DUEL (A Deep Space Nine/Star Wars Crossover)
by Robert Morganbesser

Prologue

The planet Yelestra was one wracked by storms. From the sky came rain and hail, some of the stones as large as a Wookies fist. On the ground, covered in ankle high grass, scuttled gray and white spiders whose bite could paralyze a Bantha or a Hutt. Jagged mountains crossed its equator, mountains that rumbled constantly from geological activity. A young world, Yelestra was too hostile for settlement by the Republic's growing population, but it was not too hostile for it's enemies to find sanctuary there.

Yet even sanctuaries were eventually violated.

Jos-Zil Ponn was a Jedi of the highest order. He had been discovered on a nameless planet on the edge of republic space. He was one of five children there; he being the youngest and the only one force sensitive. The others were given to the proper authorities so they might be found homes. Not so for the child who was named Jos-Zil, Ponn he would add later when the tale of his discovery was revealed to him. He was sent to a training monastery on Ghull, a world of mostly water with one large continent. Orphaned so young, having none but the Jedi for a family, he took to his training seriously. Even now, when the council wished he would take a bride and hopefully breed more force sensitive children, he could think only of duty.

Ponn stalked across the rain swept lowlands of Yelestra, reaching out to find his quarry. No one knew what world had spawned his enemy, a red and black faced alien with utter disregard for morals and ethics. A small crown of horns circled the alien's head, poisoned Ponn had found out when his padawan, Bonne Pardail, had been cut on one. The younger Jedi lay back in their ship, his shivering form placed in a suspension tube. Ponn hoped that the Republics Doctors could heal him, but he wasn't sure. What he was sure of was that this Sith, this being of evil, was going to die. First he would answer whatever questions Ponn felt like asking, then he would die.

It had been thought that the Sith were extinct, wiped out in the wars that solidified the Republic. This was not true. Instead, they went into hiding, waiting for their chance. Now they wished to unseat the Republic and bring the galaxy into their dark circle.

Ponn's family had been killed by Sith. It was a secret he had told no one, not Yoda, not Windu. He kept that small fire of hate alive in a secret place. The Sith, all Sith who passed his way, would pay. Indeed many had paid. Ponn stopped short of keeping any momentos other than his memory of their deaths, being content that they knew his name. Now they would have to pay for Pardail as well. All humanoids, the Sith would take the non-humanoids of the galaxy and make them into slaves or worse. This could not be permitted.

With blinding speed, Ponn spun, his light saber rising. The blade, jet black with a purplish halo, swept the rocks that had been thrown at him aside. With a hum, he swept the weapon around his head and shouted, "Is this the best you can do, Sith? Come out and die!" Ponn refused to use the Sith's title, Darth or his name, Traller. All he wanted to do was destroy this evil thing.

Spinning at the sound of his enemy's hoarse voice, Ponn raised his blade, waiting for the assault he knew would come.

"Perhaps this missile is more to your liking!"

A round object came out of the storm lit darkness to land at Ponn's feet. Without even removing the cloak it was wrapped in, he knew what it was. It was his student's head. Pardail was dead. His padawan had been murdered. Treacherously killed by this Sith. The Sith's laughter echoed from the rocks ahead. "One Jedi down! I hope you're not going to be as easy as him!"

Ponn homed in on his enemy. As a series of lighting bolts, a bright blue, lit up the sky, he charged. Traller, weapons still on his belt, fell back before the enraged Jedi. With a flash, his own light saber, and a smaller light dagger, blades bright red erupted out of their handles.

Ponn didn't wait. He waded in, single black beam flashing against his enemies. Through gritted teeth he snarled, "You die here, Traller. Death is here for you!" Traller backed away, fear in his eyes. He had fought many Jedi; all kept their emotions out of the way, not using anger as an aide. This Jedi was different, he tread the line between Light and Dark sides of the force as if it were a tightrope.

"You won't kill anymore Jedi, Sith. I am your death. I have seen it."

Traller laughed. "I'm going to kill you the same as your apprentice! Then I'm going to skin you and take it to my master!"

With a blinding series of strokes, the two waded into one another. Sith's two blades against the Jedi's one. But Ponn was a master swordsman, his blade like a part of him. Around them the storm worsened as they exchanged blows. Traller fell back, unable to gain an edge against his opponent. Had he known that Ponn was the youngest being to ever be granted the status of Jedi Master, he may have looked to flee. But Ponn wasn't going to give him a chance. Seeing an opening the Jedi quick as thought raised his blade and brought it down. With just enough speed to deflect it, Traller brought up the longer of his weapons. As the blades crossed, a brilliant bolt of lighting struck them. For an instant, the whole of the rainy wind swept plain was illuminated. When the glare faded, neither opponent remained.

1 - The Station

Ponn felt hardness beneath him, but it was a flat rather than rocky hardness. He could feel lifeforms around him, none totally familiar. Feeling, rather than seeing a hand reaching for him, he rolled and came to his feet.

"Back!" He looked around, quickly taking in his surroundings. He was on the upper level of structure which, from the feel of it, was in space. Below him was some kind of activity, some bazaar, before him were three beings. One had an almost amused look on his unfinished face; the others were males with wrinkled bridges over their noses. All were clad in a burnt orange uniform. The two males were fingering weapons, the third; obvious to Ponn as the leader had no weapon.

"Where am I? How did I get here?"

"Calm down. I was just about to ask you the same question. Who are you?"

Ponn remained alert. "I am Jos-Zil Ponn. I am seeking a criminal. Now," his voice changed grew lower. "Where am I?"

Odo was unaffected but the two Bajoran security guards behind him responded, "You're on Deep Space Nine. In the Bajor system."

Odo spun, "I didn't give you two permission to divulge any information. Now be silent!" Odo's command was too late. Having done what Ponn commanded, he allowed his control of them to fade. Ponn made to walk away, but Odo stepped in his path.

"You're not going anywhere until you answer a few questions, Mr. Ponn."

Ponn's eyes flashed. "Did you not hear me? I am seeking a criminal."

Odo nodded. "Then you've run into the right person here. I'm the Chief Constable. I'll help you but you have to come with me."

Ponn shook his head. "I don't have time for this." With a casual motion of his hand, Odo was moved back, only the constables superb sense of balance keeping him afoot. The two security officers drew their weapons. Ordinarily Odo didn't like weapons on the Promenade, but with the Dominion acting up, he had no choice.

"Stun him," the Constable ordered wearily.

As the officers drew their weapons, Ponn activated his light saber. With a loud hum the weapon came to life, it's black beam flickering eerily. "I don't wish to hurt anyone, but I must be on my way."

In response, one of the guards fired his weapon. With an almost disgusted flick of his wrist, Ponn sent the beam into the second guards chest. With a sigh, the man collapsed. Odo, who usually was never amazed, opened his eyes wide. This was no ordinary being! "Wait, Mr. Ponn, can we settle this peacefully?"

"That is what I was trying to do."

"I'll get the station commander, will you wait while he arrives?"

Ponn deactivated his weapon, nodded and sank to his knees. He would meditate while this commander came. Hopefully these people wouldn't do anything stupid in that time. He wasn't a novice and wasn't about to be taken unawares.

2 - Jem'Hadar

Darth Traller awoke to being touched. He hated being touched by unfamiliar hands, and these ones were rough as well. Springing to his feet, he activated his short saber and slashed at the offending hand. With a growl of pain the Jem'Hadar backed away, the wound neatly cauterized.

"Where am I?" demanded Traller.

Five Jem'Hadar stood there watching the red and black faced alien move his weapon about. Without warning, they disappeared. Traller laughed at this trick. He was a Darth! Highest title a Sith could obtain, did they think him a fool? Closing his eyes he activated his long saber and lashed out. One Jem'Hadar, neatly sliced in two, appeared as suddenly as he had vanished, only this time each of his halves were neatly cauterized. Another appeared when half his head was sliced off. The remaining three backed away and reappeared. It was then that they noticed their opponent had shut his eyes! No one had ever shown such disdain for them. Not in recorded history had this happened. This was a worthy opponent!

"Bring me someone in authority," demanded Traller, using the force. The remaining Jem'Hadar stood there a moment, then the least senior of them said, "I will get the Vorta."

Like Ponn on the station, Traller stood ready. Unlike Ponn, he was more than willing to kill everything in his path until the Jedi that haunted him lay dead at his feet.

3 - Sisko and Ponn

Sisko didn't like violence or threats on his station. When Odo called, he had been thinking of a new baseball game he would like to experience on the holodeck, Babe Ruth's final game where he became the only player ever to hit a homer out of Forbes Field. Angered by what appeared to be yet another hostile visitor to the station - weren't the damn Jem'Hadar enough? They had a ship at lower pylon two, negotiating a potential trade treaty with Federation representatives. Sisko would believe that was going to happen when the dark of space turned orange. As much as he was open-minded, he felt that the Dominion were just untrustworthy.

As he left his office, he motioned to Jadzia Dax, who left her station and followed him. A Trill, the only symbiont species in the Federation, the beautiful young officer had actually been his friend for over twenty years. In its previous host as Curzon Dax, a male Trill, Dax had gotten Sisko into as much trouble as out of it.

"What's going on Benjamin?"

"We have a visitor on the Holodeck. Odo claims he saw this being block a phaser bolt with some kind of energy sword."

"Blocked a phaser bolt?"

"Yes."

Excitement tinged Dax's words. "Well what are we waiting for?" Grabbing her tricorder, she hustled Sisko into the turbolift.

As Sisko and Dax approached the area of the standoff, Ponn remained on his knees, eyes closed, seemingly unaware of those around him. Odo had thought about rushing him, but decided against it. The man's reflexes were beyond superb.

Ponn had been anything but inactive. Meditating, he reached out with the Force, seeking his enemy. Traller was near, he knew that, but other things he felt were making him uneasy. Ponn didn't know how he'd gotten here, but 'here' was wrong.

"I'm Captain Benjamin Sisko of the United Federation of Planets." Before Ben could finish his sentence, Ponn was on his feet, blade ignited, a defensive stance taken. Sisko didn't show any shock at the movement, but he was amazed. The newcomer's move had actually blurred Sisko's vision.

"How can I help you?" Ben finished, watching Dax out of the corner of his eye. She had flipped open her tricorder and was making a scan. Sisko pointed to the device she held. "Don't be afraid. This isn't a weapon."

"I know," replied Ponn. "It's a scanning device of some kind. You said United Federation of Planets? What is that?"

"Before I answer any questions, I would like to know who you are," Sisko asked reasonably.

"I am Jos-Zil Ponn, Jedi Knight. I have pursued a fugitive from justice to this place. He is a murderer and a seditionist."

Before Sisko could say a word, Dax interrupted. "Ben, Ponn's quantum signature - it's all wrong."

Sisko felt an icy fist of dread grip his heart. "He's from the alternate dimension? The mirror universe?"

Dax shook her head. "Someplace totally different. I've never seen anything like this."

Sisko looked at Ponn. The man was obviously tired and possibly hungry. He claimed to be a law enforcement officer of some kind, a Jedi Knight. Ben made an intuitive decision. He would trust this man.

"Mr. Ponn, if you'll accompany me to my office, we can discuss your problem more comfortably."

Ponn deactivated his weapon, placed it on his belt. He had been touching Ben's mind, saw that Sisko had no subterfuge in him. With a curt nod, he said, "I will come." Looking at Odo, he said, "I am sorry for any trouble Constable. But one moment I was face to face with my enemy, the other I was here. It was disorienting to say the least."

Odo nodded. "Just try and keep that weapon of yours holstered. I don't like trouble or weapons on the Promenade."

4 - Vorta

Traller stood quietly, light sabers ignited, waiting for this Vorta to arrive. While he waited, he spoke with the Jem'Hadar second. What worthy allies they would make, if they were force sensitive, they would make worthy Sith! Unlike most of his cult, Traller felt that they should take in any being who was force sensitive and could be turned. It burned his mind to admit it, but his Jedi enemy would make a superb Sith! Traller could feel a difference around him. His connection to his power was slightly askew, letting him know that something was wrong here. Still, perhaps once he took care of Ponn, his personal problem, he could carve out a new Sith empire right here. Some of the Sith chafed under the slow path of conquest set by Darth Sidious. This might be Trallers chance to...

"Why," said an irritated voice, "has this being been allowed to remain alive to annoy me when he has killed Jem'Hadar?"

Traller red eyes set on the small being that entered. It was male, clad in a simple brown uniform. It was obviously a minor official of some kind. Traller looked at the second. "This is your leader? Warriors such as yourselves are led by this thing?"

The Vorta, polite as always, smiled nastily. "You are an intruder here. Intruders should have better manners."

Traller laughed a harsh sound that grated on the Vorta's sensitive ears.

"What I am, little being, is your death. Come here."

The Vorta tilted his head. "You . . . can't . . ." Against his will, the Vorta moved forward, his mind trying to tell his feet to stop.

Traller grinned, his pointed teeth making the Vorta's heart chill. "I am a lord of the Sith. I command. I don't obey. You have outlived your time."

The Vorta would have been sweating had he the glands to do so. Traller raised his saber. "I think you have a nasty mouth, Vorta. I'm going to fix that." With a flick of his wrist, Traller brought the blade across the Vorta's surprised face. For a moment he stood there, then the top of his head from the upper lip tilted back and fell to the deck. With a clattering noise, the rest of his body followed, falling to the floor in a heap.

The second stared. This had happened, as before, without the Jem'Hadar being able to do a thing. The second pointed to a box in the corner of the room. "You have doomed us Lord Sith. Without the Vorta we cannot access the White. Without the White, we die."

Traller looked at the ornate box. "You need that opened." Traller crossed the room, placed a hand on the box and raised it. Without a noise it popped open. "Will you Jem'Hadar follow me?"

"I am second of the Jem'Hadar, they will follow me, we shall follow you. Victory is life!"

5 - Discussion

Sisko led Ponn into his office, noting the way he walked, the way he observed everything without observing anything. This is a dangerous man, thought Sisko. But he want's to avoid any unnecessary violence. If I didn't know better, I'd say he was a warrior monk, like in ancient Japan.

"Mr. Ponn, may I offer you some refreshment?" Sisko pointed to a chair near his desk. Pointedly it faced the door, rather than away from it.

"Water, please." Ponn sat, looking casual, but Sisko could feel the tension in the man. Had he felt any different when he entered the mirror universe?

Standing by the replicator, Sisko said, "Water two liters, four glasses." Turning, he asked, "Would it be acceptable if my First and Science officers joined us?"Ponn nodded, amazed at the device that created the refreshment. But there would be time for curiosity later, now all he could think of was Traller. He knew that his own master, long joined with the force, would chastise him for his single-mindedness, but the Sith had to die. There were no other options.

Even as Sisko asked the question, Dax and Kira came in. Dax smiled at the Jedi, who was a handsome man, the scar on one side of his face not marring his looks, Kira scowled. Ponn rose and made a slight bow. "I am Jos-Zil Ponn, Jedi Knight."

Dax put out a hand. "I'm Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax and this is Colonel Kira." Ponn shook both of their hands, casually brushing them with the force. He felt a great serenity in the taller, Dax woman, and a great anger in the shorter, Kira. She had been wronged and still sought vengeance. They were practically kindred spirits, she and he.

Sisko set the tray with the water and some pastries, a specialty of his father's restaurant, on the table. "Do you have any idea how you arrived here, Mr. Ponn?"

Ponn took a long cold drink of the water. It was extremely good. "I was in pursuit of a criminal," reaching into a pouch at his side he withdrew a small flat plate. "This is he." A holo-image appeared, of a tall slender alien with a red and black face. Burning red eyes glowed out of that face, topped by a series of small horns. "This is Darth Traller, a Sith, enemy of the Republic I serve."

While Sisko stared at the image, having never seen anything like it, Dax was amazed at the tiny holoprojector. She'd never seen anything like it.

"What are his crimes?" asked Kira.

Ponn smiled wearily. "What aren't they? Sedition, murder of innocents, plotting the downfall of the rightfully elected Republic. Should I go on?"

"I think that's enough for starters," said Sisko. "If you ended up here, where did he end up?"

Ponn shook his head. "I had tracked him to the planet Yelestra. He wounded then murdered my apprentice. I tracked him down and we fought. There was a glare of white light and I was here."

Just then, O'Brien entered the office. "Captain, if I can disturb you?"

Sisko nodded. If O'Brien had something to say, it would be important.

"I was running a security scan of the station and our . . . visitors. Approximately thirty minutes ago, they activated a low level hepton beam, it's interfering with our scans."

Kira's eyes narrowed. "I knew we shouldn't have let them dock at the station! For all we know, they're plotting on blowing us up or invading! We wouldn't know until it's too late!"

Dax, who usually gave the benefit of the doubt to all, said, "Calm down Kira. Chief, could they have a damaged system?"

"Not likely. It's too standard a pattern. Heptons are uncooperative particles; they have to be controlled. I also got this before my scan was interrupted." He handed a PADD to Sisko who glanced down at it. "This isn't a Vorta or a Jem'Hadar's life sign."

Ponn felt his pulse increase. "May I?"

Sisko handed him the PADD. Ponn barely looked at it. "It's Traller. Somehow he ended up on their ship."

"Then he's likely dead," said O'Brien. "The Jem'Hadar don't take kindly to most visitors, let alone unwanted ones." Sisko looked at the Jedi who said, "Don't underestimate Traller, Captain. He is powerful and can sway minds easily."

Sisko rose. "I think we should pay a visit on our guests. It's been three days since they docked and no requests for a meeting. I think they've overstayed their welcome."

6 - Duel

After drawing phasers and having Jadzia exclaim, "What a time for Worf to be on leave!" The group, consisting of Sisko, Odo, Kira, Dax, three Bajoran security officers and Ponn headed for the docked Jem'Hadar ship.

"All of you," said Ponn, making sure nothing would block access to his saber. "Beware of Trallers voice. He can control others with it. I will try and protect you all, but I have my limits."

"How does he do that?" asked Dax, fascinated by this new alien.

"We are both powerful in the ways of the Force. But while one can use it, if misused, it can control one. Jedi use it with compassion, intelligence, and love. Sith use it with anger, hatred, and jealousy. It is our most powerful weapon."

"The Force?" Sisko, Dax, and Kira asked at once.

Ponn smiled. They were so eager to learn! This must have been what the republic was like in the early days, before rot started to set in. Ponn kept his look of distaste off his face, but he didn't trust the new leader of the senate, Palpatine. There was something about him...

Sisko stopped. "The dock is ahead of us. Ponn, I want you to hold back a moment. You're going to be our trump card. I'm going to ask to speak to the Vorta. Then we'll see how things go, acceptable?"

Ponn nodded, already knowing what he would do. "Acceptable." Falling back, Ponn closed his eyes, drew his strength and, using the force to cloud his image from anyone's mind, slipped forward.

There were three Jem'Hadar on guard. As soon as Sisko and his party came around the corner, they raised their weapons. The leader growled, "Why are you here? You have not been summoned."

Sisko face remained passive, but he was angered by their arrogance. "This is my station. I go where I please. I came to see the Vorta."

The Jem'Hadar stared, then said, "He is unavailable at the moment."

"Fine," replied Sisko. "We'll wait."

Kira, next to Sisko could see through the open hatch of the ship. Eyes narrowing, she thought she saw movement. "I've got a bad feeling about this."

"About what?" asked Dax, turning slightly.

"This!" Shouted the Jem'Hadar leader who fired his weapon. Sisko knew he was going to die, but before the bolt could hit him, a gleaming black beam of light cut across his sight and the bolt was reflected back into the Jem'Hadar's face. With barely a sigh, he collapsed. Like a dervish, Ponn was among the other two. Before they could cloak or raise their weapons, both guards were down, their bodies neatly sliced in half.

As the Federation and Bajoran officers stood there, eyes almost unable to follow Ponn as he dashed into the ship. It ends today, Traller! Today!

Cursing his ill fortune, Traller fled deeper into the ship. The engine room was what he wanted. If he couldn't begin a new empire here, he would take himself, Ponn and Ponn's newfound friends to the eternal with him!

Still he had to get there before Ponn got him. Full of bluster as he was, Traller knew that in a straight fight, Ponn was more than his match.

Sisko and his people spread out into the ship. It wasn't hard to follow Ponn's path. Mostly dead Jem'Hadar littered the corridors. It was as if they were always caught by surprise. "Dax!" Sisko shouted. "Get Bashir down here. I want these wounded to survive. They're witnesses that we're innocent."

Ponn could feel his enemy ahead. Already nearly twenty of the Sith's allies had fallen to his blade. Needless deaths, all they had to do were get out of his way and he would have let them be. But the end was near. Ponn could feel it.

Traller entered the engine room. Leaving the door ajar, he planted a small boobytrap, his last. A disc, it would sense movement and fire off a cloud of microwire that would wrap around the victim, cutting and poisoning them. Placing it by the hatch, he headed for the containment field.

Ponn stopped before the hatch. Open? Truly the Sith thought him a novice. Concentrating he made one of the Jem'Hadar corpses rise and propelled it through the hatch. There was a popping noise and the corpse was covered in a mesh of microwire. Propelling himself through the hatch, Ponn saw his enemy ahead. At last!

"O'Brien to Sisko."

"Go ahead, Chief."

"I'm on the bridge. The Hepton field is off. Your tricorders should work now."

"Thanks Chief. Dax?"

Dax activated her tricorder. "They're in main engineering."

"Let's go people."

Traller was before the containment field. As Ponn advanced, the Sith snarled, "Another step and we all die!"

"So," replied Ponn. "As long as you do." Before the Sith could move, Ponn concentrated and swept his feet out from below him. As Traller fell, Ponn moved in, saber up. But Traller was only down, not out. Activating his own blades, he came at his enemy, intent on his death.

Like a sandstorm of flesh, the Jedi and the Sith battled about the containment field, which, with it's odd flickering lights, made them think of Yelestra. Their blades, one for the Jedi, two for the Sith, buzzed and hummed as they bounced off one another. Neither asked nor gave any quarter, only wanting the other dead. So intent on their battle neither noticed that they were on the catwalk surrounding the containment field. The closer their blades came to the fragile magnetic barrier, the odder it glowed.

Sisko and Kira, followed by Dax, entered the engine room. Kira had her heavy duty, Bajoran phaser out. Larger than Federation issue, it carried a bigger charge and fired a wider beam. The three of them stopped once they saw the duel. Again, their eyes could barely follow the action.

Ponn was driving Traller back when luck went against him. A tool, unnoticed by either one of them, caused him to slip. Seeing his opening, Traller shoved his larger saber through his opponent's upper thigh. With a groan, Ponn began to pull back, while Traller raised his smaller blade for a coup de grace.

"NO!" shouted Kira firing her weapon. The phasers beam slammed into the smaller sabers pommel, exploding it and Trallers hand. As the Sith screamed in anger and pain, Ponn slashed up with his weapon, hitting the Sith in the ribs, slicing up to come out at the shoulder. As Ponn's blade exited, it touched the Sith's weapon into the containment field, there was a bright flash and both beings were gone.

7 - Aftermath

Sisko, Kira, Dax and O'Brien (Bashir was busy in sick bay with wounded Jem'Hadar) sat in Sisko's office. Not a trace remained of their visitors. "So what happened, Dax?" Sisko asked.

"Chief O'Brien and I discovered a temporal instability, a minor one on the station. We bombarded it with chronoton radiation and closed it. But I canít even begin to guess what happened to Ponn and Traller."

"One things for sure," said Kira. "If anymore Jedi come over, we should sign them up. Did you see what he did to those Jem'Hadar? We could use allies like that."

"I'll say," O'Brien agreed. "I think we've got some dark days ahead of us."

Sisko nodded. "We can only hope that we're wrong. But until those Jem'Hadar are ready to go back to their ship, I want it scanned, top to bottom, fore to aft. Don't' waste time people. Get moving!"

As his crew hustled out, Sisko stared out at space. Somewhere, perhaps a seconds difference from here, was another universe, similar but different. Sipping at coffee, Sisko could only wish them luck. He had to silently agree with O'Brien. There were dark days ahead.

Epilogue - Yelestra

Ponn awoke to the rain and lightning swept world of Yelestra. His leg throbbed, the cauterized wound proof he had not been dreaming. Near him lay the corpse of his enemy, Darth Traller. Bending over it, he made a quick slice. Bringing back an entire body was a waste. Lifting the Sith's remaining light saber, he pulled out the power gem and, activating his own weapon, destroyed it. Then he sliced the handle into pieces and cast them in different directions. Wrapping Trallers head in his discarded cloak, Ponn trudged off toward his ship. It was going to be a long trip home.

The End

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