ST: Shaping a Cardassian - The Shadow of the Order

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Gul Re'jal, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    "Loan" is a noun, right? :brickwall:

    Even on the lowest temperature setting? And not to kill them, to keep them inside indefinitely?
     
  2. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    It can be a noun, but in verb form, "loan" is "to lend," rather than to be on the receiving end of the loan.

    You know...I hate to share this idea, considering it was done to AU Dukat, but he had the scales of his neck ridges peeled off before he was thrown in there. (Vedek Tora was trying to get information, which he refused to give, and when she realized she STILL couldn't break him, that's when she threw him in there.)
     
  3. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Ouch!

    I actually imagined that this was one of tortures the Dominion used on their Cardassian prisoners :(
     
  4. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Chapter 17


    Cardassian Union Warship Damar
    Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
    28th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar



    “How did you do it?!” th’Arshar stormed into Brenok’s office, followed by quite scared Dole.

    “Sir, I tried to stop him, but unless I used physical force, it was--”

    “That’s all right, Gil,” Brenok raised his hand to stop the nervous stream of words. “You’re dismissed.”

    The tactician nodded and left while the gul looked at the Andorian.

    “How did I do what?” he asked calmly.

    “Who did you contact and who did you bribe to have my crewmember extradited to your poor excuse of justice?”

    Now Brenok was so puzzled that he ignored the bribery insinuation. “What?”

    Th’Arshar looked like a balloon from which air was escaping. He clearly expected the Cardassian to join the heated argument, but the gul not only stared at him calmly with his greenish eyes, he also appeared not to know what th’Arshar was talking about.

    “Starfleet contacted me this morning. They told me I am to give you the guilty of the murder as long as his or her guilt is undoubtedly proven.”

    Brenok leaned back in his chair and was sure a satisfied smile appeared on his face in spite of his efforts not to let it happen. “I filed my report and it seems like Cardassia reacted,” he said.

    “It reacted, yes.” The Andorian put his hands on the desk, leaning toward the gul. “I don’t know how you did this and why Starfleet agreed to this atrocity, but I will fight it.”

    “Atrocity, Captain? We will execute a murderer. This is justice.”

    Your justice!” The word ‘your’ was so full of contempt that it was telling the gul everything about th’Arshar’s opinion of the Cardassian tribunal.

    Brenok didn’t say anything. He didn’t care about that opinion, he was satisfied that the public need for justice would be satisfied. And he was glad that they could tell the public the Federation agreed to their solution. He was only a little surprised that the matter was solved within one night. Jarol’s words still rang in his head and he wished he could talk to someone about what she had told him the previous evening, but he couldn’t.

    He knew one thing for sure: th’Arshar could fight it all he wanted; the Federation made their decision and they were ready to ‘sacrifice’ one of their own and give him to ‘suffer Cardassian atrocities in form of their tribunal’. He was sure that was how th’Arshar saw it.

    “Sit down, Captain,” he said, pointing to a chair on the other side of his desk.

    The Andorian exhaled air audibly and stormed out of the office.

    “Or not,” Brenok shrugged and returned to his work.

    He knew that Kapoor and Ya’val kept working on the database, but didn’t put a lot of hope in a swift solution. He was sure Kapoor was far from normal state of mind and he felt guilty of ordering her to return to duty, while her husband lay in the Federation sickbay. At least they knew he would make it and should fully return to health. Taret had told him that they should be able to transport him to the Damar infirmary within next two days.

    Zamarran was busy with the investigation. He had beamed aboard the Karamazov in the early morning and joined Lieutenant Fong in his security office. Brenok hoped that they would quickly find the guilty ones as for now he feared to send any of his people to the Federation vessel. The science lab, in which Kapoor and Ya’val worked, was guarded by five militiamen and Zamarran had two gareshes with him at all times but somehow the gul didn’t worry any less. A murderer was a murderer and as long as someone who targeted Cardassians on that spaceship was on large, he would not feel that any Cardassian there was safe.

    Taret to Gul Brenok,” said the medic’s voice through the comm.

    “Brenok here.”

    We’re ready, sir.”

    “I’ll be there in a few minutes,” the gul replied and rose. He didn’t come from behind his desk yet when the doors to his office opened and th’Arshar entered.

    “I want to make one thing clear,” he said. “You will not get any of arrested suspects in your hands until their guilt is undoubtedly proven.”

    Brenok’s eyes opened wide in astonishment. “Err...what?”

    “You heard me!” Th’Arshar boomed.

    “Captain, why would you arrest people whose guilt is not proven yet?”

    Th’Arshar’s face mirrored Brenok’s in its expression. They started at each other for a moment and then th’Arshar sat down. So did Brenok.

    “Ok, seems like we have some unclear matter here,” the Andorian spoke first.

    “So I can see,” Brenok nodded. “You said you wouldn’t give me someone who is not proved guilty but was arrested. How can you arrest someone without proving his or her guilt?”

    “Suspects get arrested and they remain suspects until their guilt is proven. Then and only then they become referred to as guilty.”

    “You mean you arrest people, keep them locked and all this without proving their guilt first?” Brenok was more shocked than surprised.

    “They always is evidence of their guilt. They face the court to publicly prove their guilt, to prove that investigators were right to arrest this person and not someone else.”

    “Do they make mistakes?”

    “Sometimes. Sometimes suspects occur to be innocent and are let go.”

    “And how do you give them back the time they had spent in a jail?”

    “I didn’t say the system was perfect,” th’Arshar grinned slightly as if he apologised for something. “How do you do this? I thought that once someone is suspected of something, they are automatically guilty of it. And a public trial starts just for a show, as the outcome and the sentence are already known.”

    “That’s how it used to be before the Dominion War. The essential letter of the law hasn’t changed, but of course being a suspect doesn’t make you guilty yet. This was an abuse and we made sure the law was changed accordingly. Nowadays, before you can make an arrest, you have to prove the guilt first and then you can arrest the offender. Never the other way around. If suspects are innocent, they should not be arrested.”

    “I imagine it’s not perfect either.”

    “Is anything in the universe?”

    “I am.”

    Brenok stared at th’Arshar not believing his own ears, but then he noticed a small smile playing on the Andorian’s lip and burst into laughter. The captain joined him.

    “You thought I was serious,” he said.

    “For a moment you got me there.” Brenok didn’t remember when he had a good laugh last time.

    “I still don’t like the idea of executing one of my people.” Th’Arshar was serious again.

    “I don’t like the idea of one of mine in the morgue and another one in your sickbay any better.” And so was Brenok.



    The Obsidian Order vessel
    Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
    28th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar




    Brenok entered the engineering of the Obsidian Order vessel to see that the place was quite packed. Apart from officers, who were there as they had jobs to do, there were guards posted by the door and in critical points of the engineering.

    Brenok thought of the irony; here they were, the ‘good’ Federation and the ‘evil’ Cardassians and who needed protection from whom?

    “Sir,” Taret acknowledged Brenok’s presence.

    The medic, the Federation medic, whose name—Brenok knew—was O’Riordan, Lieutenant Av’Roo, Lieutenant Churmou and, to Brenok’s mild surprise, Lieutenant Jeto were gathered around one of stasis chambers. Captain th’Arshar stood in the vicinity; Brenok guessed he wanted to observe but not interfere with their work.

    “Is there any reason you chose this one?” the gul asked, meaning the people in stasis.

    “No,” Taret answered simply.

    “Proceed whenever you’re ready,” Brenok said and went to stand next to th’Arshar.

    The captain appeared to be concentrated as if it were him who had the work to do.

    “You realise this person can cause more problems than solve,” he said.

    “I do,” Brenok nodded. “But I don’t see any other option.”

    Th’Arshar sighed. “And what if this person kills Saratt?”

    Brenok looked at him. The Andorian kept staring at working medical team, but his face clearly expressed worry. Not hearing Brenok’s answer he turned his head to look at the gul.

    “I hope she doesn’t,” the Cardassian whispered. He wanted to say that he wouldn’t allow it, but he knew there was little he could do once the woman connected to the computer.

    “Maybe killing her would be a solution,” th’Arshar said as quietly.

    “By the time we’d realise what she did, it would be too late.”

    “Right.”

    Silence.

    Brenok was sure th’Arshar was still mad because of the extradition matter, but he couldn’t help but admire the captain’s professionalism—the Andorian could put his feelings away and still co-operate in other matters as efficiently as always.

    All members of the medical team—both Cardassian and Federation—turned and look at their captains. Waited.

    “Proceed,” Brenok said.

    Taret entered a command into the stasis chamber padd and stepped aside with a hypospray in his hand. The cover hissed and slowly opened. The woman inside did not move. O’Riordan started to scan her and then nodded to Taret. The medic injected something into woman’s arm and nodded to the doctor to resume her scans.

    “So far so good,” she said.

    Taret reprogrammed the hypospray and injected something again. Brenok was curious what all those actions meant but he didn’t want to disturb their work. He knew he would receive a report later, a very detailed report.

    The woman was leaning against a kind of vertical bed behind her back and obviously this was nothing mysterious to Taret, as he tapped at a small padd inside the chamber and the bed slid down, with its occupant on it, to horizontal position. The woman was now laying on a kind of biobed.

    “Interesting solution,” O’Riordan commented.

    Taret didn’t say anything. He leaned over the woman and took his own scans, concentrating mostly on her head and the hand with implants. He looked at nurse Malek and he handed the medic another hypospray. Taret took it, his hand hovered over the woman’s neck, then he sighed heavily and injected that new medicine into her neck, just below the ear in front of the neck ridge.

    It seemed like the air in the engineering became more dense; it was harder to breath, so everyone stopped breathing.

    “Please step back,” Taret said to O’Riordan. “It’s better if she sees only Cardassians at first.”

    All Federation personnel moved beyond the woman’s range of sight.

    The woman’s eyelids twitched slightly and then she slowly opened her eyes. Taret and Malek stood on both sides of her bed to shield her from as much light as possible. They patiently waited for the woman to wake up completely.

    After a long moment, during which no one said a word, her eyes finally adapted to the ambient light and she could look at the faces above her. She licked her dry lips, so Malek wetted them with a damp swab. Her lips then moved and it was obvious she wanted to say something. Taret closed his ear to her mouth, she repeated and the medic looked at Brenok.

    “She asks if it’s time yet,” he said.

    “Time for what?” Brenok asked, knowing that Taret had no answer to this question.

    “When can she normally talk?” th’Ashar demanded.

    “Soon, give her some more time.”

    “But do we talk about minutes, hours or days?”

    “Minutes. She won’t be able to tell much, but she should be able to answer some of our--”

    He didn’t finish as she grabbed his arm.
     
  5. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    USS Karamazov
    Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
    Stardate: 73697.9
    12th of September, 2396, Old Earth Calendar




    “What do the scans say?” Zamarran asked Fong.

    The Chinese lieutenant read from the screen. “Nothing,” he hissed.

    Both men’s frustration was rising. Whoever had attacked the Cardassians, he or she knew how to cover his or her tracks. It’s been third hour of their work in the security office and they had very little data to present to their commanders and all that data was useless in regards of catching the murderer.

    “How come? There should be something.”

    “There should. Look,” Fong pointed to the screen and Zamarran leaned over his shoulder to read. “These files are missing. There were scans of presence in that corridor. Everything was recorded but someone deleted these files.” Fong frowned. “And you know what is the worst thing?” Zamarran shook his head. “They used my access codes to delete them.”

    “How it that possible?”

    “We have a serious security breach here. Whoever has done it, they are good.”

    “Is there any way to know how come your security codes could land in wrong hands?”

    “I don’t think so.”

    “Did you write them down somewhere?”

    “No. They are only deep in the database. The captain knows them. And me.”

    “Your first officer?”

    “No.”

    “Anyone skilled enough to retrieve them from the database?”

    “I don’t know. Maybe Jeto, she’s good. But first of all, we have already excluded her and if someone could retrieve my access codes from the secured database, I don’t think they would bother with deleting the files that way. They would just hack in again and delete them from inside.”

    “Maybe they tried to frame you.”

    “It didn’t occur to me,” Fong’s frown deepened.

    “How about my approach now?” Zamarran asked.

    The Cardassian and the human had agreed to work the way Fong preferred: to collect evidence and then built a theory. While Zamarran agreed with that approach, he wanted to start from screening all crewmembers first and that way find some idea of a motive. Fong had argued that it would be building theories based on people’s lives and then attaching some evidence to the existing theories. The human didn’t like that approach. Zamarran had agreed to try Fong’s idea but insisted on switching to his if they wouldn’t get any substantial results after a few hours. A few hours have just passed.

    “Fine,” Fong agreed reluctantly. “I’ll work on women, you take men.” Zamarran went to the console Fong had pointed at and sat. “This will take ages,” the human said.

    “This crew consists of only forty people, that’s not that many.”

    “It’s a lot of you want to check all their profiles.”

    “No, if you know what you’re looking for.”

    “What do you mean.”

    “Just search for phrases like ‘Bajor’, ‘the Dominion War’, ‘Setlik III’, ‘the Border Wars’ and such.”

    Fong stared at Zamarran with disbelief. “You gotta be kiddin’ me!”

    “No,” Zamarran shook his head with a serious expression. “It’s a place to start. If it doesn’t bring any results, which I doubt would happen, then we can do slow screening, but--” he didn’t finish.

    “What?” Fong rose and went to Zamarran’s console. “Oh, shit!”

    “Only one hit,” Zamarran nodded, wondering why Fong spoke of excrements. “Do we have anything more on her?” he asked.

    “I don’t know. Bajor is a member of the Federation now, so there should be something on her. Check it.”

    The human pulled a chair and sat next to Zamarran, reading from the screen. “Who is Gul Jodat?”

    “I don’t know, Fong, but I don’t like him,” Zamarran replied with a disgusted face expression. “Zamarran to Brenok.”

    Do you have anything?” the gul’s voice asked.

    “We think so, sir. We have no proof of anything, but one of the Federation officers is married to a Bajoran, who during the occupation had been a comfort woman of Gul Jodat, described in the file as a sadistic brute.”

    Investigate him,” Brenok replied after a short moment.

    Fong?” spoke th’Arshar through the same comm; he had to stand close to Brenok.

    “Yes, sir?”

    Interrogate him.

    “Yes, sir.”

    The comm closed.

    “Looks like we have our first suspect,” Zamarran said.

    “Perhaps. What I don’t understand if why would he attack your officers? Just for being Cardassians?”

    “Maybe for him that was enough?”

    “I hate this. You have no idea how much I hate this, Zamarran,” Fong looked worried and disgusted at the same time.

    “I thought you didn’t like us either.”

    “Whatever I feel about you as the people, it doesn’t mean I want to randomly kill you. And I don’t like someone else doing it. Not someone who I consider my friend!”

    “But you didn’t know his wife was a Bajoran.”

    “No, I didn’t. To think of it, I don’t know much about him at all.”

    “Some friend.”

    “If you serve on a ship with only forty people, you get close to them.”

    “Perhaps. Now, however, I’d prefer you to be a security officer and investigate a suspect, not a friend.”

    “And that I am.”

    Zamarran wondered if Fong felt betrayed in a way.



    The Obsidian Order vessel
    Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
    28th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar




    “Did you know his wife was a Bajoran?” Brenok asked th’Arshar.

    “I did.”

    “But you didn’t share that little detail with us.”

    “I didn’t know what she had to suffer during the occupation and I didn’t want you to assume that it was him just because he is married to a person from a planet you used to occupy.”

    “You hid a very relevant information, Captain,” Brenok said in a menacing voice. “Now I understand why you defend him with such a passion. It’s not an anonymous murderer to you. You knew his name from the beginning.”

    “You assume way too much, Brenok. I didn’t jump into conclusions and I’d rather you don’t jump to them now.”

    “But you did order your officer to interrogate him.”

    “To exclude him.”

    “And what if he’s proven guilty?”

    Th’Arshar didn’t answer. He pursed his lips and looked at the medical team.

    Taret listened to the woman for a moment and then looked at Brenok. “Sir, she wants to talk to the highest ranking officer here.”

    The gul went to the bed and leaned over her, his braid falling forward and hanging along his jaw. She eyed the braid clearly surprised, then glanced at his black-and-silver armour and her eye ridges arched.

    “I am Gul Brenok, the Highest Commander of the Cardassian Guard,” he introduced himself. “What is it that you would like to discuss?” he asked. His first instinct was to inquire if she knew where she was but then he thought she knew answers to his questions better than he did.

    “You are--” She whispered and silenced. “Is this the time?”

    “Time for what?” he replied to her question with his own.

    “To start the mission.” She squinted her eyes suspiciously. Obviously she expected someone so high ranking to know. Brenok felt sick at the thought that someone in the Central Command back then had known of this Obsidian Order atrocity. He looked at Taret. “How much of the truth can she take?”
    “Tell her everything you want. Her mind is fine, it’s her body that needs the time to wake up. And she clearly thinks only of her mission.”

    “It’s going to be a blow,” Brenok warned. Taret only shrugged; he clearly felt more concern for Saratt than for this woman and Brenok wasn’t surprised. The gul looked back at her, while Taret stood nearby with a hypospray ready in case he overestimated her strength. “This is the year of 532. The Obsidian Order doesn’t exist any longer and whatever your mission was, it is irrelevant now. We have woken you up to help to unplug two people who are currently attached to the computer core in a cruel experiment. You will assist us in...” his voice faded when he realised she started to cry.

    Taret moved with his hypospray but she waved him away with a weak move of her hand—the hand with the implants.

    “No,” she whispered. She closed her eyes and seemed like attempting to compose herself. Then she opened her eyes and looked at Taret. “Give me ten ccs of derozine.”

    “What? Do you have any idea what it’s going to do with your liver?”

    “I don’t care. Do it. Only this one time. It’ll put me on my feet quickly.”

    Taret looked at Brenok who nodded his consent. Malek handed the medic another hypospray and Taret injected the medicine into his patient. She flinched and then took a deep breath.

    “Help me up,” she said and Brenok helped her sit on the edge of the bed.

    “How do you feel?” Taret asked, scanning her, while she looked around astonished.

    “The Federation?” she asked. She glanced at Brenok. “Do we have some peace treaty with them?”

    “Not yet,” slipped out from Brenok’s mouth before he realised it wasn’t information he was free to share with anyone. “We work together on this project. Now, is there any way you could help us with our problem?”

    She looked at the man on the table. “Is he dead?” she asked.

    “No, in a coma. He was attacking everyone and we had to make sure the Federation members of our team were safe.”

    “He probably thought you were traitors,” she said.

    “We have an encrypted database here, can you decode it?” th’Arshar asked.

    She didn’t reply but looked at Brenok instead. He gave her an expectant look, so she answered; she didn’t look at the Andorian but at the gul, though. “I can. Help me up.”

    Brenok led her to the nearest console and observed her plugging in into the portal. She pulled a face and he wondered if it was painful. She had her eyes closed but suddenly they snapped open and stared at the gul in horror. He wasn’t sure if talking to her, while she was plugged in, made any sense, so he waited but felt his impatience grow. Her reaction was not what he expected and he didn’t know how to interpret it.

    Finally she disconnected. “Done, the database is not open for access.”

    “Brenok to Ya’val,” the gul tapped his wristcomm.

    Ya’val here.”

    “Do you have access to the database now?”

    Yes, we do,” Ya’val’s response was full of surprise.

    “Find everything and anything that could help us with Saratt.”

    Yes, Gul.

    The Obsidian Order agent sat on a nearby chair. Brenok looked at her coldly and her shocked face didn’t melt his heart even a little. “What’s your name?” he asked.

    “I am Medic Nagem. I am a neurologist and was chosen for this project, along with...” she looked back at the other stasis chambers, “them. Our function is to help in communication with Core One and Core Two and to command the ship the same way, although limited, that they do.”

    “Who is Core One and who is Core Two?” Brenok couldn’t believe they stripped them even of their names.

    “Core One is Saratt, as he is plugged to the main computer and he is the dominating one. Core Two is Bantal. His task was limited to engineering matters; to seek, find and repair damage.”

    “And your control?”

    “We were supposed to be able to directly plug ourselves with the computer, instead of entering the information and commands the traditional way. The goal was to speed up things.”

    “Your experiment failed,” Brenok said coldly.

    “I know. I’ve seen,” she lowered her head.

    “What have you seen?” th’Arshar asked.

    “The ship’s logs. Core One tried to--”

    “His name is Saratt!” Brenok growled, startling her.

    “Saratt attempted to crash the ship on asteroid several times, or activate self-destruct program, or shut down the core which would kill them both, but each time he was stopped. Bantal,” she said clearly, looking at Brenok, “can override his commands related to ship’s safety matters. I know that Saratt is in pain but Bantal isn’t. Bantal doesn’t suffer.” Her eyes filled with tears. “Saratt was plugged in first and something went wrong.” She stared before her as if looking into the past. “He screamed before the paratox took over...” Brenok glanced at Taret who mouthed ‘Medicine’. “After that he could only cry but they told him that it has to stay that way. They told him he should do it for Cardassia, that it was his sacrifice and that his sacrifice wouldn’t be forgotten. But he only cried. They didn’t make the same mistake with Bantal, so this part of the project was successful.” Brenok’s hands clenched into fists. “Then it was our turn and after seeing what they’d done to Co...Saratt, I was afraid that our part would be botched too.”

    “Can they be unattached,” the gul asked.

    “In theory, yes. In practice...I don’t know.”

    “You will assist Medic Taret and Doctor O’Riordan in the rescue operation,” Brenok said, his tone of voice harsh. “If we catch you on sabotage, you will be executed on the spot. After that you will face charges, just as every Obsidian Order agent,” he emphasised. “Is that clear?”

    “I am not an agent.”

    “From where I’m standing, you are.”

    “Do you have any idea what they would do to my family if I refused?”

    Brenok didn’t reply. Maybe she was a victim too, but somehow he couldn’t find any compassion in his heart for her.

    “You will stay here and help the medical team. You will prepare a plan for disconnecting Bantal. Is that clear?”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Good.” He looked at Taret, “Notify Ya’val to join you in the engineering. I assume he can access the database also from here,” he glanced at Nagem who nodded. “I’ll send Kapoor to her husband, I don’t think she would be much of use for you anyway.”

    “I agree,” the medic replied.

    Brenok looked at th’Arshar. “Do you want to stay here and observe?”

    “I do.”

    “I’ll be aboard the Damar.” And with that Brenok left the engineering.



    USS Karamazov
    Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
    Stardate: 73697.9
    12th of September, 2396, Old Earth Calendar




    Kapoor’s heart started to beat fast when her eyes saw the blue-grey colour of her husband’s eyes. He opened them slowly and first looked around confused, but then a sudden recollection of last events hit him and his eye ridges filled with tears.

    “I’m here, honey, it’s ok, it’s ok,” she gently stroked his cheek, making sure she didn’t rub the big ear scales the wrong way.

    “Sa...” he started but his voice sounded rough. “Sabal,” he tried again whispering.

    Taret had warned Kapoor not to bring the bad news so early, although had also told her it would be possible that Karama would remember all details of the attack.

    Karama’s crying intensified.

    “It’s ok, honey,” she tried to calm him down.

    “No, not ok. He...he saved me. He shielded me with his body... He saved me,” he kept repeating.

    “Shhh...shhh...shhhh...” She had no idea how to sooth his pain.

    “I would forgive him. I just needed time but I would,” he assured her in a weak voice, swallowing his tears.

    “I know, honey, I know. He knew too...” And she believed that. She hoped he would too...


    tbc
     
  6. TerokNor

    TerokNor Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Does Karama know who the murderer is?????

    Brenok and the Fed. captain had me laughing ... Brenok is quite good with dealing with him.
    Though I am also a bit disspointed with Brenok..why does he has no heart for the poor female cardassian? I mean he does have a heart for Saratt! She is sort of in the same position..ok, not as worse, but what does he know who she is? And like she said then...she is NO agent. Brenok is so smart normally...he should not just assume things.

    That Saratt tried several times to destroy the ship..oh man..that made my heart hurt... he suffered/suffers so much. It is hard to imagine how much he had and still has to endure.

    TerokNor
     
  7. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    I wanted to hit her when she called Saratt that horrible "name"!

    But I think maybe she was doing that to try to deny the atrocity she'd seen--to block it from her mind--because once she acknowledged his name, and started to remember, it got to her.

    The way she described the Obsidian Order not caring about the horrific pain Saratt was in, that "Oops, oh well, that one was practice--we'll get it right the next time" mentality...how HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!

    But I think Brenok's reaction to Nagem comes down to the "name" she called Saratt. I think that if she is indeed a good woman, he won't accept her until she reacts even more strongly.

    As for the interaction between Brenok and th'Arshar--it's good that they're starting to find SOME way of working together, even though it's still very, very tense.

    I'm so glad Karama's awake. And I hope that soon, we find out who the murderer is.
     
  8. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Location:
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    I think he is angry, VERY angry (not necessarily with her). He probably thinks that Nagem could/should have fight against it...somehow. She just gave up and "let them do this to Saratt".

    Maybe it was easier to think of him as a piece of equipment, or maybe she got used to do that, I don't know. But I didn't like it either. And neither did Brenok. I imagine Taret was angry too.
    Those clamps weren't there not to let motionless Saratt slide off the table :( They KNEW it could have gone wrong [​IMG]
     
  9. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There may be other reasons for denying his identity, too. Or that may just be my speculation.

    Now, was she the one that did the "surgery" on Saratt and Bantal?
     
  10. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    No. Her job was to take her of them. The surgeons would be needed for next projects, so they couldn't leave them on that ship with one "useless" hand.
     
  11. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

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    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Chapter 18



    USS Karamazov
    Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
    Stardate: 73701.5
    13th of September, 2396, Old Earth Calendar




    “Why?” th’Arshar asked, looking at his officer through a forcefield.

    “You have to ask why?” Came surprised reply.

    “I have to because I don’t understand.”

    “Do you have any idea what Lema had to suffer at the hands of the Cardassians?”

    “This doesn’t explain this. The occupation was a terrible thing, but you attacked two men who were too young to be part of it. In fact, neither of them set a foot on Bajor. Never.”

    “That pilot was an unfortunate result. I didn’t care about him. He could continue his miserable life for all I cared.”

    “He has no life to continue.”

    “He didn’t have to play a hero.”

    “Ha’varra, for Uzaveh’s mercy!” th’Arshar couldn’t believe his own ears. He started to pace in front of the cell. “You have murdered an innocent man and you claim it was unfortunate.” He spat the last word. “Why did you target that Karama? What in your sick mind could you have against him?”

    “Not him.”

    Th’Arshar stopped puzzled. “Not him? Then whom? Was he also an unfortunate victim?”

    “His father.” Th’Arshar understood less and less. He stared blankly at Ha’varra who continued. “His father was on Bajor and belonged to the top brass of their butchers.”

    “So?”

    “What do you mean ‘so’?” Ha’varra started from a bench he was sitting on and run to the forcefield. “This man had brought hell to my wife’s home planet!”

    “What does it have to do with the Cardassian in our sickbay?”

    “He’s his son.”

    “So?”

    “‘So’ again?”

    “So what that he is his son?!”

    “It should be obvious? I couldn’t punish the butcher, so I had to execute his son.”

    Th’Arshar blinked. He opened his mouth to say something but there was nothing he could say. In fact, there was nothing he wanted to say. Ha’varra’s twisted logic was beyond his ability to comprehend. He stood there, gazing at his counselor and wondered what had happened to him. Was it always in him? Did the proximity of flesh-and-blood Cardassians wake it in him?

    “I don’t understand you, Captain,” Ha’varra said. “You have seen what they are capable of. You had been at Setlik III, you know what kind of monsters they are. How can you say they don’t deserve it! I regret killing this other guy--”

    “His name was Sabal!” th’Arshar boomed, not unlike Brenok had yelled at that Obsidian Order doctor a day before.

    “I regret it. But this Karama had to die. For his father’s sins.”

    The Andorian searched in his memory if Efrosians had some tradition or custom that would explain this, but he couldn’t recall anything.

    “You were a good officer,” he said quietly. “I will mourn you,” he added and headed for the door.

    “You can’t allow them execute me!” Ha’varra shouted after him but he didn’t react.

    Th’Arshar walked slowly, wondering how he was supposed to tell Brenok about that. He also feared that the public trial—the tribunal, as the Cardassians called it—would show that madman to all Cardassians and they would think that all Federation people were like this.

    How could that happen? How could Ha’varra do this? What kind of reasoning brought him to such a conclusion?

    The Andorian was sad, disappointed and angry.

    Yes, he had been at Setlik III and he had seen what Cardassians had done there, but he would never go to a quest of murdering their children for that, nor he would like them going for his children for what he had done there. It was war, life and suffering are cheaper in times of war.

    He needed to talk to Ronus. Maybe the Trill would know how to explain this. However, before that, he wanted to do one more thing. He turned back and headed for the sickbay.

    Gil Kapoor and Glinn Ya’val sat by Glinn Karama’s side. Th’Arshar approached them uncertainly, feeling like he was disturbing them. Like an intruder.

    “Did I come at a wrong time?” he asked.

    “No, Captain, it’s all right,” Ya’val answered.

    The Andorian looked at Karama. “I just wanted to say I am very sorry for all this. And for your friend. I wish I could do more to help you, I wish I could turn back time and not let it happen.”

    “Why?” the communication officer asked quietly.

    Th’Arshar felt a painful pang in his heart. Did the Cardassian think he didn’t care? “Because no one deserves to be attacked and--”

    Karama rolled his head left and right on the pillow and th’Arshar understood that it meant shaking his head. “Why did he do this?” the Cardassian rephrased his question.

    The Andorian felt guilty that he judged Karama harshly, while it was his fault for not understanding. “He says it’s because of your father.”

    Kapoor’s face hardened. She shot an angry glance at th’Arshar and then a worried one at her husband.

    “My father?”

    “He said someone had to pay for what your father had done during the occupation. You had to pay for that.”

    Karama stared at the captain. “Do you know what is funny?” he asked eventually. Th’Arshar shook his head. “That I hate my father. Also for what he had done to the Bajorans. I haven’t spoken with him for over ten years.”

    The senseless attempt of murder became even more senseless. “If there is anything I could do for you,” th’Arshar said, “Please let me know.”

    “Thank you, Captain,” Karama replied quietly and closed his eyes. He looked exhausted.

    The Andorian nodded to Kapoor and Ya’val and left the sickbay.



    The Obsidian Order vessel
    Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
    29th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar




    For the first time in her life Jeto regretted that computer core systems were one of her specialities. She had been ordered to gather information on the programming that kept a Cardassian attached to a computer. She wasn’t happy with that order, as it meant she had to beam to the Cardassian ship and her dissatisfaction raised when she saw him.

    Most of his body was covered by a tube-like cover that raised above and around him. She couldn’t see his hands and feet as he was covered up to his chest, but his head was exposed and it was the worst thing she had seen in her life; worse even than Borg implants.

    She looked at his face. He was sleeping. Tormented.

    It was the first time in her life that she had non-hostile feelings toward a Cardassian. This man was a victim of the Cardassians just like her mother. Just like whole Bajor! He was abused and exploited. And then abandoned. He was more Bajoran in that aspect than herself.

    His eye ridges were very thick just above his eyes with a couple of rows of scales at the bottom of forehead ridges, but then gently curved in almost a perfect circle around his eyes. His small nose had a cute shape and even a ridge in the middle of it didn’t mar it. His mouth was small and she could swear his lips used to be full. She wished she could see his eyes open and wondered what colour they were. His neck ridges were wide and decorated by three rows of thick, big scales. The upper ear ridge was short and delicate, the lower one ran along his jaw.

    She thought he had to be a cute man before this had been done to him.

    She looked around, wondering if anyone noticed that she stared at him, but the medical team seemed to be occupied. O’Riordan smiled to her when their eyes met. Jeto smiled back and then started her work. She retrieved her tricorder and started to scan the table. She had already memorised the schematics for this device, which became available after the database was decoded, and now tried to gather more recent information about the table’s actual functioning.

    Lieutenant Jeto,” Brenok’s voice over the comm suddenly speaking to her freaked her out. “Please go to the engineering as fast as you can.” She already dropped her tools and headed for the door. “If Nagem is there, stop her whatever she does. Use force if necessary, you can even kill her if you have to. Then wait for a troop to take over.”

    She was running now. The Cardassian’s voice sounded urgent and nervous. She had no idea why she was following his order, why she started to do what he wanted before he even finished talking, but she was in the engineering in less than a minute. She always was a fast runner.

    “Stop!” she yelled toward the woman. She barely registered two Cardassian bodies that laid sprawled on the deck with holes burnt through their armours.

    Nagem stopped manipulating near the man in the open stasis chamber and looked at her. First she looked at Jeto’s face, then at her uniform and then resumed her work. The Bajoran retrieved her phaser and shot a warning shot above the Cardassian’s head.

    “Stop or I’ll kill you.” She wondered why Brenok didn’t tell her to only stun the woman. Bloodthirsty Cardassians...

    “Why would I fear a traitor?” the woman asked her.

    “I think you are a traitor, it was the gul that ordered me to kill you.”

    “You wear this uniform.”

    “I am a Bajoran!”

    Nagem looked at her again. “Ah, yes, you seem to be. At least a part of you. The worse part.”

    Jeto swallowed the insult. She had her phaser pointed at Nagem and waited for Cardassians to arrive and take care of this.

    “My mother didn’t ask for what had been done to her.”

    “I hope he had a lot of fun,” Nagem sneered.

    Jeto’s finger twitched. “You fucking bitch...”

    The Cardassian’s face pulled in contempt and she moved back to the man in stasis, clearly attempting to resume her work. Jeto heard heavy boots behind her but there was no time—she pressed the trigger and fired. Nagem fell to the deck with a heavy thud.

    Three Cardassians passed by her and ran to the woman. The forth one stopped by Jeto.

    “Good job,” he said.

    “I didn’t kill her,” the Bajoran explained. “I only stunned her.”

    She expected the Cardassian to be angry or irritated but he only smiled. “You stopped her, never mind how.”

    “She was trying to revive him,” one of the others said, looking at the one next to her.

    “Tarub to Brenok,” the Cardassian pressed the communicator on his wrist.

    Report!

    “The Federation...” Tarub glanced at Jeto’s collar, “Lieutenant stopped Nagem on time. Nagem attempted to revive her colleague.”

    Is she dead?

    “Negative. The lieutenant stunned her.”

    Take her to the brig. And tell Lieutenant Jeto she did a good job.” Brenok signed off.

    “Sorry, didn’t know your name,” Tarub smiled sheepishly. “And—good job,” he smiled again.

    His smile appeared friendly but it sent shivers down Jeto’s spine. What did he want? Polite or not, his smile was still creepy.

    “I have a job to do on the bridge,” she said and without waiting for his response she left the engineering.



    Cardassian Union Warship Damar
    Argaya Sector near the Cardassian Union border
    29th day of the month of Lukyut, 532, Cardassian Union Calendar




    Brenok entered the brig and stopped right before the forcefield. He put his hands behind his back and squinted at the occupant of the cell.

    “Well, go ahead and ask,” Nagem said.

    “Ask about what?”

    “Your questions. I’m sure you have plenty of them.”

    “Oh, I have questions indeed. However I am certain I would get no answers from you.”

    “I am willing to answer.”

    “Let me rephrase it then; I am certain I wouldn’t get any truthful answers from you.”

    “And what if you are mistaken?”

    “I will get my answers anyway and won’t have to waste my time for wondering how much truth is in them.”

    “So...what’s going to happen to me?”

    “As I have told you, you will face the tribunal. There is a matter of investigation, but the information I have right now is enough to keep you here.” He looked around her cell. “And something tells me that the investigation would only add to your charges.”

    She sighed, but it wasn’t a sound of resignation, it sounded as if she had pity for him. He didn’t care if she saw him as a traitor or another ridiculous notion as this.

    “You and your kind ruined the Union, do you know that?”

    He smirked. “Of course we did. People living without fear from your kind is such a terrible thing.”

    She squinted at him. “It was safer back then.”

    “Not for ordinary citizens.”

    “Even for them, if they behaved properly.”

    He didn’t say anything; he saw no sense in arguing with this person. Stone-heads they called them these days. People who thought that the old, oppressive system served the empire and couldn’t see that nowadays it was much better. People were happier, safer and had more freedom.

    “While in the sickbay, I read in the database about your new Cardassia. You do business like Ferengi,” she spat the last word. “Weaklings.”

    Brenok did all he could not to burst into laughter. This woman here believed that it was so dishonourable to buy your food instead of stealing it from somebody else.

    “I assume you also think Saratt was a weakling because he screamed when you attached him to that ship.”

    “No,” she shook her head. “It was unfortunate. I proposed to unplug him but my vote was drowned by others.”

    “Unfortunate,” he repeated the word. Unfortunate. To condemn a man to eternal suffering beyond imagination...how unfortunate.

    Brenok pursed his lips and his nostrils widened in fury. It took all his strong will not to hit the wallcomm button to lower the forcefield and grab this beast by her throat and squeeze, sinking his fingers under her scales. His hands weren’t behind his back any longer, they hanged clenched into fists. She had a bruise on her left eye ridge—no doubt a result of resisting her arrest—and he wanted, oh, he so wanted to add another one on the right side. For the balance. His teeth almost hurt from the force with which he clenched his jaws.

    “You seem...irritated,” she said, approaching the forcefield. She sounded like an agent, they all spoke with the same threatening-sweet manner. He used to dread it but now...now he was the law.

    He bared his teeth. He wished he had a bat’leth and could slice her ear off, sinking the weapon deep in her neck ridge. And then press deeper to cut the arm off. To cut her to pieces. To expose each and every nerve in her miserable body. And then to put the rest on that table, attach her to the computer core and install a virus. And leave her like that forever!

    “You’re a Lakarian, too, aren’t you?” she asked.

    He didn’t answer. He knew he didn’t have to. His accent was so clear and distinct...and after the city’s destruction he nursed it, valued it for so few Cardassians spoke with it. He was proud of it!

    “That city was always full of such like him. What are you, Gul Brenok?” She said his rank with a small laughter. “Another painter? A musician? A writer? Those were most dangerous.”

    He couldn’t believe his ears. She believed in her mission. Her heart was into it. He could never understand why one Cardassian could do what the Obsidian Order did to another Cardassian. What drove those people? Now, standing in front of that woman and listening to her, he could understand it even less.

    “How does a painter harm the Union?” he asked. She gave him a surprised look. “I’ll tell you something, agent,” he continued. “You participated in most hideous things I have ever seen and you think you served the Union. Saratt had only twenty-five years of his life for his own use and he did more for the Union than you could during your whole lifetime. His paintings, the work of his heart, were used as a reference when we started to rebuild Lakarian City. We have it back because of people like him. We don’t have more people like him because of people like you!” He could barely keep his anger in check.

    “You are a painter too, aren’t you?”

    “No.” Why did he let her engage him into this?

    “So?”

    He didn’t reply. He wasn’t an artist, she was wrong in this matter. However, he wouldn’t tell her that. He wouldn’t tell her anything. She didn’t deserve it. All she deserved was to be tortured to death and for the first time since the Shift he regretted they have removed this kind of punishment from the tribunal choices of sentences.

    “So?” she repeated.

    He only smirked at her, turned on his heel and left the brig. When he was far enough to be sure she couldn’t hear it, he punched a bulkhead with his fist and roared. His knuckles hurt but he didn’t mind. Some soldier appeared for a moment but he quickly turned back and went where he came from not to cross his way with his gul. Brenok hoped the man only wanted to give him a moment of dignified privacy and was not really afraid that the gul’s anger would turn against him.

    Tari to Gul Brenok.

    “What is it?”

    Doctor Zabar’s ship is approaching. She asked to meet you in your office.”

    “I’ll be there soon.”

    He leaned his back against the bulkhead and tried to compose himself. He attempted to control his breathing but couldn’t get Nagem’s words out of his head. Would Zabar understand if he were on the edge and not totally calm?



    tbc
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  12. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    That BITCH! I KNEW IT! The instant the words "Core One" were out of her mouth, she was dead to me--there was no coming back. I bet she'll try the Nuremberg non-defense. Just taking orders? How about an order to DIE, bitch?

    Sadly, Ha'varra seems more "logical" than her, though both are completely twisted.

    Good on Jeto, though, for what she did. I know Saratt will probably never be aware of it--but in some odd way, I think his torment began her healing.
     
  13. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    With Jeto...did you notice that at first she was horrified when she saw Saratt and then she started to see his 'beauty' to finally not see the damage that his body suffered? When she admires (sic!) his neck ridges, she doesn't pay attention to missing scales or scarred skin. She sees what should be there, not what is.

    And Nagem...would you believe me that it's not the end of revelations about her and there's more they're going to discover?
     
  14. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
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    Thor Damar, God of thunder and monologue..
    Bravo, Bravo!:hugegrin:

    A another powerful piece with some truly powerful dialogue. It is interesting to watch the gulf that has emerged between the old and the new Cardassia and that even federation citizens are driven by their base emotions and reactions.

    Once again I can but applaud your brilliant writing. Thank you.

    (BTW, it seems that we've both adopted Lakrian City as our 'hero' location, most of our good guys (Brenok for you, Dijmas and Lekat for myself) hail from there and it is the home of all that is nobel and spritual about Cardassia and its people.
    Great minds think alike eh?;))
     
  15. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You can't surprise me when it comes to her...she's the worst of the worst.

    As for Jeto...yes, I was very touched that she started to see what should be there. :)
     
  16. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Thank you very much [​IMG] From the current challenge winner it means a lot :D
    Let's just admit it: WE come from Lakarian City :bolian:

    Poor Jeto isn't a bad person, she's just...damaged. Maybe seeing beauty in a Cardassian is going to help her see some in herself...
     
  17. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I actually have a lakarain accent.:lol:
     
  18. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
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    You have no idea how right you are. I had a talk with NG about correct pronunciation of Saratt's name and I came to a conclusion that my Lakarians speak Cardassian like Brits speak English :D

    My accent is probably as bad as Jarol's :lol:
     
  19. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And here I assumed you had told Thor Damar that! :lol: What a freaky coincidence!
     
  20. Thor Damar

    Thor Damar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, we Cardassians do think alike.;)

    (Is your Larkian City based on a city in your countries?)
     

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