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Old February 8 2011, 01:52 AM   #121
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

The information is given to Ghemor. Whether or not your Ghemor could act upon it competently, I don't know--but then at least duty would be satisfied even if the same result (a coup) still occurred.
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Old February 8 2011, 02:45 AM   #122
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

I think that my Ghemor would ask the Federation for help...and I think the result is easy to foresee He had no support from any part of the military after all--one part was The Directorate, and the other part the Mar'Kuu Group. If he had any supporting guls, it wouldn't be enough. So he might have a stupid idea of asking the Starfleet to help him.

I can only hope the Federation would refuse, but I am not so sure of that.
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Old February 8 2011, 03:03 AM   #123
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

If that's the case, then what would have to happen would be a popular uprising if such a plot were exposed publicly. One thing the Cardassians would not want would be to have scenes of troops slaughtering and torturing civilians who rose up. This would have to come accompanied by a few possibilities, for it to work. One would be for Ghemor to stand up and take a harder line towards the Federation. Another would be a special, off-cycle election--to get a leader who is more in line with what the Cardassian people believe is right. In other words, Ghemor would have to voluntarily set a date (soon) to step down. That I could accept much more easily than the coup.
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Old February 8 2011, 04:22 AM   #124
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

I am not sure he'd want to step down or if the Federation would allow him to step down. That would mean that the next person wouldn't agree to limit the military and to other demands they had.
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Old February 8 2011, 04:24 AM   #125
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

I think the right person could do it--keep reforms moving forward without crippling the Union or turning it into a Federation copy. This person would have to be a combination of not (naturally) aggressive, yet highly assertive and know what he or she wants. A statesman, basically.
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Old February 8 2011, 04:39 AM   #126
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

You know how my Cardassians think--that person would have to be visible for quite some time already to have real support. It would have to be someone present in their politics for some time. Not as weak as Ghemor and not as "unreformed" as the Directorate.

I know only one name that was present on political scene of Cardassia at that time. Gul Daset. Still, he would be closer to the Directorate than Ghemor in his approach to the Federation.

Not another anonymous "pie in the sky" fellow. The Cardassians would not accept that kind of election again, seeing how badly they chose the previous time.
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Old February 8 2011, 05:08 AM   #127
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
You know how my Cardassians think--that person would have to be visible for quite some time already to have real support. It would have to be someone present in their politics for some time. Not as weak as Ghemor and not as "unreformed" as the Directorate.
Is your Gul Macet "political" at all? Or does yours prefer to be a soldier only? (Or would his unfortunate kinship keep people from seeing his qualifications?)

I realize there are multiple interpretations of the character of Macet--some of which are positive, and some of which are negative. But it's my first thought. We've seen him work alongside the Federation before--but the way Picard behaved (atrociously) during that mission would make very sure that Macet is wary, and able to stand his ground where required.
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Old February 8 2011, 05:31 AM   #128
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

I think my Gul Macet has enough of politics and diplomacy after dealing with Picard.

No, he didn't participate in politics at all, just a soldier.

There were three big political forces on my Cardassia: The Reunion Project, the Directorate and the Mar'kuu Group. The first one very civilian and in the end too pro-Fed, the second too much set in the old ways and pre-war Cardassia, and the third one that tried to be in the middle and pose a the "reasonable ones." Smaller groups didn't have any real influence and those three groups were searching for supporters all around.
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Old February 8 2011, 05:39 AM   #129
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
I think my Gul Macet has enough of politics and diplomacy after dealing with Picard.

No, he didn't participate in politics at all, just a soldier.
I see. And of course your Macet didn't have any experiences that might make him re-evaluate his stereotypes. (Or at least think that one Cardassian was born on the wrong planet... )
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Old February 8 2011, 07:13 AM   #130
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

True, although I'm not sure my Macet thinks that all humans have the "Picard superior attitude." He just wouldn't like to deal with those that do, again. One time was enough for him
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Old February 10 2011, 02:42 PM   #131
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Chapter 19 – Day 521



Seeing one’s own mother crying is one of the most terrible and scary things in the galaxy. It was for me.

“Mom, please...” I whispered.

But she only kept shaking her head and sobbing. Dad was sitting next to her, frowning. I could understand how they felt, that’s why I wanted to explain to them the reasons behind my decisions.

I had been sending letters and calling them occasionally, but didn’t share everything—not a word about Tavor. I didn’t know why; maybe I feared their reaction, maybe I was not sure there was any future for this relationship and didn’t want to hear another ‘you sell yourself cheap,’ as if I slept with everyone. Hell, I didn’t even sleep with Tavor!

You must return home,” Dad said. “You must. We watch the news, we know what’s going on there. I always knew these Cardies cannot be trusted and I never liked that you had volunteered for this assignment. And now—this?” He raised his hands and then brought them down to his thighs with a loud slap. “You must return!

“Dad, I don’t want to return.” I didn’t appreciate his calling my friends ‘Cardies.’

Is there anyone beyond the camera view with a phaser pointed at your head?

“No!” I shouted with indignation.

So why can’t you return?

“I don’t want to return, Dad. I can but don’t want to.”

They made you say this. I know they did.” He was visibly shaking now. I wasn’t sure he was angry, nervous or scared.

“Daddy,” I tried to calm him down. “It’s not like that. I have friends here, I have a life here. You know that, I had been telling you about them. It’s not that different from Starfleet, really.”

How can you say this!” Mom shouted. “I know you have friends there, sweetheart, people you care for, that security girl,” I guessed she meant Ma’Kan, “But...this is dangerous place now. After that coup! Do you have any idea what kind of monsters are in power now?

“Actually, Mom, I have a very good idea, because I know personally some of those people. They are not any monsters.” Glinn Brenok was a definition of a non-monster, if anything. “I’m sure it looks bad from over there, but here it isn’t—”

You must return home, now!” Dad shouted.

“No,” I tried to be calm, I really tried. Why couldn’t they trust me? I wasn’t a baby any more, I could take care of myself.

No?

“No,” I repeated. “And I have more news for you. I am getting married.”

Silence for a long moment.

To one of them?” Mom stopped crying a looked at me with round eyes.

“That’s right.” I nodded. “He is a gentle and a wonderful man.”

What is his name?” Mom asked. Somehow, her behaviour changed. Maybe she could understand me better now, maybe she could see that for love a woman is able to do anything and everything. Maybe she started to believe that I wanted to stay and was not forced to it. If being in love and getting married wasn’t a reason good and convincing enough, then I don’t know what would be.

“Tavor Karama.” I said his name softly, as it always sounded softly to me. Once Tavor had told me that I said his name almost the same way that Glinn Brenok did. Tah-voh. I had terrible problems with Cardassian ‘r’ sound, never could get it right and at ends of words I was omitting it completely. Too much contact with British during my school days, I supposed.

Mom nodded, absorbing the name, but Dad fumed.

That rapist?!

“What?” I didn’t expect that. And then it occurred to me that he had to talk about Tavor’s father. No doubt Bajorans shared their list of war criminals with the Federation and Dad could have become very interested in the subject since my coming to Cardassia.

He’d raped that officer, the one that had been there with you. That’s why she had been sent back, not to be able to press charges against him. Cardassian law...” he muttered with contempt.

So it wasn’t about Tavor’s father. Stupid Ullmann! I wanted to scream in anger. “No, Dad, that is absolutely not true.” How come was my voice so quiet?

What did he do to you?” Dad asked suspiciously. “Did he...did he....harm you?” His voice shook. I knew it was hard for him to even think about his daughter being violated that way.

“No, Daddy, he is not like this.”

Did he...did—

“Daddy, no! He never touched me. At all. It’s not appropriate for them. Only after being married.”

Oh, and I suppose they were all married to those Bajoran women they had been raping for decades.

“Dad! Don’t judge the whole race based on minority!” I said sharply.

But it doesn’t seem like a minority to me, baby. That’s the problem.

I clenched my hands, trying not to explode. “He hasn’t even been to Bajor. Ever.” I paused to take a breath. “If you could talk to him, you could see how gentle and caring he is.”

Could we talk to him?” Mom asked.

I thought for a moment. Actually, why not? Maybe if they would see him, ask him questions, see him smile, listen to his soft way of speaking, look in his kind eyes—maybe then they would understand that not every Cardassian was a monster from Bajor. “Sure, I’ll call him.” I pressed a comm. “Kapoor to Karama.”

Karama here.

I made sure the translator was off and said in my broken Cardassian, “Come to me. Mom and Dad want to talk. Be good.”

On my way,” he answered. I hoped he understood my message. I wanted to tell him to be patient with them but didn’t speak Cardassian well enough to convey this message.

You speak their language?” Mom looked surprised.

“A little,” I smiled.

A chime sounded and Tavor entered. He wore a civilian tunic and I thought that it was a happy coincidence; maybe it would help them—help Dad—see through the stereotype of a ruthless Cardassian soldier and see Tavor for what he really was—a person.

I rose from my chair and let him sit on it; I pulled another one and sat next to him.

“Sir, Madame,” he greeted them politely.

Mom smiled and nodded back. Her smile was a bit reserved but at least she made the effort. Dad, however, suspiciously scrutinised him. And then it started.

What do you think you’re doing, Cardassian! This is kidnapping!” Dad shook his fist. “I will do everything in my power to get my child back.

“Sir,” Tavor tried to say something but was interrupted; his voice sounded incredibly calm, though. Did he expect a reaction like that?

Don’t talk to me, Cardie! You raped that other woman and now God only knows what you do to my little girl!” I could feel Tavor tense. I glanced at him and he still had that polite smile plastered on his face but I knew it was a mask. “If you think you can enslave everyone to serve your pervert needs, you will have to deal with me!” Mom tried to calm Dad down; she put her hand on his shoulder but he shrugged it off. Tavor seemed not to react. Frozen. “You can kill each other over there for all I care, but I don’t like that you keep my child there. I don’t know how you force her to lie to us like this, I don’t know how you threaten her to lie to us at all, but—

Dhirendra, please,” Mom tried to interfere but he wouldn’t listen.

No!” Dad shouted at her. Then, he turned back to the screen and hissed, squinting at Tavor. “You miserable, little, scheming reptile. Make no mistake, I’ll file a protest and get people to free my daughter. And then you’ll pay for this, you spoonhead!

That was too much. This wasn’t a conversation, my father wasn’t allowing Tavor to present himself, to show who he was. This was a rant, a show of insults and it was clear to me that all my father wanted was to threaten and yell, not listen. Why did he behave like this? He had never been like that, he had never been a racist, I had never heard him using racial slurs. Until now. And all that directed at the man whom I loved. No! I won’t accept this! Tavor was too polite to react, obviously, although I had no idea how come he didn’t talk back. He should have.

“Enough!” I slammed my hand on the desk, hitting the comm button and breaking the connection.

Tavor looked at me astonished. “What did you do that for?”

“Couldn’t you hear? Didn’t you understand what he said?!” I was shaking, angry.

“I did. So what? He’s worried, he fears for you.”

It was beyond worry. “He insulted you. Many times!”

“And I would let him. He would throw all that out of him and then we would have a chance to talk.”

I was flabbergasted. What was he saying? I sat in the other chair and stared at him. “What?” I whispered.

“I thought that if I would let him to let the anger out and he’d calm down, we could talk. Really talk. Have a conversation, with questions and answers. Your mother seemed to have a lot of questions.” He silenced for a moment. “She seemed nice,” he added. “And with your father—”

“He can go to hell,” I growled. “No one will call you...the ‘s’ word.” I was so angry. He had taught me that insulting people was unacceptable, that calling them names was unacceptable and now he did just that. That man looked like my father but behaved nothing like him. I was disgusted by that show of hatred.

“You shouldn’t say such things about your father,” Tavor chastised me.

“You do about yours,” I said defiantly.

“Mine is a rapist and murderer. Yours isn’t. He’s just worried about you. He panics. He fears for your safety and I understand that. He is sick with worry.”

“Well, he expresses it the wrong way!” I got up and went to my tiny window.

“You should call them back and talk to them,” he said quietly, approaching me and wrapping his arms around me.

“No way,” I barked.

I was so mad. I had known that conversation with my parents would be a tough one, I had known there would be tears and accusations, misunderstandings and a lot of explanations. I had been looking forward to it, though, because I had thought I could tell them about my life: that I was happy, that I found true love, that every day was an adventure, even if sometimes adventures were scary and seemed dangerous. However, they weren’t interested in my happiness. They were interested in their assumptions.

“I need to talk to Starfleet now,” I said quietly.

“Come to my quarters after you finish. I’ll have something yummy for you, to improve your mood. And I’ll let you win another kotra game.”

“Nothing can improve my mood.”

He turned me around to face him. “Maybe this isn’t the best idea,” he said very quietly, looking intently into my eyes. “Maybe it would be better if you returned home after all.”

There was pain in his eyes, I could clearly see it now. Was it because the conversation with my parents went so badly, or because of the words he had to listen to? Or both?
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Old February 10 2011, 02:42 PM   #132
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

He was a Cardassian. He was a Cardassian from an unhealthy, broken family and I knew that it bothered him. That some kind of sacred custom has been violated; he talked about it sometimes and I knew he felt terrible because of the situation. Did he want to spare me the same pain? Of hating my own father?

I didn’t hate Dad. I was just so, so, so mad at him.

And Tavor? He was able to push me away, send back home, let me go and not be with me not to let a crack to grow between me and my parents. I wouldn’t be allowed to contact them after Cardassia isolates itself from the rest of the quadrant, and that would be bad enough. Now it was different. Did our last conversation have to look like this? Did it had to be a fight with bitter words? He wanted me to have a proper goodbye with my family, to make sure they knew I was happy. If I were to break my contact with them this way—with ugly words shouted in our faces—he’d rather withdraw his word and return me to my family than be with me. My family’s integrity was more important to him than his broken heart.

If they only knew about it; if Dad knew what Tavor tried to do for us. But Dad wouldn’t listen, he’d just start a rant again, seeking a hidden malice in Tavor’s actions. I didn’t have to listen to that, I wouldn’t listen to that.

I stroke his eye ridge gently, enjoying the feeling of his scales under my skin. “Go back to your quarters. I’ll join you when this is over.”

He nodded, kissed me and left.

Starfleet.

I didn’t wait long for the connection. A commander appeared on my elegant, oval monitor.

Commander Valatto. How can I help you?” he asked smiling at me.

“Commander, my name is Lieutenant Amrita Kapoor, Starfleet Service Number JP-583-554.” He entered the number into his computer and I saw that red colour reflected from his olive skin. Clearly, some kind of warning displayed on his monitor. I ignored it and continued, “I would like to file my resignation from Starfleet.”

Lieutenant,” Valatto said slowly. “Please wait a moment. I’ll patch you through to Admiral Nechayev.

Before I had a time to ask ‘why?’ his face was replaced by the petite, blond woman’s stern look.

“Admiral,” I said by the way of greeting.

She ignored it. “Lieutenant Kapoor, I’m glad you decided to contact us. You are being recalled from Cardassia, effective immediately.

I ignored her too. “Admiral, please acknowledged receipt of my resignation from Starfleet.”

No, Lieutenant. You will return to Starfleet Headquarters to be debriefed.”

What? Am I now a traitor? “Why?” I asked.

If there is anyone in the Federation that understands what is going on on Cardassia, it is you. You have the insight, you are in the middle of it and you have the information we need.

“I’m resigning from Starfleet, Admiral. I can prepare a full report about everything I know about current Cardassian politics, I can even try to interview the coup participants for you, I would answer all your questions, but I am not returning. I resign from Starfleet.”

She gazed at me for a moment. “You have a direct access to that gul...we need to know what you know. Besides, it is not safe for you there any longer.

“Admiral, you’re not listening, I am—”

I heard you, Lieutenant. And I refuse to accept your resignation. You will report to Starfleet Headquarters.

I knew it. I was sure they’d try this and I had prepared myself for it. “You cannot refuse it, Admiral. Starfleet Regulation Number forty-five-dash-seven-dash-eighteen, paragraph three. ‘Should a Starfleet off—’”

Don’t quote regulations to me, Lieutenant, I know them.” She didn’t sound irritated...or she sounded irritated all the time, I was not sure which.

“Then you also know you can’t refuse my resignation. If you received the file, I am no longer a lieutenant.”

She silenced for a moment. Then she said in a much softer tone of voice. “Lieu...Ms. Kapoor, Cardassia is not safe right now. You can’t stay there.

“Expect my full report soon. It’s going to be the last one.”

I don’t like it and I think you make a grave mistake.” But there was nothing she could do about it and she knew it. “Good luck, Ms. Kapoor.

“Thank you, Admiral.”

She disconnected and just then I realised how tensed I was.

I was sure it wasn’t the end, I was sure that Starfleet wouldn’t just take my file and forget about everything. But at that moment I didn’t care. At. All.

The die is cast.

The rope to Starfleet has been cut. The rope to parents has been torn to pieces. I hoped that the new Cardassian strings would prove strong enough to carry me into my future.

I left my quarters and headed for the Roumar’s bridge and the gul’s office.

Gul Jarol gazed at me, looked at my civilian clothes with interest and then put away a padd she had in her hand.

“Lieutenant?” she asked.

“No longer, G...Legate.” Of course, she wasn’t a gul any longer. What was she still doing aboard the ship anyway?

“I see,” she leaned back in her chair and gave me a more careful look. I’d say there was curiosity in her eyes. “What can I do for you, then?”

“I promised Starfleet the last report about the current situation on Cardassia. I will write what I know. Everything. I wanted you to know that. I can show it to you so you’d know what I wrote, but I wouldn’t allow any censorship.” Bold. She could block it with ease and there would be nothing I could do about it; I didn’t want to do it without notifying her, though. I didn’t want to feel like I spied on them, I didn’t want them to think I spied on them. I worked too hard and too long to gain their trust—her trust—to fail it now. I hoped she’d understand it was the last thing I had to do, my last duty to fulfil. She was a soldier, she was an officer, she knew duty.

Jarol smiled. “Lieut...Kapoor, if you write the truth, then I don’t need to check it, control it or whatever. Besides, I am really not interested in Starfleet’s opinion about Cardassia. It is of no consequence. Not any longer.” She paused. “All right, that is not entirely true, I’m not that short-sighted,” a small grin appeared on her face. Why wasn’t this beautiful woman surrounded by dozens of adorers again? “Write your report and send it. Thank you for notifying me.” So she did understand. I felt relieved.

“About my stay in the Guard...?” I asked shyly.

“I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to talk to Gul Tarkan, yet. I’ll do that first thing in the morning, all right?”

Did she ask me if it was all right, or were my ears playing tricks on me?

“Of course. I appreciate that, Legate.”

She looked like she wanted to ask something more, but she only smiled and returned to her padd. “Dismissed,” she said.

I left her office and went straight to Tavor’s quarters. I hoped he had a good plan for my mood improvement because I desperately needed it.



tbc
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Old February 11 2011, 02:17 AM   #133
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

This is very, VERY sad to read, how her family reacted. Karama's right that they're scared and upset, but in my opinion that still does not justify their behavior.

The one thing I wonder, though...does Karama really, truly understand that it was his behavior that caused the misunderstanding with Kapoor's dad? NOT the racist rant--that was all Mr. Kapoor--but the underlying misunderstanding. Do you think he feels guilty about that? Because Ullmann's way of perceiving things was, in my opinion, justified. What Gil Karama did was beyond the pale, something no sentient being should EVER threaten towards another. We saw that he grew beyond that, of course, but Ullmann wasn't around for that growth, so as far as she is concerned, it didn't happen.

I'm amazed Jarol is going to let Kapoor write a final, uncensored report. And I am doubly amazed that Starfleet did not tell her that her resignation would not be accepted--or issue a warrant for her arrest. They could have had her extradited as a criminal. Especially a hard-case admiral like Nechayev. Why did she not do that?

As for why Jarol is being "gentler"...is it because Kapoor is temporarily a civilian?
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Old February 11 2011, 02:44 AM   #134
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
The one thing I wonder, though...does Karama really, truly understand that it was his behavior that caused the misunderstanding with Kapoor's dad?
He tensed. It is a sensitive subject for him. Why? Kapoor doesn't know.
I think most of all he is ashamed of this incident and of his behaviour. If he think that Kapoor's dad's reaction was only to this incident--I don't think so. Karama knows that it is a huge part of it, but he believes not only that. It's the general opinion the Cardassians have--that's why he wanted to let Mr. Kapoor fume and then try to talk to him to fight the stereotype and the negative impression of his as a person.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
I'm amazed Jarol is going to let Kapoor write a final, uncensored report. And I am doubly amazed that Starfleet did not tell her that her resignation would not be accepted--or issue a warrant for her arrest. They could have had her extradited as a criminal. Especially a hard-case admiral like Nechayev. Why did she not do that?
Data couldn't be stopped from resigning from SF (they had to force him to submit to Maddox's experiment by establishing that Data was a thing, property and not a person), so I assume that they can't refuse a resignation. Service in SF is voluntary, not obligatory, so a person can choose if they want or don't want to serve.

Nechayev didn't just give up, she has plans for Kapoor. Those plans will fail completely, but she doesn't know that yet. And Kapoor will never know (some background info that will never be in the story, but helps me make sense of it). Nechayev hopes that with time, when Kapoor cools down a little, they could recruit her as a spy.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
As for why Jarol is being "gentler"...is it because Kapoor is temporarily a civilian?
I think she was in exceptionally good mood

As for the report: Jarol doesn't think she has anything to hide. They had a coup. The government on Cardassia changed and this is a fact. She is not ashamed of what they had done.
And she trusts that Kapoor will write the truth.
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Old February 11 2011, 02:50 AM   #135
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

I had to imagine that the way Mr. Kapoor reacted also had to remind Karama of some other unpleasant spats that he had in his past, at home.

As for refusing a resignation...I had assumed it can be done, because even in the American military (which is all-volunteer), you can choose to join, but once you do join, there are things you don't get a say in, and I think that a resignation could be refused.

As for Nechayev hoping to turn Kapoor into a spy...that does sound like typical Nechayev, now that you say it.
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