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The work done below was at once fascinating for him and horrifying. Watching an entire being be reassembled, from the cellular level up, was never a sight that sat well with him. But he owed this person that, especially since he was about to put them through hell.

"He's cute. In a homey, boyish way." She came up beside him, the spots down her neck seemingly glowing. "Is he the replacement?"

"How do you know it's a he?"

She smirked. "Womanly intuition."

"Maybe you're just too familiar with male anatomy." He glanced at her, catching her withering glare. "Or maybe it's the scientist in you talking."

Her face relaxed as she shook her head, turning her attention back to the person below them. "You sure we even need a replacement?"

Here we go. They'd had this argument before - she was the senior most agent under his command - and she was sure they didn't need anyone else. Her confidence in her team, in their mission, and in what they were tasked to do was always high. "Jadzia, we need a replacement. We work as a team and, right now, we're down a member."

She frowned, her eyes playing across the sight below. The nerves were now being rebuilt, one by one, a tapestry of organic wiring. "Is it the wisest idea?" She made an effort to look at him, her blue eyes drilling into his face. "I read the profile on this one. He killed himself."

"Not exactly and you know that." He jutted one of his dark fingers at her. "He took an action that required sacrificing himself for the greater good. That's a hell of a lot better way to go than some of the things I've seen."

Pain flashed in her eyes. It was a less than gentle reminder of her own "death" but he wasn't here to be gentle. "He's unstable," she countered, playfulness absent from her tone. "He had his life shattered before his eyes a day before he died." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "We're pressed for time, Phillip."

He cracked his knuckles, a bad habit picked up centuries ago that he just couldn't lick. "I know." He took a deep breath. "I know."

"Are we even going to have time to train him?"

"Not traditionally."

She leaned her head back a little at that, surprise playing across her face. "You're going to build him back with the knowledge in him?"

He took another breath. "Yes."

Her eyes lit up. "You can't! That's too risky, far too risky -"

"Our resident Borg has figured out a way to do it."

She stared at him. "And you're going to do it? He's not right all the time, you know."

He smirked. "Not all the time; just when it counts." He looked back at the body below. "We're desperate, Jadzia. No time for half-hearted efforts." He turned back to her, his eyes hard. "Sometimes the wisest course of action is the most radical."


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