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ACT FIVE

 

FADE IN:

 

38 INT. DS9 - CORRIDOR

 

Only moments later. Macet stalks down the corridor, but Ro quickly follows him, calling out...

 

RO
Macet - wait!

 

Macet does, without expression. Akaar has appeared in the ward room doorway, and looks at the security guards...

 

AKAAR
Dismissed. All of you. Get out.

 

Ro nods subtly for her guards to leave. Macet does likewise for his soldiers. Ro, Akaar and Macet are left alone.

 

RO
Macet... what’s going on? Are you
leaving, just like that? Cardassia
will never join the Accords?

MACET
Not never. But certainly not now.

AKAAR
Legate, please don’t let this be
the end. Surely there is some way
to convince you to keep talking...

MACET
You were frank with me, Admiral.
Now I will be frank with you. I
do not believe it is Cardassia
that needs to keep talking.

RO
I don’t understand...

AKAAR
You accuse us of being disunited.
But since my arrival, you Admiral,
and you Commander, have shown
the kind of blatant contempt for each
other that could only end in death
on the Cardassia of old. How can
we trust you to respect us when
you cannot respect each other?

 

Ro and Akaar look at each other, stunned. Macet turns to walk away, moving Akaar to call after him again...

 

AKAAR
Legate...

 

Macet stops and turns again, grudgingly...

 

AKAAR
Perhaps the commander and I have
allowed our personal feelings to
cloud our judgement. We apologise.
Sincerely. May we intrude upon
you to give us another chance?

 

Macet pauses to consider. He doesn’t want to make enemies.

 

MACET
The Trager is not scheduled to
depart until seventeen-hundred
hours. Perhaps you can assemble
a more united front by then.

 

Macet leaves once and for all. Akaar and Ro both turn to re-enter the ward room...

 

39 INT. DS9 - WARD ROOM

 

Both take seats at the table, in quiet shock at the crimes levelled against them, yet neither is able to deny them.

 

RO
Is he right? Is this our fault?

AKAAR
It would appear so. I am not often
accused of allowing my emotions
to interfere with my performance.

RO
(grunt-laugh)
I get it all the time. I know the
Federation needs this alliance,
Admiral... I can’t be the reason
it doesn’t happen. So I guess we
really do have to hash this out,
like I said... once and for all.

AKAAR
Perhaps so.

 

But they sit in silence, neither sure how to start.

 

40 EST. DEEP SPACE NINE

 

Focusing on the Ops dome, indicating time passing...

 

41 INT. DS9 - MAIN OPS CENTRE

 

The turbolift rises into Ops, bringing EVIK. He heads down to the central Ops table, where CENN greets him...

 

CENN
Commander - any news on how
the negotiations are going?

EVIK
That’s what I came to tell you. My
guards outside the conference room
- they said the whole thing blew up
the moment Macet arrived, then
Akaar sent them all scurrying.

CENN
So what’s happening?

EVIK
I have no idea. But... they’re all
professionals. I’m sure whatever
it is, they’ll act like it.

 

A loud BARK of laughter from the science station. Cenn and Evik turn to look - Candlewood sees their disapproving glares and sheepishly turns back to his work. But Cenn and Evik cannot deny he might well be right...

 

42 INT. DS9 - WARD ROOM

 

Ro on her feet, thundering...

 

RO
There you go with this “betrayal”
crap again! It was nothing to do
with you, I wasn’t even thinking
about you!

 

Akaar sat at the table, trying to get through to her...

 

AKAAR
Clearly. And I am referring to the
fact that I expended considerable
personal capital on your entering
the Academy at all.

RO
Is that all you care about - your
own reputation?

AKAAR
You must understand, Laren, that
as non-Federation recruits you and
I are viewed differently to most.
Any failure by one of us makes it
that much harder for the rest.

RO
Is that why you requested to lead
my court martial? To make sure I
was properly punished for failing
to live up to your standards?

 

Akaar finally stands - this is a very personal accusation.

 

AKAAR
I took that assignment to make
sure you had a fair trial.

RO
How could it possibly be fair? You
were my sponsor - that alone must
be a massive conflict of interest.

AKAAR
My personal investment was why I
made extra effort to be impartial.
But since you declined to defend
yourself, what choice did I have
but to pass the full sentence?

 

Touched by the truth of that, Ro collapses back into her seat. Akaar gently lowers himself back into his own.

 

RO
You... didn’t want to punish me?

AKAAR
Oh Laren... you inspired a rage I
had not felt since my exile from
Capella. A unique disappointment.

 

As much as she hates to, Ro can’t help but feel the shame of disappointing her father figure.

 

AKAAR
(continuing)
But I put that aside and did my duty.
You see me as some monstrous
ogre without heart or soul. I tell
you my heart beats as strong as
anyone’s... and you broke it.

RO
(quiet)
Then why act like you didn’t care?

AKAAR
I had no choice, or the rage would
have destroyed us both.

RO
I think I would have preferred the
rage. It’s better than nothing.

AKAAR
“Nothing” is safer, believe me. I
portray this rigidity not because
I don’t care... but because I do.

RO
I just wanted to make you proud.
But you made me feel like nothing
I ever did was good enough.

AKAAR
My intention was only to act as
professionally as possible at all
times. If I occasionally failed at
that... perhaps you could comfort
yourself with the thought that it
reveals my true depth of feeling.

RO
(chuckle)
Yeah, ‘cause I always get that
particular benefit of the doubt.
You know I was only trying to be
a professional too, right? To show
you that I’m good at my job.

AKAAR
So your own crew have told me. And
perhaps there is more than one way
to be a Starfleet officer... even if
things did not go precisely how
I envisioned all those years ago.

RO
Doesn’t the fact that even after all
that, I’m now the commander of
one of the most vital starbases in
the entire Federation, prove your
instincts were right all along?

AKAAR
Perhaps it does, at that.

 

They both smile a little - rapprochement has been reached.

 

RO
Okay, so with all that out of the
way, what are we gonna do about
Macet and the Khitomer Accords?

AKAAR
He is merely doing his job as well
- representing his people. We need
to present him with a way of doing
so that meets our needs as well.

 

They sit back to ponder this conundrum...

 

CUT TO:

 

43 INT. DS9 - WARD ROOM

 

Macet, sat at the table and looking less than impressed...

 

MACET
You want us to take your refugees?

 

Akaar and Ro sat opposite, on the same side of the table...

 

AKAAR
My mission here has made it clear
that Bajor and its colonies cannot
support these people indefinitely.
But you have three entire systems
teeming with natural resources and
so far almost free of population.

RO
If you give permission for those
refugees to settle in the Lyshan,
Solarion and Argaya systems,
they can help you to make use of
those resources once and for all.

MACET
Cardassia does not need your help.

RO
Come on, Macet - you know we know
better. No point being proud now.

MACET
So I go back to my superiors and
tell them we are now taking care
of the Federation’s homeless?

AKAAR
Your assignment was to cultivate
those systems, Legate. This would
allow you to do so by bringing in
skilled, professional people. They
ask only for the opportunity to
build homes and lives - anything
beyond that remains yours.

RO
You sell it to your government as
making those worlds profitable at
last. We sell it to ours as giving
our people a long-awaited home.
It’s a good deal for both sides.

 

Macet sits and considers his options. Eventually...

 

MACET
Very well. I cannot guarantee my
government will agree, but I will
advise them that I believe this
to be in our best interests.

AKAAR
(sigh of relief)
Thank you, Legate. And perhaps -

MACET
Do not get carried away, Admiral.
This is not an agreement to join
the Khitomer Accords. I believe we
still have far to go... but we are
heading in the right direction.

 

Ro and Akaar look to each other - he could be talking about them and their own issues. They both turn back to Macet...

 

RO
We understand.

 

All three smile - this was a productive day.

 

44 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE

 

The Trager departs from its lower pylon and moves away...

 

45 INT. DS9 - MAIN OPS CENTRE

 

Cenn working the central Ops table...

 

CENN
Safe journey, Trager. May you walk
with the Prophets.

MACET (comm)
We appreciate the thought, Major.
Trager out.

 

Ro and Akaar ENTER from her office and descend the steps, still reserved but in much better humour than before.

 

RO
I guess that means you’re next.

AKAAR
I am certain the Mjolnir will not
leave without me, Commander.

CENN
Admiral, I would like to apologise
for the misunderstanding earlier.

AKAAR
No need, Major. Everything worked
out for the best. Permission to
disembark, Commander?

 

Ro straightens her back, pleased with the show of respect.

 

RO
Granted, Admiral. And maybe once
you get back, you can see about
extending the Omega Directive to
ship commanders even if they’re
not of captain rank. You know, for
the next time Starfleet thinks
it’s a good idea to deliberately
cripple every ship in the fleet
while the Borg are right on top of
us and not tell me how to fix it.

 

Akaar worries - is she about to start another argument?

 

AKAAR
(sheepish)
There was an invasion going on...

 

Ro holds the glare as long as she can - but eventually she can’t hold it any longer and the grin breaks through. Akaar is relieved - she was just messing with him.

 

RO
Don’t think just because we’re
talking again, I’m gonna stop
giving you a hard time. For
real, though - sort that out.

AKAAR
Yes, sir.

 

Akaar heads to the turbolift, climbs aboard...

 

AKAAR
Upper pylon two.

 

And smiles as it takes him away. Ro turns back to Cenn...

 

RO
Carry on, Major.

 

She trots back up the stairs to her office, much lighter...

 

46 EXT. DEEP SPACE NINE

 

The Mjolnir pulls away from the upper pylon...

 

FADE OUT

 

END OF SHOW



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