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Story Notes: Title refers to a quote from Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man (1791), where Paine stated, "Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good."

Historian’s Note: The flashback scenes take place in the Earth year 2361. The present-day events of this story take place concurrently with the events of “Take Me Out To the Holosuite” (DS9) and are a continuation of "Midnight Ride".

And now the continuation...


The rain fell harder and harder. The sound of the raindrops falling on the concrete housing unit gave the Bajoran woman living inside a feeling of contentment like no other. Tonight, she would be able to sleep soundly. While cradling a phaser pistol, she kept one eye halfway open to watch as her nine-year old son slept.

Their lives were no better on Volan Three, a Federation colony on the Cardassian frontier, than on Bajor. Her days working at a manufacturing plant were long and thankless. She and her son lived in a one-room house with hardly any privacy. At least they now had a house. And she did not have to sell sexual favors to Cardassians or worry about getting a black eye from a Cardassian client or her abusive ex-husband.

A crashing noise outside the house shook her awake. Her first instinct was to make sure her child was safe. She sat at the side of his bed and stroked the boy’s hair. She then headed for the front door, phaser pistol in hand, to find the source of the noise. Outside, a humanoid figure was skulking next to the house. She shined a flashlight on the figure to see a dark-haired Terran male. She grabbed the Terran man by the back of his collar.

“You again,” the woman gasped, shining her flashlight in the man’s face. She instantly recognized his black leather jumpsuit, his graying hair, and his muscular upper body. She had seen this man while she was at work, at the local taverns, and at her son’s school. “Who are you and why are you following me?” she now demanded of him.

“I’m with Starfleet Intelligence,” the man calmly replied. “I’ve been watching you to find out if you’d be a good candidate for participating in special operations on this planet. And you’ve passed the first test.”

“Me? Starfleet?” the woman asked, letting go of the man. “No way, man. I don’t see myself in classrooms for four years.”

The human agent adjusted his collar and his sleeves. “Not all of our agents are Starfleet officers,” he explained of Intelligence. “A lot of our agents are regular people such as yourself. We recruit people who have gone into a lot of dangerous places. It’s just a one-month training program.”

The Bajoran woman momentarily looked away to conceal her annoyance, having realized she was being spied on for a lot longer than she initially believed. “I’m not going back to Bajor if that’s what you’re suggesting,” she insisted

“I don’t mean Bajor. But we could use people like you to help us keep an eye on the Cardassians.”

The prospect of going after Cardassians was suddenly appealing to her. “Now that you mention the spoonheads,” she said. “What does it pay?”

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