“You have an incoming transmission,” said the computer. Jarol startled. She was busy with reports, sitting in Corak's office and thinking his job was harder than she ever expected. Was all that paperwork really necessary?
“Damn thing,” she muttered and then added, louder for the computer circuits to pick it, “activate”.
That was not the face she expected to see.
“Gul Dukat! What do I owe the pleasure?”
“Oh, Glinn Jarol, I assure you the pleasure is mine.”
In spite of everything, she couldn't resist his smile, no matter how hard she tried.
“So, what can I do for you?” she asked. She knew he wouldn't contact her out of the blue without a good reason and she hoped it would be news about her Gul.
“It's about Roumar and her command.”
So it indeed was about Corak.
“Well?” she asked after a short moment of silence. Why wasn't he saying anything? “When does he come back?” She didn't want to accept what happened and hoped it was all a mistake.
“He's not coming back, Jarol. The Dominion observers decided he was a weak point in the chain of command and this needed to be amended, as we are on the verge of war with the Federation.”
She ignored the war remark. She needed to let him know it was all a horrible mistake.
“Gul Dukat, Gul Corak is...” Dukat raised his hand, silencing her.
“Don't say anything more,” he said. “Your loyalty is admirable, but he is charged with treason. You'd better think twice before supporting him in any way. I wouldn't be able to help you,” he warned.
She stared at him, wondering if there was anything she could say.
Gul Corak had been arrested. One evening the First Toma'tomum'tomi'whatever-his-name-was dragged him out of his office in presence of all bridge staff and took him to the brig, where the Second was waiting. Allaran explained then that it was necessary and apologized for the scene. Jarol couldn't believe it. One hour later a Jem'Hadar fighter intercepted Roumar, took Corak, the Vorta and both Jem'Hadar aboard and left.
“So if we don't talk about Corak, what do we talk about?” she asked.
“I told you. It's about the warship's command. New command.”
“I take it the decision about his successor has been made,” she guessed, her heart aching.
“Well?” she asked after a short moment of silence. Why wasn't he saying anything?
His smile widened.
“There had been a lot of discussion on the subject, there had been many, who opposed my candidate, but in spite of all she was approved.” Did he say she
? “Glinn Jarol, the official orders will each you soon, but I wanted to notify you personally, well, almost personally,” he gestured toward the screen. “You are getting the command of Roumar.”
She stared at him eye wide.
“But before you celebrate I would like to warn you,” he leaned toward the screen and lowered his voice, “that also means you gained new enemies, enemies, who don't like you being in command and who don't like you being my protégé.”
In other words I inherit your enemies
, she thought bitterly.
“I will add them to my collection,” she replied.
“Congratulations, Gul Jarol,” she loved the sound of that, in spite of everything, she did love it. “It is going to be my pleasure to work with you again. You should be receiving your new orders now,” and with that he disconnected.
She knew she owed him. She knew some day he would collect his debt. All his debts. And she knew she climbed her career ladder over her Gul's career. She hated herself for that.
Treason. There was only one sentence possible. She was sure his execution was already scheduled, it had to be if the charges were official. That was why the Vorta and her bodyguards had come to Roumar – to observe Corak (or them all) and find any anti-Dominion state of opinion.
She stood up to head for the bridge, when the doors parted and Brenok entered.
“We've just gotten the word. They have executed Gul Corak,” he said quietly.
She stopped in front of him. She felt disgusted of herself. She accepted the promotion. She was happy to accept it. She didn't achieve it by her hard work. She got it, because her Gul, a good, loyal officer, didn't like their new allies. Neither did she, but she was here, taking his place. Not due to her skills, but due to Dukat's insistence. He wanted someone he could manipulate, someone he had power over, someone like her. She couldn't refuse her promotion, it wouldn't be wise to try, but she didn't have to feel so happy about it.
She tried to fight this positive feeling, she tried to get rid of it, and felt guilty feeling it.
“Arenn,” she said quietly. She wanted to tell him all that, but didn't know how. “You'll be my aide now,” she said instead.
A surprise on his face was quickly replaced by understanding. He nodded, put his hand on her shoulder and they both went back to the bridge. He knew. She didn't have to tell him anything; he understood.
“Does anyone want to watch it?” Karama asked quietly.
No one on the bridge spoke. Jarol knew she sure didn't want to watch Corak's execution. He was no more traitor than her. Or Brenok. Or anyone else on this ship.
She accessed the console and saw that the orders have indeed arrived.
“Helm,” she looked up at the screen in front of her. “Take us to Chintoka system. We are to secure installation process of a new communication array on one of planetoids. The Federation has declared war on us.”
Her tone was casual, emotionless. Everyone on the bridge returned to their duties. Brenok stood behind her, smiled sadly and then started humming the most beautiful funeral musical composition Cardassian state composers ever composed. Some other voices joined him and soon whole bridge was flooded in mourning.