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Post by Pos_21 » Tue Jul 15, 2003 9:32 pm

*points at peirce's title*

do THAT first ;)

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Post by InocPrime » Wed Jul 16, 2003 12:50 am

I suggest finishing this :)But whats my opinion worth...

Captain Pierce
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Post by Captain Pierce » Tue Jul 06, 2004 2:04 am

All fear the power of... DAS UBERBUMP!!! [img]graemlins/eviltail.gif[/img]

I've actually just edited a nearly 18-month old post, which is surely violating one of the cardinal rules of the forum, and now I'm bumping it to boot, taking care of another cardinal rule. :D

All I can offer in my defense is...


Chapter 5

Ezri didn't sleep well that night, haunted by dreams that she could only half remember when she woke up, jumbles of memories from previous hosts and her own life piled on top of one another until even what little she could recall didn't make any sense anyway. When she returned to the Symbiosis Commission complex, she felt like she barely knew who she was.

The transfer of Tobias into Lieutenant Aran Shaull helped a little, though. Shaull had been at the Academy with Ezri, and in fact they'd been involved for a while, though not seriously. When she'd heard that he was on the Destiny, she'd asked him to participate in the zhian'tara, thinking that his tactical-fighter-pilot experience suited Tobias well.

Maybe a little too well, Ezri thought, as Tobias called up the specifications of the Peregrine fighter on a console. "This is amazing," he said. "Whoever designed this as a support courier must have been blind--how could you not make a fighter out of this?"

He's almost as nervous about this as I am, Ezri's counseling training told her, as Tobias babbled on about what an amazing piece of work the Peregrine was. She thought she knew why, so she waited until he'd seemingly run out of things to say, and then said one word to him: "Lenara."

The nervous energy that had been running through Tobias disappeared, and he slumped in his chair like a puppet whose strings had been cut. "I can't believe Jadzia was ready to do that to Dax. Or Lenara to Kahn."

"It's not as simple as that, Tobias," Ezri told him. "A host can't just do something to a symbiont--when you're Joined, any decision you make is made jointly by host and symbiont. The part of Jadzia that was Dax knew that running away with Lenara would result in its death--and it felt that it would be worth it to have that second chance with her."

"And all because I was an idiot and had to fly that shuttle."

OK, Tobias, I'm screwed up enough right now without having to have your guilt rattling around my head on top of it all, Ezri thought, but didn't let any of that frustration show in her voice. "If you hadn't been who you were, Tobias, then Nilani never would have fallen in love with you, and then neither symbiont would have known what it was like to love that much--so much that, at least for a short time, their love was more important than life itself. Don't regret it, Tobias--it was an experience that most Joined Trills--most people of any species--don't get to have."

Tobias took a little more convincing, but by the time the Guardian re-Joined them, Ezri felt that he truly was at peace with what had happened. I should really write up a paper on this, Ezri thought, making a mental note to discuss it with Dr. Renhol later. How often does a counselor get to counsel a part of themselves like that?

* * * * *

"Not the caves again..." Ezri moaned as she dematerialized. All Dr. Staron had said as he led her to the transporter was that he'd solved the problem with Joran.

"Don't worry," Staron said with a smile. "I'll be the one doing the swimming this time."

A few minutes later, Ezri knelt next to a pool as a Guardian--a different one this time, she noticed, although the one who had been helping before was standing next to them--transferred Joran into Staron, who was submerged up to his neck in the pool. As Staron opened his eyes, Ezri could see the flickers of energy that meant the unJoined symbionts in the pool were doing precisely what he and the head Guardians had suspected they would--keeping Joran from assuming too much control over Staron's body.

Ezri had watched a record from the DS9 brig monitors of Jadzia's encounter with Joran, and was prepared for the insane host to try and manipulate her like he had before, to come out swinging and attack with his first words to her. She was a little surprised when the first thing he said was, "Well, this is an interesting solution to the problem. Much more interesting than that holding cell." He smiled. "Hmmm... you weren't expecting that, were you?"

"No," Ezri admitted, realizing that Joran would probably see through any lie she tried to give him.


"You like keeping people off-balance, don't you?"

"Of course. Just as you like trying to get into people's heads, trying to fix what's wrong with them."

Ezri shrugged. "It's my job."

"Well, then, have you figured out what's wrong with me yet? And how to fix it?"

"What's to fix?" Ezri asked with another shrug. "First off, you're dead, so what's the point? Secondly, some people are just too crazy to fix."

Joran laughed, laughter that sounded genuine and quite sane. "Not a very progressive 24th-century attitude there, Counselor. It was, however, a wonderful move in this little verbal chess match we're having."

"When your opponent doesn't use his normal strategy, sometimes it's good to adopt it for yourself."

"Indeed it is. You're stronger than I thought, Ezri Dax. Still, I wonder if you're strong enough."

"I'll manage," Ezri told him, nodding to the Guardian and kneeling back down.

"I'm sure you will," Joran replied. As the Guardian put his hand on Staron's shoulder, Joran got in one last shot. "Remember, though, my strength is within you. You have only to call upon me..."

"It'll be a cold day on Vulcan when I need to call on you," Ezri said as she felt Joran flowing back into her head.

* * * * *

The choice of someone to channel Curzon in the zhian'tara had been diffcult. Eventually, Ezri had chosen an old teacher of hers from Sappora VII, Mahan Kintle, an unJoined Trill who had retired to a family estate on his homeworld. It had been more than five years since she'd seen Mahan, and the first few minutes of their conversation had been an odd combination of Ezri Tigan and Mahan catching up and Ezri Dax and Curzon doing the same.

Finally, though, Curzon seemed to settle in a little. "This is a little different than the last time," he said with a smile.

"When you were joined with Odo, the changeling?"

"What an experience that was," Curzon laughed. "For both of us. I'm afraid I got a little out of control--if he'd been a 'solid,' I'm sure he would have gained twenty-five kilos!"

Ezri laughed with him. "There are more advantages to being a changeling than I realized."

"Poor Odo," Curzon sighed. "He wants so badly to understand us solids, but so much of what makes us the way we are is beyond him. The simple enjoyment of food and drink, for example... not to mention the other pleasures of the flesh..."

"From the sound of things," Ezri said with a smile, "you might have lived a little longer if you hadn't been quite so fond of certain pleasures of the flesh."

"Yes, but I wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much." Curzon leaned forward. "Enjoy life, Ezri. You don't have to enjoy it the same ways I did, but if you don't find a way to enjoy it, what's the point of living it?"

* * * * *

"So," Ezri asked Jadzia, "why did Doctor Renhol want to channel you?"

"When Joran's memories first started to surface in me," Jadzia replied, "she was under orders from the Symbiosis Commission to let me die rather than reveal what was wrong to save me. Ultimately, she went against those orders and gave Julian the information he needed, but she's always felt guilty about it. By joining with me, she hoped to let me--and you--know how much she regrets everything that happened. I think she also wanted to know more about what happened with Lenara." Jadzia smiled. "Somehow, I don't think that Doctor Renhol is as conservative as most of the rest of the Symbiosis Commission thinks she is..."

As the only two Dax hosts to have served in Starfleet, Jadzia and Ezri talked a while about the differences between serving on a starship like the Destiny, where Captain Raymer ran things very "by the book," and on a station like DS9, where things were a little more loose. Ezri wasn't quite sure why Jadzia kept steering the conversation back to that subject, until the other woman told her, "You need to go back to DS9, Ezri."

"Where your husband is? If that's not d4mned close to reassocation, I don't know what is."

"Well, as long as you don't marry him too, you should be okay." When she saw that her attempt at humor had failed, Jadzia went on. "Ben needs you--needs us."

"What do you mean?"

"Just before Dukat... killed me... there in the temple, I had a--well, a vision, I guess. Something like the one I got from the Orb just after I arrived at Deep Space Nine. I saw Ben in one of the cargo bays, talking to a photon tube, and somehow I knew that it was my coffin. He was talking about how he'd failed as the Emissary, and failed as a Starfleet officer, and how he had to make it right. Then..." Jadzia hesitated. "Then, I saw him lying in the alley behind his father's restaurant, bleeding." She looked Ezri right in the eyes. "Ben needs our help, Ezri. I don't think you can get to Earth in time to stop whatever happened to him, but at least you can help him make things right again."

* * * * *

Ezri didn't sleep well again that night, but this time every dream seemed to end the same way, with Jadzia's vision of DS9's Captain Ben Sisko, bright red blood in stark contrast to the white clothing he wore. She finally gave up on sleep about 0530, and queried the computer as to Dr. Renhol's location. When the computer reported that Renhol was in her office, Ezri quickly hit the sonic shower and walked over.

"Couldn't sleep?" Renhol asked. Ezri shook her head. "Neither could I."

"I just kept seeing that image of Captain Sisko."

"Me, too." Renhol touched a control on her desk screen, and then folded it back down. "Ezri, when Jadzia told you that I wasn't as conservative as most people thought, she was right. That's why, when I was selected to head the Commission, I picked Pauma to fill my old position."

"Because he's just as un-conservative as you?"

"Even more so," Staron said as he entered the room. He didn't look any better rested than Ezri or Renhol. "Sile told me about what happened with Jadzia, and we were up most of the night talking about it."

"And," Renhol broke in, "we think she was right."

"You two both want me to go back to the station where Jadzia's husband still is?"

"Well, technically, you'd be going to Earth, at least at first. But, if Captain Sisko decides to return to Deep Space Nine, then yes, we think you should go there, as well."

"After everything that Jadzia and Lenara had to go through, you want me to go through the same thing?" Ezri realized she was yelling at the two doctors, but she didn't care.

"Believe it or not," Renhol said, "Jadzia and Lenara's experience is precisely the reason I think you should go back to the station."


"Sile and I have spent a lot of time talking about the re-association taboo, and after her joining with Jadzia, she's now more receptive to some of my more radical views on the subject," Staron explained.

"Such as?"

"Such as my theory that the re-association taboo is unnecessary and possibly harmful."


I actually wrote the end today as well--I was really bored at work today ;) --but the damn email server at work has yet to give it up. Probably had its nightly crash a little early... our Network Nazi really needs to be fired... :rolleyes:

Captain Pierce
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Post by Captain Pierce » Wed Jul 07, 2004 1:48 am

"Well, you were right about the 'radical' part, at least," Ezri said.

"Let me ask you a question, Ezri. What do you think of Lieutenant Commander Worf?"

"Jadzia's husband? Haven't really thought about him," Ezri replied. Well, except for that one really hot dream last night, she didn't tell them. "From Jadzia's memories, he seems like a nice enough guy, and certainly I remember how much Jadzia loved him--but he doesn't seem like my type."

"You'd be surprised how many Joined Trill that I've talked to say the exact same thing about the spouses of previous hosts," Staron told her.

"The reassociation taboo was established on the grounds that the first Symbiosis Commission didn't want the Joined Trills falling into a rut and just spending every lifetime with the same group of friends," Renhol explained. "What they didn't take into consideration--probably because they didn't know nearly as much about the joining process as we do now--is that every time you Join a new host with a symbiont, it creates a new individual. Just because Jadzia loved Worf, or just because Tobias and Jadzia loved Nilani and Lenara, doesn't automatically mean that you would love any of them."

"Okay, that explains why it might be unnecessary, but how is it harmful?"

"Take Jadzia and Lenara," Staron continued. "Two brilliant scientific minds--who weren't even supposed to talk to each other because their former hosts were married. Who knows if Lenara's artificial wormhole project might have been more successful if she'd been able to talk to Jadzia about it, and get the benefit of all Jadzia's experience with the Bajoran wormhole? And how many other similar, if less spectacular, examples are there?"

"More practically," Renhol took over, "as you know, Ezri, the incident with Joran proved that essentially every Trill can be joined. Part of Jadzia's recovery involved spending time in the symbiont pools, and it seems the symbionts learned about the situation from her. The Guardians have reported that the symbionts seemed to have stepped up their reproduction rate."

"Wait a minute--symbionts reproduce?"

"All sentient life forms do," Renhol said with a smile. "With the symbionts, it's not a particularly fast process, but in about a century, there should be twice as many of them--and probably four times as many in another century."

"And in that sort of society, the reassociation taboo would be next to impossible to enforce," Ezri realized.

"Exactly." Staron sighed. "A hundred years isn't a lot of time to change something we've spent the last two hundred years trying to make people believe in, but what choice do we have?"
"And what does all this have to do with me going back to DS9?"

"Dax, as you know, is a highly respected symbiont. If you go back to a high-profile assignment like DS9, and show that a new host can work with a previous host's friends--and ex-husband--in a new capacity, and still lead your own life... well, that goes a long ways towards showing that reassociation isn't automatically a bad thing."

Ezri nodded. "All right, I'll think about it."

"I'll give you access to my research," Staron said as Ezri left. "I hope you'll have time to make some notes from your unique perspective on the subject."

Ezri did just that, spending the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon studying Staron's interviews with new hosts, and trying to make some sense of the jumble of feelings in her head about Nilani and Lenara, and most importantly Worf, for him. At 1600, she beamed up to the Destiny, which had finished its resupply and would be leaving in the morning. She was saying goodbye to all her friends, a mostly untouched Jovian Sunspot in her hand, when all of a sudden the Destiny's officer's lounge disappeared around her, fading into a whiteness so bright that it became hard to tell where it stopped and her body began.

"Um, hello?" she called out.

Suddenly, she was back in the officer's lounge, but a very out-of-focus officer's lounge, and everybody was looking at her strangely. "You are the Dax," Captain Raymer said, in a voice very unlike his usual formal tone.

And just as suddenly, she was back in the white light. "'The Dax?'" she asked. "What's that supposed to mean? I'm a Dax... technically, I guess, I'm all the Daxes, rolled up into one, but 'the Dax' is an odd way of putting that."

She was in Destiny's sickbay, looking at the Dax symbiont in the ICU, and Jamia Pyne was looking at her. "The Jadzia is no more," Jamia said, not sounding much like herself, either. "She was killed by one of the Banished."

She was back in the light. She thought furiously. Jadzia had been killed by a Cardassian named Dukat, formerly the leader of the entire Cardassian Union after he'd engineered a coup with the help of the Dominion. And she seemed to remember something about these "Banished," entities that had been cast out of the Bajoran wormhole by the "Prophets." "You're saying that Dukat was... possessed... by a Pah-wraith when he killed Jadzia."

She was in a scene she hoped never to see again, but knew would recur in her dreams--the Bajoran temple on DS9. She was being held in the air by Dukat's too-powerful arm, looking into his eyes, and seeing something that she couldn't begin to comprehend. "He was an instrument of the Banished ones," the Cardassian said, "and will be again."

Major Kira Nerys walked into the temple. "Only the Sisko can save us."

Ezri tried to reply, but Dukat's hand was too tight around her throat. He threw her toward the far wall of the temple, but before she hit it, she was once again in the light.

"Then why aren't you in his head instead of mine?"

Another scene that she remembered, and didn't want to see, the alley behind Joseph's Sisko's restaurant on Earth. Ben Sisko walked out, not seeing the man behind him as the mysterious figure pulled a knife and drove it deep into his chest. Next to Ezri, Joseph said, "He must walk the path he is on without our interference."

A beautiful woman, one Ezri didn't recognize, walked up and put her arm around Joseph's waist. "He will need friends to help him on that path, Ezri Dax. You must go to him."

Even with her eyes closed to block out the image of Ben bleeding in the alley, Ezri knew when she'd returned to the white light. "Damn you people! Can't you ever just talk to people instead of digging around in their heads first?"

In the control room of a Starfleet runabout, Ezri watched as Kira and Chief O'Brien rushed through a launch sequence. On the screen in front of her, she could see the reason for their hurry--a massive fleet of Cardassian and Dominion warships, firing nonstop at the station. "You corporeal beings are still a mystery to us," Kira said without looking up from her controls.

"As is your linear time," O'Brien added.

On the screen, Ezri watched as DS9's deflectors finally collapsed under the attack, and a volley of weapons fire found the station's fusion core. She turned from the screen and looked out the front window--only to see an equally massive fleet bombarding Bajor. She felt someone move behind her, and heard Julian Bashir's voice saying, "The Sisko is of Bajor. We are of Bajor. Bajor cannot be destroyed." Julian turned her around, tilted her head up with a hand on her chin, and kissed her.

"All right," Ezri said to the light, "I'll go."

She was in bed next to Julian, and they were both naked. "You have chosen wisely," he said...

...and then she was back onboard the Destiny, the glass she'd dropped when the vision began just now hitting the floor and shattering.

* * * * *

Ezri had never been to Joseph Sisko's restaurant before, but Curzon had on many occasions, so she had no problems finding it. She was staring to wish she would have had a few problems, so she'd have more time to figure out what she was going to say. As if the last two days on the transport from Trill weren't long enough, she thought.

In the end, as the three generations of Siskos looked at her in obvious bewilderment, all she could say was "It's me... Dax."

The End


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