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Old February 6 2011, 05:11 AM   #106
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

I think it's a matter of finding a way of pronouncing them. It's not impossible, but not something most of languages (or popular languages) have. Say, English "th" sound. It is doable but listen to us, foreigners, and tell me how many actually pronounce it (instead of D, S, F...).

Senk you for you reading de story

I have some notes about the language, so who knows, maybe I'd make a recording some day
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Old February 6 2011, 05:18 AM   #107
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Just like my turning your "y" into an "iiiiiiii" sound!

(If I only knew how to write what an English-speaker's attempt at your R sounds like... )

I would love to see those notes and hear a recording someday!
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Old February 6 2011, 05:31 AM   #108
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

The notes are a mess in my "reference" file but some day I might write something clearer and post it to my archive (where I store my 'publicly available out-of-universe' data).
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Old February 6 2011, 05:32 AM   #109
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Cool.
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Old February 6 2011, 07:24 AM   #110
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Chapter 15 – Day 487



Cardassia was in chaos. Chaos. And the situation was spinning out of control. Most of the Roumar’s troops were down on the planet, trying to control the riots. I had heard that Gul Jarol told Garesh Dalar, the troops commander, that they were not allowed to use force and if any of soldiers fired a shot, he’d be executed and Dalar would face severe consequences. Later Tavor had told me that all soldiers that were sent to the planet received the same orders.

Did it help? Not really. Some people wanted more food. Some people wanted the government to go away. Some people supported the government. Some people blamed the Federation Restoration Troops for the troubles and wanted them to leave. Some people didn’t seem to know what they wanted.

The Federation.

We were watching a speech of the Cardassian castellan and I had the opportunity to observe bridge officers’ reactions; since the speech took place during the day shift, Gul Jarol wanted it to be displayed on the main viewer and allowed everyone a break to listen to it. The castellan thanked the Federation for help and assured the Cardassian people of the Federation support of their rebuilding efforts and reforms.

Gul Jarol stared at the screen with squinted eyes. I knew she opposed this castellan, she was a member of a political party that didn’t share much with his. She had been patting her lips with her index finger and kept wincing from time to time, reacting to some of the things he said.

Glinn Brenok was standing next to her and sometimes commented something. I couldn’t hear his words and she didn’t seem react to them most of time, but once...she straightened in her chair and gave Brenok a look I could not decipher. Then, she returned to her lip patting and wincing.

Glinn Zamarran listened with his arms crossed on his chest. I couldn’t read his face, the always present frown was there but it didn’t mean anything. When the castellan spoke of the Federation, he looked at me and smiled. I smiled back.

And then the castellan said something really, really strange. He said that the Federation asked the Cardassia to drop its hateful military face and reduce its army to a ‘reasonable’ number of one and a half million soldiers. Even I knew it was all but reasonable. The military’s strength was around eight and a half million people (before the Dominion slaughtered millions, that is) and the Federation proposal would reduce Cardassia’s army from twelve orders to merely two.

To my greater surprise the castellan said he found the proposal reasonable as it would help to save resources for ‘more important affairs.’

Some of the officers on the bridge looked at me. They stared as if I was guilty of this idea and I didn’t even agree with it! While I didn’t see the Cardassian military as a benign organisation, I couldn’t believe anyone would even think if suggesting to limit anyone’s defences to such an extreme. Cardassians were all about the military. They were born soldiers and even if they lived civilian lives they acted like soldiers. They were more warrior-like than the Klingons. It was in their blood to live following strict rules, strict hierarchy, to listen to orders. The whole society was like a huge army with everyone knowing their place.

And now some aliens tell them to abandon the representation of their greatest value—their Guard. And they...agree?

All eyes eventually left me and returned to the screen.

The speech ended and the screen went dark.

“Lieutenant Kapoor,” Gul Jarol said from her seat. “Come here.”

Pounding of my heart had to be heard all over the bridge. I went to her chair and stood in front of it. She sat, leaning on her right elbow, one leg on the other. Her left hand was grasping the arm-rest. Glinn Brenok stood next to her and scrutinised me. His nose looked like a beak, a sharp, thin beak.

“What do you think, Kapoor?” Jarol asked. Her voice didn’t sound like an order, more a ‘chatty’ type. I hesitated. Why did she ask me? She observed me, waiting. And waiting. In fact, I was surprised she let me be quiet for such a long time. “Don’t you have an opinion about this?” she asked eventually, her voice still soft.

“I’m not sure,” I said quietly.

She leaned toward me, putting both her feet on the floor and resting her forearms on her thighs. “I ask you because you are the Federation. I don’t understand the Federation, I can’t understand the reasoning behind such a demand. But I want to understand. So I ask what you think about it. Honestly, Kapoor, what do you think?”

“Off the record?” Was anything ‘off the record’ on Cardassia?

She smiled and her pretty eyes shone softly. “Off the record.”

“I don’t understand it, either. I mean, I think I know why the Federation issued such a demand. You, Cardassians, are aggressive people. You are...have an opinion of brutal, ruthless and cruel race. You are dangerous. Limiting your military would remove you as a threat. Without millions of soldiers your brutality wouldn’t mean anything.

“What I don’t understand is why someone would even think about asking you to do that. While I understand the reasoning, I don’t understand how anyone would even dare to ask you that. Such a proposal could cause a war. Or at least anger. Indignation. It’s a ridiculous demand. I would never ever ever ever expect you to accept it.” Jarol grinned. “I don’t think anyone in the Federation expected you to accept it.”

“And yet we do,” she said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Believe me, Kapoor, if it depended on me, we wouldn’t.”

Oh, I believed her, all right.

“Come to my office, Kapoor.” She rose from her chair and headed for her room. I followed her. She turned to me when the door closed behind me. She leaned her bum on her desk, lowering her tall frame a bit to my level. I had an impression that she didn’t want to intimidate me...too much. “Kapoor, it would be prudent if you contacted your superiors and asked to be transferred back to Starfleet.”

“What? Why?” Why did she kick me out? Because of the Federation stupid politics? It wasn’t my fault!

“There are going to be changes on Cardassia soon. Big changes. You might not want to be here.”

I didn’t know what to say. “Do I have to leave?” I asked after a long moment.

Jarol grinned. “No, Kapoor, you don’t have to leave. However, you might want to leave.”

“But I don’t want to.” I thought for a while. “What kind of changes?”

“I can’t tell you that, I’m afraid.”

“Gul Jarol, do you want me to leave?”

She observed me for a while. “You are a good officer and Glinn Zamarran says you are a good addition to our crew,” she said at length. “I don’t like losing good officers and certainly don’t remove them from me crew. But you are a Starfleet officer on a temporary assignment here. You don’t belong to me, you’re a loan, if you forgive me this crude comparison.”

I always thought that she barely tolerated me. It seemed that my impression wasn’t completely correct.

“I don’t want to leave,” I told her.

She stood up and went to me. I raised my head to look into her eyes. She said, “Return to your duties.”

“Yes, Gul.”

I went back to the bridge. Nervous. Very nervous. There was something in the air. The Dragon Lady didn’t say that much but I was certain of one thing: the military wouldn’t stand by and let themselves be reduced.


tbc
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Old February 6 2011, 08:00 AM   #111
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

There's no telling what I might've done, in Kapoor's position. Even with the relationship with Karama...I might've packed my bags--tearfully--and left. Maybe that's the "Cardassian" in me...if I felt like I was betraying my people, even if I disagreed with them, I don't think I could live with myself. Especially not where that could mean allowing or being part of a coup that would let the cruel types come back into power. (And while we know it wasn't quite that bad, thanks to Shadow and Rayak Nor, no reasonable Federation citizen would think otherwise.)
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Old February 6 2011, 08:22 AM   #112
Gul Re'jal
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

It didn't sink in yet, but when it does--she's going to be scared and torn. You'll see soon (seems like my block vaporised ).
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Old February 7 2011, 03:04 AM   #113
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Chapter 16 – Day 490


I chimed and waited. A short moment later the door opened and I saw Zamarran’s very surprised face. “Kapoor?”

“Sir, could we talk?”

“Certainly. Come in.” He moved away letting me through.

I have never been in his quarters before but I was not in an observation mood. I looked at him. “Sir, what is going on?”

He moved toward the table to the left. “Sir down, Kapoor. Anything I can get you?” I sat, shaking my head. He put a glass of water in front of me anyway. “So, what exactly are you referring to?” he asked.

“Something is going to happen, isn’t it? It’s about that military reduction matter. Gul Jarol had warned me to pack my things and be ready to go home. She actually had told me to ask for transfer back to Starfleet. Something’s going to happen.”

Zamarran grabbed a mug, which stood on the table next to a padd, and sipped on its content—fish juice would be my guess. “Did you contact Starfleet yet?”

“I don’t want to go home,” I said.

He gazed at me and then looked into his mug. “Kapoor, we shouldn’t talk about it. I understand that you are scared and don’t know what’s going on, but this doesn’t concern you. You are not in danger, you can be sure of that.”

He didn’t want to say anything more but I was certain that he knew something.

I thanked him for water and went to Tavor. He also didn’t tell me anything; he claimed he didn’t know anything but I wasn’t so sure.

I returned to my quarters more scared than when I had left it. Much time didn’t pass when someone chimed. I went to open the door and when I saw who it was, my knees shook.

“Am I in trouble?” I asked. Did he come to arrest me? In spite of my best efforts, tears filled my eyes.

“Calm down, Kapoor.” Glinn Brenok grabbed my elbow and pulled me to my sofa. He sat next to me. “It was brought to my attention that you had been asking questions,” he said.

I sniffed and nodded. “I’m sorry, sir. I didn’t mean anything bad. I didn’t mean to break any law. I’m just scared.” More with every minute. “I hope Zamarran and Tav...Karama aren’t in trouble.”

The glinn shook his head. “They aren’t. And you didn’t do anything wrong.” He rose, went to a table in the corner and took a tissue. He returned to the sofa and handed it to me. I dried my tears but new ones filled my eyes again. “Kapoor, whatever is happening, it will not influence your safety. I know you’re terrified, I know you worry. You’re in foreign empire, among strangers and you don’t understand a lot of what’s going on, but please believe me—we would not allow anything to happen to you. We don’t want anything to happen to anyone. Trust me.” He spoke softly, like talking to a child, like I were a little girl who thought there were monsters under her bed.

I trusted him. Glinn Brenok was one of most honourable Cardassians I have even seen. He was also very different than the others. There was something in him, something that I couldn’t specify but could clearly feel.

“Glinn Brenok, something is going on, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Yes,” he confirmed.

“Can you tell me what?”

He shook his head. “No, Kapoor. This is not for your ears. This is a Cardassian matter.” He silenced for a moment.

I waited for him to say something more, but he hesitated too long—I cracked and I burst into tears. “I’m terrified!”

He moved closer and rubbed my back. “Shhhh, Kapoor, shhhh...”

Not really knowing what I was doing, I wrapped my arms around him and nestled to his chest, sobbing loudly. When I realised what I’ve done I quickly moved away. “I’m so sorry!” Why didn’t I crack on Tavor’s chest, why Brenok! My Cardassian superior! “I’m so sorry, sir!”

He grabbed my hands in his. “Kapoor, calm down, calm down, Kapoor.”

“I am so...” I felt I was losing it again.

“We will send you home safe and sound, all right?”

I shook my head. Not without Tavor, I’m not going anywhere without Tavor.

He patiently waited for me to calm down; he didn’t let go of my hands. His palms were rougher than Tavor’s, his fingers longer and skin a brighter shade of grey. I looked at his hands as I didn’t think I could look into his eyes. Finally, I raised my head to look in his face—it had a gentle expression. He smiled to me. He put my hands on my thighs. “Better?”

I nodded. “I’m sorry, Glinn Brenok. It’s just...I don’t know what’s happening and I don’t like this feeling of uncertainty. I didn’t want Glinn Zamarran or Gil Karama to be in trouble because of me. I didn’t want to spy.” I kept speaking fast, nervously. “Please, I don’t want them to be in trouble. I just...I just...”

“Kapoor, I already told you, no one is in trouble. Glinn Zamarran notified me that you had questions. That’s why I’m here.”

“Glinn Brenok...are you going to kill the castellan?” I whispered leaning to him.

He shook his head. “No, Kapoor, we’re not. I give you my word for that.”

I believed him. But I was no less scared.

“I have to go,” he said softly. “Will you be all right?”

I nodded.

I stayed alone in my quarters. I have lived here for over a year and this place started to feel like home long time ago. However, right now it felt a lot less friendlier.

I wanted to talk to my mom, I wanted to call her and see her face...but I wasn’t sure I would be able to. What if they blocked communication? What if they blocked communication from me to the Federation space? Would they think I try to spy on them? That I try to tell my superiors about upcoming...something? About Cardassian military’s mutiny?

Oh, God. They were going to refuse to take orders from their government, weren’t they? They were going to go rogue? To rebel? Cardassian army let lose, cutting off their leash and totally uncontrolled!

Would they go to war with the Federation if the Federation didn’t stop their demands?

I rolled on my sofa and cried, choking on my tears.

I wanted to go home!


tbc
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Old February 7 2011, 04:16 AM   #114
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

I hate to say it...even though we know how it came out, I find myself thinking that her duty is to get out (regardless of Karama), and tell her superiors what's about to happen. How will they ever believe that she had absolutely no clue?

Brenok is very sweet, though.
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Old February 7 2011, 12:33 PM   #115
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Chapter 17 – Day 517


The last month was hell. On the surface it seemed like nothing changed. Everyone attended to their duties, I had my day shifts on the bridge and everything appeared to be so ordinary. But I knew it wasn’t.

I was too afraid to contact my parents on Earth; I feared the Cardassians wouldn’t like me contacting the Federation and I was in the middle of this mess, I couldn’t ignore the danger. In spite of everyone’s assurances, I was sure this business meant danger, and a lot of it.

Tonight, however, I have been ordered to stay aboard the warship and not to attempt to leave under any circumstances. I had asked Tavor what was going on but he said that I should listen to Brenok and not even leave my quarters.

I knew it. I knew that whatever they wanted to do, it would happen tonight.

Tavor came to me. At first I thought he came to bid farewell and calm me down, but he didn’t seem to be in any rush.

“Is it today?” I asked after a forced and failed attempt of a small talk.

“Yes,” he replied shortly.

“Do you know what’s going to happen?”

“Not the details.”

“But you know?”

“Yes.”

“Tell me.” He only looked at me. “Tavor, if this is happening now, I’ll know soon anyway. Or do you fear I’ll inform Starfleet?”

“What?” He was clearly shocked by my assumption. “No! It’s not that!”

“So tell me.”

“All I know is that the military, the Mar’Kuu Group, is taking over the government.”

“A coup.”

“Yes.”

“And then what?”

“And then the Mar’Kuu Group will rule Cardassia.” He shrugged like it was not a big deal.

“What do you think about it?”

“I think that at least those are people with qualifications.”

I didn’t understand what he meant. “Did you vote for him, for this Ghemor?”

“No. I didn’t vote at all.”

“Why not?” I was surprised. I thought voting was my citizen’s duty—and the Cardassians were all about duty.

“How could I?” he was surprised by my surprise. “What do I know about politics? How could I choose who rules the empire? It’s not my place to do such a thing! I don’t know enough about a situation, politics, or a man to say if he is the right person or not,” he shook his head. “You don’t just choose your boss. Do you choose your captain? Do you choose your father? Why would you choose the head of your empire? This is unnatural, this is against the hierarchy. You have to prove you are the right person by your work and achievements, you have to deserve to reach that point. Not be given by masses that don’t really understand what they are doing.”

“Does the Mar’kuu Group deserve it? They take the power by force.”

“I know that Gul Daset is very qualified to be a leader. And you should know that Gul Jarol is too. They have experience in making decisions. They worked hard to reach their positions, they weren’t given those positions for a few empty promises.”

“But doesn’t a coup prove that there is something wrong with their methods?”

“Amrita, Ghemor must be stopped. Fast. This is the only way.”

“Isn’t there any legal way of removing him?”

He smiled bitterly. “The Federation forced its elections on us and its candidate but didn’t bother to teach us how to get rid of their puppet.”

“Now, wait a minute!” I sat straighter. “We only want to help. From what you’ve told me, the Cardassians used to be oppressed people, oppressed by their own government. We wanted to show you that your can choose your government. So someone went to vote and chose. Now you forcefully remove that chosen person. Forgive me, if I don’t agree with it.”

“I forgive you.”

“What?!” I fumed.

“Just kidding!” He raised his hands in a defensive gesture. Then, he said seriously, “Look, Amrita. We are not the Federation. We don’t think like you.”

“Do you, Gil Tavor Karama, agree with the coup?”

“Yes.”

“Why?!” Pitch of my voice reached the ceiling.

“Because my gul and her aide are its supporters. I trust their judgement. I trust it because I could see their judgement many times before and I know the results of their decisions. I trust they do the right thing.”

“They make mistakes.”

“Yes but in many cases they didn’t make a mistake. I remember more cases of right decisions than wrong ones.”

“Tavor, don’t you see! Cardassia was oppressed under military rule. The military rule returns. It’s going to be oppressed again!”

“No!” He rose and frowned, hovering over me. “There’s a difference.”

“Where?”

“In the people. It’s not ‘military’ that oppressed the people, it were evil people that oppressed the people. Those evil people are gone. Do you expect Gul Jarol to rebuild the Obsidian Order? Or Glinn Brenok?”

Well, I had to admit that Glinn Brenok was as far from an oppressor as it could get.

Tavor sat next to me and grabbed my hands. “Sweetheart, I know you don’t understand, I know it scares you, I know you’d prefer to go and vote for some stranger, but this is not our way. We are not the Federation. We are Cardassia.”

“I’m scared.”

“I know.” He opened his mouth but closed it without saying anything. He kissed my hands. “This is probably very bad moment for it, but...”

“What is it?” I tried to sound calm but my shaking voice betrayed me.

“I know you are terrified and probably think that the Cardassian Union is going to become some kind of monstrosity that is better to be avoided...But I...I love you. I know you will go home after all this is over and I can’t go with you. I’d would like you to stay. With me.” He paused and then said in a deep voice that edged on a whisper. “As my wife.” Tears shone in his eyes.

His empire was in political turmoil and here he was proposing to me!

“You don’t have to decide now. You don’t have to answer me now. This is serious, I know. This is a decision for life and for you it’s much more than bonding with another person to create a family. That’s why I want you to think about it. As long as you need.” He paused for a moment. “I have been thinking about it for months now. And I haven’t hesitated even once. I want it to happen. I want you. I want to wake up next to you every morning, I want to play with my child that is also a part of you, I want to eat food cooked by your small hands and feed you with my desserts, I want to feel the touch of your soft nose on my scales when I kiss you, I want to walk the Alley of Heroes holding your hand and take a holoimage by the Legate Tekeny Ghemor’s monument, I want to have picnics with you in Hampat Park, I want you to find my first grey hair, I want to ask you if I my armour is polished and shiny enough and listen to your nagging that I don’t put it back where is its place.” I felt tears rolling down my cheeks. He wiped them away. “If you want the same...you’d make me the happiest Cardassian in history.”

“My hair would start to grey before yours,” I said. No one had ever said anything so wonderful to me.

“And I would lie that it’s still all black until the end of the world and one day longer.”

“Tavor,” I started, putting my hand on his cheek. “If Cardassia turns into an oppressive regime, I won’t stay here. And I’ll do everything in my power to get you out of here too.”

He smiled and kissed me.

“I would like to be alone, if you don’t mind,” I said.

“Of course. Just don’t be scared any longer, all right?”

“Are you going to the planet? To take part in this...coup?”

“No.”

“So at least I won’t worry about your safety.”

He gave me a passionate kiss and left.

I tried to access the public broadcast service but all I got was a blank screen. Everything was jammed, blocked or whatever they do in such cases. No flow of information.

I went to my small window and looked at the planet slowly rotating below. A part of me expected to see burning spots of cities on the surface. What was going on down there? Did troops of Cardassian soldiers walked streets and shoot everyone in sight? Did they treat their own people as they used to treat Bajorans?

I paced. I sat. I wrote a letter to my parents, even though I couldn’t send it. I paced some more. I resisted the urge to call Tavor to come to me. I did not sleep. And I thought a lot. About the past year. About my future. About Cardassia. About the Federation.

I was sitting on the floor, under the window, when the chime sounded.

“Come in,” I said not raising.

I could hear the door opening but I couldn’t see who entered, as the table obstructed the view.

“I’m here,” I called, expecting to see Tavor. Who else could have come?

My heart stopped when I saw it was her. I knew I should stand up but I was so surprised that my reaction time was slow and before I made any move, she lowered herself to the floor and sat opposite me.

“Is it over?” I asked.

“A part of it, yes,” Gul Jarol confirmed. “You don’t appear to be packed.”

“I didn’t pack.” Should I add ‘yet?’

“Kapoor, I understand that you are worried and probably very scared,” she said. “I want to assure you that you are not in danger. If you want to leave Cardassia immediately, I will have Gil Hagar take a Hideki patrol ship and escort you to the nearest Federation outpost or starship. I would allow Gil Karama or Ma’Kan accompany you, if the presence of your friend would make you feel safer. You—”

“Gul Jarol, what will happen to Cardassia?” I interrupted her.

She silenced for a moment. “We will continue our rebuilding efforts,” she said finally. “We will try to recreate our law. We will try to go on.”

“Do you have any idea what you are going to do now?”

She smiled. “Yes, Kapoor. We know exactly what we will do.”

“How many people did you arrest?”

“The government members were sent back home and will stay there until tomorrow.”

“How many are in jail?”

“No one.”

“How many did you execute?”

“No one.”

“Really?”

She moved and sat next to me, leaning her back against the bulkhead. “Kapoor, I was born in times when people were afraid to speak their minds because the Obsidian Order would make them disappear. When soldiers were sent to hopeless battles because idiots were making tactical decisions. When incapable morons were promoted to guls and were allowed to give orders to slaughter their own people.

“I don’t want those times to return. The Cardassians should not fear other Cardassians. The Cardassians shouldn’t be taught how to be enemies of other Cardassians. The Cardassians should be free to be Cardassians. Any way they want.

“But it doesn’t mean that the Cardassians have to be anyone’s servants. That the Cardassians have to resemble someone else and copy their ways.” It was so clear to me that she spoke of the Federation. “We have to find our own way of existing. We have to return to our roots.” She turned her head and looked at me. “I don’t expect you to understand. You lack the insight into our society. You cannot know what it was like thirty years ago, twenty years ago or five years ago. You don’t have to know. It’s not your problem.” She silenced.

I decided to use the opportunity of a break in her monologue to ask a bold question. “Gul Jarol, do you think you are the right person to rule Cardassia? That you know what to do?”

She audibly let the air out in a form of a small laughter. “Oh, I don’t claim to have all the answers. And I am not so sure that I am the right person to make political decisions, there certainly are much smarter people to do that. But I know one thing: disarming Cardassia is not good for us and I am sure that the attempt to leave my home defenceless was not a good move on Ghemor’s part. It wasn’t his first wrong decision but by far the worst and I’m absolutely sure it wouldn’t be the last.

“We will make our mistakes but we won’t let Cardassia go weak. We want it to grow strong. We want the people to be proud of their Cardassia, not be ashamed and feel hopeless. We want them to come to their own military for protection, not to alien forces. They should trust us, not fear us.”

“How can they trust you if you just performed a coup?!”

“Kapoor, the previous civilian government had taken power by performing a coup,” she grinned. “Is a military coup worse than a civilian coup? The Federation hadn’t had a problem with that coup back then?”

I remembered. “Because civilians aren’t as dangerous as a military. Civilians aren’t armed.”

“Does it mean they would rule Cardassia better? Because they don’t wear a phaser on them?”

I bit my lip, not knowing what to say.

“I have to go back to Cardassia,” she said, raising. “Glinn Zamarran is aboard the ship, so if you need anything, go to him. He knows about my offer, so if you decide to use it, let him know and he’ll give you a ship and a pilot.”

“Thank you.”

She left.

Maybe I was naïve, maybe I was inexperienced, maybe I was simply stupid, but somehow after that conversation with her I felt less paralysed. The dreadful word ‘coup’ gained a face that I knew, that I trusted, and things didn’t seem so terrifying any longer.
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Old February 7 2011, 12:34 PM   #116
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Chapter 18 – Day 518



“Fellow Cardassians and non-Cardassian citizens of the Cardassian Union.” A handsome Cardassian man with the rank of gul spoke from the screen. His speech—I already knew his name was Daset and in spite of the markings on his armour he was a legate now—has been broadcast over and over again. “Many of you know that last night has brought changes, however you do not know what kind of changes. Do not fear, please. We apologise if we scared you, we apologise, if you experienced any discomfort.

“We are the Mar’kuu Group. We were displeased with the Alon Ghemor’s government decisions and actions and we decided it was too dangerous to let him and his supporters to stay in power. We had to take action and remove him from decision-making position, in which he posed a real threat to Cardassia’s integrity and safety.

“The Detapa Council is now dissolved and the Central Command takes over. This means no real changes for you, the citizens. We will do our best to secure your safety, provide your resources and serve you to the best of our abilities.

“To ensure that our rebuilding process goes undisturbed, we have decided to close our borders to foreign powers. Everyone, who wishes to stay in the Union and become its denizens, can do so by applying for a special permission of the right to land. Those, who want to leave, will have six months time to bring their affairs to closure and leave our territory. After those six months any alien ship that will attempt to cross our borders without a special permission to enter the Cardassian territory will be warned twice and then fired upon. We will not let anyone interfere with our internal matters any more. We will follow wishes of Cardassian and non-Cardassian denizens of our Empire, and will not allow anyone to pose demands or conditions.

“The transition period is not going to be easy for us, but we will do everything in our power to make sure you, the people, live in peace and without fears and worries.

“We pledge our lives to serve you. We will rebuild strong Cardassia; Cardassia that doesn’t bow to anyone, Cardassia that would make Legate Damar proud.” Gul Jarol, who stood behind the speaking man’s chair, nodded her agreement with that statement. I supposed it made sense, since she had known Damar personally. “Cardassia, which would be your safe home.

“It’s time to say ‘we are the Cardassians and we are proud of it!’”

The man’s face was replaced by the Union emblem.

Six months. Six months. Six months.

I could either stay with Tavor and not see my family for who knows how long, or return to Earth and never see him again. I liked neither.

I have been living on the Roumar for over a year now. I made friends here. I had a career here. I fell in love here. I felt home here. What was waiting for me in Starfleet? A new ship. New people. New transfers. Perhaps new friends. But new love? I couldn’t imagine my life without Tavor. I couldn’t imagine not feeling his scales under my fingers. Not eavesdropping to him speaking Cardassian. Not listening to his throaty laughter. Not trying to beat him in kotra.

I would miss Zamarran and his smiles without smiling. I would miss Aladar and his complaining about arrogance of officers. I would miss Ma’Kan and her little ship models. I would miss Glinn Brenok’s singing. I would even miss being intimidated by Gul Jarol.

I started to grow my roots here and severing them and starting everything again, anew was not very tempting.

“Computer, locate Gul Jarol.”

Gul Jarol is in the gul’s office,” the male computer voice rasped.

I left my quarters and headed for the lift.

On the bridge, Glinn Zamarran gave me a surprised look—it was after my duty hours. I pointed at the door to Jarol’s office and he nodded, obviously understanding what I came for.

I went upstairs and the door parted in front of me.

“Gul, could I talk to you?” Oh-oh. I didn’t expect to interrupt anything but it was obvious she was in the middle of a conversation with Glinn Brenok. “Maybe I should come later?”

“Come in, Kapoor. What is it?”

My hands were shaking, so I clasped them behind my back. Up until now I didn’t think about what I was doing but now it sank in—this was the dice and I was just about to throw it. It was my point of no return. “It is about this...declaration of closing borders.”

“There should be sufficient time for you to pack all your things and return home,” Jarol said.

“Oh, it would be, if I planned it.”

“What do you mean?”

“Legate Daset said that all who wanted to leave have six months to bring their matters to closure and go away. He also said that those, who wished to stay—can.”

“That's correct,” she confirmed.

“Well...I don't want to leave.” What would she say? How would she react? What if she refused!

She didn’t say anything for a moment and then asked, “Are you sure? Do you realise what it means? You wouldn’t be able to leave Cardassia after those six months, maybe for a very long time, as the isolation may take years.”

“I understand that.”

Glinn Brenok turned to have a better look at me. The gul rose and approached me. “Are you sure of this?” she asked again.

“Yes, Gul. I gave it a lot of thought and discussed it with...someone, and...I want to stay. I would also like to stay in the Guard, if it’s possible. On this ship.”

She looked at her aide but he didn’t say anything. Her eyes returned to my face and I felt my knees shaking. That was it. The decision. In or out. I dared not to look in her face.

“Your military career will have to be decided by Legate Tarkan. I will notify him about your request. You have time to change your mind and leave before we close the borders, but if you wish to stay, then I see no problem with that.”

I raised my head to look at her. Did she really say that? In? In? Really in?

“Thank you, Gul,” I whispered.

“However,” she gazed at my uniform, “you will have to stop wearing this. If you want to stay among us, you will have to become one of us.”

“Yes, Gul. I will, Gul.”

“Kapoor,” Brenok said suddenly, startling me a bit. I looked at him. “You should address her ‘legate’ now.”

Of course! Did I insult her? I covered my mouth with my hand. “Oh my...I’m sorry, Legate. Of course! I'm sorry. I didn’t mean any offence, it’s just the habit—”

She raised her hand. “Relax, Lieutenant.”

“So, I can stay?”

“Affirmative.” Was it a smile? Did she slightly smile? “Dismissed.”

“Thank you, sir.” My face had to tell her everything about my feelings.

I left the bridge and went straight to Tavor. I kissed his chanth and said, “You won’t get rid of me for the rest of your life.” He looked at me. “My stay on Cardassia has just been approved Gu...Legate Jarol.”

“Will you approve me as your husband?”

“Only if you isolate yourself from other women. Permanently.”

He smiled.

I ignored all surprised—and those not-so-surprised—faces and left the bridge.

My future was on Cardassia.

Now I had to inform my past in the Federation. Oh, boy...



tbc
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Old February 7 2011, 06:27 PM   #117
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Wow. Very, VERY powerful scenes.

And the more I read it, the more I know I couldn't have done it. To know that a coup was coming and that a terrible threat could be unleashed on the galaxy again...I could never have stayed. I would've had to try to warn someone what was coming.

If I were her Starfleet superiors, I would order her back and punish her if there was any evidence that she knew and didn't say anything. Harsh--but that is what military discipline is supposed to be.
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Old February 8 2011, 12:33 AM   #118
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

Kapoor knew she should contact someone in the Federation. She didn't do it for one reason; not Karama, not Jarol, not Brenok, not Zamarran. She didn't do it because she was afraid. She was on a Cardassian warship, orbiting Cardassia Prime. She knew they would find about her contacting the Federation and she was not ready to give her life for a piece of information that would be known to everyone soon anyway. She was afraid what they'd do to her. Of torture.

After talking to Jarol (keep in mind that in her mind Jarol isn't such a monster as for you ), she realised that it's not that bad. One of coup participants came to her to talk to her, to give her a chance to leave if she wanted, and answered her questions. This had a huge impact on her.
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Old February 8 2011, 12:38 AM   #119
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

I wouldn't think notifying anyone while still on the Roumar would be a good idea either. If I were in her position, I'd act more ignorant, then request transfer back on the first available opportunity (which was before the coup). And I would say something immediately as soon as I got back to Federation territory (and out of Cardassian custody), that there's a coup coming and sources in the military, including Gul Jarol, are neck-deep in it.
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Old February 8 2011, 12:57 AM   #120
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Re: Star Trek: Shaping a Cardassian - Among the Dragons

All right. And then what? (I have written an answer to that in PM to you that I had sent a moment ago, but this question just asks to be asked here ).
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