There was no wall chrono in the quarters that had been assigned to Dukat; presumably that function was performed by the ship’s computer as well. Instead, someone had placed what looked like an antique stand-alone clock on the table. It had actually ticked
softly through the night, as though it had analogue workings inside instead of just mimicking the appearance of it.
Who knew how many centuries old it was? This could be a family heirloom for the Jarols or the Brenoks, for all Dukat knew—so though he had thought about setting the alarm, he’d decided not to. The last thing he wanted, after all, was to be responsible for breaking someone’s irreplaceable treasure, especially after the previous day’s events.
By the antique clock, Dukat knew that eight hours had elapsed since he entered ‘his’ quarters aboard the warship. The first hour of that had been spent in prayer and meditation—the next six on a fitful sleep that Dukat suspected to be something more like five hours total…not really enough
, but it would be far from the first time he’d had to get by on a limited amount of sleep. At least he had slept some; one of the lessons he had learned from the doctors when he was young was that even when the last thing he wanted was to sleep, he had
to at least make his body relax for a reasonable amount of time. And eventually, that would lead to sleep of some sort. Better that, at least, than staying up all night.
It hadn’t been easy—but out of necessity, and through careful meditation, he had done it.
Still, that didn’t mean he had actually looked presentable
when he first woke up. His body still ached all over, and in some ways the soreness was worse than the first day. The first thing he had done, therefore, had been to take a quick, hot shower and stretch his muscles, slowly and carefully testing out of habit for anything that might be strained or torn. Only the stiffness and soreness remained, and a dull ache in his head…Taret had clearly done good work.
After that, Dukat had put on the clothes Glinn Brenok had replicated for him. It was a suit of a charcoal grey color, not unlike the outer robe of the tribal outfit he had been wearing. The pattern work on the thick material of the jacket didn’t quite seem like any of the designs he had ever seen in his youth, or in the outfits he kept for venturing into the city where it wouldn’t do to look as though he had just wandered in from the desert—something
about it seemed slightly different, though he couldn’t place it. Still, the outfit fit him exactly. No doubt Taret had forwarded his measurements to Glinn Brenok.
Even so, it felt a bit awkward, just as it always did on those ‘city’ missions. Despite having grown up for the first twenty years of his life no different than any native of Culat, he had grown accustomed to the Kurabda attire, and somehow this kind of suit managed to feel confining and light at the same time. The inner robe and trousers he normally wore were much looser-fitting than this, and he felt as though there should be more a bit weight on his shoulders and lower neck ridges from the outer robe.
Of course, he wasn’t about to complain. After all, the entire outfit was brand new, and tailored for him. Not that I can take it with me
, he figured. If I did
that, the Bajorans might actually have reason to think they accomplished something.
At that he felt a pang of anguish at his impossible dilemma. He didn’t know anything about traveling from universe to universe, after all—only the fancies of fiction writers. He was at their mercy to help him.
Finally, once Dukat got his hair completely dried and pulled back into its customary queue, he drew in a deep, steadying breath. He still wasn’t sure what to make of these people and their alien Cardassia, especially the imposing, tightly-coiled Gul Jarol. I guess Glinn Brenok and Doctor—
Medic—Taret were nice enough
, he reminded himself.
He reached out for the wristcomm they had given him. Then he paused. Who am I supposed to speak to?
Even before he had arrived, the resistance cell he now played a pivotal role in had decided not to use military protocol, given that most of its members were civilians. There was a clear hierarchy, yes, but sometimes one did as both respect and
each unique situation demanded. As a civilian, would it be impolite to communicate directly to the gul? Should I contact Glinn Brenok first, and let him decide what to do? Or should I address Gul Jarol first?
A chill shot down his spine at that option.
I guess the best thing to do is just open the channel and see who picks up
, he decided. Let
them show me what this structure requires.
Dukat tapped the button; the wristcomm chirped, and he spoke softly into it. “Good morning…”
Is that even how you’re supposed to address military officers? And what about in
Then something else occurred to him. He glanced at the clock. Is that morning time or evening time? I hope I haven’t woken them…