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.