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The Sacrifice (18)

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Scene 18

18.       JAREN AND SOME OF HIS CREW ARE IN THE CARGO BAY OVERSEE-

            ING THE FINAL LOADING OF HIS SHIP.  O'BRIAN IS STANDING BESIDE

            JAREN WHO HOLDS A COMPUTERIZED SHIPPING MANIFEST.  THEY

            ARE DISCUSSING THE TEMPORARY REPAIRS RECENTLY MADE.

 

O'BRIAN

                                    That should hold you until you arrive on Bajore,

                                    but once there, you're going to need a complete

                                    overhaul of the warp plasma coils before you'll

                                    be able to use anything more than quarter impulse

                                    engines.

 

JAREN

                                    (darkly introspective)  Thank you, chief.

 

O'Brian and a crewman EXIT as Kira ENTERS.  Jaren doesn't notice her until she walks up close behind him.  Jaren turns and sees her.  Both their faces and voices are tense, apprehensive. 

 

KIRA

                                    Jaren.

 

JAREN

                                    (surprised)  Kira!  I hadn't . . . expected seeing you

                                    so soon.  I . . . I mean, I was hoping to see you

                                    before I left for Bajore, but . . .

 

Kira glances around her, seeing the cargo already loaded aboard the ship.

 

KIRA

                                    (hesitant)  So, I hear you're leaving soon.

 

JAREN

                                    Ah, yes.  We depart at 1800 hours.

 

Jaren and Kira look at one another uncomfortably before turning their eyes away.  Jaren looks back at Kira.

 

JAREN

                                    I . . . I missed you, Kira.

 

KIRA

                                    (staring into his eyes, softly)  I missed you.

 

Kira and Jaren take a step closer to one another, apprehensive.

 

JAREN

                                    (imploring)  What happened, Kira?  What went

                                    wrong?  Where did you go after the Cardassian

                                    attack?  I searched everywhere!

 

KIRA

                                    I . . . I couldn't bear to see you again.  Not after . . .

 

Kira tries to hold back tears, turning halfway from Jaren in shame.   Jaren appears confused but compassionate. 

 

JAREN

                                    After . . . Alkaran . . .

 

Kira turns and looks hard at Jaren, full of pain.

 

KIRA

                                    Yes!

 

They suddenly embrace.

 

JAREN

                                    (passionately)  I thought I'd never find you again.

                                    I thought the Cardassians – I thought they had

                                    executed you.

 

KIRA

                                    I didn't think any of us would escape that day.

                                    Oh Jaren, It was horrible.  The Cardassians -

 

JAREN

                                    Kira, it doesn't matter.  Not now.  All that matters

                                    is that we've got each other.  Here.  Now.  Forever.

 

KIRA

                                    Jaren -

 

JAREN

                                    (growing excited)  We'll get married this time,

                                    have another child.

 

Jaren can't see the pained expression on Kira's face as her head rests on his shoulder.

 

KIRA

                                    (barely audible)  Is it still possible?

 

They end their embrace although still remaining close to one another, holding hands.

 

JAREN

                                    You've been put through so much, Kira, losing

                                    Alkaran to the Cardassians.  (suddenly angered)

                                    Damn those butchers, they killed my son!

 

Kira grows pale.  Jaren snaps out of his angry burst and continues.

 

JAREN

                                    But how did you manage to get away, though?

                                    The others told me that you never made it

                                    past the perimeter.  What happened?

 

Kira pulls her shoulders back and draws a deep breath.

 

KIRA

                                    By the time we knew what had happened, the

                                    Cardassians had overwhelmed our perimeter

                                    defenses and broke into the underground

                                    complex.

 

CUTAWAY SHOT to the battle in the tunnels of the Bajoran moon where Cardassian troops are storming through the main corridor.  There is a firefight as Kira and others seal off a door. 

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    There was firing everywhere and a lot of smoke.

                                    They had sealed-off the auxiliary exit to the

                                    surface and were storming through the main

                                    corridor.

 

Kira and a dozen Bajorans are in a dimly lit command center,  Red alert lights are flashing everywhere.  Kira is busy down-loading on the main computer while a couple of others anxiously look on, glancing back to the small glass partition into the smoky corridor beyond.  They are begging Kira to work quickly.  A tiny, three-month old baby lies wrapped in a blanket atop the console beside Kira.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    We were cut off in Operations and had no way

                                    out.  That's when I noticed the overhead ventillation

                                    shaft . . .

 

The Bajorans are hoisting one another up into the overhead shaft.  Kira grabs the infant and hands it carefully up to the others.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    Together, we hoisted everyone up and were able

                                    to crawl along very slowly. Alkaran was with me,

                                    then, and was as scared and confused as the rest

                                    of us.  The air ducts filtered out most of the smoke

                                    which by now as everywhere in the access corridors

                                    below.

 

Kira and the others are crawling along inside the shaft.  A large explosion rocks the caverns, and a heavy support beam falls from above, piercing through the shaft and partially blocking their path.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    When we reached the final conduit, one of the

                                    supports had given way, and a couple of our men

                                    spent some time trying to lift the crossbeam just

                                    enough to push through the shaft.  That's when

                                    we heard the voice of Gul Maron, the Cardassian

                                    general from Sonice III, and his men, below.

 

Kira listens intently, motioning to the others with her to stop and be quiet.  She is holding the blanket-wrapped child in one arm, close to her.  Cardassian voices can be heard, though muffled, below them.  Everyone in the shaft grows silent.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    He was yelling out orders, and then it grew quiet

                                    except for the sounds of scattered fighting in the

                                    distance.

 

CUTAWAY SHOT as Jaren and Kira are no longer holding hands but still face one another.  Jaren's jaw is hard set as he rubs a tightly clenched fist with the other hand, listening intently.  He looks up and quickly retakes Kira's hands in his.

 

KIRA

                                    We heard some odd sounds below us, cries it

                                    seemed, and I heard several familiar voices -

                                    they were Bajoran.

 

CUTAWAY SHOT to the air shaft and the Cardassians below.  The Cardassians are brutally interrogating a few Bajoran captives in the corridor as Gul Maron looks coldly on.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    Gul Maron was asking a lot of questions about

                                    where the rest of our people were and who had

                                    the computer disk that held our plans and the

                                    names of our operatives.  They told them nothing.

                                    Then they . . . they . . .

 

Gul Maron gives a signal, and a Cardassian soldier begins to execute the Bajoran prisoners.  Those in the shaft above listen helplessly to the screams of their fellow Bajorans.  Through a in the overhead shaft, Kira and another watch the cold, inhumane smile on the Gul's face.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    They began executing them, brutally, one-by-one,

                                    each time asking them the same kind of questions.

 

CUTAWAY SHOT of Kira and Jaren.  Kira's face is agonized as she recalls the horrific event.  Jaren, meanwhile, is breathing deeply as he listens to her story.  He moves forward, then, taking Kira in his arms, closing his eyes tight.

 

JAREN

                                    My God!  Those ing -  (the words trail off)

 

CUTAWAY SHOT to the ventillation shaft where Kira and the others huddle quietly inside.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    (tremulous)  We tried to keep silent.  They were

                                    right below us.  I . . . I tried to keep Alkaran still,

                                    but . . . he began to cry!

 

Kira is holding the child in her arms, rocking him slightly as he begins to cry.  In one of her hands is the downloaded computer disk.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    I held him and rocked him back and forth as

                                    best I could, but he just wouldn't stop crying. 

                                    I tried everything I could think of.

 

CLOSE SHOT  through the in the shaft where Gul Maron suddenly lifts his hand, motioning his men to stop.  The peer around in the somewhat smoky corridor, listening intently.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    When I heard it grow quiet down below, we knew

                                    that they had heard something . . . us!

 

Kira holds the bundled baby very close to her now, cooing almost inaudibly to him as eh continues to fuss.  Her face is livid.  All of the others in the dimly lit shaft are staring at her, expressions of horror and panic on their faces.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    I was so scared.  The others just held their breath,

                                    all looking at me.  I . . . I . . .

 

CUTAWAY SHOT back to Jaren and Kira, still embracing.  Jaren's eyes, closed while holding Kira, suddenly open wide.  He has a knowing, shocking thought dawn upon him.

 

CUTAWAY SHOT to Kira and the child in the shaft.  Some of those with her are lifting their eyes and their hands in silent prayer.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    I held Alkaran closer to me, asking, begging the

                                    Prophets to keep our son still.  If we were caught -

                                    if the Cardassians got ahold of the disk . . . it would

                                    mean the of . . . of . . . hundreds of Bajorans.

 

Kira holds the baby very close to her bosom now.  The muffled cries grow softer.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    The closer I held him to me, the quieter he became.

                                    He finally grew still.

 

The Cardassians below, hearing nothing more for awhile and unable to ascertain the unusual sound's origin, return to their interrogation.  Those in the shaft with Kira are visibly relieved.  Quickly, they clear the path soon after Gul Maron and the others depart, and the Bajorans continue moving silently on.

 

KIRA

                                    (O.S.)

                                    They hadn't discovered us.  We were safe.

 

CUTAWAY SHOT of Kira and Jaren.  Still holding one another, though not so tightly, Jaren's face reveals dumbfounded revelation as he finally understands how Alkaran dies.

 

KIRA

                                    (upset)  When we reached the surface, I thought . . .

                                    We were so happy we had made it!  I . . . I . . . (tears

                                    welling)  I held our son up to kiss him when I . . .

                                    I saw . . .

 

Jaren's hands fall to his side.  His face is livid.  Kira is unaware of Jaren's reaction.

 

KIRA

                                    (nearly hysterical)  . . . he wasn't moving!  He – No

                                    matter what I did, my baby wasn't moving!

 

Kira looks up and Jaren who by now has taken a step back.  Jaren's head is turned to one side, his expression stunned.  Kira suddenly understands Jaren's reaction and fears rejection.  She tries to move toward him.  Jaren is speechless.

 

KIRA

                                    Oh Jaren, I had no idea!  I was so young, so . . .

                                    scared.  I never thought for a second that -

 

JAREN

                                    (holds up his hand suddenly)  Don't.  Stop.

 

Kira takes another small step forward, but Jaren responds by taking a larger step back.

 

KIRA

                                    (frightened, defensive)  Jaren, I don't justify what

                                    happened, but what could I do?  How was I to

                                    know?  I was so scared.  We were scared.  I held

                                    him close to me, cradling him in my arms.  I . . .

                                    I had no idea!

 

Jaren's look is filled with loathing and horror.  He won't even make eye contact with her.

 

JAREN

                                    My God!  My son!  It wasn't the Cardassians who

                                    killed him . . .

 

Jaren now lifts his head, pausing a moment as he peers into her eyes accusingly.

 

JAREN

                                    It was you!

 

Jaren turns away sharply, grabbing the cargo manifest atop an empty crate and moves quickly to the door.  Kira turns, stunned to see Jaren leaving her this way.

 

KIRA

                                    Jaren, please.  You've got to understand.  I didn't

                                    know.

 

Jaren turns before reaching the exit and looks back at Kira.  There is a long pause.  His expression has changed from revulsion to pain.  Finally his face hardens.

 

JAREN

                                    (incredulous)  Didn't know?  How could you not

                                    know?  Kira – my son!

 

KIRA

                                    (desperate)  What could I do?  What do you want

                                    me to do?  It's over.  There's nothing either one

                                    of us can do to bring Alkaran back.

 

Jaren stares at the floor.  Kira takes one more step forward, but Jaren remains motionless.  She holds her arms open, stretching them outward.

 

KIRA

                                    (pleadingly)  Jaren . . . I know how you feel.

 

JAREN

                                    (staring dumbfounded at Kira)  Know how I

                                    feel?  Know how I feel!  How could you ever

                                    know how I feel?  How do you think I feel?

                                    Huh?  (louder)  How do you think I feel?

 

KIRA

                                    (now angered)  Well, how do you think I feel?

                                    It's never how anyone else feels but always

                                    how you feel!  You're not the only one who's

                                    lost somebody.  You're not the only one with

                                    pain.  Don't you think I've suffered, every day,

                                    every night, every time I see a mother holding

                                    her child?  (compassionately)  You're not the

                                    only one who has pain, Jaren.

 

Jaren shuts Kira's words out of his mind.  He turns and EXITS as Kira stands watching.  She places her hands over her face and weeps silently.

 

CAMERA BACK, then FADE OUT.

 

Return to previous Scene 17

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