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The Sacrifice (16)

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Scene 16

16.       JAREN AND JULIAN ARE IN SICK BAY MONITORING THE STATUS OF             THE SEALED CONTAINERS OF JAREN'S CARGO.  JAREN IS VERY LOW-            SPIRITED AND INTROSPECTIVE AS HE HALF-HEARTEDLY RECORDS             DATA ON A BAJORAN TRICORDER.  JULIAN IS HIS USUAL CHEERY             SELF AS HE WORKS ALONGSIDE JAREN.

 

JULIAN

                                    Well, Dr. Jaren, I'm pleased to report that the samples of

                                    trioxcelene polycerate are 98.3% homogeneous.  Their

                                    molecular configuration seems to have maintained

                                    integrity, thus far.  I'd estimate you have just over 70

                                    hours before their electron bonds degenerate.

 

JAREN

                                    (not listening)  Hmmm.

 

Julian hasn't noticed Jaren's inattention.

 

JULIAN

                                    Will your ship be operational when you depart for

                                    Bajor tomorrow, or will you have to find an alternate

                                    transport?

 

JAREN

                                    (mumbles)  Yes.

 

Julian looks up, confused.

 

JULIAN

                                    Your ship or another?

 

JAREN

                                    (suddenly looking up at Julian)  What's that?

 

JULIAN

                                    Tomorrow.  When you leave for Bajor.

 

Seeing Jaren doesn't comprehend the question, Julian explains.

 

JULIAN

                                    I was asking whether your vessel will be ready

                                    tomorrow.

 

JAREN

                                    Ah . . . yes.  Chief O'Brian has been able to repair,

                                    temporarily, much of the damage to the warp drive.

                                    I expect to depart with my crew tomorrow evening.

 

Jaren returns to his moody, distant manner.  After a brief pause, Julian resumes the conversation while analyzing more data.

 

JULIAN

                                    So, what do you think of the station, doctor?  Have

                                    you spent any time on the Promenade yet?  (smiling)

                                    Our bar tender, Quark, makes an excellent sporellan

                                    berry tail.  Have you tried one?

 

JAREN

                                    Hmmm.  (pauses)  Hm?  What's that?

 

Julian laughs, seeing that Jaren hasn't heard a word he's said all day.  Jaren smiles self-consciously in return, apologetic.

 

JAREN

                                    I'm sorry.  I wasn't listening.

 

JULIAN

                                    I noticed!

 

JAREN

                                    I'm not good company right now, am I?

 

Julian pauses, setting his tricorder on the counter while looking at Jaren.  The latter's smile fades quickly, his eyes dropping heavily to the floor.

 

JULIAN

                                    It's Major Kira, isn't it?

 

Jaren frowns painfully.

 

JULIAN

                                    I mean, you really feel strongly about her, don't

                                    you?

 

Jaren nods grudgingly.

 

JAREN

                                    (wistful)  She was . . . everything to me.

 

JULIAN

                                    I heard about what happened between the two of

                                    you in Ops yesterday.

 

JAREN

                                    (bitter)  I suppose everyone on board is talking about

                                    us.  Bah!  Who cares?  I've never cared what others

                                    thought.

 

JULIAN

                                    I don't think anyone is looking down on you, Jaren.

                                    I know a lot of people are sorry to see you both so

                                    torn apart.  (pauses)  Have you tried speaking with

                                    her since?

 

JAREN

                                    (hurt laugh)  She refuses to see me, whether she's on

                                    duty or off.  I just don't understand!  We had so much

                                    together once.

 

JULIAN

                                    If you don't mind my asking, how did you and Kira

                                    meet?  Perhaps if you talk about it, you can find some

                                    clue that will show you what to do?

 

JAREN

                                    (skeptical)  Are the station's psychologist, too, doctor?

 

JULIAN

                                    (chuckling, uncertain if that was a compliment)  Well,

                                    I . . .

 

Both doctors sit down.  Jaren takes a deep breath as Julian looks on eagerly.  Jaren is quite animated while he relates his story.

 

JAREN

                                    It was nearly four years ago when we first met.  We

                                    were working in the Bajoran underground and had just

                                    made a raid on a Cardassian freighter and escort.  Kira

                                    had gotten hurt pretty badly, having crash landed on

                                    a lunar surface.  She was found quickly, and, as the only

                                    'resident physician'  (laughs)  of our band, it was I who

                                    treated her.

 

Jaren suddenly smiles when he sees Julian already absorbed in the story.  Julian motions for Jaren to continue.

 

JAREN

                                    I fell in love the moment I saw her!  (pause)  We saw

                                    a lot of each other after that, and we grew very close.

 

JULIAN

                                    She must have been very special to you.

 

JAREN

                                    (dreamily)  Oh, she was everything a man could ever

                                    want in a woman: strong, intelligent, independent!  She

                                    had a certain . . . passion, a love for Bajor and for life

                                    like no one I had ever know before or since.

 

JULIAN

                                    That does sound like our Major Kira . . .

 

JAREN

                                    You couldn't imagine my joy when I discovered we

                                    were going to have a child – a son!  (more serious tone)

                                    We argued for some time about whether or not she

                                    should continue actively fighting for the resistance.

                                    I was against it, but she?  (suddenly proud)  She was

                                    firm in her decision.  As long as she had breath in her

                                    body, Kira was determined to work toward the

                                    Cardassians' demise.

 

Jaren rises and begins to pace the floor.  His anxiety while he relates his tale is growing.

 

JULIAN

                                    So, what happened then?

 

JAREN

                                    When my son was finally born at the underground

                                    lunar facility, I was elated.  We named him Alkaran,

                                    from the Bajoran word for ‘independence.’  (dignified)

                                    His, like our cause, was a labor of love.

 

Jaren stops just across from Julian, occasionally lifting his eyes from the floor to look at Julian.

 

JAREN

                                    Two months after his birth, I was chosen to accompany

                                    a raid on Sonice III, a Cardassian supply depot.  It was

a major link in their food and weapons distribution,

                                    and we had only one chance to hit it before their fleet

                                    finished repairs.  Since we were desperately short on

                                    pilots, and I had experience piloting before, I had no

                                    choice but to go.

 

Jaren pauses, clenching and unclenching his fists.  He grows angry as he recalls the terrible outcome.

 

JAREN

                                    /That was the last time I saw either Kira or our son.

 

JULIAN

                                    (softly) Why?  What happened to them?

 

JAREN

                                    It was a trap.  Someone in the underground had sold

                                    us out.  While our foorces at the depot were being

                                    ambushed, the Cardassian ers made a counter-

                                    attack on the moon.  Those of us who escaped . . .

                                    (chokes)  . . . those of us who made it back were

                                    horrified when we saw what had happened.  There

                                    was nothing left!

 

Jaren stops a moment with his back turned toward Julian.  He quickly regains his composure and continues his story, slowly pacing the floor.

 

JAREN

                                    When we rendezvoused at the alternate site, we found

                                    a few survivors from the facility who had managed to

                                    escape – but Kira?  She was nowhere to be found.

 

JULIAN

                                    But . . . she made it out?

 

JAREN

                                    Yes, she did, although no one knew it at the time.  In

                                    fact, they told me that no one would have made it out

                                    alive if it hadn’t been for Kira’s level head and quick

                                    thinking.

 

Jaren raises his head proudly.

 

JAREN

                                    They said she was a “hero.”

 

JULIAN

                                    Then . . . why didn’t she arrive at the rendezvous with

                                    the others?  Wouldn’t she have known where to go or

                                    what to do?

 

JAREN

                                    No one knew for certain.  Shortly after reaching the

                                    surface, Kira apparently got separated from the others.

                                    When quite a few hours had passed, and she never showed

                                    up, everyone assumed Kira had gotten caught by a

                                    Cardassian patrol.  What else could have prevented

                                    her arrival.  No one from our band ever saw her – or

                                    my son – again.

 

JULIAN

                                    How did you ever deal with that?  (uncomfortable)

                                    The pain?

 

Jaren throws up his hands in frustration.

 

JAREN

                                    Deal with it!  Why, I went mad with anger, fury!  I

                                    returned several times to search for her and Alkaran

but found nothing.  Yet the worst part was not knowing,

wondering each day if she somehow could have made it

out, where she would have gone, why she didn’t try

to contact me.

 

JULIAN

                                    Perhaps she tried but couldn’t find you.

 

Jaren stops pacing, standing near Julian.

 

JAREN

                                    (contemplative)  That thought, too, occurred to me.  But

                                    it would have been very easy.

 

In the ensuing silence, Julian gets a puzzled look.

 

JAREN

                                    (explaining)  For someone in the underground, it wouldn’t

                                    be very difficult to find someone – someone who isn’t

                                    hiding . . . or .  (suddenly angry)  That I couldn’t

                                    find her led me to believe that she would never be found,

                                    that those Cardassian butchers had captured both her

                                    and my son.

 

Jaren struggles to hold back his emotions as his memories and feelings resurface.

 

JULIAN

                                    Are you certain?  I mean, about your son?

 

Jaren touches his finger to his chin, then points it toward Julian.

 

JAREN

                                    Tell me, doctor, have you ever seen . . . has she ever

                                    mentioned a boy to you?  Ever hinted?  Showed you a . . .

                                    picture . . . anything?

 

JULIAN

                                    Well, not that I’ve ever seen.

 

Jaren nods knowingly.  He pulls half of a paired locket from his pocket and opens it, glancing at it a moment before handing it to Julian.

 

JAREN

                                    That was Alkaran, my son.

 

Julian takes it and looks closely at the photo within.  He smiles, looks up, then peers at the picture again before speaking.

 

JULIAN

                                    (tenderly)  He’s very beautiful.  He looks a lot like

                                    you . . . and (glancing up at Jaren to guage his reaction)

                                    . . . and Kira.

 

Julian closes the locket and hands it back to Jaren

 

JAREN

                                    (sighing)  Yes.  That's what everyone said.

 

Both men are beginning to feel a little self-conscious, discussing this emotional subject.

 

JULIAN

                                    (curiously)  I wonder . . .

 

Jaren stares at Julian, perplexed.

 

JULIAN

                                    If she lived – as obviously she did – why would she

                                    want to hide from you?  If you were in love, why not

                                    come to you, to share your loss?

 

Jaren mulls over this ideal briefly, aggitated by the insight Julian poses with his question.

 

JAREN

                                    Kira, she . . . she must have been crushed.  The loss

                                    must have been more than she could take.  (pauses,

                                    frowns)  I've never known why.

 

JULIAN

                                    You're still very much in love with her, aren't you?

 

JAREN

                                    (low tone)  Yes.

 

JULIAN

                                    Then why don't you tell her?

 

Jaren looks up, confused by the simplicity of Julian's question.

 

JULIAN

                                    (growing excited)  Tell her it doesn't matter, that you

                                    still love her, that neither of you can undo the past, but

                                    you still can have a future together.

 

Jaren opens his hand and peers at the locket, then squeezes it tightly before speaking.  Jaren approaches Julian and places the other hand upon his shoulder.

 

JAREN

                                    Thank you, Julian.  Thank you.

 

JULIAN

                                    Anytime.

 

Jaren turns and EXITS.

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