Selena (selenak) wrote in celestial_templ,

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Missed Opportunities Challenge: Stain

Disclaimer: All characters owned by Paramount.

Timeline: During the season 2 episode, The Collaborator.

Title: Stain

Author: Selena

Word Count: 289.

Author's note: Inspired by Deborah's reaction to viewing The Collaborator, as well as several discussions at ds9agogo.

Summary: Bareil chooses not to become Kai.

In the end, it came down to this. Opaka was revered by all of Bajor, their lost, perfect jewel that had shone through so many years of the occupation. Tell all of Bajor that Kai Opaka had sacrificed her own son along with many of their people so that hundreds more would live, that she had traded in secrecy and bitterness with their Cardassian overlords, and her memory would not be the only thing to suffer. Some might even admire her for her selflessness. Others would understand. But no one would look on any of their Kais the same way again, not if they knew that the golden robes of the Kai could be splattered with the blood of the innocent.

The occupation had already destroyed the caste system, and Bareil was not sure whether or not this had been a good thing. Still, the belief in the Prophets, and the veneration for their Vedeks and the Kai they had chosen had remained uncompromised. Bajor was fragile, with so many wounds that needed healing. If the people were robbed of those they had always looked up to now, it might fall in eternal darkness.

So he chose to hand over the gleaming, alluring bowl with its poisonous worm inside to Winn, accepting the disappointment and the suspicions. He would save Bajor, but not as Opaka had done, by trading lives for lives, by entering the world of shadows and deals that could drive a good man to suicide. No matter what everyone else thought, his hands would remain clean. He would never be Kai, and somewhere inside himself, he was glad. The Prophets had seen that he didn't deserve such a fate.

He had always thought that Winn did.
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Oooooh. :)
Glad you approve.*g*
Mmm. Excellent. And that makes perfect sense, given how Bareil was always shown to us. Your last line...I loved Winn's evilness at the same time that I wanted to strangle her for her arrogance, and her blindness. Louise Fletcher was a superb choice for that role!
Louise Fletcher rocks in principle, and in that role in particular.

Bareil: I have to admit that deborah_judges criticism of him made me rewatch the episode and come up with this less than flattering interpretation...
Really plausible and tragic way fo looking at Bareil. This fic makes me like him even less, for the sort of moral squeamishness that makes it impossible for him to be a real leader. Implied in this is a sort of hatred for his people - because real people aren't always morally clean and make imperfect choices. There's even a sort of implied unforgiveness of Opaka - he can't really believe in her knowing this, so he doesn't think anyone else would be able to either. (And he certainly wouldn't want to be like her.) He's fallen into a sort of nihilism in which the people might as well have an evil leader since he can't have a perfect one.

Shudder. Bareil, the way you write him, really might have been worse than Winn. He presents himself as so flexible and so liberal, but when he's faced with a true moral grey area, he can't cope. A martyred death might be just what he's looking for - something mark him as purely good and save him from complex moral decisions.
Since a martyred death is what he ultimately gets, I did have that in mind when writing this. Can't wait to read your take on his decision in the episode in question.
Wow that was really chilling. Really makes you think.
Thank you, and I try my humble best.*g* Angst addict and mind-messer that I am.
I'm not complaining those are the best kind of story tellers =)