Inquisition
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 6 Apr, 1998

[Infirmary]

BASHIR: Computer, download file to PADD F seven. Come on.
COMPUTER: Download complete.
BASHIR: Thank you. Nurse.
ODO: You're up late.
BASHIR: Ah, yes, I've got a few things to finish up before I leave in the morning. I'm presenting a paper at a medical conference.
ODO: I see. Where is it? Risa, Casperia Prime?
BASHIR: Casperia. How'd you guess?
ODO: Well, Doctors always hold their conferences at sunny resorts.
BASHIR: Ours is a grim profession. Don't you think we deserve a break from all the illness and death?
ODO: Well, don't forget to take plenty of sunscreen.
(O'Brien arrives in his kayaking wetsuit.)
ODO: Oh, let me guess. You dislocated your shoulder.
(Odo leaves.)
BASHIR: Not again.
O'BRIEN: Afraid so.
BASHIR: You promised me that you wouldn't go kayaking again until your shoulder had a chance to heal.
O'BRIEN: I know, but I can't stay away. It's like the river calls to me.
BASHIR: Yes, it's saying, stay away. Don't come near me. I'll only hurt you more!
(Pop, Argh!)
O'BRIEN: Ow! Much better.
BASHIR: It'll be tender for a few days, so go easy on it.
O'BRIEN: Right.
BASHIR: If the pain gets any worse, Nurse Bandee'll give you something.
O'BRIEN: Thanks, Julian. Have a good time on Casperia.
BASHIR: I'm going to a medical conference, not on a vacation.
O'BRIEN: Whatever you say.
BASHIR: And if the river calls you again, listen to it and stay away.

[Bashir's bedroom]

COMPUTER: The time is oh seven hundred hours.
BASHIR: What? You're joking. Computer, confirm time.
COMPUTER: The time is oh seven hundred hours, eleven seconds.
BASHIR: Something tells me I'm going to need a lot of raktajinos today.

[Bashir's quarters]

(Bashir puts a load of PADDs into a bag, and looks at Kukalaka.)
BASHIR: See you in a few days, old chum. Keep the home fires burning.
SISKO [OC]: This is the Captain. All senior officers report to Operations immediately.
BASHIR: What now?

[Ops]

BASHIR: This better be quick. I've got a shuttle to catch. What's going on?
O'BRIEN: Internal Affairs.
BASHIR: What are they doing here?
O'BRIEN: They're not saying.
DAX: If they'd called ahead, we could have thrown them a party.
KIRA: Yeah, well, something tells me it's not a social visit.
WORF: Where's the captain?
ODO: He's in there.
(Sisko is in his office talking to someone.)
BASHIR: He doesn't look too happy.
ODO: No, he doesn't.
(Sisko and his visitor come out.)
SISKO: All right, people. This is Deputy Director Sloan of Internal Affairs. He's here under the authority of the Federation Council. I expect you all to give him your full cooperation.
SLOAN: Starfleet Intelligence has reason to believe that there's been a security breach aboard Deep Space Nine. It appears that someone has been passing information to the Dominion.
DAX: With all due respect, I think there's been some kind of mistake.
SLOAN: I hope you're right, Commander. I really do. But until we determine the source, we have to follow standard containment procedures and isolate all members of the senior staff.
SISKO: As of now, you're all relieved of duty and confined to quarters.
KIRA: Confined to quarters?
SISKO: I don't like it any more than you do.
SLOAN: You'll be contacted shortly. I'll be conducting interviews with each one of you. For the time being, you are not to discuss this matter amongst yourselves. Any questions?
BASHIR: How long do you think your investigation's going to take?
SLOAN: That's difficult to say, Doctor, but don't worry. We've already informed Starfleet Medical that you won't be attending your conference.
BASHIR: Oh, that's very considerate of you.
SLOAN: Take them to their quarters.
CHANDLER: (female security) Would you come with me, please.

[Bashir's quarters]

BASHIR: Hot buttered scones, moba jam, red leaf tea.
(Nothing from the replicator.)
BASHIR: Please. What's the matter with this thing? All right.
(He starts to unpack and knocks a stylus onto the floor. It rolls under the couch. He goes to retrieve it when the doorbell rings.)
BASHIR: Come in.
CHANDLER: Would you please come with me, Doctor?
BASHIR: Ah. Yes. Certainly.

[Corridor]

BASHIR: Where are we going?
CHANDLER: To the wardroom. Director Sloan wants to ask you a few questions.
SECURITY [OC]: Stand clear!
(Chandler pushes Bashir to the wall as three armed security run past.)
BASHIR: What's going on?
CHANDLER: Nothing you need to worry about, sir. This way.

[Wardroom]

CHANDLER: Doctor Bashir, sir.
SLOAN: Thank you.
(Chandler leaves.)
SLOAN: Doctor Bashir. Have a seat, please. I'm sorry you had to miss your medical conference. It couldn't be helped. In a case like this, I have to follow strict procedures.
BASHIR: Yes, I understand.
SLOAN: Maybe it's a blessing in disguise. The last time you tried to attend a medical conference you were taken prisoner by the Dominion.
BASHIR: An experience I wouldn't care to repeat.
SLOAN: I'm sure you wouldn't. Five weeks in a Dominion prison camp? I can't imagine what that must have been like.
BASHIR: Not pleasant.
SLOAN: I read your report. It made me ask myself how I would have held up under those conditions. I guess you never really know until you go through it.
BASHIR: I'm sure you would have been able to cope. We do what we have to to survive.
SLOAN: I was just reading over some of your case reports. Fascinating stuff. The work you did with those genetically enhanced patients. Very impressive.
BASHIR: Thank you.
SLOAN: Before you started working with them, Starfleet Medical described them as alienated, uncommunicative and hostile. You were the first doctor who managed to establish a dialogue with them.
BASHIR: Well, actually I think the fact that I'm genetically enhanced myself made them a little more open to accepting me.
SLOAN: You spoke their language.
BASHIR: Exactly.
SLOAN: I envy your profession. You have a positive impact on people's lives. You know, I considered becoming a doctor myself.
BASHIR: You have a good bedside manner. Actually, when I came in here, I half suspected that I would be interrogated under a very bright light.
SLOAN: Not this time. Well, I see no need to trouble you any longer. Thank you for your cooperation.
(Chandler enters.)
BASHIR: My pleasure.
SLOAN: Lieutenant Chandler will take you back to your quarters now. I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to stay there until I've finished with the rest of the interviews.
BASHIR: Well in that case, maybe you could send someone to take a look at my replicator. It's not working.
SLOAN: Actually, we took them offline. To prevent anyone from trying to replicate a communications device or a weapon.
BASHIR: Oh. Well, I just wanted some breakfast.
SLOAN: What would you like? I'll have it sent right to your quarters.
BASHIR: Hot buttered scones, moba jam and some red leaf tea, please.
SLOAN: Coming right up.
BASHIR: Thank you.
SLOAN: Doctor, one more thing. Those genetically enhanced patients of yours. Did Starfleet Medical ask you to work with them, or did you volunteer?
BASHIR: Oh, I volunteered.
SLOAN: I see. Very good.

[Bashir's quarters]

BASHIR: Come in.
(Breakfast has arrived)
KAGAN: (male security) Here you are, sir.
BASHIR: Thank God. I'm famished. Cheers.
KAGAN: Enjoy.
(Kagan leaves, Bashir takes the cover off the tray to find it's still moving.)
BASHIR: Ugh. It's a little too early for gag'h.
(The name card says Lt Cmdr Worf, level 3 section 27 room 19.)
BASHIR: I hope your enjoying my scones, Worf.
(Then he notices that the PADDs are back in his bag, but the stylus was still under the couch. Kukalaka has been moved, too. The monitor beeps.)
BASHIR: Miles. Sloan said we aren't supposed to be talking to each other.
O'BRIEN [on monitor]: I just wanted to make sure you were all right.
BASHIR: I'm fine. Except I think someone's been snooping around my quarters.
O'BRIEN [on monitor]: Wouldn't surprise me. Has Sloan questioned you yet?
BASHIR: We just finished.
O'BRIEN [on monitor]: How'd it go?
BASHIR: It went fine. He just asked me a few routine questions.
O'BRIEN [on monitor]: Believe me, it's not fine. He grilled me for over two hours.
BASHIR: Two hours? About what?
O'BRIEN [on monitor]: About you.
BASHIR: You're joking.
O'BRIEN [on monitor]: I only wish I were. Every single question was about you. Look, I'd better go before they trace this transmission. I just wanted to warn you to watch your back.
BASHIR: Miles, wait. What did he want to know about me?
O'BRIEN [on monitor]: Just be careful. I think they're
(Transmission ends, doorbell rings.)
BASHIR: Come in.
CHANDLER: Director Sloan wants to see you.
BASHIR: Again?
KAGAN: That's right.

[Wardroom]

SLOAN: Did you get your breakfast, Doctor?
BASHIR: Yes, I did.
SLOAN: Good. I was going over my notes from our last conversation and there are a couple of things I'd like you to clarify.
BASHIR: Oh?
SLOAN: Do you have a problem with that?
BASHIR: Not at all.
SLOAN: Let's go back to the time you spent with the Dominion.
BASHIR: I wasn't with the Dominion. I was their prisoner.
SLOAN: You were held at Internment Camp three seven one?
BASHIR: That's right.
SLOAN: Barrack six?
BASHIR: Yes.
SLOAN: And you were there five weeks?
BASHIR: Thirty seven days, actually.
SLOAN: You're absolutely sure about that?
BASHIR: Yes.
SLOAN: And General Martok was with you in barrack six?
BASHIR: Correct.
SLOAN: He said that the Jem'Hadar removed you from the barracks.
BASHIR: I complained when they cut our rations, so they threw me in solitary.
SLOAN: I see. And did you meet with anyone during that week?
BASHIR: I was alone.
SLOAN: Are you sure about that?
BASHIR: Wait, let me think. Was I alone in solitary? Yes. I think I was.
SLOAN: You didn't meet with a Vorta?
BASHIR: No.
SLOAN: Or a changeling?
BASHIR: No.
SLOAN: So, you're telling me that you spent seven days in complete isolation?
BASHIR: it wasn't seven days, it was five. Five days.
SLOAN: Now that's odd, because General Martok said you were gone for seven days.
BASHIR: He's wrong. It was five.
SLOAN: Why would he lie about something like that?
BASHIR: He wasn't lying.
SLOAN: You can't both be right.
BASHIR: He must have lost count of the days. He was under a great deal of stress.
SLOAN: And you weren't?
BASHIR: Human beings are more adaptable to incarceration than Klingons.
SLOAN: Especially when they're genetically engineered?
BASHIR: Meaning what?
SLOAN: Let's move on to the matter of your escape from the camp. I'll quote from your own report. We constructed a transmitter using components from the barracks' life support system. We used it to contact our runabout and beam ourselves out of the camp. Forgive me, Doctor. That sounds a little hard to believe.
BASHIR: It's what happened.
SLOAN: Why would the Dominion leave your runabout orbiting the camp unattended?
BASHIR: They didn't think we'd be able to contact it.
SLOAN: Why not? They left you everything you needed to build a transmitter. Isn't it more plausible that the Dominion wanted you to escape?
BASHIR: Why? Why would they do that?
SLOAN: So that you could start working for them.
BASHIR: But I'm not working for them.
SLOAN: How can you be sure?
BASHIR: Excuse me?
SLOAN: How can you be sure you're not working for them? Are you familiar with the term engramatic dissociation?
BASHIR: Vaguely.
SLOAN: The theory holds that if a person's mind is sufficiently disciplined, he'd be capable of compartmentalising contradictory information, believing one thing while doing another. I think you possess that kind of mind. I think the Dominion saw that and decided to take advantage of it. I think they broke you and turned you to their cause, and then had you suppress the memory of what happened.
BASHIR: You're saying I'm a Dominion spy and don't even know it?
SLOAN: What could be more perfect? There's no chance of your getting caught because you don't even realise you're working for them. When they want to debrief you, all they do is trigger your memory.
BASHIR: That's ridiculous.
SLOAN: Doctor, I am trying to help you, but I need your cooperation. I need you to tear down the walls inside your mind and dredge up a fragment of a memory, anything about your mission, your contacts. I know it's not easy, but you've got to try.
BASHIR: There are no memories to dredge up. I'm not suffering from engramatic dissociation. I'm a loyal Starfleet Officer, and will not answer any more questions unless I'm formally charged and can respond with the benefit of counsel.
SLOAN: I've had enough of your lies, Doctor. You think you're smarter than the rest of us, don't you? You think you're smarter than the millions of brave men and women who put their lives on the line for the Federation. You want to do things the hard way, fine, but I'm going to get the truth out of you, and when I'm done I'm going to take whatever's left of you and lock it away. Guards!

[Promenade]

(Bashir is in handcuffs and under heavy guard.)
SISKO: Is it really necessary to drag a Starfleet Officer across the Promenade in irons?
CHANDLER: We have our orders, sir.
KAGAN: Please stand aside.
KIRA: We'll get you out of this, Julian.
QUARK: I'm sure it's all a mistake. Isn't it?

[Security office]

BASHIR: Where's Odo?
CHANDLER: In his quarters. We'll be handling security for the time being.
KAGAN: This way.

[Holding area]

(Kagan removes the handcuffs.)
KAGAN: Too tight?
BASHIR: A bit.
KAGAN: You'll live.
BASHIR: So nice to see you enjoying your work.
KAGAN: I was with the Seventh Fleet when the Dominion attacked the Tyra system. Ninety eight of our ships were destroyed in a matter of hours. I lost a lot of friends.
BASHIR: I lost a lot of friends, too.
CHANDLER: I believe that, but yours were Jem'Hadar.
(Chandler takes Bashir's comm. badge)
CHANDLER: You won't be needing this anymore. Step inside.
(After the break.)
CHANDLER: With all due respect Captain, if you would just wait in the Security office, Director Sloan should be here any minute and you can discuss your request with him
SISKO: There is nothing to discuss. I want ten minutes alone with my officer, and I want them now.
CHANDLER: Very well.
(Chandler leaves.)
SISKO: I thought you should know Odo did some checking. Sloan had a son in Starfleet. He was a transport pilot. He was killed by a Dominion patrol.
BASHIR: Maybe he thinks I supplied them with the information that helped them target his son's ship.
SLOAN: That's exactly what I think. When my son's convoy dropped out of warp to rendezvous with a Klingon bird of prey, they found three Dominion attack ships waiting for them instead.
SISKO: I'm sorry for your loss. But don't you think that your son's death indicates a conflict of interest in your investigation?
SLOAN: I think it gives me an added incentive to go after the truth. Now what was it you wanted?
SISKO: I need to talk to my Chief Medical Officer in private.
SLOAN: I can understand that. But security protocol require that no one talk to the prisoner without clearance from me.
SISKO: Director Sloan, have you received orders from Starfleet to relieve me of my command of this station?
SLOAN: No, I haven't.
SISKO: Well then, as long as I remain in command, I will see Doctor Bashir whenever I please. Furthermore, from now on I will sit in on all interrogation sessions to make sure his rights are observed. Do I make myself clear?
SLOAN: I believe so. Well, we'll see each other tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy your conversation.
(Sloan leaves.)
BASHIR: I appreciate your help, sir.
SISKO: We'll get this straightened out, I promise you.

[Wardroom]

(Sisko is also present for this interview.)
SLOAN: Let's go back a few years to the incident at Bopak Three. According to your report, you and Chief O'Brien crash landed on the planet, where you then made contact with a group of Jem'Hadar.
BASHIR: We didn't make contact with them. They captured us.
SLOAN: If that's the case, why didn't you attempt to escape?
BASHIR: We didn't have a chance.
SLOAN: According to Chief O'Brien, you were more interested in curing the Jem'Hadar of their addiction to Ketracel White.
BASHIR: I'm a doctor. They were suffering from withdrawal.
SLOAN: They're the enemy. Genetically engineered killing machines.
BASHIR: They're not machines, they're sentient beings, and I couldn't just stand there and watch them die.
SLOAN: Why? Because you felt sympathy for them, being genetically engineered yourself?
SISKO: This is irrelevant. We're talking about an incident that happened before Doctor Bashir allegedly became a Dominion agent.
SLOAN: It's not irrelevant, Captain. If anything, it shows that he was already sympathetic to the Dominion. But let's move on. Doctor, we spoke yesterday about a group of genetically enhanced patients that you brought to the station. Why, exactly, did you decide to work with them?
BASHIR: They'd been institutionalised most of their lives. I thought I might find a way to help them assimilate into society.
SLOAN: A laudable goal, but what I find puzzling is the way you went about it. These misfits had been sheltered from the outside world for as long as they could remember, yet you chose to bombard them with information about the war with the Dominion. Frankly, I'm surprised it didn't scare them into a deeper isolation.
BASHIR: I wanted to engage them, and it worked.
SLOAN: Is that why you convinced Starfleet Command to give them access to classified battle plans?
BASHIR: Starfleet was interested in hearing our ideas on how to win the war.
SLOAN: How to win the war? You recommended that the Federation surrender.
BASHIR: We were looking for ways to save as many lives as we could. Now, if you'd take the time to examine the findings
SLOAN: Captain, you took the time to examine the findings, didn't you?
SISKO: I did.
SLOAN: Did you agree with them?
SISKO: No.
SLOAN: Of course not. No loyal Starfleet officer could.
SISKO: I won't deny that Doctor Bashir has made some questionable decisions in his career, but that's a long way from convincing me that he is a traitor. So far, your case is based on circumstantial evidence and speculation.
SLOAN: What other kind of case can I make against a man who covers his tracks so well?
SISKO: That's a circular argument and you know it.
SLOAN: Captain, if Doctor Bashir had been involved in one or two questionable incidents, I could understand how you might be able to dismiss it, but the sheer number of incidents form a pattern of behaviour that can't be ignored. I understand you want to be loyal to a man who's served under you for so long. I understand you'd be inclined to take his word over that of an outsider. But step back for a moment and think about it. This man concealed the truth about his illegal genetic enhancement for over thirty years. He lied to get his medical licence. He lied to get into Starfleet. He lied to you when he came aboard this station and he's been lying to you ever since.
SISKO: He did eventually come forward and tell the truth.
SLOAN: That's right, he did. Why? Why? What made you confess? Was it because you realised that it was your duty to be honest with your captain?
BASHIR: No.
SLOAN: Was it because you felt guilty about having lied to him for so long?
BASHIR: No.
SLOAN: Then why did you come forward?
BASHIR: I was found out.
SLOAN: And if you hadn't been found out, would you have come forward and told your captain the truth, ever?
BASHIR: I don't know.
SLOAN: I see.

[Holding area]

BASHIR: Sloan was right about one thing, sir. I should have told you the truth from the beginning.
SISKO: You're right, you should have. But lets put that behind us for now.
BASHIR: How can I defend myself against this man? Whatever I say to him, he either thinks I'm lying or repressing my memories.
SISKO: I know you're not lying, Julian.
BASHIR: But?
SISKO: But, as a doctor, isn't it in the realm of medical possibility that the Dominion did recruit you and that you have blocked it out of your memory?
BASHIR: Even if it is possible, it didn't happen. You don't believe me.
SISKO: I don't think you're lying, Julian. It's late. Try to get some sleep. We'll talk again in the morning.
(Later, Bashir is woken by the lights coming on full.)
SLOAN: Sorry to interrupt your sleep, Doctor. It looks like you're going on a little vacation after all.
BASHIR: Where are you taking me?
SLOAN: Starbase fifty three for further questioning.
BASHIR: Does Captain Sisko know about this?
SLOAN: It's none of his concern. Not anymore.
BASHIR: You have no right to do this, Sloan.
SLOAN: Oh, but I do. Starfleet Special Order six six seven one five gives me the authority to neutralise security threats to Deep Space Nine by whatever means necessary. Doctor, you're about to spend the rest of this war in a maximum security cell. Unless you would care to put your thumbprint on this confession. We can reword it if it doesn't meet your exacting standards.
BASHIR: You can take that confession and throw it out of the nearest airlock.
SLOAN: I thought so. Take him to the shuttle.
(Chandler lowers the forcefield.)
KAGAN: Would you put your hands in front of you, Doctor?
(A transporter beam engages.)
SLOAN: He's beaming out! Stop him!

[Cardassian ship]

WEYOUN: Good evening, Doctor.
BASHIR: Weyoun?
WEYOUN: Welcome home. It would appear we got you out just in time. It's all right, you're among friends now. Did they mistreat you? I don't see any bruises.
BASHIR: Why did you bring me here?
WEYOUN: What choice did I have? Starfleet discovered you were working for us.
BASHIR: I'm not working for you. I'm not a Dominion spy.
WEYOUN: You actually believe that, don't you? That's why you're such a good operative.
BASHIR: You're lying.
WEYOUN: Oh, here we go again. These little conversations of ours always follow the same pattern. You start out confused, then you get angry, then you deny everything until finally the walls inside your mind start to break down and you accept the truth.
BASHIR: What truth? That you broke me when I was in the prison camp?
WEYOUN: We're not barbarians. There was no torture involved. We simply helped you to see that there's no way Starfleet can defeat the Dominion. And because you didn't want billions of Federation citizens to lose their lives needlessly, you agreed to provide us with information that would help us end this war quickly. You rose above the petty question of whose side you were on and made a moral decision. It's not surprising, really. After all, you are a doctor.
BASHIR: You're saying that I'm a traitor.
WEYOUN: Traitor, hero, those are just words. Oh, your friends on Deep Space Nine may vilify you, but history will judge you to be a great man, a visionary who helped bring an end to one of the most devastating wars the galaxy has ever seen.
BASHIR: But I don't remember, I don't remember any of it.
WEYOUN: Of course not. You suppressed the memories, compartmentalised them. It's a remarkable ability, but it does make these initial conversations a bit wearing. Have something to eat. You always re-integrate better on a full stomach.
(Scones, jam and a cup of hot tea.)
WEYOUN: Do you remember the first time I offered you scones back at the camp?
BASHIR: No.
WEYOUN: Concentrate. Sensory details are the key. I had you brought in from solitary. You were very hungry, but you refused to give me the satisfaction of seeing you eat. Do you remember?
BASHIR: I don't remember because it never happened.
WEYOUN: You were almost there. Try again. With a little more effort you can break through.
BASHIR: I am not a Dominion spy!
WEYOUN: I can see this is going to be one of our more difficult sessions.
BASHIR: I'm innocent. I don't care what you or Sloan think. Wait a minute. Why would you both be trying to convince me of the same lie? Unless you were working together.
WEYOUN: Please, Doctor. Listen to yourself.
BASHIR: Sloan's the traitor.
CARDASSIAN [OC]: Combat stations. Enemy ship approaching.
(It's the Defiant on Weyoun's monitor.)
WEYOUN: Sisko. (Boom) I'm afraid we're going to have to continue your debriefing later.
(Weyoun leaves.)
(Boom! Bashir and a Cardassian are thrown to the floor, then Worf and Kira beam in. The Cardassian is killed.)
BASHIR: Am I glad to see you.
KIRA: Away team to the Defiant. We've got him.

[Bridge]

SISKO: I suppose you have a reasonable explanation for why the Dominion broke you out of that holding cell.
BASHIR: I understand how this must look, sir.
SISKO: What did they want?
BASHIR: Weyoun just tried to convince me that I was his operative. I think he and Sloan are working together.
SISKO: Now that's enough. You know you're not going to exonerate yourself by casting suspicions on someone else.
BASHIR: Well maybe he's not a traitor, maybe he's been replaced by a changeling. All I'm saying is that both he and Weyoun are trying to frame me.
WORF: You have run out of excuses, Doctor.
BASHIR: You have to believe me. I'm innocent.
SISKO: I have had enough of your lies, Doctor.
BASHIR: You can't just dismiss what I'm saying, because if I'm right there's no telling what kind of damage Sloan
SISKO: Get him off my bridge.
KIRA: Let's go, Doctor.
BASHIR: Jadzia, you believe me, don't you?
DAX: Why did you do it, Julian?
BASHIR: Miles? You?
(Bashir puts his hand on O'Brien's shoulder. O'Brien pushes it away vigorously.)
BASHIR: Your shoulder. It's all right.
O'BRIEN: Of course it's all right.
BASHIR: But you dislocated it yesterday when (pause) we were playing springball.
O'BRIEN: So? It's better now.
BASHIR: You didn't hurt it playing springball. You dislocated it kayaking in a holosuite. You're not Miles. And you're not Captain Sisko. He'd at least be willing to hear me out. This isn't real. It can't be.
(The Bridge fizzes out to become)

[Holodeck]

(Sloan is in black leather, not a Starfleet uniform.)
SLOAN: You're right, Doctor. None of it was real. But I am. And this isn't over. Congratulations, Doctor. It's not often that we're proven wrong.
BASHIR: I take it you finally believe I'm not working for the Dominion.
SLOAN: I'm leaning heavily in that direction. But to erase any lingering doubts, what do you say we make one final test?
BASHIR: I'm finished playing games with you, Sloan.
SLOAN: I assure you, Doctor, this is no game.
(Sloan hands a device to a guard, who approaches Bashir with it)
SLOAN: Don't be afraid. I have no intentions of hurting you. I just need to remove an implant from behind your right ear. I tell you what. Why don't you do the honours? Give it to him. Go ahead, Doctor. It's only a neuro-synaptic relay.
BASHIR: You've recorded my neuroelectric responses?
SLOAN: That's correct. And now I'd like to check the findings in order to confirm what I already believe. That you're an innocent man. Now either you remove the relay or we will.
(Bashir takes a chip out from behind his ear.)
SLOAN: Thank you. This'll only take a moment.
(Sloan puts the chip on a tricorder.)
BASHIR: Take your time. I don't seem to be going anywhere.
SLOAN: I'm glad to see your sense of humour's returning. That's a very good sign.
BASHIR: Of what?
SLOAN: You're beginning to relax. We subjected you to high levels of stress to ensure accurate test results. I'm glad to say the results are in your favour. Your loyalty to the Federation appears to be above reproach.
BASHIR: Why do I still detect a hint of doubt in your voice?
SLOAN: Frankly, I would have preferred to have kept you under observation a little longer. Unfortunately, we didn't know about Chief O'Brien's injury or we would've incorporated that into the programme.
BASHIR: So you beamed me out of my quarters into this holosuite when I was asleep.
SLOAN: I believe we allowed you a full hour.
BASHIR: No wonder I feel so tired. I suppose you find your subjects more malleable when they have been deprived of sleep.
SLOAN: Not a new technique, I admit, but an effective one nonetheless.
BASHIR: So, why don't you tell me who you are? Who you work for?
SLOAN: I would think it's obvious. The same people you work for. The Federation. Starfleet.
BASHIR: You don't expect me to believe you're with Internal Affairs, do you?
SLOAN: No, of course not. Internal Affairs is a competent department, but limited.
BASHIR: So which department are you with?
SLOAN: Let's just say I belong to another branch of Starfleet Intelligence. Our official designation is Section thirty one.
BASHIR: Never heard of it.
SLOAN: We keep a low profile. Works out better that way for all concerned.
BASHIR: And what does Section thirty one do, apart from kidnapping Starfleet officers?
SLOAN: We search out and identify potential dangers to the Federation.
BASHIR: And once identified?
SLOAN: We deal with them.
BASHIR: How?
SLOAN: Quietly.
BASHIR: So if I had been a Dominion agent, what would have happened to me?
SLOAN: We wouldn't be standing here having this conversation.
BASHIR: And Starfleet sanctions what you're doing?
SLOAN: We don't submit reports or ask for approval for specific operations, if that's what you mean. We're an autonomous department.
BASHIR: Authorised by whom?
SLOAN: Section thirty one was part of the original Starfleet charter.
BASHIR: But that was two hundred years ago. Are you telling me you've been working on your own ever since? Without specific orders? Accountable to nobody but yourselves?
SLOAN: You make it sound so ominous.
BASHIR: Isn't it? Because if what you say to me is true, you function as judge, jury and executioner, and I think that's too much power for anyone.
SLOAN: I admit it takes exceptional people to do what we do. People who can sublimate their own ambitions to the best interests of the Federation. People like you.
BASHIR: Me?
SLOAN: You have all the qualifications to be a very useful member of Section thirty one.
BASHIR: A few minutes ago, you were calling me a traitor and now you want to recruit me?
SLOAN: Well, you're intelligent, you're resourceful, you've always been fascinated by covert operations. Why else would you spend so much time in Quark's holosuites playing spy?
BASHIR: You're serious.
SLOAN: We're on the same team. We believe in the same principles that every other Federation citizen holds dear.
BASHIR: Yet you violate those principles as a matter of course.
SLOAN: In order to protect them.
BASHIR: No, I'm sorry, but the ends don't always justify the means.
SLOAN: Really. How many lives do you suppose you've saved in your medical career?
BASHIR: What has that got to do with anything?
SLOAN: Hundreds? Thousands? Do you suppose that those people give a damn that you lied to get into Starfleet Medical? I doubt it. We deal with threats to the Federation that jeopardise its very survival. If you knew how many lives we've saved, I think you'd agree that the ends do justify the means. I'm not afraid of bending the rules every once in a while if the situation warrants it, and I don't think you are either.
BASHIR: You've got the wrong man, Sloan.
SLOAN: I don't think so. In time, you'll come to agree with me.
BASHIR: Don't hold your breath.
SLOAN: All I ask is that when you get back to Deep Space Nine, you consider what I've said.
BASHIR: What if I decide to expose you?
SLOAN: Let's just say I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.
(A guard hypo's Bashir.)

[Captain's office]

ODO: I'll say one thing for this fellow Sloan, he's clever. He timed the Doctor's abduction to coincide with his trip to the medical conference. That way, he wasn't missed.
BASHIR: Yes, he's clever.
KIRA: We went over Julian's quarters but we couldn't find any residual transporter signatures. So either they got him off the station some other way, or they have transporter technology that we can't detect.
BASHIR: Captain, is there any word from Starfleet about Sloan or Section thirty one?
SISKO: There's no record of a Deputy Director Sloan anywhere in Starfleet. And as for Section thirty one, that's a little more complicated. Starfleet Command doesn't acknowledge its existence, but they don't deny it either. They simply said they'd look into it and get back to me.
BASHIR: When?
SISKO: They didn't say.
KIRA: That sounds like a cover up to me.
BASHIR: I can't believe the Federation condones this kind of activity.
ODO: Personally, I find it hard to believe they wouldn't. Every other great power has a unit like Section thirty one. The Romulans have the Tal Shiar, the Cardassians had the Obsidian Order.
BASHIR: But what does that say about us? When push comes to shove, are we willing to sacrifice our principles in order to survive?
SISKO: I wish I had an answer for you, Doctor.
KIRA: Maybe we should do some checking, try to track down this Sloan ourselves.
ODO: That won't be easy. If he's right and Section thirty one has existed since the birth of the Federation, they've learned to cover their tracks very well.
SISKO: We don't have to find them. They'll come to us. You said that Sloan tried to recruit you.
BASHIR: I turned him down.
SISKO: He doesn't strike me as a man who takes no for an answer. And next time he asks you to join his little group, you will say yes.
ODO: Well, congratulations, Doctor. Looks like you're going to get to play a spy after all. Only this time, for real.

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