Nor The Battle To The Strong
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 21 Oct, 1996

[Runabout]

BASHIR: I knew that my paper was controversial, but I had no idea it would turn the entire conference upside down. Believe me, Jake, panel discussions between doctors are usually a lot more civilised than that.
JAKE: I don't know. They seemed polite enough to me.
BASHIR: Oh, that was just a veneer. That paper stepped on quite a few toes, I can tell you. It's heresy to even consider the possibility that prion replication could be inhibited by quantum resonance effects. Aren't you going to take any notes?
JAKE: Good idea.
BASHIR: According to the so-called experts, it's all a matter of amino acid re-sequencing and disulfide shuffling. Quantum dynamics has nothing to do with it.
JAKE [OC]: I have absolutely no idea what he's talking about.
BASHIR: (underneath) But how can that be? After all, peptide bonds can be reconfigured on a
BASHIR: Quantum level. Ah, now get this. This is very good. A few months ago
JAKE [OC]: If I don't find a way to get out of doing this article, my first writing assignment is going to be my last. Maybe if I write to The Journal and explained. Dear editors, thank you for the confidence expressed in my by accepting my proposed profile of Doctor Bashir. Unfortunately
BASHIR: (underneath) I was running a neural scan and noticed some anomalous protein readings. I thought there must be some mistake, so I ran an at the Journal and amino acid sequence to be sure. But there it was again, the prion mutation rate had spiked. I couldn't believe it. It meant the anomalous proteins had to have a strong quantum resonance.
BASHIR: Do you follow?
JAKE: Sort of.
BASHIR: Good. Because that's the key. The protein anomalies. They indicate a correlative
JAKE [OC]: Who cares about anomalies? People want stories about things they can relate to. Life and death, good and evil. An outbreak of Cartalian fever would be just the thing. The brave doctor battles the deadly virus. Listen to me, I'm actually rooting for a plague.
BASHIR: (underneath) Increase in prion replication. And that can only mean one of two things either the peptide bonds are unstable, or some other factor is causing the mutations. Rather than start the labourious process of running
BASHIR: Quantum scanning each and every peptide bond, I thought I'd begin to make some kind of
(Comm. beeps)
BASHIR: It's a distress call from the Federation colony on Ajilon Prime. They're under attack. The Klingons have landed troops.
JAKE: So much for the cease fire.
BASHIR: The main hospital's been damaged. They're short on doctors and running low on supplies.
JAKE: What are we waiting for? Let's go.
BASHIR: It's risky. The hospital's only fifty kilometres away from the front line.
JAKE: You put yourself into dangerous situations all the time.
BASHIR: Maybe, but that's not the same as putting you into one.
JAKE: Don't worry about me.
BASHIR: You're too young to die, Jake.
JAKE: I'm eighteen. You know what I mean. I've been on the station when it was under attack plenty of times. I can handle myself. I'm a Sisko. There are lives at stake. These people need you.
BASHIR: I hope I don't regret this. We'll be there in just under an hour. I can only imagine what your father's going to say.
JAKE: He'll understand.
BASHIR: I'll get you out of there as soon as reinforcements arrive. Besides, I wouldn't want you to miss the deadline on your story. Do you think they want a picture of me? Anyway, about those quantum scans I was telling you about.
JAKE [OC]: Surgery Under Fire. Now we're talking.
BASHIR: (underneath) Instead of scanning each peptide bond, it occurred to me that I could scan for irregularities in the

[Ops]

ODO: What is it, Quark?
QUARK: The Chief asked me to come up with a decaffeinated raktajino for Kira. I'm thinking of marketing it.
(Kira takes a mouthful.)
KIRA: Ugh, ugh, ugh that's awful.
O'BRIEN: Give it a chance. Let me taste.
(A long mouthful then)
O'BRIEN: Quark!
QUARK: I did the best I could. The removal of caffeine from beverages has plagued bartenders and restauranteurs for centuries. You can't expect me to solve it overnight.
O'BRIEN: I'm not paying for that.
ODO: So much for Quark-tajino.
O'BRIEN: I want to get her off caffeine, not poison her.
KIRA: You make me sound like some kind of addict.
DAX: She has maybe two raktajinos a day.
O'BRIEN: Look, I just don't want my son to be born with a caffeine habit, that's all.
DAX: You're being ridiculous. Why does pregnancy always make men hysterical?
O'BRIEN: Excuse me, this is not the first baby I've had.
KIRA: Excuse me. Keiko had Molly.
DAX: It's not up to you to tell Kira what she can and cannot do.
WORF: She is carrying his child, he should have some say.
QUARK: As the lessee, he does have certain rights. Back home, pregnancy is considered a rental.
KIRA + DAX: Rental?
(Sisko enters from his office)
ODO: Something wrong, Captain?
SISKO: I just talked to Doctor Bashir. He's on his way to Ajilon Prime to answer a request for medical assistance.
KIRA: Jake's with him.
SISKO: According to the latest reports, Klingon ground troops have captured two settlements in the northern hemisphere.
WORF: Half the colonists are still trapped on the planet. There are no ships in the area to evacuate them.
O'BRIEN: We're three days away at best.
SISKO: The Farragut will get there the day after tomorrow. Bashir says that he and Jake will leave as soon as the relief teams are in place.
DAX: That means they'll be home by Thursday. Doesn't give you much time to snoop through Jake's things.

[Runabout]

(They arrive in orbit.)
JAKE: Ready to beam down?
BASHIR: No, we can't leave the runabout in orbit, not with the Klingons around. Besides, the colonists moved what was left of the medical equipment underground when the hospital was destroyed and there's magnesite in the rock face. There's no way to transport through it.
JAKE: I guess we'll have to find a place to set down.
BASHIR: Looks like there's a clearing about a kilometre away from the main settlement. Jake, things could get a little rough down there. They've got a lot of wounded.
JAKE: I'll be all right.

[Cavern - Triage area]

BOLIAN: We've got more wounded coming in.
NURSE: I'll need that plasma!
KALANDRA: (a woman) Are you Bashir?
BASHIR: We got a distress call.
KALANDRA: Resource said you were on your way.
KIRBY: Watch it! Watch it! This is the last IP.
NURSE: His pulse is thready. He must be bleeding somewhere.
KIRBY: We are losing him!
NURSE: Doctor Kalandra.
KALANDRA: Bashir, jump in. Standard triage. Give him fifteen mils inoprovaline.
JAKE: What should I do?
BASHIR: Just keep out of the way, please.
KALANDRA: Get this man into surgery!
(Jake moves away from Bashir, viewing the controlled chaos of dealing with war wounds.)
BOLIAN: The artery's severed. Her BP's bottomed out.
NURSE: Oh two, three litres. Run full saline.
(Jake finds a person slumped by the doorway.)
JAKE: Somebody! This man needs help!
ENSIGN: (limping in.) Help me! Somebody help me! I've been hit. Took a disruptor blast real close.
BOLIAN: I need that blood plasma!
BASHIR: (to Ensign) Let's get you up on the table.
KALANDRA: (to Jake) There's nothing we can do. He's too far gone.
BASHIR: It doesn't look that bad.
ENSIGN: I was stepping over a Klingon. I thought he was dead. He got me right in the foot. You people better get out of here while you still can. The Klingons, there's no stopping them.
BASHIR: This is a phaser burn.
ENSIGN: What are you talking about?
BASHIR: Just sit tight. We'll get to you as soon as we can.
ENSIGN: It's not a phaser burn! (to Jake) It was a Klingon. You weren't there. You don't know what it's like. The Klingons had us pinned down. We were done for. We all knew it. Hendriks and Pajal, they got scared. They ran. They ran! Then Sully got hit in the leg and the medics pulled him off the line. And all I could think was, I wish I were him. And I took my phaser. Oh, God! What did I do to myself? What did I do?
BOLIAN: Find someplace else to stand.
JAKE: No problem.
JAKE [OC]: Triage, the sorting of the wounded, forces decisions that. I got to get a grip. Focus. Decisions that test what it means to be a doctor.
KIRBY: Hey, you! Give me a hand. Come on! Come on! I've got to get some plasma for this guy. Keep an eye on him for me. I'll be right back.
(The wounded man grabs Jake's shirt and tries to sit up. Now he's got blood on him.

[Cavern - main ward]

(Jake is at one end of the stretcher, Kirby at the other.)
KIRBY: Wait, wait, wait. This way. Over there. Watch it! Watch it! Nice catch. Here you are, sir. A nice private room with a view. One, two, three.
(The patient is dumped onto the bed.)
KIRBY: Well, you can count. You're hired. Let's get you dressed.

[Cavern - Triage area]

BASHIR: I'd like to try an aortal graft.
KALANDRA: All right. There's an extra surgical table in the back.
JAKE: He's dead.
KIRBY: Come on. Let's get him out of here.
(Kirby and Jake carry the body to the morgue. It is packed with filled body bags.)

[Cavern - main ward]

(And so they continue moving patients around, living and dead.)
JAKE: One, two three.
(And more and more blood stains on Jake's scrubs.)

[Cavern - Triage area]

(Until finally there are no more people to move. The medics are slumped against the wall.)
NURSE: Party's over.
KIRBY: So soon?
BOLIAN: And we were just starting to have fun.
BASHIR: Since you two aren't busy, would you mind carrying me to the nearest replicator so that I can get something to eat?

[Captain's office]

(Odo limps in and sits carefully.)
ODO: You wanted to see me, Captain?
SISKO: Yes, I hear you took a little trip to the Infirmary.
ODO: I'll be fine. The only permanent damage was to my pride.
SISKO: What happened?
ODO: Quark wanted me to keep an eye on two Yridians who he suspected were cheating at dabo. Turned out he was right. I could see from the second level that one of them was using a miniature gravimetric scanner to predict where the ball would land on the wheel, and signalling the information to his partner.
SISKO: Ingenious. Go on.
ODO: I started down the stairs to make the arrest. One of them spotted me. They bolted, I pursued. I'm afraid I got a bit carried away.
SISKO: And jumped off the stairs.
ODO: I was planning to change form in mid-air and become a Tarkalean condor.
SISKO: That would have been impressive.
ODO: I thought so.
SISKO: It's an understandable mistake. You've been a changeling longer than you've been a solid.
ODO: Solid. I wonder why my people use that term. Humanoid bodies are so fragile.
SISKO: Yes, they are. And there are a lot of ways you can get hurt.
ODO: You're worried about Jake. I'm sure that Doctor Bashir is looking after him.
SISKO: It seems just yesterday he was five years old, clinging to me because he'd just scraped his knee and I was the only one in the world who could make it better. I remember sometimes getting up in the middle of the night and slipping into his room just to make sure he was all right, and I'd sit there and watch him sleep. And I'd think to myself that no matter what, I wasn't going to let anything bad happen to this child. Now he's a sector away in a war zone, and there's nothing I can do to protect him.
ODO: Try not to worry, Captain. It won't do you or Jake any good.
SISKO: Can't help it. It comes with the territory.
ODO: But Jake is eighteen years old. Does your father still worry about you?
SISKO: Oh, all the time.
ODO: Ah. I never realised how stressful it is to be a parent. I have to say, I don't think it's for me.
SISKO: That's your choice, but you don't know what you're missing.
(doorbell)
SISKO: Yes?
DAX: We just got word. The Klingons have destroyed the Farragut near the Lembatta cluster.
ODO: What about Ajilon Prime? Without reinforcements
SISKO: Dax, you're with me. We'll leave as soon as the Defiant is ready.

[Cavern - staff room]

(Bashir brings a couple of trays of food to a table.)
BASHIR: Here you go.
JAKE: Thanks.
BASHIR: How are you holding up?
JAKE: Okay.
BASHIR: You handled yourself well today. I'm impressed.
JAKE: I'm starved.
BASHIR: Think I'll start with a lateral incision across the thigh joint. Uh oh. Hang on. Out we go. Come on.
(Bashir rushes Jake out to be sick.)
NURSE: First day?
KIRBY: Yeah.
BOLIAN: Pass the salt.

[Cavern - tunnels]

BASHIR: How do you feel?
JAKE: Fresh air did me good. You remember that ensign, the one who shot himself?
BASHIR: How could I forget?
JAKE: What's going to happen to him?
BASHIR: Oh, he'll probably be court-martialed.
JAKE: He said that some of the people in his squad got scared and ran.
BASHIR: It happens.
JAKE: But they're Starfleet. They've passed psych-tests. They've spent hundreds of hours in battle simulations.
BASHIR: Simulations can't prepare you for the real thing. Nothing can.
JAKE: Some people say that you don't know what you're really made of until you've been in battle.
BASHIR: Well let me tell you, Jake. There are plenty of situations in life which test a person's character. Thankfully, most of them don't involve death and destruction.

[Cavern - staff room]

KIRBY: Doctor Kalandra's looking for you. Something about that aortal graft you did.
BASHIR: Oh, thanks. I'll see you later.
KIRBY: I put your tray back in the replicator. I didn't know how long you'd be gone.
JAKE: Me neither. I think I could handle some soup.

[Cavern - main ward]

BASHIR: How is he?
KALANDRA: The graft's holding. Blood throughput is almost a hundred percent. Nice job.
BASHIR: Thanks. You have a good team. My OR Nurse was sharp as they come.
KALANDRA: We do the best we can, considering the circumstances. So, are things any better for us? Last I heard Starfleet had pulled out of the Arcanis sector.
BASHIR: Well, the fleet's regrouping for a counterattack.
KALANDRA: Do you have any idea what ships are involved? We don't get much news here. The Klingons have been jamming the subspace traffic.
BASHIR: I think the Rutledge and the Tecumseh are heading things up.
KALANDRA: The Tecumseh. My husband's the science officer.
BASHIR: Well, believe me, Captain Raymond is one of the best there is. He saw the Tecumseh through the Cardassian wars. I don't think he's planning on losing her now.
KALANDRA: No, I don't suppose he is.
NURSE: Doctor? They've prepped the spinal trauma. We're ready for you in surgery.
KALANDRA: I'll be right there.
BASHIR: They're keeping you busy.
KALANDRA: Yes. It helps keep my mind off things.

[Cavern - staff room]

KIRBY: It's good to see you've got your appetite back.
JAKE: I have a pretty strong stomach, most of the time.
KIRBY: Don't worry about it. Same thing happened to me my first day. You know what I heard? That ship Starfleet sent, the Farragut? The Klingons intercepted it.
JAKE: Starfleet'll send another one, won't they?
KIRBY: It won't be here for days, and in the meantime we're looking at a ground war which is just what the Klingons want. According to a lieutenant I talked to, they've got so many transport scramblers online that we can't beam troops anywhere.
JAKE: What about using hoppers?
KIRBY: He says the Klingons have been shooting them out of the sky left and right. Unless something changes, he figures the Klingons'll take the settlement the day after tomorrow. Did you see all the bat'leth wounds today? Klingons get mad, they forget about their disruptors, go hand to hand. If you ask me, they're looking to get even for what happened on Ganalda Four.
JAKE: What happened?
KIRBY: They had to retreat. Klingons hate that.
JAKE: At least we don't have to worry about them in here.
KIRBY: Don't be so sure. Medical personnel are fair game as far as Klingons are concerned. They'll even kill wounded right in their beds. They think they're giving them an honourable death. So, how'd you wind up here?
JAKE: I, er, I'm writing an article about Doctor Bashir.
KIRBY: You're a journalist?
JAKE: Not exactly.
KIRBY: What does that mean?
JAKE: I write stories mostly. You know, fiction.
JAKE [OC]: I wonder if Kirby knew that the whole time we were talking, all I could think about was how close the Klingons were.
(It's later, everyone else is asleep and Jake is writing.)
JAKE [OC]: He didn't seem that worried. No one else seems to be losing sleep over it, so why is it the only thing I can think about? I've been on the station when it was under attack plenty of times, but somehow the danger never seemed as real as it does here. Maybe it's because I spent all day seeing firsthand what the Klingons are capable of, or maybe it's because for the first time in my life, my father's not here to protect me.
(BOOM)
NURSE: What was that?
BOLIAN: The Klingons. They must've taken out the reactor.

[Cavern - main ward]

BASHIR: She's fibrillating!
BOLIAN: If we don't get power back soon, we'll lose half the ward.
KIRBY: Kidney failure. He's going into renal shock.
KALANDRA: I just talked to Resource. It's going to be at least three hours before we have power.
JAKE: There must be some portable generators we could use.
KALANDRA: They're using them to keep the shields up around the settlement.
BASHIR: The runabout. There's a portable generator on the runabout.
KALANDRA: Where is it?
BASHIR: About a kilometre south of here. I'll need help carrying it though.
KALANDRA: You won't be able to beam through the shields. You'll have to take the east tunnel.
KIRBY: It lets out beyond the perimeter. I'll show you.

[Planet surface]

(Jake and Bashir come out of a cave in their 'normal' clothes into bright sunlight.)
BASHIR: We set down just over that ridge.
JAKE: Yeah, it looks familiar.
(BOOM! A shell explodes nearby.)
BASHIR: Get down!
(BOOM!)
BASHIR: Stay close. And keep your head low.
(More explosions. Bashir gets to a large rock before Jake manages to move himself.)
BASHIR: Whatever happens, one of us has to get that generator. Stick with me.
(Bashir goes first, trying to keep large rocks between them and the source of the shelling.)
BASHIR: Come on, Jake!
(Explosions between them, so Jake retreats to the previous cover.)
BASHIR: Jake!
(Bashir is knocked out by an explosion. Jake beats a rapid retreat. He keeps on running until he trips and lands on the corpse of a Klingon. There are Starfleet dead nearby too. He's found a battlefield, so he runs again. Over a ridge and tumbling down the other side to -)

[Crater]

(As Jake slides into the rocky hole, he gets punched. His attacker is a wounded human. The explosions have stopped.)
BURKE: Medkit. Over there. Now.
(Jake grabs the kit.)
BURKE: Hypo. Sit me up. Do it. I'm not going to die with my face in the dirt. Okay.
(Burke gives himself a shot.)
BURKE: How's your head?
JAKE: Hurts.
BURKE: You're lucky I didn't kill you. I thought you were a Klingon. Have you seen any?
JAKE: What?
BURKE: Klingons. Are there any patrols around? What about Starfleet?
JAKE: No.
BURKE: It's just you and me then. What are you doing out here? Why'd you leave the settlement?
JAKE: I was outside when the shelling started. I guess I got lost looking for cover.
BURKE: Lucky me. I could use the company. Here. Water.
JAKE: What about you?
BURKE: Go ahead.
JAKE: Thanks.
BURKE: Probably would've leaked out of me anyway. Don't let me fall over. I want to go out looking up at the sky, not at the ground.
JAKE: Don't worry.
BURKE: You didn't see a crashed hopper around here, did you?
JAKE: No.
BURKE: They made it!
JAKE: Who?
BURKE: My platoon. The Klingons had us pinned down. We couldn't beam out because they had a transport scrambler running. We called for a hopper. As soon as it set down, the Klingons came after us. CO ordered me and Brice to lay down cover so the squad could get up the ramp. By the time Brice got in, the Klingons were practically on top of us. The hopper was taking such a pounding, I didn't think it would make it off the ground.
JAKE: You stayed behind on purpose, so they could get away.
BURKE: The hypo, where is it?
JAKE: It's empty.
BURKE: Figures.
JAKE: I'll get you out of here. I'll make a stretcher
BURKE: With what?
JAKE: Then I'll carry you.
BURKE: Kid, you try carrying me, my guts are going to spill all over your shoes.
JAKE: But I have to do something. I've got to try.
BURKE: Forget it.
JAKE: But I have to. That way this'll all make sense. Maybe I ran for a reason, so I could find you and save your life.
BURKE: Ran?
JAKE: From the explosions. We had to get to the runabout for the generator, and the shelling started and I couldn't see Doctor Bashir and the explosions, they kept getting closer. I had to get out of there, so I ran. I ran and I kept running until I found you.
BURKE: The doctor. You left him.
JAKE: It was a mistake.
BURKE: That's what you call it.
JAKE: I didn't mean for it to happen.
BURKE: And now you think bringing me back is going to make everything all right. Sorry, kid. Life doesn't work like that.
(Burke dies coughing up blood, and Jake flees the crater.)

[Engine room]

DAX: Benjamin?
SISKO [OC]: I'll be right out.
(Sisko comes out of a Jefferies tube.)
DAX: What have you been doing in there for three hours?
SISKO: I was just tweaking the pattern buffers in the replicator systems.
DAX: Great. I always thought the coffee could be a little hotter.
SISKO: I'm just trying to keep busy.
DAX: Is it helping?
SISKO: No, not really.
DAX: I wish there was something I could do, some way I could promise you that everything is going to be okay.
SISKO: But you can't. No one can.
DAX: I know what it's like to worry about a child. Raifi put Tobin through hell. When Neema was six, she came down with Rugalan fever. Audrid spent two weeks in the hospital with her, never left her side. It was hundreds of years ago. I still remember how helpless I felt. I read her all seventeen volumes of Caster's Down the River Light, even though I knew she couldn't hear me. It made me feel like I was doing something, that we were still connected. It wasn't until much after that that I realised that I was doing it as much for me as I was doing it for her.
SISKO: Just to keep busy. So, how did it turn out with Neema?
DAX: She pulled through.
SISKO: Phew. I was hoping you were going to say that. Because if this story had an unhappy ending, I would have never forgiven you.
DAX: Of course, by the time she was twenty one, she wouldn't even speak to me.
SISKO: For how long?
DAX: About eight years.
SISKO: Do me a favour. Tell me about it some other time. Right now, all I care about is seeing Jake.
DAX: You will, tomorrow, when we get to Ajilon Prime. You know, Ben, coffee can never be too hot. Are you sure you got the replicator buffers synchronised?
SISKO: You want to check for yourself?
DAX: I think I will. Can I borrow your decoupler?
SISKO: Get your own. I have to check the sonic shower relays.
DAX: Good idea.

[Cavern - main ward]

(The power is back on)
KIRBY: (to a patient) How are you feeling? Jake! Jake, we thought you were
JAKE: I'm okay.
KIRBY: This is great. What happened?
JAKE: I got knocked out when we were trying to get to the runabout. Did Doctor Bashir make it back all right?
KIRBY: He's in IC for the night. He's got plasma burns on his arm and shoulder. I don't know how he managed, but he carried the generator back here by himself. We went looking for you right after the shelling stopped. There was hardly anything left of the runabout. The whole place was nothing but bomb craters and smoke. We had pretty much given up hope.
JAKE: I must've wandered off in the wrong direction when I came to.
KIRBY: You're lucky you didn't get picked up by the Klingons. Word is, they're massing to attack the compound. You want to see him?
JAKE: I should let him rest.
KIRBY: He's awake, I was just in there. Go ahead, he'll be glad to see you're okay.

[Cavern - Intensive care]

BASHIR: Jake! Oh, thank God. I thought you'd been killed. Once the shelling had stopped and I couldn't find you, I assumed the worst. I am so sorry.
JAKE: It's all right.
BASHIR: No. No, it isn't. I should never have brought you here in the first place. Now we're stuck here, the Klingons are massing to attack. What was I thinking!
JAKE: Forget it, okay! What's done is done.
JAKE [OC]: I couldn't stand hearing him apologise to me like that. Not after what I'd done to him.
KIRBY: All right, you two. Visiting hours are over. Let me have a look at that.
(Kirby checks where Burke hit Jake.)

[Cavern - staff room]

JAKE [OC]: I keep turning it over in my head. The shelling, losing sight of Bashir, running, and I keep trying to make sense of it all, to justify what I did. But when it comes down to it, there's only one explanation. I'm a coward. Part of me wishes Bashir had seen me run away and told everyone the truth. They deserve to know what I am. They should know they can't count on me. That if the Klingons attack, I'll run and hide just like I did before.

[Cavern - main ward]

JAKE: Doctor Kaladra asked me to give this to you.
NURSE: Oh, thanks Jake. Would you take this to the patient in G-four?
JAKE: Sure.
NURSE: Thanks.
(G4 is the self-mutilation Ensign. Jake offers him the tray of food.)
JAKE: Here you go.
ENSIGN: Maybe I'll get a job as a cutter. Could be interesting work.
JAKE: What's a cutter?
ENSIGN: You know, on a mining team. They're the ones who split the asteroids up with phasers so the excavators can get at what's inside. You've got to have good aim. No matter what else you can say about me, you can't say that I don't have good aim. If I hadn't hit my foot just right, I would've taken my whole leg off. It's funny. One minute your life's moving along just like you always thought it would, and the next you do something that changes everything, that makes you realise you're not who you thought you were. At the Academy, I did really well in the battle simulations. I never had any problems. But when you're out there and the live shells are detonating all around you, it's a whole different thing.
JAKE: All you can think about is getting away from the explosions.
ENSIGN: Yeah. That's pretty much it. You know something? You're first person I've talked to since I got here who hasn't made me feel like I'm taking up valuable bed space. The way everyone looks at me. I can't stand it. After the court martial, I'm definitely signing up for the next mining expedition to the Gamma Quadrant.
JAKE: Maybe there won't be a court martial.
ENSIGN: You're right. None of us may get out of here alive.
JAKE: No, I mean Starfleet could decide to send you to counselling instead.
ENSIGN: I won't go. I don't deserve to be in Starfleet. Therapy won't change what I did. Nothing will. I just wish I'd aimed that phaser a little higher.

[Cavern - staff room]

(Jake is resting on a bunk.)
NURSE: I saw the report on Doctor Kalandra's desk. According to Resource, it's just a matter of time before the Klingons reach the compound.
KIRBY: I guess that means I have to decide.
NURSE: Decide what?
KIRBY: Whether I'd rather get hacked to bits or blasted by a disruptor.
NURSE: Disruptor, no doubt about it. Every molecule in your body vaporised in a flash. No time to feel pain.
BOLIAN: Don't be so sure about that. Some people think it's like being boiled alive.
KIRBY: Decapitation has its virtues. Nice clean blow with a sharp bat'leth.
BOLIAN: The brain lives on for five, ten seconds at least. In theory, your headless corpse could be the last thing you see.
NURSE: You're so negative.
BOLIAN: I'm just telling you what I've heard.
KIRBY: What do you think, Jake?
JAKE: I think it's not funny.
KIRBY: Of course not. There's nothing funny about having your throat slit
JAKE: Cut it out!
KIRBY: I was just kidding.
JAKE: You think this is some joke. It's not. People are dying! It's all so stupid. This whole stupid war is such a waste. In ten years, no body's going to remember what anybody did here.
BASHIR: Jake.
JAKE: Maybe you saved a hopper full of people. Maybe you shot yourself in the foot. No one's going to remember!
BASHIR: Jake! Let's take a walk.

[Cavern - tunnel]

JAKE: I'm sorry.
BASHIR: Look, I know you're scared. We all are.
JAKE: No, it's not that. I
BASHIR: What, Jake? What is it?
JAKE: I just didn't think what they were saying was funny.
BASHIR: Come on. That's not what set you off. Something's eating at you, I can see it.
JAKE: I don't know what you're talking about.
BASHIR: Ever since you came back you've been walking around looking miserable.
JAKE: Leave me alone.
BASHIR: Jake.
JAKE: Leave me alone.
BASHIR: All right, if that's what you want. But if you want to talk you know where to find me.
(Bashir leaves. Jakes sits down and finally cries. Then he falls asleep until BOOM! Shelling starts and rocks start falling.)

[Cavern - staff room]

NURSE: What's going on?
KIRBY: Are they inside the compound?
KALANDRA: Everybody listen. Listen! We're evacuating. We're taking the patients out through the north tunnel to the surface. A hopper will take us down the peninsula to the base at Tananda Bay.
KIRBY: That tunnel is almost two kilometres long. We have over seventy patients to move. Do you know how long that's going to take?
KALANDRA: Resource is sending a security detail to defend the hospital and give us time to evacuate. We can do this.
BASHIR: We have to keep calm. Focus on our jobs. Those people out there need us.
KALANDRA: Yes. Let's move. Come on. Go.
(As the medics move out, Jake stands there wincing at every detonation.)

[Cavern - main ward]

(Organised chaos.)
BOLIAN: Give me a hand.
KALANDRA: Keep moving.
KIRBY: Two guards, is that it?
BASHIR: The others are out defending the perimeter.
KIRBY: Great, one's leaving.
NURSE: We're going someplace safe, all right?

[Cavern - staff room]

(Jake is hiding under the table until a falling girder prompts him to move.)

[Cavern - main ward]

(Jake runs into security's phaser rifle.)
MALE GUARD: They're coming! Let's go. Move. Move!
FEMALE GUARD: Come on, let's go! Let's go.
KIRBY: Anyone left back there?
JAKE: No.
KIRBY: Go! Go!
(The guard is shot and the Klingons are in the ward.)
FEMALE GUARD: Get down!
(Jake takes cover behind a bed. The female guard is shot. Jake crawls to an equipment console and picks up her weapon. Then he starts shooting wildly without looking. Rocks fall from the roof landing on Jake and the Klingons. The other passageway is now blocked.)
BASHIR: Jake, looks who's here.
JAKE: Dad?
SISKO: Don't move, let Doctor Bashir check for injuries.
JAKE: What happened?
BASHIR: I came back for you when I realised you weren't on the hopper.
SISKO: The cease fire has been reinstated. The Klingons are pulling out. It's over.
BASHIR: The timing could have been a little better, but he seems to be all right.
SISKO: Sealing the entrance way was a risky thing to do. You nearly brought the whole ceiling down on yourself.
BASHIR: We never would have got these patients out alive if you hadn't done it. You're a hero.
JAKE [OC]: More than anything, I wanted to believe what he was saying. But the truth is, I was just as scared in the hospital as I'd been when we went for the generator.

[Defiant - Bashir's cabin]

(Bashir is reading Jake's article.)
JAKE [OC]: So scared, that all I could think about was doing whatever it took to stay alive. Once it meant running away, and once it meant picking up a phaser.

[Sisko's quarters]

(Sisko is reading.)
JAKE [OC]: The battle of Ajilon Prime will probably be remembered as a pointless skirmish, but I'll always remember it as something more. As the place I learned that the line between courage and cowardice is a lot thinner than most people believe.
JAKE: I wasn't sure whether to show it to you or not.
SISKO: Anyone who's been in battle would recognise himself in this, but most of us wouldn't care to admit it. It takes courage to look inside yourself and even more courage to write it for other people to see. I'm proud of you, son.

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