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The Darkness and the Light

Production no.: 509
Teleplay by: Ronald D. Moore
Story by: Bryan Fuller
Directed by: Michael Vejar
Stardate: 50416.2 
First satellite airdate: January 4, 1997
Randy Oglesby ........
William Lucking .......
Diane Salinger .........
Jennifer Savidge ......
Aron Eisenberg .......
Matt Roe ................
Christian Conrad .....
Scott McElroy .........
Judi Durand .............
Silaran Prin
Lt. Brilgar
Station Computer Voice

Six Bajoran monks are meeting in a cavern somewhere on Bajor. One of them is Vedek Latha Mabrin, who welcomes them to the retreat and lights a large suspended candle to begin a prayer ritual. Unexpectedly, beams of light shoot out from the candle holder, focusing on each monk. Five go out, leaving only the one on Latha. Then the candle holder fires a disruptor beam which kills him instantly.

On DS9, Kira, still pregnant with the O'Briens' baby, is getting a physical from Bashir, who admonishes her to take her makara herbs, which she needs to keep her progesterone levels up. Kira has been reluctant, because the herbs counteract the sedatives she was taking in order to sleep; and besides, they taste horrible. Bashir tells her to just take them. At that moment, Odo comes into the infirmary with some grim news for Kira: Latha, who was a member of her resistance cell, has been murdered.

Kira asks if there are any suspects; Odo answers, "Too many", due to Latha's questionable activities in the past. "Latha was a violent man," Kira acknowledges. "But then he found the Prophets. And the last time I talked to him, he'd changed -- really changed." "I don't doubt that, Major," Odo replies. "But it would appear that the violence of his past has finally caught up with him." He promises to let her know if he hears anything else.

When Kira goes back to her room in the O'Briens' quarters, intending to pray, the computer tells her she has a message. As a picture of Latha appears, an electronically scrambled voice announces, "That's one." She plays it back over and over, trying to figure out what is going on.

Odo's investigation of the message reveals no point of origin in the log; it arrived at almost the same moment Latha was killed. The working theory is that it's a threat against the former members of the Shakaar cell. Only Kira has received this message. "So obviously there's some connection to me," she notes to Sisko and Odo. "But I don't know what it is. I haven't even spoken to Latha in two years." Odo will be increasing security on the station, and Kira has warned the other cell members. "I'm sorry about your friend," Sisko tells Kira, who replies, "He died serving the Prophets. They'll take care of him."

After a sleepless night, Kira is joined in the replimat by O'Brien. "I couldn't stop thinking about Latha," she says. "All those firefights and bombs he lived through, just to be killed during a religious ceremony. You know, if I wasn't pregnant, I would be down on Bajor right now trying to narrow down the suspects." "You're safer on the station," O'Brien says. "That's what's driving me crazy," she replies. "I'm sitting here eating breakfast while someone may be hunting down my friends. I'm a major in the Bajoran militia. I should be down there trying to protect them." O'Brien reminds her gently of the baby she's carrying; Kira has to admit he's right. "I guess I do have my hands full at the moment." Just then Odo calls to let her know there's another incoming message for her, from someone who refuses to give their name or location.

They go to Ops, where Sisko and Odo are trying to trace the scrambled signal. Kira answers the com, and finds that it's a Bajoran woman named Trentin Fala. After reassuring the others that Fala is a friend and no threat to anyone, Kira moves to another monitor. Fala is badly frightened by the news of Latha's death. "They're going to kill me too, Nerys. They've been watching me." She doesn't know who. "But I can feel it. I need to get out of here, go somewhere safe. Please, Nerys, you've got to help me -- you always promised you'd help!" Kira tells her that she can come to the station, where she will be safe until it's over. She will have Worf and Dax pick Fala up from Bajor on their way back from a starbase.

When Worf and Dax arrive at Bajor (arguing about Dax's loss at Tongo), they proceed to beam Fala up. But something goes horribly wrong. Despite all their efforts to save the pattern, the only result is a smoking corpse on the transporter pad, burnt to a crisp.

Kira enters the runabout later to view the body. Unfortunately, Odo believes it was no accident; that Fala was killed by a remat detonator, a tiny device programmed to scramble a transporter beam during rematerialization. It could have been hidden on Fala or injected into her without her knowledge at any time. The transporter security system didn't detect it even though it's programmed to scan for remats. "Whoever did this has a sophisticated understanding of our security protocols," Dax notes. "And a vendetta against the Shakaar resistance cell," adds Kira. Fala wasn't an official member, she explains; she cleaned floors in the Cardassian records office in Dahkur province, and passed information to the Shakaar cell for years. "She was always so afraid, afraid she'd be caught and executed. But she never stopped. I told her once I thought she was braver than all of us, because she had to live with her fear every day. Even after the Occupation was over, she didn't want anyone to know that she was secretly helping us. She was worried that someone would come looking for her for revenge." "Looks like her fears were well founded," Sisko comments sadly.

Walking down the Promenade, Kira hears the scrambled voice again, announcing, "That's two", and repeating the words over and over. It's coming from Quark's, specifically a Cardassian PADD which the bartender "found" coded for her (in a brandy shipment), and which he "accidentally" activated. Kira takes the PADD and sees a picture of Fala.

In the security office, Odo theorizes that Fala was killed for providing information to the Shakaar that led to an attack, probably one in which the killer was either injured or lost someone important to him. Furthermore, he believes it must have been an attack in which Kira played a prominent part. As he and Kira are talking, all of Odo's monitors go fuzzy; someone is accessing the database, and Odo can't trace it. When the static clears, the monitors display a picture of a Bajoran man, with the scrambled voice announcing, "That's three."

Kira recognizes the man in the photo as Mobara, another member of the Shakaar, who is now in Musilla Province, at a university engineering school. After Odo sends an emergency message to the authorities there, he notices Kira's worry and fatigue and asks if she's all right. "No, I'm not all right," Kira snaps at him. "I haven't slept in three days, someone is killing my friends, and my back -- " She catches herself, realizing Odo is only trying to help, and apologizes. Getting a message that the authorities haven't been able to contact Mobara, and that they're sending a search party, Odo suggests that Kira go back to her quarters and rest; the search may take several hours. Kira wearily agrees.

She arrives at the O'Briens', with a deputy named Brilgar acting as her bodyguard. When Kira goes into her bedroom, she hears a thump and a crash from the outer room. Silently, she grabs a phaser and creeps back out into the darkened living area, ready for anything; only to find that Furel and Lupaza are there. Lupaza has subdued Brilgar -- that was the noise. Once Kira explains Brilgar's presence, Lupaza lets him up, and the deputy gives them some privacy.

Furel and Lupaza beamed in after stowing away on a transport, and defeating the security system. "I should have you both thrown in the brig," Kira tells them. "But I'm glad to see you." After a little pregnancy chat, she tells them the situation with Mobara. Lupaza declares that the reason they're here is to find out who's killing their friends, and "take care of it". "I can't send you out like some assassination squad," Kira exclaims, but Furel and Lupaza are determined. All she has to do is give them a name.

Kira argues that they should leave this to the authorities. "Maybe you feel that way now," says Lupaza. "But trust me, when you find out who killed Latha, and Fala, and maybe now Mobara, you're not going to want to leave it to someone else. You're going to want him dead, and you're going to want us to do it." Kira changes the subject to the box they've brought her, which turns out to be full of fresh makara herbs. She tries not to show her distaste at the gift. They're discussing sleeping arrangements (Furel and Lupaza want to stay right here to protect her) when O'Brien walks in and is nearly shot. "Miles, we have houseguests," Kira tells him.

Sometime later, in Sisko's office, Odo updates the captain. Mobara has been found, killed by the detonation of a micro-explosive implanted behind one ear; Odo thinks the killer used another hunter probe to inject him. He also discounts the possibility of it being a professional assassin, as they would never send anonymous messages. "No, our killer is someone with a very personal stake in this -- someone who is trying to make a point to Major Kira." "And once he decides to drives this point home?" Sisko asks, knowing the answer. "He'll try to kill her too," Odo affirms.

Kira, meanwhile, is studying voiceprints from the messages, with the help of Dax and Nog, whose well-honed Ferengi ears detect that they are probably composites of words from different speeches. Dax slowly manages to screen out the electronic interference. Finally it becomes clear. The voice is Kira's.

An alarm goes off, indicating an explosion in the habitat ring -- in the O'Briens' quarters. As the others are reacting to the emergency, Kira rushes down there. Two guards as well as Brilgar try to stop her from opening the quarters, as there's been a hull breach, but Kira isn't thinking straight. After knocking the guards down, she reaches the door, and collapses unconscious.

Kira wakes in the infirmary, to the news that she suffered a placental laceration, which was repaired by Bashir. The doctor gently tells her that Furel and Lupaza are dead, killed instantly; O'Brien wasn't there. When Odo comes in, Kira stares at her earring as she tries to come to grips with the loss of her friends by recounting how she joined the resistance. At 13, she was hanging around the Shakaar camp when she volunteered to take part in an ambush; Lupaza spoke up for her inclusion even though everyone else thought she was too young and small. Kira recalls the cold, the fear, and the relief at not letting the others down; and how Lupaza made her her earring afterwards out of metal from the Cardassian skimmer they destroyed.

Odo simply listens quietly, letting her tell the tale, until finally she asks how it happened. He tells her that it was a hunter probe, attached to the hull of a freighter; it detached itself, found its targets, and exploded. Odo's sources on Cardassia have given him a list of possible suspects. He would like to narrow it further before she sees it. "You afraid I'm going to take the names and go charging off after them?" she asks. Odo admits, "Something like that." Kira concedes that he's probably right. After promising her that he'll find the person who has done this, Odo leaves.

As soon as he's gone, Kira stands up, calls for an emergency transport to the security office, and arrives before Odo gets there. Quickly, she gets the list from the computer, and has herself beamed away. Odo arrives a moment later, sees his chair moved slightly, and immediately realizes what has happened. Kira, meanwhile, is now on a runabout leaving the station. There is no way to anticipate where she is headed, as she erased the names after taking them. Sisko orders the Defiant prepared to follow whatever trail can be found.

Having eliminated three of the names, Kira goes to a planet near the DMZ, on which lives the fourth suspect, a Cardassian named Silaran Prin. She beams down to the converted cargo container that he apparently uses as a house. As she is exploring, a Cardassian appears from the shadows; she shoots at it, only to discover that it's a hologram. Then she is stunned by a phaser blast.

When Kira wakens, she is lying in a chair, unable to move; she is being held by a restraining field, in a pool of white light. A disembodied voice begins reciting an odd narrative. "A creature born within the comforting anonymity of darkness awakens in the harsh truth of daylight. It squirms in the glare, afraid of the light that pins it to the chair like a needle through its heart. Its heart beats faster...Panic starts to creep into its soul. Does it understand? Or is it so blinded by the light that it can think only of returning to the velvet cloak of darkness? No matter. Perhaps it is better that it doesn't realize how close death has come. But make no mistake there is no escape. It has reached the end, and soon it will die." It would seem that she has found the killer.

The weird little story continues. Kira refuses to show any sign of fear. "I'm not afraid of you," she challenges. "I'm not some coward who's been sending anonymous messages and bombs to murder innocent people." Suddenly her captor steps into view -- Silaran Prin, a middle-aged Cardassian whose face and body have been horrifically disfigured on one side. "No, Kira!" he hisses. "I didn't murder anyone. You did! You killed them all."

Having managed to get him to show himself, Kira suggests that they talk. "Talk and lies won't help you," Silaran replies. "You're in the light, and the light reveals the truth. And the light shows me no regret in those eyes, no compassion." "You want me to feel compassion for you?" Kira demands, incredulous. "You murdered five people. What compassion did you show to them?" Silaran, however, is quite lost to reason. The fact that she doesn't know what she's supposed to be repenting for only confirms her guilt in his eyes. "You did this to me, and you don't even know who I am."

"So you were wounded during an attack I carried out when I was part of the resistance," Kira deduces. "And I'm supposed to feel guilty? We were at war, Silaran. Fifteen million Bajorans died during the Occupation, and you want me to feel sorry for you?" "No!" Silaran insists, furious. "I wasn't part of your war. I was an innocent. I wasn't even in the military. Do you know what I did on Bajor? I was a servant. I cleaned uniforms for Gul Pirak." Pirak, Kira remembers, was commander of a weapons depot, who executed 15 Bajoran farmers for refusing to display the Cardassian banner. In retaliation, the Shakaar cell carried out the bombing of Pirak's house; all of the people Silaran has killed contributed to that particular attack. But Kira was the one who placed a plasma charge outside Pirak's bedroom window, vaporizing the entire east wing and killing 12 Cardassians, including Pirak and his family; 23 others were crippled. "Don't you feel guilty?" Silaran asks fiercely. "Don't you feel ashamed of what you did?"

"None of you belonged on Bajor!" Kira retorts. "It wasn't your world! For fifty years, you raped our planet and you killed our people. You lived on our land and you took the food out of our mouths, and I don't care whether you held a phaser in your hand or you ironed shirts for a living. You were all guilty, and you were all legitimate targets!" To Silaran, however, this simply makes her an indiscriminate murderer. "I was a soldier," she points out. "You're just a bitter old man out for revenge." "I am bringing the guilty to justice," Silaran counters. "And unlike you, I take care to protect the innocent. I could have killed every monk in that cavern, or everyone on the runabout, or half the population of Deep Space Nine, but I didn't. Only the guilty have died. And that is why although your actions have condemned you, the life of your child will be spared."

Retreating into the shadows again, Silaran goes back to his "story". "The creature's diseased mind cannot understand its plight. Its imagination is too limited to perceive the truth. It cannot be saved. But there is still hope for the child. It can be taken from the womb and raised in the light." Desperate, Kira protests that he can't force her to give birth now without harming the child, which needs to remain inside her for three more weeks. "We both agree this baby is an innocent. Don't put him at risk. Please, Silaran!" "Don't worry," he says. "I promise that I'll take care of the child. And that I'll teach him the difference between darkness and light."

Kira sees the laser scalpel as he picks it up and prepares to cut into her abdomen. Frantically, she pleads to be given a sedative. He pauses. "All right. I'll show more mercy than you have. Take a good look at my face, Kira. I want it to be the last thing you see." Silaran applies a hypospray; Kira goes limp. "The creature slept, dreaming its dark dreams, and happy to be out of the light. The innocent life it held would awaken in brilliance, and never know darkness again." But as soon as Silaran deactivates the restraining field and is about to start slicing, Kira comes to life. There is a brief fight; she finally is able to grab her phaser and shoot him dead.

Not long afterwards, Sisko, Odo, and Bashir beam into the room and find her sitting quietly near the body. Bashir scans her, ascertaining that she has a large amount of sedative in her system, but the makara herbs she has been taking have counteracted the effect. Odo asks Kira why Silaran gave her a sedative.

"He wanted to protect the innocent, and separate the darkness from the light," Kira says slowly, a distant look in her eyes. "But he didn't realize the light only shines in the dark. And sometimes innocence is just an excuse for the guilty." At last she stands up. "Let's go home."

  • This was the first story idea sold by freelancer Bryan Fuller, who later became a staff writer on Voyager.