Friday, August 23, 2013

Outliers - A Deep Space Nine Celebration, Part 3

Miles O'Brien
(first appeared in The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint," first season)
(first Deep Space Nine appearance, "Emissary," first season)

[a voice can be heard in the background, belonging to O'Brien's wife, Keiko, periodically adding comments]

I'm glad to talk to you, Jake.  I guess out of anyone you've talked to already, you probably know about as much about where I was before the station as you know about your dad.  I served aboard the Enterprise for a little over five years.  I was...there, during the Borg incident.  In a sense, I know exactly how your dad felt about Picard, because that's how I felt about Cardassians for years.  Took a bit of doing to think otherwise.  He seems to be at peace about it, and here I am, working day and night to get this station to Starfleet code.  You can imagine that sometimes it's been a living nightmare.

[Keiko: Sometimes a nightmare day and night.]

Keiko will sometimes have a harder time of it than I do, but for different reasons.

[Keiko: Miles, don't put words in my mouth.  It's just, life aboard the station can feel stifling.  We've talked about that.]

Enterprise was more than just the flagship of the fleet.  It was in every practical way home, not just for the officers but for hundreds of civilians.  The station gives its residents a lot of freedom, but not like what we used to know.  Do I miss the old girl?  You could say that.  Life was more...predictable.  In a good way.

[Keiko starts to speak, but thinks twice, finally leaves the room.]

You'll probably want to speak to her as well.  Anyway, I'm due to visit Ops.  Sometimes I wonder if anyone else around here knows the difference between a hydrospanner and a self-sealing stem-bolt.

Keiko O'Brien
(first appeared in The Next Generation, "Data's Day," fourth season)
(first Deep Space Nine appearance, "A Man Alone," first season)

Did he leave?  I love Miles, but sometimes he can be so exhausting!  Selfless to a point.  He doesn't realize how withdrawn he can become at home.

That wasn't always the case.  Back aboard the Enterprise, he was the warmest and most open person I had ever known.  Being in Picard's crew was good for him.  It helped heal all the old wounds he mentioned, the time he spent fighting the Cardassians.  I was part of the new personnel who came aboard after the ship returned to Earth following the Borg incident.  I always had two great passions growing up, education and botany, both of which still define me today.  My role was to be part of the general therapy the whole ship needed, but it became something else when I realized the one man who didn't need me for that was Miles.  He was my shelter in the storm.  I was a calming influence to everyone else, but to him I could just be myself.

I wish I could say the same about life aboard the station, but I can't.  Here the storm never calms.  I think it's reminded Miles far more about all his own struggles with the Cardassians than he'd ever care to admit.  No wonder he spends so much time with Julian!  He craves escapism, and who better than the intrepid doctor to provide that?  

I try not to be bitter.  I'm not being fair.  What I need is to rediscover myself, something I guess I've been avoiding since the Enterprise.  In a lot of ways, Miles threw me for a loop.  Now I'm discovering just where I'm going to land.

Julian Bashir
(first appeared in "Emissary," first season)
Jake!  Always good to see you.  So you're conducting interviews on the personal histories of all the key personnel aboard the station.  I suppose on the surface, mine might be the easiest one to discover of all.  After all, I've spent the last few years boasting about it, the triumphs and failures, hopes and aspirations, to anyone willing to listen.

Do you want the truth?  All of it's a lie.  I wish I could go into detail, but it isn't the right time.  I hope you'll understand.

Everything I've achieved in my life so far, it's all been someone else's dream.  I've been following a road map of success that's come easy to me.  If anything, I've had to consistently downplay my true abilities, not because I feared embarrassing my peers, but because I've felt ashamed of myself.  You have no idea what kind of burden this has been.  Or perhaps you do.  Perhaps you know better than anyone, and that's why I'm telling you this now.  Son of a Starfleet commander, expected to follow the career, live up to your father.  And yet you've chosen to go a different direction.  I wish I had your courage.  The only part of medicine that I truly enjoy is the challenge of it.  I suppose that's the real reason why I came here, to find out what I can do on my own, under the new rules only the frontier can provide.  I could never have been happy serving aboard a starship, treating routine illnesses on a regular basis.

I've been called brash, arrogant, a womanizer, and yet I'm none of those things.  If any of it seems true, then my secret identity is intact.  Try to help me keep my cover.

(first appeared in "Emissary," first season)
I suppose you want to hear all about Dr. Mora and his experiments.  No?  It's just as well.  I prefer to consider my origins as something that began somewhere other than in a laboratory, or the cold vastness of space when my people sent me and the rest of my lost siblings out into the galaxy.  

Everyone assumes that because I served under the Cardassians when this station was still known as Terok Nor that I must have had some latent sympathy for their cause, but they forget that I operate as a representative of Bajoran authority, that I came from the care of Bajorans, and that Bajorans would hardly have embraced so blatant a collaborator.  No, the truth is, I enjoyed my post under the Cardassians for the same reasons the Cardassians embraced anything, or assumed authority over it, because I was deemed a useful commodity.  My need for order was something that spoke to disparate, warring cultures.  

I was...discovered for the second time on Bajor by a Cardassian gul who noticed the effect I was having in Dr. Mora's hospice, as it became during the Occupation, the efficiency I brought to treating wounded combatants.  I would never have stayed there as long as I did, except I didn't see any other choice.  I rarely interacted with Dr. Mora himself, who in the end was as glad to be rid of me as I was of him, or so I assumed.  I served six months in a Galor-class cruiser, a trial run as it were.  I didn't think much about my changed circumstances, and I suppose this impressed the Cardassians.  I was quickly reassigned to Terok Nor.

What else do you need to know?

Kira Nerys
(first appeared in "Emissary," first season)

Sometimes I feel embarrassed for the person I was before your father showed up.  I was angry at everyone and everything, and that didn't change for longer than I care to admit.

I'd come to the station before being officially assigned to it after the Occupation ended, but that's a matter that will remain between myself and Odo.  

When you grow up with fighting the only thing you know, it's very hard to learn anything else.  The truth is, I was asked specifically, by a dear friend of mine, to consider doing exactly that.  I was asked to become something more than a representative of the Resistance, to become a diplomat, even a symbol of change.  I have no idea how he decided to choose me for that role.  The first thing he asked was that I try to remember that I was a woman.  I felt insulted!  But he had a point.  I was asked to do something with my hair.  I quickly learned exactly what he meant.

I spent a lot of time praying to the Prophets for guidance, a lot of time alone meditating.  I found a new center of peace within myself, even though it seems in retrospect that it was only with myself.  But I found it.

You have to understand, everything changed in an instant for all Bajorans.  One minute we were fighting for our lives what seemed all our lives, and the next there was peace, and there was the Federation.  A lot of us were resentful, especially after our leaders decided that the first thing we should do with our new lives was petition for membership in a political body that had ignored our plight for decades.

I didn't think as much about it personally as I would like to admit to you now, but the truth is, I accepted the role thrust upon me because I wanted as badly as anyone for things to work out.  As hard as I struggled against it myself, I also know on some level that I could adapt to our new circumstances better than a lot of people I knew.  I knew because my friend helped me to see that, the moment he asked me, and all I could think about for weeks was how other people would accept me in that role.  I wasn't thinking strictly as an oppressed Bajoran anymore.  I was thinking for myself.

(first appeared in The Next Generation, "Encounter at Farpoint," first season)
(first appearance Deep Space Nine, "Way of the Warrior," fourth season)   

I was...uncomfortable when Jadzia first suggested I talk to you.  However, she can be very persuasive.

After the destruction of the Enterprise, I lost my way for a time.  My relationship with Counselor Troi had ended, and I no longer felt the old ties still applied.  I spent months in meditation, uncertain as to whether I still belonged in Starfleet, or even if my fellow Klingons would have me.  I was a man without a country.

Alexander, with whom I have had a...difficult relationship over the years, suggested that I keep my...options open.  He has spent his entire life that way.  I felt obligated to consider his wisdom.  He and I have not always seen eye to eye on such matters, not just because he is my son and I have often struggled with his level of...maturity, much less his instincts as a warrior, but because I still see him through the reflection of his mother.

Perhaps it was K'Ehleyr who guided me here.  Yes.  That is the answer I will give you.  In the months before Captain Sisko asked me here on temporary assignment, I often had visions of her.  I could sometimes...feel her presence.  It was a soothing agent.  Although I remained conflicted up until the moment I agreed to remain here permanently, I felt that the best way to honor her memory was to...make the choice that she would have wanted me to make.  She spent her life looking for such opportunities.  It would have been an insult not to accept it when it was presented to me.

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