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Thor Damar March 10 2009 10:30 PM

Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
Part 1 A pawn in the Game

It’s like a game of chess, Gul Verak Dijmas mused except that the cost is so much higher for losing a game.

He sighed loudly startling some of the younger bridge crew, Younger?When did THAT happen; a smirk threatened to cross his lips but he stifled it because it reminded him too much of the person who had sent him out here.

Dijmas sat in the command chair of the Cardassian Warship Union’s Wraith; a Raptor type Subclass of the trusty Galor. Faster and better armed than the Type 3’s, the Raptors where the perfect vessels for strike missions as well as intercepting pirates and raiders. The Wraith also boasted an advanced comm system and superior CnC facilities than anything else in this sector, so he had been sent to Ne’tak V to help co-ordinate the defences there.

Dijmas now smiled recalling the reaction of some of the other Gul’s when he had chosen to gift the Wraith with a pronoun. It was not standard practice in the Union fleet for a Gul, or indeed the crew to identify with the ship or station too closely as it encouraged weakness and sentimentality.
Besides all things are of the state and all are for the state, the Gul mused upon of the most famous axioms from the writings of Tret Akleen himself. True as that may be, Dijmas thought, there was always something to be said for the Human’s habit of assigning a gender to their vessels and after reading about an old nation-state on Earth called Russia and their use of masculine pronouns for ships he had decided to refer to all Cardassian Vessels as ‘he’.

It was honestly surprising to discover how similar in some ways the Humans of the past where to the Cardassian people. The British and the Japanese with their elaborate systems of etiquette and Class distinction, love of literature and the art of conversation, all mirrored the Cardassians instinctive knowledge of their place in the Universe and their appreciation for the art of language.
The Russians, however, where the humans that Dijmas found the most to identify with. The long and tragic history of the Russian nation mirrored all too painfully the struggles of Cardassia, from the brutal and incompetent rule of a corrupt aristocracy to a heroic revolution that changed their society forever. They even renamed themselves the Soviet Union! That had been the real shock when he had first read that particular fact; it’s almost as if they knew about us somehow. It was not possible of course as the Union had been conquering the stars at this point whereas the Humans had not even split the atom but still the notion appealed to the romantic in him.

He was interrupted in the middle of his thoughts by his Dalin Procal Lentan who had been standing politely by the side of his command chair and had gently coughed , stirring Dijmas out of his slumber.
“Gul” began Lantan as courteously as ever “I’m sorry to intrude but there is an urgent transmission from Prime. It’s central Command”. Dijmas sighed and with great reluctance ordered it to be relayed to the main view screen on the bridge. The oval screen at the front of the command deck came to life, displaying the unwelcome features of the senior Military adviser to the Detapa Council.

Skrain Dukat , thought Dijmas, just when I thought today could not get any worse...

mirandafave March 10 2009 11:09 PM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
A short introduction to this tale but enough to hook my interest. It sounds like this Cardassian is like many other Cardassians but is his own person too. The appreciation of human culture and the parallels he draws are not what one would normally expect of a mostly xeonophobic race [by all accounts].

I wonder where this will take us ...

Thor Damar March 11 2009 12:58 AM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
Part 2: A call to Arms.

The two men stared at each other across the vast distance of subspace for a long second pregnant with hostility until the more senior Gul spoke.

“Gul Dijmas, I am contacting you in order to clarify your latest orders from Central Command and to provide an update as to the progess of the War with the Klingons”. Skarin Dukat’s pompous droning grated on Dijmas but he was grateful towards Central Command for remembering that his task force was out here.

“How is the war against those Klingon jackals going” asked Dijmas hoping against hope for some good news from the front. Dukat grimaced and fixed his eyes on Dijmas. “Not nearly as well as we would like in fact our best estimate places a Klingon raiding force in this very sector”. The Bridge of the Wraith fell silent at the news, each crewmember visibly reacting to the news. “Get back to your stations NOW!” roared Lantan his normal gentle exterior disappeared behind the mentality of a seasoned combat officer “is this a Union vessel or a Ferengi traders market? Get back to your tasks immediately “. Lantan turned to the viewscreen and command chair in front of him. “Please forgive the crew, my Guls they are young and inexperienced and sometimes forget to act as a Cardassian should.” He stepped back to his station shooting glances of warning towards the rest of the crew.

Slightly amused by his first officer’s approach, Dijmas couldn’t help but smile and he was surprised to see a smile playing across Dukat’s sharp face as well. “Ah, that takes me back to my first tour aboard a Union Warship. It’s good to see that not all traditions have died” The two Guls shared a chuckle of fond reminiscence at memories past, then Dukat turned back to the subject at hand.
“The main fleet has been mobilised and is engaging the Klingons across the Union Territories. However due to the speed of the attack and the sheer numbers in the first wave...” at this point Dukat stopped and took a deep breath “we have lost a number of ships...and several of our colonies. There is also fighting on a dozen worlds, the Klingons are pushing ahead on all fronts and..” He cut himself off angrily realising that the sheer emotion was over whelming his decorum as a senior Cardassian officer. For his part Gul Dijmas was too stunned and quite frankly upset to even notice.

How did this happen he raged inwardly, his face the very model of Cardassian calm. For this to happen to the Union was unthinkable and would shake the core of any Cardassian. The Union does not surrender its territory and there is no part of our Glorious Union that a True Cardassian would not die for, this had been as true today as when Akleen first spoke those very words. Yet those Klingon animals had attacked with no justification and where engaged in the slaughter of Cardassian Citizens merely because they had been at peace too long. What kind of honour is there in a sneak attack on a people that had recently achieved their freedom? Cardassia had never lost a war, never been forced to give up territory and never suffered such losses in its long and proud history. Dijmas tried to control his anger and grief and focused on Dukat.

“What are your orders sir” he said respectfully realising that now was not the time for confrontation. Dukat looked off to his left, evidently studying a map of local space. “I need you to stay here and organise the garrison for the defence of this system along with all the other vessels in this system. The rest of the sector fleet will be here within two Standard hours with the exception of the ships assigned to convoy duties.”

Gul Dijmas shared a worried look with Dalin Lantan “what about the rest of the sector?” he asked not sure that he wanted to hear the answer. “Ne’tak is the most important asset in this part of the Union and it must be protected at all cost, and quite frankly, we just don’t have the ships to spare anymore. The rest of the Fleet will arrive soon, Dijmas and I need you to take command and devise a plan to defeat the Klingons if they dare to show their ugly faces in this system. Can you do this?”

Dijmas locked eyes with Dukat and for a long time neither man spoke. Then, slowly but surely Gul Verak Dijmas replied. “My Gul, I will do my duty for cardassia by leading her noble and heroic sons and daughters in battle against her enemies. I will deliver victory for the state and death to all those who dare oppose our might. This I swear on Cardassia and her people”. Lantan and the rest of the bridge crew stood silent, their heads bowed in recognition of the scared Vow of Duty and Command. Dukat also had his head bowed and he now looked Dijmas in the eyes with a level of respect never before shown to the younger Gul. “And I accept your service in the name of Cardassia.”

As Dukat finished the Vow Lantan and the rest of the crew stood to attention at their stations awaiting the orders of their Gul. Dijmas felt the pride in his crew warm his heart and stiffen his soul. “Sir, if I may be excused I believe I have a battle to plan”, he said lightly. “Indeed” said Dukat an honest smile on his face “I wish you good luck Gul Verak Dijmas”. With that the link to Cardassia prime cut off and the Crew of the Union’s Wraith where left with their thoughts and fears.

Dijmas stood and walked towards his office. “Take the bridge please Procal. I need to be alone to start planning for the Klingons attack, please alert me when the rest of the fleet is ready and organised for a conference of the Guls” Lantan nodded and moved towards the command chair “Yes my Gul” he answered with deep and warm respect. Dijmas smiled warmly at his First officer and turned towards his office, there was a bottle of fine Kanar awaiting him and Oralis knew he needed it.

Nerys Ghemor March 11 2009 05:23 AM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
Waaaait a minute!

Dijmas is a religious dissenter! Now that could be interesting, because if Dukat EVER finds out, he's going to be in some serious trouble, no matter WHAT good he manages to do here!

I very much liked Akleen's lines, as well as the Vow of Command and Duty.

Overall, I think this is going to be an interesting story and I look forward to the rest! :)

Thor Damar March 11 2009 03:52 PM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
^ Lets just say that Dijmas is one Cardassian who is open to many different ideas but is sensible enough to know how to conduct himself in public. He keeps it all in his head...

I'm glad you like the Vow, I imagine that the Cardassian's have not abandoned their spiritual nature, just transferred it somewhat. Tret Akleen's speeches and sayings will be appearing frequently in this story mostly because Dijmas is a keen historian and patriot!

CeJay March 11 2009 06:57 PM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
Good-Guys-Cardassians seem to be popular this year.

I liked this beginning. The Cardies find themselves in an unfamiliar situation; victims instead of aggressors. It's telling that Dijmas does not consider the loss of Bajor as a lost war or military defeat for Cardassia.

Now we'll find out how he handles fighting a losing battle. We already know what consequences it had for Dukat.

Nerys Ghemor March 11 2009 09:02 PM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war

Thor Damar wrote: (Post 2700540)
I'm glad you like the Vow, I imagine that the Cardassian's have not abandoned their spiritual nature, just transferred it somewhat.

Ahh, so have they twisted Oralius into some sort of personification and/or patron deity of the State?

Thor Damar March 12 2009 01:09 AM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
CeJay- I'm glad you picked up that Dijmas does not think of the Occupation as a defeat. Let's just say that Dijmas was in a very emotional state at the time and he is normally more thoughtful, as we shall find out later on.
I will say this for a fact, Dijmas is not nor ever will be like Dukat and the Klingon/Cardassian war is NOT as one sided as it has been portrayed in canon.

Neryrs Ghemor- The Oralian Way met the same fate as in the Terok Nor Novels but it took place centuries before the occupation. (remember Dijmas is a keen Student of History...)

Nerys Ghemor March 12 2009 01:49 AM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
So does this mean Dijmas IS a religious dissident, then?

Thor Damar March 12 2009 02:01 AM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war

Nerys Ghemor wrote: (Post 2702737)
So does this mean Dijmas IS a religious dissident, then?

He is not a practicing follower of the Way but he has studied it exclusively. So yeah I guess that Dijmas is a Dissident, in more ways than one...:shifty:

Nerys Ghemor March 12 2009 02:10 AM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war

Thor Damar wrote: (Post 2702767)

Nerys Ghemor wrote: (Post 2702737)
So does this mean Dijmas IS a religious dissident, then?

He is not a practicing follower of the Way but he has studied it exclusively. So yeah I guess that Dijmas is a Dissident, in more ways than one...:shifty:

Of course, he would technically be committing thoughtcrime, to use the Orwellian term, even if he does no visible acts of religious observance...

Thor Damar March 12 2009 02:14 AM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
^ He would be but this is after the secret police have been deposed and Dijmas is a canny Cardassian so he knows to keep his thoughts to himself. I think all Cardassians learn that skill, or at least the successful ones do.

Thor Damar March 14 2009 01:01 AM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
( Here is a new chapter. Sorry it's a bit short, that seems to be the way I write. Also the Cardassian Ranks referred to in Checkmate are from the Terok Nor trilogy)

Gul Dijmas’ office: One Standard Prime hour before the arrival of the Union Fleet.
Dijmas stared at the hologram before him, an interesting puzzle indeed, he thought to himself. He studied the board for a few seconds then made his move. The black bishop burst into flames as Dijmas’ red knight checked it. He smiled again and pondered his next move then reluctantly decided to save the game for another time. After all there is a War on and there is no time for procrastination. There was also the simple and sad fact that Chess had never really caught on in the Union and Dijmas was therefore still forced to use recorded games on long voyages. He could play Korta with the best of them and would often spend hours off duty playing Korta with Lantan who was a master of the game and a more than worthy opponent, but Chess was...different in a way that he Dijmas himself could not articulate accurately and it helped him to think more efficiently.
At least I was able to get a hold of federation chess he mused. Now that was a superior version of the great game he freely acknowledged and there was a level of strategic thinking that he had not credited the Federation with.

He had studied the Vulcan version as played by the legendary Spock and the Andorian attempt created by General Sharn in the early 23rd Century. Dijmas found the Vulcan game to be too staid for his taste and the Andorian too aggressive. He had not even looked at the Tellarite game at all. Now, the Humans and their chess...
Dijmas recalled the first time he had seen a recorded human chess game, it had been two Russians playing against each other for hours on end and Dijmas had been captivated for every second. He had not been surprised to discover that chess had been more widely played in old Russia than anywhere else on earth. In fact according to the late Starfleet Admiral Chekov’s memoirs the Russians had invented chess. Whether that was true or not Dijmas could say but Chekov had been a true master of the Game so Dijmas was inclined to take his word for it.

Sighing, he turned but to the tactical overview map and began drawing his notes for the conference. Before he could get started Lantan’s voice came in over the intercom.
“Forgive the interruption my Gul but there is a ship approaching the planet”
Gul Dijmas strode onto the Bridge of the Wraith and immediately ordered that the foreign vessel be put on screen. “Vessel onscreen sir” the Gorr manning the communications station informed Dijmas. The oval screen flickered on to show a large bronze housecrab shaped ship heading towards the planet at a sedate speed. A Ferengi Marauder, possibly on a trading route Dijmas thought. Several dozen Ferengi vessels regularly travelled this part of space mostly on legitimate business, and this particular vessel did look familiar. Still it was always best to be cautious.
“Open hailing frequencies” he ordered Communications. “Standard communication Channel open Gul” the Gorr informed Dijmas who nodded and moved to the front of the bridge.

“This is Gul Dijmas of the Cardassian Second Order to unidentified ship. Please come to a complete stop and prepare for a standard inspection.” As he spoke Dijmas saw the Ferengi Vessel move closer to the Fleet and the Ferengi script on the side of the ship became clearer. I do believe that I recognise that ship Dijmas mused and as the viewscreen changed from the approaching ship to the Bridge of the Marauder Dijmas’ suspicions where confirmed. The image of a grinning Ferengi beamed down at Gul Dijmas.
This is DaiMon Pok of the Ferengi Trading Vessel Profit Motive to the Unions Wraith requesting permission to begin trading on Ne’tak V as per agreed trading laws”
Dijmas had to restrain himself from bursting into laughter at the DaMon’s overt show of polite respect.
“Please forgive me, my good DaiMon, but since when has a mere Cardassian fleet stopped you from peddling your trinkets to the gullible for a ridiculously inflated price, you dishonest old pirate?” he replied in the same matter of fact tone that the DaiMon had previously used. The Ferengi started to laugh exposing his sharp teeth in a wide grin. “Ah, my dear Dijmas, once more I find you always the wit! Are you sure I cannot interest you I my collection of Gorn Humour? I’m sure it will improve your repertoire no end”

Dijmas had to laugh “No thank you Pok. However would you care to join me for a glass of my finest Kanar? We can discuss matters of trade in a more informal setting.” The Ferengi’s eyes lit up at the invitation and he readily agreed. “Good, if you would care to beam over I’ll see that you are escorted to the wardroom”.

As the Ferengi DaiMon signed off Dijmas turned to Lantan. “Please ask Glinn’s Tavor and Borcan to join us in the wardroom and prepare enough glasses for ten people please and rotate the crew shifts. I want the crew to be refreshed and ready for the rest of the fleet”.
Lantan nodded and turned to complete his tasks. Dijmas made to leave the bridge already preparing for the relaxing verbal sparring match between the Cardassian officers and the Ferengi sales crew.

Nerys Ghemor March 14 2009 04:52 AM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
Well, that is an entirely different reception than I was expecting a Ferengi DaiMon to get!

But then again, maybe I'm too used to seeing the Federation try to lord it over the Ferengi... ;)

CeJay March 14 2009 04:20 PM

Re: Checkmate: A tale of the Klingon/Cardassian war
Yeah, I like this relationship as well. They're probably not the closest friends but they have mutual respect for each other and their places in the galaxy.

Mutual respect. Not usually a term I associate with Cardassians. At least not until recently.

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