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Old May 16 2011, 05:14 AM   #196
Gul Re'jal
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

The Federation generally isn't happy that the Cardassians are there. How do they know? It should be easy to guess, consider their methods of study, but if you can't--it will be explained

Jarol needs more shaking than what Toral told her, but it's a start. At least--someone is shaking her. Laran can't do it effectively, especially since she doesn't tell him about her nightmares.

The whole battle scene was just for Aladar comforting one of his bookworm scene I had that scene for a looong time in my head and just had to make it happen
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Old May 16 2011, 05:48 AM   #197
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Oh, I can imagine what the Federation is doing. A whole lot of being nosy, and a whole lot of doing nothing. Whoopee, people are dying and we don't give a damn...it makes GREAT science!

Maybe round 2 for Jarol will be Brenok...I think he could help too. Especially since he had nightmares (though different nightmares), and nearly died because of his trauma.
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Old May 16 2011, 06:10 AM   #198
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

I can see you know what's good for Jarol Toral and Brenok are two men whom she cannot dismiss as "you're my baby, I have to protect you."

The Federation...well... yeah...science...study...preserve the knowledge about the species that is about to be doomed...blah...blah...blah...
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Old May 16 2011, 03:19 PM   #199
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Yeah...that whole attitude even seems as though it could endanger another character you and I know, or a few characters.
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Old May 18 2011, 01:52 PM   #200
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Chapter 12



Rathosia, Forrituloix City



Aladar grunted. He scrambled to his feet, looking around to find the other two Cardassians. The emergency transport was rough and they had beamed a few meters above the ground, falling painfully to a hard, paved street.

Pa’Ler was sitting on the ground, rubbing his head with one hand and his ankle with the other. Veltek lay on the street, facing the sky and for one dreadful moment Aladar thought that the young Cardassian was dead—but the garesh blinked twice.

Soktoo, soktoo, soktoo!

“You guys ok?” Aladar asked.

“So much for soft landing,” Pa’Ler moaned. “I think I twisted my ankle.”

The ranking garesh went to the youngest one. “Veltek, you good?”

Veltek blinked again. “Yeah,” he muttered sitting. “I think someone ran over me. Literally. I felt his feet on my legs.”

Aladar helped Veltek stand up.

Soktoo, soktoo, soktoo!

“What the hell ‘soktoo’ means?” Pa’Ler asked. He tried to stand up and pulled his face in a grimace of pain. He stood on his left foot only gently touching the ground with the right one.

Aladar looked around. The locals ran away from them, hiding in buildings and behind big objects, shouting this one word, pointing to them and talking to small things in their hands—Aladar assumed they were some kind of communication devices.

“Seems like the universal translators don’t work,” he commented.

“‘Soktoo,’” Veltek repeated. “For all we know it can mean monsters, or food, or magic, or gods.”

“Call me Oralius,” Pa’Ler tittered.

“Shut up,” Aladar barked. This was a serious matter and they behaved like children.

Both gareshes silenced, while Aladar observed one local being approaching them slowly and distrustfully. The local appeared to be armed with a short weapon and its hand seemed to casually rest on its butt, but Aladar was certain that the gesture was trained and there was nothing casual or relaxed about it.

Soktoo!” someone yelled again.

The local turned toward the source of the shout and shouted back, “Did you ever see a soktoo wearing clothes?”

Aladar’s eye ridges went wide. Obviously, the universal translator worked fine, it just couldn’t fine an appropriate word for soktoo.

The local was a very short mammalian biped; he—or she, but for some reason Aladar felt it was a male representative of the species—reached not higher than Aladar’s waistline. He was covered by purple and red fur all over his body, including a short snout. His long, falling on his shoulders ears moved slightly. Perked?

“Hello,” the alien said in a friendly tone of voice.

Pa’Ler and Veltek looked at Aladar. The ranking garesh lowered himself to one knee not to appear tall and intimidating and he answered in a soft voice, “Hello.”

“You fell from the sky?” the alien asked.

“In a manner of speaking.”

“You from the machine from the sun?”

“We call it a ship and it’s not from the sun.”

“You’re not the Sun People?”

Aladar smiled. “No. We’re from very far away.”

A group of other aliens ran to the Cardassians, pointing some kind of riffle-like weapons at them. They were clad in similar garments, so the garesh assumed they were uniformed force, some kind of ground order troop. Aladar resisted a natural urge to raise to his feet and remained in a vulnerable, half-kneeling position. Additionally, he raised his hands, palms facing the alien to whom he had just spoken to. “We mean no harm. Our ship was damaged, so we had to escape and came here.” Which reminded him to activate the beacon. “If you let us notify our friends, they will come and take us from here.”

“Your...ship is the big pell?”

“A what?”

The alien drew a picture in the air. It resembled Keldon class ship, so Aladar nodded. And then added, not sure if the nodding would be understood. “Yes, this is our ship.”

“And the other...ship?”

“It’s not ours.”

“The Sun People?”

The garesh wondered if the aliens called the Talarians that, knowing that the Talarians were doing something to their star. “Maybe. I don’t know.”

“You hungry?”

Astonished Aladar looked at the other two Cardassians. Friendliness and trust—even facing the armed members of their society—were astonishing.

Suddenly, a turmoil started. The lead alien seemed confused and so was Aladar. The garesh rose and said to Pa’Ler, “Activate the beacon. Let theMarritza know that we’re all right.”

“For now,” Veltek muttered.

“You come with me?” the alien asked.

Aladar agreed. “Our friend needs help, if you allow me...” He silenced and the alien stomped his foot several times. Was it their way of nodding? The garesh rose and went to Pa’Ler. “Lean on me.” The lower ranking garesh wrapped his arm around Aladar’s shoulder. Veltek went to help from the other side.

Escorted by the armed troop, they went to one of small buildings. The Cardassians had to lower their heads under the low doorway, but the ceiling inside was high enough for them the stretch to their full height.

The leader of the group, to whom Aladar had spoken, said something quietly to his communication device and then invited the garesh to sit in a chair on one side of a desk. The Cardassian gently sat in a tiny chair but after a moment of shifting in an attempt to find a comfortable position, he decided that floor would be preferable. The alien observed him for a moment and then rose from behind the desk and sat on the floor opposite the Cardassian.

“Is that your custom?” he asked.

“No. Your chair is too small for me.”

“Oh.” He thought for a while. “I can order to find something bigger.” He raised his furry hand to call someone, but Aladar quickly said.

“Please, don’t. The floor is fine for all sizes.”

The alien showed his tongue—was it a smile? “It is indeed.” He paused and leaned toward Aladar. “Do you have a name?”

“My name is Aladar. What’s yours?”

“Gorrtosoilix.”

Aladar heard Veltek coughing behind him. He ignored it and to the alien said, “Ghhhhorrhhhtossssoilixssss. It that correct?”

The alien chuckled. “Almost. You sound like a very hungry doffragu.”

Aladar chose not to ask what a doffragu was.

A new alien entered the room. It looked around and noticed both men sitting on the floor. “Where’s the emergency?” The pitch of the voice was quite high, so Aladar guessed this was a female.

Gorrtosoilix pointed to Pa’Ler. “He hurt his leg.”

The injured garesh’s eyes opened wide and he looked to Aladar in panic. Aladar nodded once, ordering the man to submit himself to the care of the medic.

With Veltek’s help, she gently took Pa’Ler’s boot off and studied his ankle. “I don’t want to inject you with painkillers, because I don’t know how you would react to them. But I can immobilise your foot to reduce the discomfort.” Pa’Ler nodded, so she started her work.

Aladar looked at Gorrtosoilix. “You don’t seem very shocked by our presence.”

“Oh, we are very surprised,” the furry alien said. “We hadn’t thought that you would come to visit us.”

“Well, it’s not exactly a planned visit.”

“Still, you are welcome.”

Aladar smiled. “Thank you. Our people should take us back soon, so we won’t bother you for long.”

“There are so many questions I’d like to ask you.”

“Like what?”

“Like what is your city like. Or how you deal with big predators. Or how you fly in the sun.”

“Aren’t you curious about how we came to being from the thin air?”

Gorrtosoilix’s look almost expressed being hurt. “We are not wildmen, we have transporters. I don’t know where you came from, but I know how.”

Aladar smiled. “My apology. As you can see, there is a lot I don’t know about you, too.”

“Accepted. And I will gladly answer all your questions.”

“What is soktoo?” Veltek asked. Aladar shot him a reprimanding glance, but Gorrtosoilix didn’t seem to mind the question.

“It’s a predator, one of the biggest on the planet.”

“Why did you think we were soktoo?” Veltek kept enquiring and Aladar turned all his body to the young man to give him a clear signal that he didn’t like the questioning.

“Because...” Gorrtosoilix showed his tongue and harrumphed at the same time. A sheepish smile, perhaps? “Because a soktoo is a big, reptilian, biped predator that lives in our forests and...hunts us. And you look very much like it—even the rings around your eyes. Except for the clothing, and speaking, and thinking and being nice.”

Aladar didn’t think that any alien would ever call any Cardassians ‘nice,’ but he was very glad to witness this moment.

A commotion started on the street outside, so all eyes directed to the door. A few moments later more armed and uniformed aliens entered, followed by a civilian. Gorrtosoilix quickly rose to his feet.

“Esteemed Governor, it is an honour to be in your presence,” he said, bowing.

Aladar wasn’t sure what he should do, so he rose too and bowed slightly, although didn’t say anything.

The newcomer scrutinised all three Cardassians and then stated, “So you claim that you are not the Sun People.” He looked at Aladar, obviously understanding that the garesh was the leader of their small team.

“I don’t think so. I am not sure who you call the Sun People, so I cannot be certain. However, we have arrived here only recently, so if you have knowledge of the Sun People for some time, then most likely it’s not us.”

“Why did you come here?”

Aladar thought that this alien was not friendly at all. Not aggressive either, though. More like—direct. “To...” Should he tell them about their sun and its problems? Wouldn’t it be a violation of some protocol?

“Are you friends with the Sun People?”

The garesh shook his head. “No.”

“So why did you come here? I assume it’s not to help them.”

“To stop them,” Aladar said before stopping himself.

“From destroying our sun?”

So they knew. And they were fully aware of the Talarians, who kept mining and damaging their star.

“Yes.”

The governor seemed to frown. “Why should I believe you?”

“We—my team—are here, because the Sun People attacked us. No, we attacked them when they started to fire at your forest. They destroyed our small craft and we needed to beam here to survive.”

The alien came closer to Aladar, so the garesh lowered himself to one knee again to be able to look the governor in the face, not at the top of his head. The governor looked into the garesh’s eyes and seemed to try to read the Cardassians thought from them.

“You came to help us?”

“Yes.”

“Are you the Fedayshion?”

“The...Fedayshion?” Aladar repeated slowly. “The Fede—ra—tion?” he repeated again, softly adding the missing syllable.

The governor seemed to ponder the Cardassian’s word for a moment and then said, sticking his tongue out. “Yes, I think that might be correct.”

Oh, boy, Aladar thought. “You know about the Federation?” he asked, trying to stall and find an appropriate answer.

“We heard that they help people and are friendly.”

“Heard from whom?” Aladar asked.

“Picked some messages from subspace.”

“You know of subspace?” The Cardassian’s eyes opened wide. He quickly added. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you are wildmen...I just had no idea...”

“So? Are you?”

The garesh took a deep breath and shook his head. “No. We are from Cardassia.”

“Are you friends of the Feday...Feder...Federation?”

Aladar smiled. “I don’t know,” he answered honestly. “But we are not part of the Federation. We are a separate entity.”

“And you help too?”

Aladar never felt much shame about his career or Cardassia. Of course, his home had lots of dark stains in its past, but he liked to believe that the Cardassians evolved beyond that and were now wiser and better. But now, faced with such simple questions, he saw that his belief in Cardassia’s greatness was naive at best. What could he tell this little, furry alien that wouldn’t put his team at risk, wouldn’t be a lie and wouldn’t ruin their reputation with someone, with whom they had a chance to show what Cardassia was like now.

It was his chance to show that the Cardassians had great hearts and didn’t have to be the embodiment of cruelty and death.

“We came to help you.”

“And you will tell the Sun People to leave us alone?”

“Yes, we will.”

“Why?”

“Because we want to.”

“Why?”

“Because...because if we don’t, you will all be in danger.”

“Why do you care?”

“No one deserves to seize to exist, no one.”

The governor seemed to digest Aladar’s answer. The Cardassian’s voice clearly indicated that he believed in what he had just said. And he did. He didn’t think that the Cardassians deserved near genocide at the hands of the Dominion, no matter what they had done, and he didn’t think that the Rathosians deserved to die, especially since they didn’t appear as a people with dark stains in their history.

The governor cocked his head to the left. “A precinct is not a place for guests. You will come with me to the palace.”

“Yes, sir,” Aladar said.

“I have many questions for you.”

“Yes, sir.”
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Old May 18 2011, 01:53 PM   #201
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Rayak Nor, the gul’s office



Jarol heard the door open, so she turned to see who was her visitor.

“Arenn? I had no idea you were in this sector.” She made a step toward him, but his words stopped her immediately.

“Gul Jarol, it has been brought to my attention that you are unfit for duty.”

She stared at him. He was so official and so cold. Was he angry with her, too? Had she wronged him, too?

“Unfit for duty?” she repeated quietly. “Who reported it?” Clearly, someone noticed and informed him. Well, it was hard not to notice, really. She was unfit for duty and she knew that. There was just nothing else she could do, but to try to go on.

“It doesn’t matter,” he answered. “I have studied your reports and Glinn Borad’s reports and it would appear that it is him who, in fact, is running the station.”

She knew that too. For the last few weeks he kept bringing her orders to sign. Good orders. Good decisions. Decisions that she had been unable to make. “You should promote him,” she said.

“I might. However, I didn’t come here to talk to him. I came to talk to you.”

“I’m listening.”

“You are temporarily relieved of duty. You will start psychotherapy and will not return to work until you are officially declared ready.”

“I’m not crazy,” she muttered.

“I did not say you were. But you are not able to fulfil your tasks and in my personal opinion, supported by Medic Albek’s medical assessment, you will not be able to do that until your troubled mind is healed.”

“And if I won’t start the crazy-therapy?” she asked. She intended the question to be defiant, but it sounded more like begging.

“I will be forced to relieve you of duty permanently. You would be granted special pension, as you injuries were inflicted during your service, however...” But she didn’t listen to him any longer. The only thing that he had just said that mattered was that he would kick her out of the Guard.

The military service was everything for her; she knew no other life, had no other purpose. It had become a part of her when she had been sixteen, still a child, and she had no other use now. Without this she would be nothing. Completely nothing.

She already was nothing, wasn’t she? She sat on the floor and looked at him. Any other superior would simply issue an order, but Arenn, her best friend, tried to find another way. He tried to help her stay, even though he knew she was useless. No one needed a gul who feared to make decisions.

She should have resigned, instead of forcing Arenn to make this though choice. She knew she should have, but she clutched to her work like a sinking man to a log, because she had nothing else left. Laran was an adult and didn’t really need her any more. Arenn had rebuilt his life and didn’t need her either. And Hatinn certainly didn’t need such a burden; she knew he loved her but she also knew he deserved someone better. Someone who would notice his feelings much sooner and someone who would be a partner for him, not a resource drainer.

“I resign,” she said.

Brenok had silenced some time ago, aware that she wasn’t listening to him, and only thanks to that he was able to hear her low voice. He sighed and sat next to her on the floor.

“Hmm, this isn’t going the way I planned,” he said, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. “Atira, I don’t want you to leave. I want you to start the therapy because you really need it. My little blackmail failed miserably and I probably made things worse.” He squeezed her arm gently. “But you must understand that you have to start your healing or you’ll perish. This is no different from an operation. You would allow an operation, wouldn’t you? This also is an operation, but words are the tools, not laser scalpels. I can’t order you, I can’t force you, all I can do is to beg you to agree. You must agree, Atira. You must.”

She didn’t say anything. She wanted to bark “nonsense” or “zobarshit,” but she was sure her voice would sound ridiculously weak. She blinked in the attempt of stopping her tears that threatened to fill her eyes.

“Ati, do you remember what you felt seeing me after my neck ridge was repaired but I still wasn’t called back to duty?” She nodded. “Do you remember my condition?” She nodded again. “Did you want to help me?” Another nod. “Now I feel the same.”

“I didn’t want you to see a crazy medic.”

“Because the reason of my deterioration was different. I knew what I needed. Do you know what you need?”

She looked at him. No, she didn’t. She knew what would be the best for her, but that was unachievable. There was no other option, no other solution left. She shook her head to answer his question.

“Maybe Medic Fatret would help you find what you need.”

“Who’s that?”

“The best crazy medic on Cardassia. I have brought her here. If I take her back to Cardassia, you will also be aboard, in civilian garments. I’d hate to do it to you, Ati, but I would do it.” He paused and she wasn’t sure if his silence was caused by her tears or by another terrible thing he was just about to say. “This is the time that you have to make a decision. Not Borad. You. Decide. Therapy or return to Lakat. Decide now.”

She bit her lower lip to prevent its shaking. He was cruel. She had never known how cruel he could be. Had he learnt that from her? Was she that cruel? Had she destroyed him? Had she polluted that young, singing dja and showed him how to be a rotten Cardassian? She gently stroked his cheek. “I’m so sorry, Arenn. I’ve been a bad example.”

He only smiled. “If not you, I would be dead. Twice.” His grin faded and his face turned sober. “Decide,” he said softly but firmly.

“Do you think I’m crazy?” she asked.

“No. I think you need someone to help you reassemble all puzzles of your life back together, to recover the clear picture. Someone who knows how to do such things. Decide.”

“So you don’t think I’m crazy?”

He shook his head. “No, I don’t.”

“The crazy medic,” she said at length.

The relief literally poured out of his face. “Assign quarters for Medic Fatret. Not Borad, you do it. She will keep sending me weekly reports and if I get even one that would contain the information that you missed one session, you will have my official letter of dismissal from the Guard the next day. Is that clear?”

“Perfectly,” she muttered.

“I’m glad to hear that. Now get back to work.” He rose and helped her up. “Tell Laran I love him.”

“You’re not staying?”

“I can’t. Too busy.”

Had he come here only to have this conversation? And to bring that medic for crazy people?

“I’ll tell him.”

He smiled and left her office.

She felt some strange comfort—someone was ordering her to do things, someone was making the big decisions, someone was pointing her which way she should go.

She wasn’t alone. Someone didn’t come to make decisions for her, he came to make sure she would be taught how to make them herself again.



Cardassian Union Science Ship Marritza, the bridge




Yassel for the third time scanned the city that the beacon signal had come from, but the result was the same as two previous times: she did not detect any Cardassian life signs.

Kapoor raised her head from her console. “Anything?” she asked.

Yassel only shook her head.

The Marritza should have beamed the gareshes many hours ago, but it had occurred that the short skirmish with the Talarians had damaged their transporters and the repairs had taken some time.

Yassel refused to accept the assumption that the Rathosians had killed the Cardassians. She refused to accept that they had killed Aladar. But there was nothing. No sign of the Hideki—as it had completely burnt in the atmosphere—no sign of Cardassian life forms and no sign of Cardassian technology. Even if the locals had killed the aliens, they would still have their weapons, wristcomms and the beacon. The beacon signal was gone too.

“Where are they?” Kapoor growled, angered.

Yassel knew that Kapoor also didn’t want to accept Aladar’s death—she was his friend, after all. For her, Aladar meant more than he would ever for Yassel.

Zamarran hovered over Yassel’s shoulder. “Try to scan for Cardassian materials. If they destroyed the devices, there should be something left. If we’re lucky, there’s something typical for us and not available on this planet.”

“Yes, sir,” she confirmed his order—a suggestion, rather—trying her best not to show how stressed she was with him standing so close. Would he “casually” place his hand on her shoulder? Would his finger “casually” wander to the inner edge of her collar? Would it touch a scale?

She closed her eyes and waited but a short moment later she felt him moving away. She opened her eyes and saw that he resumed his pacing in the middle of the bridge.

She scanned the planet for the forth time.



tbc
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Old May 18 2011, 03:43 PM   #202
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

I'm glad Aladar shut up the misbehaving team. Not only was that disrespectful towards the Rathosians, but just imagine if an Oralian had been on that team and heard that remark. Obviously I'm sure the Oralians are used to hearing all sorts of sarcastic and even cruel remarks--but no one should have to be used to that sort of treatment. And I don't think Aladar would ever want someone to be used to that.

Especially not after AU Dukat. True, he wasn't around AU Dukat much, and didn't ask too many questions--but I think saving someone's life and helping them get back to their own universe would have to be a very memorable experience in one's life.

As for the Federation--oh, this could get interesting really fast if the Rathosians find out the Federation never came to help them, but only came to watch them die! Yet the Cardassians came to help them.

I wonder if the Federation observers, should there be any, will decide to spread bad rumors about the Cardassians to try and turn the Rathosians against them. (Because of course THAT kind of interference would be A-OK, but saving them wouldn't be! )

Somehow I could see the Rathosian world--in the future--becoming a Union world rather than a Federation one. I wonder how that treaty with the Federation would do then, given that it could easily look like a repeat of Bajor to someone cynical...even though I think your Cardassians would rather trade than steal.

As for Jarol being relieved of duty...I think that needed to come. She didn't need her work--her work was killing her. I still don't think she should be in the military anymore, period. She became corrupted because of taking power; like Kai Winn, she needs to walk away from that if she is ever going to heal. Not just being a legate--but holding power over others' lives, as she still does as a gul. But I think that maybe if a psychotherapist can help her come to that realization in a more healthy way, give her some clues towards finding a new purpose where she can do something that serves people rather than commanding them, that would be a good thing.

As for Brenok...thankfully, he seems to have moderated the influence he took from Jarol. And now that he's shown he can give orders both previously and now, without being in her shadow, I think he's come out from under her influence. That is an important sign of maturity in him as a character. Before, such as during the coup, I feel that sometimes he failed to question and think about things as deeply as he should have, because of who was involved. I don't think he became cruel, as Jarol fears now--but I do think that he failed until this breakdown to question the hard person she became. Now I am not as concerned about that. I think what will be best, though, will be a situation where he can enjoy her presence as family but in a more equal way.
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Old May 19 2011, 12:33 AM   #203
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Especially not after AU Dukat. True, he wasn't around AU Dukat much, and didn't ask too many questions--but I think saving someone's life and helping them get back to their own universe would have to be a very memorable experience in one's life.
I think that meeting AU Dukat, even if he didn't know that much about him, was a great experience for Aladar and changed his perception of certain things.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
As for the Federation--oh, this could get interesting really fast if the Rathosians find out the Federation never came to help them, but only came to watch them die! Yet the Cardassians came to help them.
Ironic, isn't it?

The Federation's reaction to Cardassian presence in the system--and fighting, no less--is going to be in the next chapter so...stay tuned

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
But I think that maybe if a psychotherapist can help her come to that realization in a more healthy way, give her some clues towards finding a new purpose where she can do something that serves people rather than commanding them, that would be a good thing.
Her healing will be shown. Initially, I intended the sessions to be "behind the door," but when I was re-reading my Shaping a Cardassian story, I started to write the sessions, so you will have a chance to see what she goes through and if the "crazy" medic helps her.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Before, such as during the coup, I feel that sometimes he failed to question and think about things as deeply as he should have, because of who was involved.
So you don't think that he was able to think independently and that he actually agreed with what he participated in, but it was only her bad influence instead? His wrong decisions were her fault too? Everything was her fault?
He had his brain and he used it. I don't think blaming her for his decisions is fair.
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Old May 19 2011, 01:04 AM   #204
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
I think that meeting AU Dukat, even if he didn't know that much about him, was a great experience for Aladar and changed his perception of certain things.
I think his role in researching what had happened to AU Dukat had to have shown him how smart he was. I'm sure he knew already, but this was proof he could show to his commanding officers. He was recognized for what he could do.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Before, such as during the coup, I feel that sometimes he failed to question and think about things as deeply as he should have, because of who was involved.
So you don't think that he was able to think independently and that he actually agreed with what he participated in, but it was only her bad influence instead? His wrong decisions were her fault too? Everything was her fault?
He had his brain and he used it. I don't think blaming her for his decisions is fair.
I think that during that period in his life, he was to at least some degree blinded by hero worship. While I think that he probably believed he was evaluating things 100% objectively, I really do not think he had objectivity when it came to things that Jarol brought up, until their positions became reversed. Once he outranked her, I think their relative positions caused him to have to consider that when he made a decision--after all, you cannot be credible as a leader if you favor certain subordinates or anything like that. I think that brought him some objectivity when it came to work decisions. That was an important point of maturity for the character and one that I considered a milestone.

That said, when it comes to objectivity, I certainly don't mind Brenok trying to find a way to save Jarol. I think that what he's doing is something that not only a friend--but a good commanding officer should do. Even when a person is a co-worker and nothing more, I don't think you just throw people away.

But even the way he scrutinized her reports shows that he doesn't have rose-colored glasses on, as a leader. He's able to see what's going on and face that truth. He doesn't try to deny it.

Thankfully, that objectivity gained is (I hope) going to save Jarol's ass.
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Old May 19 2011, 02:46 AM   #205
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Oh...and I forgot to mention...I had a feeling of what had gone wrong with her previous gul, but now I'm sure what Yassel's last gul did.
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Old May 19 2011, 03:29 AM   #206
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

It's hard not to be sure any more
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Old May 19 2011, 04:12 AM   #207
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

And now I'm angry that the perp is out there in your universe, unpunished. Someone needs to bring him down. Or bring this. Snip, snip...
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Old June 2 2011, 02:46 PM   #208
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Chapter 13



Rathosia, Forrituloix City




Aladar couldn’t sleep. After an interesting evening with Rathosian governor, filled with good food and conversation, he and his two men were taken to the guest suit in the palace for night rest.

The Rathosians had done their best to accommodate their tall guests and had quickly made comfortable and long beds for all three Cardassians. Not used to such comforts—but rather to what kind of discomfort a warship offered militia troops on lower decks—two militiamen had quickly fallen asleep, but Aladar’s head was full of information, questions and impressions.

He had had a chance to see a two-dimensional image of a soktoo, which indeed resembled Cardassians by its general built, size and ridged face. He had had a chance to see more two-dimensional images of Forrituloix City and also of other cities. He had learnt that the Rathosians were gathered in their huge cities, as the planet was populated by many big predator species that hunted the small, sentient inhabitants of Rathosia. Each city was surrounded by a tall, thick wall, which had no gates. A hundred years ago the Rathosians had travelled from one city to another in underground tunnels that connected the cities, but later they had developed their transporting system and started to simply beam to another city.

Each city had its distinct, particular culture and language, not unlike continents on Cardassia, or countries on Earth—if he understood correctly what Kapoor had told him about her home.

There were seventeen gigantic cities on the planet and all seventeen governors had beamed to Forrituloix to meet the aliens that had come to save them. Aladar was terrified of the great responsibility, but at the same time he found it amusing that right at this moment he was as important as Legate Ekoor. He had done his best to represent his people in the best light and to answer all questions the Rathosians had asked, just like they had answered his. They had even asked for membership in the Union! Hearing that, Veltek had almost choked with food that he had been chewing.

Now, Aladar was replaying the whole evening in his head. Torrploisaxis, the governor of Forrituloix City, had finally decided to send his unusual guests to bed, but he had promised to continue the talks the next day. The other governors hadn’t been happy that the most important event in their planet’s history had been being cut short, but they had reluctantly accepted that the Cardassians might be big, but they certainly need rest, too.

Listening to Veltek’s soft snoring, Aladar felt panic raising in his heart. The previous evening was filled with cultural questions, innocent questions about fauna and flora, and history and all those things that were safe to talk about. But what if the next day brings something more serious? Aladar was just a garesh, not even grade five! He was a simple soldier; someone to push around and to order things to do, someone considered too stupid to think for himself.

He knew he wasn’t very clever. He hadn’t graduated from any good schools and his grades had been average. He had to work in his father’s shop and even a short moment free of stacking boxes to do his homework was luxury. He hadn’t had time to study, so after his father’s death and selling the shop the only way to make a living was to enlist and become someone else’s tool.

He didn’t mind. He knew that a soldier’s work was hard and he tried his best to do it well. He listened to his superiors, he knew how to keep a secret and he was trusted. He was a nameless militiaman but in his heart he felt proud of his job and what he had achieved. He had served on the flagship for twenty years. He had never failed his commanding gareshes, or his guls.

He didn’t need much—only to know that his sick mother and sister had a roof over their heads and something to eat. Their well-being was important, he could go on sleeping on the lower decks with other militiamen, who worked as hard as he did for the good of their families.

And now someone made him a representative of the Cardassian Union and he felt overwhelmed. He was not up to it!

A familiar sound interrupted his reverie. For a moment he was not sure what that sound meant, but after a second his abruptly sat. It wasn’t a Cardassian transporter, it wasn’t Rathosian either—he already knew its sound. It was Federation.

Seven yellow-clad officers entered the sleeping room and trained their weapons on the Cardassians: two riffles per Cardassian head. The seventh man looked at Aladar.

“Are you their leader?” he asked. Aladar only nodded. The man approached him, grabbed his arm and barked, “All right, Gul. You will go with us!”

Aladar’s eyes opened in surprise. He wanted to ask, ‘What did you call me?’ but all he managed to do was to start laughing. His laughter changed into a wild guffaw and the other two Cardassians, who had been woken up by the Federation security, gave him confused glances.

But Aladar couldn’t stop laughing.

He made sure, though, to knock over a sculpture and break a vase on his way out, pretending to struggle. He only hoped that the Federation people would be in too much hurry to clean it up.



Rayak Nor, the gul’s office




Delva entered the office and smiled widely to Borad, who sat in the gul’s chair.

“Thank you for seeing me,” the Ferengi said.

“What can I do for you, DaiMon Delva?” Borad looked at him seriously. “Is it about that ship again?”

“Err, no, but I’d like to thank you for the protection. And ask for more.”

The glinn rolled his eyes. “You should stop making enemies of people.”

“It’s not that, my dear Glinn. The thing is...I have a cargo that needs to be transported to this station and I’d hate to lose it. It contains some items that had been ordered by residing here officers and I’d rather not make enemies of them by losing their merchandise.”

“What makes this cargo so special?” It wasn’t the first time that Delva brought his merchandise to the station and he had never asked for an escort before.

“Some of the items are especially valuable.”

Borad couldn’t stop his smile. “And who exactly can afford them?”

“”I’m sure I could agree to a reasonable price with my customers, don’t worry about that.” Delva showed his uneven teeth in a smile. “I don’t ask for a Galor. Just a patrol ship to show that this cargo is not as vulnerable as it would seem.”

“Didn’t you think that this could also send a sign saying ‘we carry something valuable’?”

“You’re right. Give me a Galor, then.”

Borad smiled; he liked Delva’s insolent sense of humour. “Forget about it. But I’ll give you a Hideki. You can transfer the treasure to the patrol ship and we would deliver it here, safely. The rest of your cargo can proceed as usually.”

The Ferengi considered the Cardassian’s offer for a moment. “Sounds like a deal. And what do you want in return?”

Borad’s face was graced by a sleek smile. “I’m sure we can agree to a price.”



Rayak Nor, Medic Fatret’s office




“Have you done what I asked?” Medic Fatret asked.

“Yes.” Jarol wasn’t looking at the therapist but at her hands on her lap.

She sat on the sofa, one leg curled up under her. She hated the sessions since the first one and hated them even more with each next one. Fatret shifted in her armchair. Jarol had expected the medic to have a padd and make notes, or read information, but the crazy-medic never did that. She pretended it was just a casual conversation. Jarol knew it was all but that.

“So, who is the person you’d like to be like?” the medic asked.

“Gul Brenok.”

Fatret seemed to be mildly surprised. “Why him?”

“Because he is as pure as stream water. Life didn’t spare him but it never managed to break him. He is brave and relentless. He is wise and unstoppable. He knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to achieve it. He is everything that I am not. He is everything that I wanted to be and failed. He is the best person I know. The best Cardassian. The best soldier. The best father and the best brother.”

“All right. And who is the person you think you resemble most?”

“Gul Ahal.”

“Why?”

“He was an arse and so am I.”

Fatret didn’t say anything for a moment. “Could you please elaborate?”

“There’s nothing to elaborate.”

“I know that you had ordered to kill him. Did you ever regret it?”

“No.” After a moment, Jarol added, “That’s not good, isn’t it?”

“Did you have any doubts before you made that decision of killing him?”

Jarol thought for a while, recalling those times. “I am not sure. I knew that it was a crime and that this was the wrong thing to do, but I believed that it was lesser evil. I knew I was paving my own road to hell, but I hoped that this sacrifice was necessary...not to let him do any more evil things.”

“Do you still think that this is the case?”

“I don’t know.”

“Did you tell your son about it?”

“I did.”

“How did he take it?”

“He hates and despises me.”

Fatret smiled. “I wouldn’t go that far.”

“He does. And he is right.”

“Is he? Or, perhaps, you hate and despise yourself?”

“Of course I do.” Jarol said it like it was the most logical and obvious thing in the universe.

The therapist’s face darkened. “Jarol, we had talked about it.” The gul only growled. “So if you don’t want to hear my little speech again, you have to start making progress.”

“I can’t turn my feelings off!” Jarol shouted. “What am I, a Vulcan?”

“I don’t want you to turn your feelings off. I want you to analyse your feelings, the present ones and the past ones.”

“You are the one to analyse.”

“No, I’m to help you find them and analyse them.”

“So help me!”

“When for the first time you thought about killing Ahal, was your decision firm?”

“No.”

“Before his death became the fact, did you think about not doing it?”

“Many times.”

“Why?”

“For many reasons.”

“List them, please.”

“I didn’t want to have someone murdered like that. I didn’t want to solve the problem this way. I felt guilty that I used someone else and made her do it. I feared to be caught and executed. I feared what my family would think of me. I—”

Fatret raised her hand, interrupting Jarol’s monologue. “You had lots of doubts,” she stated.

Jarol thre her hands up. “Of course I did!” She leaned forward toward Fatret. “But it didn’t stop me. I still did it!”

“Yes, you did.”

“I’m a piece of murderous trash!”

“Perhaps.”

“I should be dead.”

“Perhaps.”

“I’m not any better than he was.”

“Do you think that Legate Ahal would also regret his wrong decisions and his mistakes?”

“I doubt that.”

“But you do regret.”

Jarol stared at the therapist. “So...you mean...I’m not as bad as he was?”

“You tell me.”

“It doesn’t matter what I think.”

“So what matters?”

“My family. I care what they think.”

“Why?”

“It’s too late for me. I’ll never respect myself again. And I know they will never respect me again. I have to accept that because I deserve nothing else.” She paused and then finished in a shaking voice. “But I can’t go on knowing that they hate me.”

“They don’t hate you.”

“And how do you know?”

Fatret smiled. “I know them. I need them to help you and I know how they care. You insult them saying these words. You call them liars and pretenders. You pay with distrust for their care.”

Jarol started to cry.

Fatret took a padd from a desk, which was behind her armchair, and handed it to the gul. The Cardassian forced her sobs to quiet down and took the padd. “What is it?” she asked.

“Activate it.”

She did so to see Gul Dukat’s face on the display.

“Aaargghhh!” She threw the padd at the bulkhead with a roar. The device crashed and fell apart to small pieces.

“Why did you do it?” Fatret asked her calmly.

Jarol started to her feet. “This...this bastard had convinced me that I was responsible for my children’s deaths!” She pointed to the ruined padd on the floor with her finger. “He made me believe that it was my fault, as if I killed them personally! What’s more, he sold us all to the Dominion and in the result I lost my husband, my friend and the man whom I consider a brother lost all his family.” She was so furious that her whole body was shaking. “Isn’t that enough?!”

“That’s more than enough.”

Jarol slumped to the sofa; all her energy gone.

Fatret observed her for a long moment. Finally, she said, “I think it’s enough for today. However, you still have to find someone whom you think you resemble most. Clearly, Legate Ahal was not the right choice. Be fair next time—fair to yourself.”
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Old June 2 2011, 02:48 PM   #209
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Rathosia, Forrituloix City



Governor Torrploisaxis entered the guest suit. He was furious. Chief Inspector Gorrtosoilix nervously glanced at him. “I thought I told you to post guards outside their door to make sure that they were safe.”

Gorrtosoilix bowed. “Yes, my Governor, you did, my Governor.”

“Where are the guards?” Gorrtosoilix looked around.

“They are not to blame. The attack was clearly from inside.”

Torrploisaxis glanced at two crime investigators, who hovered their readers in the middle of the main room. A thought came to his mind. He looked at Gorrtosoilix, his anger gone and replaced by worry. “Were they beamed out?” he asked with dread.

“It would appear so, Governor.”

“By whom?!” This was a scary thought. The visit of the extra-Rathosians was a special and prestigious event and the importance of Forrituloix City raised. Torrploisaxis knew, however, that not all governors were happy either with the Cardassians’ visit, or with the city’s success, or with both. On the other hand, some of the leaders considered the event as the most important in their history and who knows what they might try to claim some of that success. Torrploisaxis feared for his guests safety, but he also feared that their appearance might cause a civil war between the cities over the visitors.

One of crime investigators approached both men. “Governor, Chief Inspector,” she greeted them. “The remnants of the transporter are not indicating that it’s our technology.”

“Meaning what?” the governor asked.

“We have detected that kind of transporter in several places on our world within last ten years.”

“The Sun People,” both men said simultaneously.

“That would be my guess, yes,” the scientist confirmed, nodding. “Since we have a clear confirmation that it’s not only us who possess this kind of technology, this would be a logical assumption.”

“They did say that their people would take them back,” Gorrtosoilix reminded them.

Torrploisaxis eyes him. “Do you really think they would leave without a goodbye? I don’t.”

“Not only that,” the investigator interjected. “We have proof of struggle. One of sculptures was kicked—there are prints of a shoe on the pieces—and it is broken. Also, on that table over there stood a vase with flowers. Now both are on the floor, the vase broken and the flowers crushed, presumably by the same boots.”

Gorrtosoilix frowned. “So they were kidnapped and they resisted.”

“Find them,” Torrploisaxis growled, his ears perking. “Find them. We need them.”

“I will, Governor, I will.”

Torrploisaxis left the room, leaving the investigating team to their job and wondering, how he would explain that to the other leaders.



Cardassian Union Science Ship Marritza, the bridge




Zamarran observed the symbol of the Federation on the screen, which represented a Starfleet starship that had just entered the system.

“We’re being hailed,” Seltan reported.

“On screen.” Zamarran shifted in his chair. Diplomacy, here I come.

A woman appeared on the viewer. Her black irises turned on a warning in Zamarran’s head—a Betazoid. He raised his mental defences not to be violated by the telepath. “This is Captain Ram of USS Petrona. State your business in this star system,” she demanded.

The gul felt tired of being verbally attacked by everyone. “Our business here is not of your concern,” he answered coldly.

Withdraw immediately,” she demanded.

“This is not Federation space, you cannot order me or make any demands,” Zamarran said calmly.

If you think that we will stand by and watch you subjugate Rathosia, you are very wrong,” she threatened.

Zamarran’s eyes narrowed in disgust. “If you think that we will stand by and watch you not help Rathosia, you are very wrong,” he replied.

She looked at him for a long moment. Then, she spoke again, but her voice wasn’t demanding any more. “Please, Gul, can you tell me what is your mission?

“My name is Zamarran,” he said. “And why would I share my mission details with you?” He was glad that she didn’t manage to peep into his head to learn this way.

I had been informed that an armed Cardassian warship fought over this territory and I was sent to investigate. Things didn’t look good, but...” She hesitated for a moment. “But once I had already been misinformed as to Cardassian intentions. This could be another case of assuming things without sufficient data.

Zamarran sighed. “We are here to stop the Talarians from mining the sun and to repair the sun.”

She seemed to think about his answer. “I have been informed by the scientists that reside on the planet that you have sent an armed troop down there.

Zamarran didn’t even try to conceal his amusement. “If the Federation considers three soldiers a troop, then I have no comment to that.”

Captain Ram blinked her black eyes. “Three soldiers?

“Three of my soldiers had to perform an emergency beam-out after their craft was damaged by the Talarians.”

Three?

“Three. The number between two and four.”

Ram seemed to be confused and Zamarran didn’t blame her. Obviously, whatever she had been told was a blown out of proportion report of the events in the Rathosian system.

Gul Zamarran,” she said courtly after a moment, the demanding tone now gone without a trace. “If you don’t mind...I’d like to discuss things with you. In person. I can beam to your warship, or you could beam to my starship. Your choice.

“The Marritza is a science ship, not a warship. And by all means, feel invited for a visit and a discussion.”

Ah, so this is the famous Cardassian science ship!

Zamarran smiled slightly. “I was not aware that we were famous.”

The Cardassians turning to the ways of exploration,” she grinned. “Do you really think the Federation wouldn’t notice?” She paused for a moment and became serious again. “I shall be there in...ten minutes?

“That would be acceptable. I’ll see you in my transporter chamber in ten minutes.”

With that, she signed off. Zamarran looked at Yassel. “You’re with me,” he said and she nodded.

He headed for the exit and she followed him.



Rathosia, Yapplorettix City, Federation Observation Point #567887




All three Cardassians were seated in an empty room that didn’t look any different from a Cardassian interrogation room, if Aladar had ever seen one. Yellow-clad officers kept their eyes on the Cardassians, but no one said anything.

Finally, the only door opened and two people entered. A big, really big Orion man in yellow, followed by a much shorter woman in red—both had the rank of commander.

“Names!” the Orion boomed.

Aladar raised his head to look in the face of the looming over him man.

“Garesh Aladar,” he said calmly.

The man seemed to be taken aback my his response. He looked back to the small woman and then back at Aladar. “What? You’re just a guard?” he asked surprised in much thinner voice.

Aladar scolded at him. “What do you mean ‘just a guard’?” he barked. True, sometimes his duties included sentry and guarding, but he was very proud of that part of his job. It meant that he was protecting someone and making sure no harm was done to them. “Being a guard is an important thing—someone has to protect people.”

The Orion leaned over the garesh. “Or make sure that prisoners don’t run away,” he added with a sneer.

Aladar smiled sourly. “You just insulted all these good officers in this room.”

Veltek giggled but quickly managed to silence himself.

“What are you doing here, Cardassian!” the Orion asked, straightening.

“Emergency beam-out.”

“I asked about your ship!” The Orion seemed to lose control over his emotions, as he yelled the question.

“We like to explore,” Aladar said, narrowing his eyes.

The man raised his huge, green hand ready to strike Aladar, but the woman behind him said quietly, “Golek...” The gigantic hand was lowered but Aladar didn’t feel any safer.

The female commander stepped closer. “Garesh Aladar—if that is your real name and I sincerely doubt it—your presence here is disturbing the natural development of the inhabitants.” Pa’Ler snorted loudly. Aladar knew how his soldier felt—the Federation didn’t do anything to help those people and here she was, pretending that they cared. “However, what worries me most is not your presence here and the pollution to their culture, but your intentions.” Aladar gave her an asking look, not sure what she meant. “Here you are, the almighty Cardassians, preparing to conquer and subjugate another victim. If you think that the Federation would stand by and let you violate these people, then you are wrong.”

The garesh’s eyes opened wide. He didn’t believe what he had just heard.

“I’ve never heard worse zobarshit than this!” Veltek shouted heatedly. “You don’t give a damn about them. You just sit here and spy on them, but don’t move your scale-less finger to help them!”

Aladar put his hand on Veltek’s shoulder, so the young garesh calmed down a bit. Aladar wasn’t angry with him for this explosion, though, as he shared exactly the same opinion.

“We are not allowed to interfere,” the female commander said flatly.

“But you are allowed to let them die!” Veltek barked.

Aladar squeezed the young Cardassian’s shoulder and Veltek immediately silenced. The ranking garesh said, “Notify our ship and they’ll take us out of here.” He didn’t like leaving the Rathosians without a word of farewell, but he knew it was a luxury that the Federation would not grant him. “And then you can spy on them endlessly.”

The Orion snickered. “Endlessly, you say.”

Aladar defiantly looked him in the eyes. “That’s right. Because we will not stand by and watch them die. We will help them and save them.”

“To exploit them later,” the female commander added.

“Your claim has no proof. Mine does,” Aladar retorted. He was getting tired of this. “Return us to our ship. Now!” he demanded.

“That remains to be seen,” the commander barked, turned on her heel and left the room with the Orion in tow.

Veltek looked at Aladar. “Are we their prisoners?” he asked half-surprised, half-angered.

The ranking garesh nodded. “It seems so.”



tbc
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Old June 2 2011, 05:31 PM   #210
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

I am very glad to see Gul Jarol finally break Gul Dukat's spell on her. That anger she showed towards him really proved that she is learning to see clearly. I wonder if she will learn to see the other areas where he influenced her? Before the assassination, I think she really got very close to being like him (except that her family life was not tainted). He, just like her, decided that he knew what was best for every Cardassian and he could just point a finger and make it happen the way HE wanted it to happen. Or maybe that's what she's seeing in herself now...

I imagine that now, the contrast between the two Dukats she's met couldn't be more obvious. I'm sure that even if she pictured AU Dukat in armor--even imagining him getting a haircut!--the difference would be blatantly obvious. (That's if she could even get as far as to picture him in armor in the first place!)

I LOVED how absolutely sanctimonious and sick the Federation looked here. And boy did they deserve it, too. For being spies and being able to watch people die without lifting a finger.

(Oh, and Zamarran's "number between two and four" line was AWESOME. )

That said, it's certainly easy to understand where the misunderstanding of the Cardassians' intentions came from. The Cardassians have a track record of abuse. And then had a coup, and isolation. To Federation eyes, it would look like the Cardassians were never humbled by their defeat and never faced up to their evil past. We know they changed, but not only does the Federation not know, but the Cardassians felt, during the isolation, that the Federation was unworthy of knowing.

I wonder if Ram has any authority over the people at the "duck blind." I hope so, that she can give them an order. Otherwise, these "scientists" seem like they could really get out of control.

Though I did like how Aladar pointed out that they'd managed to insult their own guards at the same time they tried to insult him!

Overall, the insight into Aladar's past was wonderful. I was sad to see that he still undervalues himself so badly, though. Not very clever?! He just didn't have time to study, that's all. I bet AU Dukat, if they could've talked while he was on the Roumar, would've given him a very serious (but not at all mean) talking-to, about that mindset. Remember...AU Dukat only has a few months, maybe even just one month of college education, and that's it. While I know Macet did finish his education, and probably "Mrs. Macet," too, a lot of the people AU Dukat works with ended up with their opportunities cut short, too, like he did. (I'm not even 100% sure AU Damar finished high school.) Most of what he knows is either from high school, or self-taught. He wouldn't want to hear someone else in a similar situation--whose plans were derailed by hardship in life--being so down on himself.

I want to give Aladar a hug. I don't care that he doesn't have a piece of paper saying that he graduated from college. He shouldn't think all he can do is "eat" books.
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Last edited by Nerys Ghemor; June 2 2011 at 07:16 PM.
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