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Old April 6 2013, 11:59 AM   #10
Dal Rassak
Lieutenant Commander
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Location: Terok Nor
Re: decision regarding Rugal incomprehensible!

The allegations came from that one odd-looking alien playing dabo in Quark's bar and we never learn his motivations. Rugal's adoptive father vehemently denied them and before anyone says, "well, he would if they're true" , Rugal's behaviour showed where the truth lay very eloquently - he ran to Proka embracing him and was visibly distressed when it looked as though they were going to be seperated. That's not how you react to someone who's mistreated you.

Cardassian law may have applied on Bajor when Rugal was lost, but to my understanding not when he was adopted.
Besides there's more to being a father than biology. Proka and his wife have loved and cared for the boy all these years, they are every bit as attached to him as though they were related, is that to count for nothing? You can't own a child like a possession; in any case Rugal's childhood is forever lost to Pa'Dar, he can't re-create it. The best he can hope for is a relationship with Rugal in terms of who he is now,
which is a youth growing into adulthood who has lived a different life. He risks jeopardizing even that by dragging him off against his will to an unfamiliar place among a people who are strangers to him - certainly not the best introduction if he's meant to learn about Cardassia and Cardassian ways without prejudice.
Whether Pa'Dar is prepared to acknowledge it or not, Rugal hasn't grown up on Cardassia, it's not a "birthright" he desperately desires, he's found a home on Bajor with his adoptive parents and he's settled and happy with them.
Why come charging in and destroy that? If you truly love your child you love him unselfishly, and you give him what he needs to be given, not what you want to give - and in tragic circumstances such as these that may not always be one and the same thing.

Of course it was wrong of his Bajoran parents to teach him that all Cardassians (excepting him) are evil. However it's unfortunately understandable given the undeniable evils perpetrated under Cardassian rule. The family, like most of Bajor, must have suffered greatly during the occupation, lost many loved ones. That doesn't tend to give you a balanced and forgiving view. I'm absolutely certain they had no intention whatsoever to damage Rugal psychologically in any way - they just couldn't help how they felt. And it can't be forgotten that despite their hatred of Cardassians in general, they could look at Rugal and see past his race to an orphaned child who needed a secure and loving family. You'll notice they left him his birthname - they could easily have given him a Bajoran one instead. And they must have been through a lot on his account - imagine how most Bajorans would look at other Bajorans adopting a child of the hated invaders.

Now on Bajor, all he gets is the one-sided perspective of the victims, but at least that's based on personal experiences with a basis in fact. On Cardassia, all he'd get is the official propaganda line on the reasons for the occupation, a "truth" distorted at best and fabricated at worst. And perhaps he should be exposed to that - between two biased extremes he might actually come to his own conclusions.

I don't argue for a second with the fact that Rugal should come to know people of his race, and learn about them without prejudice - that's why transplanting him against his will is the very worst way to go about it. Rugal has learned that all you can expect from Cardassians is pain. So here this Cardassian stranger shows up to take him away from all he knows and loves, causing him pain. What favourable conclusions is he meant to draw from that?
Such abrupt and fundamental changes in his life can only be damaging him further.
The approach by his biological family should be a gradual process. They could start by just regular communications, then visits. But it should be up to Rugal when, indeed whether, he ever goes to Cardassia. He stands a much better chance of making peace with his heritage if finding out more is his own decision, freely made.
"Trust is good; control is better"
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