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Part Three: Visions and Prophecy

PROLOGUE - PART 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - EPILOGUE

  There was a brilliant flash and Jake found himself surrounded by an infinite whiteness that he could not truly comprehend.

  “What’s going on?” he said out loud.

  Jake’s head spun around and fear filled his soul as he realised he was alone.

  “HELLO!” he yelled. “IS ANYONE HERE?”

  There was another flash and Jake found himself on the bridge of a starship. One that was eerily familiar, but bathed in an unnatural light.

  “You have come. It is as he foretold.”

  Jake nearly jumped out of his skin and spun around. His jaw nearly hit the floor as he saw who had spoken. “Nog? Is that you?”

  Seated at one of the duty stations along the side of the bridge was a diminutive Ferengi in Starfleet uniform. Nog looked exactly as Jake remembered him, as if time had not touched him at all.

  “The son of the Sisko has responded to the call.”

  Jake turned his head to the new voice and if his jaw could drop any further it would have.  “Dax? What’s going on?” he asked the Trill officer seated at the helm station. Jadzia looked as beautiful as he remembered her to be.

  “The son of the Sisko has accepted the task.”

  Miles O’Brien had joined them on the bridge. Jake’s head was in a spin as he realised where he was. It was the bridge of the Defiant. He did not know what was happening but this was impossible. The ship was as dead as the people that surrounded him now.

  “What’s going on? Why are you calling me that?”

  “It is time for Bajor to move beyond,” said the soft tones of Julian Bashir as he walked from behind him into view.

  “Beyond what? I don’t know what’s going on!” cried Jake, his tone pleading for an explanation from the spectres that surrounded him.

  “It is a task that must be done,” repeated Nog.

  “What task?”

  Nog pointed behind him and Jake turned. Suddenly before him was the mouth of a cave. He spun around. Gone was the haunted bridge of the Defiant and now he was on a planet he knew was Bajor. With no other option he cautiously approached the cave and stepped into it.  Deep within Jake spotted a distant light and made his way towards it.  He was guided by the light through the caverns and he wondered if he would forever be chasing the phantom light under the surface. He finally came to an alcove and a dead end.

  Before him was a man seated on the floor. In front of the man was a single candle, the only source of light in the room. The man and candle were both before a strange stone tablet within the far wall.

  “Hello?” said Jake seeking the man’s attention. “I think I’m meant to find you.”

  The man slowly stood, picking up the candle as he does. Slowly the man turned to face Jake.

  “Dad!” exclaimed Jake.

  He goes to step forward but his father speaks, his voice holding him in his place. “It is time for Bajor to be reborn.”

  “Dad, it’s me, Jake!”

  Jake’s father just stared impassively at him and continued, “The son of Sisko must bring about the Reckoning or be lost in the dark forever.”

  The candle’s flame suddenly extinguished and darkness folded itself over Jake, crushing him.


  Jake gasped as he found himself back in the field of white, alone. His eyes welled up and tears started to run down his cheeks. Jake was questioning his sanity after what he had just seen. To see his father looking exactly as he remembered him left him in a whirlpool of emotion. No longer able to contain his confusion, fear, sorrow, Jake fell to his knees openly weeping.

  “Jake,” sounded his father’s voice.

  “Go away,” responded Jake through his sobs.

  “Jake, I need you to listen to me.”

  “Leave me alone. I don’t know or care what you are, just leave me alone.”

  A hand came and rested on his shoulder and from behind him his “father” walked and knelt before him.

  “It’s me Jake-o.” Jake looked into the face of his “father” and saw him smiling widely.  “It’s really me. Jake, I have something very important that I need you to do.”

  Jake pushed himself back to his feet and stepped back from his kneeling “father”.  “You need something?  WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?  WHERE AM I?  WHO ARE YOU?” he shouted angrily.

  His “father” frowned as he got back to his feet.  “Jake, we don’t have time –”

  “We don’t have time!” Jake laughed incredulously. “You can’t just appear and say, ‘hey I’m back. I need a favour, son’! My father died fighting the Dominion. You’re just a phantom, a mimic.”

  “Jake, it’s me.”

  “How do I know you’re not a hallucination or a Prophet or some other fanciful entity?”

  His “father” reached out and placed his hand on Jake’s chest and said, “Because in here you can feel it...I am your father.”

  Jake stared into his “father’s” eyes and in them saw all that was his father. Brave, strong, caring, loving and honest. In a place deep inside Jake knew that this man was his father.  Tears flowed down his cheeks again and he wrapped his hand around his father’s on his chest.  “Dad...after twenty years, you’ve come back.”

  His father squeezed Jake’s hand and that smile that had soothed him so often as a boy returned to his father’s face.

  “Twenty years,” repeated his father, surprise in his voice.

  “You’re surprised?” asked Jake gesturing to his face as a sign of the passing of time.

  “Where I am now, time is meaningless.”

  Jake was about to scoff at that idea when it suddenly dawned on him. “The wormhole.  You’re in the wormhole.”

  His father nodded. “When you said I ‘died’, in a sense you were right.  I shed my corporeal existence. But my essence, my spirit was saved by the Prophets.”

  “Then before when I saw Nog, Dax and the others; are they with you?”

  Sisko mournfully shook his head.  “No, they...died. Or at least they passed to a realm beyond or different from this. I don’t know for sure and the Prophets...are less than forthcoming in their opinion. What you saw were Prophets in the form of those you knew.”

  “So you, that other you in the cave was not you, but a Prophet?”

  “Yes. That was a Prophet taking my form to communicate with you.”

  “Why didn’t you contact me before this?”

  “I couldn’t. My attempt to stop the Dominion cut the Prophet’s off from the outside galaxy. It didn’t harm them but when they saved me I was just as trapped as they were. The Prophets have been working on reconnecting with their orbs. It has been stop-start, but the connection is strengthening.”

  “So that’s what’s causing the orb to start to function on the anniversary of your death, so to speak.”

  “My death anniversary,” repeated his father with a grin. “Now, I doubt the Prophets have done that by coincidence.”

  “My dreams. I saw you in my dreams. That was you reaching out to me.”

  His father nodded.  “Jake, I wish I could spend forever talking to you but we don’t have much time. You have a task that is of grave consequence to the Bajoran people. You must bring about the Reckoning”

  “You...the Prophet said something about a Reckoning as well.  What is it?”

  “All I can do is tell you the answers you seek are in the caves of B’hala. You must remember how you found me...the other me. You must go to B’hala and you must find the tablet. That is all I can tell you.”

  “Why? Why can’t you tell me more?”

  “Jake, my sweet grown boy. Promise me you will do this. I wish I could do this task in your stead, but it’s impossible. You are our only hope...Bajor’s only hope.”

  “But dad –” Jake was interrupted by a wisp of green light like a breeze suddenly fluttered around them before disappearing as suddenly as it appeared.

  “Already?” exclaimed his father looking off into the whiteness. “I’m sorry, Jake. You must go. Remember the path! Only you can begin what must be done. Only you can see the Prophet’s final task complete. Promise me!”

  “Dad, wait!”

  The green winds descended on Jake and surrounded him. As suddenly as it began it ended and he was back on Bajor staring at an orb in an ark. Jake suddenly felt drained, his legs turning to jelly as he stumbled backwards. A pair of hands grabbed him, steadying him. Jake turned to see the prylar who led him to the orb holding him up.

  “What?  How long was I gone?” he asked.

  “You did not leave, son of the Emissary,” said the prylar.

  “How long was I with the orb?”

  “Once it lit up, only a few seconds before the other prylar turned the other eight to face the crowd.”

  Time is meaningless here, rang the words of his father in his mind.

  “I think I had some sort of vision,” he said. “An orb experience,” he clarified.

  “The Kai is who you should discuss such matters with. I will help you to your seat.”

  The prylar helped him to his seat and he sat down feeling exhausted; mentally, physically and emotionally.

  “Are you alright, Jake?” asked Korena the concern on her face and in her voice.

  He smiled reassuringly to her. “Yes, the bright lights had me dazed. I needed a bit of help finding my way back to my chair.”

  His wife accepted his explanation and they turned their attention back to the ceremony. All the orbs were now facing the crowd, bathing them in their serene light. Kai Winn offered prayers and blessings as the entire crowd sat in reverence before the power of the orbs.

  Jake watched, his attention was not focused on the ceremony, but on what he had experienced. His father had told him of his encounters in the wormhole and with the orbs, but mere words could not do justice to what Jake had experienced. It was a powerfully moving, yet wholly terrifying ordeal and from it he gained one major insight – he had been set a path to follow, one of grave importance. The question now was did he have the will to follow it out to its conclusion.


  The ceremony was quite lengthy and it was some time before it was finally over. After it the special guests gathered together in a post-ceremony social event.  Korena and Benny had stayed for part of it, but as it got late they went home, leaving Jake as he waited to speak to the Kai. It was very late by the time she was free enough to meet with him privately.

  “Did you have a vision my child?” asked Winn immediately.

  “Did the prylar tell you?” he asked.

  Winn smiled. “I’ve been kai for nearly twenty-five years, Jake.  I can tell when someone has had an orb experience.” Winn gestured for him to sit next to her.

  “I...I’m not sure what to make of it,” he confessed.

  “All will become clear in time, my child.”

  “I saw my father, Adami.”

  He expected to see surprise on her face, but none came. “The Prophets often take the form of those we know when they communicate with us.”

  “No,” Jake immediately dismissing what she said. “This was actually my father. He’s with the Prophets.”

  “That I have never doubted Jake.”

  “You knew my father was in the wormhole?” accused Jake angrily.

  “Most Bajorans believe that when they die they will join the Prophets in the Celestial Temple,” replied Winn not at all fazed by Jake’s sudden anger directed at her. “Your father was not Bajoran but he was touched by the Prophets none-the-less. When we say he has joined the Prophets we do mean it literally.”

  “I’m sorry, Adami,” apologised Jake. “I...I’m still confused by the whole experience. I mean, I know I was only with the orb for a few seconds but my vision lasted what felt like minutes.”

  “Such are the wonders and mysteries of the Tears of the Prophets.”

  “Surely in all your time as a member of the Bajoran religious order you’d have had many orb experiences. I must seem like a bit of a child, a fool, to be so perplexed by them.”

  “It may surprise you to learn that I have had only one orb experience in my entire life.”

  That did indeed surprise Jake. “Really? Only one. I thought people like you would be flush with vision experiences.”

  “The Prophets only show us what we need to know and when we need it most.”

  Cautiously so not to offend Jake asked, “Can I ask what your vision was?”

  “It was about you, Jake,” said Winn reaching over and patting him on the knee. “The Prophets told me that to scorn you because of my...misgivings surrounding your father was wrong. That much like your father, you will have a role to play in the future of the Bajoran people. That is why I have always tried to engage you in Bajor’s spirituality.”

  Jake let this revelation sink in before he replied, “I use to think it was a political move to use me to strengthen your status.”

  Winn’s eye glanced away from Jake. “At first...yes, much of my help to after your father died was coloured by my own selfishness and fear of you taking your father’s place. My entire reign up to then as kai had been a shared position with your father as the Prophets’ head representative and to ‘rule’ alone was everything I had wanted. It’s why I asked you to the first Festival of Tears.” There was a genuine, but brief flash of shame that came to Winn’s face as she made that admission. “However, the Prophets had other ideas and at that festival they spoke to me for the first time in my life. They told me of your importance and that for the good of Bajor I had to put aside my selfishness. It was no easy task, but I like to think that I have done so. That I have done the Prophets’ will over these last few decades.”

  Jake found it hard not to agree. He had not considered Winn the kai Bajor needed or deserved when he was younger, but she had proved him and probably a good number of others wrong. Her devotion to the Prophets and her people was unquestionable.

  “Well, it looks like the vision they gave you is coming to pass,” Jake stated.

  Winn did not look surprised at all. She instead seemed assured as if this is just what she had expected would happen. “Did the Prophets tell you that you have a task that must be completed, my child?”

  “Yes. They mentioned a ‘reckoning’, does that ring any bells?” Winn shook her head.  “Well, my d...” Jake quickly cut himself off.  “They told me that the answers I need are in the cave under the ruins of B’hala.”

  “That area has been closed for twenty years.”

  “I know, but I also know that from time to time the Vedek Assembly allows surveys to be done down there. I need to get down there as soon as possible.

  “You would like me to make it possible,” said Winn, getting to the core of why Jake had waited to speak to her.

  “I don’t want to put you in an uncomfortable position with the Assembly, but –”

  “It is something you must do.  Consider it done,” stated Winn with a reassuring smile. “I will contact you with the arrangements as soon as I can.”

  Jake had not expected this to go so easily, but he was thankful it did. There was really only one think left to say. “Thank you, Adami.”

  Winn just smiled.  “There is no need to thank me, Jake. I am just doing the Prophets’ will. As we all are.”