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Old September 19 2010, 06:04 PM   #136
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Actually, I think they both talk before thinking. They're made for each other.

About Alon's intelligence--if anything, I would say that Jarol was outmatched by Ghemor there. He seemed to have anticipated almost all of her objections...and even with the one that he couldn't counter, I still think he came off as very sensible about it. He is not a prideful man, and I don't think he worries about where a good idea comes from, whether it's Jarol or even someone from the Federation. That lack of ego is what I think allowed him to outmaneuver her. But I also think there's some force of character that Jarol may not see.

Keeping the tea scene in was a very good idea...like I said, very believable for this family and its traditions. It's funny how we all see the same things! See here, for what Glinn Yejain has to say (and my version of Alon speaks, too, but on personal matters): http://www.adastrafanfic.com/viewstory.php?sid=7

BTW, I don't think "character" chapters are boring! If we're still learning something about the characters, then it's worth it.
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Old September 19 2010, 10:15 PM   #137
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Didn´t find it boring either. Loved the scenes with the Glinns. Oh oh, what has the cardassian military come too?
The idea of the exchange program I find fascinating. Will be interessting to see how the Feds will get around the Cardassian ship and how the Cardassians will get around with them. Looking forward to read about this.
And the name for the Guard is of course !

TerokNor
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Old September 20 2010, 02:02 AM   #138
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

NG, I'll read the story later today.

About Alon's intelligence--if anything, I would say that Jarol was outmatched by Ghemor there. He seemed to have anticipated almost all of her objections...and even with the one that he couldn't counter, I still think he came off as very sensible about it. He is not a prideful man, and I don't think he worries about where a good idea comes from, whether it's Jarol or even someone from the Federation. That lack of ego is what I think allowed him to outmaneuver her. But I also think there's some force of character that Jarol may not see.
She still thinks as a soldier, that's why Daset is the politician And she still is very proud, which sometimes blinds her to what should be done and what is right.

TN, the Fed exchange program is going to be two stories actually. This one here, but there's also another one being written - from one of those human's point of view. You will be able to see a few events through Cardassian and Fed eyes, especially the "first contact" and first days on the Roumar.
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Old September 20 2010, 03:42 AM   #139
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

No rush on the story...I really just posted it there for a few paragraphs anyway.
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Old September 20 2010, 06:34 AM   #140
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
TN, the Fed exchange program is going to be two stories actually. This one here, but there's also another one being written - from one of those human's point of view. You will be able to see a few events through Cardassian and Fed eyes, especially the "first contact" and first days on the Roumar.
Cool!
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Old September 20 2010, 06:47 AM   #141
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

First chapter of that story is finished, but you have to wait until I post the next chapter of "Shaping a Cardassian", as it contains a huuuuugeeeee spoiler.

Actually both chapters describe the same situation - their arrival
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Old September 23 2010, 12:45 PM   #142
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

“Cardassian” means “evil”
2378 (2378)



“Karama, why do you do this?” Kapoor asked him quietly.

“Because she expects it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Did I do anything to her? Did I really threatened her in any way?”

“No. She just assumed--”

“My point exactly. This is her punishment. She created this hell for herself, so she can live in it for all I care.”

“Could you please stop feeding her fears? Please?”

He stared at her for a short while.

“Please?” she repeated.

“I'll stop, but I do it for you, not for her.”


Eleven days earlier




Brenok waited for the materialisation process to end. When the swirling, orange energy patterns finally disappeared, there were two Terran women standing on the transporter pad. The one on the left was very short, her skin reminded him of cocoa his mother used to prepare every morning and her hair was a bunch of shiny, black wisps. She looked at him with her huge, black eyes and smiled. The other one was tall and slim. Her hair was... yellow, tied into a tail at the back of her head. She glanced nervously at him.

“I am Glinn Brenok, the Gul's aide,” he said. “Welcome aboard Cardassian Union Warship Roumar.”

“Thank you, sir,” the short officer stepped off the pad and approached him, handing him a Cardassian data rod. “These are our orders. My name is Lieutenant Amrita Kapoor and this is Lieutenant Maeva Ullmann.”

He took the rod. “What are your specialities?” he asked, seeing that Kapoor wore gold and Ullmann wore blue.

“I am an engineer and Lieutenant Ullmann is a scientist.”

“Interesting,” he said, observing Ullmann finally stepping off the pad and reluctantly approaching him. “Here,” he handed them a Cardassian padd each. “These padds contain all necessary information you need for start.” They both took padds and Kapoor immediately activated hers. “You can also find a full list of our regulations. You have two days to study and memorise them and after those two days no deviation from regulations will be accepted,” it took all his will not to flinch. I sound just like Daset, he thought.

“Uhm... sir?”

“What is it, Kapoor?”

“Only two days?”

“Is there a problem?”

“Well,” she glanced uncertainly at her colleague and then back at Brenok. “We can read the regulations, but we will not have them learnt by heart in two days.”

“Why not?” he was puzzled.

“Our memory is not as perfect as yours,” she smiled sheepishly. “We need a lot of time to memorize such a long document.”

“I see your problem,” he said. He thought for a moment. “Then you will have to do your best to familiarise yourselves with the rules as fast as possible. Now, if you follow me I will take you to the Gul.”

The three of them left the transporter room. Brenok tried to ignore Kapoor's curious glances at his hair.

Jarol was a bit nervous, but she couldn't tell why. She stood by a window, looking at Cardassia blow, and wondering where all this Federation exchange officers business would take them. She still wasn't completely convinced this wasn't some kind of Feds' trick to neatly place their spies in the Union.

She heard the door swish open, so turned to face her new crewmen. Crew-women, as it occurred.

“Lieutenant Kapoor and Lieutenant Ullmann,” Brenok introduced them.

She glanced at the short one, who smiled and nodded to her. The other one looked strange, like she was sick. Her hair was light yellow and her skin was almost as white as desert's sand. She lacked those funny, hairy eyebrows. No, wait, she had them, but they were so bright they were almost indistinguishable from her skin.

“Welcome aboard,” Jarol said, her tone of voice official. “I'm Gul Jarol, in command of CUW Roumar. You are here as exchange officers,” she did her best not to snort, “from the United Federation of Planets. You will be treated as any other officer of the Cardassian Guard with all rights and duties thereof. You will follow our protocol and will be punished for any breach of regulations according to our law. If you have any questions, direct them to Glinn Brenok.” She couldn't believe he actually volunteered for this task. “Cultural misunderstandings would be overlooked in the beginning, however I suggest you familiarise yourselves with our customs not to offend anyone, even unwittingly.” She stopped and looked at the Ullmann person. “Are you all right? Why is water dripping off your face?” she asked, approaching the woman.

Ullmann stiffened. “I am ok,” she said quietly eventually.

Jarol looked at the other Terran. There were pearls of water on her forehead too.

“It's the temperature, ma'am,” the short woman said. “We are not used to such heat.”

“I understand that, but why are you wet?”

“It's perspiration, ma'am. We expel excess of heat out of our bodies this way.”

Mammals, Jarol thought.

“There is a cooling unit waiting for you in your quarters,” Jarol said. “However you will have to adapt, as this is standard temperature aboard this ship.”

“Yes, ma'am! We will, ma'am,” Kapoor squared her shoulders.

Jarol kept looking at her. There was something wrong with the translator, or with vocabulary the Terran used.

“Why do you call me your mom?” Jarol asked finally.

Kapoor looked at her surprised, while Brenok did his best to hide his smile.

“I beg your pardon?” the Terran said finally.

“I suspect this is the best our translator can do, but why would it choose such a strange word. What is the word you use to address me?”

“It is a standard word to address a female superior, ma... Sir?”

“Oh,” Jarol's eyes smiled, even if her mouth didn't. “Well, there is not such word in Cardassian, so 'sir', or 'Gul' will do instead. I don't want to be your mom.”

“Of course, Gul,” the woman nodded.

Jarol thought there was a shadow of discipline there, in spite of that she didn't expect to see it.

“Questions?” she looked at them both. None of them reacted, so she took it as a 'no'. “Dismissed,” she said and looked at Brenok.

“Follow me,” he said and all three of them left the office.

The door didn't close yet, when it reopened and Zamarran entered.

“This is going to be veeeeeery interesting,” he commented, looking after the aliens.

“You have something for me?” she asked him.

“Gul Jarol,” he started officially, “I would like to report that Cardassian Union Warship Roumar is fully repaired and in top condition.”

“About time,” she said, knitting her eye ridges as if scolding him. His face expressed only great disappointment. She smiled. “Just joking, Glinn, relax. Good job, I know it took you a lot of time and planning to gather everything you needed to bring us back to this crisp and fresh state.”

“Yes, sir, it did.”

“Fishing for promotion?”

Zamarran only smiled. They both knew it wasn't possible, unless he would transfer away. Brenok was Glinn Grade Two and there could be only one aboard – the Gul's aide. Zamarran deserved the promotion to Grade Two more than anyone else on this ship, but she didn't want to lose him and he didn't seem to want to go. Being a Glinn Grade One had to satisfy him for now. However she knew it was a matter of time; he was ready to be someone's aide and the day he would leave was getting closer with every report he delivered.

“Dismissed,” she said.

He left her office and returned to the bridge.



Jarol entered the bridge and the first thing she noted was presence of both exchange officers. She approved of their punctuality. She sat in her chair and asked for reports from all stations. There wasn't anything special happening, which she welcomed, as it gave her time to catch up with all paperwork and the “Withdrawal Planning”.

“Sir, Gul Daset hails us,” Karama reported.

“On screen.”

“Gul Jarol,” Daset went straight to business. “Your presence is required in the Skarrat Prefecture.”

“Isn't Gul Marret investigating them?” she asked.

Skarrat was one of annexed worlds and to speed up gathering of information, each world was being investigated by one ship.

“He is. However he says he has a problem there and requested your presence.”

“Why?”

“I think he believes you are a better diplomat. He knows you managed to solve Amaratian situation, so he thinks you can deal with this too. Frankly, I agree with him.”

“What about their presence?” she nodded once toward Kapoor.

“They'll have to digest what they see.”

Perfect. What we need is to show our internal problems to those Feds here.

“Understood,” she said.

Daset's face was replaced by the Union logo and then by Cardassia, slowly turning below them.
“Karama, plot the course to the Skarrat System.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Brenok, what do we know about them?”

The Glinn worked on his console for a moment and then reported.

“The Skarrat system consists of three planets. The third one is inhabited by reptilian, biped, sentient race, the Skarrats. We have annexed the system one hundred and twenty-eight years ago. All three planets were quickly stripped of any valuable resources and are completely useless now.” He raised his head and looked at the Gul. “There are no reports of any problems with the Skarrats.”

“Until now,” she said more to herself, that to him. “Karama, ETA?”

“Seventy-three hours.”

She still had time to do her paperwork.

“Brenok, my office,” she barked and headed for her room.

Her aide followed her.

“How are they?” she asked when the door closed behind him. “Any problems so far?”

“None that I know of. Kapoor seems opened and curious about everything. She spent whole evening on the bridge yesterday. Ullmann is reserved. I think she's a little scared.”

“I'm not sure it's such a good idea to go to Skarrat with them. They would surely file some reports to the Federation, giving them even more excuses to interfere in our matters.”

“You assume the situation there is critical.”

“Marret wouldn't ask for us if he could deal with it himself.”

Brenok thought for a while.

“We can try to limit their expose to information, but we can't leave them behind,” he said eventually.

She sighed.

“I will prepare full report on current Skarrat situation,” he said.

“Very good. We need to know what we should expect by the time we arrive there.”

He left the office and returned to the bridge.
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Old September 23 2010, 12:45 PM   #143
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

“Sir,” Kamara spoke from his seat. “We are in communication range of the Skarrat system.”

“Already?”

“I... I never 'de-boosted' our comm range,” he smiled sheepishly.

“I told him not to,” Zamarran spoke. “Actually I have sent the specification to other ships to do the same.”

Jarol didn't say anything, but there was a tiny smile playing with her lips.

“Hail Gul Marret.”

“Not the Prefect?”

“No, I want Marret.”

“This is Gul Marret,” the Cardassian's face appeared on her screen. “Ah, Gul Jarol. I'm glad you could come.”

“What's the problem, Marret?”

“Well, it's quite unusual. I got clear orders to inform and prepare them for our withdrawal, but they don't want us to go!”

“What?” she didn't believe her own ears.

“I know that the Federation makes demands and Ghemor listens to them, but what do we do if someone wants to stay with us? What would the Feds say? That we threatened them to stay? I don't want to be responsible for an interstellar conflict.”

“Calm down,” she said. Marret seemed confused and panicked. “Did you talk to their Prefect?”

“Yes. He's told me that even if we withdraw, he stays. He is going to resign his commission and stay on Skarrat.”

“Oh,” that was getting really interesting. “Can you arrange a meeting with him? I want to talk to both of you.”

“Let's meet in the Prefect's office in fifteen minutes.”

“I'll be there.” She looked at Brenok; he just shrugged. “What did you find in the database? Anything that would explain this?”

“I don't know. When we arrived to this system, the Skarrats were quite primitive. They didn't know warp and their technology was centuries behind ours. They never offered any real resistance. The planet lost its importance once it was stripped of all resources. Cardassian presence here is purely representative.”

“What can you tell me about the Skarrats themselves?”

“Reptilian bipeds. Matriarchal society. Peaceful. They have two sexes and lay eggs. Their bone and muscular build suggests they could be formidable warriors, if they chose to.”

“Gul Marret informs that he and the Prefect await your arrival,” Karama spoke.

“Fine. Brenok, with me. Zamarran, you have the bridge.”

They headed for the transporter room and soon were on the planet, in a modest office of the local official.

“Gul Jarol, please meet the Prefect of Skarrat, Gul Kadal.”

“Pleased to meet you, Gul Jarol. I am guessing this is Glinn Brenok. I appreciate you could arrive here so quickly,” Kadal was an elder man, surely past his hundredth birthday.

“I was quite surprised by the locals' stand regarding our decision of withdrawal,” she said.

“Yes, well, the situation here is rather... atypical,” he smiled. “Please, be seated,” he waved toward chairs on the guest side of his desk.

Marret, Brenok and Jarol sat, while he took his chair. The female Gul noticed a holopicture on the desk. There was an alien on it. Its skin was covered by scales, it was green and had a long snout. Oddly, there was a ring in its nostrils. It was also obvious it wore some kind of garment, as the photo included its neck and top of its shoulders.

“My wife,” Gul Kadal said.

Jarol looked at him. He nodded toward the holoimage.

“This is my wife.”

“You are married to a local?” she hoped her surprise wasn't obvious.

“Indeed.”

“Is it uncommon here?” Brenok asked.

“Actually, no,” Kadal smiled. “I was posted here fifty-four years ago. I made my life here and this is my home. I believe most of Cardassians, who came here long time ago, would say the same.”

“If you don't mind me asking,” Brenok started, and after Kadal shook his head he continued, “do you also have children?”

“Unfortunately no. Our physiologies are too different.”

How ironic, Jarol though. Reptilian Cardassians could have children with mammalian Bajorans, but not with reptilian Skarrats.

“It seems clear to me, that the Skarrats feel part of the Cardassian Union,” she said. “You have assimilated with them, so they don't see us as conquerors any more.”

“Actually they never did,” Kadal smiled. “When our people arrived here, the Skarrats knew no warp, no transporter technology. They saw people, who appeared out of nowhere in orange light. They thought we were gods, who came to them. With time that superstition was cleared, but now the Skarrats see us as someone, who helped them to develop technologically and reach stars. They accepted our presence as a blessing. There was some resistance, but it was dealt with. We never had to use force against them since. I would lie if I said there were no problems here, but when I arrived, I decided to stop any abuse of them, I made sure they were treated fairly and...” he shrugged. “And somehow we live next to each other in peace today. I talked to my wife about the withdrawal and she says it scares them. They don't know what they would do without our help and support. She's not the only one, who--”

“Wait,” Jarol raised her hand. “Help and support?”

“Yes. We have left their planet as barren as ours is. This is not fair. We couldn't leave them like that, so I made sure there are regular resources shipments to ensure well being of everyone, who lives on Skarrat, both the Cardassians and the Skarrats.”

“So if we withdraw, they would be... abandoned,” Jarol said.

“Exactly.”

The Gul looked at Marret. He seemed completely lost.

“Gul Jarol,” Kadal addressed her. “I know that Alon Ghemor promised to free all annexed worlds, but does it also include those, who don't wish to be 'freed'?”

She was speechless. Here was a Gul, who really took care of his Prefecture, who cared about his people and the locals, who never abused them and even married one of them. How different it was from most of Prefects, who used force and labour camps, who used women like toys, who abused their power.

“Gul Kadal,” she started. “I am very impressed by what you have achieved here. I will have to investigate the matter more to gather proofs, but if the Skarrats really wish to stay being a part of the Union, then we have no right to simple reject them.”

“What kind of proofs do you need?”

“I honestly don't know. However we must be able to prove that the Skarrats aren't just people, who are too terrified to defy us and are forced to stay. I need something that would convince politicians that the Skarrat Prefecture is not a Bajor.”

“I understand. I think you could talk to our officials, local officials, who could provide their testimonies. I can also provide you with some documents, which prove that the Cardassians and the Skarrats live together and without problems. The Skarrats adopted our education system and our children and their young go to schools together.”

Jarol couldn't stop her smile. Kadal spoke of his adopted home with such passion that she believed every his word. She only hoped the Federation would believe too and not accuse them of falsifying data to keep one of their annexed worlds.

“I'll tell you one thing, Gul Jarol,” Kadal continued. “If Cardassia abandons this place, I will not abandon it. I will stay here and try my best to take care of these people.”

“This sounds almost too beautiful to be true,” she said.

“Do you think we, Cardassians, are worse than we really are?”

“Sometimes I do,” she smiled sadly.

“Some of us are good people. I have many good people here. I hope everyone currently present in this office belongs to that group too.”

“All right, Gul Kadal,” she rose and so did Marret and Brenok. “I will file my report. I cannot make any promises, as it's not me, who makes big decisions, but I will do everything in my power to help the Skarrats stay with us, if that indeed is their wish.”

“Thank you, Gul Jarol.”

The three Cardassians left the Prefect's office.

“And what do you say about that?” Marret asked.

“Do you really think they live here in peace, as one society?” she asked him.

“I had scanned the planet as soon as I arrived here. I found nothing suspicious here. It's a quiet, calm place. Mines are abandoned. Cities are crowded with Skarrats and scattered Cardassians. Offices are filled with Skarrat personnel. I've even found Obsidian Order files on Cardassians, who assimilated with locals and started families with them. Kadal had been investigated as a possible traitor, but they'd never found anything to accuse him of. It's confirmed that he requested trade shipments. The Skarrats are skilled artists and they sell fabrics, art and other goods for resources and food. He really made it work,” Marret was clearly impressed.

“I wonder if the Feds would be satisfied.”

“Frankly, I don't care what the Feds would think,” Marret snorted. “Ghemor made a mistake, listening to them. He started a chain reaction. He gives them one thing and from now on they will keep asking for another, and then another, and another, and in the end we would be just another Federation world, listening to their orders,” his voice was full of bitterness. “I don't see myself wearing a Starfleet uniform.”

“Neither do I,” she agreed. “It would press on neck ridges.”

They laughed.

“Thank you for coming, Jarol. I wasn't sure how to deal with this situation. Orders were clear. Situation is not.”

“It hardly is recently.”

They bade farewell and Jarol and Brenok returned to the Roumar.

“You know,” Brenok said, when they were walking back to the bridge from the transporter room, “Kapoor and Ullmann could be assigned to the investigation team. If their signatures would be under the report, the Feds would have to believe that.”

“Unless the Feds would think we tortured their officers to get those signatures.”

“They wouldn't.”

“Are you sure? They see us all as monsters. Even I have problems with accepting Kadal's words at face value, and I know there are great Cardassians among us. The Feds think we all are murderers, unless our name is Ghemor.”

“I still suggest to include them in the investigation.”

“Do that,” she agreed. “Even if their superiors won't believe it, these two will see it with their own eyes.”

Brenok smiled.



Gul Kadal was very helpful in providing documentation and also invited Jarol to visit the capital city. She accepted the invitation and on the third day of their investigation she and Kadal went for a walk.

The city was... flat. There were very few tall buildings and if there were any, they resembled Cardassian architecture more than anything else. The Cardassians walked without guards and at first it distressed her, but she soon realised that no one paid any special attention to them. Some passers by nodded their greeting to Kadal, but most of them behaved like no aliens were present among them.

“It's hot here,” Jarol commented.

“Indeed. It's hotter than even Cardassia.”

“Are they poikilothermic?”

“They are. Would you like to sample some of local fruits?”

“Why not?” she smiled.

He took her to some kind of dessert shop. They sat at a table outside and he chose some fruit desserts for them. While they were waiting two Skarrats passed by the shop. There wouldn't be anything special about them if not their clothes. Their garments were clearly made of fabric, but the resemblance to a Cardassian armour couldn't be accidental.

“That's interesting,” she commented.

Kadal glanced at them and then back at her.

“Yes. About thirty years ago they adopted our design for their uniforms. Those men here were local security force, and they were wearing their duty uniforms.”

A waiter brought their order, so she grabbed a long spoon and tried a bit of an orange-yellow fruit. It was sweet, juicy and quite tasty.

She spent whole afternoon with Kadal and she had to admit she enjoyed it.

“Sir, Gul Daset wants to talk to you,” Karama reported as soon as she appeared back on the bridge. “In private.”

“My office,” she said and headed for her room.

“How's the situation?” he asked.

“Fascinating,” she replied. “I should have full report this evening,” she could still taste local fruits and beverages in her mouth.

“Good. However this is not the reason I contacted you.”

“So what is?”

“I will transfer Brenok to my office. I have already sent him notification--”

“You what?!”

“You can't--”

“I won't allow it!”

“You have no choice, Jarol,” his voice got stronger. “This is an official order.”

“Why?”

“I have received a report regarding his medical condition. He cannot stay in active duty.”

“He is fine!”

“No, he's not. And you know it. You probably know more about it than I do. I'm transferring him and that's final.”

“No!”

“Jarol!”

“No!”

“Jarol!” a shadow of anger appeared in his voice.

“You can't. I need him.”

“That's an order.”

Her lips created a thin line. She was furious.

“His medical condition is only a pretext, isn't it?” she said eventually.

“I need him more than you do. I need his fresh mind. I need his soft advices. He's the only officer, who thinks more like a civilian than a soldier, that I know of. I need him, Jarol.”

“Then ask for his advice, when you need it.”

“Jarol.”

“I won't let you take him.”

“Jarol!”

“I won't!”

“And what can you do?”

“Don't do this. You need him in active duty more than his advices.”

“Why?”

“Because his presence represents something. He's a symbol of something. We need him for big things, we need him to stay on command track. You know that. I have plans for him, big plans, and transferring him would ruin everything.”

“I need him to prepare everything for the Shift. I need his insight.”

“We need him to fulfil an important role after the Shift. He must stay where he is now.”

“I can always transfer him back.”

“After relieving him because of his irreparable medical condition?”

“Damn it, Jarol!”

“Leave him alone.”

Daset disconnected and she wasn't if sure she won or lost. She hit the desk with her first.
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Old September 23 2010, 12:46 PM   #144
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

A chime. She glanced at the door and saw Zamarran and Kapoor standing outside. She allowed them to enter. Did they see her hitting the desk?

“Lieutenant Kapoor has something to report, sir,” Zamarran spoke.

“What is it?”

“Gul, I have been collecting data regarding Skarrat history, especially the newest history, related to Cardassians.”

“And?”

“And I found something very disturbing.”

The Terran handed her a padd. She took and activated it.

“I had searched local archives and found out that the previous Prefect had been executed according to the local law. I found it quite odd, so I tried to find the reason of his execution.”

“Did you find it?” Jarol raised her eyes from the padd to look at her, since Kapoor did not continue.

“Yes, I did. You're not going to like it, Gul.”

“Go on.”

“There used to be resistance on the planet. Every member of it was found and executed by Cardassian forces. Almost one fourth of the planet's population was wiped out. That called the Central Command's attention to the Prefecture and the Prefect, and they decided to send a new Prefect, Gul Kadal, to replace the old one. Gul Kadal brought the old Prefect to justice, local justice, for crimes against the Skarrats.”

Jarol was speechless. She wasn't sure what angered her more: the gravity of the revelation, or the fact that Kadal hid it all.

“I suppose you will place it in your report too,” she said.

“Gul, my task was to investigate the current situation and to find proofs that the Skarrats really don't want Cardassians to leave. I went deeper in my research than the task required, and yes, I have found disturbing information, however it was long time ago and Gul Kadal did his best to fix the situation. He was in trouble after that and I am not sure how come the Obsidian Order didn't take care of him, but he still is here and he made it work. The history is history. If the Skarrats could forgive the Cardassians, then who are we to tell them they can't live together in peace any longer?”

“If you don't see it as relevant and would not include it in your report, why do you tell me all this?”

“Because if someone checks our report and finds that information is missing, it's better for you to know about it too, instead of being faced with it by someone else, by someone opposing you.”

Jarol liked her way of thinking.

“Thank you for your report, Lieutenant. If that's all, you are dismissed.”

Kapoor turned on her heel and left the office. Zamarran lingered for a short moment to exchange weak smiles with Jarol and then left too.

The Gul hailed the Prefect.

“You lied to me!” she hissed.

He sighed, but didn't say anything.

“You lied!”

“I did not tell you the whole truth, but I did not lie either.”

“Why didn't you tell me? I didn't come here as your enemy.”

“Because I feared you wouldn't understand. No one does. If not my cousin, who was in Central Command at that time, I would have been executed. Prefect Markor was a monster and a sadist and he deserved what he got. He would have committed genocide if I wouldn't stop him. No one deserves that. No one!”

“How come you can now live in peace with them? Or rather how come they can live with you in peace now?”

“I begged for their forgiveness and they are forgiving people. That's why I want to live among them. They are warm, friendly, passionate and wonderful people. They don't spy on each other. They don't start wars. They don't attack and torture others. They share what little they have, instead of fighting over it.”

It sounded like he was not listing good things about the Skarrats, but bad things about the Cardassians.

“You should have told me,” she said, her anger subsiding.

“And what would you do?”

“I would know. I have to know everything if I'm to represent your case. I shouldn't be surprised by this revelation by someone, who would insist we should abandon Skarrat, and would use it as their argument,” she was surprised hearing herself repeating Kapoor's words.

“All right. Hiding it was a mistake. What will you do now?”

“Now I will ask you to be completely honest with me. No secrets.”

“No secrets,” a faint smile appeared on his face.

Did he also feel it was highly inappropriate for her to scold him like that? After all he was much older and he outranked her.

“Now, is there anything else I should know about?” she asked calmly.

“No, not really. Everything else I've told you about is the truth. And I don't have any more secrets. Hell, it wasn't even my secret.”

“Gul Kadal, you did something unbelievable here,” she said after a short moment of silence, not hiding her admiration.

“It didn't happen over night, but I'm glad it worked out,” he smiled. “And I'm really glad you understand it.”

“Cardassia is not what you think it used to be,” she said.

“So I've heard. I'm just not sure where it's sailing now.”

“Neither am I. But I try to help to steer it in the right direction.”

“Good luck with that.”

They could use someone like Kadal, a Prefect with a heart and conscience.

“I'm sorry I snapped.”

“That's all right, Gul Jarol. I should have trusted you and told you everything.”

“I think we are finished here and I'll return to Cardassia. I'll keep you apprised of the situation.”

“I'll appreciate that, thank you.”

She disconnected.

She was just about to leave the office and enter the bridge, when she noticed Ullmann heading for her door. She waited for the woman and then let her in.

“What is it?” she expected more revelations regarding the Skarrat, but Ullmann stood there in front of her desk with face expression full of doubt and fear.

“Well?” she tried to encourage the woman, removing the harshness from her voice and speaking more like to her son than her officer.

“I... I would like to file a complain, Gul.”

“A complain?” now that was unusual. “What kind of complain?”

“It's about Gil Karama. About his behaviour.”

She looked through the closed door to glance at her comm officer, who was busy at his console.

“What did he do?”

“He...” she lowered her head.

Jarol observed her for a moment and then an unthinkable thought appeared in her mind. She knew Karama for years, and she would never expect him to do anything indecent, but this woman was clearly shaken and scared.

“What did he do?” Jarol asked, hoping she was wrong. “Did he hurt you?”

Ullmann shook her head, confusing Jarol.

“He... not yet, but I think he is going to. He talks to me in such a way... He suggests he would...” she started sniffing.

“Calm down. When did it start?”

“Right after I arrived. That first day. And then it got only worse.”

Jarol thought for a while. It was hard to believe that Karama, of all officers Karama, would behave like this. However it was clear the woman was terrified and she was sure there was a reason. For a moment she considered confronting them both, but it could be too stressful for Ullman, so she dropped the idea.

“Go back to your quarters. I'll talk to him and he is going to be punished accordingly.”

Ullmann raised her head and looked up at Jarol.

“Thank you, Gul,” she whispered.

“Dismissed.”

She waited for the Lieutenant to leave the bridge and then stood on the threshold of her office.

“Karama, my office!” she boomed.

He looked at her, then got up and went toward her. She waited for the door to close.

“What did you do or what did you tell Ullmann?” she hissed and didn't hide her anger.

“I didn't do anything.”

“How about the latter part of my question?”

“When she arrived here, she was full of prejudice. I was nice. I complemented her several times, but each time she reacted like I said something lewd. I said 'I like your hair' and she heard 'I'll come to your quarters and take you by force tonight',” he got agitated. “She assumed that I am, we are, we, Cardassians, are all rapists.”

“So why didn't you stop talking to her? Why didn't you just leave her alone?”

“I wanted to punish her. I wanted her to live with her prejudice, with her fear.”

“Karama!” she was furious, she wanted to strike him.

“I wanted to teach her a lesson not to assume bad things about people, about us. Yes, I had been making some... nasty comments, but I would never act upon them. I don't even find her attractive!”

“And do you seriously think that she considers us nice and friendly now? Instead of proving her wrong, you only strengthened her wrong impression.”

He had no reply and she wasn't sure why he fell silent. Was it because he understood his mistake or because he realised how angry it made her?

“You will stop talking to her,” she ordered.

“I already did,” he said quietly.

“I didn't finish! You will stop talking to her, not a word, not a whisper. Don't even look at her. From now on you are assigned to duty on lower decks for two weeks,” until now she had thought she'd never use Daset's punishment, but in this case it seemed appropriate. “Your pay will be suspended for one month. I will put a reprimand into your file and you can forget about a promotion for long time.”

She was in the middle of preparing necessary documentation for promoting him to a Glinn.

He listened to her, his face was expressing confusion and worry. She paused and then finished – she spoke calmly and quietly. “You disappointed me, Gil Karama.” Regret. Confusion on his face changed to regret. “Dismissed,” she barked and he left the office, his eyes on the deck. She followed him to the door to call Brenok to come inside.

“What is the problem?” he asked, glancing curiously at Karama. It was clear that the Gil was shattered.

“You will reschedule Lieutenant Ullmann's duty. Move her to the night shift. Make sure she has no common duty with Karama. I don't want them in the same room ever.”

“What happened?”

“Don't ask, I have to calm down first.”

“That serious? All right, I'll change the duty roster. Do you want me to notify her?”

“No, I'll do it myself. Give her one day off duty tomorrow and make her duty start tomorrow evening.”

“I will.”

“Dismissed.”

He knew better than to press her; he left her office.

She accessed the database to edit Karama's file, but closed it without applying any changes. She decided to do it when she cools down. Anger was not the best advisor in command decisions, Gul Corak had often repeated that and she tried to follow that advice, although it was never as hard as this time.

She went to Ullmann's quarters. Both Terran women where present.

“Gul Jarol, we didn't expect you,” Kapoor said.

“I wanted to talk to Ullmann.”

“Yes, sir?”

“Your duty will be changed to the night shift and you will not share duty time with Gil Karama.”

“Thank you, Gul,” it was the first time Jarol saw Ullmann smiling.

“Gil Karama has been disciplined. If he bothers you again, report it immediately and I will deal with it again, severely.”

“Gul,” Kapoor spoke.

“Yes?”

“Gil Karama never meant any harm--”

“You knew about it?!” Jarol asked her, her tone shifting from soft to harsher.

“I asked him to stop and he promised he would,” she answered.

“You knew about it and you didn't report it?” Jarol asked again.

“I didn't think... I...” Kapoor was clearly confused.

“I don't know what kind of regulations are aboard Federation starships, Lieutenant, but here is Cardassia. We expect our officers to keep some standard. I expect my officers to conduct themselves exemplary. This was far from exemplary. It was your duty to report such outrageous behaviour. As a Cardassian, who you are on this ship, or a law-abiding person, if you prefer. As an officer. As a colleague,” she glanced at Ullmann and then back at Kapoor. “And as a woman. ”

“Yes, Gul. I didn't think it was that serious. I'm sorry, it won't happen again.”

“I hope so.”

Jarol left, but there was one thought that rang in her head. Karama had said he had stopped his comments. Kapoor had said she had asked him to stop. Had he stopped because she asked him to?

Did it matter?



tbc
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Old September 23 2010, 05:21 PM   #145
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Very interessting Chapter. That Prefect is lovly and the situation between the Terran and the Gil was..well..interessting. Though I have to say I also felt sorry for the Gil, getting all that punishment. He did behave wrong, but still... I hope Joral will not put a reprimant in his file. And certainly hope Brenok stays with her on the ship.

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Old September 23 2010, 08:31 PM   #146
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

I think there had to be SOME punishment for the gil, though. Depending on how Jarol feels about Karama, there may be a way to do it that won't permanently destroy his career. I hope she remembers how she felt when Gul Dukat and then Ahal tried to do that to her. Now, in HER case they were both absolutely wrong and had no right to do what they did to her.

Still, if Gil Karama is someone who can learn from what has happened, here's what I might do. I might find some way to punish him where it doesn't go into his file. Withholding the promotion is severe enough punishment, but if it's still early enough that she never submitted any paperwork, then no one ever has to know why she waited until later.

I think that Jarol is justified in not promoting Karama, though. From a military standpoint, Karama has demonstrated that he is unable to put the good of his mission (which of course in this case means not harassing the Federation officers) ahead of his personal problems. He had the option to either say to them something like, "I find the way you are treating me offensive, because it makes me feel like I've done something wrong when I never meant to," or if he wasn't comfortable talking to them alone, he could have told the glinns or Gul Jarol and asked for them to sit in on a meeting between them, to settle the matter. But I do think that an incident like this speaks to one's ability to handle a higher rank.

For the Federation officers, I think it will make an impression that Gul Jarol WAS concerned about what was happening, and that the standard for exemplary behavior includes NOT indulging in petty harassment and grievances.

As far as Jarol herself, I am glad to see that she is starting to really recognize that there are times when she needs to stop and let her head clear before she acts.

About the Skarrat situation...I think it will be hard to convince the Federation of what's happening there, especially when the genocide is found out. Jarol is probably making a serious mistake not putting that in the report, because I think even Alon Ghemor discovering it would be bad enough. Ghemor isn't a cruel man, but I would not be surprised if he fired Jarol for lying to him, if he felt she had proven his sense that he shouldn't trust her.

Oh...one more note about the humans. I wonder if now that she knows their memories don't work the way Cardassian ones do, she'll start thinking they're inferior? We don't want her to learn the wrong lessons here.
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Old September 24 2010, 12:33 AM   #147
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Jarol certainly doesn't want to ruin Karama's career, especially since he made a mistake, but it wasn't anything really serious with grave consequences. It made her angry, yes, but she was more disappointed.

The Skarrats, Ghemor and the Federation... She is going to do something about this situation and I think no one expects her to do that.

The Prefect was nice, but still had his secrets. Do you think he told Jarol everything? I'm not so sure, it's still too beautiful to be true

Oh...one more note about the humans. I wonder if now that she knows their memories don't work the way Cardassian ones do, she'll start thinking they're inferior? We don't want her to learn the wrong lessons here.
No, not really. She'll just wonder how they can function forgetting everything all the time
Her opinion of humans improves. Her experiences with Captain Andric and Dr. Kirkland were positive enough not to think low or badly about them. She has no love for the Federation, but she can see people as people, not a notion of an interstellar power.

Thanks for (still) reading

I'm going to post the first chapter of the other story soon - the Feds' arrival from Amrita Kapoor's point of view. It's ready, but I still don't have a title
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Old September 24 2010, 12:44 AM   #148
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
The Prefect was nice, but still had his secrets. Do you think he told Jarol everything? I'm not so sure, it's still too beautiful to be true
That's why I'm thinking the standard of evidence would have to be very, VERY high if Ghemor and the rest of the galaxy were ever going to believe it.

No, not really. She'll just wonder how they can function forgetting everything all the time
Sometime, I may put into a story what my own Glinn Daro concludes about it...

Thanks for (still) reading
You're welcome!

I'm going to post the first chapter of the other story soon - the Feds' arrival from Amrita Kapoor's point of view. It's ready, but I still don't have a title
I look forward to it!

BTW, what do you think your Cardassians are, biologically speaking?

This is what I tend to think they are...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapsid
http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terapsydy
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Old September 24 2010, 12:58 AM   #149
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Sometime, I may put into a story what my own Glinn Daro concludes about it...
I look forward to it

BTW, what do you think your Cardassians are, biologically speaking?

This is what I tend to think they are...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapsid
http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terapsydy
They identify themselves with reptiles, but they are an evolved form, so something quite close to therapsids, I would think. Evolution on Cardassia Prime took a little different course than on Earth, so I don't try to find an exact equivalent here on Earth for them. They are more than lizards, but their evolution doesn't exactly head toward mammalian lifeforms (although they share a lot of similar or the same features).
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Old September 24 2010, 01:04 AM   #150
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
BTW, what do you think your Cardassians are, biologically speaking?

This is what I tend to think they are...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapsid
http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terapsydy
They identify themselves with reptiles, but they are an evolved form, so something quite close to therapsids, I would think. Evolution on Cardassia Prime took a little different course than on Earth, so I don't try to find an exact equivalent here on Earth for them. They are more than lizards, but their evolution doesn't exactly head toward mammalian lifeforms (although they share a lot of similar or the same features).
I tend to think that we could have become much more like Cardassians ourselves, if not for the P-T extinction. That's what killed off Earth's therapsids (except for their mammalian descendants)...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-t_extinction
http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wymieranie_permskie

I have to think there are key traits in common with mammals, though, if we assume they give live birth. While you can never be SURE of it in the Trekiverse, I don't mean to be offensive but I have always assumed that Cardassian women don't just have breasts for show. They may not "sexualize" them the way humans do, but I think they are used for the natural purpose--a purpose that generally implies live birth.
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