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Old October 28 2010, 03:44 AM   #61
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Gul Spook wrote: View Post
Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
I hope Kapoor will be safe. I know Gil Karama would do everything he could to protect his fiancée, but still.
She survived it. Traumatised, but she did. 'Nuff said he never had her face him again.
He must have felt like crap after that. I have seen embarrassing situations in my own family (though NOTHING like what I imagine Gul Karama tried to do), and it hurt the people who came from that part of the family but didn't want to be like that, for others to see it. And to think that they made a mistake in exposing others to it, that their own family is that toxic and abusive.

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
And then order him not to share it with the likes of me, I'm sure.
I'll smuggle you to his office and hide you in a dark dark dark corner and you can eavesdrop to their conversation
Don't they have anti-human detectors in there?
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Old October 28 2010, 03:54 AM   #62
Gul Re'jal
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Don't they have anti-human detectors in there?
To buzz each time Gil Kapoor enters her gul's office? I don't think Brenok would appreciate; it would get on his nerves!
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Old October 28 2010, 03:55 AM   #63
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Oops...my mistake--I was picturing Jarol's office, which I imagine WOULD have said detectors.
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Old October 28 2010, 04:12 AM   #64
Gul Re'jal
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

I think it would be easier to smuggle you from the Karamazov to the Damar than from Earth to Cardassia Prime, a legate's office, no less
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Old October 30 2010, 03:19 PM   #65
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

What exactly is an EVA suit?

Certainly an interessting situations with the two crews, the two cultures coming together. Though I am not sure Id agree, that the Feds hold Damars past higher than what he in the end did with his rebellion. I think they also see what strengh it took for him and that he did mature and change during that time. They might not see him as a hero as the cardassians do, but still a hero in a way.
Though it nontheless important of course to not forget the rest, agree with Brenok there.


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Old October 30 2010, 03:25 PM   #66
Gul Re'jal
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

TerokNor wrote: View Post
What exactly is an EVA suit?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_suit
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Old November 5 2010, 02:14 PM   #67
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Chapter 6


Cardassian Union Warship Damar
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
25th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar




Gul Brenok and Glinn Zamarran stood in the Transporter Chamber One and observed four members of their crew preparing to board the mysterious vessel. Garesh Aladar, the most skilled transporter operator aboard, was at his post and waited for the signal to beam three Cardassians to the unknown environment. Brenok knew if anyone could bring them back in one piece in case of trouble—it was Garesh Aladar.

“Ya’val, your first task is to disarm booby traps,” Zamarran instructed the chief engineer. “That will allow Kapoor to join you.”

“Yes, sir,” Ya’val dutifully confirmed, although it wasn’t the first time he heard that particular order. Sometimes, if he felt it was extremely important, Zamarran had an irritating habit of repeating the same thing over and over again. Even Brenok was tired of constant reminders of things that had been said. For a Cardassian one time was enough. However Zamarran was only a Cardassian and he had the right to be nervous too—and those never-ending reminders where nothing else but his expression of tenseness.

All three Cardassians on the transporter platform turned on their headgear lights and personal transporter enhancers on their sleeves. The latter was to assure Aladar would be able to beam them back. Since the Damar was unable to scan the guts of the vessel there was a huge possibility that they wouldn’t be able to detect the officers’ patterns to beam them back. In case of the transporter enhancers failure Gil Sabal was ready in a shuttle to bring them back the old-fashioned way.

“Ready?” Brenok asked. All three of them nodded, sealed their headgears and straightened awaiting the transport.



Unknown Cardassian vessel
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
25th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar




They materialised in a corridor. Ya’val looked left and right to check if both tacticians were with him. “Everyone in one piece?” he asked.

“Yes, sir,” they replied.

Ya’val retrieved his scanner but, as expected, it didn’t work. He put it back into his EVA suit pocket and stood for a moment, listening. The ship was supposed to be dead and should be quiet, but he had an impression it breathed. Not a scientific notion, but for him—an engineer—ships were alive. One could hear beating of their hearts and their breathing if one was attentive enough. And he was sure this vessel was far from dead. It was sleeping. It was in a coma. It was not dead.

He looked behind to study the corridor. Ma’Kan turned on the torch on her sleeve and set it to maximum. The wall panels were dark and lifeless, but in the light Ya’val could clearly see masses of dust whirling in the air. Did their appearance cause that?

He looked in the other direction. Everything seemed almost the same; only two things were different: no whirling dust and the corridor split to two opposite directions. The engineer hesitated. He knew they were supposed to be beamed facing the front of the ship as most likely there would be the bridge, but he had no assurance that this had been achieved.

He tapped his wristcomm. “Ya’val to the Damar.”
As he expected, there was no reply. He ignored surprise on Ma’Kan’s face, which was visible through the headgear plate, and moved forward to the junction. He knew the possibility of reaching the warship was close to none, but he had to try to make sure and remove ‘possibility’ factor replacing it with ‘checked’.

Both tacticians followed him; their riffles raised. Ya’val smiled to himself. Just as they suspected the communication with the warship was impossible, the same case applied to a possibility of any hostile persons being aboard the vessel—yet they were ready to shoot, just in case. And he had hailed the warship, just in case.

“What you’re smirking at?” He heard Ma’Kan’s voice inside his headgear. He only shook his head in reply.

They reached the junction and Ya’val stopped, considering his options, or rather lack thereof. He had absolutely no idea where each corridor would take them and if any of them led anywhere near the bridge at all. He decided to take the one turning right. He retrieved a reflective marking sticker from his rucksack and stuck it to the bulkhead. Then he moved on, entering the dark corridor.

The ship moaned. A long, quiet but disturbing sound of screeching metal sent shivers down Ya’val’s spine. He knew the vessel was in pain. He stopped and put his hand to the bulkhead; he felt little through the thick glove, but found the physical contact with the ship reassuring nevertheless. He slowly moved forward, not taking his hand off the bulkhead and sliding it along, which caused appearance of more dusty clouds in the air. The vessel moaned again, no, it laughed this time. A bubbling sound somewhere behind them. Ma’Kan and Dole turned back, but Ya’val didn’t bother—he knew they would see nothing. The sounds came from inside the bulkheads.

No, this ship was not dead.

His hand slid to a control panel. Its general design was typical for Cardassian panels with monitors: square in shape, with limited controls on left and right and a view screen in the middle. However there was something different about this one. This one had access ports and they weren’t anything like Ya’val had ever seen. Thinner than a data rod and with a hook-like protrusion inside the tube. He studied it but didn’t dare to touch it. There were two such ports, one on each side of the screen on the level that would be very convenient for an average height Cardassian to put something inside. Something like the little finger. The engineer fought temptation to take off one glove and push his finger into the opening. He knew the protrusion would slice it along and—if not anything else—that was the best argument against following his impulse.

“There’s a door here.” Ya’val raised his head and looked around to find Ma’Kan as her voice inside his headgear gave no indication where she was standing when she spoke. She was a bit ahead, bathing a door in the light of her torch. Ya’val slowly motioned toward her with Dole just behind him. He studied the door and its surroundings. There was nothing special about it, but the wallcomm drew his attention. It looked just like any other wallcomm with one exception—there was an access port below the long, oval main button, exactly the same as on the wall panel. Even the protrusion seemed identical.

He pressed the button and looked at the door but it didn’t open. “Seems like we have to do it the hard way,” he muttered and put his rucksack on the floor. He knelt and took out several tools with the intention to forcefully open the door, when Dole patted his shoulder and pointed to something. He raised his head to look back at the wallcomm and saw that a small monitor just above it lit. There was one word flashing in red: ‘identification’.

“How come there’s any power?” Ma’Kan asked quietly.

Ya’val didn’t reply for he had no replies. He rose and closed his face to the panel to study it in detail and just then a scanning beam appeared and ran through his face before he had time to step back.

‘Identification failed’, flashed the monitor and after that it went dark.

“Must be something important behind that door,” Dole said. “Maybe the bridge?”

“Maybe,” Ma’Kan agreed.

Or an armoury, or a science lab, or a waste extraction chamber, thought Ya’val. There were many places on a Cardassian ship that had restricted access. Still he could not help but also hope that this was what they were looking for.

He handed one suck-handle to Dole, another one to Ma’Kan and he took a leverage himself. He pushed it into the slit between the door and the wall and tried to force the door to move. The ship resisted, the ship fought him, but he was stubborn and didn’t give up. Both tacticians were pulling too; Ma’Kan was sitting on the floor with her feet against the bulkhead and pushing away, Dole’s one leg also on the bulkhead just below where Ya’val put the leverage in.

“Open, you gapgar!” Ya’val barked angrily, struggling with the door. It was very rare for him to use vulgar language, especially that vulgar, but sometimes even he had to let the steam out. There was nothing worse than to call someone a gapgar—a coarse word for a ‘traitor’.

The ship was not impressed.

“Maybe we should try to burn through,” Ma’Kan suggested.

“We don’t know what is behind,” Ya’val replied. “I don’t want to damage anything.”

“I’ll be careful,” the woman promised.

He could trust the eye of a sniper, couldn’t he? “All right,” he nodded inside his headgear. “But be careful, there could be something inside the door too.”

He observed her retrieving her tools and then looked at Dole. “I’m going to check what’s in the other corridor,” he said. As he expected, the glen raised his riffle in response, ready to accompany him. “Ma’Kan, are you going to be all right?”

“Yes, go ahead.” She didn’t raise her head to look at him.

Ya’val gestured to Dole to follow him and went back. They passed by the junction and continued ahead. There was no door there but the corridor continued into darkness. How far would they go before deciding to return to Ma’Kan?

They walked, listening to the ship's moans and groans. Ya’val noticed that Dole was very nervous; the young man jumped each time the ship 'spoke'. The engineer knew the tacticians were there to provide security against booby traps, but they both behaved as they expected to meet a living adversary.

They arrived to another door. This one—just as the other one—was locked. There was another wallcomm next to it; Ya’val pressed the main button and moved away not to be scanned by the beam. However this time there was no request for identification and no beam. Still, the door remained closed. Ya’val growled; his frustration level was raising.

“This place is strange,” Dole muttered. “Spooky,” he added.

“You're afraid of ships?” Ya’val asked, smiling slightly.

“Of course not!” The glen sounded defensive. Ya’val’s grin widened.

The glinn considered his options: should he try to open this door or would it be better to concentrate on the first one only?

“Let's go back,” he decided.

Dole nodded and headed back; Ya’val had a strong impression that Dole walked faster than necessary.

Ma’Kan was half way through the door when they arrived. She was cutting out a rectangular shape, big enough for them to go through it even in their EVA suits.

“We’ll have to wait for a moment before entering,” Ma’Kan said when she noticed they’ve returned. “The edges must cool down first.”

“Noted.” Ya’val nodded his acknowledgement. “ls there any way we could help?”

“No.”

The engineer sat on the deck and patiently waited, observing anxious Dole. The young tactician kept looking around as if he expected someone to come.

Ya’val’s eyes laid on the control panel by the door. He wished his scanner worked; he could try to learn something about that device. He rose and approached the panel. He thought for a while, then took another tool, a dux sub-spanner, and tried to take off the cover of the device. To his surprise it was easier than expected, unfortunately he achieved nothing as under the cover there was a double ostrix matrix, which was a standard issue for security systems and there was little to none chance he could disarm it. Not before Ma’Kan would cut through the door anyway. He looked back to check her progress and had to admit that, in spite of moving with great care, the cut was getting longer faster than he had thought it would.

“Done,” Ma’Kan said some time later.

“Move away,” Ya’val ordered, standing close to the door and then kicking the rectangular shape with his heel. At first it seemed like there was no effect, but a moment later the metal screeched and the cut out shape fell into the room behind the door. Ya’val, remembering what Ma’Kan had said, moved closer to the opening, but didn’t enter the room; he stuck his head inside, making sure his headgear didn’t touch the hot and jagged edges.



USS Karamazov
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
Stardate: 73687.8
9th of September, 2396, Old Earth Calendar




Captain th’Arshar was nervous. He waited for the connection as he knew he had to talk to Gul Brenok about their work, but he was unsure how the Cardassian would react to his proposition. He believed his arguments were not without merit, however it was hard to tell if Brenok would share that opinion.

Glinn Karama informed th’Arshar that the captain would be patched through in a second and indeed a moment later the Andorian was looking at the gul’s face.

What can I do for you, Captain?” the Cardassian asked politely.

“Gul Brenok, I wanted to offer my laboratory for the main scope of our work.” He started the speech he had prepared and memorised. “I understand we deal with Cardassian technology, but we have experience with modifying Cardassian and Federation technologies for compatibility. My chief science officer had studied Chief Miles O’Brien’s reports and she familiarised herself with the subject of adapting Cardassian technology to work with Federation technology.” Th’Arshar had a distinct feeling he was babbling. Why was this Cardassian making him so nervous? “O’Brien had to work and adapt Cardassian technology after we took Deep Space Nine, so he is a kind of expert in this matter.” The captain observed the Cardassian’s face. He wasn’t sure what was Brenok’s opinion of the Cardassian withdrawal from Bajor and he didn’t want to annoy the gul. “You might wonder why bother; after all you have your own labs. With all due respect, I believe our labs are more advanced. You are a warship, so limited scientific background is understandable. We are a science ship and we have lots of resources. Therefore we’d like to invite your officers to join the scientific investigation aboard our ship.”

Brenok, at first, didn’t say anything. He only stared at th’Arshar. After a long moment, during which th’Arshar tried to read the Cardassian’s face and failed, the gul said: “What do you have in your science lab that we don’t?”

The Andorian cleared his throat. “As I understand, there is no science department aboard a Cardassian warship.” Brenok confirmed by nodding. “Our starship’s mission is science; we are more prepared for instances like this one than any other Sabre class vessel.” Th’Arshar knew he had to convince Brenok that the Cardassians needed him and his crew or they could pack their bags, so to speak, and leave.

All right, Captain,” the gul said finally. “We will work aboard your starship, however you have no power over my team’s personnel choice. Whomever I decide to include in the team and whoever boards your ship, your people will have to work with them.

“Of course.” Th’Arshar nodded eagerly.

For your information: my team is aboard the vessel as we speak. They are attempting to disarm any traps and automatic security protocols.

“How are they doing?”

We don’t know, we have no contact. We wait for their signal.

How weird, th’Arshar thought. They had sent their people, they have no idea how the away team is doing and if they aren’t already dead. Do these people treat everyone as expendable? Don’t they care even about their own comrades?

“What kind of signal?” he asked.

Since all communication is jammed and we have limited scanning abilities we had to find another way to communicate. The boarding party is equipped with a special beacon, which can send strong pulses. Those pulses are strong enough to go through the interference of the ship. One pulse means ‘beam us back’.
“I see. Makes sense,” th’Arshar admitted, wondering how many signals the Cardassians established. Brenok did specify that one indicated the request for a beam out. What did two signals, three signals and more signals mean?

Peaceful co-operation or not, there still was more things they didn’t share than they did.

“Gul Brenok, l would appreciate if you’d inform me of the progress of your away team. We are ready to offer any assistance you may need.”

Brenok smiled. “I’ll let you know as soon as l know anything myself. Anything else?

“No, that would be all. Thank you.” Th’Arshar signed off and just then, after Brenok’s face disappeared from the screen, he let himself release the air out of his lungs.

He was no diplomat, he was a scientist. He knew the difference between copper voltameter and copper electrodes, but he didn’t know how to talk to a Cardassian without starting an interstellar conflict. And Gul Brenok was not just another ordinary Cardassian—this man had whole Cardassian military under his command and if he wanted to attack the Federation it would take only one word to do just that. So far Brenok seemed reasonable, but he had not appeared on the dinner and th’Arshar even for a second didn't buy Zamarran’s story about being busy. There was a real reason why Brenok hadn't come and th’Arshar found it both infuriating and worrying that he didn’t know what it was.


Cardassian Union Warship Damar
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
25th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar



Glinn Karama was busy analysing chaotic signals which the Damar was receiving from the mysterious ship. He was frustrated because he could not make any sense of them. While working, he kept glancing at the main viewscreen in front of him on which he could see the vessel. He also could not forget the strange script on its hull.

He was reading data on his console’s monitor when he heard someone emitting a loud gasp. He looked up at the view screen and his eyes opened wide in fear and worry. His first thought was: did Amrita beam aboard yet? He resisted the urge to call the transporter room to ask if his wife was still aboard the Damar. Instead, he pressed the comm and said: “Gul Brenok, please report to the bridge.”

The door to Brenok’s office opened and the gul stepped onto the bridge. “Report,” he barked. Then his eyes went to the main screen and he asked with incredulity, “Where is the ship?”

Engineering to the bridge.” Zamarran's voice sounded through the comm. “We have lost the scanning lock on the vessel.
“I would imagine,” Brenok replied. “The ship is not there.”

What?” The way Zamarran asked his question told Karama everything about gul’s aide’s state of mind. Glinn Zamarran would never snap like this—certainly not as a reaction to his commander's words—on duty. This was too...colloquial for him. And too rude.

“lt has vanished,” Karama explained, looking at dispersing black cloud, which had surrounded the vessel and now was ‘empty’. “It was there and then it just dissolved in space.” The glinn looked at his console and noticed a hail from the Karamazov. “Captain th’Arshar wants to speak with you, Gul.”

“I reckon he would,” Brenok replied. “Put him through.”


tbc
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Old November 5 2010, 06:55 PM   #68
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Oh..... where is it???

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Old November 6 2010, 03:04 AM   #69
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Oh, no!!! That's not good!

(I liked the curse word..."çlaykothoul," which carries a similar meaning, has the seriousness of a curse, in my universe! )

As to what the Obsidian Order was screwing around with on that ship...well, I'm not 100% sure, but I have a few ideas. None of them are good, and my top idea is really, REALLY bad.

Couple that with the lack of communication and trust, which is only going to make th'Arshar edgier and Brenok angry...and the fact that neither one is likely to be willing to acknowledge the role they're playing in it, without getting hit over the head with it...this could go very badly indeed. (You really are an expert at writing stories where all parties are in the wrong... )
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Old November 6 2010, 12:50 PM   #70
Gul Re'jal
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

TerokNor wrote: View Post
Oh..... where is it???
Somewhere


Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
You really are an expert at writing stories where all parties are in the wrong...
........ No, wait...

It would be boring if everyone would be nice and "smooth"
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Old November 8 2010, 05:00 AM   #71
Gul Re'jal
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Location: Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space station
Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Chapter 7


Shuttlecraft Nokar, Cardassian Union Warship Damar
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
25th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar



Gil Sabal sat in one of the Damar’s shuttles and waited. He sincerely hoped his services wouldn’t be required this time.

And he was thinking.

He looked at the mysterious vessel on the small shuttle screen and was desperately trying to make a decision. He has been serving in the Guard for almost fifteen years now and he has given the military nothing less than his best. He never had to choose...until now. Sabal considered himself a man of honour; someone who didn’t break once given word and now he was facing a choice between the word given twenty five years ago and another one given fifteen years ago.

For him this vessel wasn’t as mysterious as for everyone else. He didn’t know that particular configuration but he knew smaller ones of similar type. He had been a test pilot for them. Nothing he knew was critical, but it would shed some light on their current problem, it would answer a few questions, for example: what was the origin of this ship? Sabal was torn between loyalty to the organisation that existed no more and his current gul and crew.

Gul Brenok knew, of course, of Sabal’s past—the gil wasn’t that stupid not to inform his commander of that—but he left it to Brenok’s discretion if to inform the rest of the crew or not. He suspected the gul chose to tell Glinn Zamarran too, but no one else seemed to know. Maybe it was for the best; one never knew how ordinary Cardassians would react to such a revelation and Sabal didn’t want to alienate anyone because of misunderstanding of his role in that particular Cardassian organisation.

He observed the not-so-mysterious-for-him vessel dissolve. “I really hoped it wouldn’t be the case,” he muttered to himself.



Cardassian Union Warship Damar
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
25th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar




“No, no, no...” Panic flooded Aladar’s heart. His fingers moved over the panel faster than light but he knew it was hopeless; the transporter lock was lost and he could not find the target again. It was simply gone. He vaguely realised that Kapoor approached him and asked questions but he ignored her, because answering her would mean losing his concentration and the away team’s lives depended on how he would proceed now.

He absent-mindedly pressed the comm button and said, “Transporter Chamber One to the bridge. I have lost the lock on the away team.”

We know, Transporter Chamber One.” Aladar did not expect to hear Karama’s voice. Where were Brenok or Zamarran? “The ship has vanished.”

Aladar looked at Kapoor whose face became pale.

“Do you know what has happened?” she asked.

Negative.” Aladar could swear some tension disappeared from Karama’s voice. It was not hard to guess that the communication officer was relieved to hear his wife’s voice as it meant she was not aboard the now gone vessel.

The garesh kept punching the buttons, attempting to retrieve as much information as he could. “Sir,” he said, “I think I have seen something like this before.”

What do you mean?” came Brenok’s voice.

“During the war.”

Kopoor gave Aladar an astonished look.

Elaborate,” Aladar felt panic grasping his throat—the gul sounded irritated and the garesh didn’t enjoy the thought of talking to angry Brenok.

“Gul, it looked awfully like a Romulan ship cloaking.”

The silence on the bridge told him that the senior officers were as shocked as he was. Kapoor stared at him with her mouth wide open.



Unknown Cardassian vessel
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
25th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar



“What did you do?!” Ma’Kan yelled at Ya’val, not really caring that he outranked her.

“I guess this was not a security protocols disable button,” he smiled sheepishly.

“What was it then?” her tone a little more respectful now.

“According to this,” he said, pointing to one of readings, “a cloaking device has been activated.”

“A what?”

“Don’t look at me!” Ya’val raised his hands in a defensive gesture. “I did disable security protocols, but for some reason the cloak was activated too. As I see it: they are both regulated by the same button and command or something else triggered the cloak. There is a separate sub-console for the cloak though.”

“Turn it off. We need to hail the Damar. Can we do it?”

“That’s the problem, I can’t turn it off,” Ya’val frowned over the tactical console. “Here are the controls for the cloak, but they don’t respond.”

Ma’Kan went to him and looked at the console. The engineer moved away to let her have a better access if she decided to try some tactician’s tricks, but she only stared at the shiny surface. “This configuration is heavily modified,” she judged.

“No kidding,” Ya’val rolled his eyes. She eyed him irritated. She could never understand how come they could be friends off duty and have such a terrible relation on duty?

She liked Ya’val. She thought he was incredibly attractive and amazingly smart; but somehow on duty his handsome face became smug and his handsome brain became annoying. She didn’t know if it was him—if his attitude changed the moment he donned his armour—or her—the moment she had to co-operate with him. Shouldn’t their friendship help in their professional lives instead of making them more difficult? Or was it the fact that he outranked her and they worked on the same warship and that made it impossible to follow “the attractive” part? It worked for Karama and Kapoor, but she was a human and she was allowed to ignore Cardassian customs. Ma’Kan couldn’t find herself doing that.

She inwardly sighed. What was it that she always fell for men that were beyond her reach; first it was Gul Brenok—a glinn then—and now Glinn Ya’val.

“Are you sure it was you who activated the cloak?” she asked the engineer.

“No, I’m not,” he replied, shaking his head.

“If you didn’t then who did?” Dole asked behind them.

“And that is a good question,” Ya’val said. He went over to the engineering console and accessed the environmental controls. To his relief there was no security code required to activate the console. First he checked the power reserves; they were sufficient for a short-time ship operations, but if thee away team wouldn’t access the engineering soon and start whatever core there was they would have to find a way to supply the vessel externally. He made another attempt to drop the cloak but each time it seemed like he succeeded, something else was belaying his commands, almost as someone was cancelling every instruction he entered. “You are one stubborn ship,” he said under his breath, but the microphone picked it up and transmitted to Ma’Kan’s and Dole’s headgears; both officers gave him a significant glare—it was no secret Ya’val talked to machines, but most of Cardassians didn’t understand why he did that.

“Can we at least contact our warship?” the female tactician asked impatiently.

“As surprising as it is, I believe we can.” Ya’val’s face behind the headgear plate stretched in a smile.



Cardassian Union Warship Damar
Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
25th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar




“Garesh Aladar, are you telling me that the ship has cloaked?” Brenok asked the transporter operator over the comm.

I cannot be sure, sir, but it looked very much like it,” Aladar confirmed. “This is what our—the Roumar’s—sensors had been detecting when we were in battles with Romulans... Or chasing them to annihilate them when the cowards were running away.”

“Gul, we are being hailed,” Karama reported.

“Th’Arshar again?” Brenok didn’t want to talk to the Federation captain again. One conversation—or rather a set of accusations from th’Arshar—was enough for whole day.

“No.” Karama shook his head. “I am not sure where... Wait a...” He stared at his console for a moment and then looked up at the gul who stood just next to him with his right hand leaning on Karama’s console. “It’s Ya’val.”

Brenok, who was looking at the emptiness on the screen, abruptly shifted his eyes to the communication officer’s face. “Open the channel,” he said in a forced levelled voice. It took all his inner strength not to snap.

Gul Brenok.” Ya’val’s voice was slightly distorted. “This is Glinn Ya’val. We have accessed some kind of control centre, but I doubt it’s the bridge. There’s not enough control over the whole vessel from here.”

“Can you uncloak this thing?” Brenok asked.

I am attempting too, but something is overriding my commands.”

“Sir,” said Karama, tapping buttons on his panel. “We are receiving a message.” He frowned.

“What kind of message?” Brenok asked when Karama didn’t continue; this tim he didn’t hide his annoyance.

“That’s the problem, I cannot tell. However, I can tell for sure it is carried on the same wave as our communication with Ya’val. And...” Karama didn’t continue and it took all Brenok’s strength not to slap the officer’s head. The gul knew Karama did his best; he also knew Karama’s best was not sufficient this time.

“Well?” he asked finally.

“It...is coded. I believe it is...”

Brenok growled, his irritation reaching maximum levels, and leaned over Karama’s head to read from the console himself. His anger subsided when he realised why the communication officer didn’t finish his sentence. He pressed his wristcomm and said, “Gil Sabal, report to the bridge.” After the pilot acknowledged, the gul looked at Karama. “Start decoding it.”

The glinn nodded and made himself busy. A while later Sabal entered the bridge.

“My office,” Brenok barked, nodding toward the door above five stairs. Sabal followed the gul with a worried look on his face. Brenok didn’t enter far into the room, he stood just by the door and waited for Sabal to join him.

“What do you know?” he asked as soon as the door closed behind them. “Everything,” he added.

“I do not know this particular class, sir. But I had piloted ships that looked very similar to this one.”

“The cloak.”

“The ship’s similarity to other experimental vessels and the presence of the Romulan—I’m guessing it’s Romulan—cloak suggest that this ship was constructed in Orias system.”

Brenok squinted, digesting the revelation. “Is there anything else you can tell me?” he asked. Sabal shook his head. “Are you sure? If I learn you hide some information, any information, I will have you executed.”

“Sir, I don’t know anything about this particular vessel. I have never seen it before and even things I have told you just now are only a guess.” He silenced for a moment and then continued, “If I believed this ship posed any danger to our people, I would have come to you earlier. But I didn’t and I still don’t. It is some failed and forgotten experiment, that’s all.”

Brenok clenched his jaws. “There were no ‘forgotten experiments’ in the Obsidian Order,” he hissed. “What are you hiding?”

“Nothing, sir,” the gil said eagerly. “Nothing, sir. I wouldn’t dare to lie to you. It is possible, however, that this experiment was...” he tried to find another word to replace ‘forgotten’, “misplaced after the Order was destroyed by the Founders.”

The gul eyed the gil suspiciously. Sabal looked Brenok in the eyes and Brenok tried to read the pilot’s face, trying to find proofs of his honesty or his falsehood. He was angry with him. He suspected that the vessel might have something to do with the infamous Obsidian Order, but since Sabal didn’t come to him he hoped it wouldn’t be the case. He was wrong. He was also disappointed that the gil put his loyalty to the Order before his loyalty to his current assignment. He believed Sabal wouldn’t risk his fellow officers’ lives, but what would happen if the pilot’s assessment of the risk was flawed?

“You will now assist Glinn Karama in decoding one of your codes, but rest assured this conversation is not over,” Brenok’s voice was full of irony.

“Yes, my Gul.”

It didn’t escape Brenok’s attention that Sabal used very old, very traditional and very submissive way to address him. He understood the gil’s message: you are my commander now, I listen to you, I am loyal to you; he did nothing to acknowledge the pilot’s show of obedience.

Sabal returned to the bridge and Brenok emitted a deep, borbollar growl. He was mad. He took a few deep breaths, trying to cover his anger, and also returned to the bridge.

“Sir,” Karama said as soon as Brenok was within his sight. “Captain th’Arshar hails us.”

“Ignore the blue bitch,” Brenok barked. “Get on that code. I want to know what that message says. Aladar,” he said, opening the comm channel to the transporter chamber. “Can you beam them back?” He knew it was unlikely, but he hoped Aladar could pull a rabbit out of his hat—the garesh was good at finding solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.

Negative, Gul. Not until they drop the cloak.” The garesh’s voice sounded apologetically.

“Stand by,” Brenok told him and then checked if the channel to the cloaked vessel was still opened. “Ya’val, since we can’t beam you back and, I assume, you can’t drop the cloak and beam yourselves back, continue the exploration.”

Acknowledged.”

“We have received some kind of message from the vessel.”

I know, Glinn Karama told me about it.”

“I want to know if this is an automatic message or someone sent it.” It seemed very unlikely that there was anyone on that ship, but somehow Ya’val’s attempts to drop the cloak failed and the message attached itself to the comm wave. Something, or someone, made a decision to smuggle that piece of data hidden in the open comm channel and Brenok didn’t accept it as a coincidence.

The gul sat in his chair and accessed his command panel. He looked up at the door when it opened to admit Zamarran to the bridge. The glinn went to him and stood by his chair.

“Do we have any answers or only more questions?” he asked.

“Questions.”

Zamarran eyed his gul and Brenok knew his aide realised that the commander was furious.

It wasn’t the Obsidian Order ship that was getting on Brenok’s nerve. It wasn’t the mystery. It was his crew’s performance. They were totally inefficient and unprofessional. He had never seen them performing that badly. Sabal hid information. Karama couldn’t compose himself and acted like a child that was shown a big box of new, strange toys. Ya’val achieved nothing and Brenok couldn’t be even sure if he would get his engineer back alive. Nagging Federation captain was not helping either. He made the decision to ask Jarol to deny the Federation any further access to the project. They were not helping, all they did was disturbing him and his crew. He had never asked the legate any favours, using their personal relationship, but this was the time he had to do that. He didn’t know why she wanted the Karamazov here in the first place and right now he didn’t care. He just wanted them to leave.

He looked at Zamarran and brought him up to date. The glinn frowned at the mention of the Obsidian Order but he didn’t say anything.

“Since we know the position of the vessel, we could fire at them with hope that we would take their cloak down,” Zamarran suggested but his voice sounded sceptical. Brenok shook his head. “I know, it’s too great a risk for our people aboard,” the glinn voiced his and his gul’s doubts. “Maybe we could ask the Federation if they know anything about Romulan cloaking devices. They were—maybe even still are—allies with the Romulans; they could know something.”

The gul gave his aide a careful look. “Talk to them. And talk to Kapoor too,” he decided.

If Zamarran was surprised to be chosen for this task, he didn’t show it.

“Sir,” Karama spoke from behind his console, turning back to face Brenok. “We have decoded the message. It’s very short. It says,” he paused and Brenok was just about to snap at him but the glinn finished, “help us.”
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Old November 8 2010, 05:12 AM   #72
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Man, Brenok isn't just angry here--he's being truly MEAN. The racist language coming out of his mouth was just...I hoped I would never, ever see that awfulness in him in a scenario that wasn't hypothetical.

I am very, very, very disappointed in Brenok. Very.

(BTW, "bitch" is most often used for women, unless you want to imply something about th'Arshar's sexuality. Otherwise, "son of a bitch" is the most "appropriate." NOT that what Brenok just said was appropriate.)
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Old November 8 2010, 05:20 AM   #73
Gul Re'jal
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
(BTW, "bitch" is most often used for women, unless you want to imply something about th'Arshar's sexuality. Otherwise, "son of a bitch" is the most "appropriate." NOT that what Brenok just said was appropriate.)
I know but I wanted him to use that particular word.

And yes, this is one of the worst things that Brenok has to "offer". He's on the edge here and he handles it badly. Really badly.
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Old November 8 2010, 08:48 AM   #74
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Poor Brenok is really stressed over the top here. Though even I agree with NG that he indeed is mean therefore, I find it behaviour quite "human" AND lots of the mean things he just thinks, but does not act on them (like slapping Karama *L* ...sorry, I know its not funny, but I just had to imagine Karamas face, when Brenok would slap him on the head...)
Now I am very curious how kapoor and the Fed.Captain will react when learning about the cloaking device... and who that is who calls for help...if there might still someone on the ship or if its automatic and the ones calling for help are long gone?
Continue fast please.

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Old November 8 2010, 09:46 AM   #75
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

I'm annoying with those cliffhangers at the ends of chapters, am I not?
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