I really enjoyed this story, Nerys Ghemor. The mention of Machiavelli now makes me wonder about how the Cardassians would perceive Vulcan telepathy, and the threat it may represent to security, as well as how it might be conscripted into any local cultural practices.
Well, we do know that the canon-universe Cardassians succeeded in developing mental shielding. We have not, however, heard anything about any ability on their part to use telepathy on their own. So I can't see it becoming incorporated into their society in any way.
Bear in mind, too, that this is not the Cardassia you know; this is an AU that is the direct descendant of the Hebitian culture. It never became what you see in the canon universe...they reformed rather than having a revolution.
I find myself thinking most AU Cardassians would not want Vulcan telepathy used on them, but they are more likely to take a live-and-let-live approach as long as the Vulcans respect a request to keep those abilities to themselves.
Purely on a cultural level this story raises a lot of intriguing questions. For one thing, what of the legalities and religious reservations involved in Vulcan mating/death rituals? What of government representation? Well that's a can of worms.
That I did wonder about, but I suspect that even the most knowledgeable person in that room--Councillor Hoven, the science minister--doesn't know the full
details about pon farr
. I think that all she knows is that there is a low birth rate and suspects a fertility cycle of some sort as opposed to being able to mate any time. (I'm sure that there are other
sentient species that are more open about the fact that there are times that they are "in heat" and times that they are not.)
Given the AU Cardassians' intelligence and inquisitiveness, they were able to figure out something
is going on by means of mathematical modeling, but I don't think they know everything. Even Starfleet doesn't know everything about pon farr
at this point in time (hence it being such a shock when Spock started to go through it).
As far as government representation, it depends on what form of guest/resident status they're given. I at least
think their leader would have an open line to the Castellan to address any concerns.
I enjoyed this story; its unfolding, pacing and character perceptions too. Makes me curious what would happen that nobody predicted. And I'd definitely want to be a fly on the wall in those meetings with Vulcan delegates present and arguing as if their lives depended on it.
Thanks for writing it! Well done!
You're very welcome! It's not "our" Cardassia, but I'm glad you liked it.
I definitely wonder what the Vulcan meetings would've been like, too! No idea, though.