Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Nerys Ghemor, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think you may have forgotten that from an earlier chapter. The Cardassians have offered him the chance to analyze the damage from that ship's first scuffle with the Dominion (at Rondac III) as proof that they went up against the Dominion and are not in fact colluding with the Dominion.

    Spirodopoulos needs to make sure that by committing to the Thirteenth Order, he has not committed to a treacherous, anti-Federation course of action.

    Thanks...glad you liked it! :) I kind of thought going the "Bajoran route" might be a little too obvious and stereotypical so I wanted to do something different.
     
  2. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ah. I see. Excellent.

    (As to my forgetting...well, that's kina what happens when there's such a big gap between chapters....;))
     
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This scene was actually a large part of my problem...I was having a really bad hangup with it and finally broke down and realized I needed to get a couple of beta readers to provide a second and third opinion. Hopefully this means I'll now be able to get back to updating at the least every month, if not on occasion more often.
     
  4. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    So sorry to have taken this long; I hope my tardiness in replying hasn't come across as disinterest. It's been a combination of a hectic schedule and a lack of the right frame of mind. :)

    I can see why this might have been a difficult chapter to write - there's a lot of potential mortification and hurt; even worse, no-one's done anything wrong other than jump to conclusions or fail to consider how outsiders might interpret ordinary actions. Yet the distress is real; pain without blame, and that's sometimes the hardest form of pain to deal with, both for the observer/arbitrator like Spirodopolous and for the people feeling it - there's no way to vent and no-one to vent on. Particularly for Istep, who is both horrified that someone would think him capable of harming his paitents, and disturbed that he caused emotional distress, no matter how unintentionally. Also, there's the fact that he's potentially offended at the possibility of ugly assumptions based on race, but can clearly see that zh'Thessel was genuinely distressed and truly believed she was being threatened. Baceause of this, he can hardly feel justified in anger. Compassion and guilt and shame would smother it, because even though he didn't do anything wrong - he still caused harm. For a being like him, it's clear that knowing he would never assault a patient, and even knowing Spirodopolous and the others now understand it, doesn't change the fact that zh'Thessel has been harmed as the result of a misunderstanding. So even as he's genuinely horrified at the potential accusation, there is a guilt in there. And yet how can you come to terms with guilt that the rest of you insists is unwarranted and when another part of you is insisting you're the victim (or a victim) of the situation? That's a real knot of emotional reactions vying for recognition and the paralysis that follows is a difficult state of mind to capture. You do a good job - and perhaps your own state of discomfort writing this one helped you hit the mark?

    Again, I certainly appreciate why this might have been a difficult chapter. zh'Thessel and, to a lesser but still significant extent, Istep have been wounded completely unintentionally and there's no clear means to address it, other than to take note of the misunderstanding and become more acute to heading off potential incidents like this before they manifest.

    It's brave to write a "cultural misunderstanding/different customs clashing" scene that treats the potential consequences as genuinely damaging rather than a case of "hoo, wasn't that embarrassing!" Maybe this is another thing contributing to the difficulty of the chapter - it's the same basic issue that is so often turned to causing mundane or even comical difficulties for characters now causing real distress and harm.
     
  5. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    One of my fears was that it would look "light" even with the real damage that happened. I didn't want to play it for laughs or in any kind of non-serious way.

    I think that sometimes the prejudice against Cardassians seems to be hardest on my Cardassian doctors. I think that "even" on Cardassia, a real doctor is someone who swears to be the absolute opposite of the Cardassian stereotype...a compassionate, caring person. So while they are at once very sensitive to the wrongs Cardassians have done, and ashamed, they also want to be seen for who they are. I think they want it to be known that they are Cardassian too--that not all about Cardassia or Cardassians is terrible and monstrous. There is another kind of person who has those scales and ridges, too--one who cares deeply about the life force that all six of his senses bring to him. (Seven, if you count his compassion and empathy for others.)

    So yes, there is a very upset part of him that is thinking, "Why did you do this to me?" But you're also right about how guilty he feels. He knows now that he should've communicated better with his patient. And for him as a doctor, causing harm to his patient--to include emotional harm--is deeply mortifying. I think it makes him feel he has been dishonorable. I believe the clinical terminology for it is that he feels like crap. :(

    The other thing that was hard for me about writing this was zh'Thessel. That was honestly more frightening to me because here we have a woman who believes she has been sexually threatened and as it turned out it was a misunderstanding. I was very afraid of coming off as belittling those who are victims of both real assaults and bad miscommunications. I guess I was also afraid there were those who might react viscerally to the idea of the man being "right" and the woman being "wrong" in such a situation. But I do think that sometimes these kinds of miscommunications happen and the result is exactly like this, where both parties end up hurt.
     
  6. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On that note...Nerys, would you imagine there to be a Cardassian version of the Hippocratic Oath?
     
  7. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure one is in official use. However, I suspect there may still be private oaths sworn by some doctors, that have their origins in Hebitian days.
     

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