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ACT TWO

 

FADE IN:

 

8 INT. DS9 - WARD ROOM

 

RO sits centred at the conference table, looking out at the space beyond the windows, worried but professional. She taps a control on the padd before her on the table...

 

RO
Commander Ro Laren, commanding
officer Deep Space Nine, stardate
58963-point-2. This log serves
as the official record of this legal
proceeding, between Lieutenant
Commander Julian Bashir, chief
medical officer Deep Space Nine -

 

She looks to her left, where BASHIR sits at one end of the table... then to her right, where TENMEI sits at the other.

 

RO
(continuing)
- and Lieutenant Prynn Tenmei,
senior pilot Deep Space Nine
and USS Defiant.

 

She looks back out of the windows, daunted by the prospect. Despite the emotions involved, she has to keep this tight.

 

RO
The subject of this proceeding is
Captain Elias A Vaughn, formerly
of the USS James T Kirk, and the
continuation or otherwise of his
medical support following extreme
injury in the field.
(beat)
Before we begin, let me say that
I intend for this to be a relatively
informal process, but I will not
let it fall into chaos. Emotions
are bound to be high, but please
don’t let them get out of control.
(beat)
Alright, enough jabber. Doctor
Bashir, please present your
opening statement.

 

Bashir takes a deep breath, maintains professionalism... but can’t quite look Tenmei in the eye. Tenmei, on the other hand, cannot take her dagger glare off Bashir.

 

BASHIR
Thank you, Commander. As Captain
Vaughn’s physician, any decisions
regarding his medical status are
my responsibility. However, those
decisions have been blocked by
Lieutenant Tenmei. While I respect
and acknowledge the lieutenant’s
depth of feeling, I ask the court
to reaffirm my authority in all
medical matters on this station.

RO
Lieutenant, your statement please.

 

Tenmei also remains calm, but her choice of words is deliberate and pointed.

 

TENMEI
I acknowledge Doctor Bashir’s
medical authority. I do not,
however, acknowledge the Doctor’s
implied claim that he knows my
father’s interests better than his
daughter does. As Captain Vaughn’s
next of kin, end of life decisions
are mine to make, and I do not
intend to give up that power.

 

The tension in the room is clear, but Ro carries on...

 

RO
Thank you both. Now, I have asked
Lieutenant Commander Evik Nath
to provide some legal background.
(taps combadge)
Mister Evik, we’re ready for you.

 

A moment, then the door opens and EVIK enters. Ro directs him to the seat across the table from her. He sits.

 

EVIK
Thank you, Commander. A founding
principle of the Federation is that
each member world be free to
govern its citizens however it
sees fit. Beyond certain obvious
exceptions - murder, for example
- the Federation prefers not to
regulate its members too closely.

RO
So what effect does that have on
this case?

EVIK
Uncertain. My research has found a
roughly equal number of worlds who
would favour the medical officer’s
authority in this situation, to those
who would favour the next of kin’s.
Therefore, we cannot rely on legal
prevalence or precedence to decide
this case for us.

RO
Understood, thank you, Commander.
Please remain, if you don’t mind.

EVIK
Of course.

RO
My first question is to ascertain
the accuracy of Doctor Bashir’s
prognosis. Doctor, it’s correct that
you were actually the second
medical officer to examine Captain
Vaughn and declare him brain dead?

BASHIR
That’s correct. The first was Doctor
Ibelna of the USS Venture.

RO
Plus we have after-action reports
from Commander Rogeiro, Lieutenant
Magrone, and Nurse Ni-Jalikreii, all
of the USS James T Kirk. Are those
reports consistent with your and
Doctor Ibelna’s findings?

BASHIR
Yes. They describe a catastrophic
injury that resulted in complete
lack of brain activity...

 

Bashir and Ro continue to speak MOS, but we focus on TENMEI as she observes...

 

TENMEI (v.o.)
And then I had to sit there for
what felt like hours...
(more...)

 

9 INT. DS9 - TENMEI’S QUARTERS - LIVING ROOM

 

Tenmei sits in the armchair in her quarters...

 

TENMEI
(continuing)
...while Ro and Bashir wrote my
father off as not worth saving.

 

CANDLEWOOD passes her a pink frothy drink from the tray he has just carried from the replicator. He passes another to NOG (sat in another chair), a third to HETIK on the sofa, then settles in next to Hetik with his own. Over this:

 

CANDLEWOOD
I seriously doubt that’s what they
were doing, Prynn. You know Bashir
would do anything if he could.

 

Prynn goes to sip from her drink, but pauses...

 

TENMEI
This isn’t going to explode in my
face again, is it?

CANDLEWOOD
No exploding drinks tonight. I
am capable of reading the room,
believe it or not. Occasionally.

HETIK
It’s been at least two weeks since
I was last publicly humiliated.

CANDLEWOOD
You know what that is? Growth.

 

Candlewood CHINKS his drink to Hetik’s. Tenmei sips hers.

 

NOG
So what did you say?

TENMEI
I didn’t, really. I asked for a
recess. We start again tomorrow
morning. Look, you guys are my
friends, okay? So give me some
advice. Nog, what would you do?

NOG
Honestly, I’m not sure. But I can
tell you that on Ferenginar, it
would be all down to the money.

CANDLEWOOD
I’m stunned.

NOG
If you can afford the treatment,
then you get the treatment, no
matter how pointless it is. And
if you can’t afford it...

HETIK
That’s kinda heartless.

NOG
But that’s the point. Making it
all about money is the only way
to take your emotions out of it.

CANDLEWOOD
Jewish law forbids a doctor from
doing anything to hasten anyone’s
death. But... you also shouldn’t
forcibly extend their life. It’s
only God’s place to give or take
a life, not man’s.

HETIK
I don’t know that there’s any one
specifically Bajoran perspective
on it. Bajorans will happily give
their life for a cause - we know
we’ll walk with the Prophets. But
that’s not really what this is.

TENMEI
Yeah well, my dad didn’t believe
in God or the Prophets. There’s
no particular religious or cultural
tradition I should be sticking to
on his behalf. It’s down to me.

 

Off Tenmei’s uncertainty...

 

10 INT. DS9 - COUNSELLOR’S OFFICE

 

...to Bashir sat in Counsellor Matthias’ guest chair. She is looking a little tired - it has been a long day.

 

BASHIR
...and so she’s sitting there
looking at me like I’m trying to
actively kill her father. Which is
probably exactly how she sees it.

MATTHIAS
Do you think she’s right?

BASHIR
The Borg killed him, not me.

MATTHIAS
This can’t be the first time you
faced a situation like this. How
did you handle it in the past?

BASHIR
Well... a doctor will always try
to work with the patient’s family,
help them to understand what’s
in the patient’s best interest. But
Prynn... she’s just not listening.

MATTHIAS
And how does that make you feel?

BASHIR
You’re suggesting I’m digging my
heels in out of pique? I promise
you that’s not it, Counsellor. I
don’t feel any guilt about my role
in this - that’s not why I’m here.

MATTHIAS
Then why are you?

BASHIR
I suppose because I have no-one
else to talk to about it. I can’t go
to Commander Ro, I can’t put her
in that position when she has to
remain neutral.

MATTHIAS
So you feel like it’s just you
against Lieutenant Tenmei.

BASHIR
I understand what she must be
going through. And I’ve tried to
convince her with all the logical
arguments I can come up with -

MATTHIAS
Is death really a matter of
logic, Doctor?

 

Bashir stops to think about that...

 

CUT TO another session, as Vulcan male SANEK sits primly in the guest seat. A civilian, over a hundred years old, grey-haired, perfectly calm and unemotional as any Vulcan.

 

SANEK
It was not logical.

MATTHIAS
I’ve spoken to many people who
feel the same way, Mister Sanek.
The loss of life is tough to grasp,
not just for a Vulcan -

SANEK
You misunderstand me, Counsellor.
The Borg’s invasion of Federation
space was not logical because it
makes no sense for the Borg to
behave in such a manner.

MATTHIAS
...I’m not sure I understand.

SANEK
They achieved what Vulcans sought
for millennia, and to a degree no
Vulcan ever has - the perfect
mastery of logic over emotion.

MATTHIAS
It sounds as if you admired them.

SANEK
(flash of resentment)
I did. Until they violated that
with an impulsive act of revenge
against the Federation. Revenge
is not logical. It disgusts me.

 

Matthias is getting worried - Sanek’s emotional control is slipping, and the Vulcan’s violent core is showing...

 

MATTHIAS
Mister Sanek... the Borg were an
enemy of the Federation.

SANEK
Of course. That is only natural.
We deserved their enmity for our
insistence on denying their logic.

MATTHIAS
Sixty-three billion people...
deserved... to die?

 

Sanek shoots to his feet - Matthias flinches back.

 

SANEK
You misunderstand again. It is...
intensely frustrating.

MATTHIAS
Then what? You’re upset because
billions of people died... for the
wrong reasons?

SANEK
(shouts)
Yes! The Borg betrayed their own
logical mandate by invading us.

MATTHIAS
You feel betrayed... by the Borg.

SANEK
(sneer)
I trusted them. And yet in the
end... they were just as emotional
as any human.

 

The disgust in his voice is leaving Matthias on the verge of tears...

 

FADE OUT

 

END OF ACT TWO



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