Scenery painting is always fun, especially when it's done right. When it's interesting and engaging and it doesn't slow things down too much.
But I think Rush touched on another issue here which I do fully agree with. You have a tendency to write in very long, blocky paragraphs which makes this sometimes difficult and tiresome to read. The eye naturally resists so many words put so closely together. It is also the sole reason I've stayed away from this for so long.
Now that I've caught up with it however I realize what a great story this is. I like your new angle on the Cardassians and the cooperative spirit that runs through the story. It's also a pretty interesting moral dilemma for Starfleet and the decision to assist the rebels was clearly not an easy one. At what point, for example, does it become treason? I'm sure that's a question they'll have to face eventually.
Macet is a fascinating character. In fact everyone here feels multi-layered or multi-dimensional which is quite surprising for Cardassians I guess.
Perhaps my only point of concern is that these Cardassians appear so much different than the military types we have seen on TV and I was surprised that there weren't more explanations to account for this discrepancy.
Of course there a good and bad everywhere but in your case, the Cardassians seem to be the polar opposite of what we (and your Starfleet officers) have seen in the past. There is no apparent superiority complex, no insistence on gruesome torture or the notion of the infallibility of the state.
Don't get me wrong I love these Cardassians. I always thought that these guys could be really cool if they could just show some common sense and rationality and that's exactly what you've done here.
It also helps that you are a remarkable wordsmith and use an impressive literary language in this story. It doesn’t always sound the way people would talk, but it’s undeniably beautiful. More Shakespeare than Tarantino, in other words.