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Chapter Twelve


Commander’s log, supplemental entry: The Defiant is on course at Warp 9 back to Cardassia. The Code 7 that Captain Limis sent out means that she is being coerced into helping her captors. We may be headed into an ambush, and I have contacted the provisional government for more information.

Garak appeared on the viewscreen of the Defiant’s bridge with Vaughn briefing him on the recent development. Vaughn had explained that Limis sent out a code that meant her captors were forcing her cooperation in a major strike they were planning. “We were hoping you or someone in the provisional government could shed some light on this,” he finished.

“You think very highly of our factionalized government,” Garak replied. “The Intelligence Bureau operates on its own, accountable to no one. They rarely listen even to former members of the Obsidian Order.”

Bashir stood next to the command chair to offer his persuasive skills when dealing with Garak. “Garak, any information you have could be helpful.”

“It’s possible, my dear doctor,” Garak said with a sigh. “This is only a rumor based on information from one of our sources. He is not entirely up to speed because of his support of the Reunion Project. Because the Bureau would welcome Ghemor’s assassination, this gentleman has very little need to know.”

“The repercussions if that ‘rumor’ is true,” Bashir offered, “would be disastrous. The Ghemor name is revered on Cardassia.”

“You make him sound like a messiah, Doctor. He is merely the embodiment of a people disillusioned with war and aggression. The Dominion War was, as you Terrans say, the final straw. Nevertheless, we will look into this.”

The image of Garak on the screen was replaced by the UFP seal. Bashir then looked over to Vaughn. “Sir, it’s possible the True Way is using Captain Limis in their assassination plans.”

Vaughn raised an eyebrow.

“Think about it,” Bashir continued, “an ex-Maquis involved in an assassination of Ghemor could turn the populace against the Federation.”

“And if we’re being lured into an ambush,” Vaughn added, “they’d appear to be acting in self defense.” Looking over to the helm, he ordered a course change. “Helm, increase speed to Warp 9.6. I don’t care what the dangers are. Change course to the far side of Cardassia Prime’s first moon.”


At about the same time he was in communication with the Defiant, Garak received a priority message from the shuttle carrying the Lambda Paz crew. The rumors of an assassination attempt were true. He was on his way to warn Ghemor that one of his own personal guards was going to kill him.

Corak, the guard on his left, stopped Garak before he could walk through the door to Ghemor’s office. “You cannot go in there,” the guard stated. “He’s in a very important meeting.”

Odd that one of the guards would deny entry to Ghemor’s chief of staff. Garak nodded at Daro on his right. “What I have to tell him is more important,” he said to the guard in front of him.

“He really can’t be disturbed,” Corak responded. He pulled out his phaser, shot Daro, and then shot Garak. The guard then pushed a button on the wall panel to lock the door.


The Defiant quickly dropped out of warp, as it got closer to the runaway Cardassian shuttle. Once it slowed to impulse, Vaughn signaled for Rashid to beam the Lambda Paz crewmembers aboard. Once that was done, the Defiant streaked back into warp.

The senior staff then convened at the situation area at the aft of the bridge. “This is the plan,” Vaughn announced. “We will enter orbit on the far side of the first moon of Cardassia Prime. Once there, we’ll launch two shuttles. I’ll lead Team 1 to the True Way encampment. Dax, you and the MACO’s will try to get Ghemor out of danger.”

Fitzpatrick wondered what might go wrong. The True Way knew the Defiant was in orbit despite trying to keep the mission secret. They could even see through the cloak. Someone had to be tipping the enemy off. He looked at Bashir saying, “Recommend you don’t let… him have free reign of the ship.”

Bashir let out an annoyed sigh. “We’ve been over this,” he said. “I am not Hamri al-Assad.”

“The fact that you vehemently defend the man suggests you could be him,” Fitzpatrick stated. “You were a terrorist once. You probably sympathize with these people.”

“Don’t make me throw my chief of security in the brig,” Vaughn warned.

“Fine,” Fitzpatrick relented. He then gave Bashir a stern look. “But I’m not letting you out of my sight.”

“What is this about, anyway?” Rashid whispered to Bashir. “Neeley says he has trust issues, but he doesn’t suspect me of anything.”

“Because you don’t resemble a notorious 21st Century terrorist,” Bashir suggested, “and because you’re not genetically engineered.”

“We’re in orbit, Commander,” Tenmei reported from the helm.

Vaughn sauntered over to the helm for a quick heart-to-heart with his daughter. “You’re in command, Prynn,” he said. “If you don’t hear from us in twelve hours, return to DS9.”

“You can’t be serious,” Prynn replied. “I may have given you the silent treatment since you came aboard, but I can’t ask you to do this.”

“As a Starfleet officer, you have an obligation to carry out my orders. Hopefully that is not an order you’ll have to follow.”

Prynn vacated her station. She took a momentary look at the command chair to take in the rare opportunity of command. She sat down and smiled, forgetting she may have seen her father for the last time.


Corak met with a freight deliverer in the main cargo bay. Torim showed Corak a briefcase containing the weapon Revok wanted used on Ghemor. Torim placed it on a cargo container and opened it. “It’s been specially designed to avoid triggering the security alarm,” he said.

“Good,” said Corak. He grabbed the rifle and bolted for the door.


Garak and Daro woke up in a holding room. Garak walked towards the door and tried using his security code to unlock the door. “Of course not,” he mumbled when the door wouldn’t open. “He wouldn’t overlook something so obvious.”

“He could have carried out the assassination,” Daro suggested.

“No, we cannot afford to think like that,” Garak replied, trying to pry the door panel off. “I used to interrogate prisoners in a room like this. The best we can hope for is that Corak did not take that into account when locking us in here.”

Garak was easily able to remove the panel. He moved his right hand around inside of the mechanism. The lock came unlatched when he yanked a cord. The door slid open a crack. Garak put fingers through and pushed the door open. He and Daro tried to step through the door, but a forcefield stopped them.

“Here’s to Cardassian ingenuity,” Garak quipped.


Ezri and her team, also consisting of Neeley and four other MACO’s, materialized in the main lobby of the government headquarters. Ezri didn’t know what made her more apprehensive, preventing an assassination or the seven foot tall Brikar on the team. She remembered-- or more accurately, Jadzia remembered-- that Worf said one of his Starfleet Academy classmates was a Brikar. Both were notoriously stubborn individuals belonging to races of formidable warriors.

She also found Neeley just as intimidating dwarfing the petite Trill by close to a foot. The MACO leader was someone Jadzia knew very well and a complete stranger at the same time. Neely, on the other hand, wasn’t too sure about taking orders from someone who was both a child and over three centuries old.

A short portly young man occupied the receptionist desk. After taking a sip of red-leaf tea, he nonchalantly asked, “May I help you?”

“We need to see the Castellan right away,” Ezri stated.

“He’s in a really important meeting,” Arnin replied. “He can’t spare any time to meet with some science fiction fan club.”

“He may be in danger from one of his personal guards,” said Neeley.

“How do I know one of you is not one of the assassins?” Arnin asked.

“I was here before,” Neeley attempted. “I can vouch for these people.”

“You two lovely ladies can check in on him,” Arnin relented. “But the other four stay, especially the Brikar.”

Neeley looked over at the Brikar soldier. “Don’t take it personally, Mik. I once found your size intimidating.”

“Why did I volunteer for this mission to begin with?” Mik asked with a sigh.

“And you have to leave your weapons behind,” Arnin added.

Confronting the assassin would be difficult without weapons, but Dax and Neeley reluctantly surrendered their hand phasers and their rifles.

Corak returned to Ghemor’s office right in the middle of his cabinet meeting. As a personal guard, he was one of those who could walk in without knocking. Little did Ghemor know was that this guard would lead him to his demise. “Castellan,” said Corak. “I’ve received word that there is an explosive in this room.”

“All right, everyone out,” Ghemor commanded of the two subordinate castella.

The two cabinet members walked through the door and headed straight down the corridor. They were too concerned with retreating to safety to notice the two Starfleet officers.

Dax scanned with her tricorder. “I’m not detecting any explosives,” she said. “At least none that register on the tricorder.”

Ghemor, then Corak brought up the rear. Dax and Neeley crept into an adjacent room as the two Cardassians walked by. Corak appeared to be waiting until the cabinet members turned at an adjoining corridor. Corak slowly raised his rifle.

Ghemor suddenly sensed that Corak was no longer close behind. And where was Daro for that matter? “Something wrong?” he asked turning around.

Neeley lunged towards Corak shoving towards the wall. Ezri, drawing on Jadzia and Curzon’s knowledge of Klingon martial arts karate chopped Corak’s right shoulder with her left hand and kicked the rifle out of his hands.

Ezri jumped away from Corak when he began waving a knife at her. She maintained a martial arts stance, but didn’t know what to do when the huge Cardassian lunged towards her. She used her left arm to try to protect herself from the knife. Neeley grabbed Corak’s arm with both hands, pulled him away from Ezri, then delivered a right hook to his jaw.

Corak then came at both women with the knife, but a Cardassian phaser beam vaporized him. Garak had appeared at the end of the corridor.

Neeley and Dax let out a sigh of relief that Garak came to the rescue in time. Neeley applied a dermal regenerator to the knife wound on Ezri’s left forearm and whispered, “When you throw a left chop, you should put all your weight on the right leg.”

“I was right-handed before being joined,” Dax replied.

Garak, meanwhile, walked over to Ghemor. “Are you all right, Castellan?”

“I am unharmed,” Ghemor answered. “What just happened?”

“He would have killed you, sir.”

“Lucky we were here,” Neeley said, looking over at Ghemor.

“As I’ve repeatedly told Julian… ” Garak insisted.

“Cardassians don’t believe in luck,” Ezri finished. She rolled her eyes at that notion considering she and Lisa were lucky that Garak appeared when he did.

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