Guerrilla warfare had been a specialty of the Bajoran resistance and in these days of more civilized combat in space, guerrilla warfare had diminished in importance. However, Kira Nerys had never underestimated the element of surprise and as she stalked through the station alone, her senses were alert to every whisper.
She had no idea where to look for her friends and initiating a scan from one of the control panels would only alert the Jem’Hadar to her presence. Instead, Kira decided to narrow the possibilities. At this rate, she thought wryly, several years will pass before I find them.She rounded a corner and at the sound of voices, she pressed herself back against the wall.
Kira knew she could get one of the two Jem’Hadar with no problem since she had surprise on her side, but getting the second one would be conceivably more difficult, as she would have given away her position.She tried not to breathe too deeply and thankfully, the Jem’Hadar went down another corridor.
Kira walked quietly to the junction and raised her phaser and shot one in the back. She got the other just as he was turning to return the shot.
Moving as quickly as she dared, Kira stripped one of the soldiers of his rifle and also his communication device. She didn’t dare to use the device herself, but it would good to know what the Jem’Hadar were up to.
Kira decided not to press her luck any further. She removed a vent and slid into a tunnel, carefully replacing the grating after her. She drew up her knees and retreated into the darkness, just moments before a trio of Jem’Hadar soldiers found their dead comrades.
“Jadzia? Are you with us?” Bashir turned around, suddenly aware that his friend had fallen behind. As it was, they were already making tediously slow progress as the darkness turned out to be quite a deterrent in their journey to cargo bay three.
Marle had the lead and was inching along, placing a hand carefully in front of the other, hoping desperately that a vertical junction would not appear in front of them, sending them to a sure death.
“I’m here,” Dax’s voice echoed wearily through the tunnel. She was at least three or four meters behind them, but Bashir couldn’t be completely sure. He had Marle stop so they could wait for Dax to catch up.
we almost there?” Dax asked.
a clue,” Bashir admitted. “I have no idea how much distance we have covered.”
Can we stop for a moment and rest?”
we should. Ensign?”
paused too. For a long moment, no one said anything.
really hope they are having a better time on the Defiant,” Dax said.
“Fire!” Sisko commanded. The first photon torpedo caught the Jem’Hadar ship by surprise and the Defiant’s crew was rewarded with a grand explosion. The second ship powered up its torpedos and launched an attack on the Starfleet ship.
holding at ninety percent,” O’Brien reported.
another round,” Sisko said.
sir,” Worf answered. There was something in Worf’s voice that made Sisko smile;
no doubt the Klingon had been itching for a battle.
hit the Jem’Hadar ship’s power source,” O’Brien said jubilantly. “That was good
us away, Commander. Quickly!” Sisko ordered. Worf complied immediately, setting
a course and heading for Deep Space Nine. Within seconds, the second Jem’Hadar
us home,” Sisko said. “Warp seven.”
the background, Odo stroked his chin pensively; the destruction of the Jem’Hadar
ship was a little too easy, he thought. We’ll see what waits for us at
The little light at the end of the tunnel immediately brightened the faces of the trio. While stranded in the dark, Bashir had lost complete track of time. He had no idea how long they had been crawling or where they were.
light grew brighter and brighter and soon, the trio were reunited with Kira.
did you find us?” Dax asked in bewilderment.
Dax asked with an amused expression.
no,” Kira admitted. “I actually found you by accident. I was scanning the tunnels
for Jem’Hadar or anything else and I picked up traces of tellarite. I just followed
Bashir asked curiously.
smiled and touched her hand to the clip she always used to hold back her long
is a substance found only on Trill,” Dax explained. “And there is quite a bit
of the element in my barrette.”
clever,” Bashir said. “What happened to Quark?”
frowned, “Arrested. Leaving your communicators on the tables in the bar wasn’t
your most brilliant idea, doctor.”
anyone have any ideas now?” Dax asked brightly, cutting off Bashir's response.
are you heading to?” Kira asked.
missed it,” Kira said briskly. “You have to go all the way back three junctions.”
Bashir groaned. The ensign did not look pleased either.
“It’s a bad idea anyway,” Kira said. She pulled out the Jem’Hadar communicator. “They are planning to flood the tunnels with anesthetic gas. In fact, I think they have already started. We have to get out of here and fast.”
starting to think our guests are wearing out their welcome,” Dax said as the
foursome began to crawl again.
popped out near a control panel and Kira handed the phase link coupler over
think you wanted this?” Kira asked with a smile.
don’t think I’ve ever been more glad to see one of those before,” Dax admitted.
“Come on, let’s get to work.”
The Defiant swooped down on the station and not for the first time, Sisko was glad his ship was nimble in its maneuvering. The Jem’Hadar ships were more prepared for the Starfleet officers than their former destroyed colleagues. O’Brien diverted more power to the shields.
station is firing on us too,” O’Brien muttered. “We’re not going to be able
to last much longer.”
you call reinforcements?' Sisko queried.
but it will be hours, even days, before anyone gets through to us.”
then Sisko knew that the battle for Deep Space Nine very well could be over.
of something fast,” Sisko said to no one in particular. The bridge crew eyed
each other uneasily, knowing that their options were few and far between.
Kira positioned herself on one side of Dax while the ensign took up the second position. With Bashir’s help, Dax removed the control panel casing and started to reroute control away from Ops.
“I hear something,” Kira said tensely, as she raised the phaser rifle. Marle glanced at her quickly and then set his own phaser on “kill.” Bashir gritted his teeth as the sounds of the heavy metal Jem’Hadar boots echoed through the corriders.“How much longer?” Bashir asked.
“Give me a minute,” Dax said through clenched teeth. She removed some circuits and welded together the severed connections. A spark flew out at her but Dax did not seem perturbed by the quick burst of light. In fact, her concentration did not falter at all and Bashir marveled at her calm.
Jem’Hadar rounded the corner just as Kira raised her rifle in welcome. Two soldiers
went down while a third fired back, hitting the ensign squarely in the back.
In response, Kira took out the third soldier.
we have a few minutes. Not much more than that,” Kira told Dax.
working as fast as I can.”
looked over Marle’s wounds, “You’ll live, don’t worry. Here’s something for
ensign nodded, his face rapidly turning pale.
need to get him to the infirmary,” Bashir told Kira in a low voice.
try to beam you there in a second,” Dax answered. “I’m getting close.”
were more footsteps, this time coming from the opposite direction. Bashir picked
up Marle’s phaser and fired off a few shots.
Bashir cried out, falling backwards. Dax stared at him.
shoulder,” he explained weakly. She did not answer. Instead Dax picked up the
fallen phaser and fired back at the Jem’Hadar.
can’t keep this up,” Kira said. “I’ll try to hold them off. You work.”
had recovered his position and Kira injected him with some painkiller. She positioned
herself opposite the two men and Dax, eyeing both ends of the corridor surreptitiously.
Dax said in relief. “I think this will work.”
think?” Kira asked, running to grab a couple more rifles from the fallen soldiers.
not an engineer,” Dax stood up and held out her hand to Bashir. The doctor stood.
Then Kira and Dax supported the ensign between them.
to beam to infirmary,” Dax said as loudly as she dared. The four dissolved instantly
as the transporter whisked them out of the corridor.
“Not bad work,” Kira said to Dax as they watched Bashir treat Marle in the
“Thanks,” Dax answered. “Though I think I’m going to have a lot to explain
to O’Brien when he gets back.”
“Speaking of which, why is it taking the Defiant so long to get here?”
“One guess,” Dax pointed to the window. Kira rushed to the side, and was shocked to see the Defiant being attacked from all sides.
“They won’t be able to hold out much longer,” Kira said.
“Unless we give them a little help,” Dax said, a twinkle in her blue-gray eyes.
“Jadzia? How do you feel?” Bashir asked.
“A little more painkiller and I’ll be fine.”
“I hope you didn’t do more damage to that leg.”
“Believe me, Julian, if we don’t do something fast, I’m going to have more to lose than just my leg.”
Bashir shook his head but then pressed the cool head of the hypospray against her neck.
“Is Marle ready to move?” Kira asked briskly.
“I’d rather not move him,” Bashir answered.
“He can’t stay here alone,” Kira pointed out.
“We’ll have to split up. You and Dax go on and I’ll stay here.”
Dax and Kira looked at each other, considering Bashir’s request.
“Here,” Dax thrust her phaser at the doctor. “You might need it. Actually, I amend that. You will need it.”
“Let’s go,” Kira said.
Dax gave one last nod to Julian and followed Kira out the door.
“I never did thank you for the phase link coupler,” Dax said as the two women made their way to Ops. So far, they had not run into any Jem’Hadar soldiers, but neither was willing to press her luck. Both carried their rifles set to ready and occasionally, they would pause in the corridors to check for any noises.
Moving was slow, as they opted not to take the turbolifts and beaming around the station would soon attract the Jem’Hadar to their position. So they would disappear into conduits at times and other times, they would skulk through the less frequently used corridors of the station.“You’re welcome,” Kira said as she knelt to remove a vent. Kira crawled in and then Dax followed her, replacing the vent behind her.
They proceeded in silence as they climbed several stories. At one point, Dax could feel her palms growing sweaty and blistered. She paused for a moment to wipe one palm and then the next on her uniform. The last thing she wanted to do was miss her grip and plunge with certainty to her death. It’s not going to be that easy to get rid of me, Dax thought grimly as she followed Kira up the ladder.
Kira, on the other hand, was steeled by fortitude, gained through years in the resistance. She had been in worse situations than this and many times, she had been injured. This, she thought, was nothing really.
The duo emerged near Quark’s. The Promenade was deserted, which Kira took as a sign that the Prophets were watching over them.“Probably anticipating the destruction of the Defiant,” Dax said softly. “That’s where they all are, in Ops. You don’t get a better view than that.”
The station suddenly stopped firing. Sisko rose from his seat, almost in shock. The Defiant was still being pummeled by the Jem’Hadar ships, but the intensity had eased now that the station had ceased its attack.“What happened?” Sisko demanded.
With the station’s defense systems effectively disarmed, Kira and Dax made their way to Ops. They did not speak, knowing how difficult it would be to wrestle control of Ops away from the Jem’Hadar. With Marle, Bashir and even Quark, they might have had a decent chance; now, it was just a suicide mission.They looked at each other briefly before entering the turbolift but did not speak. Kira’s face betrayed none of her anxiety and even Dax managed to draw on seven lifetimes of experience to maintain her own calm.
They erupted onto Ops, acutely aware of every Jem’Hadar soldier. There were fifteen of them total, Kira estimated. There could be more, but she did not see them. She immediately began firing and soon her vision was clouded by the smoke and the stench of burning flesh.
“This is ridiculous,” Bashir murmured. “What do those two expect to accomplish alone?”
Marle glanced at the doctor, “I am sorry, sir.”
“No, don’t worry about it.”
“Maybe you should go help them.”
“I can’t leave you.”
“Give me the phaser and you can activate one of the containment fields. I should be fine. Any Jem’Hadar soldier who comes in here has to disengage the field first and I will be ready to pop him by then. You should go help Major Kira and Commander Dax, because I think they would be severely out numbered.”Bashir considered and then he nodded, “All right. I will go to help them.”
Those in the Defiant immediately realized that the weapons on the space station had been disabled.“This is our chance,” Sisko told O’Brien and Worf. “Fire at will.”
Bashir materialized just outside of Quark’s holding cell. He picked off the guard very quickly and cleanly before releasing the Ferengi.“Here,” Bashir tossed the deceased’s rifle at Quark. “Let’s go.”
Kira had been shot many times during her days in the resistance but still she was never prepared for the pain of a phaser burn. She crumpled to the ground, her strength fading slowly. She was still firing, but her aim was less than accurate and she could not see where Dax was. Dax, on the other side of Ops, was aware that Kira had fallen but there was nothing she could to reach her friend. Her own body was a mess of bruises and a phaser burn or two, but she was determined not to give up, knowing that if either she or Kira gave up, Deep Space Nine would effectively belong to the Dominion.“Jadzia!”
After what seemed to be eternity, the firing died down and the smoke cleared. Kira was slumped next to the turbolift, while Dax had fallen near Sisko’s office.Bashir looked at his injured friends and then at Quark.
“This place is a mess,” Sisko said as he stepped among the bodies of the Jem’Hadar. He still could not believe that Kira and Dax had come to take on fifteen soldiers by themselves; it was a miracle they had not been killed. Of course Bashir and Quark had appeared at the right moment, but still, Sisko had to marvel at the sheer courage of his two officers.“Dax is worried you might be upset with her for some creative rewiring she did,” Bashir remarked to O’Brien.
Kira stretched out in bed, focusing her dark eyes on Odo.
“I’m going to sleep for days,” she told the changeling. “As soon as the doctor lets me out of here, I’m going to bed for at least three days.”
Odo patted her hand, “I’m just so glad you’re all right. You almost died, Bashir said.”
“It was a little foolish, but we had no choice really. And it was a gamble that paid off.”
“Perhaps,” Odo said. “I’m still concerned about how easily we were ambushed.”
Kira attempted a smile, but she was too weary to even try.
“It was a rough day,” she answered. “And I’m so glad it’s over.”
“That is quite a tale,” Worf said. He handed his wife a raktijino. She sat up and lifted the steaming mug to her lips.
“Enough to warrant a song? At least a poem?” she asked cheekily. Worf nodded.
“I think so, yes.”
They sat in comfortable silence for a moment and then Worf wrapped his arms around Jadzia. She winced when he touched her still-healing burns.
“It was a pretty dumb thing to do,” Dax admitted.
“I will not argue with that.”
“One good thing came out of all of this,” Dax said thoughtfully. “I now know my way around those conduits and I discovered parts of the station I never knew before.”
Worf silenced her with a kiss.
“It’s over now and you should rest,” Worf told her sternly.
“Was it my fault, Worf?”
“I swear that camp was there when I checked out that planet.”
“No one doubted you, Jadzia. It was an ambush. A carefully planned and executed ambush.”
“And it almost worked too,” Dax added somberly, as she lookd down at her bandaged hands. “This was such a small price to pay, Worf. Really. Imagine if we had lost the station?”
Sisko tossed the baseball idly. He enjoyed the silence because it gave him
a chance to think. Odo entered.
“You wanted to see me, Captain?” Odo asked.
“Yes,” Sisko placed the baseball on the desk and leaned forward. “Was it too easy, Constable?”
“What do you mean, sir?”
“This whole attack. Was it too easy?”
“We almost lost two of our senior crew in this ambush.”
“That’s not what I meant. Be honest with me, Constable.”
Odo considered and then nodded, “I think it might have been too easy.”
“That’s what I was afraid of,” Sisko answered.
“What do you think it means?”
“I don’t know,” Sisko admitted, reaching for his baseball again. “But I think next time we won’t be so lucky.”
Author’s Note: I started working on this story since February (1998). I’ve wanted to write an action story for a while because they are so much fun to do but at the same time, it’s very difficult to write action, especially scenes involving the Defiant. Also, this story jumps around a lot with lots of different scenes and to keep it all straight is definitely a challenge - which is why it took me so long to finish this story. Without a plot except that the Deep Space Nine folks win the end, it's easy to lose track and get frustrated with some of the twists and turns in the action. But I think the end result was certainly worth it and I hope you enjoyed reading this story as much I did writing it. (July 17, 1998).
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