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Old September 6 2010, 04:56 PM   #106
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Wow...Jarol is having a hard time with the idea of Brenok even attending a religious service, isn't she? I wonder what she would do if he actually had himself initiated into the Oralian faith? I hope that she'd be able to continue her friendship with him and accept him that way, and that she wouldn't cut him off out of jealousy or contempt for what he's doing.

As to the future of Cardassia...I'm still skeptical of Daset here, and if he will end up being good or bad for their future. (I must also admit to a very big soft spot for anyone named "Ghemor." )
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Old September 7 2010, 12:22 AM   #107
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

I don't think she would break any contact with him, if he would become an Oralian, but she sure is jealous, because those "religious fanatics" helped him to start healing process and brought some peace into his heart. Strangers - and strangers she despises at that - made something she didn't manage.
However she is happy Brenok is getting better
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Old September 7 2010, 12:38 AM   #108
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

I imagine she'd have to think twice about whether they were "fanatics" if someone she knew, like Brenok, joined them. It's a little harder to despise an entire group when the face of those strangers suddenly becomes that of someone you know. (That is, as long as Brenok or any other person she knew stayed a healthy, rational person instead of acting like a person who joined a cult...and assuming she could distinguish between the two.)
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Old September 7 2010, 12:57 AM   #109
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

And that's the problem - she knows no Oralian personally. They both were fed with propaganda and if Brenok knew who those people were from the beginning, he probably wouldn't go with them. But he didn't. And he could experience first hand that what he was told was simply a lie. At least in regard of this particular group.

She doesn't know it. He told her nothing about the meetings, except that he goes there and will keep going. So she still believes the propaganda, which makes it even harder for her, as she can't understand why he wants to go there.

He went with them the first time, because he was curious. They were so mysterious it caught his imagination. And he keeps going, because [wait for next chapter ]
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Old September 7 2010, 01:05 AM   #110
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Hmmmmmm...I suspect love has to do with it! The question is, is it a Cardassian he's in love with, what KIND of love (romantic, family/brotherly love, or another kind), or is it that he has some kind of experience?

Still, Brenok is a very smart man, and I suspect a very rational, scientific one. That would hopefully make an impression, especially if he continues to make contributions on the job that are particularly intelligent.
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Old September 7 2010, 01:29 AM   #111
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

You know what's most funny about Brenok? He is a clever one, open-minded, with revolutionary ideas (his propositions on how to go on with their political agenda actually shocked Gul Tarkan, who didn't know Brenok at all), in some way smarter than Jarol (not that she's stupid, just... hard and slow to change), but he is sooooooo young. He's only 31! And others - older others - listen to him! He makes an impression.

He's an engineer, so it's easier for him than for Jarol to see that if something doesn't work - you have to fix it! That's how he thinks - fix it! And being under Jarol's command lets him think independently, not just precisely follow strict orders and not think too much about them much.
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Old September 9 2010, 04:01 PM   #112
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

You're really doing a great job of writing from a Cardassian point of view.

BTW... Captain Ivo Andric and a ship called Anika? I assume you're a fan?
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Old September 9 2010, 04:34 PM   #113
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
You're really doing a great job of writing from a Cardassian point of view.
Thanks, I try my best to show an alien point of view, but not too alien to make it incomprehensible.

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
BTW... Captain Ivo Andric and a ship called Anika? I assume you're a fan?
I appreciate his work
I wondered if anyone would notice that
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Old September 9 2010, 06:38 PM   #114
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Is this something I should know about?
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Old September 9 2010, 07:15 PM   #115
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Is this something I should know about?
Not necessarily... Ivo Andric was a Nobel prize-winning Yugoslavian author. I don't know how famous he is worldwide, I guess he is moderately well known, and I know that many of his works have been translated to English and many other languages. Among other things, he wrote a novella called Anikina vremena (I don't know if it was ever published in English - had to google it to see how the title was translated in English, apparently it's Legends of Anika, but that may be just the translation of the title of the film adaptation made in 1950s http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0173645/) Anika is the name of the main female character, the title actually means something like "The times of Anika" or "Anika's times". I had to read several of his works in elementary and high school, but that one wasn't among them - that one I read because the subject seemed interesting.
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Old September 10 2010, 01:32 AM   #116
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

I imagine it was translated as "Legends" because we tend to think that titles like "The Life and Times of..." sound stuffy. "Legends" is a bit more exciting. I can definitely see the "time" root in that word, though ("vrem-" I think...).
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Old September 12 2010, 10:58 AM   #117
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Beautiful. The last scene with him finally humming again also filled my eyes with tears and I really like the little "flower girl" and the breakfast they had with the Federation people was very interessting to read as well...some contact between Cardassians and others species, that is without war and such.

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Old September 12 2010, 02:20 PM   #118
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

It's in the family
2377 (2377)


Jarol struck the man, who she had pressed to the wall, square in his face. And then again. And again. And she would do it again, if a hand wouldn't grab her fist, stopping her.

“Enough,” Brenok said.

“You heard what he said!” she was furious.

“I did. And he will pay for this,” the Glinn looked at the man and literally spat at his face.

Two weeks earlier



“Sir,” Jarol was all business upon entering Daset's office, which sent Daset's eye ridges a little bit higher.

“Yes, Gul Jarol?” he decided to be as official as she was.

“I request a permission to investigate the attacks on Federation convoys. I have some preliminary data and would like to continue.”

“By all means. These attacks have to stop. Although I'd rather prefer not to be dependant on Federation help at all.”

“We can't afford that,” she said.

“It's been two years. How long do we have to beg for food?” he took a padd and started reading its content.

She couldn't say she didn't agree with him.

“Then we need to find a way to become self-sufficient,” she said.

“You come from a family of farmers, you tell me how to do it,” he said.

“I'm an officer, not a magician.”

“Well, recently Jotrel told me he had an idea, but he needed to work on details. Maybe he is a magician.”

She didn't say anything.

“Dismissed,” Daset muttered, not even looking at her.



The Roumar arrived to the region, in which most of reported attacks had taken place. Jarol wasn't happy to face another 'waiting time', but she used the opportunity to bring Ma'Kan and Brenok up to date with all the information she had available, including the data sent by the Federation and their officers' reports she had gathered during her questionings.

“Do we have any idea where these ships come from?” Ma'Kan asked. “I mean their production, not point of launch.”

“They are clearly Cardassian, but... I don't think we could retrieve that information from visual logs and if the Federation have that information, they chose not to share with us.”

“I'm sure they'd be happy to point their finger at one of our shipyards and say 'here, you'd built those Hideki here and now you attack our convoys',” Brenok said.

“Maybe, but they must realise they are our convoys more than theirs,” Jarol replied.

“So what's the plan?” Ma'Kan looked at her Gul.

“I don't have any plan,” Jarol answered. “We wait. We scan. We try to find traces of something. Anything.”

“We could send patrol ships to gather detailed information about this sector,” Ma'Kan suggested. “There must be a reason why most of the attacks happen here. They have a base nearby.”

“Good idea. Prepare a plan for my review by tomorrow morning.” Ma'Kan nodded. “Brenok, you check our database for any Maquis or Federation activity in this region before the Dominion War started. Maybe that would give us any leads.” Brenok nodded too. “You both have full access to the data, however general access is restricted. Some of those files were given to us for this particular purpose by Captain Andric and I don't want to see it used any other way, especially any harmful way. We don't spy on the Federation, we try to catch criminals, who attack convoys loaded with resources we need.”

Both officers nodded.

“If you have no more questions... Dismissed.”


“Ah, Gul Jarol,” Andric smiled. How different was this smile from the one he had granted her the first time they spoke!

“How are you, Captain?”

“Fine, fine, thank you. Again on escorting duty?”

“No, this time I'm investigating. And I have a question.”

“I'm all ears.”

She stared at him.

“That's a human expression. It means: I'm listening.”

“Sounds like a Ferengi expression to me,” she grinned. “Captain, would you agree to become a bait?”

“You want to lure our troublemakers?” he guessed.

“That's right. All data we have would be good for evidence, but without catching those, who are responsible, it's useless.”

“Well, I could use a few sensor tricks to make my cargo more attractive to ensure their interest in us,” Andric said.

“That would be perfect,” she grinned. In spite of herself she had to admit she liked him. “We'll be lurking in the sensor range to react quickly and not let any real damage be inflicted on your ships.”

“I wish you had a cloaking device and lurk closer.”

“I wish I had a cloaking device too, but the Obsidian Order hadn't share it with the military before they were destroyed. Maybe you could ask your friends, Romulans? Or Klingons?”

“My friends, yes,” he laughed. “All right, Gul Jarol. Be close, as we are going to ask for trouble.”

She nodded, disconnected and looked at her mar'kuu sculpture. Then she rose and went to the bridge.

“Did he agree?” Brenok asked.

“He did.”

“Karama said he could try to boost our communication sensor's range and... eavesdrop,” Brenok didn't manage to stop the smile from crawling out on his face.

“I could listen to them communicating,” The Gil said. “They use small ships, so in order to be effective there must be many of them and they have to coordinate their attack.”

“Good thinking, Karama,” Jarol approved, sitting in her chair.

The Gul also noticed Ma'Kan's hairdo changed. It was still well within the regulations, but clearly more elaborate. She wondered if Brenok noticed.


Jarol answered the comm, activating her screen. She saw the Federation medic, Kirkland, looking at her.

“Hello, Gul Jarol. I am trying to reach Glinn Brenok, but it occurs to be easier to contact you. Could I speak with him?” he asked.

“Of course,” she said. “Give me a moment, I'll call him.”

She contacted the Glinn and waited for him to arrive.

“Shall I understand you've found something?” she asked.

“Yes. I think I understand the source of his pains, however I should discuss it with him.”

She wanted to ask why, but just then Brenok entered. He motioned to her screen and she vacated her chair to let him sit down.

“Ah, Gul Jarol,” the medic looked at her, as she stood behind the chair. “This is a delicate matter and I'd like to talk to Glinn Brenok alone.”

“He is my subordinate,” she said.

“Yes, I understand that, but it is a medical matter and he has a right to privacy.”

Jarol and Brenok exchanged surprised looks.

“Medic,” Brenok said to the doctor. “As my commander she has to be informed of my medical condition. I would have to pass to her everything you're going to tell me now, so it's better for her to hear it from you and possibly ask questions.”

“Oh. Well, if you don't object to her presence, then I will proceed.”

“Proceed,” the Glinn nodded once.

“I have studied Cardassian physiology, based on our database and the scans I took of you, Mr. Brenok. According to the data you had sent me, from... aaah...” he checked something on his desk, “Military Hospital on Cardassia Prime, according to that data your nerves were reconnected using some experimental treatment, to which you'd agreed.”

Brenok nodded. “Was the treatment unsuccessful?” he asked.

“No, not at all. I actually find it quite fascinating and plan to contact medical on Cardassia with a request for more data on the subject. But that is not important right now. The nerves in your neck ridge healed well, especially taking under consideration that a nerve damage is usually permanent or difficult to heal.”

“So if everything is so miraculously well, why is it so unwell?” Jarol asked.

“The problem lies in muscles, which surround the nerve. Your neck ridges protect a thick cluster of nerves, which are responsible for the arm and hand movement and coordination. Your nerves, Mr. Brenok, were severed. They were reconnected and stitched up together, however in order to do that the damaged parts, those which were in fact cut and shattered, had to be removed. Rejoining loose ends was successful and gave you your arm and hand mobility back. However due to the treatment method, those nerves are shorter. It is a really microscopic difference, however it exists. When exposed to cold, your muscles tense. This is a natural reaction. However tensed muscles of your neck and neck ridge inflict pressure on your shortened nerves.”

“And this causes pain,” Jarol guessed.

“That's right,” confirmed the medic.

“Is there any way to fix it?” Brenok asked.

“I'm afraid not,” Kirkland's face changed from 'all scientific business' to 'compassionate medic'.

“So that's it?”

“You can avoid coldness, but I understand that in your line of work it could be difficult and there are probably some kind of winters on Cardassia too. I've been thinking about it and while I didn't find any way to prevent your pains, I think a good, properly done massage should relieve you of pain quite quickly, once it occurs.”

“A what, sir?” Brenok asked.

“A massage. You know what a massage is, don't you?”

“I'm afraid I don't.”

“This is a kind of therapy. It includes applying force and pressure in order to relax muscles and reduce tension. Take a look.”

Kirkland's face was replaced by a two dimensional presentation. There was a man laying on a table, face down, and another man pressing, kneading and patting his back. Brenok and Jarol looked at each other shocked. Kirkland reappeared on the screen and caught their expressions.

“Is there a problem?” he asked puzzled.

“Med... doctor,” Jarol said quietly. “We, Cardassians, don't touch each other in this manner. It would be highly inappropriate.”

“Never?” he asked.

“Never. Our private space is sacred and something like this...” Brenok didn't finish, just shook is head.

“Mister Brenok, you'd have to overcome this custom or taboo, whatever it is, for your own good. Maybe there is someone, who could be allowed to touch you like this, someone very close to you. A wife?”

“I don't have a wife,” he said... Jarol almost heard 'any more' in his words.

“It doesn't have to involve your whole back. It's just the neck ridge and the shoulder and it is where the massage would have to be applied.”

“Um, doctor, our neck ridges are part of our... how to put it...”

“Attraction pattern,” Jarol suggested. “This is a part of our bodies we expose, take care of, assess in a possible mate and never ever touch, until we are married or at least betrothed.”

“I see. Yes, I can see it complicates the matter.” He thought for a while. “I also explored a possibility of chemical way of suppressing the pain, but taking painkillers all your life is not a good idea, especially since your body would keep adapting and you'd have to raise the dose...”

“I get the picture,” Brenok raised his hand. “And I agree this is not an option.”

“I will keep working on this problem, but for now you would have to either accept a massage or go on suffering. You could try warm compresses, but they would work slower, much slower. They would warm up the shoulder, but the muscles tension would stay for longer period.”

“Thank you, doctor, for all your help. You don't have to continue your research, I'm sure you have other important matters, which keep you busy.”

“Oh, it's not a problem at all, Mr. Brenok. I am happy to face this challenge and maybe help someone at the same time. This treatment of severed nerves is an interesting study and deserves more attention. Unfortunately it cannot be adapted to humans as it is, your Cardassian bodies are sturdier and harder to damage, we're not that lucky. I'll contact you when I have something new.”

Brenok nodded his thanks and disconnected. Then he looked up at Jarol, who still stood behind the chair.

“So what do you think?”

“It doesn't matter what I think. What do you think? Maybe you should go with this chemical suppression treatment?”

“No,” he said firmly. “No.” He grabbed his neck ridge and squeezed gently. “I could try to work out a technique to consciously release tension in my muscles after being exposed to coldness, but... it surely would take some time to master such a skill.”

“So? It stays as it is for now?” she didn't like this idea.

“No. Sometimes it hurts so much I can't stand it.”

He looked at her hands and rubbed his scar. She opened her eyes wider, guessing what he was considering. Could she do it? Could she invade his privacy like that, even with his consent? He was like a brother to her, but the consent was very reluctant.

Her computer bipped, informing a file was received. She leaned over to check what it was. Doctor Kirkland sent the detailed technique of the massage, which had to be applied to Brenok's shoulder, in case they would decide to go for it, including a recipe for some kind of oil.

Brenok rose and headed for the door. The door opened for him, but he didn't leave. He stood there for a moment, then turned and looked at her.

“If I decide to proceed, would you help me?” he asked. “I have no one closer to me than you.”

“I...” she didn't feel comfortable with the whole idea, but then said, “I would,” and she meant it.

He turned and left her office.



Jarol entered the bridge and the first thing she heard made her smile. Brenok stood by his console, tapping something on its smooth surface and humming a cheerful melody. The Gul went to her seat.

“Report!” she barked.

Each officer informed her of their department status, including Ma'Kan and Karama, who had no news regarding the attackers. Jarol had a feeling this case wouldn't be solved quickly. Maybe the criminals knew she was here and waited for her to leave before they would attempt to attack another convoy?

“Sir, Gul Daset wants to talk to you,” Karama spoke.

“On screen,” she said and looked at the oval screen in front of her.

Daset was clearly angry.

“Jarol, we have a problem.”

“What happened?”

“It's Ghemor's government. They have decided to free all our annexed planets. Effective immediately.”

It was disturbing indeed. She believed they would have to do it some day, but not all at the same time and not so suddenly. It would be a disaster to already barely alive Cardassian economy.

“He wants us all to die?” she asked.

“He says the Federation agreed to support his decision by increasing their help. So what we don't extract from the annexed worlds, we would get from them.”

“I don't think they can spare so much,” she said.

“Don't you understand?!” it was obvious he was barely able to hold his fury in check. “Instead of becoming independent, we rely on others more and more! We can't allow that!”

“Do you want to officially oppose his decision?”

“I do, yes.”

“Do you think it's wise?”

He stared at her.

“We would have to release the annexed worlds some day. And it would be painful. I agree it's a mistake to do it this way, but there is little we can do about it. We're too weak, and we can't afford to alienate the people, we need to gain their trust and support.”

“Will they trust and support us, if we allow them to be hungry?”

“Will they accept us, if we behave like the old Central Command? Like the Directorate? We need to become an army, which they could be proud of, not about which they would say 'oh, no, they started another war'.”

“They used to be proud of us.”

“They used to be aware of an Obsidian Order agent lurking over their shoulder too, in case they wanted to express what they really thought about us.”

Daset seemed to get her point.

“So you say we should support Ghemor's decision?”

“We should follow it. Don't say 'right', don't say 'wrong'. Just do it. Take all our people from those worlds and send them back to Cardassia. Send them to restoration coordinators. Let them experience peace for a while. And family life. Let them rest. Make sure the ordinary people know who they are and who directed them to that work. Make it clear to all Prefects and Guls that nothing should be destroyed upon withdrawal. Just take what's ours and leave.”

Daset kept looking at her; his eyes expressed partially disbelieve, partially admiration.

“You should be a politician, Jarol,” he said finally. “We're going to be in trouble, you know. There is no way the resources sent by the Federation would suffice.”

“I know that. Cardassians will have to wait a little longer until their bellies would be full again, but tell them this: you are not someone else's 'Dominion' any more. Ghemor wants to play nice. Fine. Let's steal a bit of this niceness for us too.”

“I should make you my advisor,” he said.

“Thank you, but I like where I am now.”

“Do you know what's most infuriating?”

“What?”

“That Jotrel said almost the same thing,” Daset shook his head like a father, scolding his children for misbehaving.

“Ah. So if two of us say the same thing, there must be something in it...”

“Unfortunately. I only wish I could see and understand this 'something'.”

“What will you do?”

“I will think about this silliness and then make a decision. I still have to talk to Gul Tarkan about his opinion on the matter.”

Gul Tarkan. The old type fellow, who most likely thought the same way Daset did. However she felt flattered that he consulted her before consulting Tarkan.

Daset disconnected.
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Old September 12 2010, 02:21 PM   #119
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

She had shared a lot of her thoughts with Daset, but she hadn't said everything she had to say on the subject. She knew by now that not every annexed world was a copy of Bajoran situation. Aramatians weren't and she wondered what would happen to their civil war when Cardassians left all of a sudden. Would it help them bring peace or would it make it worse? What was the situation on other worlds? She doubted Alon Ghemor, being a civilian all his life and fed by the dissident, anti-military propaganda at that, would understand complexities of annexed worlds' internal politics. She fully agreed with releasing the worlds that didn't want Cardassian presence on their planets, she would hate to do to others what was done to her, she understood it better now than ever, but the way he wanted to do it was... reckless. She was sure it was a political move, to prove something to Cardassians and – most likely – to the Federation. She didn't care about the Federation and what they thought about the Union. It was of no consequence. She could care about individuals, it was important for her that Captain Andric respected her, but what the Fed Council would think? A body of faceless beings from another political power? She couldn't care less. The Castellan's government's actions proved he cared a lot. And in her eyes it was close to treason. She saw him as a Federation puppet, who wanted to transform Cardassia to another Federation colony. Work hard, become like us and we will accept you in our big, happy Fed family. She was part of such a 'family' once and the good brothers killed most people she knew and cared about. No, thank you, I prefer to stand aside and be independent this time. Was Ghemor really thinking that becoming a copy of the Federation was for their good? She didn't agree with that. She wanted to stay herself and not become a copy of anything. If Ghemor sold Cardassia to the Federation, he'd be no better than... than Gul Dukat – she realised. It stung her, but she had to face it. No one stopped Dukat, everyone who tried, was executed, but Ghemor wouldn't dare. His Federation superiors wouldn't agree to that, at least not officially. So there was a possibility to stop Ghemor's government from selling Cardassia to the Feds and she intended to make sure Daset knew about it and acted accordingly. They had to stay in the opposition, but a clever opposition. Don't just say 'no' to everything the current government says, it would be foolish, say 'no' when they make wrong decisions. Say 'yes', when they do something right. And let the people decide who they trust more and who they want to follow. They wanted this democracy? They can have it for a moment. But she believed the people would understand that this is not a Cardassian way. Freedom – yes. Anarchy – no. And anarchy was what was happening on Cardassia Prime. Chaos. Tribal fights. A Cardassian attacking another Cardassian for... food? Shelter? NO! That had to be fixed and the current government seemed to have no idea how. They opposed a proposition to send more troops to patrol the streets, but she believed that for the safety of the good denizens someone had to keep an eye on the bad ones. Or rather the desperate ones. Not everyone was as strong as Demoks. Not everyone was able to behave without Obsidian Order looking at their hands. She would never think she'd miss the hated Order.

“Sir,” Karama spoke suddenly. “I think I have something.”

She looked at him, hoping it was what they were waiting for for last few days. Then she glanced at Ma'Kan, who was intently observing her tactical console. The young woman shook her head with disappointment.


“I don't have anything in the scanner range,” she said, looking up at the Gul.

“Karama?” Jarol looked back at the comm officer.

“I think my boosted sensors have longer range.”

“Can you pinpoint the location? Is it anywhere near the convoy?”

“I can't be completely sure, but I think they approach the convoy from the opposite side.”

“Move us there, slowly, we don't want to drag any attention too early.”

“Yes, sir,” Karama's fingers gently touched his panel, executing her order.

“Got them, sir,” Ma'Kan's voice was full of childish excitement. Jarol smiled at that; it reminded her of Damar.

“How many?” the Gul asked.

“Seven small ships. Six are Hideki class, one unknown.”

“Zamarran?”

“I know the convoy's defence capabilities are limited, but even with a little help we shouldn't have problems with defeating these vessels.”

“What about without their help? I'd rather not have them engaged in the fight.”

“Hard to say, sir. We could take some beating.”

“Are we in danger of being destroyed?”

“No, I don't think so, even in our less than perfect shape.”

“That's all I need to know. Karama, anything in the air... space... vacuum... whatever?”

“As I suspected, they coordinate their attack. It seems like six of those ships are in constant communication with the seventh. I would bet it's their leader.”

“Fine. Whoever is in command there, we need to get them alive. Brenok, get a team and report to the transporter room. Be ready to board that ship.”

“Sir?” Ma'Kan looked at her surprised and disappointed. Jarol knew it was Ma'Kan's job, but she believed the woman was too inexperienced to lead a boarding part yet.

“I need you at tactical, we still have to fight against those six ships.”

The Dja seemed to accept the Gul's explanation and looked back at her console.

“Sir, I'd like Dja Ma'Kan to be part of my team,” Brenok said.

Ma'Kan looked at Jarol with hope and the Gul nodded, sending the girl with Brenok. She hoped after the mission Ma'Kan's smile would be as wide as it was now.

Another officer, even less experienced Dja Dolle, took the tactical and Jarol wondered, if she shouldn't take the post herself, but after a short while of hesitation she decided against it. How would they gain any experience if they had no chance to actually do the job? She could always replace him, if such a need arose, and she would give him orders, so he didn't have to make any serious decisions himself.

“Sir,” Karama didn't even raise his head, “the Anika asks if we noticed the enemy.”

“Confirm.”

“I already did.”

Was it smile she heard in his voice?

“Boarding party ready, sir,” Brenok's disembodied voice reported through the comm.

“Stand by,” she said and looked at Dolle. “Access the transporter and take control. I'll tell you when to beam them to the leading ship.”

“Yes, sir,” he nodded. “I will keep the lead ship targeted to speed up the beaming process.”

“Good thinking,” she smiled with approval.

He smiled back. His first praise, which he would never forget. That's how you make good officers.

“We're in weapons range,” he reported after a moment.

“Target lead ship's weapons and shields,” she ordered, moving forward in her chair and sitting on the edge, with left leg straightened and pulled forward on the deck to keep her balance. She put her right hand on the armrest and gestured with the left one, when issuing orders. Everyone on the bridge, who had been serving with her during the Dominion War, knew that she just entered the combat mode. “Target other ships at your discretion, Dja Dolle,” she added and he sent her a panicked look. “You'll do fine,” she added, giving him a hard glance. She wanted him to believe in himself, so couldn't be too soft. It was something she'd learnt from Gul Corak.

“Yes, sir,” he replied and looked back at his console, but she could see his narrow neck ridges remained tensed.

“Condition: red,” she announced and the klaxon rang on the bridge and the rest of the warship. “Karama, keep us close to the convoy. We cannot let any of those ships be harmed. Zamarran, make sure our shields are evenly distributed. I don't want them to punch through anywhere.”

The Roumar shook under first hits.

“Shields holding,” Zamarran shouted.

“Return fire!”

Dolle's fingers moved quickly on his console; the young officer seemed fully concentrated on his task.

The Roumar moved between the convoy and three of the attacking ships, firing at them with special attention to the one in the middle. The Anika also opened fire, breaking the formation and moving to attack the remaining vessels. One of Hideki ships exploded, sending another one into uncontrolled spin. The unknown class ship motioned to intercept the Roumar and attacked her tail. The Galor shook, but was too big and too slow to lose them.

“Full stop!” Jarol yelled and Karama stopped the ship. The inertial dampeners didn't manage to completely reduce the strength of pull, and Jarol almost fell out of her chair, but her plan worked. The attacker passed by them, almost brushing their shields.

“Fire!” she barked and two torpedoes, followed by phaser beams, hit the vessel. The ship spun out of control for a few seconds and then exploded.

“Shame, I hoped to keep that ship to see where it's from,” Jarol commented. “What the status of their lead ship?”

“Shields at seven percent,” Dolle reported.

“Be careful not to destroy them,” she said, while he fired a single phaser shot.

“Shield's down, beaming the boarding party!” he shouted with triumph.

“Good job. Zamarran, how are we?”

“Fine. Our tail's shields are a bit weaker, but they can take a little more pounding before they fail.”

“Dolle, fire at will. Karama, turn us around to face the rest of the attackers.”

A console in the back of the bridge exploded. She turned to see if everyone was all right and which console it was. She could see a body on the floor.

“Medic to the bridge,” she barked to the comm.

The lead Hideki opened fire at its former comrades. It was the best sign that the capture was successful.

“The remaining Hideki are withdrawing,” Zamarran reported.

She wondered for a moment. Her instinct was to pursue and destroy, but she achieved what she'd planned to.

“Let them run,” she said eventually. “Hail Captain Andric.”

“Well, Gul Jarol, seems like this time you had some fun,” the Terran's face was shiny, like... wet?

“Hopefully they will tell their friends the convoys are not an easy target any more. What's your status? Do you need help?”

“Nothing we can't fix, but thank you for the offer.”

“Then I hope you'll arrive to Cardassia Prime safely.”

“Thank you. Good luck,” and with that he disconnected.

“Jarol to Brenok,” she tapped her wrist comm.

“Brenok here. We have captured three people and you won't believe who is among them.”

“Beam back to the Roumar and place them in the brig.”

“Yes, sir,” he confirmed and disconnected.

She rose.

“I want full report on the warship's status,” she said. Zamarran nodded. “And Zamarran,” he gave her a questioning look. “You have the bridge,” he nodded again and she headed for the brig.

Each prisoner was locked in a separate cell. Brenok led her to the one in the middle and stopped by the forcefield. She looked inside. There was a Cardassian sitting on a bench, looking defiantly at her. The face seemed familiar, but her memory was unable to attach a name to it.

“Who is it?” she asked Brenok.

“His name is Nadar,” he answered.

That's why the face seemed familiar, but nameless! The resemblance to her former colleague, later her tactician turned a traitor was striking.

“He's Glinn Nadar's younger brother,” Brenok added.

“Did you talk to him yet?” she asked.

“He doesn't want to talk,” the Glinn answered. “We established his identity thanks to his DNA.”

“Well then, we will have to make him talk,” she said, looking at Nadar.

She had promised Glinn Nadar not to let any harm be done to his family as a result of his treason, but here sat a proof that there was something wrong with Nadars. She didn't intend to leave it like that.

“Brenok, gather all information we have on Nadar family,” she said.

He nodded, still looking at the man. Jarol glanced into the cell on the left. There was another Cardassian there.

“And this is?” she asked.

“Kerfut, I don't have much more on him now.”

The cell on the right was occupied by a non-Cardassian.

“And her?”

“A Xepolite. She didn't say anything so far, so apart from her race and sex we have nothing.”

“Splendid,” Jarol muttered. She had never interrogated anyone and didn't look forward to it, but she knew she had to extract necessary information from them. She wondered if necessary instruments were present aboard the warship.



Jarol, Brenok and Ma'Kan entered the interrogation room. Nadar was seated in a special chair in the middle, with his wrists and ankled tied to the chair. The chair was made of metal and there was little holes in its seat for the blood to drip on the floor. Nadar eyed them hostilely and his mouth shaped a thin line. Jarol felt it wouldn't be easy, but she was reluctant to inflict pain, no matter to whom; this was too personal and she obviously lacked the nerve required for such a task. She shot a glance at Brenok and she thought his face expressed exactly the same hesitation her did. Ma'Kan stared at Nadar coldly.

There were four guards present in the room, but Jarol sent them out. She didn't need anyone to witness what she would have to do, even if they were used to inflicting pain themselves, if ordered. She was their Gul and dirty work wasn't her cup of tea, but in this case it was her duty.

Brenok and Ma'Kan stood by the door, like guards, while Jarol took a chair and put it in front of Nadar, the chair's back facing him. She straddled it and leaned her arms on the back of the chair.

“Why?” she asked simply.

Nadar didn't reply, which was no surprise for her.

“You are Calet Nadar, younger brother of an officer, who'd served on this warship,” she recalled the information from her memory. “You are thirty two years old. You and your brother were sympathisers of the True Way movement and opposed any non-Cardassian presence in the Union. Your father was a clerk in the Ministry of War, however he was suspected of working for the Obsidian Order in fact. You have one more brother, age fifteen, and two sisters, age forty-two and thirty. That's what is in the database,” she paused for a moment, and then continued. “You were leading a rogue group, consisting of Cardassians and non-Cardassians, which on numerous occasions attacked Federation convoys with resources headed for Cardassia Prime. You robbed those convoys and even had managed to destroy two ships. Your base of operation is in Kalet system,” he flinched. She had acquired that information form the Xepolite. “As you can see, I know a lot of things. I just don't understand why.”

“What happened to my brother?” he barked.

“He was a traitor and he was executed,” she replied calmly.

“You murdered him!”

“I have ordered his execution, yes.”

“Why? He was a patriot.”

“No, he wasn't. He was spying for the Dominion. He betrayed this ship, his Gul and the Cardassian Union. He deserved nothing more. And I must admit – this trait runs in your family, as you seem nothing less than a traitor too.”

“I am a traitor?!” he yelled. “And who protected the Fed ships, ah?”

“I protected medicines for Cardassians.”

“You are a traitor. You sell us to aliens!”

“Tell me, what was so patriotic your brother did?” she asked.

“He served his Union well.”

“For the most part. Until he started serving an alien power.”

“It was the legitimate government of the Union.”

“Maybe. This legitimate government destroyed all of Lakarian City.”

“For the treason!”

“What treason?” she was puzzled and didn't hide it.

“Damar's treason. If he hadn't betrayed us all, if he hadn't rebelled and behaved like a Bajoran terrorist, everything would be fine. No one would destroy anything.”

“I see,” she said. Her voice was still levelled, but this time it was only on the surface and it cost her a lot of self-discipline to stay calm. “So a man, who decided to rebel against an enemy, was a traitor.”

“They weren't the enemy. They were our government!”

“There is something I don't understand. As a Vulcan would say: your logic is flawed. If you hate everything non-Cardassian, how come you can approve of a shapeshifter being your government?”

“The government was Cardassian, you fool. The head of the government was a Cardassian. We were allies, not their subordinates.”

Jarol laughed bitterly. How deluded this man was?

“So you think Legate Damar had real power, don't you?”

“Of course. Until he decided to betray our allies. Until he started attacking and killing our own soldiers!! Why do you think we lost this war?”

“This is unbelievable,” she shook her head. “Did you hear something so ridiculous?” she asked, turning back to look at Brenok and Ma'Kan. The tactician only shook her head, but the Glinn's face expressed hatred and contempt.

“Let me get this straight,” she turned back to Nadar. “You are a hero, who works for the good of Cardassia, but Legate Damar was a traitor.”

“My brother was a hero. And Damar got what he deserved.”

She wouldn't be able to describe what she felt at that moment, but she was sure it was clear on her face, because Nadar flinched again. She slowly got up and approached the man. As slowly she untied his wrists and ankles, while Ma'Kan moved closer with a phaser in her hand pointed at Nadar. When the man's limbs were free, Jarol grabbed him by the shirt on his chest and slammed against the wall.

She had been wrong, she knew that now. She had been wrong thinking she was unable to inflict pain looking her victim in the eyes. She raised her fist and struck Nadar, smashing his nose. She didn't feel any pain in her fingers; she struck again.

“Damar was my friend,” she hissed furiously. “Hearing his name coming from your mouth is an insult to all Cardassia.” She hit him. “You just lost all your rights.” A blow. “You are accused of treason.” Another. Her fist was caked with his blood. His nose didn't exist any more. “You will be taken to Cardassia Prime, where you will be judged and sentenced to death.” And another. “And then we will take a closer look at your family and execute them all, if necessary.” One more...



tbc
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Old September 12 2010, 03:29 PM   #120
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Whoa...I REALLY hope Brenok can pull her back from the edge this time! These two Nadars certainly deserve punishment for the decisions that they have made--they should bear full responsibility. But if she thinks she's going to start killing EVERYBODY with that DNA regardless of the decision she's made, I have a feeling that the Ghemor government is going to prove that they're stronger than she thinks and hunt her down.

I did like what she said about Cardassia not being another people's Dominion, however--that at least shows that she's learned something.

The discussion about the massage really put her and Brenok in an awkward position! At first I thought that maybe Brenok would be more comfortable with Ma'Kan than his commanding officer...but I guess he can at least trust Jarol not to cross the line and get ideas in her head...
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