A wonderful story! I loved the twist of a secret discovered becoming a secret kept. The stark chasm between the Oralians and the "party-line" Cardassians harkens to religious persecution throughout the ages. That added emotional twist had me wondering - when will her secret be revealed? That Berat kept that secret, in spite of his up-bringing, reveals the depth of his character.
We'll have to see if or when it's revealed. One thing I do know is it will be up to Gul Rebek to decide if and when she feels safe to do so. Gul Berat wouldn't do it for her.
I definitely drew on historical religious persecution--and that which still goes on in our time. We may be safe here in the US, but we are not in many countries, and this fear is the everyday experience of a believer in those places.
As usual, you write with vivid imagery and subtle humor. It's always fun to read the back-story on characters and see the events that shape them. Very well done!
Thank you for reading!