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Old October 29 2010, 07:23 AM   #76
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Oh, wow...Zamarran's invitation to watch Karama lose made me laugh so hard! I figured he was going to politely give Kapoor a chance to leave the room, but I wasn't expecting THAT!

As for Ullmann and that report...if what she wrote is truthful, and I doubt she would lie even though she would focus on the worst, then I really have to wonder what Starfleet's reaction is going to be to the idea of Kapoor's continued presence aboard the Roumar. Has Kapoor been sending reports too? Will they think Kapoor is lying or doctoring the truth? (And HAS Kapoor been hiding any part of the truth?)

But Karama's revelation, and his realization of what exactly he did...VERY powerful stuff, and I hope this experience will help him to grow. And though Ullmann will undoubtedly be sickened even by the apology--it was a big step for him to be willing to apologize.

Oh...and I LOVE Ma'Kan's little flying starships!!!
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Old October 29 2010, 09:33 AM   #77
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Oh, wow...Zamarran's invitation to watch Karama lose made me laugh so hard! I figured he was going to politely give Kapoor a chance to leave the room, but I wasn't expecting THAT!
Yeah, Zamarran shows his off-duty side. I think he enjoyed beating Karama in front of her And even more enjoyed talking to her about his culture.
Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
As for Ullmann and that report...if what she wrote is truthful, and I doubt she would lie even though she would focus on the worst, then I really have to wonder what Starfleet's reaction is going to be to the idea of Kapoor's continued presence aboard the Roumar. Has Kapoor been sending reports too? Will they think Kapoor is lying or doctoring the truth? (And HAS Kapoor been hiding any part of the truth?)
They both had to file their reports, but I think Kapoor kept strictly to business (differences between SF and Cardassian technology, a way to improve SF protocols based on good Cardassian solutions, etc.). She didn't write about her private relations with other people, because it's not Starfleet's business who she spends time with. And since she was not a participant in the incident, she did not include it in her reports. This was between Karama, Ullmann and Jarol.

SF will ask her, though, and she will write what she knows. If they believe her - that's another story.
Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
But Karama's revelation, and his realization of what exactly he did...VERY powerful stuff, and I hope this experience will help him to grow. And though Ullmann will undoubtedly be sickened even by the apology--it was a big step for him to be willing to apologize.
I think he understood that already some time ago and one of reasons why he kept avoiding her, apart from Jarol's orders, was enormous shame. He just couldn't look her in the eyes after that.
Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Oh...and I LOVE Ma'Kan's little flying starships!!!
Some of her ships are really nice piece of work and they do fly! I think those are usually old-fashioned crafts ("antique" Cardassian aeroplanes or something like that) that have moving parts to fly in the air.
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Old October 29 2010, 02:38 PM   #78
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Gul Spook wrote: View Post
Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
As for Ullmann and that report...if what she wrote is truthful, and I doubt she would lie even though she would focus on the worst, then I really have to wonder what Starfleet's reaction is going to be to the idea of Kapoor's continued presence aboard the Roumar. Has Kapoor been sending reports too? Will they think Kapoor is lying or doctoring the truth? (And HAS Kapoor been hiding any part of the truth?)
They both had to file their reports, but I think Kapoor kept strictly to business (differences between SF and Cardassian technology, a way to improve SF protocols based on good Cardassian solutions, etc.). She didn't write about her private relations with other people, because it's not Starfleet's business who she spends time with. And since she was not a participant in the incident, she did not include it in her reports. This was between Karama, Ullmann and Jarol.

SF will ask her, though, and she will write what she knows. If they believe her - that's another story.
I hope she will tell the truth, then--that way her conscience will be clear: that Ullmann went in filled with prejudice, and then Karama DID act badly, but was disciplined for it and afterwards felt truly awful about it.

Did she tell about the atrocities the Cardassians committed against the Skarrats?

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Oh...and I LOVE Ma'Kan's little flying starships!!!
Some of her ships are really nice piece of work and they do fly! I think those are usually old-fashioned crafts ("antique" Cardassian aeroplanes or something like that) that have moving parts to fly in the air.
How cute! If I were Kapoor, I'd be SO interested to see how similar the designs happened to be to human ones. Cardassian (Hebitian?) aviation history would be very interesting!
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Old October 29 2010, 03:24 PM   #79
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
I hope she will tell the truth, then--that way her conscience will be clear: that Ullmann went in filled with prejudice, and then Karama DID act badly, but was disciplined for it and afterwards felt truly awful about it.
She will. She's a Starfleet officer, she doesn't lie in her reports. And she doesn't see any reason to lie or to hide something.
Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Did she tell about the atrocities the Cardassians committed against the Skarrats?
Yes. That task was part of her official duties and she had filed a report about it.

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
How cute! If I were Kapoor, I'd be SO interested to see how similar the designs happened to be to human ones. Cardassian (Hebitian?) aviation history would be very interesting!
I don't know how much details information she could get on as old designs as Hebitian (she could try to reverse engineer technical details to which she has access), but one of her dreams is to build the ancient Bajoran ship - the same in which Siskos flew from Bajor to Cardassia. But she doesn't have access to enough info, she just knows what it looks like.
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Old October 29 2010, 03:43 PM   #80
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Gul Spook wrote: View Post
Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
I hope she will tell the truth, then--that way her conscience will be clear: that Ullmann went in filled with prejudice, and then Karama DID act badly, but was disciplined for it and afterwards felt truly awful about it.
She will. She's a Starfleet officer, she doesn't lie in her reports. And she doesn't see any reason to lie or to hide something.
That's good. I think showing that part of her will be a good idea, because it's likely to give her some conflicts, with what's happening in terms of her personal feelings. Seeing her resolve that would be great.

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Did she tell about the atrocities the Cardassians committed against the Skarrats?
Yes. That task was part of her official duties and she had filed a report about it.
Ahh...OK. The way she filed her Cardassian report had me curious.

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
How cute! If I were Kapoor, I'd be SO interested to see how similar the designs happened to be to human ones. Cardassian (Hebitian?) aviation history would be very interesting!
I don't know how much details information she could get on as old designs as Hebitian (she could try to reverse engineer technical details to which she has access), but one of her dreams is to build the ancient Bajoran ship - the same in which Siskos flew from Bajor to Cardassia. But she doesn't have access to enough info, she just knows what it looks like.
That's interesting that she wants to do that! She must have had a book full of different races' starships and aircraft when she was little... (And I'm glad that book was allowed!)
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Old October 29 2010, 03:57 PM   #81
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
That's good. I think showing that part of her will be a good idea, because it's likely to give her some conflicts, with what's happening in terms of her personal feelings. Seeing her resolve that would be great.
There will be a lot of turmoil in her mind and feelings when she faces some decisions. That report and her talk with SF about her resignation will be important moments for her.


Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
That's interesting that she wants to do that! She must have had a book full of different races' starships and aircraft when she was little... (And I'm glad that book was allowed!)
I'm not sure she had access to many non-Cardassian designs when she was younger, but now she finds a lot of interesting (for her) things and she has lots of "big" plans and a looooong list of what she's going to build next
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Old October 30 2010, 02:22 PM   #82
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Zamarran certainly knows his abilities...he is very sure of himself. Poor Karama, though he truly takes it with good grace.

Will Karama tell Kapoor eventually how sensitive those...how did you call them..chants are? I am curious as well.

And for the little starships...I just wondered, if kapoor tells her details on a fedship, so she can build one....is that allowed?
Or does she only build the outsides correctly and the insides then the cardieway?

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Old October 30 2010, 03:22 PM   #83
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

TerokNor wrote: View Post
And for the little starships...I just wondered, if kapoor tells her details on a fedship, so she can build one....is that allowed?
Or does she only build the outsides correctly and the insides then the cardieway?

TerokNor
I don't think Kapoor would reveal any special Fed secrets by means of helping to build a toy model of a starship
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Old November 2 2010, 03:22 PM   #84
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Chapter 11 – Day 132


“We have received your report, Lieutenant.” On my monitor, Commander Calderon looked up at me from a file on her padd. “I must say I am quite surprised by the discrepancy between your and Lieutenant Ullmann’s description of the events.”

“Yes, Commander. I believe I can explain that.”

“You are not trying to claim that her report is inaccurate.”

“Oh, no, not at all.” How could she even think about it? “I am sure Lieutenant Ullmann’s report is a faithful representation of her point of view. What I’m trying to say is that my point of view was different, as a bystander’s. Lieutenant Ullmann was unhappy in that assignment since the beginning and she alienated some of the Cardassians. Gil Karama especially and he took it really badly. However I can assure you he would not act on his threats. Unfortunately Lieutenant Ullmann didn’t want to believe that.”

Calderon stared at me for a very long moment. “You do not apply for a transfer back to the Federation.” It wasn’t a question, it was a statement.

“I do not,” I confirmed.

She sighed. “Lieutenant, this exchange program is clearly a failure,” she said. “The Cardassians obviously are not ready to be a part of the Alpha Quadrant and I do not think this is a good idea for you to stay there.”

I fumed. It was a very unfortunate incident, but it wasn’t entirely Karama’s fault and certainly not all Cardassians’ to judge them as a people that can’t be a part of a greater whole.

“With all due respect, Commander--”

I will forward my recommendation to recall you from your current assignment,” she interrupted.

“I’d rather you don’t.”

“Excuse me?

“Commander, this was one incident, a very disastrous, no doubt, however let’s not cancel the whole program because of it.”

“No, Lieutenant. We cannot be sure of your safety aboard that Cardassian warship. I think it’s in your best interest to return home. You should expect your orders soon.”

“Yes, Commander,” I replied, but didn’t hide my disappointment. She signed off.

Ok, so I knew this wouldn’t be permanent. I didn’t expect it to take more than a few months. But things have changed! This occurred to be as great assignment as on a Federation starship it would be – I had my commanding officer, I had my head of my department, I’ve made some friends. It was so...normal. For the most part.

The naked truth was that I didn’t want a reassignment. I felt fine where I was. Sure, some of Cardassians were not friendly, some were annoying, some were patronising, but for the most part they were fine. I didn’t have any guarantee that my new captain would be less scary than the Dragon Lady and my chief engineer more forgiving than Glinn Zamarran.

A door chime sounded, so I muttered “Enter.” The door parted and I saw Karama standing in the corridor. He didn’t enter but stood there looking at me. “Why the long face?” he asked eventually.

“Come in,” I said and he finally entered my quarters. “Fish juice?”

“No, thank you. Actually I’m headed for Ma’Kan’s quarters. Want to join? She is almost finished with the Hideki, but needs to do some precise work. I think your tiny fingers would be very useful.” He silenced and then added. “That was a joke.”

“Funny,” I muttered humourlessly.

“Apparently not so.” He sat on my bunk and leaned toward me. “What’s happened?”

“They recall me back to the Federation.”

“Oh.” He sounded genuinely disappointed. “So soon?”

Should I tell him that it’s because the Ullmann incident? It would make him feel guilty and I didn’t want him to feel guilty.

“Do you want me to stay with you?” he asked very quietly.

I looked at him. I didn’t expect that. It was clear he assumed that in my present mood I wouldn’t like to go to Ma’Kan and struggle with her little toy models. I appreciated so much that he didn’t insist. But to stay with me? To just...be with me? So that I don’t have to sit with my sadness alone? To share my grim mood?

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

“I want to if you need it.”

That was the sweetest thing any man had ever said to me.

“Do you mind if we listen to some music?” I asked.

He shook his head, so I turned on something I grew up with. It was too cheerful for my mood, but I hoped it would help me improve it a little. Karama seemed surprised by my choice or by the music itself, I couldn’t tell and didn’t want to ask.

I sat next to him and leaned against the bulkhead behind me. “How long do you serve on the Roumar?” I asked him.

“Let me think...” He silenced for a moment. “Eight years, since graduation from the Academy.”

“Is it typical? To be posted on one warship and never transferred?”

“Usually there is no need for a transfer. If you’re doing your job properly then your Gul wants to keep you. A lot of people stay on one ship for years, until it hinders their career and then they have to transfer.”

“Like to move somewhere else to become someone’s first officer?”

“In a way. A Gul’s aide is usually chosen from the crew as this person would not only be trusted but also familiar with the warship and its crew. But such things as a transfer from outside happen and they aren’t a rarity.”

“What would happen to your tattoo if you resign?” I knew he had a tattoo on his chest just below his right collar bone ridge and I knew Aladar had one too.

“Nothing. Everyone who joins the military gets a tattoo. Even if you retire you still have a history of the service in the Guard which is a great honour. We wear them with pride even if they are not usually visible.”

“But your tattoo is different than Aladar’s.”

“I am an officer, Aladar is a non-com. I have the Union symbol, he has the Fourth Order’s symbol.”

“Why?”

“Non-coms, once assigned to an Order, stay in it forever. Transfers are possible from one post to another but always within the same Order. Officers can be transferred between Orders, although it doesn’t happen often.”

“Interesting. We are transferred all around Starfleet. Do Ma’Kan and Gul Jarol have tattoos too?”

“They have to. Being women doesn’t change the fact that they are soldiers and officers.”

“I see.”

“How long have you been posted in your longest assignment?” he asked after a short moment of silence.

“Seven months.”

“That short?” His eye ridges raised slightly in surprise. “Why? Did you do something?”

“No. They needed an engineer elsewhere and my ship could spare me.”

“Oh.”

I knew how it sounded to him. I wasn’t good enough to keep me, so I was the first one to be kicked out. The Cardassians valued efficiency and in his eyes I had to be inefficient if my commanders bothered with allocating me and resources somewhere else. Transferring me cost them less than keeping me. It hurt a bit—to know he thought that way. It wasn’t his malice, I knew that, it was his mentality—but it still stung. I wasn’t particularly talented, I was good at my job and I did it well, but I certainly didn’t belong to that group of miracle workers who could make a warp coil from a piece of wire and a bubble gum. I was only a regular professional, no fireworks.

Perfect, my mood just got worse.

“I don’t want to be transferred,” I said quietly and realised that my voice shook like I was just about to cry. Karama gave me an attentive look. Did he hear the tears in my voice or was he just surprised by my statement? I couldn’t read his face. Not tonight.

“You can’t refuse it, can you?” he asked.

I only shook my head, afraid to speak.

We went silent and just sat there, listening to the music. He pulled a blanket and wrapped it around his shoulders.

“Computer, raise the temperature by three degrees,” I said.

“You don’t have to do this,” he replied. “I’ll be fine under the blanket.”

“That’s all right. Where I come from, a city called Calcutta, this is a normal temperature in the Summer. It reminds me of home...kind of.”

He smiled. “I didn’t know our homes had something in common.”

“I think if you dig deep enough you can find a lot of similarities. After over four months I know we are much more alike than any of us would like to admit.”

“It’s not four months yet.”

“Not your four months. I still think like an Earthling.”

“How many days do you have in your month?”

“Thirty or thirty-one or twenty-eight. Or twenty-nine,” I added after a second.

He stared at me surprised. “Why so complicated?”

“Because Earth doesn’t want to circle Sun in a more regular manner,” I replied smiling slightly. “It took us centuries to establish a calendar that would work.”

“Interesting.” He turned to face me with all his body. “So how do you know how many days would be in a following month?” It seemed that he thought it was more complicated than it really was.

We talked about our calendars, about the histories of our calendars and about histories of our planets. How could someone claim this mission was a failure? There was no information about the Cardassian calendar in the Federation database, there was limited information about their history—except for some obscure facts about the Hebitian Empire, which Karama called the ‘Hebitian Republic’—and there was no useful information about their culture. I could bring all that information with me if Starfleet would give me enough time to collect it. The Cardassians were much more than just a Galor class warship blueprints. Their armours were cold but the hearts underneath were warm. Their scales were thick but they were emotionally vulnerable, just like us. They grew tough and hostile but the more I knew them the more I understood they were taught it, it wasn’t in their nature. I had an impression that it was much more natural for them to smile at the thought of their family than frown at the thought of their enemies.

Maybe I was blind, maybe I was totally wrong and my perspective was distorted because I was among them, in the middle of their nest, inside the dragon’s cave, but sometimes I had hard time to associate these people here with what I knew about Bajor.

I had studied Gul Jarol’s profile. I didn’t have access to all of it but there was enough of information to draw a picture of who she was. She had fought in the Border Wars. She had been posted in a former Federation colony. The Roumar—with another Gul in command at that time—had been assigned to pacify the Maquis and she had taken part in massacres of civilians. She had led two of them! Of course in the Cardassian database those things were presented as heroic and noble service to the Union but I could read between the lines. She was some kind of terrible monster, without a conscience, without a heart, without anything inside that cold, hard armour.

But she also had fought the Dominion. She had helped a Romulan vessel and had worked with a Federation captain to find who had been attacking his convoys. She had nearly lost her life when she had refused to follow her Gul’s order to poison Klingon invaders and Cardassian civilians—such collateral damage was unacceptable for her and she was ready to die trying to protect them.

She scared the hell out of me each time she was in my sight but I knew I could go to her if I had a problem with anyone. She had dealt with the Ullmann and Karama incident; she was even angry at me for not reporting it. Karama had told me that she didn’t ruin his career by putting a note in his file, neither permanent nor temporary; she only gave him a ten minute speech and postponed his promotion.

So was she a monster? She was no angel—that was certain—but was she the devil’s sister? Her crew respected her, they would follow her to the hell if that was her destination. It was not the fear, it was not terror that she used to rule the warship. It was fairness. It was her dedication to her crew. She respected them and they answered in the same manner.

How was that different from a Starfleet starship?

How many of our Captains were true angels? Especially after the last war? True, they didn’t massacre anyone, they didn’t brutally pacify the Maquis, but...

There were Cardassians and Cardassians. Some were like Karama’s father and Gul Dukat, some were like Gul Jarol and Glinn Brenok and some were like Karama and Garesh Aladar. You can’t just put everyone into one bag, mix and say: these are the Cardassians; the Klingons say they have no honour, the Federation says they have no conscience, the Dominion says they are traitors and only the Romulans know what they would say but I wouldn’t expect it to be any more fair that the three other opinions. I say—if anyone would be willing to listen—they are people. Tall and short. Fat and slim. Mean and nice. Dark grey and light grey. With thick ridges and with delicate ridges. They love, they hate, they laugh and they die, just like all of us.

I didn’t want to return to the Federation, not yet. I had to find more Karamas, and more Aladars and more Ma’Kans and I was sure there were many more of them. My assignment was not only to gather data for the Federation, but job was to know the Cardassians and to bring that information to the Federation; and my assignment was far from accomplished; I had to make sure Starfleet knew that.

I sat. “Please don’t think I’m ungrateful but I have to do something and I have to do it now, before my courage vaporises.”

“You want me to go?” he asked neutrally as if making sure he understood me correctly.

I nodded. “Please, don’t be angry.” I leaned to him and closed my face to his. “I want to write a report for Starfleet and I hope they will let me stay for a while longer.”

“That’s ok,” he smiled. I really hoped he didn’t feel like I slapped away his helping hand. “Good luck with your report.” He rose and headed for the door. “See you tomorrow. I believe you have a bridge duty?”

“That’s correct,” I confirmed. He grinned; it was a nice, sincere smile; the one that I liked so much.

He left and I sat at my desk to prepare my great speech for my superiors in fabric uniforms.

tbc
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Old November 2 2010, 03:23 PM   #85
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

If you wonder what kind of music Kapoor likes, here are two samples

Hindi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2hnLYuCzgQ
Bengali: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCgDhr32oYI
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Old November 3 2010, 02:21 AM   #86
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

(Interesting music...I particularly like hearing what different cultures consider the best way to sing--SO many different ways to use the voice, from what we hear in the West!)

I don't like how Kapoor's superior says that the Cardassians are "not ready to be part of the Alpha Quadrant" based on an incident that Gul Jarol disciplined Karama for. Even IF Karama hadn't been a nice guy, the fact that Jarol was so harsh on Karama should've made the point. But, I can see where they would expect sexual harassment to be a regular phenomenon given that the Cardassian track record has NOT been good. So I can see why, from their perspective, they need much harder evidence that the Cardassians no longer find such things acceptable.

Did Kapoor explain in her report that Karama was sorry? And WHY he regretted his actions? I know that would be some very personal information to disclose--but if it were done with permission...who knows, maybe it would make the point that this is a PERSON and not a monster.

Oh, and just curious...do you know at what point in the story you envision "The Lightless Ends of the World" taking place? Obviously Kapoor AND Karama wouldn't know anything about it...just curious for my own interest.
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Old November 3 2010, 01:03 PM   #87
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
(Interesting music...I particularly like hearing what different cultures consider the best way to sing--SO many different ways to use the voice, from what we hear in the West!)
I took me quite a while to find that Hindi song. I wanted something with that thin, "funny" voice - it's quite common for women to sing like that in Bollywood movies - but seems like I had a bad luck on You Tube and was finding only "normal" voice songs.

Wait until I get to the chapter where they listen to Karama's favourite music I already know how I imagine Cardassian music and which Earth music is the closest thing to it
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
I don't like how Kapoor's superior says that the Cardassians are "not ready to be part of the Alpha Quadrant" based on an incident that Gul Jarol disciplined Karama for.
To be honest I am not so sure Ullmann included in her report that Karama had been disciplined for that. I don't think she would lie, but she might have omitted a few "details"; not even out of malice, but of being hurt and scared. She wanted to make sure everyone knew how bad that assignment was for her.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Did Kapoor explain in her report that Karama was sorry? And WHY he regretted his actions? I know that would be some very personal information to disclose--but if it were done with permission...who knows, maybe it would make the point that this is a PERSON and not a monster.
I think she wrote as much as she could without going into too personal matters. I'm sure she tried to present the event from a neutral perspective and that would also include his side of the story and his reaction after the incident. While she wouldn't try to make his actions appear less hideous, she would try to present him truthfully - a man with a conscience and regrets, although not perfect.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Oh, and just curious...do you know at what point in the story you envision "The Lightless Ends of the World" taking place? Obviously Kapoor AND Karama wouldn't know anything about it...just curious for my own interest.
I think it was a little bit later. Maybe a few weeks; enough for them to trust her to consider her for the project, but not enough to decide to include her in the end.
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Old November 3 2010, 01:35 PM   #88
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
Wait until I get to the chapter where they listen to Karama's favourite music I already know how I imagine Cardassian music and which Earth music is the closest thing to it
I'll be very interested to see what you choose, and if it's anything like what I've imagined for my own universe!

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
I don't like how Kapoor's superior says that the Cardassians are "not ready to be part of the Alpha Quadrant" based on an incident that Gul Jarol disciplined Karama for.
To be honest I am not so sure Ullmann included in her report that Karama had been disciplined for that. I don't think she would lie, but she might have omitted a few "details"; not even out of malice, but of being hurt and scared. She wanted to make sure everyone knew how bad that assignment was for her.
I'm not surprised Ullmann left that out. However, I would've thought Kapoor would put it in.

I think she wrote as much as she could without going into too personal matters. I'm sure she tried to present the event from a neutral perspective and that would also include his side of the story and his reaction after the incident. While she wouldn't try to make his actions appear less hideous, she would try to present him truthfully - a man with a conscience and regrets, although not perfect.
Going THAT personal (the stuff about becoming his father) is something that if I'd been Kapoor, I would only have put in with permission, if it seemed like that was the only way to get Starfleet to understand that he truly knew his behavior was unacceptable (and not just because he got caught). But not without permission...otherwise I would only say that Karama later expressed deep regret (without being asked to do so).
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Old November 3 2010, 01:39 PM   #89
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
otherwise I would only say that Karama later expressed deep regret (without being asked to do so).
I think she did just that. She could ask him for his permission, but - as reckless with others' feelings as she sometimes gets - I don't think she would want him to revisit that difficult moment.
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Old December 25 2010, 01:18 PM   #90
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Chapter 12 – Day 160


In excitement, instead of chiming, I used my fist to ‘knock’ at Karama’s door. It opened a moment later with him standing in the doorway and staring at me with his narrow eyes.

“What hap--”

“They agreed!” I shouted and moved inside, completely forgetting about sticking out threshold. I stumbled and would fall if he didn’t catch me.

“Please, come in,” he said, laughing. “They agreed to what?” he asked. The door closed and I went to the sofa but didn’t sit. I couldn’t, I was too excited.

“My superiors. They withdrew the transfer orders. They extended my stay for another six months.”

“That’s great!” he cheered up and then, suddenly, composed himself, as if ashamed of his happiness. “Would you like some fish juice?” he asked. Why did I have an impression he tried to cover up his perplexity. But why would he be perplexed?

“Sure,” I said. We both knew that ‘fish juice’ really meant orange juice. After many ‘Would you like fi...orange juice?’ we had agreed to stop bothering ourselves with such details.

“Did they give you any special orders?” he asked, going to the replicator.

“No. They said my previous orders stand. They asked if I thought if I needed some help, but I told them that I can manage on my own.”

He came to me and handed me a mug. “Why don’t you sit?”

“What?” I realised I was still standing by the sofa. “Yeah, sure.”

I sipped the juice. “There’s something I wanted to asked you about.”

“Go ahead.”

“I hope it’s not a problem that it’s a political question.”

“No, not at all.”

“I watched a news broadcast today and you had some kind of elections two days ago?”

“That’s right.”

“There were some parties, two or three, if I remember correctly.”

“Three. The Directorate, The Mar’kuu Group and the Reunion Project. The last one won and now Alon Ghemor is our castellan.”

“Your what?”

“The head of the Cardassian Union.”

“So, you had elections... Did you vote for him, for this Ghemor?”

“No. I didn’t vote at all.”

“Why not?” I was surprised. I thought voting was my citizen's duty. And the Cardassians were all about duty.

“How could I?” he was surprised by my surprise. “What do I know about politics? How could I choose who rules the empire? It's not my place to do such a thing! I don't know enough about a situation, politics, or a man to say if he is the right person or not,” he shook his head. “You don't just choose your boss. Do you choose your captain? Do you choose your father? Why would you choose the head of your empire? This is unnatural, this is against the hierarchy. You have to prove you are the right person by your work, you have to deserve to reach that point. Not be given by masses that don't really understand what they are doing. I could vote if I knew who were these people. Ghemor came from nowhere. I don’t know anything about him and I wouldn’t give him my life, because he promises me something. Promises are well disguised lies.”

Did I understand what he was trying to tell me? There was some sense to it, but... Yes, the Cardassians had that strong need of following their leadership, no matter who it was. All right, they have proven that it did matter who it was, but still they couldn't break out from this obedience conditioning. Hmm...maybe it was related. Maybe they were able to follow their leadership because they ‘knew’ their leaders were the right people. In theory. In practise...well...I didn’t know much about Cardassian politics but I was sure those guys before the war had not been the right people at the helm.

“So you would never vote?”

“I would vote if there was an option to choose. This Ghemor is no one. The Directorate’s candidate, Legate Parn, is an old blockhead and represents everything that had been wrong with the Union for the last twenty-odd years. Gul Daset, the Mar’kuu Group leader, is a total ass and believe me, I know, he used to be the Roumar’s second in command. What kind of choice is that? Three incompetent people. Am I to choose the lest evil?”

“Sometimes, yes, that’s what you have to do.”

“Then I’d choose Daset. But if he’d rule the Union how he ruled the Roumar I’d ask for asylum in the Klingon Empire.”

“Who would you like to see there? As the...how did you call it?”

“Castellan.”

“As the castellan?”

“Gul Jarol.”

I didn’t expect that. “You mean...you’d want her to be the head of the Cardassian Union?”

“Sure. I trust her. I trust she would make the right decisions. She is tough but she’s not a stone-head.”

“A what?”

“We call all those old, inflexible and compromised guls and legate of the previous governments stone-heads.”

“So your only reason not to vote was that you didn’t know the candidates.”

“No. I didn’t vote because I can’t hand so much power to people, who didn’t prove they can be in power. You should work your way up, not be given it. Would you like to serve on a ship, which captain had been chosen in elections held at the Starfleet Academy? Instead of becoming an ensign, then a lieutenant, then a lieutenant commander and a commander and finally, if they prove themselves, a captain? Or never becoming a captain, if they seem not to be capable? You just vote for a cadet and,” he snapped his fingers, “here you have the captain of a starship. Would you want to serve under him?”

I didn’t reply.

“So you see... Our empire is much more than one starship and we can’t hand it to a cadet from some academy.”

“But you need a government. You couldn’t function with that provisional government you had until now.”

“True. Due to arrogance of Gul Dukat, who just illegally claimed power and brought the Dominion in, we have lost our lawful way of establishing power.”

“But before that...You can’t say that the government was good.”

He stared at me for a moment. “For you, as a Federation, it certainly looked bad. We fought wars with you. Your government didn’t appear very nice to us too.”

“How about your government appearing to you, Cardassians.”

“They fed us. They gave us strength--”

“And how did you use that strength?” I interrupted him.

He gave me an attentive look and I thought it wasn’t the best thing to say. But I didn’t intend to back down. What was he going to tell me? That Bajoran occupation was good? Necessary?

After a long while of looking into my eyes he lowered his and looked into his cup of fish juice, silent.

“What if such an unknown, elected person proved himself? What if this Alon Ghemor occurs to be a great leader?”

He raised his head. “That would be lucky. But we can’t entrust our lives to someone, hoping he’d occur to be the right person. It’s too great a risk.”

“It would be only temporary. With such elections come also ways to remove—legally remove—people who bring harm.”

He inclined his head to his left, giving me a curious look. “How do you know? Even I don’t know the new law to such a detail yet.”

“Oh, I just assumed. This is how it works in a real democracy.”

Damn, I hope he wouldn’t take the word ‘real’ as offensive.

He squinted and his eyes became thin slits. If I didn’t know him that well, I’d think he was angry, but I knew it meant he was thinking. “A real democracy...like yours?”

“Yes, like ours. That’s how the Federation works.”

“And why exactly should we be like you?”

There was no attack, no anger in his question. No question either. He was making a point.

I opened my mouth but didn’t know what I could say. “I just think,” I said after a moment, “That we function based on some model and you could use it, instead of battering down an open door.”

“Yes, but why should we function based on the same model?”

“Because it’s the best,” I shrugged.

He looked amused. “The best?”

“Yes.”

“Kapoor, the Federation didn’t exist yet, while the Cardassian Union thrived. What gives you the right to claim your way is better than ours?”
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