1 EXT. VANADWAN MONASTERY - DAY
The cluster of ancient buildings clinging precariously to the mountaintop, connected by winding paths and walkways.
2 INT. VANADWAN MONASTERY - KIRA’S ROOM - DAY
KIRA walks past us carrying a handful of clothes. She is dressed in the travelling outfit again rather than robes. RAIQ the Ascendant follows her around, badgering her...
But why must you leave again?
Kira tucks the clothes into a duffel bag and goes back for the next pile of things, Raiq tailing her all the way...
I told you already - with their
new membership in the Khitomer
Accords, Cardassia is opening up
to Federation citizens again. It’s
an honour just to be invited.
Kira keeps moving back and forth, packing for her trip.
This does not answer my question.
Why you must be the one to leave.
This is your monastery. You are
no negotiator, no longer even a
soldier. Let others face danger.
There is no danger on Cardassia
anymore, Raiq. We’re friends now.
But you despise these Cardassians.
You have told me so many times.
I used to. Like you used to hate
the Bajorans, remember?
She smirks teasingly at the Ascendant woman who has become her friend, and carries on packing.
But so soon. You have only just
returned from afar. Your place
is here. Your people need you.
Kira stops and turns to Raiq, smiling softly. She gets it.
I’ve gotten used to having you
around too. But I’ve been away
before, like you said. Why are you
getting so nervous about it now?
The answer comes in a BABY’S CRY from off-screen. The door of Kira’s modest and austere room creaks open, and OPAKA enters, carrying Raiq’s newborn daughter ANIQ. The baby’s wails are unmistakeable to any mother - she’s hungry.
Sorry to interrupt. Is Raiq -
Ah, there you are. The little
one’s hungry, I’m afraid.
Very well. I will take the child.
Opaka hands the baby over, and Raiq takes her. She quickly pulls aside her tunic and holds the baby to her breast (we don’t need to see).
The entire process is perfunctory and stilted, a biological necessity with no emotion involved. Kira and Opaka share a look of muted sadness at this.
Sleeping. He was up all night
with little Aniq there.
Kira silently asks - leave me alone with her? Opaka gets the message and withdraws.
Raiq rearranges the baby. Kira approaches, gently strokes the baby’s little grey head as she enjoys lunch.
You’ll be okay, you know. It’s
daunting at first, I get that. But
you’ve got Vexh, he’s crazy about
his “young one”. Opaka’s here too,
she raised two children of her own
and cared for dozens more. And
a whole monastery full of nurses.
Raiq looks at Kira, fear peeking through the stony facade.
But not you, Nerys. You have been
ever by my side, yet now you leave
at my time of greatest confusion?
It’s only for six months.
Six months spent in the company
of your people’s greatest enemy.
I would come with you, so I may
cast the shield and keep you safe.
That’s sweet, Raiq. But you have
to think of your baby. She needs
stability. Besides... you might
have to get used to it eventually.
I won’t be around forever.
Raiq looks alarmed... Kira soothes her back down.
I just mean Bajorans don’t live as
long as Ascendants, remember?
You have many cycles yet to come.
Damn right I do. I don’t plan on
dying for a long, long time.
Off Kira’s warmly smiling face...
3 INT. VANADWAN MONASTERY - KIRA’S ROOM - NIGHT
The same room, late at night. The door creaks open again, and Opaka peeks in with VEXH the male Ascendant at her side. An on-screen caption reads...
TWELVE MONTHS LATER
They see Raiq sat alone on the bed, staring out of the window at the dark night beyond. They speak low, quiet...
She still hasn’t said anything?
No. But then... this is our way.
We Ascendants grieve in silence.
END OF TEASER