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ACT FIVE

 

FADE IN:

 

42 EXT. PALAIS DE LA CONCORDE - MORNING

 

The sun is just peeking out over the Paris skyline...

 

43 INT. PALAIS – PRESIDENT’S OFFICE - MORNING

 

President Bacco has barely had time to wake up before Akaar hits her with the latest problem...

 

BACCO
The who?

AKAAR
The Shedai, Madam President.

BACCO
Never heard of ‘em.

AKAAR
I have, but only in passing. The
Shedai were apparently an ancient
and powerful civilisation that
flourished more than one-hundred
thousand years ago in the part of
space we call the Gariman sector.

 

Bacco’s dour expression makes clear she is none the wiser. Akaar pushes a padd across the desk to her - a space map.

 

AKAAR
We call it the Gariman sector now,
mostly out of a desire to deflect
and reduce the history surrounding
that region. But I’m fairly sure
everyone knows we are actually
talking about the Taurus Reach.

BACCO
(awake now)
The Taurus Reach? You mean what
the Tholians have been whining
about for years?

AKAAR
Indeed. A hundred years ago, the
Taurus Reach was the focal point
of a top secret Starfleet research
effort unlike anything seen before
or since. It was called Operation
Vanguard, and it was conducted
under the highest, most tightly
controlled security measures ever
utilised. An entire exploration and
colonisation program was deployed
in that region for the sole purpose
of covering up the missions being
conducted there.

BACCO
What does any of this have to
do with why you’re here?

AKAAR
The reason for this undertaking
was the discovery in 2263 of an
artificial DNA strand, millions of
times more complex than any-
thing on record. A blueprint not
just for life but for civilisations
- for entire worlds, and the
life-forms to populate them.

BACCO
Created by these... Shedai?

AKAAR
Apparently so. The official files on
Starfleet’s efforts to acquire and
understand Shedai technology,
particularly this so-called meta-
genome, are shrouded in secrecy.
However, it seems someone recently
- if inadvertently - attempted to
access that information.

BACCO
That someone being Doctor Bashir
of Deep Space Nine.

AKAAR
Correct, ma’am - although he is
currently detached to the Robinson
at Andor, preparing for Professor
zh’Thiin’s fertility conference.

BACCO
Okay, so he’s working on genetic
engineering - but isn’t that the
whole reason we sent him there?

AKAAR
Yes, ma’am, but -

BACCO
Then I don’t see the problem. Send
him what he asked for, just with
the classified bits redacted out.
He never needs to know.

AKAAR
That is already underway, ma’am -

BACCO
Wait - I see what I’m missing now.
You’re worried about why he asked
for that data in the first place.

AKAAR
I don’t believe Doctor Bashir is
doing anything against Starfleet’s
interests or security. He’s simply
exhausting all possible avenues of
research. But I must wonder how
he knew what questions to ask -
even the search terms are classified.

BACCO
Isn’t he supposed to be a super-
genius or something? Maybe he
just figured it out.

AKAAR
The formulae he included were
too specific for that possibility.

BACCO
Alright, so... what are your actual
concerns here, Leonard?

AKAAR
That someone, either by accident
or design, has access to data so
dangerous that Starfleet felt the
need to secure it within multiple
layers of compartmentalisation and
disinformation, each requiring a
different authorisation that only
your office and mine are capable
of granting. This information was
buried deeply for a reason, ma’am.
If someone is trying to dig it up,
I’d like to know who - and why.

 

Bacco sits back and rubs her temples - she gets it now.

 

BACCO
You know, Leonard, there are times
when I really can’t wait for the
next person to come in here and
boot me out so I can go home.

AKAAR
I take it Agent Wexler continues
to thwart your efforts to build an
escape tunnel beneath the Palais?

BACCO
Every night.

 

Bacco chuckles. Akaar offers his tiny smile of amusement...

 

44 INT. ROBINSON - BRIDGE

 

Rogeiro sits in the centre chair, the regular crew around him - UTELN, PLANTE, SIVADEKI. The turbolift door opens, and BASHIR and SHAR enter. Rogeiro turns to greet them...

 

ROGEIRO
Gentlemen. Were you able to
solve your little mystery?

BASHIR
I’m afraid not, Commander. The
central archives sent me some of
what I requested, but not all.

ROGEIRO
Is that cause for concern?

SHAR
Not necessarily. I still cannot
believe Professor zh’Thiin
would do anything illegal.

BASHIR
She already said that all options
were on the table, Shar. Maybe
she wasn’t kidding.

 

Suddenly an alert on UTELN’s tactical horseshoe...

 

UTELN
Commander... long-range sensors
are detecting a vessel entering
the Andorian system.

ROGEIRO
(cautious)
Identification?

UTELN
It’s unarmed... but sensors have
identified it as... Tholian.

 

Rogeiro stands sharply - this is an unwelcome development.

 

ROGEIRO
Is the captain still down on the
surface with the Presider?

UTELN
Yes, sir.

ROGEIRO
Contact them immediately.

 

45 EXT. SPACE - ANDOR ORBIT

 

The Robinson is already in orbit, but as we turn to see...

...a THOLIAN SHIP drops out of warp and cruises to a stop, the usual arrowhead shape seen most recently in ENT.

 

46 INT. PARLIAMENT ANDORIA - PRESIDER’S OFFICE

 

Sisko, sh’Thalis and ch’Lhren watch this on a large display screen. Rogeiro’s voice comes through the comm...

 

ROGEIRO (comm)
Confirming the vessel is unarmed.
It has deflector shields, but they
aren’t operational. Sensor profile
suggests it’s a diplomatic vessel.

SH’THALIS
The Tholians sent someone to
talk? They are not known for
talking, as a rule.

SISKO
They’re not known for joining
forces with alien empires either,
as a rule. Apparently things
have changed.

 

They continue to watch, disquieted. Even ch’Lhren is thrown - this was not a part of his plans.

 

47 INT. ROBINSON - BRIDGE

 

Rogeiro remains standing. Suddenly an ear-piercing SQUEAL fills the bridge, not unlike Shar’s trick with the tricorder - Uteln has to SHOUT to be heard over it.

 

UTELN
It’s an open hailing frequency,
sir. They’re not sending to us -
they’re sending to all of Andor.

ROGEIRO
Put it through, Lieutenant.

 

Uteln works his panels... and the SQUEAL drops, replaced by an image on the VIEWSCREEN...

...of a THOLIAN without its environment suit - NRESKENE. An angular, crystalline shape in orange-red hues, wavy with the heat of its ship’s Venus-like atmosphere. The metallic shriek of its voice is translated into a robotic monotone.

 

NRESKENE (screen)
People of Andor. I am Nreskene,
special emissary of the Tholian
Assembly. I come to you in peace,
with information of great import
to all your citizens. It is our
hope to establish a new era of
cooperation with our interstellar
neighbours. To this end, we have
contacted your Professor zh’Thiin
to provide her with scientific data
to help the Andorian people.

 

Shar and Bashir react... Rogeiro notices...

 

SHAR
It seems I was wrong.

BASHIR
This is where she got her data -
from the Tholians?

ROGEIRO
From a member of the Typhon Pact.

 

Nreskene isn’t finished - they turn back to watch him...

 

NRESKENE (screen)
This information has been in our
possession for almost a century,
but was suppressed by our Ruling
Conclave until recently. It was
found in the Taurus Reach, and was
created by a race known as Shedai.

ROGEIRO
Lieutenant ch’Thane, search all
databases for the word Shedai.

SHAR
Aye, Commander.

 

Shar turns to his science station, quickly starts searching for information. The rest continue to watch...

 

48 INT. PARLIAMENT ANDORIA - PRESIDER’S OFFICE

 

Where Sisko, sh’Thalis and ch’Lhren are also watching...

 

NRESKENE (screen)
It did not take us long to see the
potential in this information, and
that it could be used to help the
Andorians, whose difficulties we
have known about for some time.

CH’LHREN
(mutter to self)
This is why I have been saying it
should be a private matter...

NRESKENE (screen)
What was also intriguing was the
fact that the Federation has held
this same data for just as long.
Indeed it was a Starfleet vessel
that discovered it a century ago.

 

Sisko’s eyes flare at that...

 

49 EXT. PARLIAMENT ANDORIA BUILDING - DAY

 

...and the crowds of protestors outside the Parliament are none too happy to hear it either. They are getting worked up, and the Guards are having trouble controlling them...

 

NRESKENE (comm)
While the Federation has given the
Andorian people a great deal of
help, they have evidently avoided
offering this particular data. Given
its obvious potential, as proven
by Professor zh’Thiin’s success,
we can only wonder why.

 

50 INT. ROBINSON - BRIDGE

 

Rogeiro grits his teeth...

 

NRESKENE (screen)
Perhaps they are unwilling to help
one of their most long-held allies
in their hour of need. Only their
leaders can confirm or deny that.
However, the Tholian Assembly
has no such hesitation. Therefore,
as our first act of goodwill, we
publicly acknowledge our role in
Professor zh’Thiin’s research, and
pledge to continue our support, in
the hope of bringing about a true
and lasting solution to Andor’s
problems. We await your response.

 

The image of the Tholian drops, replaced by that of his ship in orbit. Rogeiro, Shar, Bashir all react...

 

ROGEIRO
Mister Uteln... package a copy
of that message and prepare to
send it to Starfleet Command.

UTELN
Aye, sir.

SHAR
You might also want to set ship’s
phasers to stun the whole planet.

 

Off Shar’s trepidation for what is to come...

 

FADE OUT

 

END OF SHOW



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