I also thought that was very moving, Nerys
. As always, your AU Cardassia is a very engaging look at how the Cardassian culture could have taken a different path (or stayed true to its original path, I suppose is more accurate). There's always a real sense of thoughtful world-building behind your stories, even the more directly personal entries (rather than those wider in scope).
I share in your hope that Tirhem Farms could be "reality" as well as fiction. The reasoning behind the name of "Pearl" was particularly nice.
And I must say, I really appreciated your take on mental illness and the resultant spiritual uncertainties. As always, you're very sensitive to personal, psychological and spiritual issues and the whole story is just infused with a quiet compassion. On a personal note, I
very nearly tried to kill myself when I was around Dukat's age, and I can tell you I appreciated your handling of this immensely.
It always amuses me slightly how considerate you are with your content warnings, when I've never seen you handle anthing, no matter how serious, in a way that might cause offense.
Just as a final note, this also worked very well as a piece in the wider mosaic of your AU Dukat's story. It sort of felt like it could slot in anywhere, like a quiet "flashback" scene in a film (though "flashback" is totally the wrong word for something as careful and soothing as this). Overall, it just felt...cosy, safe, quietly dignified. I suppose what I'm saying is, the "feel" of Tirhem Farms was really effectively communicated through the piece itself.