Into Morning
A Star Trek: Deep Space 9 story
Merlin Missy
copyright 1999, 2001

Disclaimer: Paramount owns most of the characters. Too bad they have no
clue how to use them.


Jadzia opened her eyes. She lay on a table, or a bed, she wasn't
certain which. Her skin was bare against it, and she thought she should
be cold. Darkness surrounded her, at the very edges of which she could
see the outline of the room. The stark lines of the Infirmary were muted
into soft greys.

The voices were silent. Ever since her Joining, she had known
them as tiny, incessant whispers in her mind, echoes of other lifetimes
carried into her waking thoughts, not memories but more primitive
emotions and sensations. Of course they're gone, she reasoned, Julian
took away Dax.

She sat up suddenly. Dax is gone. I'm going to die. Worf!
She remembered the attack, the pain, the operation, the sound of Worf's
death scream. She touched her abdomen, felt nothing more than the tickle
of spider gossamer. What's happening to me?

She's awake, came a voice from everywhere and nowhere.
Jadzia's head spun around, but she saw no one. An overhead speaker,
perhaps? She heard laughter in her ears.

No, not a speaker. This was a different voice.

Jadzia, open your eyes. A third voice, familiar, but the
identity was beyond her memory.

I did! She blinked, trying to clear them. Still she was
enveloped in darkness.

Something touched her hand, smooth, almost firm. It's all
right. You'll adjust. We all have.
It was a hand on hers. She took
it, held it as tight as she could, as anything she could touch.

Who are you? Where am I?

A chuckle. So many questions. You were always so curious.

She tried pulling her hand back, found no resistance from the
other. Without the touch, she was alone, lost in this darkness. She
shivered.

Don't be afraid, said another voice. You cannot be harmed
here, not ever again.

Not even by him, a voice said sardonically. They had
personalities, then.

Of course we have personalities, she heard, and more laughter.

Don't be afraid, repeated a voice.

Open your eyes, said the familiar voice.

I tried!

You're thinking like you're still alive, he admonished. Open
your eyes.

She didn't understand, and then she did.

Jadzia opened her eyes.

The other Dax's stood around her, all but one smiling. Curzon
took her hand again. Hesitantly, she stood, turning to see them all.

Welcome, said Audrid, embracing her.

We've been watching you, said Lela. Curzon squeezed her hand.

I hope ... I haven't disappointed you.

Go away, Joran said. The others ignored him.

Ummm ... Hi, said Tobin, which surprised her. Emony and
Torias murmured hellos.

It's time, said Curzon.

Time for what? she asked, but allowed him to lead her. A
doorway she had not noticed before beckoned. Curzon led her through,
with the others following behind. As they walked, it seemed as though at
times the group was ahead of them, even Curzon, but he held her hand
gently the entire time.

They were nearing something.

To the side, she saw light reflected from a face. Ziyal!

The younger woman's eyes were bright. Welcome, Jadzia. She
reached out her hand. Jadzia took it, felt the warmth but no substance.
Their fingers entwined. Silently, Ziyal walked beside her. Curzon did
not let go.

Bareil stood not far beyond Ziyal. His always-beatific face
radiated calm. He touched her shoulder, and she felt a brush like a
chick's feather. Welcome.

They passed other faces. From a picture Alexander kept, she
recognized K'Ehleyhr. She said nothing, but joined them in their walk.
Are you angry with me? Jadzia wondered.

Never, came the gentle, amused reply. It was good to see him
happy again.

Another woman joined them, her oval face framed by short blonde
hair. Jadzia thought perhaps she'd seen her in a picture once, one of
Worf's old friends.

More people joined them, faces familiar and not so, all quiet,
all with Cheshire smiles. She was no longer afraid, as her senses
opened, letting her touch the invisible force of their affection. She
had Curzon's hand, and Ziyal's, but she felt as if she touched every
being who walked with them down the dark passageway. She turned her
head, saw Joran scowling beside her.

Even you, she thought.

The grey gradually gave way to a lesser darkness. She felt as
though she had been walking for thirty-four years, or three hundred.
They came to a stop in front of a door. Twenty feet tall and made of
onyx, it was cool to her fingers, a new sensation in this place of no
touch. Around the edges, she saw light stabbing outwards. She turned
to see the others, found that no one was with her.

Where did you go? she asked, fearfully.

Her sense of the others, her hosts, her friends, those she had
not even known, emanated from the other side of the door.

Her fingers skittered over the surface, finding a handle. She
grasped it, then heard something behind her.

Nerys leaned against Odo's shoulder, sobbing. Benjamin held his
fists tight together. Julian stood beside Quark, neither moving, both
trapped in a glassy shock. Alexander wiped his eyes on his sleeve. Jake
touched his arm, then stood beside his own father. Nog and Rom watched
her with matching looks of sorrow. Leeta smiled through her tears, then
wept openly.

Worf stood alone, cloaked in rage and seething pain. His eyes
were dark, his jaw set. Had this been his reaction to K'Ehleyhr's
death? She tried to speak to him, let him know that she was all right,
that everything was all right now. She had no voice, only thoughts.

Stay, he said.

I love you, she sent, and hoped he heard. She faced the door
again, and with all her strength, she turned the handle to the left, and
pulled. The light blinded her as she stepped through the doorway.

Jadzia opened her eyes. She stood in sunlight.

The End