by Ceryndip

Note: This is the second draft of the work. While it is a complete story, it is not a finished product. 1993

Deep Space Nine rocked with the power of the explosion. Commander Sisko came out of his office and grabbed the rail to steady himself.

"What was that?"

"Not sure yet, sir," Chief O'Brien said as he hurriedly checked his monitor board. "An explosion of some kind. We've lost some shielding. I'm trying to compensate.

"Are we under attack?" Major Kira, second-in-command of DS9, asked as she came out of the lift, and prayed her worst fears hasn't come to pass. "Have the Cardassians come back?"

"There is nothing unusual on the scan. Just normal activity," Dax called from the science station.

O'Brien looked up, "No, this came from inside the station."

"Where?" Sisko asked.

"That's what I'm trying to find out. The power is out in half the station...My God. It looks like it originated in the Promenade near the Infirmary."

"Let's get down there. O'Brien. They're going to need some help." Kira followed them into the lift.

Odo was taking his first stroll around the Promenade. He had begun enjoying his morning patrol again since O'Brien's wife started the school. The children would not be underfoot till this afternoon. There were rarely civil problems this early in the day other than a few brief disputes between customer and shopkeeper.

Then the explosion hit. Odo dove into the cover of an open doorway while debris rained and glass flew. He remained under cover a few more seconds to see if it really was all clear. When he decided it was just going to be one big explosion, he emerged and looked around. The explosion seemed to emanate from the area of the infirmary Odo ran around the curve.

What he found gave him pause. The infirmary was in shambles. Part of the ceiling had come in and was blocking the door. There were several consoles on fire. Other people began arriving. Some hurt and others just to help. Odo motioned several of them over to him.

"See if you can clear this doorway. I'm going inside." Then Odo transformed himself into a pinkish liquid and rolled through a small opening in the debris. After he reformed on the other side, Odo began looking for people. The first body he found had been crushed under a conduit from the upper deck. She probably never knew what hit her. Odo looked up and found himself seeing straight through to the outer hull on the upper deck. He could see stars in the viewport.

Odo headed toward the beds thinking there may be patients that needed to be moved. The ceiling that was left didn't look very stable. Then he heard someone moaning. It was a male voice.

Odo began calling, "Dr. Bashir? Where are you?"

"Here, I'm underneath something."

Odo began moving toward the voice. It seemed to be coming from under the far end of the conduit which was resting at an angle against the far wall. Odo grabbed a piece of pipe that had broken loose from somewhere and used it as a lever to lift the conduit. It moved slightly and Dr. Julian Bashir tried to wiggle out from under it. Odo held the pipe with one hand and used the other to help pull the doctor up. Odo let go of the pipe and the whole thing crashed to the floor. The doctor stood swaying, unsteadily on his feet. He continued holding on to Odo's arm for support.

"Doctor, are you alright?" Odo asked noting the jagged gash in the doctor's forehead.

"I...don't really know. Dizzy."

"How many people are here. Are there any patients?"

"No patients, just two other staff members. Been a slow day." Julian coughed. The smoke was beginning to get to him.

Odo gave the doctor a push towards the door, "Get outside. I'll find the others."

Julian stumbled toward the door using whatever he could reach for support. Odo watched until Julian reached the men clearing the doorway, then he headed back to the bed area and started shifting debris and calling, "Can anyone here me? Are you there?"

He shifted part of a computer console that had toppled over and stopped calling. There was no need. The young man's neck was obviously broken.

The maintenance crews began to arrive as Odo found Dr. Bashir sitting outside the door leaning against the wall nursing his head. Julian was desperately willing the dizziness to go away.

"Doctor, the wounded are beginning to arrive."

Julian looked up and saw bleary shapes moving in the distance. An off duty med tech arrived bearing an emergency medical kit. Odo called her over. She took one look at Dr. Bashir and pulled out a hypospray. She applied it to the side of his neck.

Julian's vision cleared almost immediately, the dizziness soon after. A dull pain remained throbbing behind his eyes but he could function again.

"Thank you, Mina," he remained seated on the floor, though. Odo knelt down next to him. The doctor watched the people pulling each other up and dusting themselves off. He turned to Odo, "The two nurses that were in there?"

Odo shook his head slowly.

Julian was quiet a moment, then he began sliding his back up the wall into a standing position, "Well, looks like we're going to be busy for awhile. We'll need someplace to treat the more seriously wounded."

"Quarks looks like it's still in one piece," Odo suggested.

"Alright, Odo would you make the arrangements?"

"On my way," He strode off down the Promenade. Julian stepped back inside the infirmary and opened a cabinet just inside the door and pulled out a medi-kit. He looked at the ceiling and decided to pull out the other 2 kits. He set them outside the doorway. Julian stood a moment looking at the rubble that was once his infirmary and remembered the lighthearted, teasing with his co-workers. A conversation that would now have no end.

"No time to dwell on that now, Doctor, you've got work to do," Julian told himself. He turned around and headed out into the Promenade. He found one of Odo's security people nearby and told him to watch the door and keep everyone out of the infirmary until the maintenance crew says it's clear.

Sisko, Kira, and O'Brien exited the lift into a war zone. The dust was just beginning to settle. The emergency lighting was giving the debris that was scattered everywhere an eerie glow. Several upper level conduits and support columns had fallen into the lower level. Many of the glass storefronts had been shattered by the force of the explosion. People were beginning to haul themselves up and assess their injuries.

O'Brien turned to Sisko his face suddenly paling a little and said simply, "Keiko and the children," and headed toward the school room on the other side of the damaged area. Sisko understood O'Brien's concern implicitly. He desperately wanted to know if his son, Jake, was alright but knew his duties lie with his command at the moment. He and Kira began picking their way around the larger pieces of wreckage and assisting those who could to move toward the infirmary.

As he passed Quark's Sisko gingerly stepped over the glass which had shattered all over the floor but the inside looked mostly intact. Quark came running from somewhere.

"Sisko! I thought Starfleet was here to protect this station. Or is Starfleet getting lax in it's security?"

"That's what I'm here to find out, Quark. I don't have those answers yet."

Odo came striding up from farther along the Promenade. Sisko and Quark met him half way.

"What happened?" Sisko asked hoping he would know.

"An explosion, of course, We've had to evacuate the Infirmary. What's left of the ceiling looks like it could fall in at any moment. I was coming down to see if we could move some of the more seriously wounded into Quark's. It's still structurally sound.

For once Quark didn't put up a fuss, "Anything I can do. Just try not to let anyone bleed on the furniture."

"I'll tell them to try and stop bleeding," Odo replied sarcastically. Sisko turned to look for Kira. He saw her several stores back tending someone's injury. He yelled back, "Kira, I'm going to the infirmary." She waved acknowledgment.

Sisko turned back to Odo and they set off picking their way around the rubble. "Odo, Is Dr. Bashir alright?" He wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer. What if Bashir was injured or worse and they were left with all these wounded and no Doctor.

Odo replied, "I think he's alright. At least he seems to be functioning for the moment."

Sisko found out why Odo wasn't so sure when they rounded the curve. There were bodies lying on the floor everywhere and more arriving. Some with minor injuries and others worse. The Infirmary staff were trying to sort out the worst cases. Sisko found the doctor sealing a nasty cut in a man's leg.

"Dr. Bashir?" no response. Sisko moved around to the opposite side of the patient. He saw with some surprise that the left side of Bashir's face was covered in blood and dirt. Sisko repeated his query. "Dr. Bashir?"

The doctor looked up, saw Sisko, and went back to his patient. He looked like he was using all his concentration to heal his patient. Sisko put an edge to his voice. "Chief Medical Officer Bashir, Report."

Julian Bashir looked up again and closed his eyes a moment then said quietly, "There are a large number of casualties. Mostly minor injuries, cuts, bruises, some broken bones. A few severely injured. We're taking them to Quark's?" He looked at Odo who nodded. "Good. There are two dead so far both medical personnel." He slowly looked back toward the remains of the infirmary. Dr. Bashir didn't have a large staff to begin with.

Sisko nodded and touched his communicator, "Sisko to Ops."

Dax answered, "Ops here."

"Dax send anyone with medical training, including yourself, down to the Promenade we've got a lot of minor injuries down here.

"Right away, Benjamin."

Sisko broke the link and turned back to Bashir, "Doctor are you alright?"

Bashir nodded, "I'll make it. I have patients I must tend to first."

Sisko nodded and stood up. For all his faults Bashir was a good doctor.


Sisko turned to find Jake and Nog partially carrying and partially dragging an unconscious man from farther up the Promenade. He went to help them with great relief. "I'm glad to see you, Son."

"you, too, Dad."

"Are Mrs. O'Brien and the rest of the children alright?"

"Yes, they're helping with the wounded back by the school."

Dax put out a station wide call for anyone with medical training to report to the Promenade. Then she called a relief and headed there herself after collecting her tricorder. It wasn't medically specific but it would do. She'd had the Starfleet emergency medical course.

Sisko finally found O'Brien putting out an electrical fire at the obvious source of the explosion. There was a huge jagged black hole ripped in the wall in the level above the infirmary.

"It looks like a bomb went off."

O'Brien nodded, "I haven't found any pieces of it yet." He stood up and prodded the ashes of the fire with his boot to make sure it was out. Then he handed the extinguisher to Sisko. "I've got to get the power back on down here."

Sisko nodded affirmatively, "I'll see what kind of remains I can find here." He began systematically probing the area for anything that didn't belong there. Odo joined him shortly after the lights came back on.

"How are things?" Sisko asked.

"We're beginning to start cleaning up. The injured are being seen to. Although I don't think our civic-minded Ferengi businessman will be offering his establishment for use as a hospital again anytime soon."

"And why is that?" Sisko asked with a smile suspecting the reason

"Dr. Bashir was performing surgery on the bar top a while ago. Quark was outside whining about the mess. Of course that was after he recovered from fainting inside the bar."

Sisko chuckled at the thought and the search for evidence began again in earnest.

It was Sisko who finally found the small melted box nestled under a large piece of wall that had collapsed.

Odo looked at it and immediately identified it as Cardassian and quite old. "They haven't used this type of explosive in years."

"But why plant a bomb in your own station?"

Odo shook his head, "I don't know, but are there anymore? And what set this one off?"

Julian Bashir stood and looked around for his next patient, everyone nearby had been treated. He picked up his tricorder and began walking around checking patients. He didn't know how long he'd been moving from injured person to injured person. There were so many he had lost track of time.

"Dr. Bashir," Dax called. He didn't hear her. She had been keeping an eye on him since she'd arrived on the Promenade. The gash over his left eye had quit bleeding but the quick scan she'd made when he wasn't looking showed a concussion. She had already suspected this by the quiet, intense concentration he gave to his patients and the way he'd been giving her, Kira, and the others instructions on how to help. He was blocking his own injuries out so he could keep going. She walked over and put her hand on his shoulder.


He turned.

"Come over here and let me take care of that cut."

"No, not now. There's no time. I have patients.

"No, Julian," she said patiently, "we've taken care of everyone. They're going to be alright."

"I'll be fine," He tried to pull away from her. He'd been going so long he couldn't stop.

"You are not fine. There is blood dried all over your face. You're pale. You're skin is cold meaning you're in shock and you have a concussion," she showed him the tricorder, "Now there's nothing more you can do here. Let me take care of you. Please."

Julian took a deep breath. Suddenly, he felt very tired. He nodded and Dax led him over to an unoccupied bench outside Quark's and began to carefully wipe the blood off his face.

Julian's world began to blur and spin, slowly at first then faster as he passed out falling into Dax's arms.

Julian woke in his own bed. His head still throbbed. He reached for his forehead and found a bandage. Then he remembered there had been an explosion. Something had fallen on him and Odo had pulled him out. As he remembered the day's events he felt like he was watching another person. The door to his quarters opened and Jadzia Dax called his name as she came in and peeked around the door to his bedroom.

"You are up. Good. I've brought breakfast. I thought you might be hungry. I've been checking on our patients."

Julian sat up, leaned against the headboard and took the tray. He smiled, "And how are 'our patients'?"

"Doing well. Everybody seems pretty sore this morning but I think that is to be expected."

"It is and it will pass." He stretched a little experimenting to see if anything hurt.

"And how are you feeling?"

"Like everyone else, a little sore but I'll live."

By the time Sisko arrived in Ops the next day, O'Brien was waiting with 3 more of the bombs.

"Is that all of them?" Sisko asked?

"I hope so, sir. We've been over every inch of this station. But we've searched before and didn't find them. They all looked like they belonged where they were. They were expertly hidden like whoever placed them there didn't even want their own people to find them. They weren't placed at the obvious structural weak points. If they had all gone off the gravitational forces would have very neatly torn the station into tiny pieces."

"Do you think it's part of a self-destruct mechanism, Chief?" Sisko asked.

"It's very likely."

"And what set this one off?"

"An electrical short, It's so old it just shorted itself out triggering the detonator."

Kira walked over and joined the conversation, "I've already called Gul Ducat. He played innocent. Claimed he knew nothing about it."

I'm not surprised, "O'Brien said, "He probably didn't know. If the Cardassians wanted to blow up the station, they would have used the self-destruct mechanism already in place over there." He pointed to the panel. "This one wasn't in the plans or the computer."

"It's like someone had their own private self-destruct switch. Sisko solemnly shook his head in dismay. "How many more surprises are waiting for us to stumble on to them?"

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