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Old July 23 2011, 11:02 PM   #256
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

My comments got lost the first time I tried to post them.

The Rathosians...well, given what they were presented with--a duplicitous, cowardly Federation that would rather watch them die for science than render assistance, versus the Cardassians who were willing to take a moral stand and fight to save them--they made the right decision and the Federation deserves all the egg in its face that it can possibly get.

I'm also pleased that the Cardassians will be granting temporary asylum to Tibaut and Pemutruch. They ought to be the ones getting a commendation, not condemnation, and if the Federation can't see that, then they deserve to be somewhere safe.

And YAY for Yassel and Aladar!!! I'm so glad Aladar got to be in the Damar Guard--and now he and Yassel are dating. I was also surprised by Yassel's father...given her "disability" I actually expected him to be even more harsh on her than he might be on any of his other children. But he surprised me, in a good way.

I am also very, very glad to see Zeter punished and that Brenok will make sure there are no reprisals.

As for what's happened to Jarol...I have mixed feelings on that. I had hoped that Jarol would come to regret her past without there being some sort of mitigating factor in the way. But, I can say that the research I did on traumatic brain injuries did show that personality changes could result (and also that coma and subdural hematoma, both of which she experienced, point to a serious injury).

What does keep this from feeling like a "cheat," exactly, is that it also seems like it's possible that Jarol did undergo a sort of execution for all that she had done and had become. That doesn't mean the Klingons should've done what they did--that was cowardly and wrong by any standard. But it may mean that Jarol paid for all that she did and all that she had become.

There's just one thing I question, though. How does this test, and this theory, account for the choices people make in life? Her baseline is Jarol as she was right before the injury. Not Atira Darok, the teenager, before she made her decision to join the military. How can she assess, without that, whether what's happened is a wholly unnatural thing, and not a "wiping of the slate" back to what she should have been, without all of the corruption she took into herself?

As an example...what would Fatret make of it if she were presented with my AU Dukat as a patient? (Not because AU Dukat is "crazy," but simply so she can check and make sure his meds are still OK.) Given what she knows about Gul Dukat, how would she explain him, his thought patterns, and his behavior? What would she say about how they do or do not intersect with Gul Dukat's in some form or fashion? I know what my rationale and my theory is, and why I felt justified writing AU Dukat the way I did, but I'm wondering what Fatret would make of those two, if she could talk to one, and then talk to the other.

(Or maybe, it would be better to ask how Fatret would explain Gul Dukat, given that AU Dukat is the good one.)



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Old July 24 2011, 01:50 AM   #257
Gul Re'jal
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
The Rathosians...well, given what they were presented with--a duplicitous, cowardly Federation that would rather watch them die for science than render assistance, versus the Cardassians who were willing to take a moral stand and fight to save them--they made the right decision and the Federation deserves all the egg in its face that it can possibly get.
That's why Rathosians don't want to have anything to do with the Federation.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
And YAY for Yassel and Aladar!!! I'm so glad Aladar got to be in the Damar Guard--and now he and Yassel are dating. I was also surprised by Yassel's father...given her "disability" I actually expected him to be even more harsh on her than he might be on any of his other children. But he surprised me, in a good way.
If her father cared about her "disability" that much, I don't think he would want her to join the military, and not any of his other children.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
As for what's happened to Jarol...I have mixed feelings on that. I had hoped that Jarol would come to regret her past without there being some sort of mitigating factor in the way. But, I can say that the research I did on traumatic brain injuries did show that personality changes could result (and also that coma and subdural hematoma, both of which she experienced, point to a serious injury).
I did the same research when reading about brain injury, coma, how long being in a coma is "safe" (there's still a change that a patient wakes up and goes on with his or her life) and possible results of such a trauma.

And I suspected that you wouldn't like it
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
But it may mean that Jarol paid for all that she did and all that she had become.
I don't think so. Her change of thinking and feeling makes it actually worse for her, because she still carries her guilt and now that guilt is much heavier than it would be if there was no shift in her personality. Everything is stripped of "reasons" and naked facts are left--facts that she doesn't deny, doesn't try to justify and doesn't feel like they should be justified in any way.

In the end she cannot come to terms with all that and she will never rest.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
There's just one thing I question, though. How does this test, and this theory, account for the choices people make in life? Her baseline is Jarol as she was right before the injury. Not Atira Darok, the teenager, before she made her decision to join the military. How can she assess, without that, whether what's happened is a wholly unnatural thing, and not a "wiping of the slate" back to what she should have been, without all of the corruption she took into herself?
Err, how can someone tell what Jarol should be, if her life was different (except me, that is )? How could anyone know that?

The test doesn't tell what one could be or should be. I imagine this is some kind of visual/auditory test that records brain reactions and facial expressions, and any other visual reactions to images and sounds. Those could be any photos/sounds of the world and abstract shapes/colours and abstract sounds (no doubt prepared with a particular thing in mine by specialists, not just "some messy stain on a cardboard" or a random noise).

So it would be about how one sees and reacts to particular stimuli.

The final result of the test after the near-death experience is dramatically different than the last test Jarol was subjected to. Such changes would not happen, if a patient "changed his/her mind," or his/her views would change, as some parts of the test don't test conscious thinking, eg. it's not a choice how you react to suffering. Even if you turn a blind eye to it, you would feel guilt about it somewhere deep inside (IF you have empathic abilities).
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
As an example...what would Fatret make of it if she were presented with my AU Dukat as a patient? (Not because AU Dukat is "crazy," but simply so she can check and make sure his meds are still OK.) Given what she knows about Gul Dukat, how would she explain him, his thought patterns, and his behavior? What would she say about how they do or do not intersect with Gul Dukat's in some form or fashion? I know what my rationale and my theory is, and why I felt justified writing AU Dukat the way I did, but I'm wondering what Fatret would make of those two, if she could talk to one, and then talk to the other.
There would be some common points in their personalities, I suppose the most "basic" ones, but generally they would be different people.

Fatret wouldn't try to explain anything. She would compare the results and see that they are different. A lot like twins separated at birth. AU Dukat and Gul Dukat have common genetics, but nothing else. They come from different worlds, different circumstances and different environments. I'd have to search for a name, as it was a long time since I had that at school, but one psychologist assessed that our personalities are determined by three factors and genetics is the least important one. In other words, apart from diseases (and we're not talking about Dukats' mental condition here), we are not born good or bad. Anyone can be good or bad, depending on the surroundings, environment and how they are raised.

(I don't mean here that living in so-called free world makes you good, an in totalitarian system a baddie, because in free world you can choose what you want to do, while in a totalitarian system the system makes you a torturer. Totalitarian systems are full of good people, and a torturer enjoying his work can be easily found in a free world.

The "surroundings and environment" relate to home and other close surroundings. If your parents treat animals like things, it's very possible that they pass that attitude to you and you will see animals as things, too, and never want a pet; and refuse such a request from your child, because "dogs just make mess and you have to spend your money to feed them.")
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
(Or maybe, it would be better to ask how Fatret would explain Gul Dukat, given that AU Dukat is the good one.)
But why would she try to explain any of them? She would see two men with the same genetics and very little else in common. If any of them lived in environment more similar to the other's one, they would be more similar, but their worlds couldn't be more different. That's the theory she works with.

Some very basic traits were present in both of them, but I think the point of divergence starts with the faith. One believes there's someone much bigger than him; the other one came to a conclusion that nothing is bigger than him.
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Old July 24 2011, 02:27 AM   #258
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Gul Re'jal wrote:
If her father cared about her "disability" that much, I don't think he would want her to join the military, and not any of his other children.
I thought that he wanted her in the military to try to cover for his "disgrace." The "shame" he foolishly thinks her condition brings him.

I did the same research when reading about brain injury, coma, how long being in a coma is "safe" (there's still a change that a patient wakes up and goes on with his or her life) and possible results of such a trauma.

And I suspected that you wouldn't like it
I kind of wish it had gone differently--but I certainly can't fault you for realism.

I don't think so. Her change of thinking and feeling makes it actually worse for her, because she still carries her guilt and now that guilt is much heavier than it would be if there was no shift in her personality. Everything is stripped of "reasons" and naked facts are left--facts that she doesn't deny, doesn't try to justify and doesn't feel like they should be justified in any way.

In the end she cannot come to terms with all that and she will never rest.
I did think of something that, if she comes to understand her condition as it is, might help when she's ready for it, although it would be symbolic. I'm not sure I should say it, though, in case it's an exercise you had in mind.

Err, how can someone tell what Jarol should be, if her life was different (except me, that is )? How could anyone know that?
Well, you can't know for sure, but I think that sometimes it's possible to get a fairly good idea by looking further back into someone's past, before certain critical decisions have been made.

I imagine this is some kind of visual/auditory test that records brain reactions and facial expressions, and any other visual reactions to images and sounds. Those could be any photos/sounds of the world and abstract shapes/colours and abstract sounds (no doubt prepared with a particular thing in mine by specialists, not just "some messy stain on a cardboard" or a random noise).

So it would be about how one sees and reacts to particular stimuli.
Are you thinking of the Cardassian equivalent of the Voight-Kampff test from Blade Runner?

In other words, apart from diseases (and we're not talking about Dukats' mental condition here), we are not born good or bad. Anyone can be good or bad, depending on the surroundings, environment and how they are raised.

(I don't mean here that living in so-called free world makes you good, an in totalitarian system a baddie, because in free world you can choose what you want to do, while in a totalitarian system the system makes you a torturer. Totalitarian systems are full of good people, and a torturer enjoying his work can be easily found in a free world.
I'm glad you made that point--because I think that people's choices are important and that we cannot excuse evil conduct as something we couldn't help because we happened not to grow up under the best circumstances.

Some very basic traits were present in both of them, but I think the point of divergence starts with the faith. One believes there's someone much bigger than him; the other one came to a conclusion that nothing is bigger than him.
Right...but on AU Dukat's Cardassia, no one forced him to choose that. Even as strong as the Oralian culture is there, I don't see the post-Cataclysm society as one that bullies people into believing.

I also think there are certain choices the canon Dukat could've made too, that could've helped. The Oralian Way is one, and I think there are other avenues he could've taken, too, that would've resulted in greater humility and not losing himself.
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Old July 24 2011, 02:49 AM   #259
Gul Re'jal
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Gul Re'jal wrote:
If her father cared about her "disability" that much, I don't think he would want her to join the military, and not any of his other children.
I thought that he wanted her in the military to try to cover for his "disgrace." The "shame" he foolishly thinks her condition brings him.
He wanted her, because she is the oldest child, so in a way a "representative" of all his children. I think it's even stated somewhere in the story.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Are you thinking of the Cardassian equivalent of the Voight-Kampff test from Blade Runner?
It's been ages since I watched that film, so didn't remember this detail.

In Star Trek, especially TNG, there were a few different tests for different purposes, but often included some visual imagery and testing reaction. I think Data was subjected to one of those at least once. So that was my "inspiration" for the form of this personality test.
Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Right...but on AU Dukat's Cardassia, no one forced him to choose that. Even as strong as the Oralian culture is there, I don't see the post-Cataclysm society as one that bullies people into believing.
I didn't suggest that anyone forced AU Dukat to anything. I don't know how he became an Oralian, so I didn't mean that. I meant that he "is" an Oralian, and Gul Dukat "isn't" and that makes them think differently about their own place in the universe.
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Old July 24 2011, 03:15 AM   #260
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Gul Re'jal wrote:
In Star Trek, especially TNG, there were a few different tests for different purposes, but often included some visual imagery and testing reaction. I think Data was subjected to one of those at least once. So that was my "inspiration" for the form of this personality test.
If you happen to find that, I would actually like to know for a different purpose.

I didn't suggest that anyone forced AU Dukat to anything. I don't know how he became an Oralian, so I didn't mean that.
He was raised as one, but I also know that--most likely while he was at Tirhem Farms--he considered it and then made a thoughtful decision that he did wish to continue as one.

I meant that he "is" an Oralian, and Gul Dukat "isn't" and that makes them think differently about their own place in the universe.
The interesting thing, though, is that at the end of his life, Gul Dukat did a twisted version of that. Personally, Marc Alaimo's acting in "Covenant" really sold that idea to me.
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Old July 24 2011, 03:34 AM   #261
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

So, even Gul Dukat saw that there is something bigger than him. Shame that he made such a poor choice to worship, but I suppose Pah Wraiths were the only thing that his rotten soul would accept as superior. Any good beings would be rejected by him immediately.
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Old July 24 2011, 03:59 AM   #262
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: ST: Shaping a Cardassian - "Strength Without Sacrifice is Useless"

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
So, even Gul Dukat saw that there is something bigger than him. Shame that he made such a poor choice to worship, but I suppose Pah Wraiths were the only thing that his rotten soul would accept as superior. Any good beings would be rejected by him immediately.
That's some very clever phrasing there: "rejected by him." A good being would not reject him, but try instead to help him change for the better (until the point came where that was proven impossible).
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