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Old December 17 2010, 09:54 AM   #196
Gul Re'jal
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Location: Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space station
Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order


The Obsidian Order vessel
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
30th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar



Doctor Zabar was frustrated. Not only the medical scans of Saratt were not encouraging but, as if this wasn’t enough, she had difficulties with technical information another scanner was offering her.

“Young lady!” Zabar called a Federation officer whom she was really happy to see as the woman wore gold, so must have been an engineer. Everyone else in the room was either from the Damar’s medical staff or wore blue—which meant the same for the Karamazov.

The ‘golden’ officer turned and went closer to Zabar. “I’m a Bajoran,” she said defensively.

“Does it exclude you from being a lady? Or young?” the Cardassian neurologist asked amused.

“Errr...what?”

Zabar’s eye ridges rounded, as if she expected a real answer to her question and then she asked, “What is your name, young lady?”

“Lieutenant Jeto.”

“Lieutenant? That’s an interesting name. I suppose it is as popular as ‘gul’ on Cardassia. You have no idea how many men say their name is ‘gul’ or ‘glinn’.” Jeto stared at the woman with huge eyes. Zabar smiled. “I asked about your name, not your rank.”

“It’s Jeto Letara, ma’am”. Something resembling a tiny grin played on the girl’s lips.

“A very pretty name, Jeto Letara” Zabar smiled. “Now, could you please help me? I seem to be confused by these readings.”

Jeto came closer and took a look at the scanning result the Cardassian’s padd was displaying. “Computer connections schematics,” she stated.

“Indeed. I knew you were the right person to ask. I have a hard time to find correlation between these here,” she pointed to ends of some kind of connections, “and my patients’ nervous systems.”

“I’ve been thinking about it too, ma’am,” the young Bajoran replied. “And I think that they did a sloppy work. I’m not a doctor, but I think they couldn’t separate particular nerves, so they just stuck their wires into brains with hope that it would work, if you excuse the crude metaphor.”

Zabar put a finger to her right chin ridge and rubbed it. “I didn’t think of that. I had assumed it would be impossible to regulate nerve-wire connections, but I didn’t think they’d try something so...idiotic.”

“You designed it?” Jeto asked her with horror.

“I wrote a report full of bullshit that every idiot would dismiss as impossible in reality,” Zabar’s voice was quiet and sad. “Unfortunately, Cardassia was full of people more stupid than even idiots.” Jeto’s face seemed to relax. “Dear Jeto Letara, will you be my guide in the engineering matters?” Jeto nodded. “Then let’s get to work and free those two poor gentlemen.”

This time the grin of Bajoran’s face was clear. Not a big one, but clear.




“Medic Taret,” Brenok looked at the physician. “I have a question.”

“Yes, Gul?”

“That Vulcan ensign, Sodek, said that Saratt was paralysed. That he could feel touch but had no power over his muscles...or what’s left of them. But both Saratt and Bantal here can move their eyes. Bantal has some limited face expressions and I remember that Saratt’s muscles reacted to your hypospray. And they can breathe on their own.”

“Our muscles work two different ways. Some of movements are voluntary, some not.”

“Not?” Brenok looked at the sleeping man. After their long ‘conversation’ Bantal fell asleep with some help of Taret’s medication.

“When you touch something hot...do you think ‘oh, it’s so hot, I must remove my hand’? Or do you jerk your hand away immediately?” Brenok didn’t reply, only nodded that he understood. “They cannot move. The impulses in their nerves go only one way. To collect, not to send. They can feel your hand touching them but they can’t move their hands. They can feel pain but they can’t scream. Or rather—they can scream soundlessly as some of muscles required for screaming don’t work. I think this is the failed part of this experiment. They weren’t supposed to feel anything. However their butchers feared to completely shut down their nervous system, so they left something. Too much. In Saratt’s case way too much. Bantal’s connections are a little different and his nerves were differently attached. Also his spine. I don’t think we’d be able to fix the damage so most likely he is going to stay paralysed from his waist down. I can only hope we won’t cause more damage during the unplugging process.”

Brenok shivered. After Bantal shut down most of systems in preparation for their release, the temperature on the ship dropped significantly. Part of him shivered at the details of this atrocity, though.

“Sir, maybe you should return to the Damar,” Taret said.

“I’ll be fine.”

“Sir.”

“I’ll manage,” there was no sense in lying to your medic, he’d know the truth anyway.

“Sir.”

“Taret, I can’t leave him.”

“Sir, he’s sleeping. And you won’t be very helpful later, fighting your own condition.”

“I should replicate a scarf.”

“You know it wouldn’t help. Your whole shoulder should be kept warm,” Taret insisted.

Something touched Brenok’s upper arm and then rested on his shoulder, completely covering his right shoulder, neck and neck ridge.

“Does this help?” Av’Roo asked. Brenok stared at her surprised. She covered him with the feathers of her wing. “I know this is not ideal but maybe warm enough? We keep our children in warmth this way.”

Taret looked at Brenok. The gul wasn’t sure. Feathers on neck ridges had very deep sexual connotations and it felt very awkward, but when he looked at Av’Roo, for whom it clearly was a motherly gesture, he didn’t feel immorally assaulted.

“This...” he started. “This is nicely warm but highly inappropriate.”

Av’Roo removed her wing with a speed Brenok wouldn’t think was possible. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to--”

“That’s all right,” the gul raised his hand. “That’s really all right. It’s nice of you to think of me,” he smiled, then looked at Taret. “I think I’ll better return to the [i]Damar[//i]. It may be too cold here for me to stay for too long.” And with that he quickly headed for the door.

He felt terrible, leaving Av’Roo like this. He promised himself to talk to her about it later, to explain to her that he wasn’t angry and his sudden return to the warship wasn’t a result of her inappropriate behaviour. He understood she didn’t mean anything wrong and couldn’t know. His mind understood. His libido didn’t.



Cardassian Union Warship Damar
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
30th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar



Ma’Kan tried to stick a tiny nacelle to her new model but her hands were shaking. She tried to relax and did a few exercises but it didn’t help much. She knew she wasn’t shaking because her body was tensed. She was shaking because she was trying to suppress her sobs. She pretended she wasn’t crying.

She missed again and the hull of the tiny Sabre class starship gained another smear of glue. This kind of work required precision and tonight Ma’Kan could offer everything but that.

She tried to think about the next day, about their attempt to release two men that were imprisoned in computer systems. But she couldn’t. Earlier that evening she had almost tapped her wristcomm to call Sabal. Her hand had hung over her wrist with a terrible reminder that there was no Sabal.

They had started to build this model together. He had prepared the design and cut the pieces and her job was to assemble it. A tiny USS Karamazov.

Another attempt of sticking the nacelle. Another failed attempt.

A filled with pain whine escaped her throat. The sound startled her and she covered her mouth with her hand. Tears filled her eyes and she blinked, trying to clear her vision. However the more she tried not to be overwhelmed by crying, the more her chest hurt with smothered sorrowing.

Frustrated, she grabbed the tiny model and threw it at the opposite bulkhead. It didn’t hit the hard surface yet, when she ran after it.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry,” she cried. “I destroyed your work!”

She collected all little pieces and was relieved to see that only one was broken. She could fix it, she could glue it back together. She had to start her work all over, as all elements had fallen apart, but it didn’t matter. She could re-live those moments and imagine that Sabal was with her. That Aladan was with her.

She sat on the floor and stared at the small elements of plastic in her cupped hands. She wanted to kill that Efrosian. She wanted to pull his white hair and tear his head off. To scratch his eyes out with the little nacelles in her hands. To cut him to pieces with the knife he’d used to kill Sabal.

Her hands started to ball into fists but she realised what she was doing before she crushed the elements. She got up from the floor and went to the table. She gently put all pieces into the box that Sabal had brought them in and closed it. Then she gently stroked the cover with her hand. He had touched it. He had touched those pieces. He had touched that chair over there. And the wallcomm—many times. And her hand when he had wanted to cheer her up, or help her with her models.

He was everywhere in her life, how was she supposed to go without his presence?

“Ma’Kan to Ya’val.”

Ya’val here,” he answered crisply.

“I need you,” she whispered, afraid she’d burst into tears if she spoke aloud.

I’ll be right there,” his voice was soft and gentle.



tbc
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"Reagan, it appears, is really only an ardent unionist if the unions in question are in Poland" - Stephen King, Skeleton Crew
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