Plague, part V

By Seema

Daria was failing fast. Bashir stood over the small child, trying desperately to do something to help, but his usual store of drugs were not working. In the next room, he could hear Keiko O’Brien drawing ragged breaths and he knew that it would be only a matter of hours before Keiko and then Dax succumbed to this dreadful virus.

Commander Worf returned to the infirmary, holding a small toy.

“This is Daria’s bear,” Worf said. “I want her to have it now.”

“Understood,” Bashir said, placing the toy next to the baby. Her eyes opened slowly at the feel of the soft animal next to her. She smiled briefly and Worf touched her forehead gently, trying to wipe the sweat off of her brow. Then the little fingers curled around the bear and her eyes closed.

“Don’t worry,” Bashir said. “She’s just sleeping. I’m working on stabilizing her condition.”

Worf nodded in relief, “Jadzia?’

“You can see her.”

Worf went in to see his wife. She looked very peaceful in expression, but her skin was ravaged by a hideous rash.

“Jadzia,” Worf spoke softly. “Jadzia, you have to get better. I need you. Daria needs you. Please, my love, fight as you have never fought before. You can pretend you’re angry at me or whatever you need to do. Just fight this. Will you?”

At that moment, Jadzia’s eyes fluttered open and Worf smiled almost in relief.

“Worf,” Jadzia whispered hoarsely.


“Where am I?”

“In the infirmary. You are very ill.”


“She is well,” Worf lied. “But she needs her mother. You must fight, Jadzia.”

“So tired, Worf.”

“I know you are, but do this for me. For Daria. For you.”

“I’ll try,” and then her eyes closed again.

Worf held her hand to his heart and he just sat there for a long time, not thinking and not seeing anything.


“Nerys,” Odo said “Your hands.”

Kira glanced down at her hands at the annoyingly familiar red patches which were starting to advance up her arms.

“I guess it was only a matter of time,” Kira said. “I must have gotten it from Daria. Never mind. We have work to do.”

Odo did not argue.


“I’ve put Daria in stasis,” Bashir told Worf. “It’s a last resort measure and I’m not sure if it will work. She’s so little, I’m not sure if her body will be able to recover even if we do discover a cure.”

“I am grateful for everything you have done for Daria and Jadzia,” Worf said gruffly.

Bashir nodded, a lump forming in his throat. Everyday, more and more people were being brought into the infirmary. Little Molly O’Brien was the latest victim. So far though, Yoshi had been spared from the virus but Bashir was not quite sure how long Yoshi or the other children on the station would be safe.

“Mrs. O’Brien?” Worf asked abruptly.

“It’s only a matter of time now,” Bashir said. “I’ve done everything I can for her.” Those words were starting to sound like the refrain of a really bad song, Bashir thought as he tried to avoid the Klingon’s gaze.

“I have put her in stasis as well, but unfortunately, I don’t have enough stasis chambers for everyone who is ill,” Bashir continued. “Right now, Keiko and Daria are my sickest patients, though I’m very concerned about Molly and Lieutenant Rei also.”

“Keep me informed,” Worf said gruffly.

“I will.”

Worf left and Bashir knew how hard it must be for Worf to leave his family behind, but the Klingon had duties to attend to. Bashir stripped off his gloves, disposing of them in the incinerator. He pulled on a fresh pair and prepared for the next victims to arrive.


“Look,” Odo said suddenly. “I’ve found something. A transport into the Gamma Quadrant, heading towards Epsilon Three, about two months ago.”

“Whose vessel was it?” Kira asked anxiously.

“Kai Winn’s.”

“What was Kai Winn doing in the Gamma Quadrant?”

“That is a very good question.


“Captain,” Odo approached Sisko, a PADD in his hands. “Look at this, sir.”

Sisko eyed the information quickly, “According to this, Kai Winn was on Bajor when her transport went into the Gamma Quadrant.”


“You think Dev Taya was on this transport?”

“That is what I want to find out. So far, it’s the only transport for which the passenger manifest is not available, so I don’t know if Dev was on that transport or not.”

“Very well,” Sisko said. “Prepare to leave immediately for Bajor.”


With Kira confined to the infirmary, it fell to Odo and Sisko to go to Bajor, leaving Worf in charge of the station.

“Kai Winn knows something about this,” Odo told Sisko as they approached the Kai’s dwelling.

“I wouldn’t be surprised.”

The Kai was less than pleased to see the officers from Deep Space Nine.

“If this is about the referendum, you’re wasting your time,” the Kai told them. “The plague proves my point. The Federation is not good for Bajor.”

“We’re not here about the referendum,” Sisko said quietly. “We’re here about the plague.”

“More specifically, about a trip you took into the Gamma Quadrant two months ago,” Odo said.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Of course she doesn’t,” Sisko said. “Because you didn’t go to the Gamma Quadrant, but Dev Taya did, didn’t he?”

“I did not keep track of what my doctor did in his spare time.”

“He was on your private transport,” Odo said. “You must have known where he was going.”

“He was welcome to it,” the Kai replied firmly. “But he did not need to answer to me as to his whereabouts.”

“I find that hard to believe.”

“It did not concern you why your personal physician was going into the Gamma Quadrant?” Odo asked.

“No,” the Kai answered defiantly.

“Or maybe she wasn’t concerned because she knew exactly what was going on,” Sisko pointed out.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Did Dev Taya engineer this virus?” Sisko asked in a low voice. By the Kai’s expression, he knew he was correct.

“You sent him to Epsilon Three to create this virus, didn’t you?” Sisko said. “That’s why he had a lab there. That’s why he and Jenna Rei vacationed there, isn’t it? Because Dev Taya was working for you, creating this virus.”

“And you took the opportunity when Dax and Keiko O’Brien returned to DS Nine infected with the virus to spread it here on Bajor,” Odo realized. “You infected Dev Taya and he let himself die because he realized what he had done. That’s why he didn’t want a doctor. He died knowing that he was condemning so many to death. And that would explain Jenna Rei’s fatalistic attitude also, why she didn’t want to be treated by Dr. Bashir.”

“What you’re proposing is ridiculous,” the Kai sputtered. “I would never doing anything to hurt anyone. Especially not Bajor. This is crazy.”

“Is it?” Sisko asked softly. “This gave you the perfect opportunity to preach against the Federation. The fact that Commander Dax was infected made it possible for you to accuse the Federation of spreading the virus to Bajor. Played right into your hands, didn’t it?”

“Which leads us to our next question,” Odo said. “Where is the anecdote? You must have the anecdote.”

The Kai had gone pale, “You can’t prove any of this.”

“Well, actually we can,” Sisko held up a PADD. “It’s all documented here.”

“And you can’t forget this,” Odo showed the Kai the silver earring fragment. “I believe this is yours.”

“I didn’t intend for your officers to be infected. I certainly didn’t expect anyone to die,” the Kai said gently.

“I find that hard to believe. You knew exactly what you were doing,” Sisko said. “Now, where is that anecdote?”

“I don’t have one.”

“Did Dev Taya?”

“He must have. I told him I wanted an anecdote. He only gave me the virus, not the anecdote.”

Sisko and Odo glanced at each other.

“The anecdote must be here on Bajor,” Sisko said.

“I know where Dev lived,” Odo said.

“Let’s go.”

They left the Kai behind without another word. Winn stared after them for a long moment and then she collapsed on a sofa, sobbing bitterly.


“It’s got to be here somewhere!” Sisko exclaimed, as he and Odo went through all of Dev Taya’s papers. Dev’s housekeeper, the woman who had let Odo and Kira in on the previous visit, stood wordlessly at the door.

Already her face was peeling in red patches.

“What is this?” Odo grabbed a piece of paper. “Some kind of chemical formula.”

“I don’t know. Let’s take it with us.”

Sisko had assembled a variety of materials also and Odo nodded.

“There’s no time to lose,” Sisko said, as they rushed out of the house.

“I just hope we’re not too late.”


Bashir pulled the sheet over Jenna Rei’s face. Her face was oddly tranquil.

“That’s another one,” Bashir rubbed his hand against his eyes. He was starting to feel the strain of caring for so many patients. “There is no doubt that this virus is most virulent in Bajorans. Which means, while it affects everyone, it was engineered to affect Bajorans most and humans too. It’s almost ingenious.”

Kira was still awake and that was helpful; at least she could tell him what the matter was. As for Keiko, Miles, Jadzia and the rest, he could only guess.

“The captain will be back soon,” Kira said confidently. “He will bring the cure with him. I’m sure of it.”

Bashir thought of little Daria and Molly.

“I hope so,” he confessed. “I don’t know what I’m going to say to Worf. And as for Molly, well, even if she does survive, there is no way of knowing whether her parents will.”

“Well, Daria isn’t gone yet and neither is Molly. And our friends are hanging on as much as they can,” Kira said.

She eyed the body of Jenna Rei.

“I think Lieutenant Rei knew more than she told us,” Kira said softly.

“Now we will never know, will we?” Bashir asked.


Sisko and Odo beamed directly to the infirmary with the information they had brought. Bashir scanned through the materials before settling on something.

“This might be it. This might be the anecdote,” Bashir said. “Odo, give me a hand. If we hurry, we can get the replicator to make some for an initial dosage.”


Sisko moved to talk to Kira. He could not reach her, since she was inside the quarantine field, but he could speak to her.

“We think we might have found the cure,” Sisko told her gently.

“Was it the Kai?”

“Yes. I’m sorry.”

“I should have guessed.”

“You wanted to believe the best in Winn.”

“By now I should know better.”

“Perhaps, but I didn’t think Winn was capable of such evil.”

Kira nodded, “I didn’t either.”

“Let’s hope the cure works. Bashir and Odo are programming the formula into the replicator now.”

“How is Yoshi?”

“He’s not here. That is good.”

“Are there many infected people on the station?”

“Quite a few, yes.”

Kira sighed, “I hope it was worth it for the Kai. If this cure doesn’t work... well, Bashir said that Daria will definitely die within the hour. And Keiko and Jadzia soon after. Miles, Ilya, and Jenna Rei is already gone.”

“Don’t think about it, Major,” Sisko said confidently. “I think this will work. It must work.”
“From your lips to the Prophets’ ears.”


Daria was the first guinea pig for the new drug. Worf stood by watching as Bashir injected the baby with the drug. At first there was no change, but then Daria’s readings began to pick up and Bashir let out a big sigh of relief.

“It’s working for now,” Bashir told Worf. “But I’m not making any promises.”


Bashir quickly injected the drug into Molly and the other patients.

“I’m going to replicate as much as I can,” Bashir told the nurse. “You take half the patients and I will take the other half. We’ll see what happens.”

Bashir approached Kira, who was still sitting up in bed.

“I’m feeling very tired,” Kira confessed. “So this better work.”

“I’m not making any promises,” Bashir answered.

“At least you tried.”

“That I did.”

Bashir looked back at Worf who was cradling Daria in his arms.

“Give me your arm, Major,” Bashir said gently. “Let’s give this a shot, no pun intended.”


A week passed before all the patients in the infirmary were well enough to leave. The most badly affected, Keiko O’Brien and Daria, took much longer to recover. But at least they were alive.

“It just seems so incredible,” Kira said as she and Dax went through Jenna Rei’s effects. The Trill looked weary, both from her intense ordeal and from caring for Daria who was still desperately ill.

“What?” Dax asked, her usually bright eyes dull with exhaustion.

“That Kai Winn could have plotted such a thing. Look, it’s right here in Rei’s journal. Winn had been planning this plague for years and she specifically sent Dev Taya out there to create this virus. And it look as if Jenna Rei helped him too.”

“I wonder why Rei helped him.”

“Doesn’t really say. Just that Dev needed Rei’s skills as a geneticist. After all, who better to engineer a virus?”

“I don’t understand,” Dax said, lifting one hand, still scarred from the remnants of the disease.

“Understand what?”

“Jenna. She was a Starfleet officer and she knew the regulations on genetic engineering. If anyone had ever found out, she could have been court-martialed, regardless of whether the virus was actually used.”

“Jenna said that Taya infected her,” Kira said softly. “Do you suppose Taya infected her on purpose?”

“Makes you wonder about him and what kind of person he was.”

“But if Jenna was in the lab with him, helping him engineer the virus, how could she allow herself to be infected like that? It doesn’t make sense.”

“I wonder if she knew about the anecdote,” Dax pondered. “In which case, she might not have known the very real consequences of her infection. I don’t want to believe that Jenna Rei could be that stupid, but I have to wonder if she knew about the anecdote.”

“I don’t know. But if she did, wouldn’t she had used it herself?”

“I can’t believe Dev wouldn’t have given her the anecdote if she had asked.”

“But he didn’t,” Kira pointed out.

“Which makes the whole existence of the anecdote a little suspect,” Dax said. “And definitely doesn’t show Dev Taya in the best of light.”

“It says here that Dev never believed Winn would use the virus,” Kira said. “I think it was the referendum that pushed her over the edge. That and you and Keiko becoming ill. If Bajor joined the Federation, the Kai would have lost some of her power. Not a lot, but enough to matter to her.”

“So she had Dev create this virus and blamed the plague on the Federation. Very nice,” Dax shook her head. “I hope it was worth it.”

“I don’t think she really understood what she was doing.”

“Is anyone going to do anything about it?”

“Sisko has gone to Bajor. I believe the referendum will be held as planned and the Kai will endorse Bajor’s membership in the Federation.”

“She has no other choice, does she?” Dax asked.

“I wonder about Dev Taya though. Why did he do it?”

“Everyone has their motives. Maybe he didn’t realize what the Kai was planning.”

“I hope that was the reason,” Kira answered. “But I doubt it.


Daria was asleep in her parents’ bed because neither were willing to let her out of their sight. Despite Julian’s assurances that Daria was out of the woods, Worf and Dax were reluctant to spend much time away from their baby.

Dax, suddenly very tired herself, curled up against her husband, wrapping her arms around his chest.

“I can’t imagine what it must have been like for you,” she whispered.

“I tried not to think too much,” Worf answered. “But I spent as much time with you and Daria as I could.”

“Julian told me that Daria was very close to death.”

“Yes. Very close,” Worf closed his eyes.

“I would not have been able to do that, Worf. I would not have been able to stand there and watch Daria die like that.”

“I’m glad you didn’t have to,” Worf answered softly. “I wasn’t going to tell you how sick she was because I was afraid of what that knowledge would do to you.”

“And you? How did you stand it?”

Worf tightened his arms around Jadzia, “A warrior must brave many things.”

It wasn’t what he meant to say or even what he really meant, but Jadzia understood. Her eyelids fluttered close and she slept in his warm embrace.


Keiko O’Brien stood on the Promenade, glancing out in the direction of the wormhole. She turned to Miles, who was standing next to her.

“I can’t believe I started all of this,” Keiko said in wonderment.

“You weren’t to blame for any of it,” Miles said reassuringly.

I’m the one who brought the plague here from Epsilon Three.”

“It would have happened sooner or later. You and Dax were merely the catalyst.”

“Odo told me that when Jenna Rei found out I was sick, she went directly to Dev Taya. Then he went to Kai Winn and she poisoned him before he could get the anecdote out. By then it was too late for Jenna,” Keiko sighed. “I really liked Jenna.”

“I don’t think Jenna meant for all this to happen. I think she genuinely thought you would enjoy Epsilon Three. I think that virus was there by accident. An oversight.”

"Odo doesn’t think so,” Keiko said quietly. “He thinks Jenna was told to tell me to go there. She gave me the exact coordinates, or we would have never found that hut. Odo thinks it was a set-up from the beginning and I agree with him.”

O’Brien wrapped his arms around his wife, “I find that terribly hard to believe.”

“I do too, because I really liked Jenna. I don’t know what was in it for her.”

“Maybe Dev Taya.”

“Maybe. I suppose when you’re young and love, you do reckless things. You don’t quite think things through.”

“Yes,” O’Brien nodded. “I think so.”

“It seems like such a waste though, doesn’t? Because she really was good at what she did.”


“You wanted to see me?” Kira entered Odo’s office. She felt emotionally - and physically - exhausted from the events of the last few days. Countless trips to Bajor had left her with very little desire to ever set foot in a runabout again.

“Yes, I did,” Odo nodded. “Just a few loose ends to tie up.”

“About what?”

“I was thinking about the anecdote. The fact that Kai Winn said she didn’t have it, but that Dev Taya did. In that case, Dev should have been able to stop the virus from the moment it started. And we know from his actions, that he wanted to.”

Kira’s eyes widened, “You’re right. What do you think happened?”
“I have an idea.”
“Well then, by all means, do share it with me.”

“I think Kai Winn had the anecdote,” Odo said pensively. “And Jenna Rei went to Dev Taya to ask him for it because I don’t think either of them believed Kai Winn would actually ever use the virus. Except when Dev confronted the Kai -”

“She infected him with it,” Kira shook her head. “And then planted the anecdote in his papers later, so that all blame would fall on him. And if Dev Taya and Jenna Rei were both dead, then who was there left to tell?”

Odo lifted up Jenna Rei’s log, “Apparently the Kai wasn’t thorough enough.”

Kira nodded, “A truly evil plan and for what? Voting against the Federation? Unbelievable.”


“Major, good news,” Sisko said as Kira entered Ops.

“What?” Kira asked.

“Bajor has voted to accept the Federation’s offer. As of ten minutes ago, Bajor is a member of the Federation of Planets.”

Kira tried to look pleased, but it was hard, because when she thought of Bajor, she thought of Kai Winn.

“That’s nice,” Kira said quietly. “It’s the right thing for Bajor.”

“In time, Winn will accept it too,” Sisko said gently. “In time.”

Kira didn’t say anything; she only hoped Sisko was right. In the meantime, she thought, there were diplomats from the Federation to greet and welcome to Bajor. As she had said many times in the last few days, there was no time to waste.

“Come,” Sisko said. “The Excalibur is docking and Admiral Necheyev is here. I’m sure you’ll want to be the first to welcome the Federation to Bajor.”

“Aye, sir,” Kira answered, following Sisko onto the turbolift.

“And for what it means,” Sisko said quietly. “The Vedek Assembly has voted to remove Kai Winn from her position.”

“But they can’t. The Kai is a....”

“Permanent position? I know.”

“Then... how?”

“Let’s just say the Kai created the means of her own destruction.”

Kira stared at Sisko for a long moment before she realized what he meant.

“Understood, sir,” Kira said quietly. “Understood.”

~The End~

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