Kai Winn stared in horror at the nightmarish scene that confronted her on the promenade. She had been shocked to hear that there was an incident in the station’s temple and horrified when Dukat had been named as the perpetrator. Much worse was the reports of his terrifying abilities that went past that of any mortal being and the name that accompanied the deranged Cardassian. Her people had wanted for her to immediately evacuate the station, but she had refused. She had not reached where she was by avoiding conflict. She was the Kai and would meet any challenge head on.
She had dismissed her staff, all save one: Solbor. The ancient monk had flatly refused to abandon her despite the various threats she had levelled at him. Winn had been touched by his dedication to her, his willingness to face evil with her. Her old friend had been a source of great strength in the dark years and continued to offer his light to help guide her path. While he was now quite frail in body his spirit and faith had never diminished.
Winn watched as further down the promenade Dukat executed a Bajoran man. Dukat then gripped the man’s ear causing the body to convulse. Winn had to push down her fear as she saw what Dukat had done. It was straight out of the ancient texts that spoke of the Kosst Amojan. Historians were divided as to whether the Kosst Amojan was a particular Pah-wraith or a group identity, regardless whenever that name appeared it was always followed by death and destruction.
One of the most terrifying aspects of the tales was the so called “pagh harvesting” by the Kosst Amojan. In a perverted mirror of what the devout did to feel other’s pagh the Kosst Amojan was said to be able to strip the pagh of the recently deceased. Its reason for doing so was not known. Some said it destroyed the pagh, others claimed it gathered them to feed itself and a few said it did it simply to prevent the Bajorans from joining with the Prophets out of spite and jealousy. Regardless of the reason Winn had just witnessed the act. There was no longer any doubt that Dukat was in league with one of the dark spirits of Bajor and his face showed he was relishing in the slaughter.
“I knew you would come,” spoke out Dukat causing Winn to stutter in her step. He turned to her, a manic smile spread across his ugly face. “I’m honoured by your presence, Kai Winn,” he said sarcastically bowing to her.
“You have done many evil things in your life Dukat, but this surpasses them all,” she called out as calmly as she could. Despite her every sense screaming for her to run Winn strode boldly towards Dukat. She was glad her hands clasped in front of her were hidden under her sleeves as they were shaking violently in fear. “You have let evil into your body and into your soul, but it is not too late to turn your back on hatred.”
Dukat smirked. “I have not missed your people’s naivety.”
“And I have not missed that smug look that was always on your face,” countered Winn coming to a stop several metres from her foe. Even from this distance Winn could feel the malice radiating from Dukat and the thing within him.
“Do you know what’s happening?” asked Dukat.
Winn nodded slowly. “This is the Reckoning.”
“Yes, the final battle between the betrayed and the betrayers. Those who were wrongfully cast out of the Celestial Temple shall have their vengeance. They shall be free and they will tear down this phony reality the false Prophets have created,” explained Dukat with terrible glee. “And I...I am their instrument of justice!”
“You will be defeated by the true Prophets, Dukat.”
Dukat let out a deep laugh that made Winn’s skin crawl. “And where is your champion, Adami?”
“You will refer to me as ‘Kai Winn’ or ‘Your Eminence’, Dukat,” she stated strongly.
Dukat’s lip curled menacingly at her false courage and bowed as he said, “Of course, Your Eminence.” Dukat straightened up and stepped towards Winn, who had to will herself not to flee. “Your Prophet hides from my power. It knows that to face me is to perish!”
“The Prophets are the light of truth and all that is good. They shall snuff the flame of heresy and evil from you and Bajor will prosper,” said Solbor. He stepping from behind Winn to impose himself between her and the advancing demon.
“So your ancient dogsbody speaks,” sneered Dukat as he came to a halt. He glared down at Solbor and continued, “Hear this; I will stand on the surface of Bajor while it burns around me. The cries of your people will echo through the stars and will leave a scar on all beings for the rest of time. For they will know what true power is and the punishment for betrayal. However, you will not live to see it.”
With a casual flick of Dukat’s wrist Solbor’s head violently spun and a sickening crack reverberated around Winn. Winn yelped as she suddenly found herself looking into Solbor’s eyes. As Solbor fell and Winn grabbed him, but was pulled to the floor by his weight.
“NO! Why?” she implored Dukat.
“Because I can,” he stated simply. “You Bajorans were beneath me when I was just a man, but now I am a god! You live only by my whim.”
Winn turned Solbor’s head back around and stroked the wizened face of her companion. His face was stoic, so fast had been his death that there was no sign of fear or surprise. The only sign he was dead was his limp form and still body. Winn was impacted by a sense of loss that she had never felt before. Tears readily cascaded down her cheek and onto her long time friend and ally, staining his robes.
Winn looked up to the monster standing before her. “Then do it. End my life you pathetic, petty monster!”
“No, Adami. You will live to watch as I tear down all you know and love and reduce it to ashes. Only then will I grant you the gift of death.”
To add insult to injury Dukat turned his back on Winn. The intention was obvious, he no longer considered her significant. Winn was the most important person on Bajor, but to whatever Dukat had become she was now less than nothing, no longer worthy of his concern. She was a minor plaything that would be cast aside when the time came.
Winn stared down into Solbor’s open, dead eyes. Her shaking hand gently flowed over his face, closing his eyes to the world and she wept. Kai Winn, head of the Bajoran faith, sat slouched on the floor cradling the body. She was as powerless as a newborn child as she recited a final prayer through her sobs for her old friend and close confidant.
Dukat had been called many horrible things for his treatment of the Bajorans throughout his reign during the occupation and monster was not uncommon. However, now he was truly a monster in every sense of the word and his intentions were abundantly clear. He would see Bajor and the Bajoran people destroyed and now he had the power to do so.
Winn looked up towards where she thought the Celestial Temple was and prayed. She beseeched the Prophets to not abandon her people in the time of their greatest need.
After Weyoun had been called away Jake had been handed to a Bajoran security officer to be taken back to his quarters. Jake had expected one of the Jem’Hadar to do it, but Weyoun and Gelnon had taken the Jem’Hadar to deal with the situation concerning Dukat, which spoke to the seriousness of whatever was happening. Not that Jake was too upset. He felt much more comfortable away from the presence of the Jem’Hadar.
As they came to an intersection he expected the Bajoran officer to take him right, but instead they kept moving forward.
“Wouldn’t it be quicker if we went down there?” he asked the Bajoran lieutenant.
“Security protocols are in effect. We’ll need to take a more roundabout way,” explained the officer.
Several minutes later they were as close as Jake could reckon to...somewhere. Jake found his previous knowledge of the station was not as good as he thought and felt lost in the dim corridors.
“I met you father. The Emissary,” stated the officer.
“Oh,” was Jake’s reply. He was used to anyone and everyone telling him about their encounters with his father.
“He visited my school on a provincial tour. You know the kind of thing, to check on the advancements made since the occupation. Easily the highlight of the year...not that it had much competition in the sleepy town I come from. Do you what I remember the most? He was a big guy, probably not as tall as you but he was tall and broad too. Though I was just a child, so he probably wasn’t as big as my memory makes him out to be.”
“Everything is grander when you’re a kid,” Jake replied still trying to figure out exactly where they were.
“Isn’t it,” agreed the officer. He came to an abrupt stop and turned to Jake. “Here we are.”
Jake looked around confused. They were standing in front of one of the station’s airlocks.
“This isn’t my quarters,” was the best Jake could manage.
“I know.” The Bajoran handed Jake a datapadd. “This has the security and access codes to the shuttle in there. As well as a code that will get you by security challenges from the station and Bajor. Not that you’ll probably need them once you reach Bajor. Just tell them who you are and they’ll most likely let you land on the First Minister’s roof.”
Jake stared down at the padd and then up at the Bajoran. “I don’t understand.”
“This was organised by a joint friend.”
There was only one name that came to mind. “Kira.”
The Bajoran nodded. “I owe her my life. The resistance cell she was part of during the Cardassian occupation freed my father from the Gallitep labour camp. After that my father met my mother and I was born, so I exist because of her.” Jake, as anyone who lived on Bajor, knew of the horrors of the Cardassian labour camps during the occupation and Gallitep was an especially infamous one. He knew that it was no hyperbole that this man owed his existence to Kira and those of her resistance cell. “Something bad is happening on this station. Dukat is on a rampage and security can’t contain him. What’s worse is that I can’t contact Kira, which isn’t unusual, but under these circumstances it is terribly worrying.”
“So you’re letting me escape?”
“You’re the son of the Emissary,” he stated as if it was the only answer required, but Jake’s stare make him continue. “Plus Kira told me to make sure you were safe if something happened to her. I’m not sure if something has, but I can’t be sure of your safety on this station anymore.”
“Weyoun, the Dominion, they won’t like this. They’re going to want answers from you.”
“This is our station, our system and you might not have been born on Bajor, but you are one of us.”
Jake stared at the padd in his hands. Since he had come to the station the only thing he wanted was to leave and go home. However, now that was within his grasp and something tugged at him causing him to hesitate.
“I can’t leave,” he stated.
The security officer gave him a perplexed look. “Why not? If you’re worried about me, don’t be. The worst the Dominion could do is force my CO to reprimand me or transfer me back to Bajor. If it’s flying the shuttle the ship’s computer can look after that well enough.”
Jake stammered. “I just can’t. I don’t know how to explain it...I just feel that there’s something I need to do before I can leave.”
He thought the officer was going to argue, maybe even bundle him into the shuttle and force him to leave. Instead the officer shrugged.
“You’re the Emissary’s son, having a feeling is good enough for me. So if you can’t leave, what do we do now?”
Jake should have expected that question, but it still caught him out. His mind raced as it struggled to find an answer. Finally one came to him.
“Kira told me she’d go to the temple. Maybe she’s still there.” The look of worry on the officer’s face make Jake’s stomach sink and he asked, “Dukat’s on the promenade isn’t he?”
The officer nodded. Jake started to reconsider his decision to stay. He wanted to run the other way, but something was pulling him to go to find Kira. The Lieutenant was right, something was happening on the station. Jake was not sure if it was good or bad, but he could feel that it was of monumental importance.
“We’ll deal with that once we get there, Lieutenant...”
“Lenaris. Lenaris Nanpa,” replied Lenaris.
“Lieutenant Lenaris, how do we get back to the promenade?”
Lenaris gestured back the way they came. “This way.”
Jake fell in behind Lenaris as they headed to meet their fates.
“WHERE ARE YOU?” shouted Dukat.
The being within him hungered to face its foe and to end what had been started so long ago. But its hate was matched by its patience in the knowledge that the confrontation was inevitable. Dukat lacked that resolve and wanted to move onto greater things.
When he shared his being with the Kosst Amojan it had granted him a greater understanding. It had shared how the Prophets’ greed had led them to betray their brethren and seal them in a tiny prison on Bajor so they could jealously hoard their vast realm, the Celestial Temple. However, it did not just shown him the truth, it had shown him true power. Dukat could not help but feel that his former life had been trivial. That his grasp for power had been so small and insignificant compared to what he had been exposed to now. While it had been very satisfying to end Kira’s life, he now knew that he would feel that a hundred fold as he destroyed Bajor. He salivated at the thought of what he would feel once the Kosst Amojan had dealt with the Prophet.
“FACE ME!” Dukat challenged.
“Is this what you’ve become, Dukat?”
Dukat turned and saw the supremely calm Weyoun striding down the promenade with the Vorta Gelnon, the Dominion’s representative to the station.
“Weyoun,” he hissed. “The Prophets are kind,” he mocked. “First they send me their head lackey.” Dukat gestured behind him to where the pitiful Kai Winn remained, defeated and weeping over a corpse like a child. “Now they send my old friend and once equal.”
“I see you are still the petty man who failed the Dominion all those years ago,” said Weyoun condescendingly.
“I failed! You dare say I failed, betrayer! You killed my daughter!” Dukat felt the hatred within him surge, much to the approval of the Kosst Amojan.
“She was a traitor by her own admission. There can be only one punishment for treason.”
Dukat struggled to control his rage. He wanted to tear Weyoun and everyone within reach to pieces, but the being within kept him in check. It cautioned him not to be so easily manipulated and blinded to what was happening. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply and understood the truth of the situation. Unlike Winn who had genuinely come to try and talk him down Weyoun, sensibly, had no such haughty goals.
Dukat reopened his eyes and stared straight at Weyoun, an enforced calm flowed over him as he spoke, “Yes, treachery is the greatest crime in the universe. You will all see that soon. Bajor will pay for the false Prophets’ betrayal of the Pah-wraiths – the true Prophets!”
“Really, Dukat,” Weyoun scoffed loudly. “You’ve fallen to superstition and rhetoric. You have changed. You are more pathetic than before.”
“Weyoun, I can see what you’re doing. You are trying to distract me to keep me from my task. Do you not think I know your Jem’Hadar are moving above us, ready to strike?”
Dukat gestured to empty space above them along the upper level of the promenade. With a subtle movement Gelnon sent the command and the Jem’Hadar unshrouded above him and opened fire. With a wave of his hand the blasts reversed direction and killed the three Jem’Hadar shooters. Thanks to the Pah-wraith’s warning he had been more than prepared for their assault.
“You have no idea what I’m capable of Weyoun.” A wide smile crossed Dukat’s lips as he continued, “But I’ll show you.”
Dukat reached out his hand, invisible power coursed towards the Vorta. With surprising speed, Weyoun pushed Gelnon in front of him. A surprised look came to Gelnon’s face as he was suddenly raised off the ground. Violent spasms overtook the Vorta as the power of the Pah-wraith flowed through him destroying his internal organs and rupturing his blood vessels. Blood streamed from the Vorta’s eyes, mouth, nose and ears as he died an excruciating death. Dukat released the dead Vorta, letting his bloodied corpse fall to the floor.
“JEM’HADAR!” shouted Weyoun as he backpedalled towards escape.
More Jem’Hadar shimmered into view and created a shield between Weyoun and Dukat. Dukat waved his hand and sent them all flying, including the Vorta. With satisfaction he saw Weyoun slam against a wall and fall unconscious to the ground.
The Jem’Hadar were hardier and got back to their feet with speed and grace. Two of them charged him. Their rifles were equipped with bayonets and their intention was clearly to skewer him on the end of their weapons. With phenomenal speed Dukat dodged the first Jem’Hadar’s attack. He grabbed the Jem’Hadar’s weapon hand and spun him around, using him to deflect the second Jem’Hadar’s stab. The second Jem’Hadar’s momentum carried him into the bayonet of the first Jem’Hadar’s weapon. With a look of anger and confusion the Jem’Hadar stared at the end of the bayonet that was deeply impaled within his chest. Dukat jerked the first Jem’Hadar back, freeing the bayonet and allowing the second Jem’Hadar to fall to the ground, his life quickly ended from the fatal wound.
Another Jem’Hadar fired his rifle, but Dukat simply moved the Jem’Hadar in his grip into the path of the blast. He dropped the dead Jem’Hadar and motioned with his hand sending a second blast curving around him and killing a Jem’Hadar who was readying to shoot him in the back. With another motion he lifted the Jem’Hadar whose fire had only managed to kill two of his comrades and violently slammed him into the overhang of the upper level, the Jem’Hadar’s body was pulverised as Dukat slammed him with enough force to shatter his bones and burst his internal organs. He released the body and let it fall like a ragdoll.
Dukat reached out at a fifth Jem’Hadar, raising him from the floor and destroyed him from the inside as he had done to Gelnon. Dukat released the body and smiled with satisfaction as he surveyed the scene around him. The Bajorans had been easy, many were too overcome with terror to run, let alone fight back. This had been more entertaining. The Jem’Hadar had all fought to the last, despite knowing they were hopelessly outmatched and now a platoon lay dead at his feet. At the back of his mind he registered an old memory, the Jem’Hadar usually operated in a platoon of nine and only eight had fallen today. He had sensed nine shrouded Jem’Hadar had accompanied the Vorta at the beginning. One was missing.
Suddenly he heard a roar and turned to face it. A blade slammed into his chest as the ninth and final Jem’Hadar revealed himself. The force of the impact sent Dukat staggering back several steps, but he did not fall. The Jem’Hadar looked at him in surprise as he smiled back. Dukat took hold of the Jem’Hadar’s trigger hand and stepped back sliding off the blade. The Jem’Hadar tried to pull free, but could not. Neither could he free a finger to reach the rifle’s trigger. Dukat started to twist the Jem’Hadar’s hand and turn the weapon around, which the Jem’Hadar could not prevent even with both his hands on the rifle. The Jem’Hadar lashed out, punching and striking Dukat but it had no effect. Dukat savoured the look of defeat on the Jem’Hadar as the barrel of the weapon was pointed at his face. Dukat’s finger slipped up to the trigger and depressed it. The Jem’Hadar collapsed to the floor, headless.
Dukat looked down at the dead Jem’Hadar surrounding him. At his feet were the most fearsome soldiers in the known galaxy. Two quadrants quaked at their name and many yielded rather than face their might. He, Dukat, had just humbled them.
There was a moan and Dukat’s attention was diverted to a stirring Weyoun. The Vorta looked up and saw Dukat standing over the Jem’Hadar and panic flared in his eyes. Weyoun unsteadily got to his feet and stumbled towards escape.
Dukat laughed at the still stunned Vorta’s attempt to flee and simply reached out towards him, halting Weyoun in his tracks.
“I hope you aren’t trying to leave, Weyoun. We still have things to discuss.”
Unopposed he walked towards the confused Vorta, who struggled to free himself from his invisible bondage. The being within him made him aware of two more people behind him heading for Kai Winn, one it did not recognise, but the other both of them did. The being suggested he deal with them, but Dukat dismissed the idea. They were no threat and would only be concerned with rescuing Winn. Even that did not matter as Dukat was sure that there was nowhere she could flee that would be beyond his reach now.
He finally reached Weyoun and spun him around to face him. Weyoun’s eyes were wide with fear as Dukat towered over him.
“I’m disappointed in you, Weyoun,” he said lowly. “Leaving without saying goodbye is very rude!”
Dukat backhanded Weyoun, snapping his head to the side and causing the Vorta to cry in pain. He delivered a second, third and fourth blow bouncing Weyoun’s head from side to side. Weyoun’s head lolled forward and Dukat grabbed his chin and lifted his head so Weyoun’s watery eyes were looking into his.
“I’ve yet to thank you for what you did all those years ago.”
“Dukat, please,” muttered Weyoun through bloody lips.
The Vorta’s meagre plea infuriated Dukat and he roughly released his chin. However, the Vorta did not fall to the ground. Dukat remembered his other powers and released the Vorta allowing him to crumple to the ground.
“You took everything from me!” he spat venomously at the cowering Vorta. “Then you cast me out like a piece of trash!” Dukat lashed out with his boot into Weyoun. He did not care where he was kicking, he just struck repeatedly. “The humiliations I have suffered because of you!”
Huffing and puffing Dukat stopped and looked down at the whimpering person at his feet. He had dreamed of this for so many years. He had thought that Weyoun was beyond his reach and that the smarmy Vorta would escape retribution for the decisions he had made. He effortlessly lifted the Vorta up off his feet by his throat.
“I will enjoy squeezing the life out of you with my bare hands, Weyoun. If only I can do so to the end of time and you would come close to feeling the pain I have felt for your betrayal and the death of my daughter.”
Weyoun’s fingers clawed at Dukat’s hand, trying to pry the fingers off him. “You’re...insane,” he forced out.
“No, I am vengeance.”
Dukat’s hand tightened on Weyoun’s throat. He was careful not to snap the Vorta’s weak neck under his fingers. Dukat had enjoyed watching Kira die this way. It was so intimate and personal, which made it impossible for him to resist. Terror filled Weyoun’s eyes as he felt himself suffocating. His hands lashed out to attack or distract Dukat, but Dukat thought that even without the being within him he would not have been troubled by Weyoun’s meek attack.
A commanding voice suddenly echoed down the promenade, “It is time Kosst Amojan. The instruments have been chosen. The Reckoning will begin.”
Dukat turned and his surprise at his opponent made him drop Weyoun. The being inside of him willed him towards the true objective of the day and away from the minor distractions it had allowed him to pursue. Now it was time for it to take charge. It was time for it to gain its vengeance.