Tincture of Madness 6/6
"It's Julian's," Dax announced grimly as she ran her tricorder over
the blood stain on the floor. "It's no more than two hours old."
Sisko accepted the news with little outward reaction. "So, we know he
was injured, but alive, two hours ago."
"Where is he now?" Kira asked.
"Maybe Linthe suspected we were on to her and moved him," O'Brien
"I don't think so," Odo said. He had been kneeling, examining the
floor for clues. He stood as he spoke. "Doctor Bashir escaped." He
held out the burnt cords for the others to see.
"Benjamin," Dax called. She was scanning the container of water. "This
water is full of chemicals. Some of them I can't even recognize.
Julian has been drugged."
Sisko quelled the knot of pain in his chest. "We have to find him
before Linthe does." He turned to Odo. "Concentrate your search teams
in this area. If he's drugged, he couldn't have gotten far."
* * * * *
Bashir heard the door slide open. In the darkness, he could just make
out the silhouette standing in the doorway. He knew who that was.
*Think, damn it! Who was it?*
Aunt Alison...He remembered now. But where was Jeff? He and his cousin
were hiding from Aunt Alison. They were in big trouble, but he
couldn't remember what they had done. It didn't matter. He had to stay
"Julian?" She was moving closer.
With an effort he pulled himself up to a seated position. A footstep
sounded nearby. Fear gripped him and Bashir found himself reaching
beside him for the metal pipe he knew was there. What was he so afraid
of? It was just Aunt Alison.
The door slid open again and someone else stepped into the
room. A light played around the room from the direction of the door
and came to rest on the woman. She was standing only a few meters from
where Bashir sat.
He knew that voice. Not Jeff...not Uncle William...Who was it?
The figure at the door reached up and touched something near his
shoulder. "I found her."
The woman stepped toward the door. "Chief O'Brien, I'm glad to see
you. I was trying to help with the search for Julian. I'm afraid I got
O'Brien? What was he doing here? He wouldn't meet the burly Irishman
for years yet. Bashir almost laughed at the absurdity of the thought.
The man in question stepped further into the room. "Save it, Linthe.
We know everything—how you killed Ensign Garbett, sabotaged the
runabout to kill Dax, kidnapped Julian."
"I can't believe you think I would be capable of such acts!"
*She sounds sincere enough.* The man that couldn't be O'Brien should
"Stop right there," the man ordered. Aunt Alison continued to step
closer. No, not Aunt Alison. What had he called her? Linthe…
Fear again gripped Bashir's heart at the name. Where did he know it
from? He looked back up at the woman. For an instant his vision
fogged. He shook his head to clear it.
Linthe lunged suddenly at the man, catching him off guard. O’Brien
attempted to swing his phaser around but wasn't quite fast enough.
Bashir staggered to his feet unnoticed as the two fell to the floor,
struggling for control of the phaser. Linthe's superior strength
succeeded in overpowering the man. She jumped to her feet and thumbed
the phaser to a higher setting. She then leveled the weapon at the man
on the floor.
She would kill him, Bashir knew. Desperation gave him strength. He
half-lunged, half-fell toward her, swinging the metal pipe with his
one still functioning hand. The pipe grazed Linthe's head, knocking
her to the floor beside the man.
His last reserve of strength spent, Bashir slid to his knees, barely
aware of the man's cry of surprise.
* * * * *
O'Brien struggled to his feet and caught Bashir as he slid to the
floor. "Julian?" There was no answer. He reached behind him and
retrieved his flashlight. He shined it on the doctor's face and drew
in a breath.
Dark bruises and cuts covered the young man's face. A nasty gash above
his left eye spilled blood down the side of his face. Though his eyes
were open, they focused on nothing.
O'Brien's eyes strayed down to Bashir's hands and his chest tightened
painfully. Both hands were badly burned and one had darkened
ominously. From the angle it lay he knew that the arm was broken.
He shifted Bashir's weight and reached for his comm badge to call for
help. He aborted the move as the door behind him opened.
"Dear God," Sisko breathed, dropping to his knees beside them.
Dax bent over Bashir and turned her tricorder on him. Concern darkened
her features. "His system is flooded with drugs. His arm is broken,
and he has two broken ribs. We have to get him to the infirmary."
Sisko hit his communicator. "Medical emergency..." He stopped and
mentally counted heads. "Oh, hell, beam us all to the infirmary."
* * * * *
"How is he?" Kira asked rushing into the infirmary. Her eyes searched
for and found the doctor on a nearby bio-bed. He was surrounded by
"He'll be all right, I think," Dax said.
"What happened?" Kira directed her question to Sisko, but it was
O'Brien who answered. He quickly filled the Bajoran in on the details
of his confrontation with Linthe. He finished with an account of how
Bashir had attacked the woman as she was about to use the phaser.
"He saved my life," O'Brien said, his voice filled with respect and
gratitude. "Look at him. I'm surprised he could even stand in that
condition, yet somehow he managed to stop her."
He broke off as Jabara approached. The Bajoran nurse smiled to relieve
their worries. "He'll be all right, I think. I'll know more when we
get the lab results back on the drugs in his system. It will take a
couple of days to purge them. We'll have to take it slowly to avoid
systemic shock. He'll be weak and sick until we do. I can't offer him
a painkiller or even a sedative until we know what we're dealing with.
We can't be sure how they will react with the drugs Linthe used.
"His other injuries will heal readily enough with the proper care,
though his hands will be tender and his wrist will be stiff for a few
Jabara paused and frowned, anticipating Sisko's question. "I know you
want to see him, sir, but, though he's conscious, I don't think he
would even know you were there. He's not thinking clearly, an effect
of the drugs."
Sisko nodded gravely. "We'll get out of your way then. Keep me
* * * * *
"Julian?" Sisko's voice was soft, though Jabara had assured him the
young man was awake.
Slowly, the dark eyes opened. After a minute, the eyes focused and
turned to him. Sisko winced at the fatigue and pain he saw there.
"Do you know where you are?" Sisko asked gently. Jabara had warned him
that the doctor was still Article Unavailable