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Old December 3 2010, 03:33 PM   #6
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: November Contest Entry: SigCat--"Pearl"

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
Pick me up? those eyes begged.
I know those eyes. My cat does the same thing and I drop everything and go to pet him
Mine too. I always love when I've been away for a long time and I come back to my parents' house, and the cat still gets so excited.

That was a very touching story. Poor Skrain blamed himself for an action that he committed out of desperation and which he seemed to regret in the last moment when it appeared that he succeeded...
He was not sane, in the most literal sense, when he made the attempt...he wasn't thinking rationally in the slightest. And I think that when the fear broke somewhat through that fog, he did regret what he'd done and was terrified he was still going to die.

And then Vratsik comes and shows him affection. Nothing matters, just pet my belly. Which should tell a lot, because animals have that instinct of knowing who is good and who's better to be avoided. Even if this is a place where very friendly animals are chosen--they still know.

And hekant knew too. He was as much for Nejran Yidal as for Skrain Dukat. Skrain needed something to outweigh--in a way--his guilt and having a small share in healing process of someone as damaged as Yidal could also heal his own damage. It would prove he was not evil, he just had made a mistake. And while he can't turn back time and undo it, he can do other good things, giving his life meaning and positive influence on others.
I definitely think the animals knew. That's part of why the AU Cardassians give animals a part in the healing process. Animals may not understand a lot in the same way that we do, but they understand compassion.

And you're right. Skrain was afraid that those actions he took when he was his most severely ill were the reflection of who he was at the core. He thought he was nothing but this horrible person who had spat in the face of everything sacred. But he isn't. Even legally I don't think he could've been held fully responsible for his own actions (had he been an adult). But the actions he can be held responsible for...yes. He wants and needs to make it right, through those.

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
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).
Thank you...I'm glad you like it.

I think this is probably closer to what the Hebitians were like. The AU Cardassians changed their name as part of the reforms, but they are still the cultural heirs of the Hebitians.

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.
That means so, so much to me, to know that. My own experiences don't go that far--only as far as wanting to die but still having enough rationality to know that wouldn't solve anything. So it means a lot to me to know that for at least one person who really had that experience, it felt right.

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.
Some people do find self-harm imagery very, very disturbing, even triggering of further harm--so I felt it was the right thing to do.

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.
Thanks. This actually did start as a flashback in The Desolate Vigil. The only difference there was that AU Dukat wouldn't tell me at that time how he knew what had happened--all he told me was that Yidal had been helped, and that the two of them were close.

As for Tirhem Farms itself, I've heard stories from a friend of mine about what mental health treatment can still be like in some places, and how dehumanizing it can still be. I am not a doctor and have no idea how this would work, but I like the thought that the AU Cardassians were able to do it. Their entire perspective on medicine is fundamentally different from that of the West, here on this world.
Are you a Cardassian fan, citizen? Prove your loyalty--check out my fanfic universe, Star Trek: Sigils and Unions. Or keep the faith on my AU Cardassia, Sigils and Unions: Catacombs of Oralius!
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