Excerpts for Tempest


The Tempest


By Susan Wright

Star Trek

Copyright © 1997 Susan Wright
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0671002279

ODO PAUSED AT the railing overlooking the Promenade He had made a

general announcement to the public areas of the station regarding

the emergency docking order. He thought it would calm everyone to

know that the tremors were caused by emissions from plasma storm,

yet the level of excitement continued to heighten along with the

influx of evacuees from the newly arriving vessels.

The activity on the Promenade reminded him of a Bajoran festival

day, right down to the singing and dancing, as streams of people

entered the temple. Not only were there more Bajorans, but there

was a sampling of every other sort of humanoid race, especially

in Quark's Bar. Odo had stopped by the bar for a moment but he

couldn't stand Quark's jubilant pleasure in the face of the

emergency. The tight Ferengi wasn't even complaining much about

broken serving ware or spills, so you knew it had to be a

profitable day.

Odo surveyed the throngs, mystified by the humanoid tendency to

react to a crisis by throwing off all self-restraint. It was as

if they were compelled to mirror chaos with chaos, when, by

rights, they should be extra cautious during times of

uncertainty. Many seemed to be indulging in a sensory abandonment

comparable to his liquid state, yet he would no more start

sliding down the banister right now than he would enter an open

airlock with a Cardassian at his back. Didn't humanoids know how

fragile they were?

Take Jake-there he was, leaning too far over the railing, trying

to see everything happening down below on the Promenade.

Odo casually strolled past. "Back up there," he warned the young

man. "You wouldn't want one of these shock waves to send you over

the rail."

Jake straightened up, undaunted by Odo's tone. "Hi there,

Constable. isn't this great?"

"I'm not sure what is so 'great' about an emergency docking

order," Odo replied, clasping his hands behind his back. "The

station has already reached maximum capacity, and several more

ships are waiting to dock."

"It's not really dangerous, is it?" Jake asked, more concerned.

"No, not really," Odo assured him. "But whenever this many people

are gathered in a confined area, there's bound to be trouble. Not

to mention accidents. Why isn't everyone more careful?"

Jake shook his head in amusement. "You've just got to see it as a

surprise holiday. A lot of these crews weren't expecting to get

shore leave for weeks."

"Hmmm . . . I'm not sure your father would like you to be

wandering around in all of this."

"My father is the one who keeps telling me to experience life.

He'll probably want a blow-by-blow report when he gets home

tonight."

Odo made a disapproving sound, but he let the matter drop. "I

would suggest you stock up on food supplies. I hear there's a run

on the replicators."

That hit Jake in a vital spot. He instantly started for his

quarters. "Thanks for the tip! See you around."

"I'm sure," Odo murmured to himself. He had recommended a curfew

for nonessential personnel, but Sisko had vetoed his suggestion.

As the shock waves grew worse, perhaps the captain would

reconsider.

One of his security staff signaled. "Sir, Starfleet security say

they're having some trouble at the airlock to the Ceres. A Sattar

is there looking for Commander Worf."

Odo had flagged any unusual activity among the Sattar for his

immediate attention. He had noticed that Commander Worf had

established surveillance on the Reaper shortly after it arrived,

and Odo was interested in anything that caught Worf's attention.

"Where is the Sattar now?"

"They're holding her at the airlock."

"Send two security personnel there. I'm on my way." He intended

to handle this personally. The Sattar were the best covert

transports available, with the captains controlling the "members"

with a combination of familial and dictatorial authority. Then

again, the Sattar had learned their trade while dodging the iron

fist of the Klingons.

Odo unobtrusively made his way to the back of the Promenade, into

one of the crossover bridges. With the slowdown in turbolift

service, he decided to allow himself the luxury of traveling

through the maintenance corridors.

Checking to make sure no one was watching, he slipped into the

shadowed bulkhead. Unlocking the access door, he poured himself

through the crack. Using the gravity of the station, he streamed

down the ladder of the lower pylon, curving around power conduits

and passing effortlessly through grillwork.

He had to reform to clear the security checks, but it was quicker

than any other route. Besides, he usually excused his liquid

forays through the station since they enabled him to become

familiar with every nook and cranny. If shapeshifters were

actively moving around DS9, they would be doing it this way.

Odo reformed before leaving the maintenance corridor. With the

current alert regarding Dominion infiltration, he didn't want to

take the chance of anyone seeing him re-solidify. If he ever got

shot, he would wake up in a puddle in front of Captain Sisko, and

his pride wouldn't allow that.

Copyright © 1997 by Susan Wright



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Excerpted from The Tempest by Susan Wright Copyright © 1997 by Susan Wright. Excerpted by permission.
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