The Demoks’ family house
Cardassia Prime, Lakat
5th day of the month of Chatyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar
“I have an announcement,” Jarol said unexpectedly.
Everyone at the table looked at her. Only Laran seemed not to be interested; Brenok guessed she had already told him. She looked at Brenok, who was chewing his food, and waited. He stopped chewing and then swallowed. Did she wait for him to do that? It had to be a big thing!
“What is it?” he asked.
“As soon as Daset can return to his duties, I will step down.”
Brenok would choke is he were still chewing.
“You will do what
“It is the time, Arenn. I have done my job.”
“There is still lots of things you could do.”
She smiled. “Perhaps. But I believe someone else should take care of that.”
“I can’t believe you’re going to retire. You’re too young,” he said. Jarol was barely sixty-six years old, which was edging on being middle-aged but not there yet.
“I didn’t say anything about retiring. I’m going to take command of Rayak Nor station.”
Brenok put his fork away. “This may sound ridiculously unprofessional in the mouth of the highest commander of the Cardassian military but...what is Rayak Nor?”
“It’s a space station we’re going to build in the Traken system.”
Brenok was silent for a long moment. “Do you have any idea what kind of impact it’s going to have on our relations with the Federation? They’re going to be furious.” He paused. “Of course you have an idea, your job is to have an idea!” He knew she was responsible for interstellar affairs of their government.
“You, of course, realise the Klingon threat is growing and a well armed station in the Traken system would be our watch tower and the first line of defence. I had told you I had been negotiating a treaty with the Federation and your mission was very important in proving that we are civilised people and can be trusted. We are going to sign a Cardassian-Federation non-aggression treaty as soon as Daset leaves the hospital. And after that we are going to start building the station.”
“But it’s too close to the Federation border.”
“That’s why we tried to talk to the Federation first and make them understand it’s not against them we’re preparing ourselves.”
“I take it you succeeded.”
“Indeed. They still are distrustful but at least, for once, they try to follow their philosophy of peace, love and understanding. We can build our station without alienating the Federation. But they had a condition.”
“There is going to be a permanent Federation presence on that station.”
Brenok couldn’t believe his own ears. “And you agreed to that?”
“What I think of the Federation is irrelevant. The safety of the Union is important. And right now it’s the Klingons we have to worry about.”
“And what about the Federation-Klingon relations?”
“That’s not our problem.”
Brenok smirked. “You certainly realise that after you step down and take command of a station...I’ll outrank you.”
She grinned. “Now that’s something I didn’t consider.”
“These are interesting times we live in,” Laran said.
Brenok looked at the young man. “Indeed they are...indeed they are...” he muttered.