Something I note in both David's and SLWatson's comments that may hold some relevance to the paragraph length discussion: I do tend to prefer an older style of literature, the sort that does take a longer attention span to complete. People like Dostoyevsky, Poe, Shakespeare, and Milton head my list when it comes to classics. When it comes to Treklit, I prefer Diane Duane's work--her stuff tends to have a lot more meat on its bones, in my personal opinion.
I do also think that the BBS formatting has something to do with it. But still...even though I am paying attention to the comments I'm receiving and intend to be mindful of excess--it's still possible my style and my definitions will not match with others' expectations no matter what.
When it comes to the characterization of the Cardassians...well, I would argue there have been three cases of past precedent: Legate Tekeny Ghemor and Ari (don't know his rank), and Glinn Joret Dal. Also, Macet and Daro's characterization in "The Wounded" (to me) really contrasted against Glinn Telle, who I think became the model for most military Cardassians--Daro especially struck me as very different, and Macet, though I think he was more shoot-from-the-hip than a Starfleet captain would've been, did seem pretty levelheaded. The fifth I could argue would be Damar...that is, after he hit rock bottom and was forced into a position of cooperation where he had to lose the superiority complex quickly or else.
In the case of each of my guls, some event or series of events "cracked the shell," so to speak. In Macet's case, I accept KRAD's explanation of his thoughts in Demons of Air and Darkness
: that he was forced by the incident in "The Wounded" to accept that his government was screwing up by taking such provocative actions, even though he was the good soldier and didn't say anything to Picard. But in The Thirteenth Order
, it goes further back: he had associations with Legate Ghemor even though they weren't fully exposed. I would also say that longtime exposure to Glinn Daro has had its effects as well. (As for Daro...well, he's a whole story in and of himself, and I'm going to let that tale filter out when it's good and ready. At least in "The Wounded"...the man didn't strike me as the least
bit arrogant--which I think caught O'Brien off guard.)
As for Berat...the sheer amount of crap he's taken over the past seven years of his life has had a MAJOR effect--plus I think his personality was just inclined towards a certain natural friendliness, which now he's in a situation to actually let out. (If you don't want to read Tilton's novel--Betrayal
--the wiki link I provided will explain it.)
Rebek...not sure I'll go much into her character, but we'll see.
But wait until you meet Gul Speros. I'll be very interested to see what you make of him as time goes on.
It also gets harder and harder to see the state as omnipotent and omniscient when said government consists of one's hated megalomaniac and now whacked-out-of-his-mind cousin who invited a bunch of foreign overlords into Cardassia's sovereign territory, and the next leadership is now debauched with drinks and dames, and then rebels--and then the last guy is a Dominion sockpuppet.
Final point: I've been greatly influenced by reading some works written from a first-person perspective from those living in totalitarian regimes...and one of the things that always really struck me was the clear lack of uniformity despite outer appearances. The Cardassian system is one where the bad is rewarded and the good punished (note that Macet and Daro have both stalled in their careers, though frankly, my dear, they don't give a damn
)...but my personal inclination is that doesn't stop there from being good people, and more than one would actually suspect.
If there's a sudden, massive convergence of them here--well, darned right there is. I don't feel bad about doing that. What you see on the Trager
is one example: Macet's deliberately cultivated it. That crew is kind of the Cardassian equivalent of the Enterprise
crew: hand-shaped over time, increasingly more handpicked as time goes on, and very tight-knit. I suspect that similarly, those who are of different inclinations kind of...well, almost seem to have a sort of moral Doppler to spot each other.
Rush Limborg wrote:
BTW...to answer Nerys's question, I'm up to Macet's conversation with the other rebel Gul.
Hey Nerys--I LOVE the little "touches" you give in the tale, bringing up Ronald Reagan...and the U.S.S. Petraeus
Thanks! I don't care what anybody else might think of those things. The name of that ship damn well will not change.
As for that Reagan piece--I don't care how far to the left Terran society has swung; that Challenger
speech is GOING to be a part of every cadet's history education. It just HAS to be.