Dax pried open the top of the communicator and carefully brought the delicate insides closer to her eye. With the laser scalpel, she expertly severed a connection and fused two other connections close. She worked precisely, with a confidence she did not feel. O’Brien, she thought, would be perfect for something as delicate as this; right now she felt curiously inept, as her fingers were too thick for the task.
she said. She tapped the communicator. “Dax to Rubicon.”
she started to painstakingly undo all of her modifications.
Bashir sucked his breath in, “Murder? Court martial? What happened?”
Emi sat down on the ornate bench and took a deep breath. The color began to rise in her cheeks and Bashir sensed a tension in her muscles. He took her hand and wrapped in his own. Somehow, the familiar gesture reassured her and she swallowed hard a couple times before speaking.
been telling you the truth, Julian. At least some version of it. Things happened
as I told you they happened, but not in the order that they happened
me the truth now. The absolute truth.”
over two years ago, I had some leave. I had heard about Vargas and I thought
it would be a nice place to visit. Katy had some time off too, so I asked if
she would like to come with me. It had been so long since we had seen each other
and I thought the time together would be good for us. And it was a wonderful
vacation, Julian. Katy and I had a wonderful fortnight together and I think
it might have worked out perfectly if I hadn’t met Damar there.”
was Damar doing on Vargas?”
As a neutral world, Vargas has no problem with Cardassians and it’s close to
Cardassia, so there were many Cardassians there. Katy did not like Damar at
all. He could only be trouble was her opinion, but I was fascinated. Hopelessly
fascinated and I can’t tell you why.”
always had a thing for men with power.”
But as I was talking to Damar, he started to tell me of Cardassia and suddenly,
I didn’t think Cardassians were cold-blooded killers or as ruthless as Starfleet
portrayed them to be. And God knows, Damar was very good at persuading me that
everything I had been taught was wrong.”
Emi continued, “I was talking to Katy and I noticed she was upset. Had been
upset for quite a while. Of course I had spent time trying to get whatever was
bothering her out of her system, but she wouldn’t open up. Finally she confessed
that she wanted to quit Starfleet. Of course, I was aghast. For me, at that
time, Starfleet was everything. And you know, if nothing else, I’m fiercely
devoted to what’s important.”
turned out that the captain of her ship, the Lamoille, had been harassing
her. Threatening her with bad evaluations to Starfleet if she didn’t do as he
asked. And because she was only an ensign, she didn’t know who to turn to. And
I felt completely helpless, because there was nothing I could do to help her.
I would be returning to the Majestic, and she would be going on the Lamoille.
I urged her to get a transfer to my ship or any other ship in the fleet. I don’t
know if she ever tried. For my part, I called in every favor I had coming to
me and nothing. I could do absolutely nothing.”
paused for a moment, her eyes filling with tears.
Bashir said quietly, knowing that something painful was coming soon in Emi’s
think Katy began a relationship with the captain. It wasn’t willing, no. She
tried to hide it from me, but I could tell the signs. Katy and I had always
been close, you know that. I raised her from a little girl and to see her like
this broke my heart. And at the same time I was talking to Damar. Damar told
me that he owned a planet in the Delta system, one that was secluded and would
be perfect for colonization in a few years. I thought maybe, I could take Katy
there to rest. Damar agreed.”
built the house for us and provided everything we needed. Katy still didn’t
trust him but she was growing to accept that he was in our lives now. During
that time, Katy told me about some of the things that the captain of the Lamoille
had done to her and my heart was absolutely broken. So when it was time to leave,
I went back to the Lamoille with Katy to pack her things. Her transfer
had finally come through and she would be assigned to the Malinche.”
what?” Bashir asked, feeling himself caught up in Emi’s story.
Katy wasn’t able to just get up and go. She told me she had some things to take
care of and so I let her go. But
she was gone for a while, so I went to look for her. When I found her, she was
in the captain’s ready room, standing over his body. She had killed him. The
phaser was still warm from the blast. And her hands were trembling and she just
said over and over that finally she had paid him back for all the terrible things
he had done to her. She was crying the whole time and I’m not sure if she really
understood what she had done.”
shook her head at the memory, “I took the phaser from her and pushed her out
the door. I told her to go and I would take care of everything. She wasn’t to
worry about a thing. Just go, I said. Don’t think about this at all. It will
be okay. I never saw Katy again. Just a month later, she was killed.”
you took the blame for the murder?”
Julian, how could I let Katy suffer like that? She’d already been through so
much and I knew she wasn’t brave enough to answer the questions that would be
asked. Of course, there was an element of guilt on my part. I was her
older sister, I should have been there to protect her. I took the blame and
was court-martialed. My reputation was sullied but at least Katy died with hers
intact. She was given an honorable burial in San Francisco. I did not attend
the funeral because I was on my way to prison.”
never made it to prison. Damar found out what happened and he rescued me. In
my escape, I personally killed four Starfleet security guards. I think what
I did that day haunts me every moment of my life. I will always feel something
for the families of those dead crewmen. I wouldn’t be human otherwise, but I
think at that point I felt I had run out of options.”
you came here?”
else could I go?” Emi asked sadly. “By then I was pregnant with Damar’s child.
In addition, I was a fugitive from the very institution I believed in so heartily.
What could I do? Damar was kind and attentive and I thought maybe I could have
the happiness with him that I had with you. That I had been hoping to
have with you.”
Bashir shook his head, “I am sorry, Emi.”
don’t want your pity, Julian.”
seems you don’t want much from me.”
Emi did not answer.
happened to Damar, Emi?”
Dyns was born, he left and hasn’t been back since. He provides well for us,
with the house, the guards, the grounds, food, everything I could possibly need.
But I think, he has everything he wants from me. I guess I was a good source
of information for him, concerning what Starfleet was doing and I regret telling
him every word. When I was no longer of use, he left. It's that simple.”
betrayed Starfleet to the Cardassians?”
closed her eyes, “You have to understand, Julian. I was so scared, so angry,
so lonely. I didn’t know what to do. And Damar convinced me that Starfleet didn’t
care about me or Katy and so I really wouldn’t be doing anything wrong.”
you know what your information could have done to millions of people?” Bashir
asked, unable to believe his ears.
told me that no one was hurt because of my information.”
wanted to believe so I did.”
god,” Bashir said, standing up. Emi tried to follow him but he gestured for
her to sit. Bashir walked, trying to absorb what Emi had told him. The horror
of it punched him right in the stomach, knocking all the air out of him. He
Dax resoldered a connection together, praying that this time it would work. She had taken some circuits from the hypospray and rigged together a small device in conjunction with the communicator. It wasn’t as elegant a solution as O’Brien might have found, but if it worked, it did not matter. She was about to try the device when there was a clank at the door. Quickly, she shoved the tools under the covers of the bed.
Cardassian entered bearing some food on a tray.
food for the prisoner. Very humanitarian of you,” Dax said. The guard did not
answer. He poured some water for her into a cup. “Thank you. I was getting thirsty.
It’s very hot on this world of yours.”
guard still did not respond.
a great conversationalist,” Dax said. “It’s been great talking to you. Hey,
who do I see about getting out of here?”
Cardassian glared at her and left, slamming the door closed behind him. Dax
heard the key in the lock and she shook her head.
I tried,” Dax said out-loud. She reached for the device she had made. “Let’s
see if you work.”
After about a half an hour, Bashir had sufficiently calmed down to return to where Emi was sitting. He could see from the redness in her eyes that she had been crying. Face to face, he could not find it in his heart to be angry at her for long. And to be honest, Emi had always had that power over him.
“Emi,” Bashir said gently. He sat down on the bench next to her, draping his arm around her shuddering shoulders. She immediately leaned her head on his shoulder and Bashir did not attempt to push her away. For a moment, he appreciated the warmth of her body next to his, forgetting for a moment the awful confession she had just made.
was afraid you weren’t coming back,” Emi said after a few seconds.
would I go? I’m a prisoner here.”
It’s not like that.”
understand why you want me to stay,” Julian said carefully. “It must be very
hard living here all alone and your burdens, they are much too much to bear
was difficult. Very difficult. There were times when I thought I should just
go turn myself in, but then I had Dyns to take care of and I couldn’t leave
him. He was just a baby and they were my mistakes, not his.”
did you cope?”
spent all my time with Dyns. The guards are kind to me. I think they like me
but there is a strict protocol and I would never dream of breaking it. They
were very good with Dyns too and I was grateful for that. And when Dyns was
here, I never thought about what I had done, because my whole world was in his
eyes. Everything I did in the last two years, I did for him. Now, telling you
this, the guilt is a weight on me. I’m so afraid, Julian. I’ve never been this
was an enormous risk for you to come to Deep Space Nine,” Julian observed.
thought about that every minute I was there. I was so scared that someone would
recognize me and I was so grateful when I did not meet any of your Starfleet
officers. I was concerned about Commander Dax, but she apparently did not recognize
me. But for Dyns, I had to take the chance. Because I knew, that if I could
get to you, you would help me and that I could trust you as I could trust no
you lied to me, the one person who would trust you completely.”
wasn’t sure what your reaction would be if I told you the truth. I am sorry
about that. I hope we can start over now.”
stood up and extended his hand to Emi, “Come, it’s late and I’m getting hungry.”
she hesitated for a moment. “I’m not sorry for any of it. I’m not. And if Katy
hadn’t killed him, I might have. So it’s all the same. But I’m afraid I can
never leave this world.”
can’t stay, Emi.”
face hardened and whatever closeness they might have shared in the last hour
had suddenly evaporated.
can’t let you go. I can’t let you tell anyone where I am.”
won’t. I promise.”
not good enough. Starfleet will want a full explanation of what happened.”
and I can go to Vargas -”
Emi shook her head. “It’s only a matter of time before Sisko finds out the truth
about me. No, I can’t let you go.”
You should let her go. Think of her husband, Emi. Tell me you still have a heart.”
Worf could join us here,” Emi answered reluctantly.
Bashir declared. “You do know that Sisko and the others will be looking for
us.” Emi did not answer. She started walking off. Bashir watched her, again
focusing his attention on the gentle curve of her back. Then he shook his head
and hurried after her.
on screen,” the ensign reported. Kira and Worf eyed the runabout curiously.
signs?” Worf demanded.
is no one on board, sir.”
other warp signatures in the area?” Kira queried. She doubted that Dax and Bashir
had rendezvoused with another vessel, but as there was no planet or moons in
the vicinity, there could be no other conclusion drawn.
sir. No one’s been by this way in weeks.”
is very unusual,” Worf put in. “Where could they have gone?”
beam aboard the Rubicon,” Kira suggested. Worf nodded. “Ensign, beam
us over and keep the comlink open at all times.”
and Worf materialized in the runabout with that ticklish feeling running through
their bodies. Warrior that he was, Worf hated to admit that he was less than
fond of transporting. Frankly, he found the experience unnerving and knew that
in reality, there were few people who actually enjoyed this mode of transportation.
whipped out her tricorder, “The runabout’s been abandoned for quite a while.”
can you tell?”
didn’t bother to reply. His eye caught a brownish-red stain on the wall. He
knelt by it.
hurried to his side, “Blood. Jadzia’s blood.”
growled. Kira shook her head, “There is a burn on the wall compatible with phaser
fire. I think she must have been shot with a phaser. But I can’t tell how strong
the setting was. But she must have been hurt severely, since there is a lot
was an open medkit on the floor and a dermal regenerator was lying on its side.
Worf picked it up and examined it.
has been used recently,” he said.
must have used it to treat Dax,” Kira said in relief. “But that still doesn’t
tell us why Dax was shot or where they went or what condition Dax was in when
they did leave. In fact, Commander, I have more questions now than I
that moment the comlink beeped, “Dax to Rubicon.”
will be served in twenty minutes,” Emi informed Bashir.
don’t have much of an appetite,” Bashir answered. He was sitting in his room,
staring glumly out the window.
have to eat, Julian. Please. It’s your favorite.”
don’t like filet mignon anymore.”
was a silence and then Emi came into the room. She was still wearing black,
but a different dress than earlier. The flower had withered and died in her
hair. Carelessly, Bashir reached up and plucked it out.
trying my best to make you happy here,” Emi said. “Please.”
didn’t answer as he removed the petals of the flower. Each petal fluttered to
the ground, little white things tinged with brown.
she said. “Have it your way. When you’re hungry, the food will be waiting for
you downstairs in the kitchen. Just let Margon know.”
left, pausing briefly in the door to watch Julian. He didn’t look back at her.
“How do you feel?” were the first words out of Worf’s mouth as Dax materialized in front of him.
she said, collapsing in his arms. “Tired, but overall just fine.”
Julian?” Kira demanded.
with the black widow.”
mean Emi Dane?”
Dax said. “That woman has more tricks up her sleeve than a magician.”
then proceeded to tell Kira and Worf everything that had happened since she
had left Deep Space Nine. Worf growled when Dax told him how Emi had shot her.
the maternal instinct is very strong,” Dax said thoughtfully. “But there was
something more, a kind of desperation, I think.”
know all about her past,” Kira said. “We ran a search about her in the database
and we discovered she murdered a Starfleet captain and was court-martialed.
On her way to prison, with the help of the Cardassians, she escaped. Eight Starfleet
personnel lost their lives in that escape.”
closed her eyes and shook her head, “I can’t believe Julian once thought of
marrying this woman. I thought he had better judgment.”
change and we don’t know why she did what she did,” Kira pointed out.
expression told Kira and Worf that she didn’t agree with their sympathetic allowances
for Emi's behavior. Her own experiences with Emi Dane had left a funny taste
in her mouth and Dax was determined not to let Julian
suffer much longer in the company of that insufferable woman.
now though, we have to get Julian out,” Dax said.
from where?” Kira asked. “Where is he?”
when Dax realized she hadn’t told them about the cloaking device. She explained
what Emi had done.
clever. I didn’t know such a thing could be done,” Kira said thoughtfully.
doubt she’s going to let Julian leave,” Dax said. “Look what she did to me and
Julian told me that she gave him an ultimatum.”
must act,” Worf said determinedly. “She is a criminal, wanted by Starfleet.
We must take her back and turn her over to the proper authorities.”
Dax sighed. “Though, I have no desire to visit that planet again. It’s a lovely
place, but the hospitality could improve.”
gnawed at him but Bashir urged himself to exercise a little self-discipline.
He didn’t know where the idea for a hunger strike came from, but he had no intention
of eating until Emi talked some sense.
far, it had been three hours since she had come in last to talk to him and when
he looked out the window now, he could see Emi hunched over the grave of her
son. Just off to the side, he could see one of her Cardassian guards holding
a basket of flowers. At Emi’s nod, the guard gently placed the flowers over
turned away. He did not want to leave Emi like this alone. It was obvious that
she was depressed and maybe even a little disturbed. But he was unwilling to
let Emi dictate the terms to him.
figured that after dark, when everyone was asleep, he would slip out to see
Dax. Hopefully she had made some progress in contacting the runabout.
both of our sakes, I hope so,” he muttered.
trio materialized in a beam of shining light on what Dax referred to as Emi’s
front lawn. Worf whipped out his phaser as did Kira. Dax made no attempt to
stop either of them. While she didn’t want anyone to get hurt, she certainly
had no love for Emi Dane and now that she knew about Emi’s past, she had even
less sympathy for the bereaved mother.
course such callousness scared Dax, but she could not allow herself to feel
anything for Emi.
is in the house,” Dax said briskly. She pointed to a window. “That’s his room.
We should beam directly there, so we don’t run into any company. Emi has Cardassian
guards everywhere. She is nothing if not paranoid.”
her past I would be a little paranoid also,” Kira observed. “But I wonder if
it was all worth it.”
answer was lost as the transporter beam gripped them. When Kira got her bearings
again, she was in a small room, gray in color with flowers on almost every surface.
Julian was lying on the bed, his hands folded over his stomach. He sat up as
soon as he realized he was no longer alone.
got in touch with the Rubicon,” Dax said by way of greeting.
I see,” Bashir answered.
should get you out of here,” Worf said. “Jadzia has told us what has happened.”
shook his head, “You don’t know the half of it.”
is Emi?” Kira asked.
Bashir indicated the window. Kira walked over to see what Bashir was pointing
at. Emi Dane was still crouched on the ground, her hair obscuring her face.
Even from that distance, Kira could tell that the woman was weeping.
will have to take her back with us,” Worf said. “Starfleet has been looking
for her for a long time.”
I know. Emi told me everything,” Bashir answered. He had mixed feelings about
turning Emi over to Starfleet. In some ways, he still loved her and had compassion
for what she had been through. On the other hand, killing four Starfleet officers
and betraying Starfleet was unpardonable.
want to talk to her,” Bashir said. “You have to give me a few minutes.”
looked at him with compassion, “Of course.”
cleared the hair of her face and looked up at Julian.
friends, they must be here,” she said quietly.
did you know?”
stupid do you think I am? I noticed your communicator was missing earlier today.
You could have only given it to Commander Dax.”
I am leaving.”
must come with us,” Bashir bit his lip. “This isn’t easy for me, but I do have
to turn you into Starfleet.”
Emi stood up and wiped her dirty hands on her skirt, “Let’s skip being gentle, okay, Julian? I know what you have to do.”
“Quit apologizing,” Emi snapped. But then her face softened and she reached a hand to touch his cheek gently.
really do look well, Julian.”
did not flinch from her touch as he thought he might. Rather, the familiarity
of the gesture comforted him. Bashir leaned forward and kissed her gently on
the lips. Emi held on to him for a moment.
do not blame you for this,” she said. “I know that I’m responsible for everything
that has happened. I guess I had to stop running eventually.”
said nothing, merely brushed a strand of her hair out of her face. She smiled.
have some things I need to take care of,” Emi said quietly as they walked into
you need help?”
Just some time alone. And you don’t have to worry about me escaping. There’s
really no where for me to go, is there? Your scanners could track me in a second.
I just need some time.”
you, Julian. Thank you for everything.”
watched Emi walk down the darkened hall, her back straight and her shoulders
squared. Then he turned and walked back to his own room where his friends were
The hour passed slowly and before long, Bashir grew impatient.
don’t you go check on her?” Dax suggested. “At least stop pacing. You’re giving
me a headache.”
Bashir started to apologize and then decided not to. His friends cared about him, but none of them really gave a damn about Emi or how he felt about Emi.
will,” Bashir said curtly.
had never been to Emi’s rooms before; he knew only that they adjoined Dyns’
chamber. The door was slightly ajar and Bashir rapped gently.
pushed the door open and saw Emi lying on the bed.
a nap, huh?” he asked but as he approached the bed, he realized he was wrong.
Emi was dead.
He glanced at the hypospray next to her and lifted it up to check the drug. A fatal dose of a sleeping drought.
easy and most importantly, painless.
They buried the former Starfleet lieutenant next to her son. The Cardassian guards shoveled the dirt and sprinkled flowers on the grave. The Deep Space Nine crew did not speak to them. Bashir wondered what would happen to Emi’s faithful guard, but he didn’t have sufficient courage to ask.
on the runabout, Dax left the helm for a moment to talk to Julian.
okay?” she asked.
you think she would kill herself?”
not surprised. She had lost everything she had to live for and I think the guilt
was too much for her. I don’t think Emi had a moment’s peace in the last few
years and I think she has it now.”
long as you’re okay.”
be fine,” he repeated.
she patted his hand and returned to her seat.
Bashir told Miles O’Brien everything. There were a few things he had held back from Dax, but those were things he felt Miles would understand.
still loved her, didn’t you?” O’Brien asked.
Bashir nodded. “Even in that most terrible moment when she was telling me all
of the awful things she had done, I still loved her. I guess you never forget
that first love and you never love anyone else the way you loved that person.”
about this unholy alliance with Damar?” O’Brien asked.
hadn’t seen or heard from him in two years. We sent a message to him. I don’t
know if he received it or if he even cares. It doesn’t matter. Emi deserved
better than Damar. And if I hadn’t come to Deep Space Nine, maybe things would
not have turned out this way.”
do that to yourself, Julian.”
O’Brien was gone, Julian settled back in his seat. He noticed for the first
time how very quiet his quarters were. The silence, he thought, would drive
suppose you were most afraid of the silence, Emi,” Julian realized. “Because
then you could think and those thoughts you had were impossible to live with.
Silence makes it impossible to push those thoughts away. I imagine it’s better
that you don’t have to think about what you did anymore. I suppose that was
the cruelest punishment of all.”
paused for a moment, taking a deep breath.
going to miss you, Emi. I really am. I wish I could have helped you but I guess
in the end, the final decision had to be yours. I think you were brave to do
it, Emi. I really do. And you know, I’m not going to remember you the way I
saw you these past few days. For me, I’ll always remember how beautiful you
looked that last night in San Francisco. And I’m sorry that despite everything
I ever said, I could not keep that final promise to you. I could not promise
that I would be there for you, because in the end, I was just like the rest.
I was just like everyone else, unwilling to forgive or forget. And I think that’s
what will haunt me forever.”
put down his raktijino and headed out of the door. Bashir had heard that Quark
had ordered a new spy program and he was eager to try it out.
he thought as he made his way to the bar, anything to avoid the silence.
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