I could be dreadfully wrong--and I hope not--but I think I MIGHT know what Gul Brenok is trying to do here. The stakes are dreadfully, dreadfully high though.
As for T'Sarik, I understand exactly why she did what she did. In her place I probably would have done the same, if I had no other information to go by, OR I did not suspect there was an alternate game plan.
I hope Brenok won't punish himself for what happened to Demok. I really, really don't mean any disrespect for this comparison, but his tendency to do that is almost like when people cut themselves to try to make themselves feel better.
One thing that surprises me with Demok: why can't he understand that these Federation worlds want to leave the Union, since they were forced by both governments to be a part of it in the first place?
As you know already, I think that it's VERY good to see Jarol reflecting on her actions that way.
One other thing from Jarol, that just stood out to me on a re-reading of this section...that little bit about how she likes it when kids call their parents "mom" and "dad." Family is always a good subject for Jarol.