Star Trek ; Deep Space Nine
Blood Island

(this story takes place during the first season DS9)

Chapter one

The door to Sisko's office opened and Dax entered, ready to share their lunch time tea. She found Sisko deep in thought staring at an image on his computer screen.

"What's so interesting?" Dax asked as she walked around to view the screen.

"Oh, nothing really old-man," Sisko replied, "just the Alphabet of Omega 334."

Dax nodded as she sipped on her tea, "Oh, yes, the 'lost civilization'". Dax commented.

Sisko pointed at the screen, "Not just lost old-man, an enigma. No one can decipher this alphabet, if it even is an alphabet. Without any comprehension of what these symbols are, they are only a decoration on a museum wall."

Dax sat down, across from Sisko. "Well," Dax allowed, "to create symbols that no one else could comprehend is either an act of brilliance, or, shortsightedness."

Sisko went on. "The Vulcans have tried, the Andorians have tried, heck even the Feringi have tried, but no one can make any sense of it. Today Keiko's class is giving it a try." Sisko said with a smile.

Dax altered and alternative conclusion. "Well, maybe they didn't want their history discovered."

Sisko shook his head. "That doesn't sound to optimistic."

Dax pressed on. "Maybe they knew too much. As they say Benjamin, some things are best left unsaid."

Sisko, suddenly dejected, turned off the computer. "Well, thank you for that uplifting thought. Besides, you're late. We have to get a move on. The concert will be starting in a few minutes."

Dax finished her tea and then she and Sisko headed out of Sisko's office, out past OPS and on toward the Promenade.

A section of the Promenade was roped off for a special concert to be given by a visiting Bajoran Children's choir. Several dozens chairs were arranged, facing the stage, and a crowd of people began to take their seats. A special section was reserved for the crew of DS9. Sisko and Dax joined the others, and Sisko sat next to Kira and noticed that she and Bashir are in conversation with K'livani, the female Klingon choir master, who is both very beautiful and exotic.

Sisko smiled at the sight of Bashir fawning over the majestic Klingon woman.

"K'ilivani," Bashir said, "I can't wait for the performance. I actually have all of your works in my possession, and they are really quite remarkable."

The Klingon woman bowed her head. "Thank you Doctor Bashir. I came to Bajor for my love of music, and for my equal love for all children."

Kira took up the conversation. "When I saw the children arrive earlier I could see the respect they hold for you in their eyes, K'ilivani. I think you have brought so much to their lives, and I thank you."

K'ilivani nodded acknowledgement and then headed toward the stage to prepare for the introduction.

"Doctor," Kira said to Bashir, "you can breathe now."

"Whew," Bashir said, "that woman is remarkable."

Kira shook her head.

With that, the lights were lowered and a stream of Bajoran children come on to the stage. There is a light applause. The children, most of who were orphaned during the occupation, take their places on the stage.

Quark watches from the entrance of his Bar. There are no customers inside Quark's, nor are there any people strolling around the Promenade. They are all drawn to the chairs to see the choir perform.

Odo walked up and stood next to Quark.

"What, no business?" Odo asks with a slight smile.

"How can I compete with orphans?" Quark asked Odo, not expecting an answer at all. Nor did one come.

In defeat Quark throws up his hand and took a seat at the back of the rows of chairs.

The choir began its performance. The audience listened intently as the choir combined Bajoran chord structure with Klingon melodies. Sisko closed his eyes and was very impressed with what he heard. He leaned over and whispered into Kira's ear.

"Very nice Major," Sisko said with a smile, "I have never been a fan of Klingon music, but when combined with these Bajoran elements, it makes more melodic sense."

Kira nodded in agreement. "I agree commander. I didn't think she could do it, but K'ilivani, and these children, have created something wonderful."

Several minutes later, one of the young Bajoran girls, no more than nine or ten, moved to the front of the stage and began to sing solo. As she sang, Bashir noticed that the girl was sweating from her forehead. At first he shrugged it off to her nerves. But as the song continued, it is quite clear that she was not well. Seconds later, the young girl collapsed.

The crowd stood in stunned shock as Bashir rushed to the stage.

"What's wrong with her?" K'ivilani asked in horror.

Bashir shook his head in doubt. "I'm not sure," Bashier replied as he felt the girl's pulse and checked her vitals with his medical Tricorder. "I think she has some kind of virus. The maintenance crews are working on the internal Transporter, so I'll have to take her to the infirmary."

Just as Bashir prepared to lift the child, K'ilivani cut him off and lifted the child into her arms. "No Doctor," K'ilivani said to Bashir, "I shall take her to your infirmary."

Bashir nodded in agreement, and showed her the way. As Bashir hurried through the crowd, Sisko and Dax walked along side him. Dax had known the young doctor long enough to know when he was concerned.

"What is it Julian, what's wrong?" Dax asks.

Bashir looked to Dax and Sisko. "The girl's auto-immune system is shutting down. According to the medical scan she's had this virus for some time."

Sisko didn't like the sound of that at all. "How serious is it Doctor Bashir?"

As they reached the infirmary, Bashir let K'ilivani pass him, as she held the strickened girl. K'ilivani followed two of Bashir's assistants into the infirmary.

Bashir paused to consult with Sisko.

"Sir," Bashir said to Sisko, "I can't rule out the possibility yet that this isn't some airborne virus."

Sisko tapped the com-unit on his chest. "Ops, Commander Sisko here. I am ordering a quarantine of Deep Space Nine immediately. No ships are to dock, and no ships are to depart until I give further orders."

"Aye sir," Obrien's voice replied from the unit.

Bashir went into the infirmary, satisfied his concerns had been met.

Dax looked at Sisko as Quark approached.

The Feringi bar own was not happy with what he had just heard. "You can't do this Commander. Every time we have one of these viruses you shut down the station and I lose business."

Sisko didn't care at all about profit levels. But he had to remember that Quark was just one of many merchants who were the life and blood of DS9. "There isn't much I can do Quark. The moment I am confident there is no risk of spreading this, what ever it is, I will lift the quarantine."

The Feringi bar owner shook his head and then went back to his bar.

"Don't let him get to you," Odo said as he walked up to Sisko and Dax. "He understands the risk. He just won't admit it."

Sisko looked back at the infirmary. "I just hope the little girl pulls through this."