TITLE: Alamo

Author: Valerie Shearer

Contact: thenightbird@earthlink.net

Series: DS9

Rating: PG

Codes: O,B

Summary: A very depressed Julian Bashir visits his friend Miles on post-war Earth.

Note to Archivist: Please archive this story.

Note on Distribution: This story may be passed on to others provided this entire header is left intact and my name and e-mail address goes with each copy. It may not be published or printed for fanzines without my permission. Please ask permission to include in fanfic websites (other than the ASC archives) before doing so.

Note on Feedback: Please send lots, but be constructive. I'm especially interested in seeing if the historical segments worked with the rest. Flames will be doused, but all reasonable mail will be answered. Reply at thenightbird@earthlink.net.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Julian Bashir, Luther Sloan, Miles O'Brien, Ezri Dax, and the Dominion war (along with anyone else I forgot) are the Property of Paramount Studios.

Note: The historical background in this story is as accurate as I could make it. I wish to thank the Lone Star Junction, http://www.lsjunction.com for the information in their database on Texas history. If only every state had a web site as well done research would be easy.

And last of all, thanks to my beta readers. Paula Stiles and Matt Edwards helped sharpen the parallels, and Meghan Elisabeth of the Muses' Sector ( http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Dreamworld/1481/ ) reviewed the final copy with a fine tooth comb.

And one last thanks for the patient nurses at Parkview hospital, where most of the first draft manuscript was hand written after the nightbird was supposed to have turned off the light..


by Valerie Shearer

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

Lord Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)

Bexar, Texas
February 23, 1836

The bells had begun to toll two hours before. The lookouts warning had stirred the remaining local population to action. With blankets, weapons, and food in hand, a steady stream of men, women and children hurried towards the Alamo, the 120 year old mission which had become a fort. It was their last sanctuary from General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

Inside the Alamo, there were more attempts to convince the other Texas forces to come to their aid. Dr. John Sutherland, despite a broken leg, volunteered to join John W. Smith on a desperate ride ninety-five miles to the south in hopes of reinforcements before it was too late.

The legendary frontiersman, Davy Crockett, and his twenty Tennesseans asked for a specific duty. They were given the responsibility of defending the stone and dirt palisade at the Alamo's southwest corner, their most vulnerable point.

Two hours passed before the Mexican calvary led by Santa Anna entered the town. The sun glistened from swords and breastplates. The horses harnesses' jangled amid the pounding of hooves in the dirt.

As the defenders of the Alamo watched in silence, a blood red flag was raised from the steeple of the San Fernando Church.

A quiet hush covered the town. The flag colored as blood served notice that more blood would be shed. No prisoners would be taken.

The men of the Alamo gave their answer. The fort's big eighteen pounder cannon roared across the town.

Blood would be met with blood. There would be no surrender.


Julian started at the courtyard. He could see the prisoners as they were dragged together by Santa Anna's soldiers, and smell the fear and blood as they were hacked apart by swords. They had known that no prisoners would be taken from the moment the red flag had been raised. Defeat would mean death. But they had made that choice. Time remembered them for their courage. It no longer mattered what kind of men they were, what mistakes they had made before, or what had motivated them in their choice. That they had chosen to risk death for their freedom was all that counted.

He wished the place was more deserted. The Alamo was popular now, too many people trying to deal with their own loss were finding an inspiration and a catharsis here. He'd hoped that somehow it would do that for him. But all he could see was the dying and all he could hear was the din of ferocious personal battles that ended only when most of the defenders had been overwhelmed by the Mexicans.

The Mexicans had broken into the Chapel, where the women and children were sheltered. A few of the older boys had been shot, and the guards killed. But at the end a shred of humanity asserted itself and the soldiers stopped.

But there were too many bodies. Long dead Texans intermingled with the shattered remains of a dozen alien species. And everywhere were the bodies of the Cardassians, strewn around like rag dolls scatted by some sadistic child.

He stopped. He didn't hear the quiet conversations of the other visitors. He didn't even see them. All he heard was the quiet of death.

Before he'd left Cardassia the first time, Garak had taken him to Tain's house, or what was left of it. Buried somewhere in the rubble was Mila's body. Garak had just stared at it, utterly lost. If and when he could, he was going to reclaim the house, and rebuild it. Suddenly, he'd started dragging away pieces of rubble. Julian had helped him, and they had found the body.

There had been no one around but the dead. They would be put in mass graves and burned. It was hot on Cardassia. The bodies had to be dealt with soon or there would be disease. While Julian kept watch, Garak had buried her. He had kept his distance. He had thought of how his own parents would be, if the Cardassians hadn't turned the tide. Would they end up lying on the street like so much garbage? Would anyone be there to care?

He'd tried to say how deeply it hurt. But Garak, quiet and stunned, had just stared at the mass of rubble. Julian would always remember the emptiness. Garak had finally said, very quietly, that he understood. Gazing towards the hidden grave, he'd simply said thank you. It said everything.

A patrol had stopped them, and they'd been brought back to the headquarters. But Julian could see little more than the smoldering ruins of the capital and the dozens of bodies still strewn all over the ground. Torn from their homes, they had been murdered in the street. Most had been killed with bayonets. It was a city of the dead. Before they carried off the living they would have to be removed. But at that moment there weren't enough remaining alive to move the bodies.

He'd left Cardassia after that. He'd gone back to DS9, said good bye to Miles and Odo, and taken refuge in the love he had for Ezri. But he had not forgotten the ruined planet. He'd never forgotten the stunning horror the Jem'Hadar had made of Cardassia. Sometimes it was hard to understand how the complete joy he had with Ezri could exist at the same time.


Bexar, Texas
End of February, 1836

Sutherland and Smith's journey in search of reinforcements was only one of many. A week before Santa Anna's arrival, Colonel William Travis had sent Lt. James Butler Bonham on a similar mission. But the army of Texas could spare no one. The Alamo had been ordered abandoned and destroyed. Travis and Bowie's choice to stay was their own, in hopes the delay would give Houston more time to form his army. Now Bonham was returning, and the booming of cannons over the plain told him it had begun. He pushed his way past startled Mexican soldiers and through the gates of the Alamo.

Mexican forces were already mounting cannons and the first trenches which would encircle the Alamo were being dug. Santa Anna's forces has swelled to over a thousand to the one hundred and fifty defenders in the fort. That morning Jim Bowie, "the most dangerous man alive", was finally confined to his cot by a raging fever after a continuing illness.

As afternoon came, the shelling began. Shells were hurled into the old mission, but none of those sheltered inside were killed. Their numbers had swelled with the civilians from the town. The guns of the Alamo were seldom fired. There was little gunpowder to spare.

As darkness fell across the plains, the guns suddenly fell silent. The band began to play. With the strains of Santa Anna's music in his ears, Travis penned another plea.

Commandancy of the Alamo
Bexar, Fby. 24th 1836

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World

Fellow Citizens and Compatriots,

I am besieged by a thousand or more Mexicans
under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual
bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours and have
not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a
surrender as discretion, otherwise a garrison are
to be put to the sword if the fort is taken. I
have answered the demand with a cannonshot, and
our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I
shall never surrender nor retreat.

Then, I call you in the name of Liberty, of
patriotism, and of everything dear to the American
character, to come to our aid with all dispatch.
The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will
no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four
or five days. If this call is neglected, I am
determined to sustain myself as long as possible and
die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to
his own honor and that of his country.

Victory or Death

William Barret Travis

Lt. Col. Comdt.


The ruins of Cardassia drew him back again. The Federation had been asked to evaluate the needs of the Cardassians, especially their medical needs. In the wake of the war's destruction, decisions had to be made. Few doctors wanted to go to Cardassia. He had volunteered, with Kira's permission and support. He hoped, somehow, to find the bodies gone.

But while those scattered in the open had been removed, most of the ruined buildings remained. They were being demolished one by one and searched for more dead. The smell of death still hung in the air. But the misery had just begun.

He'd checked on Garak's whereabouts and he wasn't hard to find. He was among those Cardassians who had actively resisted the Dominion. He had already been recruited for the small "trusted" administration set up to deal with local problems. He hoped to find a way to visit Garak before he left.

The surviving Cardassians had been moved from the dead cities. The Jem'Hadar had not gotten to the countryside, and the survivors were being housed in makeshift camps. For an urban people who chose to live in cities, the open expanses were as unfamiliar as the sudden deadly turn in their lives. And it represented the final step in the destruction of their culture that had began so carefully and methodically when the Dominion had come.

They were a strong people, but the sudden reign of death had not hit them yet. When that came he hoped they found a way to deal with it. Their culture taught strength and fortitude. They were known to be ruthless. But none of that might help when the victims were themselves.

There were shortages of everything. Food was the most critical, but medicine would soon be as important. He had put it all in his report, which he would present at the conference on Earth. But he knew it would fall towards the bottom of the pile under Klingon and Federation needs.

The bodies were gone, but he could still feel their presence. It cast a pall over everything. Each had been identified and a search made for surviving family members to notify, but the bodies themselves had been quickly destroyed. Almost a billion dead were too many to do anything else. Mila had been given the proper burial, but she was almost alone. Cardassians would have to settle for memories of their dead instead. Standing in the muggy Texas air, he was reminded of the final fate of the Alamo dead.

He thought about how he and Miles had played games with this place. They had placed little models of the people who had lived and died here and it had been very real. But more than four hundred years later, their ghosts remained. They touched him just as the unnatural quiet on Cardassia had been shrouded in shadows and grief.

He no longer knew which was real. He couldn't move, staring at the place in the square where the Mexicans had executed their prisoners, seeing others from other times fall as well. It was just death all over again.


Bexar, Texas
February 28, 1836

The Mexicans lengthened their trenches. Exploding shells shook the thick walls of the Alamo. Sharpshooters shot at those inside from the cover of nearby shacks. The Texans burned them and picked off any Mexicans within rifle range.

Captain Juan Seguin of the Mexican Volunteers, among others, were sent to Sam Houston and others Texas forces with increasingly desperate appeals for help. If it was to come at all it must be before Santa Anna's trenches encircled the old mission.

Even nature turned on them. The previously mild winter became cold as an icy wind swept the Alamo and pounding rain fell with the wind.

Santa Anna would not allow them time to sleep. There was a constant din, nights filled with cannons and bugles. In answer, Crockett set up a musical duel between himself on the fiddle and a bagpipes playing Scott. Even Bowie rose from his sickbed to rally his troops.

The men from the village of Gonzalez, all but one, came to their aid. In the early hours of March 1st, they slipped through holes in the Mexican lines. None of them would go home, and their widows and orphans would flee for their lives before it was done.

Travis dispatched another messenger, taking with him letters to family and friends that might never be seen again. The Mexican cannons continued to thunder.

And then things changed. March 5th, the Mexicans began building ladders to scale the walls.

The end would come soon. In a lull in the fighting that night, Travis offered his men a chance to leave without shame. None of them were soldiers and few had roots in Texas. But all had been willing to fight for Texas and the freedom it stood for. All but one was willing to die for it as well.

There was one last plea for help. Travis counseled the women and children hidden in the chapel. He gave presents to the children. At midnight, they tried to get a few hours of sleep.

Santa Anna discussed his plan of attack with his men. Not all of them agreed. The Texans could have been starved out. One man wrote in his diary, "Why is it Santa Anna wants to make his triumphs with blood and tears?"

Dawn came, and with it death.


The images danced around in Miles head, as if the little figures had come alive. It was as if all of the rooms of this place were peopled by the ghosts of those that had died there. He could see them as they fought and died. He could hear the sound of the guns and the screams at the end. It was as real as their holo-adventures had been, and he and Julian were so infinitely familiar with the place and events that it was almost as if the model had come to life.

But he was worried about Julian. He stood near the Palisade gazing towards the chapel where the families of the defenders had been hidden. He began staring at the Long Barracks where the last survivors had retreated, watching something in his mind. Miles came up to his friend, and tried to get his attention. "Spooky, isn't it?"

Julian didn't look at him. He'd been so quiet since he'd been staying with the O'Briens. Miles wondered if the ghosts were a little too real for him in this room. But Julian started to speak, very softly. "You know, someone actually said it didn't matter, they were just Cardassians."

Miles wanted to get him out of this place, with its reminders of death and sacrifice and the brutality of war. He wanted to take him someplace beautiful and quiet, and see if he could draw him out. Ezri was going to arrive in two days. He hoped Julian would relax a little before she took his attention away from the memories they shared. But lately he was starting to hope that she could at least tear Julian away from the quiet, moody state of mind he'd adopted.

He didn't know what to say. The conference Julian was attending on Cardassian needs was not secret, but they would expect private views to be kept quiet. "They can't all think that way," he said. "Look, Julian. I think we need to go."

Julian pushed him away. "I'd like to stay for awhile."

Miles didn't want to hear about the slaughter left behind in Cardassia. He'd read enough to know how bad it was. But Julian had been there. Miles knew that it was probably worse than the news managed to convey. "If you'd like to talk, this isn't the best place."

"If it hadn't been Cardassians," said Bashir, "there would be more desire to make them pay for what they did. This is what they had in mind for Earth, I'm sure, and probably the Klingon home world too. Certainly the Romulans. Garak said once the female changeling told him Cardassia was dead. She's almost right, now."

Miles shivered a little, thinking of the ghosts in this place. They had been massacred too. They would understand the tone that Julian was using. Miles couldn't and it worried him. He'd seen enough blood in his life that he should. This was more than just anger. This was retribution. "There's nothing you can do, Julian. The war's over."

Suddenly, Bashir turned on him, his expression bitter. "Not now. But because of us they are in their link, quite safe from harm. Because of us, Miles."

Julian looked back to where the Alamo's dead had been burned. He was staring again, grief, regret and anger written in his eyes. "I'm sorry," he said to no one in particular. "Maybe we should have let them die. Maybe they deserved to die. I wish sorry was enough ... "

People were backing off. It happened. Bashir was not in uniform but it was clear he was barely under control. They assumed he was one of the men and women who came back unable to handle the memories. Miles was worried. If he didn't get him quiet and home security might be called. Julian knew better to talk about the things in his mumbles. Miles still worried about him just disappearing one day.

"They can't hear you," he said, shaking Julian gently. "They died a long time ago."

Julian had always been very controlled, few suspecting his real strength. Miles had forgotten himself. The shove Bashir gave him was enough to send him halfway across the room. Picking himself up off the floor, he noticed Julian had gone back to staring.

The others were making their way out the door. One had called security. Miles had to get the situation under control before they arrived. He stood in front of Julian, staring eye to distant gaze. "Julian, we've got to go. And now."

Bashir put his hand on Miles shoulder, but Miles remained calm. "If you do that again they'll detain you, and there will be awkward questions. You don't want that."

The hand was withdrawn. The anger faded, and his friend started to crumple. "I'll go," he said. "Just don't touch me." Miles wasn't sure who he was talking to. But he was leaving.

But before they could get out of the room, security arrived. Bashir didn't notice or look at them. "Is this the one?" asked one of them rather briskly.

"You won't help," said Miles, tired and worried.

"He was violent," said the other. "We have to detain him."

"Look, he just got back from Cardassia. Let him be. I'll get him home." Miles saw them pause, and hoped he'd won. "Please, he just needs some time."

"Cardassia," said one of them, "deserved what it got."

Miles held his breath. But Julian just stared at them. For a dangerous moment he was near losing control again, but stopped himself.

The security men noticed. They were fingering their phasers. Miles wanted to help, but this was up to Julian to get through.

For an eternity they all stood frozen in place. The security people could not miss the intensely hostile glare he had fixed on them. They were on edge, ready to stun him at the first hint of a threat.

But he simply walked towards them and stopped. They stood, hands on phasers. His voice calm, almost without any feeling at all, Julian said, "If we had lost, they would have done the same to this place. If the Cardassians hadn't fought back we would have been the ones dead. I only hope they would have killed you just like the people who died in this room."

He continued to stare, open scorn in his eyes. Without looking at him, he addressed Miles. "We should leave."

The security men were blocking their way. But they had made no aggressive moves either. They could not miss the threat in Julian's eyes. He was on the edge of controlled fury. Neither of them wanted to see how far he'd go.

Miles walked up to Julian, as security moved out of the way. "And quickly," he added.


Bexar, Texas
March 6, 1836

Bugles announced the impending attack. It was 5am the morning of March 6, 1836. The Mexican infantry took little time crossing the two hundred yards of open ground northwards to the Alamo. The final battle had begun.

The two cannons mounted on the Alamo walls tore great holes in the charging army. Expert shots picked off Santa Anna's soldiers by the dozens. But the Army of Mexico pressed on through the Texan's fire, quickly reaching the walls. The first attempts were made to raise the scaling ladders. Travis, leaning over a wall and firing both barrels of his shotgun down at the troops below, was struck in the head and fell, dying slowly from his wound.

The first wave having failed, Santa Anna ordered his troops to withdraw. They regrouped for a second charge, also repelled by the Texans.

Over the din of battle the band played the Deguello, traditional music meaning the same as the red flag.

The third wave advanced, including four hundred troops held in reserves before. It was concentrated on the North Wall. In the maw of death, with most of the ladders already lost, scores of attackers fell. The Texans perched on the upper walls, leaning down to fire. But it left them vulnerable and they were gradually being picked off by Mexican sharp shooters.

Some fifteen minutes into the battle, a few of the attackers were able to make it over the wall. The fighting became hand to hand with little chance to reload. One of the Mexicans reached and opened the small North gate and scores more of Santa Anna's troops poured into the plaza.

The tide was rapidly turning against the Texans. Unable to reload, they fought last ditch battles with rifle butts and knives against Mexican swords and bayonets. The eighteen pounder was captured. Almost all the Texans had been killed. Crockett may have died along the South wall along with many of his men.

But some survived. They took refuge in the long barracks along the east wall. The eighteen pounder was turned and blasted the Texans off the chapel roof.

The flag of the Alamo fell. The flag of the Republic of Mexico took its place as the battle wore down to the end.


Bashir had calmed down a little once out of the ghost filled rooms, but only a little. He was still fuming, and in case the security people changed their minds Miles didn't want them to be too easy to find.

It was quiet and peaceful here, the trees leafy with the first buds of spring. You could hear the birds. It was as unlike the place Julian had gone in his head as Miles could find.

"Julian, its over. You can make it better, but you can't change it." It was a lesson Miles had learned a long time ago. He hated that his friend was having to learn it too.

"It's never over," said Julian flatly.

"If you want to talk about it this is a good place," Miles said hesitantly, not really wanting to know.

"There are no words ... " said Julian, his voice distant, trailing off. "It ... comes back when I try."

"Have you talked to Ezri about this?" asked Miles.

"No, I can't. She can't help." He was insistent, defensive about the point.

"If you change your mind," said Miles, nearly certain he would never do so, "I owe you one." In a real way Miles did understand. Despite the therapy Julian had forced him into, he could still not explain what it felt like to spend twenty years in a dungeon.

Julian abruptly changed the subject. "We had a choice. I know we were saving Odo, but he had to save the rest. They did not deserve it." Julian stared at the tree in front of him, watching as it swayed in the breeze. He was a little calmer. But not much. He would not meet Miles look.

"Odo saved a lot of lives," said Miles. "If the Jem'Hadar had been allowed to fight to the last man, we would have had more than one slaughter. As it was, we lost a third of the fleet."

"I know," said Bashir rather coldly. "But Odo made the promise. The Federation didn't. He should have been stopped."

Miles remembered the cold determination he'd had when they went after Sloan. They'd justified it because of attempted genocide. Nearly a billion dead Cardassians were almost the same thing. Bashir hadn't said a word at the time, but that had been before his extended visit to the ruins left behind. Was he now willing to justify 31's actions? Or was there more to it than that for Julian to dwell on it so much?

Miles had seen what the Cardassians were capable of. Once he would have found satisfaction in their devastation. But not now. Time would heal him, if he was careful, if Julian allowed himself heal. "He promised. They surrendered on that promise. Are you saying Odo should have been held back long enough they all died but him?"

"Yes," said Julian, "I think. I don't know." He paused and looked away. "What about Betazed and the other occupied areas? What about all of us they killed? We just let her sit there. We let her people run their empire without a single complaint. What about all those other places on the other side of the wormhole that still live in fear of the Jem'Hadar? Did we even worry about them?"

"Are you saying you'd rather have not cured Odo?" asked Miles.

Briefly, Julian had a very distant look. Then it disappeared. "I guess it worked out," he said testily and still would not look at Miles.

Miles remembered the way he'd demanded not to be touched. He was having the beginning of a suspicion. "Julian, did 31 come after you?"

The doctor pulled away. "I can't answer that," he said.

He hadn't said no. He didn't dare say yes. He must have worked something out. He was still here. "I won't ask if they forgave you," he said.

"They don't forgive," said Bashir, and Miles let it be.


Bexar, Texas
March 6, 1836

The last stand of the Alamo, begun with bugles, ended after a blood soaked hour and a half. The doors to the Long barracks had been blasted apart, and the survivors inside clubbed, shot and stabbed. Bowie died on his cot, firing at his killers with both barrels.

They had forced open the Chapel and killed the defenders inside, as well a several of the older boys. But a reprieve had been granted the women and children. As all firing ceased, Santa Anna rode into the Alamo, his victory again marked in blood and tears. The dead were strewn along the walls and the plaza. Nearly all the Texans were dead. Perhaps two hundred of Santa Anna's men had died as well. Some four hundred had been badly wounded and most of them were unlikely to survive.

But a dozen or so Texans had survived. Some historians believe Davy Crockett to be among them. Promised fair treatment by an officer, they had surrendered. Presented to Santa Anna, they were hacked to death with swords and bayonets by the General and his top level officers.

The women and children were led from the slaughter to the Mexican camp. They were released two days later. From them, the story of the Alamo reached other Texas forces.

At the Alamo, all that remained was to dispose of the bodies.


Julian stood, looking out the window. In the day since their visit to the Alamo, he had said little to anyone. He was lost in a black mood, uninterested in food and unwilling to be drawn out of it by the children.

Of all the O'Briens, Chester had been the most successful. He'd persisted in his insistence that he be picked up until Julian had finally given in. He'd sat for an hour just watching the sunset, gently rubbing the cat.

The earlier visit kept replaying in his mind. Those brave men who died there had known the risk. But they'd gambled on the potential gain as well. If Santa Anna had not had to stop and kill them, would it have changed history? Sam Houston had built his army, moving north and east and adding support to his cause as he traveled. Santa Anna lengthened his supply lines and demoralized his soldiers with the long chase. At the Battle of San Jacinto, Houston won a decisive victory and captured the bloody general hiding in the grass. One of the rallying calls his 800 men had given when they stormed the Mexican camp was "Remember the Alamo".

But the Texan's had not given into vengeance. Santa Anna remained alive and their prisoner, even if many had wanted him dead. They had been satisfied with his complete humiliation. They had given him back when their terms were met. They had not become their enemy.

'Could we give back the Founder?' he asked himself. She was locked away awaiting her chance to answer for all the crimes of her people. She would pay for the millions of lives lost in battle and various atrocities, including Cardassia. Rumor had it that the Federation was discussing waiving their ban on the death penalty just this once. They did not kill out of vengeance. But perhaps this time they would. He felt burdened by the knowledge that it wouldn't really matter.

She had but one request. If she was to die, a portion of her remains be sent home. But all of those families who had lost a child or a parent but had nothing to bury deserved more than that. And the millions of Cardassian who would not receive their rites for the dead, for there were far too many to offer it, demanded their silent pleas for justice. When she died, she would remain as alone as she was now. He could find no reason to disagree.

He'd found Garak at the central shipping depot for supplies. One of the camps was nearly out of both food and medicine and he'd heard rumors there was plenty here, in warehouses. He'd gotten a runabout and come to look himself.

He hadn't expected to run into Garak. Dressed in a civilian sort of uniform, Bashir noted he was still a tailor. His outfit fit far better than anyone else's. "I see you haven't forgot how to sew," he said as Garak looked up.

He was surprised, but looked pleased. "Doctor, how delightful to see you."

Julian believed Garak was being honest. "I was going to look you up if I had the time. Actually, I came looking for supplies."

Garak glanced out the window. "If you have some way to move them, there are a lot here. We do get supplies, but no way to move them anywhere. As usual," he said and looked glumly back at the padd he was carrying.

Cardassia had switched sides, but very late in the war. What they had done before mattered much more to too many people, even if they had made it possible to win the war in the end. They would survive, but without their dignity. "I wish I could help," he said.

"Ah, but you are," said Garak, and he felt as if the old mysterious Garak had returned. "Nobody wants to come here. But I understand you volunteered. Believe me, you are helping." Garak looked at the padd again. "And there is no help for this," he said, as Bashir took the padd.

The cities were being searched, and the hidden dead identified. Garak was among those asking for the bodies to be returned so at least some of them could receive a proper burial. But the answer had been no. There was too big a health risk. Cardassia would have to be happy with a monument.

"They have their reasons," said Bashir, not entirely disagreeing.

"Certainly. I'm sure that Mexican general did as well at that place you call the Alamo. I wonder what his excuse was when the real reason was to humiliate them in death as well."

Bashir couldn't disagree with that. "He wanted to complete his destruction of them."

"Yes, just as all Generals do. Even now in this age, the generals go on. Except Wayoun, of course."

For a moment Garak smiled. It was one of satisfaction and revenge. But he could see it wasn't enough.

He only wished, now, he could tell Garak the rest.


Bexar, Texas
March 6, 1836

The bodies were piled in the square, one hundred and eighty three Texans stacked between layers of brushwood, both famous men and the unknown. It was put to the torch. The dark smoke rose in the afternoon sky and the air smelled of burnt flesh.

Only one had been buried. The son of a family from Bexar, his body had been given to them for a proper burial after they begged for his return.

The women and children were released a few days later. With Houston's army hurrying them along, the army of Texas and its supporters ran north, including the widows of the town of Gonzales and their children.

The dying was not yet done.

A few of the prisoners were the survivors of those sent to aid in the evacuation of the town of Refugio. But the bulk of them had been captured after their surrender to Mexican General Jose Urrea after their commander, James W. Fannon, had taken some five days to retreat as ordered.

The three hundred and fifty men had fought back until there was no water and few supplies. They believed they would be eventually released to go home. The General had them escorted to Goliad as his prisoners.

But when word of their capture reached Santa Anna, their fate was sealed. Infuriated, he demanded to know why they hadn't been executed on the spot. A recently passed law defined all foreigners taken under arms as pirates, and condemned them to death.

Santa Anna ordered their execution.

Twenty days after the fall of the Alamo, March 27th and Palm Sunday, the prisoners were marched into the open prairie. They were divided into groups, and then shot. A few managed to escape, and several physicians were spared as useful, but the rest of Fannon's command were massacred. Their bodies were collected in piles and burned. Fannon was executed last, after the others had been killed.

The Texans had a second set of martyrs. Three weeks later, in one of the most decisive battles in history they had their revenge. With cries of "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember Goliad" they ended the revolution in a victory which would shape the future of two nations.

Houston pushed his men and the civilians he had taken along at a relentless pace. Each town evacuated added more to their ranks, and the Texan's forces grew larger. Each day they continued to retreat the stories of the Alamo and Goliad fed the desire to turn and attack, to take revenge. But Houston kept them moving, not allowing any attack. Santa Anna continued his pursuit, burning what Houston's forces hadn't already destroyed.

In time, Houston ended his retreat, nearly reaching the border of Louisiana. Doubling back, he led his eight hundred men quietly towards a pleasant, tree fringed plain where the San Jacinto river flows towards Galvaston Bay. The Mexican army rested behind a barricade raised to hide their presence, never suspecting the Texans were approaching.

Houston hid his army in the woods, even forbidding attack as five hundred more troops joined Santa Anna's already overwhelming force. A team of men, led by "Deaf" Smith, was sent to burn a bridge which would cut off the only open retreat. Marshes and bayous blocked all other directions.

On the afternoon of April 26th, 1836, fifty-one days after the fall of the Alamo, Houston led his army of eight hundred men towards the Mexican camp. His twin cannons, named the "Twin Sisters", were dragged forward. Swung around, they opened a twin volley on the Mexican army, the opening of the attack a complete surprise.

Mexican soldiers rushed to the barricades, packing themselves tightly. The Texas infantry waited to fire until they were close enough to send a withering wall of bullets into the Mexicans.

The battle cries arose. "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember Goliad" filled the air. Firing point blank at the barricade, they broke through the wall of soldiers. Carrying no bayonets, the blades of the Mexicans were countered with rifle butts. The Texas troops, driven by revenge, drove into the Mexican camp, slaughtering as relentlessly as had the enemy before. Mexican pleas for mercy went unheard. Here an there Texan officers urged their men to take prisoners.

Twenty minutes after it had begun, it was done. Almost 1,400 Mexican troops had been killed or captured. Some 700 Mexicans lay dead in the brief battle. Texan losses totaled six dead and twenty-five wounded. Houston had lost two horses and been wounded in the ankle. The fury of revenge had been spent. The dead of the Alamo and Goliad could rest.


Bashir had gone back to the Alamo, this time alone. He needed some time by himself to think before Ezri arrived, and without Miles persistent but unwanted attempts at help. It was his special burden to know. That had been his punishment for Sloan.

He was afraid for Miles. His friend had a family, too many targets should 31 decide to punish him as well. He had come to understand that cost. If 31 had chosen to blame him, he would accept it fully, as long as Ezri remained safe.

He cherished her. He could not imagine his life without her anymore. With the war, and the Dominion, he was no longer the same young idealistic doctor who had arrived seven years before at Deep Space 9. He was harder and more unforgiving. He understood hate now too. He was probably a better doctor, but even there were compromises. He had come to see life as a series of trials, each driving him further from the man he'd been. He had lost any sense of balance in his life.

When Ezri had come, that had changed. His memories of that last battle over Cardassia were inexplicably mixed with the joy of their first coming together. His attention had been entirely focused on his job during the battle, trying to keep people alive long enough to have the chance to save them. But there were other thoughts, kneeling on the damaged bridge of the new Defiant. He heard all the reports. He knew even if Sisko was keeping his tone neutral that they were in trouble. He had pushed away the worry that he had found her just in time to have her torn away. She was the proof that there was more than pain and blood to life.

He had moved to the North gate, where the Mexican forces had poured inside the Alamo, the beginning of the end for its defenders. The sounds of the battle filled his mind. There was the trample of feet, the moans of the dying, the clashing of weapons as masses of blood were spilled. He had been there, at Chintaka and other places. The guns improved. The barbarism never changed. The blood was the same, no matter what species it flowed from.

It had all ended over Cardassia. The allies had the momentum. They had gone to battle ready to kill, to avenge all the friends they'd lost before. If it took dying, they had been willing to take the chance just to get it over.

In space you didn't see the bodies, or the blood. You missed the whole orgy of death. But enough had died. He almost wished it hadn't been so distant. Perhaps there would have been more satisfaction.

The Texan's had gotten their revenge. He'd gone to San Jacinto earlier in the day, and stood where the outnumbered Texans had slaughtered the Mexican army amid cries of vengeance.

He understood. The Dominion had intruded on his life too much, not only in war. He could still remember waking in that barracks with Martok and Tain, and the horror that came over him when he realized he'd been kidnaped and replaced, that he might spend the rest of his life in that dreary place. He had never been willing to talk about the hell of the isolation cell. He was still half-ashamed of the joy he'd felt when Garak and Worf had come to join them, just to see a familiar face. He'd seen too many deaths, lost too many patients, and learned to just stop feeling when it was too much.

Even if it was only in a report, or on a screen, he had drawn grim satisfaction in the deaths of the Dominion ships.

But there had been a moment, just before the Cardassian ships turned on their masters, when the mood had shifted. No matter how many enemy ships they destroyed, it would not be enough. This all out assault would not succeed. It would be an end, but the wrong one.

Had the Texan's known the same aura of inevitable doom when the Mexican army stared to overwhelm them? There was no surrender, or retreat, not here in 1836 or over Cardassia some five hundred years later.

For the Texan's, there had been no miracle. They had died as they were fated by the bloody red flag. But in exchange for their deaths, they had saved Texas. Houston had had time to put together an army. The dead of the Alamo and Goliad had given that army all the motivation it needed to fight. For the Texan's who had died in this place, there had been honor in death despite Santa Anna's funeral pyre.

But the Federation and it's allies had been saved. The Cardassians had turned, and the battle had finally been won. Instead, it was Cardassians--ordinary Cardassians--who had paid the insane price of survival.

A third of the fleet had been destroyed, and he wondered for those who had perished that day in space if there was any honor. Once, he might have believed it so. But Sloan had stripped that belief from him, and Sisko had reinforced it. Perhaps those who died believed they were making a worthy sacrifice. He didn't know anymore. He'd come to believe war did not make the winners right, but only proved they were left.


San Jacinto battle field
April 27th, 1836

Only a few managed to escape the battle, and three Texan's had come upon one of the stragglers hiding in tall grass in a nearby marsh. He wore the plain black uniform of a normal Mexican soldier. The man insisted he was a calvary trooper. One of his captors wanted to shoot him on the spot, but the other two prevailed. He was taken back to camp unharmed.

The ruse was over once he entered camp. Demanding to see Houston, he offered papers proving his identity. Then captured Mexican soldiers almost confirmed it, jumping to their feet to salute "El Presidente".

His future survival was in grave doubt. The Texans demanded he face a firing squad for his atrocities. Santa Anna defended himself, explaining he was only obeying the laws of the Mexican Congress. Houston chose to spare him, El Presidente a valuable hostage. His presence as their prisoner could prevent further attacks on Texas.

He was a fitting hostage. Santa Anna was, by himself, a central cause of the revolution. The overthrow of the elected government in Mexico and increasingly tight control from the centralist government had helped trigger the Texas revolution itself. The general's insistence on taking the Alamo, despite its lack of strategic importance and small garrison, had given time for the Texan army to come together. His insistence on the executions at Bexar and Goliad had galvanized the Texans to pursue victory at any cost.

His army exhausted, Santa Anna had stopped to rest at San Jacinto. The precautions against surprise attack he ordered were only half done. He was sound asleep when the attack began. The din from the battle woke him, Texans already in the midst of the camp.

Santa Anna immediately concluded the battle was lost. His reaction was to save himself. Mounting a horse and taking other clothes, he used the confusion of battle to break through Texas lines.

Having reached the swamp, his horse died. He continued on foot, abandoning his general's uniform for the plainer one. He hid in an abandoned house at night. When the Texan's found him, he gave up immediately.

Having confirmed his identity, Houston gave him his own tent. Santa Anna officially surrendered. He was taken to the port of Velasco to complete negotiations that would end the war.

On May 14th, two treaties were signed. In the public version, Santa Anna promised to neither take up arms against Texas or urge others to do so. Private property was to be restored, all hostilities would cease, and Mexican forces would withdraw behind the Rio Grande. In return, Texas would release the captured general. The second, private treaty stated that Santa Anna would urge negotiations and discussions leading to Texas independence. He was put on a ship to go home.

But revenge was still in order. Others, still not satisfied with anything less than his death, succeeded in his removal from the ship. He was imprisoned in the town.

He spent the entire summer and early fall their prisoner. Demands for his execution never succeeded, but he was forced to endure extreme humiliation. He was paraded before mobs so he could hear their insults. He was kept in a small cell with two of his aides. Some of the guards were survivors of Goliad. Once, a pistol was fired into the cell, nearly hitting his aides.

A few days later he was marched to Goliad, on orders he was to be executed on the same spot the Texans had died earlier that year.

An alleged plot to escape was revealed by his secretary. The secretary was allowed to leave. Santa Anna was forced to wear a heavy ball and chain, which he wore for fifty-two days. Having been moved to Orazimba, Texas and far better security it was believed by some that he was already dead.

But a letter to the US President, Jackson, had been written at the urging of Stephen Austin, another prominent Texan. It was meant to warn of impending attack by General Urrea, and to quietly hint at Jackson's help in getting his release. But Jackson misunderstood the message, and insisted he could not support the wishes of a disavowed Mexican President. But they did remove the chains.

For Santa Anna had indeed been abandoned by his government. The treaties were disavowed. When he did go to Washington and met with Jackson he was finally send home, after an absence of fourteen months. His return was noted as "the curse of the nation".

In disgrace, he declared he was done with public life. But a French incursion in 1838 provided him with a way back into power, losing a leg and making him a hero. A general again, he ran for president and, in the year 1841, both he and Houston were re-elected in their respective nations.

Mexico did not recognize either the nation known as the Lone Star Republic, or the treaty which had created it, but Texas none the less functioned as a nation. The United States, with its own internal problems pulling it towards civil war, had informal relations with Texas, but both Britain and France were on the verge of diplomatic relations. The amount of support within in the United States for annexation as a state was an affront to Santa Anna.

Washington was notified that annexation of Texas would be considered an act of war. It was largely the internal problems within the United States that kept Texas a republic, but there was also a fear that the cost of war would be too much.

Texas remained a republic for the next four years. But the United States was changing. The doctrine of Manifest Destiny, the mission of the nation to cover the continent, had been born. Incidents involving mistreatment of American citizens in Mexican territories, from illegal deportations to prison, further fed public opinion. Santa Anna's threat was losing its power.

Texas was invited to become a state on March 1st, 1845. Three weeks later, Santa Anna broke off relations with the United States and began his preparations for war. The stage was set for the final humbling of the general and his country.

After a series of border incidents, the United States declared war on May 13th, 1846, acknowledging a war that was already in motion.

It was not a short war, lasting two more years. It was a hard war, the Mexicans fighting well and with great determination, the costs high for both sides. It was a brutal war, honing the skills of generals who would later face each other on opposite sides in the American Civil War. But it was Mexico's, and Santa Anna's, last stand. The United States purchased two-fifths of what had been Mexico. Mexican claims on Texas and California were given up, and much of Mexico was left in ruins. It survived, but as a poorer and lesser nation, with its northern neighbor now stretching from sea to sea.

During his life, Santa Anna was exiled from his home four times. Ironically the last time he lived in the United States, as Mexico had been invaded by the French and the United States accepted him as the deposed but rightful president. One of his translators was Robert Adams, to whom he introduced chicle. A few years later Adams started selling the first commercial chewing gum.

In the end the generals thirst for blood had been paid back in kind, the cost of his arrogance paid by his own people. But even for the victor there were costs. For the United States, the enduring cost was the enmity of much of Latin America. For every victory there is something lost.


Ezri would arrive tomorrow, and Miles had come to hope she could break his friends deep gloom. He'd said little, and that morning had disappeared leaving a brief note to Miles on where to meet.

Miles found him sitting in the shadow of the steeple of the San Fernando church. He was gazing at the historical flag flying above, of the Lone Star Republic. He noticed Miles and sat on a bench, watching the fading afternoon light.

"I thought you might come back here," said Miles. Bashir looked around, and Miles noted the caution. "You don't have to do this, Julian, tear yourself apart like this."

"You don't know," said the doctor mysteriously.

"Not unless you tell me," said Miles, a little nervously.

Bashir appeared to be considering that very carefully. "You asked me a question I said I couldn't answer. But I think you do deserve one."

Miles took a deep breath, lost between curiosity and worry. "It's ok if you don't want to," he said.

Bashir looked at the flag and towards the Alamo. "But I want to. It's about Odo." He stared across the square with and intent gaze on the last people to leave the building. "We both believed he was cured," he said. The words hung over the square like the bloody red flag.

After a few minutes, Miles said softly, "He looked cured."

"It turned out to be just a treatment. We didn't find out the whole nature of the disease. Perhaps we missed it. Perhaps Sloan was intended not to know it all. It doesn't matter. In time it will fail and the disease will return." Julian said it slowly, letting it sink in.

"How did you ... " Miles muttered.

Julian was watching the birds in the sky. "A little bird named Sloan told me what to look for if you knew everything that was in the original disease."

Miles listened to the birds. He remembered how Odo liked to take the form of a hawk. "Sloan? But he's *dead*." Miles watched as Julian's expression grew hard. "You pronounce him dead. We, ugh, took care of the body."

Julian had no expression now. "Sort of Sloan then." He shrugged. "They learned a few things from the Dominion."

Miles moved back a little. "When did you ... "

"Right after I got back from Cardassia. You won't be surprised that all records have been wiped out. Even mine," he said, tapping his head.

"I guess it did work out," said Miles, stunned.

"We waved the bloody red flag over them and they don't even know." Bashir's voice was rather cold.

"This doesn't bother you?" ask Miles.

"What *is* there to do? There is nothing left to find," snapped Bashir. "Anyway, you didn't see Cardassia. They are still adding more numbers to their lists."

"It still doesn't make it right. I can't accept that," said Miles, still stunned by the news.

"Don't then, but keep it quiet."

"I will. You know that," said Miles wearily, thinking of his wife and children.

Miles was looking at the flag. "I suppose if she's allowed to live, we'll have to give back the founder now. We'd look so ... innocent if we did. Just more lies."

"It worked out," said Bashir. "Isn't that what matters?"

Miles remembered when he'd had that look before, when Sloan was about to die and he hadn't yet taken the knowledge from him. Julian had justified it then, too. "Yeah, it did," he said, wondering if anyone had really won the war. He glanced at the Alamo, growing soft in the fading light. "At least you died for something," he told its ghosts.

Borne of blood and tears, the Lone Star Republic was founded, with Sam Houston its first president. As a symbol of the cost and the dream, the Alamo came to symbolized courage and sacrifice and the cost of war.

More than four hundred years later, two men watched the light fade in the square in front of the old mission. Miles was saddened and stunned. He watched as Julian stood and slowly walked away. He followed after the doctor.

"I had to tell you," said Bashir. "I think they believe me that you didn't know anything."

Miles listened quietly, "Did we win?" he asked his friend.

"Nobody won this time," he said, "But we didn't lose either."

Miles decided to keep to himself the feeling that this time everyone had lost the war.

The End