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Old July 20 2010, 04:06 AM   #556
Nerys Ghemor
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Location: Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

All right...here's the next section! I hope you guys enjoy this!

BTW, I am not going to provide a grammatical breakdown of the Cardassian-language section. I found that apparently some of the vocabulary is getting around the Internet, and while I don't mind THAT, I am debating whether or not I actually want to release a full grammar as I had originally intended.

The Mendral shown here is the Sigils-universe version of the same character seen in the SigCat stories as a Starfleet officer.

The armor and pike of the Honor Vigil may be seen here.

http://trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=106368

---------

Eleven hours after the Battle of Lessek
Kounamab/McAllister Nebula
The Lessek Gălor

When the groaning of the cargo bay doors opening echoed off of the cavernous walls of the cargo bay aboard the new Gălor, the low murmurs of those who gathered there came to a stop. Even the guls who were in attendance grew silent—for Daro came here not just on his own behalf, but that of Gul Macet as well. And though Speros might be the senior gul by age and tenure, it was Macet and Berat who were the heart of the rebellion. And now Spirodopoulos, Daro reminded himself. For the terhăn-çăs, for the Starhvliyt-çăs—he means even more than Macet or any of the other guls means to us.

Macet remained aboard the Trager, for if Dominion forces or the Cardassians who still served them should find them—never mind that the new ship was the strongest in their fleet and the Trager and Sherouk’s enhanced sensors showed nothing approaching the nebula as of yet. They could not forget the risk of a strike that destroyed the command staff while it was all gathered in one place. So for now, in this place it was Daro who would lead the memorial ceremony on his commander’s behalf.

There were no stasis caskets in this cargo bay as there ordinarily would have been; to many Cardassians, their number led by Gul Speros, it was the ultimate dishonor for the bodies of their people to be viewed by aliens. Daro understood the protective instinct as well as anyone—the primitive drive to guard the bodies of the dead and see them to an undisturbed resting place where no carrion eaters could desecrate the bodies and no predators could catch the scent of weakness and threaten the rest of the tribe. But that’s just an excuse…these are sentient beings who are here to honor our dead, as well as theirs. It was a shame Speros and his ilk couldn’t be convinced to relent…so the viewings would have to wait.

Daro, though, had offered a suggestion to at least symbolically express the presence of the dead, one that had been accepted: designate two additional officers to wear the armor and mail and bear the pike of the Honor Vigil, and have them attend the memorial service as the ‘representatives’ of the dead. It was the solemn duty of those appointed to this ceremonial guard to stand watch for a shift over the bodies of the fallen, who would never be abandoned by their brothers or sisters while they yet remained unburied.

They entered the cargo hold just behind Daro, assuming their positions at his sides. The cuirass strongly resembled the one worn by the modern military—indeed, this was where the tri-ribbed motif had first originated, nearly two thousand years ago. However, these were made of actual steel, airbrushed to the same dark charcoal-grey as the much lighter modern version. Unlike the modern version, matching plating continued in an overlapping, scale-like pattern under the arms and around the sides, down to the leaved tassets that guarded the hips and pelvic area.

But it was what flowed out from under the cuirass and tassets that was the most striking to the modern eye: it was quite literally a robe of chain mail, flowing from shoulder to the top of the hand, and from beneath the tassets all the way to the ankle; beneath, the steel-tipped boots were visible. The lower portion of the robe parted in the middle, though it overlapped to minimize the exposure of the soldier’s legs even at a run. As it was, every step they took was accompanied by a telltale metallic swish.

In the ancient days of Hebitia, charioteers and infantrymen of Rivçal’s nations had once fought clad in this manner: the chain mail robe served to protect their legs from being cut out from under them, either by the swords of their opponents, or the long, bladed pikes like the ones the Honor Vigil carried now, the height of a man and half again. Such outfits had become obsolete even in the days of Hebitia, long before the spacefaring era, not in the least because—as he well knew from experience—they were incredibly heavy. Standing watch in the traditional manner for an entire shift, with no break for food, drink, or even to relieve oneself was a grueling endeavor.

But there were few honors greater than what Riyăk Mendral and Ragoç Nedav had volunteered to do, to see that those who gave their lives for the sake of the Cardassian Union were never without the dignity and protection they deserved as they journeyed to their final resting place.

Now, Daro ascended the platform that had been shuttled over from the Trager for this occasion. The Honor Vigil stood in mirrored formation at the platform’s sides, their pikes canted at opposite angles away from each other. There was no podium, for as a product of the Cardassian Union’s educational system, he needed no place for notes. And aside from the platform that befitted his standing, he wanted no other separation between him and the others who gathered to honor the dead.

In the front row stood the commanding officers—Gul Rebek of the Romac, Gul Speros and Glinn Hatel of the Ghiletz at each flank. In the center was the Starfleet commander, the human whose tan skin allowed the faint pinkish hue of blood to show as even Daro’s own Hăzăkda sandstone-beige microscales would not. Gul Berat had taken up a position next to the human. And even with his never-truly-still hands tucked behind his back, there was something about the way his star-blue eyes blazed…not the barely-leashed fury of Speros, but an expression that almost seemed to will strength and encouragement to those who stood in his bioelectric aura—which included Spirodopoulos. On the human’s other side was the tall Bajoran ensign, Folani, still in her Starfleet combat fatigues and looking for all of Cardassia like the lieutenant commander’s bodyguard.

After a moment for the last few voices among the gathered to fall silent, Daro spoke. He felt the twinges of nervousness deep in his stomach—for the words he would speak were bold: not only to honor the dead, but to crystallize the revolution they now undertook. These were words that would have brought death mere weeks ago. For so many generations Cardassia had lived under such strictures that even to listen to such words carried the penalty of death…either quickly by execution, or slowly by forced labor. Now, he had to speak. And they had to get used to listening. Not all would, of course—and there would be those among the crews of the Thirteenth Order who would have to be watched…and carefully.

Perhaps it would be easier for some to hear this from him, because like Gul Berat after Volan III, he had already once defied. Unusual words, bold words…these were expected from him, or at least, not entirely unaccustomed. He hoped so, anyway—for these words were sorely needed.

“We come to honor those who have sacrificed to the fullest for the sake of all Cardassia,” he began, his quiet, solemn voice amplified by the computer for all to hear. “For those of us who have fought aboard these vessels since the beginning of the war, we have spoken these words many times now—but never voiced our doubts. And for many of us, there was good reason…it would’ve been sedition. But this is what we all knew to be true: it was our highest leaders who committed the ultimate act of sedition against the Cardassian people, by throwing our strength and our very lives into the jaws of the Dominion.

“Today, though…there is no more doubt. We know why it is we have fought, and why these honored fallen have given their lives. And every other sacrifice among our crews since the inception of this war has led to this moment.

“For many of us gathered here…the answer is simple. We do this because we have not forgotten what it means to be Cardassian—because we believe that still means something, no matter what the Dominion puppetmasters have tried to tell us. And no matter what it is we have done to ourselves. This is also because we believe that there is a future in which what makes us great can be expressed more fully than it has been in a long time. That is what gives their sacrifice meaning. What these men and women have done, they have done not for the sake of what Cardassia has become, but what Cardassia ought to be.

“But there are others,” Daro continued, meeting eyes with Lieutenant Commander Spirodopoulos, “who are not obligated by birth as we are. They have been brought to us under difficult circumstances where they surely felt they had little reason to trust us or to care about our fate—and yet they have made the choice that with the rest of their people taken out of the action by the Breen, that they would carry the fight to the very heart of the enemy—for their fight and ours are one. Such an alliance comes with trials; there is no other way. But we have seen what they can do, what they are willing to do.

“Never again must we as Cardassians look at those who do not share our blood as though they have no minds, no virtues like our own…for the blood they have spilled upon a soil foreign to them, not just for the sake of their own, but also for the sake of our freedom, cries out against that notion far more powerfully than you or I ever can. If you still harbor doubts as to their worthiness to stand among us—then I advise you to listen carefully to the reading of the names, or to visit our ships’ sickbays, where people of our world and theirs lay side by side, recovering from their wounds. That is what you have shared. That is what unites us now, and what always will.

“We must give their sacrifice meaning, in the battle ahead, and the rebuilding that will follow. What the mingled blood of the battlefield has united, let no man or woman, no distance or decree, ever drive apart. Let us now hear the names of the fallen and remember our gratitude for the lives of all who have given to the utmost…for Cardassia.”

Daro extended a hand towards Spirodopoulos. The terhăn stepped forward towards the command platform, clutching a padd in his hand. He understood that, with very few exceptions, terhăn-çăs and many other Federation species lacked the eidetic memories that Cardassians were trained for from their earliest childhood. I just hope the naysayers don’t take that as a demerit against him, Daro thought. He gestured for Spirodopoulos to join him on the platform.

Together, they spoke the names of the dead: Daro would recite a few names, then Spirodopoulos would add one of his people of similar rank. Onward they continued until Daro had named the fifty-nine Cardassian rebels and Spirodopoulos the twenty-three Starfleet soldiers who had perished in the attack on Lessek.

They reflected in silence for several moments. Then, with a nod from Daro, Spirodopoulos returned to his place in the front row. Riyăk Mendral stepped forward, the chain mail of his ceremonial armor making just about the only sound in the room. Ragoç Nedav followed suit, the silver in his hair glinting much like the mail, ridges deep, forehead wrinkled, and back straight: the very image of strong, dignified seniority.

Mendral, for his part, also bore the ancient armor well—for almost every time there had been a death aboard the Trager since his posting, he had served a shift with the Honor Vigil the day of the memorial. He had a truly beautiful singing voice…the only reason he had not been granted a musical performance license by the Cultural Ministry, maybe even the more prestigious composition license, was that his military aptitude tests had come up far too high and Central Command had claimed precedence. But the first time he was appointed to the Honor Vigil, Gul Macet sat up and took notice: this would be the one venue in which he could express his gift, for the Cultural Ministry dared not interfere with Guard ceremonies.

Riyăk Mendral began to sing—a haunting chant for the dead that dated back to the earliest days of the Cardassian Union.

Bayçanatiy…bayvakmaliy…
Kătăr Cardăsa-ra malin-pret ho’olav-pret nou.
Bayçanatiy ghe’epzayn de’ek.
May we remember…may we give thanks…
For these lives to Cardassia in service given.
May we remember the honored dead.
Sevokmoliyse, ta’aboun rou’oukou
Me outikuvtum, vu’urhtoul rou’oukou:
Bozd’oç çe’enit-cor edikouv-cor metun edek!”
Give thanks, their friends
And tremble, their enemies:
I take strength from my memories!
“Çonotiy malin-lit de’ekou-lit de’ek
Vokmoliy malin-lit de’ekou-lit de’ek
Ves’dolokiy malin-lit de’ekou-lit mivrăk de’ek.
By our service we remember
By our service we give thanks
By our service we set the order aright.
Tho sezont’oçiyse iscnotos ghep ça’adal tho nou,
Tho sezont’oçiyse isthotop rhiylac ça’adal tho nou,
Tho sezont’oçiyse ishosok metun ça’adal-thu hăcet’picatul tho nou.
Let not death divide us
Let not sorrow dismay us
Let not terror drive from us our might.
Bayçanatiy…bayvakmaliy…
Kătăr Cardăsa-ra malin-pret ho’olav-pret nou.
Bayçanatiy ghe’epzayn de’ek.

Riyăk Mendral gave no bow as he concluded—this was not the time to seek the accolades of an audience. Even in the days of the Union, it was still acknowledged that the songs for the dead belonged to their own category and obeyed their own rules: what purpose it served was hard to say these days. Perhaps it was for the living. Perhaps not. It was said there were those who still acknowledged something beyond the visible life—they lived in hiding, but Daro felt rather sure they were not completely extinguished. Perhaps this was the last mark they had left upon the hearts of Cardassians, this remembrance of the departed. And if they were ever to make their return, Daro supposed, this was the time and the place where they would gain their foothold.

Indeed…there were those among the Federation-born soldiers who had bowed their heads in a gesture of reverence that no Cardassian dared show or give official leave for, even at a time like this lest the Obsidian Order and its successor take it as a sign of…heresy against the State, Daro thought. Strange to use a term like that to describe it—but it fits. It was no surprise that Folani and Webene had closed their eyes; such was expected of Bajorans, by and large. But so too did Spirodopoulos. This was a surprise to Daro; as far as he’d known, terhăn-çăs, like Vulcans, Romulans, and arguably the Klingons, held no beliefs. Vulcans had their mysticism, such as it was, and Klingons their oft-cited, seldom-obeyed ‘honor’ code, but neither gave reverence to anything outside themselves in the sense that the old Oralians had.

And the interesting thing, Daro thought to himself, though he still feared that to say it would be to push those around him beyond the degree of heterodoxy that they could take, is that contrary to what our instructors and inquisitors would have us believe, their indulgence in ritual seems not to have compromised their decision-making processes in the slightest. And for an infantryman like Daro, there was no greater trust than the idea that you could count on the man or woman holding their rifle next to you.

And to Glinn Daro’s mind…Spirodopoulos and his people had earned trust. He could not say that yet—he could not officially acknowledge their actions, but to turn a blind eye, at least, was a start. But he had wanted to honor the aliens’ sacrifices in some fashion, even though Speros refused to budge in so many other ways. And that was why he had lobbied so hard for what he was about to do, now that the memorial proper was finished. “Gul Speros, Glinn Hatel,” Daro quietly called, “it is time for the presentation of the ship’s sigil.”

The Ghiletz’ second-in-command, Glinn Hatel, stepped forward in parallel with Gul Speros, who held a steel medallion on a wide-linked chain made wide enough to sit upon the shoulders just beyond the end of the neck ridges. This was the ship sigil, the tangible symbol of command. Since there was no previous commander to pass this ship’s sigil to his successor, the honor belonged to Speros.

But before Speros could make the presentation, there was one more detail that had to be attended to. This ship needed a name. “Commander Spirodopoulos,” Daro announced, “please rejoin me.”
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Old July 20 2010, 04:08 AM   #557
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Spirodopoulos blinked rapidly—surprise, concern, uncertainty all flashed across his face, though he tried valiantly to disguise them. Speros seemed to understand what was happening, though his narrow-eyed expression made it clear he disapproved. Hatel, on the other hand—it was hard to tell what the look on his face was intended to convey: shock? Fear of betrayal? Anger? And the gathered Cardassian soldiers, it seemed, were barely restraining themselves from murmuring amongst themselves at this unorthodox, unanticipated move.

“Before the sigil can be awarded,” Daro elucidated, “this ship requires a name. As per tradition, the guls of the Thirteenth Order wish to honor an act of bravery and sacrifice for the sake of the Cardassian Union. I myself bore witness to such an act on the surface of Lessek—a woman with wings of a zerayd who took flight to destroy a Jem’Hadar cannon emplacement, volunteering herself without prompting, in full knowledge that this action would be her last.” Daro locked eyes with Spirodopoulos. The Hăzăkda glinn gave a tiny nod meant for Spirodopoulos alone: Yes—this is what I mean. “Commander…I heard you speak her name just now, and I know you can do it greater justice than I can. Would you please speak it for me again?”

Spirodopoulos swallowed, gazing back at his own people. Then he spoke—his tone soft yet resolute, and perhaps with a hint of wonder at what was to come. “Ensign Ngaer of Ueitii.”

Pokor malinzayn çad,” Daro acknowledged—you do a great service.

Spirodopoulos inclined his head. “Glinayn Daron—tihadpet rouk.” It’s only duty, Glinn Daro. The rapidity of these words to his tongue startled him. True, he was well used to speaking something other than his native language in the line of duty; he’d been raised to speak Greek first—Federation Standard as a foreign language, and he still preferred Greek off-duty, though given their circumstances he hadn’t spoken it for over a month. But now, for this language to emerge so quickly, though incomplete his grasp upon it might still be…it took him aback.

Daro resumed his speech. “It would be difficult to name a ship something we do not pronounce as easily as she, or you, can…and an inadequate memorial. Nor do I believe, if this ship is ever reintegrated into the Cardassian Guard, that such a name would be retained. But the ranking officers here have discussed this and we believe we have a way to honor her, and what your people have done, in a way that has a chance of lasting.

“We name this ship the Zerayd.” The image of a large, birdlike creature with black plumage appeared on a small monitor recessed into the ceiling of the cargo bay…the same monitor Spirodopoulos imagined had once been used to spit government propaganda even when Cardassian ships were out of port. The zerayd seemed almost primitive to human eyes, like many Cardassian animals seemed to species where therapsids or reptiles did not dominate—partly reptilian, partly birdlike, something like the extinct rahnoavis of Earth, but condor-like in size.

Oh, my God. Spirodopoulos felt a lump in his throat. As the zerayd silhouetted itself across the great red Cardassian sun, he could see the symbolism.

Spirodopoulos simply nodded at first, giving himself a second or two to gather his words—he felt not just Daro’s eyes upon him, but those of Gul Speros as well, boring into him as if seeking a core sample by which to take the measure of the man. Spirodopoulos bowed towards Daro and replied simply, “Glinn…you do us a great honor.”

He glanced back over the faces in the crowd. Even Ensign Folani seemed—if not disarmed by the Cardassians’ gesture, then contemplative much as she had been…God, just over a week ago…in the mess hall back on Lessek. Spirodopoulos sought out the eyes of Ensign Rashad—and indeed, they were filled with wonderment. The human commander barely quelled an urge to offer Rashad the reassuring smile he would have had he not stood on this platform where misinterpretation or even offense was so likely: surely this should dispel any fears on Rashad’s part that he grieved insufficiently or dishonored her by grieving for Prashek as well.

Then Gul Speros spoke. “Daro. Spirodopoulos. Tocsot oça’adep edek.” I release you. He addressed both men as clear subordinates…yet he did not simply give them the blunt order them to step down. Still, the glinn and the lieutenant commander both complied. Spirodopoulos resumed his place between Folani and Berat.

Now Speros raised the medallion—the sigil—for the entire crowd gathered to behold, not unlike a priest might raise the bread and wine before the congregation for the Divine Liturgy. Now that Spirodopoulos stood closer, he thought he spotted the name ‘Zerayd’ among the Cardăsda letters. Speros turned, though, before he could be sure.

“Glinn Hatel,” he began. “The Cardassian Union—through me—recognizes your years of service and bestows upon you the most solemn office of acting commander. Remember this!” he interjected. “We have not left the Union—it is Skrain Dukat who has done so and we who shall bring the hand of justice to those who still follow his ways into oblivion. As for us—we will not forget what it is we serve! Therefore,” Speros continued, returning to what Spirodopoulos supposed to be the familiar ritual, “as you prepare to accept this symbol of the prestige and the burden of this office, you shall state your name and reaffirm the oath you swore upon your entry into the Cardassian Guard.”

“I am Glinn Bezerok Hatel,” the Cardassian officer declared, continuing without a single prompt from Speros or anything from which to read the ritual words. “I swear in this capacity that I shall always place the interests of the Cardassian Union above my own, to serve and defend it in the face of any and all circumstances I might face. I swear my loyalty and my obedience to my leaders. I swear to provide my crew, through me, the full support and vigilance of the Cardassian Union against all enemies within and without.”

Much like Speros, Hatel’s eyes practically burned at that last—in a simpler time, he would have been branded the traitor along with every Cardassian in this room. Now…he took up this mantle to save the Union from itself. “For each duty, I pledge my life. May it be forever so: gorhoç edek.” I obey.

“Then I bind you to that word, Glinn Hatel,” Speros stated. “Serve Cardassia and Cardassia will remember you. Betray Cardassia and Cardassia—through us—will have justice.”

Hatel bowed deeply, holding this position as Gul Speros slipped the medallion over his slicked-back hair and resting it between neck and shoulder lines of his cuirass where it could sit without irritating the sensitive neck ridges. “You are hereby granted acting command of the Cardassian Union warship Zerayd. Lead its crew and wield its power well, Glinn Hatel.” And for the first time, Spirodopoulos caught a clear impression of something other than cynicism and bitterness in Speros’ eyes as he regarded his former first officer. It looked an awful lot like pride.

He’s not the only one, Spirodopoulos realized, taking a long look at the rest of the Thirteenth Order, Starfleet and Cardassian alike. The deck upon which they stood, under the watchful eye of the armored Honor Vigil and the echo of this unexpected gift—this name, the Zerayd, ringing in their ears…they all felt it. This might not be consecrated, but it definitely felt like hallowed ground.
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Old July 20 2010, 02:52 PM   #558
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Oh my. That is beautiful. I will have to make the time to start at the bginning and read this. I confess I had purposely not gotten into it because of the length and time but your writing is very lyrical and flowing. It has a Tolkeinish quality to it. Thank you for your hard work - I look forward to catching up!
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Old July 20 2010, 02:53 PM   #559
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Thanks...I'm honored that you were willing to give this a chance. What convinced you to open the thread?

BTW, the story is available either here or at Ad Astra. I look forward to your thoughts!
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Old July 20 2010, 03:06 PM   #560
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Mother of Pearl, that was a good read.

I like the way you handled that, and to have a vessel named after Ngaer is an honour, no matter which race it belongs to.

I even had a tear in my eye.

I maintain that like Diane Duane for the Romulans, you have done for the Cardassians and I am impressed.
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Old July 20 2010, 03:12 PM   #561
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Oh, I love the idea of naming the ship with Ngaer's name, sort of.

I also like all the detailed picture you draw with words. I never had patience and skill to do that, I was told I did well characters' small talk, but never was good enough with in-depth picturing. I should learn from you
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Old July 20 2010, 04:08 PM   #562
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Thanks...I'm honored that you were willing to give this a chance. What convinced you to open the thread?

BTW, the story is available either here or at Ad Astra. I look forward to your thoughts!

Your little plug in the Rear Admrl's lounge!

I'd actually seen this thread of course and had been contemplating dipping my toes in - I like to swim and these waters seem very refreshing!
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Old July 20 2010, 05:12 PM   #563
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

We have not because we ask not . . .

I've just read the first couple chapters of this work. I am completely blown away! This treasure has been here two years and I am only now discovering it! I am such a dunderhead!

Riveting from the first chapter - gorgeous characterization - you give them depth and subtlety I didn't expect. I don't have enough superlatives! I am so excited to have found this!

Yowza!!!!
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Old July 20 2010, 08:27 PM   #564
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

oldstredshrtevr wrote: View Post
We have not because we ask not . . .

I've just read the first couple chapters of this work. I am completely blown away! This treasure has been here two years and I am only now discovering it! I am such a dunderhead!

Riveting from the first chapter - gorgeous characterization - you give them depth and subtlety I didn't expect. I don't have enough superlatives! I am so excited to have found this!

Yowza!!!!
You've been missing out, then. This is one of the most elaborate, detailed and well thought out stories posted in Fanfic. This last entry is a clear example of the beauty of this work. N-your descriptions of the ancient armor were superlative, your funereal ceremony was wonderfully portrayed. I can't shower enough praise on this installment.
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Old July 21 2010, 12:01 AM   #565
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

BTW--this is the music that helped me set the mood for the naming scene. Bear McCreary = AWESOME.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OcQUoRimcM

BrotherBenny wrote: View Post
Mother of Pearl, that was a good read.

I like the way you handled that, and to have a vessel named after Ngaer is an honour, no matter which race it belongs to.

I even had a tear in my eye.

I maintain that like Diane Duane for the Romulans, you have done for the Cardassians and I am impressed.
Diane Duane is practically my "idol" as far as Trek writing...that is the kindest thing anybody could say. Thank you so much.

And I am glad to know the scene had an impact.

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
Oh, I love the idea of naming the ship with Ngaer's name, sort of.

I also like all the detailed picture you draw with words. I never had patience and skill to do that, I was told I did well characters' small talk, but never was good enough with in-depth picturing. I should learn from you
Conversely, I suck at small talk. I probably would have something to learn from you.

And thank you!

oldstredshrtevr wrote: View Post
We have not because we ask not . . .

I've just read the first couple chapters of this work. I am completely blown away! This treasure has been here two years and I am only now discovering it! I am such a dunderhead!

Riveting from the first chapter - gorgeous characterization - you give them depth and subtlety I didn't expect. I don't have enough superlatives! I am so excited to have found this!

Yowza!!!!
Thank you so much for reading--again, it's an honor that you were willing to give it your time.

Mistral wrote: View Post
You've been missing out, then. This is one of the most elaborate, detailed and well thought out stories posted in Fanfic. This last entry is a clear example of the beauty of this work. N-your descriptions of the ancient armor were superlative, your funereal ceremony was wonderfully portrayed. I can't shower enough praise on this installment.
Thanks for reading. I actually SAW that armor in a dream, as clear as if it were real life...that's where I got the idea. If you're interested, there's a link to the drawing at the top of the post.
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Old July 21 2010, 03:31 PM   #566
kes7
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

For crying out loud, Nerys! Just read the memorial service scene and am ready to give up writing forever.

In all seriousness, the thought you put into every little detail of this story is just incredible. Everything is absolutely infused with deep meaning. Another thing that struck me is how grounded in time this chapter in particular was -- with references to past, present and future weaving effortlessly through the narrative.

If I didn't like you so darn much, I think I'd hate you.
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Old July 22 2010, 02:43 AM   #567
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Wow...um...thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
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Old July 23 2010, 11:49 PM   #568
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

It's like freakin' Christmas in this forum!!!!

I finally caught myself up here - astounding!!! I'd pay real money for your work - I would love to hear you are richly rewarded for your talents in RL - I can hardly say how impressed I am by your work and some of the other fic I've read in this forum.

I've read tons of horrid fanfic and I confess I was a little leary about this forum - you and a couple of your fellow writers here have quite changed my mind. It's quite humbling to find myself here amongst so many luminaries of TrekLit both published and unpublished.

Thank you for your hard work and I beg you to get cracking on another chapter!!!
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Old July 24 2010, 04:20 AM   #569
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Thank you so much for reading...I'm glad we could all change your opinion on fanfic. There's definitely some good stuff on this board!

I don't write professionally...at least I never would in the Trekiverse! (Trying to fit into the current continuity is just...NO.)
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Old July 24 2010, 10:43 AM   #570
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Bravo, Nerys. That was wonderful! It was well worth waiting for this. I was eager to see your take on a Cardassian memorial, and as usual the work you've put into the representation - both in your writing and in the world-building - is really admirable. I wish I had your skill, I really do. The Thirteenth Order (all your Cardassian work for that matter) really comes across as a piece of creativity you have a real investment in. I must have said this before, but you are very skilled at creating an emotional "atmosphere" with your writing. I'm just sorry it took me so long to get round to posting this reply!

I'm not too good at explaining my meaning, so please excuse any confusing metaphors, odd word choices, or generally tortured expressions here . This scene's writing was very strongly emotional- and in a very subtle way, too. I really do think your finest gift as a writer is the ability to "build" these emotional nuances into your writing; they are always strong, yet never too strong. Your writing is never flat, but it also doesn't throw emotion in your face. Instead, the emotion is just...there; naturally, as though it should be. It's woven into the scene. Maybe you're a Hamalki as well as a Cardassian? And I think you capture what I can only describe as the inherent dignity of beings very well; your characters have a presence. That's something a lot of writers don't catch- but you do. You write people as though they are alive.

I also really loved how you balanced the solemn nature of the events with the flow of your writing. The juxtaposition was never an issue, and I really did get a sense of a solemn dignity, of a (here's where my vocabulary fails somwhat)...a quiet strength? a "sharply peaceful" certainty?, of the focused, ordered but not rigid (not in the case of these characters) Cardassian mind and worldview - and that underneath the flow of the writing. The scene was very...still..still but not rigid. Focused and strong but relaxed in a sense. Like a quiet moment in a conversation- not one where the silence means the talk has fettered out, but when you're sharing a moment of emotional strength.

The funeral customs and memorial traditions were captured really well, too- as some of the others here have said already. They really felt Cardassian, too; shades of old, spiritual Cardassia, new ultra-militant Cardassia, and the Cardassia that the 13th Order represents, as well. I guess I'm saying they felt complete- the product of a complete culture, with many threads and influences. I suppose that's a further sign of the work you put into your world-building.

Oh, and I loved your the use of "...for Cardassia" to finish Daro's opening speech. A familiar declaration, but used differently here. Not as a shout or battle-cry as we heard it onscreen, but as a calmer, quietely powerful statement. Sure of itself, but not in an arrogant way. In a genuinely knowing way. Justified pride, not hubris or desperation. I really felt the assurance, the honour, of the declaration.

Thank you for sharing your writing with us, NG. I'm glad I've gotten to know it.

..................................

PS: Once Thor Damar gets his half done, I'll post my first fan-fic to flounder like a diseased blowfish alongside your graceful manta ray of a story... LOL
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