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Old January 11 2009, 07:26 PM   #181
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

What is it in the male psyche that would think a woman would appreciate that sort of behavior?? Must be the same school of thought that thinks "no" means "yes."
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Old January 11 2009, 07:46 PM   #182
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
What is it in the male psyche that would think a woman would appreciate that sort of behavior?? Must be the same school of thought that thinks "no" means "yes."
Well, in all fairness, there's so much diversity in the human psyche that it's entirely possible there ARE women who do. There's a reason why rape-fantasies sell so well in the romance genre, and it's a fair bet that men are not buying them. I'm not saying this is the case here, but I am maybe saying to step off and not bite Robert's head off for an innocent comment. Maybe just explain politely why it's not accurate in this case.
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Old January 11 2009, 08:01 PM   #183
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
What is it in the male psyche that would think a woman would appreciate that sort of behavior?? Must be the same school of thought that thinks "no" means "yes."
Umm..guilty as charged...And I am a hopeless romantic, so that figures into it too..

Rob
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Old January 11 2009, 08:15 PM   #184
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

As for Gruner...he's just...ew. Thinks he's all that, but he's really just full of it on a lot of levels. I'll be honest...I'm having a hard time figuring out how you missed the crudeness of his behavior or might have thought Sorabec was anything but repulsed by it. And I would like to know if anybody else reading this found the situation confusing or unconvincing.
Well - I was scanning the story at the time so that was probably the reason why I didn't notice it the first/second time around.
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Old January 11 2009, 09:02 PM   #185
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

SLWatson wrote: View Post
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
What is it in the male psyche that would think a woman would appreciate that sort of behavior?? Must be the same school of thought that thinks "no" means "yes."
Well, in all fairness, there's so much diversity in the human psyche that it's entirely possible there ARE women who do. There's a reason why rape-fantasies sell so well in the romance genre, and it's a fair bet that men are not buying them. I'm not saying this is the case here, but I am maybe saying to step off and not bite Robert's head off for an innocent comment. Maybe just explain politely why it's not accurate in this case.
And I hope you'll excuse me for being disturbed that even in this day and age, the idea that such behavior as I depicted could be seen as anything but unacceptable or even attractive is more than a little shocking.
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Old January 11 2009, 09:09 PM   #186
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
And I hope you'll excuse me for being disturbed that even in this day and age, the idea that such behavior as I depicted could be seen as anything but unacceptable or even attractive is more than a little shocking.
It may well be, but individuals are individuals. Here's a decent source to start with: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_fantasy

I'm not saying Robert was thinking along these lines, more that he likely didn't read the text the way you particularly intended it to be read. And that's part of writing, and certainly part of publishing your works for a wider audience -- inevitably, people are going to get their own impressions of it. They're going to run off in their own directions, and sometimes those directions aren't gonna be the ones you wish they were.

But that's writing. And that's life. You're welcome to be disturbed, and for that matter, you're entirely welcome to say exactly why you were. But you'll have to excuse me if I found the way you chose to address him as being antagonistic to an unnecessary degree. And hey, for the record, that's your right too; as it's also mine to point it out.
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Old January 11 2009, 09:44 PM   #187
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Normally I would tread with more caution. But the idea of unwanted advances somehow being acceptable is one to which I will give no quarter, and towards which I believe nothing less than an unambiguous reply will do.
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Old January 12 2009, 04:13 AM   #188
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

It doesn't sound very mutual to me, tho I read it after I read the comments...

Somebody’s awfully quiet today,” Gruner remarked in a cheery conversational tone that Sorabec knew was anything but. Why today, of all days, does Ragoç Gruner have to be early for his shift? “Give me a smile, Remegh…don’t be shy.”

Her supervisor was one of those who seemed to think women in the military outside the sciences were only there to fulfill some secret dream of bedding their male superiors—and certainly not in the context of wedlock where a proper Cardassian kept the sexual act. No, Gruner was one of those too blasted many who thought that because he could legally bear arms, his personal weapon was free to roam wherever it wanted. In his world, the rules didn’t apply to him.
The first paragraph clearly shows she has no affection for him, and also establishes he has a persistant habit of his unwanted, flirtatious behaviour. And his attitude is elaborated upon by his history, in the second quoted paragraph. The following paragraph proves its not a cultural thing- it is viewed negativly in Cardassian society (the unwelcome advances, and worse).

And I don't think the wording shows any... what would you call it? Kinky or masochistic or whatever desires:
The way he stroked his neck ridges every time he caught her eye bordered on the pornographic... Worse, he had a kănar-gut that bounced low enough to peek out from under his cuirass every time he took a step. The thought of looking up at Gruner from that position was enough to make Sorabec want to vomit.
"Worse" indicates "pornographic" isn't arousing or in any way positive.
And finally:
Quite unlike the man who now sought to attach himself to her like a giant, parasitic, spaceborne amoeba.
^ I don't find that sexy... LOL!!!

So just the pieces in bold, when you tie them to the ending... doesn't sound like she was "into it."

We will now return to the presentation in progress...
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Old January 13 2009, 05:59 PM   #189
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

A terrific start to your combat sequence. Right from the first, the plan is falling apart, as it seems all plans must at some point. Sorebec was unable to prevent her lecherous superior form seeing the disruption in the surveillance grid, and paid for that omission with her life. One can only hope the others in the Thirteenth Order can adapt and overcome.

And you bring up a good point about the Cardassian people and the losses they’ve suffered as a result of their governments prolonged campaigns of expansion. A long series of border skirmishes with the Federation lasting decades, the costly Occupation of Bajor, followed by the Klingon invasion of their territory, followed again by the death and destruction of the Dominion War and then the near-genocidal reprisals of the Dominion at the end of that conflict.

Cardassian society must be like some of those Western European nations following WWI, where an entire generation had been obliterated.

Once again, phenomenal work, and I'm eagerly awaiting more.
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Old January 13 2009, 09:33 PM   #190
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

I caught the hassling right off-and Rob, sorry, you were off base. "Nuff said, I'll let it drop.

Waiting for next part-and not waiting patiently. I really like your story and want to see more of how the 2 teams mesh(or don't ).
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Old January 26 2009, 06:21 AM   #191
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Riyăk Iymender had made it to the point of ‘safety’ already, and in the midst of all that chaos stood with padd in hand, head bent down to let hooked ridges shade his eyes from the brilliance of the Lessek sun, hearing and seeing almost nothing but the base data flow. He’d burrowed a long-range wireless radio device deep in the computer core to receive his overrides. Nobody used the RF bands anymore; hopefully no one would think to look there.

His eye ridges pushed down in a single furrowed line as he scrutinized the base data flow from an improvised wireless radio connection. He looked up sharply. “Somebody’s poking around the system,” he announced. “Diagnostics, I think. I don’t think they can see us, but everyone’s got to get through—now, before they figure out they’ve dropped shields!”

Window’s closing—MOVE!” Gul Rebek cried, her surprisingly powerful voice snapping halfway back through the Thirteenth Order formation. In unison the armored soldiers redoubled their headlong run, surging past her as she continued her mad exhortations.

There came the last of them, Speros and Daro heading up the rear with Garheç Megur and a gaggle of Starfleeters. A number of these hailed from species whose constitution allowed little in the way of running speed. As a Tellarite female huffed past Rebek to the tune of an abusive stream of belowdecks language from Speros, she found herself doubting the wisdom of relying on this motley assortment. Still, there was a resolve in their eyes that she had to admire.

“No, you don’t,” Iymender mumbled to himself, barely audible over the stampede. He stabbed adamantly at his padd with the stylus. “Who are you? Cronarvan? Nestak? Timre? Nestak, I’ll bet, leaving that kind of junk code lying around…you’re just wasting your—what? Come on, Nestak, you know two against one isn’t fair!

Chaos!

The padd nearly fell out of his hands. Iymender’s eyes bulged. He looked up sharply with a stricken expression. “Clear it out—now!

There is a reason that, on ground-based installations, anti-space-raid shields are kept well away from the facilities they protect.

And Rebek saw it coming before anyone else.

The hunter array’s yellow line of light on the ground blazed an angry orange. A rising note shrieked, felt but never heard, radiating across her skin, focusing at the center of her forehead…

The air flashed, a grotesque mockery of the hunter array’s initialization sequence writ large.

The thunderous shockwave from the diffuse pre-charge catapulted Speros, Daro, and that final row of Starfleet soldiers violently forward. Speros landed face-down in the dust, palms flat against the earth where he’d tried futilely to break his fall. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

In that final instant, everyone felt it, hunter array or not, bioelectric sense or not. The shield coalesced, solidifying into a knife-thin, supercharged transparent aluminum-like barrier—and the big Grazerite never had a chance.

The Tellarite woman—Grelsch, was it?—had tried to tug him across by the hand. Rebek couldn’t tell which horrified the Tellarite more in her final moments of consciousness: the electric current that ripped from his body into hers, or the fact that as she fell forward, only the forward half of the Grazerite’s body came with her.

Rebek couldn’t tear her eyes away from the carnage. The shield hissed like a spraying rhirzum as the back half of the Grazerite’s gruesomely-cloven corpse slid to the ground, continuing to sizzle intermittently as a misty cloud of blood droplets spattered back down.

Iymender emitted a dreadful, deep gurgling noise—the sort that signaled only one thing. Rebek barely had time to step aside before the programmer braced himself with his hands on his knees, doubled over, and retched.

Youth, Rebek thought to herself, aggravated at first at the coding specialist’s lack of discipline—but once she was honest with herself…she had to admit she’d felt it too. The riyăk remained in that position for another few seconds, coughing and spitting a few more times to clear away as much of it as he could.

Then he straightened, glancing shamefacedly at Gul Rebek. She did not touch him—most Cardassians took quite unkindly to the violation of their personal space in their most vulnerable moments, even when the other was their commanding officer; the instinct was just too strong to chance it. Some officers put their subordinates to death after provoking such an outburst. Such was their right, but Rebek was of a mind that anyone stupid enough to do it, gul or not, deserved what they got. So instead, she fixed his eyes and enunciated clearly: “There’s nothing to be ashamed of, Riyăk.”

Still too nauseated to speak, Iymender bowed deeply—so much so that for a moment, Rebek feared he would vomit again. Iymender himself didn’t look too sure. But he straightened up and as he regained his bearings, he swore furiously under his breath. Rebek thought she caught something about wishing the Obsidian Order would resurrect itself and drag his unseen adversaries out of their houses in the middle of the night.

She let him have a moment to purge psychologically, and then ordered, “Status report.”

After a few seconds of scrutinizing his padd, his voice emerged with a croak: “Internal chatter is running high—they’ve got hardwire communications only and of course I’m in on the RF band. They’re scanning subspace for me—idiots!…ă, excuse me, Gul. Anyway, they’re trying, but they can’t raise the orbital station or the Jem’Hadar, nor can anyone in orbit detect any transmissions from them. Their sensors are still down; they’re running diagnostics and they think they’re coming back online, but they’re just getting a new set of false returns. They know something’s going on, but they’re cut off and they still can’t see us.”

By now, Speros, Macet, Daro, and Spirodopoulos had gathered with Rebek and Iymender at what had become the center of the Thirteenth Order formation. “Obviously the idea of infiltrating the building before they even suspect is scrapped,” Macet said. “We need another plan—now.”

“They’re surely on alert now,” Speros concurred. “But we must keep the momentum on our side. I say we thin them out some. Make them come to us. Spirodopoulos!” The senior gul turned a burning eye upon the Starfleet officer. “Can you vouch for the conduct of your subordinates if we split up?”

Rebek could practically see the gears turning in Spirodopoulos’ head as he considered who could lead a sub-team and who ought best remain at his side. Still, the terhăn nodded. “I can.”

I hope so, Rebek thought to herself—because Speros was not the sort to brook disobedience from his own men, and from foreigners…the result could well be lethal.

“Good. Then we designate strike teams to serve as bait,” the former ground commander bluntly stated. “And infiltration teams to prep the base for the main assault. The main body will wait in the prearranged locations. Iymender—you will devise an appropriate lure…”



2375—The Dominion War—The Battle for the Shipyard

Dominion battle cruiser in orbit of Lessek

Fourth Retal’atan’s head jerked up suddenly from the tactical console. “First! The ground base has experienced a temporary shield failure.”

His First, an Alpha-quadrant bred yearling named Volet’aval, strode over to the Gamma-bred Fourth. “And I was not notified the instant this occurred? Exactly how much time elapsed between your noticing this and your telling me?”

“One minute, First.”

“What?!” Volet’aval exploded. “That is unacceptable! Do you have any idea how fast things move on this side of the galaxy? In one minute’s time we could have found ourselves facing a Klingon attack squadron! What were you thinking?” Or were you? he barely resisted adding.

“I apologize, First. I was expecting them to send a status report as is the policy in cases of critical equipment failure. Now they’ve failed to check in and at that point I concluded something was amiss.”

Volet’aval rolled his eyes in disgust. Gammas. How are we ever supposed to reclaim our lives with these blockheads filling the ranks? I pray the Founders teach these incompetents how to take some initiative someday soon, before their intransigency keeps us in the grave forever. No doubt they wish the Gammas to learn as much as they can for themselves before they step in and provide it genetically—but I’d just as soon it come sooner than later. “Then raise someone on the surface, Fourth,” Volet’aval grumbled, “and find out what delayed them.”

“Right away, First.”

“And while you’re at it…” Volet’aval paused. No one but Retal’atan was paying attention. Right. They’re all Gammas too. If it doesn’t pertain to them and their little station, it barely registers in their mind. The Alpha First turned to the entire bridge crew. “This goes for all of you: find us a way to scan past those exotic mineral deposits. I want real-time life-sign readings and I want them immediately!”



2375—The Dominion War—The Battle for the Shipyard

Cardassian Rasgălor of Lessek

Iymender’s padd bleeped a new warning. “The Jem’Hadar are hailing, Gul. They want to speak to Glinn Uradnen.”

“Answer it, Iymender. You have voice modulation software on that thing, right?”

“Uradnen’s female, Gul. It would be a bit of a stretch if I did it.”

Rebek held out a hand. “She’s the systems control officer, correct?”

“Yes, Gul.” Iymender quickly tweaked a line of code, then passed the padd.

Zejil Rebek drew in a breath and collected herself with a number of physiological control exercises that would have made a Vulcan jealous. Her voice steadied, she opened the channel, which, if Iymender’s uplink still functioned properly, would seem to be coming from the base. “Fourth Retal’atan,” Rebek began, thanking fate—however unorthodox such thanks might be these days—that the Jem’Hadar had seen fit to include his name in the communication request. “I regret the delay, but in the midst of solving one problem, I seem to have stumbled upon a second one.”

Elaborate, Uradnen.

“Not only did one faulty power coupling nearly blow out the entire shield generator for good, but we seem to have an entire defective batch on our hands.” Rebek adopted a deferential, almost pleading tone. “I recognize the need to serve bases in more critical locations first, Fourth…but I would be eternally grateful if you could put in a word with Requisitions at Central Command, and tell them we need whatever replacements they could spare. If something else blew out today, I might be forced to cannibalize parts from other areas of the base.”

Do you require assistance at this time, Uradnen?

“I think we’ve got it under control for the moment, Fourth—but you’ll be the first to know if it tries to go again.” Don’t you worry—you won’t miss it! “And please…do see what you can do about those replacement parts. I understand if you can’t…”

Retal’atan paused—his silence bellowing the words ‘Cardassian halfwits’ in perfect surround-sound. “If the Founders will it,” he replied. “Fourth Retal’atan out.”

Gul Rebek let out a sigh of relief as the channel closed and she passed the programmer’s rather idiosyncratically organized padd, and turned her attention back to the problem at hand. “I think we’ve bought ourselves at least some time with the Jem’Hadar, but if they detect any more oddities from orbit, they’re going to come charging in, polaron cannons hot. Subtly does it from here on out, Iymender.”

The programmer gave a fraction-of-a-second bow. “Of course.”

Rebek turned and surveyed the group of four that would accompany her into the base control core to carry out more direct sabotage than Iymender could manage remotely.

Quite the motley team, she thought to herself. Besides herself and Iymender, there was that Kobheerian freighter engineer, Chedrigan. Once assured the Thirteenth Order would keep its silence where all members’ governments were concerned, Chedrigan had admitted to an astonishing variety of acts of sabotage on behalf of Maciy terrorists. His abilities had sounded genuine enough to Rebek, based on her own technical expertise, but she could only hope now that his familiarity with Cardassian systems was as extensive as he claimed it was. If true, it was quite a heady, vindicating feeling, to bend the former terrorist sympathizer’s skills to the service of the Cardassian Union.

It felt like justice.

There were also two Starfleet soldiers. First was the Vulcan lieutenant T’Ruveh, who had covert-ops experience as one of the Federation’s pre-first-contact observers. The very concept chilled Rebek—who exactly did the Federation think they were, sitting in their hidden bunkers on high to judge the worthiness of less advanced worlds to join their vaunted membership?

Such was not part of the Cardassian mindset: either a world was worth the expenditure of resources, or it was not. On one hand, in the early days of the Cardassian Union, they had had need of a strong neighbor to act as a buffer between them and the Klingon Empire. Cardassia had made the Xepolites, transforming them from a fractured, planetbound people to a proud, spacefaring race who in their gratitude to the Union could generally be counted on to lean with Cardassia in their foreign affairs though nominally autonomous. Cardassia had given, and Cardassia—as was fitting—had received.

On the other hand, of course, the Cardassian Union had exploited every last inch of Bajor and its people. Rebek, like Berat and Macet, would have preferred a relationship of trade to exploitation—but at least the Cardassians had actually revealed themselves to the Bajoran people, which was more than the Federation could say for themselves. No, the Federation had never showed the courage to take a stand one way or the other—scuttlebutt had it that their ‘observers’ on-site had simply stood by and watched, under strict orders not to intervene. Yet after their complicity-by-inaction, they’d had the temerity to protest in post-armistice years when it became convenient. The hypocrisy was astounding. Cardassians might be a political lot, but at least they would actually admit it.

The final Starfleet presence seemed quite out of place: Te-Mae-Do, the Mathenite. Her people typically disdained to enter into alliances with the great powers of the galaxy, preferring to keep their own counsel. Though they generally seemed to sympathize with the Federation, to see a Mathenite in the service of a foreign military was quite the surprise.

Te-Mae-Do’s rank, as best as Rebek understood it, most closely equated to that of a Cardassian gor. The Mathenite petty officer cut a lithe, sleekly-furred figure in Saurian-like lavender-grey as she strode forward on all fours, her huge, sharply-pointed ears standing proudly erect. Those ears just barely reached Rebek’s waist at sitting height; the other members of the team, all cardasdanoids, would have to take great care to avoid tripping on her.

Te-Mae-Do’s back paws looked no different to the eyes than those of a Cardassian riding hound, but her forepaws could more aptly be called fists, for she walked on thickly-padded knuckles, talon-like claws tucked for now out of sight. Mathenite hands, though capable enough for grasping a bone, simply did not serve for work of a finer nature, nor could they use both hands at the same time when sitting or standing without a careful balancing act. Delicate work fell instead to the long, thin tail that stretched nearly twice the length of Te-Mae-Do’s body, capable both of snapping like a whip at anyone who encroached on her territory without permission, and manipulating precision tools laced tightly into its grasp.

Perhaps she and Tayben could relate, Rebek thought. More so than I, anyway, seeing as he knows what it’s like to live in an environment designed for a different set of physical abilities than his.

Dealing with the more cardasdanoid members of the Starfleet team she was beginning to develop a tolerance for; those differences were more cultural than anything. But such outright alienness…this was unsettling.

Te-Mae-Do’s tail lashed out and coiled tightly around a disruptor pistol on the ground. Her voice emerged in a throaty growl that, had Rebek not been aware of her gender beforehand, would have sounded masculine. “I am ready,” she stated with the succinctness of Gul Speros. Though she could not read the Mathenite’s body language, Rebek suspected speech in the cardasdanoid languages came with difficulty for her. Te-Mae-Do could easily have availed herself of a vocoder and spoken in a manner more natural for her people, but she insisted on speaking Federation Standard anyway: A point of pride, I suppose.

Rebek nodded, turning now to Iymender. “Reveal Daro. Once they send investigators, we’ll get underway.”

The thin programmer tapped a button on his padd. “Done, Gul.”
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Old January 26 2009, 09:55 PM   #192
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Relevant to this section: a sketch of Petty Officer Te-Mae-Do of Mathen. This'll give you kind of an idea how I envision the species design.

http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=71547
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Old January 26 2009, 10:22 PM   #193
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Another fine segment. I like the Alpha grousing about the Gammas-it seemed fluidly in character.
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Old January 26 2009, 11:01 PM   #194
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Mistral wrote: View Post
Another fine segment. I like the Alpha grousing about the Gammas-it seemed fluidly in character.
The Alphas were bred to use initiative by the Vorta/Founder in canon, so it works well to highlight there. If you remember "One Little Ship" that shows the animosity between Alphas and Gammas.
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Old January 26 2009, 11:05 PM   #195
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Xeris wrote: View Post
Mistral wrote: View Post
Another fine segment. I like the Alpha grousing about the Gammas-it seemed fluidly in character.
The Alphas were bred to use initiative by the Vorta/Founder in canon, so it works well to highlight there. If you remember "One Little Ship" that shows the animosity between Alphas and Gammas.
I hadn't thought about that when I was reading this. I will have to go back and see that episode again. the Cardies and Jem'Hadar are two very difficult races to write for, especially in depth as you are doing Mr. Ghemor. I tip my hat to you. Good job...

Rob
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