tried to contain his shock, but Emi gauged his response immediately.
surprised,” she said quietly.
would be an understatement,” Bashir answered honestly, not taking his eyes
off the sleeping child.
have to understand,” Emi pleaded. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Really.
It’s just at the time, I needed someone desperately. And he was there.”
was this?” Dax asked gently.
years ago. Before Katy died, we took a vacation to Vargas. On my way to
Vargas, I met this Cardassian, a very powerful man. And then after Katy
died, I was so lost and he offered me a way out. I don’t know if I loved
him or not, but he offered me sanctuary here on Delta IV. And so I accepted.
I left Vargas and came here. I suppose for a little while, I was truly at
peace and then I discovered I was pregnant.”
the father? Where is he?”
fighting somewhere,” Emi answered bitterly. “I don’t even know if he’s alive.
He has a wife and children back on Cardassia. I don’t know if he will ever
Bashir knelt next to the bed and cautiously extended a hand to touch the child’s forehead. It was feverish to the touch.
has been sick like this for several weeks now. I have a physician here but
he doesn’t know what the matter is. I can’t lose my son, Julian. He’s all
looked up at Emi, compassion flooding into his brown eyes.
will do the best I can, Emi. I can promise that.”
“Nothing!” Kira exclaimed in frustration. The probes they had sent out showed no sign that the runabout had entered the asteroid field. But where could they have gone? So far, scans had picked nothing even remotely resembling a Starfleet warp signature. Rather, there were plenty of Cardassian warp signatures, which unnerved both Kira and Worf.
would not be possible to destroy the runabout without leaving a trace behind,”
Kira said to Worf. “There would some debris, some genetic material, anything.”
Worf nodded. “But they simply could not have vanished. That is impossible.”
sighed, “Has Sisko heard anything?”
since Jadzia’s last transmission.”
was almost twenty-six hours ago.”
the ensign sitting at the helm spoke up.
is it?” Kira asked.
picking some debris consistent with the Rubicon on the long range
sensors,” the ensign answered.
and Kira looked at each other.
us there, Ensign,” Worf said heavily.
Dax roamed the grounds of the house, feeling the presence of the Cardassian guard all around her. They had been here on Delta IV for two days now and Dax could not shake this feeling of foreboding that wrapped around her like a cloak. Still, she had to admit that Delta IV was very pretty and that Emi had clearly profited from her liaison with her Cardassian lover. Dax found a small pond surrounded by trees. She settled herself on the ground, trying to think clearly.
twisted around, “Hello, Julian.”
sat down next to his friend, “How do you feel?”
better. The burns are healing well.”
good to hear.”
are you? This can’t be easy for you.”
shook his head, “I’m still trying to see the Emi I used to know in this woman.
I can’t. And I want you to believe, Jadzia, that Emi wasn’t like this.”
told me that before.”
know. I’m still trying to understand what could have driven her into the arms
of a Cardassian,” Bashir shuddered at the thought, the very idea.
maybe? Hopelessness? Love?”
not love,” Bashir laughed hollowly. “She never loved him. It was just that he
provided a convenient escape for her and she took it.”
react differently to trauma. You have to remember that.”
am a doctor, I know that.”
because it’s Emi you’re having problems dealing with the situation?” Dax asked.
Bashir answered honestly. “You know, at the Academy, she was the only one I
told about my genetic enhancement. And she never told. In fact, it never made
a difference to Emi that I had this done to me; she accepted me the way I was.
I think that’s why I loved her.”
now you feel guilty, because you abandoned her.”
That’s it exactly. I wonder if I had served on the Majestic with her
and if we had gotten married as we planned, would this have happened?”
can’t second guess yourself, Julian. You had to do what was right for you.”
shook his head, “Her son is dying, Jadzia. I don’t know how to tell her that.”
sucked her breath in, “Dying? You’re sure?”
between species is fraught with uncertainty, Jadzia. You know that. Even in
the best of circumstances, it’s difficult. I wish there was something I could
do for Dyns, but for the life of me, I can’t. Maybe if Emi had come earlier,
I don’t know. It’s frustrating.”
keep trying,” Dax said patting his shoulder. “And I think Emi knows you’re trying
to help. I do think that.”
did not answer. Instead he threw a pebble into the water and watched the circles
ripple outward. Dax draped her arm around his shoulders, sensing his need for
comfort. Finally, Bashir shrugged her arm off and stood up.
should get back to Dyns,” he said quietly. “I will try everything I can.”
listened to Bashir’s footsteps crackling on the leaves as he walked away. She
felt truly sorry for the situation he was in and she wished there was something
she could do to help him.
a terrible feeling,” Dax whispered to the little fish swimming beneath the surface
of the murky water. “Being so helpless.”
in that moment, she understood Emi Dane.
“Julian,” Emi stood in the doorway, watching the doctor tend to her son. Bashir straightened out and looked back at her. Emi came in and touched his shoulder gently.
don’t know how much I wished he was your son,” Emi confessed. “There
were times when I would hold him in my arms and close my eyes, thinking that
it was you and me here in this wonderful place with our baby. And then I would
look down and realize that he wasn’t and this was all a terrible mistake.”
don’t look like that,” Emi said in anguish. “I love my baby. He is everything
believe you,” Julian answered. “Otherwise you would not have come to Deep Space
Nine looking for a doctor.”
he dies, I don’t know what I will do.”
know that tone, Julian. You don’t have to hide the truth from me. Is he dying?”
afraid so. It’s his heart. There is a genetic defect there that I can’t fix
and it’s probably the result of genetic incompatibility between you and the
sank to the floor, pressing her palms up against her forehead.
wouldn’t care, you know,” Emi said. “He doesn’t really care what happens to
me or Dyns.”
can’t believe that.”
maybe he does care. It’s just that I’m a former Starfleet officer and he...
he is in the Cardassian high command.
In fact, he used to be aide to Gul Dukat.”
nodded, “Do you see why I couldn’t tell you? Because then your captain would
have never given you permission to come.”
has a heart. He would not have denied medical care for a dying child who has
no part in this conflict. He is a father himself.”
know, but it was a chance I couldn’t take. And there really was a plague on
Vargas, except that they cured it just a few weeks back. But it made a perfect
story in case you checked up on me.”
trusted you, Emi.”
know and I never meant to break it. But you have to understand, I was desperate.
And I’ve been trying to contact the baby’s father now for weeks and there was
haven’t mentioned his name,” Bashir said suspiciously.
“Damar is the father of Emi’s baby?” Dax asked incredulously. Bashir nodded. He was sitting on the only chair in the room assigned to Dax. She had made herself comfortable on the bed, curling her long frame up into a fetal position, taking care not to put any pressure on the phaser burns on her arms and chest.
what she says,” Bashir sighed.
is incredible,” Dax said. “What now?”
don’t know what to say. She doesn’t know about Dukat’s breakdown or that Damar’s
taken over the Cardassian forces. In fact, she seems to think Damar is dead
and I think I will let her believe that.”
is something else we do have to decide, Julian.”
you contacted Deep Space Nine?”
shook her head, “I tried, but there was interference from the cloaking device.
Before I could get through it, one of the Cardassian guards interrupted me.”
talk to Emi.”
Dax urged. “This is very relaxing, but all the same, I don’t take kindly to
be kidnapped or shot.”
nodded. He stood up and stretched a bit.
have to excuse me. I’m going to go check in on Dyns.”
“Sir?” the ensign called out. “I’m picking up traces of a Bolian freighter.”
Bolian freighter?” Kira asked. “Out here? Why this is light years away from
any of their trading routes.”
sir. It is a Bolian freighter. And it actually originates here, at the runabout’s
last known coordinates.”
and Worf exchanged looks.
said something about Emi Dane being an engineer,” Worf said slowly. "She
could have manipulated the warp singature."
Kira said. “Follow the Bolian freighter’s trail. Let’s see what’s going on here.”
The child was dead.
rose and tried to wipe the sleep out of his eyes. He watched Emi, her head buried
in the covers of the bed, her hands on the body. Her thin body shuddered with
the force of her sobs. Bashir longed to comfort her, but he could not find it
in himself. He closed up his medical kit and went to find Dax.
Bashir found Dax sitting by the pond.
is dead,” he said quietly.
Is she all right?”
don’t know. She didn’t look well.”
couldn’t find the words to tell her that I was sorry. It was as if all compassion
had gone from me and I don’t know why.”
later. Right now, this is all too much for you to handle.”
sighed, “I should talk to her about leaving soon.”
be gentle,” Dax said.
will be. Don’t worry.”
Bashir found Emi in her room, staring straight out the window. She turned slightly when Bashir entered the room.
Julian,” she said. “Have you ever seen the view from here? It’s really quite
nodded, “The pond, it’s very peaceful. Jadzia spends much time there.”
did too. It’s a good place to think.”
we need to talk.”
frightens me when you say that, Julian.”
you have to listen to me. You need to turn off the cloaking device so Jadzia
and I can leave.”
You’re going to leave?”
have to, Emi. I have an obligation to Starfleet and Deep Space Nine and Jadzia,
she has a husband she has to return to. We can’t stay here much longer.”
can’t leave me, Julian. If you leave me, I will have lost everything and everyone
I have ever loved.”
can compromise, Emi. You can come to Deep Space Nine with me.”
offered that to me six years ago. I declined it then.”
offering again. I think it would be nice, Emi. We could start over, if that’s
what you wanted.”
shook her head, “I can’t. I can’t ever go back.”
do you mean?”
I left Starfleet, I left that whole world behind. I have no desire to return
not asking you to rejoin Starfleet.”
I can’t. I can’t go back there. Here, I have my own world, my own privacy. I
can’t go back.”
can’t stay, Emi. You have to understand that. Do you understand that?”
did not answer. Bashir shook his head and left the room.
“She was in Starfleet, wasn’t she?” Worf asked, frowning.
believe she served as a lieutenant on the Majestic until about two years
ago. At that time, Lieutenant Dane resigned her commission.”
wonder why,” Worf mused.
about the death of a sister. At least that's what Julian said.”
think that’s the only reason?”
think there is more?” Kira asked.
must be more. Ensign Cartwright?”
out everything you can about a Lieutenant Emi Dane.”
“Jadzia?” Bashir asked as he entered his friend’s room. She was nowhere to be seen. He frowned, having already checked at the pond.
you looking for Commander Dax?”
whirled around to face Emi.
is she?” he demanded.
shrugged, “She is not here.”
in a safe place. Don’t worry. No one will harm her.”
have you done to Jadzia?” Bashir screamed.
can’t let you go, Julian,” Emi said quietly. “Not now, not when we’ve been reunited.
You promised me once and I’m asking you to honor that promise.”
honored that promise by coming here even though you deceived me. Your deception
has invalidated everything,
Emi. Now, where is Jadzia?”
eyed him sadly, “Don’t you see how happy we can be here? Please, just give it
some time. You’ll get used to
it and soon, you will appreciate the serenity. It really is beautiful and peaceful
turned away in frustration, “What are you going to do with her?”
I hope. It depends on you.”
you agree to stay, then I will allow Dax to go home. But if you’d like, you
afraid I will have to take actions I prefer not to,” Emi answered simply.
it what you will. I’m only claiming what should have been mine.”
this is crazy.”
right,” she retorted. “I am crazy.”
stared into those eyes which had once held his entire world and wondered if
indeed Emi Dane was crazy.
“Major,” Worf said. “Here’s the information on Emi Dane.”
stood over the Klingon’s shoulder, reading as the information scrolled past
on the screen.
two exchanged a look.
an interesting past, wouldn’t you say?” Kira asked. “She could put some members
of the Bajoran resistance
nodded, “Some less than honorable actions, yes.”
sighed, “I wonder what she wanted with our people.”
better find them. Soon.”
Dax winced as she tried to sit up. She could not say her surroundings were uncomfortable; rather, by Klingon standards, the simple furniture of the room was luxurious. She remembered only standing by the pond and then nothing but darkness. This was turning out to be one hell of a mission.
she whispered, pressing her hand to her head. “Headache.”
fell back on the bed and drifted back to sleep.
“Picking up elements in the Rubicon’s hull here,” Ensign Cartwright reported. “There was some kind of battle here, I think.”
came to stand over the ensign, making the young man slightly nervous.
just fragments,” Worf said over his shoulder to Kira. “Some slight damage to
the Rubicon, but I don’t believe it was destroyed.”
least we know we’re on the right trail,” Kira said with relief.
was Cardassian, sir,” Cartwright continued.
Cardassian ship fired on the runabout?” Kira asked.
sir. That’s what the sensors show. They got away though. There are traces of
a jump to warp and then once again, the Bolian freighter warp signature.”
that signature,” Kira offered. She looked at Worf, “We’re heading directly for
Cardassian territory. Maybe we should engage the cloaking device.”
Klingon nodded, “Cloak engaged.”
wonder what they wanted out here,” Kira mused. “Well, we will find out soon.”
They buried the child in the grounds surrounding the house. Emi stood alone, dressed in a simple black dress.
From his position, about seven or eight meters away, Bashir found himself admiring the curve of her back, the graceful length of her neck and that thick black hair which fell just below her shoulder blades. There was an elegance to Emi - there always had been - and a certain innate dignity and both of those characteristics were very visible on this clear morning. Bashir watched as the Cardassian guards lowered the casket into the ground and then began to shovel the dirt back on top. Later, a headstone would be brought. During the ceremony, Emi did not say a single word. Bashir felt something stir inside of him and he moved to stand next to her, putting his arm around her shoulders.
am sorry, Emi,” he said quietly. “If there was anything I could have done...”
have to believe I loved him.”
am I going to do now?” she asked tearfully.
told you could come back with me to Deep Space Nine. The offer is still good.”
began to walk away, and Bashir had to quicken his step to keep up with her.
can’t, Julian. Don’t ask me again.”
it because of Katy?”
shook her head, “No.”
took Emi by the shoulders, “Now you have to tell me the truth.”
do you want from me, Julian?”
from you? Emi, since the moment you arrived on the station you’ve been dictating
everything. Now I want some
answers from you.”
don’t know if I can.”
you’ve been blaming everything that’s happened on Katy’s death. I don’t buy
it. Not for one moment. You’re a strong person, Emi, the strongest I’ve ever
known. And I think your strength attracted me to you. I want to know where that
strength disappeared to. Why did you feel it necessary to throw away you believed
in to find so-called peace in the arms of a Cardassian? And Damar at that! And
why is it so important that you have this planet, this whole planet, to yourself?
What are you hiding from?”
stared off into the distance, “You know, I’ve never been off of these grounds
really. Dyns was too sick most of the time. I’ve wanted to go to those mountains
because they remind me of home. When I was young, Katy and I used to go skiing
in Colorado all the time and sometimes, I think that if I close my eyes long
enough, I can be there, with Katy on the mountains.”
then these trees, when I walk here, I’m reminded of you. How we used to walk
in Muir Woods and make up stories about giants that lived in the trees. If I
think about it long enough, I’m transported back to San Francisco, back to a
time when I actually thought I had a future in Starfleet, with you.”
can still have that future. You just have to tell me, Emi. That’s all I’m asking.”
still the same, Julian,” Emi smiled sadly. “Sweet and compassionate as always.
Older, a little weary I think, but you are the same Julian I loved.”
gave up. Emi obviously did not want to share details of her life with him. In
time, he thought. In time she will tell me.
where is Jadzia?” he asked quietly. “Is she hurt?”
I don’t think so. Don’t worry. She’s safe. It would have been so much easier
if it had been the two of us, really. Then it could have been the way we’d always
did not answer. Emi looked at him, her large brown eyes pooling with tears.
will stay, Julian, won’t you? You won’t leave me alone, will you?”
don’t give me much choice, do you?”
time, Emi did not respond.
Dax stretched out and opened her eyes. The sun was bright today, making her
headache worse. She sat up and swung her feet over the side. She waited a second
to get her equilibrium back before standing up. She staggered over to the one
window and peered out. It looked as if she were in a small, stone building somewhere.
She could not see the house from here nor did she see anything familiar. Dax
tried the door, but discovered (no surprise) that it was locked. She also noticed
that her communicator was gone.
“Well, they certainly were thorough,” Dax mumbled. “Now what?”****
Bashir tramped through the underbrush, stymied by the darkness. He had slipped out in the middle of the night, hoping to find a clue to Dax’s disappearance. He had thought about agreeing to stay here, if Emi would send Dax home. But then, in retrospect, he considered that Emi was too fond of her solitude (for whatever reason) and Bashir doubted very much that Dax would make it back to Deep Space Nine. Chances were, the runabout would have some mysterious accident somewhere and that would be the end of that. And if their friends from Deep Space Nine began a search, they would assume that Bashir had perished in the same accident. For that reason, Bashir was reluctant to give Emi an answer either way, since he figured Dax would pay for his decision no matter what it was.“Where are you, Jadzia?” Bashir muttered.
He figured that Dax could not be too far; Emi herself had told him that she had only explored about five or six square kilometers of the planet. Chances were, Dax was still somewhere on the property and Bashir thought that the best place to look was the west end, an area largely unreachable because of the amount of underbrush and brambles. Of course, if he could not find Dax there, he would search each corner of Emi’s property until he found her. He came upon a small clearing and at the edge, there was a small stone house, about eight meters tall and ten meters long. Bashir walked up to it and rapped gently on the door.
felt relief wash through him, “Jadzia, are you all right?”
I’m fine. The door is locked.”
brought my medical kit with me. Let me see if I can’t find something to open
the door with.”
After a few minutes, he pulled out his laser scalpel and used it to careful remove the lock. The door swung open. Dax immediately rose from her bed and threw her arms around him.
do you feel?” he asked, gently untangling himself.
pulled out his tricorder and began to scan her, “Your burns are healing well,
but you have a nasty concussion.”
would explain the headaches and my chronic sleepiness.”
been sleeping?” Bashir asked, alarmed.
don’t raise your voice. It makes my head hurt.”
can’t stay long. I had to find you though. What can I do for you?”
need a way to communicate with the runabout.”
detached his communicator from his uniform, “Maybe you can modify this to get
through the cloak.”
do my best. And you can leave your laser scalpel here too.”
right. I’ll try to come back. Emi has made a deal with me. If I stay, you can
looked at his friend grimly, “You don’t want to know.”
I’m here as surety for your good behavior?’
not sure how much I like that.”
don’t think Emi would let you leave anyway. Somehow, from the conversations
I’ve had with her, I can’t see her letting you return to Deep Space Nine and
letting everyone know that we’re here. No, I don’t think either of us will ever
leave this place.”
I’d better get working, huh?”
luck. And Jadzia?"
not to sleep so much with a concussion. You might not wake up."
will try, doctor."
I will try to come back tomorrow to check on you."
slipped out, carefully locking the door behind him.
They were walking through the gardens. Emi was still wearing black, but she had added a white daisy-like flower to her hair. It was very pretty against the shiny black leaves of her hair, Bashir thought. Emi linked her arm in his.
your own planet,” Emi said. “Damar had his uses, but this was certainly the
best. What I went through, why, it’s worth it now when I look around.”
ambitions have certainly changed.”
change, Julian. In six years, so many things can happen.”
starting to realize that.”
surprised you never found anyone.”
were a couple women here and there. And of course I was madly in love with Dax
for the longest time.”
wouldn’t have you?” Emi asked, amusement creeping into her voice.
I’m afraid not. She’s married now to Commander Worf.”
always thought of you and me like that. Happily ever after.”
at one time. But you have to acknowledge, Emi, we always had differing ideas
about what we wanted from life.”
we worked it out most of the time. Except for that last time. I admit, I should
have been more patient. You did always want to work in frontier medicine and
I should have paid attention to that. I’m sorry I didn’t. It would have been
much better, in retrospect, if I had followed you. Maybe then I wouldn’t be
in this mess.”
never explained what your troubles are.”
sighed and indicated a nearby bench.
was court-martialed, Julian, and I’m wanted for murder. That’s why I can’t go
back with you to Deep Space Nine.”
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