KIRA: All right, next item. Item seven. warbird
repair and maintenance. Senator?
CRETAK: Repairs on our ships have continually been delayed in favour of
Klingon and Federation vessels. The Dividices and the Genorex have been
waiting almost three weeks while more than a dozen Klingon ships have
been given first priority.
O'BRIEN: I make up the repair schedule according to my assessment of
which ships have the greatest need.
CRETAK: Odd that the Klingons seem to always have the greatest need.
WORF: They are usually more damaged because Klingon warships are
relentless in pressing home their attack.
CRETAK: Reckless would be another way of putting it.
WORF: The fight must be taken to the enemy. We cannot win this war if
KIRA: All right. We're not here to debate combat tactics. Chief, how
soon can you have those warbirds into a docking bay?
O'BRIEN: Well, I suppose I could bring them in tomorrow. That would
mean delaying repairs to the Hornet and the Rotarran. Somebody's going
to have to explain to General Martok why his flagship was bumped.
KIRA: Worf, you just volunteered for that assignment.
ODO: This brings up the question of shore leave. At the moment, we have
the crews from two Klingon ships on the station. I'd rather not have
that many Klingons and Romulans on the Promenade at the same time.
CRETAK: We'll forgo shore leave until the Klingons depart. Our soldiers
are professionals. They're here to fight, not to get drunk in Quark's.
KIRA: All right, that's it for today then. Same time next week? Oh
sorry, Senator, you'll be attending that conference on Romulus, won't
CRETAK: Yes. But SubCommander Velal will be here in my place.
KIRA: Fine. Have a safe trip.
CRETAK: Thank you.
GARAK: Ah, yes, Romulus. How well I remember it.
You'll find the predominant colour to be grey. The buildings, the
clothes, the people. Did you know that the Romulan heart itself is
grey? It's true. And altogether appropriate for such an unimaginative
BASHIR: I take it you didn't enjoy your brief stint on Romulus. You
were posing as a gardener, weren't you?
GARAK: It was one of the few instances where my cover was more
enjoyable than the actual assignment.
BASHIR: What was the assignment, anyway?
GARAK: I'm afraid I can't talk about that. Back to the subject at hand.
What will your role be at this conference?
BASHIR: Well, I'll be giving a talk on Dominion biogenic weapons,
chairing a seminar on Ketracel white, and attending a meeting on a
proposal to transfer twenty five Federation hospital ships over to
GARAK: How dull.
BASHIR: Sorry to disappoint you. Admiral Ross and his staff will be
discussing the exciting military issues.
GARAK: I see. I trust that Starfleet Intelligence will be sending
someone along to make good use of this opportunity.
BASHIR: What do you mean?
GARAK: Isn't it obvious? This is a golden opportunity to gather
intelligence on Romulan intentions and military capabilities.
BASHIR: They're our allies, Garak. And with any luck, this could be the
beginning of a entirely new friendship between our peoples.
GARAK: The eternal optimist.
BASHIR: Guilty as charged.
GARAK: How sad. I must tell you I'm disappointed hearing you mouthing
the usual platitudes of peace and friendship regarding an implacable
foe like the Romulans. But, I live in hope that one day you'll come to
see this universe for what it truly is, rather than what you'd wish it
BASHIR: Well, I shall endeavour to become more cynical with each
passing day, look gift horses squarely in the mouth and find clouds in
every silver lining.
GARAK: If only you meant it.
(Bashir wakes suddenly)
(Sloan is sitting on a chair at the end of the bed.)
SLOAN: Hello, Doctor. It's good to see you. I hope you're well rested.
Section Thirty one has an assignment for you.
BASHIR: You're taking quite a risk. I could have a security team here
in thirty seconds.
SLOAN: I suspect you'd be unable to communicate with anyone outside
BASHIR: I could scream for help.
SLOAN: Possible, but uncharacteristic. Screaming for help, that's too
undignified for you. But don't let me stop you. I enjoy being wrong.
BASHIR: What do you want?
SLOAN: I told you. You have an assignment.
BASHIR: I don't work for you.
SLOAN: You passed the test. You were accepted into the organisation.
BASHIR: I didn't ask to be accepted.
SLOAN: You were, nevertheless. And now it's time to go to work.
SLOAN: I'm sure you're dying to know what your
mission is, but you won't give me the satisfaction of admitting it. So,
I'll just tell you.
BASHIR: Lucky me.
SLOAN: Section Thirty one is extremely interested in this conference of
yours. However, the Tal'Shiar will be handling the security
so we have virtually no chance of using any technical assets to gather
intelligence. As a result, we'll be forced to rely on organic assets,
like you. Your mission is to gather data on the Romulan leadership. In
essence, we want you to take the pulse of their government. No pun
BASHIR: You want me to spy on an ally.
SLOAN: To evaluate an ally. And a temporary ally at that. I say that
because when the war is over, the following will happen in short order.
The Dominion will be forced back to the Gamma Quadrant, the Cardassian
Empire will be occupied, the Klingon Empire will spend the next ten
years recovering from the war and won't pose a serious threat to
anyone. That leaves two powers to vie for control of the quadrant, the
Federation and the Romulans.
BASHIR: This war isn't over and you're already planning for the next.
SLOAN: Well put. I hope your report is equally succinct.
BASHIR: How many times do I have to tell you, Sloan? I don't work for
SLOAN: You will. It's in your nature. You are a man who loves secrets.
Medical, personal, fictional. I am a man of secrets. You want to know
what I know, and the only way to do that is to accept the assignment.
(Sloan leaves. Bashir takes a phaser from a drawer and runs out.)
(Sloan is nowhere in sight.)
EZRI: Whoa! Easy, Julian! What's going on?
BASHIR: Odo's checked all the security logs.
There's no indication of how Sloan got aboard or where he went.
SISKO: Can't say I'm surprised. From what we've seen of them, Section
Thirty one is very meticulous in covering their tracks. I had a
conversation with Admiral Ross this afternoon. He and I both agree that
the Romulan conference is too important to cancel.
BASHIR: What about me?
SISKO: Starfleet Command has promised to send the expert on Dominion
biogenic weapons and Ketracel white to the conference. Since that's
you, you go. And we want you to carry out your assignment. Make a few
discreet observations on the Romulan leadership and then wait for Sloan
to contact you again.
BASHIR: Somehow, I don't think giving Sloan any information is a good
SISKO: That was my instinct as well, but after talking to Ross I think
we might have an opportunity here we can turn to our advantage.
Officially, Starfleet Command has said that they are appalled at the
very notion that an organisation like Section Thirty one might exist,
and that they plan to get to the bottom of this entire business.
BASHIR: And unofficially?
SISKO: They have quietly pushed the investigation aside, which means
either they don't take Section Thirty one seriously or someone at
Starfleet Command is protecting them. Either way, we now have a chance
to get someone inside and I think I want to take it.
BASHIR: So you want me to play along, pretend that I've decided to work
for Sloan after all?
SISKO: Exactly. When he contacts you to find out what you learned at
the conference, make it seem like you've reluctantly come around to his
way of thinking. Let him believe that he has seduced you into helping
BASHIR: That shouldn't be too difficult. Sloan thinks I'm already so
tempted that I can barely can see straight. Well, listen, I'd better
packed. The Bellerophon leaves in three hours.
SISKO: One more thing, Doctor. Remember this isn't a game. Section
Thirty one is very dangerous. If Sloan suspects that you are really
working for us.
BASHIR: I understand.
SISKO: Good hunting.
[Bellerophon mess hall]
CRETAK: A glass of Romulan ale, Doctor?
BASHIR: Thank you, Senator.
ROSS: The trading embargo has been officially lifted, if you were
BASHIR: It hadn't crossed my mind, actually.
ROSS: To one of the many benefits of the Alliance.
(Ross drinks and coughs.)
BASHIR: Need a medical team, sir?
ROSS: No, thank you.
CRETAK: Don't tell me this is your first glass of Romulan ale.
ROSS: Well, it was illegal.
CRETAK: That never stopped most of your colleagues.
ROSS: I know. I was probably one of the few officers in the fleet who
didn't indulge occasionally.
CRETAK: Would you like something else?
ROSS: No, no, I'll manage.
BASHIR: That's the spirit, sir. Never say die.
CRETAK: What an odd expression. What does it mean?
SLOAN: It's a line from an old Earth poem. Forgive me for interrupting.
I couldn't help overhearing and etymology is one of my hobbies. The
phrase 'never say die' is originally from a nineteenth century poem
based on Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice.' Now, it's since passed
into the vernacular as an exhortation never to give up, no matter the
SLOAN: Wendell Greer, Assistant Director, UFP Department of
ROSS: It's a pleasure. Admiral William Ross. Senator Cretak.
(Handshakes all round.)
SLOAN: Admiral. Senator.
ROSS: And Doctor Julian Bashir.
SLOAN: Ah. The physician from Deep Space Nine. I was hoping to meet
you. I have so many questions about the Bajoran sector, the
navigational anomalies, the transport patterns. Could you spare a
moment? Unless I'm interrupting?
ROSS: Not at all.
(Bashir and Sloan move to a quiet corner.)
SLOAN: Try to play your cards a little closer to your vest, Doctor.
You're lucky they didn't see that look of shock on your face.
BASHIR: If you've managed to attach yourself to this delegation, why do
you need me?
SLOAN: All in due time. Now you have a lot of work do before we arrive
at Romulus. There's a PADD in your quarters. Read it. I'll join you at
twenty two hundred.
[Bellerophon briefing room]
ROSS: Well, Mister Greer certainly has his ducks in
a row. According to the Department of Cartography, he's been a low
level bureaucrat for almost fifteen years.
BASHIR: That doesn't surprise me he has a solid cover story, sir. But I
think it's too dangerous to allow him to participate in the conference
or even set foot on Romulus. We don't know what he's up to.
ROSS: On the other hand, if we move against him now, we lose any hope
of penetrating Section Thirty one. His access at this conference will
be limited to a few low level briefings and seminars. It shouldn't be
hard keeping tabs on him. If Sloan's here it suggests more important
than a simple intelligence gathering mission. He's up to something and
it's imperative that we know what that something is. We go forward.
(A holographic Romulan identity parade is on-going.)
BASHIR: Neral. Formerly Proconsul and now Praetor of the Romulan Star
Empire. Neral's ascension to the top post was confirmed by the
Continuing Committee a little over a year ago. His immediate family was
killed in a Klingon raid approximately twenty five years ago. His
interests include sociology and archeology. His favourite food is
Delvan pudding and his pet set'leth's name is Pensho.
SLOAN: Very good. Total recall is a useful attribute for an operative.
(Next, the familiar sneering features of
BASHIR: Koval. Chairman of the Tal'Shiar. Section Thirty one believes
that he was involved in the death of Vice Admiral Fujisaki last year,
but there's no proof.
SLOAN: The proof is buried somewhere in Koval's personal database,
which puts it out of our reach for now. But believe me, Doctor, the
Deputy Chief of Starfleet Intelligence doesn't just die of food
poisoning. I have to give him credit though. It was a textbook
operation. No sign of foul play, and certainly no sign of Romulan
involvement. It was very tidy. Koval's political status?
BASHIR: Ambiguous. He hasn't been elevated to the Continuing Committee,
which is usually a given for the head of the Tal'Shiar. His
nomination's probably being held up because of his opposition to the
Federation Alliance, which is supported by the majority on the
SLOAN: Which, in turn, opens the door for your friend, Senator Cretak.
She's an advocate of the alliance and she's been lobbying for this open
seat. There is another rumour about Koval which is not contained in his
file. We've heard he's ill. Something called Tuvan Syndrome.
BASHIR: I'm familiar with it. It's a neurological disease which affects
mainly Romulans, Vulcans and Rigelians. It's degenerative and incurable
SLOAN: If Koval is ill, he'll try to hide it. It's a weakness, and one
that could hamper his chances of being appointed to the Committee.
BASHIR: Is that what I'm here for? A diagnosis? What's the matter
Sloan, doesn't Section Thirty one have its own doctors?
SLOAN: Our physicians weren't genetically enhanced. They need equipment
to make a diagnosis. Equipment that the Romulans won't permit at this
BASHIR: I'm incapable of making a diagnosis by simply looking at a man.
SLOAN: Your genetically enhanced friends determined that Gul Damar
killed a woman just by watching him give a political speech. I'm sure
you can do better than that.
(Koval's image vanishes.)
BASHIR: You're going to make a move against Koval, aren't you? You're
going to find a way to use his illness to keep him off the Committee. I
suppose it would be naive of me to point out that interfering in the
internal affairs of a sovereign power is explicitly forbidden by the
SLOAN: Without confirming or denying your speculation, I will say that
if Koval comes to power, it'll be a disaster for the Federation. He'll
argue for the Romulans to abrogate the alliance and negotiate a
separate peace with the Dominion. And I don't think I need to tell you
what that would do to the course of the war.
BASHIR: You can't justify that by manipulating a
SLOAN: Let's make a deal, doctor. I'll spare you the ends justify the
means speech and you spare me the we must do what's right speech. You
and I are not going to see eye to eye on this subject, so I suggest we
stop discussing it. Our mission is reconnaissance. You're not going to
be called upon to do anything other than that. Now why don't you get
some rest. We'll be in orbit of Romulus by oh six hundred and you will
need to have your wits about you.
(Plants, soft music, buffet tables, dress uniforms
and lots of people. The Romulans are mostly in brown.)
BARMAN: Here you are sir.
KOVAL: Doctor Julian Bashir?
KOVAL: I understand you were the officer who first identified the
biogenic weapon known as the Quickening.
BASHIR: That's right. On Boranis Three, in the Gamma Quadrant. I don't
believe we've been introduced.
BASHIR: Ah. It's a pleasure to meet you.
BASHIR: Well, you've got me there. It's just a simple form of
expression, I suppose.
KOVAL: And like most human expressions, completely devoid of meaning.
Can the Dominion's Quickening virus be replicated?
BASHIR: We've had a little difficulty in recreating the exact RNA
sequence of the virus, which why we've been unable to develop a
vaccine. However, there are alternate methods of making vaccines which
KOVAL: I'm not interested in the vaccine, I'm interested in the virus.
Do you know how to introduce the Quickening into a population?
KOVAL: Good. I look forward to hearing your lecture.
(Koval leaves and Cretak comes over.)
CRETAK: You're going to make a very fine operative, Doctor.
BASHIR: I beg your pardon?
CRETAK: The Chairman of the Tal'Shiar rarely speaks with anyone in
public, much less someone wearing that uniform. Starfleet Intelligence
should recruit you immediately.
BASHIR: What makes you think I'm not working for them already?
CRETAK: Somehow, it wouldn't surprise me if half the people in this
room turned out to be operatives.
BASHIR: You are joking?
CRETAK: It may be impolitic to say this, but there are those who
believe the alliance is merely a momentary truce.
BASHIR: Are you one of them?
CRETAK: I could ask you the same thing.
BASHIR: Well in my case it's a firm no. But you've answered my question
with a question.
CRETAK: I try not to predict the future.
BASHIR: What about Chairman Koval?
CRETAK: You tell me. You just spoke with him. That's more than I've
done in six months.
BASHIR: I take it you two don't get along?
CRETAK: We have different views.
BASHIR: Which are?
CRETAK: State secrets.
[Romulan lecture hall]
(Bashir is giving his lecture with illustrations.)
BASHIR: This is an adult female inhabitant of Boranis Three. The
markings on the face are typical of a humanoid who's been infected by
the disease, but who has not yet entered the terminal stage.
(Koval is in the front row, very interested, and Sloan is two rows
BASHIR: In this next photograph, you can tell by the necrotic nature of
the lesions the patient has indeed entered the terminal stage of the
disease. This is also marked by an increase in leukocyte production.
(At the end of the lecture, Bashir is shaking hands with the
ROMULAN: Thank you, Doctor.
BASHIR: Thank you.
SLOAN: Very enlightening. You almost made it comprehensible.
BASHIR: Next time I'll do the lecture with hand puppets just for you.
STARFLEET 2: Thank you very much.
(The last person leaves the room.)
SLOAN: I'm glad to see you still have your sense of humour. I trust you
noticed who was sitting in the front row.
BASHIR: Yes. He came to see me this morning between sessions. He wanted
to know more about the Quickening. Specifically, if I knew how to
replicate the virus and how to introduce it into a population.
SLOAN: What did you think of his health?
BASHIR: Didn't you hear what I just said?
SLOAN: I heard you. Koval wants to get his hands on the Quickening.
That's not news to me that the head of the Tal'Shiar is interested in
biogenic weapons. Pull your head out of the sand, and take a look
around, Doctor. These are not nice people we're dealing with here. Now
answer my question.
BASHIR: His eyelids were slightly displaced. He had a noticeable
weakness in the facial muscles, possibly the result of compromised
neuromuscular function. And his respiration was somewhat irregular.
SLOAN: Bottom line?
BASHIR: He may have Tuvan Syndrome, but if he does, it's in the very
SLOAN: How long does he have?
BASHIR: If his case fits the profile, he will start experiencing a loss
of motor skills in ten to fifteen years, with a life expectancy in the
twenty to twenty five year range.
SLOAN: Are there any instances in which the disease accelerates without
BASHIR: It happens, but in less than five percent of the cases.
SLOAN: Is there anything that could trigger the acceleration?
BASHIR: You know, I don't know what you're asking me.
SLOAN: Never mind. Thank you, Doctor. You've been very helpful.
[Bellerophon briefing room]
ROSS: This is unbelievable. Let's put aside for the
moment that he's contemplating the murder of a high ranking official.
What in the hell makes him think that the next head of the Tal'Shiar
would be any better than Koval?
BASHIR: Sloan's more concerned with who gets the empty seat on the
Continuing Committee. He's hoping that Cretak gets that.
ROSS: I sort of agree with him there. Cretak, for all her abrasiveness,
is at least a patriot.
BASHIR: What makes her any different from Koval?
ROSS: If you saw the reports from Starfleet Intelligence that I see,
you would never ask that question. Koval would like nothing better than
to see the Romulan banner waving over Earth. Believe me, Doctor.
Chairman Koval is not someone we want at the Praetor's right hand. I'll
have Sloan confined to his quarters immediately, but that may not solve
ROSS: Has it occurred to you that you and Sloan may not be the only
ones here working for Section Thirty one? For all we know, he has a
confederate somewhere in the delegation.
BASHIR: Sloan did say that our mission would be strictly reconnaissance
and that we wouldn't be called upon to do anything else. That could
suggest another operative. Someone whose mission isn't limited to
ROSS: If that's true, it could be anyone. Even a member of the
BASHIR: Or a Romulan.
BASHIR: Sir, I believe Sloan has an accomplice here, on Romulus.
ROSS: What makes you say that?
BASHIR: Two things. First, Sloan has too much information on the inner
workings of their government, too many insights into their political
process. Second, Sloan's plan is to kill Koval while making it appear
to be an accelerated case of Tuvan Syndrome. Now the only way to do
that would be to expose Koval to a short burst of nadion radiation. The
simplest plan would be to manoeuvre him near a phaser relay and
surreptitiously irradiate him. Now since I doubt very much that Sloan
is going to have a chance to do that, it stands to reason someone else
is going to have to.
ROSS: A Romulan.
BASHIR: Exactly. Sir, Sloan may have already got things underway. We
have to warn them.
ROSS: And how am I supposed to explain Section Thirty one to the
Romulans? All hell would break loose if they hear that there's a rogue
Federation agency is running around plotting assassinations. It could
bring the Alliance down. Besides, all we have is speculation at this
ROSS: The answer is no. After I have Sloan arrested, I'll break radio
silence and inform Starfleet Command of the situation. Your orders are
to sit tight and do nothing until you hear from me.
BASHIR: Aye, sir.
[Bellerophon mess hall]
(There are lots of green meanies around the
Intrepid class ship - same as Voyager. Bashir is reading a PADD the
window and overhearing a conversation.)
HICKAM: (man) I don't know. Jepella said she went in to deliver a
report and found him slumped over his desk.
WHEELER: (woman) Do they have any idea what happened?
HICKAM: Doctor Frame said it looked like an aneurysm, but they're still
WHEELER: An aneurysm. I saw the Admiral this morning. He looked fine.
HICKAM: They say that's the way it happens.
BASHIR: Which admiral are you talking about?
HICKAM: Admiral Ross, sir. He collapsed at his desk.
BASHIR: Where is he?
(Sloan is at another table, with a drink and a crewwoman, laughing.)
[Romulan lecture hall]
BASHIR: I can't trust anyone aboard the Bellerophon
and I can't contact DS Nine. For security reasons there's been a
communications blackout. Senator, I have no one else to turn to. I need
CRETAK: To do what?
BASHIR: I have reason to believe that Sloan has an accomplice within
the Romulan government. Someone who's going to help him carry out this
CRETAK: Koval has been saying that there's a traitor in the Senate,
someone working for Starfleet Intelligence
BASHIR: Section Thirty one isn't part of Starfleet Intelligence.
CRETAK: They are Federation citizens working to advance your interests.
That makes them your responsibility.
BASHIR: You're absolutely right. That's why I'm doing everything I can
to stop them. I'm trying to convince Sloan that Koval doesn't have
Tuvan Syndrome. But he may have already asked his accomplice to
proceed. So if we want to be sure to stop this assassination we have to
find Sloan's Romulan accomplice.
CRETAK: And you expect me to find this traitor?
BASHIR: Sloan said something about Koval having a personal database. It
stands to reason that it contains a list of potential suspects. Is
there any possible way you can get me a copy of this database so that I
can run an analysis of
CRETAK: You are asking me to hand over secret documents!
BASHIR: I'm asking you to put aside three centuries of mistrust between
our peoples and help me stop a murder. Senator, if we can't reach out
and bridge the gulf that is between us, if we can't trust each other, a
man will die and we will be partially responsible. I need your help.
SLOAN: You wanted to see me, Doctor?
BASHIR: Yes. I'm not convinced that Koval is suffering from Tuvan
Syndrome. His symptoms could be the result of any number of different
SLOAN: You didn't say that before.
BASHIR: I'm not an expert on Romulan physiology. Most of my knowledge
of Tuvan Syndrome comes from studies done on Vulcan patients.
SLOAN: I thought Vulcans and Romulans were virtually identical.
BASHIR: Yes, but there are some important genetic differences. And the
more I study the available data on Romulan physiology, the less sure I
am that my diagnosis was correct.
SLOAN: How could you find out for sure?
BASHIR: The best way would be to do an examination, but I hardly think
he'll agree to that.
SLOAN: What if you obtained a sample of his skin cells? Could you run
BASHIR: Probably. But how do you propose
SLOAN: We'll treat your palm with a microcellular adhesive. The next
time you shake his hand, you'll get your sample.
BASHIR: All right.
(Everyone is back to normal uniforms now.)
BASHIR: Mister Chairman? What a pleasure to see you again.
(Koval hesitates, then shakes hands.)
BASHIR: I'd be happy to resume our discussion on the Quickening before
this conference is adjourned.
KOVAL: I believe you answered all my questions, Doctor.
BASHIR: Well then, I'm glad to have been able to help.
KOVAL: Doctor. I would like to have a word with you on another matter,
BASHIR: Of course. I believe the lecture hall is empty.
KOVAL: We have other more comfortable facilities available. If you
[Romulan interrogation room]
(This room is not comfortable. It is small with a
single metal chair and two guards.)
KOVAL: Sit down. I can assure you that you will be sitting in that
chair one way or the other, Doctor.
KOVAL: Now we'll have our private talk.
BASHIR: What shall we talk about?
KOVAL: Why you're really on Romulus, who you're working for and, of
course, who's helping you. Don't worry. I won't waste your time with
(A trolley is wheeled over. Bashir's hands are fastened behind him and
a guard places blinkies on his temples, after hitting him.)
KOVAL: This can be painful or not. That's up to you, Doctor. Either
way, I will know what you know.
(Time has passed and Bashir is exhausted. Koval returns.)
KOVAL: It appears that your brain's neurocellular structure is not
susceptible to our scanning techniques, evidently a result of the
genetic enhancements made to your parietal cortex.
KOVAL: I do have other methods at my disposal, but it would save
everyone a great deal of trouble if you would simply tell me what I
want to know.
BASHIR: You haven't asked me any questions yet.
KOVAL: I think you know what I'm interested in. Who are you working
for? Why are you here? Bring him.
(A curved table, and Cretak sitting alone facing
it. Bashir is brought in and sat down behind her. Koval sits at the
very back of the room.)
NERAL: Doctor Julian Bashir, you are appearing before the Continuing
Committee of the Romulan People. Any statements will be made part of
the official record. Senator Cretak is charged with attempting to
access a Tal'Shiar database without proper authorisation. The Senator
has told the Committee a remarkable story. Since you're a key figure in
her story, we are most eager to hear your version of the events.
BASHIR: What I am about to say may be shocking. It may even damage the
relations between our two peoples, but it's the truth. A few days ago,
I became aware of a plot to assassinate Chairman Koval. It was
conceived of by a man known to me only as Sloan. He works for an
organisation called Section Thirty one. They see themselves as
protecting the interests of the Federation, although they have
absolutely no official standing. Once I realised what Sloan was
attempting to do, I contacted Senator Cretak in order to enlist her aid
in stopping him.
NERAL: Why her?
BASHIR: I had no one else to turn to. I was unable to contact Deep
Space Nine and I couldn't trust anyone aboard the Bellerophon.
NERAL: But you felt that you could trust a Romulan Senator?
BASHIR: Yes. For all our differences, I do respect her.
BASHIR: For reasons that are extremely complicated, I came to believe
that there's a traitor in your government working for Section Thirty
one. I asked the Senator to obtain the database so that we could expose
this person and prevent the assassination.
NERAL: Senator Cretak, why didn't you come to me with this information?
CRETAK: I was afraid that if word of this plot got out, it would
destroy the Alliance. I decided to keep my own counsel. I regret that
NERAL: As well you should, Kimara.
KOVAL: It's an interesting story. But it's not the whole story. if I
may be permitted to bring in another witness? Bring in prisoner five
(Sloan is hauled in, bloodied and bruised.)
KOVAL: Praetor, this is the man known as Sloan. Unlike the Doctor, his
mind is quite susceptible to our data retrieval methods. Under
questioning, he has confirmed much of what the Doctor and the Senator
have told you, with one important exception. There is no Section Thirty
one. Sloan, in fact, works for Starfleet Intelligence. Far from being
the master of a rogue agency, he is simply one of many operatives in
the employ of the Federation. He's had a long career, most of which is
still unknown to us. However, there is one interesting element that we
do know. He was the
protégé of the late Vice Admiral Fujisaki. Sloan did not take the death
of his mentor well. He came to believe he was murdered by the
Tal'Shiar. In his eyes, the assassination of a Starfleet admiral was
stepping over the line. Isn't that the phrase? After Fujisaki's death,
he was confronted with a dilemma. How could he seek vengeance without
violating the Federation laws? His answer was to invent Section Thirty
one, a rogue organisation that answered to no one.
If they killed the head of the Tal'Shiar, Starfleet Intelligence would
be held blameless. As the Committee knows, I have been diagnosed with
Tuvan Syndrome. Sloan became aware of my condition and hoped to make my
death look like a sudden acceleration of the disease. To do that, he
needed a doctor. Sloan arranged to recruit Doctor Bashir into Section
Thirty one. After that, Sloan bided his time, and waited for an
opportunity to present itself. He found one when he learned of this
conference. He then arranged for Bashir to be invited. Everything was
going perfectly, but then he made a fatal mistake. He decided to come
to Romulus himself. He was unaware that his identity had become known
to us. Once we recognised him in the delegation, we knew immediately
that an intelligence operation was underway. What I don't understand is
why? Why did you come here and take the risk of being discovered?
SLOAN: I had to make sure nothing went wrong. And I wanted to watch you
KOVAL: You broke the cardinal rule of our profession. You allowed
business to become personal.
NERAL: So there was an assassination plan?
KOVAL: Most definitely. As to the involvement of the Doctor and the
Senator, Doctor Bashir may have intended to kill me, or he may have
intended to save me. There is no way to know for certain. As for
Senator Cretak, we all know she's an ambitious woman. It is entirely
possible she would welcome my death, especially if it meant her being
elevated to the Continuing Committee in my place.
CRETAK: That is a lie, Koval. I was trying to save your life.
KOVAL: Then you're simply a fool. You let a Starfleet Intelligence
officer manipulate you into committing an act of treason.
NERAL: It is the finding of this Committee that Senator Cretak has
conspired to commit treason against the State. Sentence to be
determined at a later date. Doctor Bashir will be returned to the
Bellerophon. Mister Sloan is remanded to the custody of the Tal'Shiar
for further interrogation.
(Sloan grabs a weapon from his guard, and Koval vapourises him.)
[Bellerophon briefing room]
(Spotted the Voyager numbers as the Bellerophon
sailed through space? Bashir has been struck by a thought in his
quarters and gone to see Ross.)
ROSS: Come in.
BASHIR: Feeling better, sir?
ROSS: Much. Doctor Frame tells me that I should take it easy for a few
days, but paperwork waits for no man. What can I do for you?
BASHIR: I have a question. Where's Sloan?
ROSS: Sloan's dead.
BASHIR: Admiral, where's Sloan?
ROSS: If we're going to have this discussion, then it's off the record.
(They put their comm. badges on the table.)
ROSS: Before I answer your question, answer mine. How did you know?
BASHIR: The man Koval described was not the same man who recruited me
into Section Thirty one. Anyone clever enough to pull the wool so
completely over my eyes wouldn't have been caught by the Romulans so
easily. There had to be another explanation. And then I remembered that
you were the one who planted the idea in my head that Sloan had an
accomplice. You were the one who didn't want to tell the Romulans that
there was an assassination plot. You were the one who issued the orders
preventing me from contacting Deep Space Nine. And when the time came
to arrest Sloan, you conveniently had an aneurysm, leaving me alone
with no one to turn to anyone for help except Cretak. And as I realised
your involvement, the rest began to fall into place. Where is he?
ROSS: I don't know.
BASHIR: But he's alive, isn't he?
ROSS: He was supposed to be beamed away a split second before the
phaser beam hit him. Whether it worked or not, I couldn't say.
BASHIR: How long has Koval been working for Starfleet?
ROSS: He's been providing the Federation with critical military
intelligence for over a year. When he started working with Section
Thirty one I don't know.
BASHIR: But in any case, we have our mole, working for us at the top
levels of Romulan government. Good for us. And what about your friend
Senator Cretak? What's going to happen to her?
ROSS: Dismissed from the Senate, definitely. Imprisoned, most likely.
ROSS: I hope not.
BASHIR: You set her up! She was an innocent woman and you let Sloan
destroy her! Why? She believed in the Alliance. She was on our side.
ROSS: No, she wasn't. I told you before, Julian, she's a patriot. Which
means if it served the interests of the Romulans to negotiate a
separate peace with the Dominion, Cretak would push that option. And
believe me, the Dominion would like nothing better than to make a deal
with the Romulans right now.
BASHIR: So Koval becomes your guarantee that that does not happen. As a
man who was nearly killed for his anti-Federation activities, his
recommendation to stay in the war becomes all the more convincing.
ROSS: That's the general idea.
BASHIR: And how long have you worked for Section Thirty One?
ROSS: I don't.
BASHIR: Oh. Just a temporary alliance, is it?
ROSS: Something like that.
BASHIR: You don't see anything wrong with what happened, do you.
ROSS: I don't like it. But I've spent the last year and a half of my
life ordering young men and young women to die. I like that even less.
BASHIR: That's a glib answer and a cheap way to avoid the fact that
you've trampled on the very thing that those men and women are out
there dying to protect! Does that not mean anything to you?
ROSS: Inter arma enim silent leges.
BASHIR: In time of war, the law falls silent. Cicero. So is that what
we have become? A twenty fourth century Rome driven by nothing more
than the certainty that Caesar can do no wrong!
ROSS: This conversation never happened.
(Ross puts his comm. badge back on.)
ROSS: You're dismissed.
(Bashir wakes to see -)
SLOAN: Good evening.
BASHIR: Are you expecting applause? Have you come to take a bow?
SLOAN: I just wanted to say thank you.
BASHIR: For what? Allowing you to manipulate me so completely?
SLOAN: For being a decent human being. That's why we selected you in
the first place, Doctor. We needed somebody who wanted to play the
game, but who would only go so far. When the time came, you stood your
ground. You did the right thing. You reached out to an enemy, you told
her the truth, you tried to stop a murder. The Federation needs men
like you, Doctor. Men of conscience, men of principle, men who can
sleep at night. You're also the reason Section Thirty one exists.
Someone has to protect men like you from a universe that doesn't share
your sense of right and wrong.
BASHIR: Should I feel sorry for you? Should I be weeping over the
burden you're forced to carry in order to protect the rest of us?
SLOAN: It is an honour to know you, Doctor. Goodnight.
BASHIR: Bashir to Security.
ODO [OC]: Odo here.
BASHIR: Never mind. My mistake.