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ACT ONE

 

FADE IN:

 

4 EXT. GOVENTU FIVE - SURFACE - DAY

 

A day or so later, and a temporary shelter has been built around the crashed Jem’Hadar ship. It has been constructed securely on the precarious mountainside, standing on sturdy stilts with no concern for environmental preservation. The Breen’s need is more pressing than such irrelevancies.

 

5 INT. GOVENTU FIVE LABORATORY

 

A HATCH in the floor retracts sideways, revealing Thot Trok climbing up a ladder into the main body of the laboratory.

The moment he has emerged, automated WEAPONS emplacements target him. He is not concerned - this is just the standard procedure. A SCANNER casts a beam over his suit, reading his ident chip, then a positive BEEP and the weapons relax.

Trok moves on, looking up at the interior of the hastily built shelter. The dead Jem’Hadar ship is still stuck in the side of the mountain, the shelter built around it to provide cover for the dozens of suited BREEN EXTRAS who work to excavate it. Trok nods with satisfaction.

At one side of the shelter is the actual laboratory part, with temporary computers set up in the Breen style as seen on Salavat. The various screens show SCHEMATICS - of the Jem’Hadar ship itself, of the prototype that was built at Salavat, of more Jem’Hadar ships in flight and the fields that protect them. Trok’s deputy Sar turns at his approach.

 

TROP SAR
Thot Trok. Welcome back.

THOT TROK
Thank you, Trop Sar. Though I must
say that I am not yet accustomed
to being referred to as Thot. The
promotion felt... premature. But
here I am, and I will solve this
puzzle. Progress has been made?

TROP SAR
The excavation is proceeding. But
I can report right now that this
ship will never fly again.

THOT TROK
It doesn’t need to, Sar. But it is
a trove of research opportunities.

TROP SAR
I don’t understand. How could a
Jem’Hadar fighter be of use to us?

THOT TROK
It occurred to me during my work
on Salavat that I knew of two
space-faring nations whose ships
seemed unusually agile in flight.
That suggested they possess some
formidable structural integrity
technology. Those nations were
the Dominion and the Tzenkethi.

TROP SAR
Of the two, surely the Tzenkethi
would be the more accessible. We
are already partners in the Pact,
we could have simply installed
slipstream on their vessels.

THOT TROK
The contours of Tzenkethi harriers
are incompatible with slipstream.
It would never work. That leaves
the Dominion. But with all contact
forbidden, and the Federation in
control of the only path to their
space, my ideas remained theory...
until a Breen military patrol
discovered this vessel right here
on Goventu Five. Presumably it
crashed during our brief alliance
with them during the war. So now,
at last, I have a chance to study
their deflector technology up
close, and adapt it...

TROP SAR
(getting it now)
...allowing us to build our own
slipstream vessels without need
of the Federation’s stolen plans.

THOT TROK
Exactly. And that day is coming
soon, Sar. Soon, you and I... all
these men here on this mountain
top... we will ensure the rise of
the Breen Confederacy.

 

Trok and Sar gaze over the half-excavated ship, excited by the possibilities it represents.

 

6 EXT. ROMULUS - CAPITAL CITY - DAY

 

The cityscape of Romulus’s capital city. CLOSE IN on the grand senate building...

 

7 INT. PRAETOR’S CHAMBER

 

Praetor KAMEMOR, the mature woman leader of the Romulan Star Empire, stands gazing out of the window, at the view of the city beyond. Once again her throne goes unused.

 

KAMEMOR
I suspect not all of our allies will
support this proposal. Indeed
some will protest quite loudly.

 

Her advisor Ventel, back from Typhon 1, stands elsewhere in the room, watching his Praetor with concern.

 

VENTEL
The Tholian Assembly may consider
it an attempt to undermine their
own accomplishments.

KAMEMOR
Oh, no doubt. But it is necessary.
Something must be done to restore
balance in the region before our
allies throw it off altogether.

VENTEL
I’m just concerned that this plan,
rather than calming tensions, will
only enflame them all the more.

 

Kamemor turns to look across the room at Ventel. She trusts him, in fact he is one of the few she does trust. And he means no harm. But she is in a difficult position here.

 

KAMEMOR
Then what do you propose instead,
Ventel? The Empire seceding from
the Typhon Pact altogether?

VENTEL
That is one option. Without the
Star Empire, the remaining nations
likely wouldn’t have the firepower
to win in any conflict against the
Federation and its allies... and
the peace would be preserved.

KAMEMOR
If I thought that would work, I’d
take it to the Senate today. But
just because a weakened Pact might
not attack the Accords, doesn’t
mean they wouldn’t turn on us.

VENTEL
(nodding along)
And we would likely not survive
any attack by five against one.

 

Kamemor approaches her friend, willing to admit to him what she could never admit out loud to anyone else.

 

KAMEMOR
Our allies scare me, Ventel. The
Breen infiltrating that shipyard.
The Tholians fomenting Andorian
secession. And now the Tzenkethi
harrying colonies filled with
already terrorised survivors?

VENTEL
(devil’s advocate)
Both sides are culpable to some
degree. The Federation’s creation
of superior propulsion technology
only fuelled our fears of a first
strike. Their use of it against the
Breen’s prototype at Salavat,
however justified, hardly helped.

KAMEMOR
So the galaxy remains a seething
cauldron of fear and paranoia?
Something must be done, Ventel.

VENTEL
I agree, Madam Praetor. But are
you sure this is it?

KAMEMOR
Sure? No... I am not sure. But it
is the only thing I can think of
that has a chance of working. Go
ahead, Ventel... find Ambassador
Spock, and bring him here to me.

 

Ventel half-bows in deference, and leaves the room. Kamemor goes back to staring out of the window at her world...

 

8 EXT. SPACE - BOSLIC HOMEWORLD

 

A beautiful blue-green world, with some traffic in orbit...

 

9 EXT. BOSLIC HOMEWORLD - SURFACE - DAY

 

A stunning vista, beautiful hills and trees and rivers. An imposing structure, made of gleaming marble and transparent glass, stands overlooking the valley, almost like a Greek temple, yet perfectly at harmony with its surroundings.

 

10 INT. BOSLIC TEMPLE - CORRIDOR - DAY

 

President BACCO stands looking out from between two giant marble columns at the view of the valley beyond. She is simply stunned and enchanted by the natural beauty of it.

 

BACCO
Well, I’ll tell you one thing for
sure. If this is a trap, then at
least we’re going out in style.
God but this place is beautiful.

PIÑIERO (o.s.)
It’s not a trap, Madam President.

 

Bacco turns from the view to look at her chief of staff, old friend and closest confidante, PIÑIERO. They stand in a wide marble passageway open to the valley on one side.

 

BACCO
(shrug)
Doesn’t matter anyway. If we’ve
been duped, if this is all a ruse
to assassinate me, then it’s too
late to turn back now.

PIÑIERO
Ma’am... please don’t joke about
that. Besides, I very much doubt
Ambassador Spock would come
all the way from Romulus, where
he’s spent the last decade and a
half, just to give you a message
if he didn’t believe it was genuine.

BACCO
For what it’s worth I agree with
you. Kamemor practically pleaded
for this summit. She wouldn’t do
that just to start a war. Anyway,
can’t be dawdling about here all
day - they’ll be waiting for us.

 

Bacco strides off down the corridor like a president, and Piñiero follows with a long-suffering sigh. Two of the black-clad special security tail at a discreet distance.

 

PIÑIERO
Maybe it is too late for us to
avoid a trap... but at least I
won’t be the target.

BACCO
Nonsense. You play an absolutely
pivotal role in our government,
Esperanza. I’ll make sure the
Typhon Pact knows that.

PIÑIERO
Thank you, Madam President.
You’re too kind.

 

As they approach the end of the corridor, a large marble slab SLIDES aside with a smooth RUMBLE. Bacco and Piñiero step through it into...

 

11 INT. BOSLIC TEMPLE - GRAND ASSEMBLY CHAMBER - DAY

 

As the marble slab slides closed again, separating Bacco from her security detail, both her and Piñiero’s jaws drop.

 

PIÑIERO
Wow...

BACCO
Wow is right. Maybe we ought to
take a field trip next time the
Federation Council is in session.

 

Bacco and Piñiero have emerged onto the upper level of a magnificent AMPHITHEATRE, marble steps leading down to a lower level where a large round TABLE rests. Half the room is built much like the corridor, with imposing columns.

But the other half is transparent, revealing the incredible view, making it look as if the room is open to the elements even while being perfectly safe from attack. To one side a sparkling WATERFALL creates a haze of vapour as the water tumbles down into the valley below. It’s just spectacular.

As Bacco and Piñiero gawp at this, five faces look back up at them from the table. Sat on one side are Castellan GARAN of Cardassia - iron-haired and iron-willed, the Cardassian version of Bacco herself - and Grand Nagus ROM of the Ferengi, looking a little lost in his full nagal regalia.

 

ROM
Uh... hi.

 

Sitting opposite them are two other figures - Domo BREX of the Breen in his uniquely designed suit (last seen 14x04 “Zero Sum Game”), and Imperator SOZZEROZS of the Gorn, a reptilian king with an actual crown on his scaly head.

And the fifth stands beside the table, a regal BOSLIC woman with long and flowing cherry-red hair. Her name is KORTAJ.

 

BACCO
(sotto)
Wish me luck.

PIÑIERO
I wish us all luck.

 

While Piñiero takes a seat on the upper level, beside what we can assume are her alien counterparts, Bacco descends the steps to the table. Kortaj smiles warmly to greet her.

 

KORTAJ
President Bacco, I am Triumvir
Kortaj. On behalf of the Boslic
people, I welcome you to our
world, to our capital, and to
our Grand Assembly Chamber.

BACCO
Thank you, Triumvir Kortaj. On
behalf of the government and the
people of the Federation, I must
thank you for your generosity
in agreeing to host this summit
for us all in neutral territory.

 

Kortaj gestures to the others at the table...

 

KORTAJ
I’m sure you will recognise your
fellow premiers - Castellan Garan,
Grand Nagus Rom, Domo Brex
and Imperator Sozzerozs.

 

Bacco nods greetings to each in turn as Kortaj gestures to them - they nod their own acknowledgements back.

 

KORTAJ
I thought I’d wait until all of
you are present before I -

 

But Kortaj interrupts herself as she sees that Bacco’s eyes have already been drawn elsewhere - up to the higher level opposite the one she herself entered. Kortaj turns...

...and KAMEMOR stands there, in austere Romulan robes, with her own adjutant behind her - not Ventel but TOMALAK, well known from TNG but last seen DS9 14x02 “Poker Face”. It’s unclear how long they have been there, silently observing.

 

KORTAJ
Praetor Kamemor, we welcome you
to Boslic.

 

BANG - a sharp retort like a gun going off, sound echoing around the marble chamber. Everyone turns the other way...

...and Chancellor MARTOK is there, having just entered the same door Bacco did and slammed his thick, gnarly wooden walking staff on the marble floor to get attention. He bares his sharpened teeth, sneering across at Kamemor...

 

MARTOK
Peace... or war. Let’s make up our
minds, shall we?

 

Martok grins through his fangs. Kamemor stares back coolly, giving nothing away. And Bacco is caught between them, wary but determined. This could be their only chance...

 

BLACK OUT

 

END OF ACT ONE



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