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Old October 18 2010, 05:51 AM   #601
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

I think it's shocking that the Federation made an alliance like that, personally. The Septimus Massacre says it all. Honor? WHAT honor?
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Old October 18 2010, 06:02 AM   #602
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

I also didn't notice any flinch on Sisko's face after Septimus III. Martok speaks with disrespect about the Cardassian forces (he says himself they were old people and reserve - where is honour in attacking weaker ones?!) and Sisko doesn't care at all. But when the Feds' fleet is destroyed by the Dominion forces - oh, it's such a tragedy I must smash the console with my fist.

Cardassian life is cheap. Clearly. War or no war... Garak said that the Federation has rules in war, which make it more difficult to win. They have rules, but they hardly follow them.
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Old October 18 2010, 06:30 AM   #603
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

That or THEY follow them, but let the Klingons do the dirty work.

I don't think all of the Federation officers are bad, though. As for Sisko--I don't excuse the fact that he didn't speak up, but at least from a writing perspective, we know that he himself is capable of some shocking acts under certain circumstances. But their government is pretty hypocritical, that's for sure.
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Old October 18 2010, 06:13 PM   #604
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Ah yes, but hypocrisy is the human disease after all...

I think that it all came down to expediency in the end, the Klingons where their allies during the war and any action that they took was justified in hasting the end of a long bloody war. And since the Eleventh Order was technically a military order, why not brother?
After all, they where only Cardassians.

Plus the feds tacitly condoned genocide, (albeit againist a ruthless amoral bunch of xenophobic mass murderers) so its either a moral defect, coldblooded pragmatism or as those arrogant Rihannsu would have it, the humans are one of the most devious races you could ever hope to encounter.
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Old October 19 2010, 01:24 AM   #605
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Humanity in the Trekiverse is in denial that it is still human--that is, that they are of a not just imperfect, but fallen nature. So I think that the majority simply do not really understand their own selves.
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Old October 19 2010, 05:07 AM   #606
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

An interesting scene--it seems a bit like a "rant" on Macet's part. If I didn't know better, I'd say the Gul had a lot he needed to get off his chest about the incident, which he'd had buried up inside him for a long time.


Again...I have a lot of respect for Picard--but you are all too right in that his "Federation Values And Principles Above All Else" leads him far too often to hesitate at crucial moments when you have to set them aside and do what is necessary.

(I was absolutely disgusted with him, for example, in "Silicone Avatar", when he accused RIKER of being out for revenge, for daring to suggest that maybe they SHOULD kill the crystalline entity before it kills more people....)

To wit, "Oh, an entire race is about to perish from a purely natural disaster, and I have only a few hours to decide what to do--but the Prime Directive is a moral absolute, never mind that I HAVE ALREADY VIOLATED IT A GREAT DEAL OF TIMES BEFORE, BECAUSE IT WAS NECESSARY!!!"

Jean-Luc is a superb diplomat, and a good leader of men--but as a general in times of war...he is far too much of a soft-hearted moralist to do what often has to be done.

He shares with Admiral Nechayev an overdeveloped faith in Humanity's Growth. (Although, granted, Nechayev is worse.) Note all his annoying lectures about the 20th and 21st Centuries, and how, "It's a good thing we've progressed beyond all those violent, primitive impulses".

Fortunately, after a lot of minor shake-ups (such as his reflections on sparing the Borg in "Descent, Part I"), he finally got all that self-righteous naivete knocked out of him as of First Contact.
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Old October 19 2010, 05:14 AM   #607
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Macet watched all those people die and couldn't save them...I wouldn't necessarily characterize his words as a rant, because I do think they were based on reason as well as emotion--but there's absolutely no doubt that what happened to those people haunted him. And while he felt that he stood a good chance of being able to work with Starfleet officers on his turf, it definitely brought his old wounds back to the surface.

To me, what Picard was wasn't soft-hearted. It takes a lot of hard-heartedness to watch people die for your interpretation of a law. I think that he was a politician.

I do agree that the character really changed during the movie era, and very much for the better. First Generations made him realize he wasn't invulnerable, and then First Contact made him look at the ugliest side of his own nature right in the face. I hate Insurrection, but he DID defy orders and politics. And in Nemesis he was ready to take action. But in "The Wounded," he was dead wrong.
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Old October 19 2010, 05:19 AM   #608
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

If the situation was reversed and it was Picard on the Trager, what would he say and do if Macet chose to watch hundreds of Federation people being killed by a rogue Cardassian gul? Oh, I'm sure the episode would end with something like: "Look, those Cardassians are monsters, they have allowed so many good people die!"
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Old October 22 2010, 09:37 PM   #609
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

I certainly wouldn't call it a rant. It was too controlled for that, but no less a a strongly-felt reveal of emotion. It was genuine in its feeling and its argument, but not uncontrolled at all. I suppose it was a very Cardassian form of expression, somewhat intense by their standards (the incident weighs on Macet, no doubt because it weighs so heavily on Nerys Ghemor's conception of the Macet character (after all, "The Wounded" is his only canonical apperance )), but still within the framework of correct social interaction. That said, it seemed to me that we were getting only a partial insight, because we can't see the body language. Spirodopoulos is responding to it, we're told, but it's obscured from us - we have only words. I quite liked it. It was as if we were "overhearing" the conversation but not involved with it - it reinforces the sense that this is two people having a private conversation. Also, it maintained the sense of boundary to the character of Macet - important when he's revealing his personal feelings on a major character-defining incident, and at length. It keeps the sense that this is a real person, and while we're getting a deep insight, it doesn't mean he's an open book to us. He's still in control of what we see- he's just choosing to express a large amount. So that worked well, in my opinion. It successfully presented Macet's outlook on this highly important canonical incident but stops short of having it overshadow the rest of the character. And that sense of a barrier even as we see so much revealed openly reminds us of the barrier between Macet and Spirodopoulos; it's not a big one anymore, because they understand and respect each other, but they are still two different cultures. It will never fully go away.

Gul Spook wrote: View Post
I am not sure if it was here, or somewhere else, but I've noticed that in some of your stories the notion that maybe the Klingons were not the best choice for allies appears more than once. The Klingons are brutal and vicious. The Cardassians would be much better material for a good, trustworthy ally. Less unpredictable, perhaps.
The confusing thing is that the show itself never denied the completely corrupt and hypocritical nature of the Klingon leadership and their societal codes, yet the Klingons also seemed to get a "free pass" simply because they were allied with the Federation. By which I mean, it seemed to suggest they were somehow "better" simply by being in proximity to the Federation, not because their society was a functional or admirable one. I don't think it's about the Klingons at all- it's about how the Federation is being presented. The Klingons are corrupt, vicious, etc- and this is freely admitted, even highlighted multiple times. But because the Federation is depicted as good- not just "the good guys" or "the people trying to do the right thing" but at times disturbingly "perfect" by default (for all DS9's efforts to deconstruct that)- the Klingon's alliance with them for the sake of galactic stability is therefore presented as something endowed with legitimacy by default. The Klingons are aligned towards "the light" so don't need to bother bettering themselves.

To me, it's not the alliance itself that's the problem- peace and exchange is to me far more preferable to anything else, and I "support the alliance" - the problem is that whenever the Federation had political standoffs with other nations - Romulans, Cardassians, etc - the Klingons therefore ended up somehow (in a contradictory fashion) "good" (when they're obviously not). I've said before in other threads that Klingons have yet to show dedicated counter-culture movements aimed at improving their corrupt society. Cardassians and Romulans, on the other hand, both have dedicated "undergrounds" and highlighted characters who wish to change things for the better. Where is the Klingon version of Lang or Ghemor, of Alidar Jarok or M'ret? Who embodies the promise and uncorrupted pride of Klingons as these characters do for Romulans and Cardassians? Worf doesn't count- he was raised in the Federation. It seems to me that Klingons are not shown actually working against their dysfunction, in contrast to Romulans, Cardassians, etc. Yet because of the alliance- or more to the point, because the Federation is involved with them- those Klingons somehow are presented as "better" than Romulans or Cardassians. "Being the Federation's ally" is shown as more important to the "hero factor" or "the good guy factor" than "living up to ideals, virtues, striving for a better way of life". In other words, everything the Federation is supposed to represent is discarded from relevance when considering alien societies- all that matters is that they're "on the Federation's side".

Now, I know that's not the intent (I'm NOT one of those anti-Federation fans ) but it sadly comes across that way. As I said, because the Klingons are "aligned towards the light" they are not shown as needing to change or better themselves. Ironically, in remaining enemies or rivals of the Federation, the Cardassians and Romulans are still at least part in "darkness" and so can better themselves and are shown trying to do so. The shows seem to have an odd idea that despite showing the Klingons as corrupt and dysfunctional, they are....well, if you'll forgive the analogy, they "don't need" to repent their sins because they've already camped outside Heaven (the "perfect" UFP). The other non-Federation races are not camped outside heaven, and thus are shown in the process of "repenting", and so, despite the show presenting them somehow (and illogically) as "worse" than Klingons, they confusingly (but sensibly) strike us as "better".

Does that make sense?

The whole problem, I've come to think, is that the Federation is seen not as "good because it does this, is this, tries for this, insert reasons here", but "good because Roddenberry said it was, good because it's good". It's goodness is not well defined (as I said, I'm not saying it isn't good in a LOT of ways), but just...accepted. And that makes its relations with other societies and cultures problematic.
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Old October 23 2010, 01:46 AM   #610
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

There weren't a lot of body language cues, because the way Macet acted in "The Wounded," he always came across as very, very restrained in terms of his mannerisms. Especially when you compare Macet with Dukat, it's very striking. To me, Macet has a bit in common with Vulcans, but not to that extreme. Stoic, but not without emotion. Spirodopoulos isn't to the same extent, but I definitely think that around the Cardassians, he's quite restrained.

I agree that Federation "perfection" is disturbing. What's worse is that they claim "perfection" but what they really have is political pragmatism. They ally with those with whom it's convenient.

I think that the Cardassians, who were trying to implement reforms, were deserving of a MUCH more committed defense than they got, from the Klingons who were feeding on Changeling rumors, betrayed their treaty, and attacked Starfleet targets just because they wanted to go a'viking. The Cardassians were trying to fix themselves. The Klingons were anything but. Why the Federation wanted to jump right back in bed with the Klingons--I will NOT understand. Who knows what would have happened if they'd done that, and REALLY gone to the mat for Cardassia?
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Old October 23 2010, 05:25 AM   #611
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Where is the Klingon version of Lang or Ghemor, of Alidar Jarok or M'ret? Who embodies the promise and uncorrupted pride of Klingons as these characters do for Romulans and Cardassians? Worf doesn't count- he was raised in the Federation. It seems to me that Klingons are not shown actually working against their dysfunction, in contrast to Romulans, Cardassians, etc. Yet because of the alliance- or more to the point, because the Federation is involved with them- those Klingons somehow are presented as "better" than Romulans or Cardassians. "Being the Federation's ally" is shown as more important to the "hero factor" or "the good guy factor" than "living up to ideals, virtues, striving for a better way of life". In other words, everything the Federation is supposed to represent is discarded from relevance when considering alien societies- all that matters is that they're "on the Federation's side".
Well...as far as Worf was concerned, Martok seemed to count....

Now, I know all about Martok's reactions to Septimus Three. Still, considering what we know about him, I'm not convinced he himself knew about any butchering or massacre. I'd say he thought of it this way: those at Septimus Three were old warriors, but warriors nonetheless.

I would imagine he'd have had it be a quick death, without suffering. He would consider slow painful deaths--especially over the defenseless--as truly contemptable.

(A story idea I'm toying with. Some years after the war--perhaps when the Typhon Pact is forming--the Empire and the Union clash over this very incident, threatening the peace of the Khitomer Alliance--and Martok is forced to confront the atrocities that he is only now realizing he'd helped to commit....

What do you think, Nerys?)
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Old October 23 2010, 11:13 AM   #612
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
There weren't a lot of body language cues, because the way Macet acted in "The Wounded," he always came across as very, very restrained in terms of his mannerisms. Especially when you compare Macet with Dukat, it's very striking. To me, Macet has a bit in common with Vulcans, but not to that extreme. Stoic, but not without emotion. Spirodopoulos isn't to the same extent, but I definitely think that around the Cardassians, he's quite restrained.
Ah, interesting. Thanks.
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Old October 23 2010, 06:04 PM   #613
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Supreme Dittodrone wrote: View Post
Where is the Klingon version of Lang or Ghemor, of Alidar Jarok or M'ret? Who embodies the promise and uncorrupted pride of Klingons as these characters do for Romulans and Cardassians? Worf doesn't count- he was raised in the Federation. It seems to me that Klingons are not shown actually working against their dysfunction, in contrast to Romulans, Cardassians, etc. Yet because of the alliance- or more to the point, because the Federation is involved with them- those Klingons somehow are presented as "better" than Romulans or Cardassians. "Being the Federation's ally" is shown as more important to the "hero factor" or "the good guy factor" than "living up to ideals, virtues, striving for a better way of life". In other words, everything the Federation is supposed to represent is discarded from relevance when considering alien societies- all that matters is that they're "on the Federation's side".
Well...as far as Worf was concerned, Martok seemed to count....

Now, I know all about Martok's reactions to Septimus Three. Still, considering what we know about him, I'm not convinced he himself knew about any butchering or massacre. I'd say he thought of it this way: those at Septimus Three were old warriors, but warriors nonetheless.

I would imagine he'd have had it be a quick death, without suffering. He would consider slow painful deaths--especially over the defenseless--as truly contemptable.

(A story idea I'm toying with. Some years after the war--perhaps when the Typhon Pact is forming--the Empire and the Union clash over this very incident, threatening the peace of the Khitomer Alliance--and Martok is forced to confront the atrocities that he is only now realizing he'd helped to commit....

What do you think, Nerys?)
Well, I for one like it. Although I think that both Cardassia and the barbarians (sorry. I mean the glorious Klingon Empire) would have had far too much to deal with over the decade following the DW. Don't forget that Martok is still a Klingon's Klingon and 'there is no greater honor than victory' so I doubt that he cares about the deaths of half a million Cardassians, not if it meant winning the War.

There was mention of rouge Cardassian pirates attacking klingon worlds during the GateWays crisis so perhaps not all of Cardassia's sons and daughters have forgiven the Empire and its murderous stupidty.

Here's a question for you all; should the Union join the KAA?
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Old October 23 2010, 06:21 PM   #614
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Loki Entek wrote: View Post
Here's a question for you all; should the Union join the KAA?
Well, in my fanfic I don't follow Treklit canon-B, so it's not exactly an answer to your question, but my Cardassia showed the rest of the Alpha Quadrant its middle finger and didn't give a damn for others for almost twenty years, so you can imagine

The Treklit post-war Cardassia is not a Cardassia, but a poor copy of the Feds in my opinion, so I'm not sure if they should or shouldn't join. They don't seem Cardassian to me any more
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Old October 23 2010, 07:35 PM   #615
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Re: Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Sorry...KAA? What does that stand for? Once I know that I'll be able to give you a more informed answer to your question.

I don't want to spoil too much about what I do with post-war Cardassia, but my vision is neither Treklit's nor Re'jal's. I think that it's because all three of us (counting the many Treklit authors as one) have different versions of Cardassian/Hebitian history. I can also confidently say that we have three separate versions of Alon Ghemor. Mine does take in a bit of material from Treklit--but there will most definitely be divergences.
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