Description: On the eve of Bajor's latest step toward Federation membership, an unknown operative emerges from the Romulan Neutral Zone and violates Federation space. Fan fiction utilizing all FIVE Star Trek series! Read me FIRST!
The time has finally come to rescue Kai Opaka, spiritual leader of the Bajoran people…
Mere hours later, the General herself sat in the command seat of the Defiant as the starship's weapons finished destroying the last of the armed satellites in orbit above the small moon. Lieutenant Nog smiled from behind the helm console as he adjusted the ship's course into a geo-synchronous orbit above the life signs detected below.
"Final orbit achieved General Kira," the Ferengi officer reported with satisfaction.
"Why didn't we do this sooner?" she asked curiously. "Why didn't we come back?
Julian was standing directly behind her. "Because until now there was nothing we further we could do for her," he said softly. "Do you think she's still down there?" They watched the moon's image on the starship's viewscreen. "If so, I wonder what she's managed to accomplish with the Ennis and the Nol-Ennis. They were still quite dedicated to unending violence the last time that we saw them."
"There's only one way to find out," the General said as she stood up and turned to face Julian. "Ezri can come with us… Nog, you have the bridge." Without a further word she headed for the transporter room. Ezri cast a hopeful look at Julian and he squeezed her hand reassuringly as they both followed Kira into the turbolift.
They materialized next to the wreckage of the Yangtzee Kiang, which was still lying undisturbed right where Julian, then Commander Sisko and Kira had left it. Ezri glanced at it thoughtfully but noticed immediately the expressions on the faces of Julian and Kira. Even without counseling skills, it was obvious to her simply by observation that the sight of the destroyed runabout brought back lots of memories for the other two members of her landing party. Even though she personally had never been on the planet, her Trill symbiont also had memories of the incident, since Jadzia and Miles O'Brien had eventually ended up rescuing the stranded party from orbit using a second runabout.
"Where is everybody?" Ezri asked cautiously.
"We beamed here first intentionally," replied Kira. "The last time we visited this place the people on this planet were involved in an endless, brutal war. Their bodies were instantly healed by the automated systems on this planet as fast as they could kill each other. If we get caught in the middle of it death is not the worst thing that can happen to us."
"No it certainly is not," Julian said, scanning the area with his tricorder. "The bio-technology is still active and functioning – any injuries sustained on this moon are still being instantly detected and repaired, with the additional penance of making the healed person completely dependent upon this environment."
"That's why we left her here," Kira said as her expression clouded over. "Because we had to. That… and because she insisted that it was prophecy that she should be left here."
Doctor Bashir pointed off toward the west and they began walking casually in that direction. There were no sounds in the wooded area that they entered other than a few calling birds, so they continued moving toward the large cave where they had last seen the Kai. They didn't find anyone in that area either so they headed directly toward the life sign indications on Julian's medical tricorder.
They came to the edge of the forest and walked out onto a flat plain before immediately pausing in awe. Row after row of growing crops lined the area in front of them… it looked as though they had inadvertently walked onto someone's farm. Off in the distance they could see several dozen wooden cabins, most of which had a large chimney from which spirals of black smoke rose lazily into the air. Still there was no sign of anyone and they curiously continued walking through the crop fields toward the cabins.
They spun around and there she was… Kai Opaka with an astonished look on her face and a basket of crops she had picked held tightly in her hands. She was dressed in native clothing rather than the familiar purple robes that she had worn back on Bajor. Her face, neck and arms were covered with partially healed scars from old injuries, but there was no doubt in anyone's mind that it was her. Kira ran forward as the Kai dropped her basket in shock and the two hugged for a long time, reunited at last.
"It's so good to see you again Opaka," Kira said finally, stepping back and smiling with delight. "I've been thinking about you over the years and planning to come back…"
"The Prophets finally decided that they were ready for us to reunite," Opaka decided.
"Where are the others?" Bashir asked. "The Ennis and the Nol-Ennis? My tricorder indicates that there are lots of other life signs close by."
"The Ennis and Nol-Ennis are no more," Opaka declared proudly as she picked up her basket and began scooping some of the fallen wheat back into it. "The people on this moon speak to each other with respect now, using each person's individual name." Glancing from Kira to Bashir she smiled. "Some are still asleep and the rest are out hunting… we were preparing a celebration this evening in honor of the lasting peace that we have established here."
"What a beautiful community," Ezri commented as she looked first to the rows of crops and then to the cabins in the distance. "Considering what this place was like when you first arrived, I think you've done a remarkable job."
"Thank you," Opaka said, bowing her head slightly. "But it did not come without cost. The violence continued for quite some time after my arrival. It isn't something that I can ever forget."
They watched the distant expression that had formed on her scarred face. "The peace did not come without cost," she repeated slowly, remembering...
Fresh red blood was running down the knife blade and spattering onto the ground below, but she held firm – determined that this time there would be a difference…