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Old August 14 2010, 06:08 PM   #31
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
Well, Nerys, Jarol still IS a Cardassian so no surprise she think like a Cardassian.
I like to think that Cardassians have a little more variety than they let on.

But if there's one thing Jarol has shown here, it's that she's still capable of change, and of at least some level of reasoning even after what's happened to her. Perhaps those seeds will grow again...
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Old August 21 2010, 01:15 PM   #32
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

A way of the... rebel?
2375 (2373-2375)


The door opened and Jarol went out to the corridor. Damar stood in the doorway. She noticed two Jem'Hadar at the end of the corridor. She gently touched Damar's cheek. “It was wonderful to spend this time with you,” she said a little too loud.

He followed her eyes and saw the Dominion soldiers too. He grabbed her hand, still at his cheek, and kissed it. “The pleasure was all mine,” he said smiling.

She headed toward the exit at the end of the corridor, hearing Damar's door closing. “Good evening, gentlemen,” she said to the Jem'Hadar. “Or is it 'good morning' already?” she wondered loudly.

As expected, they ignored her completely, but she was sure they filed all they just saw and could report it to anyone, who demanded it, down to the tiniest details of her white-blue dress.


Two years earlier



The tactical group beamed down; armed to teeth and ready to fend an attack. But there was nothing. Their beam destination was on the edge of a forest, not very clever choice, since the wall of trees was perfect for Maquis terrorists to hide and attack, but Jarol's explanations had fallen on deaf ears – Glinn Daset didn't appreciate suggestions and going over his head directly to Corak was equal to death sentence. So she assigned eight more soldiers for his protection.

The forest didn't seem to hide any ambush squad. She noticed Daset shot her a full of self-satisfaction glance. She bit her lower lip. They got lucky, but that was no excuse to be as negligent next time.

“After you,” he barked at her.

She nodded to her people and they moved toward the settlement. Her team created a V shape, with her in the lead and the Glinn in the middle, protected on both sides in case of a sudden attack.

The truth was they had no proof that there were any Maquis there, but the fact was they needed no proof. The possibility of no Maquis here was close to zero. All the Cardassians wanted to do was to collect their resources: food and other materials. The colonists refused to pay obligatory tribute – something each colony had to do – and it was necessary to make them surrender all goods that belonged to the Union in the first place.

It was quiet, too quiet and Joral was sure it wouldn't be easy.

She heard Daset's steps just behind her. How was she supposed to protect him if he behaved recklessly? He should be inside their protective formation, not at the head, where he was most exposed to an attack. But she knew why: he didn't like she was at the front, and she could be taken for the team's leader; oh, he would hate that! Therefore she ignored his pushing forward and concentrated on their surroundings.

Parallel to the fringe of the forest there was a paved road, leading to the nearby town. She didn't want to walk on it, as their heavy boots would make too much noise (funny, they could be seen from the town, but she worried about being heard?), luckily the ground on both sides of the road was hard enough not to sink in it, while walking.

They entered the town and directed their steps to the council building. It was a two storey house, built especially for this purpose. The architecture was completely alien, but Jarol liked it. The front entrance was surrounded by slender columns and windows weren't typical rectangles, so common for Federation designs, but circles.

The Cardassians entered the building. It seemed abandoned. Now, to think of it, Jarol realised that whole town seemed abandoned. She didn't hear any sounds, except for these made by nature: weather and fauna, and other alike; she didn't see any bipeds anywhere, and not even those noisy, furry, funny hounds she had seen once. Something was wrong, very wrong.

She raised her hand, sending a signal to everyone to stop. All boots-made sounds seized, only Daset kept walking until he was directly behind her. She opened her mouth to share her observations with him, but noise of slamming doors behind her interrupted her. Jarol and Daset turned to see they were cut off from the rest of their team, and armed people of many species were training their weapons on them.

“Drop that,” a man barked, pointing at riffles the Cardassians carried.

“Perfect tactical planning,” muttered Daset, glaring at Jarol and then putting his riffle down.

You approved of everything, she thought bitterly, following his example. She could hear muffled sounds from the other side of the massive door and worried about the rest of the troop. Would the terrorists kill them? Would they kill her and Daset?

“If anything happens to us, Cardassia will send a fleet to punish you,” the Glinn's thoughts obviously went the same way her did.

“We won't kill you, we're not murderers,” said the same man, who told them to drop their weapons. Jarol thought he wasn't a Terran, but some other species, however she has never learned to distinguish all those ridgeless faces, so she couldn't tell. The most distinguished feature of his look was white, long hair, also on his face. “We just want to teach you a lesson.”

“And what could you possible teach us?” Daset asked defiantly.

“You'll see,” the man replied. “Move,” he motioned towards a door in the other end of the long room.

Joral gave Daset an asking look and he nodded. “This should be interesting,” he muttered and headed for the door. She followed him.

They were disarmed, led to a small room and locked there. No windows, walls and the door seemed sound proof, as they heard no sounds from outside. Both Cardassians looked at each other surprised.

This is the lesson?” Daset wondered loudly. Jarol just shrugged and then started detailed examination of walls.

“You hope to find a secret tunnel to run away?” Daset asked.

She glanced at him; she thought he was ridiculing her, but he was doing the same thing at the opposite wall.

“Well, I don't intend to just sit and wait,” she answered.

Walls seemed to be made of concrete, cold in touch and without even tiniest crack.

“Now what?” she looked at the Glinn.

“Can you hear it?” he frowned.

She stopped breathing, trying to mute all sounds in the small chamber, but couldn't hear anything. Not wanting to disturb the silence, in case Daset would hear something again, she just shook her head.

“I can't hear anything any longer too,” he sounded disappointed.

They rechecked walls, the door, the floor, but it gave them nothing. Jarol felt her frustration growing; Daset was as clueless as she was. All they could do was waiting.

At first she paced impatiently, but her feet grew tired, so she sat down. There was no way to tell how much time passed: was it an hour? Two? Five? At some point she felt like it was a year or ten years.

Daset sat next to her. None of them spoke. She had no idea when she fell asleep.

Something shook. The ground? Something was pulling her arm. Her mind slowly returned to reality – a small, grey like Cardassian skin, room.

“Wake up, Jarol,” it was Daset. “Wake up!”

“Did they return?” she asked, her voice still rusty from sleep.

“No, but you have to move,” she stood and pulled her up by her shoulders. “Stand up, you need to walk.”

She tried to comply, but it was difficult for some reason; just then she realised she was shivering and stiff. It was terribly cold.

“What happened?” she asked.

“I don't know, but it gets colder and walls get more humid,” he indicated drops of condensed water on concrete. “Move, or you'll freeze.”

She started pacing around the room, rubbing her cold hands. Daset walked next to her.

“Do you have any estimates how long we've been here?” she asked him.

He shook his head. “No idea, however it's surely been hours.”

“I don't like this lesson at all.”

He smiled slightly; it was very rare to see anything else than a frown on his face.

“What do you think they do with soldiers?” she asked, blowing into her cupped hands to warm them up.

“I wouldn't know.”

She worried about them. They were under her direct command and if anything would happen to them, it'd be her fault and she'd feel responsible. She glanced at Daset; he was shaking too, his jaw was firmly clenched. She wasn't sure if it was a sign of his anger or an attempt to stop his teeth from clattering.

“We'll die if they keep us here much longer,” she said quietly.

Daset didn't reply.

Jarol was getting colder. Her shivering was more obvious now.

“Take off your cuirass,” Daset said. She looked at him, shocked. He was taking off his.

“It'll be colder, then,” she protested weakly.

“Off!” he barked. She took it off. “Follow me,” he ordered.

He started doing exercises. After a few examples she realised it was a set of warm ups they used at the Academy. Some moves were so rapid and demanding, so the outer part of the armour would indeed obstruct them and make them less effective.

“Are you warmer?” Daset asked after some time.

“Inside, yes, but I barely feel my fingers,” she said, rubbing her hands against one another and then put her hands under her arms to keep them warm. Doing it with the cuirass would be impossible, as the outer part of the armour was hard and cool in touch, unlike the inner part, which was covered with fairly soft fabric.

They kept walking in circles inside the small room. A little lightbulb at the ceiling was flickering from time to time and Jarol wondered, if it would go off at some point, leaving them in complete darkness.

Daset put his cuirass back on and sat. She followed his example, noticing the walls were not that wet any more.

They waited long time and her head was getting heavy and sleepy. Finally the door made a squeaking noise – someone was opening it. They both got up. When the door opened Daset furiously charged the first person he noticed. Jarol didn't have a chance to move as a Klingon disruptor was pointed at her face.

“Don't move,” the owner of the weapon warned her.

“Let her go,” someone still on the corridor, invisible to Jarol, said. “I said, let her go!”

Daset, growling, let the woman he had grabbed by the throat go.

They were led back to the council room where they had been caught.

“How was your night?” asked the same white hair man.

“What do you think you can achieve by torturing us?” the Glinn asked angrily.

“Torturing? We're not like you, we don't torture people. And being locked for a night is hardly a torture.”

“You idiot!” Daset motioned to charge at him, but was stopped, seeing a phaser riffle raised and aimed at his head.

A woman entered the room, approached the white hair man and whispered something to his ear. The man looked at both Cardassians, then at her, and then at the Cardassians again. His face changed its expression from defiant to worried.

“Ok, look,” the man addressed them. “We meant you no harm. We just wanted to keep you as hostages. So that your ship would leave us alone. But your companions fell sick.”

Both Daset and Jarol were glaring at him. Their eyes were full of hatred.

“We kept them in a room like yours,” the man continued. “Under yours to be exact, deeper in the ground. And all of them... something happened...”

Jarol thought she understood. They'd been locked in a concrete chamber underground, and when the night fell it cooled down. Deeper most likely meant also cooler.

“You froze them,” she spat the words, furious. “You locked us all in cold rooms like meat in refrigerators and you wonder why we're sick?!” she finished almost shouting.

The Maquis looked at each other confused. Jarol was outraged. They not only tortured them, they did it for no purpose, the did not even understand what they did to their prisoners.

“We'll let you take your sick to your ship, if you leave us alone.”

“Don't count on that!” Daset shouted, raising his fist and shaking it.

Jarol looked at him. She didn't want to yield to demands, but weren't lives of their people more important? They could always lie; take their soldiers, return to their ship and eradicate all Maquis, and then take what they came for.

“You don't have much of a choice,” the man said. “They need medical attention and I'm sure your doctor is better qualified to help them than any of us here.”

“You cannot blackmail Cardassian Union, you fool,” Daset snorted. “What do you think you're going to accomplish? If we die – others will come. If we leave – others will come. If you think two officers and a few soldiers are so important to relieve you from your colonial duty, then you are the most stupid Efrosian I've ever seen.”

“I'm not so stupid you think,” the man replied.

“No? So let's sit and wait,” Daset went to one of chairs and sat.

Jarol was confused. That's it? What was Daset waiting for? Lives of their crewmen depended on time and he clearly was stalling. This wasn't right, wasn't right at all.

The... what did Daset call him? Efrosian? Seemed to be confused too. For only a moment, though.

“Look, let's be reasonable.”

“Shut up!” Daset barked, leaned back, closed his eyes and appeared fully relaxed. Jarol knew there was more to that, she wouldn't believe Daset had no plan, but she couldn't guess what it might be.

“Gil Jarol,” he spoke not opening his eyes, “isn't it about this time we came here yesterday?”

She, just as Daset, had no chronometer, as their wristcomms had been taken away a day before, so she looked at the window to assess the sun's position.

“I suppose it is,” she confirmed. It seemed to be late morning or early afternoon.

“Wonderful,” the Glinn said calmly. She had an impression he almost smiled.

There was something about to happen or... he was bluffing, although she had never heard of Daset bluffing. His threats were always real. She decided to play his game: she sat on the chair next to his in a relaxed pose, but she didn't dare to close her eyes. One of them had to keep an eye on the Maquis.

Not much time passed when whatever Daset was waiting for started. There was some commotion outside, they could hear phaser fire and shouting. The Glinn's pose didn't change, he didn't even open his eyes. He knew what was happening outside. Jarol couldn't stop her smile, while all the Maquis in the room looked... scared? Worried? Two stayed with their weapons trained on the Cardassians, while the rest left the room.

“Gull Corak told me that if no signal would come from us within 25 hours, he'd send troops down,” Daset said quietly.

“You could have told me.”

“I couldn't be sure they don't eavesdrop.”

“You could have told me before we beamed down.”

“There was no reason to.”

She had no choice, but to accept his answer. Besides, now it really didn't matter, but explained a lot of his behaviour here and also in the concrete chamber. All they could do now was to be rescued.

And they were. And it was a high price the colonists had to pay for their foolishness. No one, NO ONE! dares to take Cardassian officers hostage, at least no one, who wants to live.
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Old August 21 2010, 01:16 PM   #33
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

“How is it possible that you still are a Gil?” Gul Corak asked her.

“A reprimand stopped my career in place,” she replied.

“What reprimand? I saw no reprimand in your file,” he raised his eye ridges in surprise.

“It was a temporary, two-year reprimand. It was sealed off.”

“Sealed off, but not removed,” he said slowly.

She said nothing. Dukat would not remove it permanently, not if he could use it against her one day, which – in spite of her great respect for her former commander – she was sure he was capable of.

“Nevermind,” Corak waved his hand. “Your past is irrelevant to me. Your present is not,” he smiled slightly.

She squared her shoulders, expecting new orders. That was why he had asked her to his office, wasn't it?

“Jarol, you're a good, dedicated officer,” he spoke. “I had been warned that you were insubordinate and nothing but trouble, but what I see is a brave, clever soldier, who puts her crew's and her ship's well-being before her own.”

“I serve Cardassia and that way I serve my crew, my ship and myself.”

“Too many officers repeat these words not really understanding their meaning. But not you.”

He stopped in front of her. He was a tall man, his built was strong and he emanated feeling of power. His hair was greying, and it was the only thing showing his age. His eyes still shone with passions and strength.

“Gil Jarol, I would hate to lose such a good tactical officer,” he started. Oh no, she thought panicked, but hoped it was not visible on her face. “But I hope that your aide would be an adequate replacement,” he continued.

“Yes, sir,” she confirmed. Nadar was a good officer, they shared some tricks they had learnt during their previous assignments.

“Splendid. I wouldn't like to ask for someone new, it's better to promote someone familiar with the ship. As for you, young lady,” Jarol didn't feel that young any more, “sometimes I think you read my mind and anticipate my orders. On duty these characteristics are welcome, however if you ever go to my wife and tell her my thoughts of a beautiful woman I pass by on a street while on a shore leave on Cardassia, your reprimand would never be sealed off.”

She wasn't sure where he was getting, but the joke made her smile.

“Glinn Jarol, it is my pleasure to inform you that your promotion has been approved by the Central Command and hereby you are being transferred from tactical to command as my aide.”

She was speechless, she didn't see that one coming. He never mentioned he applied for a promotion for her. She stared at him like hypnotised.

“Well, say something, tell me you're happy,” he said.

“I will need a new cuirass,” she said.

It was so silly she didn't believe she really said that.

Corak laughed. “Indeed, you will.”

She smiled.

“That's better,” he commented her face expression. “Finally some emotion. I started to worry you're a Vulcan spy.”

“I have slanted eye ridges,” she pointed at her face.

Corak's laughter echoed in his small office. “I'm afraid,” he said, “that we can't afford a celebration.”

“I don't need a celebration,” she replied. “This is no time for wasting resources.”

“Don't forget to recycle your old cuirass,” he waved at her, indicating he was done and she could leave now.

“I won't, sir,” she nodded with gratitude and left his office.

She couldn't wait to share this with Brenok. She took her tactical post and returned to work, but her mind was wandering.

She remembered the day Brenok had beamed aboard. Corak waited in the transporter room with her. Brenok materialised with a small bag of his belongings and stepped down to face his new Gul.

“That's an interesting haircut,” was the first thing Corak said.

Brenok didn't wear standard Cardassian military haircut any more, his hair was long, with a parting on the top of his head and pulled down on both sides, covering his ears and meeting at the nape of his neck, where he braided it; the tress was reaching his shoulder blades. Jarol wished her hair was that thick.

“It is to cover the scar,” the engineer pulled his hair up to show remains of his ear: dark grey and reddish meat, resembling one of most disgusting Klingon dishes. The scar reached as far as his cheek ridges with a few scales missing, like peeled off, which was visible even with his hair long.

“There are ways to deal with it, you know,” the Gul said. “Some reconstruction... maybe?”

“It's not a shame for a man to have a battle scar,” Brenok replied.

“No, it's not,” agreed Corak. “So why do you hide it?”

“I don't want to scare my daughter, she's only two,” Brenok muttered, lowering his eyes, and Corak smiled widely. He clearly liked that answer.

“Well,” he raised his hand to stroke his moustache – Jarol rarely saw men with facial hair – and said, “just don't let that tail entangle into warp core.”

Brenok smiled slightly. “Yes, sir.”

Gul's aide, on the other hand, hated Brenok's specific look and never let him forget he was not wearing the standard Guard cut. That man was always strictly following rules and Jarol often wondered how come he and Corak – the most lenient Gul she ever had to work with – could get along and co-operate. She never had any problems with Daset, but his picking on Brenok was getting on her nerves and she was really relieved knowing that he was being promoted and getting his own command. Brenok never complained, but she knew returning to active service was tough for him without Daset's comments.

Now she didn't have to worry about him being bullied by ship's second in command. Now second in command would bully anyone, who would dare to raise their hand on him!

“Can I talk to you in private?” Daset's voice startled her. She looked up at him and he jerked his head toward the lift. She followed him. “Do you mind if we talk in my quarters?” he asked before giving the lift computer instructions.

“No,” she didn't know what to expect from this.

“Deck seven,” he said.

None of them spoke until they arrived to his cabin.

Jarol was impressed. Daset was always so stiff, so official she would never expect him to decorate his living space at all and definitely not in such a manner.

The quarters were bigger than hers – no surprise here, after all he was ship's second in command – and filled with ancient objects and art. There were traditional daggers and swords hanging on walls, two paintings – one of panorama of Lakat City, the other one of Ministry of Justice building – the lights were arranged to look like candles and there was a sculpture on the table, but it was too far from the door where she stood, so she couldn't tell what it represented.

“I believe congratulations are in order,” he said and headed for the sofa.

“Congratulations on your promotion, sir,” she said crisply. All that was so confusing.

He laughed heartily; she's never heard him laugh like that. She didn't even think he could laugh like that.

“I mean I congratulate you on your promotion.”

“Oh. Thank you, sir.” What was going on?

“Come, sit down,” he invited her to take an armchair on the other side of the table.

She sat, while he got up and went to adjacent room. He returned with a bottle of kanar and two glasses.

“I'm on duty,” she said.

“I won't tell anyone, if you won't,” he smiled.

This was Glinn 'by the book' Daset?

He poured a little kanar to both glasses and raised his, handing her the other one. She took it. He touched her glass with his. “To our careers.”

“To our careers,” she let herself a tiny smile.

They emptied glasses and he stopped the bottle. “We both are still on duty,” he said and then looked at her. “You must be wondering what I want to talk about.”

She nodded, a little too fervently. She looked at the sculpture – now she could see it was a mar'kuu, an extinct sea animal.

“You have been here long enough to know Gul Corak,” he started, leaning back on the sofa and sitting comfortably. “You surely have noticed he is very forgiving, lenient and fatherly figure.”

She nodded; that sounded about right.

“The sad truth is that not every Cardassian soldier is worth of such treatment. Some would attempt to abuse Gul's good heart. You cannot allow it,” he said firmly.

“Me?”

“You are standing between him and them. You must make sure they know that if they don't perform to the best of their abilities, he might forgive them, but you wouldn't.”

She started to understand. “You want me to protect him from those, who would try to abuse his good heart.”

“That's right. Corak is a good commander, he is wise, he cares, sometimes too much, but he lacks the cruelty, which sometimes is necessary to keep his own crew in line. You must keep them in line.”

“I see...” she said slowly.

“Please, don't assume I'm overreacting or am overprotective.” 'Please'? Did he really say 'please'? “I've already seen what could happen if anyone from the crew feels they are allowed not to follow Corak's order strictly as being told. I don't want that to happen again.”

She said nothing.

“Just be the tough side he lacks, that's all,” he smiled. “You won't be liked much, but you'll be effective.”

Oh, he didn't have to explain that. She was well aware how much everyone aboard hated and feared him. “I'll remember that,” she said.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Yes.”

“There is a file in your profile... It's completely empty. Why is that?”

“I don't know what you mean.”

“Come on, I'm just curious, it's not official business,” he smiled.

“I really don't know,” she said honestly. “I don't check my profile, I know my life without it,” she grinned slightly.

“Good point,” he admitted. “I accessed it when Corak told me you'd replace me. Wanted to check you out,” he rose and went to his desk. He activated the screen, searched for a moment and then gave her the stardate.

Ahal. Her whole ordeal with Ahal was... deleted? No one could access the info about her defying her Gul any more. Who did this? She suspected Dukat. Another debt.

“I'd rather not talk about it,” she sighed.

“That serious?”

“Let's just say I am able to tell my Gul when I think he is totally wrong.”

Daset clearly didn't expect such a reply, as he looked at her eye wide. “You refused to follow an order?”

“He wanted to kill Cardassians.”

“Sometimes a sacrifice is necessary,” Daset commented.

“However it wasn't necessary then. It was the easiest way, but hardly the only way.”

Daset nodded. Maybe he understood.

“I'm sure Gul Corak would never give such an order,” she added.

“There are many incompetent Guls there,” Daset returned to the table. “Too many good officers lost their lives following them, or following their conscience and defying their fallacious orders.”

“What would you do in my place?” she asked.

“I don't know,” he said. “I'm not sure I'd have enough courage to refuse orders from my Gul, even wrong orders,” he admitted.

Did she hear right? Did he just say he considered her courageous? Was this some form of admiration?

“Does it change your mind about me as your replacement as Gul's aide?” she asked him.

He shook his head without hesitation. “No, Jarol, no. You are a good officer. Your duty and loyalty is to Cardassia, not to it's temporary rulers or Guls. People change and die, the Union must thrive. Your mind and heart are where they should be.”

“If that's all, I must return to duty,” she rose.

“Your duty ended three minutes ago,” he grinned. “Let's finish this bottle. It's good vintage.”

“Indeed it is,” she nodded, smiling and handing him the glass to refill. “I like the sculpture,” she added, pointing at the mar'kuu.

It was interesting to see his side of Daset. In a way she was sorry he was leaving...
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Old August 21 2010, 01:16 PM   #34
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Jarol stared at the screen like hypnotised. Her mind was blank. She shot a glance at Brenok and the expression on his face must had been exactly the same. He even stopped humming his song. Actually everyone on the bridge wore the same flabbergasted expression.

“Can you replay that?” Gul Corak asked the comm officer, Gil Karama, who nodded and activated the screen, replacing view of stars with Gul Dukat's face once again.

Jarol listened to his speech with the same disbelief as the first time, hoping she had misunderstood something and now would catch the real meaning. But the speech, all of it, sounded exactly the same. No hidden messages, at least none that she could find.

Corak went to his office without a word. She knew he dealt with the Dominion in the past and it wasn't exactly a happy encounter, but she also knew he had no choice now and had to adapt to new situation. They all had, regardless of their personal opinions. They didn't even have a right to forming any opinions!

“Brenok,” she whispered, approaching him. He looked at her and then leaned toward her. “So what do you think?” she asked quietly.

Brenok didn't speak.

“Honestly, between you and me,” she moved so close to him that their armours squeaked, rubbing one against another.

“I hope it's a forgery,” he said cautiously. “This speech, I mean.”

She nodded, while he sat down on his chair.

“Don't talk about it to anyone,” she warned. “And don't let the crew to comment it in any negative way,” she added. “For their own safety.”

“Yes, sir,” he acknowledged.

Her console biped, informing her a new message arrived. She ignored it.

“Jarol, what do you think about it?” he asked sheepishly. They both knew officially it was crossing the line, but they'd been through too much together and too close friends to keep distant relation subordinate-commander, typical for Cardassian military. She welcomed his opinions, insights and questions too. Even – or maybe especially – on duty.

“I don't know why he would do something like this. I'd like to believe there are some reasons, good reasons, and it's going to be for Cardassia's prosperity, but...” she hesitated, not sure how to put what she wanted to say, “somehow it's hard to believe becoming part of an alien empire is going to make Cardassia stronger. If anything, it proves we are unable to stand alone and need help. Appearing weak does not serve us, but our enemies, who get bolder.”

“There's nothing we can do about it.”

“No, there isn't. So for now we stay put. We have the Maquis to worry about anyway,” she said. He nodded, agreeing with her.

She went back to her post, observing bridge officers. They were busy with their duties like nothing happened, but she was sure huge changes were coming; changes she most likely wouldn't like.

Doors to the Gul's office opened.

“Jarol, you are friends with that aide of his, what's his name?”

“Damar,” she said, not sure where this was getting.

“Do you know him well?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Do you trust him?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Contact him, talk to him. If anyone would know something about all this, he would be the person who'd know the most. Ask him about this Dominion business.”

“Yes, sir.”

“But Jarol...”

“Yes, sir?”

“Be careful what you say. Don't get yourself executed.”

“I won't, sir,” she couldn't even imagine Damar doing something like that to her.

“Brenok, make sure her channel is secured,” Corak ordered the engineer and then returned to his office, not waiting for Brenok's acknowledgement.

“Arenn,” she looked at her friend. “Can you make this connection really secured? I mean really, really?”

“No problem,” he said and moved to comm station. Karama moved away to let Brenok sit on his chair.

“Patch it to my quarters,” she asked and left the bridge, heading for her cabin.

By the time she arrived there the connection was established.

“Atira!” Damar's face brightened. “How nice to see you!”

“How's your son?” she asked, smiling too.

“Oh, he's fine,” he replied. “But you didn't ask Arenn to scramble whole transmission to ask about my son's grades at school, so... what can I do for you?”

“I was just wondering about this Dominion business. I am... a little confused.”

“Gul Dukat has great plans,” Damar's voice was rich with excitement. “The Dominion will share resources with us, help us drive the Klingons out, and strengthen our borders.”

“But inviting a foreign power, and such a dangerous one at that...” she spoke her worries aloud.

“They are our allies, they want to help.”

“What is the price of this help?” she asked, trying to sound indifferent.

“Atira, you haven't been here for long time, you serve on a warship and things are different there. You don't see civilians and what they have to endure to see the next day.” He lowered his voice and leaned toward the screen. “It's bad. The Detapa Council ruined Cardassia. First they'd shown whole Alpha Quadrant that we, the Cardassian Guard, had been so weak that civilians could take over the government, and then they even hadn't had guts to fight Klingons. That war strained our already thin resources. We needed help and we got it.”

“Do you think it's for the best?”

“I do, yes,” he said, but she wasn't sure she was fully convinced he believed that.

“And there's no danger?”

“There's always danger, Atira. Always.”

“What if they don't like something, what if they screen our soldiers and are not happy that some were not always as obedient as their Jem'Hadar are?”

“What do you mean?” he asked, frowning.

“I mean my file isn't clean.”

“It is.”

“No, Corat, it isn't. I have two black stains there. One seems cleaned, but I'm sure a skilled engineer would be able to hack inside and access the information.”

“There is one stain, as you called it, and it's sealed off. Besides, I don't think a cloned Vorta would ever understand importance of family, so there's nothing to worry about.”

“It's still two.”

“One.”

“Two! Terok Nor case and Ahal case.”

“One. Terok Nor only. I can't remove it, as it's been sealed by Dukat and even I don't have clearance high enough to deal with that.”

“What about Ahal?”

“I deleted it. I can't delete the file itself, as this is impossible from technical point of view, but there's no content left.”

So it was him!

“Why did you do this?” she asked surprised.

“Because I could,” he grinned widely.

“Corat...” she paused. “Take care of yourself.”

“I will.”

She broke the connection.

She hoped his judgement was right and that whole alliance with the Dominion wasn't the biggest mistake in Cardassian history.

She returned to the bridge to relay the content and conclusions from the conversation to Gul Corak. A prospect she didn't look forward too.
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Old August 21 2010, 01:17 PM   #35
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Corak was trying his best not to show his fury, but it didn't seem to work well enough. She worried what their 'guests' might think.

Three bipeds beamed and materialised on the pad: a Vorta nad two Jem'Hadar.
“Welcome to CUW Roumar,” Jarol said.

“You have facial hair,” the Vorta looked at Corak. “And you're a girl.”

Jarol looked back at Brenok. “I know that,” and at the Vorta, “I knew that.”

The Vorta laughed, then looked at Brenok. “And you have long hair.”

“And I don't have a lobe,” he replied.

“We're quite a team,” Jarol said.

“Oh, yes you are. It's going to be my pleasure to cooperate with this unique crew. Oh, where are my manners? My name is Allaran, this is First Toman'talak and Second Arat'kara.”

Corak still didn't say anything, so Jarol spoke again: “We will take you to your quarters.”

“I trust they were prepared according to our instructions?” Allara asked.

“Indeed they were,” Jarol confirmed. “Please follow Glinn Brenok.”

Brenok and Dominion representatives left the room and Jarol stayed there with Corak.

“Forgive me saying this, sir, but it is not wise to openly show your hostility,” she said quietly, so that the transporter crewman couldn't hear her. Corak just looked at her, then went out without a word.

She knew he was furious. And she didn't blame him. She didn't like that Dominion business at all, but for now they had to follow orders. She had no doubts how the Dominion dealt with its unhappy members. What she didn't understand was why those three were sent to their ship? What was so special about them? Was it a special mission? Allaran didn't mention bringing new orders.

She returned to the bridge to check reports; maybe she missed something, maybe it was clear what the devious little Vorta wanted from them and she just neglected her duty to stay fully informed of everything.

The bridge seemed the same as usual. Busy officers, bipping consoles, someone bringing or taking padds. However there was something in the air, something she could clearly detect, almost smell, hanging like a cloud over their heads.

She glanced at the Gul's office door to see if he was inside. He was, so she sat in his chair. She tried to find comfortable position for her elbows, so that the little wings at ends of the armour sleeves wouldn't bother her, when she heard the door at the back of the bridge open. She turned to see who it was and saw Allaran entering, followed by her Jem'Hadar.

“Where's Corak?” the Vorta asked in her sweet voice. Jarol hated sweets, they made her sick.

“Busy in his office,” she barked her reply. “Is there a reason for you to be here? This is the bridge, it's a critical place and no civilians should be h...”

“I just came to inform you of something,” the Vorta cut her off. The Glinn didn't appreciate being cut off. “One of the Jem'Hadar will always be present here, on the bridge, as an observer. Twelve hours one, thirteen hours the other one.”

“Why?”

“Because we are here to observe,” Allaran smiled, spreading her hands in mock of politeness. Jarol wanted to tear her long, wrinkled ears off and then break her neck.

“What do you expect to see?”

“Only the best performance from the best crew.”

Yeah, right... Jarol didn't buy it. Jarol wouldn't believe her even if she said Nokar was a desert continent. However now she was sure they came to look for something. Whatever it was she knew it couldn't be good.
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Old August 21 2010, 01:17 PM   #36
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

“You have an incoming transmission,” said the computer. Jarol startled. She was busy with reports, sitting in Corak's office and thinking his job was harder than she ever expected. Was all that paperwork really necessary?

“Damn thing,” she muttered and then added, louder for the computer circuits to pick it, “activate”.

That was not the face she expected to see.

“Gul Dukat! What do I owe the pleasure?”

“Oh, Glinn Jarol, I assure you the pleasure is mine.”

In spite of everything, she couldn't resist his smile, no matter how hard she tried.

“So, what can I do for you?” she asked. She knew he wouldn't contact her out of the blue without a good reason and she hoped it would be news about her Gul.

“It's about Roumar and her command.”

So it indeed was about Corak.

“Well?” she asked after a short moment of silence. Why wasn't he saying anything? “When does he come back?” She didn't want to accept what happened and hoped it was all a mistake.

“He's not coming back, Jarol. The Dominion observers decided he was a weak point in the chain of command and this needed to be amended, as we are on the verge of war with the Federation.”

She ignored the war remark. She needed to let him know it was all a horrible mistake.

“Gul Dukat, Gul Corak is...” Dukat raised his hand, silencing her.

“Don't say anything more,” he said. “Your loyalty is admirable, but he is charged with treason. You'd better think twice before supporting him in any way. I wouldn't be able to help you,” he warned.

She stared at him, wondering if there was anything she could say.

Gul Corak had been arrested. One evening the First Toma'tomum'tomi'whatever-his-name-was dragged him out of his office in presence of all bridge staff and took him to the brig, where the Second was waiting. Allaran explained then that it was necessary and apologized for the scene. Jarol couldn't believe it. One hour later a Jem'Hadar fighter intercepted Roumar, took Corak, the Vorta and both Jem'Hadar aboard and left.

“So if we don't talk about Corak, what do we talk about?” she asked.

“I told you. It's about the warship's command. New command.”

“I take it the decision about his successor has been made,” she guessed, her heart aching.

“Indeed.”

“Well?” she asked after a short moment of silence. Why wasn't he saying anything?

His smile widened.

“There had been a lot of discussion on the subject, there had been many, who opposed my candidate, but in spite of all she was approved.” Did he say she? “Glinn Jarol, the official orders will each you soon, but I wanted to notify you personally, well, almost personally,” he gestured toward the screen. “You are getting the command of Roumar.”

She stared at him eye wide.

“But before you celebrate I would like to warn you,” he leaned toward the screen and lowered his voice, “that also means you gained new enemies, enemies, who don't like you being in command and who don't like you being my protégé.”

In other words I inherit your enemies, she thought bitterly.

“I will add them to my collection,” she replied.

He laughed.

“Congratulations, Gul Jarol,” she loved the sound of that, in spite of everything, she did love it. “It is going to be my pleasure to work with you again. You should be receiving your new orders now,” and with that he disconnected.

She knew she owed him. She knew some day he would collect his debt. All his debts. And she knew she climbed her career ladder over her Gul's career. She hated herself for that.

Treason. There was only one sentence possible. She was sure his execution was already scheduled, it had to be if the charges were official. That was why the Vorta and her bodyguards had come to Roumar – to observe Corak (or them all) and find any anti-Dominion state of opinion.

She stood up to head for the bridge, when the doors parted and Brenok entered.

“We've just gotten the word. They have executed Gul Corak,” he said quietly.

She stopped in front of him. She felt disgusted of herself. She accepted the promotion. She was happy to accept it. She didn't achieve it by her hard work. She got it, because her Gul, a good, loyal officer, didn't like their new allies. Neither did she, but she was here, taking his place. Not due to her skills, but due to Dukat's insistence. He wanted someone he could manipulate, someone he had power over, someone like her. She couldn't refuse her promotion, it wouldn't be wise to try, but she didn't have to feel so happy about it.

She tried to fight this positive feeling, she tried to get rid of it, and felt guilty feeling it.

“Arenn,” she said quietly. She wanted to tell him all that, but didn't know how. “You'll be my aide now,” she said instead.

A surprise on his face was quickly replaced by understanding. He nodded, put his hand on her shoulder and they both went back to the bridge. He knew. She didn't have to tell him anything; he understood.

“Does anyone want to watch it?” Karama asked quietly.

No one on the bridge spoke. Jarol knew she sure didn't want to watch Corak's execution. He was no more traitor than her. Or Brenok. Or anyone else on this ship.

She accessed the console and saw that the orders have indeed arrived.

“Helm,” she looked up at the screen in front of her. “Take us to Chintoka system. We are to secure installation process of a new communication array on one of planetoids. The Federation has declared war on us.”

Her tone was casual, emotionless. Everyone on the bridge returned to their duties. Brenok stood behind her, smiled sadly and then started humming the most beautiful funeral musical composition Cardassian state composers ever composed. Some other voices joined him and soon whole bridge was flooded in mourning.
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Old August 21 2010, 01:18 PM   #37
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

“I was summoned,” Jarol said, entering Dukat's office. Her ship was docked at Terok Nor, under repair and getting new crew replacements.

Dukat raised his head from a padd, put the device away and smiled.

“Jarol,” he rose and approached her, “it's good to see you,” he grabbed her arms amicably.

She smiled slightly, not sure what he wanted.

“Oh, I didn't ask you to come in business matters,” he explained, seeing her puzzlement. “Just wanted to ask how you were doing.”

She relaxed a bit.

“My ship was a little bit battered by the Federation, but otherwise I'm fine,” she replied.

He motioned toward a chair, inviting her to sit down. “Kanar?”

She nodded.

“How is Roumar? I read your reports, the crew appears to be good.”

“They're the best,” she said and she meant it.

“I'm sure they are,” he handed her a glass filled with thick beverage. “And you are the right person to command them.”

She wondered if it was the moment when he would collect his debt of appointing her as Roumar's Gul.

“I'm just trying to do my job the best I can,” she said.

“Oh, don't be so modest,” he smiled that smile she could never resist. Her suspicions dissolving. “You deserve the credit for all you've done.”

“So,” she took a sip; it was good kanar, “what is it you really called me for?”

He laughed. “To talk.”

“Uhm,” she muttered, her tone clearly full of disbelief, but her face stretched in a smile. What was it about him that she couldn't resist, that she couldn't hate him, even after what he did to her... and to Corak?

He laughed again. “Oh, why are you so suspicious? We've been through so much together, I want to know how you are doing.”

“Uhm...” was he finishing for something?

He kept observing her for a moment.

“What?” she asked.

“You are so different from that young officer, who came here those years ago. You're a real soldier now,” he said.

She didn't know what to say, and he continued: “A mature woman, a powerful woman, desirable woman...” was he trying to seduce her? She wondered.

“Don't tell me you need my doubtful diplomatic skills again,” she said.

“I'm afraid I have to deal with diplomacy personally this time,” he sighed.

She wanted to ask him, she wanted to know, she wanted to tell him what she thought about his decision and about the Dominion, but she didn't dare. She knew he wasn't someone she could cross the line with; no matter how charming his smile was. She didn't want to follow Corak.

So they talked. He really didn't want anything specific from her, or it wasn't obvious to her yet.

She left his office in a good mood, stepped into ops and headed for the lift. She stepped into it, turned and noticed some of Cardassians were staring at her. They averted their eyes as soon as she turned.


***
“What's this?” Jarol asked, pointing, her voice high and full of incredulity.

She granted her officers shore leave for the time of repairs and used the opportunity to relax herself. Now she sat with Damar and Brenok at one of tables in Quark's Bar.

“Tora Ziyal,” Damar replied. “Don't you remember her?”

Jarol pulled her face. “Does she even close that mouth of hers? Or she always wears that stupid expression on her face?”

“Always,” Damar said, laughing. “But better don't ask Dukat that question.”

“I can't understand how he could have abandon all his children for this... this... this!” she didn't manage to find an appropriate word, so just waved her hand toward the hybrid.

“He didn't exactly abandon them,” Damar noted.

“All right, let me rephrase that: I can't understand how come he could choose this over his children, wife, mother...”

Brenok shrugged. “I don't care for this wimp,” he said. “Barkeep, more kanar!” he raised his voice to be heard by Quark. “Was it like this when you served here before?” he asked, looking at Jarol.

“No, there weren't any Jem'Hadar here,” she said. “And Bajorans weren't this clean,” she added and looked around, “and they definitely weren't armed,” she finished.

“Odo says, Weyoun does,” Damar sneered.

“Now imagine, Damar,” Brenok looked at his old companion, “Bajor joins the Dominion...”

“... and we're all one happy family,” finished Jarol and all three of them burst into laughter.


***
Next day, apart from fighting a hangover, she spent on paperwork. Reading reports and preparing her own. She hated that part of her job and was glad she found time to deal with everything within one day. She also knew she deserved some prize for all that suffering over padds, so when she finally finished – much later that she expected – she headed for Quark's.

She entered the bar and looked around to see if any friendly faces were present. She spotted Brenok, so pushed her way between Jem'Hadar – not drinking, not chatting, only taking space Jem'Hadar – toward his table. He was in a middle of a heated discussion with others, but as soon as they spotted her, everyone fell silent.

“What?” she asked. They only looked at each other. “I'm not welcome?” she was just about to turn and leave, when Damar said: “Don't be ridiculous, sit down.”

“You can't order me, I outrank you,” she joked, taking a seat.

His eyes opened wider. “You're right! How did this happen?” and he laughed. The truth was Damar's rank of Glinn was in fact higher of her rank of Gul due to their functions in the Guard; and both Damar and Jarol knew that.

“Back on Groumall,” Brenok explained to the others at the table, whom Jarol didn't know, “Damar's rank was higher than Joral's.”

“Well, she had better chances for promotion,” one of them said. “She can offer Dukat something he can't.”

“Shut up!” Damar barked sharply. Jarol was surprised by his abrupt reaction. “If you want to spread these gossips, then go and spread them somewhere else,” he added.

Two soldiers got up, one stayed seated.

“What was that all about?” she asked.

“You don't want to know,” said the officer.

“And you are?” she asked.

“Rusot.”

“Oh, I heard about you!” she recalled the name. “You kicked some Klingon asses.”

He smiled. “Yes, I did.”

“So... why the big secret?” she asked, looking at all of them. No one said anything. “Come on!”

“Atira, leave it,” Damar said.

“But why?” She looked at Brenok, he just shook his head. “I could order you to tell me,” she threatened.

“Please, don't. Don't force me.”

She started to grow irritated. “Corat?”

They kept looking into each other eyes and he finally gave up. “Some people, jealous idiots, who are incapable, but very arrogant, claim that you are not a Gul commanding Roumar thanks to your skills. At least not tactical skills.”

“Oh. So what kind of skills do I owe my career?”

He stopped and looked at others at the table.

“Corat, you're driving me crazy. Spit it out!”

“They think you sleep with him and your career,” he waved, “is his gratitude.”

Her eyes opened wide. Her brain brought back that scene in Dukat's quarters aboard Groumall, every detail of it, his finger on her ridges. It scared her then and it crept her now. But then... that recent conversation... it was really nice...

She saw pure shock on Damar's face and realised her mixed inner thoughts must have been clear on her face.

“It's nonsense, of course,” she said. “Why would people say this? Because I was summoned to his office before yesterday?” suddenly the faces of officers in ops that day made sense.

“No, actually those gossips started a few years ago. I think it was when he took you to Groumall.”

“You mean people have been talking for years about it?” this time it was her, who was in shock. He just nodded. “Wonderful,” she muttered.

“I never believed a word,” he assured her.

“That's great, but many do, right?”

“Don't let it bother you. It's not a street market to exchange rumours.”

“Let's drink more kanar?” she asked in a voice full of hope, changing subject, but the whole notion bothered her and she knew it would keep bothering her for long time.

“Fantastic,” he smiled, raising his glass toward her. She smiled and sipped hers. She wondered how stupid and blind she had to be not to notice all of that... that... Ferengi gossiping...
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Old August 21 2010, 01:19 PM   #38
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

“Legate Damar,” she greeted him upon entering the room. He raised his head from the panel and looked at her with widely opened eyes. She stood by the door, all business. A long moment passed and then Damar burst into laughter.

“How did you call me?” he approached her and grabbed her arms in greeting.

“How shall I call you?” she replied, but a tiny smile was crawling on her lips. She knew what was coming.

“'Corat', you are one of those few people, who don't have to 'legate' me.”

“That will get some getting used to,” she said, smiling widely. It was good to see him, at was great to see him in a good mood in spite of grim situation. Little she knew that his mood had been as grim as the situation before she entered.

“Why? This is the first time you called me a legate,” he went back to the console and resumed tapping at it.

“Well, I'm maybe not used to call you a legate, but I am used to address 'legate' people, who wear this,” she tapped his armour.

“Don't mention it,” he said, returning to the console. She glanced over his shoulder to see what was on the display. “I don't believe this,” he muttered to himself. “Atira,” he turned to her. “I called you here for a reason.”

“I'm sure you did. You're too busy to casually catch up with old friends,” she wasn't sure the last words were acceptable. She still had some objections of being so familiar with a legate; maybe it was old, good Damar, maybe he was the same man she fought Klingons with, maybe he was the person, who she dined with her almost every evening on that Klingon bucket, maybe it was the man, who saved her life, but now this man was wearing a legate's armour and as a Cardassian she was practically genetically designed to show him due respect. How could she break that conditioning? It wouldn't be even right. But then – she had broken that conditioning once, so it was possible. And again – she defied authority as she believed that authority was wrong, and it had brought troubles and demotion and she had landed on an obscure freighter... where she met Damar, the current head of Cardassia. She smiled inwardly at the irony. “So what did you want to discuss?”

“You know about the Breen,” it wasn't a question, but a statement. She nodded. “Do you know the Founder gave them Cardassian territory?”

“And you agreed to that?!” she didn't expect that.

“They didn't ask me. They just told me to sign the document.”

“And you did.”

“I didn't have a choice.”

“There's always a choice.”

“They'd execute me and make someone else sign it.”

She started to understand. “You're just a paw, aren't you.”

His face expression made her want to eat back those words. She hurt him.

“I don't intend to be any longer,” he said.

“So what's the plan?”

“Your former commander was executed by the Dominion, as he didn't hide his despise for them.”

“That's correct.”

“So I expect your crew is not very fond of our... rulers,” he pulled his face, saying the last word.

“No, we're not.”

“Explain to your crew you work for Cardassia again, not for the Dominion. But be careful, there is someone there loyal to the Dominion. He can't know about us!”

“Wait, wait, I don't follow,” what was he telling her?

“Which part don't you follow?” he sighed. She noticed his hands were slightly shaking.

“All of it.”

“Atira,” he put his hands on the edge of a console, clearly to hide the shaking. “I am looking for loyal Cardassian crews. I don't have to ask you, I know you. I trust you. I want you to join me and fight the Dominion and not rest until they all are either gone or dead, but out of our empire.”

“Now you're talking,” she smiled.

“However there is a soldier among your crew, who is loyal to them. He cannot know about us, or we would all be dead, and you're first in line.”

“How do you know that?”

“Someone tipped Weyoun that former Gul of Roumar was expressing his anti-Dominion opinions aboard the ship. It was one of your officers. I don't know who, but he still could be there. Be careful.”

One of their own betrayed their Gul. She felt anger raising in her soul and burning into her heart. She had to find him and punish for his treason.
“How many of us are there?” she asked.

“Not many yet. I want you to find more, to search for them and recruit them. We'll discuss details, but not here. How about tonight, do you have plans?”

“I have now.”

“In my quarters. Wear civilian clothes. Weyoun won't get suspicious seeing another lady around me and we'd be able to talk freely. Nineteen hundred hours.”

“I'll be there,” she promised.

“Splendid,” he smiled, turning to her. He took his hands off the console and they were shaking again.

“Corat, are you all right?” she asked with worry.

For a split second his eyes went to a corner, where on the table was... nothing. The absence of a bottle of kanar and glasses was so clear that it was almost screaming at her. How could she not notice it earlier?

“I'm fine,” he said quietly. “Go now. I'll see you later. ”

She nodded, patted his shoulder and left.

She left Damar's office and headed for officers' lounge to pick up her new orders, while a familiar face came into her view. He was walking purposefully from the opposite side of the corridor in her direction. He abruptly stopped, almost causing a Cardassian walking behind him bump onto him.

“Jarol?” his voice was full of disbelief. “How are you?” he asked her, approaching closer.

“Fine. I can see you're doing well too,” she smiled at him, pointing at his Legate armour.

“Oh, it happened so long ago I already stopped thinking about it,” Demok smiled. “But I knew you would climb the career ladder and reach high.”

“Did you?”

“Of course. You were always so hardworking, so diligent,” seemed like he didn't change much, still ever present happy smile on his face, still an optimist. “Would you have some time to catch up later?” he asked her.

“Depends on my new orders.”

“Oh, I'm sure we can do something about keeping you on Cardassia for one evening,” his smile became wider, revealing how deep his wrinkles became. It gave him a new, distinguished look, especially since his mature face was circled by greying hair. Has it really been only a few years since she last saw him?

“You're the Legate here,” she smiled back.

“Then it's settled. Come to my house today. For a dinner. My cook is a magician and his dishes are real treasures.”

“It would be nice to have a decent meal for change, but not tonight. I have other plans,” she admitted.

“That tough on the food front, ah? How about tomorrow, then?”

“Well, it's not easy... but rewarding. And tomorrow would be fine.”

“You'll tell me all about the rewarding part tomorrow then.”

“Promise.”

“Nineteen hundred hours.”

“I'll be there.”

He patted her shoulder amicably, not unlike she had just patted Damar's, and went his way.

She resumed her walk to the lounge. There were not familiar faces there, so she picked the padd with her orders and beamed back to Roumar.

She had to admit Damar must have given everything a lot of thought. Her task was to find and recruit loyal Cardassians to their cause and her official orders were to inspect Fifth Order. What better way to talk to officers and test their loyalties if not knocking at their doors?


tbc
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Old August 21 2010, 01:20 PM   #39
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

There are two placed you may find awkward. I wasn't sure if I should use Past Perfect for whole paragraph, or Past Simple. My native language has three tenses (present, future and past), so I don't have an instinct to use all those different past tenses correctly.
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Old August 21 2010, 05:02 PM   #40
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Beautiful Chapter! Loved that there was more Damar inside (of course) and the interaction in general between the different characters read realistic and alive (though I was a bit shocked at Jorals extrem reactions towards Ziyal, but then... guess thats cardassian), your story plot does make sense and is interessting to follow. I didn´t notice your difficulties with the times, but I have not much an idea of English times myself, even we´ve got many times in German as well.
I could have read on and on and on ... you managed to capture my full attention with your story. Waiting impatiently for more.

TerokNor

P.S. Would Joral not feel disturbed knowing Damars betraying his wife? (Just wondered... cause you wrote he said to her, that Weyoun won't get suspicious seeing another lady around him.)
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Old August 21 2010, 06:09 PM   #41
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it

Joral can't understand how Dukat could make decisions, and in result lose his family - she lost hers and would do everything to have them back and/or everything to keep them. Not the same situation, but from her point of view - which is far from normal, after all they were murdered in front of her eyes, that must influence a person - he did something imaginable for her, and she blames... Ziyal. You surely noticed her relations with Dukat is all but simple and clear; a mixture of negative and positive feelings.

Jarol idealizes Damar, so most likely she didn't read correctly what he meant by "ladies". She'd rather assume Weyoun can't tell apart one Cardassian woman from another (her from Damar's wife), just like she doesn't tell apart most of other races faces (eg. Weyoun from Allaran - j/k).

I like your new avatar!
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Old August 21 2010, 06:15 PM   #42
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Ahh, yes that makes sense then, why she reacts that way towards Ziyal, though of course its again somewhat twisted (though most cardassian seem to be) that she faults Ziyal for it.

But wouldn´t she have heart Damars reputation? Though maybe she ignored this as just false gossip, just as Damar ignored lots of things about Dukat. However she did notice his trembling hands and she did stroke Damars cheek gently (as a fake for the Jem Hadar? But then she must have known, what the other ladies do in his quarters.)

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Old August 21 2010, 06:22 PM   #43
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

She knew what her presence there was supposed to look like.

People gossiped she slept with Dukat (which was nonsense), so why would she believe hearing that Damar was a womanizer?
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Old August 21 2010, 06:30 PM   #44
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Hm, true, though of course that gossip would be true, but then, she got to know him under different conditions and he is her trusted friend. I like the fact that you made them such good friends.

TerokNor
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Old August 21 2010, 06:38 PM   #45
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
There are two placed you may find awkward. I wasn't sure if I should use Past Perfect for whole paragraph, or Past Simple. My native language has three tenses (present, future and past), so I don't have an instinct to use all those different past tenses correctly.
I understand...it's not an easy thing to explain. When I learned Spanish, at least, it wasn't as difficult because a lot of the same tenses exist--they're just used on different occasions. (The subjunctive, however, was hell to learn--although sometimes, archaic English had something similar.)

It's a shame that Jarol still retains her racist attitudes...not only because it's wrong, but it's not going to help her in the rebellion at all. Hopefully, though, learning that her people and her state can be wrong will eventually end all of that for her.

Of course, the Maquis WERE very wrong to torture them. Yeah, they say it was unintentional, but if someone takes prisoners and actually gives a damn about keeping them alive for some reason, then they'll do their research first. That was also a very uncomfortable scene to read because it reminded me of some of the ways that Christians (and many others considered dissidents) were tortured in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. The cold was very much used as a weapon against them, to try to break their spirits.

I definitely look forward to seeing what she does in the rebellion...I hope she can keep herself and her crew safe!

Oh, and Brennok--his ear doesn't matter to me...he still sounds so adorable!!!
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