Re-shaping a Cardassian: Toward the Ninth Circle

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Gul Re'jal, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. mirandafave

    mirandafave Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 26, 2008
    This is my review from Ad Astra but I thought it worth posting here too, just to show how much I like this story and the promise it holds.

    You know what impresses me greatly when I start one of your stories? It is that after even one chapter one feels involved in the story - the political machinations and the emotional lives of the characters. You have a way of imbuing history and personality into the characters and add the entire dimension here to them with the family scene added to the duty scenes.

    Then we come to the story itself. Again, like Neo... you take the challenge of writing in the AOS universe, making everything old new again, turning thinngs on their head and subverting them, yet within familar contexts that have us asking questions and what ifs and hoping that really bad things will not happen here. Alas, with Dukat in the frame, I fear that is exactly what is going to happen. If stepping on Federation toes isn't enough of a gamble, they have taken on an ambitious and dangerous Gul in Dukat who simply cannot be trusted - so much so that even Cardassians who are sticklers for the command structure and hierarchy are willing to subvert it to keep a check on Dukat. This should prove very interesting to see how it all plays out.

    Now of course, there are questions galore to be asked. Just what will be found on the other side of the wormhole. We know in the Prime Universe it was the eventual fate to discover the Dominion and plunge the Alpha Quadrant into war. I'm betting that given your ability to subvert things that we are going to find something like that but it won't be the Dominion we know. It will be fascinating to learn just what they discover. And of course, there is the curious or ominous fact that the Federation have not claimed a right to the region. Does that suggest they discovered something better left alone? And of course, off in the direction of the Romulan Empire does that mean they risk war or Romulan interference? Fascinating.
  2. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Thanks, MF :)

    I hope I won't disappoint you with the rest and will meet the expectations ;)
  3. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Chapter 5

    CMS Roumar

    Jarol entered Zamarran’s office and stood in front of the desk. He gestured for her to sit down, so she slumped into a chair.

    “I read your report and I read the communiqué Gul Dukat had sent me about the current situation,” the gul said, not taking his eyes from his monitor. “But I wonder if there is some...behind-the-scenes information you left out from your official report.” He looked at her.

    She slowly shook her head, considering whether the detail about Dukat’s conduct toward her should be shared. Finally, she decided it was irrelevant. “No, sir. However, since Gul Toral was the source of all information, you might want to ask him that question.”

    “I did think about it,” Zamarran admitted. “But it could be taken as going behind Dukat’s back shouldn’t happen.”

    “He wouldn’t know if you did it right.”

    Zamarran’s eyes became harder for a moment. “The chance that you might not be caught doesn’t mean you should violate the order,” he chastised her. Then, after she lowered her head, his tone softened. “I believe Toral told Dukat everything and didn’t hide any facts. He’s the lowest ranking gul here, so it’s not his call to decide which information should and should not be reported.”

    “Yes, sir,” she whispered. Suddenly, she felt her fatigue strengthened.

    “Go to your quarters and rest. You must report to Dukat’s ship tomorrow morning one hour before your shifts starts.”

    Why? What did he want from her? Have a breakfast with him? “Did he say why?” she tried to sound calm.

    “No, he didn’t share that little detail. Dismissed.”

    She left the office and dragged her feet toward the lift.

    CMS Ravinok

    “Damar, my office, please.”

    The glinn looked at his gul and slowly followed him to the room behind the glass door.

    The Ravinok was on its way to the destroyed Bajoran colony. Dukat had ordered the other two Cardassian warships to stay where they were and decided to investigate the matter himself.

    “Have you sent the message I told you to?” Dukat asked Damar, sitting in his chair.

    “Yes, sir. We did not receive any confirmation from the aliens, though.”

    “Hmm...” Dukat leaned back in the chair, tapping his chin with his index finger. “Let’s hope they received it and will wait for us.”

    “Sir...” Damar hesitated, but decided to ask the question. “Is there a reason why we left the other ships behind and go to meet those aliens alone?” He also wanted to ask why Dukat wanted so much to talk to those aliens, but it was not his place to ask for reasoning behind the gul’s orders. The truth was, it was not his place to ask about the decision of separating from the other ships either, but he felt he had to do it. He could get away with one request for explanation, but not with two and he felt this matter was more important than the other.

    “It’s for their protection. If the aliens turn out to be aggressive, they destroy only our ship and not the others.”

    Damar saw no merit in this explanation. “If they are hostile, we’d have better chances of survival if there were three warships instead of one. The risk would be minimal for any of us.”

    Dukat rose. “This is very short-sighted, Damar. We don’t want to go and show off with our strength. This is supposed to be a diplomatic meeting.”

    “Then why not keep our warships close enough to help us, should the need arise, but stay far enough not to intimidate the aliens?”

    The gul scrutinised his officer for a moment. “Is this cowardice I hear?” he asked eventually and Damar did his best not to snap at that. “Are you afraid to die?”

    “No, sir, my—”

    “We have to work in the best interests of Cardassia and if that means risking our safety, then that’s what we have to do. If you are not up to taking such risks, then perhaps you should consider a change of career.”

    The glinn exercised his acquired masterly self-command not to react violently to the insult. After years of serving under Dukat’s leadership, he’d learnt to hide his true feelings and not react openly to challenges Dukat threw at him each time Damar dared to express his doubts. He was long past believing in Dukat’s greatness and sometimes tried to protect the crew from the gul’s own faith in his infallibility. Getting the whole crew killed was more important than being called a coward.

    So, he only asked, “Am I dismissed?”

    Dukat narrowed his eyes and then said, “Inform me as soon as we are in communication range of the alien ship.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    Stepping down out of the office and walking to his post, not for the first time Damar thought that maybe it was worth considering applying for a transfer. He knew Dukat hindered his career and if nothing changed, Damar was going to stay a glinn and a gul’s aide forever. He’d seen younger soldiers with shorter command training service getting their promotions and their own ships, while he was still stuck in the same place without any chance for an advancement. Dukat found him useful, so didn’t see a reason to resign from him. It was flattering in a way, but it’d been over twenty years and with each following year it was less flattering and more annoying.

    But if he transferred, what would happen to the crew? Who would protect them? Who would protect Yassel and other pretty, young officers like her? There was no way he’d transfer away and leave them all. The only command he’d take was the command of this ship after Dukat being gone—however that would happen.

    He looked at Jarol, who was pretty bored, because she had little to do when there was nothing to communicate to the other ships. He approached her.

    “Busy?” he asked.

    “Do I look busy?” She sighed. There was no irritation in her voice, just resignation. “Frankly, I have no idea what I am doing here.”

    You’ll learn soon enough, he thought. “Do you mind analysing some data?”

    Her eyes shone. “I’d kill to have something useful to do.”

    He smiled. “I’ll send it to you in a moment. I’d like you to estimate the alien’s value in battle. I have the report from our tactician, but I think another set of eyes might notice different things or come to difference conclusions.”

    “I’ll get right on it.”

    “We’re being hailed,” Yassel announced suddenly. “By the aliens.”

    “Call Dukat to the bridge,” Damar ordered and a few moments later the gul stepped onto the deck and sat in the command chair.

    “Open frequencies,” he ordered.

    The alien with long, wrinkled ears filled the screen. “I have received your message and decided to meet you half-way. My name is Weyoun.”

    “I’m Gul Dukat, the ranking Cardassian gul in his sector.”

    Damar thought that it sounded like the sector belonged to Cardassian territory.

    It’s a pleasure to meet you, Gul Dukat. I would like to learn more about you and your people.”

    Dukat smiled. “Naturally.”

    If we could meet personally, it would make our conversation much easier and perhaps more productive.

    “How do you propose to do that?”

    I could visit you on your mighty warship. I’d only take two Jem’Hadar with me.”


    My soldiers,” Weyoun explained.

    “I see. I’ll consider your proposal and will notify you by the time we’re in transported range. You have transporters, don’t you?”

    Of course. I await your decision.”

    The alien signed off and Damar looked at Dukat. “What does he want to talk about?”

    “I intend to find out. Prepare the ship for his visit. I am sure those...Jem’Hadar are going to be armed, so make sure they don’t pose any threat to anyone or anything. Secure the stations and panels.” The gul looked at his tactician. “Motran, you will be personally responsible for safety of this ship, but also for safety of our unusual guest. I don’t want any incidents.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Jarol, it’s time to use your skill for something useful. Analyse the ships defensive and offensive capabilities. I’m sure we’re in the range to scan them properly.”

    “Yes, sir, we are,” she confirmed and started working.


    “Sir, we’re in transporter range,” Motral reposted suddenly.

    Jarol raised her head to look at the tactician; she was so busy she didn’t feel the passage of it.

    “Jarol, is you report ready?” Dukat asked her.

    “Most of it, sir,” she answered. “There is a lot of hypothetical information that might turn out important, so I didn’t want to leave anything out.”

    “Is there anything you consider especially important or accurate that you could tell me now?”

    Jarol leaned over her console to study the readings and answer the question. A moment later she straightened back to look at an empty command chair. And just at the same time she felt a warm breath on her neck ridge.

    “Well?” Dukat’s voice said softly into her ear.

    Her heart stopped and she realised she felt like a trapped animal: she knew there was no escape and whatever she’d decide to do, the following results were not optimistic. She had two choices: either move away, squeezing herself between him and the console, which meant that the body contact would be made, or tell him to step back and face the consequences of talking that way to her superior. To the superior of her superior.

    All those thoughts passed through her mind within a split second and even before they had fully formed, her mouth snapped. “Step back.” The growl in her throat, the anger mixed with fear, slight baring her teeth when she said the all indicated that she was ready to bite, be damned the consequences.

    The first thing she registered was Yassel’s face. Astonishment and admiration. Damar, who stood next to the female communication officer, slowly shook his head, sending Jarol a warning.

    Dukat stepped back a bit and Jarol wasn’t sure if he was more surprised by her defensive attack, or...

    One look at him was enough to know what it was: pure fury. If his sight could kill, she’d be dead on the deck now. But that fury was quickly replaced by a sickly sweet smile. Jarol wasn’t fooled; Dukat’s mood didn’t change. He was a master of hiding his true feelings.

    “I meant nothing, of course,” he said, stepping back and raising his hands in a defensive gesture.

    She didn’t buy any of it. And she mentally prepared herself for his revenge, for she was absolutely certain that this man didn’t leave any matters unfinished. And she had just become such an unfinished matter.

    As insecure as it made her, she forced herself to look back at the panel to deliver her report. A wave of relief washed through her when Dukat’s shadow moved away. He returned to his chair.

    “Stay with me at all times.” Jarol raised her eyes to meet the blue eyes of Dukat’s aide. He had a serious look on his face. He had soundlessly approached her console and now stood on the other side of it with a padd in his hand.

    “Why?” she asked quietly, returning to her work.

    He punched a few buttons on his padd, glancing at her console to make an impression of imputing the data he was reading into his device. “Because what you did was probably the most foolish thing you have done in your entire life,” he said quietly, studying a diagram on his padd’s display. He looked up at her and seeing her almost panicked face, he barked, “Carry on!”

    She understood the message and forced herself to control her emotions and concentrate on her work.

  4. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Good for Zamarran! It seems this Jarol may have the temptation to take matters into her own hands just because it's more expedient--though thankfully not as strongly expressed as in the canon universe--and Zamarran looks like he's fully prepared to nip that dangerous tendency right in the bud. (I also suspect this may be why Zamarran has yet to recommend her for promotion...he wants to make sure this tendency has been tamed first.) Hopefully his principles would also extend to Dukat's unwanted overtures, and if Jarol reported that to him, he would keep her safe from him...since the safety of his crew would be a large enough matter to defy orders for.

    And...whoa! This Jarol wasn't willing to be treated like a toy by Dukat, the way the canon one was! I wonder if that's because she's been used to watching Zamarran sass that Obsidian Order agent. :evil:

    From Damar's warning, seems as though Dukat has now moved Jarol from the "seduce" category to the "rape as soon as possible" category. That is very, very scary.

    Just as scary as the Dominion, I think.
  5. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    I'm not sure there is any particular reason that could explain the difference. he might have snapped in the other situation, or she might be paralysed here.

    There are two factors I think might influence it: it was in front of the crew (so in a way she was safer than being in his quarters alone with him) and she is married here. Maybe it felt like cheating if she not reacted harshly.

    But she certainly didn't let Dukat make her a toy in my other story. She was scared and paralysed by fear; that's why she didn't react the same way. She didn't ask for it and she didn't enjoy it!
    I'm not sure what he wants to do now--I don't want to know--but he certainly wants to teach her a lesson not to defy her. He is used to people following his orders...all people and all orders. He was ready to kill Ziyal for defying him, so I see nothing that could stop him from hurting a woman who is not his family.
  6. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Ii didn't mean it in the sense of wanting the sexual contact--but her fear did make her submit to what Dukat wanted without an open objection like this one. That's what he does--he sees vulnerability and then gets such people wrapped around his little finger to where they do his bidding. I also think there was some hero worship that kept her from reporting it--some part of her that thought she should suffer whateve indignities because Dukat had convinced her to be grateful to him.

    Hopefully in this universe she'll report it. Zamarran needs to know so he can take protective measures too.

    We'll see what this Damar does, and how far out of Dukat's sway he really is now. His help will be critical along with Zamarran's.
  7. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    This is possible. There was only one person she told about it and I think it was years after that happened. Before then, she was too scared and probably lying to herself that maybe she misinterpreted everything, or provoked him in some way. Her perception of him was very, very distorted.

    On the show, we never saw Damar really coming to the conclusion what Dukat did to Cardassia, but we saw him starting to understand some things. I think that with time he would also see through his own hero worship and in this story he's under Dukat's command for such a long time that he had to see a lot of Dukat's orders, actions and results of decisions.

    Soon you'll see if he's completely disillusioned or there's still some of that worship left.
  8. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Chapter 6

    CMS Ravinok

    “Sir.” Damar entered Dukat’s office with, he hoped, air of confidence.

    “Yes, Damar, what is it?” The gul didn’t even raise his head from a padd he was studying.

    “Are you unsatisfied with my performance, sir?”

    That caught Dukat’s attention. “No, not at all. Why would you think so?”

    “I must admit I am puzzled.” Damar took a step forward, closing to Dukat’s desk. “If my service as an aide is satisfactory and up to your high standards, then why do you need an aide from another warship?”

    Dukat leaned back in his chair. “Damar, she is here not to replace you, but to co-ordinate our manoeuvres with the other ships.”

    “I can do that. I am not afraid of taking more responsibilities...and I don’t want to fail you.” Damar knew that if he wanted to achieve his goal, he had to make it look like it was Dukat’s benevolence and kind heart that had led him to the ‘unnecessary’ decision of bringing Jarol on board. And stroking Dukat’s ego never failed. The glinn was unable to read Dukat’s face and as the moment of silence stretched, he began to wonder if he hadn’t just brought trouble on himself. It was possible that Dukat assumed Damar was an idiot who didn’t understand the real reasons why Jarol was on the Ravinok.

    “I know what you’re thinking,” Dukat said finally, raising from his chair and approaching his officer. “You are angry with her for her disrespectful behaviour on the bridge a few days ago.”

    Damar didn’t lose a second and immediately used the opportunity. “Her behaviour was outrageous and I don’t want her on the ship. You deserve a crew better than that.”

    Dukat smiled graciously. “All right, Damar. Send her back to her warship.”

    “Thank you, sir.” The glinn didn’t have to fake his relief.

    He left the office and at once went to Jarol. “Leave the ship,” he said quietly. “And do it quickly, before he changes his mind.” She uncertainly looked at the door to the gul’s office. Dukat observed them through the half-glass door. “I said get off the ship!” Damar barked louder for his commander’s benefit and then added impatiently, “I’ll do it myself.” He grabbed her elbow and pulled her toward the lift door. She was so surprised that she didn’t resist.

    They entered the lift. “Sorry,” he said, withdrawing his hand as soon as the door closed, cutting them off from the bridge. “I had to put a show for him.”

    She observed him for a moment. “Can I really return to my ship?” she asked.

    “Yes. Tell your gul everything that happened. I complained to Dukat about your presence here and your outrageous behaviour.” He rolled his eyes as a sign he didn’t really mean it. “He bought it. So it’s better if your gul plays the game for your and my safety.”

    “Damar, how can I thank you?”

    He smiled. “If you want to thank me, help Yassel get off this ship, too. She deserves better than that.” He felt almost sick, saying those words. He liked women; he liked them a lot. He liked their company, but wanted it to be enjoyable for both him and his lady. ‘No’ meant ‘no’ and he had no problems with accepting refusal. But for Dukat it wasn’t about beauty of blue chanths, it was about power and domination over someone’s life, including their body. For Yassel’s safety, Damar and Yassel pretended she was Damar’s woman, but the glinn was sure he had noticed Dukat losing patience and it was more than probable that soon the gul would stop being loyal to his officer and take his woman. Damar liked Yassel and didn’t want any harm to happen to her.

    “I’ll try,” she promised.

    “Don’t try,” he snapped. “Do it!”

    She nodded sharply. “I’ll do it!”

    The lift doors opened and they headed for her temporary quarters to pick up her things. Then he escorted her to the transporter chamber. He had no idea how nervous he was, until she safely left the Ravinok and was beyond Dukat’s reach.

    He was on his way back to the bridge, when he was informed about the alien delegation returning for another session of talks. It was the fifth meeting and Damar already knew a great deal about their society. They called themselves the Dominion and were led by the Founders, whom Weyoun and his guards considered gods. The glinn found it amusing, but did his best not to show his opinion to their...guests. However, he was impressed by the order the troops were organised by and wondered if some of those solutions couldn’t be adapted to the Cardassian military.

    He headed for a transporter chamber to welcome Weyoun and his Jem’Hadar and to escort them to Dukat’s office. There, as usually, he motioned to his seat but Dukat changed the routine and told him to report to the bridge. Damar found it weird to be asked to leave, but he didn’t protest. The Jem’Hadar guards stayed outside and Dukat was alone in the room with the Vorta—as the alien called his species—who didn’t look like someone who could pose a physical threat to a Cardassian, so the glinn couldn’t use the argument of staying inside for security reasons as an excuse to be present and listen to what they were discussing.

    He didn’t like the idea of leaving. He had witnessed some of talks and he noticed that Weyoun not only shared information about the Dominion, but also gathered a lot of information about the Cardassian Union and it was obvious that politics were the matter he wanted to know most about. The last time the Vorta managed to manipulate Dukat to reveal much too much information by manoeuvring the gul and making him presenting his own role in the structures of power greatly overestimated. Damar had to admit that Weyoun knew exactly how to make Dukat tell him everything he wanted; it only took playing on the gul’s egotism. All attempts to warn Dukat failed, as he had seemed to enjoy drawing picture of himself being so great, so in the end Damar was paid with denial to join the discussion as the reward of his caution. He dreaded what might be going on behind that closed door now. He was certain the Vorta noticed his reserve and now, with Damar gone, Weyoun could become even bolder in his approach.

    “Damar, there’s something I want to show you,” Yassel said quietly, approaching him. He followed her to the communication console. “I keep an ear...” She grinned. “On everything in space and I noticed that the Dominion ship is in contact with...something or someone.”

    “There’s nothing surprising about that,” he said. “We’d do the same if we were in range of our empire. They probably send reports and such.”

    “Well, yes, that was my initial thought, but there seems to be more than that. It’s possible that their technology is so different from ours that it appears to be more than just simple reports, but it’s also possible that...” She hesitated.

    He nodded, encouraging her to continue. “Go on.”

    “My guess would be that it’s an extensive visual communication. And it happens only when the Vorta is aboard his own ship, so I think he talks to someone. A lot.”

    “Informing his superiors of our talks and getting instructions on how to proceed,” he wondered.

    “I thought the same thing.”

    “Did you tell Dukat about that.”

    “I’d rather you do it.”

    He understood her perfectly. Limiting her direct interaction with the gul was something he had suggested himself. “I will.”

    “There’s more,” Raseen suddenly joined them.

    Damar looked at the Obsidian Order agent. “What do you mean?”

    “My guess is that Dukat already knows about those communiques. I’m sure Weyoun reports everything to his superiors and each subsequent meeting in the office—” He nodded toward the door to Dukat’s room. “—is the result of new orders he receives.”

    Damar tried to hide his impatience; it wasn’t a good idea to irritate the political officer. “You said there’s more.”

    Raseen seemed to consider whether to answer, as for a moment he just stood, biting his lower lip and looking to the left. Then he grabbed Damar’s elbow and pulled him away, out of Yassel’s earshot. “I know Dukat is also in contact with Weyoun while the Vorta is on his ship.”

    Damar raised an eye ridge. “Talking face to face is not enough?” He didn’t have to ask where Raseen had the information from, because he was certain the agent knew a lot about everyone on the warship. The question was why he was sharing it with the glinn now. It wasn’t a standard procedure.

    “I do not know, but I am going to confront him about that. I don’t like the fact that he has secret conversations with some aliens and...right now even the talks aboard our own ship are uncontrolled.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “You, people, find a lot of ingenious ways to deactivate our...devices and each attempt of bringing them back to operation is counteracted by even more ingenious actions.” It was no news for Damar. Everyone knew that the Obsidian Order bugged everything and everyone tried to have some privacy, scrambling and fooling the bugs. “But he is there alone with that slimy alien and I don’t trust him.”

    “You mean you’d trust me?”

    “I trust that neither you nor Dukat would trust each other to do something unlawful in the other’s presence. But right now he’s out of control and this cannot go on.”

    “What can you do?”

    “Let me worry about that.” Raseen shook his head and went away, leaving Damar puzzled why that conversation had happened at all.
  9. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space

    CMS Roumar

    “He did what?!” Brenok yelled and started toward the door, his brain literally flying behind him.

    “Where are you going?” Jarol asked.

    The long-haired glinn answered not turning back. “To tell him what I think about such an immoral gapgar!”

    Jarol jumped to her feet. “Stop! Are you crazy?” But he didn’t slow down. “Computer, lock the door.” She was glad they were in her quarters and she didn’t need any code to lock her own door; her voice print was sufficient for the command to be accepted.

    “Let me out,” Brenok laughed.

    “Not until you cool down.”

    She had told her friend how Gul Dukat had trapped her a few days earlier. Brenok’s reaction was indignation and fury. She knew him and she knew that there were moments when Arenn was reckless and did before thinking. She didn’t want him executed because of one man’s sick and lewd mind.

    “Someone has to tell that bastard how to treat ladies.” He gestured vividly when speaking. “Your husband isn’t here to protect you, so it’s my job as’s.” He smiled saying the last word. They were only friends and shared no blood, but that’s how they felt about each other. They had been supporting each other for years and their relationship grew beyond friendship.

    “I’d rather have a living brother than a dead one.”

    “Ati, what he did...” Brenok just shook his head instead of finishing.

    She opened her mouth to say that it had been nothing and that it didn’t matter, but she knew it was a lie. She had been terrified at that moment, appalled and disgusted by the indecent behaviour of her superior officer and the time didn’t diminish those feelings. “I’m just glad I don’t have to be there any longer.” There was a short moment she’d found him charming and irresistible—during that romantic dinner in his quarters—but she shook that misguided feeling very quickly, especially in the light of his subsequent behaviour. And even if her temporary blindness wouldn’t vaporise as quickly as it did, she could never be unfaithful to Tiron.

    Brenok paced in the room and she could clearly see that he was still agitated. His hands were on his hips and from time to time he shook his head with most likely disbelief. He was furious. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Why didn’t you tell Zamarran?”

    “And then what? Return to his ship and face the consequences? I was in enough trouble and didn’t need any more. Damar tried to protect me, but I am certain his power is limited and there are some things even he can’t prevent. Can you imagine what would happen if Zamarran confronted Dukat about it? What would happen to me for telling on him?”

    Brenok fumed. “Zamarran wouldn’t let you return to that ship! Who do you think he is?!”

    “What if he’d get an order? You know what he’s like. Duty and order, regulations and rules.”

    The man snorted. He was just about to say something, but one look at her kept him silent. “I can’t even imagine how scared you had to be,” he said softly.

    “I still am.”

    “Did you talk to Zamarran now?”

    “I did. I had to pass a message to him.”


    “And what?”

    “Will he follow rules?”

    She smiled softly. “He said he’ll help. But I’m sure he’ll do it following all possible rules.”

    Brenok sat next to her and she was glad to see he was calming down.

    CMS Roumar

    Gul Zamarran was sitting in his office, trying not to explode. Last night Jarol had returned to the Roumar with a horrible story and he was still very angry, mostly at himself for agreeing to Dukat’s idea of her temporary transfer. What made him even more irritated was that he couldn’t do anything about Dukat’s indecent behaviour—not until that other officer, Yassel, was off the Ravinok. He understood he had to play the game Glinn Damar had started for the safety of that young woman, but the fact that such a rotten man was not facing charges and consequences for his—clearly typical and common—behaviour was driving Zamarran crazy. It was against everything he believed in. He had even asked Jarol if she was ready to postpone charging Dukat for the sake of Yassel and as terrified as she was, she had agreed.

    He didn’t start his day yet, when someone appeared at his door. He looked up to see who had chimed and didn’t hide his surprise at seeing Gul Dukat’s aide. He raised his hand and waved for the officer to enter.

    “What can I do for you, Glinn Damar?”

    “There is something I need to talk about to you, sir.”

    “Something that you cannot talk about to your gul,” Zamarran guessed. Was it about Yassel?

    “That’s correct.”

    “Sit down.” Zamarran waited for Damar to sit and then said, “So, what brings you to me.”

    The younger man took a breath and the gul knew it wasn’t easy for him. And it shouldn’t be. Damar had his own superior and instead of going with his problem to Dukat, he was here, in Zamarran’s office. The gul was not only not his direct commanding officer, he was also subordinate of Damar’s commander. This situation violated at least two regulations.

    But Zamarran was ready to hear him out and then judge.

    “Sir, as you know, Gul Dukat is conducting talks with the Vorta.”

    “Yes, I am aware of that. However, Dukat didn’t inform me of the nature of those talks.”

    “Generally, they are exchange of information. The Vorta describes in detail their political system, Gul Dukat in return tells him about our political situation.”

    “Sounds harmless.” Zamarran wasn’t sure if it really was harmless, but talking about facts didn’t have to mean anything dangerous. Though, sharing too much information might be considered treason.

    “It appeared harmless in the beginning. But the talks started to involve hypothetical situations...” The glinn hesitated. “I was excluded yesterday and right now Dukat talks to the Vorta without any witnesses.”

    “I’m sure your political officer keeps an...ear on everything.”

    Damar drew the air loudly and Zamarran knew it was not the end of revelations. “The Vorta is in constant contact with someone, presumably his superiors. Dukat is in constant contact with the Vorta.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Our political officer detected communication between Dukat and the Dominion ship. He didn’t specify if Dukat contacted the Vorta from his office or his quarters, but he was certain of that fact.”

    “He told you that?” Zamarran couldn’t imagine an Obsidian Order agent sharing any kind of information with any officer. Nadar certainly wouldn’t do anything like that.

    “For whatever reason, he did.”

    “I would like to talk to him myself, if it’s possible.” Dukat’s behaviour was strange and the gul was not going to ignore it.

    “Raseen told me he was going to confront Dukat.”

    “Did he?”

    “I don’t know. I can’t find him since the morning. He just...isn’t aboard the Ravinok any longer. There is no trace of him beaming out anywhere; there is no trace of him at all.”

    Zamarran didn’t need it spelled out at his face: Dukat had got rid of his witness. The Ravinok’s gul was plotting and he didn’t want anyone interrupt him. There was one element of this puzzle that didn’t fit the whole picture—no one, regardless how badly plotting, dared to eliminate an Obsidian Order agent, because it meant more trouble than gain and only drew more attention. But! They were far from home and the number of agents was extremely limited here. But! They would return home eventually and then Dukat would have a lot of explaining to do, unless he came with a convenient and believable story of his political officer’s disappearance, which wouldn’t be that difficult, considering they were in an unknown, uncharted and dangerous place.

    “What do you want me to do?” the gul asked.

    Damar shook his head. “I don’t know, sir. But something must be done before it’s too late, whatever those two are discussing in there.” The glinn made a face and Zamarran wasn’t surprised—it had to feel terrible to lose respect for one’s gul and do such things behind his back.

    “Keep observing,” Zamarran said. “And keep me updated. I’ll keep my sensors on any incoming and outgoing communication.”

    “I’ll try to gain access to the talks.” Disgust on his face was palpable. Zamarran wasn’t sure if lying and scheming behind his gul’s back caused the feeling, or the events that had led to it.

    “All right. If that’s all, I think it will be prudent if you now returned to your warship.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Oh, and Damar...” The glinn was on his way to the door, but stopped and turned to look at Zamarran. “I’m working on some way to get that officer, Yassel, off your ship.”

    “Thank you, sir.”

    Zamarran smiled. That was one decent officer. “Dismissed.”

    Damar left, leaving the gul with an unpleasant feeling of something really bad coming to all of them.

  10. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    I can't believe it...I'm actually rooting for Nadar here, for him to figure out what happened to Raseen and help in taking down Dukat. I'm pretty sure I know what Dukat's trying to pull here, and we know where that path leads.

    I am glad to see that Damar isn't putting up with his gul's behavior. He was quite bold and actually kind of a gentleman (all fake anger aside). And what he's doing for really fits, how you explain it as pretending to be "Damar's woman." That reminds me of the "Captain's Woman" in the Mirror Universe. Dukat would fit very well there, wouldn't he? :rolleyes:

    I'm so glad to see that Jarol and Brenok talked themselves into the reasonable course of action: going to Zamarran. I hope there'll be a way, someday, to stop playing this whole charade and take Dukat down. And of course to save Yassel, too.
  11. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    I'm not sure Zamarran would share anything with Nadar. Nadar is so full of hate that it's hard to predict his reaction. Zamarran probably would never trust him.
    As I said, the chapter would give hints as to where it's all headed ;) You're probably right in your suspicions.
    He would.

    While I didn't want to copy the "custom" from MU, I think on some ships such a situation could happen, especially under such command as Dukat's, where someone cares about power and not service.
    You'll see what will happen ;)
  12. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    I didn't really think Nadar and Zamarran would talk, but I figured Nadar and Raseen did, and the loss of contact could get Nadar's attention.
  13. mirandafave

    mirandafave Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Apr 26, 2008
    Chapter 2
    Oh crumbs! Or at least, that is what I thought when I saw they were going to visit Bajor. Especially when Jarol and Dukat took in the nature and abundance of life on the planet. It screamed out the possibility that Dukat would chase after Bajor to help Cardassia. But he didn't. (Yet)

    Another fascinating chapter - mostly because of how we got to see the first contact between Bajor and Cardassia in this AU - and with Dukat of all people! It felt almost like a powder keg moment where Dukat would possibly ruin everything.

    I love though how it turns on Zammerman and his distrust of Dukat and how Jarol proves just how much Dukat is pathetic and yet dangerously ambitious in how he framed the lie about the Bajoran presence through the wormhole. Man that man's pride and ego is so big, I wonder will he be able to fit his head through the wormhole!

    Another great chapter.
  14. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Dukat always seemed to think he was such a great person and a great leader. There was no reason not to make him as certain of his genius in AU ;)

    Maybe the Prophets will stretch the wormhole for his head to go through :lol:
  15. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Chapter 7

    CMS Roumar

    Brenok entered the bridge, but did not approach his station to relief the assistant chief engineer on duty, Gil Ya’val. He headed straight for the gul’s office, causing the heads turn toward his direction because of his heavy steps. He hit the wallcomm with his fist, hearing the metallic cling the device emitted under the brute force. Through the half-glass door he saw Zamarran’s surprised look.

    He had spent the whole night thinking about the disgusting thing that had happened to his friend and the longer he thought about it, the angrier he was becoming. His blood was now boiling no less than it had been when she’d first told him about Dukat’s behaviour the night before. Without her calming presence, there was nothing stopping him from what he believed he should have done the day earlier.

    Zamarran made a gesture with his hand, inviting Brenok to enter. The glinn didn’t hear it, but he knew the gul gave the computer the command to open the door, as it parted in front of the engineer.

    “What can I do for you, Brenok?” Zamarran leaned back in his chair, looking at his officer.

    “Did Jarol tell you what happened on his ship?”

    “She did.” Obviously, he didn’t have to clarify whose ship he’d meant.

    The engineer felt fury flooding his soul. “And what did you do about that!” He knew his tone was too defiant and he spoke too loud, but he didn’t care. All he cared about was Atira.

    Zamarran pointed to the chair next to Brenok. “Sit down.” The glinn fumed and opened his mouth to say something, but the gul repeated in a tone that accepted no refusal. “Sit. Down.” Brenok didn’t want to sit down. He wanted to run. And to smash someone’s face. But Zamarran patiently waited and his calmness seemed to be stronger than the glinn’s fury. Grudgingly, the younger man sat in the offered chair. “Now, listen. There is a plan we have to follow and Jarol agreed to that.”

    “I don’t care about—”

    “Don’t interrupt me.” There was a faint warning—or perhaps a threat—in Zamarran’s voice, which immediately silenced the glinn. “Don’t make a mistake thinking that I would allow some...person—” He spat the word. “—to sexually harass my officer, but there is something I have to do and to do that I have to play a certain game. As soon as that game is over soon as it’s over, Dukat will pay for his behaviour. For both cases.”

    Brenok didn’t care for games or plans, but the word ‘both’ drew his attention. He bit his lower lip, but didn’t say anything.

    Zamarran stood. “Now return to your duty.” The glinn rose and headed for the door, but before he left, the gul said, “And Brenok...don’t you dare to speak to me in such a tone ever again.”

    Hot fury was flushed away by icy fear. He had crossed the line. “I won’t, sir. I’m sorry, sir.”

    The gul only grunted and sat back in his chair, while the engineer went to his station, feeling like a walking failure. This day had not started well.


    Gul Toral was surprised by Gul Zamarran’s request, but he was intrigued enough to accept the strange invitation. It felt wrong to meet behind Dukat’s back, but Zamarran had promised to explain everything. The condition was that they had to do that in person.

    Both the Roumar and the Radalar were the same Galor-class warships, but as soon as Toral beamed aboard Zamarran’s vessel, he knew he wasn’t home. In spite of everything being the same, everything was different. He wouldn’t be able to tell what was different, but he could feel it.

    He knew the way to the gul’s office, so he didn’t need any escort, but he also knew the protocol, so didn’t protest two gareshes accompanying him all the way. It didn’t matter, really.

    On the bridge, he stole a glance at the beautiful gul’s aide and then entered the gul’s office. But before his attention was fully on the other gul, his narrow eyes had spotted the civilian man on the bridge, who was observing him suspiciously. There was only one civilian allowed on a warship’s bridge, so Toral was sure it was the local political officer. He also knew the man was nothing but scum; he could smell them from a distance.

    Zamarran raised his hand to give Toral a sign not to say anything and then he raised his other hand with some device in it. Toral didn’t have to ask what it was. He was no engineer, but almost all jamming devices had similar elements and were easy to recognise even if they were completely different constructions.

    The Roumar’s gul motioned to a sofa in the far corner of the office, so Toral followed him. They sat with the device between them, like a chaperone, not seen from the bridge.

    “We have a situation,” Zamarran began in a hushed voice. “It’s about Dukat and I want you to be informed of everything in case we need to interfere.”

    Toral’s eye ridges travelled high. Interfere? With what? “What are you suggesting?” He wouldn’t even dare to use the word ‘mutiny.’

    “His aide came to me with some disturbing observations.” Zamarran related everything Damar had told him.

    Toral listened carefully. “There’s one thing,” he said after the older gul had finished. “Whatever we do, it’s better to have the Obsidian Order backup. If they agree with us, we can safely act.” After all, with the Obsidian Order support event a...mutiny—he again shuddered at the thought—wouldn’t automatically mean execution.

    Zamarran laughed bitterly. “I wouldn’t count on any support from them. Besides, Dukat probably killed his agent.”

    “Silly move,” Toral commented. Death of every political officer was carefully investigated; otherwise they’d disappear one day after reporting to their ships. No one hated them more than soldiers, who agents were sent to spy on. “But if an agent says our taking over the operation was necessary, taking down a commanding officer wouldn’t be seen as bad sounds.”

    “They care only about their own business.”

    “The political officer on my ship is a reasonable man. I’ll talk to him.”

    Zamarran raised a sceptical eye ridge. “Can you trust that guy?”

    “I can, I’m sure of that. He’s been on my warship for fifteen years and I can tell he looks for spies and danger, but doesn’t suspect each of us of being one.”

    Fifteen years of service as a political officer—a job considered the worst and the lowest among the agents—told volumes about the agents career...or rather lack of it. He was stuck on Toral’s ship, because he was too decent to find victims to climb up the career ladder on their graves. There were no dissidents on Toral’s ship and his political officer hadn’t ‘produced’ any either, so he appeared ineffective to his superiors.

    “What if he tells my agent? Nadar is a beast.”

    “He won’t. He told me they are not allowed to be in any contact with each other, although he wasn’t allowed to tell me why.”

    “The Obsidian Order...” Zamarran growled. “They don’t trust even each other.”

    CMS Ravinok

    Disappearance of the political officer could not go unnoticed, so Damar knew he had to react somehow. But what should he do, say or ask not to risk ruining the delicate situation? He felt disgusted at the scheming and secrecy he had been forced by the situation to employ. He was not a Romulan to do such things...but those things were necessary. Necessary for what? For better good?

    “A problem?” Motral asked him suddenly. Damar hadn’t noticed the chief engineer approaching him.

    “Why would you say so?”

    The gil grinned. “You look like you just ate spoiled yamok sauce.”

    It feels even worse than that, Damar thought. “I...just don’t like...inactivity.”

    Motral leaned closer. “I know what you mean. We’ve been sitting here for a few days doing nothing and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to change. Aren’t we supposed to explore and search for resources? Resources won’t come searching for us. Do you have any idea who’s keeping us here?”

    The engineer unwittingly had given Damar the excuse to investigate. “Actually, I do.” Without any more word, he turned and headed for Dukat’s office.

    He waited to be let in for quite some time. The gul was talking to someone over the comm and Damar’s irritation grew. How dares he put that Vorta before his own aide!

    Finally, he was let in. “Yes, Damar, what is it?”

    “Two things, sir.” It took all the glinn’s inner strength to speak evenly and not snap. “Both are so important that I am not sure which one I should start from.”

    Dukat leaned back in his chair. “I’m listening.”

    “I noticed strange absence of Raseen. Is he sick? I didn’t dare to ask Medic Albek, but you are a person to whom even Raseen has to report his inability to report for duty.”

    “No,” Dukat slowly answered, “he is not sick.”

    “So where is he? I didn’t see him on the bridge today at all.”

    “You shouldn’t worry about that, Damar. Raseen is not our problem any longer.”

    The glinn knew he hadn’t managed to hide his smirk. Dukat knew exactly what had happened to Raseen—how could he be so certain of his words otherwise—but was not telling. “I see. Another matter is our mission. Our orders are to find resourceful planets. Yet we’re sitting here in this void not even scanning the emptiness around us.”

    The gul stood up. “I am working on it.”

    “On what?”

    “On securing for us as much resources as we need.”

    Damar’s heart missed a beat. He was so stunned by the answer that he didn’t say anything at first. “The Vorta?” he whispered eventually.

    “His masters are powerful and can give us a lot. They can also help us protect ourselves from the Romulans and finally even destroy the enemy.”

    “At what price?!” the glinn snapped before managed to keep himself from it.

    The gul stood up. “I can assure you that this is an opportunity we shouldn’t miss. A great change is coming to Cardassia and we—” He put a hand on his chest. “—are going to make it happen.” Damar could hear his own breath trembling, so he feared to speak. Dukat clearly took it as a sign of support, because he continued, “The Vorta offered me—us—something we shouldn’t refuse.” He leaned his hands on the desk in front of him. “If Cardassia weren’t such a barren desert, we’d be the greatest power in the Alpha Quadrant. Instead, we’re beaten, scared people, hiding at the first sight of a pointed ear. This has to end!” He straightened up and shook his first.

    “What do they want in return?” The glinn asked cautiously.

    “We are in the process of discussing it.” Dukat smiled rapaciously. “But don’t worry. I’ll take care of you and our crew.”

    Especially of Yassel, no doubt, Damar thought with contempt. He was already thinking of the ways of contacting Zamarran without arising any suspicions.

    A painful question rang in his head—was it treason to betray a traitor?

  16. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    Ahhhh, Damar's rebellious streak is coming out a bit. :evil:

    And speaking of! Brenok sure exploded there! He was very fortunate Zamarran forgave him for that. I think that as much as Zamarran resented that breach of discipline, he at least understood where it came from.

    Now...have we actually seen Toral's political officer up to this point? I know Raseen and Nadar, but I don't remember seeing the third. There are three candidates who come to mind that could fit the description Toral offered. One I consider an unlikely candidate because I don't believe he could hold out for fifteen years without the Order making a move on him instead. I'd be shocked if he made it even one year.

    Another candidate might have the same problem--he could probably hold out longer than the first, but I still don't think he could make it for fifteen years. But the third could probably pull it off but still (I think) remain fairly uncorrupted, at least based on what I know of that individual. Want me to PM you with who I think it is?
  17. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    We already know he can defy his direct superiors for the good of Cardassia, so...the history is just repeating itself in another universe ;)

    I think there are two factors: Zamarran is Brenok's mentor and he has a soft spot for the engineer and Zamarran would probably like to explode too.
    It doesn't mean he'll forget Brenok's behaviour.
    We only saw him briefly volunteering to help to code the message about the destruction of New Bajor, but no name was given.
    Yes, please. I'm very curious if you have the right person in mind, because I know exactly who it is from my canon universe and that's the reason why the name wasn't revealed yet. I wanted to build his reputation first ;)
  18. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

    Aug 4, 2008
    Cardăsa Terăm--Nerys Ghemor
    I didn't expect Zamarran to forget Brenok's behavior; I'm sure he'll still see it as a loss of self-control and a lack of strategic thinking that he has to be trained not to give in to anymore. But I at least figure any anger or resentment would cool off pretty quickly given that Zamarran understands why Brenok lashed out.
  19. Gul Re'jal

    Gul Re'jal Commodore Commodore

    Jun 28, 2010
    Gul Re'jal is suspecting she's on the wrong space
    Exactly. Brenok's behaviour told Zamarran something about the engineer and he'll remember that information. Not to use it against Brenok, but it won't be simply forgotten like it never happened.