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ACT TWO

 

FADE IN: 

 

13 INT. DS9 - NOG’S QUARTERS

 

Lieutenant NOG moves around his quarters, quickly throwing bits and pieces into a travel bag - including his Marauder Mo figurine. TENMEI and CANDLEWOOD are there with him. 

 

TENMEI
So just all of a sudden you’re
going into the Gamma Quadrant?

 

NOG
Kira wants to go and talk to Odo.
And Ro can’t just hand over a
runabout to a lowly prylar, even
if she used to be our captain.

 

TENMEI
Yeah, but... you’re not the pilot
here. I am. 

 

NOG
But Odo doesn’t really know you. He
knows me. And Ro suggested that
maybe I might be able to persuade
Meera to help us out as well. 

 

CANDLEWOOD
Ooo-ooo-oooh!

 

Nog stops what he’s doing and looks confused at Candlewood. 

 

NOG
What does that noise mean?

 

TENMEI
John is trying to suggest in his
typically subtle way that this
might be more about you seeing
Meera than about helping Kira.

 

NOG
What are you, twelve? 

 

CANDLEWOOD
Emotionally speaking, yes. You
did tell us you liked her. 

 

On Nog as he remembers... 

 

14 FLASHBACK - DS9 11x04 “SEPARATION MANOEUVRES COMPLETE”

 

Nog and Meera, the teenage changeling girl, say goodbye on board the Even Odds. As they part, they touch hands briefly but affectionately. 

 

15 BACK TO SCENE

 

Nog pushes the memory aside. He goes back to packing. 

 

NOG
I also told you all the reasons
why it’s a bad idea. And after the
debacle with Leishman, I’m really
not looking for love right now.
Besides, Meera has experience with
the Borg, so she knows what we’re
up against. Remember on Defiant,
when we found Prynn’s moogie? 

 

16 FLASHBACK - DS9 8x22 “GREATER GOOD”

 

Assimilation tubules LEAP out of a Borg corpse as it lies on a bio-bed in Defiant’s sickbay. They sink into Meera’s changeling flesh and inject Borg nanoprobes.

 

Meera SCREAMS, her form losing control, thrashing all over the room. She pulls her flailing appendages under control, pulling tighter and tighter until she forms a ball, a black mass visible at its centre, vibrating on the deck.

 

The changeling-ball stops vibrating and grows back to its humanoid shape. Meera extends a third arm out of her chest and opens the hand to reveal a black pebble – nanoprobes.

 

17 BACK TO SCENE

 

Nog shudders with revulsion at this memory. Then he looks across at Prynn and sees that she is similarly haunted.

 

NOG
Frinx it, Prynn, I’m sorry. I
didn’t mean to - 

 

CANDLEWOOD
Hey, look at that. I wasn’t the
one who made a massive social
faux pas for once. Yay me. 

 

TENMEI
(pats him on back)
The day is young. Don’t worry
about it, Nog. When do you leave?

 

NOG
Whenever I’m ready. Kira wants to
get out there and contact Odo as
soon as possible.

 

CANDLEWOOD
No time to lose, I suppose. I
just don’t like the idea of you
being out there in the Gamma
Quadrant on your own. 

 

TENMEI
We’re all in danger these days,
aren’t we? Leishman’s gone,
Shar’s gone, Bowers is gone... 
(shrug)
Well... good luck, Nog. On
both counts. 

 

She goes and gives him a hug. Candlewood does likewise. Then they turn and leave the room together. Nog sighs. 

 

NOG
Thanks, guys. I’ll need it. 

 

18 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE

 

A runabout lifts off from its padd on a crossover bridge of the station and heads out towards the wormhole. It curves around, the wormhole BURSTS open, the runabout dives in, and the wormhole closes up again.

 

19 EST. AZURE NEBULA

 

Against the rich blue swirls of gas and particles that make up the Azure Nebula, the Sovereign-class Enterprise and the Vesta-class Aventine hold position side by side.

 

20 INT. AVENTINE - READY ROOM

 

Captain Dax sits behind her desk. Captain Picard paces the room in front of her. Both are tired and frayed from the long days of tension and little sleep. Tempers are short, but Dax must defer to the vastly more experienced captain.

 

DAX
I think you’re making a mistake,
Captain. It’s like using a photon
torpedo to swat a fly. 

 

PICARD
I would hardly call the threat of
a massive genocidal Borg invasion
a ‘fly’, Captain. 

 

DAX
But your people found dozens of
subspace tunnels intersecting the
Azure Nebula. Think of where some
of those tunnels might lead. Their
value to science is immeasurable. 

 

PICARD
(frustrated)
As is their threat to our very
survival. If there was some way
to know which one the Borg are
using to enter Federation space,
I might consider a surgical strike.
But there’s no way to be certain.
We have to destroy them all.

 

DAX
We could open them up, go through,
and scout ahead. If we could save
even a few of the passages... 

 

PICARD
We don’t have that luxury. Your
science officer said it could take
hours to calculate the frequency
to open just one aperture, and
they all resonate at different
frequencies. It could take days to
scout them all, and I have reason
to suspect the Borg won’t give us
that much time. Collapsing every
tunnel is the swiftest and safest
means of ending this invasion. 

 

Dax turns away, looking out of the window to the nebula outside. She considers his argument, finally turns back. 

 

DAX
Alright. I see your point. All the
research opportunities in the
galaxy don’t mean much if we’re
not here to enjoy them. Do you
have a plan for how to proceed? 

 

PICARD
I’d like our science, engineering
and operations teams to continue
working together. This is a new
phenomenon, and we need to figure
out how it works before we can
figure out how to dismantle it.

 

DAX
That’ll still take time. 

 

PICARD
Yes. So in the meantime, we take
advantage of the fact that all the
apertures surround a central point
within the nebula. If we mine that
area heavily enough, we can
prevent any further incursions
while we do our research. 

 

DAX
A minefield? Inside a nebula
filled with sirillium gas? 

 

PICARD
Exactly. Make the environment
work for us, and use it to amplify
the impact of the mines. 

 

DAX
At this range, the blast effects
of a full scale detonation would
probably cripple both our ships. 

 

PICARD
I’ve already made it clear to my
crew that the Enterprise is to be
considered expendable if that’s
what it takes to seal this breach
in our defences. I need to know
that you and your crew share
this commitment. 

 

A suicide mission? Dax doesn’t like the sound of that. But she has little choice. She stands from her seat, a little intimidated and cowed by this powerful and driven Picard. 

 

DAX
Aye, Captain. 

 

PICARD
Good. Make it so. 

 

Picard gives a curt nod and turns to leave.

 

21 EXT. SPACE

 

The runabout holds position in open space, quiet and tiny against the vast backdrop of stars. 

 

22 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT

 

Nog and Kira sit in the two forward seats. Kira checks something on the panels in front of her, seems frustrated. 

 

KIRA
The signal’s still transmitting. It’s
been three hours. Somebody
should have responded by now. 

 

NOG
Maybe they’re trying to figure
out what to do about it. 

 

KIRA
And maybe they’re putting together
an army to blow us to pieces.

 

NOG
Do you want to go back?

 

KIRA
(ponders)
No. This was my idea, I’m going
to see it through. 

 

NOG
What did you put in the message?

 

KIRA
I said who I was, explained the
situation, and that we need help.
No point lying about it.

 

NOG
Is it a good idea to put your own
name on it? You said the other
changeling held you personally
responsible for ruining his life.

 

KIRA
(sad chuckle)
Yeah. Laas never was my biggest
fan. But it’s also the quickest
way to get Odo’s attention. We
don’t have time to mess around.

 

Nog pauses, seems to gather his courage. 

 

NOG
Can I ask you something? I mean...
something personal? You can say
no if you want. I still think of you
as the captain, really, so if it’s too
awkward... 

 

KIRA
Nog. What do you want to know?

 

NOG
Okay. Just... are you looking
forward to seeing Odo again? 

 

KIRA
(smile)
Of course. Why wouldn’t I? 

 

NOG
I just mean... you haven’t really
been a couple for four, nearly
five years. Do you still care about
him that much, even though
you barely ever see him?

 

KIRA
(as if just 
realising)
Yes. I do. I suppose I always
will. I think you do, when you
find the right person, no matter
how long you spend apart.

 

NOG
And what if, when you do finally
see them again, you find out
they don’t feel the same way?

 

KIRA
I guess there’s nothing else to do
but move on. Carrying a torch can
burn you if you’re not careful. 
(beat)
Nog, I’ve known you since you were
a child. You’ve never spoken like
this, to me or anyone. Why now? 

 

NOG
(big admission)
I’m twenty-eight years old. And
I’ve never been in love. 

 

KIRA
(gently)
I didn’t think Ferengi cared much
about love. Relationships are just
a business transaction, same as
any other.

 

NOG
I guess that’s the Ferengi ideal.
But my dad loves Leeta. He loved
my mom. Even uncle Quark loves
Commander Ro, in his way. But I
never loved anybody. And the way
things are going... I’m not gonna
get the chance. 

 

Kira can’t really say anything to that. It’s too sad. 

 

An ALERT sounds. They both jerk to attention. Nog checks... 

 

NOG
Proximity alert. A ship’s coming
out of warp. 

 

They both look forwards out of the front windows... 

 

23 EXT. SPACE

 

A ship drops out of warp and slows to a stop not far from the runabout - a JEM’HADAR CRUISER. The giant warship looms threateningly over the tiny Starfleet ship. 

 

24 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT

 

Nog and Kira both GULP with nervousness. Are they both about to be blown to bits? 

 

 

BLACK OUT

 

 

END OF ACT TWO



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