

Alexa turns to Cole, sees the hint of a smile on his face, and laughs, and on that, we CUT TO:

 

ext space

 

A Galaxy Class starship cruises through the blackness.  As the massive ship flies past us, we can see her name: USS Dauntless, NCC-72409.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The bridge looks very much like the bridge of the old Enterprise-D, with the exception of the color scheme – the dominant colors on the Dauntless’ bridge are white and silver-gray.

 

The regular command crew of the starship is currently on duty; the people we’ll get to know are:

 

COMMANDER SENEK, a dark-skinned male Vulcan and the Chief Engineer, currently at the Bridge engineering station.  Like most of the Vulcans we’ve seen before, he’s fairly tall and rail-thin. 

 

First Officer COMMANDER HARRY MATSUSHITA, a human of Japanese descent in his mid-late 30’s, sitting next to the Captain, and:

 

The Captain herself, BRENNA HALLIWAY, an Alpha Centauran woman in her 40’s, currently occupying the center seat.  From the outside, Centaurans look just like humans; there’s no way to tell the difference.  Halliway is relatively short, 5’”4 or so, with short brown hair.

 

Also on the bridge are the Helm Officer, LT. VARLA TREGOR, a Tellarite female; the Ops Officer, LT. COMMANDER MASON HARRIS, a human male; the Security Officer, LT. BELEV, a male Andorian; and a human female, LT. MARIA LING, the Science Officer.

 

The viewscreen shows empty space ahead of the starship.

 

halliway

Lieutenant Tregor, what’s our ETA at Deep Space Nine?

 

lt. tregor

Eight hours, Captain.

 

Brenna turns to her Chief Engineer.

 

halliway

Senek, I assume you’ve transmitted all our supply and repair needs to DS9?

 

senek

Yes, Captain.  Their Operations Officer informed me that everything we require will be available upon our arrival.

 

matsushita

I understand their Operations Chief is a Ferengi?  I hope we won’t have to bargain for our supplies.

 

senek

Lieutenant Nog is indeed a Ferengi.  However, your prejudice is misplaced, Commander.  Mr. Nog has an exemplary service record, and he was unfailingly professional during our conversation.

(beat)

Except for one strange thing.  He asked me if I played a human game called “base-ball”.  I did not understand the relevance of his question.

 

Halliway laughs.

 

halliway

You never met Captain Sisko, did you, Senek?

(Senek shakes his head)

It’s all his fault.  While we’re aboard DS9, you’ll have to find someone on the staff there to tell you the story.  I couldn’t possibly do it justice.  In the meantime, Harry, make sure everyone who’s not on duty gets a chance to have a few hours of shore leave on the station if they want it. 

 

matsushita

Already on it, Captain.

 

Halliway stands up, stretches.

 

halliway

I expected nothing less. 

 

Halliway heads towards one of the Bridge exits.

 

halliway

I’ll be in my Ready Room if I’m needed.  You have the Bridge, Commander.

 

Harry slides over to the big chair, and we CUT TO:

 

ext space – deep space nine

 

Establishing shot.  The station floats serenely in space.  There is a Klingon Vor’Cha-class battlecruiser docked at one of the upper pylons.

 

int deep space nine – quark’s bar

 

The bar is crowded, with a large contingent of Klingons drinking, shouting, harassing the staff – acting just like Klingons, in other words.

 

We see QUARK carrying a tray of drinks to one table of Klingons.

 

quark

Here you are…

(dispensing mugs to the Klingons)

…now which one of you fine gentlemen gets the check?

 

There’s grumbling from the Klingons at that.  One of them takes a swig of his drink, roars, and throws his mug across the room.  He then stands, grabs Quark and lifts him in the air.

 

drunken klingon

This is not bloodwine!  It is not fit for Targs to drink!

 

The Klingon tosses Quark to the floor, and glowers down at the Ferengi.

 

drunken klingon

Now bring us good bloodwine, or I will tear out your entrails and make you eat them!

 

His honor satisfied for the moment, the Klingon returns to his companions.

 

Right at this moment, Alexa enters the bar.  She’s wearing a shimmering dress that’s nearly as revealing as the outfits on the Dabo girls.  She’s also wearing a pair of earrings that seem to change color every time you look at them.

 

She spots Quark picking himself off the floor and helps him up. 

 

When she speaks to Quark, she talks very rapidly, and almost in a singsong tone of voice:

 

alexa

Are you alright?  I just saw the end of it, those Klingons can be very excitable, can’t they?  You have no idea…oh, well I guess you do, but you know what I mean.  Here, let me help…there you go, what happened?  I mean, I saw what happened, but what happened?

 

At this point, Alexa has her arm around Quark, and she’s leading him back to the bar.

 

quark

(regaining his composure)

Thank you.  It was nothing.  One of my fine customers was merely expressing his opinion about the quality of the bloodwine.

 

Quark looks Alexa up and down, and smiles; he likes what he sees.

 

quark

I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure, Miss…?

 

alexa

Davies.  Alexa.  Alexa Davies.  And you’re Quark.  Owner of the bar, right?  And brother of the Grand Nagus?

(Quark frowns)

But Zek should have chosen you, right?  You shouldn’t be upset about it, from what I hear the job isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, right?  And besides, it’s like that saying, uneasy lies the crown that wears the head…oh, that’s backwards probably, but you know what I mean.  It’s a pleasure to meet you either way.

 

Quark rolls his eyes; he’s not sure exactly what to make of her.

 

quark   

Are you here for business or…

(leering)

pleasure?

 

Alexa laughs.

 

alexa

Both, probably.  I’m meeting an old friend, well, I have a lot of friends, I mean, I like everyone, but this is a very special friend, right?  But that’s not for a couple of hours, and so I came down here to relax and enjoy myself until then.  And it’s your bar, right, so I thought maybe you’d have some ideas about that, right?

 

Alexa begins stroking Quark’s ears.  Quark lets out a sudden yelp, pleasure mixed with surprise.

 

quark

Oh, yes.  I’ve got a couple in mind already…

 

int uss dauntless – captain’s ready room

 

Captain Halliway sits behind her desk, with Commander Senek and a new face, the Chief Medical Officer, DR. MAREV, a male Andorian.

 

halliway

You have the final crew reports, Doctor?

 

marev

Yes, Captain.  They all check out.  Excepting of course the remaining crew members we’ll be picking up on Deep Space Nine.

 

senek

The ship is at peak efficiency as well, Captain.  Once our final supplies are loaded, we will be fully prepared for our mission.

 

halliway

Excellent, gentlemen.  Are both of you prepared?  Three years is a long time to be away from home.

 

senek

Certainly, Captain.

 

maRev

Of course I am prepared.  I must ask, are you, Captain?  You are the only member of the crew to avoid her physical.  I do not have an efficiency rating for you on file.

 

halliway

I wouldn’t worry about that, Doctor.  I’m fine.

 

marev

I will worry about it, Captain.  Your health is my responsibility, and with all due respect, I won’t allow your childish refusal to report for your physical to reflect on my reputation.

 

halliway

No, I don’t suppose you would, would you?  That’s why I asked for you as my CMO.  We’re due at DS9 in two hours.  I have a few things to attend to here, but I’ll come down for my physical in one hour, will that be acceptable?

 

marev

Perfectly so, Captain.

 

halliway

That’s settled, then…

 

int deep space nine – quark’s office

 

Alexa and Quark are very cozy, lounging on a couch.  She’s stroking his ears.

 

alexa

You must see every kind of starship here, right?  Starfleet, Klingon, Cardassian, Bajoran, Romulan, I bet you get all of them in here.  I’ve always wanted to see a Romulan Warbird, you know, one of the really big ones?  Up close, I mean, of course I’ve seen pictures, you have no idea.  But in person, right?  I was hoping to see one while I was here, but I guess maybe not?

 

quark

You missed one a couple of days ago.  They stopped off here for a few hours, and then right into the wormhole for a survey mission.

 

alexa

Oh!  That’s a shame, I was really hoping, you have no idea.  But there are plenty of other ships.  That big Klingon ship, that’s a really pretty ship.  And big, too.  But it would have been nice to see some Romulans.  You just don’t see them too often.  They’re all so mysterious.  Kind of sexy, maybe even.

 

quark

Yes…sexy…

(he’s lost for a moment as Alexa works on his ears)

…you really did miss out.  Their commander was in here.  Tomok…Tamalak…

 

alexa

(whispering)

Tomolok?

 

quark

Tomolok.  He came in here, and let me tell you, he was as arrogant as they come.  Walked in, insulted me, spent ten minutes talking to some retired Cardassian Gul, and then off he went.  And he didn’t even pay for his drink!

 

alexa

When I was on Risa, we got a few Romulans for guests.  Just a few, and they were the worst tippers, you have no idea.  And rude, right?  But still, a job’s a job, you do what you’re supposed to do, right?

 

Quark’s eyes go wide at this comment.

 

quark

You worked on Risa?

 

alexa

Oh, yes!  I was a…hostess is probably the best word, right?  For almost two years.  I loved it, best experience I’ve ever had.  And the guests didn’t complain either, right?

 

quark

I would imagine not…

 

Alexa looks at a chronometer on the wall.

 

alexa

I’ve got another twenty minutes or so until my friend arrives, right?  I could tell you more about Risa, if you want to hear about it?

 

quark

You could show me more about Risa…

 

Alexa

Even better…

 

And on that, we CUT TO:

 

ext space

 

A massive Romulan Warbird cruises through deep space.

 

INT ROMULAN WARBIRD NARREK – bridge

 

A purposeful silence and focused resolve pervades the bridge.  The Warbird’s commander, TOMOLOK, sits in his center seat taking everything in.  The Communications Officer, TELOR, a young Romulan woman, turns to face him.

 

telor

Commander, I’m receiving a transmission from the research outpost.

 

tomolok

Yes, Subcommander?

 

telor

Chief Researcher Baratt requests an update on our status.

 

tomolok

Does he?

 

Telor is very nervous now, with Tomolok’s attention focused on her.  One of the other officers, an older male officer named RENNOK, looks concerned.

 

telor

Yes, sir!  The transmission was quite clear, sir.

 

tomolok

Indeed.  I’m sure it was.  You may tell the Chief Researcher that we are on schedule, and we have all the requested supplies and replacement crew.  And you may also tell him that I have been ordered by Admiral Tavarrek to make a full report on the status of the project.  I will expect Baratt to give me a complete tour of his facility upon our arrival.

 

telor

Yes, sir.

 

As Telor carries out her orders, Rennok walks over to Tomolok.

 

rennok

If I may, Commander, I would like to speak with you in private.

 

tomolok

I always have time for you, Rennok.  After you…

 

Rennok and Tomolok walk off the bridge.  We follow them into a small Ready Room.

 

INT ROMULAN WARBIRD NARREK – tomolok’s ready room

 

Neither officer sits; they face each other, and Tomolok begins speaking as soon as the door closes behind him.

 

tomolok

I assume you want to express disapproval over my attitude towards Chief Researcher Baratt. 

 

rennok

I don’t disapprove personally, Commander.  I share your opinion of him.  My superiors, however…

 

tomolok

And if I should stray too far from the opinions of your superiors?

 

rennok

That depends.  I see several possibilities.  I kill you and take command of this ship myself, or I allow you to pursue this mission as you see fit, report you when we return to Romulus, and you are executed.

 

tomolok

Or I could have you killed, and hope that I have enough friends and favors to save me from your superiors upon my return to Romulus.

 

rennok

Better if it doesn’t come to that.  I don’t especially enjoy having my friends executed, and I think…I hope, at any rate…that you don’t either. 

 

tomolok

Indeed.

 

rennok

So we agree.  I suggest you keep your opinions about Baratt and his project to yourself.  Just because I’m the only official Tal Shiar officer onboard does not mean I’m the only Tal Shiar officer onboard.

(Tomolok nods)

So, keep your thoughts to yourself, and carry out the mission as ordered, and if Baratt really does turn out to be a problem, I’ll back you in whatever you decide to do.  And as long as things turn out successfully…

 

tomolok

There’s a saying I came across once upon a time.  “Success is a great deodorant.” 

 

   rennok

It sounds like a human saying.  Childish and disgusting, yet true.  So make sure that we succeed.

 

tomolok

When have I ever done otherwise?

 

And on those words, we CUT TO:

 

ext space – deep space nine

 

The USS Dauntless is now docked to an upper pylon of the station along with the Klingon warship.

 

int deep space nine – quark’s bar

 

We open on Alexa exiting Quark’s office, smoothing her dress, scanning the crowd for familiar faces.  After just a second, she finds one, just now entering the bar:

 

Captain Halliway.

 

alexa

Brenna!

 

Halliway looks for the person who’s shouting her name, sees Alexa, smiles, heads for her.

 

Alexa makes her way towards Halliway, and they meet in the middle of the bar, embracing.

 

halliway

Alexa!  I’m so glad to see you.

 

alexa

I am, too, you have no idea.  I heard about your orders, I’m just lucky I caught you here.

 

Alexa leads Halliway to an unoccupied table, and they sit.

 

halliway

How did you hear…?

 

alexa

You know me, I hear things here and there, right?  I’m a really good listener, you remember, don’t you?

 

halliway

I do remember.  Risa wasn’t all that long ago.  But what have you been up to since then?

 

alexa

This and that, things, stuff.  You know.  I move around a lot, which I love, but maybe I want to have something a little more stable now, right?

 

halliway

I understand completely.  I just might have something that would work for both of us.

 

alexa

Really?

 

halliway

I need someone to run the Ten Forward lounge on the Dauntless.  We’re heading out on a three year mission, but you already knew that, didn’t you?

 

alexa

I confess, I confess.  I was wondering if you might be thinking about that…a friend in need and all that, right?  Three years is kind of a long time, but I guess that is kind of stable, too. 

 

halliway

Is that a yes or a no?

 

alexa

You wouldn’t have asked if you didn’t already know the answer, right?  I’m already packed, when do we leave?

 

halliway

Twenty four hours.  I’ll be very busy with the final preparations, so you should check in with Commander Matsushita as soon as you can.  And once we’re underway, I do want to catch up with you properly.  I’m sure we can make time for that.

 

alexa

Got it.  Check in with Harry, move all my stuff aboard, spend some time with you later.  I can handle that, right?  Why don’t I let you go, you’re really busy, you have no idea, and I’ll get myself settled onboard.

 

Halliway grins, shakes Alexa’s hand, stands and turns to leave the bar, but something occurs to her and she stops in mid-step.

 

halliway

How do you know Commander Matsushita…oh, I forgot, you have your ways, right?  Trade secret and all that?

 

alexa

Something like that.

 

Halliway leaves, and Alexa follows.  She stops on her way out at the table with the drunken Klingons.

 

alexa

(in Klingonese, with subtitles in English)

Are you with the Battlecruiser Ro’Tamek?

 

The Klingons look up, surprised to see a human female speaking their language.

 

drunken Klingon

(in English)

What business is it of yours, human?

 

Alexa shrugs, and reverts to English herself.

 

alexa

Anything I choose to make my business is my business.  But I’m looking for Captain Navrag.  I’m a…friend…of his, I think he’d like to see me before he leaves this station, and I know that if he learns you prevented him from seeing me, he’ll be most displeased.  You remember what he did to General Bodak, don’t you?  I wouldn’t want to displease him, I can tell you that.

 

The Klingons all consider this.  Their drunken leader finally reaches a decision.

 

drunken klingon

  Go to his quarters.  He is there.

 

Alexa smiles brightly.

 

alexa

I knew you’d be helpful!

 

She leaves.  The Klingons stare at her as she departs.

 

drunken klingon

(in Klingonese, with subtitles)

Either that human is less fragile than she appears, or Navrag is growing soft in his old age.

 

drunken klingon #2

He maimed General Bodak!  He has not grown weak!

 

drunken klingon

And that little creature survived mating with him?  I do not believe it!  There must be some other explanation…

 

And on that, we CUT TO:

 

int deep space nine – visitor quarters

 

In a sparsely furnished guest room, a big, middle-aged, shirtless Klingon, NAVRAG, Captain of the battlecruiser Ro’Tamek, is going through an exercise routine.  As he does, there’s a chime at his door.  Navrag glowers, grunts, and then:

 

navrag

Enter!

 

Alexa appears in his doorway.  Navrag immediately brightens.

 

alexa

I hope I’m not interrupting you.

 

navrag

No!  Come in, come in.  I did not expect to see you here!

 

Alexa goes over to Navrag, hugs him.  As she does, she runs her hand up and down his back, feeling for something.  When we see his back, we notice that there’s a nasty series of scars running most of the way down.

 

alexa

You’ve still got your scars.

 

navrag

Marks of honor, Alexa, as you well know.

 

As Alexa talks, we note that her voice isn’t quite as sing-songy as it was with Quark or Halliway.

 

alexa

Captain Halliway…Brenna…still has hers, too.  At least she did the last time I saw.  I’m sure I’ll have the chance to check again in the next few days.  Do you want to know if they’re still there?

 

navrag

Certainly not!  But…

(he laughs)

Tell me anyway, when you have the chance.  But you did not come here to talk about her past, or mine, did you?

 

alexa

You know me too well, right?  Story of my life, I guess.  I did want to see you, just to see you.  But I have information, too.  And I need some.

 

navrag

You never change, do you?

 

alexa

No, probably I don’t, you have no idea.  Or maybe you do.  Either way, you know Brenna is still commanding a starship.

 

navrag

The Dauntless.  I do keep up.  Not as well as you perhaps, but I doubt that would be possible.

 

alexa

That was probably a compliment, wasn’t it?  Probably.  And no, you couldn’t.  Anyway, she’s been assigned a three year mission into the Gamma Quadrant.  And she’s got a new bartender.    And her bartender happens to know the initial survey route.

 

Navrag looks a bit surprised at this.

 

navrag 

Why would a bartender care about survey routes?  And why does she think that I would care about them?

 

alexa

Well, hypothetically, if it was me, you know how I am, I pay attention to every little thing.  I like to learn about things, that’s all.  I’m sure the new bartender does, too.  And you should care about the Romulans, if they’re getting up to things maybe they shouldn’t, all the way through the wormhole where nobody can watch them.  Right?

 

navrag

The Romulans are our friends now, are they not? 

 

alexa

Keep your enemies close and your friends closer.  Or the reverse.  I never understood that saying anyway, but even if they are friends, there are some things friends shouldn’t do.  And maybe other friends should look in now and then, maybe at, say, 119 mark 344 and 85 lightyears from the Gamma Quadrant terminus of the wormhole.  Right? 

 

navrag

Is there a particular time that your hypothetical “friend” would want to do some of this looking?

 

alexa

Probably five days or so, I think, right?  That’s probably a great time for friends to get together and do whatever they have to do.  And before you ask, Brenna knows nothing about this, and I think maybe she doesn’t need to know about it, and also before you ask, even if I wanted to tell you more, I couldn’t, right? 

 

navrag

I wouldn’t dream of asking.  I do have one question, though.

 

alexa

Two hours before I need to be on board the Dauntless.  And I have no plans at all until then.  Right?  That is what you were going to ask, isn’t it?

 

navrag

Yes.  And that was exactly the answer I was hoping for…

 

And on that note, we CUT TO:

 

ext space

 

The USS Dauntless slowly, gently, undocks from DS9 and begins to move away from the station.

 

ds9 ops officer (vo)

Dauntless, you are cleared for passage through the wormhole.  Good journey!

 

halliway (vo)

We’ll try and make it one.  Thank you.  Dauntless out.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

There’s a sense of excitement on the bridge; nobody’s ever been through a wormhole before.

 

halliway

Lieutenant Tregor, set your course for the wormhole.

 

The Tellarite helmsman enters the course.

 

lt tregor

Course set, Captain.

 

halliway

(louder; she’s on the shipwide intercom now)

This is the Captain.  In just a few seconds, we’ll be entering the Bajoran wormhole.  I’m told it’s an amazing sight, and I encourage everyone who can to get to a viewport and take the opportunity see it with their own eyes to do so.

 

ext space

 

The Dauntless cruises away from the station, and as it does, the wormhole blossoms open with a flash of light.  The starship heads straight in, and, just like that, it’s gone and the wormhole closes behind it.

 

int uss dauntless – ten forward

 

In the ship’s lounge, a roomful of off-duty crew are staring out at the lightshow of the wormhole.  Alexa watches from behind the bar, fascinated.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The bridge crew is equally fascinated, except for Lt. Tregor at the helm, who’s completely focused on keeping the ship steady.

 

ext space

 

Peaceful darkness everywhere, shattered suddenly by the flash and rainbow lightshow of the Gamma Quadrant terminus of the wormhole opening up.

 

The Dauntless glides gracefully out of the wormhole, which then closes behind it.

 

halliway (vo)

This is the Captain.  Welcome to the Gamma Quadrant…

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The bridge crew is beginning to calm down and get back to work.

 

halliway

…time to get to work.  Mr. Harris?

 

The Ops Officer turns his head.

 

Lt. Commander harris

Yes, Captain?

 

halliway

You have our initial survey route programmed in?

 

Lt. Commander harris

Yes.

 

halliway

Excellent. 

(turns around to face the officers behind her)

Miss Ling, work with Mr. Harris.  Give the route one more check against the latest Stellar Cartography data.  Let’s make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be, and then we’ll be on our way.

 

The Science Officer nods.

 

Lt. Ling

Yes, sir!

 

Halliway rises from her seat.

 

halliway

I expect that’ll take two or three hours.  Please alert me when we’re ready to go.  Until then, you have the bridge, Mr. Matsushita.

 

Commander Matsushita moves one seat over into the center chair as Halliway leaves the bridge, and we CUT TO:

 

ext space

 

A Romulan Warbird cruises towards a blue and white planet off in the distance.

 

INT ROMULAN WARBIRD NARREK – bridge

 

Tomolok looks out towards the planet displayed on his viewscreen.

 

tomolok

Subcommander, are we in communications range of the research station yet?

 

telor

Just entering range now, sir.

 

tomolok

Good.  Hail the station.

 

telor

I have them, sir.  Audio only.

 

The voice of Chief Researcher Baratt sounds out over the bridge speakers.

 

baratt (vo)

This is Research Station Metlak-Three.  Identify yourself.

 

tomolok

Metlak Station, this is the Imperial Warbird Narrek.  I am Commander Tomolok.  I assume I am addressing Chief Researcher Baratt?

 

baratt (vo)

You are, and you’re late, Commander.  You were scheduled to arrive here two hours ago.

 

All the officers on the bridge stare at Tomolok; he takes a deep breath and mentally counts to ten before answering.

 

tomolok

Of course, Baratt…excuse me…Chief Researcher.  I apologize for the disruption our tardiness has no doubt caused you.

 

baratt (vo)

Of course you do.  Be sure it doesn’t happen again.  If your crew isn’t too incompetent, perhaps you can make up some of my lost time transferring the parts and supplies down here.

 

tomolok

We will do our humble best, Chief Researcher.  We will enter orbit in…

(he glances at a PADD)

…twenty minutes.  We will begin transporting your supplies down immediately at that point.  Tomolok out.

 

Tomolok takes another deep breath, and then looks around at his officers.  Telor nods to indicate that the channel is closed.

 

tomolok

I apologize for the insult to you.  Duty is duty, and for the moment we are required to show deference to that miserable little creature…

(beat)

…but I promise all of you…when I inspect the base, if there is anything wrong…anything…a single speck of dust on a console, or one bit of data misfiled, I will see to it that Baratt is removed from his position…and I’ll have him brought up here for our…amusement.  I will not tolerate such disrespect to my ship, or to loyal officers such as yourselves…

(beat)

At any rate…Subcommander Varon, put us into standard orbit.

 

The helmsman, Varon, taps away at his controls, and we CUT TO:

 

ext space

 

The USS Dauntless cruises through space, towards a blue-and-green planet off in the distance.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

Commander Matsushita is in the center seat, staring out at the approaching planet on the viewscreen.  Lt. Tregor is at the helm.

 

lt. tregor

We will enter standard orbit in twenty eight minutes, Commander.

 

matsushita

Excellent. 

(turns to Lt. Ling at the science station)

Lieutenant, what do we know about this planet?

 

lt. ling

Very little, sir.  Mackendrie Three was believed to be a weapons research center for the Dominion during the war, but Starfleet was never able to officially confirm that.  It is a Class M planet, with no record of any native animal species of any special note.

 

matsushita

Well, keep scanning.  I’d hate to tell the Captain that everything down there is fine and then run into an unpleasant surprise when we send the away teams to the surface.  Especially since I’ll probably be down there with them.

 

lt. ling

Understood, sir.

 

As Ling returns to her scanning, we hear alarms go off on the Bridge.  Belev, the Andorian security officer, is the first to respond.

 

belev

Reading three…four Jem’Hadar attack ships coming out of warp.  They are on an intercept course, contact in forty seconds.

 

matsushita

Are they hailing us?

 

belev

No, sir.  Their weapons are armed and we are being scanned.

 

matsushita

Red alert!  Raise shields!  Captain to the Bridge!

(beat)

Scan them.

 

The red alert lights come up.

 

belev

They read as standard attack fighters.  Nothing we haven’t seen before.  We should be able to handle them.

 

matsushita

Better if we don’t have to.  Try to hail them, Belev.

 

belev

No response, sir.  Contact in thirty seconds.

 

matsushita

Damn.  Arm phasers and torpedoes. 

 

ext space

 

We can now see the four Jem’Hadar ships – these are the small, “fighter” type craft we saw so often in the Dominion War.  They’re coming in fast towards the Dauntless.  As they close on the Galaxy-class ship, all four open fire.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

Captain Halliway enters the bridge just as it shudders from the Jem’Hadar attack.

 

halliway

What’s our situation?

 

belev

Direct hit, minimal damage, shields down to 83 percent.

 

Halliway makes it to the center seat just as the ship is hit again.  Commander Matsushita moves over to the first officer’s position to make room for her.

 

halliway

Return fire – target all weapons on the lead ship.

 

ext space

 

The four Jem’Hadar craft are swooping back towards the Dauntless for another attack run.  Before they can fire again, the Dauntless lashes out with phasers and torpedoes, overwhelming the shields of the lead attacker and obliterating the ship.

 

The explosion and resulting debris forces one of the other Jem’Hadar craft out of its attack run, but the other two ships fire on the Dauntless, hitting it, and then zooming past the starship.

 

belev (vo)

Target destroyed.  Retargeting…firing…

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

On the bridge viewscreen, we see phasers and torpedoes blast out at another Jem’Hadar ship, damaging it severely, but not destroying it.  The stricken ship spins off, out of control.

 

halliway

Mr. Harris, try to hail them.

 

harris

No response, Captain.

 

The bridge shakes again, a bit more violently this time.

 

belev

Shields down to 59 percent now.

 

halliway

Continue firing.

 

ext space

 

The Dauntless attacks again, and this time the assault is more effective, destroying the Jem’Hadar ship that was targeted.  We can see in the background the previously-damaged ship still drifting out of control.

 

The lone undamaged Jem’Hadar ship comes about and begins a full-speed run towards the Dauntless.  We’ve seen this before from the Jem’Hadar – it’s clearly a suicide run.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

Along with the crew, we see the Jem’Hadar fighter coming straight in at high speed.

 

halliway

Mr. Tregor, evasive course – 0 mark 180, now!

(to Harris at the Ops station)

I want tractor beams on that ship, full power!

 

ext space

 

The Dauntless executes a very pretty maneuver, slipping “under” the Jem’Hadar ship just as it’s coming in, and then applying tractor beams to it, holding the attacking ship in place.  The extreme force of coming to a sudden stop tears one of the engine nacelles right off the Jem’Hadar craft – but despite a small, crackling explosion on the underside of the ship, it is not destroyed.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

There’s relief on everyone’s face; most of the crew is amazed that they got away with that maneuver.

 

halliway

Maybe NOW they’ll talk to us.  Mr. Harris?

 

harris

They are responding, Captain.  On screen.

 

The cramped bridge of the Jem’Hadar ship fills the screen.  A Jem’Hadar warrior addresses Halliway.

 

halliway

Why have you violated the armistice with the Federation?

 

jem’hadar warrior

It is you who have violated the armistice.

 

halliway

This mission was agreed to by your leaders.  Our presence here is no violation. 

 

jem’hadar warrior

Other ships from your quadrant have come to this planet in violation of the armistice.  They have ransacked our facilities and bases.  We were dispatched to investigate.  We discovered you here continuing the violations.  We have already transmitted a record of this violation to our command base.  This conversation can serve no further useful purpose.

 

And with that, before Halliway can say another word, the screen goes dead.

 

halliway

Oh, sh…full power to the shields!

 

ext space

 

In tandem, both the tractored Jem’Hadar ship and the damaged one explode, taking their crews and any information they may have had with them.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The Dauntless again shudders from the force of the explosion, as the main screen shows the debris clouds that used to be ships.

 

matsushita

Well, at least they haven’t changed since the war.  Same friendly Jem’Hadar we’ve come to know and love.

 

halliway

I don’t like what he said about other ships from the Alpha quadrant.  Mr. Harris, transmit our logs to the communications array back at the wormhole and request any information Starfleet has about Alpha Quadrant ships coming through the wormhole.  Maybe they forgot to tell us something before they left.  It certainly wouldn’t be the first time…

 

int uss dauntless – alexa’s quarters

 

Alexa is sitting at a desk, watching a replay of the end of the battle and the conversation between Captain Halliway and the Jem’Hadar.  She’s nodding her head as she watches.

 

alexa

(softly, almost whispering)

Wow.  I didn’t expect that…

(beat)

I wonder if they attacked because they think we’re working with the Romulans and they want to keep us out, or because they’re working with the Romulans and they want to keep us out?

 

She taps a few controls on the desk.  The replay freezes on her display.

 

alexa

Computer, priority override alpha alpha three three nine seven blue.  Check the subspace communication logs, please.  Has the Captain sent a message to Starfleet about the attack?

 

computer (vO)

Yes.  A message was transmitted to Starfleet Command via the wormhole relay system seven minutes ago. 

 

alexa

All those messages go through Deep Space Nine before they get transmitted out wherever else they’re going, yes?

 

computer (VO)

That is correct.

 

alexa

Great!  Then I don’t need to do anything about this for the moment. 

(beat)

OK, please note any subspace transmissions from now on and copy them to my terminal.  Oh…and erase any traces of what you’re doing while you’re at it, yes?

 

computer (VO)

Acknowledged.

 

alexa

Great!  So you go and do that.  End override. 

 

Alexa taps a few more controls, and the replay fades out, and we cut to:

 

int romulan complex – transporter room

 

Chief Researcher Baratt stands at the transporter controls, along with two of his minions, waiting impatiently for Tomolok to beam down.  Everything about Baratt is prim and proper; there’s not a wrinkle on his uniform, or a hair out of place on his head; and his face seems to be set into a permanent sneer.

 

The transporter stage lights up and two figures appear in a sparkle of transporter effect: Tomolok and Rennok.

 

baratt

It’s about time you got here.

 

Tomolok somehow manages to keep a rein on his temper. 

 

tomolok

(just this side of completely sarcastic)

Thank you for meeting us personally, Chief Researcher.  It’s very generous of you to take time out of your busy schedule.

 

baratt

Obviously.  Follow me.  There is much to show you, and I would like to return to my work as soon as possible.

 

Without waiting for an answer, Baratt turns on his heel and exits, followed by his two minions, and then Tomolok and Rennok.  Tomolok shoots Rennok a look that clearly says: “How long must I wait before I can kill him?”  Rennok just sighs apologetically.

 

int romulan complex – corridor

 

As the group of Romulans make their way down the corridor, we see that it’s just about identical to the corridors we saw in Alexa’s training simulation earlier.

 

rennok

How far along is your research?

 

baratt

It would be complete if your incompetent crew could finish unloading all my supplies and equipment.

 

tomolok

Of course.  I will endeavor to speed them up once we’re finished here.

 

baratt

See that you do. 

 

The group comes to an elevator, whose doors open as they approach.  They enter.

 

baratt

Level Six.

 

The elevator whooshes off.

 

A moment later, the elevator slows to a stop, the doors open and the group emerges.

 

minion #1

What you’re about to see, only a few people in the entire Empire have ever seen.  It is our future.

 

tomolok

So I’ve been told.  Exactly what kind of future are you working on for the rest of us?

 

The group reaches a door – exactly the same high security door Alexa saw in her simulation.  With Baratt’s handprint, it opens to the same high security lab Alexa saw earlier.

 

int romulan complex – high security lab

 

All the equipment Alexa saw is here.  Baratt heads straight for the storage unit.  He activates it, and when it opens, he pulls out several vials.

 

baratt

You can forget about your Warbirds and your troops, Commander.  They are now obsolete.  In my hand is the weapon that will win all our wars.  It will make us the greatest power in the Galaxy.

 

On Baratt’s words, we cut to:

 

ext space – deep space nine

 

The Klingon battlecruiser Ro’Tamek is docked with the station.

 

int battlecruiser ro’tamek – main bridge

 

Navrag stands in the center of his bridge, barking orders in Klingonese. 

 

navrag

(in Klingonese, with subtitles)

Open a channel to the station!

 

A speaker crackles to life, and we hear a familiar voice issue forth from it:

 

colonel kira (VO)

Captain Navrag?

 

navrag

(in English)

We are prepared to depart.

 

colonel kira (VO)

You have clearance to transit the wormhole.  Good journey, Captain.

 

navrag

Thank you, Colonel.    Undocking now.

(to the bridge, in Klingonese with subtitles)

Disconnect all moorings!  Set course for the wormhole!

 

ext space – deep space nine

 

The Ro’Tamek slowly pushes away from the station, turning gracefully, and moving off towards the wormhole…which opens up in a rainbow lightshow.  The massive Klingon warship accelerates into the wormhole, which then closes behind it.

 

int spock’s house – common room – day

 

Spock and Elyandra sit together, as we join them in mid-conversation.

 

spock

It appears that your information was correct, at least in part.

 

elyandra

You have news?

 

spock

I have received confirmation, of a sort.  It was fortunate that Starfleet had already scheduled a mission into the Gamma Quadrant.  The ship that was sent, the Dauntless, was attacked by a Dominion patrol squadron. 

 

elyandra

I see.  This damnable weapons project began life as a Dominion experiment.  Our glorious Empire has simply picked up where they left off, using their own facilities.  I presume that was the reason for the attack – the Dominion does not appreciate our commandeering their bases.

 

spock

Indeed.  Fortunately, the Dauntless escaped unharmed.  It is continuing on its mission.  It will reach the target world in two days.

 

elyandra

Will they do what is necessary, even at the risk of war?

 

spock

They will.  They will have no other choice, I think.

 

elyandra

It seems that when my empire and your Federation come into contact, choices are hard to come by.

 

spock

As you say.  I regret that it is so.

 

elyandra

Regret is an emotion, Spock.  And a most unproductive one.  It is not logical.  At least, so I’ve been told.

 

spock

Indeed.  But I fear, as I have said, my logic is uncertain.  But perhaps, sometimes, that is not such a terrible thing.

 

And on that, we cut to:

 

ext space – MACKENDRIE THREE

 

The Dauntless orbits the blue-and-green planet.

 

int uss dauntless – stellar cartography

 

Captain Halliway is here along with her engineer, Senek, and Belev, the security officer.

 

halliway

What am I looking at, exactly?

 

The massive holographic display shows the surface of the planet.  Specifically, we see a large barren section – no trees, no signs of civilization, nothing except patches of thin, brownish grass.

 

senek

You are looking at a site that was sterilized in the fairly recent past.

 

halliway

Sterilized?

 

belev

Obliterated.  From orbit.  Using high energy weapons.  Almost certainly disruptors.

 

halliway

Romulan disruptors?

 

senek

It is impossible to tell the precise nature of the weapon used.  But I agree with Lieutenant Belev that a disruptor is the most likely. 

 

halliway

Would it be worthwhile to send an away team down to do an on site investigation?

 

senek

No, Captain.  We would learn nothing further by doing so.

 

halliway

Well, we’ll stay here another couple of hours, at least until we hear back from Starfleet Command.  Keep at it, and if you do come up with anything new, inform me at once.

 

And with that, Halliway exits, and we cut to:

 

int uss dauntless – ten forward lounge

 

The Dauntless’ Ten Forward lounge looks very similar to the one aboard the old Enterprise-D.  At the moment, there are only a handful of crew here, with Alexa behind the bar.  Halliway enters and heads to the bar.

 

alexa

Brenna! 

 

halliway

Alexa.  It’s been a long day.

 

alexa

The Jem’Hadar?  That wasn’t so bad.  Nobody was worried down here.  Right?

 

halliway

I appreciate the vote of confidence.  But I don’t like not knowing what’s going on.

 

alexa

Starfleet hasn’t gotten back to you?

 

halliway

What do you think?

 

alexa

I think Starfleet hasn’t gotten back to you.  But that’s why you’re the Captain, right?  You make the hard decisions, right, that’s your job.  And the crew follows you, that’s their job.  And I provide the distractions so the rest of you can relax and stay sane, that’s my job.  Right?

 

Halliway smiles.

 

alexa

See, I was right.  So here’s my idea.  You go back to your quarters.  And then I go to your quarters.  And afterwards, you can go back to worrying about everything.  Okay?

 

halliway

What can I say to that?

 

alexa

How about, “yes”?

 

halliway

Yes.

 

Halliway leaves the lounge.

 

alexa

Ensign Drake?  Melinda?

 

A young, redheaded ensign in the yellow uniform of the science department comes over to the bar.

 

alexa

Can you cover for me for a couple of hours?  I know it’s not your shift, right?  But it would really be a big help, I have things I need to do, right?

 

drake

Sure!

 

Alexa’s already halfway to the door before Drake actually agrees.

 

alexa

Thanks!

 

Alexa leaves, and we cut to:

 

int deep space nine – ops

 

Colonel Kira and several other officers are on duty.  They’re watching four Romulan Warbirds on approach to the wormhole.

 

colonel kira

Hail them.

 

ds9 ops officer

I’m getting an automated reply.  They claim that their wormhole transit has been cleared through their government and they are not required to answer to us.

 

colonel kira

Friendly as ever.  At least they’re consistent.

 

ds9 ops officer

What do we do, Colonel?

 

colonel kira

There’s nothing we can do, Lieutenant.  The Romulans are our friends, or at least so we’re told.  Let them go.

 

They watch on their screen as the wormhole opens and the four Warbirds vanish into it, and we cut to:

 

ext space

 

In the Gamma quadrant, the wormhole opens up and disgorges four Romulan Warbirds.

 

Floating nearby, we see the wormhole communications relay.  As the Warbirds cruise away from the wormhole, one of them fires a disruptor at the relay.  The relay is destroyed, and the Warbirds cruise out of sight.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The “night shift” is on duty; the only officers we recognize on the Bridge are Commander Matsushita, currently occupying the center seat, and Lt. Ling at the Science station.

 

matsushita

Lieutenant, wasn’t your shift over an hour ago?

 

lt. ling

Yes, sir.  I was supposed to meet Commander Senek.  He’s been teaching me to read Vulcan.  Well, trying to, anyway.  But he had to cancel the lesson, Lieutenant Belev talked him into helping him run the planetary scans.   So I’m helping them analyze the data from here.

 

matsushita

Lieutenant Belev needs a hobby, I think.

 

lt. ling

I think that running planetary scans IS a hobby for Belev, sir.  That and attack simulations.

 

matsushita

Yes, Belev’s famous simulations.  It’s a good thing he’s on our side.  I’d hate to have him for an enemy.

 

lt. ling

He’s dangerous as a friend, too.  You should go look up his results on the Kobyashi Maru test, sir.  We were in the same class at the Academy, and he set a record for getting his ship destroyed in the least amount of time.  Ever. 

 

Matsushita laughs.

 

matsushita

Ever?  They’ve run that test for a hundred and fifty years.  That’s quite a feat…

 

And on that, we cut to:

 

int uss dauntless – halliway’s quarters

 

Alexa is lounging on a couch, staring out a window at the planet below.  Halliway is standing at her personal replicator.

 

halliway

Coffee.  Black.

 

alexa

I’ve seen people eat and drink every kind of thing, right?  But I still don’t know how you can drink THAT. 

 

halliway

(shrugs)

To each their own, I suppose.  It definitely wakes me up, that’s for sure.

 

alexa

You needed more waking up?  You could have fooled me.  Well, not literally, obviously, right?

 

halliway

You know what I meant.

 

alexa

I probably did, but that’s no reason not to ask, is it?

 

halliway

No, I guess it isn’t.

(her communicator beeps)

Go ahead.

 

matsushita (vo)

Captain, Senek and Belev have finished their analysis of the planet.  They say there is nothing else to discover down there.

 

halliway

Have we heard back from Starfleet Command yet?

 

matsushita (vo)

No, Captain.

 

halliway

Damn. 

(beat)

Well, we can’t sit here and wait forever.  Take us out of the system, put us back on course.  I’ll be up there shortly.

 

Alexa rises from the couch.

 

alexa

That’s probably my cue to leave, right?  They teach you that on Risa.

 

halliway

I’m sure they teach you many things there.

 

alexa

You have no idea.  Well, some idea.  Anyway.  We’ll talk later, Brenna.

 

Alexa leaves, and we cut to:

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

Tomolok’s Warbird orbits the frozen planet.

 

int romulan complex – high security lab

 

Baratt is in his full glory, gloating about his project to Tomolok and Rennok. 

 

Baratt

All the main work was accomplished right here. 

(points to the stasis tubes on one wall)

We were forced to make do with a limited set of test subjects.  But the work went forward.

 

rennok

The work.

 

Baratt

Genetically targeted nanoviruses. 

(holds up a vial full of dark blue liquid)

This one is for the Klingons.  The yellow one is for humans.  And the violet is for Vulcans…

 

tomolok

And Romulans?

 

Baratt

It is effective against Romulans as well, yes.  But we would only use it against our own people if it was absolutely necessary.

 

rennok

What’s so special about this virus?  Genetically targeted weapons have been possible for centuries.

 

Baratt

This nanovirus acts immediately.  Death occurs within five seconds of introduction of the nanovirus into the victim.  It is fatal in the most minute quantities.  This one vial contains enough of the weapon to depopulate an entire planet.

(puts the vial back in its storage unit)

It is also untraceable.  The nanovirus causes the body’s electrical functions to completely shut down, and it breaks down almost immediately thereafter.  So our enemies would be faced with entire worlds full of their dead, and no way of knowing what caused it or how to stop it.  It is the ultimate weapon.

 

tomolok

Klingons, Humans, Vulcans…

 

Baratt

There are more.  We have one for the Andorians, and we are nearly complete with work on a Bajoran formula, as well as a Cardassian weapon.  The next project will be the Ferengi.  They have an anomalous genetic structure; it will be quite a challenge.

 

Tomolok and Rennok look at each other, and their expressions are easy to read: they both clearly think that Baratt is out of his mind.

 

rennok

(very deliberately)

Has this…weapon…been tested?

 

baratt

Of course.  Do you think we are fools here?

 

It clearly takes all of Tomolok’s self control not to answer.  Baratt takes no notice of Tomolok’s expression; he just taps a control on a nearby panel, and a holographic display comes to life, showing a pretty blue and green planet.

 

As we watch, the lab fades out around the display, until only the planet is left…

 

ext space – Barkan Two

 

And now we see the same planet, and we see the USS Dauntless approaching it.  As we do, we still hear Baratt’s voice:

 

baratt (vo)

The Barkan system is only three light years from here.  The second planet has…

(beat)

had…

(beat)

A large civilization, in the early industrial age.  Steam power, internal combustion, it was all quite primitive.  The natives were genetically fairly close to both humans and Vulcans. 

 

We see the Dauntless enter orbit of the planet.

 

baratt

The Dominion had already used natives from Barkan to develop the prototype of the nanovirus.  When we took over the project, we ran a full scale test of the weapon on the planet.

 

tomolok

With what result?

 

baratt

The entire population was dead within 60 hours of the introduction of the nanovirus into the atmosphere.  It was a complete success…

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The bridge crew is looking out at Barkan Two on the viewscreen.

 

halliway

Doctor Marev, are you getting the data we’re sending?

 

marev (vo)

Yes, Captain.  The information is incomplete, but it seems clear that the population was killed off in an extremely short period of time.  That suggests a deliberately designed biological weapon of some kind.

 

halliway

We suspected as much up here.  Prepare an away team, Doctor.  Use all quarantine procedures, but we need to know what happened down there.

 

marev (vo)

No, Captain.  Sending an away mission to the planet without more data to determine the risk is unacceptable.  You must not do so.

 

halliway

(patiently)

What do you suggest, then, Doctor?

 

marev (vo)

I will equip a shuttlecraft with the appropriate scanning equipment.  You can then launch the shuttle by remote control to a safe distance from the ship, and transport air and water samples, as well as corpses, to the shuttle.  We can then analyze them with no risk to ship or crew.

 

halliway

Agreed.  I’ll have Commander Senek meet you in shuttle bay two to load the necessary equipment on the shuttle.  Bridge out.

 

matsushita

He doesn’t hesitate to speak his mind, does he?

 

halliway

I wouldn’t want him any other way.

 

And we cut to:

 

ext space – barkan two

 

The Dauntless orbits the planet; there is a shuttlecraft floating nearby.

 

int shuttlecraft

 

The shuttle is unmanned, but it is loaded with equipment, including a full-size biobed.

 

halliway (vo)

We have the coordinates.  Transporter room, energize now!

 

And a body materializes on the biobed.  It’s a male Barkan native, his body in a state of moderate decomposition.  We can see that the Barkans have moderate head ridges and slightly pointed ears.

 

marev (vo)

Beginning scans now…

 

ext space – romulus

 

The planet Romulus orbits peacefully below us; we can see several Warbirds and other ships flying to and fro in orbit.

 

int spock’s house – common room

 

Spock and Elyandra are here; both look concerned.

 

elyandra

Still no word?

 

spock

None.  There has been no communication from the Gamma Quadrant since the first report.  It is logical to assume that either something has happened to the Dauntless, or to the wormhole communications relay.

 

elyandra

What do you suggest, Spock?

 

spock

There is a human saying; your people have a similar one, as do mine and, I suspect, most intelligent species.  If you want a job done right…

 

elyandra

…do it yourself.

 

spock

You say you still have contacts in the military.  Can you get us a ship?  Even a courier will suffice.  If we can get to Deep Space Nine, we should be able to recruit more help there, if necessary.

 

elyandra

I will see what I can do…

 

And we cut to:

 

Int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The planet Barkan Two rotates slowly on the viewscreen.

 

halliway

Nothing, Doctor?

 

We see that Marev is on the bridge, at one of the science stations.

 

marev

No, Captain.  There is no evidence of any illness, virus, bacteria, nanomolecular device, or any other agent that I can detect.  I cannot tell you how this person died, nor the other nineteen that we have brought up to study. 

 

belev

But you still believe it was a weapon?

 

marev

There is no other explanation.  The entire population died within three days.  Their civilization was pre-spaceflight; they could not have developed such a potent weapon on their own, and the possibility of a natural disease mutating to such a deadly form and spreading across the entire planet in that amount of time is so remote that it is not even worth contemplating.

 

matsushita

Are you suggesting that someone else used it on them?

 

marev

That is precisely what I am suggesting.  The previous world we visited, Mackendrie Three, was believed to be a Dominion weapons research facility.  We know that they practiced biological warfare.  It is reasonable to assume that the people of this world either defied the Dominion in some way and were punished by their complete extermination, or that they were merely test subjects…

(beat)

In any event, I believe there is little more to be learned here.  I recommend you destroy the shuttle before leaving orbit, Captain.  We must not bring it back aboard, and leaving it for others to find would be irresponsible in the extreme.

 

halliway

Indeed.  Belev, launch a warning buoy into orbit, just in case anyone else wanders into the system.  Then destroy the shuttlecraft.  I agree with the Doctor.

(beat; to Tregor)

Lieutenant Tregor, set a course for the next system on our itinerary, Warp Eight. 

 

And on that note, we cut to:

 

ext space – barkan two

 

The Dauntless comes about and starts to head away from the planet; as it does, a phaser blast zaps out and destroys the shuttlecraft.

 

Immediately after that, the Dauntless zooms into warp and disappears, and we cut to:

 

int uss dauntless – ten forward lounge

 

The lounge is a bit more crowded than earlier.  We can see warp-distorted stars streak by through the windows.  Behind the bar is Ensign Drake.

 

At a table near one of the windows is Lt. Commander Harris, sitting alone, drinking a multi-colored concoction out of a tall, thin glass.  He spots Lt. Tregor entering the lounge.  She’s heading for an empty corner of the room.

 

lt. commander harris

Lieutenant!

 

Tregor looks over, nods in recognition, makes her way to Harris’ table.  She stands at attention.

 

lt. tregor

Sir?

 

lt. commander harris

Please join me, Lieutenant…Varla.

 

Tregor sits.

 

lt. tregor

Thank you, sir. 

 

lt. commander harris

We’re not on the Bridge, you don’t have to call me sir every time you speak to me.

 

lt. tregor

No, sir…I mean…no…

 

lt. commander harris

Mason is fine when we’re off duty. 

 

Tregor looks confused; she isn’t sure exactly what to make of this.  Harris laughs.

 

lt. commander harris

Relax, Varla.  I just wanted to talk to you outside the Bridge.  I’ve served with everyone else on our shift for the past year, except you.  I like to know the people I’m working with, that’s all. 

 

lt. tregor

(nervously)

I think I understand.  You need to know if you can rely on me in a crisis situation…

 

Harris shakes his head.

 

lt. commander harris

How long have you been out of the Academy, Varla?  Less than a year?

(Tregor nods)

Right.  Everything isn’t a test.  You need to realize that.  This certainly isn’t a test.  I already know we can rely on you, you wouldn’t be here if we couldn’t.  This is a very important mission, and the standards are as high as they get in Starfleet.  Captain Halliway’s standards for her crew are even higher. 

(beat)

But Starfleet isn’t just about duty shifts.  You’re going to be on this ship for the next three years, and that means living with me and…

(pointing)

Ensign Drake…Melinda…over there, and Drako…Lieutenant Verensk over there by the bar, and everyone else on the ship.  Am I getting through?

 

Tregor smiles nervously.

 

lt. tregor

Yes, s…

(she catches herself, and laughs)

Mason.  It has been a little overwhelming.  My last assignment was on the Callisto…

(Harris shakes his head; he’s not familiar with that ship)

…Defiant class.  We had a crew of 29 in all.  The Dauntless is a big change from that.

 

lt. commander harris

I understand.  You’ll do fine, Varla.  First thing, you need a drink.  It’s very rude to allow a senior officer to drink by himself, did you know that? 

 

lt. tregor

(deadpan)

I believe we did cover that at the Academy.  I’ll try…

(looking at Harris’ drink)

…what is that?

 

lt. commander harris

It’s called a Supernova. 

(he waves to the bartender, points at his drink, and then at Tregor; the bartender nods)

The thing about this drink…you try one, and if you like it, that’s it, you don’t have any more.  And if you don’t like it, then you have a second one, and when you regain consciousness you won’t remember that you didn’t like it…or anything else about it…

 

Tregor laughs at that, her tension finally banished, and on that note we move through the window, pulling away from the ship slightly…

 

ext space

 

And we see Tregor and Harris through the window from outside the ship, and then we pull back further until we can see the Dauntless in all its glory, zooming away at warp speed, and we cut to:

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

Tomolok’s Warbird orbits the frozen planet.  We can see the research complex far below.

 

int romulan complex – corridor

 

Baratt is leading Tomolok and Rennok to his office.  They stop in front of a door, which opens, to reveal a ruthlessly organized and absolutely spotless office.  On one wall we can see several framed documents – diplomas and other awards. 

 

Baratt immediately goes to his desk and sits himself in a comfortable-looking chair. Tomolok and Rennok are left to stand across from him.  We notice that there aren’t any chairs for visitors to sit in.

 

baratt

Now you have seen all there is to see here.  I assume you have no further questions.

 

Before Tomolok can say anything, his communicator beeps.

 

tomolok

Yes?

 

telor (vo)

Commander, we have detected a Federation starship on long range sensors.  It is on course for this system.

 

tomolok

Activate the cloaking device, and transport us up immediately.

(beat; to Baratt)

We will have to continue this conversation later, Chief Researcher.

 

Tomolok and Rennok disappear in the sparkle of transporter effect before Baratt can say another word.

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

The Warbird shimmers away into cloak.

 

int romulan warbird narrek – transporter room

 

Tomolok and Rennok materialize.  They walk off the transporter platform and head out of the room.

 

rennok

Commander, were you as…disturbed…as I was down there?

 

tomolok

No.  I believe I was even MORE disturbed than you were.  Baratt is a madman.

 

rennok

You will hear no argument from me. 

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

The Tundra Planet is tiny, about the size of a marble, off in the far distance, as the Dauntless heads into the star system.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

Halliway is in the center seat, and most of the regular Bridge crew is on duty, except for Harris and Tregor…who emerge as the door to the Bridge turbo-lift opens.  They’re in mid-conversation as they enter.

 

lt. tregor

…really did that?  On Risa?

 

lt. commander harris

I have the recordings to prove it…

 

halliway

Take your stations, please…and, Mr. Harris…I’m sure Belev would appreciate it if you didn’t bring up his little misadventure on Risa.  It WAS two years ago, after all.  I think we can all allow him to forget it…

 

At Tactical, Belev blushes – which for an Andorian means his face turns from the usual blue to a bright white.

 

Harris and Tregor take their stations; the officers who were there get up and head for the turbolift.  As they do, the Tundra Planet is growing slowly on the viewscreen.

 

lt. commander harris

Of course, Captain. 

 

matsushita

Yes, Mr. Harris.  We wouldn’t want our young Lieutenant

(gestures at Tregor)

to hear about YOUR…what did you call it, Captain?

 

halliway

A misadventure.

 

matsushita

Yes.  Your misadventure, Mr. Harris, on Betazed. 

 

lt. commander harris

Yes, sir.   

 

The Tundra Planet continues to grow larger.

 

halliway

Lieutenant, take us into a standard orbit.

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

The Dauntless cruises into orbit around the planet.

 

int romulan warbird narrek – main bridge

 

We see the Tundra Planet and the Dauntless on the viewscreen.

 

venek

Commander, the Federation ship has just entered orbit.

 

rennok

It is a Galaxy class ship.  Approximately equal to us in firepower.

 

tomolok

Do we know them?

 

venek

It is the Dauntless.  According to our records, it was involved in the invasion of Cardassia and accounted for the destruction of four Jem’Hadar cruisers during the battle.

 

Rennok consults his workstation.

 

rennok

According to my information, the commander of that ship is a Centauran called Brenna Halliway.  She has received multiple decorations from Starfleet and she is regarded as one of their better starship commanders.

 

tomolok

They would hardly assign a lesser commander to a mission such as this.

 

rennok

What mission is that?

 

tomolok

We will learn that soon enough, Rennok…

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The planet dominates the main viewscreen.  We can see the research complex, a small patch of gray amid the frozen white landscape.

 

halliway

So what exactly is down there?

 

belev

The complex on the planet is impenetrable to our scans, Captain.  The architecture is very similar to known Dominion facilities, however.

 

halliway

I wonder who’s taken up residence these days?

 

matsushita

(at one of the science stations)

Someone certainly has.  There’s a lot of residual heat bleeding off into the surrounding area. 

 

halliway

Keep at it, Belev.  See if you can’t figure out some way to penetrate the shielding…or whatever it is that’s blocking our scans.  I don’t want to send anyone down there without more information.

 

int romulan warbard narrek – main bridge

 

There’s tension on the bridge as the crew stares out at the Dauntless.

 

tomolok

What are they doing?

 

One of the officers, Venek, answers.

 

venek

They are attempting to scan the complex.  Apparently with little success.

 

tomolok

Indeed.  I wonder how long it will take them to send a team down to investigate in person?

 

rennok

Not very long, I would think.  They are often driven by their curiosity.

 

tomolok

If they do…

 

rennok

We will attack them?  They have no idea we’re here.  They would be defenseless.

 

tomolok

Indeed…

 

int uss dauntless – alexa’s quarters

 

Alexa is back at her desk.  We see that she’s dressed all in black cold-weather gear, just as in the simulation earlier.  She’s also got several devices clipped to her belt, or sticking out of pockets – every one of the gadgets we saw her use in the simulation earlier.  We join her in mid-sentence:

 

alexa

…seven blue.

 

computer (vo)

Command override accepted.

 

alexa

Great!  Override control of all transporter functions…oh, and enable remote activation of the transporters by voice command. 

 

With that done, Alexa steps away from the desk.

 

alexa

Computer, go ahead and enable site to site transporter functions, okay?

 

computer (vo)

Enabled.

 

alexa

Great!  On my command, transport me to the surface, coordinates 63 degrees, 51 minutes, 12 seconds south by 19 degrees, 20 minutes, 8 seconds west.  And make sure to mask the transport by hiding it in the scans they’re doing up on the bridge.  And then erase any records of the transport.  And keep a channel open for me for remote voice command.  Okay?

 

computer (vo)

Acknowledged

 

Alexa grabs her phaser, sticks it into her belt, pulls down her hood over her head.  It’s now or never.

 

alexa

Transport now!

 

Alexa disappears in transporter sparkle, and we cut to:

 

ext tundra planet – romulan complex

 

From a distance, we see Alexa shimmer into existence, fiddle with something on her belt, and shimmer out again.

 

int romulan warbird narrek – main bridge

 

All eyes are still on the Dauntless.

 

telor

Communication from the surface, Commander.

 

tomolok

On screen.

 

Baratt appears on screen.

 

Baratt

What are you fools doing up there?  We’re being scanned by the Federation ship!

 

tomolok

They’ve taken no aggressive action yet.  And if I understood you correctly, their scans cannot penetrate your shielding.  If they do anything more provocative, we will respond appropriately.

 

Baratt

Nothing about your actions since arriving here has been appropriate!

 

tomolok

I’m sorry you feel that way, Chief Researcher.  But we have important matters to attend to up here.  We will speak again later.

 

Telor closes the channel.

 

tomolok

I will have him skinned alive before this business is completed, duty or not.

 

rennok

I believe you’ll have to wait in line for the privilege, Commander.

 

int romulan complex – high security lab

 

Alexa appears inside the lab in a sparkle of transporter effect.  It’s empty except for her.  She heads directly for the storage unit, pulls a device out of a pocket, and connects it to the unit with a cable.  After a few seconds, there’s a beep and the storage unit opens.

 

alexa

(softly)

Take the violet one…violet for the Vulcans…and the Romulans…destroy the rest…

 

Alexa pulls out a dark violet vial, stares at it intently.

 

alexa

(whispering)

And we can wipe out the Romulans.  We can have absolute power…

 

She shakes her head, puts the vial back, closes the storage unit again.

 

alexa

No.  Orders be damned.  No one should have that power.  Not them.  Not us. 

(beat)

Not even me.

 

She fishes in her pockets for her explosives, and as she does, the door to the lab slides open.  Alexa turns, just in time to see the phaser blast that knocks her unconscious.

 

int romulan warbird narrek – main bridge

 

Baratt’s on the screen again, with an unconscious Alexa slumped on a chair beside him.

 

Baratt

Explain that, Commander!  Explain how this human got here without your precious Warbird detecting her!

 

tomolok

I don’t know.  But I will find out.  Venek, transport the human up here immediately!

 

On the screen, Alexa vanishes, and before Baratt can complain further, Telor cuts the channel.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

Alarms go off.

 

belev

Energy surge!  Something was transported from the surface…

 

halliway

…to a cloaked ship in orbit.  Red alert, arm all weapons!

(beat)

Do you have a fix on the cloaked ship?

 

belev

Yes, Captain…we’re being hailed…

 

On the screen, we see Tomolok’s Warbird decloak, and that is immediately replaced by Tomolok, with a still-unconscious Alexa beside him.

 

halliway

Alexa?

 

tomolok

Thank you for telling me her name.  That’s one less thing the interrogation will have to establish.

 

halliway

What’s…

 

tomolok

Please, Captain…Halliway, I believe?  If our records are correct, that is.  Do not insult my intelligence.  She had to come from your ship.  Do not deny it.  The only question is what we will do with her…and you.

 

halliway

She is a Federation citizen, Commander…

 

tomolok

…Tomolok.  And she is a spy, and a saboteur, and we will do whatever we deem necessary with her.  If you will be reasonable about this and admit your guilt, it might make the process less unpleasant all around…

 

Tomolok is interrupted by a beep…

 

tomolok

(to someone off screen)

Yes, I’ll speak with him now…

(to Halliway)

Please reconsider your position, Captain.  We will speak again shortly…

 

int romulan warbird narrek – tomolok’s quarters

 

Tomolok is arguing with Baratt via viewscreen.  Rennok is also here, holding Alexa at gunpoint.  We see that she isn’t wearing the cold weather gear anymore, and the rest of her equipment is gone.  She is still wearing her multicolored earrings, however.

 

Baratt

You still have not told me how a Federation spy got into my facility!

 

tomolok

If you would stop interrupting me, I might be able to complete my interrogation of her and find out!  Tomolok out!

 

The viewscreen goes dark.

 

tomolok

Which brings us very nicely to the next order of business, Alexa.  I presume that is your real name?

 

alexa

There’s no point in denying it, is there?  It is my name.

 

tomolok

What were you doing…well, there’s no reason to ask that, the answer is obvious.  How did you learn of this facility?

 

Alexa frowns.

 

alexa

I guess it’ll come back to this sooner or later, right?  So it might as well be now.  Elyandra sent me.

 

The name means nothing to Rennok, but Tomolok growls at it.

 

tomolok

You will repeat that.

 

alexa

Elyandra sent me.

 

Tomolok roars in anger, and hits Alexa, hard, right in the face.

 

rennok

Commander!

 

tomolok

(barely controlling his rage)

Rennok, please leave.  Now.

 

Rennok gives Tomolok a concerned look, but leaves.

 

tomolok

How do you know that name?

 

alexa

Your grandmother Elyandra visited an old friend who now lives on Romulus.  She told him about this research, because she wanted it stopped. 

 

Tomolok raises his fist, but – barely – holds himself back from hitting Alexa again.

 

tomolok

She may have disgraced herself, but she is no traitor!

 

alexa

No, she isn’t.  She wants it stopped because it will destroy you as surely as it will destroy the Federation. 

(beat)

When you were there, right?  Did you ask what was in the vials?  Did you ask about the violet one? 

 

On Alexa’s final words, we can see Tomolok’s anger begin to fade a bit.  It’s clear that she hit a nerve.

 

alexa

I can see that you did.  There’s no shame in admitting it, right?

 

Tomolok turns away, we can tell that he’s mentally counting to ten to calm himself.  He taps a button to open the door.

 

tomolok

Rennok, come in.

 

Rennok enters.  He’s a bit surprised to see that Alexa is still conscious and in one piece.

 

tomolok

Take her to the brig, please.  When you’re done, come back here.

 

rennok

Yes, Commander.

 

Rennok motions to two guards who are waiting outside Tomolok’s quarters.  They enter and, with him, escort Alexa out of the room.

 

int uss dauntless – HALLiway’s ready room

 

Halliway, Matsushita, Belev and Ling are here.  We join them in mid-conference.

 

matsushita

…Davies, Alexandra MacBride.  Hostess on Risa for two  years, daughter of Harold and Eliza Davies, both Starfleet, both in the Sciences division.  And that’s it.

 

halliway

Nothing else?

 

matsushita

Nothing at all, Captain.  Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing in official Starfleet records. 

 

lt. ling

So what was she doing down there?

 

belev

The relevant question is, what are we going to do to retrieve her?  She is a member of this crew.  We should not leave our own behind.

 

halliway

What do you suggest, Lieutenant?  A rescue operation?  Against a fully armed Romulan Warbird?

 

belev

With your permission I will work up a scenario immediately, Captain.

 

Halliway nods, and Belev gets up and leaves.

 

matsushita

While he’s doing that, I want to know what exactly IS down there.  It looks like a Dominion facility, but there’s a Romulan ship in orbit…and you’ll remember that the Jem’Hadar who attacked us said that Alpha Quadrant ships were causing trouble on this side of the wormhole.

 

halliway

Mackendrie Three was believed to be a weapons research facility.  The base on this planet may be as well.  This could be the base that designed the weapon used in the Barkan system …what if the Romulans took it over…?

 

There’s terror on every face on the bridge.  The Romulans in possession of a bioweapon that deadly doesn’t bear thinking about.

 

LT. Ling

And they took over the research, too?  Secret weapons research where nobody can see what they’re doing? 

 

matsushita

If they’re working on the same weapon used at Barkan…

 

belev

Or improving it…

 

halliway

Obviously Alexa thought so. 

(beat)

Or knew so.

 

There’s a beep.  We hear Lt. Commander Harris’ voice over the speaker.

 

lt. commander harris

Captain to the bridge!  We’re detecting four more Warbirds en route to the system!

 

The meeting breaks up, with the officers heading to the bridge.

 

int romulan warbird narrek – tomolok’s quarters

 

Tomolok and Rennok are sitting, talking.

 

tomolok

I am at a loss in this situation, Rennok.

 

rennok

How so, Commander?

 

tomolok

There are no ranks in this room, Rennok.  And you know precisely how.

 

rennok.

Indeed.

 

tomolok

What is treason, Rennok?  Is disobeying the orders of the empire treason, if those very orders will cause the destruction of the Empire?

 

rennok

The ones who give the orders will surely believe so, Tomolok.

 

tomolok

But we are very far away from them.  The only commanders we have here are the ones in our own hearts.  What does your commander tell you?

 

rennok

(slowly, carefully)

I…I do not know, Tomolok.  It has been a long time since I listened to him.  I am not sure I would even recognize his voice anymore.

 

tomolok

(laughs quietly)

You and me both, Rennok.  But I believe that I can just barely hear mine. 

 

rennok

I hope he is giving you wise counsel.

 

tomolok

I do too, Rennok.  I do too.

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

We see in the far distance the four approaching Warbirds.  In the foreground, the Dauntless and Tomolok’s Warbird orbit the planet.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

Everyone is fully alert, ready for action.

 

halliway

What’s the ETA on the incoming Warbirds?

 

belev

Two minutes.

 

halliway

We have to act now, or never.  Mr. Belev, target weapons on the base on the planet.  Phasers and torpedoes.  We need to wipe it out in one volley, because we’re not going to get a second shot.

 

matsushita

Are you sure, Captain?

 

halliway

Yes.  I know what the odds are…but if they’re working on that bioweapon down there, it’s worth our lives to destroy it.

 

The bridge crew accepts that.  It’s part of the job, after all.

 

halliway

Belev, you’ll open fire on my command…

 

As she says that, we see that while everyone else on the Bridge is tense and serious, Belev looks almost relieved at the prospect of impending combat.

 

int romulan complex – Baratt’s office

 

Baratt is at work on his computer when a communicator beeps.

 

romulan officer (vo)

Chief Researcher, the Federation starship is powering up weapons and targeting us!

 

Baratt

Well, activate our defenses and open fire!  If Tomolok and his useless Warbird won’t do it, we’ll have to defend ourselves.  Blow those Federation scum out of the sky!

 

ext tundra planet

 

We see large gun turrets slide out from recesses in the complex.  They immediately open fire with blinding green disruptor beams.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The ship rocks with the hits. 

 

halliway

Report!

 

belev

Shields down to 88 percent.  They’ve raised shields down there, our weapons will not penetrate them.

 

halliway

Tregor, evasive course, takes us out of range of those disruptors.

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

The Dauntless moves up, away from the planet, twisting and turning to avoid the ground fire.

 

int romulan warbard narrek – brig

 

The Romulan brig is a cell large enough for just one prisoner, walled off by a forcefield.

 

Alexa is fiddling with her earrings.  She takes both of them off, rips one of them apart to reveal a tiny device, no larger than a pebble.  She kisses the little device, sticks it to the wall next to the forcefield, turns away, and counts to three…

 

…and…the device explodes, tearing away part of the wall and knocking out the forcefield.

 

The Romulan guard outside goes to investigate, and he’s met by a flying kick from Alexa, and he goes down in a heap.  She grabs his weapons and sets off down a corridor.

 

She quickly reaches a turbolift, which opens for her.

 

alexa

(in Romulan, with subtitles)

Transporter room…

(thinks)

No!  Stop!  Main bridge!

 

And the turbolift whooshes off, and we cut to:

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

The Dauntless is now out of range of the planet’s weapons.  We can see that the four incoming Warbirds are closing in.

 

int romulan warbird narrek – main bridge

 

Tomolok enters the bridge, with Rennok.

 

telor

Commander, we are being hailed by the incoming Warbirds.  Audio only

 

romulan commander (vo)

Tomolok!  Why are you standing by while the Federation ship is here?  Why have you not destroyed them?

 

tomolok

My reasons are my own, Commander.  Concentrate on your own duty, do not lecture me on mine! 

(to Telor)

Channel off!

(to Venek)

Show me the research station. 

 

Tomolok stands next to his command chair, Rennok next to him, both of them staring at the main viewscreen, which now shows the research base on the planet below, at high magnification.

 

The rest of the bridge crew is staring intently at Tomolok, waiting for his order.  There is an absolute hush; no one is even daring to breathe.

 

tomolok

We must act, now…

(beat)

Target all weapons on…

 

Before he can finish his order, we see – and hear – one of the turbolifts open up.  Out walks Alexa.  Heads turn all around the bridge, but there is no reaction – everyone is too surprised to do anything.

 

Alexa quickly takes in the scene, and then turns her attention to the viewscreen.

 

alexa

Target there…

(pointing at the screen)

Twenty meters south of the main antenna array.  That’s where the shields are the weakest.

 

Tomolok stares at her, stonefaced, for a moment.  Then, he comes to a decision:

 

tomolok

Do it!  As she said.  All weapons, fire.

 

The Tactical Officer, Venek, obeys the order.

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

The Warbird’s disruptors lash out at the planet below.  We follow the beams down into the atmosphere…

 

Ext tundra planet

 

…and we see the green disruptor beams smash into the shields of the research base.  The shields hold firm for about two seconds, then glow a bright, almost blinding green-and-white at the point of impact, then collapse.

 

At that point, the disruptor beams slam into the research complex itself, and the entire base first starts to collapse, and then explodes in a massive detonation.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

We see the four Warbirds approaching on the viewscreen, just as the sensors detect the destruction of the research base.

 

belev

Captain!  The complex on the planet has been destroyed!

 

halliway

On screen!

 

The screen shifts to show a blackened crater where the research base used to be.

 

halliway

What the hell…?

 

lt. commander harris

It was the other Romulan ship, Captain.

 

belev

Confirmed, sir.  They fired on their own base.

 

matsushita

Why would they do that?

 

halliway

(softly)

Alexa…?

 

INT ROMULAN WARBIRD NARREK – main bridge

 

We see on the viewscreen a massive, blackened crater.  The base is entirely wiped out.  Tomolok turns to Alexa.

 

tomolok

You took quite a risk, Alexa.  If that is your name.

 

alexa

We already went through that.  It is, remember?  Anyway…Elyandra trusted you.  Spock trusted her.  And all of us trust Spock.  See?  Simple!

 

tomolok

I don’t suppose I can argue with such logic.  But we appear to have another problem at the moment.

 

On the viewscreen, we see what Tomolok’s referring to: there are two Rom Warbirds growing larger by the second. 

 

venek

Confirmed, Commander.  Two Warbirds have broken off from the Dauntless and are heading in on an attack course.

 

tomolok

Evasive pattern Bartak-Three.

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

Tomolok’s Warbird begins to accelerate away in a twisting, stomach-turning course as the two attacking Warbirds zoom after it, firing disruptors.

 

Most of the attackers shots miss, but one or two strike home and flare against the shields of Tomolok’s ship.

 

INT ROMULAN WARBIRD NARREK – main bridge

 

The ship shakes violently with the hits.

 

tomolok

Hail them!

 

telor

No response, Commander.

 

tomolok

There’s nothing for it, then.  Return fire, Subcommander Venek!

 

alexa

Tomolok, hail the Dauntless!  Whether you like it or not, we’re in the same fight.  The enemy of my friend, and all that, right?

 

tomolok

(sighs)

Agreed. 

(beat)

Telor, hail the Federation ship.

 

telor

On screen, Commander.

 

The viewscreen changes to show the bridge of the Dauntless.  Captain Halliway is surprised, and surprise turns to complete astonishment when she sees Alexa on the Romulan bridge.

 

halliway

Alexa!  What the hell…?

 

tomolok

She is an ally.

(beat)

For the moment, at any rate.  As you are.  We appear to have common cause. 

 

halliway

It does seem that way.

 

On the screen, the bridge of the Dauntless shakes as the starship is hit.

 

alexa

Brenna, Tomolok…maneuver towards the north pole of the planet.  That’s the best chance we have.

 

halliway

Why?

 

tomolok

What is the advantage to the northern pole?

 

alexa

(exasperated)

Just trust me, okay!

 

Despite the tension, both Tomolok and Halliway smile briefly at that.

 

tomolok

Very well.  We will do as you say.  Captain, do you agree?

 

halliway

Who am I to argue?

 

tomolok

(to his helm officer)

Set an evasive course towards the northern polar region.

(to Halliway)

Captain, I suggest we combine our firepower and concentrate on one target at a time.

 

halliway

Agreed, Commander.  Dauntless out.

 

The viewscreen returns to the view of space outside.

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

We can see that Tomolok’s ship and the Dauntless are both heading towards the north pole of the planet.  They maneuver closer together as the attackers press home their assault.

 

tomolok (vo)

Venek, target the trailing attacker…all weapons…fire!

 

Tomolok’s ship lashes out with all its disruptors on one of the attacking Warbirds, and the Dauntless quickly follows suit.  Its shields briefly hold off the attack, but finally, a volley of photon torpedoes from the Dauntless crash through the shields and rip the Warbird apart.

 

The remaining three Warbirds continue their attack, scoring hits both on Tomolok’s ship and the Dauntless.  The two ships try again to coordinate their fire, but the attacking ships are moving too fast and too erratically for it to work.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The ship continues to shudder as the attackers score more hits.

 

belev

Shields down to 38 percent!

 

matsushita

Our friend out there isn’t doing much better.

 

A particularly vicious hit shakes the bridge, throwing Lt. Tregor momentarily to the floor.  The bridge speaker crackles to life:

 

marev (vo)

Captain, we have nearly a hundred casualties here!  You must terminate this battle soon, or we will lose an unacceptable number of them.

 

halliway

What do you think we’re trying to do up here, Doctor?

 

marev (vo)

Understood, Captain.  I am merely informing you of the situation.  Sickbay out.

 

halliway

Whatever it is that Alexa was expecting, it had better happen soon.

 

On those words, we cut to:

 

int battlecruiser ro’tamek – main bridge

 

On the viewscreen, we see the Tundra Planet, and the raging battle in orbit.

 

navrag

(in Klingonese, with subtitles)

Target the nearest Romulan ship!  All weapons!

 

Targeting graphics appear on the viewscreen.

 

navrag

(in Klingonese, with subtitles)

Disengage cloaking device and fire…now!

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

The Ro’Tamek shimmers out of cloak directly behind one of the attacking Warbirds, and it immediately opens fire.  Several phasers lash out, and the massive disruptor cannon blows through the Romulan shields and smashes into the Warbird, which explodes almost instantly. 

 

INT ROMULAN WARBIRD NARREK – main bridge

 

There is relief at the appearance of the Klingon ship.

 

alexa

And you didn’t trust me.  You should have more faith in people, Tomolok.

 

tomolok

Perhaps I will from now on. 

 

venek

The two remaining Warbirds are coming about.  Both targeting us…firing!

 

The bridge shudders violently; everyone except Tomolok and Alexa are thrown to the deck.  Several consoles explode, and we hear a deeply unnerving sound echo through the ship – the metal of the hull starting to tear itself apart.

 

The crew slowly pick themselves up.

 

telor

The Dauntless is hailing us.

 

tomolok

On screen.

 

Captain Halliway appears on the viewscreen.

 

halliway

We’re reading massive radiation leakage from your engineering section.

 

rennok

(standing at a workstation)

Confirmed, Commander.  The quantum singularity is unstable.  Engineering reports that it will implode in three minutes.

 

tomolok

Jettison it!

 

rennok

Impossible, Commander.  The engineering section is damaged severely.  Nearly everything down there is off-line.

 

venek

(shouting)

Commander, the two Warbirds have cloaked.  They are headed out of the system.  Towards the wormhole.

 

halliway

We confirm all that, Commander. 

(to Belev, off screen)

Hail the Klingon ship.  Split screen.

 

The viewscreen splits, to show the bridge of the Ro’Tamek and Captain Navrag.

 

halliway

(shocked)

Navrag?!

 

alexa

Right on time.

 

halliway

You WILL explain all this later, Navrag.  And you too, Alexa.  But first, we have to get everyone off Tomolok’s ship.  Their singularity core is going to implode. 

(to Tomolok)

Between the Dauntless and Navrag’s ship, we should be able to get everyone off your ship.  How many in your crew?

 

tomolok

Six hundred and twelve.

(beat)

Originally.  Less now.

 

navrag

We cannot…

 

halliway

Navrag, this isn’t the time for an argument.  You WILL do this, or I swear I’ll give you another scar to match the one you’ve got already!

 

navrag

Agreed, Captain. 

 

Navrag turns to an officer off-screen and shots at him in Klingonese.

 

halliway

Lower your shields, Tomolok, and we’ll start beaming your people off immediately.

 

tomolok

Subcommander, lower the shields.

 

halliway

Thank you, Commander.  Dauntless out.

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

The three ships are motionless in space – there are occasional energy bursts from the rear section of Tomolok’s ship.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The crew is busy coordinating the rescue of Tomolok’s crew.

 

matsushita

We’ve already got two hundred of them, and the Klingons have almost that many.  One more pass should get them all.

 

halliway

Good.  Has their bridge been evacuated yet?

 

matsushita

No.

 

halliway

Even better.  Make sure Tomolok…and Alexa…are beamed directly here.

 

matsushita

Not a problem, Captain.

 

Alarms go off suddenly all across the bridge.

 

halliway

What now?

 

belev

Dominion ships…incoming, ETA two minutes.  Reading…a dozen Jem’Hadar fighters…and two battleships.

 

halliway

Battleships?

 

Just at that moment, Tomolok, Rennok and Alexa materialize on the bridge.

 

tomolok

Battleships?

 

alexa

Dominion battleships.  Yes?  Too bad they didn’t show up earlier, I’m sure we could have convinced them to help us out against the Warbirds.

 

Everyone on the bridge stares at her.

 

halliway

Don’t tell me you arranged for THEM to be here, too?

 

alexa

(laughing)

No, no, no.

(beat)

No, no, no.  I’m very good at my job.  But I’m not quite THAT good.  Almost.  But not quite.

 

tomolok

Then I would suggest that we leave immediately.  I suspect they won’t be interested in conversation with us.

 

halliway

You’re probably right.  Mr. Belev, raise the shields.  Tregor, plot a course back towards the wormhole.  And Belev, just in case the Jem’Hadar are in a mood to listen, transmit our logs of the battle to them, and our apologies for this whole mess.

 

As she gives her orders, the viewscreen changes to show Navrag on his bridge.

 

navrag

Captain, I assume you’re planning on leaving the area?

 

halliway

Right about now, in fact.  I’d be honored if you’d join us.

 

navrag

We will follow you, Captain.  Navrag out.

 

ext space – tundra planet

 

The Dauntless and the Ro’Tamek accelerate away from the planet and out of the system, vanishing into warp, just as Tomolok’s ship explodes.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The debris cloud that was Tomolok’s ship lingers on the viewscreen.

 

tomolok

(wistfully)

It was a good ship.

 

halliway

It died in a good cause, Commander.

 

alexa

The best cause, actually.

(beat)

But maybe we’re not done with the job yet.  Tomolok, did any of the Warbirds transport anything up from the base before the shooting started?

 

tomolok

We were not concentrating on them.  It is possible.

 

alexa

We have to destroy them.  If they beamed anything up, right?  Anything at all?  They can’t be allowed to bring it back home.  Even just knowing what was there, they can’t bring that knowledge back either.  Agreed? 

 

tomolok

Agreed.  What happened here must not become general knowledge.  It would lead to war.  It would be inevitable.

 

halliway

I can’t argue. 

(beat)

Belev, what are the Jem’Hadar doing?

 

belev

They are not pursuing us.

 

halliway

I didn’t ask what they weren’t doing…but that’s good enough for now.  Hail the Klingons.  We’ve got two more Warbirds to kill.

 

ext space

 

The Dauntless and the Ro’Tamek, in close formation, zoom through space.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

Everyone is staring out at empty space on the viewscreen, hoping to somehow catch some sign of the two Warbirds.

 

halliway

No sign of them?

 

belev

No, Captain.  Continuing to scan.

 

lt. tregor

Approaching the wormhole in twenty seconds.

 

tomolok

They have to de-cloak to enter the wormhole.  Where are they?

 

belev

There!

 

On the viewscreen, we see two blurry patches of space…

 

ext space

 

The two Warbirds shimmer out of cloak.  One continues on its course, while the second arcs around, until it’s heading directly towards the Ro’Tamek at high speed.  It’s firing as it comes.

 

The Klingon ship fires back, and the Klingon weapons go through the Romulan shields.  As the two ships approach…closer…closer…

 

…The wormhole opens in a flash of rainbow light.  The first Warbird approaches and vanishes inside…

 

…the Dauntless maneuvers to help the Ro’Tamek, but it’s not necessary…just before the Warbird and the Klingon vessel collide, the Ro’Tamek’s disruptor cannon destroys the Romulan ship…

 

…but debris from the destroyed craft slams into the Ro’Tamek.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

Everyone watches in horror, waiting for the Ro’Tamek to succumb to the damage and explode.  There is relief all around when the viewscreen shifts to show Navrag on his smoky and damaged bridge.

 

halliway

What is your situation?

 

navrag

It was not as bad as it looked.  But our warp drive is off-line.  We cannot continue the pursuit.  You must destroy the last Warbird.

 

halliway

Are you sure?

 

navrag

Go, Captain!  Or I will give YOU another scar!

 

Halliway nods.

 

halliway

We’ll be back for you after we’ve finished the job.  See you soon, Navrag.

 

The viewscreen switches back to space, with the wormhole still open.

 

halliway

Take us in, Lieutenant!

 

We see on the screen the wild lightshow of the wormhole passage.

 

belev

They are only a few seconds ahead of us.  They are exiting the wormhole…now!

 

We see the open end of the wormhole approach on the viewscreen.

 

halliway

Open a channel to Deep Space Nine.

 

belev

Done, Captain.  Audio only.

 

colonel kira (VO)

This is Colonel Kira Nerys onboard the USS Defiant.

 

halliway

Colonel, this is Captain Halliway on the Dauntless.  I assume you saw the Romulan Warbird that just came out of the wormhole.  Destroy it!

 

ext space – deep space nine

 

The Dauntless cruises out of the open wormhole, which quickly closes behind it.  Off in the distance, we can see the last Warbird, heading away from the area, just beginning to fade away into cloak.

 

colonel kira (VO)

What?

 

halliway (VO)

Destroy it!  Now!

 

We see the Defiant sweep into the frame, phasers blazing away.

 

The Defiant’s attack catches the Warbird just in the instant before the cloak is fully activated.  The multiple hits cause the cloaking device to fail, and – since running is clearly no longer an option – the Warbird turns to face its attackers.

 

The Defiant darts past the Warbird and begins to turn about to make another attack run, and the Dauntless closes on it from the other side.  The Warbird opens fire on the Dauntless, but this time the disruptors glance off the starship’s shields.

 

The two Federation ships open fire at the same time, and the coordinated attack collapses the Warbird’s shields, and the Romulan craft blows apart.

 

The battle is, finally, over.

 

int uss dauntless – main bridge

 

The bridge is calm, and we can see that everyone’s taking a mental inventory to make sure they’re all still in one piece.

 

halliway

Good work, everyone.  Even you, Alexa…although I don’t know who it is that you do work for.

 

alexa

The same people you are.  Sort of, anyway.  Right?

 

colonel kira (vo)

Captain Halliway, I’d appreciate it if you’d tell me what the hell just happened here.

 

As Halliway settles back into her seat, alarms ring out on the bridge again.

 

spock (vo)

I believe I can answer your questions, Colonel.

 

halliway

Ambassador Spock?

 

belev

A Romulan ship just dropped out of warp.  It’s a small ship…courier class.

 

We see the small craft cruising into view on the main screen.

 

spock (vo)

Yes, Captain.  Before I can answer the Colonel, I must know, was the mission accomplished?

 

alexa

The research station was destroyed, Ambassador, exactly as you requested, yes?

 

tomolok

I can confirm that there was a biological weapons project underway there, Ambassador.  May I ask, is my grandmother with you?

 

elyandra (vo)

I am indeed, Tomolok.  I did try to send word to you, but I am pleased to see that you did what had to be done of your own accord.

 

tomolok

I must admit that I did have some help.

 

spock (vo)

And that is what happened, Colonel.  Elements within the Romulan military commandeered an abandoned Dominion weapons research center.  It was necessary to destroy their work, and to do so without causing a major incident. 

 

colonel kira (vo)

I guess congratulations are in order, then. 

 

alexa

Something like that.

 

halliway

There’s just one more thing…

 

int deep space nine – promenade

 

It looks like business as usual on the space station; people going to and from among the shops on the Promenade.  Up on the second level, we see Halliway, Tomolok, Spock, Elyandra and Alexa all looking out at the wormhole, which opens up, to reveal the Ro’Tamek, being towed back by the Defiant.

 

spock

You understand, all of you, this may never be spoken of.  No one must know of the research, or how it was destroyed.

 

halliway

I agree.  It will make writing the report something of a challenge, though…

 

tomolok

We will simply tell the truth.  I will tell my superiors that a terrible accident destroyed both the research station and my ship.  Fortunately, your survey mission took you within range of our distress call, and you rescued my crew.

 

alexa

I like that.  Right?  But how will you explain the Klingons?

 

tomolok

What Klingons?  I am certain that…Navrag?

(Alexa and Halliway both nod)

… will not tell his superiors that he rescued a Romulan crew.  Such a thing cannot even be imagined, can it?

 

spock

Indeed, Commander.  And now we must take our leave of you.  I must return to Romulus to continue my work.

 

elyandra

WE must return, Spock. 

(she reaches over to Spock, brushes her fingers against his, just for a moment)

I believe I will be joining you in your work.  We do not have many more years, either of us, but teaching the young about their past…and their future…will be an excellent way to spend whatever years we do have.

(she approaches Tomolok, takes his hands)

And when you return home…after you are debriefed…you will come and visit me, and we will spend time together as family should.

 

tomolok

Yes, Grandmother.

 

elyandra

See how he listens?  Only years of training could do that.

 

Spock and Elyandra turn to leave.

 

halliway

It was an honor, Ambassador.

 

spock

The honor was mine, Captain.  It pleases me to see that Starfleet is still in good hands. 

(he turns his attention to Alexa)

Both your hands.  Farewell.

 

With that, they leave.

 

tomolok

I must leave as well.  I have a long, and I’m sure unpleasant conversation with my government ahead of me.

 

alexa

It was a pleasure to work with you, Commander.  Mostly, anyway.  Maybe we’ll see each other again?

 

tomolok

I would not doubt it.  Miss Davies, Captain.  Until we meet again…

 

Tomolok leaves.  Halliway and Alexa are finally alone; Halliway turns to Alexa, staring hard at her.

 

halliway

You have quite a lot to tell me, Alexa.

 

alexa

So if I told you I’m with Starfleet Intelligence, that wouldn’t satisfy you?

 

halliway

Considering that I know it isn’t true, no.

 

alexa

Brenna, please believe me when I say this, right?  You don’t want to know.  You’ll be happier not knowing, right?

 

halliway

Don’t…

 

alexa

(deadly serious)

I mean it.  All you want to know is that if you need something…if you need anything…you find me, and whatever it is that you need will happen.  Because we’re friends, right?  That’s what you need to know.

 

Halliway thinks about it.  It’s the best she’s going to get.

 

halliway

 I don’t like it…but I’ll get used to it…

 

navrag

(off screen)

Get used to what?

 

Navrag enters.

 

navrag

Captain…Brenna.  Don’t bother asking her anything.  She won’t tell you.  She can’t.  Just accept it.

 

alexa

(brightly; back to her usual tone)

Exactly!

 

navrag

Good, that’s settled.  And the Romulans are leaving my ship, which is good.  And we have saved galactic civilization as we know it, which is even better.  And now we have one final matter to decide.  I still have temporary quarters on this station.  One of you will be returning there with me.  So which of you will it be…?

 

Halliway and Alexa stare at Navrag, then at each other, then burst out laughing, and each of them grabs one of Navrag’s arms, and the three of them head off, and Navrag shrugs – hey, it’s not such a bad deal for him.

 

We pull back, straight through the Promenade viewports, until we can just barely see Alexa and Nacrag and Halliway, until we’re far enough away to see the whole of Deep Space Nine, and the Dauntless and the Ro’Tamek docked to it, and on that image, we FADE OUT.

 

THE END