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Old October 10 2011, 03:09 AM   #1
Gul Re'jal
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Location: Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space station
Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit – Nothing in the Place Where Vulcan Lay


My thanks to Nerys Ghemor for all her help and edits. Hopefully, I learnt something again

The story was writte for AdAstra Challenge “Meanwhile, in the JJverse...”

The story takes place in the year 2395, 137 years after the destruction of Vulcan by the Romulan ship Narada.

-----


USS Karamazov



Captain th’Arshar looked at his executive officer. “Kapoor, what do we know about them?”

Commander Kapoor consulted the database. “Not much, sir. Their empire is vast, but they keep mostly to themselves and expand away from the Federation. They expand slowly, though, slower than us, so our borders have never come close enough to each other to cause any serious conflict. We’ve never established any diplomatic relations, either. All we know is based on a limited number of encounters with them. They are reptilians and allegedly follow some kind of strict hierarchical instinct. They are militaristic and more interested in expanding their empire than exploring.”

“Any idea why they are so secluded?”

“Well, it’s not a hard fact, but it’s probably the result of their war with the Romulans.”

“Romulans,” the Andorian captain muttered, while his first officer continued.

“The war was long, lasting for almost forty years and allegedly disastrous for them. The treaty with the Romulans—and this is a hard fact—said that they cannot expand toward the Romulan Star Empire.”

“That would explain why we see so little of them. They steer clear of this part of the quadrant. All right.” Th’Arshar acknowledged her report, nodding. He looked at Lieutenant Commander Farr. “Open hailing frequencies,” he ordered.

The viewer flickered to life and a dark room was displayed. The dominant colour was brown, the lights were dimmed and the only bright element of the décor—in comparison with its surroundings—was a symbol of...something. Kapoor thought that it looked like a strange flower: narrow on the bottom and widening toward the top.

In the middle of the viewer was a chair, in which a man sat. His skin was grey and his face was covered by some kind of hooked protrusions. He wore something that looked more like armour than a uniform and the first thought Kapoor had was that this thing had to be awfully uncomfortable. She found his features fascinating; she had seen a holographic portrayal of a male representative of his race, but looking at a living, breathing individual was something entirely else.

Th’Arshar rose from his chair, took two steps toward the screen and introduced himself. “I am Captain th’Arshar of USS Karamazov. How can I help you?”

The man on the viewer studied the Andorian for a moment and then said, “Gul Zamarran in command of Cardassian Military Ship Roumar.” He had a raspy voice with deep tones. He shifted slightly while speaking and his dark grey armour squeaked quietly. “I took the liberty of contacting you, because you are the closest Federation ship available.

Th’Arshar nodded with understanding. “So, how can I help?” he repeated.

We have just started the process of annexation for a new planet to add to our mighty Cardassian Union, but it turns out that the planet is not uninhabited.” Kapoor wondered what it had to do with the Federation, while the Cardassian captain—or as they called the position, gul—continued, “We require you to take the inhabitants back to the Federation.

That was ridiculous! Kapoor looked at th’Arshar, but couldn’t see his face. However, she was certain he was as surprised by the strange request as she was.

“And why would we do that?” the Andorian asked.

Because they are your citizens. We have no information regarding the Federation claiming this planet, so we assume the inhabitants settled there illegally. They shall be removed.

“Which planet are we talking about?” Kapoor knew this tone of voice: th’Arshar was being polite but he didn’t have any intention of granting the request. She understood why—this was no business of the Federation. If some of its citizens had chosen to settle on some uninhabited and unclaimed planet, then it was theirs now and the Cardassians had no right to remove them. Nor did the Federation.

The planet in question is Setlik III, an M-class planet right outside the Cardassian border. We require the planet for its rich resources, but we cannot annex it as long as it is inhabited. We request you—” He did not finish, as a woman approached him and whispered something into his ear. He shot a glance at her and then back at the Andorian captain. “We would like to ask you to take your people from the surface.

“And how can you tell they are Federation citizens?” th’Arshar asked. Kapoor knew he wanted to find a way to politely refuse the request and not to start a conflict or an interstellar diplomatic incident at the same time.

Vulcans are Federation citizens, are they not?

Kapoor smiled bitterly, already knowing what th’Arshar’s answer would be. She was not mistaken. “Gul Zamarran,” the Andorian said with a sigh, “the Vulcans are extinct.”

Apparently, they are not.” The words were said in a calm manner, like it was not big information, but Kapoor felt as if someone had hit her with a heavy hammer. She looked at th’Arshar, who turned to her and she saw a reflection of her own facial expression in his. The commander had been a teenager when the news came that the last living Vulcan had died in the line of duty—saving his ship and his crew, no less—but she still remembered how shaken she had been after hearing about it. And now this Cardassian had claimed that there were Vulcans living on some planet he wanted for his empire?

The captain looked back at the Cardassian. “Are you absolutely positive about this?” he asked.

A hooked protrusion around Cardassian gul’s eye raised slightly, not unlike an eyebrow. “We do not make mistakes of that kind, Captain th’Arshar.

“Of course not; I meant no offence.” How diplomatic of him, Kapoor thought. How could anyone aboard the Karamazov know what kind of mistakes the Cardassians made or did not make? “How do you propose we proceed?”

I suggest we go to Setlik III, you call for some colony ship and you beam your citizens aboard.” Did Kapoor detect annoyance in the gul’s voice?

“Let’s take one step at a time. Helm, set course for Setlik III and engage. Warp...” He looked at the Cardassian. “Seven?”

Acceptable.

“Warp seven, then.”

The image flickered and the Cardassian bridge—Kapoor was certain it was the bridge of their military ship—was replaced by stars.

She stood up and approached her captain. “Sir, if they really are Vulcans...”

“I hope they are. But I’m not sure we have any right to remove them from that planet, if they don’t want to go.”

She nodded, understanding him perfectly.



CMS Roumar



Glinn Jarol turned to the sound of opening door and did all in her power not to flinch at the sight of the person that entered.

“Have you talked to the Federation yet?” the newcomer asked.

“Indeed, I have, Nadar,” Gul Zamarran answered.

Nadar approached the gul’s chair with furious steps. “I told you not to talk to them without me present!” he hissed.

Zamarran shot him an annoyed glance. “You did.”

Nadar fumed and Jarol, not for the first time, worried about her gul. Zamarran had never made it a secret that he was not fond of the Obsidian Order, but going against an agent’s clear instructions was one of the most foolish things one could do.

“So why did you talk to him before calling me to the bridge to witness the conversation?”

Zamarran turned to look at Nadar. “Because the Federation ship could move beyond our hailing range and we would lose the chance to contact them. You can always watch the recording of my conversation, if it fascinates you so much, but establishing contact was much more important than you lurking in the corner.”

Jarol studied the agent’s face to see if the gul had gone too far this time, but Nadar didn’t seem moved by Zamarran’s attack any more than on any other previous occasion. She thought that the agent had to be used to that hostility...if there were other people reckless enough to show him hostility.

“Sir, do you want me to scan their ship?”

The question couldn’t have been asked at a better moment. Jarol looked at the chief engineer and sent him a small smile, because she knew that he had asked that question solely to draw Zamarran’s attention away from Nadar.

The gul looked at the long-haired officer. “Yes, Glinn Brenok, please scan them, but nothing invasive. If they can detect it, I want them to think that we’re just curious and not spying.”

“Yes, sir.”

Zamarran looked at the screen, on which they could see the small Federation craft at warp right in front of them. Jarol was relieved to see that the gul didn’t intend to continue his dangerous conversation with the agent. Nadar moved away to his seat in the corner of the bridge. Hiding in the shadows like a venomous serpent, Jarol thought with contempt. She glanced again at Brenok, whose right hand operated the console as the other played with the tip of his long braid. Brenok had grown his hair long in defiance of the system and the system’s fashion and Jarol suspected that it had been the main reason why Zamarran had approved the glinn’s candidature as the chief engineer—anyone in defiance of the system was Zamarran’s best friend. The engineer must have felt her gaze on him, since he raised his eyes to look at her. They smiled at each other and then returned to work.

Jarol’s thoughts returned to what she had seen on the screen a dozen of minutes earlier: the blue person with feelers on his head. She had heard that the Federation consisted of many different species, but she didn’t know how they could co-exist peacefully. So many cultures, so many languages, too many differences. She found it fascinating, though, and wished she could learn more about them, about their cultures and their art. Who knew, maybe this mission would give her such an opportunity.

Or not. Why was Nadar staring at her like that?



USS Karamazov



“What are they doing?” th’Arshar asked.

“Not much. Following us and scanning,” Kapoor replied. “However, passive scans only.”

“Return the favour.”

Av’Roo, the Skorr science officer, nodded. “Yes, sir.”

The Andorian turned to his first officer. “Impressions?”

She smiled slightly. “I’m not sure any of my impressions are reliable. That gul was stiff and a bit intimidating. I have no idea if he’d take ‘no’ for an answer.”

Th’Arshar sighed. “I think he wouldn’t. I don’t need scans to tell that their ship is stronger than ours.”

“Sir, we have a tiny Steamrunner; what they have is a warship. No surprise we’re outgunned.”

“I can’t help but wonder if they chose to contact us due to our size.”

“I am not sure, Captain. We were the only ship in range.” She paused and then said in a much lower voice than before, “Sir, do you really think there is a possibility that some Vulcans are still living?”

Th’Arshar gently shrugged. “I have no idea, Amrita. We know what happened to them: their planet was destroyed and out of billions a handful were saved. Great minds, great knowledge and great dedication, but those few people were not enough to secure their race’s survival, not in the face of the disease.” He shook his head. “Like they hadn’t suffered enough; even that had to hit them.”

Kapoor nodded. She remembered when the last living Vulcan had died. It had been a sad day for the Federation and all member races: they’d lost one of their founding members and everyone had known that the Federation wouldn’t be the same without them. All attempts at recreating the species from DNA had failed, as what made a Vulcan was his or her logic, not mere genetics. Many people honoured the lost species by following their customs and culture, but the real Vulcans—there were none.

She wondered how the Cardassians knew that the people on the planet were Vulcans and not some other Vulcanoid race: Rigelians or Romulans. Granted, there was little chance that Romulans would just populate a planet without claiming it in the name of their vast empire, but maybe this was some rogue element. Gul Zamarran had seemed to be absolutely certain that the people in question were of the allegedly extinct race, but how could Kapoor be sure that he was right? He had presented no proof, so all they had was his word and the commander had no idea how much the word of a Cardassian, or of this man in particular, meant. She knew those people were not friends with the Romulans—surely not after forty years of a crippling war—but it didn’t have to mean that they weren’t as treacherous.

What kind of thinking is that, Amrita? she chastised herself. She was supposed to be an explorer, open to new opportunities and not some suspicious agent of the intelligence service.

She made the decision not to assume anything about the Cardassians and to give them a chance to show what they were like. Guessing would get her nowhere, or worse—it could take her to some unpleasant world of prejudice and as the gods were her witnesses, she didn’t want that.
__________________
In a Cardassian library or in a Cardassian gallery?

"Reagan, it appears, is really only an ardent unionist if the unions in question are in Poland" - Stephen King, Skeleton Crew

Last edited by Gul Re'jal; October 10 2011 at 05:21 AM.
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Old October 10 2011, 03:09 AM   #2
Gul Re'jal
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Location: Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space station
Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Setlik III



Jarol materialised on the surface and the first thing she did was look around. She detected no immediate danger, so she took a breath and stepped away from the gul. As his aide, she felt responsible for his safety and especially with her tactical training her senses searched instinctively for possible danger.

However, the only people outside the village were the three Cardassians, who had beamed down just a moment ago: herself, her gul and Glinn Brenok.

“Where are they?” the engineer asked and before his words faded in the wind, a sound could be heard. A bit like a transporter beam, but not exactly that. Or—not exactly like a Cardassian one. Jarol had to amend her first impression, since it turned out to actually be a transporter beam. It was oddly blue and brought three aliens, each of different species.

“I am Captain th’Arshar,” the blue man with feelers said, as if the Cardassians would have forgotten. “This is my first officer, Commander Kapoor and my science officer, Lieutenant Av’Roo.”

Kapoor had no feelers on her head and she was light brown. Her hair colour was the opposite of th’Arshar’s white and more typical for a Cardassian—shiny black. Jarol knew that could mean a number of species, so she didn’t try to guess which one the woman belonged to. The science officer was fascinating—a big bird, gender unknown.

Zamarran introduced his limited party. “My aides, Glinn Jarol and Glinn Brenok. Shall we proceed?”

Th’Arshar nodded, so the company moved down the road onto which they had beamed, toward a small village.

Since the Cardassians had been here before, they knew the way to the main marketplace, where they had the greatest chance of meeting someone, perhaps even the prefect of this settlement himself.

“We told you not to return,” a voice behind them said suddenly.

Everyone stopped and turned and Jarol heard Kapoor gasp. The small woman had covered her mouth with her hand and stared at the tall Vulcan with wide eyes.

“And I told you that we would return,” Zamarran answered calmly.

The Vulcan, Jarol knew his name was Safik, eyed the Federation officers. He raised his eyebrow, but didn’t say a word. After a long moment of awkward silence, the blue captain managed to compose himself enough to finally be able to speak.

“My name is Captain th’Arshar and I have been asked by Gul Zamarran to come and talk to you and perhaps to take you back to the Federation.”

“‘Perhaps’?” Jarol heard Brenok mutter.

“Why would we go to the Federation?” Safik asked. “It would be illogical to return after we decided that our place was not there.”

“You...you...decided?”

Jarol raised an eye ridge, thinking that th’Arshar wasn’t the best diplomat she had seen.

“That is what I said,” the Vulcan said flatly.

“Maybe...” Kapoor took a step forward. “Maybe it would be better if we discussed it not in the middle of the road, but in some more appropriate place?”

Safik nodded and motioned toward the marketplace. Zamarran and the other two Cardassians followed him and so did, after a short moment of hesitation, the Federation officers.

The marketplace was a small, round area with a fountain in the middle and children playing with a ball in one ‘corner.’ Jarol smiled at the sight of the kids, since it reminded her of her own son. It didn’t matter that he was almost an adult now, because she never had any problem recalling how adorable and cute he had been as a child. She forced her concentration to return to the present; this was not the time to daydream about her family, regardless of how much she loved and missed them.

Safik led them to a modest one-storey building. He asked them to wait in a small hall and entered one of rooms. There were no doors, merely open entrances, but Jarol still couldn’t hear any conversation that was certainly taking place inside.

Jarol used the opportunity to take a better look at the Federation people. Apart from being of different species, their uniforms were not exactly the same either. The Cardassian understood the need for a modified design for the very tall bird-like creature, but it didn’t explain why Av’Roo wore a different colour in addition to a different shape. Both bipeds wore uniforms with black shoulders and black trousers, but in the middle another colour dominated. In their case it was red, but the third member of their team wore blue. Jarol wondered why that was. Did it denote some kind of hierarchy? Red was for those in command, while blue was for those lower in the military structure? She didn’t know much about the Federation, but she knew the basics and that included their claim of equality, so she didn’t expect that blue denoted a lower species, or anything of that kind.

Her thoughts were interrupted when Safik returned with another elder Vulcan.

“I am T’Khvok,” she said. She looked at the captain. “I understand that you wish to discuss our relocation.” Her eyes went to Zamarran’s face. “We have already rejected that proposal.”

She did not seem like she wanted to discuss it further, or so it would appear from the fact that she did not ask any questions and did not invite them into the chambers.

The gul said nothing and looked at th’Arshar. The man understood the cue and after clearing his throat, addressed the Vulcan lady. “Madam T’Khvok, first of all I would like to express my great relief and happiness to see this settlement and all these people here. I would like to assure you that I would not do anything to risk your well-being.”

Jarol heard Zamarran grunt, so she stepped closer to him and whispered, “Diplomacy, sir, diplomacy.” He only grunted again, but a little bit softer.

Meanwhile, th’Arshar continued. “I have been contacted by Mr. Zamarran with his request; however I know very little of the current situation and I would appreciate discussing it in detail before we come to any conclusions and make any decisions.”

T’Khvok scrutinised th’Arshar for a moment. “Your happiness is irrelevant, Captain.” She looked at Zamarran. “Will you remove us by force if we keep refusing to relocate?”

The gul appeared taken aback by that question. “Excuse me?”

“Will you kill us if we don’t leave?”

Jarol was no diplomat, but the Vulcan was not one either. The question couldn’t be phrased more bluntly and more...insultingly.

“Of course not,” Zamarran replied finally. “We want you to leave and find another place to settle, but we do not wish you death.”

“And why can’t you find another place?” The Vulcan aimed her finger at Zamarran’s chest. “There are three other planets in the relative vicinity. Why can’t you colonise them?”

The gul shook his head. “It’s not about colonisation, T’Khvok. We don’t need this planet to settle here. We need it for its rich resources. No settlers will come, but workers, miners and lumberjacks. And this planet is the richest in the relative vicinity. We need this one and no other...at least for now.”

She raised her eyebrow and Jarol could swear she saw irritation on the woman’s face. “So even if we move to another one in this sector, someday you would come and tell us to leave again?”

Zamarran sighed. “That’s why we contacted the Federation. You should return to their space and that shall prevent future conflicts of similar nature.”

“Request denied.” Her voice was emotionless, flat and in complete opposition to Zamarran’s growing frustration. Jarol knew the gul had orders that allowed him to use any means necessary, with the exception of genocide, but she also knew that there was a line her gul would never cross and harming people was clearly on the wrong side of that line.

“Madame T’Khvok, if I may...” Th’Arshar smiled at her, even though—Jarol was sure—he knew his grin would not be returned. “I would like to hear more about your settlement, how you came here and how come no one in the Federation seems to know of your existence.”

She looked at him and studied his face for a long moment. “We can discuss the history of this settlement, but if this is your way to find a hole in our logic and force us to return to the Federation, then your request would be denied.”

The man shook his head. “No, no, Madame T’Khvok, I am genuinely curious about you. I seek knowledge, not advantage.”

Jarol felt Brenok behind her. “This is getting nowhere,” he whispered. “What will we do?” His voice was full of worry and she knew why: Nadar would not accept failure and if he came to a decision that Zamarran had failed, he would take command of the ship and do whatever his sick, cruel mind told him to do; and Jarol didn’t want to know what that might be. It was possible that she wouldn’t have to witness his orders, as the probability of being arrested together with Zamarran was high. Oh, how she hated that Obsidian Swamp!

She had no answer to her friend’s question, so all she could do was to look at him and shrug slightly. He bit his lip and said nothing more.

Zamarran turned to them. Jarol figured he’d realised that there was nothing more he could say right now, so he’d stopped insisting like a spoiled brat. She appreciated that he knew his limits and when to stop. The Cardassians needed a new plan. The gul looked at the Federation captain. “We will talk later. Now, I’ll leave you to your mission of exploration.”

Th’Arshar acknowledged with a nod, so Zamarran motioned for the others to head back to the exit. When they were out of the building, he pressed his wristcomm. “Three to beam up. Energise.” A moment later an orange light enveloped them and they returned to their ship.





T’Khvok led th’Arshar and his team to a big room and with a gesture invited them to sit down. “What are your questions?” she asked without any preamble.

Th’Arshar shifted and Kapoor was sure he feared he would do or say something inappropriate. “First of all, how come you ended up here?” He swayed his hand around. “We’ve never heard of any Vulcan settlement anywhere, let alone outside Federation territory. In other words: what’s your story?”

The Vulcan leaned back in her chair. “We left New Vulcan shortly after our people settled there. We found their actions illogical and could not accept them.”

Av’Roo’s wings moved slightly in a gesture of indignation. “Illogical? What could be illogical in preserving your culture, history and lives?”

“Nothing. However, the means of reaching those goals were...misguided. The starships had managed to save many elders, whose knowledge and experience was vast. It was a wise move and there was some logic in it. However, in order to survive as a race, we needed more than knowledge and experience. We needed young people to repopulate and recreate what had been almost destroyed. The problem was that no one cared about young people. In so many cases they were forgotten and left to themselves as less valuable, only because they hadn’t acquired as much knowledge as elders.” Kapoor made a quick calculation and came to the conclusion that at the time of the tragedy T’Khvok had to have been a young woman. “With time the elders started to fade away, while the birth rate was too low to assure survival of the species and that was when the Federation finally recalled that they needed strong, young Vulcans. They started to...” She paused and Kapoor could swear there was shame on the woman’s face. “They started to induce pon farr just to...to use us...to use the young ones to procreate.” T’Khvok’s eyes opened wider. “Perhaps it was logical, but shall we abandon our dignity for logic? Shall we violate other people’s self-respect in the name of doubtful logic?” For a Vulcan, she was full of bitterness, Kapoor thought.

“So you left.” It was a statement, not a question.

“Those who were not satisfied with the direction our people went left. We settled here, on this planet. We live according to out customs and traditions. We do not need artificial means to thrive. The population of our village has doubled since we had arrived. It may be slower than the Federation scientists wish, but it is a natural and dignified way to live. The only logical choice.”

Th’Arshar nodded. “I understand. But what I do not understand is why you never revealed that you had settled here, especially after the tragedy of New Vulcan.”

“We did not see the logic in such a move. The elders kept fading away as nature called them. It was the Federation’s mistake to save mostly old people.”

“But the other young ones died on that planet due to the plague!” Kapoor knew that there had been something in New Vulcan’s atmosphere that initial scans had failed to detect as harmful. Scientists had only realised that it was a pathogen deadly for Vulcans when it was already too late to save anyone. A virus, which had no adverse influence on the indigenous flora and fauna, had been able to modify Vulcan DNA, introducing harmful changes and causing a slow decay of Vulcan genetic material. The changes were irreversible and by the time scientists and doctors realised what had happened, it had been too late to do anything about it. All they had been able to do had been to make their patients’ dying days less painful. Only a handful who had never settled on the planet, spent a short time there, or served in Starfleet survived, but even they had eventually died.

“And how would revealing our existence help them?”

“It would help us all, knowing that Vulcans still existed and that with time your race would be as strong as it used to be. You are a valued people and knowing that you are here, now...it means a lot to me and I’m sure it’ll mean a lot to everyone else.”

T’Khvok observed him for a long moment. “Sentimental,” she said finally.

The Andorian nodded fervently. “That I am. And many others.”

“So make sure that the Cardassians leave us alone.”

Kapoor wondered what was more important: survival of the Vulcan race or diplomatic relations with their neighbour. She would choose the survival of the Vulcans any time and she suspected that so would th’Arshar and Av’Roo and everyone else aboard the Karamazov, but what would the Federation Council choose?

“I will do my best,” the captain said and Kapoor recognised from the tone of his voice that he was very serious about that promise.
__________________
In a Cardassian library or in a Cardassian gallery?

"Reagan, it appears, is really only an ardent unionist if the unions in question are in Poland" - Stephen King, Skeleton Crew
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Old October 10 2011, 03:10 AM   #3
Gul Re'jal
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Location: Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space station
Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

CMS Roumar



“The two of you, my office.” Zamarran didn’t even bother to check to see if they had acknowledged his order, but headed for the exit and quickly left the transporter chamber. Jarol and Brenok looked at each other and followed him.

They passed through the bridge and went upstairs to the door of the gul’s office. They entered and stood at attention while the door behind them shut. Zamarran sat in his chair and said, “Computer, lock the door and activate program Zamarran har-nai. Enable.” The computer beeped in acknowledgement while the gul invited both his aides to sit down in the guest chairs. “We have a problem,” he said.

“That’s an understatement, sir,” Brenok replied.

Jarol didn’t follow. “With what? I mean, I realise that the Vulcans will not agree easily to be resettled, but—”

“Jarol,” Zamarran interrupted. “They will not agree to be resettled at all. And I am convinced that the Federation captain will support them.”

“So what will we do?” she asked.

“Like I said, we have a problem,” the gul repeated. “Any ideas? Suggestions?” He paused. “Speak freely, as that Obsidian scum will not hear anything.”

Brenok’s eye ridge rose. “Sir?”

Zamarran grinned mischievously. “I have my ways.”

Jarol had no idea that her friend hadn’t known about Zamarran’s neat little program that jammed the Obsidian Order bugs in his office. She realised that the gul had grown to trust the engineer, since he had no problem revealing that information to him.

“Clever,” Brenok commented and then went silent.

“Well? Nothing? Don’t you have brains?”

Jarol bit her lip. “My Gul, I know what I don’t want to do, but I have no idea what we could do.”

“We cannot allow this operation to become an Obsidian Order matter,” Brenok added. “We must solve it ourselves.”

The gul’s aide looked at him. “I am not sure we can solve it ourselves. This is starting to look bigger than one warship and it could grow bigger still. Th’Arshar might contact his superiors and take it to higher levels of authority and we are in no position to deal with them.” She shot a glance at Zamarran. “Not that I think you couldn’t manage, sir. But some things—”

The gul raised his hand. “I understand what you mean, Jarol.”

“By ‘ourselves’ I mean the military, not this particular military ship,” Brenok said, not without a shade of irritation. “Or the Detapa Council. But not the Obsidian Order. They would eradicate a Cardassian settlement of millions without blinking, so a few thousand Vulcans would mean even less to them.”

Zamarran nodded. “Agreed. So, any suggestions?”

Jarol scratched her eye ridge. “All I can suggest is talking to that Federation captain. The Vulcans will not listen to us, but maybe he’ll have a way of talking to them. He should know how to approach them to make them listen.”

Brenok glanced at her. “I think we cannot count on the good captain. He’s on their side.”

“But what if we explain the situation to him?”

Brenok rolled his eyes in a ‘you are naive’ gesture and Jarol pursed her lips. He said, “We cannot tell him that the Obsidian Order would take over the operation and slaughter the Vulcans.”

“And why not?” Both glinns looked at their gul, surprised. “Oh, don’t give me looks like that! I don’t mean to tell him directly, but we could inform him that refusal is not an option and that we’d better find a solution, or we will all regret not coming up with one.”

“Do you trust him, sir?” Jarol asked. Cardassia had never had any close contact with the Federation. They were neither friends nor foes, but she wasn’t sure that such a neutral status was enough to grant them that much trust. She had no idea how the Federation thought and how they would use such a piece of information about the Union.

Brenok shook his head. “Sir, if th’Arshar makes the slightest mistake, even if unwittingly, we would be in deep zobarsh...trouble. If Nadar hears from the Federation that we shared too much information, he might accuse us of delivering information to a non-allied empire. I don’t want to be called a spy for aliens. I don’t want to die accused of being a spy and a traitor.” He paused and then added. “And I’m not a coward, if that’s what you’re thinking now.

Jarol smiled at the last sentence her friend had said and then her face returned to its sombre expression. She looked at Zamarran. “Do we have any options, beside hoping for the best?”

“No,” the gul said.

Brenok shifted on his chair. “Not yet.” When the other two gave him asking glances, he added, “We have a few days. We might come up with something, or the situation could change slightly to give us an opportunity.”

Jarol’s eye ridges rose. “So we’re waiting?”

Her friend smirked. “If you have an idea right now, I’m sure the gul would listen to it with pleasure. As would I.”

“Oh, grr,” she grunted. He winked at her, obviously satisfied with her reaction.

“Keep thinking, people, because I don’t believe that the situation will improve to give us any new chances. Use your minds. Dismissed.”

They rose and left Zamarran’s office.

“Someday, I’ll kill you,” Jarol said to Brenok.

He flashed his teeth at her. “But not today.”

“Tomorrow.”

“You love me too much.” And with that, he turned on his heel and went to his station.

Oh, she loved him. He was her naughty little brother and she did all in her power not to reach out and pull that long braid as he moved away.

She turned to glance into the office through the half-glass door. Zamarran didn’t seem to be coming to the bridge, so instead of going to her post, she went to the command chair.



USS Karamazov



Kapoor wondered what Cardassians might want from them. She was sure that they weren’t happy with the Vulcans’ refusal to relocate, but th’Arshar had made it clear—the Vulcans had decided to stay and the Federation would not force them to leave for Cardassian convenience. He had also emphasised that any forceful action would be opposed by the Federation, regardless of Setlik III’s being or not being within Federation territory.

The Cardassian gul had not seemed surprised by those revelations at all, but he had asked for a conversation, face-to-face. In the end both captains had agreed to discuss the matter aboard the Karamazov—five representatives from each side. A Vulcan presence was excluded at the request of Cardassians. Kapoor hadn’t liked that and neither had th’Arshar, so the captain requested a Vulcan presence in spite of Zamarran’s request, but the Vulcans refused.

Security escorted the five Cardassians to the briefing room, where five of the Karamazov’s senior staff awaited them. Four of the aliens were male and Kapoor wondered if Cardassian ships were dominated by men.

“Captain th’Arshar, please meet my communications officers, Gil Karama and Glen Dal.” The Andorian had already met Jarol and Brenok, so Zamarran didn’t bother with re-introducing them.

Both officers nodded their greeting and then the captain introduced Lieutenants Churmou and Fong. After that they sat at the table; Kapoor’s place was opposite Gil Karama. He smiled at her and she thought he had a nice, friendly face. He was close enough for her to see that the protrusions on his face were covered by scales, just like the ridges on both sides of his neck. It was a fascinating detail and she wished she had a chance to study his facial features in more detail, but she knew it was not the time for that kind of thing, so she focused her attention on her captain.

“All right, Captain. I will get straight to the point. We need a compromise.” Zamarran’s voice was even and neutral.

“I am not sure what you’re expecting of me, Gul Zamarran. The Vulcans on the planet have made their position clear. What’s more, they don’t see any reason to continue talking about it and this meeting is only a courtesy.”

The Cardassian gul seemed to hesitate for a moment. He looked at his aide, the female glinn, as if seeking her support. Her facial expression didn’t change, but it seemed like he got what had been looking for in her eyes, since he decided to say, “I will be totally honest with you, but I would hope that this information stays in this room.”

Th’Arshar’s white, bushy eyebrows rose. “I cannot give you such a guarantee, Gul Zamarran. I need to report this to my superiors and I have to include details.”

The Cardassian didn’t say anything at first. His other aide, Brenok, leaned to him and whispered something in his ear. The gul pursed his lips, clearly thinking about what he had heard and then looked back at the Andorian. “All right. My aide suggests that maybe it would be even better to involve someone of higher authority—no offence—as our problem is not easy and I suspect I wouldn’t be able to make these decisions myself without consulting with my superiors first.”

“I’m listening.”

“Captain th’Arshar, the Cardassian Union is determined to annex this planet. We understand that it is inhabited, but some...elements in the Union would not consider it an irremovable obstacle.”

“Elements,” th’Arshar repeated.

“That’s correct. We’d prefer the matter to stay in the hands of the military and not be passed to those elements.”

Fong leaned forward. “Do you mean that those elements would slaughter the Vulcans and then claim the planet?”

“Yes.”

The answer startled Kapoor. It was not because of its meaning, because the meaning had been clear even before Fong had asked his question, but because of the total lack of hesitation on Zamarran’s part. He looked like he knew for sure that these ‘elements’ would not hesitate to kill everyone on the planet.

“Zamarran, what do you need not to let that happen?” th’Arshar asked, obviously taking the matter seriously.

“Some progress. Some compromise. A solution different from what we have now.”

“I don’t think I could convince the Vulcans to relocate. I don’t think anyone could.”

Zamarran thought for a while and then said. “What I will say now must be off the record.” Seeing that the Andorian wanted to protest, he quickly added. “If my words leave this room, it is very likely that I, my aides and even my whole ship could be executed.”

The captain closed his mouth and looked at Kapoor. “Anything to save the Vulcans, sir,” she said.

Th’Arshar looked at his officers. “Everyone, leave the room, now. This is for Kapoor’s and my ears only.” The officers left without a protest. “Computer, disable sound sensors in this room.”

Acknowledged.”

“You may speak, Gul Zamarran.”

The gul looked at his officer, Karama, who nodded to him. After getting the mysterious confirmation from the gil, Zamarran looked at th’Arshar again. “I don’t think relocation will be necessary. Of course, I’d prefer it that way, but if they cannot be removed, then we have to do something else.

“Right now the matter is in the hands of the Central Command—that’s our military ruling body. It would be the best to transfer it into the Detapa Council’s hands—they are the civilian part of our government. They would be most likely to listen to reason and the most sympathetic. And to achieve that, this matter must become a diplomatic case. Tell your Federation to claim the planet. Tell them to establish it as a special Vulcan protectorate. Make it big. A few thousand Vulcans mean nothing to the Obsidian Order, but they would mean a lot to the Detapa Council. But the big Federation would mean something even to the Obsidian Order and they wouldn’t dare to start an open conflict.”

Kapoor raised her hand to draw attention. “Err.”

“Yes?”

“What is the Obsidian Order?”

“It’s the ‘element’ I mentioned. They are not part of the government, but they scare every Cardassian to death. Their initial job was to protect us from spies and dissidents, but right now they are terrorising us all in the name of some sick, deformed vision of the Union.”

“Like Romulan Tal Shiar?”

“Yes, that comparison would be adequate,” he confirmed.

“And why wouldn’t they dare to start a war?”

“The military tried to destroy the Obsidian Order to free our people from oppression of...our own people, but the Order is too strong for that. Starting an open conflict would mean draining our limited resources and we cannot afford such waste. That would be a good opportunity to strike a blow and destroy the Order by legal means. The military could accuse the Obsidian Order of wasting resources for an unnecessary conflict and demand their dissolution. The Order knows that and they wouldn’t risk giving anyone an argument to disband them.”

Th’Arshar listened carefully. After a short moment of silence he said thoughtfully, “Gul Zamarran, if I’m to take this to the Federation Council, some of the information you have just told me would have to be revealed.”

“Do you have to say it was a suggestion from us? Present it as your own solution.”

“And the reasoning? How would I explain my vast knowledge of your political system?”

“Can’t you think of something?” Brenok asked.

“We could,” Kapoor said. “Couldn’t we?” She looked at th’Arshar.

“We can,” the Andorian said. “And we will,” he added with conviction.

For the first time since Kapoor had seen him, Zamarran smiled. “I appreciate that, Captain th’Arshar.”



CMS Roumar



Gil Karama turned in his chair to look at Zamarran. “Sir, I have intercepted some messages. Federation messages.”

“Anything worth our attention?” The gul showed little interest.

“It is regarding the matter we dealt with last month. Setlik III and the Vulcans.”

Now, all of Zamarran’s attention shifted to his communication officer. “I’m listening.”

“They have declared the planet a part of Federation territory. They also express their gratitude to the Detapa Council for agreeing to withdraw their plans to claim the planet for the Union. They offer their help in form of resources and equipment to help us find and mine another, unclaimed and uninhabited planet.”

“Is this an official broadcast?” Jarol asked.

“Negative, Glinn. I...” A sheepish grin brightened his face. “I intercepted a message between two of their ships. From the sound of it I’d guess that it’s personal communication.”

“I always knew that having an officer who speaks the Federation language would be an asset.” Zamarran smiled slightly. “That’s why I took you to their ship to listen to the nuances of their language to make sure they wouldn’t trick us. And now, get back to work.”

Karama turned back to his console. “Yes, sir.”

Jarol leaned over hers too, but stole a glance at her gul. He seemed satisfied with the solution...and so was she.




The End
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Old October 10 2011, 04:51 AM   #4
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Very nice and well written. Was interessting to read these characters in the new universe.

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Old October 10 2011, 04:56 AM   #5
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

You can be sure that it's not the last time you see them in JJverse I already have another, very short, story on how Jarol and Brenok met in this reality. I'm not ready to publish it, yet, but maybe I would be soon.
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Old October 10 2011, 05:02 AM   #6
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Oh that sounds interessting! And, if I may ask, what would be different in all the things we saw in DS9 in the new universe?

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Old October 10 2011, 05:08 AM   #7
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Welcome back, TN. I thought you'd fallen off the face of the Earth.

Anyway, this is an excellent story. I'll be sure to give a more detailed review once the contest this story is in is over (since I proposed the challenge topic).
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Old October 10 2011, 05:10 AM   #8
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

*L* Thanks. Only fell to the other side of earth.

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Old October 10 2011, 05:11 AM   #9
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

TerokNor wrote: View Post
And, if I may ask, what would be different in all the things we saw in DS9 in the new universe?
Everything

You'll have to wait and see
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Old October 10 2011, 05:17 AM   #10
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Gul Spook wrote: View Post
TerokNor wrote: View Post
And, if I may ask, what would be different in all the things we saw in DS9 in the new universe?
Everything

You'll have to wait and see
You ALWAYS say that! Hach, you know I have no patience! :P
Is there any chance that also the one I wanna see, pops up? (You know I have to ask this question, there is no way around!)
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Old October 10 2011, 05:21 AM   #11
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

He is somewhere in there and I have a few ideas for him, but haven't decided when and how he's going to pop up, yet.
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Old October 10 2011, 05:25 AM   #12
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Gul Spook wrote: View Post
He is somewhere in there and I have a few ideas for him, but haven't decided when and how he's going to pop up, yet.
That means he is ALIVE! Yay!
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Old October 10 2011, 05:37 AM   #13
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Now, now, she didn't say when or where in that universe he could hypothetically pop up. You'll have to wait for details just like I will.
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Old October 12 2011, 04:45 PM   #14
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Excellent story and a wonderful introduction to the 24th century JJverse. (and its inspired me to get of my skinny arse and kick start my own Cardassiaverse. Although I will be sitting down when I write it...)

Just a quick question. What happens to the Klingon Empire? If the RSE can fight (and win) a 40 year war with the Union shouldn't the Klingon Empire be jumping all over them by now. Maybe Nero did more damage to the KE than we thought...
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Old October 12 2011, 05:56 PM   #15
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Re: Shaping a Cardassian--"Nec Locus Ubi Vulcan Fuit"

Not to spoil too much, in case I write a more detailed story "And What Happened to the Klingons?" in Latin, let's just say the Romulans were busy kicking not only Cardassian skinny...err...bums during last 137 years.

Thanks for reading and--more importantly--liking
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