Please see the Disclaimer in Part One!
"Benjamin, we have a problem," said Lieutenant Jadzia Dax, startling Commander Ben Sisko out of his contemplative reverie. He had been musing on the puzzle of his senior staff's odd behavior: although Dax, Doctor Bashir and Major Kira seemed more rested today than they had yesterday, all three were still acting strangely, especially around each other -- and to top it off, Sisko had caught what he could only call lustful looks passing between the young doctor and the station's tailor, Garak. Sisko was by no means a bigoted man, but he hadn't thought Cardassians were Bashir's type -- especially male Cardassians. Never mind that, Bashir and Garak had been friends for quite a while: what did all that have to do with Dax and Kira?
"What is it?" Sisko asked, stepping toward the center of OPS where Dax was frowning at the sciences display.
"I'm showing unusual transporter activity in number-four pylon," Dax said, her smooth brow wrinkling with puzzlement. "It's closed for repairs, no one's supposed to be in there."
"To be precise, sir," said Ensign Sulak from his station, "any transporter activity in the pylons can appropriately be referred to as 'unusual.'"
"Thank you, Ensign," said Sisko before Dax could respond. She glared at the young Vulcan, but returned her attention to Sisko. He slapped his chest.
"Sisko to O'Brien."
"O'Brien here," came the distinctive Irish tones of DS9's chief engineer.
"Chief, we're reading transporter activity in number-four pylon. Do you know anything about it?"
"Number-four?" O'Brien's tone was as puzzled as Dax's face. "There shouldn't be anything happening in there. I'll check it out."
"No!" Sisko stopped him quickly. "It could be dangerous. Stay away from it until you hear from me again."
"Sisko out." Sisko slapped his commbadge again. "Sisko to Odo."
"Odo here." The gravelly voice of the security chief filled OPS. Was it Sisko's imagination, or did Odo's voice make Dax shiver? Kira and Doctor Bashir were noticeably absent.
"Constable, it looks like someone has beamed into number-four pylon without authorization. Can you check it out?"
"On my way. Odo out."
Sisko turned to Dax. "Well, we'll see what Odo turns up. Speculation?"
Dax shrugged. "As you know, Benjamin, no one should be able to beam in or out without our knowledge and consent. It's possible that someone's found a way to bypass our shields, but more likely it's coming from inside the station."
"Bypass our shields? Why?" Sisko shook his head. As the words left his mouth the answer had come to him. "An invasion force? Could it be the Dominion?"
"Doubtful, sir," said Ensign Sulak. "Why would an invasion force use a pylon? Why not simply beam onto the Promenade and OPS?"
"The element of surprise, Ensign," Sisko said. "Besides, an invasion force would have enough inside information to know that pylon four is being repaired. Right, old man?"
"I suppose so," Dax said uncertainly. The air cheeped.
"Odo to Sisko."
"Sisko here. What did you find, Constable?"
"Not a thing," Odo reported. "That is, not a *living* thing. There are footprints in the dust, though. I suggest the computer records be consulted to see whether the force field blocking access to the pylon has been lowered recently."
"Thank you, we'll do that. Please report to OPS immediately. Sisko out." Dax's fingers were already flying across the science panel.
"Computer, when was the force field last lowered?"
"At oh-nine-two-seven point oh-eight today. The field was down for six point five seconds," the computer reported.
"Whose authorization lowered it?"
Dax looked at Sisko. He looked back. "It seems we have a mystery visitor."
Doctor Julian Bashir wondered if he was getting paranoid. In the past few days his sexual horizons had been greatly expanded, and he was learning a lot about Bajoran, Cardassian and Trill anatomy that his medical studies hadn't contained: yet he had this itchy feeling that he was being watched. He had just left Major Kira's quarters after an extended "house call" and was headed to the replimat for lunch, half hoping he would run into Garak there, and half hoping he wouldn't. He repressed the urge to look over his shoulder for the umpteenth time. Really, it was all in his head. So what if the entire station knew about him and Kira...and Dax...and Bareil...and Garak...Garak! Julian felt himself flush as the Cardassian tailor approached him; he cursed his easily-read complexion. On the other hand, it wasn't *only* embarrassment that made him so hot under the collar...
"Good afternoon, Doctor," said Garak, jovial as ever. "Care for some company?"
"Delighted," said Julian truthfully, and the two sat. Before Julian could come up with a way to tactfully broach the subject, Garak said, "I understand there's a bit of a commotion up in OPS."
"Hadn't you heard? Apparently someone beamed onto the station without permission. Your Commander Sisko is rumored to be quite displeased."
"I should think so," Julian said, digesting this new piece of information. "I wonder what they want...whoever they are."
"Ah, Doctor," Garak shook his head ruefully, "you are quite the naif, experience notwithstanding." His eyes gleamed with appreciation as Julian flushed again at the insinuation. "I can think of dozens of reasons someone might want to beam unannounced onto a Federation site...and not one of them bodes well for your Starfleet presence here."
"Well, that's not my department," Julian said, his tone overly jolly. "I'm sure Odo will have the situation in hand quite soon." He gave his head a quick shake, still trying to dispel the sensation of being watched.
"Gglgrggh!" Heads turned throughout OPS as Dax smacked her panel in frustration. Miles O'Brien pressed his lips into a tight line, sharing Dax's feelings. Neither of them was having any luck convincing the computer to tell them who had authorized the lowered force field. Sisko sighed.
"All right, people, let's take a step back," he said, putting a calming hand on Dax's shoulder. "Who has authorization to alter that force field?"
"We told you already, Benjamin," Dax said through gritted teeth. "Only you, Chief O'Brien and Major Kira."
"Speaking of which, has anyone seen the Major today?" O'Brien asked. "She hasn't been in OPS, that's for sure."
"Sisko to Kira," said the commander irritably. "What is your current location?"
"Kira here," came the tinny voice. "I'm in Quark's trying to settle a dispute before Odo gets wind of it. What's up?"
"Major, you didn't by any chance lower the force field in pylon four?"
"Pylon four? Force field?" Kira's voice was clearly confused. "Why would I do that?"
"Good question. Please report to OPS immediately. Sisko out." He turned to Dax and O'Brien. "We need to sit down and hash this thing out. I don't like not knowing who's roaming around my station!"
Julian Bashir was immersed in a malformed strand of Andorian DNA when the door to the infirmary swished open. "What can I do for you," he said absently, then glanced up and flushed -- again. Kira smirked at him.
"Anything, and everything, Doctor," she said wickedly. She turned and walked into Julian's office. Mesmerized, he watched her hips swing. He got up and followed. The door closed behind him.
"Anyone could walk in...my nurses..." Julian began, but Kira interrupted him with a fierce kiss. She pushed him against the desk so that his knees buckled and he sat on the desk. Kneeling, she straddled his hips and entwined her fingers in his hair, pulling his head backward as she kissed him, her other hand reaching for the zipper of his uniform. Julian felt her breasts pressing against his chest and the answering swell in his groin, and thought, to hell with his nurses! He unzipped Kira's uniform as well, and pulled it down so he could grasp her bare buttocks. Holding her, he stood up and let his own uniform fall to the ground. Kira's eyes lit with surprise.
"I'm impressed, Doctor. You've been working out. Or have you always been this strong?"
"Haven't heard any of you complaining about my stamina yet," he replied throatily, turning around. This time it was Kira whose rear end hit the desk, and she grabbed for Julian as he entered her with a speed and force that fit the urgency of both their desires. In moments they were fulfilled and lay panting on the desk, feeling him grow soft inside her.
"I can see what she likes in you," Kira said breathily. Julian raised his head, puzzled.
Kira looked startled. "Uh, yes, of course, Jadzia. Who else?" "Who else indeed," Julian said, pulling away and reaching for his uniform. "Aren't you worried that she, or the others, might get jealous, you spending so much...private time with me?"
"I don't worry about such things," said Kira, in that commanding tone he knew so well. He tingled as he pulled on his uniform, not fast enough to hide the new half-erection. Kira sat up on the desk, naked, and grinned. "Not up for another go?"
"Surely you don't want to test the limits of my strength, Major?" Julian said as innocently as he could manage.
She fingered her nipples thoughtfully. "No...of course not. There's always tonight."
"Tonight," he repeated with anticipation in his voice. He tossed her her uniform and left the office quickly.
"Well, what more can we do than that?" Major Kira asked in exasperation. "I'm as worried as you are by this, Commander, but other than issuing a stationwide alert and searching all outgoing ships for extra personnel, I don't know what we can do."
"We could alert Starfleet," said Sisko pointedly.
"With all due respect!" exclaimed Odo, affronted, "we're perfectly capable of handling this threat internally...sir."
"I'm not trying to insult your capabilities, Constable," said Sisko, "but we don't know what we're up against. What if it's the Jem'Hadar? The Dominion? The Borg? We just don't know. I'd much rather be safe than sorry."
"Major Kira has a point, Benjamin," said Dax, and Sisko could swear he saw Kira lick her lips. "There's only so much we can do until we know what we're dealing with. We have all security systems on alert, the force fields are reset to require the authorization of not one, but two people: other than that I think our only course of action is to wait and see."
"I don't like it," Sisko stated the obvious. "But I'll admit it does seem that if they were going to attack, they'd have done it by now. All right, we'll wait, but not too long. By this time tomorrow I want some answers!" The senior staff nodded. "Dismissed."
Sisko watched as they filed out of his office. He saw Kira pause chivalrously to let Dax exit first. He strained to see what would happen once they reemerged in OPS, but his view was blocked by Odo.
"What *is* it, Constable?" Sisko demanded irritably.
"Commander, there's the matter of that Betazoid we have in a holding cell? What would you like me to do with him?"
"Oh yes...let's review his record." Sisko turned reluctantly away from the current mystery to more prosaic matters.
Major Kira and Lieutenant Dax sat on the floor in Kira's quarters, arms entwined. The remnants of an Earth-Italian meal was on the table, and the remnants of dessert were smeared in creamy chocolate streaks across Dax's breasts. Kira thoughtfully dipped her finger back in the chocolate sauce and traced the line of spots across Dax's cheek and neck, then moved to lick it off. Dax tilted her head back and closed her eyes. It was this enticing pose that confronted Julian as he let himself in with the secret door-code. He shook his head in amazement.
"Really, Major, *your* stamina puts me to shame," he said, tasting the warming Chianti in a half-empty goblet on the table. "I shouldn't have thought you'd be this...hungry again so soon after this afternoon."
"This morning, you mean," said Kira, her voice somewhat muffled as she tried to trace with her tongue the exact contours of a spot on the violently-trembling Dax's neck.
"No, this afternoon, in my...um, my office," Julian said, feeling himself heat up as he remembered the encounter. Kira lifted her head from Dax and fixed him with a bemused stare.
"Were you hallucinating or something, Doctor?" she asked. "I spent the afternoon in Sisko's office, discussing strategy for the unidentified intruder."
Julian gaped. "But...er...then who..."
Kira's brows met her hairline as a possibility occurred to her. "Kira to Odo!" she exclaimed. Dax made a choked sound, half gasp, half chuckle.
"Odo here. Is there a problem, Major?"
"Odo, when was the last time you were in the infirmary?"
"The last time? I'd have to check my logs. I don't go there except on station business. Why?" The constable's voice was taken aback. Kira wondered how one could tell if a shapeshifter was lying.
"You weren't there today by any chance?"
"Today, Major, I spent with the mystery of our new guest. I haven't been anywhere near the infirmary. Is something wrong?"
"Um, no...don't worry about it, Odo. Kira out." She rose to her feet, dessert forgotten in light of the new mystery. Dax was already passing a scanner across Julian's chest.
"He seems fine. Could it have been a daydream?"
Julian began to blush again, but stated firmly, "This was no dream."
"Computer!" Kira turned to the viewscreen by her door. "Display security log from Doctor Bashir's office, this stardate, time index thirteen-hundred."
"That log has been locked."
"Well, unlock it! Authorization Kira-alpha-three."
"Working." A fuzzy image of the office formed on the screen: empty. Kira sped the image forward. The door was flung open, and a figure marched in, followed immediately by Julian. The two began to kiss. The real Julian blushed furiously and turned away.
"Freeze image!" said Kira, and the image stopped. She and Dax studied the female form. There could be no doubt it was Kira. The two women looked at each other. Then Kira looked at Julian. Almost simultaneously they read each other's mind and came to the same conclusion.
"Kira to Sisko!" the Bajoran woman shouted. "Commander, I think we know who our intruder is!"
Sisko, Kira, Odo, , O'Brien, Dax and Bashir gathered in Sisko's office minutes later. This late at night, the busy atmosphere of OPS became a quiet rustle. The women had dressed hastily, Dax taking time to rinse the last bits of chocolate from her skin. There was plenty more where that came from. Again Sisko noted the surreptitious looks shooting between Kira, Dax and Bashir. He wished they'd just deal with it, whatever it was. "Major, you have something to report?"
"Yes, Commander." Kira took a deep breath. "Apparently I paid a visit to Doctor Bashir in his office earlier today."
"What do you mean, apparently?"
"I mean, it wasn't me. Julian thought it was me, and I'm willing to bet the computer thought so too...but I was here, going over options with you."
Everyone's eyes grew large as the implication sank in. "Your counterpart from the next universe over?" Odo said.
"Exactly." Dax took over. "The alternate-Kira could have overrode the force field in the pylon on voice-authorization. Her voiceprint would be the same. She'd know her way around the station too, which would explain why we haven't been able to catch her."
"Not to mention we wouldn't have bothered stopping her even if we did see her," Julian pointed out.
"But wouldn't we have noticed her clothing?" O'Brien pointed out. "The other Kira didn't exactly wear Starfleet-issue, if y'know what I mean."
"She could easily have had the other Garak make her a uniform," Kira pointed out, and Julian admired her ability to remain blank-faced as she mentioned the supremely talented Cardassian.
"Computer," said Dax suddenly, "locate Major Kira."
There was a long pause. "Unable to comply," the computer finally said. Sisko was startled. He had never heard it say that before.
"What does that mean, unable to comply?"
"Computer, explain the problem," Dax requested urgently.
"Major Kira's signal is malfunctioning."
Kira looked from Dax to O'Brien. "Would it say that if, for example, my signal were coming from two places at once?"
"It might," O'Brien said. "Yes, I think it would."
"We've got to find her," Sisko said, getting to his feet. "Goodness knows what kind of havoc she could wreak while people think she's the Major. Let's get moving!"
"Commander...I have a plan," Julian spoke up. Everyone stopped heading for the door and looked at him.
"What is it, Doctor?" Sisko demanded.
"The other Kira visited me for a...personal reason," Julian began, trying desperately to remain poker-faced. "I believe if I appear to be in my office working, late at night, alone, she may come back for further consultation."
Sisko pursed his lips. "Major?"
"How should I know? It might work. Her mind doesn't operate quite like mine."
"I don't like it," Dax put in. "It could be dangerous. She's ruthless and demanding." Julian bit his lip. Kira cleared her throat.
"Let the Doctor be the decoy," Odo said. "Leave the security end of it to me."
Julian fidgeted and tried to concentrate on the article he was reading. His skin crawled with nervous anticipation...and with the thought of what he had really unknowingly done that afternoon. He nearly jumped out of his skin when the door chimed.
"C-come in," he said, trying to look and sound relaxed. The door opened. Kira came in...no, the other Kira came in...wearing a loose-fitting gown that revealed more than it concealed. She walked with a swing to her hips, making his mouth dry. He felt a tugging in his groin and was immediately embarrassed.
"Tsk, tsk," not-Kira said as she slunk across the room to him. "Working this late in the evening, Doctor? All work and no play must make you very...lonely." He stood hastily as she moved toward him and twined her arms around his neck. "Time for a break, don't you think?"
Julian thought fast, trying to ignore the wild lusting that built in him as her soft lips moved on his. Turning her, he gave her a slight push so that she fell into the chair he had just vacated. He knelt between her knees and ran his hands over her shoulders and down her arms, feeling the silky fabric of the gown.
"Do you like it?" Her voice was sultry and promising. "I had Garak make it specially for me -- or for you, I should say. What do you think?"
"You look lovely...Intendant," Julian said. The look in her eyes turned cold and angry in an instant. She started to bolt up, but before she could move, the chair seized her in its arms as it morphed back into Odo.
"Nice work, Doctor," Odo rasped, tightening his grip on the writhing woman. "We'll be sending this unwanted guest back where she belongs."
"Never!" cried not-Kira. "I'm here to stay, you freak!"
"I don't think so," said the 'real' Kira, entering confidently with Sisko and Dax. "This isn't your world, you don't belong here."
"We should have known you wouldn't stop trying until you found a way over," Julian said. "But now we know your tricks, so you might as well give it up." The Intendant's only reply was an impotent glare as Odo wrestled her off.
"He'll keep her in lockup until Chief O'Brien can rig a way to send her back," Sisko said. "Good work, Doctor. 'Night, all."
"Good night, Benjamin," said Dax, and the others echoed her as Sisko left. Kira turned a concerned eye to Julian, who was beginning to tremble with reaction.
"Are you all right?"
He nodded quickly. "Yes, I'm fine. It's simply uncanny, you know."
"I'll say." Dax stared at the door, which Sisko had conveniently closed behind him. "I wonder what she's like in bed?"
"Our young doctor will tell us all about it once he's feeling a little better," Kira said. "Right now, I think I know the perfect thing to bring him back to himself."
"What's that?" Julian asked, looking up. That mischievous glint glowed in Kira's eye again.
"Why, a sizable helping of chocolate sauce, of course. Served al fresco, as it were."
Julian grinned a close approximation of his usual boyish grin. "Served like that, I've never met a chocolate I didn't like...."
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