Star Trek; Deep Space Nine
Blood Island

Chapter 8

The Federation Runabout made its approach toward Bajor. O'Brien piloted the craft, as Odo and Sisko sat in the passenger compartment. O'Brien looked back to Sisko. The ship had departed from DS9 several hours earlier, with only O'Brien listed as a passenger. He had promised to bring three generators to Bajor nearly a month earlier for general use, and using that as a reason, he checked out a Runabout. Bringing Commander Sisko, and Constable Odo, was not noted on the ship's manifest.

"Sir, two Bajoran perimeter ships have been launched, and are on an intercept course." O'Brien reported.

Sisko nodded. "Well," Sisko said, "we expected some kind of reception after your so called distress message."

"They should be on us in about five minutes." O'Brien added. "I should be able to mask our readings with radiation overloads, and approach the planet and beam you down near the coordinates, but not as close as we had hoped."

"Just get us down there in one piece." Sisko said.

Odo spoke next. "Won't they be able to detect our beaming down?"

O'Brien nodded, "There's a slight chance, but I learned this little trick some time back. And since I am sending you both down to a remote area of the most southern continent, the magnetic field should mask your Transport signals long enough."

"I don't think the Bajorans are going to be too pleased should they ever find out you were part of a covert mission like this on Bajor." Odo warned Sisko.

Sisko nodded. "Perhaps," Sisko agreed, "but right now I can't worry about that. If we're lucky, this will all play out the way I think it will and they will understand why I had to take such measures."

Odo shook his head. "I don't mind saying that I deplore missions that depend on luck for a positive outcome."

Commander Sisko didn't reply to that bleak statement from Odo because; Odo was right. Sisko directed his next words at O'Brien.

"Chief, once we get down there," Sisko told O'Brien, "you'll have to do some really good acting when those interceptors reach your position."

O'Brien grinned. "I was pretty good in elementary school," O'Brien reported. "This should be a piece of cake."

The Runabout zoomed toward the planet in a chaotic way, and entered the planet's atmosphere. Moments later O'Brien beamed Sisko and Odo down to the planet, into an area with a very concentrated amount of shrubbery and trees. Once he was confident they had made it, O'Brien banked the craft into a more stable position, and then banked up, ever so slightly, and then back into the atmosphere just as the two Bajoran interceptors closed in on the Runabout's position. It was then, after several moments of Oscar caliber acting, his Bajoran 'rescuers' escorted the Runabout to a space-yard for repair.

Sisko and Odo materialized in a very dense area of foliage. Sisko used his Tricorder and scanned the surrounding level.

Odo could tell they were not where they should have been. "How far off are we?" Odo asked.

Sisko pointed through a break in the trees, and at a hill in the distance. "There," Sisko said.

"That is at least a two day hike from here." Odo said.

"Then we better get started." Sisko replied.

Without missing a beat Odo and Sisko started off on their way towards the hill in the distance. Sisko knew their chances were not great, especially since the operation relied totally on information Sisko had obtained from a most interesting resource; Gul'Dukat.

The morning sun of Bajor was still several hours off. There was hardly any noise at all in the Island's medical center as Bashir and Dax worked at one of the computers, crunching their numbers and formulas.

Jadzia Dax looked up from her consol. She and Bashir, and a scattering of Bajoran medical staff, were the only ones still awake at the early hour, making use of the lab equipment and computers. One of the large windows looked out over the ocean that surrounded the island. Dax had always loved to look at sunrises more so than sunsets. It was always a reminder, to her, that a new day of experience was ahead of her. She was about to continue with her research when she looked over at Bashir.

She looked at Bashir's face and could see the determination mixed with growing fatigue.

"Julian," Dax said softly, "you need to get some sleep."

Bashir looked up from his consol, which had various statistics and formulas on it. He looked at her and, oblivious to what she had said, he pointed at the DNA strand on the screen between them. It zoomed in on an area of the strand.

"I'm confident," Bashir said in a soft but determined voice, "that between the A and T base pairing we should see Tandem repeat sequences of a more ordered state, but we don't."

Dax nodded, "You said the same thing about the G and C pair two hours ago; we're going in circles," Dax said to him. "We need rest."

Bashir looked at her with his bloodshot eyes. "The more we rest," Bashir said, "the closer to death Neline is. I'm not going to stop, Jadzia, until Neline, and all the others like her, are safe."

Dax pressed him. "What you're trying to do, finding a cure, can take years, and you know this Julian. You can't expect to just rush in here, and save the little girl with the snap of a finger. Life, trust me, is hardly ever that neat and tidy."

"Well," Bashir responded, "I guess I'm going to have to change your outlook on life." Bashir said as he went back to looking at his screen.

Dax paused for a moment, and then she tried another tactic. "Julian, I didn't want to have to do this, but I am ordering you to rest for a few hours."

He looked up from his post. "You wouldn't dare." He said with defiance in his eyes.

"I can," Dax said right back to him, "and I will. The rest-ops are right over there through those doors. I am ordering you to go in there and rest."

"Don't make me stop, Jadzia." Bashir pleaded. "I really think it has something to do with these base pairings. All I need to do is find the receptor breakdown and I am quite sure there are answers waiting there. All I need is another eight, maybe fourteen hours to follow this lead."

Dax shook her head. "Those tests you are running will take at least three hours on-their-own to filter through. So I want you to stop, go in there, and get some sleep. Don't make me pull rank Julian."

Bashir was about to counter her point when he realized she had been a good friend for the past few days, and he didn't want to lose her support.

"Very well," Bashir said, "I will take a rest. But you need one too. So, as your doctor, I am ordering you to go in there and rest too."

Dax smiled, stood up and joined him. The two headed for the rest-ops area. As they neared the door, Bashir tried to turn around and head back to the computer lab.

"I just had an idea." He pleaded with Dax.

"Sleep," she reminded him, "NOW!" She accented.

Bashir gave up, and they both went to get some much needed rest.

-
On the other side of the planet, Sisko and Odo neared their destination.

"You're sure the person we are looking for lives in that abode?" Odo asked softly.

Sisko nodded. "Dukat knows that I will take those funds the moment I think he double-crossed me."

Odo pressed the issue. "I must admit, Commander, you are on shady ground. While I support taking Dukat for everything he has, I must point out that what you're doing is borderline extortion."

Sisko nodded. "I completely agree," Sisko said with a smile. "But I don't think the Bajoran officials will see it that way; do you?"

Odo nodded in agreement. "No, I don't suppose they will."

"Very well then," Sisko said to Odo, "let us go meet the Bajoran doctor who created this virus."

-continued-