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Old August 21 2010, 08:18 PM   #61
TerokNor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

*giggles* Doesn´t all babys look alike anyway? Cute and chubby? So baby Brenok probably would turn out quite similiar to baby Damar.
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Old August 21 2010, 09:39 PM   #62
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Maybe a different expression? I bet Brennok laughed a lot as a child...
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Old August 21 2010, 09:40 PM   #63
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

*L* I just looked at the names I have for Damars family..and know what just jumped into my eyes, I have named his grandmother Joral. I know your cardie lady is Jarol. But it just made me giggle.


Well maybe I give baby Brenok a try, but I dont have any pencels with me. (Am back in Germany, but not in my home yet).
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Old August 22 2010, 02:04 AM   #64
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Baby Brenok held in someone's arms... someone singing for him
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Old August 22 2010, 10:55 AM   #65
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Orphans
2375 (2375)


Jarol wasn't sure how her soldiers would react to her proposal. Here she stood in front of them, fearing their reaction, but absolutely sure she was doing the right thing.

“I asked you to gather here,” she started, “because I want to ask you for help. Yes, you heard it right, it is not an order, but a request.

“You all know that Lakarian City is nothing more than a pile of rubble. And not only Lakarian City... You know that many people lost their lives and Cardassia needs people, all people, to raise from ruins. It needs all available hands to rebuild it.

“So here I am, asking you to join our common effort to bring it back to its former glory. Your enemies are heat and wind, plaque and starvation, and most of all – fear of the future. You have to protect people of Cardassia from those ruthless enemies.

“Today Cardassia doesn't need your weapons, but your muscles. It needs strong men to build its cities, homes and offices. This is not an order. You don't have to do it. Those, who want to help will now go to transporter room and beam to designated rally points on the planet and there report to work coordinators, who are responsible for rebuilding program. You main task would be removing rubble, and – hopefully – still finding living under collapsed buildings. Those, who stay here will not face any consequences; it is up to you, which your choose. I will return here in one hour to assign military duties to those, who don't decide to beam down. Make your decision now!”

She left the cargo bay and headed for her office.

Brenok was sitting in her chair. He kept his feet on the desk and was leaning back, with his eyes closed. He was humming a funeral song. She sat in the chair on the other side of the desk. She wasn't used to be on this side.

“Where will you go now?” he asked her not opening his eyes.

“Demok's parents want me in their house,” she replied. “How about you?”

“I am homeless,” his voice trembled a little.

They sat in silence. She listened to his singing and it brought her some comfort.

When time came and she rose to return to the cargo bay, Brenok got up too and accompanied her.

The cargo bay was empty. The friends looked at each other and smiled – for the first time in many days.

They were proud of their crew, now more than ever.

A few weeks earlier


Now, this wasn't a face she expected to see on her screen.

“Rusot?” what could he possible want with her.

“You must talk to him,” he said without preamble.

“About what?” she knew very well who 'him' was.

“He isn't to bring that Bajoran to teach us!” Rusot was clearly upset.

“Yes, he's told me...”

“Talk him out of this! This is crazy,” he interrupted her.

“Do you know how to be a guerilla fighter? I don't,” she said.

“Don't you resent this idea? They killed your family!”

Why did everyone have to use her private tragedy as arguments each time Bajorans were the subject? “She didn't kill my family.”

“What's the difference? Do you want to be in debt to... Bajorans and the Federation?”

“No, I don't. But we don't have any choice. There's few of us, zillions of Jem'Hadar and more hatch every day. You want to be free in your own land? I suggest you put your pride to your pocket for the time being.”

“So you won't talk to him?”

“No, I won't. And I advise against bothering him about it. Do you think it's easy for him?”

Rusot didn't have a reply for a short moment.

“Here are our current co-ordinates. You are to make sure the Federation's help,” he spat the last two words, “gets here in one piece. Protect their vessel discretely.”

“Understood.”

“Good luck.”

“Same to you down there.”

He disconnected.

She looked at Demok, who enjoyed kanar on the sofa. She started playing with the mar'kuu sculpture, which stood on her desk. She remembered the day, when she'd entered Daset's former quarters to move in. It had been emptied of all his possessions but the mar'kuu sculpture, which had still been standing on the table. She'd found a note next to it: 'You seemed to like it. Enjoy it then! Good luck, Glinn Jarol. Daset'.

“This is sick,” he commented. He was no friend of Bajorans too.

“Not you too...”

“I have to accept it, but don't have to like it. This war took two of my sons, the last two alive. Federation killed one, Klingons slaughtered the other one... no, the Dominion, Dominion slaughtered the other one, handing him on a plate to Klingons,” he silenced for a moment. Jarol knew his youngest died in Septimus Three Massacre. “I hate them with all my heart, but I know we need them. We killed many of them and they still send us help. That counts for something.”

“We have common enemy,” she said.

“Come here,” he pulled his hand toward her. She went to him and sat next to him on the sofa. “I must tell you something.”

She moved closer to him and he touched blue scales on her neck ridges.

“They are so blue, beautiful hue of blue,” he said. “You must be very fertile.”

“I am,” she confirmed. “Why do you wear a regular armour, you're a legate?” she asked.

“That's what I want to talk about. But first...” he silenced again. “After the war I want you to move into my house. Bring your family, if they would want to leave Nokar. That's a big house and my parents feel lonely there, especially since disease and war emptied it. Bond with me and stay with me.”

After Joret died she didn't think she could feel for anyone what she'd felt for him. She believed a woman could love truly only once in her life. Demok was so different from Joret Jarol, and at the same time some things in him were the same. She loved him; her feeling was strong, but a little different from what she felt for Joret.

“I will,” she said quietly and kissed him on the cheek.

They sat in silence for a moment and then he said: “I will join Damar in his hideout.”

She didn't say anything. Demok supported Damar's rebellion and his decision was not surprising for her. She was just disappointed they would have to part.

“Will you take me to him?” he asked.

“Of course.”

They sat in silence for a while and then Jarol whispered: “Tiron...”

“Yes?” he replied as quietly. She loved his deep, a little rusty voice.

“Don't get yourself killed.”

“I'll do my best,” he said softly.

She lay down, put her head on his lap and closed her eyes. She tried to forget about the war, the Dominion, the rebellion, the fear and the hatred. She wanted to be here and now, with this man, who could always find a reason to smile. A plague took his wife, wars claimed his sons' lives, but he still could see something bright in his life, although she already knew his face wasn't as bright as it had been six years ago. His losses created a cloud, which was hovering over his optimistic smile. She imagined a similar cloud had to be present in her eyes too. They had so much in common, so many sad memories, both remained almost family-less and their sacrifice did not come to an end yet. She knew the fate would ask more of them and she could only hope it wouldn't be as harsh as it had been before.

“I need to go back to work,” she said, sitting.

“I'll stay here and wait for you,” she said and kissed her. Then they raised their palms and connected them. Demok entwined his fingers with hers. After a short while she rose and left her quarters.

She headed for the bridge. She expected to see Brenok in her chair, but the chair was empty. She looked at Nadar puzzled. “Where is...?” she started, but then heard something. “Forget it, I'll just follow singing.” Nadar only smiled and she went toward the song. Everyone on the ship was used to their unique second in command, who wore long hair, lacked ear and sang most of time, usually not even aware of that fact.

Brenok was laying on the deck, with his face hidden under communication console and Zamarran sitting on the deck next to him with a scanner in his hand.

“Something wrong?” she asked Brenok, crouching.

Brenok tried to sit, but the console was low and he only hit his head. He cursed, causing Jarol smile – the contrast between the cheerful song he sang and the ugly word he spoke was so strong she found it amusing. He carefully crawled from under the console.

“Someone was playing with circuits here,” he said. “I don't remember approving such work, neither as the chief engineer, nor later as the second in command, so I suspect unauthorised access.”

“Not good.”

“Maybe someone didn't have time to have orders approved and needed to repair it quickly,” he said, but didn't sound convince.

“Maybe, but it would still require a report after the fact,” she said.

“My thoughts exactly.”

“Are the changes suggesting it could be a sabotage?” she asked.

“No, not really. But I can't tell what could be the purpose. Everything seems to be in order, but all those changes were purposefully done to achieve something. I just don't know what.”

“I see,” she rose and went to her chair. “Is it just my imagination, or the engines are louder today?” she asked.

“Louder?” Zamarran asked. He took over engineering when Brenok became her aide. He looked at Brenok, not sure what to say.

“I don't hear any difference,” Brenok commented. “Anyone?”

All men on the bridge shook their heads, so Jarol dismissed it, but she was sure the warship's usual humming was clearer than before. She also noticed that Nadar was instantly glancing at Brenok, who kept working under the communication console. Why would he be so interested in this kind of task?

Her new orders were issued by a Legate named Broca. She has never heard this name before, but it seemed like he replaced Damar. She wondered how he would feel in Damar's shoes as a puppet. She looked over the orders, hoping no more of her people would be reassigned. She noticed that recently the Dominion was dismantling Cardassian crews and reassigning soldiers to guard Dominion outposts. Fifty of her crew were taken away and she knew for sure that at least fifteen of them were killed by their own rebellion. She tried to keep up with the names, but it was getting harder with each new one. She took it on herself to inform their families they died as heroes, but she couldn't do it earlier than after the war. For now she had to pretend she was loyal to the Dominion. She could only imagine the despise other Cardassians felt for her, believing she supported the enemy. But that was what Damar needed her to do and she was doing it gladly. She knew there would come a day when she could proudly look into every Cardassian's face and tell them: I also fought for your freedom. She was sure even among her own crew there were some, who hated her for not 'officially' joining the Liberation Front, as other crews did. She knew how they felt, she didn't have to ask. Gul Corak's death was still hanging over her officers and if she were in their place, she'd surely hate herself for serving her Gul's murderers. But they couldn't know. She couldn't tell them the truth, because she still didn't know who was the traitor and who was responsible for informing the Dominion that Corak was no Dominion supporter, to put it mildly.

“Zamarran,” she looked at the engineer. “Go down to the engineering and check those engines,” she told him. “I am sure the warship is noisier.”

“Yes, sir,” he said, stood up and headed for the lift.



“And then she came to me and said,” Brenok's grin showed all his teeth, ”'daddy, when I grow up I will cut my ear off too'. I asked why and she said she wanted to be a soldier like daddy. But why cut the ear off? And then she looked at me with those huge, shiny brown eyes and asked 'don't officers have to cut ears off to become officers?'”

Jarol and Demok laughed loudly.

“She's adorable,” Demok commented.

“She is,” Brenok nodded. His daughter was his favourite subject recently and after a short visit at home in Lakarian City he had many new stories to share.

“They are precious treasure, children I mean, aren't they?” Demok smiled.

“Yes, sir, they are.”

Jarol still found it funny Brenok was addressing Demok “sir”. However it didn't escape her that Demok never told Brenok to become more familiar and drop the official vocabulary. She hoped the distance between them would some day disappear or at least shrink. She didn't want her best friend and her bondmate “sir” each other forever.

It was the last meal they would share for the time being. Demok was to beam down to Damar's Liberation Front caves on Regulak, while Roumar was supposed to strengthen Cardassian forces in the Sarpedion system.

“Bridge to Gul Jarol,” Karama's voice spoke over the comm.

She tapped her wristcomm. “What is it?”

“We'll arrive to Regulak V in twenty minutes.”

She looked at Demok. So this was it.

“What will you tell the Vorta, when he asks about my absence?” Demok asked Jarol. She had to report to a supervising Vorta now; that change was implemented after Damar's rebellion broke out. Demok was aboard Roumar officially to inspect the ship.

“I will tell him that you were a traitor and we executed you,” she answered.

“And if he wants to see the body?”

“Our customs don't allow aliens view our dead and... we vaporised it.”

“Hopefully he's going to buy it.”

“Don't worry about us.”

A soldier brought a padd and handed it to Demok. The legate activated it and read the content.

“It's from Damar. I'm assigned to his ship, that stolen one” he explained.

“Are you?” she looked at him.

“Gul Revok brings many soldiers to our cause, but you still have to recruit more,” he said. “We may not see each other until after our mission.”

“We may not see each other until the Jem'Hadar are gone from our home,” she replied.

“True,” he admitted, standing up.

She also rose and they stood and kept looking at each other for a while and then Demok raised his hand. She pressed her palm flatly to his. She knew she would miss him, she knew she would worry about him, but she believed he was safer with Damar than she aboard her own ship.

“I don't care they can see us,” he said suddenly and pulled her to him. She didn't resist. Two armours pressing weren't exactly the same as feeling his scales touching and rubbing hers, but it was comfortable to rest in his arms, with his chin resting on the top of her head. She loved him, she loved him madly and wished the war would end soon, so that she could be with him again. Forever.
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Old August 22 2010, 10:58 AM   #66
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

The door to her office opened and Brenok and Zamarran pushed in Nadar. Zamarran then pressed the tactician to the deck and put his heavy boot on the man's back. Jarol rose from behind her desk, went around it and stood in front of Nadar, her boots mere centimetres from his face.

“You were very interested in the changes, which had been introduced to the communication console. Did you worry we'd find out who implemented them?” she asked. “You also neglected to report some tiny details, regarding our officers' transfers... like only those, who happened to say something anti-Dominion, were being reassigned and then each and every of them was placed in an installation only as a cannon fodder.”

Neither Brenok, nor Zamarran knew why she asked them to bring Nadar to her office, no matter how much he'd resist. The tactical officer knew she was onto him, because she managed to intercept his communiques, sent directly to him. It was atypical for an officer, even a department head, to receive direct orders from highest ranks of Central Command. She was the Gul, she should be the only recipient of such documentation. Her acute senses made her irritable, ever present loud humming of ship's engines was getting on her nerves, but that constant irritation made her interested in everyone's moves and this brought her to Nadar's strange behaviour.

She used to trust him. She had known him for so many years. She respected him and his tactical skills, which she considered superior to her own. Therefore she would never expect it to be him.

“Why?” she asked, crouching.

He turned his head to look up at her. His eye was bruised. “A true Cardassian must follow his leaders.”

“His Cardassian leaders, Nadar, not Vorta.”

“His leaders, whoever they might be. Everything else is a treason.”

Obviously he didn't feel a traitor.

“Nadar, Gul Corak was your superior. You are responsible for his death. Shouldn't you follow him, instead of betraying him?”

“My ultimate loyalty is to the rulers of Cardassian Union, not one warship's Gul.”

“How about Damar? Shouldn't you be loyal to him, not to the Vorta Weyoun and his shapeshifters?”

To that Nadar found no answer. Maybe he realised she was right.

“I'm sorry, Nadar, but I cannot allow you to notify whoever you are in contact with about our plans. This is too important.”

He closed his eyes.

“You will die for Cardassia. Free of Dominion Cardassia,” she told him and then rose. She addressed Brenok and Zamarran. “Get rid if him, no traces.”

They grabbed Nadar, each by one arm, and pulled him up.

“Gul Jarol,” the tactician spoke.

“Yes?”

“Don't let my family suffer because of this,” he asked.

“I won't. We're not Klingons,” she promised.

He let the engineers lead him out, offering no resistance. A few minutes later Brenok informed her they'd vaporised his body and no sign of whole ordeal was left. She didn't feel relieved at all. He was one of those she never suspected to be the Dominion mole among their crew.

All of this made her realise how acute her senses were recently. She experienced something like that twice and wondered if it was the same, or she was just overworked, stressed and irritable due to lack of sleep.

She headed for the infirmary. Medic Kolvar was expecting her. He took a sample of her blood and scanned it.

“Well?” she asked. “Is it what I think, or am I just really tired.”

“You are tired, but your acute senses are not a result of this,” he said. “I don't know if you consider this a good or bad news, but you can consider it confirmed.”

Cardassian women were not chased by predators any more. They didn't have to be super-aware of their surroundings at this vulnerable time when they were responsible not only for their own life, but also the new life, but the evolutionary feature was still coded in their genetics. Be aware of sounds, be aware of movement, be aware of danger, hiding in the forest. Soldier or no soldier, she was still a Cardassian lifeform and no civilisation level could eradicate that. Cardassian women were hyper sensitive during their pregnancies, and she was no exception.

“Thank you, medic,” she stood up. “No word to anyone.”

“Of course,” he nodded. “The genetic code is male,” he added with a smile, while she was already heading for the exit. She answered with her own grin.

She knew Demok was currently deep in hiding, so there was no way she could inform him of it, but she wished she could share the news with him. His family house wouldn't be so empty any more.



“Speech. Do we listen to it?” Karama turned to look at Jarol. Everyone on the bridge fell silent.

“Speech? That Vorta likes to speak more than any Cardassian I know... well... almost any,” no one could beat Dukat at that. “All right, put him on,” she said and stood up.

Weyoun's face appeared on the screen. The more he spoke, the less she liked what she heard. The final footage of the ship – the ship that carried two important men in her life – exploding......

No! Not again! Corat! Tiron!

Jarol felt her legs giving away. She heavily slumped to the floor and sat there, leaning forward on her hands, looking at the deck's flooring not really seeing anything. She couldn't breathe, she felt like there was something heavy on her chest, not letting her take a breath in.

Everything played in her mind's eye again. Space vessel, explosion, black, empty space sparkled by cold, distant stars. Corat. So small. So innocent. So brave. Sacrificed his life trying to save his empire. Her son. Her friend. Her husband. Her love. Loves. Someone, she couldn't imagine living without and she had to learn now. Again. She would have to learn again. How? Why did it all happen? Was every Cardassian suffering the same loss or was it just her fate? Why everyone, who she cared about, who she loved, had to die!?

Brenok grabbed her arm and forced her to stand up. He led her to her office and helped her sit on the sofa in a corner.

“Arenn,” she grabbed his hand and squeezed. There were wild flames in her eyes. “Arenn... promise me you won't die, promise me.”

“I promise,” he said quietly. Just then she noticed a tear coming from his eye. Was he crying seeing death of all those good people, or seeing her suffering? Or both?

“I...” she pulled him closer. “... won't make through this again, I won't, I can't.”

He was stroking her hair, humming her favourite lullaby, he didn't know how to help her.

“The first time I heard Corat's name I thought my heart would jump out of my chest,” she said, not really speaking to him, but speaking out loud. “Joret chose that name for our son. And then I meet someone, who shared this name. I resented him at first. It wasn't his fault, it was nothing wrong, but it felt wrong to me. But later it became important. He was... like... like... like who my son could become if he was given a chance. He could even be a Legate. Head of Cardassian Union. Arenn,” she looked at him. “Tiron and I...” she paused.

“It was no secret you two were in love,” Brenok whispered.

“Tiron... All his sons died in wars,” she said. “I will not let this one,” she put her hand on her belly, “join military. This one must live.”

The Glinn squeezed her hands. Her pain was so great he forgot about his own. For a moment.

“I have only you left now,” she put her hands on his cheeks. He put his hands on hers, covering them – his warm, big hands. If Damar was like fulfilment of her son, Brenok was more like her brother, who had died of malnutrition when he was just ten months old. She still remembered the day. It was so long time ago, almost thirty years, and she still could remember every detail of that day. “I need to go back to the bridge,” she tried to compose herself.

They both rose. They stood, looking at each other, trying to gain strength from each other's presence and then in unison returned to the bridge.

The rebellion was dead. And so was their Cardassia. They became Bajorans of the Dominion.



Jarol hated the waiting before each battle. It was more unnerving than fighting itself. When she fought, she didn't have time for fear, only for anger. But waiting was the time for fear and worry, and she didn't enjoy those feelings.

But now, in the middle of the massive battle over her home planet she feared her side would win. She was fighting on the side of people, who she considered her enemies against people, who became her allies. Maybe it would be easier to die? Just drop the shield and let a Klingon or a Romulan torpedo finish this. She only hoped the rumour of Damar still on Cardassia and still fighting the Dominion behind the lines was more than just a rumour. She clung to that unconfirmed news and it helped her to go on.

“Sir, we've lost contact with the command!” Karama's voice was full of panic. “We get no orders from...” he stopped speaking, starting at his console.

“What is it?” she asked.

He didn't react, so she got up and went toward him, trying not to stumble in constantly shaking under enemy – or rather ally – fire ship.

“Phaser fire,” the ship shook violently before Brenok finished his sentence, “incoming.”

Karama turned to face Jarol. “They have destroyed Lakarian City,” he said.

“What?” Jarol was sure heard wrong in the noise. “Who? The Federation?”

Karama looked at his console, then back at her, and then at Brenok. “No,” he said. “The Dominion. CUW Atash sent information the Dominion is bombarding Cardassia Prime.”

Whole bridge froze. Brenok slid to the deck, with a long, heartbreaking whine, in shock. Mazdar hit his console with his fist, breaking it; it covered with crack lines.

“Sir, Atash tells us to attack the Dominion ships!” Karama shouted.

“Who is in command of Atash?” she asked.

“Gul Jotrel.”

Jotrel... Jotrel... Jotrel!

“Shoot them! Shoot them! Shoot them!!!” she yelled, running to Brenok. “Smash the damn Jem'Hadar!”

The bridge returned to life and she had an impression everyone worked with passion, unlike a moment ago, when they were fighting with the Dominion, not against them. She crouched by Brenok. He looked at her with tears in his eyes. She helped him get up and tried to take him off the bridge to her office to hide his moment of weakness from the bridge staff, but he pushed her away and leaned over his console.

“Targeting a Jem'Hadar fighter to our starboard,” he shouted over other reports. She stood for a few seconds, observing him. He clearly directed his pain to anger and this was the time for anger.

“They're attacking a Federation vessel,” reported Zamarran. “The Feds are in bad shape.”

“Put us between the attacker and defender. Protect them,” ordered Jarol.

“We take the beating!” Zamarran shouted.

“We can take it!” She couldn't stand being useless, she had to do something too. She took the tactical, sending Mazdar to axillary tactical console. She cut her fingers on sharp edges of chirped glass-like plastic, but she paid no attention to that.

“Karama, ask the Federation ship is they need help, they seem to have a hull breach,” she shouted toward the comm officer.

“We've lost port torpedo launcher,” reported Zamarran.

“They appreciate the offer, but they say they can handle it,” Karama answered.

“Switching life support to axillary power nods,” Mazdar's voice was shaking.

After that everything became a blur. The battle was progressing, like any other battle, but this time she knew she fought for Cardassia's existence. This time the stakes were high, so high she couldn't imagine losing this one battle. It was either 'win' or 'perish'. Black or white. Zero or one. The binary choice.

“The Dominion is withdrawing,” Brenok sounded surprised.

“I would expect them to fight to the last soldier,” Mazdar commented.

“So would I,” whispered Jarol. “What's our status?” she asked Zamarran.

“Not so good, but we can make it to a shipyard... if we have any shipyards left that is,” he said.

“There's a small Romulan attack warbird spinning out of control toward us,” reported Mazdar.

“Any life signs?” she asked.

“Positive.”

“Catch them on a tractor beam.”

“But that will drain our limited power even more,” protested Zamarran.

“Take them on a tractor beam!” she roared at him. “They are like other Cardassians to you, they fought on your side, you will make a sacrifice for them if necessary!”

“Yes, sir,” Zamarran manipulated his console. “Tractor beam activated.”

“Life support on desks twelve to fourteen, stern section, is gone!” Mazdar said.
“Systems shut down due to lack of power.”

“Evacuate those sections!”

“For Romulans?” Zamarran muttered astonished. Jarol gave him a hard look and he lowered his head, busying himself with his console.

“Patch what you can, don't comment and don't you dare to contradict me!” she warned.

“Yes, sir, sorry, sir,” he didn't dare raising his head to look at her. “Where do we tow them?”

“To the nearest Romulan ship in sufficient shape to take care of them.”

“Yes, sir,” helm crisply reported.

“Karama, get some reports from Cardassia,” she told the communication officer.

“Attempting, but it's all a mess.”

She looked at Brenok. He stood, leaning heavily on his console and staring in front of him without really seeing.

“Zamarran, take over,” she ordered, and approached Brenok, while the engineer nodded his acknowledgement.

She pulled her friend to her office. He was stiff, like a puppet, he let her take him to her chair and she seated him there. Then she went to the door to look out through the glass to see how Mazdar was doing. She knew his parents lived in Lakarian City. The tactician seemed to be able to do his job, and she decided against disturbing his work in case it was his way of dealing with the terrible loss. She turned to look at Brenok.

He sat motionless, his face wet from tears. She sat on the floor by his feet and put her hand on his. He looked down at her and his blank face became personification of endless pain.

The door to the office opened and someone entered.

“We've just got the news,” Karama's voice was soft and quiet. “Damar was shot while charging the Central Command building.”

Steps, swoosh of the door and they were alone again.

Brenok slid to the floor and sat next to Jarol. There was nothing else to say, nothing else to do. Nothing left. All they had now was each other.

Cardassia became the land of orphans.




End of Part 1


Part 2 coming soon
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Old August 22 2010, 11:51 AM   #67
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Great these two at least survived, but still... *sobs* ... such pain.
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Old August 22 2010, 10:19 PM   #68
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

So! We have a GUL Brenok now? It's a horrible, horrible shame about his family, that's for sure. Still, part of me says that having a gul like him, who knows that kind of pain, and who has a heart, is exactly what the Cardassian Guard needs right now.

The fact that Jarol was willing to help the Federation ship out AND the Romulan ship...and actually said that they were to be treated like Cardassians because they fought on the same side--I think that shows that she really IS starting, a little bit, to move past her racism.

This right here is the telling line: "The rebellion was dead. And so was their Cardassia. They became Bajorans of the Dominion."

And how sad that she married and had her husband killed AGAIN! That's just brutal. But I do at least have a LITTLE hope that she won't raise this son to be full of hate and racism, and that at least the Demoks and Brenok can be like family to her. Hopefully by now she is beginning to see that it was Cardassia that created the fertile ground for all of these atrocities, and will take active steps to break the cycle.
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Old August 23 2010, 03:00 AM   #69
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Gul Re'jal, I've really enjoyed your story! You write very convincingly from a Cardassian's point of view, and I like the way your main character is sympathetic but not perfect – she has many good traits, but also a lot of prejudice (which she will hopefully move past – she seems to be on the right path). The characterizations of Dukat and Damar are spot on.

“They became Bajorans of the Dominion.” Well said!

Gul Re'jal wrote: View Post
There were those two places, where Jarol was recalling things from past, which had already happened. Corak's case, when she talked to Dukat and Brenok's arrival to Roumar after she talked to Corak. Both those things happened prior to described events, so "in theory" (which I have to follow as I understand it, as I have no instinct) those events should be in Past Perfect Tense. But they sounded so weird in Past Perfect, so I left them in Past Simple. I probably did it all wrong, but well... maybe some day I'll learn
No, I don’t think you should use Past Perfect. I’ve never seen people use a lot of Past Perfect in a narrative. Past Simple makes for a much better style. If it’s in the same sentence, then, yes: “She remembered when he had first come to the ship” but then you should continue in Past Simple. “He was…” etc. instead of “He had been…”

Your use of tenses is good - the only thing I'd change is your use of Continuous instead of Simple Present or the other way round in one or two cases, or your use of the Present Participle/Gerund instead of Infinitive in some places... I'd have to look over the text again to remind myself where exactly it was...

As for errors I think you need to correct: "despise" is not a noun, you have to use "contempt" instead. Also, there's a serious spelling error in this sentence:

"Her long conversations with her husband thought her..." It should be "taught" - the Past Tense of "teach" ("thought" is the Past Tense of "think").

Also, these may be typos, but they make sentences grammatically incorrect:

“Our customs don't allow aliens view our dead” – "Our customs don't allow aliens to view our dead"
"She didn't want her best friend and her bondmate “sir” each other forever.- "She didn't want her best friend and her bondmate to "sir" each other forever."
“I don't care they can see us” - “I don't care if they can see us”

If you have a good spelling/grammar checker, you could use it... Of course, you'll have to ignore it whenever it shows words like "Cardassian" or proper names as incorrect...
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Old August 23 2010, 03:48 AM   #70
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Thank you, DevilEyes, for your opinion and for the corrections I appreciate them

Some typos are there in spite of my checking and re-cheking. After reading it some many times I just don't see them any more. Some I noticed after posting, but was unable to edit posts any more, as someone else posted after me. Grammar checker helps me, it would be much worse if I wouldn't follow it's suggestions

your use of the Present Participle/Gerund instead of Infinitive in some places...
Yes, this is something I really don't have instinct of using. Usually it's a lucky draw and lots of hope I chose the correct form

The/a are also things alien to me. There isn't anything like that in my language.
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Old August 23 2010, 03:49 AM   #71
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Gul Re'jal and DevilEyes--I think you two may actually speak somewhat related languages...
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Old August 28 2010, 01:00 PM   #72
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Part 2
...so the tree is inclined



What will happen to us now?
2376 (2375-2376)


Brenok laughed straight to Parn's face, leaning toward the man so close that drops of his saliva landed on Legate's skin.

“Is that your answer?” the Legate clearly didn't appreciate being ridiculed.

“How stupid do you think I am?” Brenok just shrugged.

“If we thought you were stupid, we wouldn't invite you here.”

Brenok shot a glance at the man, who had brought him here the first time. “You call this 'invited'?” He commented bitterly. “There is another word for this in my vocabulary.”

“I suggest you rethink your answer.”

Brenok moved away his hair, uncovering his ugly scar. “I'd faster grow a new ear than join your mouldy bunch of pig-heads, who haven't learnt anything,” he snorted and then turned and left.

Six months earlier



“No!” Jarol stood in front of people, spreading her arms wide. “You can't do it!”

“We take it down! We'll take [i]you[i/] down if necessary!” someone shouted.

“You can't! He did a lot for Cardassia, you can't just erase him,” she protested.

“Move!” a man charged with heavy tool in his hands.

“No!” she didn't want to let him through.

The crowd started closing up on her, but she didn't move. It was obvious she didn't want to allow them do that.

Brenok couldn't watch it any longer. He ran to her and grabbed her sleeve.

“Come, you won't stop them on your own,” he said, pulling her away.

“So help me!”

“No,” his reply was sharp and firm. She was astonished. “Come, let's go,” he insisted.

Someone hit the column with a heavy hammer, chirping huge piece of concrete. “No!” she rushed to the man, trying to wrest the hammer out from his hands, but he moved away.

Brenok grabbed her armour and pulled away. She tried to pull out, but he was stronger and kept her firmly.

“Stop it,” he shouted irritated after a moment of her fruitless attempts. “Let it go!”

“No! No!” she protested.

He pulled her farther away, not paying attention to her protests. Finally, she gave up and silently observed enraged people destroying Dukat's monument.

“Come on,” Brenok pulled her sleeve. “I'll buy you some kanar,” he said.

“I can't drink,” she reminded him.

“Fine, then I'll buy you Ferengi Slog-o-Cola.”

She looked at him. She wasn't in a mood for jokes, but she let him pull her farther away.

“Why do you care?” he asked, when they turned to another street and couldn't see the monument any longer, although could hear the sounds of dismantling it.

“He saved my life,” she answered. “Yes, he made mistakes, but he doesn't deserve what they want to do.”

“He also blackmailed you, molested, used, manipulated, the list goes on, and you know that! Not mentioning he was responsible for Corak's death.”

“It wasn't his fault directly.”

“Whole Dominion was 'his fault directly' and only his. We have to clean this mess now!” Brenok shouted angrily.

She was surprised by his reaction. “But it still doesn't make it right,” she waved toward the direction of the unseen now crowd.

Brenok only shook his head, giving up. He never understood Jarol's and Damar's loyalty to Dukat. No matter what he did to them or did in general, they always forgave him everything. Brenok's respect for his former commander evaporated long time ago.

“Let's go home,” he said.

“It isn't right,” muttered Jarol.

“Home,” he repeated and gently directed their steps toward the street, where Demoks' house stood. “What did your father say?” he asked, trying to change the subject.

“He agreed,” she said in a little happier tone. “I was sure he wouldn't, but he said 'yes' without hesitation.”

“When will he come?”

“Tomorrow. Zamarran could have beamed him here a few days ago, but dad said he wanted to pack some things. I won't be surprised if he comes with a few buckets of sand.”

Brenok smiled, but his smile quickly faded. “Will you go with me to see my home?”

She looked at him eye wide. “Why? What for?”

“I need to see my house,” he said.

“No, you don't,” she replied firmly.

“I have to. Maybe there is something left, some object, anything. Something I could keep.”

“Don't torture yourself,” she shook her head.

“If you don't go with me, fine, but I will go anyway.”

She didn't want him to go. She tried to shield him from seeing his loss. Knowing about the tragedy was one thing, having it before one's eyes was completely another matter. She saw deaths of her family, she didn't want him to share such a tragic experience with her. He didn't need more nightmares, he had enough of those already. Going to rummage in a rubble, which used to be his home and in which all his loved ones lived was not a good idea. She didn't worry he wouldn't find any object to commemorate his family, she feared he would find something and his pain would gain a new face. She wanted to spare him more suffering. How could she make him drop the idea?

They arrived to a small building, one of few remaining on the street. There wasn't much left of the street itself, but at least the rubble had been removed. They walked through the garden, being greeted by neighbours on the way.

She and Brenok had knocked at their door soon after the war ended. Although Jarol never met them personally, they greeted her like she was returning home, not visiting them. They insisted for her to stay, and after learning she was expecting didn't even want to hear about her leaving. They also offered Brenok a room as soon as they discovered he was hailing from Lakarian City, delicately never asking about his family. As it occurred Demoks offered home also to their neighbours, who lost their homes and had no place to go.

She decided to make herself busy, so went to Talokan Demok's study. Demok senior was an archon, and was known as a fair and loving justice man. It was his idea to clear names of patriots and bring traitors to justice. One of tasks she took upon herself was restoring Gul Corak's good name, who still was officially considered a traitor, while it was obvious he was faithful to Cardassia until the end.

Her husband's father wasn't in his study, but he had told her should she need to use it, she didn't have to ask for his permission. It still felt a little awkward to enter this room – a room with rich history of law and military service – and do as she pleased. She was just a peasant and this house reminded her of that. Not the people, not her new in-laws, but the surroundings. Demoks had a long history in the Guard and in Justice. If not the mess made by the Dominion, they would probably consider her a servant at best; at least she thought so. However both Demok's mother and father were nothing but warm and friendly toward her and Brenok. Once she saw Talada crying, touched by Brenok's singing. Well, Brenok's songs were very sad and dark recently, his heart was aching and it was his heart singing.

She sat at the desk and activated the screen. There was one conversation she tried to avoid, but she knew she had to talk to her, there was no other choice. She felt deep shame and had no idea how she could look into this woman's eyes... And the question she wanted to ask... The answer she feared to hear.

She took a deep breath and tapped the instructions into the padd. A Starfleet logo appeared on the screen only to be replaced by a man a second later.

“What can I do for you?” if he was surprised to see a Cardassian, he didn't show it.

“Can I talk to colonel Kira?” Jarol asked him.

“Colonel Kira is busy right now,” he replied. “Maybe I could help you?”

“I'm afraid not. Please ask her to contact me, Gul Jarol of the Fourth Order. It is important, not urgent, but important.”

“I'll pass the information,” he promised.

Jarol returned to files, which Talokan had already collected. Not much time passed, when the comm bipped. She activated the screen to see Kira's face. Seemed like she wasn't that busy after all.

“Colonel Kira, I am Gul Jarol.”

“Yes, I remember you. What can I do for you?”

"We try to compile a list of Cardassian Liberation Front members and I wonder if you might have a few names for me.”

“The whole idea was not to know names of others.”

“Yes, I know that,” I'm probably alive thanks to this, she thought, “but if you could recall anything. Even one name would be something.”

“I'll try. I'll send you a list later.”

“I appreciate that,” she nodded her thanks, but didn't disconnect.

“Is that all?” Kira asked after a short while of awkward silence.

“Actually there's one more thing. More of a personal nature...”

Kira seemed puzzled. What personal matters could these two women share?

“You were with Damar when he died, weren't you?”

“Thats correct.”

“How...” Jarol swallowed. She tried not to burst into tears in front of that woman.

“He died a hero,” Kira said. Jarol nodded, afraid to speak. “He fought until the end.” They kept looking at each other for a while.

“Is that all?” Kira asked finally.

“I'm sorry I was part of the... occupation,” this was the first time she used - she thought about using - the word 'occupation', not 'annexation'.

Surprise on Kira's face lasted a second, then she sharply nodded once her acknowledgement - Joral doubted it was appreciation, after all one 'sorry' from one then low ranking officer meant nothing - and she disconnected.

Jarol folded her arms on the desk, leaned her forehead against the arms and cried.



Brenok was tired, but there still were things he wanted to do that evening, so he walked fast back home.

He just stepped off the bridge, when someone spoke behind him.

“Are you Glinn Brenok?”

He stopped and looked back, but saw no one.

“If you want to talk to me, have courage to show your face,” he said, slightly irritated.

A man came out of a shadow. “There's someone, who wants to talk to you,” he said.

“Is there?” Brenok didn't like this secrecy.

“Come with me,” said the man.

“Why should I?” Brenok asked.

“"I advise you comply.”

“Or what?” to his own surprise he wasn't scared, but his mind was telling him this whole situation stank.

“You won't regret it,” the man assured him.

“Do you have an Orion slave girl there?” the Glinn smiled slightly. Actually it started to amuse him.

“Come,” the man insisted.

“Say 'please',” Brenok laughed, but there wasn't any amusement in his voice. The man stared at him for a moment, but finally seemed to realise Brenok wouldn't yield, so he had to.

“Please,” he said.

“And where do I go?” Brenok was starting having fun. I'm probably outrageously reckless, he thought.

“You'll see.”

“Can I notify my mommy I'm going to be late for dinner?”

“This is not time for jokes.”

“Do I look like I'm joking?” Brenok barked.

The man didn't say anything. The Glinn followed him, paying attention to every detail around him and burning them to his memory. Whatever was going on, it would be better to be careful. They went to the government district. Brenok didn't know Lakat well enough to know exactly which building was which department, but it didn't seem like he was taken to be slaughtered by some enemy. Not that he had many enemies – surprisingly – but he could be the perfect tool for Jarol's enemies and she had plenty of those.

They entered a massive building, but it was too dark to read the plate above the huge door, so Brenok had no idea what this place was. He was led to the second floor and into a room, which looked very much like a council room of some sort. There were two Legates and four Guls present, sitting at the table and clearly waiting for him. The nameless guide stood by the door, gesturing to Brenok to go closer to the table.

“Welcome to our humble council room,” said one of Legates. Brenok almost burst into laughter. He called this room 'humble'? This chamber looked like no war happened. Like all was as it used to be three years ago. Like Lakarian City stood there, and his mom sang songs to his daughter. He felt his anger rise.

“What do you want?” his tone was sharp and hostile.

“There's no reason to be angry, Glinn. We have a fantastic proposition for you.”

“Do you?” What can you offer me? Bring my family back? Bring my Gul back? Bring my best friend back? Or bring Cardassia back?

“We want to rebuilt was has been destroyed and we want you to help us,” seemed like he guessed right. The only problem was he started suspecting who those people were and he didn't subscribe to their point of view. “We need people like you.”

“And what would you know about me, a low ranking Glinn from a warship of little importance?” he asked ironically.

“I know enough,” said a familiar voice, and then Brenok paid more attention to Guls. Daset? “Nice to see you, Glinn Brenok.”

Now that was unexpected.

“Daset? You told them to bring me here? You haven't changed a bit,” he said.

“And you still wear that non regulation haircut,” the - now Gul – commented.

“What of it?”

“Why? Your daughter is dead, you wouldn't scare her any mo...” he silenced, realising how cruel his words were.

Brenok squinted his eyes with hatred. "But it will be ready for... my nephew,” he never thought about Jarol's child as his nephew before, but it fitted, didn't it?

Daset didn't say anything more.

"Why was I brought here?” Brenok asked. “Why me?”

“We want you to join our cause.”

“Why?”

"We need good, reliable and professional officers and you match that description.”

“Says who?”

“Say I.”

Brenok couldn't believe his own ears. Daset thought he was a 'good, reliable and professional officer'? Since when? The Gul had made the engineer's life aboard Roumar real hell; he was picking on him because of Brenok's hair, and always seemed unhappy with Brenok's performance as an engineer. He even scolded Brenok for singing on duty, claiming it was against regulations, until Gul Corak said he didn't recall any regulation saying that singing on duty was forbidden (although he added it ought to be, if a singer was singing out of tune). That only made Daset more aggressive - he clearly didn't appreciate being corrected in front of a subordinate, especially since his authority was challenged.

And now... now he appeared out of nowhere, like a bad dream, telling Brenok he... what? Respected him? Appreciated the good work the engineer did? What kind of joke was it? Daset clearly didn't change much, since Brenok's hair still bothered him, so what was the meaning of all this?

“I don't have time for this,” he muttered and turned to leave.

“Glinn Brenok,” the Legate's voice boomed. Brenok recalled his name. Parn. “Think about it. We will speak again.”

No doubt by bringing him here without his consent again. Brenok only shrugged and left.



“Why did you let him go?!” Jarol shouted.

Talokan looked at her surprised. “Why not?” he asked. “It was his home.”

“Yes, it was. And now it's a pile of pain.”

“I'm sorry, I didn't think it would be so important.”

“Oh, nevermind. I'm sorry I snapped like that,” she muttered, and stepped away. She picked her wristcomm, which lay on a table, pressed it and spoke. “Jarol to Roumar.”

“Roumar here,” answered Zamarran's voice.

“Zamarran, locate Glinn Brenok and beam me to his location,” she put the wristcomm on her wrist.

“One moment.”

She waited for a short time and then the engineer spoke: “On your mark.”

“Mark,” she said without hesitation.

She dissolved in orange light to reappear in a ruined city she's never been to before. She looked around, trying to locate Brenok. She saw him sitting on remains of a fence, or a wall, it was hard to tell for sure. His head was lowered, so she couldn't see his face.

“Arenn,” she spoke softly, closing to him. She could hear him singing quietly a lullaby. “Why did you come?” she asked, sitting next to him.

“I had to,” he answered. “I had to see it, I had to make sure it was for real. I...” his voice faded.

She put her arm around his shoulder.

She looked around. What she saw wasn't a city any more. Remains of walls, with glassless windows resembling blind eyes, remains of streets, with dark stains of blood, remains of people, with their souls hunted and emptied of everything. She new the city was one of most beautiful on Cardassia. It's long history and cultural heritage was priceless. Cardassia had its capitol, where Legates were debating, Detapa Council attempting to rule the empire, but here, in Lakarian City, was Cardassia's heart, its soul. This was the city, which produced singing officers. This was the city, which hosted the biggest art gallery. This was the city, which grew on their Hebitian heritage. This was a pile of rubble!

Her anger rose. She wished she could get a Vorta or - better - a Jem'Hadar in her hands and tear him into pieces, just like their had torn Cardassia's soul. Her people didn't deserve that. Whatever they've done, whatever their sins were – it was too much.

She noticed a familiar shape among stones. It was alien, non-Cardassian, but so familiar; where did she see it; where did she know it from? Her eyes opened wide with shock and disgust. It was a Klingon mug, the one they used for bloodwine. She stood up and approached the object. First she crouched to pick it up, but she rapidly withdrew her hand not touching it, then rose and then started stepping on it with fury, flattening the damn thing. Was what this doing here? Did a Klingon come to drink over her friend's family's bodies? Did he enjoy the view of a four year old girl, smashed by her own room's wall or Jem'Hadar kar'takin? She took a stone – or a part of Brenok's house – and started hitting the flat by now metal with it. She couldn't stop, just couldn't. It was all she could do not to explode.

A hand grabbed her wrist, preventing another blow and stopping her. She looked up at Brenok. He just shook his head, his face wet from tears.

“You were right,” he said. “I shouldn't have come here.”

She dropped the stone and hugged him, pressing to her with all her strength.

“I know!” she said suddenly.

Brenok pulled away and gave her an asking look.

“I know which name would be the best for my son. Laran.”

Brenok's face became less sad, for it couldn't be called a smile. “I like that. And I think he would like that too. This is a good name, a name of an unbreakable hero.”

“Let's go home,” she said.

He nodded and she contacted Zamarran to beam them back to Demoks' house.
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Old August 28 2010, 01:01 PM   #73
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

It took three months to bring Roumar to fairly usable condition. Continuous lack of materials made Zamarran's work difficult, if not impossible, but finally he could report that the warship could leave the dock. There were still many things to do, but they could be done on the way. Brenok volunteered to help.

Jarol was glad to be back aboard. It was not fair to the people down on the planet, the scarred, battered Cardassia, but here she could run away from it. Her mind was still there, her heart was still there, but her eyes didn't have to imprint those terrifying images into her memory forever.

She knew her crew was cut by one sixth. The Central Command, whatever was left of it, decided it was better to keep maximum available ships in service with smaller crews than scrap ships and keep the remaining vessels full. That way the fleet appeared to be more numerous, safer for Cardassians and more dangerous for enemies. She could do with two hundred fifty, she was sure of that. Even the bridge officers would have to double their posts, so she decided to combine communications with helm and tactical with engineering. She had two good engineers aboard anyway, so if Zamarran had to shoot, Brenok could repair. Brenok wouldn't mind that, she was sure. And she knew that he knew that he was no tactician. If necessary, she'd take tactical if Zamarran wouldn't do well enough.

Karama welcomed her to the bridge with a wide smile. She didn't remember when was the last time she saw a Cardassian smiling so happily. Felt like ten thousand years ago, or in another lifetime.

“Gul, the ship is ready to depart,” he announced, looking at her with bright eyes. She liked his enthusiasm, she found it refreshing.

“Do you want to leave before rest of the crew boards Roumar?” she asked him.

“No, sir. But if you wanted, we could do it, sir.”

She laughed. And felt guilty. Laughing was like crime. No one laughed these days. “Did we receive our orders yet?” she asked.

“Yes, sir.”

“Then I'll be in my office,” she rose from her chair and headed for her office.

Everything here was the same. Just like she had left it after the Battle of Cardassia. No, something was different. It wasn't as messy. The mar'kuu sculpture stood on her desk. It was chirped at the bottom, as it had fallen off the desk during the battle and almost broke.

The door opened behind her, so she turned to see who entered.

“We still need to fix the door,” Zamarran said. “As you can see it opens without chiming. I didn't want to be rude.”

“Don't worry about it. A door bell should be on the bottom of your repair list.”

“It is, sir,” he looked around. “I took liberty to clean here a little bit,” he said.

Somehow she was glad it was him, not any random Garesh, touching her things.

“I appreciate that,” she said. “Do you have any report for me?”

“Yes, sir,” he handed her a padd. “Here's the full report on the repairs. It lists fully completed work, work in progress and status of that progress, and work on to-do list.”

“What is the general status of the warship?”

“It's in working order, but we better don't go to any battle any time soon.”

“Fine.”

He turned to leave, but stopped when she spoke: “Zamarran. Good job.”

He smiled, nodded once and left.

She sat at her desk, activated the screen and accessed her orders.

She was to take Gul Madred to Cardassian space 'liberated from the Dominion' by Romulans and now occupied by them. The Gul had to negotiate release of Cardassian POWs from Romulan prisons. Jarol thought Romulans didn't take prisoners, but maybe it changed.

Romulans. Just when she thought things couldn't get any more interesting... or any worse.

The doors opened admitting Brenok.

“Oh, I'm sorry, I thought it would chime as always,” he said a little startled.

“It's broken,” she said. “The door's broken.”

Brenok looked at the opened door and then entered. “Where do we go?”

“Not far,” she said. How bad things got that they didn't have to go far to speak to Romulans! “We will deal with pointy-ear people.”

“Vulcans?”

“I didn't say anything about logic, did I?”

“Romulans?”

She nodded.

“Oh, joy...” he muttered. “I spoke with elder Talokan,” Brenok always used the polite form 'elder' when speaking of, or addressing Demok's father. “He dug out Corak's files. He said clearing his name would be only a formality. He told me...” he took a breath, “he told me that Corak didn't want to admit he was wrong and a traitor until the end. They tortured him to death. Our justice system tortured him to death.”

“Our system – maybe,” she said. “But it had nothing to do with 'justice', Arenn. Nothing.”

“Good point.”

“Sir,” Karama's voice spoke over the comm. “Our new officer arrived.”

“New officer?” Brenok gave Jarol an asking look.

“Yes, we get four freshmen,” she confirmed. “Let him in,” she answered Karama.

The door opened and a young, very young, too young woman entered. Jarol thought that she had never been that young herself. The – girl, really - looked at Jarol, then at Brenok, who stood next to Jarol's desk on the left, and then back at Jarol.

“Dja Ma'Kan reporting.”

Jarol searched her memory for a second. Ma'Kan. Tactical. So she, together with Zamarran, had to train this child to become a real tactician.

“Is this your first posting, Ma'Kan?” Jarol asked her.

“Yes, sir.”

“Have you studied Galor class schematics?”

“Affirmative, sir.”

“So go and familiarise yourself with the ship practically. Start from the tactical console, which you will share with Glinn Zamarran. He is our chief engineer and temporary tactical officer.”

“Understood, sir,” the girl crisply replied and left.

“Since when Zamarran is a tactician?” Brenok asked.

“Since we got no one experienced. You will help him in engineering, if there is such need.”

“Of course. Now, if you don't mind, I'll take care of my duties.”

“No, I don't mind my officers doing their jobs, I don't mind at all,” she smiled to him and he smiled back. For the first time in weeks he smiled back.



“Gul Corak's family wanted to express their thanks to you,” Talokan looked at Jarol. “They appreciate you didn't forget about him.”

“How could I forget?” she recalled the sad picture, when the Jem'Hadar pulled Corak out of his office. The Cardassian was resisting and cursing him, while the Vorta stood there, watching whole scene with her cool, fish-like eyes. Jarol always admired Corak for his resistance; he didn't follow them peacefully, even though whole scene could be taken as pathetic. She admired his bravery, not pitied him then and she still admired him now, especially after learning that he never broke, no matter what they'd done to him. She didn't think she would have so much courage and strong character to resist until the end. “He was my Gul, you don't forget your Guls,” not the good ones, she added in the privacy of her thoughts. She wished she could forget Ahal.

It was the last dinner at Demoks' house. They were supposed to leave the next day and Jarol had to admit she was looking forward to it. Gul Madred had already contacted her and he seemed a reasonable man. Last thing she needed was a high ranking Gul on her ship telling her how to command it. She hoped her first impression was correct.

Brenok ate in silence. She couldn't tell if he was glad or sorry to leave Cardassia. His suffering – the first one of this magnitude he had experienced in his life – was overwhelming him and watching his pain was making her forget about her own.

Especially since there was something bright in her life. Apart from the new life, which grew inside her, her father, her daddy, was sitting next to her here, at this very table. She'd feared he would feel displaced in the big city, with crowded streets and noisy vehicles and skimmers all around, but he seemed not to be bothered by it. He found himself two tasks: one was the garden, in which he started growing vegetables; the other one was the rebuilding process – every day during dinner time he went to a rally point to help in the kitchen and then stood with a ladle and poured soup in queued up soldiers' bowls. Her sister protested his decision to move and live with Jarol, but he made his mind and didn't care what his older daughter thought. He loved them both, Jarol knew that, but here he could feel useful, he could do something. Her sister could offer him babysitting tasks, not much more.

It felt good to watch her dad being happy. It seemed like he and Demok's father quickly became good friends. Darok's Unionese wasn't good enough to have long, colourful conversations, but it was improving and old Demok didn't mind any mistakes Darok made. Observing her late husband's parents she understood why Demok was such a cheerful, optimistic man – he had wonderful family. He inherited his smile and attitude from them. She hoped the feature would go down to their grandson too. All three of her parents were happy with her choice of the name; having a name of a brave, patriotic Gul was a promise for good future and honourable character. She hoped so at least. She only wished her mom would live to see it, but climate in Nokar was not gentle and claimed many lives before their time.

They finished their dinner and everyone spread. The meal wasn't anything elaborate (the lack of food on Cardassia was very noticeable), but still the Cardassian need of dining as a family, a big family, was bringing everyone in the house together to one table. Relatives, in-laws, neighbours, everyone.

When the door bell's sound spread in the house, Jarol was the closest one to the door, so she went to open it.

“Glinn Daset?” she said astonished.

He patted the right side of his armour with his finger.

“Gul, of course, Gul,” she corrected herself.

Daset smiled. “It's good to see you,” he said. Obviously he wasn't surprised. “Could I see Brenok?” he asked, her amazement rising.

“Come in,” she invited him. She led him to the guest room. “Thank you for the sculpture.”

“Do you still have it?”

She nodded, and he smiled. “I'll get Brenok,” she said and left him alone.

What could Daset want with Brenok? She couldn't imagine. Her surprise limits were tested again, when Brenok didn't seem surprised at all. She had an impression he expected Daset; there was something happening and Brenok didn't tell her anything about it. However she wasn't angry with him. If it was important, or if it was related to her, he surely would have shared it.

“If you don't mind, I'd like to talk to him alone,” Daset told her, so she left.

“What do you want? I gave you my answer,” Brenok said without any preamble.

“Brenok, this is a chance for you and for Cardassia. You have seen what the civilian government did to it and how it ended. When Central Command was, well, in command, we were strong. We could be strong again!”

“Gul Daset, with all due respect,” did he ever respect Daset? “Central Command was so weak that they were overthrown by civilians. Their wars made us weak, so weak that when Klingons attacked we had nothing and meant nothing. We were defenceless.”

Daset didn't reply for a short moment. “Some things will have to change, that is sure, but the whole idea, whole system was not at fault. It were the people.”

“And where are those people now?” Brenok interrupted the Gul. “If I remember correctly the last time I saw them was in that room there.”

Daset's eye ridges rose in surprise. He was speechless for a moment, and Brenok used this opportunity to continue: “What about Gul Jarol? Why wasn't she invited to this new Central Command Directorate nonsense of yours?”

“Jarol is a great officer and a good commander, but she has enemies.”

“So you crossed her out of your list because she has enemies? Don't you have any?”

“It's not just that she has them. It's who they are?”

“And who are they?”

“Do you remember the Legates in that room?”

“Parn. I don't know the other one.”

“Ahal. His name is Ahal.”

Brenok understood immediately.

“I suggested both of you,” Daset continued. “But Ahal's reaction was... how to put it mildly... he went totally bezerk. I know they had some dealings together, but I never knew what. I still don't. I know one thing for sure – Ahal will not want to see her supporting the Directorate. So even more we need you. You both represent the same thing.”

Brenok shook his head. “No. Especially not without her.”

“I understand your loyalty. But think about your future. It's a great chance for you.”

Brenok kept shaking his head. “No.”

“Will you reconsider it?”

“No.”

“Do you need time? What about giving your answer after your mission?”

“No.”

Daset looked genuinely disappointed. “Are you sure?”

“Yes. Let's go.”

“Where are we going?”

“To that Directorate building I was taken last time. I'll tell them my decision myself.”

Daset observed him walking out and then followed him.



tbc
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Old August 28 2010, 01:49 PM   #74
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Great chapter! I had tears in my eyes when reading the Jarol/ Kira bit (and not just because of Damars dead mentioned )...and the rest was written very enthralling, especially when Brenok went seeing his house and also when that very very young new soldier came on board.

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Old August 28 2010, 01:59 PM   #75
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian

Thank you, TN. I hoped it would be adequately sad and touching. I based it a little bit on my own country's history and rebuilding efforts after WWII.
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