29 EXT. REFUGEE CAMP - DAY
Jans and Tebla, the teenage alien brothers from earlier, SCRUB graffiti off a plasteel outer wall. Major Rochan is helping and guiding them, and they all seem friendly.
Kira and Akaar walk between the shelters, but Akaar stops at this sight, and speaks sotto to Kira...
Surely a phaser on low power
would be quicker and easier...
That’s not the point. They’re the
ones who drew the graffiti in the
first place. This is punishment.
Perhaps the Major should station
more officers to stop such things
happening in the first place.
They’re good kids, Admiral. They
don’t need armed soldiers cracking
down on them. The problem isn’t
discipline - it’s boredom.
We’ve done everything we can
for them, but it’s not sustainable.
Bajor can’t absorb a population
explosion of millions of people
long term. We just can’t.
Starfleet can provide supplies...
I’m not talking about supplies.
I’m talking about jobs, schools.
Merim, the boys’ mother - she used
to be a micro-biologist. Now she
just sits and waits for the next
handout. The boys only get into
trouble because there’s nothing
else to do. They’ve got food now,
they’ve got beds. But what they
really need is lives. And Bajor
can’t give them that.
Akaar breathes deep, taking everything on board.
Thank you, Vedek. Your perspective
has been most illuminating.
I know you’re facing this all over
the Federation, not just here. But
all of us, somehow, we’re gonna
have to think of something.
Indeed. Too often, those in my
position lose track of the smaller
details in our attempts to grasp
the bigger picture. I do not want
to be one of those... “badmirals”.
Kira LAUGHS out loud - he knows the word! Akaar chuckles along with her, not the stuffy robot he sometimes seems.
Admiral, I don’t think anyone
who really knows you could
ever think you’re one of those.
One would hope.
Akaar strides on. Wondering what changed, Kira follows...
30 INT. DS9 - TENMEI’S QUARTERS - BEDROOM
Ro paces back and forth, angry and frustrated...
The cold-hearted son of a... He
only cares about being the perfect
officer. People are irrelevant.
BASHIR is performing physiotherapy on Vaughn’s body - lifts one leg, firmly but gently presses the knee to the chest...
So are you mad at the admiral for
following the standard procedure?
Or for not not following it?
What does that even mean?
Only that you do seem to be taking
this very personally considering it
was your own misunderstanding.
Ro deflates again, slumps into the chair. Bashir moves to the other leg, performs the same slow, careful movements...
What are you doing, anyway?
Just keeping his body active. His
nervous system is more likely to
heal with regular stimulation. You
could always help, if you wanted.
Grudgingly, but knowing Bashir’s right, Ro gets up to help. Bashir guides her hands to the right places so she can take over the movements, while he checks the scanner readings.
It’s all their fault. They set me
up. Manipulated things on Garon
Two so I’d do their dirty work.
Uh-huh. Swap legs.
Ro moves back to the first leg, continues the movements...
And I blamed myself for years. Now
I know they forced me into that
position, but thanks to him -
- I can’t tell anybody. He made me
promise not to. Akaar doesn’t even
know Section 31 exists. And here I
am, still keeping my promise, even
Quark’s right - I really do have
That infuriating mixture of love and
resentment, of wanting them to
leave you alone and to be proud of
you, all at the same time. Yes...
Which leaves Akaar thinking I’m
still the same reckless screw-up
he tried to mould into a proper
Starfleet officer - and failed.
Are you sure about that? If, as
you just admitted, you’re holding
on to your own grudges, then how
do you know how he really feels?
He’s the one who sent me to jail.
I think he made himself clear.
That was a long time ago, Laren,
and a lot of things have changed.
Maybe he’s one of them.
Alright, enough stretching. Time
to massage the captain’s rear end.
Okay, that’s all on you.
Ro backs away, hands up. Bashir chuckles...
Oh, nothing. Just... mysterious
covert agencies. Old resentments.
Long-held secrets. Father issues.
It’s like Garak never left.
Off Bashir’s wry amusement...
As displayed on a computer screen...
As much as I sometimes fantasise
that the galaxy would do well to
just leave everything in my hands,
Legate, I am but one man.
32 INT. DS9 - GUEST QUARTERS
MACET sits at the computer bank, GARAK on the screen...
I can hardly take on the extra
responsibility of managing your
negotiations as well as my own.
Sleek and efficient Macet has little patience for Garak’s verbose style. He holds his tongue and smiles tightly...
Just tell me - who is this man?
How do I connect with him? He’s
as unexpressive as any Vulcan.
As imposing as a Klingon...
And as wily as a Ferengi. Clearly
Commander Ro is not a big fan, and
I’ve come to trust her opinions.
On screen, Garak takes a moment to compose his thoughts.
Admiral Akaar is perhaps the
quintessential Starfleet officer.
He believes in the soul and the
spirit of the Federation above
all, and defends it vigorously.
Isn’t he an immigrant himself?
And yet he has risen to the very
top of Starfleet. His integrity is
beyond question, Legate. You will
find no weakness in that armour.
Macet, you and I have both worked
closely with the Federation since
the end of the war. But I must
remind you that we serve the good
of Cardassia, not the Federation.
Are you accusing me of something,
Certainly not. My point is simply
that we represent the Cardassian
government and its people, and
they are not so pro-Federation,
despite your and my best efforts.
Then what are you suggesting?
That your armour, my dear Macet,
must be as impenetrable as the
Admiral’s, if not more so. Do not
simply give in to his demands.
But without making an enemy out
of the Federation all over again?
A delicate needle, no doubt, but
one which I have full confidence
in your ability to thread, Macet.
Macet sits back with an exhausted slump...
Well, as long as one of us has
Off Macet’s uncertainty...
33 EST. SPACE - RUNABOUT
A RUNABOUT flies at full impulse open space...
34 INT. RUNABOUT - COCKPIT
Tenmei in the pilot seat, Akaar next to her. Tenmei cannot abide the awkward silence, has to fill it with something.
Everything alright, Admiral? You
There are many matters occupying
my thoughts, Lieutenant, the
majority of which I am not
at liberty to discuss.
Is it the refugees? Or is it Ro?
So it is Ro. Look, I don’t know
what went on between you two -
Akaar turns to Tenmei, hoping to use the force of his authority to stop this uncomfortable conversation.
Lieutenant. I ask you to stop.
Tenmei pauses for a moment, but does not give in. She may well be taking her career in her hands, but it’s important.
I mean no disrespect, Admiral. But
as the child of your old friend, I
need to say what needs to be said.
Is this the example Commander
Ro has been setting for her crew?
You mean treating them like people
who are free to express ideas and
not just do as they’re told? Yeah,
it is. And we respect her for it.
Knowing he shouldn’t, Akaar finds himself replying anyway.
I have seen little in the way of
respect since my arrival.
Well, of course she’s going to be a
nervous wreck with you here. But
she’s a good commander. She gives
her crew the chances they need.
Look at me - I’m the XO of the
Defiant now in all but name.
Yes indeed. John Candlewood for
another - under Ro he’s blossomed
into a respectable chief science
officer. He’d never have got that
chance with my dad in charge -
he would have bumped John back
down to Ensign rather than put up
with his... let’s call them quirks.
Yes... I’ve met the Lieutenant.
Ro may be unconventional, but she
is a good commander. Like I said, I
don’t know what went on between
you two, but I have a feeling my
father knew. And he’s the one who
recommended Ro take over for
him as commander. You respect
his judgement, don’t you?
She just needs a chance. The same
chance she’s already given others.
Akaar doesn’t reply, just goes back to thinking. Tenmei has said her piece now, so she returns to her piloting duties.
35 EST. DEEP SPACE NINE
Focusing on the Ops dome...
36 INT. DS9 - COMMANDER’S OFFICE
Akaar steps into the office, tall and straight. Ro stands behind her desk, likewise. They both want to start over, but neither is entirely sure how.
Welcome back, Admiral. How was
Informative, thank you.
Awkward pause - Akaar is not sure how to do this.
Commander... I have scheduled
another meeting with Legate Macet
for eleven-hundred hours. I would
like to invite you to join me in
that meeting... if you are free.
Ro has no idea what to say. She splutters to a response...
Thank you, sir. I’d be happy to.
Akaar is quietly relieved. A potential rapprochement...
37 INT. DS9 - WARD ROOM
Macet stands looking out of the window, as before. At the sound of the door, and Ro and Akaar entering, he turns...
Legate, thank you for joining us.
I regret, Admiral, that I am only
here to inform you that I must end
our negotiations. I have consulted
with my government, and it was
decided that joining the Khitomer
Accords cannot be the Cardassian
Union’s highest priority at this
time. My apologies.
Macet walks past Ro and Akaar and EXITS into the corridor. They are left stunned...
END OF ACT FOUR