- Text Size +

ACT FIVE

 

FADE IN:

 

50 EXT. ANDOR - NORTHERN WASTES - DAY

 

The extreme northern arctic of the Andorian homeworld, as seen in ENT “The Aenar”. Mountains of ice and snow as far as the eye can see, shining with reflected sunlight.

A small collection of huts clings to the icy ground, the type of micro-settlement occupied by mountain climbers or extreme explorers. The Rio Grande has set down next to it.

 

51 SHAR

 

wears Starfleet cold weather gear (as in VOY “Timeless”), trudging up a narrow path away from the runabout and into the ice mountains. He pauses, looks to his left...

...and sees a sheer cliff so deep he cannot see the bottom.

 

TENMEI (o.s.)
That is a long way down.

 

Shar glances behind him, sees TENMEI and NOG, dressed the same. Ahead, the Andorian zhen ZH’YEMRE, their guide.

 

ZH’YEMRE
Yes, you’ll want to watch your
step on this path. Any slip up
here would be quite unfortunate.

TENMEI
Pretty sure this is the coldest I
have ever been in my entire life.

SHAR
It’s actually quite mild for this
time in the season. Particulate
matter thrown into the atmosphere
must have affected the climate.

NOG
I’m working on fixing that.

ZH’YEMRE
Come on - it’s not much further.

 

zh’Yemre leads them on up the narrow path, deeper into the glaciers. Tenmei mutters darkly under her breath...

 

TENMEI
This had better be worth it...

 

52 INT. ANDORIAN SCIENCE INSTITUTE - LABORATORY

 

Night now, the end of the working day. Professor zh’Thiin is just saying goodbye to her underlings as they leave...

 

ZH’THIIN
Enjoy your evening. I’ll see you
early tomorrow, lots to do.

 

She closes the door behind them, and heads back to her station. She hesitates, unhappy about having to do this. But it must be done, no choice in the matter.

 

ZH’THIIN
Computer, retrieve and decrypt
private correspondence.

 

The computer BEEPS, and the screen changes to show an image of a male GALLAMITE, an information broker named SINTAY.

 

SINTAY (screen)
Greetings, Professor zh’Thiin. It
is my pleasure to pass along the
regards of our mutual benefactors.

 

zh’Thiin darkens - she hates having “benefactors” at all.

 

SINTAY (screen)
Our friends have reviewed the
information you’ve sent, and they
are most pleased with the progress
you’ve made. They are delighted
that your practical trials are
advancing just as you projected.

 

She gave these strangers her data about the anonymous trial subjects - and she feels sick about it.

 

SINTAY (screen)
As to your request for additional
information on gene manipulation,
my clients remain reluctant to
provide that at this time. Given
the controversial nature of the
research, our friends prefer to
avoid drawing undue attention...
at least for the time being.

 

In other words, she is at their mercy and cannot proceed without their say-so.

 

SINTAY (screen)
For now, you are instructed to
continue on your current course.
If it becomes necessary to offer
additional guidance, rest assured
that it will be provided. Until then,
we wish you all success with
your work. Good day, Professor.

 

The signal drops, and zh’Thiin hisses in frustration. But what choice does she have? She gets back to work.

 

53 EXT. SPACE - DEFIANT AND CONVOY

 

Still holding position on the edge of the Argaya system...

 

54 INT. DEFIANT - BRIDGE

 

Ro in command, biting her lip with impatience. An ALERT...

 

ALECO
Commander, the Xhosa is hailing.

RO
On screen.

 

The viewscreen reveals KASIDY on her bridge, also anxious.

 

KASIDY (screen)
Commander Ro? What’s going on?
My helmsman tells me we entered
the Argaya system hours ago.

RO
That’s true, Captain Yates. But
I’m afraid there’s a delay with
beaming people to the surface.

KASIDY (screen)
What kind of delay? I thought
everything was agreed weeks ago.

RO
Just some last minute red tape,
Captain. I’ve every reason to
believe it’ll be resolved soon.

KASIDY (screen)
I hope so. Because I’ve got a ship
full of colonists here that were
told this would be a short flight.
They already spent weeks trapped
in cargo holds to get to Bajor, and
they’re not eager to repeat the
experience, believe me.

RO
I understand, Captain. Please try
to reassure your passengers that
I am working on it. Defiant out.

 

The signal drops on an unconvinced Kasidy. Ro seethes...

 

RO
What the hell is Macet playing at?

 

Off Ro’s frustration...

 

55 INT. ARGAYA BASE - LEGATE’S OFFICE

 

Macet stands at the window, looking out into the night of this unfamiliar and undeveloped world. The door CHIMES...

 

MACET
Enter.

 

The door slides open, and EVIK enters, likewise frustrated.

 

EVIK
Legate. I hope you don’t mind my
pointing out, but several hours
have passed and I have seen
no colonists. What’s going on?

 

Macet reluctantly turns to Evik - he knows the Bajoran will not be happy to hear what he has to say.

 

MACET
I have been unable to persuade Gul
Mogad to rescind his ultimatum.

EVIK
Persuade? Aren’t you the Legate?
Order him to stand down.

MACET
It’s not that simple. Mogad and I
were equal until a few months ago,
and he always resented my tendency
towards peace over war. Now I have
been promoted over him, he resents
me all the more.

EVIK
So? Are you a flag officer of the
Cardassian military or not?

MACET
Of course. But I am trying to be
a figurehead for a new Cardassia,
Commander. One that doesn’t force
its soldiers to commit atrocities
and then rationalises it with “I
was only following orders.”

 

Evik calms himself, ponders the conundrum. He empathises.

 

EVIK
The progressive dilemma - how to
fight extremism without becoming
an extremist yourself. We may “go
high”, but they have no qualms
about taking advantage of that.

MACET
Exactly. The Cardassian people
do not want this. The Cardassian
military don’t want it either. If
I don’t order them, they win. If I
do order them, it’s proof I’m just
as bad as them... and they win.

EVIK
And if they do win, the Khitomer
Accords alliance never happens.

MACET
So what do I do? I’m powerless.

EVIK
No, Legate. You’re not powerless.
You’re simply afraid to use the
power you have. And that is
what these people rely upon.

 

Macet takes that on board...

 

56 INT. DEFIANT - BRIDGE

 

Ro still in her command seat, waiting. An ALERT...

 

ALECO
Gul Mogad is hailing us again.

 

Ro sighs with relief - finally the wait is over.

 

RO
Put him through.

 

The viewscreen shows MOGAD on his bridge again...

 

RO
Gul Mogad. May I assume our little
misunderstanding is resolved?

MOGAD (screen)
There was no misunderstanding on
our side, Commander Ro. I told you
to leave. You have not done so.

RO
But I thought... Macet -

MOGAD (screen)
You have one minute to leave the
Argaya system and set course for
Federation space, Commander. If
you do not, I will open fire... and
all those civilians you are here
to protect... will die.

 

The signal drops, and so does Ro’s jaw. ALERTS go off...

 

ALECO
All three Cardassian ships just
powered up their weapons arrays,
Commander. And they’re targeting
the civilian ships.

 

Ro can hardly believe it has come to this, but here we are. She settles comfortably into her command chair...

 

RO
Red alert. Battle stations.

 

As the Defiant goes to RED ALERT...

 

57 INT. ANDORIAN ICE TUNNEL

 

Shar, Tenmei, Nog and their guide zh’Yemre trudge through the icy tunnel, hoods and goggles now removed.

 

TENMEI
What exactly are we looking for?

SHAR
The report the Presider showed me
was almost purposefully vague.

ZH’YEMRE
With good reason, I assure you.
Until we’re ready to share what
we’ve found, we’d prefer not to
have too many people up here
disturbing the site.

NOG
Is it me or is it getting warmer?

ZH’YEMRE
We’re so deep underground here
that the ice itself acts as an
insulator, keeps it warm. You can
stash your coats just up ahead.

 

They reach a small working area built into the tunnel - a couple of desks, computers, lockers, a portable replicator. zh’Yemre stops, takes off her coat, stashes it in a locker, welcomes the others to do the same. They do. Once everyone is back down to normal clothes, they proceed...

 

TENMEI
Forgive me for being blunt, Doctor
zh’Yemre, but with everything
that’s going on in the Federation,
was this really the time for this
kind of archeological expedition?

ZH’YEMRE
You’re not the first to ask that
question, Lieutenant. But Presider
sh’Thalis not only authorised the
expedition, she encouraged it once
the initial discovery was made.

SHAR
You still haven’t said what was
discovered, Doctor zh’Yemre.

ZH’YEMRE
(grin)
That’s because I’m trying to build
anticipation, Lieutenant ch’Thane.

 

They reach a turn in the tunnel, and zh’Yemre leads Shar, Nog and Tenmei excitedly into...

 

58 INT. AENAR UNDERGROUND CITY

 

A stunning underground vista, larger and more elaborate even than that seen in ENT “The Aenar.” Straight lines, sweeping curves, gleaming crystal structures.

An enormous complex consisting of hundreds of elegant Aenar habitats, long deserted, built into towering walls of ice.

Standing on a ledge looking out over this view, zh’Yemre grins proudly. Shar, Tenmei and Nog are stunned.

 

SHAR
An Aenar city. I had no idea...

ZH’YEMRE
That any still existed? We didn’t
either. There are no records. But
an ice-cutter studying the ruins
of L’Uvan read refined metals and
structures deep under the surface.

NOG
It’s beautiful...

TENMEI
I’m sorry, who are the Aenar?

ZH’YEMRE
A sub-species of Andorians. They
faced a choice between renouncing
their isolation in cities like this...
or facing extinction. They chose
the latter.

SHAR
I can only hope that the rest of
our people, when faced with the
same choice, will have the sense
to learn the Aenar’s lesson.

 

FADE OUT

 

END OF SHOW



You must login (register) to review.