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
Maybe they don't have to be dead. Kira had said it and that thought
rushed through Bashir's mind. Could it be true? But then the thought
was dashed. For him, anyway. There was just too much damage. He
sighed and looked down. "I can heal you, Nerys. But I can't heal myself."
"Look at me," she said. "They know we've died. They'll probably have
already replaced us. There'll be a new doctor when we get back there.
You can get a transplant, or an artificial heart. You can be healed. It
will just take more work.' She turned around and started to take off
her cloak. "Start with me. It can't hurt to try. We're already dead
if it doesn't work."
Yes, he could save her. If he healed her now and she was able to
return to DS Nine in time to get a massive transfusion to fill her full
of Bajoran blood, maybe she would survive. He could do that. She
dropped the top of the cloak and offered her back to him. He opened the
crates he'd brought for the outpost and arranged others so they both
could sit, her in front and him behind. He leaned her over to get
better light. Then he got to work. Ordinarily he would have offered
anesthesia, but he'd already learned they didn't feel any pain. Only
She never even flinched. It took longer. He didn't have access to
everythign he would have had in his Infirmary. Or the Infirmary. It
wasn't his anymore. But in less than one hour, he was using the dermal
regenerator to heal and seal the skin where she'd been shot. With the
exception of skin color, which was different dur to the substance that
had replaced her blood, she looked just as alive as before she was shot.
As he had healed her aorta, he'd had to clean up some of that
substance. He thought about having the computer analyze it. But the
Gidari might take exception to that. They hadn't seen him heal Kira's
wounds, but it wasn't a stretch to think they would monitor his computer
usage. The best he could do was scan it with the tricorder which only
read it as an unknown compound.
Once he was done, she worked herself back into the cloak. "So what
needs to be done for you?"
"Too much," was his quick answer. "Even with a full infirmary, it
would take hours."
She turned back to him and grabbed both of his arms. "Don't think
about it as you. Pretend it's someone else. What would you do first?
What would you need?"
It wasn't that easy. He knew that they were discussing him, but he
tried to play along. "I'd need a stasis unit to put him in while I got
everything else prepared. This stuff will only last a week from when
they gave it to us. We're already down two days and we still need to
work out how we're getting back to DS Nine. We might not have much of
"Good thinking," she told him. She let go of his arms to pick up a
PADD. "So he's in stasis. What will you need to prepare?"
"I'd want a pulmonary support unit," he said. "This stuff is providing
that now, I'd need to help his breath and circulation as it dissipated
once he's out of stasis."
"Good, what else?"
So he began to list all the equipment, instruments, and medications
he'd want at the ready before the patient was removed from stasis for
surgery." She wrote everything on the PADD, but how would they get that
PADD off the planet? Would it fit in one of their pockets?
Getting back into the hypothetical, he then laid out exactly what he'd
do to heal 'the patient' given that short lifespan once removed from
stasis. The damaged parts of his chest would need to be rebuilt. Every
artery and vein, every muscle, every nerve. Tears in the lungs,
esophagus, peritoneum, and diaphram would have to be mended.
And, of course, the patient's heart would need to be replaced, most
likely by a parthenogenic implant. Then his ribs would need metorapan
treatments and his skin the dermal regenerator. And a massive
transfusion of human blood.
The computer beeped and Bashir turned his attention there. One of the
medicines, when mixed with the oil from the leaf of the mindelin plant,
would have some effect against the virus. Bashir looked at the
simulation. A five cc dose of the mixture was projected to slow the
replication of the virus by half in an average male Gidari. That could
help the healers in quantine who were likely exposed. It wouldn't kill
the virus within them, but it might slow the progress of the disease.
And it still didn't meant it would do anything to the virus in Nailati.
He instructed the computer to synthesize five cc's and then run a
simulation directly against the leader's virus, given her physiology. A
small vial materialized in the Gidari's version of a replicator.
"Is that a cure?" Kira asked, coming up beside him.
"No," he told her. "But it may retard the replication of the virus.
It's a start."
"So someone exposed might take longer to get sick?"
"Exactly. But taking longer might not matter much. The leader is the
one they want to cure, and she already has the disease, the lesions. It
could possible delay the formation of lesions in the healers in
quarantine though. And that may help them live longer."
"So you're going to ask one of them to take it?" They way her nose
crinkled more told him she didn't like the idea.
"Ordinarily, I'd have hundreds of steps before giving it to a living
being to test," he admitted. "But we don't have that kind of time, and
neither do those healers. Besides, if I fail to find a cure, they'll be
killed anyway. I'm certain one of them will volunteer."
Kira nodded. "They are devoted to the leader. You're probably right.
You should contact them."
Bashir checked the chronometer. It was very early in the morning. The
equivalent of 0315. He really didn't want to wake them, but they had
said any hour. And he didn't have a lot of time left. He punched the
shortcut, and, a few minutes later, a sleepy Gidari woman answered the call.
"Healer," she saidl. "How may I be of service?"
"I need you to take blood samples of everyone in that room with you.
Then I need one person to test this compound." He sent the formula to
her. "The computer thinks it can slow the virus's replication rate."
Her wide eyes widened. She was now fully awake. "I will have it done.
I will contact you again." The scene winked out.
In less than five minutes, she called back. "As I had theorized, all
of us have some level of the virus in our lungs and blood. It was
airborne, wasn't it?"
"I'm afraid so," Bashir told her. "But not from the leader. From the
first two healers."
"Understood," she replied. "We have chosen two with the highest
concentrations. We will inject one with the compound. Then we will
compare viral replication six times per Glif. We will report back at
the end of that Glif."
It was brutal but effective. The Gidari without the drug should
progress faster. "Agreed."
"I will update the file accordingly," she said. "Patient One will get
the drug. Patiient two will be the control."
"Understood," he said. At least he didn't have to know their names or
even which scientist was which number. She might have even been one or
two. "Thank you."
"Such appreciation is unnecessary," she answered. "Our lives now are
only to serve you in your Purpose." The image again winked out.
"They take this purpose thing very seriously," Kira said.
"It must be serious," Bashir replied, "if it's worth bringing someone
back from the dead."
Captain Benjamin Sisko met the new doctor this time. He remembered
Jadzia had welcomed Julian aboard. Ezri remembered, too, and just
couldn't bring herself to recreate that with someone else. Dr. Ifeanyi
Mfuma had graduated third in his class and had served previously on the
*USS Thomas Paine,** a New Orleans class vessel under Captain Rixx.
Several other crewmembers of the *Thomas Paine** were taking R and R on
the station, but one young medical officer noticed Sisko and approached.
"Doctor Ifeanyi Mfuma, reporting for duty, sir!"
"At ease, Doctor," Sisko told him, then offered his hand. "It's under
sad conditions taht we welcome you but we welcome you all the same."
"Thank you, sir," the young man said, relaxing and shaking the hand
that was offered. "Dr. Bashir did amazing work, and I'm certain he's
missed here. I hope to be a worthy stand-in."
"Well, Dr. Tungaturthi gave you a stunning recommendation. I'm sure
you'll do her proud." Sisko held out a hand. "I'll introduce you to
the Infirmary staff."
"I'd like that," he replied. "Thank you."
Mfuma was shorter than Julian, and stockily built, but he had a gentle
face and Tungaturthi had praised his excellent bedside manner. Julian
had had that in spades. Sisko led him to a turbolift and directed it to
the Promenade. The shops and restaurants on the Promenade were doing a
lively business. Many of the patrons were allied troops enjoying some
The Infirmary was packed. All the other physicians, nurses, and
medtechs were on hand to greet the new Chief Medical Officer. Sisko
introduced him to Nurse Jabara and then excused himself. She could
handle the rest of the introductions. She's already been notified of
his living assignment and would take him there after the formalities
Sisko found it hard to walk away from that place, knowing someone else
was in Julian's post. But it had to be done, just as it had with Jaresh
in Ops. He was finding his way up there, and Mfuma would find his way
As he walked the Promenade, he remembered the last time Bashir had been
deemed dead. Kira had kept his post open by insisting on a rotation of
guest doctors for a full six months. Somehow she had known in her gut.
And when the *Enterprise** had found him in that cave, her gut had been
proven right. But now they were both gone, and thier posts had needed
to be filled. There would be no miraculous return this time.
Tarlingen came again in the morning. Kira let her in. "I was told of
your progress this morning," the Liytner said, speaking to Julian.
"It's a start," Bashir told her. "It has only slowed the replication
of the virus. Patient Two had to be moved to isolation. Patient One
has still not developed the disease."
"Even a start is progress," she told him. She turned to Kira. "Where
shall we go today?"
""Is there any possibility of collecting blood and tissue samples of
other animals out there?" Bashir asked.
Tarlingen tilted her head slightly. "We might have to engage the
services of biologists and trackers. But if it will aid you in your
Purpose, it will be done."
"Sounds fun," Kira said. "As long as I don't get eaten." She was
getting used to the path into and out of the palace. It was good
practice for the day she hoped they'd leave unnoticed. She was also
making note each day when she returned of any landmarks they'd need, how
to access the 'train,' the animals and dangers they may encounter.
She noticed today that she could take deeper breaths. Probably because
Julian had repaired her lung. She wished he oculd talk her through
healing some of his own damage. But she didn't think she could actually
do it even it he would. And he likely didn't have all the necessary
equipment anyway. Maybe if they managed to book passage on a ship in
Nardinosti, she could at least send a message ahead to DS Nine so they
could be ready for Julian when they arrived. She wanted to live and
felt more confident that she would after his work the night before. But
she wanted him to live, too.
This time, they took the train in the direction of Nardinosti but
changed lines a few miles out. They were now headed south. Tarlingen
used a device pulled from her cloak and talked to someone as they went.
Kira ignored that and watched the countryside out the window. She saw
more of the birds, the darglen, as Tarlingen had called them. They were
not close but not as far as they were from mountain two days ago. And
this time they were resting in the treetops. They were large, maybe as
tall as a man. Their wingspan had to be twice that at least. Their
tail plumage hang low, almost to the ground. And then they were out of
As they rode, Kira decided to probe Tarlingen a bit more. "If Bashir
hadn't died, how would this have worked?"
"We had need of him," Tarlingen told her. "We would have taken him.
We'd have more time for him to work to find a cure."
"Would you have returned him after he found it?" Kira asked. She was
afraid of the answer but was determined not to let herself show any
anger at what the liaison might say.
"Yes," she replied.
Kira was surprised but tried not to show it. "After all he would have
"He wouldn't have seen as much." Tarlingen did not seem troubled by
this line of questioning. She didn't change her posture or expression
at all. "He would have had to wear certain gear to survive here. We
could control what he would have seen through such gear. He would,
however still have needed to see our Leader. Those memories would have
been removed before his return."
Kira wondered how they could do that, but decided it wasn't important.
"So now that we're Honored, what happens when our time runs out?"
Tarlingen's face softened slightly. "There is a sacred place, high on
the mountain, full of trees with a small, silvery lake in the center. We
will take you there. You will lie down and fall asleep. Your Life will
contiue its journey to the Creator."
The next part was delicate. Kira didn't want to give away too much.
But she didn't want to just appear to accept it either. "What if I
don't want that? Whey can't we go back, get healed, and be alive again?"
Now Tarlingen's exprssion changed. He eyes widened and Kira realized
she was surprised. She opened her mouth to speak then closed it again.
Finally she said, "No Honored has ever asked that question."
Kira decided to press her a bit more. "Because a Gidari wouldn't think
of questioning it? It's part of your religion, your culture. But I'm
Bajoran. I have fought most of my life to live free and to help my
people live free. I don't want to just lay down and die now."
"The Healer feels the same?" Tarlingen asked. "He is not Bajoran."
"No, but he's human," she told her. "That fight to survive is instinct
to them. He's survived so many things already. He was prisoner of the
enemy, twice. He escaped both times. Helped others escape. He's
survived a serial killer's poison, a Lethian's telepathic attack,
cyanide gas, starvation, countless battles in our war. He could have
given up dozens of times. But he always managed to keep going, keep
"And now that he has lost his last trial?" Tarlingen replied. "Does he
still wish to fight to survive?"
"He has his doubts," Kira admitted. "The changelihng tore him up
inside. He has a hole through his chest the size of my fist." She made
a fist for the visual. "He's not sure he can be healed. But if he can
be, he would try."
Tarlingen softened again. "Gidari do not see death as something to
fear or fight against," she explained. "We do not wish for it nor
choose to hasten it. But it is the end of all living things. It cannot
be escaped. So we acknowledge it and accept it as inevitable."
Kira thought of those healers in quarantine who didn't cry in fear of
the disease they were all exposed to, of the leader who would willingly
die if it meant keeping her people safe. It fit the evidence. The
train came to a stop and Tarlingen stood. "We are here."
The mindelin compound had given him a place to start. So he tried
different concentrations and when that didn't pan out, he tried various
additives that might add potency. The computer worked with every sample
he'd taken or been given. The healers stukk alive gave suggestions and
fed the computer other compounds to try as well. Bashir dig through
their drugs database looking anything that might be promising and threw
that into the mix. The computer didn't complain. It just churned and
Four hours after Kira had left, the computer beeped again. This time
it was a compund made from a different antiviral, the oil of the sinfula
fruit, and enzyme found in haftha venom, and a vitamin similar to
Vitamin C on Earth. It seemd to cause the virus to shrivel and dry out.
He sent the formula to the healer's room and pressed the shortcut to
Patient Six answered the call. He'd become familar with their
numbering system. They hadn't wanted him to feel any unnecessary
discomfort in using them for tests. It helped, but he still kenw they
were people, individual people with families and dreams and plans. "I
have another drug to try. It should be given to Patients One and
Three." Patient Two had previously developed the disease. Patient One
still had not, but Bashir didn't want to complicate things by missing
two trial drugs.
"It shall be done," Six said. "We will call you with the results."
Now all he could do was wait. Still he kept looking for other
compounds, other possibilities that would kill the virus outright or
supercharge the Gidari immune system to fight it.
Biologists apparently wore orange cloaks in this town. Tarlingen had
enlisted two. After the requisite bows, Tarlingen and Kira had traided
their black and purple cloaks for orange. The four of them then set out
in an orange and yellow, open-topped antigravity skimmer across the
countryside. Kira had no idea where they were going but just went along
with it. They soon left the wooded areas behind and entered a low plain
with tall grass. There were large four-legged animals with long tails
and equally long necks at the ends of which were small heads with
bulging black eyes. Kira looked around. Those necks should be reaching
treetops, but there were only short, scrubby trees in the vacinity. As
Kira watched, one of them stuck its head into the ground until half its
neck was gone. Then a few minutes later, the head came back up, chewing
on a brown plant of some kind.
The skimmer was slient as one of the biologists maneuvered it close to
where some smaller ones were resting while two larger ones kept watch.
The skimmer stopped ten meters from the group. The babies slept coiled
into little balls. They're eyes didn't look to bulge out the way
adults' eyes did, but they were closed and not open.
The other biologist lifted a rifle of sorts with two barrels. He put
it to his shoulder and sighted one of the watchers. He fired and two
projectiles shot out with no more than a puff of air to be heard.
Filaments of silvery string stretched out with the projectiles which
landed in the target's thigh. It didn't show much reaction, except that
it began to swing its long neck to see what had happened. The biologist
touched his weapon, and, with a hiss, the filaments went taught again,
pulling the projectiles free of the beast until they were once again ihn
the barrels of the gun. The beast simply blinked at its rather
miniscule wounds and gave them a few licks. The babies slept on unaware.
As the driver backed away, the shooter pulled the projectiles from the
rifle then set it aside. The projectiles looked like thin syringes. He
pulled the needles from them and put them in a cylinder of clear
solution. He labeled the testtubes and handed them to Tarlingen.
Tarlingen handed them to Kira for her basket. Kira could see that one
held a brown liquid and the other the yellowish skin of the beast with a
bit of pink muscle attached. Blood and tissue samples, very efficiently
This was repeated whenever they came upon a different species of
animal. As they headed back toward Nodgarin and the woodlands, they
stopped to pick up thier cloaks but did not change into them. They
simply stowed them int he skimmer and drove on.
They crossed the train tracks and headed for the trees were Kira had
seen the darglin. There were more birds now, and they were noisy. Kira
and the others left the skimmer behind as the biologists led them on
foot toward the copse of trees. They crouched low and stepped softly.
This time, the other biologist held the rifle. He took aim at the back
of one large bird. She heard the puff of air as he pulled the trigger.
The bird screamed and unfolded its wings. The rest of the flock was
disturbed and begaan to scatter. The projectiles came back as the birs
leapt into the air. Tarlingen pushed Kira to the ground. A moment
later, she felt the wind as the sticken darglin charged them. A few
feathers fell beside her. She wait until it was safe and Tarlingen's
hand on her back was gone, then she quickly grabbed the feathers. The
biologist handed her the tubes this time. She held them until after
they got back to the skimmer and put the samples and the feathers in her
Tarlingen put their cloaks in a bag then threw the bag over her
shoulder. "Mindglin, instruct the Honored in the use of the weapon."
Then she tucked the box of unused projectiles and the cylinder of used
needles into the bag she carried.
Mindglin handed the rifle to Kira. He had two new projectiles. "Put
them in the barrels and press this lever," he said, pointing to the
small lever between the two barrels near their tips. Kira did as he
instructed, putting them in, needle out, and pressing the lever. "You
are now ready to fire. Target the thigh of the animal if you can. These
are for mid-size animals. There are smaller ones in the box. Once the
animal is hit, count three then press the button here to retreive them."
He touched a button near where her left hand was holding the gun.
"Press the lever again, and you may remove the projectiles."
"I will label them," Tarlingen said. "You fought for the independence
of Bajor from Cardassia. I trust you have good aim." She pulled a
small back stick from her cloak and gave it a shake. The stick expanded
until she was holding a spear. "I will make sure you remain undamaged."
The spear shrank again to a stick.
The biologists gave their bows and left in the skimmer while Tarlingen
led Kira, with the rifle and her basket back toward the train tracks.
Tarlingen then removed something else from her cloak and Kira wondered
if every cloak had all these devices in them, or if Tarlingen managed to
swap them all when she changed back in town.
Kira saw a train approaching in the distance. Tarlinen held her hand
up. The device she held flashed toward the train. The train flashed a
light back in response. "It will stop for us," she said, putting away
the beacon. "We will go back to the mountain."
The compound had not helped Patient Two. As the disease had already
taken hold, the compound was ineffective. Patient Three had a decrease
in the amount of virus in her system. But she developed her first
lesion anyway. Patient Three now had the disease.
Bashir and the computer kept looking. Kira didn't return until late in
the evening. Tarlingen helped her bring in the samples they'd collected
and then excused herself for sleep.
Kira waited until she had left and the door had closed all the way.
"Well, I had an exciting day," she said. "I wish you could have seen
all the animals we test out there."
Bashir sighed. "Two of the healers now have the disease. Every time
something shows promising, it just isn't enough."
Kira frowned and put down her basket on the counter. "I'm sorry to
hear that. But did you really think you could solve this in a matter of
Julian sighed again and sat down on one of the crates still stacked
against the wall. "Perhaps not but I'd like to at least make
significant progress. Maybe save one of the healers' lives or offer a
vaccing so no matter how they transfer the symbiont, it won't spread."
He shook his head. "And I kept help but want to keep Nailati from
sacrificing herself. Besides, this could be my last week of life. I'd
like to accomplish something."
Kira sat beside him but turned to face him. "No more talk of that,"
she ordered. "Neither one of us are going to die here. We are going to
get back to DS Nine and get healed enough to stay alive, and you will go
on to accomplish a hell of a lot more in your life."
He wanted to belive that, but the odds were longer even now than they
had been last night. They had one less day. She must have sensed his
pessimism. "I spoke to Tarlingen today of our desire to not die quietly
in the woods."
Bashir snapped his gaze to her face. "You told her? Does she know I
Kira held up a hand to back him off. "No, I just told her it's not
what a Bajoran freedom fighter or a human would want. It old her all
you survived so far, how hard you have fought to stay alive."
"What did she say to that?"
Kira stood and went to the basket of samples. "That Gidari don't fear
death. It's just part of nature. They would never think to try and
live after being Honored, Julian." She started putting vials on the
counter. "She wasn't angry or dismissive, Julian. She didn't say we
shouldn't want it or that she'd stop us. There's a possibility there."
Bashir wanted to latch on to that possibility but the odds were still
against them. They had just a few days left to get to the port, stow
away or book passage on a ship back to DS Nine or another Federation
facility, have a very complicated surgery in his case, and receive full
blood transfusions. It was just too much to really hold out hope for.
He started logging each of the samples. Behind him, Kira placed a hand
on his shoulder. "Don't give up on me yet, Julian."