In the Bright Sunshine

A Star Trek: Deep Space Nine oneshot by Andrew J. Talon

Disclaimer:This is a non-profit fanwork of prose. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is the property of Paramount. No copyright infringement is intended, please support the official release.

So, here's one of my biggest gripes, shared by Linkara of Atop the Fourth Wall: The problem of Star Trek: Insurrection.

My solution, as with many others, is to put someone else in the position of the

Enterprise-E crew which seems to have been replaced by morons for this film.

Instead, we give a man who has committed more than a few sins in the course of protecting the Federation to save it without committing more...

Captain Picard had taken the call from Admiral Dougherty in the private kiosk, and frowned as he heard the grave news.

"If the android is not stopped, we will destroy him,"said Ruafo, leader of the Son'a. The admiral frowned and slowly nodded.

Picard sighed. "If anyone is to terminate Data, it will be me. I'm his commanding officer."

"I'm afraid that's out of your hands, Jean-Luc," the admiral said. "Your ship is not the closest, and that captain will be handling the situation instead."

Picard's frown deepened. "Which captain, if you don't mind my asking?"

Data flew up from the planet, the scout ship humming beneath his fingers. He scanned space quickly for the Son'a or any other ships, but was unable to do so. The rings of the planet obscured his approach, though it did the same to anyone looking to find him.

The proximity alert came on, and Data quickly pinpointed the source of the disturbance. A ship was decloaking some distance above him. A Federation ship.

He was hailed, and he answered the call.

"Commander Data, stand down," said Captain Benjamin Sisko, in a stern tone. Data calculated the odds of his scout ship repelling the Defiant, outrunning it, or hiding from it in a matter of moments. He also recalled Captain Sisko's record of combat.

But since he was running on his most basic programming, he decided to open fire on the Defiantanyway.

The return volley indicated this was probably a very big mistake. Especially when he was shot out of the side of the hull of the ship and sent tumbling through space.

"So, he took a phaser hit that scrambled his positronic net?" Sisko asked O'Brien as they stood over the offline body of the android Lieutenant commander. While Sisko had never personally met the android before, it was still a gut wrenching sight-The famous officer who had saved the Federation lying on the workbench, offline, and missing a few parts.

"Yes sir," O'Brien said. He held up an arm. "And uh... The other phaser hits didn't do him much good."

"We did miss his head though," Dax pointed out. "He should be fine after we fix the rest of him."

"Good," Sisko said with a nod. "Have him repaired and brought back online as soon as possible. We have an investigation to complete."

"Couldn't hurt to apologize to him for blowing him up, either," Dax said with a little grin. Sisko coughed.

"That goes without saying, Old Man..."

"Captain, why are you still here?" Admiral Dougherty asked as he entered Sisko's ready room. Roafu was right behind him, looking irritated. Sisko turned to regard the two men calmly.

"I was just wondering why a Federation holoship was hidden at the bottom of a lake, containing a recreation of the Baku village," Sisko said cooly.

The two men stared in some disbelief, before Ruafo growled angrily.

"One Federation blunder after another!" He pointed at Sisko. "You will remove yourself from this system, or this will end with the destruction of your ship!"

Sisko stared at him in frank disbelief. Even Dougherty looked nonplussed.

"Ruafo, that's more than a little bit of an overreaction," the admiral said. He turned and looked over at Sisko. "You're looking well, Benjamin-"

"Look, Admiral, Ruafo," Sisko said flatly, "I've already figured out the game, so why don't we discuss it like reasonable people?" Sisko leaned back in his chair. "You want to use the metaphasic radiation from the rings to heal people. I've already noticed the affects, so has the rest of my crew."

Though Worf wasn't pleased with going through Klingon puberty again.

"Yes!" Ruafo said.

"But I'm guessing, judging by the holoship, that the process would render the planet uninhabitable," Sisko said calmly.

"You have to understand, Benjamin," the admiral began, "harvesting the rings will allow lifespans to double. We'll be able to heal battlefield injuries in an instant, we might even be able to make gunsthat heal people with this technology!"

"And I'm all in favor of this," Sisko said, raising a hand. "But moving the Baku without their knowledge is the one point I don't agree with."

"They would never agree to it!" Ruafo spat. "They're xenophobic, technophobic, condescending, backwards, small minded-"

"Yes, I got that," Sisko said calmly. "But maybe I can persuade them to go without just beaming them out!" He glared at the admiral. "It is the very least we can do."

The admiral sighed. "We have approval from the Federation Council to begin the move-"

"Then asking them and convincing them of our need will not take long, will it?" Sisko asked.

"This is a waste of time! It's utterly-!" Ruafo sputtered, but Admiral Dougherty raised a hand. He looked at Captain Sisko, and slowly nodded.

"We're beginning operations soon. After that-"

"After that," Sisko said patiently, "I'll lodge my protests. But I'm not prepared to just allow this when we're not on so strict a time table you can't allow us to simply askthe Baku."

The admiral and Sisko stared eachother down, but the captain and Emissary of the Prophets won. The admiral sighed and nodded, bowing to the superior logic.

"All right Benjamin... You'll have your time."

"No! Now!" Ruafo growled.

"Forgive him, he's irritable before his treatments," the admiral said.

"Of... Course," Sisko said, blinking rapidly as the Son'a was led out of the ready room.

"No," Sojef said flatly.

"I understand why you wouldn't want to leave your home," Sisko said, in as reasonable a tone as he could manage. Ruafo though had a point-This man was irritating as hell. "But please, think of the billions of people this would help. We're at war-Hundreds of worlds and billions of people are at risk. This might allow us to win."

"Outsider concerns are not our concern," Sojef said flatly. "You can fight your wars forever for all we care, we're not leaving."

Sisko leaned back. Kira, nearby, was practically chomping at the bit.

"So you're saying that you'll take your six hundred people over the billionsdying out there?" Kira snarled. "What do you think would happen if the Federation lost this war, and the Dominion found you! They wouldn't care about your feelings, they'd just exterminate you all and be done with it!"

"We will not concern ourselves with your problems," Sojef continued. "Your technology is the cause of all this. The cause of so much bloodshed-"

"Stuff your preaching!" Kira snarled. "My home was invaded and destroyed by technology users, exploited! There were millions of us and we had to fight for decades to kick them off our world! You are only six hundred! You wouldn't last five seconds, and then where are your morals?"

Sojef looked affronted, and snorted.

"You are just unenlightened outsiders. What do you know of trouble?"

"Look," Sisko said, holding up his hands. Maybe inviting Kira to play "bad cop" had been a bad idea. On the other hand, she had terrorized the other insufferable Baku so maybe it wasn't all bad. "We can come to a compromise. You'll be resettled on a new world, and given free treatments of the metaphasic radiation so you won't die out." Sisko looked over his knit fingers solemnly at Sojef. "But we need this planet. It is absolutely vital."

"And it is none of our concern," Sojef said flatly. Sisko bit back a growl.

"It isn't, huh? Defiant, three to beam up."

Sojef was protesting the whole time they were in space. Over the food, the air, the enclosed spaces, how unenlightened they all were-All the way to their destination. When they beamed down, it was into the ruins of a city. Sojef looked around, shocked by the desolation. Sisko stood there, silent.

"Where... Where are we?"

"It's a planet called Turnos Seven," Sisko said gravely. "It had a population of seventeen billion."

Sojef looked around, and as his eyes adjusted to the darkness, they widened. Bodies lied everywhere, as far as he could see.

"What... What is this...?"

"The Dominion," Sisko said quietly, "bombed the planet when they refused to surrender. They exterminated the population, as an example to the rest of the sector. Every last man, woman, and child."

"You... Your technology... It..." The man sat down in the dust and wept. Sisko stood nearby, his head bowed.

"I didn't want to show you this," he said softly. "But I wanted you to know... That many of these outsiders might have been saved." Sisko turned to him. "I'm not asking you to die. I'm not asking you to change your ways. All I'm asking... Is a little inconvenience on your part, to stopthis."

Sojef looked up, tears still falling from his eyes. Sisko knelt down and rested his strong hands on the shoulders of the man.

"Is that so much to ask?" Sisko asked softly.

"Would you?" Sojef asked. Sisko nodded, his eyes dark.

"That... And more, I'm sorry to say," he said. He shook his head. "But that... Is not something you have to worry about."

Sojef looked down at the dust, for the longest time. The two men sat in silence, until the Baku man nodded. Sisko nodded, tapped his commbadge, and in a sparkle of light they left Turnos Seven to the dead.

"Thank you for returning Data to us, Captain Sisko," Picard said with a smile. "And congratulations on this metaphasic technology. The possibilities... They're endless. You may have single handedly turned this war around."

"Yes," Sisko said, smiling as well. "I may have. This time though... It feels a hell of a lot better."