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Old June 12 2011, 03:18 AM   #226
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

I am so glad Yassel was able to tell Zamarran what happened. And yes...the way I imagine Brenok, I bet he would be furious to hear what Zeter did. I bet Laran would be furious, too. More than furious.

I hope Zeter's friends will also be prevented from harassing her. And her father. (Man, I hope her father--cold as he was--never engaged in inappropriate behavior towards his daughter, of that nature.)

Gul Zamarran--the Scaled Crusader for Justice! I love his strong sense of right and wrong. He's such a principled man.
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Old June 12 2011, 03:26 AM   #227
Gul Re'jal
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Aha...now that surprised me that Fatret would ask about Jarol's attitudes towards humans. That really does make me feel like your Cardassians are changing, if this medic would approach potential racism as a negative attitude and a resentment that has to be set aside.

(And boy, does this play into what we're discussing in private.)
It does. But this section was written long time ago. I have lots of Jarol material ready to be used as days pass.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
If Karama goes to Cardassia, sorry to say...I hope it will be after his "father" is too weak to strike him. One comment is very telling, though--that it's his father's enemies who need protection, and his father's friends who are threats.
Tavor knows that is someone is his father's friend, then they are nothing good either.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
I also thought it was interesting that Karama seems to be absorbing a belief in Karama!
Is that intentional or a misspell?
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
As for Aladar...I liked what he said to Ensign Tibaut--the accusation that these scientists were not only cruel enough to watch the Rathosians die, but also cruel enough to claim to be against the death penalty (as the Federation claims) but leave them to die while washing their hands of their indirect execution. Somehow, I think that fits the hypocrisy of people like that scientist commander, and people like Picard.

Maybe, maybe these younger scientists will act, now that their commander has refused to surrender the Cardassians. Otherwise, Zamarran might have to send down troops, and it'll end up devolving into an old-fashioned Federation vs. Cardassian fight, replete with all the usual stereotypes.
Well, you'll have to wait to see what will happen
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Old June 12 2011, 03:29 AM   #228
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

OH MY! It's a typo! But what a FUNNY typo!!!!

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Old June 12 2011, 03:32 AM   #229
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
I am so glad Yassel was able to tell Zamarran what happened. And yes...the way I imagine Brenok, I bet he would be furious to hear what Zeter did. I bet Laran would be furious, too. More than furious.

I hope Zeter's friends will also be prevented from harassing her. And her father. (Man, I hope her father--cold as he was--never engaged in inappropriate behavior towards his daughter, of that nature.)

Gul Zamarran--the Scaled Crusader for Justice! I love his strong sense of right and wrong. He's such a principled man.
I think that for healing to start, Yassel needs that closure of Zeter facing consequences. From that point she might be able to start to move on and not be chased by her fears that badly. And certainly would learn that she can do something about it and not be a silent victim.
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Old June 12 2011, 03:40 AM   #230
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
OH MY! It's a typo! But what a FUNNY typo!!!!

Kapoor married the right man!
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Old June 12 2011, 03:53 AM   #231
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
I think that for healing to start, Yassel needs that closure of Zeter facing consequences. From that point she might be able to start to move on and not be chased by her fears that badly. And certainly would learn that she can do something about it and not be a silent victim.
I actually find myself hoping Zeter will be publicly humiliated in a tribunal. Tribunals on your Cardassia can take place with less severe penalties than death or the kind of labor camp that leads to death, right? I suspect your Cardassians would hide the victim's name. But it would really be awesome for Zeter to be exposed as a pervert to the entire Union. It's exactly what he deserves.
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Old June 12 2011, 04:20 AM   #232
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

I'm not saying a word, but his fate is already decided and written down.
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Old June 12 2011, 04:37 AM   #233
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

I just hope Yassel will indeed be safe from reprisals. Including from her own father.
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Old June 19 2011, 02:29 PM   #234
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Chapter 16



Rayak Nor, the gul’s private quarters



Jarol waited for the connection to be established, hoping that she wouldn’t interrupt anything important—she knew Brenok was a busy man, especially since the Rathosian situation indirectly caused problems with one of Cardassian colonies.

Finally, his face appeared on the screen. He smiled at her. “Good to see you,” he said. “How are you feeling?

She didn’t even try to fake a smile; she knew it would fail and didn’t want to insult anyone, especially him, with her pathetic attempts. “This is rather official,” she said simply.

All right. Gul Jarol, what can I do for you?” He still didn’t seem to treat it seriously, as in spite of his words his voice was friendly like in any other personal situation.

“I officially inform you of my resignation.”

The smile disappeared from his face. “What?!

“I am useless, I am always wrong, I am unable to do my job. I shouldn’t drain military resources—you cannot pay me for doing nothing.”

He shook his head. “I won’t accept it!

“You have no choice. You cannot force me to stay.”

Atira, you are on medical leave and that means you cannot be relieved of duty permanently.

She sighed. “You’re twisting it. You know very well that this regulation doesn’t apply to my situation.” She kept speaking in spite of him shaking his head. “You are not allowed to boot me while I’m on medical leave, but I am allowed to resign. And this is exactly what I’m doing.”

No. I won’t let you.

“You have no right to stop me.”

I will stop you. I will not grant it because you are on medical leave.

“You bend the rules.”

He shrugged. “Yes, I know that.

She felt irritation growing. She had never expected him of all people to be a person who violated regulations, because it fitted his purpose. He was supposed to be better than that. “I can see that you are not as honest and decent as I had thought. It’s clear that I can add you to the long list of my wrong decisions, as obviously making you the Guard’s gul was a mistake. You’re no better than any other corrupted gul!” And with that she angrily punched the key and disconnected, causing Brenok’s astonished face to disappear from the screen.

She didn’t even take another breath in, yet, when she started to key in the command to re-establish the connection. His face expression hadn’t changed much since a moment ago when she had disconnected. “I’m so sorry, Arenn, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t talk to you like that.”

His features softened. “It’s all right, Ati. I know that this whole situation is very hard on you.

“But it doesn’t mean that I should be hard on you.” She hoped he could really see how much she regretted her stupid words. She couldn’t believe that she had told him all these awful things. “I just...don’t like rules to be broken, that’s all.”

His lips smiled, but his eye ridges remain frowned. “You are not yourself and that’s the reason why I don’t want to accept your resignation,” he explained, not even realising how true his words were. “I want you to get better and then decide what you want to do. I don’t think this is a good time to make big decisions, Ati.

“Is that what Fatret told you?” She paused and then added, “Maybe you’re right. I proved many times over and over again that I am not good at making decisions. Even at my best, if I ever had ‘best’ in my life.”

That’s not what I mean.” She smiled sadly. He opened his mouth to say something more, but she heard the door to his office opening and he raised his eyes from the screen to look at his visitor. The person said something—too quietly for Jarol to understand the words, but she had an impression that it was Glinn Karama’s voice—and Brenok looked back at her.

“I know,” she said, raising her hand, “you must go.”

We’ll talk soon, very soon.

“Uhm,” she confirmed without confidence and he signed off.

So she was stuck where she was.

With Fatret.

Forever.



Rayak Nor, the merchant ring



Borad decided to go for a stroll in the pole ring, which less and less reminded a part of a military installation. Thanks to his own orders, no less. On paper it all looked fine, but when he was walking he lost the confidence in his own decisions.

He knew that it was inevitable and that the station, once it had lost its strictly military purpose, would start transforming into a multi-purpose hub, but wasn’t it too fast and too much? Would Jarol be furious after returning and retaking the command?

Two food distribution points had been replaced by two restaurants. Delva had opened a stall with his merchandise and patiently waited for Borad to find him a shop to move in there. On Borad’s desk lay two more applications for permissions to open businesses in the pole ring and Borad started to get used to calling it ‘the merchant ring’ due to its commercial activity.

He knew this still was a military base with its mission to protect, but the region became safer and the Klingon threat wasn’t as serious as it used to be. He couldn’t tell for how long, but for now it was quieter. Even the mysterious race that had attacked the Klingons didn’t seem to be interested in bothering the Cardassians. They weren’t friendly, but they weren’t openly aggressive either and that was something.

Borad walked to Delva’s Treasures and stopped to take a look at the items for sale. He knew that most of the Ferengi’s business was special orders, but Delva wouldn’t be himself if he didn’t try to maximise his profits. In the result, the stall offered some rare items that weren’t readily available and weren’t even necessary...unless your wife had a birthday, or something like that.

Borad’s wife didn’t have her birthday any time soon, but one of items drew his attention and he thought of buying it for her. It was a kind of knick-knack; a small sculpture of an abstract form, but very Cardassian in its nature and colours. No doubt this wasn’t anything alien.

He took the item and studied it carefully. The base was chirped a little, but it was barely visible when placed on a flat surface, like a table or a shelf. “How much?” the glinn asked, not looking at the Ferengi shop assistant—or rather ‘stall assistant.’

The assistant smiled. “Three hundred leks.”

Borad’s eyes darted to the shorter man’s face. “You must be joking!”

“This sculpture is very old, very precious and very pretty. I’m sure your female would love it.”

“This sculpture is chirped, too,” Borad noted.

“Two hundred eighty leks, then.”

Expensive but the Ferengi was right: his wife would love it. “Is this Cardassian?” he asked.

“Of course. Look here.” The assistant pointed to the place hidden in a shadow between two protruding fold-like shapes. “See? I’m sure you can read it. I can’t but it looks Cardassian to me.”

Between folds near the base there were words in Cardassian script. The letters were more gentle and more curved than the modern Cardassian characters, but they were Cardassian nonetheless. Borad squinted at the tiny letters and tried to read the words.

Fanehrian City,” he read out loud. An old name for Fanehr, a city in the southern part of Eheen. There was another word after that, but it seemed incomplete. Borad wondered why it would be incomplete and scrutinised the sculpture as if it could answer his question. Suddenly he realised that perhaps it was a piece of a bigger whole and was worked on to look like a separate item. It wouldn’t be hard to polish harsh edges, as the material was fairly soft. “Where do you have it form?” he asked.

“I only sell it. If you are interested in wholesale, you must talk to my boss.”

“I certainly will.” Borad stretched his hand with his thumb up and let the Ferengi press a padd to his finger to confirm the payment. Then, with the sculpture in his hand, he headed back to his—Gul Jarol’s—office. He had some searching to do.



Rathosia, Yapplorettix City, Federation Observation Point #567887




Aladar was furious. The Federation had interrogated Veltek and was now interrogating Pa’Ler, but they didn’t seem interested in interrogating him—the team leader. Did Golek think that he could break the younger soldiers easier? Veltek didn’t have any visible signs of force used—no bruises, not cuts—but he was very quiet since his interrogation. He had told Aladar that he told the Federation nothing and hadn’t answered any more of the garesh’s questions.

Ensign Tibaut, a short, slim human with orange hair, had brought them three blankets and asked to hide them each time Golek came into the brig. She hadn’t elaborated but Aladar was sure she had brought them in spite of her orders. He had tried his best to hide the blankets under benches, but they were still visible from the outside of the cell, so Lieutenant Pemutruch had offered to hide the blankets in the brig’s locker during days and return them to the Cardassians for the night time, so they had some protection from cold when they slept.

Aladar didn’t know why these two were helping them, but he was grateful.

He waited for Pa’Ler to be brought back, hoping that he wouldn’t seem in as bad mental shape as Veltek was. Whatever the interrogations included, it seemed to be very non-Federation, he thought bitterly. It angered him that he was unable to protect his people from the Orion man.



Cardassian Union Science Ship Marritza, the bridge



Zamarran was getting frustrated. Captain Ram had confirmed that Federation scientists on Rathosia had Aladar and his men. She had also told Zamarran that they had refused to release their prisoners and that a Federation admiral didn’t want to order them to do that, believing that the scientists knew best what they were doing and what was good for the Rathosians.

For Zamarran it was simply unbelievable. How can a high ranking gul refuse to give orders to lower ranking officers? It was so twisted that the gul wondered how an organisation, in which this was allowed, could function. Maybe it was just an isolated incident, or maybe it was how they worked—he didn’t know.

And he didn’t care. All he cared about was getting Aladar and his team back.

“Sir,” Torpal spoke from his post. “I detect seven ships approaching.”

Zamarran turned to look at his tactician. “Talarian?”

Torpal shook his head. “Negative.” He looked up at the gul. “Gorgor.”

This couldn’t mean anything good, Zamarran was sure. The Gorgor were still a mystery, but there were some facts that the gul was aware of. It was the Gorgor who had attacked the Klingons, which allowed the Cardassians to avoid an open conflict with the aggressive race after their attack on Rayak Nor. The Gorgor had developed some kind of wormhole technology that allowed them to open fissures, through which they could move to distant parts of the galaxy—and the Klingon Empire seemed to be their first choice. They had decided that the Klingons were too aggressive and had to be stopped before destroying the ‘order,’ whatever the strange aliens understood by that. The Federation had managed to establish a friendly contact with the Gorgor and helped the Union to negotiate some kind of non-aggressive relations, but Gorgor-Cardassian relationship was far from friendly. The Gorgor thought of the Cardassians as no less dangerous than the Klingons. Zamarran couldn’t blame them for that, but he also didn’t need additional weapons trained at his hull at the moment.

“They are hailing us,” Seltan said.

“On screen,” Zamarran replied, wondering what he would see. He had no idea what a Gorgor looked like.

A big snail. He saw a big, slimy, dark-brown snail on his viewer. At least—the visible part of the alien’s body reminded him of a shell-less pafkat snail: the Gorgor didn’t have any neck, or a head, all that was on the screen was just a long, shiny, elongated shape, on top of which there were two short feeler-like protrusions with blinking, lidless slits—presumably the eyes. The protrusions moved, each in different direction and Zamarran wondered if it meant that the alien had just looked around. There was nothing to resemble a nose, but there was a small maw filled with spiky, sharp teeth.

“This is Gul Zamarran of the Cardassian Union,” he introduced himself.

You fought the Talarians,” the Gorgor stated flatly.

“That is correct. However, it was not an aggressive attack.” The gul felt that explaining things to the alien would be the safest course of action. If he proved that the Marritza wasn’t a threat, the Gorgor might leave them alone.

Why did you attack them?

“We tried to stop them from mining the star.”

Why?

“This star is going to seize to exist and take this star system with it.”

Why do you care?

Zamarran felt interrogated and didn’t like that at all, but he still kept answering the demands. “This star system is inhabited by sentient beings.”

The alien was silent for a moment. “Is your mission to protect?

“Yes, it is,” Zamarran confirmed. “To protect and undo the damage.”

Noble.” And—to the gul’s astonishment—the Gorgor disconnected.

“Are we in trouble or are we not in trouble?” Yassel asked no one in particular.

“You tell me, Yassel. Could you read his voice?”

“Sorry, sir, but no. I think their speech is too different from an average biped and the translator doesn’t help much in this aspect.”

“Biped,” Seltan repeated. “We can’t even tell if he had legs.”

“We can’t even tell if it was a ‘he,’” Torpal added.

“Enough,” Zamarran said sharply.

Everyone muttered their ‘sorry, sir’s and got back to their work. A moment later Seltan informed the gul that the Gorgor wanted to talk to him again.

I am First Siadatch Fook’tok’mat,” the alien said. “We were informed that there was a conflict here and my superior sent me to investigate.”

“I understand,” Zamarran said, but he didn’t. What was it business of theirs? However, he appreciated that the alien stopped only demanding the information and offered some of his own.

We will not interrupt your mission.” And again—he suddenly disconnected.

“Glad to hear that,” Zamarran muttered to himself. The last thing he needed was another player in the game.
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Old June 19 2011, 02:29 PM   #235
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Rayak Nor, the gul’s private quarters



“Mom! Where are you?” Laran entered the sitting room and looked around. The door to her bedroom was opened, so she was not crying her eyes out this morning. He went to the bathroom—the mirror was still there, so it appeared that she hadn’t broken the new one, too. He still felt shivers after that incident the previous day.

She emerged from the kitchenette. “I’m here.”

He smiled, hiding his hands and what he kept in them behind his back. “Cooking?” he asked.

“I can’t watch you eating all those unhealthy things any longer.” She returned to the kitchenette, so he followed her.

“Mom, I have something for you.”

“A phaser so I can finally shoot my head off? Or a death sentence? Signed by ten independent archons?”

“You have an adorable sense of humour,” he said sourly. It deeply hurt him to hear her talking like that.

“What do you want me to say?” she said angrily, turning to him. “How can you not believe that I deserve anything else than an execution? You are an archon, you swore to protect the law and serve the justice. And look at me? I did so many bad things in my life that I lost count. I was a bad sister, a bad officer, a bad gul and a bad legate. And the fact that you cannot do your duty proves that I’m a bad mother, too.”

“Now wait a minute!” Laran frowned at her. “You can talk about Gul Jarol what you want. You can slur Legate Jarol all you want. But don’t you dare to talk badly about my mother!” He shouted the last two words and she looked at him surprised. The fact was that he believed that she had been a good gul who commanded her warship wisely and a good legate who fixed wounded and hurting empire, but Fatret had told him not to argue with her about that, as it would be pointless. However, he would not listen to her telling him that she was a bad mom. From all the people—at least those alive—he was the one most qualified to judge that and he would insist he had the best mother in the Cardassian Union.

He forced his frown to disappear and made an attempt to smile, hoping that she would take it as a sincere change of mood. “I have something for you.” He took his hands out from behind his back and handed her a small, wrapped object, which he had acquired on his way back to their quarters on his middle-day meal break.

“What is it?”

“Open it.”

She washed her hands to remove the remains of food and took the gift. She placed it on the worktop next to a bowl with washed lettuce, unwrapped it and her eyes opened wide. “What it is?”

“I have no clue, but I hope you like it. It has a Nokarian touch to it, doesn’t it?”

He wasn’t even sure if the thing was Cardassian, but its shape reminded him of architecture of Drav, a city that was not only in Nokar but also the closest big city to his mother’s home village. The town hall was decorated by shapes very similar to this one.

She studied the object, gently touching all surfaces. “Laran, where do you have it form?”

“The Ferengi stall with art. Why?”

“Droplet, this looks like a piece of a giant Medal of Justice.”

“Medal of Justice, you say? Then it’s a good gift from an archon, wouldn’t you say?”

But he could clearly see that she was not in the mood for jokes. “Come with me,” she said and went to the computer terminal. Her son followed her. “Computer, access the historical database.” The computer beeped in an acknowledgement. “Access: Nokar. Architechture. The Statue of Archon Mobar.”

A reproduction of the Statue of Archon Mobar from Drav is available,” the computer male voice responded.

“No. Display the image of Bavosal’s sculpture.”

“Mom, what’s going on?” Laran asked uncertainly. Did she completely lose her mind?

A two-dimensional image appeared on the monitor. Laran knew that the image showed one of completely destroyed by the Dominion cities, but that was all he knew about Bavosal. He knew more about the tragedy of the people and New Bavosal, which he and his mother had visited earlier this year, than about the old city’s architecture.

The image showed a big statue of a man. He wore ancient armour, held a sword in one hand and an old-fashioned book in the other one, pressing it to his chest, as if protecting it with the sword. He also wore a cape and there, to that cape, on his shoulder was pinned something oval with feathers attached to it. A medal of some sort.

“Look here.” His mother pointed to a place on the medal and then put the item that Laran had brought her closer to the monitor.

“It looks exactly the same,” the sub-archon whispered, surprised. “You don’t think that it’s a part of a monument that was destroyed by the Dominion, do you?” he asked, looking at her.

She shook her head. “Laran, this monument was removed from Bavosal’s marketplace seventy years ago. After riots in Nokar that were caused by draughts, the Central Command punished the people by dismantling the monument, as Archon Mobar was one of the most important figures in Nokar’s history and this was one of the most important monuments in Nokar’s architecture. No one saw that statue ever again. I am sure it was sold.”

Laran gave her a sceptical look. “Mom, you don’t think this is original...”

“I don’t know,” she said, shaking her head. “But I intend to check it. I’ll finish our meal and then will talk to Borad about this. And Delva, when he’s back. This is not a coincidence.”

The sub-archon was glad to see her so excited about something, so decisive again and so sure what she should do, but he worried that the disappointment, which was certainly going to follow her little ‘discovery,’ would only make things worse in the result. The possibility of this piece of something being a part of an old, lost monument from her home continent was zero. He had to brace for impact of her disappointment; he also made a mental note to inform Fatret of upcoming problems.



Cardassian Union Science Ship Marritza, the bridge



Zamarran logged out of his panel and looked around his officers. All, without an exception, were busy. Yassel was reading something from her screen and entering some data on a padd. Seltan seemed to be intently listening to some air traffic, probably eavesdropping. Torpal was frowning over his console and Zamarran was sure the tactician was performing battle simulations based on their current situation, as it was a standard procedure in such cases.

“Torpal, may I see you in my office?” Zamarran asked, raising from his chair and heading for his room. The tactician nodded and followed him. The gul offered him a chair and then sat in his. “Glinn Torpal, I know that you had served under four different guls,” he said.

Torpal’s eye ridges frowned. “That’s correct, sir,” he said and then quickly added. “It’s not that I’d been being transferred all the time due to my incompetency.” His voice sounded nervous. “The first two died in the line of duty, the third one was promoted and left the ship and I left the fourth one to be reassigned here.”

Zamarran understood the tactician’s anxiousness, but he didn’t have any intention to cause it. He knew very well that usually an officer, once assigned to a warship, stayed there for a very long time, if not the rest of his or her career, and if they were transferred too often, it usually was a sign of their superiors’ dissatisfaction with their performance. From his own experience he knew that it wasn’t always the case, as sometimes the circumstances changed and one’s skills were needed elsewhere. In addition, it was not the reason of his mentioning that to the glinn. “Torpal, I don’t intend to ask you about the reasons, or to question your professionalism, in which I believe without a doubt. My point is that you have seen four different guls in command and experienced their command styles.”

Torpal’s frown dissolved and transformed into a questioning look. “That’s correct.”

“I would like to ask your opinion of my decisions.”

A questioning look grew to an astonishment. “Excuse me, sir?”

“What do you think about my command?” There was no way around it, so Zamarran decided to ask the question directly. “Do you think I’m too soft and too co-operative? Does it make me look weak and not worthy of respect in the eyes of Captain Ram and the Gorgor?”

The gul couldn’t believe that Torpal surprise became even stronger. “Sir...absolutely not!” he protested. “I must admit that your style is very different, but this is also a very different ship. We’re not at war. We’re not on a patrol mission. We’re not to be soldiers here. It’s a combination of diplomacy, science and, most likely, soon also defence.” He paused for a moment, as if hesitated. “To be honest, I don’t think that two of my previous guls would do as well as you are doing, sir. Please, don’t get me wrong,” he added quickly, “I think highly of them, but I would expect them to first draw weapon and then ask questions. You talk, you negotiate and all these things are appropriate in our situation. I don’t care that you answer someone’s questions. We have nothing to hide. We don’t have to lie.”

“But shouldn’t I have told the Federation and the Gorgor to keep their noses our of our business? They keep interrogating me and I...allow them to.”

Torpal smiled. “Sir, we came to do our job and we get constantly interrupted. As much as I’d like to tell them to leave us alone, I know it wouldn’t work. I keep hoping that your co-operation in sharing information would at least make them let us do our job.” The glinn observed the gul for a moment. “You’re still not satisfied with my answer.” Zamarran shook his head. “You fear you appear weak.” Zamarran didn’t clearly confirm, but he was sure his stony look told Torpal everything. “No, I do not think so,” the tactician said. “They still didn’t cross a line to provoke us, so you still didn’t have to show our sharp teeth.”

“Do you think I will decide to show our sharp teeth when they cross the line?” Zamarran asked.

“Sir, I don’t know you well, as this is our first mission together, but I doubt that you would sit by and watch them ruining our mission. You’re not that kind of man.”

Zamarran thought for a while. “Torpal, I have little experience in battle conditions...tactical experience, I mean. I am an engineer. If someone crosses the line, I will follow your recommendations regarding tactical matters.”

“Understood. But if I may be so bold, sir...you had served under one of the best tacticians in the Guard and fought in war under her command. I am sure you’ve learnt something and you’d do fine, if we have to switch our tactics to a more militant attitude.”

Zamarran grinned weakly. “Your faith in me is disturbing.”

Torpal answered with a smile of his own. “An officer has to trust his gul. After all, someone smarter than me was certain that this is the place for you, so who am I to question that?”

“Thank you, Glinn Torpal, that would be all.”

The tactician nodded and left the office. Zamarran sighed. As much as he respected Gul Brenok, he still wasn’t so sure that the long-haired gul hadn’t made a mistake, assigning him to the science ship. He knew he should show the same trust in his superior as Torpal did, but his doubts in his own abilities were stronger. Brenok was smart but perhaps his friendly feelings toward Zamarran clouded his judgement. He’s been known for following his heart rather than his logic sometimes.



Rayak Nor, the gul’s private quarters



Av’Roo stood with a bowl in her hand in front of Gul—the Skorr still didn’t understand the demotion that Jarol had been subjected to—Jarol’s quarters and patiently waited to be let in. The door parted, so she proceeded inside.

She stretched her hands with the bowl that she held toward the Cardassian. “Gul Jarol, I come with the Offering of a Peaceful Warrior,” she said. She knew that the Cardassian would have no idea what it meant, so she was not at all surprised, seeing the gul’s astonished look. “Do you accept?”

“Y...yes,” Jarol said uncertainly, eyeing the bowl.

Av’Roo smiled and placed the bowl on a low table near a big window. “Then you are ready.” The most natural question ‘Ready for what?’ was not asked, but the Skorr didn’t mind. She sat in a chair next to the table, waited for Jarol to sit in the other one and then started to explain. “This is a very old tradition from the times when my people were changing their ways. We still follow it, although these days it’s rather a symbol than the real need, unless someone struggles with his or her violent nature and reaches the moment that they cannot go on without support. I think that you are now on a crossroad and face the same difficult time as Skorr warriors did centuries ago.” Jarol looked at the bowl and then her eyes returned to Av’Roo’s face. The Skorr continued. “My people used to be warriors, brutal and vicious. We have changed our ways and became peaceful—that brought tranquil to our planet, our neighbours and also our hearts. I think you have reached this very moment of transformation from a warrior to a peaceful being. But you struggle with the same feelings and memories that Skorr warriors did—your violent past.” Tears appeared in Jarol’s eyes but she still didn’t say anything. “The Offering of a Peaceful Warrior is a special pudding, prepared with love and hope and given as a gift to a struggling warrior.” Av’Roo smiled. “This one is not that traditional, as I used Cardassian ingredients to make sure it’s edible for you, but the feelings and my support are exactly as they would be for a Skorr version of the dish.”

“Why?” Jarol asked quietly.

“Because no one should be left alone to face their monsters. We have to constantly keep them locked under key and when they try to escape and are almost successful—we need a cavalry to help us keep them locked and not let them out.

“I do not know what caused your change, I do not know if it’s not something any Cardassian has to endure in his or her life, but I can see that you are alone in this and I can see that you need cavalry.”

“You cannot help me.”

“Tell me, am I correct assuming that you have problems with dealing with what you had done in your past?” Jarol nodded weakly. “And you cannot undo those deeds?” The Cardassian shook her head from side to side. “And you regret them?” Another nod. “Was doing them necessary?”

Jarol’s eyes opened wider and she stared at Av’Roo for a long moment. She seemed to think for a while and then said in a barely audible voice. “No, I don’t think so.”

“You have to accept that it has been done,” the Skorr said. “You have to keep the monsters locked, but you cannot think only about them. Don’t let them out, ever; don’t let them eat your alive. Ask for help, if you need to keep them away. You cannot kill them. You cannot forget them. They will always be with you and they will keep reminding you what they are like, but that will only help you not to create more of them. And that is a good thing.”

“How am I supposed to live with them?”

“You’ll learn. You’ll always feel their presence, but you cannot allow them to define your life. Not any more. You have removed them from your heart, so don’t let them back in.”

“How do you do this in practice?”

“I am a Skorr and I have my ways of dealing with demons. I am not sure if mine would be of any use for you. But I know one thing: you cannot go through this alone and I think you’re trying to. Your monsters are still very strong. Not strong enough to return to your heart and make you do what they want, but strong enough to destroy you.”

“Maybe I should be destroyed?”

“Not this way.” Av’Roo paused. “You have a son. If you don’t have strength to fight for yourself, fight for him. Do you want the monsters to take his mother away? Did he deserve that?”

Jarol firmly shook her head. Then she took the spoon that was in the bowl and tried the pudding. Av’Roo observed her, not saying anything.

“Did some warriors lost their fights with their monsters?” the gul asked.

“Yes.”

“What happened to them?”

“Something that I don’t want to happen to you.”

Jarol stopped eating and looked at the Skorr. “Why do you care?”

“I care about everyone. I try to, at least.” She smiled weakly, hoping her words weren’t arrogant.

“What if no one wants to help me to keep my monsters locked?”

“I doubt that. You have a son, you have a sister, you have a friend who is almost a brother to you. I refuse to believe they would leave you with this alone.”

“My sister would.”

“But not Demok and not Brenok.”

“I shouldn’t burden my child with this.”

“He shares your burdens, for he is your child.”

“He shouldn’t worry about my monsters. This is not his problem.”

“He already worries. Let him do something so he would know he is helping you and not just observing you disappear in the thin air.”

Jarol shook her head and Av’Roo didn’t understand her resistance. There had to be something more about this. Had he accused her of something? Had he complained about her past? Had he judged her? Why would she think he wouldn’t support her? Was it Jarol’s misunderstanding or had something happened between them to cause that?

“I would offer my support, if you’d accept it,” the Skorr said. “I volunteer.”

“Why?” Jarol asked the same question again.

“Because you are more a Skorr right now than anyone else on this station. Because I can’t just stand by and do nothing.” She paused. “My door will be open, should you decide to accept my offer.” She rose. “You have to eat the whole pudding. The monsters hate it and hide in corners, so they would leave you alone for a while.”

“Thank you.” Jarol’s voice was quiet.

Av’Roo nodded and left the quarters.



tbc
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Old June 19 2011, 11:59 PM   #236
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Oooh, smart Fatret. Obviously resigning would be another avoidance mechanism. I actually think Brenok would be following the rules if a medical professional stated that making big decisions in her condition should not be allowed, as a part of her course of treatment. (Of course, I know that at least in the USA, that logic wouldn't fly, but on Cardassia I imagine it would.)

That art piece...that actually reminds me of the way the Berlin Wall was cut into pieces. But if someone's running an illegal art ring, with Cardassian art...NOT cool. I hope, though, that it turns out to be what Jarol says it is, because that could give her something better and more meaningful for her to do with her life. I still think she needs to resign--but once she can do so in a clearheaded fashion.

As for Golek--to refuse a request for blankets when he knows Cardassians can get hypothermia? Bastard. But of course only a bastard can preside over the death of a planet. There's a spot in the Obsidian Order for you, Mr. Orion.

Now, the Gorgor...that's interesting to see that they may well judge the Cardassians as "changed," and the Klingons as "not." But the Federation refusal to intervene...how will that piece of information play when they find out? That has soooooooo many political implications. Some could be good, but others could be deadly for the Cardassians, the Federation, and everyone else.

Personally...I think that what Laran said was right. There is so much of a separation between Legate Jarol and Jarol as a mother that they are like two different personas.

As for Av'Roo...while her culture's way of expressing it is very different, I think what she did was very, VERY touching. If her people were once like Cardassia was--violent, oppressive, and uncaring--then it does put her in a unique position to deal with this. I also like that while she says this is mostly a symbol now, that she does not say it's devoid of significance, or a connection to something bigger than the tangible symbol itself.

I know AU Dukat would've been pleased, too.
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Old June 20 2011, 01:43 AM   #237
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Oooh, smart Fatret. Obviously resigning would be another avoidance mechanism. I actually think Brenok would be following the rules if a medical professional stated that making big decisions in her condition should not be allowed, as a part of her course of treatment. (Of course, I know that at least in the USA, that logic wouldn't fly, but on Cardassia I imagine it would.)
Actually, I'm not so sure Fatret told him anything. It could as well be Brenok's emotions speaking. He doesn't want to let her go.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
As for Golek--to refuse a request for blankets when he knows Cardassians can get hypothermia? Bastard. But of course only a bastard can preside over the death of a planet. There's a spot in the Obsidian Order for you, Mr. Orion.
I'm surprised Golek is allowed to refuse such an order. Either his commander is not much better, or she doesn't know. Or they both believe that the Cardassians "deserve" it.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Now, the Gorgor...that's interesting to see that they may well judge the Cardassians as "changed," and the Klingons as "not." But the Federation refusal to intervene...how will that piece of information play when they find out? That has soooooooo many political implications. Some could be good, but others could be deadly for the Cardassians, the Federation, and everyone else.
There's going to be on Gorgor. I'm not sure how much of their way of thinking and reasoning would be revealed in this story, but they are going to be a recurring alien and finally known better to the reader.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
As for Av'Roo...while her culture's way of expressing it is very different, I think what she did was very, VERY touching. If her people were once like Cardassia was--violent, oppressive, and uncaring--then it does put her in a unique position to deal with this. I also like that while she says this is mostly a symbol now, that she does not say it's devoid of significance, or a connection to something bigger than the tangible symbol itself.

I know AU Dukat would've been pleased, too.
I wrote that scene long time ago and had already made a decision to dump it and not use it. But then I changed my mind.
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Old June 20 2011, 02:53 AM   #238
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
As for Golek--to refuse a request for blankets when he knows Cardassians can get hypothermia? Bastard. But of course only a bastard can preside over the death of a planet. There's a spot in the Obsidian Order for you, Mr. Orion.
I'm surprised Golek is allowed to refuse such an order. Either his commander is not much better, or she doesn't know. Or they both believe that the Cardassians "deserve" it.
Any of those options is incredibly dangerous.

I wrote that scene long time ago and had already made a decision to dump it and not use it. But then I changed my mind.
I'm glad you kept it. I think it was wonderful.
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Old June 20 2011, 03:47 AM   #239
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Initially the Av'Roo scene was supposed to be Intermission, then dumped as bringing nothing additional to the plot, but recently I thought of something and now the scene won't be so meaningless in regard to the plot.

The main reason why I had wanted to dump it was that I felt it was very bland and boring. There's enough of boring character development revolving around Jarol not to add more
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Old June 20 2011, 06:05 AM   #240
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Bland?!

That's the last word I'd use. "Rich" is what came to my mind. It's like what I feel when I write SigCat...even in the worst situations, there's something so layered, vibrant, and alive about AU Cardassia. This had kind of a similar feel to it.
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