21 INT. VEXH’S SHIP
Begin on Vexh, still unconscious in the silver embrace of his vessel. We PAN across, and find Raiq stood with her hands pressed into the wall, eyes closed and concentrating. Then across the cockpit, to find Kira leaning against the control console and watching both of them.
Is it working?
Yes, I believe so.
And how do you feel?
It takes a long time for Raiq to answer.
I am confused. Vexh must survive.
I need him. But I am afraid he
will reject me, as Axno did.
Actually I just meant physically,
with the bond with the ship. But
that’s good too.
It is good that I am afraid?
It’s good that you’re talking to
me. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Why don’t you tell me about this
world – the Hearth, you called it.
Seems like kind of a dangerous
place. Not to mention barren.
Why would you come here?
It is sacred. The Knights gather
every hundred cycles, to reaffirm
our faith, to share news of the
Quest, and continue the species.
But why here, of all places?
Doctrine foretold that the Fire
would burst forth from the last
remaining Eye of the True in
this place. And so she did.
You came here looking for Iliana.
Not only that. The Hearth warms
us. In the cold emptiness between
the stars, the Hearth reminds us
of the burning glory of the True.
It warms you...
The geothermal energy. All that
sunlight that’s scorching the
planet’s surface out there, it’s
what recharges your ships. But you
only come during the off season,
or else it would overload you.
And if Vexh does not recover
before then, such will happen to
him. I cannot allow that.
Then let me go and get an update
from Ro and Cenn. See how much
longer we’ve got.
With Raiq’s permission, Kira climbs out of the ship.
22 EXT. BLACK WORLD
A wide shot – Vexh’s ship sits alone at the bottom of the bowl, while up on the ridge away from the meridian, the runabout is parked.
23 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT
Ro is sat at the front position, thinking to herself. The windows show the darkness of the Black World.
After a moment, Kira enters through the open hatch.
Ro – tell me some good news.
Okay. Good news is, the meridian
is still four hours away. Bad news
is, it’s accelerating.
How does that happen?
Prophets only know. Erratic orbit.
Solar flares. Does it matter?
No, I guess not. Okay, I’ll tell
Raiq to speed it up.
Kira turns to go, but Ro straightens and calls after her.
Nerys – wait. Can I call you
Nerys? Is that okay?
Of course. I’m not your boss.
See, that’s the thing. I don’t
know what to call you anymore.
When you chased after Raiq before,
and I called after you, I said
“Captain.” It was instinctive.
So? Just habit, that’s all.
But it made me think. On the way
here, you kind of... took command.
And I just let you.
Oh... I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to
step on your toes.
No, I don’t blame you. I blame me.
I guess... I still don’t know how
to take command. It was easier to
just defer to you. Let you take
the pressure. You’re used to it.
...Laren. I’m not here to take
command from you. That part of
my life is over. I’m only here to
watch out for Raiq.
Why? Why are you going so far out
of your way to help her, when all
she does is threaten to kill us?
Because she needs me.
It’s guilt, isn’t it?
I killed her entire race, Laren.
That’s on me.
And on Sisko. And Taran’atar. And
No. I was the Hand. It was my
mission. My plan. So I have to
make up for it. And I promise that
from now on, all command decisions
are yours. I won’t interfere.
Ro nods, appreciating that. Then the door from the rear cabin opens, and Cenn enters, carrying a padd.
Major. What have you been up to?
Studying. You gave me the codes to
access Mister Candlewood’s research,
so I’ve been using the down time to
learn. I thought maybe there was
something in there that could help
Vexh and Raiq.
I imagine they know better than
Maybe. But it can’t hurt.
They all turn in surprise as the sound of Pif’s BARK coming from outside the ship. They exit in curiosity...
24 EXT. BLACK WORLD
Kira, Ro and Cenn all exit the runabout and rush to the edge of the ridge, looking down towards Vexh’s ship. The ambient light is growing brighter as the meridian nears.
Halfway between them and the ship, Pif stands, spines tense and BARKING loudly. They run towards him.
Pif! What is it? What’s wrong?
The smell. It’s getting stronger
all the time.
The meridian. It’s nearly here.
They turn again, and see Raiq in the distance, standing in Vexh’s ship and looking out through the open canopy towards them. Raiq is beckoning them.
25 INT. VEXH’S SHIP
On Vexh, still lying on his chair-turned-bed. The silver blood is slowly flowing away back into the chair, and uncovering his body.
Raiq stands by the bed, Kira just behind her. Raiq glances back to Kira, anxious. Kira nods back, supportive. Raiq tentatively reaches out to touch Vexh. With Raiq’s hand on his arm, Vexh struggles his way back to consciousness.
Sister... what happened?
We are not certain, my brother.
You fell in pain, and we brought
you to your vessel to be healed.
Gratitude, my sister. But tell me...
did I dream? Your words of the
Quest, of the Ascension... did
I imagine them?
No. No, you did not imagine. I
beg forgiveness, my brother.
Vexh slowly and painfully drags himself up vertical, turns to sit sideways. He absorbs everything, considers it all.
No forgiveness is required, my
sister. I think, perhaps... I
Raiq can understand that. She lets him process.
The vessel connects the Knights,
one to another, across the stars,
no matter the distance. I called
out again and again. Yet I heard
no-one. I thought it was simply
the wound... or perhaps I told
myself so, to hide a truth I did
not wish to face.
But I believe that no truth can be
hidden forever. It is a thing one
knows regardless, is it not?
Yes. I believe that too.
Vexh peers past Raiq to Kira, quietly waiting.
Who is this?
This is Kira. She is... she has
Kira gives a small smile of relief and gratitude.
You ran to Raiq’s aid. And others
with you. Why?
Because I was worried for her. I
didn’t want her to get hurt.
Who do you worship, Kira?
She is no threat to you or me,
my brother. I assure you.
Vexh knows there’s something Raiq is not telling him... but he is past caring. He lets it go.
It matters not.
I do not understand.
If the Quest is over and the
Ascension passed, what does it
matter if any creature be faithful,
heretic or godless?
What else is there?
Raiq exchanges an awkward look with Kira. Neither of them like how this conversation is going.
Vexh... this world, your Hearth.
We can’t stay here. The sunlight
is coming, it’ll be here in less
than four hours. We need to go.
Because if we don’t, it’ll kill us
all. Do you think you can get your
ship up and running by then?
Vexh closes his eyes and concentrates, ‘feeling’ his ship.
It is wounded still. But the wound
is less than it was.
(realising; to Raiq)
I helped as best I could.
It was wasted effort, my sister.
This vessel will not travel the
Of course it will. We can fix it,
don’t worry. We’re good at
It will not if I do not wish it.
Vexh... if you don’t get this ship
fixed and out of here, you’ll die.
Vexh looks up to Raiq and Kira, quite clear and serious.
Then let it be so.
Raiq and Kira both realise... he wants to die.
END OF ACT THREE