Title: The Honored
Author: Gabrielle Lawson
Archive: Yes to Trekiverse.org, otherwise, please ask.
Summary: The Dominion finally puts a stop to Dr. Julian Bashir. But the
Gidari have need of him. What's death to get in their way?
Author's note: Author's note: I deliberately use italics like this *in
text** just because it makes conversion to HTML so much easier.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
by Gabrielle Lawson
Garak sat alone at his usual table in the Replimat. This was the day
he had lunch with the doctor. Or did. Not being senior staff, or staff
at all, of this station, Garak had not seen the sensor logs, but news
travelled on a station like this. So he knew Julian had died. For good
this time. Nearly everyone who spoke of it repeated those four words.
For good this time.
Garak couldn't help but hope they were all wrong and that Julian would
come up behind him, apologizing for his tardiness, a smile on his lips
and a shine in his eyes. But the pain he felt in his chest told him
that wasn't going to happen. Not this time.
It shouldn't have hurt this much. He'd seen many people die, or killed
them himself. Some of them he'd known or even called friends. Only
family hurt like this. Mila had hurt like this. But Julian wasn't family.
Garak was never one to lie to himself. That was exactly why it hurt so
much. With Julian alive, the fantasy had been enough. He would never
force or trick Julian into going where he wouldn't go willingly. With
Julian dead, the fantasy warped from 'someday maybe' to 'definitely never.'
Well and one could argue that he'd never have gotten the relationship
he wanted with Julian. He would argue that he had the relationship he
could have. Julian enjoyed his company. He smiled in Garak's presence,
indulged his interests in Cardassian literature, and accepted that he
might never know the truth of this friend.
And once a week, when Julian was here at the station or Garak was with
him on the *Defiant**, he had him all to himself for the span on one
meal, prolonged by conversation. For Garak, it had sufficed.
There was that other time, when Section 31 had faked Julian's death.
But Kira hadn't believed it and that had given Garak enough reason to
doubt it as well. Deaths, after all, could be faked. Even with bodies.
He had called on everyone he could think of who might have had even
the tiniest chance of knowing a hint of Julian's whereabouts. To no
avail. Until, of course, *Enterprise** had found him marooned in a cave
on a dead world.
Kira wasn't' here to doubt Julian's death this time. For she was dead
Garak sighed and stabbed his meal with a fork. As he brought the bite
to his mouth, he heard someone approach from behind.
"Is this seat taken?" The Irish accent gave it away.
"Not anymore," Garak told him and waved a hand to the seat across the
O'Brien didn't speak further but he sat and started eating. Garak
looked back to his own plate. They'd both nearly finished by the time
the engineer spoke again.
"I never understood his friendship with you," he said. Then he lifted
his glass. "But you *were** his friend. And he was mine. So we both
Garak lifted his own glass. O'Brien's eyes were shining with unshed
tears. Garak had none. He had appearances to keep up. "To Julian
Bashir," he offered in toast, "our friend."
They both took a drink then finished their meal in companionable
silence. Then O'Brien rose to attend to his work and Garak retired back
to his shop. He had clothes to mend.
Kira took his arm and led him back to the lab. "Pack a bag," she told
him. "We're leaving while they're caught up in the consequences of that
ceremony." She turned her back to him and started to change into her
yellow cloak from the time with the biologists.
"I still only have this one," he told her as he grabbed his medical
tricorder, the dermal regenerator and a few other things.
"Maybe that will work in our favor." Her voice was muffled as she
maneuvered the new cloak over her head. "The whole palace here knows
your purpose, and that it's done, but out there? The further we get the
less they'll know. You have power in that cloak. I'll look like your
Once dressed, she stuffed her purple cloak into a bag, then grabbed a
PADD from one of the crates. He knew what was on it. The plan to keep
Kira checked the door then stepped outside, waving for him to follow.
Bashir knew the way to the throne room, the leader's quarters, and the
tunnels he came in through, but Kira now led him a different way, to the
right and then up a flight of stairs. He kept expecting a red-cloaked
figure to appear from the next corner, but the palace was unusually
quiet. No priests or priestesses, no guards, no workers. Finally, Kira
stopped in front of a door then opened it slowly. It was pitch black
beyond except where the light from the corridor reached. She held out a
hand to him. "Watch your head," she whispered.
Bashir kept his free hand held up in front of his face to detect low
ceilings and let Kira lead him. He tried not to think about the
leader's host, to think of her dying the way Jadzia had died. Or the
way that first Trill here had after crashing. Choking on her own lungs
while her abdomen was cut open and her closest companion was taken,
though willingly, from her. How lonely she must have felt in her last
He shook his head. He was trying *not** to think of her. He focused
on following Kira and guarding his head. His hand felt a rock and he
had to duck but he kept going. After a few more minutes, Kira dropped
his hand. He froze and for a moment he feared she'd left him to be lost
in the darkness.
But he saw a crack of red light and the silhouette of her shoulder.
The door opened wider and he could see the color of her cloak and
red-leafed trees beyond. She hurried him out and then eased the door
shut behind them. Bashir just stood, taking in the smell of the trees,
the brightness of the light. He hadn't been outside for days.
Kira joined him, pointing toward a thin path to their right. "That way
leads, eventually, down to the village," she said. "They might know too
much there, being this close. I think we need to go around. Nardinosti
is that way." She pointed to her left. "Three days, you said."
"That was hundreds of years ago," he reminded her. "They have better
technology now. She has to change, but they can probably heal the wound."
"Alright." Kira nodded. "How much time do we have?"
He knew what she meant. He'd been keeping track. "Two days, seventeen
hours and thirteen minutes for me. You woke up after me, about an hour."
She nodded again. "So this stuff inside us keeps us from feeling pain,
from needing to eat or drink, from suffocating on this air. I'm
thinking we can probably run for hours without getting tired."
"I haven't been tired since I woke up on the *Gindarin**." But he
agreed with her. And they had to go fast. It was a long way to
Nardinosti, and they still had to get all the way to DS Nine. They
couldn't afford even one wrong turn.
"This way then." She turned and started running. "If you see
something that looks like a fluffy, little bear, run faster." She had a
small black rod in her hand. Bashir followed sweeping branches away
from his face and hoping he wouldn't meet that little bear or the snake
that liked nuts. Occasionally he felt a tap on his boot and looked down
to find he'd stepped on a flower.
They couldn't run particularly fast in the dense forest. They could
still make out the position of the sun, and they kept it over their
shoulders as they pushed on. After three hours they found themselves on
a high plateau with the sun hiding behind the mountain. Bashir could
see for kilometers down into a valley. Large animals grazed there.
They had long necks and equally long tails. Had he been on Earth, he
would have thought they were sauropods from the Jurassic. But where
they were there were no trees to require those long necks. Kira had
told him that they used their necks to dig deep into the ground for
plants or roots.
"The train." Kira pointed back to the southeast. There was a small
village there and the train was stopped. "Maybe we can catch it."
Bashir saw it start speeding off to the west. There had to be one
going east at some point. He ran to the south-eastern edge of the
plateau. There was a drop of at least twenty meters. Might not kill
them, but they couldn't run on broken legs.
Kira started looking, too. The best they could find was a two and a
half meter drop down to a platform that led downhill and to the south.
"I'll lower you down," he suggested, dropping to the ground with his
shoulders over the edge. She sat then took both his hands before
swinging off the ledge. It was a short drop, for her, after that.
Bashir got up and turned his feet to the edge and scooted himself back
toward it until he was holding on by his forearms, then his hands. Kira
held his thighs loosely as if to steady him for the landing. He leg go
and fell a few feet. They dusted themselves off then followed their new
ledge southward and back into the trees. The sun now would be fully
behind the mountain.
By the time they reached the foot of that mountain, the sun was heading
below the horizon. The sky had taken on the color of blood. Kira
marveled that she wasn't tired or sore given the hours and distance they
had crossed. Julian had gotten to see a few of the animals she had
encountered foraging with Tarlingen. She'd had to use the spear a
couple of times. Tarlingen had not wanted to stay out past night. But
if they wanted to get to Nardinosti with enough time to get to DS Nine,
she and Bashir had to keep going, even at night.
Kira wondered now if the yellow cloak would draw attention where
Bashir's purple one might blend in better. But Tarlingen had worn
black, and still, she was wary of a night in the wilds. So maybe it
Kira spotted a large rock and pointed Bashir toward it. They needed to
choose their next move. She hadn't seen the train again. There was a
chance it didn't run at night.
She dropped behind the rock and leaned her back against it. "It's
"I've noticed," Julian said as he dropped down beside her.
"Tarlingen hadn't wanted to be out in the dark," she told him. "I
don't know what's out here at night. The spear may not be enough."
"Do we have finrittors?"
Of course. The energy weapon. She nodded and set her bag down to fish
into her pockets. "Well, not this one apparently." She was glad now
that she had stuffed her purple cloak into her bag. But first, she
reached over to Julian's chest. "Allow me? It will be faster."
He hadn't taken the time to inventory his pockets the way she had. He
nodded. She reached in, careful to steer clear of that rather squishy
part of his chest and found the weapon. She handed it to him, then
found her way into the right pocket of her bagged cloak. "They won't
kill Gidari people, but maybe they'll work on predators." She looked
around the rock in the dimming light. "Which way now?"
Julian stood for a few moments. "That way." He pointed to their
right. "I can just make out the last of the sun's light. We need to
keep it to our backs, do we not?"
Kira stood and nodded. There was an open field in front of them and it
was getting darker by the minute. "Can you see better in the dark?"
"Than other non-enhanced humans?"
He shrugged. "Maybe, never tested that."
"If the sun is down, can we forego the hoods?"
He shook his head. "Moon could reflect the infrared light, and the
radiation may still be present. We probably shouldn't." Still, he
pulled the tricorder from his bag. Kira rather enjoyed its familiar
chirpings after nearly a week on Gidar. "Maybe in a few hours." He
snapped it closed. "It's kind of beautiful here."
Kira agreed with that. Like the Gidari people, the planet was
stunningly beautiful, but also like the Gidari people, it could be
extremely dangerous. "You know, she said they would have taken you
alive. You'd have had to wear a helmet to breathe and they'd control
what you could see."
He turned to look at her. "Really? I suppose they would have killed
me after so I couldn't tell anyone what I *had** seen."
Kira chuckled. "No, she said they'd would've taken your memories."
"Well, that's better than killing me. I suppose we should get back to it."
KIra threw her bag over her shoulder and kept the finrittor in her
right hand. "Let's go."
It got very dark at night on Gidar. Bashir was glad for Kira's
biologist's cloak. He could just make out her silhouette running beside
him. They were making a better pace now that the forest was gone and
the land was mostly flat. They'd decided to skirt wide around a little
village they'd seen from the plateau, which put them nearer to the large
sauropods in the valley. Most of them were curled up asleep, but a few
sentries had their long necks up to keep watch. Bashir could
occasionally just make out a sparkle as the starlight reflected in their
eyes. Still it was so dark now, he could have been a meter from one's
bulk and not seen it.
But he could hear them. Their huge lungs drew in liters of air then
pushed it out again. But there was another sound. Something at the far
side of the herd was agitating them. The sound was like thunder coming
near as they reared up onto their legs and thrashed their tails. What
kind of predator could take down one of these behemoths? The answer
was, one he didn't want to meet.
Kira must have felt it, too, as she put on a burst of speed. Bashir
matched her but the thunder now had become a rushing wave. They were
stampeding closer and fast. Bashir and Kira ran on, hoping the beasts
would pass behind them and not trample them. And Bashir hoped whatever
had upset them was successful in its hunt and wouldn't decide two
humanoids were an easier meal.
Something straight and tall rose up in front of them suddenly. In
fact, he hit his left shoulder hard on it, hard enough to knock it out
of the socket. The object was hard and rough and didn't move. A tree.
He quickly maneuvered behind it, relieved to hear the herd did not come
closer. He could still feel them in his boots as they shook the earth.
"That sounded painful." Kira's slightly bright form appeared in front
"Fortunately not," he replied. Still it felt awkward and familiar.
And he knew just how to reduce the dislocation. He set the bag down
beneath his feet then performed the maneuver. There was a satisfying
pop as the ball slipped back into the joint.
"There are definite advantages to having this stuff in our veins."
He agreed wholeheartedly. "We seem to be safe from the herd. I don't
want to stick around to attract whatever scared them."
"We still going the right way?"
"Hmm." Bashir picked up the bag, stepped away from that tree and felt
his way around a few more until he was in a clearing again. He looked up
at the sky. He studied the stars for a few minutes, calculating and
taking into account their circular movement through the night sky.
"Yes," he said. "This way."
They started running again. As the sound of the herd faded in the
distance behind them, he thought he felt something else. Thought he
heard it. It was coming closer. He could smell it. Deciding that
whatever it was, it was not a Gidari humanoid and was definitely a
carnivore, he raised his weapon and turned his torso to see it and fire.
In the beam of light from the weapon, he saw the reflection of a pair
of eyes and some very sharp teeth. The beam hit it and it screeched.
"What the--" Kira stopped and turned.
Bashir grabbed her arm and pulled her along as he kept running. "I hit
it. Didn't kill it."
Its footfalls had been near silent before, but he could hear it now as
it limped. But it was still behind them, still coming.
"Maybe it thinks we'll get tired and have to stop," Kira commented.
"I'm more concerned it might hunt in packs."
It stayed behind them for another half hour. But it was tiring.
Bashir could hear it breathing hard from the exertion and the pain of
And then Kira fell. She rolled with it but the beast pounced. Bashir
couldn't shoot without possibly hitting Kira.
"Spear!" she shouted. "Left--sleeve."
There were several things hidden in this left sleeve. He gave up on one
pocket then found another. Finally his fingers felt the round stick
he'd seen Kira with earlier. He pulled it out and fumbled until it
finally activated. He had to focus where the beast blocked his view of
her yellow cloak. He jabbed it in the leg, hoping to distract it.
It growled. And with that, Bashir knew right where its head was. The
spear went right through the bone into its brain. The beast fell limp
onto Kira's body.
She pushed and Bashir pulled until she could get out from under it.
But now Bashir could see her very well. Because here and there she was
leaking the glowing fluid.
"It bit me a few time," she told him, her voice calm. "Claws got me, too."
"Well, fortunately, I'm a doctor." He set his bag on the ground and
knelt beside her. "Lay back and let's have a look." She pulled a
glowing stick from her cloak and handed it to him before laying down.
The stick glowed blue and he recognized it as being like the one
Tarlingen had used in the caves. With it, he looked her over carefully.
The tricorder told him what he still couldn't see well. She had
puncture wounds to her arms and a slash to her abdomen. "I think you're
going to have to go purple."
"You can fix it, though?"
Bashir set the tricorder down, open, on the ground by his knees. He
used the light to find his dermal regenerator. "Abdomen first," he told
her, "but you'll have to take off the top."
Bashir checked the tricorder. "Still present but at lower levels.
Should be fine if we're quick." As she worked her torso out of the
cloak, Bashir retrieved the purple one from her bag and draped it over
her shoulders anyway.
He took off his gloves, reasoning that they'd been in the dirt and
grime, leaving his bare hands clean. Not sterile perhaps, but under the
circumstances, they'd have to do.
He ignored her bared breasts and focused on the large gash just to the
left of her navel. The tricorder told him the wound wasn't deep, but it
was wide and certain things were trying to push their way through it.
"Oh, that looks--"
"Then don't look," Bashir told her. "At least it doesn't hurt." He
quickly used two fingers of his left hand to push the intestines back
inside then started knitting the skin back together with the
regenerator. When he finished pulled his last finger out and finished
up, her torso began to jiggle.
Bashir turned his attention to her arms, just as she started laughing
"What is so funny?" he asked as he closed the puncture wounds in her
"This whole situation," she choked out. "Here we are, dead on an alien
planet. We were nearly trampled by a herd of giant animals that could
have squashed us into mush, and now I'm sitting here half-naked after
some cat-like animal just tried to eat me."
"Dead and glowing," he corrected, reaching for her right arm. "And you
won't be half-naked for long. Now, can you dress in the dark or do I
need to hold the light?"
The laughter faded but she was still grinning as she sat up. "I'll try
Bashir found himself smiling as he turned off the light. It was all
rather ridiculous. Well, what other two dead people ever had such an
"A week from now," she was saying, "you and I will share a bottle over
this in Quark's bar."
He wiped his hands on her discarded yellow cloak, and didn't reply. A
week was a long time and the odds were not in their favor.
She must have guessed his thoughts. "We're going to make it, Julian."
She found his shoulder and squeezed. "Or we'll try until the last
Oh, he wanted it. No matter how many times he'd given up before, in
Auschwitz, in that last detention camp or on the prisoner transport
ship, he still wanted to live now. "Deal."
Kira took the light from his hand and switched it on. "What did I trip
over anyway?" She took the light over to the beast and gave it a good
look. "It's so puzzling here how smaller things eat the bigger things."
She was right. He'd seen haftha take down a larger mammal and a water
bug pull a full grown man into the water. This animal was cat-like but
no bigger than perhaps a bobcat back on Earth. "Be glad it wasn't
bigger." He pulled the spear free and wiped it off on the discarded
cloak before shrinking it.
Kira moved on, looking for the obstacle that had given the cat the
opening it needed. "Julian! It's the track!"
He joined her and looked down. The light only illuminated about a foot
of it, but it was enough. This was the track the train used. "We only
have to follow it."
The call came very early in the morning. Sisko hadn't even got out of
bed yet. But Necheyev was just as alert as ever. "Sorry to wake you,
Benjamin. But I thought you'd want to know as soon as possible."
"Know what as soon as possible?" Sisko was awake now. Nothing good
had ever been prefaced with those words.
"A representative of the Dominion is coming to Deep Space Nine under a
flag of truce."
That was not at all what Sisko had expected. "Are they wanting to
"If only it were that easy," she said. "They're not coming to talk to
us. They're coming to talk to the Gidari."
Sisko rubbed his forehead as he tried to make sense of this. "Why here?"
"The Gidari requested it as a neutral place."
"We're not neutral," Sisko insisted. "Not to the Dominion. What do
the Gidari want?"
"Who knows what the Gidari ever want?" she asked in return. "What we
don't want is for them to join forces with Dominion."
"They wouldn't have to come here for that." It didn't make sense.
"They could go to Cardassia."
"Or maybe they want to ally with us against the Dominion."
Sisko shook his head. "The Gidari consider anyone who isn't Gidari
irrelevant at best. They would never admit to needing us."
"But we could use an ally like them," Necheyev said. "They'll be there
in thirty-eight hours. Maybe you can find out."
This was just great. Now he had to play host to the enemy who had
killed his officers and the mysterious ethonocentrists who took their