24 EXT. SPACE
A star system with what appears to be a massive asteroid belt - except that the belt is made up of dark and angular fragments of metal and artificial materials.
25 INT. AVENTINE - BRIDGE
Cmdr Bowers observes this image on the Aventine’s giant viewscreen. The debris belt is growing larger the closer Aventine gets to it, Bowers’ anxiety rising with it. OPS manager MIRREN (human female) speaks up.
Two minutes until the alien craft
enters optimal sensor range.
I want a detailed threat assess-
ment as soon as possible.
Captain Dax stands over Mavroidis’ shoulder at the helm, likewise spellbound by the view on the screen. Bowers gets up from his chair and stands with her.
Sam... do you notice anything
unusual about that debris field?
It all looks the same to me.
That’s what I mean. The colour,
the composition - it’s obviously a
starship graveyard, but I’ve never
seen one this uniform. Have you?
Could they all be from the same ship?
My guess is it’s from thousands
of identical ships.
Mirren - run a scan on the debris.
See if you can identify it.
Mirren works her panels, and almost immediately looks up in mixed horror and amazement.
It’s Borg. All of it. The entire ring.
Thirty seconds to contact with
Captain, please - we’re clearly in
Borg territory. Not to mention
thirty seconds away from whatever
managed to overpower and destroy
several thousands of Borg ships.
I strongly recommend we withdraw.
Sam, this could be just what we
need. These people, whoever they
are, they’re clearly no fan of the
Borg. They might help us.
And they might not.
The main viewscreen refocuses, concentrating on the alien craft approaching them. Dax watches with fascination... This object is not a starship, and not a normal space-going life-form. It appears to be a simple BALL OF ENERGY, a coruscation of colours with no obvious means of propulsion.
Mavroidis suddenly stands from her chair, catching Dax off guard so that she and Bowers back away. Mavroidis turns awkwardly to look at Dax and Bowers, acting like someone who is not familiar with operating a humanoid body. The Ullian woman regards Dax with a blank stare, and her VOICE sounds doubled with an ethereal quality.
You are not Borg.
Dax realises this is a first contact situation - and a very delicate one. Meanwhile Kedair subtly beckons Bowers over to her console. He goes, leaving Dax to handle this.
To whom am I speaking?
We are the children of the storm.
I’m Captain Ezri Dax of the -
You are trespassers. But you
are not Borg, so you may live
- if you depart now.
At the tactical console, Helkara and Bowers have joined Kedair, all looking over the computer’s scan of the entity. They speak low so as not to interrupt Dax’s talk with it.
An energy shell, a spherical
force-field with no apparent
source of power or projection.
Surrounding an atmosphere of
incredibly dense, super-hot liquid
hydrogen laced with trace metals.
And hundreds of individual energy
signatures that I would have to
characterise as life signs.
Dax is still talking with the entity inhabiting Mavroidis.
We only wish to establish peaceful
contact and communication, on
behalf of -
Contact is not desired. It has
taken many centuries to purge
this space of Borg. We will not
allow it to be defiled again.
I understand. We are engaged in
a conflict with the Borg ourselves.
Perhaps if you could help us
No. Reverse your course and make
no attempt to violate our space.
Helkara and Kedair continue to wrestle information out of the computer, growing more amazed with every bit of data.
I’d posit this species evolved in a
gas giant. Their energy patterns
are also consistent with lifeforms
with a high level of telekinesis
and other psionic talents.
That’s how they’re talking through
Mavroidis - because she’s Ullian.
Exactly. I think this species might
have mastered space travel - even
warp flight - through the power
of thought alone.
Dax is still trying to convince the entity. This could be a life line to defeating the Borg...
Perhaps we could return at some
future time -
We do not wish you to return.
Very well. We’ll leave - as soon
as you release your hold on
our conn officer.
It is done.
Mavroidis’s eyes flutter and she staggers on the spot, losing her balance. Dax rushes to support her. Clearing her head, Mavroidis gets her body back under control.
I’m alright, Captain.
Resume your post, Lieutenant. Then
reverse course to the subspace
aperture, maximum warp.
As the Ullian woman follows her orders, and the view on the screen swerves away from the debris field, Dax returns to her command chair. Bowers takes his own seat next to her.
I’m sorry, Captain.
Based on Kedair and Helkara’s
readings, I didn’t see anything
that looked like a conventional
weapon. And one good shot
from a phaser should have been
enough to burst their bubble.
Then how did they manage to
fight off that many Borg ships?
Captain... I think this is one of
those times we should just be glad
we didn’t find out the hard way.
Dax is forced to agree, but still - she is disappointed.
26 EXT. SPACE
Aventine heads back the way it came, away from the debris ringed system and its offer of hope...
27 INT. DS9 - QUARK’S BAR
The evening has now moved on a bit. Etana and Richter are still dancing, but to slower, more romantic music. The disco ball spins more calmly, casting a pleasant twinkle.
Other couples slow-dance as well, Hetik and John included. Those who are not couples - like Kira, Bashir, Nog, Tenmei and Cenn - sit at tables around the edges of the floor.
Quark works urgently behind the bar, mixing and handing out drinks to his various Ferengi waiters before shooing them on their way. Ro stands out of the flow of traffic.
Damned if I know.
Want me to track her down?
She knows the penalty for not
showing up to work. If she
doesn’t want to be here, she
doesn’t ever have to come back.
On the dance floor, Candlewood and Hetik are slow-dancing, both smiling comfortably, immersed in the romance.
I wish I could have been at the
ceremony with you.
It was nice. I’ve never been to a
Bajoran wedding ceremony before.
But why don’t the couple actually
say anything, though? It was all
Kira - Richter and Etana didn’t
say a word.
Why do they need to? The Prophets
already know what’s in their hearts.
That’s all that matters.
John... about us living together.
Hetik, today’s been such a rush,
for both of us. I haven’t had a
second to think. It’s not a no -
No, wait. I was just thinking...
why not skip that part altogether?
Why don’t we get married too?
(bark of laughter)
Ha! Yeah, right.
I’m serious. I know what’s in my
heart. I’m pretty sure I know
what’s in yours. And look at
how happy Kristen and Kol are.
I want that for us.
Candlewood stops dancing, looks at Hetik in shock.
Wait... you actually are serious.
Yes, I’m serious. I’m asking you
to marry me, John. Will you?
Candlewood stutters and splutters, totally caught off guard, flustered and overwhelmed, no idea what to say.
But y-... wh... No!
I... look, I s-... j-... No! Hetik,
are you insane? We are not get-
ting married. We’ve been dating
for less than a year, and -
And that’s enough for you to know
you don’t want to marry me?
(reaches for him)
What? No, that’s not -
(throws him off)
Then what? I’m just a bit of fun
for you, is that it? A good time
until you get bored?
Candlewood is very aware they’re in public, and doesn’t want to make a scene. But he’s completely flustered...
Look, we’re both tired and a bit
drunk, let’s just take a moment -
I don’t think I need a moment.
Hetik steps away from Candlewood and begins to walk off the dance floor. John reaches for him, tries to grab his arm...
Hetik, wait! Let me explain...
Oh, I think you’ve said plenty.
I’m just glad you said it before
I wasted any more time on...
this. See you around, John.
Hetik tears his arm free of John’s grip and heads off the dance floor, and out of the bar altogether. John is left standing alone and abandoned on the dance floor, surrounded by happy romantic couples, watching the love of his life walk away in a fury...
END OF ACT FOUR