Aftermath, part V

By Seema

Formalities first: all the characters and places belong to Paramount.
Delat Caron, Lieutenants Alvarez, Smith & Morrow, Arwin and Rong are my own creations as is the story.

~ * ~

Dax slipped into her seat as the planet filled up the viewscreen. Her console beeped urgently with the results of the planetary scan. Dax punched in a few keys and then turned to Sisko.

"The weather looks fine on the surface, Benjamin," she said. "Clear skies, good breathable air. Your typical class-M planet."

Sisko touched the tips of his fingers today, "It's good to hear, Old Man. Major?"

"Yes, Captain?"

"Hail the planet. I think it's time we announced to the Vorta that we were here."

"Aye, sir."

"I'm not making any promises, Commander," Sisko said.

"I know you're not," Dax answered, her eyes still fixed on the green and blue planet in front of her. "But I do appreciate it all, regardless of the outcome."

"The Vorta is responding," Kira said.

"On screen."

The face of the Vorta filled the screen and once again, Sisko found himself taken aback at the sight of Weyoun's face. Of course, he knew it wasn't Weyoun but the idea of hundreds of Weyoun-clones still unnerved him.

"I am Captain Benjamin Sisko of Deep Space Nine."

"I'm Arwin, Vorta of this planet. What can I do for you?"

"I understand you have some Klingon prisoners."

"We have finally captured the Klingons who destroyed our base on Vlata III two years ago."

"I would like to negotiate for their release."

"That is not possible. We will not negotiate. These Klingons are to be put on trial for their crimes against the Dominion."

Sisko stood and approached the viewscreen, "One of your prisoners is a Federation officer. Starfleet does not take kindly to having its personnel held prisoner."

"I am assuming you are referring to Commander Worf."


"He led the attack on our facility on Vlata III. He must stand trial with the rest of the Klingons."

Dax turned to face Sisko, her mouth open in surprise; Sisko ignored her reaction.

"You are going to put a Starfleet officer on trial?" Sisko demanded. "Have you forgotten that we are at peace?
And that as part of our treaty with the Dominion, you are to surrender all of your prisoners of war to the Federation? We upheld our end of the bargain; I demand that you also do the same."

"Commander Worf was serving on the Rotarran, under the command of the treacherous General Martok. He must answer for those crimes."

"I request permission to beam down to your planet and discuss this matter with you personally."

"There is nothing to discuss. The sentence has been decided and the trial will be held shortly."

Kira and Dax exchanged looks and Dax found herself suddenly and violently fixated on her console.

"You have decided the sentence already?" Sisko asked calmly. "Then there should be no objection on your part for us to beam down to the surface and meet with the Commander."

"Certainly. But keep in mind, any attempt to rescue the prisoner will be considered an act of war," Arwin cautioned.

"Understood," Sisko said.

The Vorta disappeared from the viewscreen and Dax let out her breath.

"Trial? For war crimes?" she screeched.

"Dax," Sisko said. "You're with me. Major?"

"Yes?" Kira asked.

"You have command of the Defiant while we're down on the planet. We will check in with you every hour to update you of the situation. I also want you to send a priority one message to Starfleet Command and inform them of what is happening here. I have no intention of letting the Vorta carry out his plans."

"Understood, sir."

Dax followed Sisko into the turbolift.

"Transporter room," Sisko said.

Dax twisted her fingers together and bit her lip so hard that skin broke.

"I will do everything I can… legally, that is," Sisko said quietly. "I do not want to violate the Prime Directive, but if I must, I will."

Dax nodded, "I understand."


The Vorta met the Defiant's officers in the transporter room down on the planet. Sisko fell into step next to Arwin as Dax followed them, hands behind her back.

"You do understand my concern," Sisko said. "Starfleet will certainly take exception to one of its officer being put on trial for war crimes."

"I know what the treaty with the Federation says," Arwin replied. "But I also know what happened on Vlata III."

"What do you know?" Sisko asked.

"I understand that one of your officers fired on my soldiers and three Jem'Hadar were ruthlessly murdered, for no reason. Yet, I have not informed the Founders of this event."

"Why not?"

The Vorta shrugged, "I have what I wanted, the Klingon prisoners. But if you persist, I may have to tell the Founders and the treaty is automatically nullified by your aggression. Have a good day, Captain."

The Vorta walked off, leaving Dax and Sisko staring after him in disbelief.

"I don't believe this!" Dax exclaimed. "This is incredible!"

"But he's right. We have nothing to negotiate with. Either way, whatever we do, we provoke another war with the Dominion. And they don't have to surrender Worf to us because if news of Alvarez's action gets out, then the treaty is invalid which removes our argument that Worf should be released because he is a Starfleet officer."

"There must be something," Dax said, her voice trailing off. She sighed heavily. "You know, seven lifetimes never prepared me for this. No matter what we do, I still lose Worf. There is something terribly unfair about that."

Sisko placed his hands on her shoulders.

"Curzon never let me down," he said quietly. "I'm not going to let you down either."

"I won't hold you to that," Dax said with a sad smile.

Sisko fixed her with a long look and then tapped his com badge.

"Sisko to Defiant. Two to beam up."


In the mess hall, the senior staff of the Defiant ate quietly, their heads bowed over their food. Dax tried to calm her inner turmoil, but her shaking hands gave away her anxiety. Sisko tried to maintain a positive attitude, but the thought of another war with the Dominion turned his stomach. He knew that even if the Defiant left without Worf, there was no telling what the Dominion would do; there was still the possibility that they could declare war on the Federation on the basis of Alvarez's initial aggression.

"It's the Kobymaru simulation," Sisko murmured, as he tried to ignore the hollow pit in his stomach.

"What, Captain?" Kira asked. Sisko met the Bajoran's eye, forgetting for a second she had not attended
Starfleet Academy.

"It's a no-win situation," Sisko said. "It's this absolutely impossible training simulation designed to test cadets' command skills. There is no way to win."

"And you think this is such a situation?" Kira asked.

Sisko did not look at Dax as he answered, "Yes."


"I've contacted the Klingon High Council and Starfleet," Sisko told Dax later on that evening. "Two ships should be arriving shortly."


"I don't need to spell things out for you, Old Man."

"In fact, I would rather that you didn't."

"Either way, we lose, no matter what."

"I said I didn't want to talk about it."

Sisko sighed and walked over to the window, staring glumly down at the planet below.

"The trial is tomorrow," he said. "Chances are the sentence will be announced before then. I do have to say, of all the things the Cardassians could have shared with the Dominion, their brand of justice should not have been one of them."

"Well," Dax strolled over to her old friend. "At least they don't waste any time."

"Right now I'm banking on the Klingons' desire for peace."


"If I can convince the High Council that a treaty with the Dominion would be in the Empire's best interests, then the Dominion will have to let Worf go."

"Unless they chose to break the treaty with the Federation," Dax reminded him. "Damn Maria!"

"Don't speak ill of the dead, Jadzia."

"I can't help but feel a little angry, Benjamin. You should allow me to feel at least that."

"You are entitled to the anger. Unfortunately, Maria Alvarez did not see past her short term actions and we will pay the price. Let's just hope that the Dominion would prefer peace over another long war which will solve nothing."

"Do you think they will let me see him?" Dax's voice trembled as she made the request.

"I don't know."

"Will you find out? Please?"

"I will do what I can."

"That's all I ask, Benjamin," Dax turned to leave. Just before exiting Sisko's quarters though, she turned to face him. "I want you to know, Benjamin, that I appreciate everything you are doing. That no matter how this turns out, I know you did everything you possibly could."

Sisko bowed his head in response and turned back to look down at the planet.


The next morning, Arwin's face filled the viewscreen and Sisko forced himself to look at the Vorta. Dax kept her focus directly on her console while Kira and O'Brien both looked on with interest.

"The sentence, which was decided earlier, is now announced," the Vorta said. "The Klingons will be put to death tomorrow evening, just after sundown."

Dax bit her lip tightly, trying to keep the screams inside her throat. Already, the tears were splashing onto the console in front of her.

Sisko stood up and marched angrily towards the viewscreen, "The execution of a Starfleet officer will be considered an act of war."

"Do I have to keep reminding you, Captain, of your own crew's actions?" the Vorta grinned smugly.

"When is the trial?" Sisko demanded.

"In three standard hours."

"I demand that we be able to attend."

"Certainly. I'm sure there is much the Federation can learn from Dominion justice."

"I'm certain," Kira muttered under her breath. Sisko shot her an angry look and then turned his attention back to the Vorta.

"I also request that Commander Worf's wife be allowed to spend some time with her husband," Sisko said.

"Certainly," the Vorta said. "Perhaps she can convince him to confess to his crimes."

"Will a confession save him?" Sisko asked.

"Of course not," the Vorta laughed shortly. "But we always like to a confession to read aloud before the actual execution. It's good for morale."

Kira stifled a remark but despite the gravity of the situation, O'Brien found himself stifling his impulse to laugh at the gyrations in Kira's expressions, as the major tried to restrain her anger.

"You may beam down to the planet at your convenience," Arwin said.

"We will be down shortly," Sisko said. The Vorta disappeared and Sisko found himself falling numbly into his chair. He wished he could at least feel some rage, but right now, he simply felt tired.

Finally, he roused himself, "Come on, Old Man. Kira, you have command of the ship. I want you to notify the Klingon High Council of this latest development and inform them to get here fast."


Dax had not spoken on the way to the transporter room and Sisko did not press her. He understood how her emotions were bubbling up within her and if he asked her about how she felt, he was sure she would burst into tears. Tears, Sisko knew, would be the last thing Worf would want to see and probably the last reaction Jadzia herself would want.

"I'll see you there," Sisko said, in an attempt to lighten the situation as he and Dax stepped upon the transporter platform. He felt the familiar tingle as the transporter beam took him apart at the molecular level and then he felt that odd stretching feeling as he felt himself being resurrected at his destination. As usual, there had been some minor discomfort that always comes from being taken apart and reconstructed, but Sisko had learned to deal with the transporter and all of its side-effects long ago. He just prayed every time that he would be put together properly every time he beamed anywhere.

"Captain, Commander," a Jem'Hadar soldier awaited their arrival.

"Where is Worf?" Dax demanded. Sisko placed a restraining hand on her forearm. He stepped forward.

"Arwin has agreed to let Commander Dax visit your prisoner, Commander Worf," Sisko said.

"I am aware of those orders. I will take the Commander now."

"You don't need to come, Benjamin. I will be fine."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes. I would much rather that you try to do something about this mess."

"I'll do my best."

Dax followed the Jem'Hadar soldier through a maze of corridors. Under the best of circumstances, the Jem'Hadar had never been chatty, but that was all right; Dax did not feel like talking. She had spent nearly a year talking to the Jem'Hadar until she was blue in the face and she had no desire to strike up a conversation with this particular soldier.

He led her into a holding area and Dax immediately spotted Worf at the far end of the room. He was sitting on a bunk, staring desolately at the far wall.

"You have ten standard minutes," the Jem'Hadar informed Dax.

"That's fine," Dax took a step forward, suddenly feeling very strange and discombobulated. Was this what it felt like to know the moment you were going to die?

"Worf," she said softly, almost too softly. "Worf?"

Worf suddenly turned and saw her standing there.


He stood up and came to stand as he could. In his haste, he accidentally bumped the force field, earning him a minor electric shock.

"Now that the introductions are out of the way," Dax said, trying to smile. "Worf, you really know how to pick your vacation spots."

"Do you know?"

"Know what?"

"That I am to be executed tomorrow."

"Yes. I know that."

Worf paced the length of his cell, "I am not afraid to die."

"No. I did not think you were, Worf."

"It is not honorable to be captured and executed. I should have killed myself first."

"It's not the time to debate the proper etiquette on a Klingon warrior's death. We only have ten minutes, Worf. I don't know if they will let me come and see you again."

"I was hoping you would come."

"We came as fast as we could Worf. Benjamin is doing everything he can, for you, for Rong, for everyone else."

"I could not leave my men there on Vlata III," Worf said quietly. "You know I would have wanted to leave with you and the doctor."

"This is also not the time to discuss what we should have done differently, Worf," Dax said. "I'm trying not to make a scene here, okay? So you should help me out."

"I would not appreciate it if you cried."

"I know you wouldn't."

"The Klingon High Council is coming," Dax said. "Your situation interests them."

"Will they get here in time?"

"I hope so."


Dax swallowed, "I don't know, Worf. But when I do find him, I promise to tell him everything that has happened."

"You will be there for him?"

"I promise, Worf. I promise."

Worf took another step and growled when he bumped into the force field. Finally, he just held his hand up and pressed his palm against the field. Dax pressed her palm against his. The electricity shot through her and even though it was a mild shock, Dax felt it amplified in every part of her body.

"I love you," Worf said. "Don't forget that."

"I won't. And I love you too. And don't give up yet. We're doing everything we can. Benjamin won't give up. You know that."

The Jem'Hadar soldier grabbed Dax's arm, "Your time is up."

"Loosen your hold," Dax said. "You're hurting me."

By this time, Worf had already turned his back on her and Dax stared after him for a long moment and then allowed the guard to drag her out of the room. She didn't even mind the painful residue of the force field which still tingled in her nerve endings nor did she mind the bruises which were the work of the Jem'Hadar guard; at the moment, she could feel nothing.

"Nothing can hurt me now," she told the guard. He eyed her skeptically and tightened his hold on her arm.
"Nothing you do to me can possibly hurt me now."


"The next time you decide to put your hand through a force field, please, let me know if advance," Bashir told Dax. He held her hand, palm facing him. "These are third degree burns, Jadzia."

She shrugged, "Just do whatever it is you need to."

Bashir shook his head, "I hope someone is there to heal Worf's hand."

"I doubt it. He wouldn't let a Dominion doctor within five kilometers of him."

"How is Worf doing?"

"He is all right. He is worried about Alexander."

"Will you see him again?"

"I will be at the trial this afternoon. I don't think they will allow us any more time alone together."

"Will you be okay?"

"As long as you fix my hand, I will be fine. You forget sometimes, Julian, that I've lived seven lifetimes. Things like this, I've survived them before."

"Now you're just lying."

"You're right," Dax smiled wistfully. "But I have this feeling in my stomach; it's like knowing the day you're going
to die, you know?"

"No. I don't know."

Bashir put away the regenerator and examined Dax's newly healed hand carefully.

"Now, you have to be careful," he said, as he wrapped her hand in a bandage. "It will be sore and tender for a few more days."

"Don't worry about me," Dax said. She slid off the biobed. "I will be fine."


Sisko settled himself delibrately into his chair, eyes focused at the Vorta.

"The Klingon High Council is sending a ship. Two ships, rather," Sisko said.

"I see," the Vorta stroked his chin lightly. "Of course that presents some complications."

"They request you wait until they arrive for the trial and the executions."

Arwin said, "When should they be here?"

"Two days."

"One day. They can have one day delay."

Sisko started to protest and then decided against it. One more day to formulate a plan; he would have to make
the most of it.

"Thank you," Sisko said, a trace of irony in his voice. "Thank you for your consideration."


Kira lay on her bed, eyes focused on the ceiling. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and once again tried to draw on the Prophets for strength. There had to be answer to this dilemma. Like Sisko, Kira was unwilling to give up on Worf. She had never forgiven herself for giving up on Odo, and as she sat up, swinging her legs over the side of the bed, she vowed that the war had already taken enough from her.

She walked over to the port window and stared down at the planet below. She could see the clouds moving across the planet and the brown land masses interspersed with the large bodies of water. It looked almost peaceful and suddenly Kira had the unusual feeling of being weightless, of being able to throw herself out of the window and just drifting forever between the stars. From where she stood, the option of becoming one with the universe seemed very appealing.

She sighed and ran a hand through her short brown hair. She had never really admitted it before, but she missed Odo desperately and watching Dax, Kira wished she had fought harder for Odo. She should have protested more, chased him down. But rather pride had forced her to let him go and she still replayed that final scene with Odo at Quark's when Odo had stopped by her table, his hand resting lightly on her shoulder.

"Ah, come to watch me eat again?" Kira had teased

"Actually, I had something I wanted to say to you."

There was a seriousness in Odo's tone, but Kira had shrugged it off, knowing the stress of having both the Romulans and the Klingons on the station at the same time was wearing Odo down.

"Yes? Sit down," Kira invited. Odo refused the offered seat. Instead, he knelt so that his eyes were level with hers.

"I love you, Nerys," he had solemnly. "I have always loved you and I will always love you."

Kira said nothing and waited for Odo to finish. In retrospect, she felt maybe Odo had been waiting for, waiting for her to speak, to confirm what he was saying. But she had remained silent and now, two years later, Kira still felt the burden of that silence.

Now, standing in her quarters on the Defiant, Kira longed for Odo in a way that she hadn't a very long time. In fact, she missed Odo now more desperately than ever. She focused her gaze back on the stars, wanting to dissect those last moments she had spent with Odo. How he had looked, how he had smiled gently at her and then had left Quark's. She supposed now he had expected her to come after him, to ask what he had meant.

But instead, she had sat there, musing silly thoughts into her raktinjino. Later, she found out from Dax that Odo was gone, with the only explanation that he had an urge to be with the Great Link.

Since then, Kira had spent very little time or energy on Odo but now that she was alone, she wondered at his betrayal and how he could love her so little that he could give up on everything they had fought so hard for.

"Not this time," Kira vowed silently. "I won't let Dax give up the way I gave up. There has to be a way."


Worf was sitting on his bed, head cradled in his hands. Dax stared at him for a long moment before speaking.

"Worf," she said. She saw that his hand was bandaged crudely and she was sure that he was in a lot of pain.

"Worf, they let me come see you again. The trial is delayed until tomorrow. The Vorta has given the Klingon High Council representatives a day to get here."

"Will it make a difference?" Worf asked.

"It's time. More time. That's all that matters."

"Did he hurt you?" Worf did not look up.

"You mean the guard from yesterday?" Dax asked, trying not to think of the bruise marks on her upper arm. "No, not really. And Dr. Bashir healed my hand, though yours still looks a little raw."

"It is fine."

"Worf, come here," Dax pleaded. "I don't want to beg, but I will."

Worf finally rose and looked at her.

"I did not want you to come here," he said. "It is too difficult."

"I don't understand."

"A Klingon wife should not have to see her husband in this position."

"You forget I am not a Klingon."

"That means nothing. I am Klingon. There is no honor in this."

"There you go," Dax fairly shouted at him. "Always dragging some convoluted sense of honor into the situation."

"Jadzia, please, do not make a scene."

"What do you expect me to do? Just stand by while the Dominion executes my husband? Do you want me to just walk away? Close my eyes, pretend this isn't happening?"

"You cannot make a scene."

"There you go again! Telling me what I can and cannot do! Even now, at a time like this, you expect me to obey you?"

Worf turned away, "You would not understand."

"You're right; I do not understand."

Worf did not look at her. He could not admit the turmoil he felt inside or how much he was restraining himself from telling Dax exactly what he was feeling inside.

"I suppose you want me to wish you a good death," she said sardonically.

"As you wish."

Dax stared at her husband in fury.

"I can't believe you're acting like this!"

"How do you wish me to act?"

"With some heart, maybe? Like you care?" Dax asked.

"I do care," Worf admitted.

"You didn't even ask if Sisko made any progress?"

"Did he?"

"Do you care?"


"No progress."

"Now you know why I didn't ask."

Dax took a step closer to the force field separating them, "I wish you would look at me."

"I wish you would go."

"You don't mean that."

Only silence greeted her words. Dax waited a long moment and then turned on her heel and left the prison.


Sisko folded his hands on the table and leaned forward to face Arwin.

"We have reached an impasse," Sisko said.

"So it would seem," Arwin answered, a smug grin spreading across his face. Sisko resisted the impulse to grab Arwin by the neck and strangle him.

"At least you have agreed to a delay in the execution."

"It's unusual, but the circumstances are unusual. We do not wish to have a quarrel with the Federation."

"Then you must let Commander Worf and his men go."

"We cannot."

Sisko took a deep breath, "Would you consider a peaceful settlement with the Klingons? They release some of their prisoners of war for the group you have captured. Surely that would be something you would be receptive to."

Arwin leaned forward, "We are always receptive to peace. Contrary to popular belief, Captain, the Dominion doesn't prefer war."

"Yes, I know," Sisko allowed himself a small smile. "Rather, you would like to impose, if I may, a certain way of life on others."

"It's an unusual way to put it," Arwin said. "But, it's the truth, nonetheless. The Founders, I must say, have established an order, an hierarchy, which is more efficient than your simple ways."

"But your efficiency does not allow for justice."

"Justice? I assure you, the Klingons will receive all the benefits of the Domino's justice."

"That's what I'm afraid of," Sisko answered.


"I don't mean to complain," O'Brien straightened up. "But really, Commander, is it really necessary to run tests on all the small arms on board the Defiant?"

Jadzia Dax did not answer. She kept her attention focused on the PADD in front of her. O'Brien stared at her for a moment, marveling at the Trill's intensity in the task. He sighed and returned to his work.

"Dax, O'Brien," Kira rounded the corner. "What in the Prophets' name are you doing?"

"Testing the small arms," O'Brien held up a phaser. "Just in case."

"You can never be too careful," Dax mumbled. "It's always good to be prepared."

Kira stepped next to her friend and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"Are you sure you aren't just trying to distract yourself, Jadzia?"

"It's something I've been meaning to do."

"Jadzia," Kira said. "I know how you feel. I felt the same when Odo left."

"For the last time, Nerys, I am fine. Fine," Dax's shoulders trembled slightly, an action neither O'Brien or Kira missed.

"I appreciate your concern," Dax continued. "But right now, you're distracting me."

"Fine," Kira shot O'Brien a look. "Has Sisko returned from the planet?"

Dax did not answer, but O'Brien nodded.

"He is in his ready room," the Chief answered.

"Good," Kira said. "I want to go talk to him."

She turned and left the room, stopping briefly to look back at the commander, hunched over her PADD, shoulders shaking slightly. Kira tipped her head slightly to the side and left in search of Sisko.


"I've been doing a lot of thinking, Captain," Kira said. She noted Sisko's anxious expression and the way his uniform hung loosely around his shoulders. The last three days had certainly taken a toll on the captain and not for the first time, Kira felt a surge of admiration for the man.

"As I have been, Major."

"It's a tough situation and I get the feeling neither Commander Dax or Commander Worf is making it easier for you."

"Well," Sisko smiled faintly. "I have not spoken to Mr. Worf. The Vorta will not allow me that privilege. As for Dax, well, it seems she wants to test all the small arms on the ship and that is fine with me. And after that, who knows? Testing all replicator systems? Boosting the efficiency of the EPS conduits? I don't know."

"Have you tried to speak with her, sir?"

"Have you?" Sisko arched an eyebrow cynically at Kira. Kira bowed her head.

"Yes, sir. Just now, sir."


"I've never seen Dax so hopeless. Almost like, the life has been sucked out of her."

"I know that feeling. I had that same feeling when I saw Jennifer lying there on the Saratoga," Sisko said slowly. "It's hard to let go of someone you love."

"But Worf isn't gone yet! There are still options! I don't understand why people are giving up. I certainly haven't."

"I think Jadzia is just mentally preparing herself. And Worf is too."

"Are you saying there are no alternatives? That it's either Worf's death or war against the Dominion?"

"I'm hoping the Klingons and the Dominion can come to some agreement. We need to delay the trial and the executions till that comes."

"And if it doesn't?"

Sisko looked at her grimly, "Then war it will be."

"I have an idea, sir," Kira said quietly. "I've been doing a lot of thinking about the whole situation and I was thinking, maybe I should have fought harder for Odo."

"We can't think of Odo now."

"I thought, at first, maybe I could find him. Make him persuade the Founders to let Worf and the others go."

"We don't have that kind of time, Major. You know that. Odo could be anywhere or… anything. And he's been part of the Great Link for two years now. Who knows what he thinks or feels about us anymore?"

"I know. I've already gone through this, Captain. No, I want to put the Dominion on trial."

Sisko's eyes flashed, "Do you know what you're saying?"

"Yes. And hear me out, Captain," Kira said earnestly. "If they can put Worf and others on trial for destroying that Jem'Hadar base two years ago, well then, I can certainly put them on trial for destroying Bajor."

"That would be a violation of the Federation's treaty with the Dominion."

"I wasn't talking about the Federation," Kira said, her voice very low and Sisko had to strain to hear what she was saying.

"What are you talking about, Major?" Sisko's face was inches away from Kira's face.

"I'm talking about Bajor."


"Bajor isn't a member of the Federation. In fact, the Federation has done everything it possibly can to keep
Bajor out."

"Trying the Dominion will not increase the chances of Bajor's acceptance."

"No, but it will buy us time," Kira said softly.

"You intend to put Arwin on trial?"

"Yes," Kira said. "I met a man on Bajor. His name is Delat Caron. He lost his entire family during the war."

"And you are proposing to bring this man to testify against Arwin and the Dominion."

"Yes. Hopefully we can tie them up in Bajoran style justice long enough for the Klingons to get here."

"Arwin will not agree."

"He doesn't need to. Both Cardassia and the Dominion have much to answer for. We put them on trial and make them answer for what they have done."

Sisko considered for a long moment, "We just need to get them to agree. You forget that we are in the Gamma Quadrant."

Kira took a deep breath, "Forgive me, Captain, but I already took the first step."

"You did?"

"I sent a message to the First Minister yesterday. He is on his way, along with two ships. He will be here in three hours," Kira's eyes glittered. "Bajor insists on its right to justice, Captain. We do not want to use force, sir, but we will if we have to. The First Minister is prepared for that possibility."

"In that case," Sisko said with a smile. "By all means…"

Kira smiled, "Thank you, Captain."

After Kira exited his ready room, Sisko picked up the baseball which was never far from his side. He tossed it up and down thoughtfully.

"Well, Major," he said out-loud. "The ball is certainly in your court now and for all our sakes, I hope you hit a home run."

Go to Part VI

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